The Cincinnati Reds have finally called up Nick Senzel, much to the delight of Jason Linden and me. Before we got excited over that, however, we discussed the continuing great performance of the Reds pitching staff, including NL Pitcher of the Month Luis Castillo. After all that fun stuff, we jumped into the topic of the horrific offensive performance we’ve seen. Sneak preview: there is no way whatsoever that Cincinnati’s offense is going to continue to be awful. It’s a guarantee!

We also reveal the results of Sweet Sixteen voting in RNR Madness, a 68-team tournament to name the most valuable player in Reds history. Plus, full analysis of all Sweet Sixteen matchups in the World’s Most Dangerous Bracket Competition.

Support us on Patreon. Follow us on Twitter: @redlegradio. Music for this episode provided by Freekbass, a big Reds fan and a friend of Redleg Nation.

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9 Responses

  1. RichS

    You are correct to assume the offense will not stink all season, however, pitching will not be this good all season either. It is probably likely that when the hitters begin to warm up, the pitching will collapse.

    • Dewey Roberts

      I think most people have underestimated what effect Scooter Gennett has on this offense. The offense was troublesome before he got here and is even more troublesome now that he is on the DL. People have acted like he can easily be replaced but I am not one of them. I think we need Senzel in center, Scooter at second, Iglesias at short, Winker in left almost every day and for both Votto and Suarez to up their game. Having Puig at cleanup and the abysmal performance of Schebler has created too many holes in the lineup and that makes it more difficult for the rest of the batters.
      To those who would gladly let Scooter walk after this year, I say: Not so fast my friend. Look at what has happened this season. Until there are bona fide replacements for his offensive production, the Reds better find a way to keep him.
      With a cleanup hitter batting under .200 and a center fielder batting under .150 it is no wonder this team cannot score runs.

      • Doug Gray

        I like Scooter Gennett, and he certainly helps the offense because he’s good, but he’s not the reason that nearly every hitter on this team is underperforming.

  2. Doc

    Agree, Doug. If Scooter were that valuable he could command a Mike Trout level contract.

    Scooter did not make Votto the hitter he is. Scooter had no effect on Puig, Kemp, or Iglesius last year since he didn’t play with them. Did he help Winker, Peraza? Maybe so, maybe not, but unlikely that Scooter was worth 50-80 points on BA, power numbers, etc.

    Correlation does not equal causation. Did the arrival of Sonny Gray turn Luis Castillo and Robert Stephenson into the pitchers they are this year?

    Notice that in many games this year, take the two 1-0 games with the Mets as examples, how did Scooter affect the Mets lineup? They didn’t hit either.

    In the same way that everyone assumes that Senzel will not skip a beat starting tonight, people assume only the positive for Gennett, that somehow he would have been immune to the slump that affected everyone but Iglesius, whom everyone thought would be a weak bat. Baseball is a funny game!

    The amazing thing is that the boys are hanging in there, yet have not yet had a hot streak. Maybe 24 of the 25 position players will be so excited to see Senzel that they will all start to hit. (The one who gets sent out probably won’t be quite so thrilled!)

    • Dewey Roberts

      Doc and Doug, Scooter not batting cleanup and Puig and Schebler struggling at mammoth levels means that no one is seeing good pitches to hit. It is too easy to pitch around this lineup. It is like a hitter that can only hit a fastball down the middle and under 90 mph. He has too many holes in his bat and it is easy to pitch around him.
      Go back and look at the Reds batting struggles before Scooter arrived in 2017. In 2016 and before I was pointing out on this site that the biggest trouble for the Reds was their lack of hitters in the majors and in the minors. Then Suarez developed, Scooter arrived and the last two years have seen good offensive production.
      Pitchers have figured out Schebler and he hasn’t adjusted. Peraza in my opinion is not going to be an all-star caliber player. I think he should lose his job to Iglesias.
      But neither of you addressed another point I made that the Reds need to hold onto Scooter. After 58 years as a fan, I have seen the stupidity of letting good hitters go. Dan Driessen was going to replace Tony Perez— except he didn’t. A broken down Caesar Cedeno was going to replace Ken Griffey, Sr.— except he didn’t. Now we have two projects who look washed up in Kemp and Puig.
      Say what you want to say but if Scotter was batting cleanup the Reds probably would have a winning record with the excellent pitching they have received thus far. I know that doesn’t fit with Doug’s narrative that the Reds need to move on from Gennett (which he has written and stated many times), but Doug’s opinion is just an opinion. I am confident that my opinion will prove to be correct in the long run, though. A team needs to hold onto good hitters because games are won by scoring runs. These last 4 games against the Mets prove that point. Castillo gives up 2 runs and the Reds lose. DeSclafani gives up no runs and the Reds win. Mahle gives up one run and the Reds lose. 3 runs in 3 games and the Reds were 1-2 in those games. Yuck!!

      Scoring is important!!!

      • Doug Gray

        There’s very little evidence that “protection” in a lineup is a thing that exists, particularly when it comes to the next, or previous hitters average or slugging. What we have seen, is a small correlation in “protection” when it comes to a guy walking a tad more frequently.

        Also, can you please point out the times where I’ve said the team needs to move on from Gennett. I’d love to read them.

      • Roger Garrett

        This team ranks 12 out of 15 in runs scored at 110 and 26 of those came in 2 games.Last year they were 8 out of 15 scoring 4 more then the team at number 10.They weren’t that good last year and again Billy is replaced by Puig and Scooter is out and the rest are the same players.Untill they actually start hitting it is the most glaring need.Unless they pick it up they will be so far behind the rest of the division they will not catch up.What’s worse is they are first in pitching and fifth in fielding.Just wanted to point out where they were and are in hitting because the data never supported this team was any better then middle of the pack in scoring runs last year and when you run the same team out there and expect them to be better well we know what that is called.Personally I expected Senzel to make an impact already and for Scott and Peraza to take the next step.Well we know how that has turned out.Season is not lost but unless this team starts to score consistently it will be over quickly.

  3. Dewey Roberts

    Doug, I am not going to spend my time researching everything you have written and said. Maybe it was someone else on this site. So, then the question is: what is your position on Gennett? Do you want him to stay or be shown the door?
    Also, just because you tout opinions does not make them facts. You said “There is very little evidence that protection…” Is that a scientific study you are referring to and if so which one or ones? What I know is what I have observed for nearly 6 decades of being a Reds and baseball fan. It is really very simple. In order to try to get an out of a hitter who precedes a a great hitter in the lineup, the pitcher cannot be too cute with his pitches. Thus, that hitter sees better pitches. Likewise, when a good or great hitter hits in front of a player whose average is below the Mendoza line, the pitcher is going to nibble the corners more because he would rather face the next hitter. If you want to deny that okay, but your opinion is not evidence. And my opinion is based on what I have seen. It also is not scientific evidence anymore than your opinions are.

  4. Matt

    Congratulations Nick! It’s about time! Also congratulations to Doug and Chad for getting the shoutout for being guests of the Senzel’s on air!