How’s it going? I’m the new guy. You may have heard me say words about the Cincinnati Reds on the Locked On Reds podcast. Now, I will be writing some words about the wonderful Cincinnati professional baseball team, here on the greatest website to cover said team. My hope is you are enjoying these words with a cup of coffee, maybe a mimosa/bloody mary and a good bit of brunch. Let’s get to it.
Change is going to come…no, not that change
A lot of words on Redleg Nation, over the next few weeks, will be devoted to the trade deadline. What I am talking about, right now, is the (hopeful) improvement in the performance lineup. There is a vast gulf that exists between the back of these Reds’ hitters’ baseball cards and their performances in the first half of 2019. Let’s look at some possible second half performances that will bring these guys back close to their career norms.
He’s been less than stellar at the plate, so far. Add to that he’s spent time on the IL, dude has something to prove in this second half. Let’s pretend the Redlegs backstop is just going to double his at-bats, in the second half. If he is to get back to his career average of .248, he’s going to have to accumulate around 50 hits. Considering his BABIP is about 50 points lower than his career average, he is due. Also, and who knows if this will take off, but he is way off his typical doubles pace. He averages 22 two-baggers a year (since 2016) but he has just five, right now. Will he hit close to 17 doubles the rest of the way? You tell me.
He’s not had a terribly unproductive first half, for our Cincinnati Reds, but his .248 average is lower than his career clip of .262. From 2016 through 2018, Suarez has averaged 542 at-bats. Lets say he’s right at that amount in 2019, he needs 142 total hits for the year to reach his career average. That would mean he goes 62-for-220, the rest of the way. If we expand the target to just double his first half at-bat totals, then he has to pile up 88 hits, or eight more than he got in the first half. He’s not that far off, compared to some other guys in this lineup.
He really got going as the Reds entered the All Star break, but here’s something interesting about your friend, Puig. If he doubles his at-bats and plate appearances, then he would set career highs in both. He’s averaged just over 412 at-bats in his last three, full seasons. If that were to continue to hold true, we’re only going to see 108 more awesome ABs. I personally don’t see that trend holding and believe we will see much more of the Wild Horse (provided he isn’t traded). Using the benchmark of 500 at-bats, Puig can reach his career average of .276 by adding 60 hits, the rest of the way. The other thing that needs work is his on-base skills. He’s currently 40 points lower than normal. If he is to get back to his career .347 OBP, and we say he’s got 570 plate appearances, then he’s going to get on base 96 more times, which would be a .398 second half OBP.
Speaking of that change
With 18 days left until the hard and fast July 31st trade deadline, there are a few interesting names out there to monitor. One was discussed by Matthew Habel, here are a few more:
Mentioned as a possible target by Mark Sheldon, he’s a very solid left-handed reliever from the San Francisco Giants, he would be a welcome addition, though not a controllable one. That last bit flies in the face of something everyone keeps harping on, that the Reds need controllable talent, but he does have a player option for 2020. Maybe the Reds trade a mid-level guy for him and convince him to pick up that option? Then they’ve got two of the more solid lefty relievers in the game. Watson has a 2.71 career ERA, not to mention lefties hit .225 against him with just a .588 OPS (on-base plus slugging).
You’re at first going to notice that he is 26 and not a free agent until 2023. The Mariners centerfielder is entering arbitration, after this year, and could be a player who doesn’t require a lot to acquire. He’s been traded four times, already, but he sports a career .336 on-base percentage who could be a solid defensive, bottom-of-the-order, centerfielder for the Reds and move Nick Senzel back to second base.
You’re going to say “He’s 30!” but he didn’t make it to the majors until he was 27 and has been a very good hitter, ever since. He was an All Star, this year, and is cost controlled through 2023. In three and a half seasons, he has accumulated 13.6 bWAR and would take a decent group of prospects to acquire. There are very little, if any, rumblings about moving Merrifield away from Kansas City, and this may just be wishful thinking on my part, but I would love to add his talent to the Cincinnati Reds lineup, especially at the low-risk cost that accompanies him.
Off the top of my head
The All Star break, and really anytime away from GABP, gets me craving Frybox.
If you haven’t had the goodness that is Frybox you’re either health-conscious (and therefore something I am not) or you are missing out.
It is a box, with fries in it, and a variety of meats and toppings. Barbecue pulled pork, shredded buffalo chicken, or even Goetta and gravy. It will feed you and a few others…or just you.
I just had some Taco Bell and I am hungry again…
…walk-up music for a Cincinnati Reds player, in 2019, is Curt Casali’s tune. It is really hard to beat Greta Van Fleet.