For this week’s question we asked some of the writers from Redleg Nation what the one move they would like to see from the Cincinnati Reds for the rest of the season?

Question: What one move do you want to see the Reds make for the rest of the season?

Nick Carrington: I’d like to see the Reds commit to significant playing time for both Josh VanMeter and Aristides Aquino. This means playing VanMeter against left handers and Aquino against right handers. It doesn’t have to be every day but five days a week, I want them in the lineup.

The Reds need to know whether these guys are legitimate starting options for next season. If one or both are, they can use valuable resources to upgrade at other spots, such as shortstop, the bullpen, or catcher. The last fifty games won’t tell them all they need to know, but more information is better than less.

I’ve never been a huge Aquino guy because of the high strikeout numbers in the minors, but he’s talented enough that his swing changes could lead to genuine improvement. I’m close behind Doug Gray on the VanMeter bandwagon. The plate discipline, easy power, and smooth stroke look legit to me. One way or another, it’s time for the Reds to find out what they’ve got in these two.

Bill Lack: I’d like to see the Reds extend Castillo and buy out some of his FA years. They have plenty of money to spend and his is a great opportunity for them to cement the 1-2 starters in the rotation for the next several years. He appears to have nothing but upside moving forward. At worst, if he continues on the level he’s throwing this year, he’s an annual contender for the All-Star team; but if he matures and gets his walk rate down, he’s a true ace and one of the handful of true #1’s in baseball.

Steve Mancuso: I don’t have big complaints. I like how David Bell is using opportunity created by trading Yasiel Puig and Scooter Gennett to give young players more chances. I support his aggressive platooning. The Reds are getting a look at Phillip Ervin, Josh VanMeter and Aristides Aquino. They seem determined to play Jose Peraza at SS and 2B. Even though I’m pessimistic about what they’ll learn, it’s important to get data on Peraza, so I support playing him over Jose Iglesias. It looks like shortstop will be a huge position of need in the organization and, beside catcher, should be the top target in the offseason.

The pitching side seems clear-cut. Tyler Mahle’s return will create a decision, and I hope they give Mahle all his starts. He’s had a much more promising season than most people realize. If they aren’t going to offer Alex Wood an extension, I’d move him to the bullpen when Mahle returns. I suppose if anything, I wish they’d find playing time for Michael Lorenzen to start a few games in the OF. And they should trade for Mike Trout.

Jason Linden: I mean, it’s really just a matter of playing the right guys. Aquino and VanMeter and Peraza (yes, really) need to play everyday. Because as much as I’m hoping the #sneakonin, it’s really about next year right now. I know people aren’t sold on Peraza – and I get why – but barring some blockbuster trade, there really aren’t a lot of options at short. Same goes for the bullpen. Lots of guys are about to run out of options, so let’s figure out who to keep and who to let go.

Doug Gray: I’ve been beating the “Play Josh VanMeter every single” day drum since he was called up last. The idea that he’s sitting against lefties drives me insane. Yes, he’s a lefty, but he’s also a lefty who had an OPS of 1.209 against lefties in Triple-A this year. In most situations, I get platooning lefties against lefties. This guy? Not until he shows he can’t do it. But they aren’t giving him the chance to do it right now and I just can’t figure out how a team that clearly is going with such an analytical approach is ignoring the data on this one. That he can play left field, right field, second base, and first base makes it easy to play him every day or really close to it.

17 Responses

  1. RichS

    I would like to find more playing time for Lorenzen as well…in the minors!

    • MikeB

      come on , this is the same ML that struck out Mike Trout twice last week. Not sure how much this weekend has to do with familiarity the Cubs have with him or how much was just a bad weekend, and I will give you he has been somewhat inconsistent with control this season, but not to the extent of demotion. IF this team has a run in them , this year OR next, they need Mikey Biceps to be confident and effective in the high leverage spots

    • Rick Pearson

      I want them to sign Iglesias at shortstop to a long-term deal I think he has deserved that right I also think Michael Lorenzen is not a closer that is Iglesias job Lorenzen lost that game last night no if and or buts about it

  2. Don

    Need to play JVM everyday at 2nd base with one day off every two weeks at the most until he gets at least 50 ABs vs left handed pitching.

    Last weeks Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday lineup against left handed starters which have a Jose (Iglesias or Peraza) batting 5th just does not seem to make sense.

    Ervin should be hitting 5th and JVM 6th vs Lefty starters with the catcher and one of the Jose’s hitting 7th and 8th. I prefer catcher at 7th and a Jose 8th so that the pitcher can bunt a faster runner to 2nd whom will then score on the Winker or Senzel hit at leadoff.

    Joey is not having a Joey type year but there are other areas of the team to improve first.
    Some numbers to back this up.

    Votto splits based on his batting position.
    Split GS BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip
    Batting 1st 15 0.161 0.288 0.286 0.574 0.194
    Batting 2nd 90 0.275 0.358 0.431 0.789 0.326

    Looking at Reds Stats by batting position and Votto has the vast majority of starts in 2nd position.
    2nd Position has 2nd highest BA, Hishest OBP, 4th in slugging, 2nd in BAbip.

    Split GS BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip
    Batting 1st 116 0.266 0.342 0.452 0.795 0.326
    Batting 2nd 116 0.272 0.352 0.446 0.799 0.318
    Batting 3rd 116 0.271 0.337 0.537 0.875 0.31
    Batting 4th 116 0.225 0.318 0.423 0.741 0.244
    Batting 5th 116 0.278 0.34 0.522 0.861 0.31
    Batting 6th 116 0.25 0.299 0.381 0.68 0.307
    Batting 7th 116 0.259 0.303 0.388 0.691 0.294
    Batting 8th 116 0.236 0.321 0.384 0.706 0.289
    Batting 9th 116 0.168 0.23 0.311 0.541 0.222

    Play JVM everyday is what I want to see.

  3. Don

    Wait on Wood to see if last start was just a dead arm as I think or something else is wrong. His velocity is down 2MPH compared to 2017.

    Farmer is still under Team control for 2020 and then Arbitration in 2021. Unless team wants to buy out arbitration years of someone whom is a part time player and had 97 Plate Appearances before this season does not make sense. Not the type of player to buy out arbitration years.

  4. Beard

    It seems like to me the pieces are all there for the Reds outside of an offensive upgrade at shortstop. All the other pieces appear to be available within the organization. The outfield looks young and promising with Winker, Ervin, Senzel, and Aquino with small but exciting major league sample sizes. Add in Siri in the minors and VanMeter’s position flexibility and OF is solid. 2B surely will be manned by VanMeter or Senzel or India who would appear to be about one year away from being ready. The question at 1B is also pretty easily filled from within. If Votto is no longer league average (and I’d like to see the rest of this year and half of next before making that call), then the answer is probably Jonathan India. Now maybe he plays 3B and Suarez plays 1B with Votto kicking to the bench. Or whatever option with the position flexibility from India, Suarez, Senzel, and VanMeter.

  5. SultanofSwaff

    Between last year and this year, Peraza will have ~1000 major league at-bats. He will likely end up with fewer than 60 walks and 25 home runs in that span. He swings like they’re playing in the dead ball era. Quite simply, for this team to progress they have to move on from this guy. Not that he’s the answer either, but would anyone argue that Kyle Farmer isn’t at least Peraza’s equal as a defender with possibly more offensive upside because of his power? Point is, both are replacement level….nothing more to see here!

    There’s a lot to like about extending Jose Iglesias, even if the intention is just to play him as a backup. On a good hitting team, he’d fit in great at the bottom of the order because he’s an excellent situational hitter. The Brewers can mash and yet they’re carrying Orlando Arcia and his .653 OPS. Iglesias is a much better hitter, he’s not part of the problem, especially at his salary.

    I agree with Steve that Mahle has been much better than people seem to think. If the Reds fall out of contention, maybe you move Wood in a waiver deal or go with a 6 man rotation in September to save arms.

    I also want to see India and Tyler Stephenson in the Arizona fall league to complete their seasoning so that both can be the first call-ups in May 2020.

    • BigRedMike

      Good point about Peraza. There is potential to develop being a younger player. As noted, a player with that many plate appearances and so few walks is a player that will likely never be a good hitter. Just empty production from a player that is not that great defensively.

      Votto is going to be an interesting dynamic. As players age, it is just going to lead to decrease in performance. If the OF and SS can produce power and production, Votto might be able to continue at this level for a few years and not hurt the team. If not, the production from Votto will likely be an issue at first base.

  6. JB

    Play JVM and Aquino everyday give Winker and Ervin chances beside in a platoon , sign Igelesias . I feel Peraza has had enough time in the starting lineup , to many Mental and physical mistakes. Joey needs a few days off every week (Let O’Grady play) and a different spot in the batting order .

  7. TR

    Play the young guys, hit with at least a .260 average to get runners in from scoring position, and finish the season at .500 or above.

  8. Roger Garrett

    Just play and pitch the young guys as much as possible even if it means the vets like Joey and Suarez get some extra days off.No need to play anybody that isn’t going to be here next year.The Reds know who that is so bench em or send them down and get young guys some innings or at bats.Its evalution time and audition time.

  9. Doug Gray

    You guys can talk about it all you want, but the reality is this: Joey Votto’s the starting first baseman for a while moving forward unless he’s hurt or retires. Like it. Hate it. Doesn’t matter. They aren’t changing that.

  10. Eric

    “And they should trade for Mike Trout.”

    *chuckle* Good one, Steve.

  11. Centerfield

    So who goes to clear room for Galvis? I believe he is a switch-hitter. Garrett starts his suspension today, so I suppose Kyle Farmer is in the bullpen since he appeared to be effective against lefties.

  12. Mike

    They made such ado about Peraza when they made the Frazier trade. They are now too embarrassed to admit that someone made a mistake in scouting.

  13. Gary S

    Who ever signed Votto to that ridiculous deal, should have their head examined

  14. Gary S

    I don’t understand half the moves Bell makes. He has cost them games this year