There isn’t much baseball left, in 2019. The Reds will not play past September so let’s enjoy the remaining games of the year. Break out your coffee and your breakfast and lets think about some Reds baseball.
Signs of a turnaround
Momentum is not a thing the baseball gods tend to pay attention to (Just ask Jose Peraza). Ending a season on a high note is all well and good but not something to give too much credence to. That being said, Reds fans have been looking for just about ANY sign that Joey Votto is breaking out of the cocoon of a slump he’s been in for most of the season. We may have something here, folks.
In his last 10 games, Votto has hit .361 with a pair of dingers. He’s also had three doubles and has amassed eight walks while striking out three times. If you expand it a few games to include the month of September, his OPS is 1.034. That’s more like it.
Something interesting to keep an eye on with Votto, from here on, is how the Reds manage his personal slate of games. “Load management” is a popular term in professional sports, nowadays. It’s usage is prevalent in the NBA, but I think it could apply to the Reds veteran leader. Joey should not be playing 162 games in a season, anymore. Keeping his total number of games down to 140-145 games should keep his performance at a high level as the on-base machine that is a catalyst for the offense.
The most useless pitching stat
Raisel Iglesias notched his 30th save of the season last night. It is the second year in a row that Iggy has gotten to 30 and figures to top that in the remaining games. David Bell has said that he wants to pitch his best guys in the most important situations of a game, but he has also acknowledged Iglesias’ profuse insistence on pitching in save opportunities. I hate this.
The save statistic is based on whether a pitcher enters the game when his team has the lead. Also, not just any lead, it’s got to be close. Or the pitcher coming into relieve the starter could pitch the final three innings of the game and get a save (less common). Most of you understand all this.
The annoying thing is the insistence on managers remaining focused on whether they pitch their closer in “save situations,” or not. It will probably take a few years, but managers and front offices need to fade the importance of relief pitchers accumulating saves. Thy were turned into a reason to pay certain bullpen arms more than others. I would hope, with the analytical advancements this year that teams can fully understand a relief pitcher’s value and maybe we can start to erase this idea of a “save.”
Top possible free agents for the Reds
MLB.com released a list of the top-20 possible free agents. The Reds were sparsely mentioned, if at all, on most of these players. The Front Office needs almost to take this as a challenge. If 2020 will be as great as we all hope, they have to be aggressive. Chad Dotson and Bill Lack discuss this on the most recent Redleg Nation Radio podcast, but I firmly believe the Front Office will pull out all the stops this offseason.