Not that there was much of the season remaining, but Derek Dietrich’s season came to an early end on Friday when he had shoulder surgery. From Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer:

There was no damage to his rotator cuff or other major areas, and the arthroscopic surgery isn’t expected to affect him in the offseason.

Dietrich’s left shoulder bothered him throughout the second half of the season. He went on the 10-day injured list (IL) with left shoulder inflammation last month and missed 16 games.

This brings up a lot of questions, both for Derek Dietrich and for the Cincinnati Reds. In the first half of the season Dietrich was hitting home runs like he could see the future and was doing his best Aristides Aquino in August impression. But after hitting three home runs in a game in late May, everything changed. The home runs stopped coming. The hits stopped coming, too. Well, except the hits that were him being hit by a pitch, that is.

From the end of May through the end of the season, Derek Dietrich had 15 hits. He was hit by 17 pitches in that same time frame. The ability to hit the ball completely went away. And that puts the Reds in a tough situation. They will need to offer him a contract for next season and head off to arbitration, where he likely gets a raise. Or they could non-tender him a contract and he will become a free agent.

If they believe that the shoulder injury is what led to his complete collapse post-May, then there’s a chance they decide to bring him back for 2020. But it probably won’t be a very easy decision to make if that’s the case. There’s never been a stretch of his career like what he experienced this year after May ended. The decision must be made at the end of November. That means there’s time for the organization to weigh their options here.

Lucas Sims to start tonight

Trevor Bauer was sick earlier this week and had his start pushed back to the final game of the year. That moved up the Reds planned “bullpen day” to tonight. It was announced after the game on Friday night that Lucas Sims would be getting the start for the team against Pittsburgh.

A new franchise record

In the final home game of the year the Reds set a new franchise record for most home runs in a season when Aristides Aquino hit his 18th of the year. It was the Reds 223rd homer of the season, breaking the all-time franchise record that was previously set in 2005. For a little bit of context, though, the 2019 Minnesota Twins entered yesterday as the all-time record holder for most homers in a season by a team. They were sitting on 301. As I type this they no longer hold the record despite hitting two more home runs last night. The New York Yankees hit FIVE last night and jumped ahead of the Twins, 305-303. That baseball sure is something else this year.

19 Responses

  1. doofus

    The ball is juiced by MLB, legal. Players like Mark McGwire juice, illegal.

    • vegastypo

      Apples and oranges, obviously …………… It’s a little different when all of MLB plays with the same ‘juiced’ baseballs, while some players are freelancing with pharmaceuticals and other players aren’t, and quite possibly risking their health in the process.

      • jim walker

        Early on in the season, I read an extended article about how introducing the MLB ball at AAA had caused issues in the production and supply chain in addition to costing a lot (MLB balls are hand sewn; others are machine sewn).

        Can’t help but wonder of some cost cutting or production short cut inadvertently created the home run boom we’ve seen this year at AAA and MLB. If so and they realize can or will they do anything about it.

      • vegastypo

        Jim, I wasn’t aware of this until recently, but apparently MLB hired some scientists to look into why home runs had spiked (no pun intended) even going back to the 2015 season. When the report came out in 2018, it concluded:

        “Importantly, the committee also concluded that no change to the materials or manufacturing process, whether intentional or unintentional, has played a significant role in the home run surge.”

        Then there is a list of five actions the commissioner’s office was to undertake, and one of them was, I kid you not: “Create Standards for Mud Rubbing. The Commissioner’s Office is providing Clubs with guidance on the appropriate mud rubbing of baseballs, which will be enforced by the umpires.”

        Now apparently Manfred has even said there is a physical difference in the balls. … Darn, I really wanted it to be the MUD !!!!!

  2. PUSHERMAN

    Any other FO would have to answer questions like: why was DD continually put in the lineup with a bum shoulder, when it was painfully obvious he was useless out there?
    Why was Senzel pinch running with a torn labrum?
    But nope, no questioning this regime here. Empty the farm for rentals in an obvious non compete year….. not one question of direction or plan. Must be a cush job for Dickie W

    • jim walker

      But nope, no questioning this regime here.
      If “here” means on this site, I disagree. I’ve seen a number of contributors and commenters alike take the Reds to task over some of the points you mentioned. I’ve done so myself in both roles.

  3. Hotto4Votto

    He had a good month or so. At that point it looked like he should be entrenched at 2B against righties. But then the rest of the year happened. Could the shoulder be the reason he fell off a cliff? Possibly. Should the Reds tender him a contract in the offseason? I don’t see a reason why paying him in arbitration is going to be better than paying VanMeter and Blandino the minimum for the production they’re all likely to produce.

  4. Mark Moore

    Thanks for what you did contribute to the cause, DD. We wish you well in your next iteration with whatever team decides to give you another flyer. If I’m the Reds … that won’t be us. We’ve got as good or better options in our young guns that we need to provide an opportunity to.

    • jim walker

      There are unknowns at this point. Like what’s going with Winker? Is there a reasonable expectation he is going to be available and healthy for 2020. I don’t think we know.

      And how about the all but forgotten Scott Schebler who underwent shoulder surgery himself a month or more ago. Same questions as with Winker.

      We also don’t know what the roster cap number coming on line for pitchers is going to be. If that’s 12, which seems to be the smart guess, another bench spot becomes available in addition to the expansion of the standard roster to 26 adding one too.

      All things considered, I’d think in a 12 pitcher, 26 man roster world there is room for 2 of these 3 guys, if healthy, because they are all LH hitting long ball threats.

      • Old-school

        Uncertainty is certain. Injuries happen to virtually everyone.

        Joey Votto had injuries in 2012/14. His prolonged 2014 injury created a lot of news and questions. Zach Cozart missed his rookie year with an elbow injury, then blew out his knee a few years later. Disco and Lorenzen were injury prone just a short time ago. Tyler Stephenson was injured a lot but is now breaking through. Senzel has had a tough stretch.

        Homer Bailey was never injured until he was always injured. Mesoraco same way. No one can predict the future. .

        Organizationally, I do think it’s important that guys play the same position every day and get regular rest. Just like a double combo up the middle, players need the stability of positional certainty and familiarity day in day out to succeed defensively and minimize injuries. The Senzel Peraza collision earlier this year in short right center ( Astros game I believe) was an example of how rotations and inexperience can lead to injuries.
        Van meter in LF and Farmer at third base led to a missed foul pop just the other day.

        The Reds need an every day 7.

    • Steven Ross

      Jim Day said as much during last night’s broadcast. Chris Welch: he’s a good guy and should be ready by ST. Day: if he’s here! Jim’s pretty well connected.

      • Jim Walker

        Missed that. They were referring to Dietrich?

      • Wayne nabors

        Sliotar,been banging that drum all season,ive been around and i do not remember any manager with as many different and movable lineups as what bell conceives,and also believe farmer was a tad upset with vanmeter on said popup

  5. vegastypo

    Not even a hard decision for me. ……….Nontender Dietrich, find the best outfield bat available to play in the outfield with Aquino in one spot and the cast of thousands already in left field in the other spot, and bring Senzel in to second base. Generally shorter throws and no more running into walls. (Although he seems like the kind of guy who is going to bust his tail no matter where the Reds play him.)

    Upgrade at shortstop, or find a way to keep Iglesias if there is no chance at an upgrade. No Galvis, please. …….. Good luck figuring out what will happen at catcher.

    • WillieG

      Mookie Betts rumored to be available this winter. Wonder if the Reds would offer enough to trade for him? MVP in center would sure make this lineup a lot prettier.

    • The other JB

      Count me in on the move Senzel to second base move. I believe Nick would offer elite defense at second and would get him away from the outfield wall. I’m not comfortable with any of the catching prospects that will be available this winter. we need to roll with what we’ve got and hope that Tyler Stevenson gets to the show sooner than later. The front office has totally blown the rebuild with the trading away of our prospects. I expect the Dodgers front office considers the Reds as their farm club, and last but not least is the manager. The lack of fundamentals and situational hitting shows up every night and the micro managing of Bell is just hard to watch.

  6. Sparky

    Re-signing DD should be a no brainer! As they say , just look at the back of his playing card. He is a solid major league utility player.

  7. BK

    Dietrech will be DFA or non-tendered … torrid for 2 months, horrid for four months. Perhaps resigned on a minor league contract if the Reds believe his bum shoulder contributed to his dramatic drop off.

  8. SteveLV

    I read the Bauer trade as the Reds committing to being in contention for the division title next year – and that makes me nervous.
    The Reds will need to add about 15 wins next year to do so and while I think the pitching is basically good enough to allow that, the starting 8 is kind of a mess.
    If the plan is to go sign Castellanos, Gregorius, and Grandal to 2 year, $40 million contracts – great. I’ll stop worrying. But how many of us think that’s the plan?
    Adding just one impact bat for 2020 isn’t going to get it done. Outside of Castillo, Gray, and Suarez, they have about 11 trade chips who have value and 5 of those are coming off disappointing seasons – Senzel, Winker, Greene, Santillan, India (the other 6 being Stephenson, Garcia, Siani, Lorenzen, Garrett, Lodolo). Trading any of those 5 now is probably/hopefully selling them short. Trading the 4 others still in the minors, for what I think you could actually get for them, in order to try to win in 2020 would be really short-sighted.
    As this season ends, I’m in the same place that I was when last season ended – don’t sacrifice 2021 and 2022 for 2019 and 2020. The Reds aren’t going to be consistently competitive until the minor league system produces real major league talent. They will never spend enough to overcome a poor system. Trying to force it because we’re sick of losing is just going to cause more losing over anything more than a one or two year period. Build first, then buy the final piece or two.

    Realize that rant relates more to this being the last day of the season than as a comment about the article, so I’m in the non-tender Dietrich and let the kids play camp.