After Jon Heyman reported yesterday that Nick Senzel was on the trade market, the Cincinnati Reds front office sort of silenced that in statements made to Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer. President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams said he expected Senzel to be on the roster for Opening Day.

I like what he brings to our club. He’s one of our own. He’s an impact, young offensive player. They don’t come along very often. The flexibility he brings to the club, attitude he brings.

It would make sense that teams would be asking for Senzel in trade – he’s got all kinds of value for the very reasons that Williams notes above. And while anything can come up that could change the expectations that he’ll be around for Opening Day, it seems that the Reds aren’t expecting anything like that to present itself and that they plan to have the 24-year-old on the team to begin the season.

There’s more on the team at the link above from Nightengale – including stuff on Nick Castellanos, Freddy Galvis and his expected role with the team, and even a little bit more on Senzel from manager David Bell. Go give the whole thing a read.

Dusty gets another shot

Former Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker is officially the new manager of the Houston Astros. He managed the Reds for six seasons, going 509-463 in that stretch from 2008-2013, taking the team to the playoffs three times. After leaving Cincinnati he didn’t manage for two seasons before joining the Nationals and taking them to the playoffs in back-to-back years in 2016 and 2017. But he found himself unemployed in both 2018 and 2019.

The 70-year-old is now back in the clubhouse again, signing on to manage the infamous Houston Astros fresh off of their sign stealing fiasco. The 2020 season could be a big one for Baker and the record books, too. If the Astros make the playoffs he would become the first manager to ever lead five different franchises to the playoffs in baseball history. In the “weird stat” category, it’s likely that Baker will pass up Gene Mauch on the list of most wins by a manager who has never won the World Series in 2020. Baker has 1863 career wins, while Mauch has 1902. For Baker and the Astros, they hope his stay at the top of the list is a short one.

The data behind the Astros cheating

In what has to be one of the more Herculean efforts, Tony Adams went through the 2017 Houston Astros home games and charted the trash can bangs for each game. It’s very enlightening. There’s a lot to it, but here’s the most interesting chart to me:

What makes it real interesting is what happened on September 22nd when it essentially stopped happening. Why is that so interesting? Well, the day before against the White Sox, pitcher Danny Farquhar figured out what the Astros were doing and called the catcher out to the mound to change up their normal signs. Everyone’s favorite internet baseball guy Jomboy had a video on it. You can see it here if you’d like, but be warned that there is some adult language in the video. Also be sure to understand that there not being a bang on a trash can also let the hitter know that a specific pitch was likely coming. The hitters were getting far more help from this than just on the pitches where a bang was happening.

25 Responses

  1. CallowayPost

    Read the article on the Athletic from Ken Rosenthal about the Reds offseason so far. Dude is a massive Debbie downer…and people like him are the reason why I don’t read movie reviews…they can take anything good and make it negative.

    Much like the Astro’s.

    • CallowayPost

      Keith Law, my bad…but you get my point.

      • Colorado Red

        Keith hates the Reds,
        If team A does, it is smart, if the Reds do it, they are dumb

    • Jrad4reds

      Ya I was going to say Ken Rosenthal has praised the Reds this year, he likes them a lot. The 2 worst analysts are Buster Olney and Keith Law…just terrible, and it’s funny because you have to pay to read their opinions haha

  2. Brackiss

    As loud as the bangs are in the fahrquar video, I wonder how the umpires never figured it out. The first base umpire is closer to the dugout than the batter or pitcher.

  3. RojoBenjy

    I want to see Senzel stay on the Reds. Hope it stays that way.

  4. Jrad4reds

    Maybe the best move the FO will make this year, is NOT trading senzel.

  5. Steven M Nelson

    So does anybody have a guess as to how much the Astros cheating stuff mattered? How many points of OPB did it provide the players? How many wins did it produce?

    • Michael E

      No guess, but for anyone that has played baseball beyond midget/t-ball, knowing what pitch is coming, or at least if fastball or off-speed, is huge and I can’t see it being less than adding .100 to a BA and same or more to a slugging pct. You’re no longing guessing the pitch, you’re sitting on it dead red and timing is no longer an issue.

  6. Art

    Is hiring Dusty Baker part of the penalties imposed by MLB?

  7. Matt WI

    Dusty is the perfect over-correction move for the Astros. You will not find anybody less committed to finding innovative ways to win. They’ll keep it under the speed limit.

  8. Don

    Hopefully this turns out to be true, Senzel is a potential cornerstone player for a franchise.

    • Tom

      What has Senzel done to show the potential to be a cornerstone player?

  9. Tom

    If the Reds could trade Senzel, India, Galvis and Mahle for Lindor I would do it in a heartbeat. Hopefully I am wrong, but I just don’t see that high of a ceiling for Senzel. His injuries have been extensive and he does not have a lot of power. That, and the Reds now have surplus in the outfield. Now, consider the lack of talent at shortstop. With Lindor the Reds would be a clear favorite to win the Central Division. Remember the trade for Joe Morgan, Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo and others with the Astros? That trade launched the Big Red Machine. Wouldn’t it be nice to be winners in 2020. Put Lindor in the 3 hole in that lineup and you have a winner.

  10. Tom

    Per Dusty. He had prime-steroid Barry Bonds, Joey Votto at his best, plus Cueto and more on the mound with the Reds and despite a stacked lineup and pitching staff in Washington still could not get over the playoff hump. He is such a poor game manager and combined with his lousy lineups and poor pitching staff management he will never win a short series. Plus, the Astros minus Cole and with an older Verlander leading their staff will not even be in the playoffs this year. Anyone watching the playoffs saw that you do not have to throw strikes to Altuve. He swings at everything, his best days are behind him. Sorry Dusty, your best days are behind you too.

    • Still a Red

      hmmm….kinda hard to blame him for the Reds getting no-hit by the Phils in game 1 of the playoffs and Bruce’s error later in the playoffs. Kinda hard to blame him for the Reds losing with Homer pitching a one-hitter against the Giants and Latos giving up a grand-slam to Posey later in the play-offs.

    • Steven

      I think hiring Dusty is the perfect option for the Astros. Given all that is going on with them right now, they need an experienced calming hand to guide them for a year or two and let the thing blow over. As far as pointing out all of his flaws, he reminds me of Marvin Lewis (who I admit stayed too long): someone who will take a team and make them respectable and competitive over the course of an entire season. They won’t win you the big game, but they will take a down trodden franchise and lay the groundwork to stabilize the team, then hopefully hand it off to someone else who has more “cajones” and take them from good to great.

      BTW in regards to Dusty’s poor pitching management, one of my favorite memories of my departed grandma was listening to her scream and cuss every time he made a pitching change.

      • LWblogger2

        Love the part about your grandma. Some of my fondest memories of my grandma also involve the Reds (no cussing though)… Good stuff there.

  11. JoshG

    yeah.. batter probably should have gotten one in the ribs

  12. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Well, maybe Dusty will finally win a playoff series.

    • LWblogger2

      He’s won several. He’s even won a pennant. He hasn’t won a World Series however.

  13. Steve Schoenbaechler

    All I know is this. . .

    The Reds have to do something about this OF. I mean, they have 10 OF’s on the active 40-man roster. I doubt Nick and Shogo will see the minors. I doubt Senzel will see the minors. So, you have:

    Aquino
    JVM
    Payton
    Jankowski
    Ervin
    Schebler
    Winker

    You would think two of these are on the major league team come the beginning of the season. Meaning the others are either headed to the minors, DFA’d, traded, etc. I mean, we can’t carry all of these OF’s on the major league team at the start of the season.

    Given that, while I could understand ones like Winker, JVM, or Ervin may be headed to the minors and thus would concede to it, I wouldn’t like it. I mean, these guys were definite contributors last season. And, we can’t find one spot for them on the team this upcoming season? Or, we can’t find a spot for them “in a trade” with another team this upcoming season, a trade that could assist us?

    Given this, I can’t help thinking, if a team with a SS we could use offers the SS and wants Senzel, as long as it’s a decent trade for us, I say we take it.