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:
Astros trashcan bangs by date.
— Tony Adams (@adams_at) January 29, 2020
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.