For some fans the final straw came before last night. For some others, last night may have been it. Maybe for some others they aren’t there yet. But if you are the Cincinnati Reds decision makers, that time has to be now, doesn’t it? If the struggles for Raisel Iglesias were limited to just 2020, the argument could be made that things could turn around – it’s only been seven games and 7.0 innings. The argument could be made that he’s got a 1.14 WHIP and he’s struck out 13 batters with just one walk.

But going back to the start of 2019, Raisel Iglesias is 4-14. His ERA? It’s 4.50. Simply put, he’s not getting the job done.

For all of the talk from Iglesias about wanting to only be in closer situations, he just hasn’t performed well enough in those situations to warrant continuing to get them. And while the Reds bullpen hasn’t exactly been great outside of the 9th inning, there are options to look at who have been getting the job done.

Last night saw Lucas Sims come out of the bullpen for the Reds and get the job done. The 26-year-old reliever has a 0.82 ERA in 11.0 innings this season, has allowed all of three hits, walked four batters, and he’s struck out 16 of the 41 hitters that he’s faced. Nate Jones seems to have the confidence of his manager, and has primarily been the set up guy this year. He’s allowed three earned runs in 10 games this season over his 7.2 innings with three walks and 10 strikeouts. Amir Garrett has a 3.52 ERA in 7.2 innings, has allowed just three hits, has three walks, and he’s struck out 11 hitters this season.

Raisel Iglesias doesn’t need to be sent out to Prasco Park to “figure it out”. What he does need to do, though, is find consistency. When he’s on, he’s really on. But far too frequently in the last two seasons, he’s come out and simply not been on. And much like last night in St. Louis, when he’s not on, it’s ugly and quickly. Holding a 2-run lead going into the bottom of the 9th, he failed to record an out before the game was tied, the winning run was on third base, and he was removed from the game.

The Cincinnati Reds are more than a third of the way through the 2020 season at this point. While the playoffs are expanded, and by default that makes it easier to get into them, every game is magnified due to the limited number of them. At this point the team needs to try someone else. If Raisel Iglesias moves into another role in the bullpen and starts to look like the guy he was from 2016-2018 who posted a 2.47 ERA in 166 games – by all means, get him back to the closers role if whoever is there shows signs of struggle. But right now, it’s Iglesias who has continued to show signs of struggle.

114 Responses

  1. SultanofSwaff

    Yes, exactly!

    Simply put, Iglesias is no longer an asset. He has little in the way of trade value relative to his salary. Consequently, he no longer needs to be handled with kid gloves for fear of injury to his body or mind. He’s a sunk cost for the time being. In a way, this could work to the benefit of the player and the team. Demote him to long relief where his multi-pitch repertoire will play up. The Reds would benefit because too often they wave the white flag midway thru games where there the deficit is just a few runs.

    • RojoBenjy

      Well–we know how Castellini deals with sunk costs. See one Homer Bailey.

      For a successful businessman, he doesn’t seem to understand that concept.

      • Jefferson Green

        The new decision making team of Krall and Williams moved on from Bailey when they were given the conn, so I am hopeful that your comment is outdated.

    • KDJ

      I never thought I would long for the days of Logan Ondrusek in the bullpen. But, here we are.

  2. SultanofSwaff

    Speaking of relievers, is Robert Stephenson still in traction or something? You’d think he would be ready to go by now. We need his arm.

    • Earmbrister

      I believe I read somewhere that Strop and Bobsteve we’re close to returning.

      • Doug Gray

        Both threw at Prasco the other day. So the hope is they can return soon.

  3. Daytonator

    Agree 100%. If I drew comparisons between Iglesias and J.J. Hoover, people would go crazy and talk about how Iglesias has way better “stuff.” Well, he may undoubtedly have the “stuff” advantage, but in terms of results, it’s same downward spiral. I don’t remember how many times Hoover blew saves & lost games, but something tells me it was far less than 12-14 before Reds fans were incensed. I also agree that things could get better, but Reds managers needn’t fall into the classical definition of insanity here.

    • Jefferson Green

      I am fine with someone else being made the closer, but Iggy has much filthier stuff at his best than JJ ever had.

    • Amarillo

      JJ Hoover was one of the best relievers on 2 playoff teams. He had one season where he was awful, but he had multiple seasons where he was really good. This JJ Hoover was trash meme really isn’t fair.

      • Daytonator

        Interesting perspective, and I think it bolsters the original point: If Hoover’s respectable past seasons did nothing to placate angry Reds fans when games were being lost, why should Iggy’s? Past success or supposed underlying talent seem awfully floofy when compared with the “L” column.

  4. Bruce

    It past time the Reds management cut bait and just get rid of some long in the tooth players that are completely non productive. They are taking roster spots for talented younger players who though may need a bit more seasoning have passion for the game and winning. So many of these veterans give the impression of “oh well – no big deal” when they blow a lead like Iglesias did last night and others like Lorens has done through season. I guess I am looking for more since of urgency by management, coaches and especially players Way way to comfortable. As some one else stated the Reds simply do not have a winning culture. Releasing some people or sending down some veterans would send a well needed message. That mediocre to poor performance by pitchers or everyday players is no longer tolerated. You don’t pitch well, you don’t hit well, you don’t play defense well- you are out- a- here. Time for changes to rest expectations and culture.

    • Sobieray Richard

      Amen! There is no heart in this team…just a bunch of parts. Reminded of Cub series where Cub dugout was on the rail all game. Reds, on the other hand, look like they are disinterested. Someone needs to get in their grille!

    • Rod Andrews

      As guys like Jeff Brantley and Chris Welch have pointed out numerous times, a closer has little time to make mistakes. Inglesias seems to only bear down when he gets in hot water or aggravated. He needs to come out dealing from pitch one. Brantley, in particular has mentioned this several times the last couple of seasons. Inglesias’ biggest problem sits on top of his neck.

  5. RedsFan11

    As I lay awake in bed last night, unable to sleep after another stinger, I thought to myself… this organization is fundamentally broken. They have been a losing team for 6+ years now and have been unable to develop anyone into a solid major league player. But whats worse than that to me, is that there is no accountability. And I think that’s the underlying point of your article here Doug. When will players start being held accountable?

    Iglesias only can pitch is save situations: What’s that he is 4-14 with a 4.50 ERA the last two years? Oh well he was good 3 years ago so he has to stay there.

    Suarez can only hit in the 4 or 5 spot: What’s that he cant hit a beach ball right now? Oh well he hit 49 homers last year so he has to stay there.

    Votto has to hit in the 3 spot 99% of the time: What’s that his power numbers and even OBP have taken significant drops last few years? Oh well he is paid $25mil a year so we have to bat him there.

    Barnhart is our everyday catcher: What’s that he is hitting barely over .200 in his last 400 ABs and there is a very promising young catcher waiting? Oh well he is a local guy and an overall good dude so we will take one hit a week thats great.

    Sorry I’ll get off my box now. 🙂

    • SultanofSwaff

      I’ve been harping on veteran privilege for years now as one of the last vestiges of doing things ‘by the book’. It certainly doesn’t contribute to winning.

    • CallowayPost

      All very good points!

      We have a great pitching coach, but’s up to the pitcher on the mound and his brain to figure it out. What good is a catchers game calling if the pitcher can’t hit his spot?

      For hitting, the Reds philosophy isn’t that much different than the rest of baseball. Launch angle, uppercut swings, bat speed, etc. Where this fails, is it’s tough to make corrections going 150mph down the highway, as opposed to 75. Id be happier with a philosophy of getting on base, and just make solid contact, because with this baseball, that may also be all you need to hit a HR. Too many runners left on, too much pressure to crank one over…so you’re left with something resembling HR derby, but with live pitching. Votto is still valuable as he regularly gets on base, but it feels like the second someone gets on first base, that power becomes more important again.

    • Matthew Lewis

      How about the designated hitter last night? Sure he is a lefty going against a right handed pitcher but jeez Vanmeter is batting .063 and is 3 for 32. Why is Aquino not playing?

      • Keith Sowder

        I was saying the other day ( before Britton got hurt ) that the Reds should deal one of our surplus OF’s, Iglesias for the Yankees Zach Britton, he’s been lights out as a Closer while Chapman was on IL. Stanton and Judge are hurt again…a package of Iglesias and Aquino might get it done.

    • Rod Andrews

      I agree with you. It’s time to quit pampering these guys. If they can’t get it done, play someone else. If someone needs to be brought up, do it. The bottom line has to be winning. Votto needs to worry less about being politically correct and more concerned about not hitting his weight. These guys need to get their heads out of the clouds, and back to what their getting paid for.

      • Still a Red

        Cheap shot with the ‘politically correct’ comment…..ooops, did I just say something politically incorrect?

      • Doug Gray

        Human rights aren’t politically correct. They’re simply correct. And every last one of us should be more concerned with those than anything else. Thanks for coming to my TEDTalk. I won’t be taking questions.

      • doofus

        Who determines what is politically correct?

      • doofus

        Who determines what is politically correct?

      • doofus

        What really are the “human” rights? They seem to keep changing all the time.

  6. KG

    Yes, Yes & YES! At the end of this road trip the Reds will be at the halfway point of the season. They’ve got to get this figured out immediately! I’m sure with the COVID-19 layoff that Iglesias was a little rusty, but Bell can’t let a game like that slip through his hands so quickly. Iglesias should have been on a very short leash last night. Sims and/or Garrett seem like the obvious choices.

    Hey, on another note, how about a weekly post called “Ask Doug”? Everyone here greatly respects your opinion and it would be awesome to be able to do a little Reds Q&A with you. I know it would be time consuming on your end, but I can guarantee the readers would love it! Maybe we email you questions each week or you just answer questions in the comments section.

    • RojoBenjy

      Doug does a monthly mailbag. Stay tuned.

  7. Lamora

    This team, outside of a handful of players, just isn’t fun to watch. Iglesias is just one of the culprits. Nearly every game is like a three-hour stomachache, win or lose. We were promised that this year was going to be different, but so far it feels like the same ol’ Reds that they’ve trotted out for the better part of the past decade.

  8. Charlie Waffles

    I loved David Bell’s comment after the game in response to a question. Direct quote and he was dead serious, “I think the key to the game is we have to score more runs.” Well, duh. If you want to win you have to score more runs than the other team.
    He could have answered that in a much better way. But to be fair, the question was more about not getting those add-on runs when the Reds had the opportunities. That has plagued the Reds since Bell has taken over. Sure, it is on the players for not producing in those situations, but it is half on Bell too because of “his” style of play.
    Bell’s severe reluctance to do situational hitting and play small ball at times has costs the Reds dearly in may of those close loses. It has pained me to no end to watch Bell and the Reds get a runner to third base with 1 or 0 outs, or 2nd and 3rd, and watch those runners get stranded without scoring. Many times the Reds have gotten a runner on third base with 1 or less outs, the defense rather concedes the run and plays back. And the Reds fail to score. That old adage about take what the defense gives you, is not in Bell’s play book. Many times the Reds could have dropped a bunt down in a safety squeeze and score that run that usually gets stranded on third base. But Bell refuses to call a bunt in those situations. Sure, it has happened a very few rare times where they will actually do it. But it is way, way, way too infrequently.
    And the same goes for the LH hitters that face a severe shift. Take what the defense is giving you. Drop bunts down the 3rd base line until the defense has to move back to more normal places, which will open the right side of the infield back up for those LHer’s. But it just isn’t in Bell’s tool bag. That’s the tool that Bell has to go over to the next door neighbor’s house to borrow, because it happens all too infrequently. No sense buying that tool and putting it in your bag if you aren’t going to use it. Watching Bell try to explain away these close losses after a game, especially the ones where he snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, are very infuriating.

    • Reds Fan

      I was incensed last night at another of Bell’s managerial blunders. Top of the ninth, 2 run lead on the road, first batter, Galvis, gets on base. Barnhart coming up, can’t hit but apparently is the only one on the team who can bunt, but does Bell sacrifice? Of course not! He puts on a hit and run, Barnhart swings wildly, and Galvis is out by a mile. Votto follows with a double which would have given us an additional run if a sacrifice would have been successful. Suarez would have struck out with the bases loaded and one out which would at least have brought Moustakas to the plate. May have still lost with the inability of Iglesias but at least it would have been smart baseball. Bell talks about adding on but he is as much to blame as the players who fail in that situation.

      • Denton

        I am not disagreeing with your point at all, but when variables (base runners) change so do both the pitcher and hitter mindset.
        I don’t think you can assume what happened later would be identical.
        Your point can be still be valid without that assumption.
        peace fellow Reds fan!

    • Westfester

      Bell’s biggest flaw IMO is that he lacks “feel.” He is making decisions strictly on what the analytics book (and the front office) says for him to do. I chalk that up to his lack of managerial experience. An experienced manager would’ve known when to throw out the book and just let his stars play. Perfect example from last week; you have Gray sitting in the 6th on 90 pitches but is DOMINATING the opposing team. He gives up a weak base hit and the #9 batter is coming up. He’s gotten him on strikeouts twice and the batter looked lost. Experience says let him finish. Nope, here comes Bell to pull him. Gray melted his face off with the LAZER BEAMS coming out of his eyes when he left…

      • john woody

        Bell is not a manager. He’s a spreadsheet.

      • Rod Andrews

        If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, computers runs this team. These guys either can’t or won’t hunt, hit to opposite field, steal bases, or run hard on grounders. Old time baseball is finished.

    • ClevelandRedsFan

      Moose did have a sac fly last night to bring a run in. But the Reds never seem to be able to put the ball in play or hit a tough pitch in key situations. Bases loaded last night and Suarez strikes out. We don’t need a grand slam. Just two more runs makes it a non save situation and an easier 9th.

      Sometimes I wonder if these guys just want their stats. And honestly, I can’t blame them. When your team is never competitive, players still need to produce for future contracts. Situational hitting, sacrifice bunts, etc. don’t bring contracts. Power does. Can you blame them? Outside of Votto and Moose, none of these guys have ever played on winning teams. Votto only for a few years and never made it past the first round.

      • Da bear

        And in the Reds best year, 2012, Votto missed significant last half of the season time with injury…..the Reds rode the back of Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier’s versatility and great pitching.

  9. Scott C

    I agree. It is time now to try someone else in the closer role. Right now Lucas Sims seems to be the guy. Time for the Reds to move on.

  10. LDS

    It’s time to quit focusing on the players and start focusing on management. Bell isn’t going to bring the city a winning team. The reliance on “analytics” is a poor substitute for leadership. That should be obvious to everyone by now. The front office spends $164 million and the team is still in 4th place and out of the playoffs. The entire coaching staff, excepting maybe Johnson is suspect. Joey Votto? Great career but he’s not coming back. It’s time to retire. Use the money to re-up Bauer, pursue Lindor, or something else to boost the team’s prospects. Saurez, and the rest of the sub-200 batters? Send them to Prasco to work it out. Give India, Stephenson, Garcia, Aquino and the other “minor league” players a shot. What’s the difference? They might lose a game?

    • Ed

      Bottom probably isn’t going to retire.

  11. Tim Bennett

    As soon as I saw Iglesias in the bullpen I turned the game off.
    Sonny worked his tail off just to have this head-case throw it away.
    Give Sims or Garrett a shot at closing. For all the praise given the pitching coach, he doesn’t do much with a bullpen. Starters are nails, bullpen is weak-minded.

  12. Klugo

    No doubt. Just don’t look to Michael Lorenzen. Please.

  13. KG

    I don’t understand the Votto bashing. The guy has a .372 OBP this season; 2nd on the team behind Winker. He’s getting on base 37% of the time at age 36 (he’ll be 37 in 3 weeks! That’s darn impressive. Nothing wrong with batting him leadoff with those numbers.

    • Eric

      People bashing Votto simply don’t understand baseball. If they can’t respect what he brings to the team, they’re simply lost in their own “glory of yesteryear”.

      • doofus

        Seriously, please tell us what Votto brings to the team?

      • Doug Gray

        Currently a .356 on-base percentage, which is second best on the team.

      • Old-school

        Joey votto gives elite plate discipline and a professional at bat. He gets on base and he’s cut his K % rate such that hes walking twice as much as he’s striking out. That’s tops in MLB. His power is falling off. His exit velocity is falling off. His speed is very poor and his defense is poor.
        Imo, he should DH more and the Reds should give more time to other players at first base.

    • LDS

      His BA over the last 4 years: .320, .284, .261, and now .239. He has the same number of rbis as Moustakas and Senzel, both of whom have trouble staying in the lineup. He is clearly in the twilight of his career. And that’s okay. But lingering isn’t. Votto is making $25 million/year. Are a few walks really all that matters? Could the $25 million/year not be better used elsewhere?

      • Eric

        LDS, you’ve got to do better than “batting average and RBI”. This isn’t little league.

      • Eric

        Also, the $25 million is already spent, so it’s being used where it should be. I’d also argue the Votto contract is the only 10+ year MLB contract that has actually been worth every penny…even if he doesn’t play another day of baseball. I’m actually relieved to see ownership spend some money this year, but let’s be real…if you want $25 million be better spent, it shouldn’t be in place of Votto…it should just be IN ADDITION to what’s already been spent.

      • Da bear

        @ Eric
        The desired outcome of spending is to enhance the W’s in an efficient manner. Votto’s OBP only matters if the guys behind him are driving him in. As much as baseball is a bunch of individualized events, it is still a TEAM sport. Walks are worthless if they don’t result in runs.

        Votto has not produced in key situations for three or four years running, in this season’s first week he accounted for the last out with runners on base twice, and didn’t produce in another game’s key situation where the tying and winning runners were on base.

        I love Votto the person. As a fan of the Reds….his $25 million a year has been a huge mistake for the last four years (even though he ended the season with great stats….his awful starts to those seasons contributed to their seasons being over before May ended) and will be for the next four seasons too. The Angels regret their Pujols contract and the Reds have just as big regrets for the Votto contract.

    • ClevelandRedsFan

      Agree on Votto. He’s also one of the few putting the ball in play and taking the walk when it’s given.

  14. I give up

    I think there’s a conspiracy with Jocketty and dick Williams to keep the reds “dumb”, so the cardinals can take all the glory in the central. Let’s face it, David bell is not that bright. I would give my right arm if we had rob Gardenhire from Detroit as our manager. So what’s going on here? Are the Reds just a business to collect checks from (I’m starting to think yes) or are they the once proud team of the tri state area( starting to think not). It’s my opinion that dick Williams is a St. Louis Cardinals puppet. Yes he got sonny gray but sonny had a huge falling out w the Yankees bc they tried to turn him into Tanaka, and he wanted to be closer to Nashville his home, ok that doesn’t really involve any GM ingenuity. Castellanos is only as good as the players around him, and Moustakas and Votto have taken some pretty bad swings on sliders cutting into left handlers. The only true hitter Senzel is batting 7th and always on the DL like he’s being punished for being good. And the bullpen is pretty much AAA caliber, compared to the Indians. There’s something funky going on in the way this city goes about their sports entertainment business ( Bengals especially). There’s no heart like the Steelers or 2015 Arizona Cardinals w Palmer. Who are the little kids supposed to look up to when greedy business owners like Mike Brown( I don’t want to say Castellini yet because he just may be clueless about winning which is probably the case) are just running away w the capital. Do they not know that they can make a lot more money being a playoff team? You would think that there would be incentive to win. I don’t know I guess the country in changing and it’s all about the women these days and men and they’re games are taking a back seat which is understandable. I just feel like being a man in Cincinnati is so depressing because our fun time w sports teams are so fing depressing. Anyways I tried to find the facts and it’s not looking good.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      You do know that Dick Williams family owns a larger stake in the Reds than Bob Castellini does right? Why would he be out to help the Cardinals?

      If we’re going to go full on conspiracy – they are all in on it. Bob Castellini used to be a minority stake holder in the Cardinals before buying the Reds. Maybe he’s in on it?

    • mudpuppie

      I would die for a AAA bullpen right now….. We are not close to that

    • ClevelandRedsFan

      I have an alternative theory: Walt and Williams simply aren’t good at their jobs.

  15. Jon

    Something needs to change with the Reds, and fast. They are carrying too much dead weight on the roster and using those players (Jankowski, Galvis, VanMeter, Barnhart, to name a few) far too often. It’s as if David Bell and Dick Williams have no sense of urgency or the leadership to make roster moves that may anger veterans (like calling up Tyler Stephenson and making Barnhart the backup). The season is progressing rapidly and nothing really changes.

    • ClevelandRedsFan

      Galvis has the third highest OPS on the team, only behind Winker and Castellanos.

      He has been better than expected with the bat and one of the few bright spots.

      • Aaron B.

        Hear hear, but he is a favorite whipping boy around these parts, he will never be good enough to avoid criticism no matter how cheap his salary is.

  16. Ron

    There are 11 games left this month. Those 11 games will decide the Reds fate for this season.
    3 – Cardinals, 4 – Brewers, 3 – Cubs and August 31 begins another series with St. Louis.

    They will have to win 7 out of those 11 games to have any hope of making the playoffs. That is not going to happen unless there are immediate changes in personnel, philosophy and attitude.

    • I give up

      Yea it’s over. Until we get a manager like Rob Gardenhire or Craig counsel this isn’t going to work. And in David Bell’s interview last night he said he’s sticking with raisel Iglesias as closer. The Reds are going to miss the playoffs which should have been impossible w the talent we have. Idk man I’m just glad that I’m not as incompetent as the reds leadership. They get all these big buildings, money and power but really it’s just a house of cards and I’m going to make sure to give my mom a big hug next time I see her.

  17. e2n2

    Why bother designating any individual as a closer? Depending on the opponents’ lineup in the 9th, send out the best pitcher available – Garrett for LH heavy lineup, Sims for RH heavy lineup – or frankly, whoever is the “hot hand” at the moment. Iglesias and Lorenzen should be used in low leverage situations until they get their acts together. We can’t continue to have the bullpen blow these winnable games – it has to put an extraordinary burden on the starters to feel they need to be perfect to even have a chance to win. Gray should be 6-0.

  18. Roger Garrett

    Joey is in decline but when he becomes the only thing that is wrong with this team we will be a winning team.He is no longer a great player and has never ever been a vocal leader.He is just who he is.He is here until he says he doesn’t want to be and one could say he has earned it but that is another discussion.Sure we need to change closers until Iggy proves he deserves another shot,sure we need to move Suarez down in the order until he earns the right to move up,sure Tucker needs to set because he’s had years to prove he belongs and there a bunch of other things we need to do but it will not happen.You do not have to perform to play for a losing team anybody can play on a losing team.

  19. Old-school

    Eliminate the term closer. I liked Sims pitching where he did- high leverage situation and he got important outs to hand the game over to Garret who got an important out. A 4-2 lead to close out the Cards with 3 outs to go… take that scenario every single time. Garrett only pitched to 1 hitter and the Cards led off their 9th with a lefty hitter. Let Garrett pitch the 9th until he runs into trouble. Iglesias needs to pitch and be effective when the Reds need his outs to win a baseball game, wherever those outs may be, He hadn’t pitched in 9 days though, so he could have done the same thing had Garrett started the 9th and let a runner or 2 get on. Lorenzen not pitching well just makes things tougher.

    • Doug Gray

      Unfortunately you can’t really eliminate the term closer. I mean, sure, you can stop saying it, but the role is still going to exist and players are going to fight hard to get saves, because as dumb as it is, if you have saves you get paid a lot more in arbitration than if you don’t, even if your numbers are identical in every other manner. Managers are going to understand that, and allow one guy to be “the closer” as a result of that.

    • I give up

      Yea sims slider was unhittable last night

  20. Vada

    As long as Votto continues to accept his $22M per year salary and play as though he is retired the other players are gonna cop an attitude. THEY ARE. I would and so would every Reds fan. Votto needs to do the honorable thing: retire so money is available for better players, or agree to break his no trade clause. The guy should be ashamed to even enter the clubhouse. Only after Votto is GONE will players gain the proper baseball/fan attitude. Let’s hope it’s before his contract expires. I’ve been a Reds fan for 57 years now and if GREED continues to degrade baseball I will TUNE OUT COMPLETELY, and for good. In my opinion Votto has brought RUIN to this team, including the GM that gave him that team ruining contract.

    • CFD3000

      Joey Votto and his .370 OBP is what you think is wrong with this club? Seriously?

    • Steelerfan

      Ashamed? The team offered that contract and he accepted. You can argue that the Reds shouldn’t have offered that kind of money to a first-baseman who perhaps would not age well (I would argue that the bigger problem was not doing a better job building around him when he was in his prime), and I think everyone understood even at the time the last years of the contract would likely be painful. But he is physically able to play, getting the benefit of what he bargained for, and is far from the worst hitter in the everyday lineup. Not Chris Davis, and nothing to be ashamed of.

    • Greenfield Red

      Vada, you will be panned here for that stance. And, to a point I agree with some of them because some of his stats do still hold water. I was panned the other day for saying his kneeling for the flag has alienated me and would do the same for my family except for the fact that none of them care about baseball in the first place.

      Right or wrong, fair to him or not, Joey Votto and his contract are a lighting rod.

      My wife doesn’t care much about sports. She watches with me some just so we are together. We went to Spring Training 4 or 5 years ago. My son was about 8. We walked around the complex and came upon one of the little fields that had an infield only and a fence (no outfield). In that field was JV taking ground balls. He was the only player on the field. There were 2 or 3 coaches. We watched for about 30 minutes until he finished. There were 5 or 6 small groups of 3 to 4 people like ours gathered by the end of the session… about half small kids like my son. At no point during or after the session did he even look at the kids. Why not wave or smile or something at these kids? Why not grab the bucket of balls they were using and walk up to the fence and say “ok kids, back up a second and dump the bucket over the fence to the kids?

      All he did was walk off the field via a roped off entrance. For that, my wife despises Joey Votto. She wasn’t much of a fan to begin with, but she was willing to tolerate. She was willing to take a Spring trip to Arizona to spend 2 days doing Reds stuff and a couple of days at the Grand Canyon rather than Florida or a cruise. No more. Rather than 2 or 3 games in Cincinnati per year, it was 1 or so for the next few years. We didn’t get to one last year and obviously won’t go this year… or next.

      As for me, like me for my stance or not, as long as players kneel for the flag of the United States of America, I will not attend a game. In fact, I care less about the game by the day. The NBA and NFL no longer exist in my world. The rest of my family who were not baseball fans to begin with but liked the NFL have marked off the NFL.

      I guess the popularity of baseball is growing so fast the people in charge think it’s ok alienate fans via these reasons that have nothing to do with the actual game because for every me that tunes out, there are 10 or 15 more to take my place.

      I still care enough to come here. I like the way Doug runs his site. I care enough to check the box score the next morning. That’s about it.

  21. Steven Ross

    I agree Sims fits the bill but it’s the old Manager’s trite line: he’s my guy! Dusty said it about Cordero and Bell appears to be in the same camp with Iggy. Winning organizations, St. Louis, find ways to win. Losing organizations, the Reds, find ways to lose and are always tardy making obvious changes.

  22. Sliotar

    @Old-School wrote …

    “Iglesias needs to pitch and be effective when the Reds need his outs to win a baseball game, wherever those outs may be,”

    It was tried in 2019 … Iglesisas bristled at it.
    Then, back in March, Bell affirmed that Iglesias would be closer/9th inning guy.

    We don’t “know”, of course … but there is plenty to suggest Iglesias’s handling isn’t the same as many other players. Maybe it’s a Billy Hamilton situation, where the lead owner or an executive views Iglesias as a favorite.

    IMO, if I was a Reds hitter, and heard Bell after last night’s game, I would be rolling my eyes.

    Reds led 4-2 and the Cardinals had just 4 hits in 8 innings … but, somehow, the reason for the loss was “not enough runs scored.”

    Bell should be embarrassed, protecting Iglesias at the expense of the offense like that.

  23. Rusty

    They should try Hunter Greene in the bullpen. They have nothing to lose. Aristides Aquino should play instead of Shogo. They need to admit that Akiyama and Miley are a bust.

    • RojoBenjy

      Disagree about Akiyama–he can’t prove himself is he’s on the bench. That’s the manager’s fault.

      • Steelerfan

        We should have expected that Akiyama was going to need an adjustment period and no one could have predicted the mess he landed in with limited spring training and a short season. Of everyone he probably needs to play consistently, and there have been just enough flashes to give me some hope (fleeting as that is in today’s world…)

  24. Mark Moore

    Appears to me we can’t rely on Bell to make the “tough and right” decisions. We’ve seen flashes of leadership from pitchers and players. I’d say the next, best move is to see if Trevor, Moose, Castellanos, and Joey can speak plainly to the team … even to individuals … and fire them up.

    Oddly, the Reds own FB page posted an image of Sweet Lou throwing second base. My comment was that we lack that obvious passion and desperately need it.

  25. RojoBenjy

    Overall, I can’t take this “season” seriously. I really haven’t given my emotions to it much. Let’s be honest, whichever team “wins” the “World Series” this “season” will forever have the distinguished title of “World Series (snicker) Champion.”

    I do believe that this group of 60 professional baseball games (a better definition of what this is), is enough to make it plain that David Bell ain’t gettin’ it done. I hope the big bosses realize this and get a better skipper before the 2021 season.

  26. seadog

    I think we are all just bummed. We expected much more. Emotions get the best of all of us from time to time. Even in a sport like baseball. It is just human nature. Some handle it better than others.

    I will say. In my humble opinion this team lacks heart/leadership. There is no “conspiracy”. Just bad management and I will add some bad luck as well.

    Maybe they make changes. Maybe they don’t. At least it will give us something to discuss. Lol.

    As bad as it is. I will still watch/root. I guess it is just in my Cincy DNA.

    Go Reds

  27. SultanofSwaff

    I simply refuse to believe a middle infield rotation of Jose Garcia/Galvis/Moose could be worse than what we’re trotting out there with VanMeter or Colon. By all accounts Garcia is raking at Prasco. It’s time to see what we have. I don’t buy the service time considerations either. Just look how creative the WhiteSox were with Moncada, Jimenez, and Robert. If you truly have the next Barry Larkin in the organization, the front office will be locking him up well in advance of free agency.

    The same logic applies to the catching. Tyler Stephenson will outhit both of our current catchers and he certainly passes the eye test defensively.

  28. Don

    Reds need to try anything to turn around the season.

    The fate of the season will season will most likely be sealed (or close) before the next game is played at GABP.

    Somehow they have to figure out and win 5 of the next 7 on the road so that they are 15-15 when the Cubs series starts @ GABP.

    f they get to 15-15, then they have a shot in September.

    If they are 12 – 18 for the start of the Cubs series, trade anyone without a no trade or Winker, Senzel or Gray for pretty much anything anyone will offer, trade like was done with Gennett last year, a PTBNL and a promise of something,

    I am fairly sure that the Front Office will not do this as they and Bell will use a “small sample size” as an excuse and say we just need to keep the team together and in 2021 when a full season is played the law of averages and playing by analytics will work out as we have the talent now.

    Winners sometimes lose, those that play not to lose, never win.

  29. RedsMonk65

    Remember when the Reds won 10 games in row in late July 2012? Seems like a 100 years ago ….

    I’d have to look, but I don’t believe they’ve won more than 5-6 in a row during a season ever since — and those occasions have been very few and far between. Winning even 3 games in a row often seems to be beyond this team’s capability.

    • Rednat

      i think you bring up a great point Redmonk and i would even extend that back to the beginning of the century with the opening of GABP. WE just have not had a lot of sustained success. we have become beatdown so much that we are ecstatic when the team wins 3 out 4 and here fans say we “are on a roll” if we win 3 games in a row, when i remember the 70s and even late 80s and 90s it would not be unusual for this team to have multiple win streaks of over 6 games a year. i just think those teams had more dynamic offenses that could score in many different ways. this team now cannot score much without homeruns so it is much harder to “get on a roll”

  30. jrw

    There was a stark difference between the Card’s style of play in the ninth versus the Red’s style. The Cards were trying to beat the Reds, not hit home runs. No strike outs on ball four. No hitting into double plays with strikes to give. Lots of Iggys balls would have been great pitches if the Cards goal had been home runs. The Reds play like Tin Cup (from the Costner movie). There is glory in the home run, but laying up wins.

  31. CFD3000

    Agree Doug. I said it in the game summary notes and I’ll say it again. It’s great to have great stuff and to be lights out a lot of the time. But the closer needs to be reliable above all things. Iglesias simply is not. When he’s off, it gets ugly fast as you say. Especially now with the 3 batter rule, he’s no longer the best option for closer. A new approach is needed. When possible, stick with the hot arm (Garrett last night for example). When not, call on someone who doesn’t throw gasoline on the fire a third of the time or more. Count me in on this Doug, ASAP.

  32. Jefferson Green

    If Iggy pitches that same way nine more times, he probably gets 9 saves. If either of the slowly hit ground balls finds a glove for a double play – which was probable – the Reds win that game, despite Raisel’s lack of sharpness.
    For me the most concerning error was the balk. A veteran closer should not be so off his game that he balks in a key situation, and no amount of rustiness explains it.

    • Da bear

      @ Jefferson Green
      Agree, lotsa bad luck Involved on the soft shoulda been a DP ball.

      To compound the bad luck, as someone pointed out in that game‘s thread, the balk was called in error. The cardinal SB nation fans discussed the inaccurate ruling per the rule book.

  33. citizen54

    Iglesias has a FIP of 2017 and xFIP of 2.00. His hard hit% is 37%. His career average is 30% which means if he had had one less hard hit ball he would be at his career norm. He striking out people at a higher rate than his career average while his walk rate is lower than his career norm. His ground ball rate is 50% which is 10% higher than his career average. Exit velocity is 85.8 also below his career norm of 86.9. He is tied for the team lead for relief pitchers with .3 fWAR even though he has only thrown 7 innings and yes he has more fWAR than Antone. I understand the frustration but you could chalk up his troubles to bad luck.

    • Doug Gray

      WAR, FIP, xFIP, all of that stuff right now is useless data. It’s been 7 innings.

      • citizen54

        So what is he doing that he didn’t do in previous years? His velo is actually higher than it it was last year. Has he been giving up a lot of homers? Nope HR rate is in line with his career averages. If you want to crucify the guy then you at least be able to say what he has been doing wrong. You talk about it being only seven innings which is true then why are you leading the charge to have him replaced after only 7 innings?

      • Doug Gray

        He’s still giving up runs at a much higher rate than a good closer is. And let’s be pretty clear – I wrote a lot of words and talked about how he hasn’t been anything the same since the start of 2019. This isn’t just a 2020 situation. It dates back to March of 2019.

    • Steelerfan

      Citizen this is a response to your post below, which I can’t respond to for some reason. I am in a blackout area so I do not get to see many game live, but I also am curious about what is wrong and maybe someone knowledgeable can do a deeper dive. My sense based on very limited views is that his command is really coming and going. Not necessarily out of the zone, but missing within it. Admittedly based on limited views and someone who actually knows pitching might be able to diagnose.

      • citizen54

        Both Statcast data and advanced stats point to Iglesias actually being better than he was last year and in some cases better than his career averages. If his command is indeed off then exit velocity should be higher not lower. Unless someone can definitively point out something he is doing wrong I am going to attribute most of this to bad luck.

    • Steelerfan

      Thanks Citizen interesting points. Relievers (other than Rivera) tend to be pretty variable so who knows. I wonder to Doug’s point though, after the last year plus ,whether they need to make a change, even for just morale reasons.

      Hope everyone on your end is staying safe and well.

      • citizen54

        Thanks Steelerfan, I hope everything is well on your end as well.

  34. seadog

    If I were Dick Williams:
    1. I would go to Bauer and ask? Will you sign for next season, or rather we trade you? Whichever he request I would do now
    2. I would promote both Garcia/Stephenson. Plug and play everyday. See what I have
    3. I would trade from strength. Starting pitching. Gray/Lodolo/Simms/Greene/Antone are not available. Everyone else is. I see if I can’t flip a couple.
    4. I clean my bench/40 man/taxi squad. Colon/Janakowski/Davison/VanMeter/Payton/Cassali are either traded or released
    5. I use these spots for Stephenson/Garcia/Aquino/Blandino etc
    6. Trade Iglesias for whatever I can get.

    Alas, I am not Dick Williams. Lol.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Do you also trade Disco to the Blue Jays (they’re looking for starters) and ride it out with Mahle and/or Antone? He’d likely net you a future bullpen piece.

    • Roger Garrett

      Nothing wrong with what you have said seadog its just not going to happen because it makes sense.Reds just don’t want to win and will ride the same players pretending they do.Fans want to win and will go for it in trades and promotions trying to do just that as will most all MLB teams.Its just fools gold to believe this organization wants to win even after talking Bob into shelling out some cash on Nick,Moose and Shogo.That won’t fix it because Shogo is a platoon guys which leaves the other two guys to make this club a winner.You have to be kidding.The rest of the team is the same and who do you think has the biggest influence.The two new guys or the 30+ guys including the coaches and front office folks.Nick and Bauer and anybody else is gone if they have any sense.

    • Steelerfan

      Great list. I get that the league caught up with Aquino, but given how hot he was and the alternatives, has he earned a chance to catch back up? Maybe 75% it doesn’t work out, but the upside if it does…..

  35. TR

    With 38% of the season in the books, and if Iglesias has not been tenured by the Reds as the closer regardless of what has happened, then, if the Reds want to make the playoffs, he should be replaced en seguida. Sims has been getting it done; he should be the closer for the remainder of this season.

  36. Charlie Waffles

    The Phillies might get the trading for bullpens upgrades started early. They are talking to Boston about two relievers. Reds need to get out in the market now and get what they covet and target, and not settle for left overs come Aug. 31.
    Mentioned up above that Toronto seeks rotation upgrades. Toronto has a great mostly unknown reliever in RHP Jordan Romano, (Ray’s kid, no just kidding). He is 27, 6’4″ and 200, 12.0 IP, 59.1 GB%, 97.2 mph average FB. Options left- 2. A smoking K%.
    The Orioles have a couple LHP relievers that also could be of interest. Tanner Scott, he is 26, 6’2″ and 220, 9.1 IP, 87.5 GB%, 96.2 avg. FB, Options left- 1. The other is Paul Fry, 28, 6’00” and 190, 9.0 IP, 61.5 GB%, 93.4 avg. FB , Options left- 3. Small sample sizes but they are striking guys out and getting ground balls.

  37. RedAlert

    Does Vanmeter and Barnhart have some compromising pics of Bell or something ! Geeze in the lineup again – look up INSANITY in Webster’s dictionary and you will see Bell’s mug . Dude has no clues as manager – NONE !

  38. seadog

    Totally agree. If reports are correct. Phil’s are playing it smart. Jumping out there early for relief help.
    The way I see it as of today. The reds have two logical choices—
    1. Trade for relief help now
    2. Or blow thing up— ala the list above and play for 2021
    At this point my I would take option #2
    If feel if they want to win they should do both YESTERDAY. But, I seriously doubt that happens

  39. Rednat

    Derrick Johnson has not really been able to weave his magic so far with Castillo or Iglesias. you wonder if their may be a language barrier there. may just take a little more time to form the rapport that he has with the other guys.

    i still think the game was lost in the top of the 9th with the strikeout of SUarez with the bases loaded. that was the momentum changer.

  40. seadog

    I think Johnson should feel some heat for this bullpen. I can’t see it being a “language” thing. Maybe it is? At the same time. I know only seven innings. But Iggy has 2 saves. I am sure there is a stat for blown saves. I don’t have it. But, just by feel he has to be at the top. I know of at least 2. If those two losses were flipped this team would be in a very different spot. Hind sight is 100%. Lol

  41. John C.

    I just wonder how different the conversation would be today if Iglesias doesn’t get his glove on Molina’s DP grounder up the middle. He gets the next guy and we are toasting a great win.

  42. Old-school

    Reds play 14 games in 13 days – cards/ brewers/ Cubs with Saturday DH and Cards again. Some brutal losses of late. We will know a lot more on september 3. Go Reds.

    We are in tough times. Much bigger than baseball.

    ” These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now , deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. ”

    Thomas Payne 1776

  43. seadog

    We can not-pick at stats all we want. We can make a case for either side. In the car biz there is a saying. “there is a butt for every seat”. I think you could carry that over to baseball. “There is a stat for every situation/player
    This whole team goes beyond stats. There is more to it. My humble opinion is. Lack of leadership/heart/want to. Until the “mental” aspect of this team is corrected, I just don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is almost like wash/wax repeat.

    • LDS

      Couldn’t agree more. I think Iglesias told us the score last year. It seemed obvious at the time that the team didn’t respect Bell. And looking at tonight’s lineup seems like they have reason. I mean is Van Meter (2-32) the best option the Reds have for DH? Or how about pinch running for Winker last night with bases loaded and the lead? Pinch hitting Ervin for Castellanos against a RHP? The list of questionable decisions invariably weighs on the team’s morale. Under these conditions, why would Castellanos execute his option and declare free agency? Why would DeScalfani and Bauer even consider resigning with the Reds? Etc.

      • seadog

        Yep, well said. If I am Bauer/Costellanos. At this point. You have to way over pay me to stay.

  44. Michael E

    Another MASSIVE return trade that didn’t happen. Gosh our rebuild was detoured by lack of action in 2016/2017/2018. Not aggressively trading Frazier when actually hitting well prior to HR derby win, just because the owner figured many fans would revolt, which they would have, all four of them.

    Not trading Iglesias, when he was around a 2.00 ERA, high inning closer that was coveted on a sweet deal…when the Reds sucked and didn’t even need a closer.
    Thankfully a few deals worked out (some really well). Still a few non-trades when they were ripe for maximizing value (the opposite of the Chapman give-away, another rebuild setback), still stings.

    I am hoping lessons were learned. I hope that with all the issues (many) that they’ll find a way to maximize trade value before deadline and also during this coming off-season.