Yesterday saw the Cincinnati Reds acquire two new players – outfielder Brian Goodwin and reliever Archie Bradley. The idea behind both deals was to add depth in spots of need. Goodwin has been a slightly above-average hitter the past few seasons, and with an inconsistent and struggling offense, the outfielder hopefully improves the ability to produce runs. Bradley brings another good arm into the bullpen to, again, hopefully bring consistency to an area of the Reds roster that has struggled quite a bit this season.
What is the national perspective on what the Cincinnati Reds did on Monday afternoon? Let’s take a look:
Tony Wolfe had this to say (and a bit more) at Fangraphs about Archie Bradley:
Bradley is hardly the kind of heavy-spin pitcher the new pitching regime in Cincinnati has targeted, last year posting fastball spin numbers in the 41st percentile and curveball spin in the 2nd percentile. He also hasn’t garnered as many whiffs as one might expect from someone with his strikeout totals — he had a 75th percentile K% last year, but just 39th percentile swinging strike rate, neither of which have moved much this season. What he does accomplish, however, is suppressing homers. He hasn’t allowed any home runs this season in his first 10.2 innings, and he has averaged just over 0.7 per nine innings since moving to the pen. That’s a skill the Reds have coveted when trading for relievers such as Jared Hughes and David Hernandez in recent seasons, and it’s one the team hopes Bradley will continue to show even after moving to Great American Ball Park.
Bradford Doolittle calls the Cincinnati Reds one of the winners at the trade deadline.
We can argue whether baseball’s best rotation is in Cleveland or in Cincinnati, but at least we can agree that it’s in Ohio. With that in place, landing Bradley to hold down the back of the bullpen is a huge get for the Reds. Cincinnati has been lackluster so far, and some of that is because of the relief staff. Bradley can’t fix that alone, but his presence will help manager David Bell figure out how to bridge the gap between the starters and Bradley.
Mike Axisa also picked the Cincinnati Reds as one of the winners at the deadline.
Despite being 1.5 games out of a postseason spot, the Reds went for it at the deadline and added high-leverage reliever Archie Bradley and underrated outfielder Brian Goodwin in separate trades. The bullpen has been a major sore spot all season and Bradley gives manager David Bell another option in the late innings alongside Lucas Sims, Amir Garrett, and Tejay Antone. Shogo Akiyama has underwhelmed in his first MLB season and, even if he turns it around, Goodwin can slot nicely into left field. These moves give Cincinnati a better shot at the postseason and let me tell you, if they sneak in, no one is going to want to face Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer, and Luis Castillo in a short series.
The Reds were winners at the deadline according to the places that seemed to put out a winners and losers list. That’s good to hear given that the alternative would be that everyone thought they screwed up.
On the flip side – winning on paper doesn’t mean much. The Reds won the offseason on paper and they are sitting 5 games under .500 more than halfway through the season right now. Things haven’t gone their way, for sure. Injuries have hurt the team. Lack of production from key players has hurt them along the way.
Expanded playoffs help. As Mike Axisa noted, getting there could be huge for Cincinnati as they’ll get to run out three strong starters that on any given day could beat anyone. The moves made seem to be positive ones – but the games still need to be played, and for the Reds, they need to start winning more than they lose or they’re going to be sitting at home at the end of the month wondering what happened.