Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams said that he expects the coaching staff, and manager, to return in 2021 after they took the team to both a winning record and the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
“I foresee this staff coming back. I do,” said Williams. “What we went through as a group and the way they stepped up and prepared these guys, I think they deserve every chance to come back. We just ended the season yesterday, so of course I have to sit down with Bob and some of the other guys, and sit down with David, but this was a year they should be proud of and right now we see everyone coming back.”
At this point, the final decisions aren’t made, as noted by Williams – he hasn’t yet sat down with CEO Bob Castellini or manager David Bell yet – but he seems to feel good about the managerial and coaching staff that is in place right now moving forward.
This certainly may not sit well with some given that the team had the lowest team batting average in nearly a century, finishing the year with a .212 mark that was 30th in Major League Baseball, and 60 points worse than the New York Mets mark at the top of the league. The Reds did lead the National League in walk rate at 11.3%. Their strikeout rate of 25.2% was the 7th worst in baseball – though it’s probably worth pointing out that of the seven worst teams in baseball at making contact made the playoffs. In just 60 games, weird things happen. At no point during the year did the offense ever click at the same time. When one portion of the lineup was rolling, the other half struggled to get the ball out of the infield. When those guys started going, the ones who were previously hitting went ice cold. Perhaps that would have changed in a 162-game season. We’ll never get that answer.
The pitching staff – well, they got their job done. There were some hiccups in the bullpen at times during the season, but the team ERA was 3.89. The pitching staff led the league in strikeout rate and finished second in opponents batting average.
There was a lot more in this afternoon’s interview with Williams, and we’ll get that out to you soon. But this particular portion of it felt like something worth putting out there quickly.
Just going to jump into the comments real quick to point out at the very top that there is a lot more from Dick Williams coming, even where he notes that it’s fine by him to criticize some of the decisions made by himself, the front office, and the coaching staff – I just wanted to get this very specific part of the long interview out there.
I liked the moves they made last offseason. They just didn’t pan out as expected.
We all know what we are looking at. We all would love to see Bauer return. We all know we need help on offense.
If you ask me, I can’t help getting at least a new hitting coach. And, the first place I believe we should look is in our minor league system. See which of those hitting coaches worked best with players like Senzel, Stephenson, and Winker. Give those coaches a shot at the big league.
A good comment. Keeping all the coaches, especially all the offensive coaches especially after ending the season with zero runs in 22 innings, should be a real positive in the slim chance Bauer will stay with the Reds. And looking forward to David Bell’s third year of his three year contract should be exciting.
Leon Bull Durham is my guy for hitting coach. No contest.
Shame on Dick Williams. Shame, shame, shame.
To bring back this hitting coach is criminal negligence.
You are always on point Charlie. He is justifying bringing back the hitting coach and manager from the worst offense in MBL history for the past 120 years. Wow, just wow. I remember the cowboy talking about Archie Bradley not getting any pitching opportunities and then they bring him in cold in the 13th inning. who didn’t know what was going to happen. It is plain stupidity. The hitting coach was a failure in San Diego and now Cincinnati but by all means bring him back, typical Reds. Look at the Miami Marlins led by a veteran coach and smart GM. I expect the Reds to fail year after year with Joe and uncle Thomas’ boy Dick Williams and Buddy Bell’s son David Bell. What an inept brand of Nepotism employed by the Reds.
When available FA look at the way players are used, left/righty, they will not entertain coming to Cincinnati. If I’m a young player for the Reds, (Senzel Garcia, Stephenson, Lodolo, Greene). I may hope to get traded, so that I have the opportunity to be an everyday player, to show what I can do. The Braves have given their young players the chance and look where they are. The Reds are not a young team, and now they will be a year older. Look at the fire and energy that Acuna, and Tatis bring to their respective teams.
Joey Votto played every day except when he was benched for three days (it was three or four).
Mike Moustakas played every day when he was eligible to play.
Eugenio Suarez played every day.
Nick Castellanos played every day.
Jesse Winker played nearly every day.
Nick Senzel played every day before he went on the IL and missed a month.
The guys who didn’t play every day are exactly the guys who wouldn’t play every day almost anywhere.
Shogo didn’t play every day. Aquino didn’t play every day. There was no need to trade for Goodwin when Senzi got COVID. Shogo should have been every day CF, Aquino in Left, Cast in RF. In a 60 game season players named Davidson, Farmer, and Jankowski should not have seen as much playing time as they did. Stop defending David Bell.
The Reds left Tyler Stephenson off the roster in favor of Matt Davidson, a guy that literally no team in baseball wanted. That fact alone validates the original point the Reds are afraid to play younger players or fearful of offending their older players or both. They are a simply a poorly run franchise with no organizational plan, philosophy, or accountability and when they lose they act like all that matters is everyone had fun.
If the Cardinals were swept without scorings a single run in 23 innings, they’d get rid of everyone including the bullpen catcher and not think about it twice.
If we had a Acuna or Tatis, I am certain we’d welcome bringing their fire and energy to the Reds. The only issue with that is we don’t.
The fact is the Reds do not know what they have their young players. They do not get the opportunity to get repetition and prove what they can or cannot be. That says even more that the Reds are unsure of themselves when drafting and developing.
Who didn’t get their opportunity? All the younger guys were up and playing by the end of the season.
The hitting, or lack of therein by the entire team, has got to land at the doorstep of the hitting coach. we had the worst hitting in the shortened season then any team in baseball – and then we followed that up by scoring zero runs in 22 innings in the wild card games! The hitting coach must go!
And that’s the very thing that’s maddening about the whole season. These players are better than they performed. Just look at their previous seasons. Moustakas, Castellanos, Suarez, Winker, Senzel, and Votto all have been better in the past. How much of their failed 2020 performances fall on the hitting coach, how much was bad luck, how much was due to the 60-game season, and how much was simply the players’ faults?
The hitting coaches have to be replaced, period. As for everyone else, including David Bell and up to Williams and Krall, they are likely saved by the fact that this was a wonky year. You have to think 2021 will be a critical year for numerous individuals in the organization. Bell’s contract ends after the season. Williams and Krall have to be on the hot seat if the team fails to make it past the NLDS. As for players, you’d have to think that it’s time for guys like Senzel, Winker, and Suarez to “put up or shut up”. This is also assuming none are traded this winter.
I’m going to try this one more time. Not having a strategy when you go the plate is, in fact, not a strategy. And would someone please explain to me why you would have a 39 year old, .220 hitter, batting in the three hole?
Because he has the 2nd highest OPS on this team?
Winker stated in an interview that they are coached to walk strike out or do damage. This is a misuse of statistics. You can feast on mediocre pitching, but get crushed by good pitching. Sound familiar? You can even win a lot of games, but not playoff games. A Rod harped on this through both games. We got treated to good bunter and bat handler Tucker, trying to pull home runs. Not a good look on a steady diet of low and outside breaking balls. Votto started the fiasco in the first inning of game one. Seemed like that opened the floodgates of poor at bats. David Bell is responsible for the team’s approach. He’s got the horses, but they aren’t pulling together or in the right direction.
I personally support bringing the coaching staff back, but I’m looking for an adjustment on the offensive coaching philosophy and I’m willing to give them that chance. I’m uneasy about Bell’s musical chairs approach as much as the next guy, but I think people are blowing it a bit out of proportion in general.
“I think people are blowing it a bit out of proportion in general.”
The Cardinals have stated they are in transition mode … losing Ozuna, replacing from within, etc.
Last night, in an 11-9 elimination game, the only chance to the starting 9 was a late pinch runner for Molina.
Reds? Game 1, scoreless for 12 innings, lifted Senzel (2 hits) for Akiyama and Winker for Jankowski … as a pinch runner.
One organization is blooding the next generation while having a chance to advance tonight …. the other could not score a run in 2 games.
Maybe all the moves is overmanaging … and hindering key players’ development.
I don’t like the over-managing either, but I not ready to jump in to thinking that hinders players developing, etc. It might even help development because that gets complementary players reps. The player needs to be ready every AB no matter what position he’s playing and when he’s called upon IMO. I wouldnt have taken Senzel out of that game. I think the Winker move was defensible, I could go either way. I didnt like it at the time but I think its splitting hairs.
The biggest difference I see in watching the Cards vs. the Reds is their hitting approach and run manufacturing. That and a player like Goldschmidt in their lineup.
The Cardinals were like the Reds and terrible at scoring runs this year. The MLB average was 4.65 runs per game. The Cardinals scored 4.14 per game. The Reds 4.05.
They have no one behind Goldschmidt, I realize. They are often used, despite this, as a comparison by people on this blog.
Run it back for 2021? OK.
But, if good pitching stops good hitting in the playoffs … why won’t we see the same thing in October 2021 that we just saw in Atlanta?
Start 2021 with Senzel/Winker/Votto 1-2-3 … and emphasize to them a less all-or-nothing approach. Get on base … walk, bloop, gap double … Senzel can steal.
Then, let Castellanos (if back), Suarez, Moustakas, Casali, whoever sell out completely for a HR.
Give yourself some options to situationally hit, steal, take an extra base.
This guy is green and Ive certainly questioned many a move made by him, but c’mon, the players have got to get it done.
IF he’s green then he should be managing the Dayton team, not the MLB team!
Personally, I didn’t find Williams’ interview particularly encouraging. But, did we really expect that it would be?
I have a feeling 2021 will be another shortened haphazard season so I think it is smart to stay the course for next year. Why bring a new system in for a shortened season?
I actually think Bell wants to be a more aggressive play caller on offense but he just doesn’t have the horses right now to do it. I mean there is just not much you can due with votto,winker,suarez and barnhart clogging up the basepads.
Only disagreement with this is to say they weren’t clogging the basepaths much. They were on the bench bat in hand after either striking out or hitting into the teeth of a shift.
Let’s go Padres! If the Reds can’t have nice things, I don’t want the Cards or Cubs to either. Would be a clean sweep of the 4 NL Central teams out of the playoff.
2 thoughts ,or maybe more lol…hitting coach should no way be back ,but,also on even having a hitting coach ..why ? These guys should no what they need to do and adjustments they should make themselves ! ….how about a bunting coach ? Every little leaguer I coach is taught to and knows how to bunt ,my God , that’s the easy thing in the world to do,and yet no one on the reds can bunt !….if you were bauer would you come back to this weak non hitting offense support ? …we need better production from catching position and short stop !….bottom should not bat in top 6 of batting order ! Go reds !
You would poop in your diaper trying to bunt a Major League pitch.
A good question: is a hitting coach actually needed? Maybe direction in that area should only come from the manager. To attempt improvement on the lowball .212 team average next year just make all hitters free swingers, and if the homerun is in range, just go for it, especially if playing at GABP.
Bell played Garcia for a solid month. Then he started Farmer. Farmer sure could have used those at bats. Akiyama could have used more at bats down the stretch also. Shogo should have hit seventh. They needed a bat handler after 4,5,and6.
In reference to what I posted earlier, going a little deeper, position by position:
C – Given Tyler Stephenson, I don’t see the Reds doing much here. At most, I see them getting rid of one or both Casali and/or Barnhardy, giving Stephenson his chance. Again, at most. Some might say to keep Barnhardt because of his defense. But, we need help on offense. If we get rid of either one, I say get rid of Barnhardt, and play Casali more.
1st – I still say, even though Votto’s OPS is above league average, I think we could still use his salary to get 2 players that would have similar offensive production, or at least one with some leftover. But, Votto isn’t probably going to approve any trade, and no team is going to take on that contract for that offensive production. For lack of better word, we’re “stuck” with Votto until he steps down.
2nd – I can’t help thinking I see a leadership quality in Moose that the Reds haven’t had. I know he’s been on 1, if not 2, WS championship teams, so he can lead a lot fo the youngsters. I think he stays.
SS – This is where I believe we could make a move or two. I looked a little bit at FA 2nd, and there seem to be some good offensive players in there. If any of them can play SS, I say we go after them.
3rd – Suarez needs to step up more. After this season, I don’t believe we even have trade bait there, much less a plan B. I mean, his OPS was barely average.
OF – I believe we still stick with Nick Cast and Winker. I can’t help thinking we give Shogo one more chance. I mean, this was a funky year for everyone. It possibly took a while for many to adjust to it.
Others – I just don’t think Aquino is worth the time and effort. HR’s, sure. But, his OPS was still nowhere near league average.
– I don’t count on Senzel anymore. If we can’t get rid of him, then simply plan on him being a bench player. He can still get plenty of playing time doing that. There’s just too much if an injury history there to count on him being a regular.
– I like Farmer as a sub. As long as he is still worth it.
Potential idea – especially if the DH stays, Votto to DH, move Moose to 1st, get a couple of those offensive FA 2nd, hoping one can play short. Move Winker to the OF (baseball-reference.com has him as DH) with Nick Cast and Shogo.
Shortstop or CF seem like the only two upgrade spots unless Castellanos opts out or they trade Suarez. Garcia was overmatched this year and needs a year in AAA, so SS is an obvious place to try to improve. I’d guess the Reds stick with Senzel in CF, but agree that I’m not sure we can count on him. Reds could have an OF rotation of Winker, Akiyama, Senzel, and Castellanos. Adding one more big time player that could play CF would be the best route. And honestly, hoping Castellanos opts out, because they could improve there, especially from a defensive perspective.
You know watching the games, it was interesting how AROD knew every pitch by readinig the cather’s signs. Now we know how the Astros cheated last year with a garbage can which is hilariously archaic method in today’s techno-gadget world. Are you telling me no team out there is sneaky enough to set up an electronic method of communicating with a hitter? I’ve been thinking about a way to do that since even before the Astros story broke last year. Maybe the Reds need to look into something like this because our hitters are clearly guessing blindly and wrong most of the time.
Another thing I have been meaning to say is that Castellanos is the one guy I have faith in to drive a runner in with less than 2 outs. Dude can hit most anything no matter where it is located or what speed. Sure he may be a guess hitter too, but he gets the ball much of the time despite being a free swinger. This is what an RBI guy does… too many of our guys take pitches because its not what they were looking for, get behind in the count and have no chance of driving in a run.
Finally, Votto belongs nowhere near the top of the order at this stage in his career. He literally “clogs the bases” as Baker famously said once upon a time. The Braves moved him to 2nd on a wild pitch (a miracle really) and on a basehit to left his first instinct was to retreat to the 2B bag in a scoreless game. I don’t want to whip him too badly for that impulse, but it was timid baserunning in a situation that called for aggressiveness and to me that was the ballgame and series right there. He also made a terrible error in the 1st inning that could have easily put us in a deficit right away. If he must start, platoon him and move him down in the order and DH him when possible.
Shogo and Senzel should be at the top of the order, with Moustakas and Castellanos in the middle of the lineup. This is obvious stuff. Sure lineups are a bit over rated but when you have a historically inept offense maybe that is the first place to look for improvement.
There’s not much room for roster moves, but I wonder if they’d reshuffle the IF by moving Moose back to 3B, Suarez to SS and Senzel to 2B. They’d also try to sign Realmuto to share catching duties with Stephenson and 1st base duties with Votto. Trade both, Barnhart and Casali for bullpen arms. OF could go with Winker/Aquino, Akiyama/Goodwin and Castellanos.
No way Suarez could play SS. . .he can’t play 3rd very well. Also I think he could lose 10-15 pounds.
Alan Zinter as a MLB hitting coach:
2016: Hitting coach of the Padres. Team finished dead last in Batting average out of 30 teams (.235)
2017: Hitting coach of the Padres. Team finished dead last in Batting average out of 30 teams (.234) Fired Sept 1st 2017
2020: Hitting coach of the Reds. Team finished dead last in Batting average out of 30 teams (.212)
Should have been fired today!!
Isn’t it amazing that in today’s analytics driven game that has metrics for every player twitch one could imagine, that coaches and managers aren’t as closely scrutinized. Bell’s career .477 winning percentage is an example.
Sounds like Dick Williams has a different definition of winning and success than most Reds fans. His expectations are a lot lower. No wander most of us are frustrated to say the least.
Mr. Williams spouts nonsense about how great this season was, David Bell tells us to trust the process and brags about the team’s extraordinary effort and personality, even Joey Votto gets into the same silly act. Why is it that it’s always the people who are not performing that are the biggest cheerleaders? When all is said and done; the W/L record, player development, and team attitude is all that counts. There are some players like Bauer who can supply all this knowledge and attitude by himself but most people need competent coaching. After all the preseason hype, this team still played .500 ball in the weakest of divisions. Take out the powder puff games and 7 inning experiments and the results look much worse. How many of the teams on the Red’s schedule got past the first round of playoffs: ZERO. How can a team that was in the top 25% in hitting right before Bell arrived get to within a point of the worst team BA ever in 2 years? How can virtually every player hit at least 25 points less in average than they did last year without some systemic reason (management). Except for a few games of inspired clutch hitting that lead to a resurgence toward the end of the season, this team was flat, sloppy, undisciplined and defensively atrocious. One thing Votto said that was true, this team is playing way below its potential (he said this when they were winning). Now, that the Reds are stuck with even more potential “dead” positions in the lineup, the only way for meaningful improvement is a manager that can get the most out of their players and not jerk them around on platoon, different spots in the order, random pinch hitting, knothole plays, etc. That manager is certainly not David Bell. So, get a real baseball man in there and not a bookworm if for no other reason than me being able to change my pen name, a moniker for the previously mentioned Mr. Bell.
Zinter had a very good group of players who should have been much better than they performed. All I seen this year was a group of guess hitters who almost always swung for home runs and rarely used any kind of 2 strike approach. The results were inexcusable and pathetic. A new hitting philosophy or a new hitting coach with a get on base approach and contact in scoring opportunites is a must.
As I was watching the Braves this season the young Acuna caught by eye. Here he was barely in his 20s and he has more knowledge how to hit and when to adjust his approach than any of the Reds or their coaches. He’s one player that would make any team a lot better offensive team. If it were possible and I was the Reds I would make an offer to the Braves. I would give them any starting pitcher the Reds have and Iglesais plus their pick of any 2 other players other that Green and Austin plus I would throw in another minor leaguer or two. The Reds have not had a talent like that ever. But that’s just a dream. Good luck this offseason Reds and I
hope next season can be near normal with the fans. I believe they would have really helped this season.
I never thought any changes would happen because its real easy to blame it all on the length of the season and the overall pandemic and the effect it may have had on the players.Of course who knows what may have happened if we had played 162 games but I do know the all or nothing approach we had at the plate does not work.Hidden in all of this is our division had 4 teams to make the playoffs and went 1-8 in the first round and if you throw in the Bucs we didn’t play anybody at all that was any good.The Reds have very few position players,maybe 2,that would start on other teams and that is the biggest issue going forward.Combine with the money some make as well makes it tough to improve next year.Throw in the fact Bauer or Big Nick will not return it doesn’t look good going forward.For my money almost every position player is on the market over 28 years old.Trade em sell em or cut em and lets go young.Nothing to gain except another year of losing if they roll the dice and bring the same players and hitting coach.
Depending on what happens in the offseason, if 2021 is not a breakout year for the Reds, they should then go the trade route with everyone on the block. Age is adding up, so prospects are the future. That’s the way the Braves have gone offensively.
Very interesting perspective on the hitting problems from John Fay of the Enquirer:
It seems only 3 things are important to this team, walks, home runs and strikeouts. From the talk on here we don’t need a manager or hitting coach, let the players vote on a lineup and bat the way they are comfortable.