A low scoring affair saw the Atlanta Braves come out on top of the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night as Cincinnati left the tying run standing on second base.

Final R H E
Atlanta Braves (36-39) 3 9 0
Cincinnati Reds (37-37) 2 11 0
W: Smyly (5-3) L: Gutierrez (3-2) SV: Smith (16)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati’s offense was threatening early with singles by Jonathan India and Nick Castellanos in the 1st inning, but the Reds failed to bring a run across the plate. Castellanos led off the 4th inning with a double but he was once again stranded on the bases and the game remained scoreless.

In the 6th inning the top of the lineup was due up and they cashed in. Jonathan India led off with a single to left and came around to score on a 2-out double by Tyler Stephenson that brought the Reds to within a run. The Braves got the run back in the top of the 7th. Eugenio Suárez did his job and put the Reds back within a run as he crushed a solo homer 415 feet into the Braves bullpen in left center field.

Down 3-2 the Reds tried to get the tying run across in the 8th behind singles by Nick Castellanos and Tyler Stephenson after Jesse Winker was absolutely robbed on an extra-base hit by Guillermo Heredia who made a leaping catch on the warning track in dead center.

Unfortunately for the Reds a double play by Joey Votto ended the threat and sent the game to the 9th with Cincinnati still trailing.

Eugenio Suárez struck out to lead off the bottom of the 9th inning. Tyler Naquin lined out to center field. That left the game up to Kyle Farmer and he kept it going with a double into right center. Scott Heineman came off of the bench to pinch hit and he struck out on three pitches to end the game.

The Pitching

Vladimir Gutierrez has the Braves where he wanted them through the first four innings before running into problems in the 5th. With two outs he issued a walk to Ronald Acuña Jr. Freddie Freeman made him pay as he followed with a ground-rule double to put the first run on the board in the game. In the 6th inning it was more 2-out trouble as Dansby Swanson hit a solo homer to make it 2-0. After the Reds scored a run in the bottom of the 6th, Guillermo Heredia homered to lead off the 7th and ended the day for Vladimir Gutierrez.

Ryan Hendrix came out of the bullpen and fired off a shutout inning as he worked around two hits with two strikeouts. Art Warren saw the offense score a run in the bottom of the 7th to cut the Braves lead to 3-2 and Warren kept it there with a perfect inning on 11 pitches.

Josh Osich got the call by David Bell and Derek Johnson for the top of the 9th. Guillermo Heredia led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza emerged from the dugout, but he headed back after a diving stop by Joey Votto at first base and a toss to a covering Osich – but Heredia moved to 3rd base with just one out. Osich had to then face off against Ronald Acuña Jr. and after a full count he struck him out for the 2nd out of the inning. Freddie Freeman followed and Osich needed three pitches to get him to fly out to center to end the Braves threat and hold the score at 3-2 and give the Reds offense once last chance to get at least one run on the board to tie things up or possibly get more and end the game.

Notes Worth Noting

It was noted on the television broadcast that David Bell touted Scott Heineman’s ability to hit left handed pitching. It’s true – I saw Bell say that. He’s got a .525 OPS in the Major Leagues against left-handed pitching in 84 plate appearances. Small sample size there, but that’s not hitting. In 2019, when he was mostly in the minor leagues he had an .818 OPS against left-handed pitching, which is solid, but his OPS against righties that year was .953. In 2018 his OPS was .767 against left-handed pitching and .827 against right-handed pitching. If you go back to 2017 we finally get to a season in which he actually hit left-handed pitching better than right-handed pitching. Of course he was in Double-A and that was four years ago…..

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Atlanta Braves vs Cincinnati Reds

Saturday June 26th, 4:10pm ET

Ian Anderson (5-3, 3.33 ERA) vs Luis Castillo (2-10, 5.61 ERA)

80 Responses

  1. Indy Red Man

    One solo HR by Suarez so the Reds scored 1 more run on 10 more hits. Thats not good, but the Braves did flash some leather. IDK? The Reds feel like a .500 team playing .500 ball. They play a ton of close games. The pen pitches pretty well and then the offense doesn’t come thru. The next day they grind out a lead late, but the pen blows it.

    In reality they were pretty lucky during that 13-3 streak. Sims would have guys on 2nd/3rd with nobody out in a 1 run game or some other hazardous situation and wiggle out somehow. Everything went their way. They’re pretty weak vs LHP, but for some reason we faced very few lefties in April/May? Well advance scouts and analytics guys aren’t stupid so now we’ll be seeing lefties alot.

    I guess 7 straight vs Milw before and after the AS break will determine our fate this year. If we’re 6-7 out by then that won’t matter either. They need to have a heart to heart with Nick and see if we need to deal him. We do have alot of young talent thats starting to blossom and it will interesting to see how they can build on that!

    • Jim Walker

      The #5 slot in the lineup killed the offense tonight. Made the 3rd out with a runner on 3B in the 1st. Did not hit a fly ball far enough to score a runner from 3B with 1 out in the 4th. Hit into an inning ending GIDP with a man in scoring position in the 8th.

      In his prime or even close to it, he would have plated at least 1 run from three opportunities of that sort. But in his prime, he never would have had a past 7 days prior to tonight with a 42% K rate and only 10.2% BB rate either.

      • beelicker

        And yet his last 7-day avg = .294/.368/.294 … he’s become a mad scientist since coming back from the injury with ‘concept’ approaches to any particluar AB, sometimes looking for walks, sometimes swinging from the fences. The 3 straight called strikeout AB was peculiar. The Statcast box had each pitch as an edge black-painter. The high strikeouts numbers sure do make you do a doubletake. He can still hit against RHP ok (.269/.363/.472) but there’s not really a good fit on the current roster to play at 1B against LHP

      • m2

        Wait for it…said player will soon announce a new batting approach. He will up his stats temporarily and then sports writers and fans will proclaim, “He’s back!” Although it’s natural to hope the best for our team, this is tiresome rhetoric. Moreover, it bewilders me why the press seeks him out for quotes. His on field play, behavior and words whether in Chicago or elsewhere is disappointing. Not hate – objective analysis.

      • Jim Walker

        @beelicker> the Baseball Reference, the source of the K stats above listed Votto with .550+ BABiP for the past week prior to Friday night. 19PAs, minus 2BB equals 17ABs with 5 hits and 8Ks which does in fact make him 5 of 9 when he put the ball in play.

        Crazy stats.

      • MuddyCleats

        Good pts here. I didn’t see the whole game, but I do remember India getting on 1st w/ less than 2 outs. There was a pitched ball in the dirt that kicked away from Braves catcher, but India do not read it down and move up. The Braves moved up twice on similar situations earlier in the game; I don’t remember if they scored or not? Next batter hit a long fly ball, which India tagged on and hustled into 2nd. If I remember right, another fly ball allowed him to tag up and move to 3rd. Who knows if it would have made a difference, every situation is going to change how the next hitters r pitched, but I felt at the time it cost the Reds a run. Seems like there’s a fundamental error or two every game that really hampers the Reds efforts? Lately, I’ve noticed a number of base running miscues -(

  2. RojoB

    “It was noted on the television broadcast that David Bell touted Scott Heineman’s ability to hit left handed pitching. It’s true – I saw Bell say that. He’s got a .525 OPS in the Major Leagues against left-handed pitching in 84 plate appearances.”

    Why do folks continue to defend David Bell?

    • Doug Gray

      Because often enough people are trying to crucify him for reasons that aren’t actually there.

      But this very specific one doesn’t make sense.

      • RojoB

        That remark from him does not help his case, though.

      • Doug Gray

        No, it’s one of those things where you just go – huh, is he just not going to throw a guy under the bus?

        I mean, honestly, there’s no way that Bell isn’t aware of the actual stats. He made an off-hand comment on the spot when asked about Heineman a few weeks ago.

        But my thing really comes down to this: An overwhelming majority of fans will never, ever credit Bell for doing anything right, but will always say he did it wrong, even when he didn’t. He gets so much for his bullpen usage that it hurts my brain. Yeah, the bullpen has performed poorly. That’s not because David Bell is using the guys wrong – it’s because they aren’t any good. He can’t possibly choose “the right guy”. He literally has one guy.

        His offense? People can sit around and scream until they pass out about benching Votto or Suarez…. it’s not happening. It wouldn’t happen anywhere. On any team. This isn’t high school baseball. Someone is signing really big checks and those guys aren’t going to not play. Love it. Hate it. That’s how it is.

        The “problem” with most managers is that they simply don’t have enough good options, so when they have to actually choose from the options they have, those options don’t perform. That’s not a managerial problem. But the manager gets the brunt of that outcry.

      • J

        This “fans should give Bell credit for the things he does right” argument is as silly to me as the umpires complaining that fans should give them credit for getting the vast majority of balls and strikes right. Most calls are no-brainers, so of COURSE they get the vast majority of them right. Likewise, most of Bell’s decisions are no-brainers, so of COURSE he gets most of them right. Should we give him credit every time one of his decisions happens to work out? Of course not. Literally anyone could make a lot of “good decisions” simply by plugging major league players into their normal positions and then getting out of their way. The fact that he sometimes puts in a relief pitcher who miraculously manages to pitch a scoreless inning isn’t grounds for celebrating his decision. He could choose relief pitchers completely randomly and things would sometimes work out great because they’re all capable of pitching scoreless innings sometimes.

        Some fans do blame Bell for things that aren’t his fault, it’s true, but from what I’ve seen, the majority of criticisms about his use (misuse) of the bullpen are reasonable, and I don’t see how he deserves “credit” whenever one of his decisions happens to work out. Obviously, SOME of his decisions are going to work out well — because that’s how baseball works. If you have even the slightest idea what you’re doing, you’re going to be “right” a large percentage of the time just by pure chance. Bell doesn’t deserve credit for that.

      • Doug Gray

        It’s just like most things in life: You focus on the failures far more than the successes.

        My point is pretty simple: The guy literally can’t do anything right in the eyes of so many. If he makes the right move there’s a “well it was still the wrong move that worked out”. If he makes the wrong move it’s because he’s an idiot.

        I don’t know. Having to read 500+ comments a day, mostly from people just logging online to yell their frustrations into the void…. it’s different. I really don’t know what to say other than if you haven’t had to do it for months at a time, you really don’t know just how silly so many of these complaints that I see actually are. Or how often it comes out two days later that someone wasn’t actually available to be used on that day, but Bell was torn to shreds to being a moron for not using so-and-so and instead using that other guy, but rather than acknowledge that it’s just brushed aside as he should have then done some other move that would have definitely worked.

        When I first took over here, I used to comment a lot and try to interact and have conversations with people. These days? I try to avoid commenting like the plague. I’ve read multiple comments in the last two weeks wanting him to use players that literally are not on the roster right now. Being mad that they weren’t used. There are too many people out there who have absolutely no clue what they are talking about that show up here or on twitter at’ing RN with the most ridiculous complaints you’ll ever see.

        So it may seem silly to you that understanding “you get most of the things right if you have the slightest idea of what you’re doing, but it’s really not. You don’t see nearly the amount of stuff I see unless you work for the Reds social media team or Red Reporter.

      • J

        I’m sure there are plenty of dopey comments blaming Bell for things over which he has no control, and I’m sure there are plenty of people (myself included) who seemingly have nothing good to say about him even when he appears to have done something right. I’m sure it can be quite annoying. But I don’t see what purpose it serves to defend him from these attacks, even unfair ones, when he so clearly isn’t very good at managing. Billy Hamilton obviously isn’t “the worst hitter on earth,” but what would be the point of defending his hitting skills when unhappy fans repeatedly made untrue claims like that? Isn’t it better to just let people err on the side of getting rid of bad players and bad managers — even if some of their comments are silly and wrong?

        But I especially don’t understand going out of the way to defend him against attacks that ARE fair. You say, for example, that he can’t possibly choose the “right guy” from the bullpen because he “literally has one guy.” That’s simply not true. As bad as they’ve been, some have been worse than others, and some have been more consistently bad than others — and he often seems unaware of those facts. He also seems to pay little attention to how a guy has been pitching lately, or what’s actually happening on the field, preferring instead to focus on things like what hand a guy throws with, or how many pitches he believes a guy should be limited to, or what inning it is, or what the score is, etc. (Today’s starter simply CANNOT throw more than 98 pitches, and Antone simply CANNOT be used in the 6th inning of a tie game with a lefty due up, so let’s bring in Doolittle with runners at second and third…) Bell has made countless wrong decisions that can’t be blamed on “he only has one guy” or “the guy he’d really like to use is injured.” The fact that the bullpen has been lousy on the whole doesn’t mean his decisions are irrelevant because they’re all doomed to fail. If one option has a 45% chance of success and the other has a 10%, they aren’t equally bad options even though they’re both going to fail more often than not.

      • Scott C

        I agree, overall, Bell has done a decent job with what he has to work with. He probably should not have said what he did concerning Heineman, but regardless coming into that situation all he had on the bench was Heineman or Freeman. Are there better options in AAA? Probably but then there are also 40 man roster issues. I would have liked to see some of the younger guys up but do you bring them up and then let them sit for the most part? That would not be prudent. Bell is playing with the hand he has been dealt and there are no aces in it.

    • Don

      I thought to myself at the time that Farmer better hit a HR or the game is over. Farmer made it to second and that was the ball game. The Reds had no real chance after that double when you send a .077 hitter to the plate in hopes of tying or winning it.

    • LDS

      Freeman is .749 vs. left in 85 PA. Barnhart .566 in 452 PA. Arguably, either would have been a better choice, particularly Barnhart. Bell went all in, in the 7th using both Naquin and Akiyama, leaving little for later. Didn’t work out. I would rather he had let AA bat. Certainly not the worst example of managing he’s presented this year. Listening to a Bell press conference? Pass.

      • Jim Walker

        With the Braves closer being left handed, I was surprised to see Aquino taken down in the 7th but then Naquin really stung the ball off the LH closer in the 9th and it took a very good play to retire him and likely erase a double in the process.

      • beelicker

        no context on these numbers … surely can’t be BA lol

        Barnhart gave up switch hitting this season also, so any career numbers would have been from when he used to turn around and face LHP from the right side and which he no longer does, so i wouldn’t make any decisions based on them … what’s the .566 even refer to? TB in 22 AB vs LHP (him batting lefty) this year is .136/.167/.318

      • LDS

        OPS, same metric RojoB used to open the thread

    • beelicker

      Heineman’s first HR this season was off Milwaukee lefty Brett Anderson. He was raking like a madman during parts of spring training too, so that’s maybe where the perception might have also been better informed. Right handed specialty power bat utility pinch hit guys are kinda like unicorns … they’re just not gonna fit your regular mold. Plus they’re gonna have small sample sizes (and sit around not seeing live pitching) by nature too. Most of the LHP they match up against in the league are just gonna also be of the nastier oddball specimens as well. It’s like the loogy and the utility RH bench bat are your most misfit positions with the relatively least natural need for their peculiar skillz. The way this roster is strained with all the injuries and 3rd basemen and lefty batters and lack of infielders, a RH OF with options who also can also play 1B and hits RH with power fills a useful niche

      • Jimbo44CN

        His average is .077. I have watched him strike out on 3 or 4 pitches I don’t know how many times. That should tell you everything you need to know. There has GOT to be somebody else in AA or AAA to bring up.

    • 2020ball

      Y’all have actually convinced me he’s a good manager. I used to begrudge his knifey-spoony substitutions, but the more I read stuff here now the more I actually understand why he makes most of those moves. There are toys I’d prefer were taken away from him like Heineman and theres certain players that need a baserunning clinic, but overall I’ve seen far more to like than not.

      TBH, Why do folks continue to criticize Bell? That seems like the more pointless exercise. The team’s played well despite some glaring holes.

  3. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    Votto is no longer an every day player. He is no longer a clean-up hitter or a five hole hitter. Against righties, you could get away with him hitting sixth. Against any decent left handed pitcher, Votto is over matched. But he has to play ever day because he makes 25 million dollars a year. It’s painful to watch sometimes.

    • Jim Walker

      All the more so harder for me to watch Votto now because I recall and respect the force Votto was a decade ago and even as recently as 2017 (and his 2018 wasn’t bad for mere mortals either).

      • Hotto4Votto

        I don’t think it would be a bad idea for Votto to get regular rest. Especially against LH starters. Unfortunately, like so much on the roster, who’s the alternative? Stephenson is RH but Barnhart is also LH so Stephenson is likely already catching. If Moose was healthy he’s your answer.

      • Scott C

        Again, it comes down to what options do you have? Do you start Heineman or Freeman at first? I would rather have an aging Votto.

      • Jim Walker

        @Hotto and Scott> One option is to put Stephenson at 1B enough to get him at least 5 starts a week. Bring Jose (Garcia) Barrero up and put him at SS which frees Farmer to be the backup C. This gets them more consistent and better corner offense and better up the middle defense with little if any offensive cost (Barrero vs Farmer).

        Farmer appears to be losing his legs especially in the field anyway and has a career seasonal high in PAs already (as a barometer that he is playing much more than ever before). And I’d take that 9th inning 2 out PA from Farmer anytime off the bench as leverage PH versus the guy who batted behind him.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Jim, sorry getting back to this late. Been working.
        Like I said, getting Votto more rest is probably a good thing. But those days need to come regularly against LH starting pitching. He’s still a good hitter against opposites handed pitchers and I’d like his bat with Stephesn’s bat in the line up those days. Start Stephenson 5 days a week, but most likely 4 at C unless we face a lot of lefties.
        FWIW, Votto has an 835 OPS vs RHP which is actually better than Stephenson’s overall OPS, and especially better than Stephenson’s .730 OPS vs RHP. So yes rest, but strategically to play to everyone’s strengths.

    • 2020ball

      You’d rather Suarez hit clean-up/5 hole? Farmer?

  4. Mark A Verticchio

    I don’t think they will be able to keep Castellanos, so I would be looking to get rid of him for as much as possible asap. The team this year is a .500 team at best, but the future is actually pretty bright with all the young pitchers and India, Stephenson, Aqiono, Winker and some others. My biggest concern is Votto, he looks to not have much left. I will clarify that if I thought the front office would go out and get a few pieces keeping Castellanos would be possible, but we all know that is not going to happen.

    • LDS

      I agree JV is no longer an everyday player. But the Reds don’t have a SS. Suarez is no longer productive on a frequent basis, just a HR or two each week – lots of SOs and stranded runners. If Castellanos leaves, they’re underperforming in 4 positions, 5 if universal DH next year. It sure looks like we’re years away from a serious playoff contender. Some good pitching on the horizon. Lopez and Barerro may be front line starters at some point but there are lots of holes to fill and not much money in circulation.

  5. KYpodman

    I was at the game tonight with my son (father’s day gift) and my son asked me when Castellanos was batting in the 6th with India on second, 1 out, and a 3-0 count should he get the green light with the Reds down 2-0. I said no, take a walk and we get the tying run on first where a double scores him. Castellanos only mistake of the night was popping that next pitch up and then Stephenson roping a double which would have probably tie the game. It is these little situational misses that get me. If the score is tied, Reds winning, then yes give him the green light. Just my thought as a key point in the game. Oh, and Votto stranding 10 guys on base!

    • JA

      You could probably recall this game as a turning point in JV career. Clearly in his decline. I would let Tyler S to play 1B from now on. Generation change is here.
      We rooted for JV. Our kids will do for India, Stepenson and the likes.

      • beelicker

        Ty Stephenson is never gonna be a 1B. You want a left handed power hitter ideally for one, plus fielding the position best favors a lefty glove. And TS is RH and doesn’t hit with power, particularly vs RHP

        In his 39 actual ABs at 1B, TS is ‘hitting’ .154/.365/.179 (worse than Votto) and i believe all those were against RHP. Looks to me that 1B is more of a distraction to TS and he should be left to keep developing at his normal position. … and the times TS does face LHP (where he does show some power) that’s when he should be catching to give Barnhart his necessary time off. It’s not really ideal to be hamstrung with your #2 Catcher being in the lineup otherwise as well … unless you carry 3 Cs

      • beelicker

        and against RHP, Votto is actually still holding his own


        Not great, but still not terrible

      • LDS

        Left handed power hitter? Ok, how about Winker? Then start Aquino everyday. There are options. They start with acknowledging that JV isn’t an everyday player and hasn’t been for a while.

      • Jimbo44CN

        I watched the whole game, and I did not see anything that looked like a “turning Point”. He hit the ball hard a couple of times and made some decent plays in the field. I just dont get people running Joey down.

      • Melvin

        14 RBI in last 15 games has me scratching my head about some of the comments too.

    • MuddyCleats

      Agree, another good example of fundamental miscue that hurts the Reds chances of playing winning baseball. To me it shows a lack of discipline w/in the organization. I am lucky enough to live close to Chattanooga; it’s easy to see at the minor league level too. Hitters w/out a two strike approach, inability to get a sac bunt down, pitchers who continually fall behind in the count, lack of a ML SS to make ML plays, base running blunders….. If you want to win and do it w/ minimal resources (talent & $$$) you have to do the little things right and better have some accountability when a player doesn’t.

  6. TR

    A lot of good defensive play in tonight’s game. Suarez play to end the fourth inning was something else. Third base is the hot corner.

  7. LGR

    Alejo with another 3 hit night. You know, more hits than Scott has all year.

    • beelicker

      At least Alejo is a switch hitter, so he could actually perform the specific RH bat vs LHP role that Heineman is here for (heightened for this game since ATL started a LHP and part of the reason he got this callback this time). But Heineman’s other role is also to be available for OF/1B backup and Lopez is yet another 3B/2B and at 5’1o” probably too short to play first and is not an OF … there are other considerations besides just whether a player can hit

  8. Mark A Verticchio

    Kypodman: I also thought giving Nick the green light at that time was not a good idea, but that seems to be the way things are going. I also realize we are short some position player in the future. That is why getting somebody who is near ready for Castellanos might be a good move and their is always Senzel, but not counting on it.

  9. Rednat

    so many people want to trade Castellanos. why? you are probably not going to get much more than the compensatory pick anyway so why do it. just enjoy the magnificent year he is having. we may finally have a player not named Pete Rose who gets 200 hits in a season!.

    also another base running blunder with Aquino getting picked off. seems like we have one every game and that is on David Bell. i really believe if we can improve our baserunning we will be able to start to pull out these close games

    • Indy Red Man

      They won’t get much for the top hitter in the NL? They could get a key piece or two if they made a good trade. Yeah, he could win a batting title, but are we trying to build a champion or just win individual awards? If they’re still 5-6 games out and in 3rd place after the 7 straight vs Milw then its time to improve the team for the future. He might resign if they can pony up something close, but I doubt it. The Reds will never be the high bidder.

      I agree on the baserunning. I’ve been complaining for 3-4 years now, but its always a problem.

      • 2020ball

        Its not the individual awards that make me want to keep him, its that I’m tired of teams not trying to be competitive and simply hitting the panic button the moment something goes wrong. Really tired of teams that are just constantly rebuilding in the league, and even more tired of the fans who encourage it. I personally want to root for a team that is trying to win and not worrying about other silliness instead.

      • 2020ball

        If they trade Nick, then thats a clear signal to the clubhouse that they’ve given up. I’ve got a long list of criticisms for this front office, but their history of going for it is most certainly not one of them.

      • Indy Red Man

        I’m not encouraging rebuilding, but reality is reality. Most players want top dollar and thats not going to be the Reds. If he’s going then what difference does it make if they keep him til the end and go 83-79 or trade him and go 79-83?

        They’ve got a young nucleus with Winker, India, Stephenson, Castillo, Greene, Mahle, Antone, Lodolo, Vlad, etc, etc. that they haven’t had since Votto/Bruce came up 15+ years ago. Just have to keep adding to it with guys that can play!

      • jon vera

        Exactly! They should trade him. No brainer, but the reds will keep him just to finish 4th in the division and watch him walk.

      • Old Big Ed

        No, I don’t think that Castellanos would bring all that much in a trade. He would be a 2-month rental (plus post-season) for any team. The Orioles pretty much got nothing for Manny Machado a couple of years ago. I wish they could get a Luis Robert for him, but that isn’t going to happen.

      • MBS

        @2020, the players all know Nick is not going to stick around to finish his contract, so trading him would not shock any of them.

        I wouldn’t not trade Castellanos if we are in contention, and it seems as if we will be. If we fall off the map between now, and the trade deadline, I’d look to see what we could get. If it’s no better than the compensatory pick we’d get next year, I’d keep him.

    • jon vera

      if mgmt. isn’t going to get a SS or BP help it would be dumb not to trade him. They would get more than a comp. pick for him.

    • JA

      I do prefer keep NC in the team and get a < .500 record at the end of the season than trade him for 2 very good prospects. Any day.
      The reason for my opinion above os that this team, specially the young players, need a good leadership in the field, someone to be trustable during the game. Someone who can beat the superpitchers the league has today. I don’t see other Reds than him today, excepting by Winker. To build a winning team , need a good core to start with.

      • ChrisInVenice

        Base running blunders at the major league level are not on the manager. These are professionals.

  10. Klugo

    What that tells me is that someone else is calling up Heineman and Bell is just assigned with explaining why.

    • Old Big Ed


      These same guys would get on Dusty for some of his cryptic statements, but Dusty and Bell really were just refusing to throw their players under the bus. Does anybody really expect Bell to say, “I don’t know why they keep sending me this Heineman stiff”?

      • Old-school

        Heineman is basically the OF/1b swiss army knife version of Kyle Farmer.
        His speed/power/ and OF versatility were impressive in college and the lower minors. It just hasnt translated at the MLB level.

        He’s emergency depth if someone gets hurt or a late inning double switch or the day game after a night game when someone is sore or if Votto gets thrown out of the game again.

        Unfortunately, he’s the latest obscure player in a long list that exemplifies the Reds roster construction issues during the last 5-7 years.

      • Melvin

        No way do I believe Bell has nothing to do with these player moves.

  11. Melvin

    I do understand about all the complaints about Bell and I certainly play a part in that while trying not to be crazy. I do feel for Doug having to listen to all of it all of the time.

    • RojoB

      I also get it that Doug and other mods get sick of it

      Doug’s explanation above is good. He has to preserve his sanity

  12. Old-school

    Doug makes a central point that is absolutely true- The Reds are not benching Suarez or Votto. They owe Votto $50million in 2022-23 and Suarez $33 million in ‘22/‘23/‘24. Add Moose to that with his $34 million owed in 2022/23. With Votto’s $7 million 2024 buyout, that’s $120 million to 3 players age 30/33/38 after the 2021 season.

    Cot’s contracts also have some wild deferments to Moose and Castellanos thru 2025. This is why the Reds are not going to be in the mix for Castellanos as he will command at least 5/150 and maybe 6/200 after this year when he opts out, not if.

    The presumed universal DH will help in 2022 going forward with the Votto/Moose/Suarez aging contract dilemma. Moose may also have played his last game at 2b. The emergence of India at age 24 and Moose being 33 and having a significant foot injury- cant see him playing defensively at any position that requires range/mobility/change of direction.

    This is also why the Reds arent signing a SS. Barrero is plan A in 2022 but the Reds are not going to trade for say Andrelton Simmons and his remaining $5 million to play SS and then if Moose comes back have nowhere for him or Suarez to play.

    • Old Big Ed

      I generally agree with this, but to me, they have reached the point with Votto as to LH pitchers that the Angels reached with Albert Pujols. Votto just can’t hit lefties any more. Last night proved it beyond any argument — Votto could not touch a soft-tosser like Drew Smyly.

      I don’t care how much the team is paying a guy, at some point they have to play somebody else. And I think they would stop playing Votto against lefties, but for the fact that they don’t really have anybody other than Stephenson who can hit lefties and play 1B. But playing Stephenson at 1B against lefties means that they are also playing Barnhart against lefties.

      Suarez is one 1B option, but that opens a hole at 3B. Personally, I’d DFA Heineman or any of about 5 other fringe guys on the 40-man and try Alejo Lopez at 3B. Yes, it is a big leap to replace Joey Votto against LH with Alejo Lopez, but the Reds need to trust their eyeballs and not their payroll accountants.

      I also think that Andrelton Simmons IS an option, because the Twins will eat some of his contract. Kyle Farmer can’t hit and can’t run. He might be a good MLB manager or coach some day, but the Reds cannot win with him playing shortstop. Nor can they win with Suarez at shortstop.

      • MBS

        The funny thing is the Reds could have pickup Pujols for $420 K. That would have solved the problem of Votto facing lefties. Pujols has a .324 BA, .360 OBP against Lefties this year. We also wouldn’t have had to watch Blandino play 1B.

      • Old-school

        Dont disagree but if the Reds trade for Simmons who plays everyday and India plays 2b every day and Votto plays 1b every day- you have moose or suarez sitting and thats not happening. Not saying it should not. If Moose injury drags out until August/September then maybe but theyd probably just bring Barrero up in August as hed have 400 at bats under his belt

  13. Mark Moore

    Only got to see a little bit. Got to hand it to the Braves defense. So close on the few I watched. Disappointing to lose a close one this way.

  14. Reddawg2012

    Doug, any update on Lodolo and his blister issues? I haven’t heard anything in a couple of weeks.

  15. Roger garrett

    This team is what it is and at best finishes 3rd.We know where the holes are and there are many.Bell is what he is and only has so many bullets to fire so the pen will remain and we will watch Joey decline,Suarez fall fast,Farmer try to play short,the young guys do some good things and Nick walk at the end of the year.I think Bell is clueless at times and isn’t watching the game at all sometimes.We will watch him along with watching the other things I mentioned because we have no other choice.This mess on the field is all because of ownership and until they fix it won’t happen which is for me the reason for my rants.Bell is the guy that takes the heat because he is out front and center.Fair?Of course not but it is what it is.Win and your Sparky,lose and your just another guy that can’t manage

    • Old-school

      The Reds signed Bell to a 3 year contract with a club option for 2022.
      Reds absolutely will exercise that option in 2022 so plenty more opportunities to watch Bell’s managing style and the aging Reds position players age more for a long time!

      • Roger Garrett

        Of course this will be the same next year.Its not going away just because we want it to.Money will play and thats just the way it is.I am glad we have got to see India and TySteve play but we wouldn’t have if we had signed a short stop and guys hadn’t got hurt.You said it best when you listed the money owed and the years involved.No way anybody is going to take those players and their contracts not this year or next year either.The following year maybe but who knows.

  16. gusnwally

    I agree with doug , sometimes people just expect too much. Expecting this bullpen to to hold leads and win games is positively ridiculous. By the way I have a trade to propose. Package Freeman, Heineman and Doolittle for Trout and Ohtani.

    • RojoB

      For Trout and Ohtani bobble heads and I think they’d do it!

    • MuddyCleats

      Yes, I agree w/ a lot of what Doug had to say. However, I am not so sure his answer “the players aren’t any good” is 100% accurate. We know the BP has struggled, but then again, a lot of teams BP struggle! I watch these guys throw in the high 90s and spin some decent breaking pitches, but many times they continue to miss the best target! As Brantley continues to point out, you have to execute on the field. So is it a lack of talent issue, or is it the Reds org inability to developing it or coaching the talent? I think the Drive Line idea and study of spin rates and such has helped, but maybe it’s more of a mental training is required?? It seems Organizations like the Braves and Cardinals do an exceptional job of developing fundamental sound young players — Reds not so much IMHO. IDK

    • Melvin

      Wow. I’d have to think about that trade. It would be hard.

  17. ClevelandRedsFan

    Regarding Bell, all managers take a ton of criticism and it’s easy to call out decisions that don’t work.

    Overall, he is an OK manager. But there are some consistent patterns that I do blame on him.

    Poor base running: Reds have a daily TOOTBLAN. Some guys, like Winker, are repeat offenders. That’s an opportunity for Bell to keep reinforcing when your on base, know how you will run in every situation.

    Extreme platooning: IMO, Bell takes this too far. Remember when he platooned Jose Pereza with Winker? Yikes. Same this year with Heineman. Both Akiyama and Naquin have better numbers against LHP than Heineman. I will say that Bell has eased up a bit on the platooning this year.

    Suarez’ approach: Suarez all but admitted he was going to sell out this year for homeruns. It took Bell 60 games to try to change his approach. Bell should have caught this in spring training before it even happened.

    Now I will give him credit in some areas:

    Analytics: he does usually know the numbers and situations. Remember the Dusty days?

    Willing to experiment: Trying Suarez at lead off, asking Stephenson to play 1B, Suarez at short, Aquino in CF. We would have never seen these moves with Dusty. Not all work out, but they are all worth trying to get the best bats in the lineup.

    No bullpen roles: Bell uses Antone perfectly. He brings him in for the most important outs, even if that’s the 6th inning with guys on base. With Dusty, Antone would be the closer locked into the 9th inning only.

    He learns from his mistakes: he has slowed down on his extreme platooning this year. Heineman is an outlier. But he’s no longer platooning Winker. He stopped that nonsense on day 1, well before Winker was an MVP candidate.

  18. Vada

    Doug, I can feel your frustrations in regards to fans negative commentary towards Bell. I seriously doubt Sparky Anderson would have a better record. There is no doubt someone is to blame for the inconsistent playing and mediocre record this season. Those would be the owner and players who are more concerned about $$$ than about the fan base. Baseball has become a business just like any other business. If as a consumer you don’t like the company or their products you spend your money elsewhere. Complaining about how things are run serve no real purpose. Especially in light of the fact that the Reds owners and players don’t even read the fans comments on this site. Is it possible to provide dialogue that focuses on attracting positivity among other fans? Yea, I am not happy about the players and management. But I don’t see what is gained by BLAMING people who are not in complete control on game night. If the main share holder served as GM and Team Manager I could see expressing negativity on this site towards that person. He would deserve it. Compare this with your job. How would you feel if the customers you had to deal with complained about your customer service knowing full well your boss and company owner refused to provide you the quality tools to perform quality care to your customers. Would you feel you deserved their negative commentary towards you. I doubt it. In my opinion every player on each team is a paid professional. Roughly 1% are exceptional players. Roughly 5% are AAA players at best. The remaining 94% are still professional players. Now ask yourself this: how many bad days do you have at work? How many bad days do the Reds players have? Who is a more CONSISTENT employee? You? Reds players? You know the answer. Blaming Bell everytime is like coming home from a bad day at work and taking your frustrations out on your mate or kids. Bell comes to the park EXPECTING his players to perform as professionals. When they don’t the fans blame Bell. How many commentators are willing to stand in for Bell for a game and then go home and read fan comments on this site. Monday morning quarterbacking is worthless. It’s a waste of time. Fan comments can be expressed WO negativity. Seems to me that Reds fans are having difficulties enjoying the action as pure FUN. Try being kids at heart and just enjoy the comments of other Reds fans. If I want negativity in my life I will watch the news. I no longer do. Let’s not turn RN into a negative news channel. Let’s keep this site as a place where fans can have FUN FUN FUN ! Besides, there isn’t enough money for me to manage ANY baseball team. Why? Because fans EXPECT near perfection from managers. I haven’t heard Bell say at a Press Conference the words, “I don’t care.” He probably cares MORE than the fans do but unlike fans he realizes you “can’t get blood out of a stone.” I suspect every head coach is somewhat INSANE for taking a job that gets paid 90% less than the top players on the team. Consider these things next time you share negative commentary on RN. And remember that it wasn’t Bell who made the error to cost the game or the poor pitch that blew it. Regardless of his decisions to make moves. Baseball is not Fantasyland. It’s a Reality each fan chooses to embrace every day. Try hugging your mate or children. Try smiling when you don’t feel like it. Then come make your commentary at RN. Maybe then I will be able to read EVERY comment instead of stopping a quarter of the way through.

    • jim Muzzini

      Like your name. Time to get Vada Pinson into the hall of fame. Need fan support to convince the old time sport writers.

      • Doug Gray

        Vada is long past the point where him getting into the HOF is up to the writers. He would have to get in via one of the “Game Era Committee” which is made up of former players, managers, and executives.

  19. Ron

    The Reds should trade for C.J. Cron from the Rockies. Cron numbers against lefties are very good. .361 average, .418 on-base percentage and an OPS of 1.074. This would be a idea platoon situation at first base.
    And the Reds would only owe him around half of his 1 mil salary.

  20. Jimbo44CN

    The Reds problem is not Votto, it’s relief pitching. I am not a big Bell fan either, but he has to use what he has. His mistake last night was using Heineman. You are better with virtually anyone else up there.