If this sounds like a broken record it’s probably because somehow the obvious still hasn’t happened. The Cincinnati Reds are fighting for the final playoff spot in the National League. After Wednesday night’s loss they are a game back of the San Diego Padres for that final spot and just edging out the Cardinals and Phillies for that runner up spot.

The Reds aren’t a perfect team. They are a solid team with some strengths and some weaknesses. They need all of the help that they can possible get. The small upgrades on the margins might be enough. Maybe they aren’t. If one of you reading can tell the future please chime in. But if you can’t do that, all that we can do is try to make the best educated guess that we can.

Right now the Cincinnati Reds have a few problems on their roster. The offense, while good on the season, is in a real rut right now. As pointed out by Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer following the game, 9 of the last 11 Reds losses have seen them score one run.

There is a lot of blame to go around for that. The third base situation is not great. Shortstop is also not great. Left field has also been less than great since Jesse Winker has been out. When you include the pitcher’s spot in the lineup the team has basically four automatic outs in the lineup right now. Looking at the minor leagues there are a few guys hitting well in Triple-A and one of them stands out like a sore thumb: Jose Barrero.

The 23-year-old shortstop is hitting .306/.392/.594 in Triple-A this year after hitting .300/.367/.481 in Double-A in the first half. Yes, the minor leagues are not the Major Leagues. No one expects him to join the Reds and start posting an OPS of 1.000 like he’s been doing in Triple-A. But he would almost assuredly not hit worse than what the team has been getting from shortstop in 5 of the 6 months this season.

Kyle Farmer is currently the every day shortstop for Cincinnati. He absolutely crushed the ball in July – like Barry Bonds crushed the ball. It was an incredibly fun ride to be on. But the magic pumpkin turned into a rotten, deflated pumpkin rather quickly. Through June 30th, Farmer was hitting .213/.282/.310. Since August 1st he’s hitting .233/.257/.357. That’s who he is and who he has always been at the plate. He’s a guy who has never hit at the big league level outside of one month. There’s no reason at all to believe he’s going to hit better than that because he’s never actually hit better than that. He’s 31-years-old – that’s not the age in which always bad hitters tend to figure it out.

Cincinnati has Jose Barrero just sitting in a hotel right now on the taxi squad. Not playing. Not playing while the offense struggles to put any sort of runs on the board while he’s hit the cover off of the ball all season in the minors. And for what? So a 31-year-old career utility-man can continue to put up an OPS of .630 or less for the 5th month this season?

It’s time to make the switch. It’s beyond time, but it’s better late than never.

That of course brings us to another issue that certainly will be brought up in the comments section: Third base. The combination of Mike Moustakas and Eugenio Suárez haven’t hit, either. 100% fair to point out that Kyle Farmer has basically hit just as well as Moustakas this season and he’s easily outhit Suárez. Right now it seems that Moustakas and Suárez are platooning. Moustakas, as the lefty hitter, is going to get more of the playing time because there are more right-handed pitchers in the game.

Put Farmer in the platoon at third with Moustakas if you’d like. While it feels better to say that there’s a reason to believe that Moustakas can return to hit given that it hasn’t been that long since he’s had some success as a hitter (small sample size, but he was an above-average hitter in the 1st half this season before getting injured, and he was an above-average hitter in 2020 and prior to that, too), it’s tougher to make that argument with Suárez who hasn’t hit in two years. That, of course, ignores the defense, where it feels safe to say that Farmer is easily the best option of the three. Two of the three options, however, don’t seem like they are going to do much of any kind of hitting, and the third hasn’t done much hitting at all since coming off of the injured list a month ago.

Then there’s the bullpen. Last night wasn’t exactly a mark against the bullpen as a whole as much as it was a mark against Brad Brach. In his first 20 outings with the Reds this season he posted a 2.25 ERA, allowed 1 home run, had 9 walks, and he struck out 24 batters in 20.0 innings.

But the wheels have not just fallen off, they’ve blown off so hard that they’ve knocked off cars off of the road and into the concrete highway dividers. Since July 6th he’s pitched in 15 games, thrown just 10.0 innings, allowed 17 hits, walked 9, struck out 9, given up 4 home runs, and allowed 16 earned runs – good for an ERA of 14.40.

On the same night that Brad Brach allowed a walk-off 3-run homer to Jason Heyward, Dauri Moreta threw a shutout 9th inning for the Louisville Bats. That was Moreta’s 20th straight Triple-A appearance without allowing an earned run. The 25-year-old reliever hasn’t allowed an earned run since July 4th – which was his last outing in Double-A. He’s thrown 49.1 innings this season. His ERA dropped down to 0.73. He has walked 9 batters this season and he’s struck out 55.

It’s time. Another situation where the organization has seemingly sat around on their hands for an unknown reason to watch known bad options play instead of trying a rookie who has done nothing but destroy and embarrass the competition in Triple-A who almost assuredly could not perform worse than what the big league options were giving them.

Something has to give. Something has to change. The Reds actually seem to have answers to some of the issues they are encountering. But they haven’t seemed to give them much of a second thought, for reasons that this particular writer can’t figure out. It seems to be incredibly painfully obvious that Dauri Moreta should have been in the Reds bullpen long before Brad Brach returned from the injured list and that Jose Barrero should have been the starting shortstop long before the team’s offense as a whole went into a slump, but again – it’s better to make these moves late than to not make them. It’s time.

203 Responses

  1. Alan Horn

    Spot on Doug. Also Sanmartin might also be able to help in the pen. Lopez should also be up and given some sort of shot within the mess that is currently going on. The Reds have to come to grips they aren’t going to get anything from Moose, Suarez and Garrett and cut them loose. It is a lot of money to lose so it is easier said than done. I would try to cut a deal with a Japanese team to take Akiyama’s contract. AA is cheap and is a long shot to help next season.

    Reply
    • ClayMC

      I’ll never understand the disdain for Garrett. There’s no doubt he’s been walk-prone, but he’s had a 3.15 ERA / 3.91 xFIP since mid-June, all while leading the bullpen in IP. If you can name 5+ relievers who have been far worse during that time, why does Garrett continue to get the hatred? It’s time to leave April behind and re-calibrate.

      Reply
      • Alan Horn

        I have watched most of the games. He has not been good. He gets hit hard. I haven’t checked but maybe some of his runs are charged to the pitcher before him. He might could be fixed if he could be sent to the minors where he could pitch more. He has no options and would surely be claimed. He is kind of in a catch 22 situation. You can’t use him and you can’t send him down. That basically kills a roster spot.

      • Old-school

        Just stop
        Amir Garrett is a victim?
        Please

        Hes a terrible pitcher who has repeatedly failed . Thats facts .

        Stop the garbage excuses

        This is a terrible post

        Amir Garrett has been objectively awful. Plus- when he fails he wants to fight people.

      • ClayMC

        Is this real life? Am I being trolled? I must be.

        “Garret’s a terrible pitcher… That’s facts… Garrett has been objectively awful.” If so, where are the facts? Where’s the objective proof?

        So his 0 HRs allowed since mid-June is objectively awful? His 54% GB% that ranks second best in our bullpen? His 3.15 ERA / 3.91 xFIP while having an unsustainably and uncharacteristically high 0.365 BABIP? His bullpen-leading WAR?

        Listen, I fully acknowledge you can hand-pick out some stats that make him look bad as well. He does get hard and he walks way more than he should. But taken as a whole, there’s just no way anyone can justify pinning all this pent up bullpen-related frustration on Garrett. This bullpen has sucked, but Garrett is not the first, or even the fourth guy in line that we should pointing the finger at. Yet for some reason, so many of these threads end up being “Garrett has a 6+ ERA on the season! It’s time to DFA him!” rally, which is asinine. He hasn’t been great, but he shouldn’t be the face of the “our bullpen sucks” movement.

      • 2020ball

        Agree with Clay, love how people will cite “facts” without providing any. We know he has talent, plus Bell adjusted his role quickly but none of that seems to matter.

      • old-school

        Garrett is 0-3 with a 6.13 ERA for 2021- the sample size that matters.
        ERA of 6.13 is really bad.
        His BB per 9 innings is 5.95. That’s really bad
        His HR/9 is 1.83. Thats really bad.

        He’s also not pitched in high leverage situations in months. He’s pitched in garbage time (15-5 loss to Tigers) and 2 marlins losses late when the game was over or pitched 0.1 innings several times. He also went 12 days in August without pitching at all because he wasnt trusted to pitch.

        He’s pitched very poorly in 2021.

      • 2020ball

        Yea, and he’s just an innings eater right now so what’s the issue? You said it yourself, it sounds like his role is appropriate for his numbers. Plus we are talking about a guy with big upside if he can harness his stuff. He’s young, cheap, under team control, has had some success already, and is a lefty, those are not guys you give up on. The Reds would look like clowns if they “cut him loose”.

      • old-school

        Garrett has been a terrible pitcher all year in 2021
        Those are the facts- plain and simple.
        There’s the objective proof- plain and simple.

        You asked for facts.
        Are Garrett’s ERA, walk rates, and home run rates not facts?
        Are you saying an ERA of 6.13 with a walk rate of nearly 6 per 9 innings and 8 home runs in 39 innings in 54 appearances arent stats that show he’s been a terrible pitcher for the sample size that matters- the 2021 season? His manager wont pitch him in high leverage situations in the middle of a pennant race in September. Is there another reason for this?

      • ClayMC

        c’mon Old-school. His ERA is 6+ because of April. you can’t possibly harp about sample size when you’re hyper-focusing on 1 bad month at the beginning of the season as an argument against my focusing on the most recent 3 months. find one other person that agrees that his April performance should carry more weight than his June-September performance, and I’ll concede defeat here.

        And no one is saying his high walk rate isn’t concerning. I said myself that you can handpick stats that make him look just as bad as my stats made him look good. but again, taken as a whole, especially when framing his season appropriately, and he’s not the problem. simple as that.

        Should he be used as our closer in high leverage situations moving forward? of course not. but should he be dragged through the mud despite being one of our better relievers over the last 3 months? also, of course not.

      • old-school

        If your central point is Garrett had a bad April and has been a fair/decent/good reliever since, I don’t think the facts bear that out.

        Josh Osich and Heath Hembree and Sean Doolittle and Brad Brach have all had their 2 weeks stretches, but that doesn’t change the fact they were poor relievers in 2021 for the Reds and cant be counted on in a pennant race.

        To use your small snippets, Garretts ERA in June was 7.27. He gave up 3 home runs in 8 innings in the month of June. He wasn’t ok in June. The second half of the season, his ERA is 5.40. His walk rate is worse at 6.94 BB per 9 innings. Not good numbers outside of April

        He’s not improving. He’s just pitching less, and pitching shorter outings and pitching in low leverage situations when the reds are trailing by 3+ runs or to get the last out of an inning in a modified loogy situation where he doesn’t have to return the following inning.

        I hope he figures it out because the Reds desperately need a late inning high leverage lefty reliever. Its one of their biggest deficiencies.

  2. realist

    Thanks for giving voice to all of our frustrations with the Reds. This was a great article. It seems to us Reds fans like the correct decisions are not being made. Some blame Krall, some blame Bell. This article i think clearly lays the blame at the feet of the front office and I agree. It being Krall’s first year, it doesn’t bode well for the future.

    Reply
    • jon

      I don’t think Krall is that stupid. Just can’t figure out why Barrero and Moreta are not on the team.

      Reply
    • Tod Held

      The future is in a baseball coach. The Reds need to invest in Barry Larkin as a head coach. He need to be in a position to manage both immediate on the field and long term success. Please build on a proven tradition of respect and competitive greatness. Mr. Larkin has earned it.

      Reply
      • 2020ball

        Have you listened to him on bbroadcasts? No way am I hiring him as manager, he’d ride vets like Suarez even more than Bell did.

      • Votto4life

        Barry Larkin as a manager would be a disaster.

        Having said that, it is perfectly in line with the Red’s MO of appealing to the casual fans rather than hiring someone capable.

        Hiring Barry Larkin and having a Delino DeShields Jr./Sr twin bobble head night should be enough to make the fans forget about winning.

  3. Bred

    Doug, you are 100% correct. Why can’t or won’t the FO make these obvious moves? I just don’t get it.

    Reply
    • Max BRAGG

      The real reason is the OWNERSHIP is misled by it’s evaluation of player’s and the money that is being NOT Spend to improve this club!

      Reply
    • Michael E

      Because ownership wants the higher money stiffs playing, so they earn that money, regardless if it costs wins. They don’t care ENOUGH (some) about wins/losses to override the embarrassment of having 8 figure salaries riding the pine or put on outright waivers.

      It’s obvious to you and me, get these young players the sorely needed experience, all the while playing “can’t do any worse” baseball in place of these worn out stiffs.

      Still miffed they didn’t move Suarez when he hit 40 bombs. The K rate was staggeringly high, suggesting it was a career year. Hindsight is in play here, but I was one of a few beating the trade him while you can get quite a bit for him. That cheap contract was part of the allure to other teams that might have sent us two of their top 5 prospects. sigh

      Reply
      • stuckonthenorthshore

        Exactly, and it comes from the fundamental problem of MLB to begin with. Fully guaranteed contracts. Hard for most anybody not threatened with losing job/wage to feel motivated to work hard. There are always exceptions(Votto, j
        Jeter, Bonds, etc…), but sadly there are many who get paid and phone it in once the going gets tough. Then, the organization is in a bit of a pickle.

  4. Mitch Cifers

    It’s also time to call up Tyler Greene. In a time where starter may go 6 innings, and may is a stretch, Greene could come in the second half of some games to “close” the last 4.

    Reply
    • PTBNL

      You mean “Hunter” Greene. Tyler probably won’t help us much. He’s not even in the organization.

      Reply
    • Randy in Chatt

      Tyler Greene hasn’t played since 2013…..and was a middle infielder.

      Reply
    • Michael E

      Greene could at least come in, you tell him give them the gas for one or two innings and help the bullpen. He’d limit his innings in the process and get necessary big league experience. Again, seems like a no-brainer. Maybe they plan on keeping him in minors for two more years so he is controllable till he is 30+?

      Reply
  5. Arthur

    I would argue only one small point. The time to do this was August 10, not September 10. We may be closing the barn door after the horse got out.

    Nothing is guaranteed in baseball. There are always random events, injuries, etc. but this team is absolutely going down the tubes, and the obvious moves to try and stop the slide are just being ignored. In fact, really silly moves are being done to avoid doing the obvious moves. Asdrubal Cabrera?? Come on. Brad Brach, and probably Art Warren in a short time?? Over a guy with an ERA of 0.00 for the last 2 months??

    It’s like they aren’t really trying to win.

    Reply
  6. Hotto4Votto

    Yes, to all of the article above. It’s hard to figure out why the moves haven’t been made already, even tougher to figure out why the moves still haven’t been made while we all watch the season slip away. Inactivity may be the hallmark of the Krall era.

    Reply
  7. TR

    Thank you, Doug. It’s past time for a dramatic move from the front office if they want the Reds in the playoffs. With three weeks to go in the regular season, the Reds will not make it if they lose anymore series. We know what is needed: Barrero at shortstop, Farmer/Moustakas at third, Naquin in left field until Winker is back, then Naquin in centerfield, and Moreta to the bullpen. Leadership in the front office is needed now.

    Reply
  8. Kindell

    It’s really tough to watch organizations like the Rays who put their best talent on the field while we watch the Reds play the loyalty game with several players not contributing. There is no one that can make the argument that Jose Barrero is not one of the best 9 players right now.

    Even with the Bonds like the month of July, Farmer has an OPS of .679 against RHP this season. Barrero has an OPS of .954 against RHP and there is no way you can convince me that the jump to the majors would drop his OPS almost 300 points to match Farmer. It just feels like this organization is just fine with being in contention for the last playoff spot and that might be the last place you want to be every year.

    Reply
    • Greenfield Red

      Agree with this. Give me red hot or ice cold. That is how you win the Series.

      Luke warm is the enemy or red hot.

      Reply
  9. RedBB

    Why do you think the Reds won’t bring him hp Doug? Stubborn? Just plain stupidity? Is it really Krall’s decision? Who is to blame???

    Reply
  10. Arthur

    I was amused to hear Bell say that he brought in Brach because he “had been in that situation before.”

    Note that he didn’t say Brach had SUCCEEDED in that situation before. Just that he’d been there.

    That may be the most David Bell-defining comment ever. Experience matters. Performance matters not.

    Reply
    • Alex Reds

      Lucas Sims succeeded in getting out of a bases loaded and no outs jam earlier this year.

      Reply
      • Arthur

        Yes he has.

        Was he available last night, or was he being saved for a “save” situation? I don’t know – just a possibility.

      • 2020ball

        sounded like he wasnt available, pitched twice and warmed up the other 2 in the last 4 days. Its not who he pitched that had me scratching my head, it was why Brach is even on the team still. As soon as i saw that HR i said as much, heck i said it when i saw nick putting on an infield mitt.

  11. JB

    There are what seems like a million problems with this team starting from the top down. To numerous to waste my time but Doug has a nice start. It just seems like all we do is bang our heads against the wall almost every day from the actions of this team. Sick of this garbage organization after watching them for 50 years. A proud franchise turned into a penny pinching flea market of a team. Just sell.

    Reply
  12. CFD3000

    Solid major league hitters who no longer hit well – Suarez and Moustakas – keep getting at bats. Journeymen hitters who never hit well except for one month – Farmer and Aquino – keep getting at bats (though admittedly AA has been playing far far less than Farmer). A transfer student who hasn’t mastered the speed of the MLB game is still on the roster – Akiyama. And to add insult to injury, room has been made for two new hitters but those slots have been filled by ineffective but familiar players – Cabrera and Deshields. There are only 14 hitters on the Reds roster. Seven, seven! are not good at hitting. How is it possible that not one of those hitters could be replaced by Barrero and Lopez to upgrade the offense? You can make an argument for keeping Farmer based on his defensive flexibility. You could argue that Aquino still has promise and if nothing else future trade value. And perhaps Akiyama must stay based on his contract details. But without turning this into an economics lesson (sunk cost fallacy) there is no upside to keeping Suarez and Moose. And Cabrera and Deshields are just plain indefensible. And you can no longer justify keeping all seven of those hitters because of chemistry / winning. The Reds would be better with Barrero and Lopez in the lineup. Great article Doug, but it could literally have said just that. The Reds would be better with Barrero and Lopez in the lineup. Sheesh.

    Reply
    • Michael E

      Well, that was a depressing read.

      True, so true, but still, depressing.

      I can’t see solid baseball minds preventing this. Feels like it HAS to be Castellini, though I wouldn’t put it past David Bell to be one of those managers who loves his veterans, no matter how awful they’ve become or always have been. I wish I really know the culprit(s) for adding and playing sub-mediocre players when other solutions exist from within.

      Maybe they should NEVER sign another free agent. Always be trading guys as they hit their primes, get back max value (like the Rays do) and keep replenishing farm talent so you’re always a top 5 system and go that route. They’ll be good and bad years, but at least we won’t have to see highly overpaid and completely ineffective FAs getting 500+ PAs

      Reply
    • Michael E

      You know what, try to hire away the Rays GM and scouts. They somehow keep a very competitive team with a sub-competitive payroll. Their scouting and ability to snooker other GMs in trades is very valuable.

      The Reds haven’t snookered anyone in trades since maybe The Suarez deal with Tigers, but even now, that return is turning into maggot-riddle roadkill and might swing in Tigers favor that they don’t have a subpar player being paid millions.

      Reply
  13. LDS

    Great article Doug, couldn’t agree more. But given the Reds history, picking up some mid-30s waiver pitcher seems more likely. And based on comments that Bell has made in the past, my guess is he has more influence on transactions than one might assume. Regardless, the season is rapidly slipping away and the FO still isn’t acting.

    Reply
    • RedAlert

      Doug , that article was right on the money !!! You for sure are echoing the same
      frustrations the rest of us have been . It’s ridiculous they have waited this long and still have made no meaningful moves or changes to this roster .The Reds
      OBVIOUSLY (to all except the front office apparently) have pieces that can possibly help this team in a big way down the stretch and they are doing absolutely
      nothing to address
      issues . Krall is NOT cut out for the GM job and this a front office is an utter joke . Bell adds to the problems and is a poor
      strategic manager and decision maker. All of us here can see that these moves needed to be made long ago , yet this front office does nothing !!!!! Really , really bad look for this organization . The word ineptitude comes to mind …

      Reply
  14. Jim Walker

    It seems very ironic that in a season where 2 of the team’s strongest performers have been rookies, they can’t pull the trigger to get Barrero and Moreta into the fray.

    There has to be more going on here than meets the public eye; but, who knows what?

    Reply
    • Alan Horn

      It all about the money owed on the contracts. They don’t want to eat the money and look bad.
      Of course, it is a huge bitter pill to swallow but it is of their(front office) own making.

      Reply
      • Jim Walker

        cost nothing more to sit a couple of position guys and probably in the zip code of $100K additional to pay Barrero at the MLB rate versus the minor league rate he gets as a 40 man roster player on option. And peanuts to send Brach on his way to clear the roster spot.

      • Alan Horn

        I agree. You would have two huge holes on your bench. Looking bad doing so is the issue. Money would be the issue going forward into next season. Like you said, it would cost very little to do it this season. If we can’t fix the money problem this off season will be as bad or worse than last off season.

    • Arthur

      Excellent point. Add Vladimir Gutierrez to that list. Team has gotten major contributions from 3 rookies.

      But …. But …. But we can’t have a rookie SS in the middle of a pennant chase and succeed, right??? Check with Tampa Bay and see how Mr Franco is doing there for them. The idea that a rookie can’t handle the pressure is just absurd.

      Reply
    • BZ

      Don’t forget though that even though India started the year, he had been benched and only played three times from 26 Apr to 10 May until Moose got hurt. He wouldn’t be the everyday lead off hitter if Moose had stayed healthy.

      Reply
      • Grand Salami

        Yes, I remember being fretful thinking that Bell would return Moose back to his spot. Moose got stuck on the IL and India put that debate to rest with the extra time but that was absolutely unsettled had Moose returned when expected.

    • Moon

      I cannot remember but I thought India was not a given to make the roster and has in fact been somewhat of a surprise with his performance? Didn’t and injury to someone ensure he made the team but then his performance is what has kept him here? My point here, I guess, is perhaps the Reds should learn from that lesson and give some of the other young guys that have performed in the minor leagues a real chance as well instead of picking guys up off the trash heap based on one good month they had three years ago

      Reply
  15. gregteb

    Problem now with bringing up Barerro is: Bell wouldn’t play him much while he was on the roster, and now they have him on the taxi squad not playing. So he has not played regularly since August 15th. If he is brought up and has 1 bad game, Bell benches him again and thinks “I told you so”. Did the same way with Lopez. The problem is a management philosophy that cannot admit mistakes and deal with them. i.e. will they ever deal with the Akiyama mistake? How long will they tolerate Cabrera 0’fers?

    Reply
    • Hotto4Votto

      This is also all true. May not just need to get them on the roster, but must mandate that they play regularly.

      Reply
    • Jim Walker

      And Barrero was back in a groove at AAA but now will have sat out at least 5 days before seeing any action (he was held out at Louisville on Sunday).

      Reply
    • Arthur

      You are correct.

      Which is why I said a month ago- bring him up, and play him every inning of every game from now until the season is over. Give him a chance to show what he can do. Don’t make him look over his shoulder, or worry that one mistake will cost him the spot.

      Hand the young man the keys and see what he can do.

      Reply
    • Michael E

      Agreed. NExt time Barrero is up, he needs to play every day, getting one day off every 25 games or so, REGARDLESS of how he hits. He needs to feel like it’s his to work out any kinks or ruts and he doesn’t have to press even more.

      Bell is a big problem and should be let go in the offseason and find a manager that will play the best player, factoring in upside potential that would work against so-so veterans. I.E. play a good veteran or sit a mediocre veteran for a higher upside rookies that might struggle a bit initially.

      Reply
  16. Randy in Chatt

    Barerro may get his chance with KF going on paternity leave soon. Here’s hoping that JB lights it up when given the chance, so much that you cannot take him out of the lineup. The vets on the team would completely understand (chemistry) because they would see JB’s talent and spark he can give to the team.

    Cut Adbrubal Carrerra. He is redundant and has added nothing. Let Alejo Lopez take his place. He (AL) is hungry and can put the bat on the ball. His on-base skills would be welcome to a ball club that is struggling getting on base and scoring runs. Now the next question would be his playing time.

    Brad Brach should go the route of Heath Hembree. Great at first, terrible lately…send him packing. He was brought back awfully fast off his rehab. Either way, he doesn’t deserve a spot on the 26 man. He had his chance.

    I think there are TOO many relivers on this team. Jeff Brantley was saying he wanted to pitch at least 1 out of every 3 days on a recent broadcast. Some guys don’t even pitch but around once a week. Go down to 8 relievers. 14 pitchers is too much. They don’t get enough work to stay sharp. One less pitcher would mean one more bench bat. I love Tyler Stephenson but cringe when he pinch hits early in a game just in case Tucker has to come out of the game (heaven forbid). An extra bat leads to more options and strategy. Is that Bell’s decision to go pitcher heavy or is that Krall’s? The GM is final call on the 26 man.

    Maybe we can get Dick Williams to come out of retirement. Of all the criticism he received (Nepotism, etc.) I felt he did a tremendous job and made, mostly, solid personnel decisions.

    Akiyama would probably love a chance to play more….Japan may be calling.

    3rd base is a mess and one I wouldn’t want to deal with. Maybe, KF to 3rd. I had held out hope until recently that both Suarez & Moose could turn it around. It is getting way too late now. Maybe send one to the IL with one of “those” injuries”. IDK (teams do it all the time). It cannot sustain like this much longer.

    The Reds need a spark. They need on base guys in order to score more runs. They also need to play smarter winning ball. To have our “ghost” runner not even move from 2nd last night was ridiculous. KF should have gotten him to third instead of pulling the ball for the first out. Completely unproductive. That may have changed Bell’s pitcher in the 10th from Brach to someone more reliable if we had scored there.

    “Winning” baseball, the little things needs to be an organizational approach. We are sorely lacking in that category. One run makes a difference in a multitude of games. Move the runner along, stealing a base when needed, hit & run occasionally, suicide squeeze, taking an extra base, learn to hit the other way when the shift is on, better bunting by the pitchers. The Reds are just a mediocre to bad fundamental team many times. That needs to be addressed by the organization as a whole from the moment they are drafted, etc.

    Teach winning, fundamentally sound baseball decisions/plays in the minors and use them in games, instead of every man for himself, swing hard in case you hit it, individualism that is prevalent in this organization now.

    Reply
    • A

      Dick Williams signed Suarez , Moose and Castellanous to their contracts. He is the daddy behind the financial problems we have going forward. As great as Castellanous has been it was a bad contract because of the opt out clause.

      Reply
      • Randy in Chatt

        Suarez, at the time, was considered a bargain and if he had come close to 2019’s numbers, no one would be complaining. Moose was a valued free agent sign for a team criticized for not going for it in the free agent market. He was a proven winner and leader and is much loved by teammates and fans. Reds fans cannot have it both ways, either you take a chance and spend or you get accused of “penny-pinching”. I’m glad they took the chance a spent some money on all three above (BTW his name is Castellanos w/o the extra “u”).
        Also, we don’t know about the options that Castellanos insisted upon. HE may have wanted the “outs” in the contract if the Reds weren’t winning. And in a COVID year, money was being spent more carefully than in the past. The Reds took a chance on Casty & Moose and I am glad they did. How can a Reds fan complain about that????

      • Bubba Woo

        Suarez’s contract was a great signing when it occurred. He was in his mid 20s and coming off of several good seasons and a 40 HR, 100 RBI season. He probably could have gotten double what he signed for at the time if he were a FA. Castellanos wouldn’t have signed with the Reds without the opt-outs. At the time, he was 27 looking for a long-term offer. When he didn’t get one, he agreed to this contract with the Reds as a chance to prove himself and get another shot at a multiyear deal. He outperformed the contract. We got a top-5 MVP candidate and NL batting champion for 16 mil. That’s a bargain.

        The Moose contract was puzzling. He was already in his 30s, and it seemed at the time like Senzel had earned a shot at being the everyday 2b. That said, the Reds, as they are prone to do, projected Senzel to be an everyday CF, despite being injury-prone and having TWO bouts of vertigo. Remember, in 2019, the prevailing wisdom in the Reds org (and Baseball), was that India was probably nothing more than a utility player. To that point in the Minors, he had done nothing to indicate he was capable of becoming the player he has turned into

      • Alan Horn

        Moose’s contract was puzzling. Castellanos signing was bad in that the only way we could expect to keep him was if he didn’t earn his contract. If he did well(which he has) we were sure to lose him(which I expect we will). When you sign anyone to a large contract like that you surely expect them to do well before hand. So instead of having arguably the best player on the team going forward, he will likely be on another team next season leaving a huge hole in an already porous offense. I hope the Reds never sign anyone else to a contract with an opt out clause.

      • Alan Horn

        Williams also signed Yakiyama. Like Suarez, that looked like a great signing at the time. You don’t get judged by what something looks like on the front end but what it looks like on the back end. It’s all about the end result.

      • Randy in Chatt

        So you are saying that it is not a good contract until the contract is completed???? How do you know how someone is going to perform by the end of the contract. You have to hope for the future and invest your money.

        Hindsight, Alan, is 20/20.

      • Alan Horn

        That is correct. Ask someone who invested in a company or business or the stock market. Ask them at the end (if they lost all) if it was a good investment. They would tell you it looked great up front. If the players got sick or had a career ending injury(Reds likely would be out of the contract) then that might be different but these players just played terrible so as to not earn the contract. The bottom line is you are still broke or close to it. You are judged by the outcome of your decisions. No business will let you hang around if you mess up that bad unless maybe if you are the owner’s kin. I worked for a company whose owners blew 22 million on software that was never usable. Those people and the company went under. There is accountability.

      • Randy in Chatt

        Then why give out contracts at all? It is all a gamble based on what you have researched and feel at the time of the contract. If we all knew going in what a contract/performance/player was going to be then we’d all be millionaires and/or prophets.

      • Alan Horn

        You give contracts based on what you think is good at the time. You are either right or wrong. If you are wrong, then there is accountability. That is the way it works in business or anywhere else. Even gamblers work that way.

      • Doug Gray

        But that’s not really how it works in gambling.

        If I’m playing Blackjack and I’ve got 20 and the dealer is showing an 8 and I stay and they flip a 3 and then hit a face card I made the right decision and it didn’t work out. That’s life. Nothing is guaranteed. You make the best guess you can based on the best available information you have. Sometimes great decisions don’t work out. Sometimes terrible decisions do. Going back to the Blackjack thing – if I had 20 and hit and got an ace, it was a terrible decision. It worked. But no one is going to think it was actually a good decision. Likewise, in the previous example, no one is going to look at the guy who stayed on 20 and “hold them accountable” because they lost that hand. It was the right choice that simply didn’t work out because sometimes things just happen.

        Make the right decision more than the wrong decision and ultimately things will work out in your favor. It’s why the casino always wins. The odds are always in their favor, even if in a few games that it only by 2% – over the long run that adds up and you wind up broke and they have 50,000 lights on 24-7-365 and still make money.

      • Randy in Chatt

        Then it all boils down to an educated guess and hope it pans out. Which is what the Reds did on those 3 contracts, and basically any team handing out a contract.

      • old-school

        But you have a strategy in blackjack and decision points based on careful calculations.

        Overpaying for old position players after age 30 is a strategy that good teams with limited budgets simply cant do. The Mesoraco and Bailey contracts were terrible but sound at the time of their signing. Both young proven guys entering their primes. Bailey was NEVER injured until he was always injured and Mesoraco was a young great catcher until he couldnt stay healthy. Neither worked out.
        Moose to 4/56 for his 32-36 years is a bad move.
        Akiyama at 32-35 for a guy whose never played in MLB- bad strategy.

        Just like signing Gennett or Cozart after 30 would have been terrible moves.

      • Alan Horn

        For gamblers I was referring to the accountability part. If you bet everything or most everything you have and lose, there is an accountability .You and your family will suffer greatly. It looked like a sure bet but it wasn’t. That is where the Reds are now. They bet big and lost. All I am saying is it will hamstring the team in a big way going forward. If it had worked they would look like a genius right now.

      • greenmtred

        That opinion of India was, as I recall, the majority opinion here, too. And, of course, there was a lot of opinion expressed about how stupid the Reds were to not play Aquino everyday. I’d be curious to see how long it would take us to turn on Barrero if he were installed at short and proved to be a pedestrian hitter. Would it be taken as more proof of how stupid the Reds are? All of that said, this is the nature of fandom. And I, too, would like to see Barrero and Moreta on the team and given a chance. That’s based only on the information I have, though, and I therefore can’t factor in concerns about their readiness or development. I’d bet those two factors have more to do with this than a front office conspiracy to lose as many games as possible has.

      • Votto4life

        Dick Williams may have made a few bad decisions but I sure wish he was in charge today. Jose Barrero wouldn’t be in Louisville that’s for sure.

        Dick Williams changed the way the Red’s did business. Williams cared about winning and for a brief time he made the Reds a player in Free Agency. Heck, he almost signed Zach Wheeler. Do you think Nick Krall would have made such an effort? Do you think Krall would have been that aggressive?

        Nick Krall’s MO is best summed up by his comment this summer “We are always open to improving the team”. Well no kidding…isn’t that pretty much a given for GMs?

        All the moves Dick Williams didn’t pan out but he cared about winning. I knew as soon as I heard he wasn’t coming back that we were back to the same old cheap Reds…and here we are.

      • Votto4life

        I admit I was critical when Dick Williams was hired because it reaked of nepotism. But he proved me wrong.

        Dick Williams was the best Red’s GM since Bob Howsman. When you consider Howsman didn’t have to deal with free agency, Dick Williams was probably even better.

        Although Wayne Krivisky (SP?) deserves special mention 🙂

    • Arthur

      A little thing like failing to get the runner to third is HUGE. Doesn’t show up in the box score – just the final score.

      It is an inexcusable mistake. If you pull any pitch in that situation, you have to hit it dead on the screws. Schwindel, in that same situation Monday, fought off an inside pitch and rolled it into RF. He absolutely was trying to go to right field. And it worked. Executing fundamentals is how you win baseball games. Sitting back and waiting for the big HR – not so much.

      But, as always, no accountability. What do you think Morgan or Rose would have done to a teammate who did that?? I am fairly certain – it would not have been pretty.

      Reply
      • greenmtred

        Morgan or Rose would have talked to the culprit. How do you know that nobody spoke to Suarez? For that matter, I’m pretty certain that Suarez knows it was a screw-up. Accountability? When these guys make mistakes, they do so in front of thousands of people. Few of us would be comfortable with that sort of accountability. And, of course, a player who plays poorly will eventually see that reflected when his contract expires.

      • Jim Walker

        No, I think it probably would have been Tony Perez playing “bad cop” in a humorous needling way. At least that is what we always used to hear about in public. Morgan was more of the “glue” guy.

        That Big Red Machine “Regular Eight” for younger folks who may have never stopped to think about it was 3 African Americans, 3 Latinos, 1 White guy, and 1 guy who most took as white but who acknowledged his significant Native American heritage (Bench). Joe was supposedly the bridge among all the groups.

  17. Jim Walker

    Moustakas appears to be swinging the bat marginally better but still isn’t getting consistent results. However, his defense is still extremely suspect.

    Wednesday night on a ball hit directly to him he had to execute a 270-degree reverse turn to throw to 2B in starting a GIDP versus merely opening his left shoulder and flipping the ball to 2B. It struck me as one of the most awkward moves I have ever seen in an MLB level game. Essentially, it was the move an LH thrower would have to use to make the same throw. And professional baseball does not use LH throwers at 3B for that very reason.

    Reply
    • wkuchad

      Reds are solid at most starting positions. Few teams are above average at every position. I think the Reds have to go with Moose at 3rd (only vs righties) and hope his swing continues to improve.

      Plus, he was solid defensively at 3rd to start the year.

      Reply
  18. burtgummer01

    It’s tough, as far as Farmer goes.He’s the 2nd best fielding ss in mlb and hitting .250
    Thats not great but it’s not awful either.Obviously in limited time Barrero is hitting .190 in the majors although it’s only 79 ab’s.Move one of them to third full time and I’d be all for it
    As far as Moreta goes he should’ve been here a couple months ago

    Reply
    • Alan Horn

      Agree on all. Farmer has been like glue at SS. Still, it is Barreo’s to lose. You can still bring Farmer back to SS if Barreo fails.

      Reply
    • Hotto4Votto

      Not sure how you get 2nd best fielding SS in MLB. He’s tied for 8th in defensive runs saved which is well and good, but not making a case for 2nd best fielding SS. Taking a deeper look he rates poorly in Rrange with a -3, which shows his deficiencies at the position. He’s sure handed if the gets to the ball, he just doesn’t get to as many as one would like.

      Reply
      • MBS

        “Farmer Fans” go a bit overboard. He’s a good defender, but not top notch. I like Farmer, but you got to keep it in perspective. Barrero is a better defender, and has shown the bat advancement this year.

      • greenmtred

        Larkin speaks highly of Farmer. He’s very sure-handed, makes routine and difficult plays, and throws strongly and accurately. I’m not comparing them as hitters, but that description was applied to Cal Ripken, who also didn’t have as much range as some of his contemporaries at the position. Farmer at short has not been a problem, but it’s also the case that the skills he manifests there sound like those of a very good third-baseman, so the issue really is Barrero: he has done very well in limited service in AAA, and not very well in very limited service at the MLB level. Is it possible that the Reds are seeing problems with his hitting that need to be addressed? And, following on that, are reluctant to put him in the crucible of a tight race for the postseason where failure might adversely affect his future development? I certainly don’t know and, as I said above, as a fan with limited information, I’m inclined to wish that he was tried at short and Farmer moved to third.

    • Arthur

      I am a fan of Farmer’s glove at SS. I do not believe he’s the second best defensive SS in baseball. Fielding Bible ranks him as 6th in the majors. Which is still pretty darned good.

      He IS amazingly consistent – he has made only 4 errors all season, which is phenomenal.

      But I still believe Barrero is a better defensive SS. Obviously, he’ll have to prove it. But in the 10 minutes he got to play this summer, he made 2 of the best plays I have seen all season – the glove flip to India to start a DP, and then the catch and throw of Lorenzen’s HORRIBLE throw to turn another double play. (Lorenzen fielded a come-backer- turned, and then threw into the dirt – Barrero scooped it up and made the throw to first like it was no big deal.).

      Again – don’t want to run down Farmer’s glove work – he’s been pretty solid. His only problem is that there’s someone better.

      Reply
    • burtgummer01

      According to the guys doing the game last night best fielding percentage ( or something like that) since 1901 or 1903 I dont remember which
      But people want to bench him for someone who has done nothing in the majors (Obviously limited ab’s) during a playoff race.

      Reply
      • Arthur

        Which means he doesn’t make errors. Which is a good thing. But it sure isn’t the end of the story.

        Barry Larkin’ slowest error total as a full time SS was 11. Farmer has 4. (As I said – that is excellent.). Since 11 is almost 3 times 4, you want to argue that Farmer is three times as good a fielder s Larkin in his prime?

        Or perhaps there is more to fielding than just fielding percentage

      • RedAlert

        Burt – it’s time for a change at SS , well
        overdue. Farmer has done a good job there , move him to third (got no problem with that ) . Barrero has nothing else to prove at AAA , it’s time .

  19. Redsvol

    Team needs a spark – and sparks don’t come from the bench. Someone new has to be installed into the starting lineup. Either put Barerro in permanently or Lopez in permanently – preferably both. I never understood why Shrock was thought to be the answer – he has enough career stats to show that he is a 5th outfielder or utility man, not someone you give daily at-bats to. Lopez and Barerro into the starting lineup tomorrow. A playoff team should have carved up the pitchers we have seen over last 2 weeks, our hitters make them look like All-Stars!
    As far as pitching, everyone knows the bullpen stinks but we simply aren;t scoring runs the last few weeks. The bullpen is not capable of winning 1 run games consistently without Tejay Antone. But why Bell and Krall and Derek Johnson felt compelled to bring Brach back from the DL is beyond me. Anyone watching last night knew he had nothing. So a combination of Brach being on the roster and then putting him in rather than other choices is simply malpractice. I’d rather see Moretta, Diehl or Hunter Greene in that situation. Time to make some bold moves and energize the team, that’s what good ownership and Front offices do. If they don’t then its time to sell the team! Go Reds, make us proud!

    Reply
    • Luke J

      Yes, Shrock’s .318 average definitely tells me he has no business playing. /sarcasm

      Reply
    • LGR

      Yeah, I’m not sure what you’re on about with Schrock. He’s actually looked pretty good when he’s played.

      Reply
  20. 2020ball

    Would really like to see something done, the inaction and/or hoping poorly performing veterans are the answer has confused me the past month. The team gets great contributions from rookies all year and all the sudden their afraid to try new things. Picking up Cabrera looks really poor in hindsight, and i didnt much understand it when it happened either. Really bad look on the FO, but ive been skeptical of them since they created holes in the bullpen they cant figure out how to fill. i still think this team can make this happen, but would like to see more urgency and some creative solutions tried before its too late.

    Reply
    • wkuchad

      Agree completely. I hated the Cabrera pickup. I also didn’t like the DeShields pickup, but understood it if used as a pinch runner or late game defensive sub.

      Reply
      • Randy in Chatt

        The DeShields pickup could come back to haunt the Reds FO a bit. It really put them in a tough spot with Senior as one of the coaches. If Junior fails, do you DFA him? If so, will that cause tension? If he succeeds, how do you use him? You cannot consistently start him, especially when Winker comes back.

        This would have been a sign better left undone IMHO.

      • Lars Benders

        DeShields and Cabrera are now regulars vs. lefties. Jeesh

  21. Brian

    Best article in some time. I have been keeping the faith with some of the players that have played well and helped get the team to the position it is currently. Now I have to agree with Doug here. I just don’t know if Farmer is a starting shortstop but JB has a much higher ceiling than Farmer does and the organization needs to start making a determination if he can handle the position or is Pokey Reese.

    Brad Brach is certainly a fine human being but I am just at a loss as to why an organization that is so close to making the playoffs would choose to have him on the roster. Is there something about Moreta that the coaches in Louisville know that we don’t?

    I just have no clue how to solve 3rd base.

    In watching the team, they seem to have lost the spark they had. They aren’t showing the excitement when a positive moment happens that they did previously. This feels like something internal is causing a problem. I just don’t see the same camaraderie that we saw earlier this season. It also might be seeing something that isn’t there because I am searching for reasons for the change in play.

    Reply
  22. Doc

    If the Reds FO followed the advice of most of the posters on this site, the man leading the team in HR and RBI would be sitting home, out of baseball, sipping his mint julips. Fortunately, they don’t listen.

    Reply
    • 2020ball

      oh yeah. I liked a lot of what i saw from Votto even when his numbers were down. I cant say the same for guys like moose, etc.

      Reply
  23. wkuchad

    Barrero needs to be plugged in starting SS now.

    Moose should start 3B against righties. He hits righties better than Farmer (both career numbers and 2021).

    Farmer should start 3B against lefties. He’s an above average hitter against lefties and definitely better defensively over Moose and Suarez.

    And I would start Barnhart at catcher against some lefties, putting Stephenson at first.

    Reply
    • 2020ball

      Thats essentially replacing Votto with Barnhart, another lefty, so personally id just have TS catch. If the Reds had a more obvious playoon partner for Votto then Id be all for sitting him vs LHP. You can maybe make a case defensively for the alignment you proposed.

      Reply
      • wkuchad

        True, Barnhart is also a lefty, but he hits lefties much better than Votto. Barnhart is close to a league average hitter in 2021, with pretty even splits versus righties and lefties.

        Votto on the other hand is well below average versus lefties in 2021 (and also 2020 and 2019).

        Now, I wouldn’t bench Votto against every lefty starter, but maybe give him a day off every other lefty, and have him ready to come in off the bench as soon as the lefty starter is out of the game.

      • Jim Walker

        Exactly. And dying for offense something they should be doing is flipping the catcher rotation to get Stephenson into more games for more PAs.

      • 2020ball

        Something else the Reds are dying for is defense, and as much as I like TS, barnhart is huge for that. Personally I havent minded the current PT split myself, id wager it looks more even next season.

  24. Stoney

    Great write up. Couldn’t agree more. It’s not too late but something needs to be done now! At least go down fighting with your best team and athletes on the field. With Bell you have to take the decisions out of his hands. If Brach is around Bell will use him most likely at the most in opportune time like last night! Clearly what’s been going on the past few weeks isn’t working. Time to change it up!!

    Reply
  25. BK

    Could not agree more:

    – Promote Barrero to play SS everyday; DFA Cabrera to create roster spot
    – Platoon Farmer and Moose (Schrock once Winker is healthy)
    – Promote Moreta into the bullpen; DFA Brach to create roster spot

    Way past time to put the best players on the roster and in the daily lineup.

    Reply
    • 2020ball

      heh, no the party isnt over, we just need the FO to do a beer run

      Reply
      • RedsMonk65

        Ha! I like that….

        (They better get a move on, though!)

  26. CI3J

    I would love for a Reds’ reporter to ask Bell, point blank: “You had Jose Barrero on your team for 12 days in August. During that time, you gave him a grand total of 12 at-bats, and only 3 starts. Can you explain why you chose to stick with Kyle Farmer in that situation?” Bell’s answer would be very informative. Unless Barrero had an injury or was sick and we didn’t know about it, literally nothing Bell could say would justify his actions.

    If I had to guess, Bell’s answer would either be “Farmer was one of the best offensive players in baseball in July. You have to ride the hot hand.”, even though by the time Barrero was called up on August 16th, Farmer had already reverted to his career norm of being a below average offensive player.

    Or, if Bell said something like “Barrero has to earn his playing time. Farmer is a pro, he’s earned the right to play.”, I might just break a window. First of all, HOW CAN BARRERO “EARN” HIS PLAYING TIME IF HE’S NEVER GIVEN THE CHANCE? Second of all, as stated elsewhere, Farmer is a career below average hitter, and he’s 31 years old.

    Bell reminds me of your old uncle who is still rocking an iPhone 4, and you offer him your old iPhone 8 because you yourself just upgraded, and your uncle not only refuses, he gets ANGRY you even offered. “What do I need that for? My iPhone 4 still works just fine!” While technically true, it’s also patently ridiculous to still be using a phone with a comparatively tiny screen, 16GB of storage, 512MB of RAM, whose last OS update came out 5 years ago and apps can’t be updated any more because they aren’t compatible, and the battery has degraded to the point it only lasts about 30 minutes unplugged. That’s what Kyle Farmer represents, and that’s who Bell chose (chooses?) to stick with.

    Like your old uncle, it’s patently ridiculous, and I would love to hear Bell’s explanation, no matter how wrong it is.

    Reply
  27. Steven Ross

    Farmer is not the problem. Highest fielding percentage of any Reds SS since 1901. Yeah, let’s bench him. You don’t do that to a player who’s done nothing wrong. Larkin and Brantley have raved about him. That’s good enough for me.

    Why Moreta isn’t here and Brach DFA is one of life’s mysteries. Stick with Moose at 3rd. He has a history of hitting in big situations. We know Suarez can’t hit this year.

    Reply
    • burtgummer01

      Exactly !!!
      Some people here are blind about things

      Reply
      • Frankie Tomatoes

        Yes they are. Like the fact that Kyle Farmer actually is a part of the problem.

        Did you not read the article? He had a .592 OPS from April through June. He has an OPS of .614 since the start of August. To say that he is not a part of the problem while he’s out there hitting like Billy Hamilton is what I would consider being blind about things.

        Say it with us: The Reds offense is not playing well and Kyle Farmer is a very big part of that.

      • Arthur

        I, for one, have NEVER called for Farmer’s benching.

        Slide him to 3rd. He will be excellent there.

        The pitching staff will meet somewhere secretly and have a grand celebration.

      • MBS

        You can’t bench Farmer, because he is a bench player. The fact that he’s been starting was out of necessity, not design. Barrero is the better option.

    • Michael

      @Steven,

      The reds have scored one run in 9 of the last 11 games. Over the last 15 games (reds 5-10) his slash line is 179/203/304. Farmer is a huge problem.

      If we want to argue that sample size is too small then lets look at last 30 games. 239/260/359.

      Reply
      • greenmtred

        For much of the season, the Reds’ offense has been among the best in the game. During this recent bad stretch, nobody, with the possible exceptions of India and Castellanos, has been hitting very well. If Farmer is a “huge” problem, he’s got lots of company. I understand that he’s the topic because many of us have come to believe that a lightly tested rookie is the answer to the current slide. I hope that proves to be the case, but I don’t share others’ moral certainty on this issue. And I celebrate Farmer’s contributions to the team: without him, it’s unlikely that we’d still be discussing the WC game.

    • Luke J

      Fielding percentage is a relatively tiny part of overall defensive value. The fact that you are only looking at that stat to justify your position speaks volumes.

      Reply
  28. Bet on Red

    the Barrero situation will resolve itself as soon as Farmers wife goes into labor. Brach needs to be DFA’d. This kid in the minors seems to not have trouble with minor league pitching. Time to test him against other major leaguers. AG is better then Brach right now. Art Warren is not too far in the future either. I understand Sims needing the night off but you need people there so people can take the night off. Reds should beat Happ in the third game of the STL, so they need to take one of the first two as well. Not as down on the reds chances as others here

    Reply
    • 2020ball

      “Not as down on the reds chances as others here”

      +1

      Reply
  29. Daytonnati

    I still remember my Econ 101 professor emphasizing that “all interest is self.” Ergo, if Krall and Bell’s livlihoods depend on winning baseball games, then I assume that the decisions they are making are what they believe will help them win baseball games. Their chosen careers depend on it. So, the personnel decisions, the lineup construction, the in-game switches and decisions are done in “good faith” that they will increase the Reds’ chances of winning.

    What we don’t know are the conditions that Krall and Bell are operating under. Ownership might believe that, while winning baseball games is nice, it is not as important as turning a profit. Win or lose, the bobbleheads and the caps and the Fatheads and the fireworks are all “free” – if you buy a ticket. Which reminds me of another Econ maxim: “if something is free, then you are probably the product.”

    Reply
    • old-school

      While all interest is self, Its in Krall and Bell’s self interest to give every opportunity to “their” guys who they brought in as part of “their” plan. Why did hoffman last so long as starter? He’s Kralls guy who he traded for Stephenson. Why did Doolittle and Hembree each get 45 appearances and brach 35 appearances and carson fulmer 20 appearances and Cionel Perez and Josh Osich extended looks? They were Kralls bullpen plan after slashing salary. Why is Farmer starting every game at SS after Suarez failed at SS? That ended up being the Krall/Bell plan after doing nothing to address the position in the off-season. Playing Barrero at SS and Farmer at 3b and benching $25 million worth of Moose/Saurez wont look good to the ownership group.

      Krall constructed this roster and in the off-season did nothing to address the bullpen or SS and he wants his guys to get every opportunity to prove him correct. Every time one of his bullpen guys gets cut or Suarez or Moose get benched – it makes his plan look bad.

      The reason Akiyama is sitting despite his salary suggests he wasnt a Krall/Bell guy when Williams signed him so they don’t care about benching him. He wasnt “their guy”. He was Dick Williams guyand marketing guru and COO Phil Castellini’s guy.

      Reply
      • Alan Horn

        You may have pinned the tail on the donkey. If it is mostly Krall, why haven’t the owners and Buddy Bell intervened? If it is more than Krall involved that may explain why Buddy let’s his son take so much heat. But again, who knows for sure what is going on in closed meetings. There may be conflict we aren’t aware of.

    • TR

      Often known as the dismal science, but there’s a lot of truth there.

      Reply
  30. old-school

    Agree Doug.
    I would amplify the defense at 3b. If the Reds are going to shift you cant have Suarez or Moose playing SS hole. Moose was embarrassing trying to field that ball last night as the only fielder on the left side of the infield in the traditional SS hole.

    You cant afford to have Suarez or Moose at 3b in tight games and neither can hit.
    I wouldnt have a problem with Moose at 3b against some righties and Farmer at 3b against lefties and Farmer in all late inning situations at 3b.

    But, adopt plan B for the shift. A large household appliance as the only object on the left side of the infield in the SS hole is slightly less mobile than Moose or Suarez.
    Just go back to opening day for Suarez SS performance and Moose error last night.

    Reply
  31. Tom Mitsoff

    By DFA’ing veterans, you’re asking the front office to pay them to not play for the Reds. That is clearly something they want to avoid. There is no other rationale for Brach still being on the roster.

    Reply
    • wkuchad

      But it seemed they rushed him back to the majors. He had plenty of time left on his rehab time, right? So why not keep him down as long as possible in case another bullpen pitcher got hurt?

      Reply
      • Arthur

        Because Suarez was smoking it with a .171 BA, and they were desperate?

    • Alan Horn

      Agree 100% Tom. That and looking bad for signing them to start with. Dropping them impacts or handicaps the team for several seasons versus the slim hope they can rebound , be of some help to the team and the ownership can save face.

      Reply
  32. Frankie Tomatoes

    There are a lot of changes that should take place. These two just feel like obvious ones.

    How the team deals with whatever is happening at third base this offseason will be a very big deal.

    Reply
    • wkuchad

      Reds can’t eat two large contract like Suarez and Moose. Moose has been an above average hitter most of career, including last year and including this year before going on the injured list. You almost have to roll the dice with him next year. Hopefully a healthy offseason of getting in shape and rehabbing will bring back a solid hitter vs righties with passable defense next year.

      Reply
      • Frankie Tomatoes

        I would be amazed and surprised if the Reds ate a contract there. But if they go with Moose at third that means Suarez is not really playing. That might be the right move but it is one that would be surprising too. If the NL gets the DH that could solve a problem in terms of how to play both guys a bit more. Whether that solves the problem of improving the lineup or not is another story. At this point I have more faith in Moose hitting again than Suarez who just has not been the same since his shoulder injury.

  33. bug

    100% agree with you, Doug!!! It does not take a genius to figure this out. But for the life of me I can’t understand why the decision makers can’t figure it out. D they not have eyes? Do they not know anything at all about baseball?? I wonder if someone is blackmailing someone??? There’s no good reason I can think of that they could not see it as simply as you and almost all the other fans see it. Play players who can hit a baseball, and sit players who can’t. Pitch pitchers who can get people out, and send broke arm pitchers down. The only other thing I would add to your right on the money assessment is that at the end of this year, we need a new manager!!! Bell never learns. He makes the same mistakes over and over and over. Either he has the power to make out the line ups, and therefore is to blame for making some of these decisions, or he has no authority on his own and has to do what the higher ups tell him to do. If we could eliminate all the dumb moves he’s made this year (for two years now actually), then we would not be where we are. We’d be preparing for the post season instead of fighting tooth and nail just to possibly get there.

    Reply
    • wkuchad

      “I wonder if someone is blackmailing someone?”

      This is where I stopped reading your post, lol.

      Reply
      • bug

        I was being facetious, Chad. Ever heard of being facetious with a comment??

  34. redsfan4040

    Barrero is curently at 79 MLB at bats. Maybe the Reds are trying to make sure that he doesn’t make it to 130 ABs so that he is still rookie eligible next year and can give them a run at 2 consecutive ROY candidates. (sarcasm, I think)

    Reply
  35. DaveCT

    Kralling to the 2nd Wildcard isn’t acceptable.

    It’s unbearable to watch.

    Reply
  36. BZ

    When Bell made his comments after Barrero was called up, I knew the Reds had no real desire to make a push for the playoffs. It was at that point that I quit watching the Reds nightly and quit being heavily invested in their outcome. You don’t lose one of your best hitters and just sit on your hands when you have options available. When Barnhart plays, the Reds have 5 automatic outs and they are okay with that.

    Reply
    • burtgummer01

      .267 batting and is the best defensive catcher in mlb smh

      Reply
      • BZ

        I’m not exactly sure what his defense has to do with the lineup not producing offensively but I do know him not having an OBP over .306 in any month since May has played a part in it.

    • Alan Horn

      Barnhart is not part of the problem. He is not as good a hitter as Stephenson but he is a Gold Glove defender hitting in the .260s. That is an asset. I would try to re sign him with reduced playing time in favor of Stephenson. In fact they can re sign him . Just for 7.5 million. I would also try to negotiate a longer contract for less per year.

      Reply
      • BZ

        He absolutely is part of the offensive problem. I’m not sure how that is even a debate. You can acknowledge a players defensive value and still acknowledge their offensive deficiencies in an offense that is struggling. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

      • 2020ball

        He’s hitting league avg for his position, so no he’s not part of the problem.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Well, his OPS+ is 91. So, that would put him below league average. As well as, this has been his 2nd most productive season so far offensively.

        Who’s to say that Stephenson wouldn’t be a GG himself? I mean, when he was drafted, from what I recall, it wasn’t for his offensive prowess; it was anything but that. It was his defensive prowess.

    • bug

      I agree, BZ. Barnhart is a great catcher (as far as blocking the ball, and calling pitches, and not committing many errors,…but he’s no help at the plate. I also do NOT like how he positions his mitt for a target,..i.e. he places it way outside the strike zone. And too many of the pitchers then try to hit his mitt and throw way too many balls because of it. Stephenson does NOT do that!!! Noe does almost any catcher that I see in the ML It’s one thing to put your mitt on the corners where you want the pitch, or high or low. But I was a pitcher once,..and I tried to hit the catcher’s mitt with my pitches. And I think too many of the Reds pitchers do the same with Barnhart, and end up throwing too many balls and walking too many batters. Jmo. But your point is well taken. Give me Stephenson all day every day unless he needs a rest.

      Reply
      • Jim Walker

        Barnhart learned his craft working almost exclusively with 4A and worse pitchers until deep into his MLB career. Not surprisingly. he appears to not trust a pitcher’s stuff to get the job done. His bias is to go for swinging strikes on pitches out of the zone versus pitching to controlled contact on the pitcher’s terms.

        As Welch and Brantley often point out, every pitch needs to look like it has a chance to be called strike coming out of the pitcher’s hand. Too often this is not the case because the Reds pitchers are nibbling, trying to make a perfect pitcher’s pitch and lose count advantage. Then ironically, they end up needing to throw more of a hitter’s pitch than was required when they were ahead in the count.

      • bug

        Jim Walker,..you hit the nail right on the head with everything you just said!!!!! Our pitchers have the talent and pitches,..but they are generally nibblers,..afraid to trust their stuff,..always pitching behind in the count (which is in the batter’s favor). That stuff is defensive pitching. Pitch aggressively. Throw STRIKES!!! Get ahead in the count, instead of behind. Believe in your stuff. That is the mentality all pitchers need to have. You might get hit hard at times,..but over all you’ll get hit a lot harder if you spend your time trying to get a batter to swing at a pitch 3 feet out of the zone. (Not to mention your pitch count will be 80 or more by the time you get to the 5th inning,..if you even make it that far.) It’s a wasted pitch you never should throw. If you are ahead 0 and 2, then you can miss slightly off the corners, or in the dirt. But no one swings at a pitch 10 feet over their head,..except for a couple or three Reds hitters, :). That should be the job of the pitching coach to make sure pitchers believe in their pitches,..and aren’t afraid to throw a strike

    • Arthur

      Jacob Stallings: over 20 defensive runs saved.

      Tyler Stephenson: 4 defensive runs saved.

      Tucker Barnhart: 0 defensive runs saved.

      He’s not even the best defensive catcher on the team.

      Reply
      • indyDoug

        if those stats are accurate they need a new metric

      • Jim Walker

        http://fieldingbible.com/DRSLeaderboard
        Stephenson 4 saved
        Barnhart 0 saved

        I limited it to 500 innings or more and catchers only to get TB and TS both listed and reduce the clutter. If the page doesn’t load that way, use the fill ins and drop downs at the top to set the filters.

        I am not familiar with their criteria or methodology

  37. Scott C

    I think that the ownership, front office and perhaps the manager really don’t want to get in the playoffs, that way they can say “See we competed with our roster.” The shame is that as Doug and most of you are saying is that it wouldn’t take much to be a little better, Barrero, and Morita make the team better. DFA’ing Brach makes the team better

    Reply
  38. Jon

    It’s ridiculous. Playoff chances don’t come around every year, even if you have a talented team. There’s no telling what version of Votto you’ll get next year. Miley may not be brought back next year. Castellanos is unlikely to be back. There’s no guarantee of player health. There’s not even a guaranteed season next year with the CBA expiring. The front office and ownership wasted a golden opportunity to win the division. Until Bob sells the team, the Reds will never get to where they should be.

    Reply
  39. Frank Huiges

    I miss Max Schrock in the 3rd base conversation.
    I agree we need to do something now.

    Plugin Barrero at short seems quite obvious. Third base has been a headache dossier from the get go. I’ve seen enough of Mouse and Suarez, so I would be happy with Farmer and Schrock, and just play the hot hand.

    As for the bullpen, the Moreta number totally speaks for themselves. Give him a shot. We need the energy.

    Reply
  40. Jim Walker

    Going a step beyond, the team is dying for offense, The time has more than come to flip the catching rotation. Stephenson needs to be starting 5 games a week. Whatever advantage Barnhart (might) provide behind the plate, Stephenson’s superior offense outweighs at this point.

    This is basically the same situation as about Farmer vs Barrero at shortstop except that we have 80% of an MLB season which says TS is clearly and away the better offensive player, regardless of the handedness of the opposing pitcher.

    Reply
  41. citizen54

    The Reds probably aren’t making any moves because the FO correctly believes that this team doesn’t have the talent to win the WS. The Reds currently have a .8% chance of winning the WS according to Fangraphs. The Phillies, who only have a 30% chance of reaching the playoffs, have a 1.4% chance. If the Reds made the payoffs they would certainly be the worst of the bunch.

    The Reds are an average team which has had its record inflated by playing well against one particular team. The Reds aren’t a bad team but they aren’t a playoff quality team and the FO recognizes this.

    Reply
    • Luke J

      I’m still waiting on the part of your argument where that means they shouldn’t be trying to win every game. Is that forthcoming?

      Reply
  42. AllTheHype

    Great article. Bottom line is the Reds’ priority is NOT winning. The FO is not fielding the best team, and the manager does not deploy optimal lineups. As bad as Suarez has been for two years, he was batting 4th the other night and 5th other nights as if the year is 2019. I know the bottom of the lineup doesn’t have great options, but Farmer and Barnhart (against RHP) should always be in front of Suarez.

    And while the Reds struggle against LHP, Cabrera has great numbers this year (and career-wise) against LHP, yet he has gotten just one start against them since acquired.

    Add the points in the article, Barrero/Moreta still being held down for really no reason, just makes a person shake their head and wonder what the organization is thinking.

    Reply
  43. Byron

    As much as I hate to admit it, “stick a fork in the Reds ‘21 season, cuz they’re done.”

    Reply
  44. LT

    I find it hard to believe that bringing up a couple unproven players can turn around the season. Didn’t Barrero get called up a game or 2 and failed to get a hit and made an error right? Lopez had a nice debut and then didn’t get another hit? I can’t think of one. If we need to make change just to make change, then ok. If Naquin, Nick, or Votto, one of them or 2 of them just heat back up, it will change the offense dynamics more then just themselves. It’s different to pitch to the back end of the order with men on vs base empty. That’s my only hope. Other than that one blown out game, if offense was what it was, we would have won most of the games we lost. Just my humble opinion.

    Reply
    • Indy Red Man

      Barrero got a grand total of 12 at-bats. Here’s a kid with a .986 ops at Louisville? He’s athletic and has speed/range. Things the Reds desperately lack. We’re running guys out there that are so slow/lethargic that they won’t even run to 3rd on a wild pitch with a play at the plate?

      Now would 1 rookie make a huge difference? Probably not, but everyone’s point is valid. I’ve been complaining about Tucker > Stephenson all year! Tucker is on radio/tv here in Indy and he’s a swell guy, but we need runs and TS is far far superior offensively! I’m not watching any longer. I just record and fast forward. Its too irritating when you see what Milwaukee does by comparison. J Bradley Jr and Hiura sucked so they removed them from the lineup. Problem solved. Bell and the FO give 70% so when the music stops they’ll be without a chair…..as usual!

      Reply
    • Arthur

      Barrero has had a grand total of 14 plate appearances this year. He has 2 hits, a double, a walk, and a HBP. He has one error- playing second base, where he should never be asked to play.

      Hardly a sufficient basis to make a judgement as to his abilities.

      I believe that, of all the games in which he played the field – the Reds lost only once.

      Reply
    • BZ

      Do you really fail to see how potentially upgrading a quarter of your underproducing lineup can help the Reds score runs?

      Reply
  45. Indy Red Man

    Starling Marte just stole 2nd for the A’s. 44 of 47 on steals. They tried to pick him off 2nd and he scored on a wild throw. Thats how you pressure teams! Speed doesn’t slump! I’d take him in a heartbeat if Nick leaves or trade Gray or Miley to fit him in.
    The Reds are just too unathletic as currently constructed.

    Reply
    • Arthur

      Marte is having a really nice season. But his contract expires this year – don’t have to trade anyone to get him.

      He is -1 defensive runs saved – which on THIS team makes him their best defensive OF.

      He would be a free agent worth considering. Good avg, good speed, and better defense than we currently have. I would want them to consider him even if Nick comes back.

      But I wouldn’t even consider trading Miley or Mahle to get him.

      Reply
    • Old-school

      We all love Nick C but hes not coming back. He’s a likely NL Silver Slugger and will get a huge FA contract like Bauer got one and the Reds will take the high value draft pick that comes with NC signing over $50 million.

      The Reds have 3 huge issues to fix in the off-season.

      1.) Bullpen and specifically a good FA lefty and good closer.
      2.) Fix the offense against lefties.
      3.) Add speed and defense.

      Marte might be part of 2 of those 3. If he could be had for a reasonable contract and not paying him when hes old and slow, put him in RF. Trade Sonny Gray’s 2 years of control to the Twins for Byron Buxton’s 1 year as the principles of a trade and that would make the reds fast and great defensively with Barrero India Buxton and Marte.

      Winker can just be hidden in LF as he slashes .300/.400/.520
      Put Moose as the DH against righties and Stephenson as the DH against lefties and Stephenson as the primary catcher.

      Suarez? No idea. Naquin Senzel and Farmer would be elite bench players when the inevitable injuries occur.

      Reply
      • Votto4life

        I think the Reds really need to face reality and realize that to compete for a championship the team really needs some
        re-tooling. The current roster is poorly constructed.

        If all the Reds do this winter is acquire a “poor man’s” Nick Castallanos then the off-season will be wasted. They won’t come close to replacing NC’s production.

        I agree with you that Nick C. Is the key. IMO if you pull him out of equation the house comes crashing down.

        Imagine how the Red’s will look without their RH hitting MVP candidate in the line up. Talk about being weak against lefties.

        There is no replacing NC. When Bauer left it was manageable because our starting rotation was a strength. Right Handed power is a weakness on this current team.

        If Nick opts for free agency (and he will) the Reds will not outbid teams for his services. This is why I think they should punt on 2022 and 2023.

        The Reds should trade Gray, Miley and Mahle and get what they can for them. When the bad contracts come off the books after 2024 then they can lock up the young players who have established themselves and maybe sign a free agent or two to address weaknesses.

        Yes, it will be a painful two or three seasons, but with the young players the Reds have in their system it should not be as bad or nearly as long as the last rebuild.

      • 2020ball

        I guess I just don’t understand why people want to sell all the time, I’d personally find it very annoying if my team isn’t trying to win. Fans apparently just love constantly rebuilding for some reason. Forget of course how that looks to the young core we have. Plus 2024 is when they’re getting to FA, do they really want to stay with a team that hits the panic button after a season in which they were competing for the playoffs?

      • AllTheHype

        Agree 2020, why sell now when your top prospects are seasoned/ready + you have a ROY and another top 5 ROY on the team now? You don’t rebuild just because you have a couple bad contracts. You rebuild if you have no young talent in your organization. That is definitely not the case.

        You’re ALWAYS going to have underperforming contracts. Reds need to eat one of those contracts in trade, keep the other one and hope for the best with that one. If that guy doesn’t bounce back, you’ve only got one guy to sit, not two.

  46. Bob Purkey

    Ditto on all of the above comments on Moreta and Barrero. . .

    The dead wood just needs to “hit the bricks” or the bench, which ever comes last:
    Shogo
    Geno
    Garrett
    Hoffman
    Moose
    Cabrera

    They provide absolutely nothing. They will never get rid of the Suarez and Moose contracts, but they need to be pinch hitters and nothing more. If Senzel isn’t healthy next spring, then he needs to go too! Enough already.

    Without Castellanos next year, this team will need to be pitching and defense. Use Miley’s option, and adding Greene, Lodolo and Moreta might allow you to move a starter for a hitting OF(if you can’t re-sign Castellanos. . . FAT CHANCE!)

    Reply
    • Jim Nightshade

      Well, Shogo is probably the best defender on the team. He hasn’t hit, that’s true, but to act like he is not valuable is disingenuous. You don’t have to worry about his defense , nor his effort. He is not completely one dimensional. I can’t say the same with the most of the rest of that list.

      Reply
    • Alan Horn

      They have reverse logic. They keep trying to turn their toads into Cinderella. They don’t even wait for midnight.

      Reply
  47. Jim Delaney

    Agree in promotions for Barrero and Moreta but this team shouldn’t be fighting for just the 2nd wildcard. Ownership, front office, manager, pitching coach, etc mishandled the assembly if the bullpen from the off season, through spring training and over half the season..if they had deeper bullpen with proven arms from Game one they would be comfortably in front in wild card hunt and likely on Brewers heels. Also, trusting that Denzel would be back this year was a huge mistake. They could have Kris Bryant and he would have been huge help against LH pitching. With Bryant the injury to Winker would have hurt less. While I agree the youngsters would help now. I am not going to forget to place the blame back at ownership and front office. Unacceptable that they did so little to help this team make push for playoffs…

    Reply
  48. Roger Garrett

    Great article Doug.Nothing else really to add but why do you think the Reds are so reluctant to do what appears to be so obvious?

    Reply
    • BK

      I would love to see Trent Rosecrans or Bobby Nightengale dig into this in the off-season. How the Reds made their decisions to not use either Barrero or Moreta would be a fascinating read.

      Reply
  49. LeRoy

    How can anyone say the Reds would look bad for signing big contracts and not playing Suarez or Moose. They should be totally embarrassed to play two players who are making the team look bad. Not playing or even trying to bring up prospects to help in this situation is much worse than setting those not contributing to the Reds chances to win. The only way to keep from looking bad is to win. Bring up Barreos, Moreta, and Lopez and let them play. Moves like this would make the fans feel like buying tickets and think ownership cares.

    Reply
  50. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Honestly, I will state, I can’t help thinking we could use a new manager. At minimum, Bell has to change how he manages his bullpen. I do contribute some losses not at much on the bullpen but on Bell’s management of the bullpen.

    I mean, Bell has to know that our bullpen is our biggest weakness. But, when we get a reliever come in and have a good quick inning, Bell will still pull them after that one inning. I would think Bell would have learned by now that odds would be fantistically in favor of keeping that reliever in, as far as making sure we have a good pitcher on the mound, over bringing in a new reliever from our bullpen after only one inning.

    Hey, if we had a relieving core where we could go from one pitcher to the next without a drip in effectiveness, great. Then, I would be all for this one inning stuff. But, we don’t have that. The bullpen is our biggest weakness. You don’t take out someone doing good and replace them with someone who is struggling.

    I mean, this is High School Managing 101, I believe. Just pitiful managing, I believe.

    Oh, I do believe Bell has done a good job with the comraderie part, and building a cohesive locker room. But, winning and having successful players can do that, also.

    Reply
    • 2020ball

      “when we get a reliever come in and have a good quick inning, Bell will still pull them after that one inning”

      Jesus I wish people would drop this silly argument, Bell did this at the beginning of the year and all that happened was both our top BP options ended up injured. Yall just want to overwork our top arms, and supposedly that’s good BP management. Plus whatever fantasy manager you want instead is just going to do the same thing.

      Reply
      • Luke J

        No one is talking about overworking arms. Real quality bullpen management can involve having middle relievers who pitch more than one inning, and also making schedules that preserve arms. You can do that without overworking the bullpen, while also keeping guys knowing when they will be pitching (which is the biggest problem with Bell’s style). It is just wrong to think those two things are mutually exclusive.

      • greenmtred

        Don’t you think it’s possible that Bell’s bullpen management is dictated by the bullpen available to him? One likely reason he shies away from using one of his few good guys for multiple innings is probably that he has so few good guys–it’s easy to criticize him for saving players for the next game, but the next game will arrive anyway, and, with it, the need for a relief pitcher or two who has a prayer of getting guys out.

      • burtgummer01

        Hey greenmtred.How dare you use common sense with all these armchair managers

      • Luke J

        @greenmtred I specifically think that is a big part of Bell’s problem. He doesn’t think he has the players to get the job done. And in doing so, he is afraid to set up a bullpen schedule like he should. Sure, the roster isn’t his fault. But he still needs to manage it appropriately. And as Brantley has pointed out over and again, a bullpen pitcher simply cannot be effective if they don’t have a schedule and have no idea when they are going to pitch each night. And THAT is on Bell. He is taking a shaky bullpen and making them even worse. He’s putting them in a position where they can’t succeed. And like it or not, that isn’t good management of the pen. You have to take the good with the bad. Recognize there will be games your bullpen blows a win. But make sure not to overreact to that and keep on the plan (which you have to have a plan first). That way players can train on their days off to prepare for days they know they will be pitching. You simply can’t have half your bullpen pitching once a week and think they will be successful.

        @burtgummer01 I’ve been a bullpen pitcher at the college level. I have a bit of understanding of what is required to keep a pen fresh and ready to perform. Bell has never once been in that position. Not saying I’m a better manager than Bell, of course. But let’s not pretend he has any experience at all understanding the nuances of a bullpen pitcher. So you can say we are all armchair managers, but in reality, some of us likely have more experience with pitching than Bell, for sure.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Bell has always done this all season, pulling relievers after one good inning. Which, as I stated, means we may very well get a struggling reliever out there.

        That is one thing I liked about Baker. When he could, he would leave a reliever in for 2 innings, no problem. And, his bullpens never had out-of-normal arm injuries.

        Not to mention, like I stated if we get into one of these longer extra inning games, we quickly find out that we have no relievers to go to. What, start putting starters in?

      • greenmtred

        Luke J, I’m not sure what a bullpen schedule would mean in practice. Wouldn’t the choice of whom to bring in depend a good deal on the specific situation (matchups, condition of different pitchers, upcoming games, and so on)?

  51. Ron

    Very good article. Agree with everything that has been said. Platooning two guys at third base that are not producing doesn’t make sense. Not giving Tyler Stephenson more playing time doesn’t make sense. Continuing to use self-destructing pitchers doesn’t make sense. There is a lot of dead weight on this team. The Reds are only one game out of the wild card, but it seems like more because of the way they’re playing. Suarez, Moose, Shogo, Garrett need to go. Lot of money to eat? Sure is. If you’re not willing to eat contracts, then don’t agree to them in the first place. It’s kind of like going to a casino. You only take what you’re willing to lose. If you don’t want to lose it, stay at home.

    Reply
  52. Jim Walker

    Moreta worked another inning tonight (Thursday) at AAA, 16 pitches to close out a 6-3 Louisville win. He also worked Wednesday night, 10 pitches in a 7-1 Louisville win. So, the Reds will probably either call him up but let him sit for a day because he isn’t available or call up somebody else and say he wasn’t called up because he wasn’t available.

    Reply
  53. TR

    Big series coming up, to say the least, but so far, no major roster moves to try and revitalize the Reds and nail down NL WC2. Then, after St. L., a series coming up with a so-called easy team.

    Reply
  54. AMDG

    When the Reds refused to play Barrero, and then sent him down to AAA and signed Cabrera, it was apparent that making moves to win baseball games was beyond management’s comprehension.

    Good teams try to get their best players to play the most often. Meanwhile, the Reds took the opposite strategy in 2021 playing Suarez, Farmer, Moose & Shogo way too much.

    Granted, Farmer gave them a fluke month, but since then he is slashing 0.211 / 0.235 / 0.339 and yet they still play him every day like he is in the midst of that stretch of unprecedented success with the bat.

    Reply
  55. Luke J

    Barrero in the lineup tonight and Farmer not. I assume that means Farmer’s wife is having/had their baby. I wish them well of course. And wish Jose well also. I hope he gets some regular playing time this time around and gets a chance to bloom.

    Reply
    • RedsMonk65

      Yes, Farmer was placed on the paternity list (congratulations to the new Mommy and Daddy), and Barrero was recalled from AAA.

      Let’s roll — beat dem Dirty Birds!

      Reply

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