The Reds led early. And then they led late, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead as Atlanta scored a run in the bottom of the 7th and another one in the bottom of the 8th as they came from behind to beat Cincinnati 5-4 and complete a 3-game sweep.
|Cincinnati Reds (4-7)||4||5||0|
|Atlanta Braves (9-5)
|W: Yates (1-0) L: Farmer (0-3) SV: Minter (2)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati wasted no time in getting their offense going on Wednesday night. Jonathan India singled up the middle to start the game. TJ Friedl then followed up with his own single before both advanced a base on a fly out by Jake Fraley. That brought Tyler Stephenson to the plate with an opportunity to cash in with two runners in scoring position and he did just that as he singled into right, with Friedl just beating the throw home with a headfirst slide that made it 2-0.
Hunter Greene was able to work around a leadoff double in the 1st inning to keep Atlanta off of the scoreboard. In the second inning he was going to have to try and do it again after Eddie Rosario doubled to lead off. Ozzie Albies followed up with a single and then Greene hit Orlando Arcia on an 0-2 pitch to load the bases. Greene struck out the next two batters, but Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a seeing-eye single just past a diving Jose Barrero to bring in two runs and tie the game up. Matt Olson would strike out to end the inning.
The Reds offense went back to work in the top of the 3rd. Jonathan India and TJ Friedl repeated what they did in the 1st and had back-to-back singles to lead things off. It appeared that Jake Fraley struck out, but the umpires ruled a disengagement violation that eliminated the strikeout pitch and Fraley wound up walking to load the bases. Wil Myers then picked up an RBI on a ground out that put Cincinnati up 3-2. Atlanta got that run back in the bottom of the inning after Austin Riley singled and then scored on a double into left field by Sean Murphy.
Hunter Greene settled in after that, giving up just one hit over the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings. He would finish the night allowing three runs in 6.0 innings with no walks and with 10 strikeouts. His offense put him in line for a win when TJ Friedl continued to rake and picked up a 2-out RBI single to put Cincinnati up 4-3 in the top of the 7th.
The bullpen erased that win opportunity for Greene with a quickness. Ian Gibaut walked the #9 hitter to lead off the inning, who then stole second base, and scored on a single by Ronald Acuna Jr. He attempted to steal second base as well, but a good catch and tag on a short hop by Jose Barrero from Luke Maile nailed him at the bag for the first out of the inning. Gibaut would work around a second walk in the inning to keep the game tied up.
Buck Farmer took over for Gibaut in the bottom of the 8th inning and he gave up a lead off home run to Eddie Rosario that put Atlanta back on top, 5-4. It was the first home run he had allowed in nearly a year – the last one coming on April 20th of 2022. The Braves called on A.J. Minter to come out and try to seal a victory and he did just that as Atlanta completed a 3-game sweep of the Reds.
Key Moment of the Game
Eddie Rosario’s lead off home run in the bottom of the 8th inning that put the Braves ahead.
Notes Worth Noting
Joey Votto went 1-1 with 3 walks on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville.
Buck Farmer has taken the loss in three of the 11 games that the Cincinnati Reds have played.
TJ Friedl remains on fire at the plate. He went 3-4 and is hitting .350/.395/.600 on the season.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies vs Cincinnati Reds
Thursday April 13th, 6:40pm ET
Bailey Falter (0-1, 2.61 ERA) vs Nick Lodolo (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
Maybe we should all start watching the Daytona team instead.
Louisville is 2-9 with Joey Votto and Nick Senzel as a big part of the team.
2 players don’t make a winning team
Keep that headline at the ready, Doug. Seems like we’ll need some variation of it on a regular basis.
The frustration continues … back to GABP tomorrow.
Overall good start by H Greene tonight. Just like G Ashcraft last night, and a great start by N Lobolo. However, someone needs to sit down with Bob C and Nick K, (I wish I could) and carefully and specifically explain to both of them in great detail that it doesn’t matter how good the starting pitching is and does, if you don’t have a decent bullpen…the Reds are going to blow leads and end up losing. You cannot just get relief pitchers off the scrap heap and on the cheap, and expect to win! One problem the relief pitchers do….is walk too many batters, usually they walk the first one they face. Also, I don’t think this thing with Wil Myers will work out, I have a buddy that follows the Padres, and Wil Myers strikes out way too much….always has! I don’t think that changes with the Reds!
We did practically nothing to address the bullpen this off season. I’m a krall believe but he convinced himself the last 8 weeks of 2022 were an indication the bullpen was fixed. Nothing further from the truth. And then counting on 3 injury prone pitchers to come back in 2023.
We simply have 1 decent bullpen arm. DJ has had plenty of time to find some young arms and develop them into bullpen pieces. This should have been fixed by now.
Kudos to Greene getting thru 6th inning and the offense for playing hard for the whole series. That Atlanta team is good.
The Reds didn’t believe the bullpen was adequate. They are tanking.
I think it is time we admit that DJ isn’t the “Pitching whisperer” he gets credit for being.
The same Nick Krall that people, on here, fall all over themselves to praise is the same Nick Krall who felt spending money on Will Meyer was a better idea than addressing this inept bullpen.
I will say, though, in Krall’s defense, the Castellini’s should have provided him another $25 Million, this past off-season, for him to sign a starter and a couple of bullpen arms.
It wouldn’t have been that much money, but it would have gone a long way to improve this team.
Myers was needed for his first base ability not knowing what Votto would do and we still dont know that so its Vosler and Myers and Benson in a battle for K’s. Myers gives you an insurance policy and flexibility and OF and 1b depth on a 1 year low risk contract. He’s been poor so far though and does seem a bit disinterested. Maybe he doesnt like playing in Cincy after spending his career in Tampa and San Diego. He sure looked miserable that first cold weekend with the gator covering his entire face.
I would have signed Josh Bell as FA and plugged him in at 1b/DH and signed 2 bullpen guys and a good catcher and a mid rotation starter. Thats costs money which apparently Castellini wouldnt authorize.
Yeah, the Red’s have become like the Netflix series “Last Chance U.” If you can’t get the contract you want, go play for the Reds for four months, re-establish your career and get traded to a contender at the trading deadline.
The problem is for that to work, you have to produce. Meyers will probably bounce back, but right now it’s easy to see why he didn’t land the contract he wanted.
Old School, as you mentioned, Meyers doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself. I wonder if that is a Cincinnati thing or a Wil Meyers thing? I didn’t really follow him that much before he signed here.
I think there are some players who just don’t like playing baseball. I get that sense from Nick Senzel sometimes. I also got it from Adam Dunn and Austin Kerns back in the day.
You can argue signing Myers should have been spent on 1 or 2 bullpen arms. I think these starting pitchers will suffer mental fatigue if they do not get results with good starts.
I’m pretty sure they are aware. I’mm pretty sure they are not worried mych about wins and losses in 2023… or 2022 for that matter
And this is why the Commissioner should find a way to force a change in the ownership of teams that behave like the Reds ownership is behaving.
Question for everyone on the board: if a changing ownership met relocation of the team, would that be your preference given the alternative? In the year 2023 does it really matter so much?
The Carolina Panthers are owned by a man named David Tepper. Tepper has more money than God. You can look it up. I would love for him to buy the team and although I would prefer to keep it in Cincinnati, in the end, he could locate it anywhere he prefers.
Pete that a false dichotomy, the Reds are not leaving Cincinnati. MLB would never approve it. The Reds have a lease with the City of Cincinnati until 2037. There is no way they are moving before then. The A’s have been trying to leave Oakland for decades. MLB want to expand their markets, not move them around.
As Jim suggest, I think there’s a chance at some point, MLB will get involved, to stop this tanking non-sense. It is not in the best interests of baseball, to allow owners to destroy baseball markets.
Pete – according to this article a number of teams are ahead of North Carolina in terms of acquiring a Major League Baseball team.
Not spending money on relievers seems to be where small market teams stretch the dollar
Dozens of pitchers will come up through the system and flame out as starters. When Reds ever decide to make a run again, these guys will find themselves in the pen on rookie contracts.
Think Abbott, Williamson, Stoudt, etc. There’s only 5 spots in the rotation
Vosler 0-4 with 3 Ks and and 4 LOB. Not giving those ABs to a guy who had three hits the night before and hitting .314/.400/.600 is in fact on the manager, Mr. David Bell. A one run loss that potentially didn’t have to be, ON THE MANAGER.
A lot of people seem to think it’s only fair to blame the manager if he makes blatantly stupid in-game substitutions, but the stupid pre-game decisions arguably have more of an impact on the outcome, such as who’s batting in the middle of the lineup and who’s sitting on the bench. Bell is just so bad at all of it. He misuses his talent every night in multiple ways. It’s impossible to know how much of an effect it actually has, but it’s probably significant.
I think it’s positive to think we played good games against the Phillies and braves but 1-5 stings hard.
It’s clear Newman volsler and Myers have contributed nothing not to mention 75% of the bullpen is a hot mess right now.
The most casual loss tonight.
It’s easy to blame the bullpen. And yes they walk too many. What’s DJ doing about it? Lineup construction is on Bell. Why is he starting Myers, Benson, and Vosler and leaving Fairchild and Steer on the bench? Obviously, one of the three have to play – that three catcher thing. Benson needs a trip to Louisville. Fairchild, with the highest OPS on the team should be starting. Vosler? The experiment has failed. Cut him loose. And did Frieda just earn a day on the bench?
“And did Frieda just earn a day on the bench?”
Wouldn’t be surprised. He had three hits tonight. That’s tiresome.
iPad autocorrect can be annoying – not as much as Bell benching a guy after 3 hits, but close
Benson flat out isn’t any good. I’ve seen enough of him to know that and the Guardians knew that as well. Only reason he is playing is because the Reds just can’t admit they were wrong. Same reason Senzel is still around and same reason David Hernandez got ridden into retirement.
Fairchild needs to play everyday. His career splits are actually slightly higher .794 OPS vs RHP than vs LHP so that argument is dumb as well.
I kinda liked one AB that Benson had against Strider; fouled off 8 2-strike pitches of various types and locations, but then struck out. Doing that against a top pitcher indicates to me that he has some talent. Maybe he needs 50 games in AAA, but he is not an empty suit.
At this point, Vosler is just a clean shaven Colin Moran. Moran contributed some long balls for us last spring but the BA/OBP/defense were lacking so he was let go. Vosler looks like an improvement defensively but his time may be short with Joey due to be back in a week.
We get nothing from the bottom of the order and the bullpen is a train wreck, just like last year. Nothing has been done to fix it. Clearly Atlanta is a better team, but the Reds bullpen has to understand that you have to throw the ball over the plate to get them out. We have to do better at home or it’s going to be a lost season again.
Yeah, I think most people here saw that the Red’s big hurdle was their thin starting rotation and weak bullpen. Although, the Bullpen has been good at times, overall there is much room for improvement.
As the season drags on, however, I think the rotation will become the area of chief concern. If one of the top three starters get injured or underperform, the season could get ugly quick.
I think, in a lot of ways, this is a better team than the team we watched last year, but the pitching is still abysmal. Until the pitching is seriously addressed, this team will continue to lose most of their of games.
The top three are likely to run out of innings even if they stay healthy and are performing well.
Always trying to stay optimistic here, so here’s the faintest of praise to offer in your comments – the pitching is ever so slightly less abysmal than last season. At least so far, small sample size notwithstanding.
The 3 young starters clearly started the season ready to go, even with Hunter’s shorter starts. They quickly moved on from Kuhnel, and the failures seem less cataclysmic – they’re losing tighter one-run games instead of crooked numbers and all-around collapses. We could still see Strickland, moving Sousa was mysterious, and the schedule does them no favors.
On offense, the first four in the lineup are proving to be good MLB level talent. I think Myers will come around, and they’re still playing the youngsters to some extent. They need to stick to the promotion plans thru the summer as EDLC/CES/McLain/Marte determine by their performance.
Which returns us to the ongoing concern – front office and field management. Who knows what happens there, but the “interim” manager tag at least handles the budget concern.
I think the ball was over the plate that left the yard, it happens. Also, can’t blame Bell for wrong guy in relief when he had not given up a homer in about 1 year per announcer.
The Reds were never going to eat a full season of David Bell’s contract. However, the deeper we get into the season, the less the Reds have to lose financially.
I suspect if we get too late May and the Reds are 10-15 games under .500, Nick Krall will fire Bell.
Nah, better odds of a contract extension than a firing. And if I’m wrong, that’s a crow sandwich that I’ll relish
LDS, believe me I understand where you are coming from, I started the David Bell deathbed vigil after 3-22 last season and was shocked when he wasn’t fired.
With the Castellinis it all comes down to money. Little Phil said a few months ago the Reds were no longer going to pay players not to play. I am guessing, they were unwilling to pay David Bell not to manage.
If they fire Bell mid-season, they will just have to pay Freddie Benavides pocket change to serve as interim manager. If Freddie wants to be named Bell’s permanent replacement, he will sign for pennies on the dollar.
If David Bell is granted a contract extension, it will be because he will take less money than anyone else in baseball. As you point out, it’s not inconceivable.
I believe DB is one of the lowest paid Managers in MLB
Fire Bell and leave the roster unchanged. If there weren’t people involved, if it were fantasy baseball, I’d be all in. This is baseball. It’s the players. It’s always the players. I understand that it’s much easier and cheaper to fire a manager than it is to address a deficient roster, but if you want to turn a losing team into a winning team, the more difficult and expensive option is the one that works. I’ve been reading RLN through the tenures of a number of managers (can’t remember them all) and a fair number of commenters here have panned them all and blamed them for losses. When people talk about great managers, they are referring to managers who had championship teams. Those teams had strong rosters. When those managers had pedestrian or poor rosters, their teams lost.
Actually @GreenMTred, you’re wrong here. Yes, the roster needs a lot of work. However, as with so many others here, you continue to discount Bell’s inexplicable management of the roster that he does have. For instance, why bench a 25yo (Steer 147 OPS+), 10 games into the season, immediately after a 3 hit game? It’s not the first time he’s pulled such stunts. Why do you keep the team highest OPS (Fairchild 1.137 OPS, 190 OPS+, for the moment at least) on the bench in favor of a guy (Benson) that has one hit on the season and needs more time in AAA? Why does he keeping shuffling the Reds best SS prospect in years to CF so he can play a mediocre journeyman? Why did he continue to go to Strickland last year in high leverage situations when it was clear that he wasn’t up to the challenge? Why does he continue to tolerate poor on-field performance as well as lousy coaching from his staff, e.g., relievers that walk the first batter almost religiously? What happened to the aggressive, competitive strategy employed in ST? The Reds have stolen a grand total of 5 bases thus far this year. Why does he continue to let L/R matchups dominate his thinking when the underlying metrics by player doesn’t support that contention (Fraley’s do). Why does Myers continue to start, other than being the highest paid active player, when it’s obvious that he’s not performing? Currently, he is dramatically underperforming Aquino, who was cut loose. I could write pages on the inexplicable moves of Bell, but I don’t have the time. Bell defenders fall back on the “he knows his players” canard. The “he played MLB and knows more about baseball than you ever will” and so on. His players love him so he must be doing something right? That’s probably true when he continues to start mediocre players that wouldn’t start anywhere else. Sorry that dog doesn’t hunt. Every manager, in the real world, works with constraints, whether budget, staffing, or other and good companies don’t allow those constraints to be used as excuses for continuous failure. No matter how bad the staff/team, correcting the problem always starts with the manager. Always. He’s had his opportunity and he’s failed to deliver. It’s time to move on.
Yes, the roster needs a lot of work. – Agreed!
why bench a 25yo (Steer 147 OPS+), 10 games into the season, immediately after a 3 hit game? – Why not, Steer’s played a ton lately, and we’re getting ready to face two lefty starters. Now seems like a reasonable game for a day off.
Why do you keep the team highest OPS (Fairchild 1.137 OPS, 190 OPS+, for the moment at least) on the bench in favor of a guy (Benson) that has one hit on the season and needs more time in AAA? – Every poster on RLN wanted Benson starting when the season started. I actually agree with you, that Benson needs to go to AAA, but that’s not a Bell decision. But it’s only been a few games, Benson needs to be playing somewhere.
Why does he keeping shuffling the Reds best SS prospect in years to CF so he can play a mediocre journeyman? – Again, this seems reasonable to me. Give Barrero most of the starts at SS (which he has), but continue to give him a little experience in CF (he played there last year), in case we have a mid-year call up of one of our prospects.
Why did he continue to go to Strickland last year in high leverage situations when it was clear that he wasn’t up to the challenge? – I guess I’ll give you this one, but most of the bullpen stunk.
Why does he continue to tolerate poor on-field performance as well as lousy coaching from his staff, e.g., relievers that walk the first batter almost religiously? – Seriously, I don’t even know what to say here.
What happened to the aggressive, competitive strategy employed in ST? The Reds have stolen a grand total of 5 bases thus far this year. – How do you know any of the Reds have a red light.
Why does he continue to let L/R matchups dominate his thinking when the underlying metrics by player doesn’t support that contention (Fraley’s do). – Such as? Everyone mainly complains about pitch hitting for Fraley. His underlying metrics do support that contention.
Why does Myers continue to start, other than being the highest paid active player, when it’s obvious that he’s not performing? – You can’t sign a veteran player as a starter then immediately bench him. If you do, no one would sign with the Reds. The heavy majority of our starting offense are younger guys. I do agree I’m ready to give Myers a couple days off per week to get Fairchild in the lineup more.
I could write pages on the inexplicable moves of Bell, but I don’t have the time. – You just wrote quite a bit, but most complaints just don’t hold water. Bell does plenty to criticize. Such as I understand pinch hitting for Fraley a couple games ago, but then he let Casali hit for himself which makes zero sense to me. But you literally blame Bell for every single loss.
Bell defenders fall back on… – Most of us aren’t Bell defenders, we’re just pushing back on criticisms that don’t make sense.
Every manager, in the real world – That’s where we disagree the most. You’ve compared Bell as a manager to the corporate world a few thousand times on this site. They’re not the same thing, at all. The ‘title’ is the same, but the jobs aren’t comparable.
Well, of course, opinions. Everybody’s got one. And some of us resolutely confuse our opinions for facts. You can safely criticize in-game decisions made by any manager; they all make decisions that don’t work–a pinch-hitter who doesn’t get a hit, a relief pitcher who gives up runs–because you don’t have to account for the fact that your preferred alternative might well have failed, also, but wasn’t tested. Wkuchad: I don’t know the answers to your questions: I’m a fan and don’t have access to much information. As for sitting Steer: maybe–probably–it was a scheduled rest day. It’s a long season and rest days might easily get lost in the shuffle absent a schedule.
GMR, those weren’t my questions. I was responding to LDS’ in the previous post. Should have made that more clear.
Side note: I suppose he could try starting players on another team, though I can see logistical and legal issues with that. He’s got and has had mostly mediocre players. He’s starting India, Stevenson and Friedl. He isn’t skipping over Ashcraft, Greene and Lodolo. He’s starting Steer, who may be a cut above mediocre–most of the time, and Fraley as well. And, considering how the games so far have gone, it would have worked pretty well if the bullpen weren’t mediocre or worse. Don’t mind me, though: I know that this is how you get your kicks; nurturing the bee in your bonnet.
LDS Bell didn’t bench Steer. He gave him a night off. He will be back in lineup tonight if he is healthy.
The responsibility of field management and corporate management is exactly the same – get results. Period. Too many people attribute fundamental differences to athletes, politicians, and numerous other segments of society. In reality, they are fundamentally the same. But I knew I would get the usual responses from the usual people. As a closing comment, if a 25yo needs a rest day after 10 games, he needs to find a new line of work. And the rest theory with Bell doesn’t hold water either. Remember, Votto, regardless of performance, almost never had a day off while the younger guys were rested frequently.
@LDS the fact remains that Steer was not benched as you stated. In your corporate management days I hope your weren’t so loose with the facts. The fact that we differ on some issues also doesn’t make you a usual suspect. Please be bigger then that when you are addressing my comments.
I just read that Buddy Bell still works in the front office. I don’t think there is a chance David Bell is fired in 2023. He may be reassigned at some point. He will not manage the Cincinnati Reds forever.
@JimT, benched, rested, whatever your choice of words, he didn’t play following an outstanding performance. You’ve managed for years as well as served in the military. Is that how you would approach developing young talent? I doubt it.
Oh my LDS.
Since you seem to think it’s the exact same thing, in the corporate world, any of my team members would be ecstatic to be given extra time off for doing a good job.
But it’s not the same, not even close.
wkuchad – “Why not, Steer’s played a ton lately, and we’re getting ready to face two lefty starters. Now seems like a reasonable game for a day off.”
Question: When did the definition of a “ton” of games become 10?
wkuchad – Myers has played just as much as Steer. His numbers are .175/.283/.200 Why was he not given the night off?
Melvin – I never said Steer has played in a ton of games. I said he’s played a ton, as in a lot of the available playing time. I just don’t think an occasional day off for a rookie is bad idea. Plus, we have no idea if he has a small injury. I just don’t think it’s a big deal.
As far as Myers, I’m all for him getting a day off, and soon. Tonight makes no sense, but I wouldn’t complain if he was sitting tomorrow against a righty.
Ok Bell boosters, Friedl had 3 hits yesterday, is hitting .364 against LH’ers and isn’t starting today. Go ahead tell me Bell is acting in the best interest of the team. He sure as heck isn’t looking at the data
greenmtred – We are in LAST PLACE after last night with little hope of coming out of LAST PLACE. Why would we be saving arguably our hottest hitter, a young guy, after just 10 games. What are we saving him for? A pennant run down the stretch in late summer? We’re not saving Myers. He’s played just as much and in the lineup again tonight. I’ll say it right now. David Bell does not know how to win. It has nothing to do with having good/bad players. He had a real good one right under his nose last night and refused to play him. Considering Steer’s numbers and how hot he’s been at the plate, he could have easily made a difference in a one run loss. At the very least David Bell cares more about doing things his own way according to his schedule more than he cares about winning. Period.
Don’t mind me Wkuchad: I was just ranting.
Melvin, we’re probably “saving” guys so they get rest. Long season. I know you’re aware of how many injuries there are in baseball.
greenmtred – We are in LAST PLACE and only played 11 games now. He got a rest after 10. I can understand if a player is showing signs of fatigue as in a 0-20 slump or maybe hitting .175/.283/.200 (Myers). That guy probably needs a day off or more. However it is NOT WISE, if you want to win, to give one of your hottest hitters, who was hitting .314/.400/.600 after his three hits the night before, a “day off”. That’s like pouring cold water on a hot hitter and counterproductive to winning. If he’s not showing signs of slowing down let him go unless he requests a day off. I’m basically not a gambler but I’d just about bet the farm Steer did NOT ask for a day off. If he were to let his feelings be known I’m very confident he WAS NOT happy about it. We are fighting for every run every game just to stay competitive. We cannot afford to do things like other stronger teams. Wait until a player shows that he needs a day off. Not when he’s hitting/playing well. As I’ve said before, even with the Big Red Machine, with all that talent, which this team definitely does not have, I’m very confident Sparky would not have sat a guy who just had three hits the night before. Those players would have “killed him”, figuratively speaking of course, and he knew it. That’s also part of “keeping your players happy” which is what David Bell is SUPPOSED to be real good at.
And next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the Reds will play the Tampa Rays, probably playing the best baseball in …well…baseball right now.
I think they are 11-0, before tonight. They have already hit 29 homers as a team.
Kind of too many dead spots in the lineup and in the bullpen. Hunter was…alright tonight, considering that he did not quite have his primo-fastball. I think he was pretty much in the upper 90’s (fastball).
I really hope he gives Fraley the opportunity to start vs the lefty tomorrow. It’s hard to get better if you don’t get the at bats. He hasn’t looked completely lost this year vs them either. Almost homered in this game against one. Ideally…
I really wanna see Friedl lead off to give India a chance of being a rbi guy. Barrero has looked much more confident the last few games. Even today against an elite pitcher he didn’t look completely terrible despite the strikeouts.
David Bell doesn’t bother me one bit.
He’s doing exactly what he was hired to do — manage in the Cardinals’ way.
If and when that way doesn’t work, in general, a change is needed. But not until then. Sorry, not sorry.
David Bell is not the problem with our team. It’s Ownership. They have no interest in building a winner.
Well, I agree with this but, one of the first thing ownership will do to start building a winner is to fire David Bell and hire an experienced manager with a track record of winning. Lou Pinellia, Davey Johnson and Dusty Baker are all examples of when hiring an experienced manager worked. Of course, you need the players. They really need to work on the pitching staff. I really think the offense will be OK.
@Votto4life, I’m good with new ownership bringing in their own staff. What I’m not good with is firing Bell and trying to sell that as a fix to the fans.
Example what if they invested some money in the team and kept Castillo and Mahlie, creating quite a nice 5 man rotation. Added a legitimate hitter or 2 and a bull pen piece. Via trade or free agency. Think that team could be a contender?
Jim, What you are describing in your what if scenario is essentially the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Bell collapsed down the stretch in 2021 with a decent roster and added bullpen help at the trade deadline. 2020. He had a solid team and we barely made it into an extended playoff and got shut out both games. I understand ownership sucks and we don’t spend money. But we had a payroll of 130 million (?) in 2020/2021and still didn’t do anything.
Sparky Anderson, ’89 Tigers: 103 losses.
Lou Piniella, 2005 Mariners: 95 losses
Casey Stengel. ’62 Mets” 120 losses
Jim Leyland, ’98 Marlins:108 losses
Tony La Russa, ’93 A’s: 94 losses
Tom Lasorda ’92 Dodgers: 99 losses.
All of these justly celebrated managers had multiple losing seasons. It’s the players. It’s always the players.
greenmtred – Most if not all of those guys won World Series too. No matter how humble Sparky was in what he said you don’t do that without being a real good manager. If David Bell wins a World Series or two I’ll be more than happy to cut him some slack when he loses. 😉 Have a question for you. Do you really think and would you trust David Bell to win consistently with a good Reds team if he were given one? He’s had a couple of pretty good ones already and barely made the expanded playoffs with one (then not scoring a single run) and folded big time down the stretch with the other one despite having the second “easiest” schedule in the majors the last month or two. Winning is all that matters to me. I don’t care who the manager is. I’m sick and tired of losing for so long so for me it’s much too risky to trust a guy like David Bell, who has basically never won at any level, to teach the Reds how to win. With all the losing years that’s exactly what has to be done. Learn how to win.
Melvin: My answer to your question is that I don’t know. My point is that even managers acknowledged as good or great have had teams with really bad seasons. Either they forgot how to manage or, more likely, their players weren’t good enough to be competitive. Managers can and do make some difference, but I believe that many commenters here vastly overstate their importance game-by-game. Good players–good teams–generally win more than they lose because they execute more consistently than lesser players. And vice-versa, Your point that those guys had WS winning teams is good. But look at the rosters of those teams: they had good players The same managers, given rosters like recent Reds’ rosters, lost.
If your bullpen’s trash, but you won’t spend cash
Who ya gonna call?
S’alls Good man. 😉
That’s Who We’re Gonna Call! 🙂
depressing series and road trip because I think the reds really played to their best potential yet only wind up going 1-5. psychologically this has to be a factor in these guys psyche at this point.
going back to sept of 2021 when this slide started the reds have played 200 games and only won 76 of them. that is a lot of losses to absorb even for the players with the strongest mental toughness. Ijust wonder what is going through the minds of guys Like India and Stephenson right now
this weekend series will be interesting from an attendance standpoint. probably more Phils fans than reds.
I suspect what is on their minds is keep putting up numbers and when the time comes bolt out the door for more money and a competitive team.
Yep, the bigger the numbers, the higher the arbitration project, and the sooner they will be traded for the building blocks of the next rebuild.
Is Derek Johnson doing a good job? The bullpen is a complete dumpster fire season after season. I realize the front office and ownership haven’t done much to help, but it’s just really hard for me to see any kind of positive impact that DJ is having.
I have no idea whether or not DJ is doing a good job, but nobody cam make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. The lack of talent is not an incidental factor.
looks like the three Stud SP’s have benefited from Derek Johnson…
Or maybe they developed on spite of him? 3 successes verse how many failures. Maybe the big 3 are the exception and would have developed anywhere rather than everyone else is the exception and would have failed everywhere else. Kind of a chicken and egg thing.
I don’t doubt DJ. What I have trouble with is that for 4 years straight now our bullpen walks the first batter seemingly 75% of the time. (Not sure of the actual numver.) That has to change and falls at the shoulders of the pitching coach to change that. Also, the approach from the entire organization is stuff over pitching. Look at Roa and Stoudt last night as examples. I’m not so sure DJ is responsible for that, but it has to change at some point.
The bullpen’s numbers are pretty awful: 2 wins, 7 losses, and a 5.44 ERA.
But most of that is on Buck Farmer, who is 0-4 with an 8.44 ERA. Without his incompetence, the rest of the bullpen is bad, but not awful, with a 2-3 record and a 4.89 ERA.
Unfortunately, in his ineptitude, David Bell continues to rely on Farmer (perhaps because he misses the other Farmer?), giving Buck 7 appearances in 11 games, with the 2nd most IP and G of the bullpen.
Farmer is 0-3.
That appears to be accurate. Normally the stats aren’t updated early in the morning to include last night’s games. So I double added that game.
The other Farmer took a pitch to the face yesterday. Hate to see that happen to anyone, but I really liked Kyle in his time here.
Well as mentioned it comes down to pitching. The reds offense has been a pleasant surprise so far. Senzel and Votto coming back can only improve that. ( if Votto can come back?)
3 second year starters who are still finding there way, and albeit should have maybe 1 win apiece if not more already. A bullpen who well legit has two bullpen arms in Diaz and Young. Maybe Cruz.
Front office failed again to address the bullpen and starting rotation.
So would a new manager, pitching coach fix the pitching problem? (Bullpen problem?)
After Tuesday nights game I do believe they should move on from Bell. As someone put it, 3-21 last season didn’t get anyone fired. So hey where you gonna go.
Very frustrating series as reds could have easily swept the braves
I’m very hesitant to blame the front office. The Reds appear to be a poverty franchise without an extra dime to spend. Nick seems to be doing a very good job with the budget that he has to work with. I would love to see what he could do with decent finances. Wouldn’t you?
Yes, son Phil is a moron. We can all agree on that. But the fact of the matter is, in a space filled with billionaires, the Reds are playing with pocket change.
Positives: Greene has taken that next step. One of his best overall outings IMO. Brantley is so good. Brutally honest and I appreciate his candor. Friedl is legit. Happy for him. Steer is solid too. Couple of good pieces to build on.
Negatives: Benson—can’t be that inept and expect to play. Rather see Fairchild. Does he ever have a bad AB? Vosler now looks lost. Myers? Move closer to the plate. You’re getting pitched away, away, away. Even Brantley mentioned it. Has anyone discussed the bullpen?
Better AB’s, better hitter, better fielder. Plus he is slightly better vs RHP than LHP on his career so sitting him vs LHP is just stupid. Complete ineptitude for the Reds to keep playing Benson over Fairchild.
Will Benson is on pace to strikeout 360 times this year!
Yeah, that’s an experiment that has clearly failed. He needs to be back at AAA ASAP. Granted, it’s only 20 at-bats, but it’s also 1 hit, 1 walk and 12 strikeouts. I’d give Fairchild his shot and see how he responds.
If Benson starts one more game, I’m going to lose it (mimicking Ironman). Very likable guy but this is a results business. Krall do your thing. At least Senzel is good for a .600 OPS.
Even Siani would be a better option (he would likely struggle to hit .200)
Fairchild has 12 ABs in 11 games .250/.471/.667 I’d say he needs a shot expecially considering what Benson and Myers have done.
11 games in and it’s look like last year or worse. The free agents have all been busts = Myers, Vosler, Newman, Maile and Casseli. Overton and Cessa are both bad I would rather have Stoudt and Williamson. The season will be better when EDLC, CED, Marte and Mclain come up. You can’t blame Bell for this misery but 5 one run losses is not a good luck for the manager, time to move on.
After 2 weeks Myers perhaps looks like a bust.
But it’s difficult to call Vosler, Newman, Maile or Casali as busts, since nobody expected those guys to hit anyway. They have been as expected. A bust is when a guy fails to reach expectations, not when he matches them.
McClain is struggling, and Marte isn’t in AAA yet. I’m not sure they are an answer any time soon.
Cessa had 1 bad outing. Over his past 10 starts he has a 4.14 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. That’s not great. But that’s not bad.
That’s true, but it’s 11 games.
Or, in other words, about 7% of the season.
I don’t think you can draw definitive conclusions about anything with a 7% sample size.
Moving along is what I hope Ownership does. Firing Bell solves nothing. Until ownership is committed to building a winning team it matters very little who is the manager.
Reds pitching squandered 3 leads last night. Two were by the starting pitcher, one was by the bullpen. Bullpen also gave up the go ahead run. As long as the BP is being berated for blowing leads, at least be honest and look at all blown leads during the game.
Any predictions for the Reds against the Phillies this weekend, at home?
Four game series; Lodolo, Overton, Ashcraft and Cessa.
The Phillies are actually pretty bad. 4-8 (with two of those victories against the Reds)
I predict the Reds might win 2 of 4 games. Might. Good odds with Ashcraft and Lodolo. After losing 3 in a row, Lodolo pitching at home tonight, the Reds are due for a win. Maybe.
question – how much would it really have cost to have an above average bullpen? another $20 Million? or $30 Million?
Aside from the very few truly elite relievers at any given moment, relief pitchers are a very fickle fleeting bunch to be able to count on over time. Thus, bullpens tend to turn over a lot with median salaries not being that much.
The Reds have their (hopefully) elite guy in Diaz on the cheap because he is still in pre-arbitration status. If a combination of two guys from the group of Lucas Sims, Tejay Antone, and Tony Santillan had worked out for this year to group with Diaz, the Reds would have had a decent backend group of 3 for under $3m. And that $3m is already on the books.
So, I think $10m or less additional spent well would have gotten them a decent pen even if they ended up getting nothing substantial from the 3 injured guys I called out above.
The problem is the Reds bet the pen on Sims, Antone, and Santillan coming into camp healthy and ready to contribute. Or maybe they just acted like they thought those guys would come in ready to contribute to give cover for their cheapness.
I posted this in another RLN article yesterday, but Myers/Casali/Newman come up ~11Million dollars this year. The below link has all the relief pitcher salaries for this year in MLB. You can get 2-3 very quality relievers for $11million. AJ Minter (4.3million) Gregory Soto (3.9 Million) would be two very nice additions. We have Diaz, who is a LEGIT closer already.
Probably the dead money we are paying Moose and Votto
We knew the April schedule was tough (May is more favorable), but the team gave a good Braves team everything they could handle, with the lone separator being the bullpens. Not every team has a bullpen like the Braves, the Reds will have their days too.
Relievers are so volatile year to year. Bell needs to reorient his thinking about Buck Farmer immediately.
Man, India has a quickness about him this year that’s really showing up on D and the basepaths.
Myers should’ve been given the night off last night, but for sure he needs a blow tonight. And besides, Fairchild deserves a start just to keep him fresh. Heck, even Maile gets those here and there.
Maybe part of the issue with Fairchild is if he gets a start (vs RH pitching) and has a big game that begins to create an imperative to get him another and another and somebody’s grand plan gets blown up?
The “grand plan” appears to be shuffling Newman and Barrero at SS with Barrero playing CF.
Bell’s inflexible way of thinking and limited willingness to allow observation of on-field performance to influence him means that playing Fairchild and assessing his performance is going to take a back seat.
Adding Senzel to the mix is only going to complicate things further for SF.
I was excited as everyone by the potential of Benson during ST, but it clearly hasn’t been working out for him w MLB level pitching.
Having Barerro play CF is a nice piece of flexibility, we have three professionals on the squad that can probably play CF better than him.
Benson, Friedl and Fairchild. Jose would not see CF unless there was some weird switcheroo in the game (Which David Bell kind of likes to do).
It’s unfortunately obvious that Fairchild will not get a real chance with the Reds because his possible success would upset the manager’s love of substitution. And I agree that putting Senzel in the outfield mix now will further mess it up for Fairchild. If Senzel is injury free (for now), he should be traded for a pitcher to strengthen the bullpen.
Very nice conspiracy theory Jim. I really don’t see it. Fairchild has time with the Reds, Giants, Arizona and Seattle. Could be his ceiling is a 4th or 5th outfielder. Seems a bunch of baseball people see him that way.
Bell is using Barrera in CF in an effort to get more RH’s in the line up against lefties. Not a bad concept and one that is used by many managers in the major leagues.
Yup – Could be – Certain people 😉 don’t like to change their plans.
If Myers was hittting, he would be rarin’ to go. He is just plain not hitting.
If this were my team, I would make an “all out” effort to win tonight, and would have someone else (Stuart Fairchild) in RF tonight, and Benson would be on the bench.
Fraley, Friedl and Fairchild in the OF (left to right).
Vosler would be at 1st and Stephenson would DH (Casali catches Lodolo).
I like your lineup. I also like the sound of Fraley, Friedl and Fairchild. If the manager goes with that outfield, I predict some good results. The Phillies are a good team but they are not unbeatable even by the struggling Reds.
Fairchild has played in 4 different organizations. Seems a bunch of professional baseball people have missed what many here are so sure of.
With Meyers and Benson offensively contributing almost nothing, give Fairchild a real chance.
It’s a big advantage when one does not have to suffer the consequences of his/her decisions, especially decisions full of hubris but short on objective facts, like you mentioned, Fairchild not having been thought of highly by multiple organizations. Maybe he is a late bloomer and I’d be interested to see the documentation to support it, if he is.
Injury updates look like Senzel/Sims/ and Weaver are close.
Weaver starts tomorrow in AAA and is then expected back by next week. His next start could be Wednesday against the Rays.
Sims needs to pitch back to back days. He pitched last night so if he pitches today I would expect a call up by Sunday or Monday.
Senzel could be anytime. He started back to back games in LF and has played 3b and CF. Looks like he is coming back very soon as a LF/CF/3b option.
No timetable on Votto
Also, Bell said Stephenson is being rested from catching most of if not all of this week so lots of Maile and Casali at C and Stephenson at DH this homestand. Phils go lefty/righty/lefty/righty.
Stephen being rested from catching for a week is a euphemism to avoid saying he is in some way dinged. Bet on this at the betting parlor at GABP.
“Stephen” above obviously was meant to be Stephenson. IDK if I was done wrong by autocheck or if my fingers were just flying over the keys so fast the PC couldn’t keep up 😉
@jim- if Stephenson has caught his last game for the Reds, I will be elated. He is far in the way of the most established hitter on the team and catching is doing him or the team no favors. TJ certainly looks like he’s an up-and-coming star and his future looks bright.
I think Bell was simply saying Stephenson caught 6 of the first 9 games and this is part of the plan for load management. I didnt read anything into it other than that.
@Pete>> The question I might be pondering in regard to Stephenson is whether he is an offensive producer enough to use as a corner OF. Watching him run bases, he still seems to have lots of legs left.
If TS has enough punch for LF, that would leave open 1B and DH for guys who swing a big bat but have no other positions where they don’t also hurt the team on defense.
But the Reds would have to spend some prospect capital or $$ for a starting catcher because the cupboard is still bare.
@jim-with the current roster make up, I just believe that Stevenson is just too important to be planned every day or nearly every day at top speed.
Catching takes a heck of a toll on the body and subjects you to injuries that other positions will not. If he was on the team similar to the make up of the big red machine, then just leave him at catcher. Most certainly.
My crack at the lineup tonight vs a lefty starter
Is this what you want or your prediction?
OS, I’d say that looks retry close. Against a lefty that line up protgives us the best chance to win.
I hope that they will demote Vosler today, activate Senzel & start him tonight in CF, play Barrero at short, and relegate Newman to a marginal utility role.
Myers — slugging .200 — is just bad. I see no hope that he gets better. TJ Hopkins is better at all aspects of baseball than Myers, and if I were him I would be learning how to play some 1B.
I’m afraid not buddy. Friedl after getting three hits last night, the same as Steer the night before, is not in the lineup. Myers is though. David Bell baseball genius is at work again.
Guys I’m not a Bell defender. But all managers schedule their starters days off. Stephenson will sit either Friday or Sunday in the Phillies series. Might as well get prepared for it. Gone are the days of players playing every day.
I think everyone understands that MLB players get days off. The issue is why can the “schedule” not be deviated from. Maybe we could have started Steer last night and gave TySteve the day off or India the day off? I think most players want to keep playing when they are “hot.”
The schedule is based on what they know about the players based on the past gathered information. And it can and is deviated from. If a guy isn’t feeling right on a day, they’ll get a day off and maybe someone who was supposed to have a day off steps in.
I agree Doug. I was trying to explain why people are irritated about Steer not starting yesterday. It seemed to most that the schedule wasn’t deviated from due to Steer being hot the day before and benched yesterday.
For me overall, I didn’t see it as that big of a deal or something to complain about Bell for. IMO, he does enough wrong elsewhere that this wasn’t a huge deal to me.
Bell makes all his decisions with a dartboard.Only explanation that makes any sense.
I wonder why the scheduled day off does not apply to India? His history of being beat up and the all out attitude that he plays with, would dictate that even more? Has he been “scheduled off” yet?
These guys had two straight days off last week, so I do not get in general the idea of having “scheduled” rest days already, except at catcher. India needs some days off over the season, but not yet.
I suspect that Bell was trying to shield Steer from facing Spencer Strider, one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in the league. I was looking forward to the Spencer Strider-Spencer Steer matchup.
I think that Stephenson is a slightly below-mediocre defensive catcher, and to me, the 3-catcher system is a waste of a roster spot. They need to make Stephenson the emergency catcher. However, neither Malle nor Casali can hit, so they are a bit stuck with an automatic out in the 9-hole if they face reality on Stephenson’s defensive abilities.
Mark sheldon tweeted Nick Senzel is at GABP.
I was wondering why the lineup was so late
Hoping that means Benson is headed to Louisville (versus someone going on the IL)
Yep, it’s official. Senzel activated and Benson optioned to AAA.
Hoping Benson can figure things out and come back and contribute. We don’t have a lot of minor league OF depth.
Senzel in cf, TJ to the bench.
Tell me again how David Bell doesn’t help this team lose!!
Yes, he doesn’t take the at-bats and yes, he doesn’t pitch.
His everyone needs to get at bats like a little league team mantra is just nuts.
I know Greene was at 100 pitches yesterday, but the guy was getting better with each inning. Why not let him go one more. It’s insane how a lot of baseball managers won’t let guys go more than 100 to 105 pitches. If they are doing good leave them in the game!!! As soon as they slip that’s when you change pitchers.
Jay: You are aware of the frequency of injuries to pitchers? I know that pitchers used to throw many more pitches in a game. The guys today throw harder, generally, than pitchers did decades ago. Takes more out of their arms.
Couple of things I want to point out.
Reds have the most 1 run losses in baseball currently this season.
Atlanta is a really good team we are not a really good team.
The fact that the Reds players hung in there every game both against the Phillies and the Braves should count for entertaining baseball.
Listening to David Bell talk about his players and what they do right just makes me want to smash my screen.
After the 4th spot in the order there is a huge drop off in production, which I am not surprised by.
People who complain about the bullpen should just go back one year and see how really bad it could be. I feel like these relievers at least have a chance to have a decent inning or two. I do blame Krall some for not at least trying to get one or even two decent relievers. They didn’t need to be superstar relievers either just somewhat consistent would be nice.
Myers just is not producing well. Maybe he should move closer to the plate first off. He was like almost outside the box while batting yesterday. He just looks over matched in most of his starts this season.
The following players I feel have done a good job thus far.
Steer, Stephenson, Frailey, Friedl, and Fairchild. After that, it has been a crapshoot if anyone else will get a hit or not.
Pitching Staring pitchers
Greene has been decent kinda. Guy needs to go after hitters when he has 0-2 or 1-2 counts on them.
Lodolo has done a nice job so far
Ashcraft has been really good so far.
Cessa should be a reliable reliever not starting pitcher.
Overton- Pretty much has been terrible.
Law has been so-so at best so far.
Young has done a nice job and has been fairly consistent.
Diaz – Obviously good. He should not have been made to pitch two innings when he was already around 25 pitches. He is not a two-inning style pitcher.
Farmer – Very mixed results hasn’t been as consistent as last season.
Sanmartin – Not very good at all.
Ian G. – Kinda a mixed batch for him too some good some bad.
Cruz – Overall pretty good.
Herget – Should not be at the major league level period.
“Listening to David Bell talk about his players and what they do right just makes me want to smash my screen”
I agree. It is funny.