The Cincinnati Reds are in first place of the National League Central Division, sitting at 41-37 and holding a half-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers. The lineup is deep and with the arrivals of Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz, has transformed into a team with a little bit of power, too. But the rotation has been the exact opposite. Cincinnati has a full rotation’s worth of starting pitchers on the injured list. And over the weekend we found out that the team isn’t expecting Hunter Greene to return until August, as reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.

With Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo both out until then, or so it would seem, the rotation would be in enough trouble. But the team also lost Ben Lively over the weekend for at least the next two weeks with a pectoral muscle injury. That leaves a starting rotation of what seems like Andrew Abbott, Graham Ashcraft, Levi Stoudt, Luke Weaver, and Brandon Williamson.

Andrew Abbott has been outstanding in his four big league starts and the Reds are 4-0 in his starts. But beyond Abbott, the rotation as it stands is horrible at best. Graham Ashcraft’s ERA is 7.17 on the season, but in his last eight starts is 12.82. Luke Weaver’s ERA is 6.86 in his 12 starts. Brandon Williamson’s ERA is 5.40 in his seven starts. And Levi Stoudt’s ERA in the big leagues in his 10.0 innings is 9.90, and in Triple-A in 36.0 innings it was 5.00 where he also had as many walks as strikeouts.

That leaves the Reds in a pretty big predicament. The team is in first place but they have got to have, if not the worst, one of the worst starting rotations in baseball. The Reds bullpen has been quite good this season, but it may be starting to show that it’s been worked to the bone thanks to the rotational issues. At some point the team needs to get more innings from the starters, but when four of the five have a combined ERA pushing eleventy (don’t fact check this, we just estimated), the team can’t just have the starters remain out there and also remain in the game.

The minor league depth has already been tested quite a bit. The Reds have had to make multiple signings of veteran pitchers out of independent leagues just to cover innings in the minor leagues from the loss of starters in the big leagues. There rotation in Triple-A is made up of Teddy Stankiewicz, Alec Mills, Michael Mariot, Brett Kennedy, and Zack Brown. That’s two guys who are 28, one guy who is 29, one guy who is 32, and one guy who is 34.

It’s possible that maybe one of those guys can bridge the gap until someone is healthy, but it’s also probably a big ask. Cincinnati isn’t the only team out there with a bunch of injured pitchers, so the trade pool is going to be both shallow in what’s available, but also expensive in acquisition given that everyone is probably looking to add to the rotation.

It’s also possible that the team could attempt to fast track one of their top pitching prospects in Connor Phillips. Barry Larkin reported yesterday that he is going to be promoted to Triple-A Louisville to begin the second half (which begins Wednesday when the Bats return to the field). When it comes to his stuff, he certainly stands out in the minor leagues among the pitchers. He’s got two plus pitches with his breaking ball and his fastball. But he doesn’t show much of a change up and his control has been shaky for much of his career. Until his most recent start, in which he was pulled in the 1st inning as his pitch count continued to climb while walking three batters, he had seemed to take a step forward in his strike throwing ability.

Phillips could be a difference maker. But there’s also a chance he struggles to throw enough strikes often enough in the big leagues out of the gate. Double-A experimented with a pre-tacked baseball in the first half of the season and it led to pitchers having a big advantage with nearly everyone having higher spin rates than they’d ever shown before. Exactly how that all plays out in Triple-A and the big leagues – where both use the MLB baseball – is yet to be seen.

It seems likely that Phillips is going to get starts with Louisville, but if he succeeds early on he could be an option to step in if simply for no other reason than what other choice do they have. It’s probably not a plan they would like to have, potentially rushing a guy up, but as noted – the team is in a bad spot.

The club has a deep farm system. And sometimes you use that depth for trades to acquire players to help the big league club. Maybe this summer, even if it’s not what was expected when the season began, is the time to think about doing that. You don’t pick the year you contend – it picks you. And right now, the baseball Gods have picked the Reds.

Of course maybe you just hope that something turns around with the four pitchers who have had no success to speak of in the rotation for the last two months, or go with guys you signed out of independent league baseball that are now filling up the rotation in Triple-A and wait around and hope you’re still in it if and when Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Ben Lively return.

141 Responses

  1. redsfan4040

    I think you hope to tread water and ride the hot offense for as long as you can. See how Phillips is throwing after 3 or 4 starts. If he has early success in AAA, I could see him getting the call, much like Abbott did.

    If he struggles early, go for a guy like Michael Lorenzen. I think a reunion there could work out nicely for the Reds.

    • Melvin

      Yes. See what Phillips can do in AAA and even if he’s decent give him a try. Just about have to. Williamson had real problems walking people in AAA too but he’s been decent. Mariot has had some good starts lately. Probably give him a try over Weaver. Keep working the phones Mr. Krall. In my view this exciting explosive offense helps motivate the pitchers to be at their best which reminds me….bring up CES! 🙂 Help the pitching.

      • Tom Reeves

        Offense doesn’t get hurt from producing more offense. So, I agree – ride this way for as long as we can and then add Lodolo and Greene to the mix in August. I may move less critical pieces for pitching help but I’m not gutting the farm this year unless is a swap for equal long term cost controlled talent.

      • Melvin

        Well the more offense the less pressure on the pitchers right? 🙂

      • Oldtimer

        CES will not help the poaching one iota. He plays 1B or 3B. Reds have two or more players at each spot already. That leaves DH. Other position players also play DH.

      • Melvin

        I guess we disagree on this don’t we Oldtimer? That’s okay. 🙂

    • doctorrockett

      No. I clearly recall lorenzen giving up long ball after long ball especially when we needed him not to….we need ground ball pitchers

  2. Slicc50

    Terrible news here! I just don’t know what they are going to be able to do with all of these injuries piling up to the pitching staff. Everyone needs pitching! I don’t want the Reds to have to pay the price it may cost to get a couple of starting pitchers. We need Ashcraft to really step up now!

    • Don

      I agree, but I just don’t know that Ashcraft is a MLB caliber pitcher right now. In 14 starts this year, his ERA is over 7.00. He has a small sample size of being successful, but the larger sample size suggests otherwise. Granted, there aren’t a ton of other options, but when he pitches, it may take eight or nine runs to win.

      I about threw my Mr. Redlegs bobblehead at the TV on Saturday when Larkin said that Ashcraft pitched well. Since when is 4 IP, 6 ERs, 10 H, and 3 HRs a good outing? Is the rotation so bad that this kinda performance is viewed favorably?

      • Slicc50

        Wow, Lark said that? I mean it could have been worse even! I seem to remember a few rockets that were caught! He just can’t seem to keep the ball down right now!

      • greenmtred

        I think Larkin was referring to Ashcraft’s velocity ticking back to where it was when many of us were shouting his praises, but maybe also better movement. To my amateur eye, he still seemed to be getting the ball too far up, both in and out of the strike zone. He had what it takes early in the season, he just needs to find it again.

  3. Don

    This rotation is so depleted (and it wasn’t exactly stellar when it was healthy) that I don’t think Krall can wait til the deadline to pull the trigger on a fairly sizeable trade or two for a starting pitching. Doing so now may give a potential trade partner a competitive advantage, but I don’t see that Krall can wait another five weeks. The July schedule isn’t easy with six against Milwaukee, three against Arizona, four against San Francisco, and three against Los Angeles. All those teams are playing +.500 ball. The Reds have trade chips in the minors. I’d hate to see the Reds sit back and wait til July 31 only to find themselves six games out of first place because they waited too long. That would be a huge PR and competitive mistake. They are clearly in a position to be buying now. With such a depleted rotation, they can’t assume that they will still be playing well enough to be buyers a month from now.

    • cartel

      I would be careful about a trade. Do not want to mortgage the farm like we have in the past and have little to show for it.

      • Don

        Yes, ownership has fallen victim to that before, but I am also concerned about management mortgaging fan loyalty. I think management, which is already viewed very poorly by the fan base, would make a huge mistake if they sit back and do nothing over the next month if the the Reds start slipping. Reds fans already rather justifiably suspect ownership is apathetic. Failure to act promptly would continue to drive a wedge between fans and ownership. Finishing 10 games out of first is one thing if you know ownership tried. It is a lot tougher to swallow knowing they didn’t try. I’d hate to see a mostly empty GABP come September knowing all the while it may could have been prevented.

      • jon

        Trade India,Stephenson and or Senzel for pitching. Mclain moves to 2b,CES Dh-3b and Steer can play 3b-dh-lf. All 3 moves will make reds better and pick up some pitching. Not too mention the replacement will be cheaper.I would not turn down a massive haul for Diaz either.

      • Cincinnatus Rex

        I do think there’s a halfway point between “Sell the farm” and “Do absolutely nothing.” Can’t get much without selling the farm? Okay, then—don’t get much. Just get something. Grab what could reasonably be yours (i.e. a weak division), and show the fans/rival teams that your mindset is winning.

      • doofus

        Understood, but I think only Steer is contributing to this surge who was part of the return from last season’s purge of starting pitchers.

        Funny how a tight-wad owner can affect a team’s chances of winning. But, hey, we’re ya gonna go!

      • Oldtimer

        India might be part of a deal for P. Stephenson or Senzel won’t. Both would bring minor league prospects.

    • Philly Red

      Who are we trading with between now and then? There are only 4 teams in MLB that are double digit games out of both the WC and their division. That obviously means 26 teams are still within single digit games of both i.e. feel like they are in it.

      Those 4 teams (Washington, Colorado, KC and Oakland) aren’t going to sell this early no matter what you offer them because they will want to test the market for an even better deal as the deadline approaches. Maybe a few more teams become sellers but it’s all going to be closer to the deadline than before it and it’s still going to be a very stark sellers market.

      Also, you are going to have to wait and see on how some of our internal guys heal up/improve because if they don’t, it doesn’t matter anyway. You could go trade for 2 new starters and a bullpen guy (if possible) and still be dead in the water this year if Greene/Lodolo/Ashcraft don’t improve health AND effectiveness.

      Frustrating as a fan but that is reality (at least as I see it).

      • Thomas Atwood


        There is ZERO incentive for any potential trade partner to trade now. Desperate buyers pay the highest prices, and there is no desperation right now (except among some of us).

      • Melvin

        “Those 4 teams (Washington, Colorado, KC and Oakland) aren’t going to sell this early no matter what you offer them because they will want to test the market for an even better deal as the deadline approaches”

        There is a risk to doing that as well because of a risk of injury to their pitchers. If they get offered a pretty good deal it just might be wise to take it. Otherwise they could possibly get nothing.

    • Rcsodak

      I don’t like making choices under the gun. It leads to overpaying. Nobody was thinking 2023 was the year to compete, anyway Let’s let it ride….give the kids the year of experience, then hope the injured can come back and finish strong. THEN Krall n company can make decisions from a better standpoint over the winter.

  4. Slicc50

    Good opportunity for Tony Santillan to step up. His stats are not great in 8 games so far. 7 ip, 10h, 2hr, 7bb, 9k. Good time to reclaim his spot though!

  5. CaptainTony

    Saw mentioned elsewhere, some of our starters may also have innings limits, though that concern may be mitigated by these DL stints.

    Is there a chance we could get someone like a Zack Greinke in a salary dump to eat some innings?

    • Pete


      Heck Adam Wainwright too. Those old guys aren’t very good anymore but they can give you innings. Trade off some underachievers: Senzel, Austin Hendricks, either of the Calihans, Berrero, etc

      You’re not trying to find pitchers who will win your games, but just give you a valuable innings….,,

      • Oldtimer

        Why do you think other teams would give up quality P for Senzel, Barrero, and the others?

  6. CFD3000

    I’m taking the long view. With the possible exception of Joey Votto, every major offensive contributor this year will be back in 2024 and the vast majority well beyond. If 2023 is not a contending year because almost all of the top starters are hurt, then it’s not a contending year. That’s disappointing but the Reds offense will still be a really strong point in 2024. And 2025. And 2026. I can’t justify the cost in prospect capital to acquire one top starter, knowing that the Reds need at least three more than they have AND that they’ll get two or three for free before the year is out – Greene, Lodolo and perhaps Phillips.

    The Reds will still be strong contenders next year(s). And the rest of the division will likely remain relatively weak next year. If someone wants to send an innings eater to the Reds for Senzel and Maile then fine. But otherwise I’m accepting that when you have 10 pitchers on the IL (give or take) including your two top starters, maybe 2023 is NOT a contending year. And especially in a season where the price of pitching is likely very high I’m okay taking the longer view.

    • Slicc50

      I think I am going to have to agree with you. Things seem to have changed here. They are drafting well and developing these kids now. I just don’t want to see them switch course at this point. If they keep going at current pace, this team will contend strongly for the next decade!

      I guess we will see just how good Nick Krall is going forward. If he can upgrade without giving up one of the top prospects, then do it. If not, I’m with you!

    • Riverfront Randy

      I’m 100% with you. Every single offensive player on this team except Luke Maile is under team control next season (Votto has a team option and Casali has a $4MM mutual option). Of the pitchers it looks like only Buck Farmer and Luke Weaver can leave.

      The future is pretty bright. The likelihood of building a starting rotation capable of winning a playoff series in the middle of the season seems extremely remote. The decision to content is made in the off-season, not June. Save your assets and use them this winter when availabilty and prices will be better.

      • Doc4uk

        Keep Marte, CES, Arroyo, Hinds,, Rodriguez, and Contreras and then anyone else in the minors should be tradable. On the big league club , I would consider trading Stephenson and Senzel for a starting pitcher ith several years of control. Not really confident Ashcraft is a big league pitcher and next year hopefully we have an improved Lodolo, Greene, Abott, Phillips, and someone who we sign as a FA plus Aroldis Chapman to be an eighth inning pitcher.

    • Jaybird

      EXACTLY!! Couldnt have said it better myself.

    • Roger Garrett

      I agree and want to add that money based on where the budget is next year could be available.Bob ate what 25 mil this year on Moose and Myers.So I have to believe he will spend money on pitching help and maybe for the first time a free agent pitcher would want to come and join this young team.Krall has a plan to make this team competitive for as many years as possible and I trust him to make the right calls.

  7. Riverfront Randy

    I never bought into Ashcraft being a part of the “Big Three” but i never would have guessed would be unusable as a 4th/5th starter in a weak rotation. He really needs to get it together and pitch better. I would settle for slightly below average.

  8. LDS

    Greene out until August? One has to assume that the league’s approach to pitching in recent years is leading to the number of injuries. Too much focus on spin and velocity? Don’t know, but having a good Greg Maddux like pitcher or two would be a boon to any team. Start with the Reds. Find another $65K bonus phenom and hope he’s ready in a year or two.

    • greenmtred

      You may well be right. Greene’s current injury is to the hip, so maybe not directly related to velo and spin.

    • Doug Gray

      While I doubt it’s got anything to do with Greene’s injury, the pitch clock is definitely leading to more injuries. And people knew it was coming and some of us were shouting it from the rooftops that every bit of research done showed that 15 seconds was not enough “in-between” time and was going to get guys injured.

      • DW

        That is a very good point. I am in favor of the pitch clock, but maybe it needs to be a little longer duration than 15 seconds.

      • LDS

        Sadly, the “experts”, aka the know-it-alls at the top never listen to the people actually affected. It’s that way in about every endeavor. Or as the old saying goes: “absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

      • JB WV

        I saw comments from some pitchers suggesting they move it back to 20 seconds. Couldn’t hurt, no pun intended

      • capnhook33

        Fangraphs actually did a bit on this and found no correlation. The data doesn’t support the uptick in injuries. I think it’s two-fold. The best pitchers are really old with high mileage and the younger guys have been caught up in this spin+velocity movement. This is leading to max effort throwing all the time and that is I believe more at fault for injuries. I think we are also in a time with just not as good pitching prospects and really good hitting. After a decade of pitching dominance, it would make sense that there would be some swing back to hitters.

        Article I referenced –

      • Doc

        Where and how was this research done if there was no pitch clock previously? To do a proper research project you need a control group and a test group. Who was the control group? Whom was the test group? Just curious since you reference ‘every bit of research’ showing something yet I don’t recall reading any articles about research showing that it was a bad idea, nor any cited studies.

        Adjusting the 15 seconds upward next year is a simple fix, if that is, indeed, a fix.

        The two AAA games I attended were pure pleasure from this fan’s standpoint. No endless innings where each batter steps out and adjusts batting gloves, body armor, cap, helmet and jock after what seems like every pitch.

      • Bill

        Can you share the research supporting this? I see a bunch of opinion pieces pointing out that injuries have increased, suggesting the pitch clock could be to blame. I have seen others placing the blame on max effort on every pitch and desire for spin rate.

  9. CFD3000

    Here’s another perspective. Many of the Reds top prospects and new contributors came over in trades for starting pitching, including Steer, CES, Marte and Arroyo if I’m not mistaken. And we are collectively thrilled at the results of those trades. Do the Reds really want to now be on the other side of that, sending top prospects off as the high price for a pitcher that may or may not be a difference maker in 2023 and beyond? If Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo weren’t coming back in August and for 2024 plus, I’d say maybe. But they are, so I’d say no.

    • greenmtred

      I tend to agree. There don’t seem to be many difference-making pitchers available, and those will have many suitors and the price will be high. Plus, the Reds really need two. Or more. Wouldn’t that nearly empty the farm? And there’s no guarantee at all that they’d get us deep in the playoffs.

    • Chris

      Big difference. We sent top of the rotation starters in Gray, Mahle, and Castillo. We aren’t looking for traditional top of the rotation guys. If you look at Lorenzen and maybe the kid from the A’s (his name escapes me right now), those are guys that are much lower in quality that what we gave up. Lower level prospects would get Lorenzen, but maybe a bit higher prospects, or more lower one’s to get the kid from the A’s, as he has arbitration years still.

    • doofus

      Collectively thrilled with those trades. I say no.

      Sending prospect(s) to another team… I say Yes, it depends who the pitcher is in the return.

      You cannot field a winning team, if you are scared of making a deal(s) to fix your holes.

  10. bob s

    I also like the idea of Lorenzon, Greinke, or maybe aim a little higher and go for Josiah Gray from the Nationals. For Gray, it would definitely cost more, but with this starting pitching, it is going to be tough to stay in the pennant race.

    • Jim Walker

      After the way Steer and CES have performed since the Reds got them from the Twins (for Mahle), the Twins would be looking to get even if the Reds asked on Gray 😉

      • MBS

        @Jim the other former Red named Gray. I’d definitely like Sonny back if the Twins would go for it.

      • Chris

        Aren’t the Twins in 1st place? They aren’t selling.

  11. Jim Walker

    As Bob Howsam said back in the 1970s, sometimes you need to take and make a trade. If the Reds are serious about competing this year and not mortgaging the future, the trade will probably raise eyebrows and also hurt a little because it will have to include a credible position player from the MLB roster whose production can be recovered by promoting a top prospect beating on the door to MLB.

    Fortunately, the Reds have the replacement guy in waiting, Christain Encarnacion-Strand. They also have the flexibility to shape the MLB roster to fit him in several different ways allowing them to consider several possible candidates to trade off the 26 man roster (and no, we are not talking about Newman or Senzel as a main piece here).

    Do they have the nerve to pull the trigger?

    • Cubbedge

      ??This ^^^

      My wonder is if the Reds could trade, for example, India and Stephenson for viable SP. Both are still young and controllable. Both are leaders. Yet, for the Reds, both already have in house replacements. Mclain/De La Cruz/Steer/Senzel could cover the loss of India, and oh by the way, Marte just got promoted to Louisville.
      Maile and Casali have value to this team. And we have Robinson and Pereda tearing it up in Louisville as well, all could cover the catching duties just fine.

      This solves some of the overstock of hitting talent, doesn’t mortgage the farm, and most of all could potentially provide us with bonafide pitching.

      We could see:

      CF Fraile/Senzel
      2B Mclain
      SS De La Cruz (Arroyo coming)
      1B/DH Encarnacion-Strand
      3B Steer (Marte next year, Steer moves to 1B/DH replacing Votto)
      1B/DH Votto
      RF Fraley (Hinds coming)
      LF Benson/Senzel
      C Maile/Casali/Robinson/Pereda

      Draft SPs and Catcher
      Perhaps make the SP staff as deep as our SS depth has become.

      Trade for India
      1st Rd pick
      Trade for Stephenson

    • Melvin

      Yep. Reds fans hated the trade that brought Joe Morgan to the Reds originally I’m told.

      • Jim Walker

        It wasn’t that they hated having Morgan,the issue was The Big Bopper, Lee May, had bern right there with Rose, Bench, and Tony Perez as the most popular Reds.

        I think for many fans, while Rose and Bench were favorite players, the Bopper and Tony were the favorite personalities.

      • Melvin

        That’s right. They didn’t like losing those guys at the time.

  12. Phil

    Is there a trade scenario out there where the Reds can acquire a starting caliber pitcher and also take on another team’s bad contract, thereby lessening the prospect return we’d have to give up?
    There might be a hundred reasons not to make this particular trade, but just an example:
    Reds get Brayan Bello and Chris Sale from Boston
    Red Sox get Edwin Arroyo from Cincinnati
    It’s a fair trade according to Baseball Trade Values
    Red Sox get out of the $30-odd million left on Sales contract and get a good SS prospect.
    Reds get a good young pitcher in Bello. Sale’s salary next season would essentially be replacing Votto’s. Arroyo is a good prospect but still playing in A-ball and is behind Elly, McClain, India, and Marte for a spot in the middle infield.
    Again that exact trade isn’t the point, but something like that where the Reds take on a bad contract to get a good starting pitcher that is still under contract for a couple seasons.

    • Cubbedge

      I like the idea of taking on a bad contract to get what we need. Why not? Our payroll is down significantly.

      Or, perhaps use those dollars instead during free agency this off – season?

    • SultanofSwaff

      I agree that taking on money is the only choice that both secures the future while addressing the team needs this year.

      Kind of ridiculous more fans aren’t talking this up. We’re so conditioned to working from a baseline of not paying today’s going rates that we ignore the fact that the Reds could literally add a $40mil guy like Scherzer to the roster and still be below the league median. That said, my first priority budget-wise is to extend any of the young core willing to commit.

      • Shannon

        1. We don’t need relief help. From my point of view our bullpen has been our bullpen has been very good if not outstanding plus help is soon on the way there. Remember TJ Anton? Easy to forget because of what Diaz has done but before he went on the IL Anton was one of the best relief pitchers in MLB. Anton and Sanmartin, our needed left handed bullpen piece will be back in August so we have the bullpen to get us thru the 7th 8th and 9th which is what bullpens are supposed to do.

        2. We need starting pitching now, in 2024 and into the future. Had someone said at the start of this season our offense would be as good as it has been I would have still said we need starting pitching to compete.

        The career innings & ERA of our supposed big 3 starting pitchers: Greene 199 innings 4.25 ERA, Lodolo 137 innings 4.31 ERA, 174 innings 5.79 ERA. ERA is not necessarily the best gauge of pitching success and all 3 less than 200 career innings but you can start to see a pattern forming.

        Greene and Lodolo have decent numbers for mid rotation starters and the talent is there that they might both be future aces but to have expected both to become aces and stayed healthy this year would not be logical just as it wouldn’t be next year. Ashcraft is not going to be an ace or might not ever be a mid rotation and after 174 innings the numbers reflect that. He doesn’t have and has not had to this point the K rate of Greene and Lodolo.

        So our 2 best starting pitchers are now both on the IL for at least a month and half and even when they come back they are probably mid rotation caliber starting pitchers at this stage in their careers.

        3. Next year both Lodolo and Greene might both become the aces they have the potential to be as the season goes on. Abbott so far looks to be a plus starting pitcher but just to early to tell. He has all of 4 major league starts and remember how good Ashcraft looked after his first 4 career MLB starts. We have others that are injured as well, Dunn & Guitterez and Williamson could even be a big league back end starter. We also have Stoudt and Phillips that could eventually be MLB starters but even with our offense we would need a plus starting free agent pitcher or 2 to be competitive next year. Depending or hoping all of these very young pitchers live up to the hype and potential & stay healthy is not a good plan.

        4. I agree with one poster that a year of opportunity isn’t planned it rather just happens. As unhealthy as we have been on the pitching side this year we could end up in a similar situation with position players next year. I read on these posts that EDLC is compared to a switch hitting Eric Davis who I remember. The way he plays is very exciting but lends itself to injuries. Davis career was riddled with injuries and cut short by them. Position players are always pulling hamstrings and getting fractures by HBP.

        As we now find ourselves in first place this year at the midpoint we need to think of of going all in a year early rather than waiting for a next year that might not come.

        5. As for this extremely good offense even better all except Votto are young and affordable with several years of team control left. As far as position player prospects only Encarnation Strand when he replaces Votto would have a position to play on this team for the next 4 years or longer.

        Marte is being promoted to triple A are we going to keep him there for 4 years? Sure he could go up and down until he runs out of options as guys in this current lineup goes on the IL the next few years but it would seem is value to our big league club would be better utilized to get something we need now and for the next year or 2.

        If he can be packaged with another lesser prospect to bring in a mid rotation or better starting pitcher with an extra year or 2 of team control (not a 2 month rental) then we need to make that trade.

    • BK

      If you work for Boston, do you trade your best (also youngest) starting pitcher to unload a contract for one good prospect who is likely two years away from helping at the Major League level!

      I would think Bello is among the least available players in their system. He’s a foundational piece that fits long and short term for them.

      • Phil

        You may be right about Bello being essentially unavailable. I don’t know much about Boston’s team or farm system. Just trying to think of contracts that other teams would want out of, and Chris Sale came to mind.

        I think a similar trade is what the Reds should be looking for though.

        Reds acquire quality starting pitcher with multiple years of team control along with another player on a contract their team wants rid of.
        Reds send a smaller prospect package back in return then they normally would have to for that level of pitcher.

  13. JB WV

    With the future extremely bright with young talent, I’d straddle the fence here staying in the present while looking to the future. If they make a trade, look for the most promising starters in the minors that look to be MLB ready and deal one of our young position players still in the minors. It’s going to come to this anyway, so if the Reds can’t get there this year there’s even more potential for success in the coming years. But if they could get a starter that can put up a couple good outings in the next month and keep ‘em in the race, hopefully Greene, Lodolo and Lively come back strong and make the push in August and September. I wouldn’t trade youth for age at this point unless it’s a fringe prospect we can afford to lose.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      Why would a team willing to trade a top prospect starting pitcher move that player for another prospect when they could use that player to acquire a high quality big league player? The kind of trade you are talking about does not happen anymore.

      • JB WV

        I’m sure there’s a team out there with more pitching prospects in the minors than position players, like the Reds we’re about a year and a half ago or less.

    • Jim Walker

      Would you trade someone off the MLB roster who is a solid contributor and trust the next guy up who appears to be ready, CES, to replace his production the way Steer, McLain, and EDLC have stepped in and raised the production threshold? IMO, that’s the way to get the pitcher they need to compete this year while not mortgaging the future.

      • JB WV

        If Krall and co. felt strongly that could be replaced, yes.

      • greenmtred

        Logical and realistic. But will one starter get us over the top?

      • Chris

        I would be careful about trading a key player off of this current roster. Personally, I think you dump/deal Casali and add CES. Then you trade lower level prospects for decent pitching. Top prospect if you get a long term top tier pitcher.

  14. jon

    Trade India,Stephenson and or Senzel for pitching. Mclain moves to 2b,CES Dh-3b and Steer can play 3b-dh-lf. All 3 moves will make reds better and pick up some pitching. Not too mention the replacement will be cheaper.I would not turn down a massive haul for Diaz either.

    • Jim Walker

      India might get the job done; but, I think Fraley is the better guy to float as the lead piece and give a little more on the back end if need be in the way of a prospect without trading a top 100 projected guy.

      Why Fraley? The Reds have 5 or 6 guys not counting Fraley producing >.800OPS versus right handed pitching who do not also require a platoon guy versus LH pitching. Also, Fraley is 28 years old and arbitration eligible for 2024.

      • Harry Stoner

        Besides opening a spot for RLN fair-haired boy Fairchild, I’m not sure what trading Fraley accomplishes.

        If he is that limited by his platoonedness, why would that be attractive to another team?

        Even as a platoon player, he’s on track for 20-25 hrs and 100 rbis.

        OPS juggling aside, the Reds aren’t going to get that productivity out of Fairchild or Benson or Senzel.

        With his spot opened up, moving Steer or CES permanently to the OF might not result in any worse D than Fraley.

        Fairchild is not the answer for replacing Fraley’s production.

        CES very well could.

        Fraley isn’t going to garner a quality pitcher on his own…he’ll be an add on at best with a valuable MiLB prospect if the Reds hope to get anything beyond a Weaver or Williamson.

      • Melvin

        I like Fraley and many on here don’t like the idea of trading him. However he is a platoon guy although a very good one. If we could get something good for him I’d seriously consider it. Personally I’d much rather have a guy like CES taking his place who doesn’t need a platoon partner.

      • Jim Walker

        @Harry, CES is at ~1.000 OPS from both sides of the plate. Even allowing for a 10-15% drop off from AAA to MLB, he should match Fraley+ Fraley’s platoon partner without the need for a platoon partner.

        How the Reds spend that other spot (the platoon partner) doesn’t even need to figure in the move. Steer plays LF; CES is DH and can play 1B if they need to platoon Votto by using Stephenson at DH. The RF slot is Benson/ Senzel in a platoon.

        After the deadline or in the off season they can reset or reposition however they choose.

      • doofus

        Houston is looking for a Fraley type player. Lefthanded bat can play all OF posits.

  15. Lid

    With that pitching staff, the offense probably would win games like 7-6 and lose games to good teams like 6-7 .. Would Senzel or Barrero get you a guy like JP Sears or any 4 plus ERA guys?

    At this point, we would take a guy giving 6 inn, allowing 4 .. which is still a 6 ERA.
    Santillan would provide depth, starting or relieving.

  16. Frankie Tomatoes

    This front office has to acquire a starting pitcher. You are in first place and have a rotation held together by some duct tape from 1987 that is fraying and sticky on the outside but not gripping well on the underside.

  17. Steve Schoenbaechler

    If you trade, trade at a position of excess. For example (got that, people, an example), at the big leagues, I would set McLain and DLC as our SS and 3rd base several years. If we have someone for SS and 3rd at AA or AAA becoming major league ready now, we either trade McLain/DLC or trade the prospects. Either that, or have the prospects change their positions now for what we need.

    People talk about “don’t trade away our future”. I consider it as trading away our “needless future”. These players wouldn’t be needed for years. And, I was never a fan of holding prospects at the minor league level “just in case”. That’s exactly what we are doing with CES right now.

    If I couldn’t create some “tradebait” that way, then I would just hang on with what I have been doing, considering at worst, “Well, this year wasn’t suppose to be THE YEAR, anyhow. Move on with what we’ve been doing.”

    Then, also, consider rehashing everything we’ve been doing with the pitching. Seriously, I’m tired of seeing so many pitching injuries. People may consider, “This year has just been bad luck.” But, it seems to be many years recently. If it was just one year, I could see it being a coincidence. But, many years? That’s a trend. Something is going on. It might be something each player is doing wrong. It might be the pitching coaches. it might be the medical/training staff. Check everything out.

    • Daniel Kals

      I agree on the point that we have an excess of infielders, that so manyd worry that we would be mortgaging away. Nick Krall got the best prospects he could get in the trades of Castillo, Gray, Mahle, Suarez and Winker. The fact if the matter is, they were almost all shortstops or 3B. The hope is you can find your SS, 3B, and 1B of the future from that group and maybe you can move one to the outfield. The Reds have already done that! They are set in the infield for the future already, (EDLC, McLain, India, Steer) even if you don’t add CES and Marte. If you do add CES, you move Steer to the outfield with Friedl, Fraley, and Benson. And then you STILL have Marte. And you still have Arroyo. And you still have Collier. Meanwhile you have Andrew Abbott, two pitchers who may or may not be chronically injured (Greene and Lodolo), and nobody else… maybe Connor Phillips in a year or two. I just don’t get the idea that by trading Arroyo, Collier, or even Marte or CES that you are “mortgaging your future.”

      The Reds gave away all their pitching to get a bunch of guys, hoping 3-4 of them would hit. Turns out 5-6 of them have hit, with more possibly on the way. They have excess. Trading one or more of those position players for pitching is not defeating the purpose. It’s what contending teams do! I just think people have a hard time accepting that we are a contending team. After so many years of failure, it seems like it must be a mirage. And yes, it’s being realistic to say we’re not ready to contend when you look at the complete lack of starting pitching. But it’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you say “We’re not ready to contend yet, we don’t have the pitching” as the reason for not going out and getting the pitching, you are making a circular argument.

      • Shannon

        100% agree. Last year at the deadline we traded Castillo a proven ace with a year and half of control for Marte & Arroyo when we didn’t have a chance. This year since we are in the thick of things why wouldn’t we trade both to say a Shane Bieber a proven ace with a year and half control. Especially considering how bad we need pitching.

        We have no place to play Marte at the big league level for at least 4 years. Their we be other drafts and international signings between now and then to get similar players back.

  18. Oxfordsport

    Nobody expected much but last place for this team at the start of the year. The recent success has hopes high but i question whether it can be sustained. It’s not unusual for young guys to come up and do well but pitchers find their weaknesses and we should expect some regression.
    I’m opposed to trading young talent for mediocre/expensive pitching. I don’t see any way that the team can go find 3 decent affordable starters in this environment and one won’t be enough.
    Sit back, wait for some deals at the trade deadline or the end of the year.

  19. Lid

    Wow .. more duct tape .. Jake Wong and Eduardo Salazar coming up .. I’ve never seen such astronomical ERA’s, walk rates ..

    • Pete

      Are we reaching the point where pitchers will be compensated not based on effectiveness but rather how durable they may be?

  20. Indy Red Man

    HG out til August probably means August 15 or something. That’s probably the final straw unless they win 35 in August- September.

    I definitely wouldn’t make a big trade, but it wouldn’t require that for Lorenzen or Blackburn. If 83-84 wins takes the division then they might be able to hang around

    • Pete

      Anytime I hear hip injury I think of Bo Jackson.

  21. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I just heard that Marte is being promoted to AAA. He plays SS. Right now, I would start making commitments. But, it all depends upon which way to go.

    For example, we have Elly and McLain who can play SS. Why another one? Marte becomes tradebait.

    Or, change Marte’s position right now, to a position we will need, like OF.

    I’m sure other possible combinations.

    • Harry Stoner

      The Reds traded Castillo for Marte.

      Trading Marte for a pitcher (likely lesser than LC) sounds kind of surreal to me.

      • Melvin

        You beat me to it. I don’t like trading Marte but If it would mean getting Castillo back I’d go for it even if we had to throw someone else in the deal. Not likely Seattle would go for it though unfortunately.

  22. MK

    Speaking of trades, Mike Moustakas traded to the Angels from the Rockies. Rockies got a mid-level prospect for him. Reds get nothing but the salary bill.

    • Melvin

      Like I said yesterday. Call the Angel’s GM. He must be going through some tough times mentally. Maybe we could get a steal on a decent player. lol

  23. Indy Red Man

    If they got Blackburn from the A’s for instance, he’s getting arbitration next year.
    Abbott, HG, Lodolo, Blackburn, and Stoudt with Phillips and Ashcraft. That’s not bad at all moving forward. They could afford 1 bigger name FA starter and those #5 candidates all have outstanding arms if they learn how to pitch. Much higher ceilings then most lower rotation guys

  24. MBS

    I’ll throw this back out to the universe:

    Trade – India = Bieber
    Trade – Richardson, and Stewart = Giolito
    Trade – Fraley, Allen, and Comp pick = Chapman, and Barlow

    2023 Rotation: Bieber, Greene, Giolito, Abbott, Lively, Weaver, Ashcraft, Lodolo
    2024 Rotation: Urias (FA) Bieber, Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Abbott, Phillips, Petty

    2023 Pen: Diaz, Chapman, Barlow, Sims, Young, Gibaut, Farmer, Law
    2024 Pen: Diaz, Chapman, Barlow, Sims, Young, Gibaut, Duarte, Salazar

    2023 C: Stephenson, Maile
    2024 C: Stephenson, Robinson

    2023 INF: EDLC, McLain, Steer, CES, DH: Votto
    2024 INF: EDLC, McLain, Marte, CES, DH: Steer

    2023 U: Senzel, Reynolds
    2024 U: Senzel, Barrero

    2023 OF: Friedl, Benson, Fairchild, Myers
    2024 OF: Friedl, Benson, Fairchild, Hopkins

    • MBS

      Oops I should have edited this from last time Myers has been DFA’d, So Hopkins or Ramos could fill the 4th OF spot in 23 in place of Myers.

    • jmb

      I heard recently that Bieber trade value is not very high these days. But I don’t think they’d want India, anyway. The Guardians need an outfielder, one that’s ready to help them win the division. A trade with Washington for Lane Thomas would make more sense, maybe Quantrill, not Bieber, going the other way. I’m all for the Reds trying to land Chapman AND Barlow, but I’d give up Hinds or Hendrick (both are 22 already and strike out WAY too much) instead of Fraley. Richardson should not be traded, and I don’t know who would want Allen (but I’m all for trading him, as I hate it when people put numbers after their name). Stewart is good trade bait, though, as are Arroyo, Acosta, and Collier…if we’re talking about guys from the prospects list. But for Giolito, or any other rental starter, guys like Allen, Stewart, Hinds, Hendrick, and Acosta could be in play, but I wouldn’t give up Collier or Arroyo for a mere rental. For J. Gray, who’s controllable thru ’27, I would consider trading them, yes. J. Gray would go great with the Big 4 to start next season! Adding him would give Krall a bunch of flexibility in the coming years. With Richarson, Phillips, and Petty coming up, if Greene and/or Ashcroft continue with injury or mojo woes, they could be replaced.

  25. LT

    Kinda if expecting it but still am sad and mad about it. The Reds have an absurd way of revealing and handing SP injuries.

  26. Thomas Atwood

    To get Luis Castillo, the Mariners gave up Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo and Levi Stoudt. So to get a top shelf starter like Bieber, the Reds would certainly have to part with CES along with another solid prospect (Arroyo, Hinds maybe) and a pitcher like Phillips, Richardson or Petty. Are we going to be happy with that?

    If Krall pursues less expensive options like Lynn or Lorenzen and they don’t have a magical change-of-scenery transformation, how many will be complaining that he didn’t really try?

    • Michael E

      Don’t do it, Bieber doesn’t move the needle past 4 or 5% chance of WS title and he has had his struggles this year, at least by his standards.

      He is still solid, but no longer an ACE. He’s a solid SP2 type and probably better as an SP3 on a true contender that have established SP1 and SP2.

    • mac624

      The best chance for a solid Starter will be in the off season when they sign the free agent contract. At the trade deadline a Lynn or Lorenzen makes a lot of sense to me for a mid-level prospect and a flyer prospect. Trying to get a good to very good starter at the trade deadline will assuredly cost us CES or Marte. Just how it goes. Not sure I want to part with either of those guys for a rental. The Central division is not very good. I don’t think it’s going to take much more than a Lynn or Lorenzen type to compete for the title this season. With the offense coming back in 2024, the Reds are going to be attractive to some solid starters if ownership will pay, and I’m assuming they will do that.

      • Thomas Atwood

        I agree. I’m inclined to pursue two guys like that (unless the murkiness around Greene or Lodolo clears, I’m inclined to wonder if they will be back in time to make much impact) to go with Abbott, Ashcraft, Lively and Williamson. That’s an impressive rookie and five SP4/SP5 without HG or NL, which might be enough to get through the divisional round given how well the bats are hitting. Then pursue an interesting name in the off-season.

        It’s worth an effort, but not a no-holds-barred effort.

    • greenmtred

      Important to remember that the various candidates we’re suggesting the Reds acquire would then be pitching half of their games at GABP, not a pitcher’s paradise.

    • Shannon

      The answer to question #1 is kind of yes but not CES because he is the starting first baseman for the next 6 years starting in 2024. Marte who has no position to play for the reds for the next 4 years and any of the other prospects you mentioned (arroyo, hinds, Phillips, petty) for Bieber a proven ace with team control next year. Latest project rankings CES was 34 overall and Marte 44 overall so if Cleveland would take one they would take the other as a centerpiece.

      The answer to question #2 is no. None of our organizational top 10 prospects for 2 months of a mid rotation type.

  27. Michael E

    After the Greene news, I am out on ANY trades (unless someone wants to gift us an above average SP for prospect #15).

    There is too many holes to fill in the rotation to become even pretender-contender.
    Right now, even if we traded 3 top 6 prospects and added an ace, we’d still be well behind the eight ball against the likes of the Braves (Fried and Wright will be back before Lodolo and Greene), Dodgers, Giants and Padres.

    Heck, I don’t see us holding on to NL Central title. The rotation just looks ugly compared to Milwaukee, Chicago and even Pittsburgh and St Louis have much better rotations.

    I am in favor of, if just to save some innings and wear and tear, a trade for an SP4 type, on the cheap (fringe top 10 prospect maybe) that can eat some innings with an ERA in the 4.00s (better if lucky, but probably not).

    • Jason Franklin

      Honestly, the front office should see this as well. You can’t let your emotions/hype rule the decisions on the future. The staff is awful now (not their fault, but still) and no reason to dump the minor leagues for a couple of rentals. I really think the Reds should do the opposite: trade what you can/anyone you won’t be resigning, ride a losing streak to a better draft position and go for it next year (that was the smart plan anyway). They will have money in the off season and know what the offense can do. So they may be willing to spend on some stud starters and a couple relievers.

    • jmb

      Well, a trade for a guy like J. Gray who is controllable thru ’27 should be okay, right? That’s 4 more seasons after this one! (for Collier and Arroyo? Too much? Collier and Benson?) But I’m with you that trading away prospects for a rental at this point would be a bad idea.

  28. Michael E

    IT sucks, but the worst possible move right now is gutting the farm because we “have a shot”. We really don’t. If we make the post-season, our percent chance of winning WS would be lowest of ALL the playoff teams, probably about 2%.

    Don’t give in to that siren song of “we didn’t pick it, it picked us” contention. It’s a mirage. It’s not real. DO NOT damage the next 4 years trying to chase a highly unlikely world series.

    Even if Greene and Lodolo DO come back healthy in August/September, not enough time to ramp up into WS winning form and endurance and they’re hardly proven post-season commodities (hopefully one day).

    • Indy Red Man

      Gutting the farm system? Let’s not get over dramatic. Stroman got pulled yesterday because of a blister. Those things linger and the Cubs have holes. Milw doesn’t hit that well in fact Williamson mowed them down. 84-85 wins will probably take the division. They could/should do something like add a #4 #5 starter and a lefty reliever…and asap. Wouldn’t cost any top 5 prospects

      • Michael E

        To fix this rotation to make it playoff worthy would take gutting the top 10. You’d need TWO top SP arms that 15 other teams are making offers to get. I am not against trading prospects and in fact I think one of Marte or Arroyo should be traded in the coming 6 months while their values are high and before they get blocked at AAA for a full season or two.

        WAY too many holes and we all know this hitting will not sustain over the dog days of summer. Better than league average, probably, but not enough to overcome terrible rotation and top post-season teams with loaded rotations.

  29. Michael E

    Time to call up those 30 year old SPs in AAA and AA. Give each of them a start this week and if they pitch decent, give them a second start, if not, maybe see if they can be the necessary long relief (3 or 4 inning) that will obviously be needed multiple times a week over the next month.

  30. Rednat

    IF we can just hang in there within striking distance until august, I think we will be fine. the schedule is favorable in august and septmeber. I wouldn’t make any earth shattering deals right now. hard to imagine any other nl central team really breaking free and running away with the division. i vote to just stay the course for now

  31. RedlegScott

    I was all in on making trades now to win the division and perhaps go beyond, but now that Greene is out too, I’ve changed my mind. No risking the farm. Not worth it. We need CES for more offensive fire power. We’re gonna need as much as we can get.

    • jmb

      Yes, the solution may be counter-intuitive: get more offense and go with the throwaway arms for the rest of the season, being that so many starters are down and we’re still waiting on some arms to mature in the minors. Rushing Richardson and/or Phillips is not the thing to do. And a trade? Benson, Barerro, Fairchild, Maile, Ramos, Pereda, Robinson, Reynolds, Lopez, Siani, Arroyo, Acosta, Hendrick, and Collier could be used as bait.

  32. Jason Franklin

    Sometimes you have to just see the facts: the team will not be in first place long. DO NOT trade anyone this year that you see as important for next year just to bandage this staff for this year. If the Reds had only one or two starters down, then you can see hope. But basically the whole staff is down or not competitive. You have to look at the future when you are a team that cannot spend like the Yankees or Mets. Do not rush up Phillips or Richardson’s. Be patient, even if it means losing. Spend this off season on two starters once Votto falls off the books. Am I the only thinking this way?

    • Jim Walker

      This is why Fraley is my 1st pick to move. He will be 29 and arb eligible in 2024. He is 5+ years older than CES who I would replace him with. He is a 1 dimensional player who is very good at what he is good at. Good enough someone will want him because they do not have a CES to plug in who is younger, better all around and cheaper for the through the 2027 season

      • Indy Red Man

        Jim? You too…lol? You can’t trade TOV…the original Viking? I think Fraley is worth more to us then he’d bring in a trade and I think his style rubs off in the clubhouse

      • Tom Diesman

        I had to giggle at Fraley being 1 dimensional. The guy can play all 3 OF spots and is on pace to a be 20 HR/20 SB in a strict platoon.

      • Melvin

        I can’t speak for Jim but I think he just means one dimensional in that he can’t hit LH pitching. I like Fraley too but if you have to give up something to get something I’d rather give up a platoon guy rather than someone who could hit well from both sides. Just depends on how much another team would value him. If we could get a decent enough pitcher I’d consider giving up both sides of that platoon Senzel/Fraley if another team wanted them.

      • Jim Walker

        @Tom> Fraley was as much responsible for the Sunday loss as anyone on the team. In the top of the 3rd, he misplayed a ball hit by the lead off man into a triple to start a 3 run inning. On this play, he either made a very bad read or took a 1 way route when it was not needed or prudent to do so.

        Later, he couldn’t get off a throw on a (admittedly borderline) chance to get a man at the plate on a short to medium level (sac) fly ball.

        Earlier in the series he had a TOOTBLAN which as the inning unfolded almost certainly cost the Reds a run.

        In the prior series, a couple of times he was stumbling around in LF in prime Adam Dunn style.

        Traditional evaluation divides “hitting” and “hitting for power” into separate categories; so, maybe I should have said he is 2 dimensional except he only hits at an MLB level versus RH pitching. So, his 1 dimension is that the ~70% of the time a RH pitcher is facing the Reds and he comes to the plate he is very good at hitting.

      • Jim Walker

        @IRM>>> At the beginning of the season Fraley was the best LH hitter on the team. and, worth the overhead of being a platoon guy. Since then EDLC has happened from the left side vs RH pitching. Friedl has blossomed as LH hitter vs pitching from both sides. Benson has blossomed (at least vs RH pitching). Also, they now have 5 guys who bat from the RH side that have .800+ OPS versus RH pitching. CES is on the horizon and almost a lock to join that group.

        These factors have reduced Fraley’s relative value to the team to where what he can bring them that they don’t have may be his greatest value to them.

    • Rob

      Jason, think that will be a tough pill for the fans and ownership to swallow. Like it or not we are a playoff. Contender and it is July. Sure we can wait until next year to make some trades but there are no guarantees next year is going to be any better or different than this year We are at the altar. Doing nothing probably means being out of the playoff hunt in August or September as our bullpen fatigues out. I think we have hungry fans and ownership who want us to make 2023 a playoff year. We have bookoodles of young chips and a decent sum of money to spend. Some are never going to be nothing but platoon players or 4th OFs. I understand you like some of these as others do also, but the premise right now is that we are teetering on an overworked bullpen and badly need some 6-7 inning starts. Without some additions, I can’t see this being any better than a 75 win team. 3rd place. And believe me the Cubs are going to be out there looking to improve their club.

  33. capnhook33

    I floated the idea to my friends of just trading for decent relievers (think like gibaut, buck farmer types). Would cost almost nothing from the farm so it doesnt mortgage the future at all. One of those flier prospects might turn out well, but most don’t. Then I’d consider the methodology of what’s being used in Louisville. They essentially have a team full of relievers at this point and are mixing and matching bullpen days to get through it. They are winning and outscoring people, so why not employ the same strategy? 13-14 bullpen types that can go 2 innings, mix and match 6-7 guys per day to get through it. Everyone gets a day off in between. You might get lucky and have some days where you only need 4, some days you might need 9. It requires a lot of maneuvering, but it does give you a ton of options to play matchups as well. Then you just are telling every pitcher get 6 outs as fast as you can. Would take the pressure off of feeling like these guys have to pitch well as a starter. And legitimately it would not be too much different from what we are doing now. Starters have only pitched like 76 more innings than the pen all year, and the ERA is near 6. That just isn’t gonna get it done.

  34. The Duke

    Don’t trade anyone who is in any way in the plans for 2024. You don’t give up on this season, you fight the good fight, but in no means should they be trading top prospects unless you can somehow get a SP with 3-4+ years of control left who is almost assuredly more than a back of rotation pitcher. Absolutely no rentals unless you are convinced you are selling high on someone who doesn’t have prospect value or much future value.

  35. redfanorbust

    Never thought I would be saying this about the Cincinnati Reds but we need to wait till next year to go after pitching via free agency so we can keep our young talent. We will then have all our current SP currently back and can make a better informed decision about where we stand. We need to spend money. Obviously not Mets money but much more than we normally spend and we need (obviously) to spend it on starting pitching. There has never been a better time/window for us to do some serious spending and complement the hitting. I know ownership has been seeing the crowds at GABP lately and I am sure they would like that to continue. With our
    exorbitant amount of injuries this year best we can do is play the time honored OSU buckeye song “hang on Snoopy, Snoopy hang on”.

  36. Klugo

    We traded away our pitching for hitting and it’s showing.

    • Thomas Atwood

      This rebuild doesn’t happen without trading Castillo, Gray and Mahle… as tough as that was to watch. I guess they could have kept everybody and played the same HR-oriented game they had been. I find this team a lot more fun.

      They have pitching. They problem is that it takes about 1.5 seasons — roughly 50 starts — for most good pitchers to get their feet under them. Green has the most starts at 38. The idea was for all these young guys to take their lumps this year and be ready for next year. The pitchers are. It’s highly unusual for all of these batters to produce so early. Are we starting to expect the improbable?

    • The Duke

      Sign Ohtani. Solves rotation spot and DH, lol.

  37. Tom Diesman

    With the multitude of SP injuries, the maximum effort/spin rate trends, no SP allowed to see the order a 3rd time through, pitch count happy manager, and no Reds reliever allowed to perform as a long man out of the bullpen; should the Reds consider instituting the old Dan O’Brien four-day, eight-man tandem system for their SP pitching rotation?

    In this system the Reds would have 4 two man sets of SPs that would hopefully pitch 4 innings each every 4 days with probably a 70 pitch limit.

    This would leave you with 5 RP to finish out the final inning or two of each game.

    Haven’t thought it all the way through, but just seemed to make a lot of sense with direction of the game and way pitchers are now being used.

    Might look something like this in August:

    SP Greene/Williamson
    SP Lodolo/Weaver
    SP Ashcraft/Lively
    SP Abbott/Santillan

    RP Diaz
    RP Sims
    RP Young
    RP Farmer
    RP Gibaut

    • Capnhook33

      I like this idea too. I had floated a similar idea but eschewing traditional starters altogether for all bullpen guys who could go 2 innings. Then try to just mix and match 6-7 guys every other day. Make the mentality of get 6 outs as fast as possible for each guy.

      • William

        The Reds should not trade any of their top 10 prospects. I would like to see Chapman in a Reds uniform. Get two rental pitchers. If you can get a starter for more than a year that is good. Newman is someone that can be traded for pitching. I would keep Senzel. He is one of the Reds best hitters against a left handed pitchers. My guess is Newman and lower level prospects will be traded.

    • Shannon

      Currently our rotation gives up 5 runs per 4 innings and more often than not we come back to win in the last 5 innings. Not sure we could come from behind from 10 runs in the 9th inning that way.

      We need starting pitching. We needed it when the season started but since we didn’t realize we would have this much offensive firepower this year with rookies like Steer and call ups like McClain and EDLC performing more than anybody expected we now find ourselves in the division lead at the halfway point.

      As one poster mentioned it takes about 300 career innings for a starting pitcher to get their legs under them to know where they fit in a rotation if they are fit for a rotation. Greene has 200 innings Ashcraft 175 and Lodolo 150 so we are looking at the middle of next year or end of next year before we know what those 3 are capable of. Looking like Ashcraft is going to be a back end starter if that.

      So not only do we need starting pitching now and at the first of the season but we will also need it next season. What we don’t need is middle infielders and corner outfielders. We have plenty of good ones that have team control and cheap for the next several years. Most are rookies and almost all are still league minimum players.

      We will need Encarnation Strand to replace Votto at first base starting next year but we don’t need the plethora of shortstops. 2nd basemen and 3rd base prospects we have in the minor leagues right now.

      Marte is now triple a and collier and arroyo still double a so a couple of years behind Marte. With no place on the big league roster for 4 years seems like Marte is expendable.

      He is a top 50 MLB prospect close to big league ready for an organization that doesn’t have a big league position they need him for. He should get interest from uncompetitive teams that have a proven 300 career innings plus of plus starting pitcher. Might take 2 more top 10 organizational prospect to get one with 2 years of control left but could probably get one with another year of control for Marte and say Hinds.

      That would give us next season to see what we have in guys like Abbott, Phillips, Williamson and Stoutd are. If anyone remembers Ashcraft was very good his first 4 career starts last year so as good as Abbott has been it’s a 4 start sample size. We just won’t know really about any of our current rookie crop until next season at some point.

      Getting a controllable plus pitcher now will make us competitive in a weak division this year and competitive next year with normal starting pitcher health and if Abbott, Williamson and Phillips all pan out we could be in line to win a World Series next year. We have the offense, as good as the Braves evidently and maybe better since we have position players we don’t even have room for in the minors

    • AllTheHype

      You’d have those lesser guys pitching the higher leverage 6th and 7th innings. I don’t think I want Weaver coming in the 6th to protect a 2 run lead, or Williamson or the others either. I’d much rather have our successful RPs protecting that lead in the 6th and 7th. It’s worked rather well, when we are able to get the lead.

      The problem has been getting to the 5th or 6th with a lead.

  38. SteveAReno

    I noticed Fernando Cruz did well against the Braves, pitching two innings and they got no hits. I wish coach would have pitched him one more time. If he is back to his 2022 end of season form, we are going to be happy with that.

  39. doctorrockett

    I’m all for enjoying this ride, see what happens with what we have, and leave the wheelin and dealin for the winter meetings. 2024 is our year. This is the year we build upon. Build identity, hunger, perseverance, and experience.

  40. Shannon

    I have yet to see a logical reason we don’t trade Marte for controllable plus starting pitching if we can get that trade. Is it because his trade value will be more in the off season? Because I see no place for him to play in 2024-2027.

    Is it our offense is that bad that India, McClain, EDLC or Steer needs to be replaced? Because those are the ones playing the positions Marte can play. India is first year arbitration next year and the other 3 rookies so who do we bench or cut to make rook for Marte? All except EDLC bat right handed like Marte.

    India has been around long enough now to be what he is a close to .800 ops 2nd baseman. Is the thought Mcclains .900 ops is going to taper down to around .800 and Marte is a true mlb .900 ops shortstop.

    Just trying to figure how holding Marte makes our big league club better if we can package him with another lesser prospect to get a controllable plus starting pitcher?

    • Michael E

      I agree on trading a Marte or Arroyo, but it’s going to take more than JUST Marte to get a quality, controllable young arm. IT would start with Marte and probably have another top 6 prospect. That is what scares me. IT would take a third top 8 prospect for a younger stud pitcher. So, say we add that now, we are no closer to winning in the post-season with one good pitcher and patched up SP 2 and 3.

      That said, if 2 or more years of control of a HIGH quality arm, upside of ace, currently at least an SP2 type, then sure, go for it.

      I hope in November/December the Reds sign one big time arm in FA to pair with Greene, Lodolo, Abbott, others in 2024.

  41. Reds67

    The present influx of quality position players reminds me of the mid 80s when the Reds brought up the Crown Jewels(untouchables) of their minor league system: Davis, Larkin, O’Niell, Daniels, Stilwell and to a lesser extent T. Jones and N. Esasky. By the time they won the World Series in 1990 only Davis, Larkin and O’Niell were still on the team. So while I would like to think there are untouchable on this Reds roster that might not be true. My hope is the Reds trade the right players.

    If I was going to make a trade for a pitcher this year I would hope it would be for someone who could help the Reds for the next few years. Someone like Adrien Morejon SD. I do agree with Mr. Walker in that the Reds need to trade someone on their big league roster. If you exclude the rookies I rank the trade value of players as:
    1 India
    2 Stephenson
    3 Fraley
    4 Senzel
    5 Newman
    India would make the most sense as far as clearing up defensive positioning. But him and Fraley at this time means to much to Team chemistry.
    So my trade proposal would be:
    Stephenson and Senzel for Adrian Morejon, Brent Honeywell, Adam Mazur.

    I had another idea. The Reds in the next few year need pitching and that could come from internal development or external free agents. A 3rd option is the amateur draft. The Red would kind of be blowing up their minor league system but what if with their 21 picks they took 18-20 college pitchers. Maybe you hit on 2-4 of them and they are in the majors and helping the Reds in 2-3 years.

  42. jmb

    Kennedy and Mariot, come on down! You’re the contestants on The Rotation Is Wrong!

  43. Rob

    Just for the record, I think we should trade for a couple starters now. I don’t think this bullpen can hold together any longer with these everyday 3-4 inning starts. Without a couple trades, I am afraid that in late July we are going to find ourselves 6-8 games out and in need of bigger fish or an opportunity squandered. No, I would not trade our top prospects. Yes, I would trade youth at positions of excess. Yes, I would take on a 3 month rental or a mid priced guy with a 1-2 year contract. You always have the option of trading him this winter or next year if your superstar big 3 find lightening in a bottle.

  44. Doc

    Seattle picked up Castillo – they sit in 4th place under .500.
    Minnesota picked up Mahle – they sit under .500, albeit atop the division.
    Mets spent big trying to get pitching – they sit well under .500.
    Padres spent big for everything, including pitching – they sit well under .500

    Where are all the success stories in which spending for for someone else’s pitching contract mistakes shows big return?

    As a small market, limited budget team, the Reds should not be in the mode of taking on other teams’ big salary contracts. Heck, they already have their own $53MM pitcher sitting on the IL with a hip problem. Hope he is not a $53MM mistake due to chronic hip injury. Mesoraco, though a different position, was in retrospect a salary mistake due to hip issues and a pitcher with a bad hip and one TJ surgery under his belt already has earmarks of a salary mistake. Antone shows what a second TJ does, and Greene is not out of the woods yet. A toe injury ruined Dizzy Dean’s arm and career; no telling what a hip problem can do to a guy who “effortlessly throws 100+”.

    Might also note that many on this site were eager to lock up Lodolo and Ashcraft to ball park contracts ala Greene’s. Looking pretty good right now that Reds did not make those moves.