The trade deadline has come and gone and the Cincinnati Reds did… not much. Falling back on the old arguments of, “We’re getting guys back!” and “We didn’t want to trade important future pieces.” Fine. Whatever. I can squint and see it, I guess.

Except that, as far as I can tell, this team still plans to send Luke Weaver out to make starts. That should not happen and here’s why: The Reds are probably going to make the playoffs this year. It’s weird to say that, but here we are. They’re in first place as of this writing. It’s August. Even if they were to fall out of first, they’d still be in a wildcard spot. They’ve been one of the best teams in baseball overall since they started letting the best players play. In short, the Reds belong, but they need to start acting like it.

The question now should not be about making the playoffs. It should be about increasing their chances of winning it all. There’s a relatively simple way to do effectively double their chances: Pass the Dodgers.

The two best division winners do not have to play in the first round. Given that MLB playoff series results deviate just slightly from what you’d get if you flipped a coin (yes this is true, no, I will not argue it, go read. You have Google right there.), the best way they can boost their chances is to avoid one of the coin flips. That means passing the Dodgers.

A team that is trying to pass the Dodgers (who are 4 games up on the Reds as of this moment), does not start Luke Weaver. Instead, the Reds need to call up Connor Phillips, who seems to be doing his best Andrew Abbott impersonation this year. Weaver has to make his next start (Phillips won’t be on full rest), but that needs to be his last one. I don’t necessarily think Phillips needs to stay up. Once Greene is back, you can send him back down to finish the year with Louisville, but Phillips is clearly a better option than a guy who has had an ERA over 6.00 in three of his last four seasons.

We’ve been told to expect Hunter Greene on August 20th and Lodolo perhaps a bit after that. Given the off days coming up, the Reds only HAVE to have a 5th starter once after Weaver’s next start. So maybe Phillips makes one start. Maybe he makes two. Maybe Greene is delayed and he makes 3 or 4. Frankly, I don’t care. Stop relying on luck every fifth day. Act like you belong and go get the second seed.

92 Responses

  1. Ken

    The best trades are quite often the ones that are never made.

    • doofus

      Since the Castellini’s took over, all I can say is what a long strange trip it’s been.

  2. doofus

    Jason, you make too much sense.

    Like 2010, 2012 and 2013 the common denominator is that the Queeq family still hold controlling interest of the Reds. And, I believe they still meddle in baseball decisions, because after all their expertise is in selling round objects to the people.

    • greenmtred

      Great comment, doofus. I’ll be laughing all day.

  3. Chris Ball

    It’s just tough because Phillips has shown that he has the stuff to be pretty good in the future but right now he’s on a strict pitch count and doesn’t even really get out of the 5th even in the minors. I’m just not sure that he’s the answer for right now.

    At the same time, I think that Dallas Keuchel might be in a better position to contribute if he’s signed. He’s got experience, can eat some innings, and at the very least buy us some time until Greene and Lodolo return. Just a thought.

  4. jon

    The issue is now Lively. His next start was going to be Sunday which is Phillips next scheduled start. Phillips should be pitching Sunday and stays until Greene or Lively return.

    • Rob

      It almost has to be Phillips. The overrated Kennedy started last night (after Lively’s IL announcement) and would be pitching on short rest. The other candidate Stoudt has no options remaining. Meaning he has to stay on the Reds 26 the rest of the year or become a waiver wire guy. You never never would that to your #12 prospect who you could have gotten Jordan Montgomery for. No chance with Greene, Lodolo, Guiterez, and Lively returning. Phillips needs development and has issues with the walks and is not the ideal solution. But this is the bed the Reds made on August 1.

      • David

        Rob, you could look at Connor Phillips game logs, start by start, by month, for this year.
        As his control has improved (which it has) his ERA has gone down.

        Clearly, he has improved control within the strike zone.

        He may get lit up in his first ML appearance, but short term and long term, he is a better alternative than either Ben Lively (who is a good guy) and Luke Weaver (who may be a never was).

        As Jason says, the Reds need to act like they belong where they are, and stop relying on duct tape and bailing wire to hold the pitching staff together.

        And injury to Weaver or Lively was almost predictable, as they are not that sturdy (Lively has been injured a lot over his MiLB career).
        And someone should be prepared to back up Connor Phillips, when someone else goes down.
        I can believe that Hunter Greene will return to the rotation in a reasonable amount of time, but….I would not count on Lodolo contributing much more this year.

      • DHud

        Stoudt absolutely has options remaining

    • Rob

      It almost has to be Phillips. The overrated Kennedy started last night (after Lively’s IL announcement) and would be pitching on short rest. The other candidate Stoudt has no options remaining. Meaning he has to stay on the Reds 26 the rest of the year or become a waiver wire guy. You never never would that to your #12 prospect who you likely could have gotten Jordan Montgomery for. No chance with Greene, Lodolo, Guiterez, and Lively returning. Phillips needs development and has issues with the walks and is not the ideal solution. But this is the bed the Reds made on August 1.

      • Rob

        DHud, sorry if I am wrong here re: Stoudt and his allowable return trips to Louisville. I did read in some publication (???) that Stoudt had been returned to Louisville 4 times this year and that was the max return trips allowed. And if brought up again (like Sunday), he could not be returned to Louisville without passing through the waiver wire. He would have to finish the year on the Reds 26! Which in no way is going to happen with the pending return of 3-4 pitchers currently on IL. So if you are correct, then it would seem that Stoudt would get the call up. While on the subject, I sure in the heck would have traded Stoudt for one of Flaherty, Montgomery, or Lorenzen rentals who went for a #10 like prospect talent. 4 or 5 good outings instead of Weaver could make a huge impact in this race.

  5. Red Lasso

    Why would you worry about Reds pitching when they’ve only surrendered 36 runs in the past two games?

    • greenmtred

      Because it was two games and they’ve been pretty good for most of the season? It won’t hurt a bit to shore the staff up, but this would have been true if the Reds had just swept the Cubs via four shut outs. It’s also true of almost every team in MLB, and that’s probably why Krall didn’t add household name pitchers at the trade deadline: short supply, high demand, high prices. I wish we had somebody starting today in Weaver’s place, to be sure. But maybe he’ll surprise us pleasantly. He did the last time he pitched.

      • Myles

        They’ve been pretty good for most of the season?
        Not the starters.

    • weigarp

      Try to keep things in perspective. Prior to giving up these 36 runs against the Cubs, Reds pitching only gave up 36 total runs in their previous 12 games. I think they’ll turn things around again.

  6. Scotly50

    At best, Greene and Lodolo will be at full level until mid September.

  7. Chris

    The faith that this front office has in the current pitching staff is absolutely baffling. But it fits…. the Reds’ front office motto is “be cheap and rely on luck”.

    • doofus

      That is the motto of the CEO and his family. The front office just follows in lock step with their wishes, except maybe Dick Williams when he was the front office.

      • greenmtred

        Given that the CEO doles out the money, what choice does the front office have?

  8. jmb

    What about signing Keuchel? He’s got his tremendous ground-ball rate back–perfect for GABP. If they are able to do that, their trade-deadline moves would then be sufficient.

    • MBS

      I’d sign him if we can, I think he becomes eligible to be singed any day now.

    • colorado Red

      Called up, not eligible to be signed.

    • JayTheRed

      I suggested the other day to sign him. Can’t be any worse than Weaver has been. Most likely it will be better results.

  9. Soto

    They have to at least try an opener with Weaver. His first inning stats are abysmal. Why this team waits so long to give their top prospects big league opportunities seems weird to me. I am a Krall fan but he deserves some criticism for the slow rolling of the young talent. It was clear in spring training who our best players were. This team has been successful this year because of the extraordinary play of their young players. CES should have been up as soon as he was healthy. Elly, McClain, and Abbott should all have been up earlier. Why wait to give Phillips a shot. The track record speaks loud and clear. Our young players can play, so let them play. I hope Phillips is up for the Nationals this weekend. They have to stop rolling Weaver out as a traditional starter.

    • Indy Red Man

      Exactly. Phillips for Lively and Kennedy for Weaver if gets blasted again. Cubs tried an opener for Smyly, but I doubt it work work for Weaver. He’d just get beat up a little later

    • greenmtred

      That criticism has been leveled at the Reds for years, Soto, and I know so little about player development that I can’t form an opinion. The rookies with the Reds now don’t offer conclusive clues, in my opinion. Steer and McClain and Benson are consistently good, but would they have struggled more had they been brought up sooner? CES is still deeply in small sample size territory, and Elly seems , so far,to be the most mercurial player I can think of: 4 for 5 with a mammoth homer one day, followed by 5 futile at-bats the next. Would more time at AAA have helped? Dunno.

    • AllTheHype

      I’m not saying Phillips wouldn’t be better than Weaver, he might. But Phillips is not what Abbott was when Abbott was promoted, as this article suggests. He has less control/command, more BBs, less repertoire, and less pitch efficiency.

      He’s only gotten an out past the 5th inning in 4 starts out of 20 while generally being held to a 90-100 pitch limit. That’s not good!!!

      So while the Reds are clearly saying he’s not ready, there is certainly some justification behind that.

  10. GPod

    Tonight is the biggest game of the year in my opinion. Win and split the 4 game series, a 500 road trip and come home feeling better about yourself and very winnable games on the homestand as you get closer to getting some pitchers back off the DL….get your head handed to you for the 3rd straight game and all bets are off. I know it’s only one game, but you need to stop the feeling of “the wheels are falling off”

    • Indy Red Man

      It’s big, but that last game with Milwaukee seemed huge and we rebounded quickly to jump ahead again. Momentum wise though, get this one tonight and they’ve done exactly what they needed to do on this road trip

    • David

      I think you are correct in your summary, but I personally expect another whippin’ tonight, as Luke Weaver returns to his expected form.

  11. Thomas Atwood

    Krall has earned some latitude with me. But he got schooled in deadline trades by the Braves, who added two bullpen arms and a backup IF in exchange for three SP flyers and cash. I wonder if NK was prospect-stingy or if the league felt they had cause to ask him to overpay.

    • Melvin

      Krall once said he wants the Reds to avoid “peaks and valleys”. Well I wouldn’t mind the peaks so much. lol Unfortunately for me my opinion of Krall has “peaks and valleys”. 🙂

  12. Jim Walker

    Count me among those who believe Krall’s inaction at the deadline reflected owner interference versus his own free choice. Otherwise, why would a man who has played his hand like a riverboat gambler all season suddenly fold like he did on deadline day?

    The Senzel article today on MLB(.)com by Mark Sheldon supports this theory. A player and his agent don’t meet with the PoBO a couple of weeks ahead of the deadline to make it clear the player would welcome a better opportunity elsewhere then the player not be traded at least for a bag of batting practice balls. The agent, Boras, was subsequently quoted in the Enquirer that he felt certain there were teams that would like to have Senzel. When Boras says something like that, bet on him knowing exactly who those teams are and that he could facilitate a deal.

    There had to be a complicating factor; and, what else would that be other than the ownership.

    • Scott

      We should call up Vossler today. Maile cant pitch 3 days in a row.

    • Votto4life

      @jim Walker as always, you are spot on!

    • wkuchad

      There could be several other factors. The biggest is we’re in first place and trying to make the playoffs. Playing Senzel and benching Fraley against lefties has been a great platoon for the Reds. Senzel has value to us. If a team wasn’t willing to give up adequate value in return that would help us this year, why trade him?

      • Jim Walker

        Senzel, Newman, and Barrero are all essentially the same player; and, all 3 are still with the Reds. That is what does not make sense.

        Granted Barrero has not demonstrated he would be a one to one replacement for Senzel as a platoon partner. However, the difference between Senzel and Newman vs LH pitching is Tweedledee vs Tweedledum; and Newman is much stronger vs RH pitching.

        With Benson and Friedl both getting more looks vs LH pitching plus Fairchild returned as the prime CF backup, they really need only 1 of Newman or Senzel. Plug Newman in for Fraley, play him on the infield and swing Steer to LF. Job done.

        And why trade Senzel? A guy and his agent meet with PoBO and say he wants more playing time but understands the Reds situation makes that unlikely that is basically asking to be traded. And that account comes from Senzel quotes in the Sheldon article. Despite the guy saying he will do his best for the Reds to make it through the season then see what happens, does a team really want him around, especially after this article runs on the official team website?

        Wish him well and send him on his way for whatever return there is to be had.

    • MBS

      I don’t know if it was ownership tying his hands, or himself. I am a huge Krall fan, and I think he will continue to improve the organization.

      The pieces that could bring back the biggest value were the pieces that had been acquired under Krall’s tenure as GM. He maybe reluctant (maybe rightly so) to part with them.

      All I know at this point is the offseason will be interesting. He’s going to assembling his Reds team like an Ikea desk, and realizing he’s got parts left over.

      “Why do I have 3 S6 Bolts? The instructions say I only need 2, maybe they sent me 1 more as a backup? I don’t know. Maybe the Twins need a S6 Bolt?”

      • Harry Stoner

        I don’t share the Krall hagiography….yet.

        The Mahle deal certainly was his coup.

        Benson was a low risk gamble that is paying off.

        We’re waiting to see on the rest.

        Yeah, even the Suarez-Winker deal.

        I think his strongest moves have been to clear out dead expensive wood.


        But three of those required ownership to eat big contracts, so in those cases the owners were clearly in support of gutsy moves from the Bull.

        But Krall brought in Minor, Pham and Myers, all duds with no return.

        Naquin, a good move and promising return. Maybe.

        Were Krall’s hands tied?

        Is he having a Hamlet moment?

        Not wanting to part with his prospect haul just yet?

        Whistling past the graveyard?

        Looking past 2023?

        Some mix of all, likely.

        No trades (but Moll) and a 3 year extension for Bell only make the tea leaves harder.

        I expect a very busy off-season, though.

      • doofus

        If they were not willing to trade prospects for some controllable pitchers, when they needed them to support a playoff run, why should we believe they will do it in the offseason?

        The most important thing that should be done is trade the Castellini’s.

      • MBS

        @doofus, I don’t think that’s what I said. I agree with everyone who wanted to bring in pitching help. I did say when we get to this offseason, we are going to have too many infielders for 1 MLB roster, specifically SS’s. It will be interesting to see what he does with this surplus.

        EDLC, McLain, Marte, CES, India, Steer, Barrero, Senzel, Newman, Lopez, Reynolds

        I’m not sure if Reynolds is under team control next year, but there 10 others who are MLB quality players, and only 4 can have a position in the Reds 24 Infield.

        My Guess, not my preference is:

        Marte 3B, EDLC SS, McLain 2B, CES 1B

        My Preference

        EDLC 3B, McLain SS, Steer 2B, CES 1B

        EDLC and McLain are just so good in those spots, I don’t want them to move. Steer is doing awesome, and needs an everyday infield spot.

        No matter how they shape the infield, there are going to be a lot of guys who are expendable, and should be traded to fill other positions of need. Guys like Newman, and Senzel might only bring back a bullpen quality arm prospect, but Barrero brings back a bit more, and India a whole lot more, but Marte substantially more.

        “All I know at this point is the offseason will be interesting.”

      • doofus

        MBS, I was replying to Harry’s last sentence.

      • Harry Stoner


        I’m not predicting a blockbuster Winter trade, but if some hesitancy in trading for SP was based on 1. Greene and Lodolo returning, then Krall will have some measure of how they have healed.

        and 2. If ‘the price was too high!’ during the season play-off race, perhaps the prices come down I’ve Winter.

        And the free agent market heats up.

        Some ‘business’ might come from sorting through players marginalized by 2023 rookies or acquisitions: Newman, Reynolds, Senzel, Fairchild.

        Then there’s the “3-Catcher” gambit to play out.

        A decision on Votto will be forthcoming.

        So likely busy, yes, but with a different context altogether.

      • MBS

        @doofus, My bad sometimes it’s hard to tell. In defense of Harry’s position, we are seemingly coming to a logjam, and a trade might be the only way to clear it. It might not be blockbuster moves, but there should be some movement in the offseason. At least I would create some if I were Krall.

      • Jim Walker

        @Doofas & Harry>> In the offseason, there is about a ~1 month window to trade people the train has passed by; then they non-tender the ones they haven’t been able to trade.

        In the Sheldon article, Senzel alluded to this situation by mentioning he will be a 3rd year arbitration player for next year (and via being a Super2 with yet another year to follow that). He understands that with the Reds, at best he figures at best to get a lowball take it or leave it offer and be non-tendered instead of advancing to arbitration if he doesn’t take it

        And if he is non-tendered, at his age with his injury and performance history, he could well end up in a spring training camp on a minor league deal hustling for a MLB spot.

        Yet they think that as a bench player, he is too valuable to accommodate with a trade?? Given the options the Reds had for that roster spot, it just doesn’t make sense.

      • Melvin

        “Given the options the Reds had for that roster spot, it just doesn’t make sense.”

        Nope it doesn’t.

    • Steven Ross

      Senzel and Barrero most likely won’t be with the Reds next season. If Senzel is, 3B is by far his best position. Dude can pick it at third but there’s a logjam at the hot corner. Not knowing what other teams were asking, maybe Krall didn’t think it was worth it but I still say the Reds had to make a trade for a legit starter.

  13. Chas

    I understand the Reds staying pat but wish they would’ve done something. If the name of your team doesn’t rhyme with “Smodgers” or “Smastros” then your Championship ambitions are based on year by year luck. The thought that this team is going to build a Rays-model, year after year, winner is a dream. Reds should catch-as-catch-can anything the have to utilize all the luck they’ve been getting this year.

    • Doc

      And then they can listen to 10 more years of criticism for another rebuild that didn’t need to be if only they had had a plan. And probably from the same people who wanted the go for it immediately route.

  14. docproc

    I’m all for bringing up Connor Phillips as soon as possible. But I’m pretty sure I heard Krall say to Jim Day on the broadcast a couple of nights ago that he doesn’t want to rush Phillips. With the IL trip by Lively I hope he’s willing to change his tune.

  15. Doc

    The fact that Phillips lines up with Lively and Lively won’t be back for a couple of weeks sort of takes the wind out of the sails of the Phillips for Weaver being a no brainer. More likely will see Stroud or Kennedy as the bridge to Greene if Weaver has a repeat of his season norm rather than a repeat of his last outing.

    • Harry Stoner

      Would like to see Kennedy get another start.

      IIRC he did fairly well in his trial.

      I know the club is high on Stoudt’s potential, but he’s as dicey as Weaver right now.

      It would be weird/comical/a relief if Weaver did repeat his last effort.

  16. wolfcycle

    My gut tells me that they would bring Kennedy back up before Phillips this year. Phillips is good early but as some posters have mentioned, he fades quickly. MLB hitters will capitalize on that sooner than minor league hitters and they will also work the count on him more.

  17. TJ

    I think it’s pretty simple. Reds wanted to improve, but not overpay. Sellers had teams over a barrel. They are going to stay the course.

  18. Ron

    Connor Phillips for Lively. Brett Kennedy or Lyon Richardson for Weaver.

    Put the best team on the field every day. For me that would be: C- Maile, 1B- CES, 2B- McLain, 3B- Steer, SS- De La Cruz, LF- Fraley, CF- Friedl, RF- Benson, DH- Votto/India.

    I think the battle for the division title could go down to the last week of the season. If it does, this is how it looks:
    REDS – 2 vs Guardians (away) 2 vs Cardinals (away)
    BREWERS – 3 vs Cardinals (home) 2 vs Cubs (home)
    CUBS – 3 vs Braves (away) 2 vs Brewers (away)

  19. old-school

    This seems like a big 8 game stretch as the Reds have an odd schedule with 3 days off in 8 days starting next Thursday so that should get everyone rested and bridged to Greene on the 20th. They got to get their first though.

  20. doofus

    It is time to once again post this gem…. In short I call it the “We Know How It Is Done” epistle.

    After I read it I do not know whether to laugh or cry?

    Dear Cincinnati Reds Fans,

    We are proud to be the new owners of America’s first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds.

    We’re long-time baseball fans who have grown up with the Reds and have fond memories of going to the ballpark. In our lifetime, we faithfully cheered on the Reds through three World Series championships, six National League championships and eight division titles.

    We know this team truly belongs to you, and we understand what the Reds mean to our city and our region. We know what a winning team can do for a city’s pride. We also understand the unique legacy the Reds hold in baseball history and the potential to reignite an American love affair with the nation’s first professional baseball team.

    It is with a sense of both responsibility and respect that we pledge to Reds fans:
    • We will bring championship baseball to Cincinnati. The Reds have a long tradition of success. Only three cities have won more World Series than Cincinnati. We will work hard to be a championship team again.
    • We will build one of the most respected organizations in baseball. As partners in other successful baseball organizations we know how it’s done. We will build a winning management team by putting the right people in the right positions with the right resources to win. We will foster a winning attitude and culture.
    • We will have a greater community presence. We will continue to improve the lives of area children by building on already successful Reds Community Fund programs like the Rookie Success League. Whether it’s providing a way for inner-city children to play baseball or generating funds for charity, we’ll take this outreach to a new level.
    • We will rekindle the Reds Nation spirit. We’ll share our story and our strategy, communicating directly with fans everywhere who want to know what is going on. When you visit the ballpark, we’ll periodically be asking for your feedback so we can continuously improve the experience. Our goal is that you feel a part of the Reds Nation whether you’re at the game, listening on the radio or living in another major league city.
    • We will not rest until you are happy. The Reds are, after all, your team. You buy the tickets. You watch the games. You support us financially and emotionally. Without you, the Reds cannot be great. We know you won’t be happy until the team wins. We won’t be happy, either.
    Bringing championship baseball to Cincinnati is the ultimate goal. Like you we believe in the power, potential and magic of the Cincinnati Reds. We will work tirelessly to bring a winner home to you.

    We thank you for this opportunity and hope to earn your support.

    Robert H. Castellini
    Chief Executive Officer W. Joseph Williams, Jr.
    Chairman of the Board Thomas Williams
    Vice-Chairman of the Board

  21. J

    When the Reds cut Moose and Myers, I was cautiously optimistic they were finally willing to start making the smart — but uncomfortable — decisions that say “winning is our top priority.” But since then, I haven’t been so impressed. Yes, they brought up some rookies, but most of those decisions (especially CES) seemed to take longer than they should. And always the Reds seem to wait until things have started going badly before they bring someone up, rather than making the smart — if uncomfortable — choice to remove a veteran player from the active roster who isn’t hurt. As of this moment, the Reds have guys in the minors who would almost certainly be better than guys they have on the active roster, but it’s too uncomfortable for anyone to make those decisions, so they’ll just wait for injuries to make those decisions for them.

    And now they’ve extended Bell for three years when I don’t think anyone believes they needed to. Even Bell’s supporters, I think, would agree that he only needed to be extended for a year — two at most — and then see how things go. But it seems the Reds wanted to make him (and the players) happy rather than doing the thing that says “winning is our top priority.”

    And now they’ve done almost nothing to make a push for the playoffs, because it would have involved doing something uncomfortable — trading away a good prospect and/or taking on some additional salary. It’s just easier to do nothing than do something. Attendance will continue to be high and everyone will say this team over-performed even if they don’t make the playoffs. And there will be lots of excitement for next year, regardless. No uncomfortable decisions need to be made.

    And so, no, I don’t expect them to do the smart — but uncomfortable — thing and bring up a minor leaguer to start in place of a guy who’s clearly not a reliable major league starter. It’ll ruffle too many feathers. And what if it fails? What if they bring a guy up and he walks the first four batters and gives up 7 runs in the first inning? They’ll look like fools. It’s just easier to keep sending the bad starter out there every five days, hope he somehow manages to string together a couple decent starts, and tell a story about the minor leaguers not being ready. (“They’re still in the minors for a reason,” says Krall, without specifying what those reasons could possibly be.)

    I hope I’m wrong.

  22. greenmtred

    Lots of angst about a first-place team.

    • J

      Maybe that’s because Reds fans don’t often get a chance to say “we really ought to be in the playoffs this year.” I think some fans must either be too young or too old to realize how rare and special this is, and why it would make some fans — especially those of a certain generation — very upset if the organization doesn’t seem to be taking this opportunity seriously.

      • greenmtred

        I’m sure that’s the reason, and it may be even more frustrating–the losing, I mean–for fans my age for whom the BRM–never mind 1990–seems like yesterday. I believe that the organization changed strategy and is sticking to that plan, at least for now. No choice for us but to wait and see.

    • Doug

      That’s because we’ve seen it before. 2021 ring a bell?

  23. Indy Red Man

    Tomorrow starts a stretch with 11 of 14 at home with the road series in Pittsburgh. It seems like a good chance to gain ground. Winning tonight would be gravy, but no need to commit hari-kari or Harry Caray if it doesn’t go our way tonight

    • Thomas Atwood

      Optimism? Optimism????
      You have much to learn, padawan…

  24. Roger Garrett

    Great article and I do agree we need to start our best starters and hopefully that will happen sooner then later but for me I don’t see our young hitters being able to hit good starting pitching.Once the Braves and the Dodgers get there injured starters back and Woodard gets back with the Brewers it won’t matter who we pitch.This young team hammers hard throwers but can’t hit guys that know how to pitch.They are here because they can hit a fastball.Point in case Little Mac recently got on top of a 100+fastball and hit it out and then a couple of games later fanned 4 straight times on changeups.Any pitcher that throws EDLC a fastball close to the plate ought to be sent down.I agree also the Reds will make the play offs and will get some great experience but for now its playing and learning and getting better and making adjustments and having fun.Whats not to like?Do they belong? Of course cause nobody wants to play them not because they can’t beat them its because they love to play the game and never give up.KIds playing a kids game.

  25. J

    Obviously the organization is to blame for its own bad decisions, but I also blame the local media for essentially colluding. The organization is never forced to justify any of its decisions in any serious way. At best, it’s “tell us why you did this?” and then whatever answer is given is deemed perfectly fine. No matter what the answer is to any question, no serious pushback is ever warranted. Nobody seems willing to get serious answers to questions such as: “why on earth is Weaver still on this roster? Does Newman/Senzel really offer something that you couldn’t get from so-and-so? Why can’t you stop Elly from swinging at so many bad pitches — do you ever ask him to take a pitch? Why do you have a guy who leads the team in OPS hitting 8th? Why does India keep hitting 3rd or 5th? Who’s making that decision — is it Bell, or someone else? And can you explain the logic?” Maybe they have good explanations for all these things, but I don’t think they do. I don’t think they believe they’ll ever need to produce good explanations for anything they ever do (or don’t do), because nobody is going to demand them.

    • doofus

      I agree that local media can affect organizations. If the Reds were in the NY, Boston or Philly markets we would be hearing and reading different narratives than what the Cincy scribes provide.

    • greenmtred

      Why won’t Elly stop swinging at bad pitches? Because they look like good pitches to him when he commits to his swing. MLB pitchers can do that sort of thing and he simply needs experience to recognize those pitches for what they are. Plenty of established hitters make the same mistake. The guy with the tenth highest BA in the National League is hitting in the .280’s. Baseball is hard.

      • J

        Follow-up question: “Okay, but do you ever tell him to take a pitch when you anticipate the pitcher is about to try to get him to chase? Maybe you would want to do that sometimes, because, you know, you’re the experienced guy who’s being paid to help guide these players, and maybe you can use your experience along with recent events to help a young guy figure some things out that he’s obviously been struggling with in the majors? Do you ever tell him to take a specific pitch because you’re anticipating the pitcher will be trying to get him to chase, or are you just leaving it to Elly to guess every pitch no matter how badly he’s been guessing lately?”

        I’d like to know the answer to that question. Wouldn’t you? Or do you just not care, because nothing that happens with this team ever needs any explanation?

      • OklaRed

        Does it really matter who is guessing the manager who is constantly second guessed or the hitter seeing the pitch, it is still guessing. These are the new young guys that are so good they forced their way up to the majors you would hope they can see and guess better than a manager before the pitch. Maybe it is harder to hit in the major league than in the minors and we overvalue or overestimate the prospects production ability vs marginal performing mlb veterans. Just takes time and they may never adjust to certain pitches. That is risk you run when moving up young players many or most don’t meet expectations in long run.

        Response to J

      • J

        Yeah, Okla, I think it matters. If the team were constantly being thrown out trying to steal third bases, for example, I think it matters if players are making those bad decisions on their own or if the manager is giving them a steal sign. Either way, someone is guessing wrong, but I think it’s worth knowing what’s going wrong so appropriate changes can be made.

      • J

        Sorry, that “third” doesn’t belong there…

  26. GreatRedLegsFan

    I guess it was just a matter of time for the pitching staff to implode, it was fun while it last.

    • Indy Red Man

      Maybe it’s just the Cubs? Bellringer isn’t a .360 hitter. Morel .900 ops? Gomes is killing it too. Candelario best 3b ops in the NL? All I remember is the .230 guy on the Tigers. They’re just hot in other words

  27. Rob

    What a different and refreshing perspective. Not susposed to be this good so let’s ride it out. As we just witnessed, the Dodgers are a starting pitching wreck awaiting the return of their own injured. Yes, they certainly look like they could be caught ….but probably not others the likes of Weaver every 5 day. With Scherzer …maybe. With Scherzer, Greene, Antone, Lodolo, and another strong reliever…. Probably yes.

    This team played 10 games over 500 the first half. Can we get another 5-10 over? Is Friedl going to hit 310 again? Steer 285? Stephenson 260? Votto another 15 HRs? ELDC a superstar? Plus Greene and Lodolo winning 3-4 games each? Bullpen not wear down? We have fence straddled for 3 weeks now. We didn’t help the bullpen. We didn’t replace Weaver. 3-4 position players are regressing. Suspose if I had to make a guess at this point, I would say we are going to finish about where we are now. About 6-10 games over 500. Maybe make the playoffs. At the same time, I feel management failed this team at crunch time. If that has a negative emotional effect, then we will begin to see it very shortly and we will fall short of 2H expectations. It is obviously the most critical game of the season tonight. Win and a lot of negativity goes away. But give up 10 runs again……??

  28. Mark A Verticchio

    The fact is since the All Star break the Reds are 9 and 10 and have seemed to have lost some of their magic. I am not surprised that such a young team has seemed to have hit a wall. It could be that Krall thought the team needed more than he could get, I don’t buy that. I feel like they could have used some new energy with a trade or two.
    The question is where does this young team go now. You have to believe these last two nights have hurt this teams confidence and now they will either sink or swim. I look for Phillips to take Lively spot, as for Weaver I guess they will just have to wait for help. I don’t expect much tonight but hopefully home fans can help in the next few series if not playoff chances will be over soon.

  29. Mark A Verticchio

    I am not sure how tonight will go but Bell is playing the exact line up that I think he should. I hope the boys can score early and often and I also hope that Maile makes a difference behind the plate. I have lost a lot of confidence in the way Stephenson plays defense as well as the way he has been calling the game. Let’s hope that Weaver doesn’t get hit to hard, not to sure about that.

  30. Redsvol

    If I were the GM, I would do following;
    1) bring up Lyon’s Richardson and Brett Kennedy and pair them together in lively’s spot. Both in the 40 May and Richardson hasn’t had the control issues Phillips has plus Phillips not on 40 man
    2) come up with an injury to TS and bring curt casali back. He calls a good game and TS isn’t hitting any better than he is. I’ll take the defense.
    3) get CES in every game.
    4) never start senzel in another game. Pinch hit against lefties only.
    5) move EDLC down in order, move benson up.
    6) after today, move weaver to the bullpen and use him as the long man.
    7) if Friedl is injured, put him on the DL already and bring up Blake Dunn (DFA SALAZAR for 40 man spot).

    Nick- let me know if you need me.

  31. AllTheHype

    IF the Reds constructed the lineup based on wRC+ from June 1, and substituting CES for India, this would be it:
    1 Benson (165)
    2 Fraley (139)
    3 McLain (130)
    4 Votto (121)
    5 Steer (110)
    6 EDLC (98)
    7 Friedl (90)
    8 Stephenson (88)
    9 CES (74)

    • J

      That wouldn’t be a bad lineup at all, except of course that June 1 isn’t the right baseline to evaluate CES. Put him at 6 or 7, move the others down a notch, and it works.

      • AllTheHype

        TBH, Benson is the ideal lead off hitter. Since June 1 .420 OBP, 20 xBH, 10 SB. I want that guy getting the most PAs on the team.

        EDLC may be an ideal top 3 hitter, eventually. Not now though.

        If EDLC figures it out and gets his K rate down I would love this top 4 next year


      • J

        I might switch McLain and EDLC, but either way is fine with me. If EDLC doesn’t get it figured out, I like Benson, McLain, Steer, CES. Marte could soon be in the mix as well. What a lineup — Elly could easily be hitting 7th and it would still make perfect sense.

  32. gusnwally

    I know, I know you don’t want to hear me say this same thing again, that I have been preaching for months, BUT. Even Jim Walker ,who we all respect, said Senzel ,Barrero have no spot on this team. I have heard that pitching was high priced at the deadline. But could we not have gotten some of the pitchers who were traded for NS and JB.

  33. RedsGettingBetter

    You can’t say it better… “Stop relying on luck every fifth day. Act like you belong and go get the second seed.” …wow, it’s the pure truth… I like it so much…

  34. Melvin

    Hard to argue with what you say Jason.

  35. Tom Planchet

    By the time Greene gets back, this team could be out of it for all intents and purposes. Weaver should not be in the bigs and Stoudt isn’t ready either. Lively had some good outings and so did Williamson, but it all imploded this week when Abbott had a rare off game. The pen is gassed. This is how it was before All-Star game when the starters started doing better, problem is, DeLaCruz is in a continuing funk, Friedl’s average has dropped 30 points. Everyone but McCain has hit a slump. Votto is finally breaking out of his. Thing is, they can’t outscore the bad outings at the moment.