Reds have work cut out for them

I’m freshly back from covering the Cubs and Cardinals in the NLDS. As you know, the Cubs put on quite a display to overrun the Cardinals in four games. While I was generally focused on helping with Cardinals coverage, one thought frequently surfaced.

  
The Reds have a long way to go to catch these teams … and the Pirates, too.

Winners of 97 games in the regular season, Chicago is simply stacked with young hitters that will be around for a long time — Bryant, Schwarber, Rizzo, Soler, Russell, Baez all factored in the series. The Cubs went all in on offense and were willing to sacrifice some defense to do it Schwarber, a catcher, wasn’t always smooth in left field but manager Joe Maddon wasn’t afraid to use him to keep his bat in the lineup while Miguel Montero caught. The starting pitching could be improved (besides Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester) and the bullpen has some gaps, but the Cubs have money to spend to improve both.

Meanwhile, the 100-win Cardinals were beat up by injuries but aren’t long in the tooth. Stephen Piscotty had a great series with three two-run homers but fellow rookies like Randal Grichuk and Tommy Pham and younger players like Kolten Wong also contributed. Jason Heyward will be a free agent, but he’s only 26. If St. Louis can re-sign him, they could have a potent outfield for up to a decade.

The Pirates won 98 games but went out in the Wild Card round to the Cubs. Polanco, McCutchen, Cole and more will be back.

Just before the end of the season, Reds first baseman Joey Votto acknowledged the strength of the NL Central.

“We have really, really stiff competition in our division,” Votto said. “That’s what we have to recognize. We can’t go in with a half effort because of how good those three teams are. Three of probably the best five teams in all of baseball are in our division. These teams are really well put together, well rounded, really dangerous. They’re good it seems at every aspect of the game. We have to exceed them.”

The Reds have some promising young pitching and Votto certainly is back to producing at around 2010 levels, but the club needs offensive help and doesn’t have much money to spend. It will have to find a way to accumulate young hitters much like they’ve piled up with young power pitchers the past few years.

To exceed Chicago, St. Louis and Pittsburgh — well, that could take a while. It certainly won’t happen overnight.

93 Comments

With our Reds having record attendance this season you would think we could get a bat or two this off season. I have always believed an everyday player adds more value than a once a week pitcher, unless it’s a guy of Cueto quality!!!! What else do the fans need to do to support this team. Now it’s time for the team to support the fans.

Attendance doesn’t mean much. It’s mostly television. And that remains, even when re-negotiated soon, a reflection of the tiny market. It will not keep pace with other markets and not permit the flexibility to go out and get hitters, which I think was your prescription.

Given the financial challenges the Reds have, I’m wondering what scenario exists where guys like Joey, Homer, Brandon would restructure to help create a little flexibility. I’m not sure if it’s done in baseball at all, but I recall Tom Brady and Peyton Manning doing this to make room for acquiring new players in the NFL.

The biggest challenge the Reds have is getting better at drafting, trading for, and developing young players. Ever Since they traded half the farm away to get a couple pitchers, they haven’t developed many new young players that have jumped in at the ML level.

MLB union is not like NFL union. Name me one MLB player that has restructrured a deal after its been done.

I phrased it in a way that said “I’m wondering if…” because I don’t know if one has happened. Joey talks about how important it is to win. Maybe Joey could realize the situation his contract puts the Reds in. I’m not suggesting it is likely, but his statements made me wonder if it were possible.

Trade Joey to Toronto. They need hitters. Yes I’m laughing. We might as well trade all contracts to any takers and blow this team up. No difference in losing 105 games vs 98. Trade to any and all takers. First we have to blow up our GM and manager then formulate a real plan. Bob gave us his best shot and we blew it. Rangers looked like us. Up two and blow 3.

Thank you Mark for the great post’s. It’s hard to get Red’s news living in Northern Virginia.

A rather bleak picture you’ve painted, Mark. However, I still gotta hope that players like Bruce & Phillips can still contribute in a positive way in ’16. I know it’s not popular to be positive on Jay, but I refuse to believe that he’s shot at 29. The return of Mesaroco & Cozart, the possibility of Suarez in LF, and the potential is there for a pretty potent lineup. Lot’s of “ifs” but you could have said that about the other clubs last year, and they all succeeded. So… don’t throw in the towel on 2016 just yet…stranger things have happened….

Sorry, but IMO it going to take a few years (2018) and only if the we improve on our drafts and developement of our young players, who most probably will continue to languish in the minors while we pick up used up veterans on waivers. Hope I’m wrong.

Start the rumor. Phillips wil be moved and Suarez will play second. Brandon is needed in Texas from what I saw. Take a rain check on Hamilton too.

How does it happen so fast that we were the up and coming team. Now we’re are looking up from the abys. Put all our best ballplayers on the team and stop worrying about the arbitration clock and lets see what we have.

I like the approach on the “arbitration clock”. This situation, in my opinion, happened because Walt & Big Bob traded away half the farm system to get Marshall and Latos, and because they gave money they apparently don’t have to Phillips, Votto, and Bailey.

we sure could use travis wood now.

If we don’t get latos 2012 never happens. If Choo proved anything he proved how important if was for the lead off man to get on base. Then we got hamilton. he stinks . why people don’t admit it is beyond me. Stats don’t lie.

i’m tired of hearing about small markets and financial challenges too. Never in our wildest dreams did any of us see Votto staying or bailey gettting 100 million. We are stupid and not very logical. We need lots of talented players not a select few. TEAM. Please. When you make poor choices, consider the ramifications. Look at all the money wasted from players we got “O” out of. Where are the Miguel Cairo’s of the world. Still waiting……………..

Castellini’s group came on board ten years ago. Yes ten years. Where is all the talented, drafted and developed players they talked about. Yep it must have left with Johnny Almarez or whatever Johnny’s last name is. That was the beginning of the end.

IMO the Castellini group are bunch of very successful and wealthy business people who are at the same time terrible baseball executives.

Closing season parroting comment:
ARE BEE EYES win games. Gotta have the hitting to get those ARBY EYES.
If the Cubbies and Blue Jayshave not marched to my drumbeat on this site for the last Two years then I am blind and deaf. Reds need bats. Thanks for coming around Mark

The Reds are in a hole that is way too deep for them to contend in the near future. The Cardinals will always be good . The Cubs aren’t going anywhere but up . The’re young , talented and the organization has the money to keep them . The Pirates are in the same type of financial market the Reds are , so let’s see what happens with them over the next couple of years .

Good story- well written and interesting – JHS

Sadly the Reds will replace the Cubs as tge laughingstock. Of the NL. Bob i heard, told some season ticket holders 2015. Was a hiccup!! Very sad he fires Baker for nit getting to the next level and overlooks the bad managing of Price!! Oh yea the “injury excuse”. Cardinals dont throw that excuse out. They go get help while tge Reds pimp a All-Star game to sell tickets. But they dont have tgat luxury now. Nope losing us acceptable till tge fans stop showing up. Then it will be addressed. Can’t wait to be blamed as a fan for their bad business as owners.

Castillini and company are going to say anything to sell tickets . They’ve flat out lied to us for two years now . Why should anyone feel that’s going to change . This organization is fast becoming one the worse in pro sports . They don’t draft well and don’t develop the talent they have . How is the Cubs and Pirates have drafted so we the past few years and the Reds haven’t . It doesn’t take a lot of money to draft . It takes having someone in the organization that knows talent when they see it . The Teds don’t have that .

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I’ve noticed the tems in the playoffs have a high % of success with sacrifice bunts as well as sacrifice flies with runners at third. They also hit to the correct side of the infield to advance a runner. IMO, until the Reds can execute this faze of the game with the same consistency, they are hurting their competiveness and our rebuild will take longer to produce the team we would like to see.

Wow, Cueto getting hammered for 8 ER’s in 2 innings. I felt that when he started messing with his delivery with the half turns and quick pitches that it was a mistake. It has cost him consistency and overall rhythm. Hope he goes back to a consistent windup and delivery. He’s too good to need the razzle and dazzle.

I do feel bad for Johnny, but on the other hand, the trade we made for him might look like a steal in 2 or 3 years.

Agree. Looks good now and hope it only looks better in 2016 and beyond.

You all should stop worrying about johnny c. He’s our past. Watch from afar and be happy

Bitter, RF1, very bitter.

Our young pitching staff looks good right now. let them continue to develop and dont go after any goofy 4 to 5 mil relievers or starters. If Chicago and Pitts showed one thing its, let the kids play. We have a ton of young pitchers, let them be relief pitchers if they cant make it as starters right now. Trade Bruce and Chapman for any and all young hitters you can. Maybe try to get a young pitcher as well. That frees up the entire outfield. Would love to have the Reds find another young fast outfielder in some trades that can develop with Hamilton. Oh and teach these fast kids how to make contact when hitting or take a walk. “just get on base for Votto” should be the only slogan the Reds work on for the next two years.

Agree and well written.

I agree , but does anyone really think this management team will do the right things ? Some how , some way , they’ll screw it up .

I can’t dwell on the negative. If I don’t at least have hope that management will do the right thing, what’s the sense of being a fan?. There are always many “ifs”, but were they all to turn out in a positive way, well, any team could go from worst to best in one season; so many intangibles, and the talent differential is not that great from team to team.

Old Jim. I for one do not think they will go all in with the youth card which I think will be a mistake. I’m afraid they will try for some semblence of competing in 2016 at the expense of 2017 and beyond. I am Ok with another 2015 if it’s a transition to the rebuild with youth.

Agreed .

I know they will waste 10 to 15 mil on a couple of free agents that will be traded or let go. Will give us something to complain about.

Interesting that the three best records in baseball all exit the playoffs in the first two rounds. Eric, I don’t know about your comment that the talent differential is small – looking at the three teams ahead of the Reds in their own division, none of which is going to the World Series, the Reds just don’t match up. And then you’ve got to contend with the Mets starting pitching and the KC relievers. The beauty of the 162 game season is that the cream rises, inexorably and conclusively. The Reds aren’t good enough. You write about the many ifs and their coming up roses, and yes, every winning team is touched by magic. I just don’t see any rabbits Reds management can pull out of a hat this coming season. Not negative, just realistic. But not without hope …

Hmm… I think its been the same for the past couple of years. They have Votto and a bunch of free swingers. You have to change that. I am not worried about the young pitching, its good enough. Just like the Mets and KC have, they need contact hitters. If this team could pull in two On base guys about .350, they would be in contention next year.

I know I tend to sound “pie in the sky”. I will agree about the free swingers, particularly Bruce & Frazier – Phillips, not so much. But then, I don’t think that weakness is a question of talent as much as discipline, which can often come from accountability: i.e. if you go up there trying to jack everything, you need to hear about it, and that translates to leadership – there doesn’t seem to be any.
I also agree about being not good enough – in the ‘pen. I consider middle relief to be anything in between the starter & the closer, and some of them were beyond belief bad. I’ve been a Hoover fan, but he’ll break your heart too often. I know it’s been said that the young guys who don’t make the rotation will be in the ‘pen, but I don’t think it’s that simple. I’d like to get at least one top of the line, proven reliever via trade or FA.
Hey, are we now officially in the Hot Stove League?

This blog is perpetually in the hot stove league. When Mark isn’t active we all take over and keep it alive. Liked what you had to say. Over and over you here we need contact hitters. Those that can bunt successfully and advance runner, those that can hit to the right side of the IF to get a runner to third or to home, those that can hit to opposite field, etc. But all that starts in the minors and I believe that the Reds are sadly lacking in that development. I’m looking forward to 2016 regardless of the final record if we do it with a youth movement.

Good stuff. To me, it all starts with that kid in CF. If he could hit the ball on the ground & bunt, imagine the catalyst he’d be? Every winter he works on bunting, then, no improvement. He’s just too jumpy, IMO; gotta relax to be a good bunter.
I go back to Mantle, Mays (best CF I ever saw), and the rest, and BH made some catches this year that I’m not sure anyone else could have gotten to. Thus, we need to keep him in the lineup – there’s one of my my big “ifs”, along with Meso.
BTW, I’m a regular on the Reds’ threads during the season; maybe you’ve heard of Stith.

From Reds Website:

There will be a few changes in Cincinnati. The Reds announced the coaching staff for next season under manager Bryan Price on Thursday, and there will be at least two new faces. Mark Riggins has joined the team as pitching coach, and Tony Jaramillo will serve as Cincinnati’s assistant hitting coach.

Riggins spent the last four years as Cincinnati’s Minor League pitching coordinator, and Jaramillo was the hitting coach at Triple-A Louisville.

The Reds also announced that bench coach Jay Bell, pitching coach Jeff Pico and assistant hitting coach Lee Tinsley will not return to the club.

Mack Jenkins, who served as the bullpen coach and assistant pitching coach, will return in the same capacity next season, as will hitting coach Don Long, Major League catching coordinator Mike Stefanski and bullpen catcher Dustin Hughes. Three coaches will have new responsibilities on next year’s staff.

Jim Riggleman, formerly the third-base coach, will now serve as Cincinnati’s bench coach. Billy Hatcher, the former first-base coach, will now coach third base and the team’s outfielders. Freddie Benavides, who served as infield coach this year, will keep that responsibility and add first-base coach next year.

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty issued a statement about the outgoing coaches.

“We appreciate the hard work and dedication Jay, Jeff and Lee gave us the last two years,” he said.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs

yawn.. nothing screams a huge change in accountability for the players to see. losing will be accepted which sucks for the fans

Wow !!! So the Reds bring up The minor league coaches . The same coaches that developed most of these guys to begin with . Why doI think that won’t work ?

Reds have now dumped 4 of Price’s hand picked coaches. Says a lot about his ability to analyze his needs and pick competent people to fill them.

A ray of hope from Jeff Todd @ MLBTR:
Here’s more from the NL Central:
•Many in the Reds‘ baseball operations department believe the club should sell off veterans in an all-out rebuilding effort, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports on Twitter. There are varying levels of rebuilds, of course, and Olney says that a full-on Astros/Cubs-style tear-down could be under consideration. Cincinnati dealt away soon-to-be free agents last summer, but held onto its controllable veterans. The team has a variety of appealing talent, including some younger assets and well-established players like Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, and Joey Votto.

Old Jim I was going to say something like geez Triple A hitting coach to the big club. Boy that’s a huge lift and headache off my mind. Then I read and you beat me too it.

A total rebuild really. Really. We could rebuild if we had some position players coming to rebuild with. Shoot we can not bring up Jesse Winker and he’s next in line. If we know Bob a total rebuild is not in the future. Come on Buster your smarter than that. We pick up two productive guys in the line up, we may just compete a bit. Next move, is the mass exodus of crappy players we have. A productive hitter is someone who gets on and someone who drives them in. Not a guy who strikes out alot please.

Exactly !

Lance M was saying on WLW they should have traded Cueto and Leake at the previous year’s deadline, not this year, to jump start the rebuild. And that got me wondering if small markets have to play for a one-year miracle – the perfect mix of veterans and phenoms coming together for a season, touched by magic, and then broken up by salary demands in the off-season. If that’s so, if there’s a tiny window in which all the talent and all the luck have to collude to produce a championship, then the hardest task management has is to guess if this is the year – that wasn’t easy in 2014 so they didn’t jumpstart the rebuild. Now we’ve got the same problems with Chapman and Bruce (gotta trade ’em) and Phillips is a year older and blah blah blah. But – if I have a point, this is it: it’s easy to guess wrong as to whether this or that is **the** year for the franchise. (but it’s pretty easy to tell when it’s not the year, like 2016). Eric, keep being pie in the sky. One year, you’ll be right and we’ll have to bow down to you and chant ‘We’re not worthy!’

My problem is you don’t rebuild with a 200 mil player. Just doesn’t make sense. They have a lot of pieces. They just need to learn how to insert the right pieces with what they already have. Aka cardinals. They came and changed the whole pitching staff without missing a beat a couple of years ago with a few rookies. No reason the Reds can’t do the same thing. But the reds have to figure a way to get on base the way the cards do that seems to be the biggest difference. I think the pitching will be fine for the Reds.

Getting on base was only part of the problem. Once they were on we coukldn’t advance them or score them. This was one of the worst bunting teams I had ever seen. Didn’t seem to be able to go the other way to advance runner to third, etc. Still contend that the fault lies in our minor league system. We always seem to be looking for the big bat with the big swing to take it out of the yard.

Thanks. I don’t usually get to listen to Lance M down here in TX, but I hear/read him often enough to know that he thinks we need to blow the whole thing up, and you know I think that is too extreme. I do agree with YOU that there’s a short window for small market teams; young guys who succeed want big contracts as soon as they can get them, and they’ll likely wind up in big cities The Reds tried to compete with Votto (very big time), Bailey (big time), and Bruce & Phillips (somewhat big time), with obviously mixed results.
Having said that, I STILL think that if we play with the hand we’re dealt, we could come out surprisingly well. I’ll say it for the umpteenth time: I still think Bruce & Phillips have the talent to contribute to a playoff team. Put Mesaroco in the #4 hole takes the pressure off of Frazier & Bruce, who can alternate at 5 & 6, Suarez in LF at 7, Cozart 8th, and… I like the lineup! If BH can hit .250, we can go places.
Having looked through my Pete ROSE colored glasses, I still know that they need a leader. I think SOME managers can provide leadership, but Price has been a far cry from one. He’s a smart dude, so maybe he can figure it out, but it’s hard to change a man’s personality. Thus, it has to come from within. Votto, Phillips & Bruce do not lead. Frazier comes close, but I think he’s still too much about Frazier. Meso COULD be, and I like Cozart a lot in the long run. We’ll see. Where have you gone, Greg Vaughn? Now THERE was a leader!

Line-up tinkering now counts for nothing. The pitching is long gone!

Ah, Denny, I’ve missed your negativity so! To say that “the pitching is long gone” gives NO credit to the likes of DiSclafani, Iglesias, Lorenzen, and the rest of the young, powerful arms, not to mention the three kids we got for Cueto. If even half of these kids come through, plus a successful comeback by Homer Bailey (since Tommy John surgery sometimes makes you BETTER), well, the future could look VERY bright, and not that far away, either. Sometimes I think you are actually HAPPIER when our ballclub goes down, so that your negative outlook is shown to be accurate.
Either way, I’ve missed jousting with you.

If you think those young pitchers who debuted last season are a big part of the solution going forward, then I’ve got some real good Florida land deals just waiting for YOU! Not even close to being a contender for the next five years, at a minimum! And it is not being negative if it proves out. I told you and others as early as 2013 that the there was no there there and that it never had been, despite flashes of brilliant play in 2010 and 2012, none of which could be regularly sustained and, of course, none of which ever carried over into the pathetic post-season appearances they managed to marshal. They didn’t then have the resources or the flexibility to hoist themselves into genuine elite consideration, they overspent unwisely on what they did have and tried foolishly to hold on to it, and now in an era of serious retrenchment, they don’t find themselves with the resources or the bountiful farm system to quickly rebuild. No championship dreams for our lifetimes…we pass them on, with few prospective hopes from a small market damned to the margins forever, to our children and grandchildren, though they seem largely unmoved and uninterested.

After just reading your eulogy, I think I’ll go walk in traffic.

Oh, BTW, if “it proves out” – as in, if you’re right, it’s STILL negative.

It isn’t a question of whether I’ll prove to be right or not. I WAS right, virtually alone on here to point out how overrated the team was as it went through its halcyon days of pretending to compete for the Big Prize. Everyone else blamed Dusty for the annual shortfall, foolishly we can now clearly see in retrospect, while very few of us sensed what was really at work: the team, deep down, wasn’t really all that good and Dusty had accomplished before our eyes unappreciated miracles! Even that much of a glimmer of hope will not return for a very long time…

Oh my! I just realized that my comment to you got sent to the wrong guy, Old Jim, but I hope you get to read it nonetheless.

Hey Eric, you can catch Lance on Iheart radio for free..look him up

Thanks, Jim. Yeah, I can get WLW on my computer; just have to jump through a few hoops. Also, I’m not a “smart” phone guy, so i”m limited to the dining room hook – up.

associated press has an interesting story about the “same old royals”, but they are not. Half their roster has changed. So it can be done with a good returning core and new supporting cast.

Lance Mcallister does anyone listen to him anymore ? Really ? Why waste energy doing that one. There are so many things better to do. Add Ken Broo and Tracy Jones to that bus that needs a driver out of town. Holy WLW isn’t what it used to be.

So just curious. Do you just not listen to sports radio? Because if we go outside the Cincinnati area you will have to list for 24 hrs to maybe get 10 minutes on anything from Cincinnati. I like Lance and Ken Broo. I agree with much of what they say, which regarding the Reds has been the same thing we have all said for the past 3 yrs, 2016 is going to look like a rebuild unless they do something now. Well that never happened but for a couple of moves.

Denny, really? You dont see the stock pile of pitching we have? All good pitching teams struggle their rookie year. You never see a team of rookies play any better than the Reds just got. That was actually pretty amazing by a couple of those guys. You cant tell me out of Iglesias – legit, Disclafani – legit, Stephenson – probably the best of all, Finnigan, Lamb, Lorenzen, that we cant find 3 or more players. Not to mention the leftover will fill up the bullpen. If and hopefully if the reds do what KC did about 3 years ago and let all these guys just fill the pitching staff and not worry too much about vets, this will come quicker than most think. Pitching still wins….

Big Blu Lance and Broo stink because its called sports talk and they hardly take calls. Yes I listen. They need to zip their lips and take calls and instead they like hearing themselves talk and repeat repeat and repeat some more what they say. But with blogs, twitter, the internet, sirius radio, listening to those guys isn’t the only game in town anymore.

Are you a Rick Pitino fan since I’m guessing your a UK fan ? Do you think King Rick and his court will survive this scandal ? I’m waiting for the jokes to start since his “ball” team plays at the ” YUM ” center. Rick Pitino and the Yum center thats so funny. Da boys and da dads were having a yum of a time.

1Red Fan – ok I agree with that. A lot of talk but not many calls. Especially when they go off some random topic like UC for hours. I mean I know its Cincinnati but there are as many other fans of college as UC. Huge area for college sports. Rick needs to go away at this point. Funny it happened to Louisville but also not funny at all that its in college sports.

Sometimes stockpiles are just piles of crap…

I like Broo . At least he has interesting guests . Mc slider says the same thing over and over ! He repeats himself really bad

Here’s the topic for Tuesday. Jim Riggleman is named San diego’s worse manager of all time. Now he is our bench coach. He quit on the Nats too. What a great way to kick off the hot stove season. And folks want him to be our next mgr. Yea right

Big blu college days were and still are about sex drugs and rock n roll. Some things haven’t changed. Wait till you see the video she has of UK players. My guess louisville had competitors. Oh yea.

Regarding the Louisville hoopla – all I can say is I wish I were 20 years younger, 6 inches taller with hops and a sweet 3-pointer. You know how they recruited English majors back in the day? Ruth Buzzi! The memory still haunts me …

…still, the thought of being battered by a purse is strangely attractive….

Good one. LOL.

Do you think Cueto would come back on a discount after seeing the grass is not always greener. I dont think he gets the contract he would have but I wonder. What else do we have to do this offseason. Do you think any chance the Reds go for a free agent to fill LF? I like Denard Span or Nori Aoki (did the Giants pick up the option) Both of those guys would be huge in the lead off spot.

I have thought about that. The real problem would be that he would have to be signed for more than Bailey; I think that ends the discussion, unless…we come up with another lengthy and creative contract. Not too sure the Reds want to take those on anymore.

Winker in LF. Still believe we need to go all out with the youth movement and suck it up for 2016.

right now it seems to be a youth pitching movement. I would like to see Winker as well. I think there is room for them all. If they grabbed Span for a good value it would help Hamilton come along and not hurt the Reds along the way. I would like to see more rest for some of the Vets if it allowed the some of the young guys to play more.

IF Winker can hit as good as his potential, I’d love for him to be our every day LF. Look, I know 95% of the people on here think we’re gonna suck in ’16 (and we MAY), but I’m the naive one who thinks we can be a big surprise. Thus, I’m not willing to leave Winker out there for the sake of “getting experience” if he’s not performing. There’s always the Suarez experiment out there, too. I do believe ANY SS, even a mediocre one, can play LF. He’s got a good arm & decent speed.

Would be nearly impossible to get Aoki. SF will surely pick up his option. Guy made/makes $5.5M while batting .287/.353/.380/.733, 392 PA, 25 SO, LH bat.
This is one of the guys that we should have signed long term at the end of
2014 when he was available and making zilch; there have been others.

agreed. I wanted the Reds to sign him… Was such an under valued player.

I was one who didn’t want Aoki. I was wrong. First time in 73 years, LOL.

So, you think you’ll finish with ONE?

In the event the Reds cannot or will not fill their LF position by someone currently in the Reds system, here is a list of available LFers for 2016 (for now)…
The categories are PLAYER, POS, AGE, FROM, TO 2015 CAP HIT, STATUS
Justin Upton LF 28 SD TBD $14,708,333 UFA
Colby Rasmus LF 29 HOU TBD $8,000,000 UFA
Rajai Davis LF 35 DET TBD $5,000,000 UFA
Matt Joyce DH 31 LAA TBD $4,750,000 UFA
Yoenis Cespedes LF 30 NYM TBD $3,729,508 UFA
Chris Denorfia RF 35 CHC TBD $2,600,000 UFA
Gerardo Parra RF 28 BAL TBD $2,215,505 UFA
Don Kelly CF 35 MIA TBD $1,250,000 UFA
Reed Johnson LF 38 WSH TBD $1,000,000 UFA
Kyle Blanks LF 29 TEX TBD $1,000,000 UFA
Jonny Gomes LF 34 KC TBD $371,585 UFA
Nolan Reimold LF 32 BAL TBD $288,415 UFA
Alejandro De Aza LF 31 SF TBD $278,961 UFA
Tony Gwynn Jr. LF 33 WSH TBD – UFA
Carlos Quentin LF 33 SEA TBD – UFA
Roger Bernadina LF 31 COL TBD – UFA

I listed the above list just for fun. I expect the Reds to do one of two things
in order to address LF; 1) play Suarez or Winker, or 2) trade players we plan
on trading for a new LF. I think we all know that the Reds moving forward is
not in the position nor the mindset to employ a heavy contracted LF in the
immediate future.

Vintage Cueto tonight. Once he got his confidence back in the early innings, the
Mets couldn’t touch him. Nice complete game!

Cueto was fantastic. I love to watch the type ball Kc plays. They can hit the homeruns, but it’s the contact hitting and moving runners along. Although, I’ll have to say their bunting skills were lacking tonight. I hope the Reds can build a team like them. gotta change philosophy organizationly from top to bottom. Not sure we have the management team to accomplish this. Hope I’m wrong.

And… They don’t strike out! Put the ball in play, and good things can happen. Look at Morales, their DH, a huge man. Did ya see the swing he put on for a smooth SINGLE during that big inning – effortless! I was hoping Bruce, Frazier, et. al. were watching & learning.I’ve said all along that the Reds have the talent, it’s just that most, aside from Votto & maybe Phillips, they MISUSE that talent. Just worry about hitting the ball, not how far it’s gonna go.

How much larger is ST Louis Cardinals and KC Royals payroll then reds? Seems like a lot of poor decisions got the reds to where they are and I don’t see how changing a couples coach’s change the teams position. We need to trade Chapman (does a 100 loss team really need an expensive reliever?), Trade Votto (still a great player) but when team does find it footing Joey will be past his prime, but now is really a good value for a team with playoff contention, and trade Bruce and Frazier and replace them with players in the KC Royal hitter class who put the ball in play. The Reds struck out almost 300 more times than Royals That’s 300 more chances to make something good happen. Of course I know AL pitchers don’t bat so there is some numbers to factor there, but even its only 150-200 that’s a lot of opportunities that never happen.

Agree. Stats show player productivity begins to decline between 32 an 34 years old and the continues the decline more sharply after that. I know there are exceptions and Votto might be one of them. Votto is now 32 with, I believe, 8 more years on his ascending contract. Makes no sense now and made no sense when they did it. It’s water over the dam. We’ve got him. No one will take him and his contract and the Reds can’t afford to buyout what would be required.

In a way, you have posed the wrong question. It really isn’t the size of the payroll in any given year, rather the relative size of the markets and the potential for future growth that gets reflected in long-term commitments. So, the question must be answered over time. Right now, for example, the Reds and Cards have a very similar payroll, but the Reds have badly overspent in a vain attempt to win with this core group and ARE NOW FULLY INTO AN ERA OF RETRENCHMENT, while the Cards, with a much larger market, can, if they choose, spend even more at this juncture in preparation for next season. Cincy and KC are among the smallest markets among the MLB’s 30, so they will not long be able to stay competitive, though it would now look like KC will, in fact, swipe a title before their inevitable decline sets in. Something the Reds failed to do despite giving it the old college try.

It’s true that small market teams have a built in disadvantage, but they needn’t have an “inevitable decline”, as you so cheerily put it. Proper scouting, coaching, and managing, working with a creative GM can land you some heady ballplayers on the cheap. Look at Ben Zobrist – the guy has been wanted by many teams through the years (including Cincinnati, I believe), because he knows how to play the game; not a tremendous talent, but a winner nonetheless. Put a half dozen guys like him in a lineup and you can be a contender, without breaking the bank. Guys like Zobrist tend to still be playing in October, while a lot of 15 mill a year guys are playing golf.

Small market teams can luck out for a squeezed window of time with a string of good decisions, but eventually the luck will run out and the window of opportunity will close shut. Name the small market team that manages to stay competitive most years? It does not exist.

KC doesn’t seem to fly out as much either. They hit the ball where its pitched. what a concept uh. Our team’s attitude: swing hard, finish hi, swing and miss and is it going to the upper deck. Our team is just bad mix of players and some have lost their way.

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