Votto second-ranked at 1B

From MLB Network:

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto was ranked second on MLB Network’s Top 10 First Basemen Right Now! program last night. Votto finished one spot ahead of the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera, and one spot behind the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt.

Taking into account a number of offensive and defensive metrics, both advanced and traditional, plus projections for the upcoming season, MLB Network’s Top 10 Right Now! series ranks the top players at each position heading into the 2016 season.

An embeddable video recap of the complete ranking, listed below, can be seen here:

Top 10 First Basemen Right Now!

1. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
3. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
4. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
5. Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays
6. Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
7. Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
8. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
9. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
10. Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants


Can’t believe our old buddy EE is the 5th best 1st baseman, metrics or no. For one, I thought he was a DH. Even so, looking at the list, I wouldn’t put him higher than 8th or 9th.

Are you kidding me? Dude has straight raked ever since he left Cincy.

Last 4 season:
37.75 hrs per season
105.75 rbi’s per season
.275 bating average per season.

Here’s Votto’ last 4 FULL seasons (Does not include 2014):
24 hrs per season
78 rbi’s per season
.316 batting avereage per season

The average or Votto is great, but the power and lack of RBIs is not at all. EE deserves to be 5th for sure. If not higher.

3 stats that many look at that mean nothing.

Yep, 5th is just about right for E squared. I have always liked him, I remember when I first saw him at Louisville and told my grandson he was a keeper, he still remembers that whenever Edwin’s name comes up.

When he was in Cincy, he had a long extended swing, and he was working hard to shorten it the whole time. He was also a major defensive liability at 3rd since he was blocked by Votto @ 1B. I always thought he would be a good major leaguer, but I never expected him to blow up into the player he is now. Those offensive numbers over the past 4 years are pretty hard to beat.

Yep, the guy could hit…no question. But…and thats a big butt…he could not nor could today play 3B. And, with Votto, more cemented there than a bronze statue, there was little to do with the highly-offensive player.
9 seasons at 3rd base – .934 fld%
6 seasons at lst base – .991
As soon as Toronto figured the above out and played him at lst base…
2012-2015 – an AS, was considered in the MVP talk and ranked.
In summary, Votto sealed his fate of playing with the Reds.
All that said, his last four years of offensive production was sorely missed.

That and a cup a coffee will get 97 losses.

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com | @m_sheldon | January 22nd, 2016
CINCINNATI — Many of the players the Reds have moved out over the past year — Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Todd Frazier, Marlon Byrd and Aroldis Chapman — were well-known quantities with high expectations attached to their performances.

When Reds Spring Training convenes Feb. 18 in Goodyear, Ariz., some of the faces in the clubhouse will not just be new. They also will be young and unproven in the Major Leagues. And don’t forget about the prospects that already were in the organization who will have their first realistic shot at a big league job.
For a team undergoing a significant makeover, that’s where much of the intrigue lies heading into camp. Here is a look at six young players who could be the most intriguing in 2016 for the Reds:
Jose Peraza: The Reds have a lot to be excited about with Peraza, who is a top 100 prospect acquired from the Dodgers in the Frazier three-team trade. The organization’s new No. 1 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, the soon-to-be 22-year-old second baseman has a good bat with a better than .300 career average in the Minors, a strong glove and very good speed on the bases.

What Peraza lacks is an immediate place to play to develop regularly. Brandon Phillips is at second base with two more years on his contract and full no-trade protection. Peraza had been a shortstop on his way up in the Braves organization but was moved to second because he was blocked by Andrelton Simmons. The same case holds with the Reds, where Zack Cozart is returning from injury to man shortstop. Peraza also can play some outfield. The Reds’ answer might be to move him around all of those spots in a utility-type role. But he needs to play every day, which could make time in Triple-A Louisville the answer for the short term.
Yorman Rodriguez: The time is now for the 23-year-old outfielder. He has spent seven seasons in the Reds’ system since his much-ballyhooed, then-club record signing out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old. His progress in the Minors has been slow, but he had a nice enough 2014 to earn a September callup. His promising start to 2015 was curtailed by an injury that cost him most of the second half. Rodriguez, who still has strides to make as a hitter, will arrive in camp this year out of Minor League options. He will have a good chance to claim the left-field spot and, if Jay Bruce is traded, Rodriguez’s strong arm makes him a nice option for right field.
The big question about Rodriguez — currently ranked as the Reds’ No. 18 prospect — is this: Would the Reds dare expose him to the waiver wire if he’s not good enough in camp to make the 25-man roster?

Robert Stephenson: The organization’s No. 3 prospect and ranked No. 36 overall, Stephenson seemed to stall at Double-A before finding some rejuvenation upon a promotion to Triple-A last season. There are three spots open in the rotation this spring and the soon-to-be 23-year-old should be right in the middle of the battle to claim one of them.
Stephenson has been the Reds’ best pitching prospect for a few seasons, with a mid-to-plus 90s fastball and a good curveball. He struck out 140 batters each of the last two seasons (leading the organization last season) but was also prone to command and control issues at times. A strained right forearm in August might have prevented him from joining the all-rookie rotation last season, but he should have the stuff to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter now.

Cody Reed: One of the left-handed power starters acquired from the Royals in the Cueto trade, Reed could challenge for a rotation spot either this spring or later this season. The Reds’ No. 7 prospect turns 23 in April and has three good pitches, including a fastball that can hit 96 mph.
At Class A Advanced and Double-A last season, Reed was 13-9 with a 2.41 ERA over a combined 26 games. Following the trade, Reed posted a 2.17 ERA in eight starts, and his 60 strikeouts for Double-A Pensacola were the most in Minor League Baseball over that stretch. He ended the regular season with 14 innings without an earned run and 17 strikeouts over two starts.
Jesse Winker: Heading into next month, Winker appears to have longer odds than some others who are a little older. The 22-year-old has yet to play in Triple-A, but perhaps he can use his good left-handed swing to hit his way onto the 25-man roster anyway.
The No. 2 prospect in the organization, and No. 27 overall, Winker batted .282/.390/.433 with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs in 123 games for Pensacola. He was named the Reds’ Minor League Hitter of the Year. While starting out in Triple-A seems more plausible, a strong start could certainly force the Reds’ hand to get him to the big league level.
Jake Cave: The Reds didn’t dabble much in the Rule 5 Draft during their recent years of contention but are in a position to carry such a player now. That would be the 23-year-old Cave, who was plucked from the Yankees in last month’s Rule 5 Draft. A left-handed hitter who has batted .285/.346/.391 in four Minor League seasons, Cave lacks power but plays all three outfield spots. He could serve in a platoon role for Cincinnati, where he is the No. 19-ranked prospect.

As a Rule 5 pick, he must remain on the 25-man roster all season or be offered back to his old team for $25,000. Back in the 2006 season, the Reds had double Rule 5 success with outfielder Josh Hamilton and reliever Jared Burton. In 2008, however, it did not work out when they nabbed reliever Sergio Valenzuela, who was sent back midway through Spring Training.

Hope this comes to fruition.
By Charlie Wilmoth | January 24, 2016 at 3:01pm CST

Free agent starter Bronson Arroyo was recently at Great American Ballpark, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Robert Murray of Baseball Essential also recently threw for the Reds in Cincinnati. These reports, while somewhat circumstantial, point toward a possible reunion between Arroyo and the team for which he pitched from 2006 through 2013. Previous reports had suggested that the Reds were among the teams that had interest in the right-hander, although much would depend on Arroyo’s recovery from Tommy John surgery. The 38-year-old last pitched in the big leagues in June 2014, when he was with the Diamondbacks. Here’s more from the Central divisions.

I have zero interest in arroyo unless he is in top form. We don’t need a babysitter for the rookies, we need a pitcher to say, OK here is how you totally dominate the competition.

So odd when the Reds make a trade the baseball experts say they should have
received more value in return. Plus the so called prospects may be able to platoon which never works, or player could be a 4th outfielder and so on..Do the Reds not have a prospect that could win the SS job from Cozart OR be a front runner to take over 3rd base OR be the regular every day Left Fielder? It just seems this GM duo cannot execute a good trade, draft a top player and on and on……Will admit REDS have no offense yet I haven’t read or heard anything has been or rumored to be done to address this very BIG problem. As one sits back and thinks about this team it is very obvious that the organization is content being in last place as they were in 2015 and will continue to be or many years to come. IT IS SO SAD

I just say let the kids play. If Phillips and Bruce are not going to be part of the rebuild then get what you can for them this year. I just want the Reds to be wise and make sure you build it correctly. Don’t just build pitching hoping that will do again. Go get good On Base guys to pair with Votto for a run in two years. We have the pitching, we just need to stock up on the bats now. And don’t go trading all of our good pitchers for a bat n a year or two. Just build both unless they plan on free agent spending to get the bats in a couple of years. This team is stocked with so much pitching over the next two years its ridiculous. They need to get some good solid contact and On Base guys to go with them and we have a real shot at being good in a couple of years again.

Yeah, in a couple of years Jay Bruce will be 30, 31 years old.I still say he’s worth more to keep than whatever we can get for him right now.

I for one would like to see Arroyo come back to the Reds. I sincerely believe he could help out the young arms and if Bronson would win 8 games he probably would lead the pitching staff in wins (with the hitting woes of this team). Relax Reds Fans if the GM duo thought Arroyo could help the team and the fans wanted him to come to the Reds, it wont happen.

I would love to see Bronson back as he is my second favorite all-time Red. He would be a valuable teaching tool for the young staff. He just might return since his girlfriend lives here. I am sure Dusty would like him with the Nats too.

Top 10 2nd base prospects to watch…
#2. Jose Peraza, Reds
Last year’s No. 1 on this list, Peraza’s star has faded a tiny bit, partially because of a .694 OPS in the Minors in 2015. He was valued enough to be traded twice in the span of five months in large three-team deals. Now Peraza is looking for an opportunity in Cincinnati with Brandon Phillips still hanging around. It may come as a super-utility type for the time being so the Reds can get him into the lineup.
#5. Alex Blandino, Reds
Blandino was primarily a third baseman at Stanford before being a part of an outstanding class of college hitters in the 2014 Draft. He played shortstop for a year before starting to try second on for size late in ’15 and into the Arizona Fall League. It should be a good fit for the natural leader, and Blandino’s advanced approach at the plate should allow him to hit his way to the big leagues soon.

Surprised that Blandino is named; have not heard his name ever mentioned under any scenario relative to a mentioned prospect. Nice to hear; sad to thin that there is a bottleneck at bot 2nd and 3rd base for many players. Still do not believe in moving players out of their rightful positions, knowing full well that Price believes in softball sand lot type style…play em anywhere; move em in and out of the lineup.

Bronson Arroyo is a Washington National. His words “”The Reds gave me their best bullet, but it just wasn’t in the same ballpark,” Arroyo told MLB.com. “I was hearing Dusty say, ‘Bro, I want you here, we can do this.’ I said, ‘OK, done deal”. They prb offered him $500,000 and a chance to pitch for the last place Reds. Hmmmm I would go elsewhere too. Right now any free agent is NOT looking to play for a loser like the Reds. Sad to even say that. Sad is our favorite Reds team is run into the ground and they will blame the fans after they pocket all the revenue and do nothing with it to fix this mess for years!!!! Congrats Bob for making the Reds the next laughing stock of the majors!!! Please sell the team to someone who HATES losing and does what it takes to get to the next level!!!! NOT think Reds fans only care about bobble heads and free pizza!!!

Don’t forget “Bark in the Park” days. I’m sure the dogs enjoy it regardless of win or lose.

I liked Arroyo a lot, but the last thing this team needs is another over the hill pitcher eating up innings for our glut of young staring pitchers. Put them on an 8 man rotation to limit innings. I don’t care just don’t waste this year on some over the hill never going to pitching a meaningful game pitcher. I say let these kids figure it out win or lose. I get the mentoring part but that is what pitching coaches are for.

Signing Arroyo would have only made our pitchng staff worse. We let him walk for a reason. Quit trying to act like a string bean 38 year old would have helped us. Sure, his guitar and singing would have been nice in the clubhouse LMFAO….cmon get outta here. We should all be very happy that he won’t be a taking a spot in the rotation that can now be used by a yougster, to develop.

Totally disagree on Bronson. Still hope someday he will coach here. I understand why he went with Dusty though.

AMEN . The Reds are a JOKE !!!!

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com | @m_sheldon | January 26th, 2016
CINCINNATI — Whether they are in rebuilding mode or contending as they were in recent years, one thing that hasn’t changed for the Reds is the unsettled position of left field. The spot often has been fortified with an acquisition — such as Ryan Ludwick or Marlon Byrd — on a short-term, stopgap deal.

Heading into 2016, there are no proven left fielders to plug into the lineup. But there is no shortage of candidates seeking an opportunity. Yorman Rodriguez, Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler, Jake Cave and Kyle Waldrop are the top contestants for the position.
“Those are the guys,” Reds general manager Dick Williams said. “Some of those guys can play multiple positions. There are guys that can play multiple outfield spots. [Juan] Duran will be in camp, and [Tyler] Holt. [Jesse] Winker, Waldrop and some of the younger guys, too.”

Rodriguez, now 23, was signed for a then-record $2.5 million bonus out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old in 2008. He has developed slowly and is out of Minor League options. Over his 85 games last season at Triple-A Louisville, Rodriguez batted .269/.308/.429 with 10 home runs and 41 RBIs. But he did not play after July 28 because of a left calf injury.
The Reds gave the right-handed-hitting Rodriguez — ranked as the team’s No. 18 prospect by MLBPipeline.com — a September callup in 2014, where he saw some action. He was briefly up again last season without getting into a game.
Duvall brings a lot of strikeouts but plenty of power potential. The 27-year-old, who was acquired in the July trade that sent Mike Leake to the Giants, hit 30 homers with 87 RBIs and 114 strikeouts over 541 plate appearances in 125 games at Triple-A.

In his limited Major League time with the Giants and Reds, Duvall has yet to establish himself as an everyday player. He’s batted .204/.268/.409 in 55 career big league games. In 149 plate appearances, he struck out 46 times with nine walks.
Schebler, 25, came from the Dodgers as part of the three-team trade that sent Todd Frazier to the White Sox last month. The organization’s new No. 15 prospect, he batted .241/.322/.410 with 13 homers, 50 RBIs and 15 steals in 121 games at Triple-A last season. In 19 big league games in 2015 for the Dodgers, he batted .250/.325/.500 with three homers.

Not viewed as having a strong arm, Schebler is likely limited to left field but he brings a left-handed bat and the ability to make consistent contact without striking out too much (93 strikeouts in 485 Triple-A plate appearances last season).
The 23-year-old Cave is a Rule 5 selection from the Yankees, which means the Reds must carry him on the 25-man roster all season or risk losing him. He also hits left-handed and batted .285/.346/.391 in his four Minor League seasons. There is little power in his bat, but the No. 19-ranked prospect can play all three outfield spots.

Holt, who turns 27 on March 10, was claimed off waivers from the Indians in the final week of last season. While he had no homers at Triple-A in 2015, he batted .302/.386/.370 and stole 25 bases. He doesn’t strike out much but he has yet to show he can stay at the big league level.

Waldrop, 24, has worked his way up the system since being a 12th-round pick of the Reds in 2010 and got a brief callup to the Majors last season. A left-handed hitter with power and ranked No. 23 in the organization, he hit seven homers last season combined at Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville. Like Rodriguez, he was selected to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Great American Ball Park last summer.

The contender Reds fans have probably heard about the most is Winker, the organization’s No. 2 prospect and No. 27 overall. But because of his age (22) and the fact he has yet to reach Triple-A, he might have longer odds of making the team.
Winker overcame a slow first half at Pensacola to bat .282/.390/.433 with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs in 123 games. He was named the Reds’ Minor League Hitter of the Year. A left-handed hitter, Winker has drawn some comparisons to current Reds right fielder Jay Bruce in both tools and demeanor.
There is still a possibility that Winker could skip a level and earn the left-field spot, especially with a strong Spring Training.
“He’s got a lot of talent,” Williams said. “Our preference is to give these guys as much time as they need to develop in the Minors. With all of these other options, I don’t see any reason we would force him. Our plan is there’s a good chance he’ll keep developing in the Minors. These other guys are older and closer. But you never know what can happen in Spring Training. Sometimes guys change the narrative a little bit.”

DH in the NL? ‘No,’ says Reds’ Bob Castellini
C. Trent Rosecrans, crosecrans@enquirer.com
10:56 a.m. EST January 28, 2016

Like everyone else in baseball, Castellini heard the remarks of Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak earlier this month that there was “more momentum” for the DH to come to the National League. Mozeliak’s comments plus the upcoming expiration of Major League Baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement with the MLB Players’ Association set baseball Twitter and blogs into overreaction mode, forecasting the DH for as soon as 2017.

That’s not happening, and if Castellini has a say — and he does — it won’t ever happen.

“All that is blown out of proportion,” Castellini said before at the kickoff of the Reds Caravan on Thursday morning. “There’s no groundswell for it. The commissioner had a press interview after our owners’ meeting and he was taken out of context.”

Last week at the Owners’ Meetings in Coral Gables, Florida, Manfred said teams were more open to change than in the past.

“Twenty years ago, when you talked to National League owners about the DH, you’d think you were talking some sort of heretical comment,” Manfred told reporters. “But we have a newer group. There has been turnover, and I think our owners in general have demonstrated a willingness to change the game in ways that we think would be good for the fans, always respecting the history and traditions of the sport.”

At no time during those meetings did the idea of the designated hitter coming to the National League come up, Manfred said at the time.

Since then — and the loud response the possibility of change has come up — Manfred has said he was speaking only in hypotheticals and didn’t mean to suggest the DH to the NL was on the table.

“I swear to God, I never said anything in the press conference that was in support of the DH,” Manfred told Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci earlier this week in response to the headlines. Manfred then reiterated that the owners didn’t even talk about the expansion of the DH rule, which has been in the American League since 1973.

Castellini said he wouldn’t speak for any of the other owners, but he is solidly against any movement toward a universal designated hitter.

“Our fans are used to the wonderful baseball that’s been played here for nearly 150 years, and we don’t plan to have any kind of campaign to change it,” Castellini said.

Jocketty: Reds’ offseason moves ‘most likely’ done
C. Trent Rosecrans, crosecrans@enquirer.com
3:58 p.m. EST January 28, 2016

The Reds made an offer to Arroyo, team president for baseball operations Walt Jocketty said Thursday, but there is no other veteran starter on the open market the team is interested in.

Arroyo was a special case, because the 38-year-old is a known quantity in Cincinnati, where he pitched for eight seasons. Arroyo is known for his cerebral approach to pitching and was willing and excited about teaching younger starters.

Because Arroyo hasn’t pitched in a game since June of 2014, there was still plenty of concerns about his ability to compete in the big leagues. The Nationals signed him to a minor-league deal, something the Reds were looking to do, as well.

With Arroyo off the table, Jocketty said the team would not look to add a veteran arm.

“Less likely now,” Jocketty said Thursday at the kickoff of the Reds’ caravan. “We had an offer to Bronson, but it just wasn’t good enough.”

While the Reds explored trades of Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce this offseason and completed trades of Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman, with February approaching, Jocketty doesn’t expect many more moves before spring training begins.

“We’re still talking to clubs, but I don’t see anything happening,” Jocketty said. “That could change in the next phone call, though.”

HOOVER TO CLOSE? With the trade of Chapman to the Yankees, it would seem only natural that J.J. Hoover slides into the spot as the Reds’ closer.

He still may very well turn out to be the team’s closer this year, but Reds manager Bryan Price said he hasn’t decided that quite yet.

“I’m going to wait and see,” Price said. “I think he’s certainly a front-runner for this opportunity, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to be assigning roles for on the team just quite yet. We’ll see what the final roster looks like coming out of spring training. He’s absolutely in contention for the position.”

As for Hoover, he said Thursday that he wants the challenge of closing.

“Absolutely, that’s what I’m working for this offseason,” Hoover said. “That’s one of the main goals I’ve been working for myself this year. I hope I get the opportunity and they give me a chance to settle into the role.”

The 28-year-old was 8-2 with a 2.94 ERA in 67 games this past season after going 1-10 with a 4.88 ERA in 2014. Hoover has five career saves, including one last season.

“(Closing) is the pinnacle of relieving,” Hoover said. “It’s like wanting to be the ace as a starter. It’s definitely what I want to do.”

WORKOUT GROUP: While most in Cincinnati would classify this as a mild winter so far, first-time offseason resident Billy Hamilton would disagree.

“Everyone says it’s been nice and I’m like, it’s still freezing here,” the Mississippi native said Thursday.

The Reds’ center fielder spent his offseason in Cincinnati to rehab after arthroscopic shoulder surgery in September.

“It’s good to have a facility to be here and be around different people doing things, I don’t have anything like this down in Mississippi,” Hamilton said. “I’ve seen live pitching, coaching and therapy here. It’s a blessing to be here.”

Hamilton has gotten into a routine with his other teammates that are in town. He and Devin Mesoraco meet in the morning, and by the time they meet, Hoover’s already in the weight room.

After a lift, the two will hit, then Mesoraco will do his catching drills as Hamilton throws. They then go to the training room and then back to the weight room. At some point, Brandon Phillips will come join them, as well.

“I’m not full 100 percent right now, but I’m to the point where I’ve made really, really good progress,” Hamilton said. “I’m throwing and hitting, lifting and running – it’s all going well. I have less than a month to be ready, and I think I can get a lot done in that month. I’m not hurting or anything, I feel good, but it’s a process when you’re rehabbing.”

SAMPSON SURGERY: Just three days after the end of the season, right-hander Keyvius Sampson had surgery to clean out loose bodies in his right elbow.

Sampson, 25, was 2-6 with a 6.54 ERA in 13 games and 12 starts last season, his first in the big leagues and his first in the Reds organization.

Sampson started the season on the disabled list in the minors with elbow issues, and he said he never quite felt 100 percent.

“There were times my parents and my agent would call and they could see I wasn’t getting fully extended and I didn’t look like I was 100 percent,” Sampson said.

Sampson said he’s feeling much better now and is ready to get to spring training.

“It was all year, so I just gave what I could,” Sampson said. “I still got up here (to the big leagues), luckily enough. This year I’ll be 100 percent so I can show people my best stuff and give myself a better chance.”

Brandon Phillips and Sunk Cost
Posted on 01/28/2016 by JASON LINDEN
We now know that Brandon Phillips vetoed not one, but two separate trades so far this off season. We also know that the Reds organization is being very frank about why the trades didn’t go through – he wants more money. That’s what we know for absolute certain. We can certainly infer from that the Reds want someone else (Jose Peraza) at second base this season but that Phillips is blocking him.

Here are some other facts for you. Brandon Phillips is about to enter his age-35 season and last year he defied father time to post 2.6 WAR. How many second basemen have had seasons of at least 2.6 WAR from age-35 on? Not many. Since 1950, here is the complete list: Randy Velarde, Joe Morgan, Cahse Utley, Lou Whitaker, Frank White, Jeff Kent, Toby Harrah, Willie Randolph, Bobby Grich, Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grudzielanke, Craig Biggio, and Marco Scutaro. That’s all. Since 1950.

The point here is that Phillips is unlikely to ever have trade value as high as he has it right now. And the Reds still can’t get rid of him because of his 10/5 rights. Further, let’s assume they aren’t going to re-sign Phillips and are unlikely to have a competitive team before his contract expires at the end of the 2017 season. Both safe assumptions, I think.

So, the Reds have a player they don’t and can’t trade who will be gone before they have a chance of being good again. This, my friends, is called sunk cost. You know what you do with sunk cost? Let it sink.

If I am the Reds, I sit Brandon Phillips down and have a talk with him. I give him three options: 1. Accept a trade to a team that has a chance to contend. 2. Be prepared to sit on the bench while Peraza is broken in and be happy about it. 3. Get cut.

I know people are going to lose their minds about that last one, but consider the alternatives the Reds have. If they really want Peraza out there, they should put him out there. He’s part of the future and Phillips isn’t. Further, having a grumpy Phillips on the bench isn’t going to be good for a young team. And finally, they need to do everything they can to coerce him to accept a trade.

Because, let’s face it, Phillips is unlikely to be a happy bench player and he would likely be offended by the indignity of being cut loose. If you were him, what would you choose? His contract is sunk cost and the sooner the Reds realize this and treat it as such, the sooner they can move on.

Agree with giving Phillips those choices. The Reds are paying $X for 2 salaries for Phillips and Peraza. What difference does it make who plays. The $$$ are the same. Bench Phillips and be trully comitted to the rebuild.

Differece of opinion between Jocketty and Williams? Guess who wins!
By Steve Adams | January 28, 2016 at 10:47pm CST

Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty indicated that it’s “less likely” that team will add an arm now that Bronson Arroyo has signed with the Nationals, writes C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Per Rosecrans, the Reds considered Arroyo to be somewhat of a special case because of his familiarity with the team and his eagerness to work as a mentor for young pitchers. Jocketty did confirm that the Reds made an offer to Arroyo, but in the end, “it just wasn’t good enough,” the longtime exec added. However, first-year GM Dick Williams painted a bit of a different picture when discussing the remainder of the Reds’ offseason, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon writes. “There are still a handful of guys out there that might make sense to bring into camp with a similar profile as Bronson,” said Williams. “Just veteran guys, but not high-profile, big-dollar guys. I wouldn’t be surprised if we add maybe a little bit to our depth there.” Speaking speculatively, Arroyo wasn’t the only former Reds pitcher on the free agent market that could theoretically serve as a mentor to a young staff; right-handers Aaron Harang, Kyle Lohse and Alfredo Simon are all still unsigned

Alfredo Simon a mentor? Don’t think so. Aaron Harang? Absolutely.

i have to be honest – I’m not feeling it quite like last year this time. Nonetheless, we’ll open the first window on the Spring Training Advent Calendar on Monday. Let the countdown begin!

Thanks Max. We need something to get the juices flowing.

All you brons “on” fans are you for real. We need him like we need a hole in the head. Thank god Dusty took a flyer on him. Lets let them play and it will figure itself out. Lets use our heads and let the young and comers prove themselves. You all probably want harang back too. Geez. Come on. Type something sensible please.

The Reds have agreed to terms with lefty Jonathan Sanchez, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports on Twitter. Sanchez, 33, hasn’t seen the majors since a brief stop with the Pirates in 2013. Best known as a former starter with the Giants, Sanchez has seen only minimal action in organized ball over the last two seasons and will be looking to get back to action in the Cincinnati organization.

39W-58L w/4.70 ERA over career
Best year in 2010; 13-9, 3.07 ERA
Last three years ERA in MLB:
2011 – 4.26
2012 – 8.07
2013 – 11.85
Didnt pitch in MLB 2014 or 2015
Wonder what they see in this guy.

Just the kind of guy we need. Does my heart good to know the Reds are still aggresively active. WOW.

The Reds are brilliant. Another has been and never will be !! This is another STUPID move by a STUPID president of baseball operations /general manager. What a JOKE !!!!!!

7 obscure MLB records that will never be broken…

By: Ted Berg | January 29, 2016 2:32 pm
Baseball changes constantly. The rules largely remain static, but improvements in the level of play, trends in ballpark design, and data-driven advancements in strategy mean many of the sport’s most hallowed records will likely remain so forever. This much you probably realize: No one is breaking Cy Young’s mark of 511 wins unless teams drastically adjust the way pitchers are used. And if that happens, the total seems so impossibly high that no one will likely break it in our lifetimes.

The following records are all in some way products of the era and baseball atmosphere in which they were set. But in the interest of obscurity, I’ve left out some of the most obviously unbreakable records — triples, say, in which the deadball era’s Sam Crawford holds nearly a 200-triple lead over active leader (and namesake) Carl Crawford.

Maybe someday in the distant future, after we’ve got robot umps and hologram replays and major medical advancements and baseball games played inside Thunderdomes in a postapocalyptic dystopia, someone will actually break one of them. And I look forward to someone digging this up in 2174 and showing how wrong I was. Joke’s on you, sucker: I’m long dead. So as far as I’m concerned, these seven MLB records will never be broken:

1. Caught-stealing percentage: Roy Campanella

This one comes with a bit of an asterisk, as caught-stealing data is incomplete before 1950. But the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame catcher threw out an astounding 57.4% of would-be basestealers, leading the league in caught-stealing percentage in each of his first five seasons before runners finally wised up and stopped trying so much. Campanella’s career was tragically shortened on both ends: Segregation kept him out of the Majors until he was 26 years old in 1948, and an automobile accident that left him partly paralyzed ended his career in 1957. The latter is, sadly, likely in part responsible for Campanella’s lead in the stat: A longer decline phase would certainly have hampered his career rates.

Why it’s safe: Executives and managers now recognize the three outs as an offensive team’s greatest commodities, and teams are far less eager to give them away by running freely against great defensive catchers. Maybe high-volume base-stealers will return at some point in baseball’s future, but giving guys green lights when they have less than 50% chance of making it will never, ever make sense.

Active leader: Yadier Molina, 44.4%

2. Outs made: Pete Rose

An ignominious distinction, this: Pete Rose made 10,328 outs in his big-league career, an advantage of more than 1,000 over the next guy on the list — Hank Aaron. Making tons of outs, naturally, means you were a good enough hitter to amass tons of at-bats, so this hardly aims to knock Rose. But his exceptional and arguably ill-advised longevity earned him this record: From 1982-1986, an era in which the over-40 Rose was mostly limited to playing first base and pinch hitting, Rose had 2,469 plate appearances (and 1,676 outs) with a woeful .662 OPS.

Why it’s safe: Because Pete Rose isn’t allowed to manage anymore. It’s extremely impressive that Rose, at 45, was able to hit even .219 against Major League pitching. But 45-year-old first basemen with no power and diminished contact skills just probably aren’t going to get much playing time in the contemporary game, no matter how beloved.

Active leader: Alex Rodriguez, 7,728.

3. Bases on balls allowed: Nolan Ryan

Look: You might say this whole post exists as an excuse to write about Nolan Ryan, one of baseball’s greatest athletic freaks. I sometimes lay in bed at night wondering if anyone else ever born on this Earth ever had the capacity to do what Nolan Ryan did, and how slim the odds are that the dude who could so happened to be born in an era that guaranteed he’d be exposed to baseball. Ryan led the league in both walks and strikeouts for six out of seven seasons from 1972-1978. He walked 2,795 batters in his career, 962 more than runner-up Steve Carlton. Ryan had 45 games in his career in which he struck out at least 10 batters and walked at least six. The next closest guy, Bob Feller, did it only 17 times. And Ryan, one of history’s greatest examples of Dad Strength, was probably still throwing in the high-90s in the late innings of all of those games.

Why it’s safe: First and foremost, because Nolan Ryan retired. He was a massive outlier in so many ways. Second, because walks have been stigmatized in contemporary baseball. It worked for Ryan, inarguably a great pitcher, but even if a guy with Ryan’s ridiculous arm strength enters the professional ranks again, he will be trained from a young age to dial back his fastball on behalf of better control. And even if they can’t, the escalating pitch counts that come with such massive walk totals will force them out of games so early that they won’t make much headway against Ryan.

Active leader: CC Sabathia, 894.

4. Total Zone fielding runs: Brooks Robinson

Total Zone fielding runs is an antiquated stat in this era of UZR and defensive runs saved and Statcast, but it remains the best we have for comparing defensive players across eras. And Robinson, by that metric, saved his teams an estimated 293 runs on defense across his career. The next closest defender, Andruw Jones, finished with 242. Robinson earned his reputation as the greatest defensive third baseman of all time, dusting the next best third-basemen — Buddy Bell and Robin Ventura (pictured above) — by more than 100 runs.

Why it’s safe: Increasingly advanced defensive stats have meant a renewed emphasis on defense around the Majors. Total Zone runs are measured against the average player at every position, making it harder for players to play so far above the competition now that the very worst defenders at every spot are more likely to be filtered out or have their playing time severely limited. Also — and this may sound like heresy — but if a guy is as good at third as Robinson was, he should probably be playing shortstop.

Active leader: Ichiro Suzuki, 138.

5. Intentional walks: Barry Bonds

No one tracked intentional walks before 1955, so it’s possible that someone like Babe Ruth or Ted Williams got intentionally walked as often as Bonds did. It just seems unlikely: Ruth often hit in front of Lou Gehrig, and Williams got intentionally walked only 33 times in one of his best career offensive seasons in 1957. Bonds notched an amazing 688 free passes in his career, more than double Albert Pujols’ second-best total. Bonds had more intentional walks than Ryan Howard has total walks in his 12-year career. Pitchers put him on intentionally 120 times in 2004, which is just silly.

Why it’s safe: Those pesky statistics again, which show that putting batters on base automatically is a bad strategy in the overwhelming majority of baseball situations. Instances of intentional walks have declined somewhat steadily since Bonds’ era. In 2015, players got 951 total free passes — the lowest total in a full season since 1963.

Active leader: Pujols, 296.

6. Innings pitched: Cy Young

Cy Young during his final big-league season in 1911. That’s not a typo. This is what Cy Young looked like at age 44. Pitching 7,356 innings takes a pretty big toll on the human body. (AP Photo)

This one feels like one of those obvious ones I didn’t bother mentioning here, because guys in Cy Young’s era threw 400-inning seasons on the regular. But I included it because Young’s 7,356 innings are so far ahead of the next guy — Pud Galvin with 6,003 1/3 — and because high-volume deadball-era innings eaters aren’t nearly as common as you might guess, either because their arms fell off or they had to go tend the family farm. Of the 13 guys in big-league history with more than 5,000 innings pitched, six of them pitched in the 1980s and one — Greg Maddux — lasted until 2008.

Why it’s safe: For a player to break Young’s record, he would have to throw 368 innings a season for 20 years. As a point of comparison, Clayton Kershaw led all Major League pitchers with 232 2/3 innings pitched in 2015. Any manager that allowed a young pitcher to throw even 300 innings in a season in today’s game would likely get sued, and possibly arrested. Surpassing 7,000 innings pitched against contemporary competition is going to require unforeseen medical advancements or robot pitchers.

Active leader: Mark Buehrle, 3,283 1/3. If he retires, it’s Sabathia at 2988 2/3.

7. Sacrifice hits: Eddie Collins

Another predictable one, and another stat included for the sheer breadth of the leader’s dominance: Eddie Collins laid down successful sacrifices 512 times in his career, 130 more than the next buntiest player. Shockingly, Collins never led the league in sacrifice hits, finishing second only once, in 1923.

Why it’s safe: Because allowing a hitter as good as Collins to give himself up 512 times is an outrageously bad idea. Collins was one of the greatest batters of his or any other era and stands as an inner-circle Hall of Famer despite the fact he routinely gave away 30 plate appearances a season. Guy got on base at a .424 clip. If you take out the 512 bunts, it jumps to .444. Guys with a 44.4% chance of getting on base should always be trying to do that. Teams realize this now: In 1915, the middle of Collins’ career, the 24 MLB teams combined for a record 4,441 sacrifice hits. In 2015, the 30 clubs combined for 1,200 sacrifice hits, the lowest such total since the schedule expanded to 162 games in 1961. If you find stuff like this frustrating, know that your granddad had it way, way worse. Look at how sad poor Eddie Collins is in the photo above. Someone traveled back in time and explained why all bunting was such a bad idea.

Active leader: Elvis Andrus, 95.

Top 100 MiLB prospects…
Jesse Winker No. 34
Robert Stephenson No. 35
Cody Reed No. 66
Amir Garrett No. 69
Jose Peraza No. 71

I’m surprised we couldn’t get a top 100 prospect for Chapman, actually its shocking.

The Reds didn’t get more for Chapman because they don’t know what the hell they’re doing .

Reds depth chart…(subject to spring training results)…
C 1. Devin Mesoraco
2. Tucker Barnhart
3. Ramon Cabrera
4. Jordan Pacheco
1B 1. Joey Votto
2. Brandon Allen
2B 1. Brandon Phillips
2. Jose Peraza
SS 1. Zack Cozart
2. Ivan DeJesus Jr.
3. Carlos Triunfel
3B 1. Eugenio Suarez
LF 1. Adam Duvall
2. Scott Schebler
CF 1. Billy Hamilton
2. Tyler Holt
3. Jake Cave
RF 1. Jay Bruce
S 1. Homer Bailey
2. Anthony DeSclafani
3. Raisel Iglesias
4. Brandon Finnegan
5. John Lamb
6. Michael Lorenzen
7. Keyvius Sampson
8. Jon Moscot
9. Salvatore Romano
R 1. JJ Hoover
2. Jumbo Diaz
3. Tony Cingrani
4. Caleb Cotham
5. Blake Wood
6. Carlos Contreras
7. Stephen Johnson
8. Chris O’Grady
9. Dayan Diaz
10. J.C. Ramirez
11. Ryan Mattheus
12. A.J. Morris
13. Pedro Villarreal

Just for fun…here is a hypothetical lineup given the above:
Hamilton CF
Suarez 3B
Votto 1B
Mesoraco C
Bruce RF
Phillips 2B
Duvall LF
Cozart SS
Just looking at only offense…will these guys be able to put up
4.1 R per game (last seasons NL average)?

Not a bad lineup, but you gotta switch Suarez & Phillips in the order.

I really hope someone realizes how to construct a line up. Phillips is the perfect 4 hitter. All he does is make contact. He doesn’t strike out or walk much. He also has great production of hitting runners in from 3rd base with less than two outs. These might be the most important stats of a 4 hitter. But you know Price, just put someone in there that will hit a home run once every 15 at bats and strike out the rest.

Cannot see even Price missing the #4 spot if Mesoraco is healthy. However, we never know about Price, as he plays lineups and position players in multiple spots.
But, Phillips power is waned over the last two seasons (35 in June) and I see him either in the #2, #6 or #7 holes due entirely to his contact and OBP. Two problems the Reds have in setting the most successful lineup: 1) they do not have players that have shown that they fit the past and current philosophical ideas for setting a lineup, and 2) even if we did, the lineup is changed far too much due to the false concept by Price that any player should be able to hit well in any spot (ie; Sunday sandlot softball mentality). Price tried really hard last season for the first 6 or 7 G and we did very well, however when the boat rocked, he abandoned the thought immediately and reverted back to his Sunday softball mentality. Last season Price was rated #29 among all managers. I do not believe that he will advance forward many paces this coming season.

One other point…we are playing 81 G in GABP; a small ballpark by comparison measures and the concept is that in order to achieve 4.1> R per game, we need OBP players ahead of a 30-35 HR hitter batting 4th…something we did not do over the last few years; thanks again in large part to Price and his in and out lineup philosophy. Certainly understanding that everyone must do their own part.

You mean SHALLOW chart not depth chart. Don’t you.

Mark Sheldon / MLB.com | @m_sheldon | 5:11 PM ET
FLORENCE, Ky. — A couple of weeks ago, Reds general manager Dick Williams said it would be up to manager Bryan Price to determine how much second baseman Brandon Phillips would play. An heir apparent to Phillips –talented prospect Jose Peraza — was acquired in a December trade from the Dodgers.

When asked about Phillips on Sunday, Price let it be known that he had no plans to bump the veteran infielder to a lesser role as a youth movement takes hold. Price expects Peraza to get some time in camp at three positions — second base, shortstop and center field.
“It’s hard just to assign someone else that job. If Brandon is with us, I expect him to be playing second base,” Price said just before the Reds Caravan finale at Florence Mall.
The Reds attempted to trade the 34-year-old Phillips to the Nationals in December, but Phillips invoked his no-trade rights to veto the deal. He still has two years and $27 million left on his contract.

“We want [Peraza] to play as much as possible. Everybody knows what’s out there,” Price said. “It’s no secret there was an effort to trade Brandon this offseason. There’s no reason for me to go out there and beat around the bush with that. That’s the fact. The truth of the matter is he’s here. He wants to remain with the Reds, and at this point in time, I don’t see him as a bench player.”
The Reds also have not concealed this offseason that they’re transitioning to get younger. Through the past few days of caravan, Price spread a message that there will be some new faces to get familiar with, but he noted many veterans still remain in place.
“I think everybody sees what the club is doing, and we’re trying to turn things around,” Price said. “We’re rebuilding, not just our Minor Leagues, but our 25-man roster through somewhat of a youth movement, to a certain degree. That’s going to play out a lot with our pitching –both in our starting rotation and our bullpen — and probably our bench. We’re probably going to have a lot of young, less-experienced players on our bench. But our regular starting eight is going to be fairly familiar.
“We’ll give people an understanding of where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. We can throw a bunch of names at our fan base, but many of them, outside of Jesse Winker or Robert Stephenson and that group, are fairly unfamiliar to our fan base.”
Among the new faces are Peraza and outfielder Scott Schebler — both were acquired from the Dodgers in the three-team trade that sent Todd Frazier to the White Sox. Peraza was rated by MLB.com on Friday as the 71st-ranked prospect in baseball, the fifth and final Reds player to make the list.

Other prospects Price will be seeing on the field for the first time include pitchers Cody Reed — acquired from the Royals last summer for Johnny Cueto — and Rookie Davis, who came from the Yankees for Aroldis Chapman.
“I think there’s nothing like coming to Spring Training with a little bit of the unknown, as far as what these guys can do,” Price said. “I talked with [director of player development] Jeff Graupe a lot. We’ve talked about how this is the best young group of players we’ve had in the system since ’06 and ’07, when we started to see Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto and Jay Bruce work their way to the big leagues. It’s a formidable group. We’re in a position now to be as strong as we’ve been in a while, as far as real prospects in the system.”
Left field is a position up for grabs among several players — including Yorman Rodriguez, Adam Duvall, Jake Cave and Schebler. Time there could be divided up.
“I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world to have at least one position where you have some platoon, especially when you have as many young players as we have,” Price said. “It does give me a position to roll some guys out there and get a good look at them.”

“But our regular starting eight is going to be fairly familiar.” So much for a rebuild.
“It’s hard just to assign someone else that job. If Brandon is with us, I expect him to be playing second base,” Price said just before the Reds Caravan finale at Florence Mall. So much for a rebuild.
Sounds like milktoat man is alive and and as dumb as ever.

I have come to the realization that the top 4 are all milktoast – non-confrontational mangers; from Price to Williams to Jocketty to Castellini. They put a plan together for rebuilding…they found their new 2nd baseman…they found a good home for Phillips…he did not want the trade. The plan should go forward and Phillips should be initially played, however over the course of the season, Peraza should be introduced to 2nd base. In the meantime, they should do everything in their power to convince Phillips to move on. His salary could be used, in the future, for the rebuilding players including but not limited to…young FA talent, if necessary. The Reds are trying to replicate their success in 2006-07 when they put together a cohesive group of prospects that blossomed and became a contentious team
(2010-13) but just were not quite good enough. What happened to this youthful team in 2014-15, when they should have played even better, continues to be mind boggling. In any event, the Reds are moving to replicate that temporary success in 2017 moving forward, however with an ultra passive management team, let the team run itself, attitude I find it hard to see the wanted and necessary outcome. Unfortunately, I think this modus operandi has also permeated the minor league management as well.

Well, it feels like spring here – must be full blown summer in Goodyear. Naytheless, let’s get started. We open Window No. 18 on the Spring Training Advent Calendar (patent pending) and find ourselves inside the conference room of the Reds offices in GABP. The manager, Bryan Price, and his coaches are meeting with a consultant the team hired to get them ready for the season. They’ve already broken up into small groups to discuss their feelings about losing; and they’ve put post-it notes on the dry erase board to prioritize their expectations; they’ve done a team-building exercise involving blindfolds, handcuffs, whipped cream and tarantulas (don’t ask); finally the consultant wheels in a whack-a-mole game and stands before the group: “Mr. Castellini has announced that the team’s theme this year is ‘patience and hope.’ To practice these qualities, we’ve rigged this whack-a-mole game so that a mole will appear, on average, once an hour. Here are your mallets. To make it fun, the first coach to whack three moles will win dinner with Mark Sheldon at the Wrath of Khan Mongolian Beef Bazaar in Goodyear, Arizona. All right, I’ll leave you to it!’

We are off and running. I hope the mole is Brandon, but I doubt anyone is capable of whacking him and Mark will dine alone. Thanks again for your effort Max.

Those core young players from 06-07 didn’t win until the arrival of Scott Rolen. A year later after Rolen retiring we entered the abyss. Just saying……

Reds W/L record…
2009 – 76-86
2010 – 91-71
2011 – 79-83
2012 – 97-65
2013 – 90-72
Rolens time with Reds…
2009 – 40 G/137 AB. 3 HR, 24 RBI
2010 – 133 G/471 AB, 20 HR, 83 RBI
2011 – 65 G/252 AB, 5 HR, 36 RBI
2012 – 92 G/294 AB, 8 HR, 39 RBI
There is no question that Rolen played a very important role with the Reds
during his tenure. Most importantly, imo, was his role as veteran/influence
in the dugout and in the locker room in the years that the prospects were
doing well. His bat was of little assistance with the exception of 2010.

Neb. I agree 100% . The Reds haven’t had a real leader since he left . That includes this horrific management team !

Do we think Scott Rolen really impacted the record that much vs just having solid pitching during that time? I agree they need good club house presence but having good players is probably the best indicator of record. 2014 would be the miss since we had great pitching but poor situational hitting or we lost Votto for the year? Since we have not had solid pitching…

No way to calibrate in terms of wins and losses, however, everything I have read by knowledgeable baseball people indicates that a presence such as his is essential for any team to win or compete at any level.

Time to open Spring Training Advent Calendar (All Rights Reserved) window no. 17: behind it we see Brandon Phillips looking intently at his smart phone. He’s downloaded the “How You Lookin”’ ap that allows you to put in a photo of yourself and see how you’d look in sports uniforms past and present. Brandon’s using it to see where he wants to be traded. He’s looked at Washington: ‘Nah. Same ol’ same ol’.’ The Yankees: Not diggin’ it. Too corporate.’ St. Louis: ‘Just for a laugh, you know.’ The Dodgers: ‘Blue don’t go with my eyes.’ Finally, he dips into the past – the old San Diego polyester uni: ‘Yowza! Those guys had them some flash!’ Tomorrow, he’ll demand a trade to the ’74 Padres. ‘Of course you can. Didn’t you see that documentary about the Hot Tub Time Machine?’

What a wonderful dream to have. Unfortunately, I think it’s more like groundhog day, we’ll have to listen to BP tell us how great he is over and over and over and…………………

According to MLBTR, the White Sox are in the market for a LH hitting outfielder. There is no mention in the article about Jay Bruce. Have the Reds shelved the rebuild and put it off for another year. With 6 of 8 starters the same as last year, it would appear so. Were we dupped by all the promises at the end of last season? To me it appears so.

Well, we may be “duped”, but never “dupped”. I keep reminding people that Jay Bruce is not yet 29 years old. He could still be part of a rebuilt team. I’m aware of his shortcomings, but there are a lot of plusses as well; you couldn’t get a rightfielder of his caliber for what he’s being paid. He’s hot too old to improve.

I said the same thing throughout the 2014 season, as he was/is young and he continues to show good numbers by year end. However, after another season of
inconsistency, I came full circle and am in the camp of trading him at the appropriate time; not in a huff or rush. And, as the market is seldom wrong, there are 29 teams out there that are not interested in him even at a very controllable salary level. Could he improve? Maybe, but the Reds are in a position of rebuilding and when completed, he will not be around; the Reds have made that pretty clear.
Trading Bruce (and Phillips) would free up $12.5M ($25.5 w/Phillips) and that is not anything to sneeze at considering they will not contend nor compete this coming season. Bottomline: The Reds cannot afford a player that is, for two seasons, inconsistent at the plate. It is a shame because this guy has hit more HR than anyone in MLB over the last few years! I am over him now, so lets move on and allow the team to rebuild accordingly.

I don’t think it’ll take that long; sure would hate to need a 30/ 90 lefty bat in the #5 hole in two years.

Nice meaningless shot at my spelling error.

Meant in good fun;hey, we’re fellow Redlegs’ fanns!

Right this time when he hits that month and is unstoppable, please trade him. We have seen this before and know its all going to come tumbling down. But the other team will think maybe he finally figured it out. And even by some Reds luck he does figure it out when he is traded we will get some decent prospects.

Spring Training window (copyright 2016) #16 swings open to reveal: Tony Cingrani in his back yard with his brother and brother-in-law. The latter are on step ladders putting up a volley ball net while Tony supervises. “A little higher … higher … that’s it! Thanks!” His wife comes out – “Whatcha doing, honey?” “I need to master a second pitch and this is going to help! The batters will never see this one coming!” She looks at the net. “Not the ..” “Yep, the Eephus Pitch! Hah!” She makes a sign to the other men – they quietly take the net down. “Hey! …”

Too bad Ted Williams isn’t around to show Cingrani what would happen to that pitch.

Just ask Rip Sewell.

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com | @m_sheldon | 1:05 PM ET
CINCINNATI — No matter who makes up the Reds’ pitching staff this season, it will be comprised of many young pitchers with high ceilings and unfinished development.

Reds manager Bryan Price, his pitching coaches and the front office wanted the team’s young pitchers to be as prepared as possible heading into 2016, so for a few days in mid-January, the club assembled several of its prospects at the team complex in Goodyear, Ariz., for what was called a “pitching summit.”
“It was a handful of guys. They said you’ve got a shot at making it sometime in 2016,” said lefty Cody Reed, who was one of three left-handers acquired from the Royals for ace Johnny Cueto in July. “They wanted to get these guys out there, get a good look at them, talk to them, and we had a good time. We went to an ASU basketball game and saw a movie. It wasn’t all baseball, and it was a really good time.”

Injuries and trades decimated the depth of the Reds’ pitching staff last season, particularly the rotation. Young pitchers were pressed into service, learned under duress and took some lumps for the first time in the big leagues.
Rookie pitchers started a Major League record 64 straight games to end the season, following Mike Leake’s trade on July 28. The starting staff’s record was 20-44 with a 4.62 ERA.
“We didn’t pitch as well as I had hoped with that group of young guys,” Price said.

Price, pitching coach Mark Riggins and assistant pitching coach Mack Jenkins were on hand at the summit, as was veteran starting pitcher Homer Bailey. The young pitchers included Anthony DeSclafani, Raisel Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen, John Lamb, Keyvius Sampson, Reed, Robert Stephenson, Brandon Finnegan and Rookie Davis.
“We need to get them up to speed with the expectations, how we’re going to get there, how to prepare and what we’re about with the Reds at the big league level,” Price said. “It was really intensive discussions about what is greatness, how do we achieve it, how do we gain consistency and unity, how do we connect as a group and push each other towards the ultimate goal of winning a World Series.”
Since it was still mid-January, it was too early for bullpen mound sessions during the summit. The pitchers threw off flat ground, did their workouts and lifted weights. A couple of the meetings were led by Bailey, who will be the rotation’s most-tenured starter when he returns from Tommy John surgery rehabilitation in May.
“It was awesome,” said Davis, who was acquired from the Yankees in December’s trade for closer Aroldis Chapman. “It was the first time I’ve met some of those guys and seen some of them play. I met [president of baseball operations] Walt Jocketty and was around Homer and some of the guys that played in the big leagues last year, the pitching coaches and everyone. The talent in the room was unquestionable.”
Davis received his invitation to the summit a few days after being traded. He accepted immediately, and he was glad to attend.
“You could sense in the room the confidence with the process we’re in,” Davis said. “Guys are all on the same page, and ultimately, it’s to win a championship and bring a trophy to Cincinnati. Every guy in that room was on board with it.
“Leaving there, I’m more fired up now than I was before. I worked with guys, saw their intensity and the passion for the game. And for the guys that have been there, you could see the passion for the city they play for. I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

Thought the idea of the summit was excellent. Sounded personable and seemed to get them pumped up. Also, liked the invitees.

Thought Moscot should have been there.

I don’t think Moscot is going to be anything and I think the Reds know this. He is not a highly regarded prospect and does not have a very high ceiling. its not that he could not some day work his way in to the pitching staff but its doubtful.

Bruce is a teaser…but not for the Reds…
Above average fielder with an above average arm
8 seasons averaging 26 HR and 80 RBI
w/line average of .248*/.319*/.462*/.781*
However the last two seasons are his cross to bear:
2014 – .217/.281/.373/.654
2015 – .226/.294/.434/.729
*dragged down by last two seasons
If he can turn it around, he has 5-6 years to produce
Yet and still, this teaser, if right, will cost far more than
what the Reds are prepared to pay.
With all that said, I really hope he goes to the AL.

When we open today’s STAC (FDA approved) window #15, we’re in the Equipment Manager’s office in GABP, when we witness this conversation between the manager and an intern: “You know why I called you in here, Smedley.?” “No, Chief, but I’m sure you had a good reason!” “Hmm. We started loading the trucks for Goodyear, Smedly, and when we went to look for the pitchers’ bats, you know what we found?” “Yes, Chief, you found nothing!” “Oh, you do know.” “Sure. I heard the National League was going to the DH, so I sold them on E-Bay! Really helps supplement an intern’s pay, hah, hah!” “That’s next year, you ninny! Now, get them back. You’ve got exactly one week!” “On it, Chief! I’m young but I’m eager!”

Red’s management have the bats in the belfry.

Two weeks…
Posted on 02/04/2016 by STEVE MANCUSO
Pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear two weeks from today, February 18. Plenty of eyes will be on Devin Mesoraco, to see with our own eyes that he’s fully recovered from his hip impingement surgery.

There are many interesting story lines on the pitching side, starting with charting the progress of Homer Bailey. If he says on schedule, Bailey will be back on a major league mound in May, boasting a new ulnar collateral ligament. Other fascinating questions are out there:

Will Anthony DeSclafani and Raisel Iglesias continue their promising development as major league starters?
Who will close games for the Reds? Does anyone beside J.J. Hoover and Jumbo Diaz have a realistic chance?
Who will fill out the rest of the Reds starting rotation? Lefties John Lamb and Brandon Finnegan figure to be in the mix. How about Tony Cingrani, remember him? Where does Jon Moscot fit in?
Will Michael Lorenzen end up as a starter or in the back-end of the bullpen?
Which of the youngest guns, if any, will knock down the door to the major league clubhouse? Looking at Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed, Amir Garrett and Rookie Davis as possibilities. Beyond that?
Will the Reds make any additional free agent signings, like a veteran starting pitcher or an experienced bullpen arm?
Will 30-year-old Blake Wood, who the Reds signed to a major league contract, make the Opening Day roster?
What aspects of the Reds pitching staff will you be paying closest attention come February 18?

Excerpt from one of Sheldons articles on MLB.com…
The Reds and Mesoraco expect that he will be 100 percent recovered when pitchers and catchers report to camp Feb. 18. The big test for his hip will come once spring games begin.
“Not knowing what’s going to happen, as far as how much I’m going to play, I’m getting ready to play every day,” the 25-year-old Barnhart said. “Whether that ends up being the case or not, I think what I’m doing with my body will help me immensely throughout the season.”
Listed at 5-foot-11, Barnhart has dropped to 185 pounds this winter — about a 13-pound weight loss — which should help with his endurance.
“Physically, I felt like my best playing weight is around 185 pounds. Physically, I feel better than I have since I was in low [Class] A,” Barnhart said. “I’m paying a lot of attention to what I’m putting in my body, nutrition-wise, and I think it’s going to pay off.”
A switch-hitter, Barnhart batted .252/.324/.326 with three home runs and 18 RBIs over 81 games in 2015. Respected by the pitchers for his game-calling skills, he also caught five of the team’s eight shutouts.

Behind Spring Training Advent Calendar (“No reuse or rebroadcast of this …”) window #14, we discover Billy Hamilton, shovel in hand, finishing digging a third hole in front of home plate, in a batting cage at his local sports training center. The manager hurries over. “Hey! What are you doing? You can’t do that!” Billy smiles his crooked smile and assures the manager. “It’s ok, man. The Reds want me to hit the ball into the ground and beat out the throw to first, so I gotta practice. Watch!” He takes his place in the right hand batter’s box and the pitching machine launches a 90-mph fast ball which he knocks into the hole four feet in front of and to the left of the plate. He switches to the left hand side of the plate and hits the next pitch into the hole four feet in front of and to the right of the plate. Switching sides, he knocks the next four pitches into the hole four feet in front of the plate. He keeps practicing until the holes are full and the pitching machine is empty. “See?” “But the holes! …” “Aw, they aren’t hurting nothing.”

If only………………..

Superb move…let him advise for 2016 (Price concentrates on SP),
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com | @m_sheldon | 3:48 PM ET
CINCINNATI — The last manager to win a World Series with the Reds is back with the club in a consulting role. It was announced Friday that Lou Piniella will be a senior adviser to baseball operations, and he is expected to spend some time with the team during Spring Training.

Piniella, 72, spent 23 seasons as a Major League manager following his playing career and posted a record of 1,835-1,713.

“He expressed an interest to me and Mr. [Bob] Castellini [Reds president and CEO] at Redsfest that he’d like to get involved and do what he can to work with the club,” Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty said.
Piniella also has a long friendship with Reds manager Bryan Price. From 2000-02, Price was Piniella’s pitching coach with the Mariners.
“He’s just going to offer his personal insights on players, and the game itself,” Jocketty said. “If he has advice for Bryan, he can consult. He can use his experience, his knowledge and the success he’s had over the years.”
Piniella has also managed for the Yankees, Mariners, Rays and Cubs during his career. He has not been a manager since 2010, and has publicly expressed no desire to return to the dugout.

Reds bring Sweet Lou back
Posted on 02/05/2016 by STEVE MANCUSO
The Reds have hired Lou Pinella as a consultant – senior advisor to baseball operations. Pinella managed the Reds from 1990-92 and compiled a 255-231 record those three years. Pinella managed for 23 seasons. His teams made the postseason seven times, including winning the World Series with the Reds in 1990. In case you were wondering, Pinella (72) hasn’t managed since 2010.

Lou Piniella Hired by Reds as Senior Advisor: Latest Comments, Reaction
By Scott Polacek , Featured Columnist Feb 5, 2016

Lou Piniella led the Cincinnati Reds to glory in 1990 as the manager during the team’s last World Series championship. The franchise is reportedly bringing him back in 2016, albeit in a different fashion.

John Fay of WCPO.com said the former manager will spend time with the Reds at spring training. Fay also made sure to mention this likely isn’t the next step to a managing job for the 72-year-old baseball legend: “Talked to Lou at Redsfest about this. I would be stunned if this led to him managing.”

While Piniella played in the majors for 18 years (11 of which came for the New York Yankees), he is likely most known for his days as a manager, at least among recent generations of baseball fans.

He only managed the Reds from 1990-92, but the team won at least 90 games in two of those three seasons and captured the World Series crown. Piniella also managed the New York Yankees from 1986-88, the Seattle Mariners from 1993-2002, the Tampa Bay Rays from 2003-05 and the Chicago Cubs from 2007-10.

He was revered for his fiery personality and was never afraid to let an umpire know what he thought about a particular call. Instances of him kicking dirt, throwing bases and tossing his cap during arguments have gone down in baseball lore, and he is still a fan favorite in Cincinnati 14 years after his last season as manager.

Piniella even drew cheers when he returned to the Queen City as manager of the division-rival Chicago Cubs, and he inked a thank you letter to the Cincinnati fans in 2015 during the team’s celebration of its 1990 crown. Fay passed the entire letter along, including the section that said, “And To the fans…what would a team be without your support, your encouragement, your love. Thank you for all of that and a lot more.”

As a player, Piniella had one at-bat in 1964 for the Baltimore Orioles and then appeared for the Cleveland Indians in 1968, the Kansas City Royals from 1969-73 and the Yankees from 1974-84. He won the Rookie of the Year in 1969 with a .282 batting average, 11 home runs and 68 RBI in 135 games, and he made his lone All-Star Game in 1972 with a .312 batting average.

Piniella also won back-to-back World Series titles with the Bronx Bombers in 1977 and 1978.

While he won’t serve in a managing capacity for the Reds with this latest hire, he has been around the game of professional baseball for more than 50 years. He understands the daily grind from a player’s and coach’s perspective, has reached the mountaintop multiple times and can offer his expertise to various decisions, including player evaluation.

The Reds are likely headed for some lean rebuilding years in the daunting National League Central, with the Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates all coming off postseason appearances. Having someone like Piniella as an advisor for critical decisions should help accelerate that process as the Reds add important pieces to their club.

Outstanding. Hope he puts Brandon in his place. Lou is hardly a milktoast guy. Let the fireworks begin.

Price = Pitchers coach, Piniella = Manager…
The sooner they change the glass of milk-toast to strong coffee, the sooner the Reds start the rebuild process in earnest. He (Piniella) is still just 72; get him while he is still able to Manage. Then again, why would they even entertain getting/using him unless they had a notion in mind! Why? Because they know full and well that Price cannot do it on his own.

Reds prospect Juan Duran suspended 80 games

By Aaron GleemanFeb 5, 2016, 5:16 PM EST

Juan Duran, a minor-league outfielder in the Reds’ farm system, has been suspended 80 games following positive tests for the performance-enhancing drugs Drostanolone, Stanozolol, and Nandrolone.

Duran is 6-foot-7 with big-time power, averaging 23 homers per 150 games since 2011, but he also strikes out a ton and struggles to control the strike zone. He spent last season at Double-A, missing a lot of time with injuries and hitting .256 with six homers and a .728 OPS in 59 games as a 23-year-old.

Duran is on the 40-man roster and is considered a quasi-prospect, but he’ll be ineligible to play until July and figures to head back to Double-A once reinstate

Get him off the 40 man roster and set him free. Enough problems for this team. If he can turn it around, let him do it somewhere else.

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