Cleat Geeks

The Reds Made A Trade, But The Marlins Are Making A Statement

The Miami Marlins and the Cincinnati Reds finalized an interesting trade that says something for both teams. The trade was RHP Ryan Lillie was traded from the Marlins to the Reds. Don’t know who that is? You would not be alone. But, the interesting thing is what it means for the two teams and where they are in their current rebuilding plans.

Ryan Lillie was a fifth round selection in the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft by the Marlins. Lillie is an interesting prospect as he has pitched in 3 different levels for the Marlins, but none above High A. Yet, the success he has had looks good. His overall win/loss record does not look great, but that is because in 2017 he did not get a win, and had 5 losses. Yet, in that winless season in 35.2 innings Ryan struck out 34 batters while walking only 6 in 12 games with 7 starts. In his second year in the Marlins organization every game he appeared in was a start. 22 starts increasing his innings to 117.2 with 110 strike outs and 24 walks. But, what may be most impressive is that he had 2 complete games, and not just complete games, but complete game shutouts. Lastly, in his total innings pitched of 153.1 he only gave up 13 home runs. Rather important in a hitters paradise like Great American Ball Park.

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Photo by; Lifestyle Sports 101

What did the Reds give up? International signing bonus pool money, how much is unknown. But, with this move, the Marlins, who were already second in MLB with available international bonus money, are making a statement. What is the statement? They are trying to be a big player, along with some other teams, in the international market. Let me explain.

The Miami Marlins are looking to make a splash on the international free agent market this off-season, and they have specific targets. Those targets are Victor Victor Mesa, his brother Victor Mesa Jr. and fellow Cuban pitcher Sandy Gaston. With this in mind, they have sought any possible avenue to get an advantage. Speaking of which, includes that the Marlins hosted Mesa’s showcase, as well as that of his brother, Victor Mesa Jr., and Sandy Gaston.

The Miami Marlins got rid of a somewhat interesting prospect in Ryan Lillie, but the end game could make that move worth it. Of course, they have to land the top international prize in Victor Victor Mesa, his younger brother Victor Mesa Jr., and Sandy Gaston first. They may not have to land all 3, but they need to land 2 out of the 3 to make this trade worth it, especially if Lillie becomes a big league pitcher, as the Reds think he can become.

ANALYZING THE ADAM DUVALL TRADE

​​​​THE REDS HAVE MADE A MOVE

The Reds, at 10:50 PM tonight have made a trade involving Adam Duvall going to the Braves. In Exchange the Reds will receive three players in OF Preston Tucker, RHP Lucas Sims, and RHP Matt Wisler. I have been clamoring all day that the Reds should not be complacent here, and make a move that can benefit this team going forward- and that’s exactly what they did.

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According to Dick Williams the Reds see Lucas Sims (24) as the biggest trade chip of the deal. A former top Farm hand for the Braves owns a 3-6 record with a 5.96 ERA in a relatively brief go of it in the majors. Sims is pitching really well this year at AAA and we should see him at some point this season for the Reds in some capacity. He has tons of raw talent, and should factor into the rotation in 2019.

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Photo by; Call To The Pen

Matt Wisler (25) is the other pitcher acquired here and is also a former top farm hand for the Braves. Wisler has had plenty of opportunity to showcase what he can do at the major league level and owns a 16-23 record with a 5.27 ERA over 324 innings pitched. The kid has good stuff, but just has not been able to piece it together and the Reds are hoping a change of scenery to the state where he was raised will help him improve upon those raw tools. He’s basically a 2-pitch guy with a fastball and a slider. This may lend himself more to a bullpen role for the Reds moving forward.

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Photo by; Talking Chop

Lastly the Reds got Preston Tucker from the Braves, who has been a left handed bench outfield bat for the contending team this season. Nobody is entirely sure what the plan is for him, but he has some pop in his bat and and plays a decent left field. The Reds could essentially DFA him, but I am hearing they are going to let the 28 year old factor into the lineup going forward for now.

THIS LEADS TO SOOOOO MUCH SPECULATION

Now what are we to think with this all of the sudden surplus of mostly MLB ready young arms? One can certainly speculate that this means Matt Harvey will indeed be traded by the deadline tomorrow. Does this mean Sal Romano who has pitched better of late will be heading to the bullpen? Or does Tyler Mahle who has struggled lately get sent down. It’s mostly unknown at this point but one thing is for sure, and that is WE NEED TO SEE ROBERT STEPHENSON making starts the rest of the year in Cincinnati and he has easily earned that.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN BEFORE THE DEADLINE TOMORROW? Let me know what you think in the comments below, and feel free to let me know on twitter @thecincyintake.

Pete Rose & The Hall of Fame’s Moral Double Standard

Baseball is America’s pastime. It is a game that has decades of history that satisfies everyone from statisticians to poets. But as glorious and fulfilling as the sport can be, it has its dark side. Not every player is going to have the moral compass of Jackie Robinson. Not every player is going to be as clean and free of trouble.

This is where the debate regarding Pete Rose enters play. There perhaps isn’t a figure more complicated or legacy more controversial than that of Charlie Hustle.

Image result for pete rose awardsRose is the hit king of Major League Baseball. When you think of the rich history and all the hitters to ever step on a diamond, not a single one batted their way on base more than him.

His resmume includes three World Series rings, three batting titles, two Gold Gloves, Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player. Seventeen times he made the All Star team, playing at a record five different positions in the Midsummer Classic.

Stack up Rose’s records and he’s rivaled by few across the sport. So why isn’t he in the Hall of Fame?

In 1989, he was banned from baseball and later declared ineligible for the Hall of Fame. His exile from the sport he ruled had begun. To this day, he has not been welcomed back onto the diamond.

The reason for his banning is the charge he bet on baseball games, specifically his own team while he was their manager.

To be clear, this is a significant charge. When betting on your own team, you have a financial bias that could affect the outcome of the game. There is a significant argument that this endangers the integrity of the sport.

Is the Hall of Fame right to keep Pete Rose out? This question is as complicated as Rose himself.

Fast forward years ahead of Rose’s career and we have an entirely different scandal. Steroids tainted an entire generation. Players have been delayed entry into the Hall of Fame or kept out altogether purely based on speculation. Why? The uncertainty is too significant.

But steroid users remain eligible.

Barry Bonds famously conquered the home run record held by Hank Aaron. His name was connected to the BALCO scandal that brought down a number of players and left a mark on Bonds’ career.

He used performance enhancing drugs to gain an edge on other players, directly impacting the integrity of the game.

He remains eligible.

Alex Rodriguez has tested positive twice and has been connected to both BALCO and Biogenesis scandals.

He remains eligible.

Steroids arguably are more significant than gambling. While gambling negatively impacts the integrity of the game, steroids does that while also hurting the health of the user. Children, who often use baseball players as role models, see this behavior on display.

But this is ok?

Beyond steroids, there are countless character tests. Is Curt Schilling’s potential entry into Cooperstown going to be debated based on the merits of his career? Or will it be subject to discussion surrounding controversial tweets and statements?

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Some claim he’s a racist, but so was Ty Cobb. Should we purge one of history’s most famous players because of poor personal conduct?

Worse than Rose’s betting and Schilling’s tweets, Cobb once charged the stands and attacked a handicapped heckler.

Does beating up spectators in the stands affect the integrity of baseball?

The problem with turning Hall of Fame voters into the guardians of morality is it creates a slippery slope. Countless legends have been forever enshrined within Cooperstown and not a single one of them is perfect. Where do we draw the line on morality?

Morality is a complicated issue. When it comes to the Baseball Hall of Fame, it might make more sense to stick to baseball. If Cooperstown is to guard the halls with their own moral compass, having consistency might be a more sound strategy.

SABERmetrics Sunday: Eugenio Suarez is the real deal

The Cincinnati Reds have struggled with losing seasons going back to 2014. They have not been in the national spotlight much, but that may be changing soon. Ever since their horrific start to the season, they have gotten hot under interim manager Jim Riggleman. There is a lot of notable talent on the Reds, and them reaching contending seasons may not be as far off as some may think.

One of the key pieces of this Reds team is third baseman Eugenio Suarez. The 27-year old slugger is entering his prime years of his career, and is having a fantastic year after having a very good one last year. He made the All Star team for the first time in his career this season and is currently the most valuable player on the team in terms of fWAR.

 

Here are his other numbers (coming into Saturday):

Offense: .389 OBP / .588 SLG / .978 OPS / .335 BABIP / 156 wRC+ / 11.1 BB% / 21.3 K% / 156 wRC+ / 24 HR / -0.6 UBR

Defense: -5.3 UZR / +1 DRS / -9.1 UZR-150

3.5 fWAR (21st in baseball)

The offensive numbers are very good. His wRC+ is the highest in the National League and his OBP is sixth-best. He is getting on base, slugging the ball and creating run-scoring. He is just two home runs off his season-high mark set last year (26) and his OPS nearing 1.000 is second best behind Nolan Arendo. His overall fWAR is pretty much based on his offense and his defense is not that great. Last year he had a real good offensive season, but this is definitely his best year so far.

27 is not all that old, so he can keep growing and be a centerpiece of this Reds team that looks to continue to rise. A lineup with him and Joey Votto batting in the middle is certainly something nobody can take for granted.

Reds Have Trade Leverage, Now What?

THE TRADE DEADLINE IS APPROACHING 

 

Now is the time for Reds fans to either bite their finger nails, or say a toast and rejoice. Most of the bigger names on the market are Cincinnati Reds pitchers. You have Raisel Iglesias, Jared Hughes, David Hernandez, and teams are also trying to pry out Amir Garrett. As for Garrett he seems mostly untouchable due to age (26) and years of control, but I wouldn’t deem any body on this team untouchable personally unless you’re speaking of Joey Votto. So lets take a quick look at the rest of the guys numbers in a quick snapshot, and see what kind of returns they could command. Raisel is 1-1 with an outstanding 2.20 ERA while notching 19 saves on the season. Those are ELITE numbers, so if a team is interested in him and his team friendly control through 2021 realistically the Reds should expect one Top Tier prospect along with 2 middle of the pack prospects. Now maybe that is a bit bullish, but the guy can throw multiple innings, is clutch, and controllable. Anything less should be denied and not even thought of. A couple of teams you could see in play here are the Astros, Dodgers, Braves, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox. The only team of the bunch that has no chance of landing him is the Red Sox, considering they just don’t have the prospects to get the deal done.

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Moving on to Hernandez and Hughes, who have a 1.75 and 1.56 ERA respectively. Their both 33 years old and controlled through next season at a team friendly price. That control alone should be able to net the Reds a decent prospect or two. Anything they get for these guys would be middle of the pack, hopefully close to major league ready to contribute. Don’t be surprised to see the Reds sneak some extra value out of their deals, and hopefully come out of it with a few key pieces for next years team. The Reds have complete leverage here, with 2 above average relievers and one Elite closer. Zach Britton is officially off the market going to the Yankees, and they got a decent return for him and I am actually quite surprised they didn’t sneak in a bit more. Now with all the leverage the Reds can stand firm on what they believe they should receive for these guys, and if they don’t get the offer they like then they should just HANG UP THE PHONE.

 

HEY YOU FORGOT ABOUT MATT HARVEY AND SCOOTER GENNETT!

No, no I did not. Matt Harvey had a showcase game of sorts the other day and was absolutely shelled for 8 runs. Harvey is now at 5-4 with a 4.50 ERA since joining the reds, but that is rather bloated due to his last outing. Before that outing he was below 4.00 and throwing his fastball consistently at 95 mph. There is a lot of optimism about him being moved at the deadline, and a contender should take a chance on him. BUT WHAT CAN THE REDS GET OUT OF HIM?  I don’t see the Reds getting to much out him, and you can probably expect a lower level prospect and maybe even someone already on a 25 man roster with a bit of experience at the big league level. Considering he was acquired for virtually nothing in a Mesoraco swap with the Mets, anything in return for the Reds would be a win here. As for Scooter Gennett I believe he will not be moved. His value is high, but the market need is rather bare for someone mostly stuck at 2nd base with defensive limitations. The most important thing to think about here is CAN WE COMPETE NEXT YEAR? If the Reds believe they can compete for a wild card in 2019, then keeping him may be ideal. But then that creates a rather odd situational block for the Reds top prospect Nick Senzel. While Senzel is considered a safe bet to be a star at the big league level, he is not a proven commodity and with his athletic ability I believe moving him to the outfield or making him a super utility guy may be in play here to get his bat in the lineup. Not to mention the Reds have Dilson Herrera already major league ready and vying for more at bats, we also have Shed Long at AA Pensacola who’s bat seems largely ready for a callup. There are so many possibilities of what could happen, maybe the Reds stand put, maybe they don’t. Lets watch and see!

 

 

 

The Call to the Majors, Week Ending June 20

June 14, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
Chris Bassitt Pitcher Nashville (AAA) Oakland (MLB)
Carlos Ramirez Pitcher Nashville (AAA) Oakland (MLB)
Nick Rumbelow Pitcher Tacoma (AAA) Seattle (MLB)
Robert Whalen Pitcher Tacoma (AAA) Seattle (MLB)

 

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June 15, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
Corban Joseph Infielder Norfolk (AAA) Baltimore (MLB)
Tanner Scott Pitcher Norfolk (AAA) Baltimore (MLB)
Tyler White 1st Basemen Fresno (AAA) Houston (MLB)
Brandon Maurer Pitcher Omaha (AAA) Kansas City (MLB)
Kyle Farmer C/Infielder Oklahoma (AAA) Los Angeles (NL) (MLB)
Jake Jewell Pitcher Salt Lake (AAA) Los Angeles (AL) (MLB)
Felix Pena Pitcher Salt Lake (AAA) Los Angeles (AL) (MLB)
Eduardo Paredes Pitcher Salt Lake (AAA) Los Angeles (AL) (MLB)
Merandy Gonzalez Pitcher Jacksonville (AA) Miami (MLB)
Taylor Motter INF/OF Rochester (AAA) Minnesota (MLB)
Jonathan Loaisiga Pitcher Trenton (AA) New York (AL) (MLB)
Luke Voit 1st Basemen Springfield (AA) St. Louis (MLB)
Jose Trevino Catcher Frisco (AA) Texas (MLB)
Brandon Mann Pitcher Round Rock (AAA) Texas (MLB)
Yohander Mendez Pitcher Round Rock (AAA) Texas (MLB)

 

 

June 16, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
John Lamb Pitcher Salt Lake (AAA) Los Angeles (AL) (MLB)
Franklin Barreto Infielder Nashville (AAA) Oakland (MLB)
Yacksel Rios Pitcher Lehigh Valley (AAA) Philadelphia (MLB)
Jack Thompson Pitcher Lehigh Valley (AAA) Philadelphia (MLB)
Pierce Johnson Pitcher Sacramento (AAA) San Francisco (MLB)
Ryan Rua Outfielder Round Rock (AAA) Texas (MLB

 

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Photo by; FanRag Sports

June 17, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
Luke Jackson Pitcher Gwinnett (AAA) Atlanta (MLB)
Shane Bieber Pitcher Columbus (AAA) Cleveland (MLB)
Evan Marshall Pitcher Columbus (AAA) Cleveland (MLB)
Wily Peralta Pitcher Omaha (AAA) Kansas City (MLB)
Rosell Herrera Outfielder Omaha (AAA) Kansas City (MLB)
Adalberto Mondesi Infielder Omaha (AAA) Kansas City (MLB)
Scott Barlow Pitcher Omaha (AAA) Kansas City (MLB)
Adrian Houser Pitcher Colorado Springs (AAA) Milwaukee (MLB)
Josh Lucas Pitcher Nashville (AAA) Oakland (MLB)
Yovani Gallardo Pitcher Round Rock (AAA) Texas (MLB)

 

 

June 18, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
Rob Zastryzny Pitcher Iowa (AAA) Chicago (NL) (MLB)
Clint Frazier Outfielder Scranton/Wilkes Barre(AAA) New York (AL) (MLB)
Austin Davis Pitcher Lehigh Valley (AAA) Philadelphia (MLB)
Jose Osuna Outfielder Indianapolis (AAA) Pittsburg (MLB)
Kelby Tomlinson 2nd Basemen Sacramento (AAA) San Francisco (MLB)
Ricardo Rodriguez Pitcher Round Rock (AAA) Texas (MLB)

 

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Photo by; McCovey Chronicle

June 19, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
Caleb Joseph Catcher Norfolk (AAA) Baltimore (MLB)
Robby Scott Pitcher Pawtucket (AAA) Boston (MLB)
Jackson Stephens Pitcher Louisville (AAA) Cincinnati (MLB)
Heath Filmyer Pitcher Omaha (AAA) Kansas City (MLB)
Freddy Peralta Pitcher Colorado Springs (AAA) Milwaukee (MLB)
Tim Peterson Pitcher Las Vegas (AAA) New York (NL) (MLB)
Pierce Johnson Pitcher Sacramento (AAA) San Francisco (MLB)
Lourdes Gurriel 2nd Basemen Buffalo (AAA) Toronto (MLB)
Jefry Rodriguez Pitcher Syracuse (AAA) Washington (MLB)

 

June 20, 2018

Player Position From Team To Team
Johnny Barbato Pitcher Toldedo (AAA) Detroit (MLB)
Mitchell Walding Pitcher Leigh Valley (AAA) Philadelphia (MLB)
Jake Barrett Pitcher Reno (AAA) Arizona (MLB)
Adam Frazier 2nd Basemen Indianapolis (AAA) Pittsburg (MLB)

As you can see by the list, most of the players that were called up to the Major Leagues in the past week have been pitchers. A lot of the time, these are just one or two day call up’s because someone in the bullpen was overworked. There were no players called up this week that were in the top 50 prospects to begin the year.

 

Notable Performances:

Jonathan Loaisiga was called up to the major leagues on June 15th for the New York Yankees. Before he was called up, he pitched in six games in AA and four games in A ball this season. In Single-A Tampa, Loaisiga had a 3-0 record posting a dominate 1.35 ERA. Loaisiga performed just as well in AA for Trenton, posting a 3-1 record with a 4.32 ERA. Loaisiga made is MLB debut on the day he was called up, and he pitched a gem of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. He pitched 5 shutout innings allowing three hits, four walks, and struck out six. In Loaisiga’s second start on June 20 against the Seattle Mariners, he pitched 3.2 innings and he allowed 3 runs, on six hits while striking out four and walking two. His season ERA sits at 3.12, in the two games that he pitched.

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Photo by; New York Post

Lourdes Gurriel was called up again to the major leagues on June 19th for the Toronto Blue Jays. During his time in the minor leagues this season, both in Triple A Buffalo and Double A New Hampshire, Gurriel played in 39 games with a triple slash line of .307/.333/.490 with an OPS of .824 and six home runs. Playing up in the majors has not fared for the young Gurriel so far. He is posting a triple slash line of .206/.229/.309 in 20 games while also posting a .537 OPS and two home runs. Gurriel has shown that he can compete in the minors, now he is trying to show that he deserves to be up in the majors, and will hopefully be a part of the Toronto Blue Jays for years to come.

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Photo by SportsNet

A final notable call up for this week is another New York Yankee, and if you follow baseball you’ve heard his name before, outfielder Clint Frazier. There are rumors surrounding Frazier that he will either be a cornerstone of the Yankees outfield for years to come, or he is only being called up so he can audition for other MLB teams come the trade deadline. In 42 games in the minors this year, most of which at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Frazier has played in 42 games posting a triple slash line of .302/.387/.550 with an OPS of .937. Frazier has also added eight home runs to those eye opening numbers. With the call to the Majors, Frazier has played in 5 games this year with a triple slash line of .364/.533/.455 with an OPS of .988. Frazier has been playing well no matter where he goes. This doesn’t seem like a permanent move to Frazier, not yet at least, but sooner rather than later he will be off this list, and in the Majors for good.

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Photo by FanRag Sports

So that’s the Call to the Majors for this week fans. I hope you’ve enjoyed this segment, and hope you aren’t sitting by the phone waiting for your Call to the Majors, it may be a little farther out than some of the players in the Minors.

I Understand Why The Reds Traded For Harvey, But Not For The Terms

About an hour before the game on Tuesday the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets made a trade swapping two once heralded stars and players seen as building blocks for each team. The Reds received starting pitcher Matt Harvey and they gave the Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco.

The trade looks good on the surface, for both teams. The Reds get a pitcher who is making about $5.6 Million dollars with lots of current problems. He has a 7.00 ERA this season with more earned runs (21) than strike outs (20), but was once a prominent pitcher in the Met’s organization. So, for the money and the fact that he is in a contract year, which he knows if he does not turn his pitching around soon all he will get next year is an invite to spring training instead of a healthy contract, the last place Red’s were willing to take a chance on him. Mesoraco was basically in the same boat, he is in a contract year, like Harvey he has been often injured and he knows if he does not improve on his current .220 batting average and his 1 home run in 20 games, all he will get next year is an invite as well. Mesoraco’s contract for the 2018 season will pay him $13.1 million.

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Photo by; CBS News

There were people and organizations who were not sure if the Mets would be able to trade Harvey for anything of substance. Considering his results on the field, his known antics off the field and all those were heightened when he refused to accept an assignment to the minors, which lead to the trade with the Reds. Harvey has undergone both Tommy John surgery and thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in the past four years, and his production has unsurprisingly plummeted as a result. Harvey, 29, pitched to a pristine 2.53 ERA with 9.5 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9 in 427 big league innings from 2012-15. Tommy John surgery in 2014 slowed his career, but he was able to return to prominence with a terrific 2015 season and a heroic postseason performance that was largely befitting of his “Dark Knight” moniker. The 2016 season, however, was a struggle for Harvey, as he pitched just 92 2/3 innings of 4.86 ERA ball before ultimately succumbing to the aforementioned TOS surgery. The track record of pitchers returning from TOS surgery is not good, to say the least, and Harvey is one of the more prominent data points exemplifying that fact. Since returning from that surgery in 2016, he’s pitched to a 6.77 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 and 2.0 HR/9 in 119 2/3 innings. Harvey’s average fastball velocity is a career-low 92.6 mph so far in 2018, and he’s also posted career-worsts in chase rate (21.1 percent) and opponents’ hard-contact rate (43 percent) while notching the second-lowest swinging-strike rate of his career (8.2 percent).

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Photo by; Zimbio

The Mets are doing well this year, but they lost their starting catcher Travis d’Arnaud has already undergone Tommy John surgery and is out for the season, while Kevin Plawecki remains shelved with a hairline fracture in his hand that he suffered upon being hit by a pitch late last month. New York has been relying on journeyman Jose Lobaton and rookie Tomas Nido to handle catching duties in the absence of d’Arnaud and Plawecki, but neither backstop has provided even a shred of offensive value. Lobaton is hitting .163/.265/.256, while Nido has slashed just .147/.197/.176. So not only did the Mets get a player of substance, but they were able to address their biggestneed by far on their club with this trade.

So, let’s look at this trade to see who looks like they won the trade or if it is even.

Better current player; EVEN

Better career player; EVEN

Player who should help the team the most this season; METS

Team that benefits the most in total team payroll; REDS

Wait…..what there is something we have yet to talk about. The Reds sent cash considerations to the Mets along with Mesoraco. When I saw that part of the trade I figured that the Reds sent some cash to decrease the disparity of $13 to $6 maybe a couple million to make the Reds save $5 or so million. But no, the Reds sent enough money to completely offset the difference in money! So the only real advantage the Reds received in this trade they nullified themselves. This is now an awful trade for the Reds. The only way they win this trade is if they save some payroll, and they did not, so they loose this trade.

Let’s look at best case scenario for the Reds. Let’s say Harvey just needs a change of scenery and he turns it around rather quickly. We will say Harvey wins 15 games the rest of the season. Even so, the Reds don’t make the play-offs, Harvey tests the free agent market and more than likely signs a contract the Reds can’t afford.

I understand Reds starters have posted an MLB-worst 5.68 ERA in 2018, and the team is unsurprisingly buried in the NL Central with a 10-27 record due in no small part to the inadequacies of its rotation. Young righties Tyler Mahle and Sal Romano have turned in ERAs in the mid-4.00s, but no other Reds starter has an ERA south of Homer Bailey’s 5.61 mark. Mahle, Romano, Bailey, Luis Castillo and Brandon Finnegan have been the primary starters for Cincinnati to date. But any trade the Reds make should be for players to build around, not a player with both on the field and off the field problems with an expiring contract.

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Photo by; The Dayton Daily News

As far as how Harvey will fit into the Reds pitching staff is still unclear. “He’s anxious to help us and re-establish his career. I think it’s a good fit,” Reds Interim manager Jim Riggleman said on Wednesday morning. Harvey, 29, has been throwing and worked in a bullpen session on Tuesday. His last outing was a two-inning, five-run relief appearance for the Mets on Thursday vs. the Braves, and he was designated for assignment the following day after refusing to go to the Minors. Harvey’s last start for New York was on April 19 (six runs over six innings) before his demotion to the bullpen.

“He’s tried to extend himself a little bit, so no matter where he signed, he’d be able to pitch some length,” Riggleman said. “He’s ready to do whatever we need him to do. We’ll determine that in the next day or two.

“I would think he would, in some capacity, pitch against the Dodgers. Whether that’s relieving or starting or whatever, I don’t know yet.”

If I had to guess, I would say we will see Harvey start on Friday and take the place of Brandon Finnegan who is 0-3 with a 7.40 ERA in five starts with a demotion similar to what the Mets did with Harvey after his struggles.

Why Did The Reds Fire Bryan Price Now?

In 5 seasons as Reds manager Brian Price tallied a record of 297-387 which is a .419 winning percentage. With him at the helm of the 2018 team he was 3-15.

2018 Pitching stats within the National League

The Reds have a 5.42 ERA which ranks last in the NL. If you look at strikeouts per nine innings they average 7.7 that ranks 14th of the 15 NL teams. They have a 1.45 WHIP which is last in the league. Plus, their opponents are hitting .255 off of the Reds pitching staff, which is also last in the league.
But it gets worse, the Reds have a lot of worst, in the records of this young baseball season besides their record. They have allowed the most runs in the majors (100) and scored the third-fewest runs (54), and have it’s worst run differential in baseball(-46). They also sport the second-worst team OPS (.619, beating only the Marlins).
Cincinnati had lost 10 of its last 11 games with Price at the helm, including back-to-back shutouts at the hands of the Brewers. The Reds have yet to win a series, and the last two games in Miller Park were the third and fourth shutouts already on the season for the Reds. Speaking of three, that is how many times the Reds have given up 13 or more runs in a game. Those are not good combinations for winning baseball. They are not hitting (they were 0-9 in Wednesdays afternoon affair against the Brewers) and they are not pitching. The manager controls both of those concepts, so, that man is no longer the manager.

I am Still Going To Ask the Same Question. Why Did They Fire Price Now?

Image result for bryan price reds managerMaybe the better question is why did they even pick up his option for this year? Yes, the Reds have been bad for a while, but so has Brian Price. What has he ever done, in the dugout, on the field or in his office that made you say, “He is the manager to make the Reds a contender again?”

In 2014 the Reds won 90 games and went to the play-offs for the forth year in a row, that year as a Wild Card team. Then the next season they lost 86 games and simultaneously the Reds brought on Brian Price and decided to go into a full rebuild. Within a year, all the franchise mainstays were gone: Mat Latos, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Todd Frazier, and Aroldis Chapman were all dealt in an extended firesale, with Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips also traded not long after. The result was easy to see coming. The Reds lost 98 games in 2015 and finished last in the NL Central, and there they’ve stayed ever since, losing 94 games in both ’16 and ’17.

In His Defense, Price Does Not Make Trades, Sign Or Draft Players

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Photo by; MLB.com

The front office has botched more of the trades than they have got right. Three of the four prospects acquired for Chapman from the Yankees in December 2015, for example, are already out of the organization; the fourth, pitcher Rookie Davis, has a torn hip labrum. The Frazier trade netted infielder Jose Peraza, who can run and field but can’t hit, and Scott Schebler, a 1980s-era slugger who hit 30 home runs last year but was barely a league-average hitter despite that. Dealing away Cueto brought back three top pitching prospects from the Royals; fast forward four years, and only two remain, both of them perpetually hurt.

There have been some successes scattered amid the catastrophes. The Reds nabbed Eugenio Suarez, who has turned into an All-Star-caliber third baseman in Cincinnati, for the disappointing Alfredo Simon. Suarez was just defined as a player the Reds want to build the future around by signing him to a 6 year $66 million dollar contract in spring training. The team also robbed the Marlins of righty Luis Castillo and his electric arm in exchange for the middling Dan Straily last year. But more often than not, the moves haven’t worked. Neither has the draft, with the Reds whiffing on pick after pick after pick over the last five years.

They can point to some players who could be part of the next great Reds team—Votto, Castillo, Suarez, outfielder Jesse Winker, top prospect Nick Senzel, 2017 first-rounder Hunter Greene, the top-five draft pick they have this summer and the top-five pick they’ll assuredly have next year—and claim better days are ahead.

Payroll Construction

Roster construction is a big asset to building a club, but payroll construction is an even larger determining factor especially with the financial constraints of the Reds. Compounded by the fact that they are in a division with the Chicago Cubs who are winning and willing to spend on big time players. To me you have to be smart on who you decide to build an organization around, how much you pay them, and what position they play.

I have no problem saying you are going to build your franchise around Joey Votto and you are going to pay him $25 million per year to do it. But they choose to pay Homer Bailey $21 million this season alone (and still has 2 more years of guaranteed money at $23 and $25 million). And you have Devin Mesoraco making $13.1 million this season. Devin, who by the way has played in 10 games so far this season and has more strikeouts (6) than hits (5) this season. Not only did the Reds “miss” on 2 of their 3 highest paid players, it also keeps them from spending money on any other players. This shows in their remaining payroll construction with no other player making over $5.7 million.

The Current Multiple of Injuries On This Club

Image result for bryan price redsHow are you suppose to win when 7 of the 25 players on the roster on the DL? The Reds started the season with two of their projected starters on the DL. More than likely their #2 and #3 starters (and their #1 starter is winless so far). Three members of their bullpen were also on the DL. Since then they have lost their starting left fielder, and starting third baseman. This many players on the injury would be a problem for teams with lots of money or good farm system, but the Reds are not spending money, and only have an average minor league system. Therefore, it is hard to ask the other 15 or so to players left from the original 25 man roster to play winning baseball. And it is hard for a manager to write a winning line-up in pencil, never-mind in pen.

The Cincinnati Conclusion

Price was a fine hitting coach, but he seemed over-matched as a head coach. My biggest thing with him is his lack of fire and emotion, and when he did go on a tirade, it was directed reporters with a very unprofessional outcome. When you have a young team someone has to be a leader wither it is a player or the manager. Votto is not that guy, he leads by example but you can tell, he is not a cheerleader type. The Reds need someone to hold everyone accountable and someone who is vocal and aggressive. Price was not and is not that guy. This was a bad match, but the front office has not done him any favors with most of the moves they have made. There is lots of blame to go around, but it is easier to fire a manager than a bunch of front office personal and or a bunch of players.

Red’s Greene to Make Pro Debut as DH?

The highly anticipated professional debut of Reds two-way prospect Hunter Greene happens today. Greene was selected #2 overall in the 2017 June MLB Draft. He was both a pitcher and a shortstop for Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. But he will make his pro debut as a Designated Hitter in tonight’s game.

He will make his pro debut for the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League for Tuesday’s game versus the Idaho Falls Chukars, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo confirmed on Monday. The news was first reported by Scott Breen of Montanasports.com.

In the afore mentioned June MLB Draft Greene, was selected by the Reds No. 2 overall he currently ranks #21 on the Top 100 Prospects list. He made the hearts of Red’s fans skip a beat as he signed just hours before the signing deadline. But, when he did so, he received a record $7.23 million signing bonus.

How Do The Reds Plan to Use Greene?

Greene, who turned 18 on Sunday, is one of the most intriguing prospects in recent memory because of his skills both at the plate and on the mound. He has reportedly been clocked on the radar gun over 100 mph with his fastball and was a career .337 hitter throughout four high school seasons. While Greene projects to be a pitcher in the long-term, the Reds plan to have him split time at DH and shortstop until his scheduled pitching debut which the Red’s already have planned out for Aug. 27th.

Greene, who turned 18 on Sunday, is one of the most intriguing prospects in recent memory because of his skills both at the plate and on the mound. He has reportedly been clocked on the radar gun over 100 mph with his fastball and was a career .337 hitter throughout four high school seasons.

Image result for hunter greene redsThe 6-foot-4, 210-pound Greene has been taking batting practice with the Mustangs and told Breen he’s been ramping up his throwing in bullpen sessions as well.

First pitch for his professional debut on Tuesday is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. ET (7:05 local time) at Dehler Park in Billings, Montana. For those of you who were wondering, his pitching debut is also a home contest set to begin at 6:05 p.m. ET on the 27th.

But what does Greene think about how the Red’s are planning on using him? Well, here is a quote from the dual threat star, “Not just being limited to pitching, but also being able to hit and contribute to the team is also pretty cool,” Greene told Montanasports.com.

I think it is safe to say everything is thumbs up from Greene’s perspective.

SABERmetrics Sunday: Reds may be Down, but Votto still Up

From 2010 to 2013 the Cincinnati Reds were contenders as they brought a scheme of Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto, Brandon Phillips and others. The team won the division in 2010 and 2012 with a 2013 Wild Card berth, and Joey Votto was the very centerpiece of those teams. Votto won the NL MVP award in 2010 and was one of baseball’s most celebrated players.

Today the Reds are in rebuild mode seeing as they have not had a winning season since 2013 and most of the core that contended for the Reds is gone. Votto (33) still remains, and is still tearing up the majors. When the Reds were winning, Votto was always in MVP conversations and now his skills do not seem to get the same appreciation as it got a few years ago. He is still one of the best players in the game and certainly in the National League.

Arguably Votto’s best skill is his eye at the plate and the ability to draw walks and get on base as good as anyone. He is honestly a SABERmetric dream when it comes to his offense. To look at his career numbers and his season numbers, the stats (provided by Fangraphs) speak for themselves.

Image result for joey votto 2017

Career:

.425 OBP / .964 OPS / 15.9% BB / 17.9% K / 0.89 BB-K / 157 wRC+ / 22.4% o-swing (swings outside the zone) / 8.4% swinging strike / 85.1% in-zone contact / 34.4% center / 35.1% pull / 30.5% opposite field / 50.6 WAR in 11 seasons

2017

.430 OBP / 1.010 OPS / 16.9% BB / 11.6% K / 1.45 BB-K / 157 wRC+ / 16.4% 0-swing / 5.5% swinging strike / 88.8 in-zone contact / 32.7% center / 35.7% pull / 31.5% opposite field / 3.9 WAR 

Votto can bring it all. He gets on base, slugs the ball, makes contact, does not strike out a lot and he spreads the ball all over the park. You look at his contact splits, they are so close together showing he doesn’t hit the ball to one part of the park more often then not, he can put it anywhere at anytime. He does not chase outside the zone, which is evident by his 0-swing stats and his walk rate. This year he is showing very similar numbers to his career numbers, with an even better walk rate and lower strikeout rate. Both his career and season numbers in those categories are well above average, but this year is is exceptional so far.

Overall Joey Votto is still one of the best hitters in baseball, five All-Star games help reflect that, but even when the Reds are not doing well he is still performing at that level. At age 33 he still has several seasons left in the tank and he will likely keep putting up these numbers.

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