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Cincinnati Reds

30 Day Notice

Time is running out to get in this race, but there are just a few things that need to go right for us to be talking about a contending Cincinnati Reds.

Dave Pemberton

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© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

As I write this the Reds currently sit six games out of first in the Central and 4.5 games out of a Wild Card spot. What’s even more frustrating is seeing the Redlegs expected record based on runs scored and runs allowed: 35-26. Currently the team sits five games below .500. Getting even seems to be an almost elusive feat for this ball club.

After coming off of a much better May, the Reds have managed to hold their ground. However, they have not gained any either. As much as we have waited for the hitting to come around, and it finally has to an extent, we are still waiting for that one big winning streak to get the Reds over the hump. I have to believe it is coming soon. If the Reds are able to put together just a five-game winning streak before the All Star break then we could be looking at potential contenders for a Wild Card spot. However, the biggest winning streak this team has had was 4 games, and that came back in mid April. Since then they have been treading water. I still believe they are capable of making this happen.

Right before the All Star break they have a nine-game home stand. Scooter Gennett could possibly be making his return right before the All Star break, as well, adding another spark to this lineup. Alex Wood could also see a return helping to add another boost to an already impressive starting rotation.

The only missing ingredient is for Puig to finally catch fire. While the rest of the Reds lineup seems to have started to come out of the hitting spell Puig still hasn’t. By far and above his bat has been well below his career average. Many including myself were expecting him to have a career season. There is still time to make that happen.

If just a few of these things can go right I see no reason why we are not talking about the Reds as contenders at the All Star break for a Wild Card. 30 days from now when the Reds play their final game before the break I hope they make a clear cut decision what direction they want to take this team for the remainder of the season. There is WAY too much talent on this team to not get some serious return on some these guys in there contract years.

Something the Reds are notoriously known for is just riding it out without making any big splashes at the trade deadline. They were able shake that stereotype this offseason. I don’t see why they can’t make it happen again if we need to either massive sale or decide to go after someone big for a serious run at the playoffs. Anything less would be selling the promises of the front office and the fans short.

I grew up engulfed in baseball. My grandfather had season tickets for the Reds from 1970 until 2002. I was raised in a neighborhood that was essentially the Sandlot set in the 1990's but with even more kids. We played from the minute we woke up until it was too dark to see the ball. Then we'd spend the night at someones house playing baseball video games, talking about baseball cards, or watching it on television. I idolized Barry Larkin as fielder, hitter, and leader. I was fortunate enough to play baseball through high school. Now I am a registered nurse, married way out of my league, and have two amazing kids that will exceed anything I ever do in this life. I am fortunate enough to have a Reds season ticket package with my close friends and family. The Reds ballpark is my second home. Baseball has provided me with some of my most treasured memories shared over four generations.

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Cincinnati Reds

The Moose Stops Here

The Reds have reportedly signed Mike Moustakas to a four-year deal, per Ken Rosenthal from The Athletic

Jeff

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© Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

How we looking, Reds fans? I, for one, can’t stop randomly yelling “YES!” in my apartment. My neighbors may be calling the cops as you read this.

Or maybe I should be yelling “Moooooooose!”

The Reds began their offseason of acquisitions by signing Mike Moustakas to the largest contract in franchise history. The Moose is coming to Cincinnati for four years, $64 million dollars. He compiled 3.2 bWAR last year and had a 113 WRC+.

The big key is that he will be the Reds second baseman. Per Baseball Reference, the group of players who combined to shoulder the second base duties in Cincinnati put together a -0.6 WAR. Clearly it was one of the most important positions to upgrade during the offseason and the Reds have done that.

There are two ancillary considerations from this move. One is that Nick Senzel will remain in center field in 2020. One can figure from this move that the Reds have complete faith in his ability to rehab his surgically repaired shoulder. The other is a possible Plan B at first base as Moose has shown an ability to play all infield positions with some degree of aptitude. Now, that’s not to say there are rumblings of Joey Votto retiring or going anywhere, but it does not hurt to have a plan B.

All this is to say, I am excited. I also believe this is just the start. More to come from this front office that is clearly putting money to their words. For now, get ready to chant “Mooooose” all summer long!

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All-Decade Team

Reds All-Decade Team: Everyday Eight

Introducing the blog post about the Locked On Reds All-Decade Team!

Jeff

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We are coming to the end of the 2000-teens. Weird, isn’t it? This decade started with a lot of success for our Redlegs and ended with lots of questions. Maybe they can regain their winning form as we head into the 2020’s, but for now let’s look at the players that made the past ten years what they were.

To set only a few parameters, this will be based on impact and not necessarily longevity. For example, based on their time on the Reds and performance, my thought on the best center fielder, for the past 10 years, is Shin-Soo Choo. Now, I get it, he was only here a year, but that what I mean when I’m looking at the All-Decade Reds. Who had the greatest impact during his tenure with the Reds from 2010-2019?

I also want this to be interactive. Comment, tweet (@lockedonreds), and call/text the Locked On Reds Line (513) 549-0159. This post will be finished on December 31, 2019.


Locks

Joey Votto

I don’t know why anyone would argue this. He is the Reds Player of the Decade, and arguably the National League’s Player of the Decade. If you don’t believe me, look at this.

Brandon Phillips

Dat Dude was electric at second and a constant stand-in as an argument to everyone’s favorite Red, at the time. I forgot to mention him as a lock on the first All-Decade podcast, so that’s a bit embarrassing, but no second baseman deserves it more. He could hit anywhere in the lineup, and perform well to boot. There was no other second baseman that was better from 2010-2019 in Cincinnati.

Jay Bruce

Few Reds have provided such iconic moments as was Clinchmas which got this past decade started off with a bang. Beyond that, Bruce was a constant force in the middle of the lineup. His arm was a lethal and gunned down anyone foolish enough to try and run on him. No outfielder eclipsed him and he is definitely a lock for this All-Decade team.

Zack Cozart

Cozart could do it all. He had a good bat, a great glove, and the ladies loved him. Find another Reds shortstop from this past decade and I’ll tell you why they aren’t as good as Cozart was.

Leans

Shin-Soo Choo

Your first thought on this is going to be “but he only was a Red for a year?” Here’s the thing, no centerfielder had a better year. Does he get a bump because he may not have been here long enough to leave a bad taste in our mouthes? Sure. Did he absolutely kill it his one year and is still talked about? Absolutely. If I’m building an everyday eight that is the best of this past decade, he’s on that team.

Devin Mesoraco

The options at catcher are Tucker Barnhart, Ryan Hanigan, and Mez. Maybe you include Ramon Hernandez for the two halfway decent years at the start of the decade. This is a position that can be hotly debated, but I am throwing my hat in the ring for Mez. When he was healthy and got regular at-bats (2014) he was the best Reds catcher this decade. I’ll take those numbers he posted that year and pretend that he isn’t injured when named to the All-Decade Team. A healthy Mez was worth slotting 5th or 6th in the lineup. That’s not something I’ve never said about Tucker.

Ryan Ludwick

My rationale behind this is two-fold. Unless they were just absolutely amazing (like the next lean) then I’m looking at the playoff teams. Ludwick had a great first year as a Red. His final two years soured some fans to remembering him, but he was money in 2012. When faced with the options, I lean Ludwick.

Eugenio Suarez

This one took some thinking because I really liked Scott Rolen, but I think Suarez has outperformed him. He has the misfortune for playing on the bad Reds teams, but he has become the face of the franchise, heading into 2020. The thing that keeps him from being a lock, to me, is there is an argument for Rolen over Suarez…but I will argue Suarez is the Reds third baseman of the decade.

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All-Decade Team

Reds All-Decade Team: The Pitching

Here’s the blog post accompanying the idea of the Reds All-Decade Team, the pitching side of things.

Jeff

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We got things started with a blog post about the everyday eight, now let’s start thee pitching. For this, we’ll do a starting five, a closer, and two relievers. I’m not sure we have any locks, but we have some really strong cases, here. Okay, maybe one lock. Johnny Cueto is a super lock for the rotation, maybe the Reds Pitcher of the Decade.

You know the drill, comment, tweet (@lockedonreds), and call/text (513) 549-0159. We’ll finalize it on December 31, 2019.

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