Connect with us

Cincinnati Reds

The Morning After: The Reds-Dodgers Blockbuster

Jeff

Published

on

baseball-reference.com

Good Saturday, well, I started typing this in the morning, but we’ll say noon-ish. In case you haven’t heard, the Cincinnati Reds made the big splash we were all waiting for. Seriously, Reds fans, they won this deal.

Late Friday afternoon, the Reds struck a deal with the Dodgers to get out from under the shadow of Daniel Dewitt “Homer” Bailey’s contract. In the process, they acquired Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Matt Kemp, Kyle Farmer, and a few bucks to alleviate the $21 million Kemp will be making. The Redlegs included Jeter Downs (#8 prospect) and Josiah Gray (between #11 and #13 prospect) in the deal.

There is so much to unpack from this deal, but let me be the first to tell you, I’m not about to throw a wet blanket on this. I am so very excited at what the Cincinnati front office did with this, that I wish Opening Day were tomorrow. Let’s dive in.

First and foremost, Homer is gone. It may seem a bit mean, the way Reds fans have treated him as of late, but for both parties, this is good. He can begin rebuilding his career in a different setting and the Reds will not have the pall cast over them by his inability to live up to a gargantuan contract. Reports state the Dodgers plan to release him, so his next stop is unclear. What is clear is there will be no drama, in the Reds organization, as to how to utilize a pitcher whose best days a far behind.

The second part, and the more I’ve thought about it my favorite part, is the acquisition of Yasiel Puig. He will bring so much excitement and flair to this lineup that is already pretty good. Can he play centerfield? Maybe. The big point here is he will do wondrous things with the bat in Great American Ballpark. In 16 career games at GABP, Puig has 15 hits, 11 runs scored, and four homers. He has a .324 career batting average against NL Central opponents with 17 homers and 49 RBI. His lowest on-base percentage against any NL Central foe is .351, against Milwaukee, and he has a .409 OBP (!) against Chicago. Dude is going to do great things in this lineup in 2019.

Another great addition is Alex Wood. Some will say he is the best part, and Dick Williams even said that they wouldn’t have begun conversations with LA had a pitcher not been involved, but he’s Robin to Puig’s Batman, here. Nevertheless, Robin was still pretty awesome, and so is Wood. He has a career 3.29 ERA with 738 strikeouts and allows home runs at a microscopic rate (0.8 HR per nine innings). He may not be the guy to toss 200 innings, but 160-170 is definitely within the realm of possibility. He’s pitched a total of 17 innings at GABP and has allowed just a pair of homers. In 27 career appearances against NL Central opponents, Wood has only seen 11 of his pitches turn into dingers. Dick Williams says he figures to be a middle of the rotation guy, which may mean another big move looms!

Matt Kemp is a nice piece. He’s a bit past his prime, but he still made the All-Star Team in 2018, clubbing 21 homers with most of his games at pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium. He will add depth to the outfield and give David Bell the option of platooning guys in the corner outfield spots as this means the four outfielders of Kemp, Puig, Schebler, and Winker sport two right-handed hitters and two left-handers. Also, some have thrown around the possibility of Kemp in a deal to land Indians’ ace Corey Kluber. We’ll see about that one, though. For now, the Reds everyday eight is deep.

As far as the Reds prospects that were traded, I don’t mind. It was fun having a kid who plays shortstop and is named “Jeter,” but neither kid has passed single-a. They were at least two years away, maybe even three. That makes three prospects (Tanner Rainey being the third) who weren’t going to be a factor in the near future who have been swapped for guys who could help the Redlegs make the leap (Tanner Roark being the other guy gotten, thus far).

The bottom line is: you do not have to squint to see a better Cincinnati Reds team in 2019, and I don’t think we’re done, yet.

The re-launched version of the Locked on Reds podcast is dropping early in January! Join host Jeff Carr as he takes a daily look at your favorite baseball team in all the land, the Cincinnati Reds and follow him on Twitter @jefffcarr

Jeff has spent his entire life around sports. From playing baseball and golf in high school to traveling with college softball, volleyball, and men’s basketball teams as their media relations guy, sports have always been his focal point. He’s pumped to be bringing Reds content to the Locked on Sports Podcast Network!

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds Roster Breakdown: Non Roster Invitees

Let’s take a look at the non-roster invitees trying to make the Cincinnati Reds roster during this Spring Training

Clay Snowden

Published

on

WELCOME BAAAAAAACK! The Reds kick off the 2021 season on Sunday with their first spring training game. As I do each spring training, I am going to take a look at the non roster invitees (NRI) and how they could impact the team this season.

Pitchers:

R.J. Alaniz, Matt Ball, Cam Bedrosian, Jesse Biddle, Shane Carle, Josh Osich, Branden Shipley, Bo Takahashi

You might recognize a couple of these names. Alaniz has been around the organization the past couple of years and pitched 11.2 innings with the Reds in 2019. Biddle was a guy who was around last year, but the others are new. Carle (76.1 in), Osich (206.1 in), Shipley (100 in) have experience in the show with moderate results. Cam Bedrosian is the name to know here. The fact that he was signed on with a minor league deal is surprising. 277.2 innings with a 3.70 ERA has been a solid MLB pitcher. 2019 batters hit .207/.283/.336 and in 2020 they hit .196/.276/.255. His spin rate is gritty darn good honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a minor league deal that really is a promise on the roster. Think Jose Iglesias who was also a NRI a couple years back. This allows the Reds to delay their decision on making a 40 man roster move.

For a team that lost Rasiel Iglesias, Bradley, maybe Antone and Lorenzen to the rotation, Bedrosian will have a chance to really earn a legit role with this team. You don’t have to squint too hard to see a scenario where Shipley or Carle get innings this year.

Bittle and Osich are lefties that would have battled for the other LHP spot in the pen, but the signing of Doolittle bumps them to depth roles.

 

Catchers:

Rocky Gale

A 33 year old catcher with 37 at bats and a career .108 avg. Id say that there is not much to see here. Stephenson and Tucker are the one two punch and the offseason addition of Deivy Grullon will provide a younger depth option with a higher upside than Gale.

 

Infielders:

Cheslor Cuthbert, Dee Strange-Gordon (not listed on Reds roster yet)

Cuthbert isn’t a household name, but he does have over 1,000 at bats in the MLB. He had a decent season in ’16 with the Royals batting .274/.318/.413 and 12 HR, but he hasn’t shown enough to be a full time MLB player. Corner infield depth.

 

Here’s where I stand on Dee….If he is here to battle for a utility role, that’s fine with me. If he is here to be some variation of an answer at SS, we are in trouble. A 32 year old poor defender (who on the Reds isn’t at this point) who doesn’t have any power and doesn’t get on base. Yeah, he has stolen some bases. We all know speed is one of the first things to go when you age, and he still has some jump, but I don’t think it’s game changing speed at this point, and it’s useless unless he’s on base. I’m not high on Strange Gordan making an impact.

 

Outfielders:

Nicky Delmonico, Tyler Naquin, Dwight Smith

I was worried about the Reds outfield depth. It’s a sneaky need, especially of Aquino doesn’t bounce back. This group of NRI is a group I am excited about. All have MLB experience and have had their moments. Delmonico had a nice (small sample size) rookie year with the White Sox in 2017, but has been worse each year since then. It’s the other two that catch my eye.

Dwight Smith has shown he has some pop in his bat. He is the type of player that you want to have in AAA ready to fill in if needed. Tyler Naquin is a guy I think could actually contribute to this team. We know 2020 was a small sample size, but look at the hard hit and exit velo. And his outfield jump/Outs above avg. fit in well with the team that doesn’t seem to care about defense.

 

 

He had a great rookie year in ’16, and has had moments since. .288/.325/.467 10 HR 19 2B in 2019 would be a good bench bat. The question is…is he better than Aquino/Heineman/Payton? Him and Payton are the two leftieis of the group. At the very least, I think he is great organizational depth, and I think his floor is a higher floor than the group listed above (maybe Aquino can make me eat crow there)

 

This list is different than most years. Not as many players listed, and no prospects. The number of players at Spring Training will be smaller than years past. Overall, I think theres 2-3 guys who could earn a role on the Reds 2021 roster.

Continue Reading

Cincinnati Reds

Monday Morning Manager: The Snell Effect

David Bell has many things he needs to go right in order to win games and get a contract extension. One thing he can control is a decision-making process that should not be made entirely analytically.

Jeff

Published

on

By

In case you lived under a rock last year (and that might be Truer than in any other year) then you know how the World Series went down with the Rays falling to the Dodgers. You may even know about Blake Snell’s improbable removal from Game Six when he was absolutely on fire. This is something David Bell cannot mess up in 2021.

Ok, so in the grand scheme of things, I’m talking about the correct managing of the bullpen and rotation in pressure situations. Most people will look at the Game Six managing of Kevin Cash and see two things: a man sticking to his system that got him there and a man over-thinking things. Neither thoughts are incorrect.

In this day and age of baseball, most people understand statistical evaluations on pitchers favoring removing a starter before they pitch to the opposing lineup for the third time in a game. Well, maybe, because the numbers are a bit different in 2020, small sample size, and all. In fact, the Reds pitching staff held opponents to a .599 OPS in 253 plate appearances the third time through the order, last year. That may be a smoke screen, though, as the 2019 Reds pitching staff (largely similar to 2020) allowed an OPS of .892 in 799 PA. That’s a bit of a more reliable sample size, which would leave me to believe a starter pitching a third time through the order isn’t the most favorable idea.

Also something David Bell must consider is the overthinking aspect. In this Player’s Tribune post by the man, Blake Snell, himself, he points out the immense effect that simply seeing someone warming up in the bullpen had on him. Now, you can say “Well, that shouldn’t have been an issue, he should have sucked it up and pitched!” The dude is a human being. If you saw the person management was likely to replace you with if you messed something up at your job, are you going to just keep on keeping on with no thought to look over your shoulder? If you are, you might be a Jedi. Most of us mere mortals have problems with worrying about what might happen if things fall apart. Baseball players are not totally immune to this, either.

In order for Bell to garner a contract extension, he will have to adeptly manage a pitching staff that has talent, but also has human egos. Just because the numbers say that a decision should go one way, the human element must also be factored in. Last I checked, theres no button for that on a calculator, which leaves it up to his own decision-making skill.

Continue Reading

Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds Optimal Lineup

Let’s look past the Opening Day Lineup to the lineup the Cincinnati Reds could have, if everything is going right.

Jeff

Published

on

By

There will be many things said/written about the Opening Day Lineup and what that should like for the Cincinnati Reds. With the first full team workout happening Monday, let’s take a look at what the lineup should look like if things are going well for the Reds, this season. I’m going to exclude positions for this experiment and you’ll see why.

  1. Shogo Akiyama – Ideally, Shogo will be getting on base much closer to the clip he posted in September than the one he did in August of last year. If he does this, he will be producing what the Reds hoped he would when they made him the first Japanese-born Cincinnati Red.
  2. Jesse Winker – He broke out in a big way in 2020 and was the Reds best hitter. There’s no reason to think that won’t, at the very least, continue and probably will even get better.
  3. Eugenio Suarez – He should be the Reds best hitter and I believe he will regain that title in 2021.
  4. Mike Moustakas – Moose has always been a run driver-inner and, if things are going well he will continue to do so.
  5. Nick Castellanos – he could be the third hitter, but it would be an amazing season, indeed, if he gets on-base at a higher clip than Geno.
  6. Joey Votto – this isn’t meant to be an insult, just realistic. I’ve seen and heard takes putting him in the three-spot. That’s a great idea in 2017. Now, any power should be considered a bonus with the main expectation of him being an on-base catalyst for the bottom of the lineup/turning over of the lineup.
  7. Nick Senzel – him being down here is more a hope that the top six indeed prove worthy to be top six. This is also hoping he’s healthy enough to play everyday, or almost everyday, and build up enough momentum to produce at the level he is capable of. Also, the not labelling defensive position thing is because he should be in the running as a shortstop option, but it sure feels like that’s not the case. Before you say, “Jeff, he’s not a shortstop…” who on this roster is? Get the best eight (nine if the NL miraculously gets the DH) in the lineup and worry about defense later. That’s pretty much how this roster is built, anyway.
  8. Tyler Stephenson – in a few years, he should be hitting in the middle of the order. In 2021, let’s keep the pressure on low and watch him thrive in the box.
  9. Pitcher (again, we’ll reassess if the players and owners ever get together and figure this out before the season begins, but we aren’t holding our breath).

This lineup could be pretty good…maybe. As fans we can hope, the folks who run the Reds should not lean on that. The lineup I propose should only be if each player is performing to the level that is expected of him. More than likely, this lineup will not happen, because it is doubtful every single bat bounces back in 2021.

 

Continue Reading

Trending