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Cincinnati Reds

What Jose Iglesias Has Been and Will Be for the Reds

Jose Iglesias has been a revelation for the Cincinnati Reds.

Clay Snowden

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© Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

When I say “Iglesias,” instinct tells you Raisel, the Reds Cuban closer. However, that could be changing. Jose Iglesias, the slick-fielding shortstop, is starting to resonate with fans. Spending the first seven years in the AL with the Red Sox and Tigers Iglesias signed a minor league deal with the Reds. Yes, you read that correctly, a minor league deal. A year after posting a 2.2 WAR, but the offseason was weird (Paging Keuchel). The “minor league deal” was more of a “let’s just wait and see who we clear from the 40 man roster”. The Reds did not have a true backup shortstop besides Blake Trahan (Alex Blandino – injured). Scooter’s late spring injury opened the door for Iglesias to get at bats and he’s been a bright spot in the Reds heinous offense.

What can we expect from Iglesias from here on out? Let’s start with what we have learned so far:
1) A great free agent find
2) He is more than just a glove guy
3) He is well liked in the clubhouse

His .313 average will probably level back towards his .271 career average, but his defense is still some of the best around. I will take .271 and top-notch defense any day of the week. The game-winning home run was his second dinger of the season. Iglesias career high is 6 and obviously is not a power hitter but let’s go ahead and take the over here. Locker room impact is usually an underrated attribute. Having a veteran around a team of young players always helps. If you want to see how Iglesias is fitting in just watch Puig’s Instagram story. And yes, Jose dresses better than Puig (which they debate).

It will be interesting to see how Iglesias is used once Scooter is healthy. Peraza is part of the long-term plan in Cincinnati but is only hitting .196 with 2 walks and 19 strikeouts. Iglesias offers better defense and is currently hitting more. I don’t think Peraza losses his starting job but I could see Iglesias getting plenty of playing time. One thing that we all know about David Bell is he likes to pull pitchers in the 5th and 6th innings. Double switches/pinch hits will be available. The twist is Peraza has been batting behind the pitcher making double switches, well, not great. Iglesias has logged 677 career games with 637 at short. While defensive versatility is not there the Reds can move Peraza to second and insert Iglesias at short for a late game situation to improve the defense.

Not to be negative, but if the Reds fall out of it completely, trade value will come in play. No, not huge trade value but a veteran shortstop that plays great defense and is a positive to the clubhouse is wanted by contenders. On a one-year deal teams will not have to commit to him long term.

I am excited to see how the rest of the season plays out for Iglesias. This offseason move has played out well for the Reds and if the numbers stay like this it will play out well for Iglesias’ next contract.

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Cincinnati Reds

Marty Moments #ATOBTTR

Marty Brenneman has had a profound impact on Reds Country and will be greatly missed when he hangs up the mic after Thursday’s game. Let’s relive some memories of Marty.

Clay Snowden

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“I’ve had the same job for over 45 years,” how many people can say that?Not many. We tend to get sick of the company or, hell, they get sick of us. That’s not the case for Marty Brennaman. Marty has been a staple in the Cincinnati Reds organization and community since 1974 when he joined the legend Joe Nuxhall painting a picture through the radio of our beloved Reds. After Thursday, the Reds will be in search of a new artist. Marty is stepping away from baseball after leaving an impact that might never be equaled.

Many of us will say the Hall of Famer was the voice of the Reds our entire life. We could swap stories back and forth about our 10-year-old self listening to Marty as we hide under the covers. Or his voice putting us to sleep during the west coast trips. Grinding through the workday with a Thursday afternoon game turned down low enough that only you can hear. From Hank Aaron’s home run call in Marty’s first regular season game to Tom Browning’s perfect game to Griffey’s 500 and 600 home runs Marty has been the voice to many of baseballs special moments.

I wanted to post some clips of Marty’s calls. Some iconic and some, well, just Marty.

Enjoys these Marty Moments

Joey Votto – walk off grand slam

40 Year Celebration

Jay Bruce Clinching Call

Homer’s No Hitter

Now for some laughs:

Adam Dunn Prank Calling Marty

Marty and Joe Kroger Commercial (1994)

Everyone’s Favorite Laura’s Lean Commercial (FLAVOR!! EVEN JERKY)

(Locked on Reds nor I own the rights to these videos. All were found on YouTube.)

Thanks for the memories, Marty.

AND THIS ONE BELONGS TO THE REDS

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Cincinnati Reds

A Look at the 2020 Reds

Taking a look at what the Cincinnati Reds roster may look like in 2020.

Clay Snowden

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© David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 version of the Cincinnati Reds was different from the past few years. New manager, new players, “rebuild” players finally getting called up. Unfortunately, the outcome was not that much different from years past. Players were moved at the deadline to help retool for the future. We all know this process far too well. Well, 2020 is the true start of “the future” of this organization. 2020 is the year they need to make the playoffs to keep the fanbase sane (according to my twitter feed). So, let’s dive in and see what this roster could look like.

This 2019 Reds roster will not likely produce 80 wins. Let’s get the facts out there. As of today (9/5/19) they are 65-75. Bringing back the same roster will not produce the same results. Plenty of players on the current roster are part of the future and some have yet to hit their prime.

Team needs/decisions for the offseason:
1) Bullpen help (especially adding a lefty)
2) Figure out the middle infield situation
3) 4th and 5th starters
4) The catcher situation

Let’s start with the pitching. What we know is Castillo, Gray, Bauer will be 3/5 of the starting rotation. I do not think Alex Wood will be brought back. Frankly, he can’t stay healthy. He pitched 30+ games each of the first three seasons in the league and reached that mark once in the past 6 seasons. His price tag will be too high for someone who’s honestly pitched “ok” this season. The 4/5 spots will be left open to DeSclafani, Mahle, Sims, (maybe) Gausman, or a free agent. I do not think many of the “prospects” will make the jump to make the team out of spring training. Vladimir Gutierrez is talented and had an up and down year in Louisville. Bringing back Gausman would be expensive and that money might be used elsewhere. Sims should get an extended look. He’s cheap, only 25, and shown he can strike out batters. DeSclafani has been good at times and a headache at times.

The bullpen needs stability. Players like Alaniz, Bowman, Herget, Mella, Peralta, Romano, Stephens, and Reed seem to be the most expendable. That’s not to say someone like Reed will build on this season to carry it over into next season which would be great. We all know a lefty would be appreciated. Right now, the pitching depth in the minors doesn’t seem to be ready for next season but a name to keep an eye on is Alex Powers. His 1.64 ERA this season and strong 2018 cannot go unnoticed. We all know Stephenson, Lorenzen, Garrett will be back. Iglesias is not as sure of a thing.

The catching situation could be the exact same as 2019. Barnhart and Casali have been, well, fine. But we all know management looked into trading for a catcher last offseason so I wouldn’t say either is a lock. Organizational depth is slim with Stephenson being the big prospect name and Reds legend Ryan Lavarnway released recently. (They are building his statue.)

The infield is a wild 2020 prediction. We know Votto at first and Suarez at third is a lock. Seems that Galvis will be back at either second or short. Iglesias will be due for a pay increase and his situation should be an article of its own. Mr. May, Derek Dietrich, offers similar versatility as VanMeter at a higher cost and less production. I’d say he’s elsewhere. Peraza and Blandino are not bad as backups but contending teams typically look for upgrades. I would expect at least Peraza gone. Do it all Kyle Farmer should be on the 2020 squad. I would not be surprised to see VanMeter as the second baseman next year or used in a utility role but getting near everyday at-bats.

The outfield is a bit easier to predict. We know Senzel will start in center while Aquino will be in right and Winker/Ervin will be on the roster. Aquino has been so much fun, but it would be absurd to think this pace keeps up. However, he has earned a starting spot in RF for 2020. Left might be some platoon of Winker and Ervin. Ervin against lefties, Winker against righties. O’Grady and prospect Jose Siri provide depth. Siri is fast as hell and plays top end defense so having him as a back up wouldn’t be a bad idea. He needs work with the bat so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Reds brought in a free agent for competition for a back up in spring training. Scott Schebler will be elsewhere. Although I think he still has MLB talent I think he needs a fresh start.
The “random” breakout players are always welcomed as well. O’Grady, VanMeter, and Aquino weren’t expected to be making contributions this season and look where they are.

A few names that could take a similar route:
Narciso Crook (Outfield)
Luis Gonzalez (Shortstop)
Chadwick Tromp (catcher)
Just to name a few from Louisville

Regardless of what is in hold for the long and cold offseason, 2019 has been fun. It was weird and also showed us a glimpse of what is to come.

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Cincinnati Reds

Unappreciated Cincinnati Reds: Kyle Farmer

Numbers don’t tell the whole story when you look at Kyle Farmer. His value goes far beyond the box score.

Clay Snowden

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© Cody Glenn-USA TODAY Sports

On December 21st, 2018, the Dodgers and Reds made a splash in the offseason with a blockbuster deal. The Reds received aging all-star Matt Kemp, animated outfielder Yasiel Puig, lefty Alex Wood, and a versatile utility player named Kyle Farmer. While Kemp’s Reds career ended after 20 games and fan favorite (and now U.S. citizen) Puig’s career ended in a trade, Wood and Farmer very much could be part of the Reds future.

What Kyle Farmer brings to this team is far beyond the box score. David Bell has shown trust and confidence in Farmer and his ability to pinch-hit. Offensively Farmer has improved from his first two seasons in LA. Over two seasons with the Dodgers he only played in 59 games and had 88 at bats. A .250 hitter with no home runs his value might have seen minimal. Reds fans saw his value immediately in spring training when he would catch bullpens then play short and second. Due to injuries, he found himself on the 25-man roster to begin the season. Many thought he would be the first sent down but his pinch-hitting and versatility proved his value to be too high. Farmer has played first, second, third, catcher, and pitcher. I have to mention his pitching stat line: 1.1 innings 1 hit 0.00 ERA. Hell yeah. With Casali injured Farmer has stepped in as the team’s second catcher and Alex Wood’s “personal” catcher. As many of you all know Wood and Farmer have been teammates and friends for a long time. The familiarity they have only helps each other during the game. Farmer’s 7 home runs look good, but his other numbers could use some work. .248/.288/.438 and 45 K’s to only 5 BB are not great. Improving on the walk to K ratio would go along way for his development. If you watched the Cubs series, you saw a few great plays he made at second. He is no Jose Iglesias, but he can hold his own.

How does Farmer play into the Reds future? Well, it’s no secret that the catching depth is not the Reds strength. Tucker is under contract but Casali is on a one-year deal, with arbitration left. In the minors, Tyler Stephenson looks promising but after that it’s slim. Questions on where Jose Iglesias (if resigned), Galvis, Peraza, VanMeter, Dietrich, and even Blandino will get playing time could limit Farmer’s time at second base. Votto will get plenty of off days next season and Farmer could pick up at-bats at first. Dietrich, if brought back, might get the at bats against right handers. What if Alex Wood is resigned? You could keep Farmer as a pinch hitter/late game sub and have him catch Wood every fifth game. His ability to catch opens opportunities for Bell to pinch hit his backup catcher (Casali) and not worry about a “what if” situation when they need a catcher in late innings/extras.

While there are plenty of unknowns about this team as the offseason approaches, we do know that David Bell values versatility and Farmer brings just that. Maybe knowing that he really does deserve to be in the big leagues will help his confidence going into the offseason. Either way, he’s a fun player to watch and adds value to this Reds club.
Here’s a couple of home runs for you:

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