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AAAA Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds



Updated: 2016-12-02T14:17:35-05:00

 



Reds Fest Threads: Best

2016-12-02T14:17:35-05:00

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To discuss the greatest winter weekend of baseball

As you may or may not know, Redsfest is occurring this weekend in Cincinnati. Well, you know now. I just told you.

There are many ways to approach Redsfest, but here’s me: it is a silly Comic Con for people who like the best sports team in the world. Yes, the Reds will make money off of you and so will Pete Rose if you let them. But if you want to have a fun time and point out Arismendy Alcantara to a five-year-old hopped up on cotton candy, well where else will you get that chance?

If you’re in the greater Cincinnati area, go check out Redsfest and let us know how it goes. This here will be your Redsfest Thread for the weekend. Let’s go over some ground rules, courtesy of the official Reds FAQ.

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This is pretty straightfoward:

  • Bats are allowed because this is baseball, doyye.
  • Drones are banned because they anger Devin Mesoraco and may cause him to leave the golem enclosure.
  • Masks and bodysuits have been disallowed ever since Tony Cingrani showed up in Jim Edmonds’ skin.

What fun can I expect from Redsfest?

There will be current and former Reds aplenty. Want to feel old? Dmitri Young and Scott Williamson will be there along with Chuck Harmon! Also, Larry Luebbers will be in attendance, telling everyone he didn’t even have to buy a ticket.

The highlight will always be the Kids Press Conferences (6:30 Friday, 1:00 Saturday). This is partly because kids ask the darnedest things and partly because Votto and Bailey have hilarious banter and are really candid. Last year, when Homer was asked what he would do if he wasn’t playing baseball, he explained how he never was given any other options growing up and from 13 years on he was expected to play baseball until he simply couldn’t anymore. There was no question from his whole town of what other interests he may have or could pursue.

Like I said, fun!

Will any Reporters be there?

I have it on good account that BK and Mallaire will be around. You should say hi!

Is this your first Redsfest schtick?

No, my “rejected Redsfest sessions” gag is hilariously dated and still one of my favorite things I’ve done on this site.

Can I buy old jerseys or my own team gear at Redsfest?

Yes, but why?

WHO’S ASKING THE QUESTIONS HERE?

Oh, right. Sorry about that.

How much baseball will there be?

There are indoor fields with several clinics and open batting cages. Check them out!

Where can I find more information?

The main stage schedule is here. The full Redsfest page is here. Have a Reds-errific time!




What Andrew McCutchen to the Reds might look like

2016-12-02T12:32:50-05:00

The Pirates are looking to trade their former MVP, so here's an idea of how he would look on the Reds The baseball winter meetings are set to start next week and it is always one of my favorite baseball events. There is always a blizzard of trade rumors, and though most don't actually happen, there are always a good few that do. It's almost as good as watching actual baseball. One big rumor kicking around right now is that the Pirates are looking to move Andrew McCutchen. He had a rough year last season and they have a hotshot prospect ready to take his place and nobody really wants it to happen, but it might be the best for everyone. And, well, it's not all the time that a player of his caliber is available. So even the Reds should be raising their eyebrows and taking a good look. It's not going to happen (it looks more and more like he will end up in Washington), but what the heck. Let's have some fun. So here's what it might look like if Andrew McCutchen gets traded to the Reds: Amazing. That Reds hat looks pretty good on him. Here's what it might look like if Andrew McCutchen gets traded to the Reds and also he eats a hamburger: Wow! I'm hungry! When's lunch, am I right?! Here's what it might look like if Andrew McCutchen gets traded to the Reds and he is kind of disappointed that he has to play right field: Kind of a bummer, but even he would have to admit that Billy Hamilton is a better center fielder than he is. Here's what it might look like if Andrew McCutchen gets traded to the Reds and they wear green hats on St Patrick's Day: Blarney! Drink Guinness for strength, boy-o! Here's what it might look like if Andrew McCutchen gets traded to the Reds and midway through his final season he meets a tiny green alien named The Great Gazoo that only he can see: The Great Gazoo is a tiny, green, floating alien who was exiled to Earth from his home planet Zetox as punishment for having invented a doomsday machine, a weapon of immense destructive power. His invention is a button which if pressed will destroy the universe in an explosive "ZAM," though he insists he made it on a whim ("I wanted to be the first on my block to have one!") with no intent of using it. Gazoo is discovered by Andrew McCutchen when his flying saucer crashes; Gazoo recognizes Cutch's world as 21st century Earth, implying Zetox banished him through time as well as space. Due to the terms of his exile, he is required to do good deeds for whoever found him first, putting him reluctantly under Cutch's command. Gazoo refers to McCutchen as "dum-dum" and constantly causes problems for him. He can materialize and dematerialize objects, teleport, freeze time, travel through time, and perform other remarkable feats, but when he attempts to help out McCutchen, he usually ends up causing even more trouble. Although his powers are frequently described as "magic," they are more likely based on incredibly advanced science, in accordance with the third of Clarke's three laws. The only people who are able to see Gazoo are McCutchen and a few Reds minor leaguers, because they believe in him; animals also can see him. [...]



2016 Red Reporter prediction contest: Results

2016-12-02T09:00:04-05:00

We have no idea what we're doing. As always, we at Red Reporter gave you guys a list of stats and asked everyone to predict how they thought the team would do in regards to those stats. It turns out that a rebuilding team with a lot of injuries to the rotation can be a difficult thing to predict. A few observations: First of all, we all overestimated the overall performance of the team this season. Only two of us thought that we'd actually finish last in the division, and only 3 predicted that we'd have fewer than 70 wins. We also underestimated how many runs the Reds would give up, as only one person guessed within 50 runs of the actual total and only a handful guessed within 75. The injuries and shuffling of the pitching staff threw a wrench in this whole damn thing. Only five people got points by correctly predicting a pitching stat. First of all, nobody saw Dan Straily coming this year and we certainly didn't expect him to be the team leader in strikeouts and wins. Second, we had so much faith in J.J. Hoover. He was the one piece of the bullpen who was a lock to make the roster out of spring training and, well, that didn't really work out very well. Lastly, the injury to and subsequent move to the bullpen by Raisel Iglesias threw things off about as much as Straily did. It didn't surprise me that the majority of us picked Iglesias to have the best starter ERA, but I was a little surprised at the fact that only two of us picked Anthony DeSclafani for the same category. Lastly, I almost threw out Iglesias for the best reliever ERA since he began the season as a starting pitcher and nobody would have picked him for that category. But, when I saw that Michael Lorenzen had the 2nd best reliever ERA, I decided to roll with Iglesias. As far as the offensive categories go, Joey Votto was picked pretty much across the board on every offensive category besides stolen bases. Only 5 of us picked someone other than Votto to have the highest SLG, and only 3 correctly predicted that Jay Bruce did. Also, congrats to Reds Menace for being the only person to predict that Adam Duvall would lead the team in home runs. For the second year in a row, we only had one person get a prediction exactly right, and that was RedStalk correctly guessing that Joey Votto would hit 34 doubles this season. Also for the second straight year, we unanimously guessed that Joey Votto would have the highest OBP and that Billy Hamilton would have the most stolen bases. The table is below so everyone can see how they did. How did we score? One point was given for correctly guessing the player to lead a certain category (yellow boxes), a bonus point was given to those who were closest to correctly guessing the total in each category (orange boxes), and two bonus points were given to those who correctly predicted the player and the total. Congrats to KC Gardner on winning the 2016 Red Reporter prediction contest. He was only one of two people who correctly guessed that the Reds would finish 5th in the division and was also the only one who guessed that the Reds would give up over 800 runs this season, which ultimately broke the tie with johnnywaffles. <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}--> Username Wins Place RunsS RunsA AVG OBP SLG Doubles HR SB Wins Saves ERA (S) ERA (RP) Strikeouts K/9 TOTAL WINNER 68 5 716 854 Votto (.326) Votto (.434) Bruce (.559) Votto/Phillips (34) Duvall (33) Hamilton (58) Straily (14) Cingrani (17) Desclafani (3.28) Iglesias (2.53) Straily (162) Iglesias/Wood (9.5) KC Gardner 63 5 627 812 Votto (.311) Votto (.444) Votto (.540) Votto (37) Votto (31) Hamilton (61) Iglesias (12) Hoover (21) Iglesias (3.61) Hoover (2.99) Iglesias (177) Diaz (9.9) 7 johhnywaffles 70 4 650 700 Votto (.320) Votto (.490) Votto (.550) Votto (40) Votto (30) Hamilton (70) Iglesias (11) Cingrani (18) DeSclafani (3.50) Cingrani (2.40) DeSclafani (170) Lamb (11.0) 7 joshuar9476 60 5 630 775 Votto (.325)[...]



The new CBA and the Reds: A 'splainer

2016-12-01T09:01:59-05:00

It's December, so the only baseball to talk about is all labor relations. I hope you had a hearty breakfast this morning, because this is gonna burn some carbs. Baseball has been doing really well in recent years, so there was little doubt in my mind that capital and labor interests would reach an agreement before the December 1st deadline. Turns out, they did! This is some complicated nit and grit about how the business of baseball works, so I figured it'd be a good idea to run down all the significant changes and how they might affect the way the Reds do their business. So let's run 'em down one by one, in order of importance: International Free Agency This one is a really big deal. There was talk of instituting a draft for international players, but that got nixed. Instead, spending on international free agents (the 16-year-old Dominican and Venezuelan kids) has been capped at $5-6 million per team. This also includes Cuban-born players under 23 years old (or 25, as I've seen reported a few places) with five years of experience in Serie Nacional (the Cuban league). This means that big $30 million deals for guys like Yoan Moncada and Aroldis Chapman are a thing of the past. Heck, even regular ol' non-blockbuster deals for amateurs will change dramatically. Take a look at the list of the top amateur free agents from the past year and the contracts they signed. The Reds signed Vlad Gutierrez for $4.75 mil and Alfredo Rodriguez for $7 mil. That won't happen ever again. I think this is really, really bad for the Reds. Spending money on young talent, either through the draft or international free agency like this, is one of the ways mid-market teams can compete with the big spenders like the Dodgers and Yankees. Signing a kid like Gutierrez and hoping you can develop him into the next Zack Greinke is way cheaper and more cost-effective than signing the actual Zack Greinke. This neutralizes one of the few strategies smart teams use to compete. Free Agent Compensation and Qualifying Offers This is a welcome change. Teams will no longer have to forfeit a first-round draft pick to sign a free agent who rejected a qualifying offer from his previous team. Compensation picks will now be lower in the draft, though I'm not exactly sure where yet. I've seen anywhere from the second round to the fifth round. Also, it seems the signing team's market size will play a factor. Essentially, top-market teams like the Dodgers will forfeit higher picks and lower market teams like the Reds will forfeit lower picks. Also also, this draft pick compensation will only kick in if the player signs for more than $50 million. The old system was brutal, so any change would probably have been a step in the right direction, but I think this goes some ways toward making the process more ideal. To my knowledge, the Reds haven't made a qualifying offer to player since Shin-soo Choo at the end of the '13 season, but I didn't look it up. Even so, this new system will have a few mostly desirable effects on a team like the Reds. Teams with players who are about to become free agents will be more inclined to trade them at the July deadline rather than hold on to them and hope for draft pick compensation following a qualifying offer. If the pick is lower than the first round, it's value is dramatically lower. This probably means more fun deadline deals, which is fun. Also, this likely means far fewer players accepting qualifying offers and instead getting free agent contracts that better reflect their fair market value. Somebody like Jeremy Hellickson, who recently accepted a QO from the Phillies, will be far more likely to decline and instead sign a multi-year deal elsewhere. This is good, as I bet the Phillies really don't want to pay Hellickson $17 mil next season and Hellickson would most likely rather get the multiple years and multiple millions he would surely make as a free agent. It's a win-win. The season is now four days longer They will still play 162 game[...]



Potential non-tenders who could fit with the Cincinnati Reds

2016-11-30T14:44:26-05:00

Scraping the would-be scrap heap in search of a gem. Super Two status and service time manipulation aside, most major league teams get three full years of cheap, league minimum work from their players before they finally begin to get a bit expensive.  That's when they're eligible for arbitration, which is a convoluted way of saying "that's when they can finally start to get paid for how good they've been at their job to that point in their careers." Of course, players only really get to benefit from that arbitration process and the raise it entails if the team that controls their rights chooses to, ya know, actually offer them a contract.  When those teams opt not to tender those players contracts - either due to underperformance, injury issues, or what have you - the players then become free agents and are able to sign wherever they and their agents choose. MLB Trade Rumors released their preliminary list of non-tender candidates this morning, and while there are no Cincinnati Reds listed, some 33 one-time big leaguers are included as guys who may well be cut loose by their teams this winter.  For the reasons mentioned above, there are no rotation cogs or middle of the order bats, no players off All Star campaigns or models of health.  However, there are guys who may be considered savvy additions to the 2017 Reds should things pan out ideally, a few of which I've broken down in detail below. Jeanmar Gomez - RHP, Philadelphia Phillies Gomez, 28, saved 37 games for the Philadelphia Phillies last year, which instantly made Doc and Plaschke and Murray Chass writhe uncomfortably in their boat shoes in attempts to figure out why he's on the non-tender list in the first place.  The reality is that Gomez, already in his third organization, struggled to a 4.85 ERA, his 86 ERA+ being the lowest of his career since he became a full-time reliever four years ago. Here's the rub, though:  his .327 BABIP last year was the highest of his career, and that paired with his the worst strand rate since being a full-time reliever meant a lot more runs scored against him than you'd otherwise expect. He still posted a FIP under 4.00 for the second consecutive season, his fastball velocity remained identical to his 2015 rate (when he posted a 3.01 ERA in 74.2 IP), and while his BABIP was at a career high, he also induced the highest rate of soft-hit contact (21.7%) in his career in 2016, suggesting it wasn't laser-liners that were the root of that spike. He's no Aroldis Chapman, but he's a reliable reliever, and for a Reds team that had the worst bullpen my eyes have ever seen last year, picking him up on the cheap wouldn't be the worst idea of all time.  (You'll notice that's a theme here in a second...) Brandon Workman - RHP, Boston Red Sox Workman threw 8.2 scoreless playoff innings as a rookie during Boston's run to the 2013 World Series title, the then 23 year old former 2nd round pick looking as if he'd be a key arm in their arsenal for years to come. 87 brutal innings in 2014 and a Tommy John surgery later, he lands on this list after struggling mightily in his comeback attempt in 2016, having tossed 20 innings of 7.65 ERA ball across the lower levels of Boston's system last year. His walk rate spiked, but that's what usually happens when pitchers have random new elbow ligaments bolted to their arm bones and take a year off.  More often than not, however, they figure out their throwing motions again eventually, and when they do their innate talent shines through again.  That's the gamble the Reds would be hoping for with Workman (much like they're hoping for with Homer Bailey, for instance), but a healthy Workman would add a solid middle reliever at what looks to be a cut-rate price. Wade LeBlanc - LHP, Toronto Blue Jays Quick, name the left-handed relief options that the Reds currently have on the roster. ... You probably got Tony Cingrani, and probably remember his s[...]



Cincinnati Reds links - Trading Billy Hamilton?

2016-11-29T13:42:59-05:00

Tuesday links! Assuming the MLB Players Association and MLB owners can hash out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement by the December 1st deadline, there will be be no lockout to disrupt the usual happenings of the MLB offseason. That means that the Winter Meetings - currently scheduled for December 4th through 8th in Maryland - will go on without interruption, and that’s where a large portion of league-wide offseason moves either go down or get started. Back in 2014, the Cincinnati Reds did much of the initial heavy lifting of this current rebuild during the Winter Meetings, trading both Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon on the same day in deals with the Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers, respectively. Last year, the would-be trade that nearly sent Aroldis Chapman to the Los Angeles Dodgers was hatched during the Winter Meetings, though much of the legwork of the Todd Frazier trade a week later was done while all the GMs in baseball were under one roof. There’s a lot less on the table for these Reds this year, what with most of the players who were on the potential trading block back in 2014 already out the door. Brandon Phillips is still around, and though he’s got 10/5 rights that can veto any trade, he’ll surely have his name pop up at least a time or two. Zack Cozart will similarly be watching with a bag packed, as the veteran SS is in his final year of team control and can surely see the writing on the rebuilt wall behind him. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, however, neither Cozart nor Phillips is the biggest trade piece on which the Reds will be listening this winter, as sources tell him they’re willing to consider trading Billy Hamilton, for the right price. Before you freak out, sip your coffee and take a deep breath. This is not ‘Walt Jokerty filth flying filth tear down trade everyone clueless should of don’t know what tharr doing, rabble rabble farr everyone.’ There’s nothing concrete that Olney relays that suggests the Reds are calling other teams with eyes on moving Hamilton at all. Rather, it’s a team that’s obviously rebuilding doing the prudent thing in this situation: seeing how other teams value what they have and establishing an accurate market price. There are heavily saber-minded front offices out there who may place a much higher value on Hamilton than others thanks to his otherworldly glove, his 53.1 Defensive Runs Saved total being the third most in all of baseball regardless of position since the beginning of the 2014 season. Front offices across the league are also well aware that the arbitration process - through which Hamilton will be eligible for the first time this offseason - historically values dingers and RBI much more than defense and baserunning, and that Hamilton’s 2017 salary (and beyond) may well come at a deflated rate as a result. Despite what Facebook fake news and Facebook comments have told you, the Reds front office knows these things quite well, too. With three years of team control over Hamilton, they damn well know there’s no urgency to move him, especially when you consider the in-house options to replace him in CF right now (there are none). But they’re surely aware that teams that consider themselves contenders yet rated woefully on team defense and baserunning ability last year - here’s looking at you, Baltimore - just might be willing to overpay. Nobody looks to give away that $20 bill in their pocket, but if some fool comes up and offers you $35 for it, it’d behoove you to listen to that fool for a minute. In other news, MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo listed 10 intriguing names to watch during next week’s Rule 5 Draft, and a pair of current Reds farmhands made the list. We detailed extensively how the Reds, who had accumulated piles of near-majors talent in their rebuilding process, faced tough decisions regarding their 40-man roster spots in the run-up to the Rule 5 Draft, and t[...]



Should the Reds pursue Nathan Eovaldi?

2016-11-29T10:40:08-05:00

Yes. A one-word response to that question might not be enough to convince you, so let’s take a closer look at Nathan Eovaldi. Yesterday the New York Yankees announced that they had released the twenty-six year old starting pitcher. Eovaldi was entering his final season of arbitration eligibility, but with this move he’ll begin the free agent process a year early. Eovaldi has been something of a puzzle to baseball analysts throughout his young career. His velocity has always been tantalizing, but things just haven’t seemed to click for him through six major league seasons. So why would the Yankees be willing to cut a cost-controlled starter with upside? The primary reason is that Eovaldi will miss the entire 2017 season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Last year he was diagnosed with “a torn flexor tendon and a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.” Rather than pay Eovaldi to rehab, New York decided to cut him loose. Eovaldi’s struggles throughout the 2016 season also didn’t help his case. New York acquired the right hander prior to the 2015 season. Over 48 starts he provided a pretty mixed bag in terms of results. In 2015 Eovaldi went 14-3 with a 4.20 ERA (3.42 FIP), but he had very different results in 2016. When he was shut down in August, Eovaldi was 9-8 with a 4.76 ERA (4.97 FIP). Part of the reason for his struggles stemmed from an uncharacteristic spike in the number of home runs he allowed. Prior to 2016, Eovaldi had a career rate of 0.6 HR/9. That number ballooned to 1.7 in 2016 which was the 12th worst rate in baseball among pitchers with at least 100 IP. One of the oddities of Eovaldi’s career has been his low strikeout rate in light of his eye popping velocity. Last season Eovaldi’s fastball tied for the 11th highest average velocity (97.9 mph) of any pitch in MLB. Matthew Kory of FanGraphs broke down some of the likely culprits of this high velocity/low strikeouts combination. First, while Eovaldi does get great velocity on his fastball, it generates very little horizontal movement. Kory characterized it as “particularly straight.” Second, Eovaldi’s lack of quality secondary pitches was viewed as a major problem. However, this is a facet of his game he’s developed over the past few seasons. Mike Axisa recently summarized a few of these developments in Eovaldi’s repertoire. In 2015 he added a splitter, and in the middle of this past season he began using a cutter. He found some success with these pitches, and they could go a long way toward diminishing the deficiencies of his fastball. Over the course of his career Eovaldi has had stretches when he’s looked like a solid mid-rotation starter. For a team like the Reds, this absolutely seems like a player worth taking a flier on. They likely won’t be competing for a playoff spot in 2017, so the fact that Eovaldi can’t pitch next season won’t be a huge detriment. Eovaldi’s willingness to develop as a pitcher is encouraging, and some of his most egregious numbers from 2016 should revert closer to his career norms. A rebuilding team can never have enough potential pitching, and Eovaldi could be something of a relatively low-cost lottery ticket for Cincinnati. Even if he were to come back and struggle as a starter, he has the kind of stuff that could potentially play as a solid bullpen option. While Eovaldi is far from a sure thing, he still has the kind of upside that could make a positive impact on a major league staff. [...]



Reds pick up Graterol, Guerrero

2016-11-28T16:05:55-05:00

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A lumpy catcher and projectable OF

The Reds announced, just in time for Redsfest, that 27-year-old catcher Juan Graterol and 22-year-old outfielder Gabriel Guerrero were added to the 40-man roster. They come from the Anaheim and Arizona organizations, respectively.

Erstwhile reliever Keyvius Sampson and definitely a catcher Ramon Cabrera were DFA’d to make room.

It is not worth getting upset about this move, but it’s hard to be too happy about it. Keyvius was one of the more fun live-armed relievers the Reds had, and it would be a shame to lose him. Ramon Cabrera was a switch-hitter.

Guerrero, however, is the highlight of this transaction. He is the nephew of Vladimir Guerrero and prospect blurbs do stuff such as “Like his Uncle Vlad, he doesn't use batting gloves. Also like his uncle, Gabby is a free swinger.” They leave out things like “Uncle Vlad was hitting .302 /.350 /.483 in the majors when he was Gabriel’s age.”

Gabriel Guerrero went .212 /.273 /.313 in AAA Reno last year over 110 PAs. I didn’t even know that was possible in the Pacific Coast League. Seven Extra Base Hits getting-ass.

He was also part of the Mark Trumbo trade of mid-2015. Shoot, he was nearly the highlight of the Mark Trumbo trade, even if Jack Reinheimer has hit alright all of the sudden. Shudder to be a Diamondbacks fan.

Juan Gratero is turning 28 on Valentine’s Day and the Reds will be his fourth organization. He went .300/.340/ .370 for the Angels’ AAA squad before getting a cup of coffee for the big leagues, and it is tough to see where he ends and Ramon Cabrera begins. Or how either are all that much more exciting than Chad Wallach, who will be 25 and in AAA to start the year.

These are the third and fourth warm bodies to be picked up in the new Williams Administration, if you missed Jefri Hernandez and Johnny Hellweg making the trip over a couple of weeks ago.