Nine very important games left for the Reds Doug Gray September 22, 2017 37 Comments Last season the Cincinnati Reds entered the final day of the year with a chance to either draft 2nd or to draft 6th depending on how things worked out. The Reds lost and got help from everyone else and locked up the #2 pick in the draft, leading them to landing Hunter Greene. This season the Reds are in a similar position as we draw close to the end of the year. There are nine games remaining for the team and they are sitting at 66-87. Here’s how the draft standings would look if the season ended today: Team W L W% Giants 60 93 .392 Phillies 61 92 .399 White Sox 61 91 .401 Tigers 62 91 .405 Mets 65 87 .428 Reds 66 87 .431 Braves 68 83 .450 Pirates 69 84 .451 Padres 69 84 .451 Athletics 69 83 .454 The Reds would probably have to lose out to have any shot of drafting in the top four. They are 3.5-5 games behind all of the teams that are currently lined up in spots 1-4. It would take some real losing and some winning by very bad teams to make up that kind of ground in a week-and-a-half. Where the Reds are realistically playing for is the #5 spot in the 2018 draft. They are a half-game back of the Mets right now for that spot. They also have a 3.5 game lead over the Braves for the #6 spot in the draft. The difference between the #5 spot and the #7 spot in terms of draft dollars in 2017 $691,000. That’s a rather significant chunk of change that could be very useful after the 1st round when it comes to signing, or not signing someone that falls in the draft for some reason. If they were to somehow drop to the #8 spot it would be a difference of $926,900. While I would prefer to see the Reds win out in a perfect world, this isn’t a perfect world. The odds of the Cincinnati Reds having a better future are increased significantly if they wind up drafting 4th or 5th versus drafting 9th or 10th. Maybe the team gets some help out along the way like they did last season and can move up. What they can’t do much of, though, is go on a strong run to finish out the season and lose spots in the draft, which in terms of this season don’t mean anything but could be very costly in the future. 37 Responses icehole3 September 22, 2017 Can’t root for the Reds to lose, not in my DNA. The Duke September 22, 2017 Hear hear weigarp September 22, 2017 Agreed 100%. It would help the younger players’ mindsets for next year to win a few of these games, especially the pitchers. Greenfield Red September 22, 2017 I’ve been saying this since Independence Day. Get the best pick possible. Worry about winning next year. Kap September 22, 2017 I KNOW IT’S WAY EARLY but I’m hearing the draft next year will be top heavy. Beer, singer, and rucker are the top 3 but after that it’s anybody’s guess. I would rather see guys close out the year strong then to move up another spot or two because I honestly don’t think it will matter as much The Duke September 22, 2017 Beer is falling, most scouts see him as a 1B/DH only. If we’re prognosticating the NL gets the DH in the next 3 years, then it works. If it doesn’t happen, then he’s stuck behind Votto. A lot will change over the next 9 months. Odds are we pick 5th or 6th, and as long as we’re in that range, I feel confident in a significant talent being available in what most are seeing as a pretty good draft next year. Billy September 22, 2017 I thought I heard the BA guys saying that there will be a run of high school players at the top of the draft next season. I thought I heard them say that the college crop is relatively weak at the top, but there’s some really good talent on the high school side. Did I mishear that? Norwood Nate September 22, 2017 I argued this same point on RLN during the last Mets series. Not many people like this mentality, and it was met with some resistance, but it’s best for the future to lose and meaningless to win a couple more September games in my opinion. Fans don’t like losing games but it’s shortsighted to be against going for draft position. I’m going to like it much more as a fan in a couple of years when we have a potentially very good prospect moving through our system than remembering the couple of extra wins in September that amounted to nothing substantial in a lost season. At the time only 3.5 games separated 4th pick and 11th pick. wes September 22, 2017 I think most fans live in moment and don’t care too deeply. They’d rather go 500 every year vs 3 years in the gutter for a chance at glory weigarp September 22, 2017 The Reds schedule of remaining games (Red Sox, Brewers, Cubs) is much more difficult than the Mets remaining schedule (Nationals, Braves, Phillies). It lines up that we have a good shot at the 5th pick. Bubba Woo September 22, 2017 If you were trying to rank to move up in the draft, replacing. Castillo/Mahle with Stephens/Davis would be a good way to do it. Just saying. .. MK September 22, 2017 If they win with the young guys playing so be it and hope they win out. If they win out with the guys who won’t be here then let the chips fall where they may. Lorenzen has been terrible the second half and is either exhausted or the league has caught up with him and they keep running him out there every night to be terrible, especially when they have enough pitchers active to fill a school bus. Send the guy home or at least shut him down and just throw bullpens. And, what was the need for Iglesias to pitch last night? wes September 22, 2017 I agree, but I think the players union steps in if they just shut down those 2 without being hurt. Also agree with winning with young guys or guys playing other spots. I hope they don’t win another game but it’s impossible to route against the young guys in the moment. HavaKlu September 22, 2017 The Player’s Union has become increasingly powerful but not to the point where they can dictate who plays and when. MK September 22, 2017 When they tell me I can’t shut down an underperforming overworked young pitcher, we can talk about it at the hearing in November when i am available. Wes September 22, 2017 They won’t do that but they will make note of it- use it down road if ever have to build a case. 90%+ of what they do never makes a headline but it’s there job to investigate situations like this. Big difference in needing to make a statement vs being investigated. greg September 22, 2017 They can make all the notes they want, but no, the union will not, as you said, step in over playing time. Even if they wanted to make a case later on, which they wouldn’t, they’d have nothing to build it on considering the players in question are still rostered, earning a paycheck, and the moves being so clearly defensible. wes September 22, 2017 Seriously though, how divine/amazing/insane/lucky was reds to get the 2nd pick last year?!? I’ll never forget that! Doug Gray September 22, 2017 It worked out incredibly well. Colt Holt September 22, 2017 Love the Barnhart deal. This is a low risk with opportunity to offer substantial value to the team. Barnhart is a top notch defender who has grown with the bat (all while staying healthy). Having a constant at catcher at a minimal cost is one less position to worry about when this team retools for the next run for a title. $16 Million extensions buying out arb and 2 years of free agency will never break the bank. If you succeed on one (i.e. Indians Jose Ramirez, Royals first Sal Perez, White Sox Chris Sale, Rays…you name it), it can make up for missing on five or six. MK September 22, 2017 I remember watching a show in the early 70s when Bengals QB Ken Anderson had just taken over for the injured Greg Cook. First question I thought was poor and kind of embarrassing for Anderson and was when would would Greg Cook be returning? I think Tucker has been disrespected similarly with Mesoraco. It is time to anoint Tucker #1 and hope Mez can stay healthy enough to play some 1B, pinch hit and catch a couple days a week. HavaKlu September 22, 2017 I agree wholeheartedly MK. Aside from Votto and Cozart, he has easily been the Reds MVP in my book. He is probably the best all around defensive catcher in the NL and is hitting .316 with an OPS of .942 with runners in scoring position compared to Duvall at .233—.680 and Schebler at .219—.721 Billy September 22, 2017 I feel like there are two risks in any free agent contract or contract extension. One is that there’s money involved, and that money could be used on something else. This is what people tend to focus on when evaluating a contract. The second risk is that you may be forced to tie up a roster spot on an underperforming and possibly useless player at the end of the contract. This happens a lot, and it can really hamstring a team looking to move on, sometimes more than the money involved itself. For me, giving Barnhart $16M works on both fronts. It’s not a lot of money. And if he sucks in a few years, it’s not too much money to justify simply cutting him loose to free up the roster spot. (Of course, no one wants it to come to that.) Sounds like a great deal for the Reds. victor vollhardt September 22, 2017 I agree on the Barnhart deal–They need to do the same for Suarez, Duvall, Hamilton and yes even Cozart. Duvall has improved each year and his personal health issue makes it worthwhile for him to sign a contract now that would be team friendly. It would be good for him too. Going forward the Reds need to do a better job of resting Duvall–We will never know if Santo’s life could have been extended had he had certain days off for health reasons. Suarez is a star on the rise–even though it won’t be cheap it can be “team (and player) friendly”. Always remember the type on contract (and amounts) that Barnhart agreed on also set the floor and the ceiling for the next contract. Hamilton is set for arbitration this year and this point would be a factor in the Reds signing him now to a muliti year deal. Its sets starting limits on both sides for the next deal. In Hamilton’s case you would like to see still more improvement, but he still is a very unique player. Cozart–is now at about 5 to 6 mil. per and given his breakout year and “permanent” injury (age too) issues–I believe a three year at 9 to 10 mil would be fair. If not you move on, but the overall team defense is diminished. Cozart and Hamilton make all the pitchers better , which is a fact going forward. Cameron September 22, 2017 I hope you mean 3 year at $10 million each year for Cozart. There is no way he’s signing for $3-4 million per year. MK September 22, 2017 Then owner Carl Linder made that mistake with Barry Larkin at the end of his career, with a three year contract for which they did not get value from a once great, often injured older shortstop. He misread a standing ovation by fans, who were saying thanks for the past, thinking they meant please stay. I was there that day and the fans were excited about the prospects of acquiring Jose Reyes in the trade with the Mets. It was a mistake as would be three years of Cozart. MikeinSoCal September 22, 2017 My day is just a little bit better when the Reds win. So in order to keep me happy the Reds have to win. Only slightly kidding. Seeing Romano or Stephenson throw a shut out gives me something to look forward to next year. Let the chips fall where they may. But on the flip side its a very wise decision to rest the banged up regulars and see who among the kids belong up here. That is a nice compromise. victor vollhardt September 22, 2017 To CAMERON—Of course it would be per year —Cozart is at 5 point something right now and rules say you can’t cut by more than 20 percent(this is NEVER done in any case), but in most stories about Cozart everyone talks about the “qualifying offer”(about 18mil. this coming year). I love Cozart and what he brings to the team, but that amount would be crazy considering age.injury history and current salary. I don’t think that Cozart or his agents(taking the current market in to play as well) are asking for that kind of money Simon Cowell September 22, 2017 Why was Schebler batting top of the order? Same reason Ervin isn’t playing. So that Schebler can get 30 dingers. MK September 22, 2017 Anybody know the story on Jose Adames the rhp the Reds took in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft last winter? I assume they acquired another player with a bad arm. victor vollhardt September 22, 2017 A story in the paper in Miami says the Marlins new ownership is going to let Tony Perez go. Great PR and maybe player relationship(s) for the Reds to have him as part of their staff. MK September 23, 2017 You know Tony is 75 years old. victor vollhardt September 23, 2017 Yes–and Bench is 69 and Morgan and Sweet Lou are both 74. The last two work for the club and Bench is always around in the spring etc. All have credibility and stature when talking to today’s players and are links to the club’s past. They know how to conduct themselves and interact with the fans. You wouldn’t want Mr. Perez to play first base or even coach first base, but the next time Votto passes some milestone —to have Perez around would be a PR plus. They had the Perez/Casey/Votto bobble heads giveaway—–from my point of view it was too bad they didn’t include McCormick and Kluszewski. MK September 23, 2017 My point is maybe he would like to retire. Doug Gray September 23, 2017 I’d like to retire as well. MikeD September 23, 2017 Great comment Doug! :) Aggiornamento September 25, 2017 I remember thinking how the Reds were sitting at a really good spot earlier in the month, as on Sept 9th, they were 61-82. But that next week really hurt their draft positioning, going 5-2. They have been able to right the ship and push for good draft positioning, by losing 6 in a row. But it may be too little, too late. If all goes well, they can make up some of the ground they’ve lost this month, and push for those top 4 or 5 spots.