Is Bob Castellini holding back the Cincinnati Reds? Doug Gray January 5, 2018 67 Comments The losing stops now, or something close to that, were words that were uttered by owner Bob Castellini at a press conference shortly after he became the majority stake owner of the Cincinnati Reds. It was a breath of fresh air to fans who had endured a long line of losing. A franchise that hadn’t been to the playoffs in 11 seasons when his group purchased the club had an owner who was going to change things. While it didn’t happen immediately, it was quick to see that he was going to bring in his own people. Walt Jocketty was brought in as an advisor and then shortly after took over as General Manager. A few years later the Cincinnati Reds found themselves back in the playoffs. Things didn’t end well in 2010, or 2012. Or 2013. But the team made the playoffs in three of four seasons and the losing had indeed stopped. Those words uttered early on in his ownership were holding up. Then 2014 happened and the team took a big step backwards. It was in part due to Joey Votto attempting to play on a bum leg. He didn’t produce like normal, then missed half of a season. The Reds were due to host the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star game. The 2015 Reds were double-digit games back by late-May and never got close. Many players were heading towards free agency and rebuilding seemed like it was painfully obvious. Some had even called to start making moves prior to the start of the 2015 season. Eventually, the team would start moving some parts. But many believed that it was all delayed because Bob Castellini didn’t want to trade away “name” Reds players before the All-Star game and have them show up on another teams roster. While seeing Todd Frazier do incredibly magic things in the home run derby was great, the team decided to hold onto him through the end of the year. His second half that season watched him fall apart after having a huge first half. We may never know how much that changed his trade value, but you’ve got to imagine it took quite a hit. The team held onto Aroldis Chapman at the trade deadline. The best closer in baseball wasn’t moved despite his team being well under .500 and only one more year on his contract. And then the incident happened. You know the one. The Reds did everything in their power to move Chapman, and quickly. The move was mocked nationally as the Reds seemed to get back far less than they should have for a player of his caliber, even with the uncertainty of a possible suspension. That suspension, a month long, would eventually come. While the team won’t ever come out and admit it, the expedition to trade Chapman at that point just screams public relations move. And it sounds like it came from the very top. Let’s not get this confused, either. This wasn’t Bob Castellini and the Reds being truly concerned about the player and the kind of person that he was. It was that everyone on the planet knew what kind of person he allegedly was, and that wasn’t good for the Reds, and Cincinnati’s “Midwest Values”. The same Cincinnati Reds owner brought in Alfredo Simon 18 months earlier. That same Alfredo Simon who had served time in jail for killing someone, though he was later acquitted. That same Alfredo Simon, who was accused of raping a woman in April 2014 while a member of the Cincinnati Reds was kept on the team. It’s the same Alfredo Simon who was signed by Bob Castellini and the Reds a full three months after the Aroldis Chapman incident. It was about the way the franchise looked to the public. Everyone know what Aroldis Chapman did. Hardly anyone knew much about the past of Alfredo Simon. Bob Castellini earlier today That brings us to today. Jerry Crasnick tweeted this out earlier: The #Reds have listened to Billy Hamilton trade offers all winter (most notably from #SFGiants), but owner Bob Castellini would have to approve any deal. “I hope Billy Hamilton is with us forever,” Castellini said last January. I’m told his feelings on the topic haven’t changed. — Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 5, 2018 That last sentence is very telling. Billy Hamilton isn’t going to be around the next time this team is going to be a true contender. He’s a free agent after the 2019 season. That is, unless he’s extended. He’s excellent in the field and on the bases. He is also arguably the worst hitter in Major League Baseball among starting players. His hitting hasn’t shown any steps forward for his entire big league career. There’s very little reason to think he’s going to improve at this point. He is what he is. A solid, but very flawed player. Many sports franchise owners develop relationships with players. Many of them want to have a say in the way the roster is built and maintained. It is their money after all. And it makes sense. If I were a team owner, I’d be the same way. But as I sit here on January 5th of 2018, I have to wonder if Bob Castellini isn’t holding back the Reds a little bit. He’s seemingly had his hand in more than a few decisions since taking over as the Reds owner that seem more “fan based” than “Reds winning” based. If Crasnick is correct in what he’s hearing, just add this to the ever growing file of heart-over-head moves made by the Reds owner. 67 Responses Patrick January 5, 2018 I am wondering if the other owners are holding the Reds back by not spending money because Bob’s tone has sure changed. He is the main owner but he still has to “answer to” the other owners/partners. It seems like when they stopped winning things went back to the lost decade ways. The Duke January 5, 2018 We spent a good chunk of change internationally when we cut payroll, that never happened in the past. We may not have spent it very wisely, but we spent nonetheless. They ramped up payroll when we were competing, and I don’t think holding off on going all in now is such a bad idea. If payroll starts to go up as the Reds compete again, which I expect it will, then I don’t think it’s really all that comparable. No sense in breaking the bank to get from 66 to 73 wins. Additionally, the high draft picks got us Nick Senzel, Hunter Greene, and whomever we take at 5 this June. Just have to be patient. victor vollhardt January 5, 2018 The DUKE is pretty well right on. Lets see (with a few modest additions) if 2018 starts out OK. If it does then–throw money at some pieces to bring the team close to the top. But you have to have the money first—–from what we know about MLB finances the money is there from various sources –the key is how you spend it. Also there are a lot of young “smart” guys in leadership positions around MLB. Mistakes abound and moneyed teams like Dodgers, Cubs and others cover their mistakes with more money spent on players that they have to continue to pay for even though those players play on other teams****** Hamilton is a very unique player and he needs to be signed to an extension—That said he best serves the team batting ninth. It would be interesting to see what his stats(all) are batting ninth as opposed to the lead off spot, Bill January 5, 2018 Victor, for Hamilton’s career (BA/OBP/SLG): – Batting first: 248/302/342 over 1651 PA – Batting ninth: 244/286/290 over 288 PA Bill January 5, 2018 I’m not seeing evidence that the Reds are unwilling to spend, but you make a great point. If the CEO is making poor decisions, the other members of the ownership group should appoint a different CEO. I don’t think Mr. C. is a majority owner–just the has the biggest share of our beloved Reds. Colorado Red January 5, 2018 When ownership overrides the managements, it usually does not turn out good. Bob, I know you own the team, but keep your hands off so they can win. AllTheHype January 5, 2018 Agree that on the surface, looks like Bob interjects himself more in baseball decisions than he should. But on the topic of Billy, Price stated last month that he will revisit the idea of Billy batting 9th. In that scenario, Billy is more valuable to the Reds than he is as trade bait. He is one of the top 3 CF defenders and the best base runner in baseball. And batting 9th, he doesn’t weigh on the offense. KyWilson January 5, 2018 It shouldn’t be revisited, it should be mandatory for Price to keep his job. Hamilton is one of the worst hitters in baseball, you cant justify hitting him anywhere but the bottom of the order. Hes barely league average as a player being elite at defense/base running. But if he can bring back future talent(ie Ramos) you have to take the talent that may help when you can compete, or extend the window of competing. As far as ownership, they should have a say in the contracts of the players and the financials, but they shouldn’t meddle with the GMs trades or personnel moves. You hired the GM to do a job because he in theory is better at it than you. Let him do his job. And as far as the Champan PR, Cincy fans clearly have shown they care more about the product on the field than PR. Look at the prison gang the Bengals run out. You can’t just give away your best asset because a small section of your fanbase is going to get pissy. AllTheHype January 5, 2018 If Billy would net Ramos, I agree. But I don’t see Billy having the trade value the Reds think he has. Sean January 7, 2018 Not hating you at all but this whole idea of batting the pitcher 8th & calling your 9 hitter a 2nd leadoff guy….it’s nonsense. Hide Billy’s bat you say? Let a pitcher hit in front of him? That’s the plan? Way too many additional at bats for pitcher spot if 8th. Sean January 7, 2018 They need to get Norris Hopper in there to show Billy the drag bunt Hopper was amazing at it & that could be an answer for poor AVG. & OBP. Doug Gray January 7, 2018 Personally, I think they’ve spent far too much time trying to get him to bunt better when he couldn’t hit well enough to start with. All of that time could have been used to try and get him to actually hit better, which is far more important. Norris Hopper was one heck of a bunter, though. He could get those things to die just beyond the pitchers glove side – forcing the second baseman to make just about the perfect play to even have a shot. Piggly Wiggly January 5, 2018 DG, I wish you would have posted with this article that infamous photo of Big Bob Castellini in Pittsburgh after losing thr wild card play in game in 2013. Castellini said changes were coming. Dusty Baker was jettisoned. That was ok. But the team was never the same after getting bounced badly in 2013. Castellini and his stooge GM Let the team rot on the vine in 2014. Injuries happen, but all Jocketty did at the trade deadline was to trade Jonathon Broxton. The inaction at this point was the raising of the white flag. Jocketty did that better than the French ever have. Castellini’s and Jocketty’s ill-fated and ill-advised half-way all-in attempt to compete in 2015 was disastrous for the Reds franchise. Going to battle in MLB with the likes of Marlon Byrd, Jason Marquis, Brennan Boesch, Chris Dominguez, and Kevin Gregg will go down in Reds history as the Reds Alamo. So the answer is a big ole YES !!!! STL Red Fan January 6, 2018 Couldn’t agree more. In 2015 at the All-Star break the Reds were 10 games under .500 with a bullpen that had blown a league leading 20 games. This was virtually the same terrible bullpen from 2014. If Jocketty makes any substantial moves to improve that bullpen going into the 2015 season and can even cut those blown saves in half the Reds are a .500 team at the break in ’15 and are buyers and not sellers. When you have as many quality pieces as the Reds had at the time, that were all highly sought after (Cueto, Leake, Bruce, Chapman, Frazier, etc) you’re closer to competing than to a re-build. Jocketty’s ineptness, or underlying plan, is what caused the many years of losing. You can say all those players would have been lost to FA but the opportunity to win was there, especially when you figure int he wild card and proof that once a team gets in the playoffs anyone can get hot and win it all. Aaron January 5, 2018 Castellini may have expressed similar sentiments at his inaugural press conference, but after he fired Krivsky and installed Jocketty as GM, he said, “We’ve just come to a point where we’re not going to lose anymore.” gregteb January 6, 2018 A majority of the players that led the team to the playoffs were signed prior to the Castellini regime and their love of St Louis players out of their prime. I believe we would have done far better sticking with Krivsky. Jocketty was booted out of St Louis for a reason, and he has not done well for the Reds is you look at what he signed and developed. His BIG deal was Scott Rolen, with the penchant of Crusty Baker playing a veteran player who was playing hampered by injury, who cost us a trip to the WS. And compare the WAR of what we gave up for Rolen. That was his big deal. Castellini definitely holds the team back. Doug Gray January 6, 2018 I’d argue that the big deal Jocketty made was the acquisition of Mat Latos, which I’ll defend to the grave as being a good move. Wes January 5, 2018 Here are the two moves that’s held up rebuild which was clearly inevitable- 1. Cuato shoulda got homers contract. He’s clearly superior and WAY more consistent. I personally believe reds kept “their guy” over making the best baseball decesion. 2. Was giving away one of best trade assets(Chapman). Allowing political correctness to dictate your franchise direction is as dumb as any thing you could ever do! And it cast the reds dearly. If cuato was our opening day starter and Torres was our future ss- the reds would be looking fantastic! Two things – first, don’t bring political talk into this. I’ve deleted that aspect of your post. Don’t do it again. And second, domestic violence has no political party and if you think that it does, you need to go take a long hard look in the mirror. Michael Smith January 5, 2018 Wes giving Cueto the extension after a season that he visited the DL 3 times would have been questionable back in 2013. Having said that I am a Cueto guy and wish we still had him but he would have been worth the contract. Wes January 6, 2018 It’s very relevant in this situation and relevant to this article- so if it’s taboo then don’t post articles that have a politcal aspect to it. the art of a few sounding like 1000’s is an art derived by liberalism. That’s unarguably a hard fact! Succumbing to the pressure of a few in the name of “what’s right” is again- liberalism. And one of the most destructive forms- which in turn destroyed the reds most valuable asset. Again, another unarguable fact! Finally, personal matters are just that- the police investigated and there was no charges made- yet before their investigation was concluded- he was traded to the most liberal place in the states. Worst decesion possible by ownership! While Chapman faced the minimal backlash possible by fans and rightfully so when he wasn’t charged. Kindly put my piece back up. Thank you Doug Gray January 6, 2018 Nothing at all posted in this article is close to political. YOU chose to try and see domestic violence as political because, well, God only knows why. And I’m just going to tell you one last time – stop. Bring up politics again and you will be banned from posting on the site. You can say things are or aren’t politically correct. Beyond that, liberal/liberals/liberalism/, anything like that, go post it on some other website because I’m not having it. This isn’t a discussion. I’m telling you what is happening and going to happen. Like it or not, that’s what it is. You can play by the rules or you can go play somewhere else. MK January 5, 2018 One thing I have heard about Bob is that he does not like to fire people. I sat with him one night in Dayton when Homer was making a rehab start. I have never heard anyone say anything positive about Homer’s personality and Bob was very positive about him. Might explain why Price is still around and why the trigger was pulled slow on some others. sultanofswaff January 5, 2018 Well, if BC is against trading Hamilton, Dick Williams is going to have to get creative to prevent the offense from dropping off a cliff. Hamilton/Peraza/the pitcher/Barnhart. Half the lineup with zero power! MLB trade rumors says the Orioles want 2 major league ready pitchers for Manny Machado. I say why not make a run at him? I’d give Mahle or Finnegan plus one of Garrett/Reed/Peralta. AT WORST, the pitching repeats the last 2 years and you flip Machado at the deadline and get back half of what you gave up. BUT, if the pitching is just league average, you have an offense that will be tops in the division. Colorado Red January 5, 2018 Tucker is far from a whole in the line up. (yes the rest are). His 3.4 WAR is very good. I am not worried about tucker. AllTheHype January 5, 2018 For a rebuilding team, trading those pitching assets for one year of Machado would be the nuttiest of nutball trades. What, just to watch him play for 3 months and flip him for half of what you bought him for? sultanofswaff January 5, 2018 Sure, it’s nutty if you think the Reds pitching couldn’t at least be average. If they are, then you’re un-optimistically talking about a playoff team and the return on investment is realized. High stakes poker, but a lot more fun than wasting a year of Votto’s prime trying to sort. Norwood Nate January 5, 2018 The Reds don’t really need Machado for 2018. But I do think the Reds could make an enticing offer to the Orioles with their (close to) the majors SP depth. So in my mind, that makes them an potential candidate to be the third team in a three team deal with another team that really wants/needs Machado (Yankees, Sox, Cardinals, etc). If another team wanted to send the Reds prospects for facilitating a Machado trade, we may be able to diversify some of our prospect depth and even fill a need elsewhere. Bill January 5, 2018 That would be excellent. There are some excellent major league ready CFs on other rosters. If the Reds could pick one up, then they could use Billy Hamilton as a late inning defender and pinch runner. You could almost guarantee he gets on base every game that way. Then Mr. C is happy and Hamilton is productive with his strengths maximized and his hitting minimized. HavaKlu January 5, 2018 There were only 3 “regular” hitters who had a worse OPS than Hamilton—–Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon and unfortunately Jose Peraza!!! So for those in favor of batting Billy 9th, where do you bat Peraza? Colorado Red January 6, 2018 BP would have the pitcher bat 8th, Billy 9th, and Jose 1st. DX January 5, 2018 Billy Hamilton discussion is as important as the price of hot dogs, unless he can pitch. The Reds won 97 games in 2012 and scored 669 runs. They scored 753 last year. Billy Why does anyone care. The only concern should be pitching. Michael January 6, 2018 Those stats need context compared to what league average those years DX January 6, 2018 Fair enough in 2017 the Reds were 14th in runs scored, in 2012 the Reds were 21st. What stats do you need to see? Now go back and look at the pitching. Krozley January 5, 2018 To be fair, what is Castellini supposed to say about Billy? He didn’t say he “will” be with the team forever. I’m sure he hopes everyone on the team performs well enough to win titles for the Reds and can stay as long as possible if that happens. If he would say, “BH needs to be traded”, then the team would lose leverage. Frankly, he should talk him up as much as possible. This is a non-story. Doug Gray January 5, 2018 I’m not so much against him saying what he said with that quote – that’s what you have to say. But the last sentence, which I mentioned specifically, is an issue if the belief is that he actually believed it when he said it a year ago and still believes it today. Joe D. January 6, 2018 Well said. My thoughts too. Cguy January 5, 2018 I thought the problem centered on Walt (Joketty) & Bob (Castellini) being close friends & Walt allowing Bob to have to much input into decisions a GM should be making. If this is continuing under the Williams administration, it’s not only “holding the Reds back”, it’s a cancer. SteveLV January 5, 2018 If both Hamilton and Peraza remain unable to hold a place at the top of the order, it makes for a very weak 6-9, and just a very odd lineup. Winker, Gennett/Senzel, Votto, Suarez, Duvall, Barnhart, Peraza, pitcher, Hamilton? Barnhart is fine offensively at 7, but not 6th – not on a real contender. Bottom line, Reds can’t have 2 guys who just can’t hit/get on base, along with a guy who shouldn’t hit higher than 7th. They need to fix either CF or SS. Maybe one more year with Schebler/Winker/Hamilton/Duvall rotation works while the starting pitching gets further sorted out – see if Hamilton or Peraza takes a big step forward. Doubt it, though. Encouraged that they have the depth necessary to plug holes. Hope they do it. Shamrock January 5, 2018 We need to bring back Marge Scott and Jim Bowden… Piggly Wiggly January 5, 2018 Ole Leatherskin and Ole Leatherpants. We are there. We have reached the bottom of the barrel. Shamrock January 6, 2018 I miss Schottzie, lol Pat January 6, 2018 I’ve said it the past 3 years that ownership for both Bengals and Reds is what is holding both back. It is probably the same people. Jon Ryker January 6, 2018 They should not even consider trading Hamilton before next year. They can not replace what he does, and his value now is not near its peak. Doug Gray January 6, 2018 It’s tough to replace what he does, because anyone else that defends in the same realm as he does, hits better. But, they could sign Lorenzo Cain and replace him, easily. Not that I believe they will, but that’s one option. They could sign Carlos Gomez and replace him. Very different player, but just as valuable if not significantly more. They could acquire a replacement in trade – though pinpointing a target here is tougher since we don’t know who is technically available. Piggly Wiggly January 6, 2018 Could Carlos Gomez co-exist on the same team as Joey Votto? I would not even entertain the thought of such a bizarre idea. No, no, no on Carlos Gomez. Doug Gray January 6, 2018 Huh? Jon Ryker January 6, 2018 If they wanted to lose more games, they could spend money on Cain. If you’re going to spend Lorenzo Cain money, you’d better be putting that into relief pitching. Defensively, he’s not Hamilton. And he costs a TON more. And Cain still doesn’t do for you what Hamilton does offensively…..they’ve already got a ton of guys who hit 20 HR’s in that band box…..they don’t need another. When Hamilton hits, they win. And he’s not as bad of a hitter as stat dorks make him out to be. His base running is a significant part of his offense. That isn’t Cain either. Hamilton is still cheap. They have a luxury now….when he’s not hitting, put Peraza in the 1 spot. With Winker playing every day and hitting in the 2 hole, that’ll be fine. His bigger problem are not his stats, but his durability. He misses a month a year…..they need to stop him sliding in hand first. By next year or the year after, they’ll have internal candidates that warrant trading Hamilton, just as Hamilton is about to get expensive. In the mean time, trade Shebler, Duvall, Gennett, maybe Barnhardt (in the right deal)….but not Hamilton. Selling low on something you can’t replace isn’t a recipe for improvement. Doug Gray January 6, 2018 Holy crap. I can’t even respond to the sheer insanity of several comments made in this post. Have a good day, Jon. Jon Ryker January 6, 2018 I expect you can’t, but then again, you’ve always had a blind spot to the value of speed….particularly with fast players who aren’t afraid to use it consistently. But this is an unexploited area…..smart GM’s will exploit it. Everybody else will ape each other, as they were doing a few years ago when the decided relief pitching wasn’t important….and now they’re hoarding as many relievers as they can find…..acting as if they thought so all along. There will be a similar reaction to speed, and eventually, contact and place-hitting. Good baseball is timeless: balance. Good pitching. Good defense. Timely hitting, and situational hitting. Doug Gray January 6, 2018 I actually really like guys with speed. But give me 20+ home runs over sub .300 OBP speed guys. Timely hitting is great – you know who gets timely hits? Good hitters. You know who doesn’t? Bad hitters. Get good hitters and they’ll get timely hits, because that’s how it works. The more good hitters you have, the better you’re going to be. Place-hitting is stupid. The idea that your #2 hitter should be able to hit a weak groundball to second base to move over your leadoff hitter is backwards thinking. Instead, bat a guy 2nd who can just drive him in because he knows how to hit. Stack your lineup with as many good hitters as possible. Full stop. Jon Ryker January 6, 2018 Actual good hitters are expensive….the key to timely hitting is productive outs, making as much contact as possible, understanding the what the situation requires, and cutting down your swing to the point where you can put the ball where you like when the situation requires it. This isn’t necessarily the same thing as being a good hitter, but you need some of those too. Good teams need balance. People like Duval rarely accomplish the goals I mentioned above. 20 HR’s in 650 at bats is a negligible part of the offense. Of those 20 HR’s Cain might hit how many actually come when you need them? How many will come against good pitchers with a bunch of guys on? Very, very few. Hamilton, on the other hand, can turn an error into a run. That comes in handy….particularly against good pitchers, and particularly in close games. The key to good post-season offense is WHEN you score runs…..not how many. If you’re ahead after 7 innnings, you’re probably gonna win. Your argument for power is akin to running an election aiming at winning the popular vote but losing the electoral college…..the goal is not to score more runs in aggregate over the course of the year than other teams, but to score more runs than the other guy more often than the other team does….each game….one game at a time….over the course of the year. A very different goal than simply indescriminately piling up runs. And it requires different skill sets…. The difference between a .300 obp and a .350 obp is about 30 times on base difference per year…..given me the guy who gets on 30 times less often but steals 60 bases, rather than 5……with all the other benefits coming with it, including the defense….I’ll win more games…And all this assumes Hamilton won’t learn to get on base more often…..I suspect he will. Of course, if you steal bases, but have hacks like Shebler and Duvall hitting behind you who are just going to strike out anyway, then it really doesn’t matter. So, the other key to actually utilizing speed is to have hitters who MAKE CONTACT….. Good teams do this when it matters…..adding another hack to this lineup won’t help….and spending a bunch of money to do it, is foolish. Scott C January 6, 2018 Personally I think Carlos Gomez would be a good signing. particularly if we could get him on a 1 or 2 year deal. Doug Gray January 6, 2018 I think maybe a 2 or 3 year deal could possibly be had if you were willing to overpay for those 2-3 years. I can’t see any way, or real reason to offer or see him accept a 1-year deal. HavaKlu January 6, 2018 Why would you be willing to give 32 yr. old Carlos Gomez a 2-3 year contract but were really not in favor of retaining 32 year old Zack Cozart because he would be regressing due to his age and would not be part of the re-building process? Gomez is even more injury prone than Hamilton, struck out 30% of his AB’s last year and is a known “head case” He would be a ridiculous sign! Doug Gray January 6, 2018 I’ll do my best to try and address all of your points. Retaining Cozart brought back only Cozart. So you are paying him, and also not getting anything else back. In order for me to consider bringing in Gomez, I’d have to trade Billy Hamilton and acquire something that I believe is worth it. So, I’d be getting something beyond just Gomez in the scenario where I’d be willing to bring in Gomez. That’s the first part. The second part is that I believe that Gomez would be had for less than what Cozart could have required to come back to Cincinnati. I could be totally wrong on this, though. But I think Cozart would have required a tad more money to come back to the Reds given his statements after he signed with the Padres. I wouldn’t be willing to pay Gomez the same kind of money that Cozart got. But, if I could sign him for 2 years and 22M or 3/30, then I’d be on board for that kind of deal. If Hamilton is traded, I personally would explore the option of Ervin in center. Unless the Reds have data that just says “no way will it work”, and I really have no reason to believe it, it would be my first option. But, it seems that the Reds don’t think that is a viable option, at least to start the 2018 season. Whether it’s due to the defense or the offense, I don’t know – but it seems that they aren’t considering it. So they will be going outside the organization looking for an every day center fielder if they trade Hamilton. Looking at the free agent market, I think that Gomez is the cheapest of the “know what you’ll get” guys. And while you may not know exactly what you’ll get, you’ve got a general idea of what you will and it’s a solid, but unspectacular guy. Certainly not perfect – as you noted, he strikes out a ton. But there’s some power in there, he’s gotten on base throughout his career, sans 2016, can handle center adequately and provides some value on the bases. DanD January 6, 2018 I wish Price would use his outfielders better with Duvall, Hamilton, Schebler, Winker and Ervin. This might cut down on Duvall’s numbers going down in the second half and Hamilton being able to play in September by giving his body a rest. With some type of rotation this would also make the bench better. I am just curious of what Maddon would do. He seems to get the best out of his position players. Shamrock January 6, 2018 We all wish Price knew how to actually manage a baseball team……Oh well Bob Castellini = Mike Brown Bryan Price = Marvin Lewis Cincinnati pro sports = in shambles until we run ’em all out of town Shawn January 6, 2018 Some of you guys amaze me. Some act like Billy and Duvall are great players and we should build around them. At best they are OK. Billy and Duvall can’t hit or take walks. They both miss a lot of games. Duvall has broken down the second half of the last 2 seasons, maybe due to his diabetes. Billy is only under contract for 2 more years. Why would anybody object to him being traded. I would also trade Scooter unless he can play RF every day. Senzel will be our 2B soon. Scooter is not a very good defensive 2nd baseman. I’m not sure if he has the arm to play RF. I don’t see the Refs spending the money to keep Iglesias as a closer when his contract is up. May as well trade him now for assets that can help us when we are ready to compete Shawn January 6, 2018 I reread my comment and realized that Duvall don’t realy miss a lot of games, he just doesn’t play very well in the second half Hingle January 6, 2018 He’s asleep at the wheel. Easily influenced because he knows nothing about baseball. I guess the reason jocketty was able to destroy this team The was he did. Smh. Stop with the political talk/references. They get us nowhere. Don’t do it again. Hingle January 7, 2018 By basically saying the president is senile and so is castellini is not political. Being senile is not a political stance. I’ll take my comments elsewhere if you deem that as political that’s crazy because I didn’t bring up one single policy. This is why I stopped donating to your site a long time ago. We’re all grown adults on this site, but your backhanding At times is very disrespectful. I’ll take my comments and support elsewhere where I’m not commenting under a dictatorship. As long as I’m not threatening anyone, harassing anyone, or discussing policy from either political party, shouldn’t be grounds for a warning. Absolutely petty. Doug Gray January 7, 2018 Twitter and Facebook are full of adults, too. And you mentioned the President and it doesn’t matter what you say or what side you are on, people lose their minds. I’m not having it. Period. End of discussion. You can keep your donations if you think that way, I’m fine with that. You can go comment elsewhere. I’m not going down that road. This is a place to talk baseball. It’s not a place to bring up politics. Maybe in 1992, when people weren’t as insane about what was happening in the political landscape things would be different. But it’s not 1992 anymore. Like it or not, Czar Doug pays a whole lot of money to run this website and he makes the rules for posting on it. Keeping politicians names and political chat off of a BASEBALL WEBSITE isn’t some outrageous rule. Randy in Chatt January 7, 2018 Well said Doug. Totally agree with you. One less troll to worry about on this site. Good riddance. Mark January 6, 2018 Doug any chance reds should go after Jose rondon Padres dfa him a few hours ago would he be a better player potentially than Jose peraza? Norwood Nate January 6, 2018 I saw that and wondered the same. I read he has an option year left, so he may be worth the claim. At the very least he could compete for a role as the back up SS or be depth at AAA. Jim Delaney January 8, 2018 Just bringing up Castellini and how he has handled his ownership of the REDS drives me crazy… First, in 2012, REDS had arguably the best team in the league but had one big missing piece. That piece being an every day CF. The REDS were running out a back up in Drew Stubbs and playing him everyday. The REDS had a great chance to WIN it all that year and Castellini, Jocketty, etc… Didn’t do everything they could to put the team over the top… Look at the Astros as an example- if they don’t acquire Verlander- they aren’t the 2017 MLB champions even though the rest of there roster is filled with stars. Second, in 2013, REDS lose OF Ryan Ludwick for basically the season and the team does NOTHING to replace him and by doing this, they don’t contend with St. Louis and have to settle for the 2nd wildcard… Third, he hires a blood relative of REDS minority owners to be the GM. Dick Williams could turn out to be a great GM and I will still say that he wasn’t the right hire and the nepotism with the hire doesn’t paint a good picture. Fourth, Bryan Price is still the manager. A manager with a .426 winning percentage with two straight seasons with 94 losses doesn’t cause me to think he is the right guy for the job. Fifth, the REDS ownership group and Castellini use the current economic structure in baseball as a crutch with the media and to their fans as an excuse to not be putting the best team they can on the field. I agree the MLB system isn’t designed as well as it could be but the system NOW is fairer than it was 20 years ago and well run organizations can compete and win. I am tired of hearing this excuse. Cleveland has won 2 straight division championships, Houston with a middle of the road payroll just won championship. 3 teams in 2016 that had losing records (Arizona, Colorado and Minnesota) made playoffs and Milwaukee was in the wildcard race in NL into the final weekend. I look at what the REDS needs are and what they have done this off season and I shake my head… I know there are still over 100 free agents out there and it is only January 8th but it appears the current roster is what they are going to run out in 2018 and it is just so depressing…. Doug Gray January 8, 2018 Realistically, what should they do on the free agent market? Offensively, I wouldn’t mind seeing them shoot for upgrades in center or at shortstop, but outside of that, I’m fine with going with what they have. And I fully understand at least wanting to see what Peraza can do. In the rotation, they have to see what they have. They aren’t signing a #1 or #2, or probably a #3 since those guys cost $18M a year and require 4-5 year deals these days. So if all you’re going to get is a back end guy, it makes zero sense to even explore that market when you’ve got all of the guys they have. 2018 is about figuring out the pitching. Bailey, DeSclafani, Finnegan, Romano, Stephenson, Garrett, Mahle – which of those four are going to make it work with Castillo? Does someone else step in? Maybe Lopez in the second half if he puts it together? Maybe Cody Reed returns to 2016 minor league form. They’ve got to get all of that figured out, and then they need to make moves to fill in the holes/gaps. Until they know what they can do internally, it just doesn’t make much sense to bring in from the outside for the Reds in 2018.