Nick Senzel and the center field opportunity Doug Gray January 8, 2019 79 Comments The Cincinnati Reds don’t exactly have a center fielder right now. It seems that they have five outfielders on the big league roster. Jesse Winker and Scott Schebler were starters from the 2018 team. Phillip Ervin played well off of the bench as a backup. And then the Reds went out and brought in Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp in the Dodgers trade. But among that group, it doesn’t sound like the Reds are overly confident that any of them are the answer to center field for 2019. Not among the group listed above is Nick Senzel – the teams top prospect. Of course, Nick Senzel has never played a single inning of center field in a game that counts in the record books in his professional, or college career. Where he did play center was in instructional league during the fall of 2018. The plan was to then send him to the Arizona Fall League to get more experience, but his elbow became a problem and he needed surgery to have bone spurs removed. The reports on Nick Senzel’s defense in regards to center field have been mixed. Some reports relayed to me suggest that he could play out there with more experience. Other reports relayed to me said that there wasn’t much of a chance he could be an every day defender out there. The Reds, seem uncertain, too. But the President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams is excited to see what he can do out there. In an interview with Lance McAlister on 700 WLW on Monday night Williams was talking about the outfielders in regards to center and mentioned Nick Senzel as a potential option. He said “(he’s) very athletic, we’re interested to see what he can do out there”. And it certainly seems that, at least as things stand right now, center field is going to be the only opportunity for him to break into the every day lineup at one position. Earlier in the interview Dick Williams was asked specifically about Nick Senzel. Williams said this: We’re not going to monkey with the roster just to create a spot for him because we’ve got a lot of good players around the diamond and they are in positions where he’s probably best suited. Those players aren’t necessarily going to be here long term. There will be opportunity for him to play. If that means getting creative with him and trying to play him n other spots, we are very open to that. There’s a few things that we can take away from that snippet. First is that if you read between the lines, that doesn’t sound like Scooter Gennett is in the long term plans for the Reds. He plays one of the positions that Nick Senzel has played, with the other being third base. Third base IS played by someone with a long term contract. And if we wanted to get really nit-picky with it, Senzel has also played one game at shortstop, but that spot is also played by someone under long term team control in Jose Peraza. The corner outfield spots have potential long-ish term answers. Jesse Winker was a rookie last year. Scott Schebler hasn’t even reached arbitration yet. At least for the 2019 season, it would seem that barring something unforeseen, if Nick Senzel is going to play every day for the Reds, center field is the only option. Unless, of course, there’s an injury that opens up a spot. He’s currently out in Goodyear at the Reds complex working every day. In the interview, Williams noted that David Bell was recently in Goodyear and watched Nick Senzel working in center field. One thing you will always hear about Senzel is how hard of a worker he is. He puts in the work and then some. I’ve heard it since before he was drafted. And I’ve heard it more times than I can count since. It takes more than simply wanting to play center to make it work. It takes the right ability. But if Nick Senzel has that athletic ability, then he’s going to make it work. He’s the type of guy who is going to get the most out of what he’s been given. For now, there’s still a whole lot of unknown when it comes to Nick Senzel. And there’s still a whole lot of unknown when it comes to the Reds center fielder in 2019. But if there were ever going to be a wild card that really puts things together for Cincinnati this upcoming season, Senzel being able to play center field 150 times would be it. But for now, we will just have to wait and see. 79 Responses DBOB January 8, 2019 Senzel in CF sure would make the lineup look good! Winker LF Votto 1B Suarez 3B Puig RF Scooter 2B Senzel CF Peraza SS Barnhart C Reply Justin January 8, 2019 In this lineup it is almost guaranteed that Suarez and Puig would come up with at least one person on base to start every game. That’s wild. Reply Alpha Zero January 8, 2019 Almost a 65% chance one of Votto or Winker would reach base assuming both guys carry ~.400 OBP. pw January 8, 2019 Good point. Shouldn’t it be 2 x 0.400 OBP= 80%? Doug Gray January 8, 2019 No, that’s not how the math works. pw January 8, 2019 Please explain, Doug. Really curious. Oldtimer January 8, 2019 Guessing at math. (Too far back to early 1970s stat classes to remember) Winker 40% on but 60% not. Of that 60% Votto 40% on. That’s 0.4 x 0.6 = 24% on. 64% chance Winker or Votto on base. I think. Fish January 8, 2019 Short answer, probabilities aren’t additive. To use a coin flip as an example, there is not a 100% chance of getting a heads in 2 coin flips, even though that is 2 50% probability events. Alpha Zero January 8, 2019 Multiply the unlikelihoods of independent events to get the combined unlikelihood. So in this case, the probability of Winker or Votto not getting on base is 1-.400=.600. Then, .600*.600 = .360, which gives the unlikelihood of consecutive hitters sporting .400 OBPs reaching base. And finally, 1-.360 is .640, or the nearly 65% figure that I originally used. pw January 8, 2019 Makes sense, Alpha Zero. I didn’t realize the problem should be approached as 2 consecutive failures. Thanks. Can I assume from your name that math is your strength? Alpha Zero January 8, 2019 I don’t know that I’d call math my strength, but I’m an engineer by trade so it’s part of the territory. RedsinWashst January 8, 2019 DBOB your top 3 in your lineup would be the slowest possible team. It would take 4 singles to get winker and votto in. Suarez is also fairly slow. I think you need to put either Senzel, Puig, or Peraza at the top. Peraza doesn’t walk much so probably not him. Winker did better last year further down the lineup. I know that OBA is important but having some speed in front of Votto, Suarez and Scooter will be important. Just a thought. Reply Alpha Zero January 8, 2019 What about Scooter and Senzel at the top? Maybe something like this: Gennett 2B Senzel CF Votto 1B Puig RF Winker LF Suarez 3B Peraza SS Barnhart C That gets more of your speed at the top of the lineup without sacrficing too much on base ability if that’s your thing. Norwood Nate January 8, 2019 The difference in speed between Winker, Suarez, and Gennett is very minimal according to Statcadt. All three are below average runners with a .4 ft/sec separating them. Alpha Zero January 8, 2019 I think that’s a fair point with respect to pure straight line speed, but take a look at the 2018 BsR for all 3 players. Only Gennet was above average, even if by just a tick at 0.1. Winker was at -2.2 in just half a season and Suarez clocked in at -4.1. Both marks are poor. Gennett seems to have the best instincts and make the most of his slightly below average legs. Norwood Nate January 8, 2019 That’s fair Alpha. I was mainly referencing the comment about the importance of speed, not necessarily base running, which as you note there is a difference. Speed doesn’t factor in much at all for me when it comes to line up construction. It’s all about getting on base in front of your best hitters (typically guys with a combination of average and power…Suarez, Gennett, Puig and except last season, Votto). MK January 8, 2019 That could potentially be the worst defensive outfield in baseball. We know Winker and Puig are on the low side of average and a first year outfielder coming off elbow surgery is bound to have growing pains, especially in center. Guess I would rather see Peraza in center and gold glove Trahan at shortstop. With their positive offense they can get by with a light hitting, plus,plus defensive shortstop. I could see platooning Winker/Kemp and Schebler/Puig, Senzel can get starts at short and second and give Suarez a breather a couple times a month. Reply JERRY January 8, 2019 I would rather go Winker Senzel Votto Suarez Scooter Puig Peraza Barnhart This lineup balances out with well with matchups Reply GallowayB January 8, 2019 They need to play Senzel someplace, maybe CF to start the year and finish the year at 2B. I hope they don’t mess around and keep him in the minors to keep him under team control one more year. Reply Joe January 8, 2019 Do you think there’s even a remote chance that he doesn’t start in the minors? That additional year of control just seems to be way more important than a few months of a rookie playing out of position, no matter how talented he may be. Reply Norwood Nate January 8, 2019 Yeah it’s not a good system from the players perspective, but it’s the one in place and the Reds aren’t in a position to not take advantage and extend control when they can. Plus, it’s fairly easy to make the case that Senzel could use extra time in AAA. He’s coming off injuries, he’s blocked at both his natural positions by All-Stars, and he’s learning new positions in the OF. Let him learn in the minors and gain the extra year of control. Shawn January 8, 2019 There is no way I would bring him up to start the year. 2 weeks in the minors would give us an extra year of control. Him trying to adjust to CF makes it almost a given he will start in Louisville. Reply Amarillo January 8, 2019 Players remember things like that. We have already toyed with his position on the diamond a bunch. The ultimate goal would be to sign Senzel to a pre free agency extension. While I am not saying this is the correct move, there is a good argument that says we might be able to control Senzel longer if we have him on the roster opening day. Build up the good will needed for a pre-free agency extension. He is a Boras client, so if he hits free agency I see zero chance we can afford to keep him. Justin January 8, 2019 I feel like the way teams look at defensive postions is changing not unlike a lot of areas of the game. These guys are the best athletes in the world. Teams seem to have been very successful moving them around lately and I’m guessing our new staff won’t be as inflexible as some in the past. Reply sixpack2 January 8, 2019 Unless we trade for a CF, I think Nick SenzeL will start in AAA in CF to gain the extra year and get experience. If he does well he will be brought up, else back to 2nd. Reply Justin January 8, 2019 I’m guessing they put him on an 80/15/5 plan in AAA. 80% CF, 15% 2B, 5% 3B. I think Schebler/Puig/Ervin can hold it down until June. By then they’ll know if they are going to keep Gennett until year end or if they’ll move him at the deadline. Reply Bernie January 8, 2019 I still think the Reds would be better off with Peraza in CF and Senzel at SS. Peraza is below average defensively at SS and unlike Senzel does have experience in CF. I think Senzel would be at least as good on defense at SS as Peraza. I also think it’s almost a certainty that Senzel starts off in the minors regardless of where the Reds decide to play him. Reply SultanofSwaff January 8, 2019 I agree. When you have a plus defender such as Senzel, you keep him on the dirt. Even as an average defender at SS, he would be a significant upgrade at the position given his offensive profile. Sadly, this is not the Reds way. I’ve seen no indication under the new regime that veteran privilege will take a back seat to exploiting every possible incremental improvement for the benefit of the team first. That’s a scary thought for a last place team. I like the idea of a Schebler/Puig/Ervin platoon. David Bell probably loves the idea of mixing and matching. Reply Cguy January 8, 2019 As I understand things, Siri is on the 40-man & thus has to be optioned down to the minors. He has 2 options, so unless he remains on the 25-man roster all season the Reds will have to use 1 of those options this spring. Why not use Siri as the 5th outfielder until Senzel is ready (Reds gain extra year of team control)? He’s the best defensive cf on the roster & arguably the best baserunner. Start him in cf when the Reds play in the big west coast stadiums plus as a defensive replacement & baserunner. If it’s not working out you can option him down to the minors & bring up Ervin (who has an option). By June, Senzel takes over as everyday cf & Siri can go to Chattanooga or Louisville. Reply sixpack2 January 9, 2019 Sounds pretty sound! But what about the old bringing up too soon sets back the player problem. Reply Cguy January 9, 2019 Well Siri has more than 1700 minor league AB, plus all the winter ball he plays. Maybe it’s time for him to have a little ML exposure & learn to make adjustments. He only has 2 options remaining, so when will too soon become too late? Norwood Nate January 8, 2019 I think the Reds should, barring any other OF moves, start Schebler in CF against RH and Ervin against LH pitchers, or in bigger parks. Winker and Puig start the majority of the time in the corners and Kemp is the big bat off the bench, and gets the occasional start against tough lefties. When Senzel has gained enough real game experience in the OF then adjust as needed in the OF. Reply Wes January 8, 2019 Sign pollock and start senzel in Louisville. Bring him up after service time. Between all the injuries and favorable match ups senzel pollock and Gennett will all get plenty of at bats. Cut Schebler. No room at the inn. Reply ClayMC January 8, 2019 If his 120 pre-injury wRC+ returns, Schebler could end up competing with Puig as the the best OF we have. At a pre-arb price, no less. And you’re ready to cut him? Not gonna happen. Reply JoJo January 8, 2019 Cut Schebler? That’s hilarious! Reply Dollar Bill January 9, 2019 Reds cut Hamilton instead. Best move of the off season Billy January 8, 2019 Near the end of last season, it was reported that Schebler was going to be the LF moving forward, and that put Winker in RF. Is that still part of the plan, or does the change in coaching alter it? In particular, if Schebler was requesting a move to LF (which is how I thought prompted the change), do we believe he’s open to being part of a time-share in CF? Has anyone asked the team about that? Reply SultanofSwaff January 8, 2019 Good questions. If I’m running the show, Winker is my LF for the next 6 seasons. Reply pw January 8, 2019 Winker will replace Votto at 1b eventually. I really dont get this team January 8, 2019 Agree with pw. Tom January 8, 2019 The OF is a bit of a mess the next 5 years. I look for the Reds to focus on that in the draft this year. IMO Senzel to CF is a great dream, but I don’t trust that it will really happen. Senzel is most likely the 2b from 2020-2025. In 2019 he’ll get some looks in CF in AAA but for what other than flexibility. Schebler, Puig, Ervin are all ahead of Senzel in CF, not to mention Williams probably is as well. Trammell is a CF in our hearts but still has that LF label hanging around due to his arm. Siri is a CF who would probably not hit well enough. The OF needs some work the next 5 years. There are some options but nothing is clear yet. Reply Dollar Bill January 8, 2019 Scooter needs to be traded asap. Worst defensive 2bmen in the game. He would be a nice DH for someone. I dread the thought of having to watch him play everyday for another year. Reply I really dont get this team January 8, 2019 You sound like one of the guys who took a dump on Adam Dunn. Then when he left everybody started to complain about the outfield. Scooter should be here to stay. Give me 30 dingers, 90 rbi’s, and hit 300 any freaking time. He has arrived and he did it in a reds uniform. Defense is overrated. You can’t win if you don’t score. Clutch hitting is the most important hitting in the game. Stock January 8, 2019 Facts say differently Dollar Bill. Fangraphs have him as the 3rd best defensive player in the NL last year at +3.9 defensive WAR. Suarez and Votto had a defensive WAR less than 0. If you want to say bad things about a players defense you should focus elsewhere than Scooter. 3rd BEST. Far cry from 15th best. Doug Gray January 8, 2019 Worth noting that defensive WAR includes the positional adjustment, which is really going to kill Votto by comparison to a second baseman. But your point stands – Gennett was better by the metrics (though I ‘ll argue that the metrics aren’t all that good) in 2018 than DB suggests. MK January 8, 2019 Justin, one problem is no-body wants Scooter. They tried last year with no takers. Think they are stuck. MK January 8, 2019 Shows the falsify of defensive WAR. His range is suspect, his throws are slow as he winds and throws sidearm, his relay throws sail as they are sidearm. I had a Cardinals scour tell me there is no interest in him because of this. Norwood Nate January 8, 2019 “I really don’t get this team” – Sure we’d all like .300 with 30 dingers. Problem is, Scooter’s never hit 30 HRs in a season and has only hit above .300 once in a full season. Before anyone jumps all over this, I don’t think Scooter is a bad player, in fact he brings quite a bit of good. He’s just not the legend some make him out to be. He had a pretty good year in 2017 and followed it with a really fantastic season last year. Also clutch hitting is a myth. DocProc January 8, 2019 When Williams talks about guys like Schebler, Ervin, and Puig playing CF, I doubt he views them as season-long solutions at that position. He’s just talking about who will man the position while they wait for Senzel to come up after his clock obligations are finished. I am convinced Senzel will be our CF for the majority of the season. They dumped Billy in part to create a slot for him. If Senzel works out in CF and Scooter has a good first half of the season, my guess is that the Reds extend Gennett to a team-friendly deal. He is simply worth more to us than he is to other teams. Reply Oldtimer January 8, 2019 Reds had superb CF defense the past 5 years but not much to show for it. Does it really matter? Better offense in CF might (would) offset lesser defense there. Reply Doug Gray January 8, 2019 Yes, the defense out there matters. That doesn’t mean it can’t be overcome, though. Reply James H. January 8, 2019 Reds should do their best to package Kemp, Gennett, and Schebler and see what they can get for three proven MLB players. Then try to lock up Puig before he hits free agency. Free up spots in the pipeline for Senzel at 2nd, and also have a pretty good OF of CF/Puig, LF/Winker, and RF/Ervin. Suffer any CF growing pains of current players until Siri and Trammel is ready. When they’re up, package Ervin and Peraza and anyone else who’s really just sitting around for something and promote India to SS. The Reds need to quit hoarding players they don’t need and start moving them. Reply ClayMC January 8, 2019 I just don’t understand why people are so quick to oust Schebler? The 2019 OF is a bit jam-packed, sure. But long-term? Kemp is gone next year. If the Reds invest in pitching like everyone is expecting, Puig is gone next year. Winker, as much as I love they guy, may not end up being the guaranteed success story everyone is banking on. A lot of potential red flags could prevent him from being a Votto 2.0 we all want him to be. And the Trammel’s, Siri’s, and Fairchild’s likely won’t be ready and seasoned enough to be reliable until late 2020 or 2021, and even then, don’t forget you’re still talking about prospects, many of which simply won’t pan out. I hope everything works out perfectly and we never need Schebler. I love the potential of our farm system. But this organization has created a gap, one where we don’t have proven, bankable, major league caliber outfielders to take the field in 2020. Schebler, a guy who hit at a Puig-level last year before his injury, and is still making league-minimum, seems like the perfect insurance / stopgap to get us through this murky OF situation before things start settling out. He’s better than Ervin. He’s cheaper than Kemp. And he’s certainly more proven / prepared than anyone we have in the upper minors. I don’t see any reason why we’d want to move Schebler. Reply James H. January 8, 2019 I like the idea of moving him because he holds value that is not going to go up. He’s under control, good all-around player, so he’s worth more now than later. Don’t get me wrong, I like him, but I think he’s one of those players who benefit from where he’s placed in the everyday lineup (see Adam Duvall). His value isn’t going to get any better, so it’s best to sell high. The Reds should setup that block-buster trade w/3 proven MLB players, throw in a couple guys from the 11-25 rank on the prospect list, and BANG, looks like a nice offering for a stud pitcher. I really dont get this team January 8, 2019 Or the reds could have just signed Jon jay. Great pickup again for the royals and yet the reds are just not paying attention. Only 4 million. You paid billy that or more and jay except for a few down years , is a much better outfielder. Typically I would just type SMH. I’ll just spell it out and say (shaking my head). Reply I reall dont get this team January 8, 2019 I meant much better hitter. Reply pw January 8, 2019 Also wondering why the Reds weren’t interested in Jay. Reply Big Ed January 8, 2019 Jay is a LH hitter. They already have Votto, Gennett, Schebler and Winker as LH hitters. Having 4-5 LHs in the regular lineup would be a problem versus LH pitching. The Cubs, for example, have at least 2 LHs in their rotation. Reply pw January 8, 2019 I get it, but at 1yr./$4 million as a stopgap, couldn’t the Reds live with a platoon with Ervin or Senzel? Maybe it means they’re frying bigger fish? RedsFaninPitt January 8, 2019 I would suggest a couple trades to bring in a good CF. Kemp to the Indians for Oscar Mercado or Gennett to the Nationals for Michael a Taylor. This would fill needs for 2019 for both teams temporarily while they wait for other players (like Kieboom and Zimmer) to either continue to develop or recover from injury. Reply Stock January 8, 2019 Not that this should surprise me but I think the Reds blew it. They traded away prospects feeling they were going to land an ace (Bauer, Kluber, Syndergaard) and be able to compete in 2019. It appears all three are off the market now. The Reds are left with no ace. The Reds pitching staff now consists of 1. A pitcher they hope can be a #2 SP (Castillo) 2. A pitcher that is a solid #3 if healthy (Wood) 3. A pitcher the Reds hope will perform as a #3 and stay healthy (Disco) 4. A pitcher they hope can be a #4 (Roark) 5. A lot of pitchers hoping to fill the final spot. At this point my choice would be Stephenson or Lucas. The Reds will be in a battle with the Pirates to avoid the cellar. Reply Cguy January 8, 2019 Sorry Stock but I believe the Reds are farther along than battling Pirates for 4th place. Mostly due to addition by subtraction. The Reds record in 2018 when Bailey was the Reds sp was 1-19. He’s now replaced by Alex Wood in the rotation. That’s an upgrade on several levels. You analyzed the pitching staff pretty accurately, but only the current 5 sp positions. the strength of the Reds pitching staff is their bullpen, which promises to be even more effective in 2019. The 2019 pitching staff is still a work in progress, but doesn’t have to acquire a TOR sp to be competitive. it would help to add another MOR sp or a LHRP/ lefty swingman. As for the Reds defense, they tied with the Cubs for 6th place in NL fielding PCT in 2018, ahead of Pirates(12th place), Brewers (13th place), & Cards (15th place). Reds committed 91 errors in 2018, which was only 4 more than the Cubs, 8 less than the Pirates, 9 less than the Brewers, & 42—that’s right— 42 less than the Cards. I know these stats are now skewed because Hamilton (& Duvall) are gone, but all the teams in our division are defensively challenged to some degree. Finally, as is, the Reds offense can rake. Reply Stock January 8, 2019 Tanner Roark vs. Garbage +2 WAR Alex Wood vs. Garbage +2.5 WAR Disco vs. Harvey +0.5 WAR Castillo vs. Castillo +2 WAR Lucas/Stephenson vs. Garbage +1 WAR SP Gains 8 Wins Jered Hughes vs Jered Hughes -.5 WAR (1.2 WAR in 2018, -0.2 WAR prior to 2018 so this -.5 is generous) RP Gains -0.5 Wins IF: Joey Votto returns +2.5 WAR OF: OF of Winker, Puig and Schebler +3.5 WAR OF: Kemp gets 50% of AB in LF +2.5 Unfortunately I think this will happen. Offense gains: +5 WAR Total +12.5 WAR The Reds are currently a 80 win team for 2019. Since Wood, Puig and Kemp will be gone in 2020 this trade is a bust unless they add a Kluber, Ottavino and Realmuto. In order to compete they need a stud in the bullpen (Ottavino is all that is left and an Ace. I think Kluber is out but maybe they can get Archer. Reply Tom January 8, 2019 They’ll probably get comp picks for Puig and Wood. Not a bust unless those two are injured and they fail to win. Reply Greenfield Red January 8, 2019 Stock, I usually agree with you, but I don’t see the trade as being a bust. They unloaded Bailey which in and of itself makes the team better. They received 4 players, three of which will figure substantially in their 2019 plans. Yes, they gave up two promising prospects, but those prospects were not at the top of the farm system. There is a very good chance they can more than replace them with trade deadline trades (Puig and Wood and maybe Kemp and Scooter). I still think there is a trade out there that makes sense: Iglasias to the Dodgers for Verdugo and others. I know Harper doesn’t play center, but if the Dodgers sign him, they can come up with a CF in their system. Jansen has health questions. Iggy can go multiple innings. Makes both teams better. The Reds are not likely to win the Series in 2019. These moves set them up really well for 2020 and beyond. Imagine Senzel at 2nd and Verdugo in center with Suarez, Winker, Votto, and Schebler. Reply Jon Ryker January 8, 2019 Center field is the easiest outfield position to play if you can run. I think if they played Senzel there, he’d start out terrible and get better as the year went on. I don’t think that gets them much, though, because they have CFers coming, and so he’d eventually have to move again. One way to screw up a sure thing is to jerk them around. If I’m them, I trade Winker and either Kemp or Puig, put Gennett in LF, at least for a year, and move on. I can get more pitching in that deal with WInker…..I then buy a very good defensive CFer for a year or so, hit him 8th, put Senzel at 2B every day, and move on with my life. Reply redleggingfordayz January 8, 2019 Gennett cannot play the outfield, his shoulder is extremely suspect and he can barely make relay throws so that is not going to happen. I think they use Senzel in a versatile way after he stays in Louisville for a few weeks\months to get that year of service time, and then he eventually takes the place of Scooter at 2B either at the deadline or 2020. Reply KSoze January 8, 2019 I agree about Gennett and his shoulder. DW recently committed to Peraza at SS, and not as a potential CF. That leaves Puig, Schebler and Senzel as the only 3 in-house candidates. My guess is Puig earns the spot, and you have Winker and Kemp in the corners. Schebler will be the 4th OF, and Senzel will be in AAA, until he’s white hot, or an injury comes up. Jon Ryker January 8, 2019 He can’t throw from second and doesn’t have the range…..LF is an easier throw. An outfield of Kemp, Puig, and Winker would be historically awful defensively…..not a good plan if you are trying to improve the pitching in a hitter’s ballpark. Jim Delaney January 8, 2019 I am looking forward to the season but see the REDS as still the worst team in the NL Central in my opinion even with the additions they have made. Also, I am factoring in that the moves the REDS made were to acquire players on the last year of there contracts or last year of arbitration. Due to this many of these players (Wood, Roark, Kemp, Puig, Hughes, Hernandez, etc.) could be traded if and when the REDS are out of the NL Central. If they trade any of these players it could be in mid to late July and the players replacing them especially the Starting pitchers likely won’t be as good. The NL Central is loaded and you will likely need to win 95 to win the division and 90 plus to contend for wild card. I see the current roster of the REDS being a 72 low to 80 high wins if they stay healthy and some guys have similar seasons to last year- Suarez, Gennett, Peraza, Puig, WInker and other players improve (Barnhardt) and other players continue to regress (Votto and Kemp). Think they keep Senzel in minors for at least beginning of season through April. Current Lineups: Peraza Votto Suarez Gennett vs RH Puig Winker Shebler vs. RH Barnhardt Vs. LH Peraza Votto Suarez Kemp Gennett Ervin or potentially Lorenzen (best CF on ML roster) Puig or Schebler- Puig struggles against LH’s.. Casali Current pitching staff: ROTATION- Wood, Roark, Castillo, DeSclafani, Lorenzen Bullpen- Hernandez, Hughes, Ilglesias, Bowman, Garrett, Reed, Sims, Stephenson, Wisler Have 14 pitchers right now that will need to go to at minimum 8 and potentially 7. Including Stephenson, Reed, WIsler and Sims on staff as I am unsure if any have any options left. If they don’t have options left, I think any of the 4 maybe dealt if they don’t make the roster. Other possible options- Reyes, Herget, Romano, Stephens, Mahle, Peralta, Finnegan… Would not be surprised if a couple of the younger veteran pitchers (WIsler, Sims, Finnegan, Stephenson) are traded prior to the start of the season. Reply Cguy January 8, 2019 Pretty sure Reed, Sims, Finnegan, & Bowman have options. R. Stephenson & Wisler do not have an option. Reds pitching staff may not have enough talent, but they do have a lot of versatility. Reply Willoughby January 8, 2019 PS I believe the Reds have a club option on Jared Hughes for a 2020 contract, which I hope they exercise next year. Bill January 8, 2019 As the team is currently constructed, I anticipate Senzel will be used in a super utility role for most of the year, once he is recalled from AAA. I really don’t like the idea of playing him daily in an unfamiliar position–almost seems like we’d be setting him up to fail. The outfield defense will be porous, but offensively very strong. Projected lineup: Winker RF Votto 1B Suarez 3B Gennett 2B Puig RF Schebler CF Peraza SS Barnhart C This lineup is constructed to take advantage of our high OBP guys by getting them the most ABs, bunches the faster guys together to take advantage of their speed, and alternates left/right-handed batters to negate hand-specific reliever specialists. Reply KSoze January 8, 2019 I saw a discussion above about speed and line up construction, where they were referencing Statcast speed. Statcast measures speed by base running, and not defensive speed. Sprint Speed is Statcast’s foot speed metric, defined as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window” on individual plays. For a player’s seasonal average, the following two types of plays currently qualify for inclusion in Sprint Speed. The best of these runs, approximately two-thirds, are averaged for a player’s seasonal average. * Runs of two bases or more on non-homers, excluding being a runner on second base when an extra base hit happens * Home to first on “topped” or “weakly hit” balls. The Major League average on a “competitive” play is 27 ft/sec, and the competitive range is roughly from 23 ft/sec (poor) to 30 ft/sec (elite). A player must have at least 10 competitive runs to qualify for this leaderboard Above Average Speed Peraza 28.8 Puig 28.2 Schebler 28.0 Below Average Speed Gennett 26.4 Kemp 26.3 Suarez 26.1 Winker 26.0 Well Below Average Votto 25.4 Barnhart 25.0 Reply Doc January 8, 2019 A different way to think of the probabilty of at least one of Winker or Votto being on base might be: Winker gets on base 40% of the time, so he is not on base 60% of the time. When Votto comes to bat and Winker is not on base, Votto gets on 40% of the time. 40% of 60% is 24%. Add that to Winker’s 40% and you get the 64% number. It’s the same math, just presented in a different way that may or not make it clearer. More food for thought: There are factors which will influence the probability. Assume Winker bats ahead of Votto. There will be a certain number of times across the season that Winker does not bat before Votto in an inning. Maybe Winker makes the third out, or someone batting between Votto and Winker makes the third out or hits into a double play, clearing the bases. Then you have only Votto’s 40% chance of being on base for the subsequent hitters instead of a combined 64%. You also really would need to know Votto’s OBP when a runner is on base versus when the bases are empty. If those are substantially different, the probabilities could be altered. Perhaps Votto is 0.450 when there is a baserunner, but only 0.350 when the bases are empty. That would drop the 64% to more like 61% since Votto would now get on 35% of the time that Winker is not on. Nonetheless, you’ve got to like the probabilites. I’ll take 60%, or even 50% of the time having a baserunner on when Suarez and Puig hit! Reply Jim Delaney January 8, 2019 I definitely can see Votto hitting 2nd but I think Winker will hit in an RBI spot. I understand the thought of Winker at top of order but I really like the thought of a deeper lineup. When the REDS were playing well in the middle of the season and the offense was really clicking WInker was a key part of it and he was hitting 5th or 6th most games and was a difference maker. Having a hitter like him hitting 6th deepens the lineup tremendously and keeps WInker and Votto away from each other on the base paths. Also, Peraza showed big improvement as the year went on last season, he may never walk much but being a .290 or .300 average season is very possible. I am fine with Peraza leading off and assuming Votto’s power is gone, you almost have to hit him 2nd. Reply KSoze January 8, 2019 I actually like Puig as a lead off. His BA is highest without runner on, and he is the 2nd fastest on the 25 man. 1 Puig R CF 2 Votto L 1B 3 Suarez R 3B 4 Gennett L 2B 5 Winker L LF 6 Kemp R RF 7 Peraza R SS 8 Barnhart S C Reply Dollar Bill January 9, 2019 Let Votto lead off Reply sixpack2 January 9, 2019 The one thing I like about all these comments is we have a lineup with lots of offense potential that should make it a very interesting year. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.