Reds Pythagorean Win/Loss expectancy: 55-50
Reds actually Win/Loss: 50-55
That squealing sound that rang through downtown Cincy yesterday afternoon
was Walt Jocketty pumping the brakes. Word is he is unsure which direction to go now that the team is 6.5 games out of first place. What a difference a half-week makes, yeah? The series with the Mets began with the Reds 3 games out of first and coming off an excellent series win against the impressive Braves.
This is clearly the nadir of Reds '11 (I can't count the number of times I've said that) so I'm reluctant to make any long-reaching decisions right now. It's really the worst time for this, with the trade deadline just two days away. The Reds need to decide whether to push hard or wipe, butt they have little time to do so. Remember though - Walt traded for Scott Rolen in '09 when they were clearly out of it, with an eye on contending the next year (which they did). I think he can still make some moves that will improve the team this year and next. It's a delicate hand to play, but he has the cards to do it and the skill to pull it off. It won't #beeasy though.
The Reds blogosphere has raised the white flag
Reds Rocket sarcastically says "...after lulling the National League to sleep with the feigned poor play, the Reds are finally ready to make their move. The -6 in the win/loss column will soon be remedied and the 6.5 games they trail in the Central leaderboard just isn't going to hold up."
Zeldink at Red Hot Mama feels like the season is over
"The Reds are 50-55, with no signs of improvement and no seeming help from the alleged general manager on the way. It’s sad. I’d had hopes of a winning year again this year. I guess there’s always next year?"
And Justin at Blog Red Machine
"...cannot stand a good team playing consistently and stupendously bad and uninspired. And that last statement ladies and gentlemen sums up the 2011 Reds roundly."
The question of Bronson Arroyo's health has been vocalized by Reds brass
"When guys struggle, you don't always know. It's one of those things where everyone wants to have an answer," Price said. "One thing that is obvious is that it's not like he's getting beat throwing a series of good pitches. When he gets beat they're usually mistakes, and they're typically clustered. It's typically an inning, a big inning, a multiple-run inning that hurts him."
Arroyo has given up 30 home runs so far this year, just one shy of his career high mark which was set in two different seasons where he pitched 100 more innings than he has right now. Something is not right. Whatever that something is, it's time we figure it out. Unfortunately, the $30 mil or so the Reds still owe him leaves them with few options. Had they just picked up the option as I had suggested (why don't they ever listen to me?) they could quietly and mercifully DFA him right now. But they have too much invested in him now and they need to figure out what is wrong with him and what he is still capable of.
This story isn't all doom-and-gloom though. We all know Bronson is a notable 2nd half horse, making his bones in the heat of the summer. He's struggled in the first half before and bounced back down the stretch. Maybe he still has that in him. Maybe the mono really sapped him and he just doesn't have the stamina to make it through the long season. A good month off relaxing on the Nasty Hook could be all that he needs to bounce back. This isn't an absolutely hopeless situation right here. There is still the possibility that he can rebound. He's done it numerous times before. We just have to hope he can do it again.
Troy Renck at the Denver Omelette Post says the Yankees are the frontrunner for Ubaldo Jimenez now
with the Reds "nosediving". But he again stipulates that the Rockies don't need to deal Jimenez. He's cheap and young and, if need be, can be dealt after the season. Personally, I don't see the Rockies budging from their high demands simply because, as Renck says, they just don't have to. If they don't get what they want for him, they can keep him. That's what I would do with my good young cheap pitchers.
I promised you I wouldn't do this ever again
but this one isn't completely horrible, I promise you. This guy over at Bleacher Report (I know I know, just hear me out jeez) thinks the Reds should keep Yonder Alonso rather than package him in a deal for Ubaldo Jimenez (or anyone else for that matter). His argument is that Alonso is the kind of talent that can make the Reds into an offensive juggernaut. His power may still be a question mark, but his hit tool and OBP skills are going to make him a perfect complement to the rest of the guys in the middle of the Reds lineup. I've been of the mind that Alonso is most valuable to the Reds as a trade piece, but I would be lying if this fella didn't make me think twice about that.
Remember Jared Burton?
He's back! In pog form! Err...I mean, he's back in AAA on a rehab assignment. "It's been great," Burton said. "It feels as good as I've felt my whole career. It's so much more free and easy. I'm not getting sore after my outings, which had never been the case. My velocity is coming along pretty good. I was 91-94 mph in my third outing. It's only going to get better with arm strength."
He pitched just four games last year and hasn't pitched at all this year, but he's worked really hard and is making his way back. If he can get back to the Burt he was in '07-'08 we'd have another Nick Masset/Logan Ondrusek in the 'pen. That's definitely something to keep an eye on moving forward.
MLBTR has cobbled together some rumors about the Reds wanting a cost-controlled, middle-of-the-order bat
and the White Sox willingness to deal Carlos Quentin. The two have not been specifically linked yet, to the best of my knowledge, but I think it's an easy set of dots to connect. Quentin is a burly LF who swings from the right side and posts good OBP numbers and good power. He's not at all unlike a right-handed Jay Bruce in many ways.
The major difference is that while Bruce is known as an above-average defender in RF, Quentin is more in the Gomes/Dunn mold in left. Quentin makes about $5 mil this year and is arb-eligible one last time next season, where he could expect to make $8 mil or so. So the real question is just how much better he could be than Chris Heisey/Yonder Alonso and is that worth the handsome cost in money and prospects to get him. I think I'll pass.
This just in:
The Reds are asking the Astros about Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence. I think I would rather have Bourn, but I'm perfectly happy with Drew Stubbs in CF. Would they move Bourn to LF or would Stubbs be part of the deal? I guess we'll have to keep an eye on this one.
Actualizing Retweeter in 5; 4; 3; 2...
FOX Sports Ohio:
Bronson Arroyo gave up a couple of hits in the second inning, but otherwise looks shard thus far #reds #FoxGameConnect
Truth in typos. Bronson has been pitching like is arm is made out of "a leafy vegetable, a cultivated descendant of the sea beet, Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima, in the same group and sub-family as beetroot (garden beet), which is usually grown primarily for its edible roots."
Same here. RT @swarlesbarkley_: Dear #Reds, I'd like to hear some fireworks from my desk this afternoon. Thanks.
That's all we ask for really, as fans, isn't it? Some fireworks to lift the drudgery? Well you haven't been giving it to us, old team-o, and now we're mad.
@Brendanukkah You should tell Nats fans you rooted for Jonny before it was cool, but not now that he's in a big market. #AwesomeHipster'd
You should absolutely tell them that, although they may not be able to hear you over the sound of the debt ceiling not being lifted. Gomes was everything to everyone - he even looked like a Leadoffman early in the season when he flashed his speed and on-base skills. As Rays fans were to us, so now we are to Nats' fans.
Jonny Gomes signs autographs for fans near the #Reds dugout, including many of his bobbleheads given out today - http://atmlb.com/nOKx3L
Ben Around Cincy:
2nd is KEY RT @MBrooESQ: Why do #reds want Hunter Pence? Dude has just an OK bat and costs a fortune. Plus his name sounds like "underpants"
Cairo doesn't mince words: "We stink right now as a team." http://bit.ly/qwoLwa #reds
He does mince shard though. Which, if you ask me, is far too fine a cut to put on a leafy green.