CTrent has a nice little retro-pro-spective on the Reds’ season over at The Athletic ($$). There are a ton of really good tasty bits in here, but what piques my interest most is his breakdown of the team’s trade chips running up to the deadline. He spotlights three players the Reds could most likely trade over the next six weeks or so, led by Scooter Gennett and Raisel Iglesias.
I’m all up ons moving both of them ASAP. From a dollars-and-cents perspective, they are some of the most tradeable players in all of baseball. Not only do they currently have a ton of market value, but they are also especially expendable for the Reds. I like Scooter and all, but the Reds have plenty of good players who can handle second base. And the way Scooter is hitting, his value will never be this high again. The smart move is the cash him in. Of course, it’s never so easy as that. He is a local kid and he’s really popular and despite what the dollars and cents say, that kinda thing matters.
Iglesias’ situation is even less clear cut, but they should probably trade him all the same. He has three more years on his contract at a very affordable rate so there isn’t as much urgency, but he would likely fetch a very high price on the market in the event. The Reds need help all over the diamond and if they can shift substantial value from the bullpen to more important positions, then do it.
Scooter was a guest on the Dan Patrick Show recently, so you might wanna check that out. I linked here to a YouTube clip about facing big-time fastballs, but you can get the full episode or see other clips on the website.
Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs looks at a number of aging AL second basemen who might be close to finished. Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox is struggling since returning from injury, Robinson Cano of the M’s is injured and suspended for a few months, and Ian Kinsler of the Angels is not his old self. Every one of these teams has designs on winning more baseball games this summer and so might just be looking for an upgrade at the keystone. The Sox probably have the depth to cover it, but my hope is that Nick Krall has the M’s and Angels on his ListServ.
RED REPORTER RED REFLECTIONS: Ol’ Buddy Jay Bruce talked with Tim Britton of The Athletic about his struggles this year ($$). The whole interview is great, in the way that visiting with an old high school buddy after you had not seen her in years is great. This particular bit had my lower lip quivering and my throat tightening:
You talked [Tuesday night] about not chasing results. When and how did you learn that?
“Probably at 23 or 24. Really what ended up hammering it home for me was I was having a conversation with Scott Rolen, and I told him that no matter what I did on the field results-wise, I always came away feeling unsatisfied. You hit 30 home runs, drive in 100 runs, whatever. One year [in 2010] I hit .281, 25 homers, .340 on-base percentage — really good year. I was talking to Scott and said, ‘Man, I don’t ever feel it was that good.’ He said basically that you really shouldn’t feel that way. You should always want more. It’s just in you naturally to want to do better and get more out of yourself and not put limits on yourself.
“He said, ‘What I try and do is just learn how to quantify success in a different way — to be able to quantify that with something you can actually control.’ For me, that’s controlling my preparation, controlling my work, controlling my plan, controlling my body and doing the best I can to stay healthy — things that I can actually come to the field every day and complete. Over the years, it’s come to the point where I’ve seen, if I do my work and take care of myself and am ready to play mentally and physically, the numbers usually take care of themselves. And that’s a much more sane route to take, I’ve learned.”
Hearing The Next Big Thing talk all like a wise old man now about the good ol’ days is just a bit much for me today.