Your Reds got swept by the Cubs this weekend. There is plenty of really crappy stuff that I could write about that today, but I want to focus specifically on one particularly crappy thing that bugged my eyes out when I read it. It’s buried pretty deep in this here from the Enquirer:
“There’s been some inconsistencies,” Riggleman said (regarding Sal Romano and Robert Stephenson). “We are just going to take a look at some other options. We feel like they can both help us in the bullpen if their arms respond to it. If I say it’s about results, then sometimes you can say that about all of them. Probably with the exception of Harvey, everybody’s results have been inconsistent.
“It’s as much about knowing that Romano and Stephenson can maybe pitch the next day or take a day off and throw a couple of innings more so than some of the others.”
I bolded that bit myself. Maybe it’s nothing, but given everything else that happened this year in the Matt Harvey story, it sure doesn’t seems like nothing to me. So let’s dig into this massive pile of triceratops shit and see what we can find.
Look, the rotation has been unquestionably bad this season. Tyler Mahle, Sal Romano, and Luis Castillo have gotten more starts than anyone else and they all have struggled in their own ways. Robert Stephenson and Brandon Finnegan (remember him?) have spent most of their seasons in Louisville. The handful of starts they’ve gotten in Cincinnati have been awful. Homer Bailey is not the man he used to be and it breaks my goddamn heart. So basically, in a narrow sense, Matt Harvey and Anthony DeSclafani have been the best the Reds have offered this season.
But why namedrop Harvey right there? Maybe I’m paranoid, but I sense that ownership is up to something (my man Mo Egger agrees). Strictly speaking, Harvey might be the most “consistent” starter the Reds have this season, but that isn’t saying much. He has by no means been noteworthy. The most apt description of him is probably “unremarkable innings-eater.” And given the word going ‘round that Bob Castellini was responsible for the team’s failure to trade Harvey this past month, it wouldn’t surprise me if Jim Riggleman is kinda playing on that here. Riggleman is working for his job, you know. Maybe he thinks if he shows public admiration for Harvey, Mr. Castellini will identify with that and act accordingly when the times comes.
I’m reading all of that back to myself just now and yeah, I think it sounds dumb, too. But with all the stupidly dumb stuff happening with this team this summer, I’m afraid I can no longer dismiss something simply for sounding dumb.
If the Reds re-sign Matt Harvey this winter, it will be a mistake. He seems like a nice enough guy and all, but he is not what they need.
Bleh. Let’s cleanse the pallet.
Current Daytona Tortuga and suspected anthropomorphic front end loader Ibandel Isabel tied the franchise record for home runs with his 32nd of the season. He is now just one shy of the Florida State League record. If perhaps you were unaware, the FSL is one of the most extreme pitchers leagues in all of professional baseball. This fella is slugging .559.
MLB.com ran a bit about “The Most Overlooked Player” on each team this season. It is a fun piece full of cool videos, but I’ll go ahead and spoil it and tell you that the choice for most overlooked Red is Jared Hughes. He is cool and I like him.
The defending World Series champion Houston Astros are so, so much fun.
The New York Yankees relegated Sonny Gray to the bullpen earlier this month. He is having a rough year and with the Yanks once again one of the most powerful teams in baseball, they weren’t about to let him keep starting. But I think he is having some hard luck. I wonder if they would be interested in trading him. I’d like to see him get a chance to bounce back, particularly with my favorite team.
Nate Freiman is a guy who got a cup of coffee a few years ago but was never able to make it in the big leagues. He played for team Israel in the most recent WBC. He is a guest writer at FanGraphs this month and has an incredibly interesting piece about how pitchers adjust their approaches with men on base. Give it a look.