by Steve Mancuso

Reds Offseason and 2020 — Questions Answered

The Reds have already begun making offseason choices. The next few months promise to be packed with moves concerning trades, free agent acquisitions, hitting coaches, arbitration offers, contract extensions, ownership payroll spending, player positions, playing time, roster space and more.

The RC+ writing staff would love to discuss your questions about these topics. So tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 17) will be an Ask Us Anything day on issues related to the Cincinnati Reds plans for the offseason and 2020.

Start the conversation. Leave your question(s) and thoughts in the comment section. We’ll tackle them as Thursday goes on. Feel free to leave your questions tonight if you want. If you want to offer an answer to someone else’s question, go for it. Don’t feel the need to agree with us or others. Just keep it civil.

Looking forward to the dialog tomorrow!

Steve Mancuso is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up during the Big Red Machine era. He’s been writing about the Reds for ten years. Steve’s fondest memories about the Reds include attending a couple 1975 World Series games, being at Homer Bailey’s second no-hitter and going nuts for Jay Bruce and Clinchmas. Steve was also at all three games of the 2012 NLDS, but it’s too soon to talk about that.

76 Comments

    • Steve Mancuso

      1. A winning record over those five years
      2. At least two appearances in the postseason
      3. At least one NL Central division championship
      4. At least one NLCS appearance

      • Matthew Habel

        I like the optimism. Not sure I am quite there yet but I will say the 2020 season will show a lot about the direction of the club. If they can make the next jump and show that the front office really knows what they are doing, Steve might not be too far off.

      • Matt Wilkes

        I share Matt’s skepticism on this one. The Reds have taken some steps in the right direction with the front office and coaching staff. They’re saying the right things, and they’ve made some moves that paid off. But there’s still work to do before I’m ready to say they’ll compete next year (#GetTheHitting), let alone the next five years. As for the long-term future, I think there are some serious depth questions in the minor leagues, and that question mark will only grow larger if more trades are made this offseason.

    • Steve Mancuso

      The most important positions to fix are the middle infielders. The Reds need a new shortstop who can hit and field. That’s the highest priority to me. They need a second baseman as well. I’d move Nick Senzel to 2B and look for a pure CF who also can hit. But if they can find a good 2B who can hit, leaving Senzel in CF would also work.

      • Matt Habel

        Agree with Steve and think catcher should be thrown in the mix as well. From 2016-2018, the Reds catcher’s posted a 79 wRC+ and -2.6 fWAR, by far the worst in the league (29th was at 0.7). 2019 was better (84 wRC+, 1.8 fWAR) driven by defensive improvements, but I think the eye test confirms that both Barnhart and Casali are more backup than starter. If the Reds improve some other positions, they could probably get by with the status quo, but there is definitely opportunity to add value there.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Matt’s right about catcher. I meant to include that in my reply. Probably most likely area where they’ll get someone if they can.

    • Matt Wilkes

      I think the Reds need to upgrade, at minimum, three of these four spots: catcher, second base, shortstop, outfield. Players like Tucker Barnhart, Jose Iglesias, and Freddy Galvis bring value defensively. But having them all in the lineup at the same time creates a huge hole in the lineup. They can live with one of those players in the lineup, but all three? Not good for offensive production when four out of nine hitters in any given lineup are below league average.

  • Sean D

    What’s the feeling on Luis Castillo? I thought he looked good the second half of the season but his results weren’t great. I believe his walks went down but his command seemed a little off. Is he your opening day starter for 2020?

    • Steve Mancuso

      Castillo was an ace for most of 2019. His second half, when he cut his walk-rate almost in half, was superb. His results were great. I’d give either Castillo or Sonny Gray the Opening Day assignment.

    • Matt Wilkes

      I’m still really high on Castillo. I don’t know how likely it is, but I still think there’s potential for him to be one of the best pitchers in the game. He ran into some tough luck in the second half, as his peripherals were better than his first half. The walk rate coming down is extremely encouraging. In my opinion, command is what kept him from breaking into that upper echelon of pitchers like Scherzer, deGrom, Strasburg, etc. He would edge out Gray as my Opening Day starter next year.

  • Sandman

    I’ve asked this question twice with no answer but hopefully y’all won’t mind if I ask it again: why isn’t there a way to share these articles on Facebook and other social media sites?

  • Sean D

    Assuming that the 1-3 are Castillo, Gray, and Bauer in whatever order, who would you predict to be the 4-5?

    • Nick Carrington

      Right now, Desclafani and Mahle are the 4 and 5. Sims seems to be the next guy in line after that, but I expect the Reds will try to add some depth here to account for injuries that will take place.

    • Matt Wilkes

      It wouldn’t shock me if the Reds went out and got another back-end starter to compete with Mahle. Would love to see them buy low on Julio Teheran, who has appealing spin rates on his fastball and curveball, and see if Derek Johnson, Caleb Cotham, and Kyle Boddy can get him worked out.

    • Matt Habel

      In my opinion, the Reds are well past Iglesias’s prime trade value, so at this point it really depends on what they think he is worth to the Reds vs what he could bring back. If someone really comes after him hard then that is what thing but I do not think they are in a position to be actively shopping him. It just doesn’t seem like it would be worth it.

      Besides, if they finally feel like they can make the playoffs in 2020, he can still help them accomplish that,even if he isn’t quite as good as he was two years ago.

      • Jefferson Green

        I agree with Matt, but with an added note: if Raisel is resistant to being used how DJ/DB want to use him, then I hope they shop him in order to improve the overall team performance.

  • Anonymous

    would like to add castellanos, moose, and grandal to team on 2/3 year deals. for the three together would it cost say 36 million for each year? improves depth and more offense for 2020/2021

    • Matt Wilkes

      After these last two years of free agency, it’s hard for me to guess what those three will get. I do think it’ll be more than a combined $36 million a year, though. Castellanos made $10 million in arbitration last year and will probably earn a bit more on the open market at his age (28). Moustakas made $10 million last year and performed at roughly the same level as 2018. I’d guess he’ll get about the same AAV. Grandal bet on himself and made $18 million, then went out and had the best year of his career. I don’t know if he’ll get $20 million annually due to his age, but he’ll be the priciest free agent of this group. If the Reds could get each for an average of $12 million a year, that’d be a steal.

  • Jeff Carr

    What value does “being good at two strike hitting” carry? Is there a way, beyond saying what the player’s batting average with two strikes is, that defines the value of a “good two-strike hitter”?

    • Steve Mancuso

      I don’t assign it any value. Is “being good at two strike hitting” even a thing? Is it a skill that can be repeated from season to season? I’d be willing to bet that over the course of careers, that hitting with two strikes is just hitting.

      In the case of Jose Iglesias, he’d never shown that “skill” in previous seasons. In fact, he’d been a truly awful hitter at 0-2 in previous years. If he could bat so well with two strikes, why not do the same thing in other counts? He got a lot of two strike hits because he swung at everything. Most batters take those waste pitches to get to better counts. His wRC+ after 0-2 count was 58. He hit the ball soft and it fell in a number of times. Reminds me of Jose Peraza in 2018. I look at “being good at two strike hitting” as a statistical artifact and run of luck. It’s like “being good at hitting on Tuesday.”

      Speaking of which, here are Iglesias’ batting average splits based on days of the week:

      MON: .339
      TUE: .288
      WED: .298
      THU: .295
      FRI: .250
      SAT: .250
      SUN: .302

      Does that mean Iglesias couldn’t hit on Fridays and Saturdays? Did he have a superpower hit on Monday? Should the Reds count on these numbers repeating in 2020? No. The differences are products of a normal distribution along a bell curve. Random chance. Sample size? Iglesias had about 60-85 PA each day of the week. You know how many of his plate appearances ended on an 0-2 count? 80.

      • Blake Shell

        I disagree with this big time. Hitting with two strikes is definitely a skill and definitely has value. It’s just that two strikes “hitting” isn’t a skill. Turning an 0-2 PA into something is the true skill, not just bat to ball.

        Look at Votto in his prime with two strikes. Spit at pitches, foul off good pitchers, drive up pitch count, frustration of walking a guy after having him 0-2. There is definitely value there, especially doing these things with 2 strikes with how uncomfortable most hitters are down 0-2.

        Where there isn’t value is “hitting with two strikes” aka batting average with 2 strikes. That is pretty basic. Good hitters hit better with two strikes over their careers because they’re good hitters. Bad hitters don’t because they are bad hitters. Year to year is for sure random, but to say there isn’t value in being a good hitter with two strikes is taking it way too far in my opinion.

        Just because it’s difficult to quantify doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable.

    • Anonymous

      Or maybe Kyle Boddy can fix the talent Iglesias has? I just think that the closer job needs to be upgraded from the numerous BS the Reds had last year, in their effort to go the next level.

      • Matt Habel

        Iglesias really wasn’t all that bad in 2019, another reason why just looking at his 12 losses is misleading. Yes his ERA went way up but his FIP went down from 2018 and his xFIP is still better than league average. He struck out more batters and walked fewer batters. The biggest issue for him was giving up way too many home runs (1.61 HR/9), which were up again throughout the league. Even Justin Verlander gave up a ton of home runs this year (1.45 HR/9). Iglesias is not the same pitcher he was two years ago, but I am not sure the Reds would be better off trading him at this point.

      • Mike H

        Wouldn’t trading him now mean they are selling low on him? If his underlying numbers are better than his ERA and W/L record, then wouldn’t they be limiting the value that they could get for him? I know most front offices are smart enough to look at the advanced stats, but they still have to sell the trade to their fans.

      • vegastypo

        I’m way late for this thread, but my response/question would be, if Rasiel Iglesias is disappointing enough to be traded, why would you still want him on the roster at all?

        Even if it’s selling low, it’s still getting rid of a disappointing player. … And in his case, getting rid of a player who was given a nice contract extension to reflect that he might not roll up closer stats because he was going to be used in high leverage spots, even if not in closer situations. … So of course he took the money, then pitched badly a lot of the time, and whined about needing to be comfortable in the closer role. And still struggled at time when back in that role ………..

        If you think he has value and want to keep him, that’s one thing, but if there is an element of addition by subtraction, selling low might be better than not selling at all.

  • Mike Bittenbender

    Given fastball control issues this season, would you dangle Castillo to teams that lose out on Cole/Stras in FA and for what potential return? Thinking LAD /NYY/LAA/PHI. Does Tyler Stephenson stay in future plans or chip in trade package for upgrade to roster? If you were given power to make 3 moves this off-season, what would they be?

    • Steve Mancuso

      Castillo had a terrific season. He got his walks under control the second half. He returned pretty much to his 2017 form. He’s a top of the rotation guy and would be a huge trade asset, given his performance, age and salary.

      You don’t make anyone off limits. You just make them expensive. If the Reds could get offense of commensurate value for Castillo, you consider it. But it would be better to acquire offense either through free agency or trading minor league players.

      Stephenson would be an example of the kind of minor league player you’d trade. He could be part of a trade to upgrade catcher. If the Reds think he could improve enough to be a top-tier major league catcher, then you don’t trade him. If they think he has a lower ceiling but can get value for him based on a good fall league performance, that makes sense to me.

      Not ignoring your third question. Need some time to think about it.

      • Mike Bittenbender

        Thanks Steve, I am not soured on Castillo at all, but this off-season may be a time to consider as I think both LAD and NYY will be DESPERATE to get a front line starter and only one can get Cole. If he goes to a third team like LAA or PHI, then you could play them off one another to up the trade return. I agree it would have to be good to justify the loss on the mound. Take your time on the other query.

  • Tyler D Brickey

    One thing about the 2019 season that left me puzzled was the fact that the Reds broke camp with and continually used Wandy Peralta instead of Cody Reed even though both had an option remaining. Am I missing something in the peripheral numbers? Because I haven’t seen anything that would seem to indicate that Peralta over Reed was the right move. To be honest, it was the one roster move all year that I couldn’t figure out a rational defense for.

    • Mike Bittenbender

      I too was disappointed in how Reed was handled , and then he got hurt, so his season was derailed. I am curious to see how the new team of Boddy/Cotham/Johnson refines him. He and Garrett will be very important with the new rule that a pitcher has to face 3 hitters upon entering the game. I think Reed, Garrett, Lorenzen,Stephenson and Gausman, if they go that route, give them strong options and allow them to potentially dangle Iglesias or even one of the aforementioned guys in trade talks to improve elsewhere.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I’ve never understood why the Reds gave Wandy Peralta so much run. Or why they gave Cody Reed so little opportunity in 2017-2018 when the other young starters got considerably more. Reed pitched pretty well (3.51 xFIP) in his 7 starts in 2018. Why the Reds gave guys like Tim Adelman, Lisalverto Bonilla and Bronson Arroyo starts over Reed, I’ll never get.

      What happened in 2019: Peralta pitched better than Reed in spring training. The Reds signed Zach Duke. Reed gave up runs in three of his first five minor league relief appearances. Peralta had a superficially strong April (1 ER in 9.1 IP). The Reds didn’t want to admit their mistake on Duke, so they held on to him for a while. Reed got two call-ups in May, pitched well in both. The second was on May 17. His last minor league appearance was May 24. He suffered a knee injury and never returned. He was certainly due a more permanent call up then. Terrible timing. I’m not saying I agree with how the Reds did this (I don’t) but that’s what happened.

      If Reed returns to health in 2019, I expect he’ll be a solid-to-excellent part of the Reds bullpen. He’ll be better than whoever the 2020 iteration of Zach Duke is. The Reds have already started collecting lefty relievers (Josh Smith). But remember the Three Batter Minimum rule goes into effect in 2020, so guys with huge lefty-righty splits will be much less valuable. Pitchers like Reed who have been starters, have an edge.

    • Matt Wilkes

      There is literally nothing appealing about Peralta’s numbers outside of his velocity and ability to miss bats with individual pitches (slider and changeup). Unfortunately, he has poor command and couldn’t translate his raw stuff into actual strikeouts. I think that potential is why the Reds held onto him so long, especially after Johnson and Cotham joined the team. That said, Peralta should’ve been the one in Triple-A to start the season—not Reed.

  • Tyler D Brickey

    Most indications are that the Reds will attempt to prioritize free agency over trades this offseason. However, last year they clearly had a plan to trade for proven players with one year of control remaining. Hypothetically, if the Reds were to take that same approach to “get the hitting” this offseason, who are some players, excluding Mookie Betts, that would be most intriguing to you?

    • Steve Mancuso

      Agree that they seem to be leaning toward free agency rather than trades. But to answer your hypothetical, a few names that are intriguing with at least a story of plausibility:

      Jonathan Villar 2B/SS (Orioles), free agent 2021
      Scott Kingery SS/OF (Phillies), free agent 2023 + options through 2026
      Marcus Semien SS (Athletics), free agent 2021
      Starling Marte CF (Pirates), 2020 plus cheap option in 2021

      Hunter Renfroe OF (Padres) free agent 2024, San Diego outfield jammed, good buy-low candidate

  • Grant Freking

    Rank in order of likelihood to be on the 2020 Reds: Mookie Betts, Yasmani Grandal, Mike Moustakas, Mitch Haniger, Trey Mancini, Corey Seager, Starling Marte, Alex Wood. J.D. Martinez.

      • Jefferson Green

        I hope you are right, and I hope that Grandal is a Red next year. He will have no comp attached to him should he opt into FA, and the Reds could add him without parting with prospects (or draft picks). He would be a clear upgrade in a year where clear upgrades at their positions of need on the FA market are going to be few and far between. They might have to be willing to significantly ‘overpay’ to improve in this manner, but it has good value for this team.

      • Grant Freking

        I’d go Grandal, Moustakas, Wood — then a gap in likelihood — Martinez, Marte — then a big ole gap in likelihood — Haniger, Mancini, Betts.

        I think the Reds will be loathe to trade Greene, Lodolo, Stephenson, India or Garcia for Haniger or Manicini, who will cost a fortune in prospects from rebuilding sides with barren farm systems looking to squeeze every ounce of value in return for one of their few prized assets. Betts I don’t see being possible given what the Reds would have to give up for one year of control.

        Grandal perfect fit is obvious. If Moose finds FA tough sledding for the 3rd straight year, he could do another 1 year deal. His defensive numbers at 2nd are fine. Wood could be tempted to come back to place he liked if the Reds offered a one plus one with an attractive vesting option or a player option in year 2.

        I think Martinez will opt-in, but if not, the number of years he’ll be looking for will likely put off the Reds. And I can’t see the Pirates trading Marte inside the division, as dumb as that logic would be for the Pirates. More likely that he ends up on someone like the Yankees, Atlanta or Philly.

    • Steve Mancuso

      First Tier – Free agents, no trade necessary

      1. Grandal
      2. Moustakas
      3. Wood

      Second Tier – Trade candidates, current teams motivated

      4. Haniger – 3 years control, decent OF
      5. Mancini – 3 years control, poor OF, good power
      6. Marte – 2 years control, would be top of tier but have to deal with Pirates

      Third Tier – Too expensive in trade assets

      7. Seager
      8. Betts

      Fourth Tier – Lousy fit

      9. J.D. Martinez – he’s a DH

    • Matt Wilkes

      I’d go:

      1. Yasmani Grandal (obvious fit)
      2. Alex Wood (good buy low candidate, has bullpen experience if injuries continue or Mahle outpitches him)
      3. Mike Moustakas (would fit at 2B, and the Reds don’t have to give up prospects to get him)
      4. Starling Marte (would cost a lot, but fills a clear need if the Reds move Senzel back to the infield)
      5. Mitch Haniger (would slot him behind Mancini if he hadn’t missed most of 2019 with that freak injury)
      6. Trey Mancini (O’s will want a lot as they try to rebuild their farm system; younger than Haniger)
      7. Corey Seager (prospect cost too high)
      8. Mookie Betts (prospect cost too high for only one year of control)
      9. J.D. Martinez (huge liability in the OF)

  • R Smith

    Nick Senzel and Joey Votto produced a combined fWAR of 1.4 in 2019. Doesn’t a re-tooled offense in 2020 start with a healthy and productive Senzel and Votto?

    The Reds realistically can’t make the playoffs in 2020 unless those 2 combine for 5+ WAR. Right?

    • Nick Carrington

      Productive seasons from Senzel and Votto would go a long way. That’s probably the easiest way for the offense to rebound, and it’s reasonable to expect they could both have 2-4 WAR years.

      Still, a lot of question Mark’s. Can Votto still be productive at 36? Can Senzel stay healthy? The Reds shouldn’t rely too heavily on those two.

    • Matt Habel

      Still too early to count out a bounce back from Votto but it does appear his best years are behind him. Definitely poor timing as the Reds wasted some amazing production from him from 2015 – 2017.

      If Votto does continue to decline dramatically, it will be really hard to watch if he becomes the weak link in the lineup that holds the team back. Not sure if the Reds would have the guts to bench him if they really needed to.

  • Mike H

    With only one “reliable” left-handed relief pitcher, what would it look like to bring back Alex Wood to pitch out of the bullpen? The qualifying offer the Reds would have to offer would probably need to be for a starting pitcher, which would make him a grossly over-paid reliever. But is there any way way the Reds could bring him back on a short-term reliever’s deal , with the option to start in later years? I can’t imagine there is going to be much interest in Wood after this season.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Almost every other team needs starting pitchers more than the Reds do. It’s hard to see the Reds being at the top of the competition for Alex Wood.

      The Reds do have a lot of inside information on Wood. They worked with him all year. The only circumstance I can see where he ends up back in Cincinnati is if every other team is scared off of him, but the Reds know differently because of having worked with him. I find this pretty unlikely. But if he comes cheap, he’s worth a chance, especially with the understanding he could end up in the bullpen.

      • Jefferson Green

        I like the odds of both Reed and Garret being at least average (and one probably emerging as significantly better than average). With the reduction in use of the LOOGY next season, having two good lefties may be enough. Three would be good, certainly, but not a break-the-bank need, especially when compared to the hitting upgrades the team needs.

  • Brian Cubbison

    What’s the best estimate of the money the Reds have available for moves this off-season? We often hear that owners have a lot more money than they let on. What would that translate to in actual moves, if they made them?

  • Scott Smith

    Mainly because Alex Wood didn’t work out, I feel like the Reds depleted their stock of prospects without much (one year of Bauer) in return for 2020. Is any trade they consummate going to be dependent on another team’s salary dump? Also, why on earth would the Reds try to go every fifth start next year with a two-pitch guy like Tyler Mahle?

    • Matt Habel

      While the Dodgers trade certainly did not go as planned, the Sonny Gray trade worked out very nicely, though it would be nice to still have Shed Long to play 2B right about now.

      There definitely seems to be less on the farm to work with now but I still think there are trades they can make that don’t require the Reds to take on salary to get who they want. Greene, India, Santillan, Stephenson, Siri, are all decent trade chips if they wanted to go that route. They just don’t have as much flexibility as last season.

    • Jefferson Green

      Since it would require less prospect capital, taking on salary may be the least costly way to add talent to this team. The Reds have payroll room, but few free agent targets at which to aim that payroll, so taking on payroll may be an excellent way to get better in 2020.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Tyler Mahle, who just turned 25, was better than average (talking about National League starting pitchers with enough innings to be qualified), in strikeouts (23.2% vs 22.6%), walks (6.1% vs 7.8%), ground balls (47% vs 43.6%), wOBA and xwOBA. His xFIP was 3.99, which is a full 10% better than average. He made large gains in all those categories.

      Reminder, we’re talking about a #5 pitcher here, being better than league average in all those categories that pitchers have decent control over. Hard to think of other examples of teams with #5 pitchers better than average like that. One who is young and still improving.

  • Sean D

    What would it take to land FRANCISCO LINDOR!? That would be a huge upgrade and would provide both defensive and offense value. I think the reds should push as hard as possible for him.

    • Matt Wilkes

      Don’t think they’re getting Lindor without blowing Cleveland away, which means giving up multiple top five prospects (Greene, India, Santillan, Lodolo, Stephenson, etc.). That’s a steep price to pay, although the Reds would at least get him for two years.

  • Jefferson Green

    What is the maximum you would offer to each of these players in FA (if available)?
    1) Grandal
    2) Gregorius
    3) Marte
    4) Rendon

    • Matt Wilkes

      I think Castillo is the best candidate for an extension — he’s still young and the Reds could get tremendous value by extending him now, much like they did with Suarez. Whether he’s willing to sign it or not is anybody’s guess. That said, he doesn’t hit arbitration until after next season, so I don’t think there’s a rush to extend him right now.

      I’d say the odds of Peraza getting non-tendered are about 50-50. There are very clearly better options than him on the roster right now, but the Reds have been enamored with him for a long time. I would personally non-tender him. I think Galvis will stick around as a backup, but depending on what the Reds do in free agency, it could bump him out of the equation.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Peraza gets non-tendered.

      Agree on Castillo, although Reds do have him locked up already through 2023. I’d consider shortish extensions for Anthony DeSclafani (2021 FA) and Michael Lorenzen (2022 FA). Possible Lorenzen wants to test free agency in case a team is willing to offer him CF or SP. He’ll be 29. But the best conditioned 29-YO on the planet.

  • Mike H

    Since the Reds hired the driveline guy, Kyle Boddy, do you think that they will be able to a develop some arms (like the Brewers) to be contributors in the bullpen next year? Or do you think that they will need to spend some money (like the Yankees) to sure up the bullpen?

    • Matt Wilkes

      The Boddy hire is huge for the organization. It seems coaches have been sending mixed messages to pitchers for many years, and he’ll hopefully get everyone on the same page. I’m not sure he’ll have an immediate impact since he’ll be working with minor-leaguers, but I’m sure he’ll get some work in with the big-league guys, too, given his reputation and previous work with Trevor Bauer. I’d assume Derek Johnson and Caleb Cotham will have a more direct role in developing potential bullpen arms. If you made me pick one guy who could develop into an impact reliever next year, it’s Cody Reed without a doubt.

      I’m not a huge proponent of spending big money on the bullpen. It worked out fairly well for the Yankees, but the Reds won’t have the resources to put together that type of ‘pen. Relievers are notoriously volatile from year to year. I’d prefer the Rays model of putting together a cheap — but strategically assembled — bullpen and spending more money in other areas.

    • Steve Mancuso

      If you buy into the importance of slow-motion camera, spin rates, tunneling etc, then the practice of coaching pitching has changed radically in the past three years. Even prior to that, the Reds had issues with inconsistency in pitching instruction throughout the organization. Walt Jocketty saw himself as the personnel director for the major league team and didn’t extend his portfolio to the minor league affiliates. The result was a lack of coordination in what pitchers were being taught from one level to the next or one year to the next, depending on who the particular pitching coach was.

      Dick Williams has talked about “aligning” instruction from the major leagues down through the minors. Derek Johnson seems interested in that. From what we can tell, Boddy has been hired to work with Johnson and Caleb Cotham to devise a curriculum for Reds pitchers and then implement it through the affiliates. That likely means changing how every current minor league pitching coach approaches his job, at least to some extent.

      The effects of these changes might be significant for some pitchers quite quickly. You might see that trickle up to the Reds bullpen this year. For the organization as a whole, though, I suspect the impact will be seen over time.

      The Reds know veteran relievers are inconsistent. I’ve heard Dick Williams say that in person. But I doubt they’ll be able to break their habit of spending money on relief pitchers. There are dozens of veteran arms out there. The Reds will convince themselves they know how to identify one or two who will have a good year, the cautionary tales of Zach Duke and Year Twos of David Hernandez and Jared Hughes notwithstanding. It’s a crap shoot though, nothing more.

    • Jefferson Green

      Regarding the Boddy hire and continued re-make of the leaders of the Reds development programs, anything will be better than the putrid results that we saw this last year from the AA and AAA pitching staffs. While injuries played a role, some good arms were part of those teams, yet their performance was very poor overall. It may take less than a year to see a couple of those guys emerge as ready for a shot with the big club…I hope!

  • Sandman

    Ok, thx. Was just curious bcuz I run a fb group for ppl who are fans of both the Reds and Bengals and I would like to share these articles in my group. So this is much appreciated.

  • Nathan

    Any thoughts on mallex Smith? He had a poor year last year, and Seattle’s GM is always open to deals. If you could acquire him cheaply, and add a solid SS, would you leave senzel at 2b and call it square? Mallex can play CF well and has wheels. If his hitting is average to above average, I like the fit.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Mallex Smith was on my list to investigate for a trade match for the reasons you mention. Seattle willing to deal. Plays a position Reds could use. Smith had a really bad year defensively for the Mariners after several good years with the Rays. I don’t know what to make of that. A bunch of his offensive value is in stolen bases, so meh. Soft hitter. From Seattle, I like Mitch Haniger as a corner-OF match better.