by Steve Mancuso

Reds Open Thread – Ask Us or Discuss Anything

The coronavirus has caused huge changes in our lives. The sadness of living without sports and the Reds is minor compared to the fears, concerns and adjustments we all face. None of that is going away any time soon. From our side of the keyboard, it’s hard to find baseball blog content to write about when there is no baseball occurring. Beyond that is motivation. Each of us, like you, is coping with new personal realities, ones that dwarf a team sports blog in importance.

Our original content will be more sporadic. We won’t post (retweet) drips of trivial news about baseball and the Reds.

That said, talking Reds baseball might be an escape from anxiety and worry for some of you/us. It might offer a brief respite from the all consuming public health news.

So we’re trying this Reds Open Thread today. Ask questions for the writers to answer. Start discussion topics. Express your Reds opinions free form. Whatever you want, as long as it’s Cincinnati Reds related.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the resumption of the baseball season, much of what any of us write will be speculation. But if the conversation provides a moment to daydream, to let our minds think about something other than current events, that’s a positive. We hope you’ll join us, whether you’re a first-time or regular commenter.

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Steve Mancuso is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up during the Big Red Machine era. He’s been writing about the Reds for more than 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 at Clinchmas. Steve was also at all three games of the 2012 NLDS, but it’s too soon to talk about that.


  • Steve Mancuso

    Not sure the Reds clarified their OF log jam much. Castellanos, Winker (vs RHP), Senzel and Akiyama should get plenty of playing time. Ervin as the fifth guy. If they carry a sixth, it could be Mark Payton. Aquino can start in AAA. Probably the same for Josh VanMeter (who is hurt) unless his ability to play IF proves decisive. Reds would have to let Schebler go or try to trade him for something.

    • Matt Wilkes

      Yeah, we really didn’t get much clarity on the OF situation by the time spring training was cancelled. It was encouraging to see Senzel back in the lineup. Have to think he’ll be ready to play defense by the time the season actually starts. I would think Castellanos is the only guy locked in the lineup every day. Akiyama is probably getting the nod on most days. Leaves a lot of playing time to divide up between Senzel and Winker, and I’d think the Reds want them both to play as much as possible with Ervin as a solid fifth OF. Could very well see David Bell go strictly with platoon splits, at least to start the season. Wouldn’t shock me if Senzel eventually forces his way into the everyday lineup. Winker pretty much HAS to start against RHP. Doubt Payton or Schebler are with the organization when the season starts. Aquino is probably going to Triple-A. Still some real concerns about his plate discipline.

      This also ties in with a question we were asked on Twitter from @reds_in_4:

      “Start One, Sit One, Trade One: Aquino, Winker, Ervin”

      I’m starting Winker for sure, assuming a righty is on the mound. I’d start one of the other two against a southpaw. Tougher call between trading the other two. Aquino clearly has the higher ceiling, but not the positional flexibility. Not sure either have a ton of trade value. Aquino may have the edge based on ceiling. Given that the Reds are trying to win now, I’m probably sitting Ervin and trading Aquino if I’m forced to.

      • Matthew Habel

        Agree with Matt here on Winker. Both the others would have to be add-ins to a trade for any real return. I would trade Ervin and sit Aquino in hopes of him hitting his ceiling. Ervin just seems destined for to be a career AAAA guy.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Aquino is such an easy stash in AAA, that’s what I do unless another team is willing to overpay for him. Given his September, hard to see him getting much. But a hot couple weeks in AAA could really boost the return.

      • Kyle Berger

        I disagree 100% about Ervin being a career AAAA guy. While he’s not likely to ever be an everyday starter, his splits against LHP make him perfect for a platoon role. Plenty of guys make successful careers as a platoon player. Think of the right handed equivalent of Matt Joyce for example.

  • Matt Wilkes

    Something I found interesting: Freddy Galvis got a boost in bWAR from 1.6 to 2.6 with Baseball Reference’s latest WAR update. Looks like Sports Info Solutions updated their DRS calculation, and that seems to have worked in Galvis’ favor. His dWAR jumped from 0.4 to 1.4. More in line with what we’ve seen from Statcast OAA.

      • Matt Wilkes

        Looks like he got a boost in a few seasons. Career WAR jumped from 7.1 to 9.7. No change in 2018 or 2019, however. Thought maybe the DRS adjustment would help him since his defensive numbers couldn’t get much worse.

  • Matt Wilkes


    I think that Corky Miller would make a fantastic coach and an even better couch. He would really bring the #grit this team has lacked since Skip Schumaker retired.

  • Brian Van Hook

    Was watching some of the 1970s game when the Phillies beat the Cubs 23-22. You don’t suppose the wind was blowing out at Wrigley, do you ???? Rose never looked good to me unless he was in a Reds uniform. That Phillies’ get-up just didn’t cut it.

    OK, so back to the present. Er, the future….. If we are fortunate enough to get the season going by, say, July 1, I’d really be interested to see how Jose Garcia fares. He’s likely to start in AA this season? Do well there and maybe by 2021, we don’t have to fill shortstop from outside the organization.

  • Brian Van Hook

    One other thought …If MLB plays the equivalent of a half-season, do you think players would get credit for a full season? Curious whether Lindor would still be a free agent after 2021 if he only gets partial service time this year. He played 99 games for the Indians in 2015, when they were in no hurry to rush him to the bigs, likely for service time reasons.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Not only is the service time stuff going to be complicated, so are the salary issues for major league players. Teams will want the service time clock to have stopped. Players just the opposite.

      In an ideal world, MLB and the MLBPA could roll this stuff into the new CBA and get it done. That would be good news for fans. It’s not like they are doing anything else right now.

  • Steve Mancuso

    From a bad luck standpoint, it doesn’t get much worse than trading your top prospect for one year of an elite starting pitcher only to see that season erased by a global pandemic.

  • R Smith

    Let’s be optimists. We’re facing the biggest disruption of life since perhaps WW2. Baseball… Our pastime. . has always been there. Ted Williams legacy is more than just hitting .400 in 1941.

    No one knows how this will go but if these aggressive measures not only flatten the curve…. But more importantly lessen the area under the curve…and warm weather blunts a bit more… There’s Hope for baseball in July.

    Have a 3 week spring training in late June and early july. Have a 28 man roster and play games every day x 1 in a month. Bring back the Sunday doubleheader. Go with a 6 man rotation and reward those teams who are 28-30 deep. Figure out a post season with more teams and bigger games.

    Baseball in September and october could be a much needed …..pasttime.