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Thread: A few questions as Spring Training begins

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    A few questions as Spring Training begins

    1. What will be the fate of young starting pitchers? Mahle, Stephenson, Finnegan, Reed, Romano, have been serious rotation candidates in past years. But now, with the veteran additions, what is their fate? Easy enough to say AAA, but one is out of options, a few have substantial MLB time already, not sure Reds will send them down en masse. Bullpen seems nearly full, assuming good health. Will be interesting to see if anyone forces his way onto the team and whether Reds move any of them. Might include Lucas Sims to the list.

    2. How close are the top prospects? Not only will Senzel be at ST, but also Santillan, Gutierrez, Trammel, Friedl, Stephenson, Siri, and some prospects currently lower down the food chain. Reds are obviously counting on some to emerge soon. The off-season was built on keeping rather than trading these guys and Reds will have several openings for 2020. Who will make an impression?

    3. Who backs up infield? The starting infield is set, but Blandino is coming off injury, and it’s not obvious who backs up the infield. Could easily see Reds picking up a player off waivers or otherwise. Rule five man Joe listed as infielder, Farmer plays some IF, but listed as a catcher. Senzel could fill in but apparently will be focused on CF early, maybe begins at AAA.

    4. Who gets the most time in CF? Right now, Senzel seems like the consensus choice but he could be in AAA on Opening Day. Probably Schebler is next in line, but worth watching how Reds handle this position during the spring.

    5. Will additions/subtractions continue? Off-season signings now continue well into ST. We could see one or more meaningful Reds’ deals during ST. Not the usual thing, but seems more likely in current MLB environment.

    6. What’s the impact of the new coaching staff? Worth watching, although may not be clear during spring training.

    7. Health? Always a question. Senzel, Blandino coming off long injury absences this year. Hopefully no surprise injuries.
    Last edited by Kc61; 02-12-2019 at 11:02 AM.

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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    I thought the answer to question 1 would be to include them in trades in attempts to acquire someone like Realmuto or Inciarte, but now I'm not so sure.

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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    Quote Originally Posted by reds77 View Post
    I thought the answer to question 1 would be to include them in trades in attempts to acquire someone like Realmuto or Inciarte, but now I'm not so sure.
    On question 1, I’d note that Reds could carry up to 8 relievers for much of the season.

    The pen has 6 sure shots Iglesias, Hughes, Hernandez, and Lorenzen from the right side. Duke and Garrett from the left side.

    So there should be one or possibly two bullpen spots available, more counting injuries.

    In addition to all the “young starters” there will be others competing for those spots, such as Peralta, Wisler, Herget, Bowman, and the veteran NRIs.
    Last edited by Kc61; 02-12-2019 at 11:04 AM.

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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    As always, thanks for your succinct review of where things presently stand; what questions remain to be answered.

    I agree that all of the excess young pitchers can go to AAA. Of course some will go to the bullpen, but jamming the rest at Louisville could hinder the development of other young pitchers ready to make the jump to the next level. In fact, I'd like to hear from those expert in our minor league system to talk about who those pitchers are.

    I suspect some of these folks may get traded before spring finishes.

    After reading your post, I've updated the coaching thread to remind folks who are present coaching staff will be. One coach that jumped out at me because I forgot about the added title he carries is Jeff Pickler, the "game planning/outfield coach." It will be interested to see how that translates onto the field and if there will be a marked improvement in our on field play. There have been games in the past where I felt like we lacked crucial info about our opponent, something I hope that better coaching and analytics will help with.
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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    On question 1, I’d note that Reds could carry up to 8 relievers for much of the season.

    The pen has 6 sure shots Iglesias, Hughes, Hernandez, and Lorenzen from the right side. Duke and Garrett from the left side.

    So there should be one or possibly two bullpen spots available, more counting injuries.

    In addition to all the “young starters” there will be others competing for those spots, such as Peralta, Wisler, Herget, Bowman, and the veteran NRIs.
    I would guess one of those bullpen slots is a revolving door between Louisville & Cincinnati. in essence whenever we need a fresh arm.
    .

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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    I would use some of the young guys as trade bait along with Schebler and/or Kemp (plus cash.) I seriously wonder what a Scheb+Mahle+Reed package could bring. Probably not a huge upgrade, but if they can turn their excess resources into even an immaterial improvement, that would be worth it IMO.

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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    How about DeGrom, he just told the Mets no negotiations during the season, lets put a package and sign him long term
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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    My guess on #1 is that they will come home from ST with 13 pitchers on the roster, barring injury of course. Starters: Castillo, Gray, Roark, Wood, DeSclafani. Relievers: Iglesias, Hughes, Hernandez, Lorenzen, Duke, Garrett, Stephenson, and Wisler. They probably don't need a 5th starter for the first 3 times through the order (as I look at the schedule, so they may only have 12 for the first couple of weeks).

    I think they will have a hard time dropping R. Stephenson. Granted he has been a disappointment thus far, still his line at Louisville last year included 74 hits and 135 K's in 113 innings. We haven't had a lot of that kind of stuff in this org. I don't think they'll give up on it unless he is just dreadful this spring. I also think they will keep Wisler. They just traded for him; I think they will keep him.

    What does that mean for Mahle, Reed et.al. I think the opening rotation at L'ville will be Mahle, Reed, Romano, Sims, and Mella--unless one of those guys is able to dislodge DeSclafani this spring. I've seen nothing in the roster moves that suggests they are inclined to move any of these pitchers to the pen at present. In fact, the most likely to have done that would have been the lefthander--Reed--but that got less likely, IMO, with the acquisition of Duke. Take it all round, I like it. Looks to me like we are closer to having major league pitchers in Cincinnati and minor league pitchers in AAA than we have been for a while.

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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    1. Wisler takes the last available bullpen slot. Reed, Mahle, Romano, and Sims all have options and will front the AAA rotation, assuming health of the current favorites who will comprise the MLB staff. Finnegan gets one more shot to re-acclimate to a relief role in AAA. Stephenson will be dealt in a swap of “change of scenery” types or as a small part of a larger deal that requires some roster maneuvering.

    2. Senzel will almost certainly be sent down to start the year to gain the extra year of control. The only way I can see him making the squad out of ST is if he looks very smooth in the field and just blows the doors off offensively. As for the other “top” guys:

    Late 2019/Early 2020: Trammell, Santillan, Friedl
    Late 2020/Early 2021: India, Gutierrez, Siri
    Late 2021/Early 2022: Stephenson, Greene

    3. Blandino and one of Joe or Farmer are the likeliest candidates for backup IF roles. Christian Colon is an interesting sleeper if Blandino looks like he isn’t 100% healthy following injury.

    4. Barring another acquisition, Schebler gets the lion’s share of time in CF. Ervin and Puig may pick up some innings here and there against tough LHP. Senzel gets the bulk of the time when he comes up for good and Schebler moves into the 4th OF role.

    5. I don’t think they absolutely need to make any further additions or subtractions but there will be a move here or there at the edges of the 40 man.

    6. It’s going to take a while to judge the new coaching staff. ST won’t provide much clarity here at all.

    7. There will be at least a couple of tweaks or injuries. Hopefully they’re minor since I really want to see what this group can do.

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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohioballplayer View Post
    How about DeGrom, he just told the Mets no negotiations during the season, lets put a package and sign him long term
    Reed and Siri should get it done

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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirito-Sama View Post
    I would use some of the young guys as trade bait along with Schebler and/or Kemp (plus cash.) I seriously wonder what a Scheb+Mahle+Reed package could bring. Probably not a huge upgrade, but if they can turn their excess resources into even an immaterial improvement, that would be worth it IMO.
    Mahle isn't an excess resource, he's arguably our 5th/6th best pitcher. I don't see why we would trade cheap, controllable assets or upside (Reed) for an immaterial improvement.

    It would only be worth it if it was a material improvement.
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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffey012 View Post
    Mahle isn't an excess resource, he's arguably our 5th/6th best pitcher. I don't see why we would trade cheap, controllable assets or upside (Reed) for an immaterial improvement.

    It would only be worth it if it was a material improvement.
    Yeah Mahle was probably a bad guy to pick there.

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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    Dereck Johnson is going to have much to say about the young starters.

    I don’t think it’s a good strategy to keep holding all the same young starters in the AAA rotation. There needs to be room for a continual group of newcomers, plus a few experienced veterans just in case they’re needed.

    Johnson needs to make some judgment calls. He may have done so already.
    Last edited by Kc61; 02-12-2019 at 06:45 PM.

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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    Mahle and Reed are likely going to be needed as starters this year and almost certainly next year. I think they go back and forth between Louisville and Cincy when needed.

    I think Stephenson still has enough up side that they'll keep him on the roster to see if a new pitching coach can unlock some of his potential, which is substantial. That leaves the pen short if he isn't effective. If he struggles, I could see him developing a mysterious injury that sends him to the DL.

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    Re: A few questions as Spring Training begins

    I will add one to this list that I'm curious to see how Bell handles it.

    How many ab's will Matt Kemp get and where does he slot in?

    You have to figure Puig is the regular in right field and Winker is the regular in left field except for occasional days off for each. Everyone seems to be assuming center field belongs to Schebler and Senzel if he's ready. Does this mean Kemp only starts as a DH and against Lhp with either Winker or Schebler sitting?

    If Kemp can repeat what he did last year, they've got to get him in the lineup. I'm wondering if we see Puig in CF more often to accommodate Kemp?


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