The team is playing very poorly. Some of us would like to DFA about half the team. I have been thinking about ways Walt/Dusty could improve things. Sadly, there are not a lot of moves we can make right now.
1. the pen outside of Masset & Ondrusek has been fine. Ondrusek has already been replaced by Fisher. the only question here is what to do with Nick. obviously he doesn't pitch in high leverage situations until he gets straightened out. if he has options left he could go to AAA. the only guy i see on the AAA roster who might take his place is LeCure. he has been a starter in the minors but is behind a lot of guys talentwise in the organization so i expect him to be a reliever in the bigs (if he has a big league career at all).
2. Maloney pitched ok at the end of 2009 & ok this spring. he had 3 great starts in AAA. however, he just went on the dl for a blister problem. Wood's issue this spring was walks. he has 7 in 18 IP in AAA. it doesn't seem like he is ready. We all want Chapman here as soon as he is ready but from what i have read he could use more time in AAA. that means our options are to stick with the five starters we have or maybe move Owings back to the rotation. i am against this move as he wasn't that great there in 2009 & he seems to be a decent pitcher out of the pen. so overall there is no great solution to the biggest issue the team has (starting pitching). we have to go with what we have until Maloney gets healthy and/or Wood & Chapman are ready. at that point if certain guys are still pitching terribly heads will roll.
3. two painfully obvious position moves are to give Hanigan & Janish more playing time. Dusty doesn't have to annoint them the starters full time but these two guys are much better defensively than Hernandez/Cabrera and for now are also outhitting them.
the Reds could give Nix some PT vs right handed starters. i doubt that this move is going to make or break the season.
down on the farm Frazier, Heisey, Francisco look more like AA players than big league players. Alonso is OPSing ~.830 in AA and also learning a new position. so much for our top prospects.
the only guys playing well in AAA are Valaika (OPS 913) & Dorn (OPS 908).
Valaika had such a terrible 2009 I would think at least a half season of AAA is in order before any thought of a big league promotion. Dorn OPSed .793 in AAA last year. In his case also I would think half a year of AAA would be in order before considering a callup. bottom line: no immediate help on the farm.
so we are playing terrible & have the following realistic moves we can make:
1. more playing time to Janish & Hanigan
2. move Masset out of the 8th inning.
3. develop lots & lots of patience & reevaluate at the mid point of the season