The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fire Dusty Baker!

I know, it's April 18. As the Reds spot St. Louis 5 tonight, I have only this to consider - at least we won't lose in extra innings again! The Reds are at 4-7, and they look WAAAAAAAAAY worse than that record suggests - even if we are only 2 weeks into the season.

29 / 28 / 28 /29

That's the Reds rankings for runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. That is atrocious. Our pitching is just middle of the pack, but our future ace (for whom we emptied our farm system) is about to be 0-2 in 3 starts with an ERA over 7. Cueto is money, and Arroyo is Arroyo. Bailey is still the best AA pitcher in a major league rotation.

This season, which started with so much hope and so many expectations could not have started worse. But when you really look at it, we shouldn't be surprised. We tried to upgrade our rotation by dumping Volquez and plugging in Latos. We attempted to upgrade our bullpen, but really ended up just exchanging Cordero for Marshall. Pretty much a wash. We completely failed to address our 2 hitting needs - a leadoff man and a cleanup hitter. So why would we expect different results from last season? Are Votto and Phillips going to get better because they signed extensions?

Unless we make some changes, the season will surely slip away by June. Here's what I think needs to happen:

1) Fire Dusty Baker
I have grown tired of Dusty Baker's idiotic decisions, and his nonsensical justifications after he is lambasted for them. Dusty is an old-school manager. He refuses to change his style, and that is hurting this club. Some suggest a good MLB manager is only worth 5 wins or so in a year. I'll take that!!! That doesn't take into account the effect a new sheriff can have when a manager takes over and shakes things up. I often wonder if Jocketty and Dusty are in the same book, let alone on the same page! Dusty was gone at the end of the season, but I think a change now would be a very positive spark.

2) Aroldis Chapman is our 5th Starter

He is our top pitching prospect, signed to a huge deal. He has started ALL HIS LIFE. He was the best starter in spring training, and he is the best pitcher currently on our team. Chapman needs to be starting. IMMEDIATELY!

3) Our Best Players Need to be With the Team

Willie Harris (LF), Wilson Valdez (SS), Alfredo Simon (RP)? Really? I know you need depth, but these guys are worthless. They cannot be counted on to pick up the team when they play. We need younger guys who are hungry and can contribute. Didi Gregarious (SS), Denis Phips (CF) or Andrew Brackman (RP) would be worthy replacements.

4) Jay Bruce in Cleanup
Our batting order is just awful. One reason - no leadoff man. The main reason? We have no cleanup hitter. Rolen is just miserable at 4, and this is killing Votto without protection. Dusty has refused to bat Bruce at cleanup because he doesn't want two lefties batting in a row. WHAT? I know Bruce hasn't been knocking the cover off the ball, but he is our biggest hitter not named Joey.

5) Go Get a Bat
The Reds signed Ryan Ludwick hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. They didn't. If you recall, my #1 choice in the offseason was Josh Willingham. He is now TEARING IT UP in Minnesota under a 3 year $21 million deal. I am STILL pissed we didn't get this guy. He would have been PERFECT! Jocketty needs to start kicking the tires on some possible mid-season acquisitions. There are always plenty of bats available from teams out of contention. David Murphy, Adam Jones or Nolan Reimold may all be quality guys that become available.

Okay, now it's 8-1 St. Louis. It's clear that our team has issues. We can ignore them, and suffer through another 70 win season, or we can fix them. I wonder if the commitment shown by ownership this offseason will continue.


Kevin said...

I totally agree with Chapman as a starter and Bruce batting 4th. Chapman not only makes too much money to be a setup man, he's being wasted in the bullpen. His number in spring training, and his current numbers (0.38 WHIP, 0.00 ERA, 15K, 0 BB, 8 IP), are ridiculously good. This guy wouldn't be the #5 starter, he'd be the #2 behind Cueto.

And why not have 2 lefties in a row? Yeah, some situations at the end of the game you could bring in a lefty and have an advantage. But most SP in the majors are righties, so for the first five to six innings, have two left-handed batters is a good thing. Also, Bruce is missing out on an at-bat or so every other game. He needs to get more ABs for the Reds. My order would have Phillips, Votto, Bruce batting 2-3-4. I'd probably put Stubbs as lead-off with either Mesoraco or Cozart to bat fifth. Rolen will be batting 7th or 8th because he's currently terrible.

Colin and Liz said...

Short and simple, the Reds as presently constructed are destined for failure. We have 1 solid hitter, read that again, 1 solid hitter, Joey Votto. Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips are entirely too streaky to be counted on to protect Votto, thus our only solid hitter is constantly pitched around. The rest of the hitters are re-treads who are struggling mightily and probably will never be league-average again (Rolen and Ludwick) or have never shown that they can be productive MLB hitters (Stubbs, etc).

We have no offense, and we haven't had an offense for quite some time. We took no chances in the off-season to try to address our offensive short-comings. We could have had Beltran, but he went to the Cards, how did that work for us?

I have faith that our pitching will come around, and eventually Chapman will start, but that's all moot if we keep losing games 2-1. It's not just that our offense is bad, it's also hard to watch. I caught a little of the Cards game the other night and the Reds had runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs. (Oh, by the way guess who was on base, Votto). Anyway, what happens next, 3 straight K's! Pathetic! Just hit the ball out of the infield. We ended up losing the game 2-1 in extra innings. It's so easy to beat the Reds. Here's the formula: pitch around Votto, throw off-speed pitches out of the zone against Bruce, and let the rest of the crummy hitters strike out against average fastballs and change-ups. It's going to be a long, depressing season.

Teddy said...

The reason I say Chapman as #5 is for innings. The #5 pitcher gets skipped every once in a while to keep the top guys on schedule. That automatically limits his innings, making him available for the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. We need change and we need it NOW!

Anonymous said...


starting using this oil when I colored my hair at the recommendation of my hairdresser because my hair sometimes felt limp and lifeless. I still use it now that I've let my gray grow out. It makes my hair

feel and smell great. I found that I don't have to wash my hair every day; I just spread some Curl Cream on my hands and scrunch it through my hair and it works out the "bedhead" look. I don't have super

curly hair; in fact, when I wash it, it looks straight. My hairdress is the one who showed me, using the Curl Cream, that my hair is actually naturally curly..not just wavy. I love it and use it nearly every