Category Archives: Reds

T’is The Season to be Grumpy

February is always a tough month for sports. Here in the 859, it’s cold even when it’s sunny outside and most days it’s not even particularly sunny. Sure, we have the Super Bowl in February but even that game marks an end.

Even being located at the epicenter of the popularity of college basketball, there isn’t much to talk about and there won’t be until tournament time rolls around and games start counting again. Writing about a 25th straight win is just as interesting as writing about an ass whoopin’ at Temple.

The Reds “truck day” was yesterday. I can’t imagine it’s cost beneficial to load up an 18 wheeler and drive it to Arizona and back in 8 weeks. The most interesting question that no one answers is, “what the hell is in all those boxes?” Laundry? Old Dallas Latos jerseys? What?

This February has been even more gloomy than usual. We’ve learned that even Super Bowl winners troll on Tinder for the low fruit. What’s the point in being rich? The first sign of a concussion might be, being rich and famous and owning a Twitter account.
Take your Neanderthal brains and beard, get in your douche looking sports car and head down town. There’s a dude right now in a Camry, that plays disc golf, pulling better than Sabrina from Tinder. Geesh.

I can’t figure out if Tiger Woods belongs in the saddest or most enjoyable things about February sports category. Tiger Woods is Babe Ruth if Babe Ruth had played in this era. In Ruth’s last four seasons there were plenty other guys with better games than him. Then one day, at age 40, Ruth just lost it altogether and quit.

At least we won’t hear about Tiger Woods on Tinder.

The two saddest sports stories of February so far have been the passing of Dean Smith and Jerry Tarkanian. Numbers 10 and 35 on the all-time win list. I honestly don’t remember very much about Dean Smith basketball other than it was boring as hell to watch. Which is exactly the reason that any basketball fan growing up in the 80 and 90s knows who Jerry Tarkanian is.

Bob Huggins is number 22 on the list with 758 wins. The most impressive thing about Huggins is that he didn’t start coaching until the 80s. Coach K and Boeheim started in the 60s and 70s.

There’s a lot of sports “events” this month: Daytona 500, the NBA All-star game, the Tokyo Marathon, and all kinds of things Europeans get excited about. But for me, just get me through to some real sports.

When can we start bitching about the Reds not scoring runs again? ESPN is good for nothing but now has the Reds ranked 24th in MLB. Ahhhh, music to my ears. To many fans, Billy Hamilton collapsed in 2014. To many people with a calculator he stopped getting lucky. Never before have I watched a team get worse over a 5 year span but still believe they were improving. Now that regression and bad contracts are catching up with my beloved Reds; I’m expecting everyone of those upcoming 90 losses.

Biggest failure to capitalize on customer loyalty this decade: Cincinnati Reds or Cincinnati Bell?
Seems both peeked in the 70s.

Excuse the typos, this is hard to do on a phone while you wait for coffee.

Reds Lists: Prospects, 40 man roster, non-roster invitees 2/3/15

Reds top prospects according to various publications:

Baseball Prospectus

1. RHP Robert Stephenson
2. OF Jesse Winker
3. RHP Michael Lorenzen
4. OF Yorman Rodriguez
5. RHP Nick Howard
6. SS Alex Blandino
7. RHP Ben Lively
8. RHP Nick Travieso
9. OF Phil Ervin
10. 3B Gavin LaValley

Baseball America

1. Robert Stephenson, rhp
2. Raisel Iglesias, rhp
3. Jesse Winker, of
4. Michael Lorenzen, rhp
5. Nick Howard, rhp
6. Anthony DeSclafani, rhp
7. Amir Garrett, lhp
8. Nick Travieso, rhp
9. Aristides Aquino, of
10. Yorman Rodriguez, of

Red Reporter Community

1.  Jesse Winker, of
2.  Robert Stephenson, rhp
3.  Michael Lorenzen, rhp
4.  Raisel Iglesias, rhp
5.  Anthony DeSclafani, rhp
6. Yorman Rodriguez, of
7. Nick Travieso, rhp
8. Phillip Ervin, of
9. Amir Garrett, lhp
10. Nick Howard, rhp


Cincinnati Reds 40-Man Roster

Cincinnati Reds 40-man Roster
# Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
40 Dylan Axelrod R-R 6’0″ 195 Jul 30, 1985
34 Homer Bailey R-R 6’4″ 230 May 3, 1986
54 Aroldis Chapman L-L 6’4″ 205 Feb 28, 1988
52 Tony Cingrani L-L 6’4″ 215 Jul 5, 1989
53 Carlos Contreras R-R 5’11” 205 Jan 8, 1991
64 Daniel Corcino R-R 5’11” 210 Aug 26, 1990
47 Johnny Cueto R-R 5’11” 215 Feb 15, 1986
41 Ryan Dennick L-L 6’0″ 185 Jan 10, 1987
28 Anthony DeSclafani R-R 6’1″ 190 Apr 18, 1990
70 Jumbo Diaz R-R 6’4″ 315 Feb 27, 1984
76 Amir Garrett L-L 6’5″ 210 May 3, 1992
74 Ismael Guillon L-L 6’2″ 210 Feb 13, 1992
36 David Holmberg R-L 6’3″ 225 Jul 19, 1991
60 J.J. Hoover R-R 6’3″ 230 Aug 13, 1987
26 Raisel Iglesias R-R 6’2″ 165 Jan 4, 1990
44 Mike Leake R-R 5’10” 190 Nov 12, 1987
63 Sam LeCure R-R 6’0″ 205 May 4, 1984
55 Matt Magill R-R 6’3″ 210 Nov 10, 1989
45 Sean Marshall L-L 6’7″ 225 Aug 30, 1982
43 Manny Parra L-L 6’3″ 215 Oct 30, 1982
48 Keyvius Sampson R-R 6’0″ 225 Jan 6, 1991
62 Pedro Villarreal R-R 6’1″ 230 Dec 9, 1987
# Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
16 Tucker Barnhart S-R 5’11” 195 Jan 7, 1991
39 Devin Mesoraco R-R 6’1″ 220 Jun 19, 1988
29 Brayan Pena S-R 5’9″ 230 Jan 7, 1982
# Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
2 Zack Cozart R-R 6’0″ 195 Aug 12, 1985
21 Todd Frazier R-R 6’3″ 220 Feb 12, 1986
23 Donald Lutz L-R 6’3″ 250 Feb 6, 1989
17 Kristopher Negron R-R 6’0″ 195 Feb 1, 1986
4 Brandon Phillips R-R 6’0″ 200 Jun 28, 1981
7 Eugenio Suarez R-R 5’11” 180 Jul 18, 1991
19 Joey Votto L-R 6’2″ 220 Sep 10, 1983
# Outfielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
30 Jason Bourgeois R-R 5’9″ 190 Jan 4, 1982
32 Jay Bruce L-L 6’3″ 215 Apr 3, 1987
9 Marlon Byrd R-R 6’0″ 245 Aug 30, 1977
69 Juan Duran R-R 6’7″ 230 Sep 2, 1991
6 Billy Hamilton S-R 6’0″ 160 Sep 9, 1990
33 Yorman Rodriguez R-R 6’3″ 195 Aug 15, 1992
25 Skip Schumaker L-R 5’10” 195 Feb 3, 1980
75 Kyle Waldrop L-L 6’2″ 220 Nov 26, 1991

Cincinnati Reds Non-Roster Invitees

Cincinnati Reds Active Roster
# Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
58 Nate Adcock R-R 6’4″ 235 Feb 25, 1988
84 Jonathon Crawford R-R 6’2″ 205 Nov 1, 1991
83 Nick Howard R-R 6’3″ 215 Apr 6, 1993
79 Michael Lorenzen R-R 6’3″ 195 Jan 4, 1992
31 Jason Marquis L-R 6’1″ 220 Aug 21, 1978
50 Jose Mijares L-L 5’11” 265 Oct 29, 1984
81 Jon Moscot R-R 6’4″ 205 Aug 15, 1991
78 Robert Stephenson R-R 6’3″ 195 Feb 24, 1993
82 Nick Travieso R-R 6’2″ 215 Jan 31, 1994
# Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
77 Ramon Cabrera S-R 5’8″ 195 Nov 5, 1989
73 Kyle Skipworth L-R 6’4″ 230 Mar 1, 1990
80 Chad Wallach R-R 6’3″ 210 Nov 4, 1991
# Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
67 Ivan De Jesus R-R 5’11” 200 May 1, 1987
71 Irving Falu S-R 5’10” 180 Jun 6, 1983
66 Josh Satin R-R 6’2″ 215 Dec 23, 1984
68 Neftali Soto R-R 6’1″ 215 Feb 28, 1989
# Outfielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
27 Brennan Boesch L-L 6’4″ 235 Apr 12, 1985
65 Ryan LaMarre R-L 6’1″ 205 Nov 21, 1988
86 Felix Perez L-L 6’2″ 185 Nov 14, 1984
85 Jesse Winker L-L 6’3″ 210 Aug 17, 1993

Fly Me To The Moon Because Its A Better Move Than Resigning Todd Frazier Long Term

Since the signing of Mesoraco, the Reds only have two arbitration cases remaining.  Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman.  The one I’m most undecided about is Todd Frazier.  As for Chapman, you should never pay a closer a bunch of money.  If Chapman can’t bring you back anything in a trade, you have to cut ties if he is going to want big money.  With Frazier, we have a 29 year old 3rd baseman with 3 full seasons under his belt.  Do you realize Edwin Encarnacion is 32 and has been in the majors for 11 seasons now?

Frazier had his best season of his career in 2014, tying Josh Donaldson for most home runs by a third baseman and finishing tied for 5th with Josh Harrison (former Bearcat and Princeton High alum) in WAR (5.3).  Kyle Seager was fourth in WAR (5.8) and is 27 years old.  Seager can do everything that Frazier can do except steal bases.  Seattle just signed Seager to a 7 year $100 million contract.  However, Frazier is a little more Chase Headley than he is Kyle Seager.  In the comparable department, Headley is Frazier’s number one.  The Yankees recently gave Headley $52 million over 4 years.

Frazier is old for his years of experience and nothing in his numbers suggest that he can improve on 2014.  The problem with Frazier is that he is a free swinger, he doesn’t take many walks and therefore he is more likely to repeat 2013 (.234/.314/.406) more often than he is going to repeat 2014 (.273/.336/.459). Like Headley, if Frazier is seeing the ball well and in a groove, he can punish mistake pitches.  However, he doesn’t battle at the plate and he led all third basemen in strike outs last year.  Frazier is one of those guys who can out physical mediocre pitchers but can put the bat on the ball against good pitching.

I really hope the Reds don’t go and do something crazy like give Frazier an eight figure long-term deal.  If you can get him for 3 years, I’d consider resigning him but this team is on the verge of driving off the contention cliff and into the world of the Philadelphia Phillies.  The only problem with the Phillies comparison is that the Phillies have a recent World Series Championship to show for all of their bad contracts.

The Reds are not a small market team and as Paul Daugherty pointed out this week, “this is a regional team with lots of big places no more than two hours away.”

The Cubs, The Cubs. The Cubs? The Cubs!

Damnit to hell. The Cubs just keep getting better.  At least on paper… While the Reds are out throwing minor league pitching prospects away in return for soon to be 38 year old outfielders, the Cubs are addressing needs.  The funny thing is, the Cubs seem to have a good understanding about what their needs might be going into the new season.  The Reds are throwing darts in the dark, hoping to hit a bullseye.

On Monday, the Cubs traded for 28 year old outfielder Dexter Fowler in exchange for third baseman Luis Valbuena and right-handed pitcher Dan Straily.  Fowler fills two big needs for the Cubs; he is a leadoff hitter that also gets on base regularly.  Fowler, who has a  career slash line of .271/.366/.419, brings an arbitration case to Chicago that will need to be finalized.  Last week he asked for $10.8 million and was offered $8.5 million.  Fowler is eligible for free agency after the season.

In comparison, Marlon Byrd will be paid a little over $8 million and will also be a free agent after the 2015 season. The Phillies did agree to pay a portion of Byrd’s salary.  However, Byrd has been handed the job in left field for Cincinnati with his career slash line of .278/.333/.427.   Did I mention that Byrd would be turning 38 this season?

The Reds have been out maneuvered in the off season for several seasons in a row.  They will soon owe four players $70 million.  The Reds have a veteran team with an inexperienced manager.  The Cubs have a young team loaded with prospects and an experienced manager in Joe Maddon.  As the 2015 season grows nearer, the reality of what the Reds are going to be able to accomplish grows clearer.  You can almost hear the door slamming and the windows closing.

Hall of Famer Adam Dunn

Brian Kinney of sportsonearth.com–

No, Dunn didn’t field (the metrics rank him as the worst outfielder ever). Surprisingly mobile when young (19 steals as a rookie), Dunn would be immobile by 30. But I’m sorry, the basic premise is this: with 40 homers and 100 walks, you’re an excellent player. Do that for 15 years, you have 600 home runs with a .370 on-base percentage. That, absent the “sportswriter steroid cloud” gets you to the Hall of Fame. And spare me the lip service to defense being important for Hall Induction: Keith Hernandez and Dwight Evans fell off the ballot, Alan Trammell is nowhere close on the current ballot, and Bill Mazeroski’s induction led to a revamping of the Veteran’s Committee process. Writers and analysts bring up defense only to knock a player, not credit him.

Dunn’s official retirement this past Monday ends the debate. He probably didn’t take care of himself as much as he could have. But those summer nights at the Newport Beer Sellar were pretty fun. Hook’em horns!

Dunn always gave off the impression that he would rather be doing something else, although he consistently was in the lineup, day after day. Paul Daugherty sure despised him. With the sofa and the magazine reading in the clubhouse, Doc lives to write about that.

However, Dunn was young and in the same clubhouse as Barry Larkin and Ken Griffey Jr. If those two didn’t have a problem with Dunn, how was he to know? I really wish Dunn would’ve stuck out a couple of more seasons just to instigate the debate. But that’s not Big donkey’s style.

What are your best Adam Dunn memories?

Reds Acquire Marlon Byrd Via Trade :-(

C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that the Reds have traded pitching prospect Ben Lively to the Phillies for outfielder Marlon Byrd and possibly cash money.  Byrd, who turned 37 in August, has produced a .278/.333/.427 line over 5,450 career plate appearances.  In 2014, Byrd hit 25 home runs (5 more than his career best) and struck out 185 times, while posting a .312 on base percentage.  Disappointing acquisition to say the least; especially for a team that struggled getting men on base for the past 4 seasons.

Ben Lively is a 22-year-old medium to hard thrower, who spent 2014 at high A Bakersfield and double A Pensacola.  Over the course of Lively’s minor league career he has posted strike out rates (K/9) of  11.9 Rk,15.8 A, 10.8 A+,  and 9.5 AA.  He also has displayed excellent control.  Several sources projected him to be a mid rotation starter.

Scout, Ethan Purser wrote this about Lively (via Baseballprospectus.com):

Lively has good stuff across the board and, perhaps more importantly, shows good pitchability with realistic room for growth in this department. He goes into at-bats with a plan, executes, and pitches with major confidence, wanting to shove the fastball down hitters’ throats. The fastball, while not a crazy weapon in terms of pure velocity, plays up due to its sneakiness and gives the pitcher a weapon going forward. The secondary arsenal is highlighted by the potential above-average slider, and while the curveball and changeup only project to average at the highest level, Lively should be able to deploy these pitches with confidence and keep hitters guessing with a few minor refinements. Overall, Lively looks like a good bet to blossom into a mid-rotation workhorse, a great outcome from a fourth-round selection. He should be ready sometime in 2015.

Unless the Reds end up in the World Series on the back of Marlon Byrd (unlikely), the trade looks to be desperate and doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.  If I were the Phillies, I would’ve unloaded a 38 year old outfielder, who just had his best season in years, for a starting pitcher in a heart beat.  What is Walt doing?

Finding Hope Where There Is None: Reds Left Field

“Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.”
~Robert H. Schuller

Okay.  It’s almost 2015.  Pitchers and catchers report in less than 8 weeks.  Who is going to play left field for the Reds on opening day?  We still don’t know; but I will tell who will be playing left field before 2015 is over, Jesse Winker.

For those not familiar with the Arizona Fall League (AFL), it is a six team league ran by MLB that begins shortly after the regular season is over.  The league is composed of primarily AA and AAA minor league prospects. Each MLB club holds a position draft to determine who is going to play in the AFL and each club can opt to send 1 Class A player.  The league was created to provide a controlled, monitored scouting opportunity for MLB execs before players left for the winter.

The AFL is used to figure out where a prospect is in their developement.  Players who do well in the AFL environment can jump ahead minor league levels.  It is a quality league that resembles the futures all-star game on a nightly basis but over the course of a 32 game schedule.

This past fall, Jesse Winker did well in the AFL.  He won the AFL batting title while hitting .338/.440/.559.  The 6’3 210 pound Winker turned 21 last August and spent 2014 at high A Bakersfield (.317/.426/.580, 13HR, 53 games) and AA Pensacola (.208/.326/.518 in 21 games).  The most exciting thing about Winker is his combination of power and plate discipline, In 2014, he totaled 68 SO and 54 BB in 74 games.  Exhale.

Although a different type of hitter than Billy Hamilton, he is a far better hitter than Hamilton at similar ages and levels.  His list of comparables includes Anthony Rizzo, Oscar Taveras, and Freddie Freeman.  Now that is really exciting news.  Of course there are naysayers out there.   Not everyone loves him, but you would be hard pressed to find any prospect list that didn’t have him in the top 50.

If scouting is your kind of thing, Ethan Purser had this to say:

The ceiling, while not incredibly high, is that of a B.J. Surhoff-type hitter in his prime, one who can hit for a .280-plus average with home run totals in the high-teens/low-twenties with plenty of gap power. Despite the lack of plus tools across the board and the left-field profile, that’s an above-average regular in today’s game. He’s only 20-years-old in the Southern League, and while he has struggled initially to adapt to the way pitchers are attacking him, I see Winker eventually adjusting and making his way to the majors at the end of the 2015 season.

B.J. Surhoff.  Are you freaking kidding me? That is wonderful.  Surhoff played 18 seasons in the majors and did this over his career: .282/.332/.413.  Those numbers include catching in over 700 games.  I believe Winker has more power than Surhoff and the plate discipline numbers he is putting up probably mean some of those singles will turn into doubles and some doubles will turn into home runs. The Reds starting left fielder slugged .375 in 2014.  It cannot get worse than that.

If this was some other organization, we may see Winker in the lineup sooner than later.  However, this is the Reds and we are probably going to have to suffer through at least 80 games or so of a retread before we get to Winker.   Here’s hoping Winker gets at bats very soon that matter in the MLB standings like this one.

The Big Pasta Trade

I didn’t even want to address the trade the Reds made with the Tigers.   Not that Alfredo Simon is untradeable, but its because the 2014 Reds team all to often seemed like a bunch of pushovers. Not Alfredo.  He won me over as a fan when he was the only one on the Reds bench who took serious exception to Tony Rizzo or whatever her name is.  His numbers are probably decieving and he is very likely to be overpaid very soon; but let those without swag cast the first tweet.  Alfredo Simon showed up and threw strikes everytime out.

What did the Reds get in return?  Probably just enough talent to agravate all the teenage girls  who think Zach Cozart is dreamy.  I am speaking of 22 year old shortstop Eugenio Suarez.

The folks up in Detroit aren’t thrilled with trade and that makes me feel better.  Everyone expects Simon to regress.  Well not everyone. There is that and maybe that alone is enough to try to unload him.

Maybe they haven’t seen the Reds play because by all accounts, Suarez could replace Cozart at some point:

Suarez had some spurts of success in 2014, but his overall numbers were not that impressive. Suarez possess a good glove and range, but his glove at times was suspect and his lack of big league experience really showed. Suarez will probably never be an All Star, but could be a nice bench piece for the Reds for years to come.

The Reds have a nice bench piece in Cozart.  Suarez is a player who strikes out twice as many times as he walks and has never hit more than 9 home runs in one season, at any level.

Nevermind, lets move on to the other piece the Reds got for Simon, pitching prospect, Jonathon Crawford.

Crawford was tabbed by several sources as the Tigers number 1 pitching prosepect (i’m not sold on that).  Crawford is another University of Florida pitcher, joining fello Gator, Anthony DeSclafani as new additions to the Reds pitching stable.  I’ve read reports that called Crawford’s performance at A ball “dominating.”  I do not agree.  He walked 50 batters in 123 innings and only struck out 85.  Decent numbers; but the league he pitched in has a few canyons as ball parks.

However you view Crawford, he is still seasons away from contributing.  He is the meat of the Simon deal but I don’t think he can hit or play left field.   The Tigers saw him as expendable because they do have a nice bunch of young arms.  I think one scout sums Crawford up perfectly:

The secondary stuff isn’t necessarily the issue, as far as I’m concerned. The slider is a true wipeout pitch, probably a 7, but I’m more worried about the velocity and the delivery. He’s really, really stiff, and the motion kind of reminds me of Tyson Ross with the short stride.

How will the Reds disapoint us next?  Will it be to bring in another Carmello Martinez?  Whoever it is, they missed out again.  And enjoy your weekend and don’t read this.

Later Latos

With Mat Latos the Reds had a 27 year old pitcher (born December 9) who started 81 games over the last 3 seasons.  Latos provided the Reds 8.6 (exceeding Jon Lester’s production) WAR for a little over $12 million during his time in Cincinnati.

Pros:  At only 27, Latos is in his prime and potentially has several quality seasons left.  He’s a power pitcher who doesn’t give up a lot of home runs.  Up until 2014, he was dependable and solid.  He had 33 wins for the Reds in those 81 starts.  He improved his physical condition when he became a Red, as he was chided on Twiter as “Fat Latos”.  Well, somewhere along the way he became a pitcher and started taking his job seriously.  In 2012, he was 15th in WAR among all MLB pitchers and in 2013 he was 27th. The Reds got ace production out of him for two seasons.

Cons:  Most recently, Latos was sidelined for 85 games in 2014.  He was shut down on September 8 with elbow inflammation. He missed spring training and the first 66 games of the regular season recovering from knee surgery he had in February. But most importantly for the Reds, Latos is going to be a free agent at the end of 2015.   The injuries could just be a temporary stumbling block or it could be a sign of things to come.

In 2013, Baseball Prospectus had this to say about Latos:

“Latos moved from the most pitcher-friendly ballpark in MLB to one of the least, and yet his numbers remained virtually unchanged. Of the 25 homers he allowed, 18 came at home. Of those, all but three came with the bases empty, thus limiting the damage. His overall numbers at GABP were slightly better than on the road. After starting out slowly for his new team, Latos dominated in the second half. He has been worked hard for someone his age, and last year he showed a curious tendency to wear down in the middle innings that hadn’t surfaced before. Assuming the workload doesn’t come back to bite him, Latos should remain at the front of a big-league rotation for the foreseeable future.”

So was the trade a good deal for the Reds or not?

My first thoughts are that the Marlins could get more for Latos next summer in a trade than they gave up to get him.  Jockety has a spotty record when it comes to dealing with pitchers.  Maybe Jockety still feels the pain from the Mark Mulder deal he made in St. Louis.  However, no one seems to miss Edison Volquez around here these days despite his 2014 revival with the Pirates (0-2 vs. Reds in 2014).  Yahoo! Sports says Volquez is seeking $20 million over 2 years.  Maybe Jockety is on to something.

In return for Latos the Reds acquired RHP Anthony DeSclafani and C-R Chad Wallach (Tim Wallach’s son).  DeSciafani is a Manziel like mIdget at 6’1 and Wallach is a light hitting 23 year old minor league A level catcher.

So lets just skip to DeSciafani.  The scary part is that you have to believe the Reds fully expect DeSclafani to compete for a rotation spot.  Otherwise, they just threw Latos away to save money.  So can DeSciafani contribute to the Reds next year? John Fay doesn’t think so but that guy is never right about anything and has more lately just become a megaphone for the Reds front office.

DeSciafani is 24 years and 7 months old today. He pitched in the majors last season for Miami, starting 5 games. The 5 walks in 33 MLB innings shows some control.  Most think he will end up as a reliever and describe him with adjectives such as, “aggressive” and “confident”.  Baseball Prospectus had him listed as Miami’s 6th best prospect.  He was originally drafted by Toronto out of the University of Florida.

Baseball Prospectus had this to say:

DeSclafani is one of those arms that consistently pitches with a high level of confidence in his stuff. He isn’t afraid to come right after and challenge hitters, avoiding spells of nibbling and trying to be too fine. When the stuff is more solid average than well above average, however, there needs to be some element of finesse to avoid working in spots that usually result in ringing contact around the yard. The right-hander ran into this during his call-up in 2014, especially when working as a starter. DeSclafani’s mentality and fastball-slider combo likely slot him into a relief role over the long run, where his heater can play up a tick in short bursts and his aggressive approach fits with getting two or three concentrated outs before handing the ball over to someone else. There is a chance that the 24-year-old can tone things down a bit and get enough out of the changeup to hang as a starter on a second-division team for the early portion of his career. The righty should be in line to log major-league time in 2015, in all likelihood consistently coming out of Miami’s bullpen at some point in the season.

If this is all you get for a top 30 starting pitcher, it must have been completely motivated by the almighty dollar.  That scares that daylights out me.  The Reds are in such a financial boondoggle that they have to just give Latos away?  Why not trade him at the deadline last season, or give him a chance at a comeback and trade him in 2015 if the wheels fall off again?  What am I missing?  Maybe Latos’ health is a bigger deal than we believe.

Don’t even look here.  That Matt Kemp deal will make you sick to be a Reds fan.