The Reds’ problem-Shining Cincy on the hill

(Frederick Krauss Ph.D. / Da Cubs Project)

Cincinnati pitching is often far behind both the rest of baseball and the offense of the team. The Reds had few great pitchers to call their own throughout their long history, which dates back to 1869, as they were the first professional ballclub.

The fact of the matter is that while the Reds have had great pitchers, most of them were relievers, which only translates to scoreless sixths, sevenths, eighths and ninths; it doesn’t prevent seven runs from being scored by the third inning, which happens a lot to the Queen City’s team. Even just in the last 30 years, the biggest names from the mound were Rob Dibble, Aroldis Chapman and Raisel Iglesias… all closers who were great for Cincy for a couple of years, but then retired, left, or did whatever will happen with Iglesias.

“Ay, there’s the rub,” said the great poet and playwright, William Shakespeare, and there is the rub: the Reds could have the best bullpen in baseball history, but their starting rotation can’t keep their earned run averages under 3.00! Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer said, “If I’m running a baseball organization, I have my best teachers in those places, not up here or in the high minors. I pay them like major league coaches, not $65K a year, and I collaborate with them to develop a Reds Way that has less to do with velocity than with learning how to pitch.”

Daugherty has the right mindset on the matter, for the Reds keep trying to fix their pitching next to manager Bryan Price at the Major League level. That works if Amir Garrett is slumping or Tim Adleman is returning from injury and is having some trouble in his first couple games back, but it doesn’t work if the team is trying to get Sal Romano to MLB quality pitching, in the Majors!

Now, of course, if the Redlegs are looking to have one great season and win a championship then be back to being mediocre, they trade half their prospects for Justin Verlander, David Price and Yu Darvish-like pitchers. The other option is trading their aging stars for prospects, like they did with Brandon Phillips.

One example is the Boston Red Sox: ever since David Ortiz retired and Hanley Ramirez starting playing first base, Sam Travis and Mitch Moreland have been playing there, but the BoSox would be much, much happier trading pitching prospects Jay Groome and Alex Scherff for Joey Votto. Votto would be perfect for Fenway Park; he hits the ball everywhere on the field and has one the best gloves in the game. According to Baseball-Reference, Votto is sixth in the league and first among first basemen in wins above replacement (WAR).

WAR is a statistic that shows essentially who is most valuable to their team; the Most Valuable Player Award is given to the player with the best WAR, usually. Votto, statistically speaking, is the most valuable first baseman in all of baseball. That’s a pretty sweet way to make him sound in trade negotiations.

Cincinnati is a team in desperate need of good pitching. They have Hunter Green making his way through the Minor Leagues, but their offense is good enough that if they were willing to trade a young prospect or two, they could obtain some real quality veteran pitching.


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