At least once a month I reach out to supporters of the site over on Patreon (you can sign up to support the site right here, and get a few cool perks that come with it) for questions for the mailbag. Let’s jump right on in!
You get two moves to improve the Reds, one pitcher and one position player. What pitcher do you bring up and who do you send down? What position player do you bring up and who do you send down?
The position player thing is easy: Nick Senzel. I’ve written enough about him and what he can do that I’m not going to expand on that one. Sending down – well, I’d just move to a 7-man bullpen. But you didn’t give me that option, so I’d go with Kyle Farmer. He simply isn’t getting much time right now as it is, and call me crazy – but I just don’t worry about the sub 1% chance that if I use my backup catcher as a pinch hitter that the starter gets hurt after that and we have no catcher. I’m not letting that scenario dictate the roster.
With the pitcher I think there’s a lot of arguments that could be made for who to call up. Whether it’s Sal Romano, Cody Reed, Lucas Sims, Jimmy Herget – all would be acceptable answers. But since you are making me pick, I’ll take Sal Romano. As for who to send out, since the team isn’t going to seemingly use Zach Duke as a LOOGY, it’s him. Easy to spend the money of Bob Castellini here, but Duke isn’t eating up a ton of salary at this point, either.
While this primarily applies to the big club, I would like to hear more of your thoughts and analysis on the 13 man pitching staff and its impact on the players who are either in AAA or on the MLB bench. It would also be fun to hear if you think it will stick around and how that will alter player development (i.e. more players who hit less well but field more positions competently like Farmer).
I touched on it a tad above – I don’t like it. Especially since there are more than a few guys in the bullpen who are more than 1-inning relievers. It holds the bench hostage. I think that it’s going to last. David Bell talked about it when the spring began and we’re still seeing it. Time will tell, but I think it’ll tell us that it’s around to stay.
I don’t think it’s doing much to alter development. What it’s doing is keeping a position player in the minors, playing every day, who otherwise would be in Cincinnati sitting on the bench. Essentially, it’s keeping whoever would be the 25th man on the roster, the last guy off of the bench, in the minors. While that sucks for that player for a multitude of reasons, I don’t think that from a developmental standpoint, it’s altering much of anything. It’s altering his bank account and pension.
How much patience will they have with Duke? Who in AAA or elsewhere is on the radar to replace him? Does it even have to be a LOOGY if they are willing to trust Wandy Peralta more to throw strikes like the other night (guy like Bass has been solid in 9 innings)?
I kind of addressed this one above. That said, I think they’ll give Zach Duke a longer leash than many fans would. But I really do wish we’d stop seeing him pitch against right-handed hitters, even though he’s been more successful against them this season in the absolute smallest of sample sizes. I’d bring up Romano, but if they are dead set on a lefty – then it’s going to be Cody Reed, and I’d have no problem with that at all.
Opposite question for Nick Senzel… reported he’s playing in AZ, if he’s back in a few weeks who gets the boot and how does the outfield shuffle? Same question for Alex Wood and Scooter Gennett.
This question was submitted before we found out that Senzel would be joining Louisville on Tuesday. It will be interesting to see what they do in regards to who goes down when they call Senzel up. Kyle Farmer and Scott Schebler have to be the guys you’re looking at. Schebler more so due to the fact that in the outfield it comes down to he and Matt Kemp, and only one of them can be sent down. Fair or unfair, stuff like that matters.
With Alex Wood, assuming no one else is injured between now and then, it’s likely going to be Tyler Mahle or Anthony DeSclafani. Though if they do decide to keep Mahle in the rotation it wouldn’t surprise me if DeSclafani was just pushed to the bullpen and maybe a reliever is sent out. Gennett is too far out to really know. They may have traded Matt Kemp by the time Gennett is ready. If not, things get a lot more interesting in terms of what move they would make. But that’s still at least six weeks out and without knowing the roster at that time, it’s really tough to know.
Do you think Taylor Trammell will be a center fielder or will his arm tool relegate him to the corner? Is 2020 still realistic or if he keeps mashing could we see him this year?
I’ve said it time and time again, and I’ll keep saying it until I’m blue in the face: For me, range and converting fly balls into outs is far more important than saving a base on hits that were hits no matter what. Taylor Trammell has plenty of range in center, and while his arm isn’t ideal for the position – give me the range over the arm every day of the week. I would personally have no issue at all playing him out there every single day. With that said, I’ve talked with more than a few scouts who wouldn’t because they put more value on the arm than I do. But I also remember Johnny Damon’s noodle-arm playing center for a decade, and Trammell’s arm is significantly better than that.
It’s tough to see where Trammell would get called up this season, especially before very late in the year. The outfield is already full. And it’s tough to see how one of Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel, or Yasiel Puig get benched. Injuries happen, of course, and there’s a chance that Puig is moved near the deadline and a spot opens up. If that latter situation plays out, then it wouldn’t be completely shocking if he got called up in August – but I still think it’s safe to assume you’re looking more at a 2020 timeline.
Why is Beltre still in extended spring training? Is the pitcher Diomar Lopez from the Matt Wisler in extended spring training as well? Is he considered a legit prospect?
Michael Beltre was dealing with a non-injury medical situation in the spring, and is catching up on missed time. Expect him to be back on the field for a team soon. As far as I know, Lopez is back in Goodyear in extended spring. As far as being a legit prospect, I guess that depends on what you mean when you say that. He’s got a fastball that’s touched 97, though he usually doesn’t throw that hard. And the stats have been good, though he’s always been old for the level he’s at. He’s definitely someone to keep an eye on, but he’s also not a guy that’s a Top 25 organizational prospect at this point either.