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Lance McAlister

Show 3-6pm: Walt walks the tightrope, Bengals, and more

 
Posted July 18th, 2014 @ 8:25am

Show preview
3:05, ESPN 1530
6:05, Inside Pitch, 700 WLW
Guests
Phil Castellini, Reds COO
John Erardi,
 Enquirer, 3:30
Anthony Castrovince, MLB.com 'Wide open playoff picture calming playoff swell'
Topics
Reds: Would you bet on this team to make the playoffs? What help do they need?
Bengals

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Crosley Field Site Tours Saturday
Join the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum for walking tours of the site of old Crosley Field on Saturday, July 19th. Crosley Field was the Reds home field from 1912 through June 24, 1970. There will be seven different tour times (starting at 11 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m.) led by Reds Team Historian Greg Rhodes and Reds Museum Curator Chris Eckes.
Cincinnati, OH 45214.
During the event there will be an opportunity to meet Crosley-Era players including Leo Cardenas (signing autographs from 12pm – 2pm) and Tommy Helms (signing autographs from 11am – 1pm).
Adult tickets are $35 and student tickets are $20 each.
Each tour ticket includes free hot dogs, a complimentary Ted Kluszewski collectible bronze statue and Scotts Great American Ball Park tour ticket voucher. 
Order tickets HERE.

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Reds

Then and now
2013: 413 runs scored, 350 runs allowed.......Record: 53-42
2014: 377 runs scored, 349 runs allowed.......Record: 51-44

Video: Reds vs Yankees in 1939, 1961 and 1976 World Series

Did you miss the Joe Nuxhall tribute? HERE is classic audio.

CBS: Looking at strength of schedule for 2nd half

Marlins say they want to keep Giancarlo Stanton for the long haul, do they mean it?

The balancing act
With 13 days to the trade deadline, Walt Jocketty is on a tightrope, walking the fine line between now and the future. Can the Reds afford to trade prospects to help the moment? If they do, how much harm could it do to the Reds future?
The Reds went "all in" in 2012. They traded four prospects for Mat Latos and three prospects for Sean Marshall. They traded two more prospects at the deadline to get Jonathan Broxton.  What did it net the Reds? Back to back playoff appearances for the first time since 1975-76, but no postseason success. The moves also gutted the upper levels of the farm system.  Can the Reds do that again? Can they afford not to?
I often joke that teams don't choose the year they contend, the Baseball Gods choose them. There are no guarantees. I don't know where the Reds will be in the standings next year or the year after. I do know for a fact that the Reds are 1.5 games out of first place, "in it" right now, in a wide open season. I also know the Reds have outstanding starting pitching and defense that I'd stack up vs any team in the postseason. But the Reds are short on offense, and are currently down two starting position players. They need help.
The Reds have quality young arms in the system, Robert Stephenson, Michael Lorenzen, Ben Lively, Nick Howard, Raciel Iglesias. But the Reds also face the possibility of four starting pitchers departing as free agents following the 2015 season: Cueto, Latos, Leake and Simon. I think it's safe to say the Reds would be very lucky to keep Cueto and Leake.
If the Reds are facing the possibilities of losing multiple starting pitchers after 2015, does that raise the pressure to do something now, because it is lowering the window of opportunity or does it signal a need to keep prospects?
Maybe the Reds trade Latos and/or Simon, maybe one/both walk in free agency after 2015. I have no idea. But whichever pitcher(s) depart, will need to be replaced by young, cheap options. If Walt trades young arms now, who do they plug and pitch in 2016?
Stephenson and OF Jesse Winker are considered the Reds top prospects.
In a perfect world, Stephenson is in the starting rotation in 2016 and Winker is in LF.
The Reds didn't invest $30M in Iglesias to deal him right now, he stays.
Howard was just drafted, so he can't be traded, he stays. That leaves Lorenzen and Lively. I'd put them on the hook and fish. How big a fish could one/both land? No idea.
I do know Walt can't stand down at the deadline. He did it last year and it cost the Reds. I continue to maintain these players have earned help from Walt. He can't leave them hanging. Having said all of this, there are still the issue of an unsettled trade market, with few sellers actually determined, and the matter of $$$ and if/how much Bob Castellini is willing to take on in a deal?
How would you like to be Walt on that tightrope?

Reds: Right here, right now?

From listener Johnny:
Question from last night...Are the Reds good enough to make the playoffs as is...I say yes.   Why, pitching & defense. 
Yes, there's concerns with the absence of Votto and Phillips, and we've seen some of that already defensively.  But other teams also have weaknesses that are showing.   Could we use some help? Yes, but at what price??  I think the #1 goal of this team isn't to win this year's world series.  Some would scoff at that comment. But I think Walt is looking big picture with the franchise.  He's looking at continuing a blue print where we're not the worst team in baseball by depleting the minor leagues year after year to chase a ring.  If you want to acquire help for the stretch, the asking price will include Jesse Winker and Robert Stevenson. The Reds simply can't trade them.  Two years from now, they will be on your 25 man roster. 
-Johnny

Bruuuuuuuuuuuce?
Which Reds player is capable of doing the most in the 2nd half?: Jay Bruce.
And he better. I think it's fair to expect Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco to regress from their first half performances. I worry about Billy Hamilton getting worn down in the second half. I don't think anyone believes Zack Cozart can carry this team in the second half. I would hesitate to believe Brandon Phillips and/or Joey Votto can put the Reds on their shoulders and carry them in the second half. That leaves Ryan Ludwick and Jay Bruce for the conversation. Ludwick certainly carried the Reds during Votto's absence in 2012. But that was two years ago, one shoulder surgery ago and Ludwick is now 35-years old. He has hit well since Bryan Price opened the LF job to competition:  28 games/21 starts: .318-.363-.518-.880, 3 HR, 9 RBI.
But the guy that can get hot and can carry the Reds is Bruce. He's got 67 games, and he has to be dynamite for a big chunk of those games and pretty damn good in the rest of the games. He struggled in April/May with the knee, got into a groove in June and has done little in July.
Bruce 2014:
May: .146-222-.171-.393 (45 plate appearances)
June: .300-.351-540-.891 (112 plate appearances)
July: .170-.204-.383-.587 (49 plate appearances)
When Jay is hot, Jay is white hot....and with Votto and Phillips out, the Reds need that.
Bruce hot streaks/months:
2010: August 1 to end regular season:
.349 BA, 1.162 OPS, 15 HR, 29 RBI, 41 games
2013: May 1 to June 30:
.292/.946, 17 HR, 45 RBI, 53 games
2012: August:
.290/.949, 7 HR, 21 RBI
2012: April
.296/.954, 7 HR, 17 RBI

(Getty Images)

Trade targets for every team
The Sporting News 
Cincinnati Reds: Ben Zobrist
Cincinnati doesn’t need any rotation help (ace in Johnny Cueto, excellent supporting cast is ideal for a playoff run) and that bullpen’s pretty solid, too. But Joey Votto is out indefinitely (at least a month, likely) and Brandon Phillips is out for at least the next month. Zobrist is an outstanding second baseman, and he can easily fill in for Votto at first base when needed, too. Plus, he’s insurance at pretty much every other position should that injury bug keep chomping on the club. Bonus: he won’t cost top prospect Robert Stephenson.

Down on the Farm
Jack Hannahan continued to his rehab assignment at Triple-A last night.
He was 0-3 with an RBI for the Louisville Bats. He is 4 for 15, including his four games with Dayton.

  • Cincinnati doesn’t need any rotation help (ace in Johnny Cueto, excellent supporting cast is ideal for a playoff run) and that bullpen’s pretty solid, too. But Joey Votto is out indefinitely (at least a month, likely) and Brandon Phillips is out for at least the next month. Zobrist is an outstanding second baseman, and he can easily fill in for Votto at first base when needed, too. Plus, he’s insurance at pretty much every other position should that injury bug keep chomping on the club. Bonus: he won’t cost top prospect Robert Stephenson.

     

  • Cincinnati doesn’t need any rotation help (ace in Johnny Cueto, excellent supporting cast is ideal for a playoff run) and that bullpen’s pretty solid, too. But Joey Votto is out indefinitely (at least a month, likely) and Brandon Phillips is out for at least the next month. Zobrist is an outstanding second baseman, and he can easily fill in for Votto at first base when needed, too. Plus, he’s insurance at pretty much every other position should that injury bug keep chomping on the club. Bonus: he won’t cost top prospect Robert Stephenson.

     

  • Cincinnati doesn’t need any rotation help (ace in Johnny Cueto, excellent supporting cast is ideal for a playoff run) and that bullpen’s pretty solid, too. But Joey Votto is out indefinitely (at least a month, likely) and Brandon Phillips is out for at least the next month. Zobrist is an outstanding second baseman, and he can easily fill in for Votto at first base when needed, too. Plus, he’s insurance at pretty much every other position should that injury bug keep chomping on the club. Bonus: he won’t cost top prospect Robert Stephenson.

     

MLB

Arroyo, other Diamondbacks jam in new 'Rock Room'
AZCentral.com
"We don't quite have a band yet, but it's a great jam, man," said Arroyo, who has been heavily involved in the music scene since he first picked up a guitar in the minor leagues. "I came in here one night after I pitched on the road, and I played until 4 o'clock in the morning. I got here at 1 and just played for three hours by myself in my suit, just sweating like a pig. It was great.

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