Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Lean Times on the Horizon for Reds

by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

With the loss to Cleveland on Monday night, the Reds stand at 15-23 and a paltry 3-13 on the road. The Reds bullpen woes continue and the starters, aside from Dan Straily, continue to be inconsistent. Besides Straily, reliever Blake Wood and the injured Rasiel Iglesias, the Reds have had no consistency at all in their pitching staff. It has been abysmal and there is no end in sight.

Even if Homer Bailey came back today, what can we realistically expect him to do? We all know that Homer is no Johnny Cueto, so how much help is coming actually? Not enough to change this season around, unfortunately.

We have found out last year that rebuilding is heck. And into the future could be a heck of a long rebuild. The Houston Astros went through the same the thing the Reds are getting ready to go through now. The Astros last winning season before last year was 2008 when they went 86-75. They began a slow rebuilding process that resulted in 74 wins in 2009 and 76 wins in 2010. They went into high rebuilding gear in 2011 when they were horrible for three seasons. In 2011, they were 56-106, in 2012 they were 55-107, and in 2013 they were 51-111. Those three seasons led them to last year when they surprised everyone by winning a wild card berth at 86-76. They stock piled draft choices and young players for six years and the result was 86 wins in 2015. Was it worth it? So far this year they have regressed backward. They have a worse record than the Reds at 15-24 so far this year.

My point is that the Reds plan looks a lot like the Astros plan. And I believe if it were not for Votto, Phillips, Suarez, Bruce and Bailey the Reds would be staring at repeating the 2011 through '13 Astros who were just a double A team trying to compete. I think the Reds will have enough talent to keep from losing 105 or more games but not enough to keep from losing 90 to 95 games a year which is what we are looking at each year for a while I’m afraid. If the Reds eventually get rid of every veteran as the Astros did then you could see a repeat of the Astros. Oh my!

The Reds were not awful but certainly not very good from 2001 to 2009. They lost 96, 93 and 90 games at the worst and never won more than 80 at their best. The scary thing is that it those teams may be better than what is coming for the Reds in the next few years.

Sorry, I wish I could be more positive and you never know what can happen but I don’t see the optimism that others do. I don’t like the word potential. By the time a pitcher is 25 or 26 he usually is what he is. Only Warren Spahn of the Braves, the Hall of Fame pitcher from the 40’s and 50’s was a true late bloomer. He won only 8 games before the age of 26. He went on to win 355 games after that.

I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see a Warren Spahn on this Reds staff.

Until next time,

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