Reds prospect Hunter Greene, the No. 2 pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, discusses his rehab and recovery from a sprained ligament in his right elbow.
Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati Enquirer
Let’s take a break from the manager search talk.
I’ve been watching the Championship Series through the lens of Cincinnati Reds beat writer, meaning I’m thinking: How does what’s happening apply to the Reds?
The biggest question is could the Reds do what the Brewers are doing and abandon pitching roles in favor of the “out-getter” concept?
Short answer: No, unless the Brewers are willing to trade Josh Hader to the Reds. Hader, the left-hander strikeout machine, is the key allowing the Brewers to turn every game into a bullpen game.
The other thing to note is that the Brewers got to the postseason using a much more conventional approach. Jhoulys Chacin won 15 games and threw 192 2/3 innings. Chase Anderson threw 158 innings. Wade Miley went five or more in 13 of his 16 starts.
The Brewers have done what they’ve done in the playoffs out of necessity, and it’s been effective thanks partly to the off days you get in the postseason.
It’s the way baseball is going because there are so few dominant starters. (Well, you could replace dominant with decent in that sentence.)
I think the Reds will rely more heavily on the bullpen no matter who gets the managerial job. You’ll see what you saw after Jim Riggleman took over from the beginning of the season. To make that work, the Reds have to consider keeping Michael Lorenzen in the bullpen and making Amir Garrett a multiple-inning out-getter.
HADER-CHAPPY: There’s long been a debate about why the Reds didn’t stick to the plan and make Aroldis Chapman a starter.
Chapman’s personality and style were more suited for the bullpen in my estimation. But what if the Reds had used him like Hader? My guess is things might have turned out differently in 2012, ’13 and ’14.
1990 ALL OVER AGAIN: What Craig Counsell did with Miley in Game 5 gave me a 1990 flashback. Counsell pulled Miley, a left-hander, after one batter to bring in right-right-hander Brandon Woodruff to face Dodgers’ right-handed heavy lineup.
It worked to a degree, but the Brewers still ended up losing.
In 1990, Pittsburgh manager Jim Leyland announced that left-hander Zane Smith would start Game 6 of NLCS against the Reds. Right-hander Ted Power started instead — his first start of the year — before giving away to Smith.
It worked to a degree, but the Pirates still ended up losing.
PLAYING DYLAN: Dylan Floro is one of the feel-good stories of the 2018 season. The 27-year-old right-hander came to Reds camp on a minor-league deal. He got called up April 13 because the team needed an arm. He pitched mostly mop-up for the Reds until he proved so effective that he earned higher-leverage spots.
Now, he’s pitching in NLCS. He had 3 2/3 scoreless going into Game 6. He went 3-1 with a 1.63 ERA after the Reds traded him to the Dodgers.
My lasting memory of Floro as a Red: It was early in camp, I didn’t even know who he was. I was talking to a friend who brought his daughter to the workout. She had a ball she wanted to be signed but was too shy to ask. Floro came walking by and sensed it. He signed and gave the rest of relievers in his group a come-dude-sign look. They obliged.
BENINTENDI REVISITED: Andrew Benintendi says he wasn’t ready for pro baseball when the Reds drafted him in the 31st round out of Madeira High School in 2013, and the Reds would have been foolish to pay a slightly-built high schooler the kind of money he wanted.
But, man, if they had.
Benintendi’s catch in Game 5 will live forever in Boston Red Sox history, but the kid is just a really fine player. He does everything well.
READER (E)MAIL: Dave C. asks: I wonder if it is possible that the Reds front office would get off the St. Louis approach and look more toward the way Houston and Milwaukee do business. Specifically, they trade prospects for proven major leaguers. The Reds record speaks for itself in trading big leaguers for prospects. It seems to me that Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel, Shed Long, Dilson Herrera, and Taylor Trammell singly or in combination would net a No. 2 starter to shore up a middling rotation.
Answer: I think it would be a mistake to try to rush the rebuild at this point. I would not trade Winker, Senzel or Trammell.
In 2008, the Reds very nearly traded Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey to Baltimore for Eric Bedard. Had they done that, the one good run in the last 25 years would have never happened.