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Behind Enemy Lines: Rematch Q&A with Red Reporter

This time we didn’t mention Joey Votto even once!

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Cincinnati Reds Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds might very well be the team that kick-started the Tigers downward slide this season. After a red-hot run thanks to the Rally Goose, it was a two-game sweep at the hands of the Reds that seemed to rock the boat enough for the Tigers to lose their momentum.

Now the Reds are headed to Detroit, and if anything they’ve only gotten better since the last time the Tigers saw them. So we chatted with Wick Terrell, managing editor of the SB Nation Reds blog Red Reporter about the looming trade deadline, the Reds future, and what’s going so right for them lately.

And not a single question about Joey Votto wanting to drive a school bus.

BYB: It’s deadline day! Do you think the Reds move anyone? Do you expect the Reds to spend or trade toward making a push next season?

WT: The Adam Duvall trade last night was mildly surprising, mostly due to how little buzz around it there was before was done. The Cincinnati front office has largely been devoted to keeping things super close to the vest, and that was certainly the case here. That said, I still expect Matt Harvey to be moved at some point today — to Seattle, perhaps — but that’s likely all we’ll see at this time.

I think the return for Duvall does show the Reds are planning on a push for next season, since they took back three members of Atlanta’s 40-man roster — MLB ready players, not just prospects for the future. I’d love to see them make an opportunistic addition like the Rays just did with Pham — ideally a pitcher, though — but I imagine we’ll have to wait until Winter to see that actually happen.

Has Jim Riggleman made some kind of an adjustment recently? What is leading to this surge of success? And no I’m not kidding, I’ve been really impressed with the Reds lately.

The Reds are 45-43 since Jim Riggleman took over, but more importantly, they’re 40-31 over their previous 71 games. That latter mark has largely coincided with a few very important things: the acquisition of Matt Harvey, and the return from early DL stints by the large group of Eugenio Suarez, Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen, David Hernandez, and Scott Schebler — though Schebler recently landed back on the DL again.

Fact is, when this group of Reds is all healthy and together, they’re actually a pretty danged talented team, albeit still a bit short on proven starting pitching. Their offense is solid, their defense is upper-tier good, and their bullpen has largely been a rock since getting those key arms back (and jettisoning the likes of Yovani Gallardo & Co. who were filling in for them.)

What do you do with Matt Harvey this offseason?

I think Harvey has enjoyed his time with the Reds, or at least that’s what he’s said publicly. Even if he is inevitably traded today — or in the August waiver-trade period — I could certainly see the Reds having some interest in signing him in free agency this winter, though there’s also a pretty large glut of MLB ready arms on the roster for spots, too. I think it’s most likely he’s in another uniform in 2019, though, since while I do believe the Reds will be in the market for adding a starter this winter, it’ll be via trade - and for an arm that’s a bit more ace-ish than Harvey is at the moment.

Can we have Eugenio Suarez back?


(Eugenio is having a freaking monster year, of course. Thanks for that!)

Do you think (like I do) that the Reds are going to move out of last place before the end of the season?

With St. Louis firing Mike Matheny, exiling their entire bullpen, and trading away Tommy Pham today, I could certainly see the Reds catching them by season’s end. Catching up to the Pirates might be within reason, too, should they ever cool off.

The fact is, their brutal 3-18 start to the season will likely torpedo any real chance of them climbing the standings, but I’ll hold firm to one bit of opinion about them: they might finish last in the 2018 standings in the NL Central at season’s end, but they will be far from the worst team in the division at that point. They’re turning into a damn decent team with a lot of controllable upside, and I’d bet on as much in 2019, too.

Thanks to Wick for taking the time to chat with us, you can read more of his work over at Red Reporter.