Tag: Logan Ondrusek

Dusty Baker: Your Cincinnati Reds World Series Window Is Closing

Dusty Baker‘s sweet tooth for giving guys chance after chance to prove themselves capable of a role which are not well suited has driven a many Reds‘ fan mad. There are times where conspiracy theories pop into our heads. “How is owner, Bob Castellini paying these doozy contracts?”

Bingo! He is in cahoots with Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia psych wards.

Patience is a luxury for teams in a neutral or rebuilding plan—not for a team that falls into the “Win Now!” category. And especially not for a ball club who has been in that mode going on three consecutive season. If something’s not working, one normally tries to fix it.

When your number two hitter, shortstop Zack Cozart, has an on-base percentage .031 points lower than the 2009 Reds’ lead-off man Willy Taveras, it’s time to tinker the lineup and hope to find an attractive alternative.

Say you have a slop pitcher in the pen who is hittable as a punching bag—like Logan Ondrusek. A sane team would take advantage of their minor league system and look for a more viable option.

Baker, year after year, has shown faith in lackluster players for remarkably extended periods of time. During his tenure as Reds’ skipper only once has he pulled a quick trigger; last season inserting Aroldis Chapman in as closer in place of Sean Marshall.

Cozart is an excellent glove at short. In no way is this advocating his removal from the starting lineup. But where do you see great fielders with low lumber numbers bat? Before the pitcher in the eight-hole—assuming you have no worse sticks.

Solution: Move Xavier Paul into the two slot against righties. Against lefties lead-off with Derrick Robinson and bat Shin-Soo Choo second. The results may or may not be better, but it’s at least worth a squint.

Will the ever-stubborn Reds’ manager try this? Not likely. Reds’ fans may see the Robinson/Choo experiment, but Baker’s bizarre phobia of placing lefties back-to-back in the line-up would surely prevent Paul batting after Choo.

As far as Ondrusek is concerned, ship him to Louisville and give Chad Reineke or Justin Freeman a ticket to the Queen City. Or just take a flyer and point and click. Anyone has a better chance than Ondrusek.

It was exciting to see Ondrusek start the year in AA Pensacola. That thrill died when it was greeted with the news that the only reason he was down there was to work with a pitching coach who had helped harness his control during his journey to Cincinnati.

If a pitcher needs help from a minor league coach after three unspectacular seasons in the majors, he most likely is not ready to don a big league uniform.

Noah Webster defines insanity as, “great folly; extreme senselessness.” Many people define it as, “Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.” Both cases fit Dusty Baker like a well worn Rawlings.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Cincinnati Reds Were Right to Reject Shane Victorino Deal

Next week’s MLB trade deadline is quickly approaching, and the Cincinnati Reds were right to turn down a trade for Philadelphia’s Shane Victorino.

On Monday, the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Paul Daugherty reported that a team insider claimed the team turned down a deal with the Phillies. The deal would have sent Victorino to Cincinnati in exchange for Reds reliever Logan Ondrusek.

As of July 24th, the Reds are 56-40 and own a 1.5 game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates for first place in the National League Central.

The Reds need someone to hit ahead of Joey Votto, and Victorino seemed like a logical fit. However, Cincinnati reportedly rejected the deal.

Did they make a mistake by not pulling the trigger? Easy answer: No.


Offensive Concerns

MLB.com lists Victorino as a .276 hitter with a .342 on-base percentage in his career. It sounds like a great fit, and Victorino has been a popular player in the league for several years. However, he is having the worst season of his career.  

Currently hitting .253, the switch-hitting outfielder is not an improvement over center fielder Drew Stubbs and reserve outfielder Chris Heisey.

Stubbs is currently hitting .220, but he dealt with an injury earlier this season. Stubbs is also having a career-worst season and went through an 0-for-32 stretch, but he has been getting on base more recently.

His speed is great, and he is arguably the most valuable player to the team. The Reds are 33-2 when Stubbs scores a run.

Chris Heisey is hitting .275 this season, and he usually hits near the top of the lineup when he plays. The team would be better off letting Heisey play rather than acquiring a declining Victorino.

Virtually all of Victorino’s numbers are down, and he is not the same player he used to be. The 31-year-old outfielder does not provide the Reds with anything they do not already have.

If the Reds are serious about trading for a leadoff hitter, they need to find a player with a higher batting average and on-base percentage.



Based on MLB.com’s numbers, the Reds have the best bullpen in the majors. Since Great American Ball Park is the most homer-friendly stadium in baseball, that accomplishment looks even better.

When Cincinnati has a lead late in the game, it is nearly impossible to do anything against their bullpen. Ondrusek, Sean Marshall and Aroldis Chapman are great at shutting teams down to end games. 

Ondrusek is used in the seventh or eighth inning to keep the lead intact. Outside of an ugly appearance in May against the New York Mets, Ondrusek has been great out of the bullpen.


He is 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 36.2 innings pitched this season, and he is starting to heat up again.

It took him until his 18th appearance to allow a run, and it ended up being his worst game of the season. Outside of the May 17th game against the Mets where he allowed five runs, his ERA is 1.51 in 42 other games.

With the ability to get ground balls, Ondrusek is also used to get other pitchers out of jams—he is able to come into bases loaded situations and get hitters out in late-game situations.

He has proven to be a durable pitcher in his career and has made at least 60 appearances in consecutive seasons.

When he enters a game, he occasionally pitches more than one inning. In five appearances in which he has pitched more than one inning this season, he has yet to allow a run. A reliever who can pitch multiple innings helps save the rest of the bullpen.

When Marshall or Chapman are unavailable, Ondrusek steps into the vacant role with ease.

However, the team struggles to replace Ondrusek when he is not available. Jose Arredondo, Sam LeCure and Bill Bray have all been used in key situations this season, and they all have failed to consistently stay out of jams or get the team out of tough spots.

Former setup man Nick Masset is currently rehabbing, but there is no guarantee he will pitch the way he has in the past.

Cincinnati was smart to hold on to Ondrusek because they know they have a reliable pitcher to help close out games.



CSNPhilly.com’s Leslie Gudel reported earlier this year that Victorino’s contract situation has affected his play. He hopes to remain with Philadelphia, so this trade would have resulted in only two months of his services.

When the season ends, he will listen to offers from Philadelphia and other teams in free agency. With no guarantee of him being productive for the rest of this season or re-signing for next season, it would be a short-term gamble for the Reds.

On the other hand, Ondrusek is under team control through 2016 and at a reasonable salary ($492,500 in 2012).

The 27-year-old reliever will be a stable in the bullpen for years to come, so the team decided to keep him for a cheap salary.



Although some fans will not agree, Victorino is not worth giving up Ondrusek. 

An outfielder on the decline will not give the team a better chance to win this year, but the young reliever gives the team the ability to close games out. 

Cincinnati needs its leadoff hitters to get on base more, but the Reds do not need to make a deal that involves giving up a key member of their team.

The team rarely makes a deal for a rental player, and they continue to build with young players. While the team looks to improve their roster this season, they will look to add players who will contribute in the future as well.

The Reds look poised to make the playoffs, so the team was right to nix this deal. 

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Should the Cincinnati Reds Try to Get Chicago White Sox Ace Mark Buehrle?

It is well-documented how the Cincinnati Reds starting pitching has been a grave, I said grave disappointment. And when I say grave I am talking about sending them to the basement grave. It’ll sink you like a stone, son.

That is the way Foghorn Leghorn would report it. With all the injuries, lack of an ace and inexperience, the Reds are looking up from three floors down right now.

In the humble opinion of this writer, it is time to lure someone’s ace away from them. Lord knows we have young talent that would commence most GMs salivating.

Southpaw ace Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox would attract my attention. According to MLB Trade Rumors he will be freed up after this season. Not yet considered old, but certainly experienced at 32, he could be just what the doctor ordered.

He is currently being paid $14M for the Southside boys and that stings. But hey, you have to spend money to make money.

Buehrle has some good credentials. He is 10th in wins among active pitchers with 154 and has a career ERA of 3.85. He also has the best interleague record of any pitcher with a 24-6 mark, which means he tears up NL hitters.

Did I forget to mention he threw a perfect game in 2009? It looks good on his resume right beside his 2007 no-hitter.

What would the Reds have to part with to sign such a pitcher? They are in need of relief pitching, what have we got to give them?

How about the big guy, Logan Ondrusek? Don’t cry Reds Nation, we are trying to get a stud ace here. That alone would not satisfy the White Sox Muckety Mucks, I can assure you.

How else could we sweeten the pot? How about we throw in a couple of guys for good measure? For example, we could unload, er…I mean throw in Paul Janish and Wily Mo Francisco. O, my bad, Juan Francisco.

Look at that, we have now made room for Zack Cozart to pop up his head and see if there is a shadow. The 25-year-old is only getting older at Louisville, and his .327/.366/.509 numbers cry out for attention.

And about Francisco, do any of you think he actually has a future in Cincinnati? Just like W.M. Pena, if you love 5:00 upper deck shots, he is your boy.

Do you think that is enough to lure him from the White Sox? With Paulie Konerko making $12M, Alex Rios making $12.5M, Adam Dunn $12M, and I almost forget Jake Peavy and his $16M, do you think they want to keep all of that debt?

If that isn’t enough, we have more to sacrifice if necessary. Maybe we would throw in reliever Jordan Smith, provided they would give us a live body.

The Reds have many young guns, but to make a playoff run, we need an ace and we do not have one. We didn’t pick up the option on ours and he is now 7-2 with a 3.71 ERA at San Diego.

You aren’t thinking we should try to pick up Aaron Harang for cheap now are you?

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