After sticking his foot in his mouth in spring training, Mat Latos showed why the Reds let him go so cheap; his 4-7 record and 4.48 ERA didn’t even cut it in Miami. He was traded to the Dodgers in June, only to be released in September after posting a 6.66 ERA in six games.
The Angels evidently didn’t care about his consistent failures this year, and picked him up for the stretch. In two relief appearances with the Halos, Latos put up a 4.51 ERA. He is a free agent now, and it will be interesting to see if anyone wants to give him another shot.
Reds fans knew at least one starting pitcher would be dealt during the off-season. Johnny Cueto, the ace, and Homer Bailey, with his long-term contract, were not likely candidates to depart Cincinnati. Mat Latos and Mike Leake were the two most talked about possibilities (perhaps because everyone forgot about Alfredo Simon, despite his stellar first half in 2014). Leake will stay put with the Reds; Simon is now a Tiger; Latos returns to his home state of Florida for the 2015 season.
I believe the Reds gave up too much for Latos in 2011, even though the four players sent to San Diego have not amounted to much. Sure, Edinson Volquez had a nice year with Pittsburgh in 2014, but that was after five subpar seasons. I hope Kansas City gets their money’s worth for him. Back to Latos, though. I believe the Reds bought high and sold way too low. The biggest problem Cincinnati faced during the off-season was left field, but that problem was ignored in both trades. They unloaded payroll without adding much talent.
Getting rid of Latos’ salary was important, especially if they are able to put some of that cash toward retaining Cueto, but the failure to address the current or future personnel needs of the organization is troubling.
Also troubling is the interview published by Ken Rosenthal on FoxSports.com over the weekend. Latos spoke with the writer about leadership issues that he saw within the Reds clubhouse after the departures of Bronson Arroyo and Scott Rolen. However, the pitcher did not indicate that he tried to address those issues while he wore the Cincinnati uniform.
“When Scott was there, we had guys doing exactly what they were supposed to do. After Scott left, we had guys with two years in the big leagues, in the clubhouse, on their phones, laying down in the video room, just hanging out during games, not in the dugout, not cheering their teammates on. Our dugout looked like a ghost town. After Bronson, the same exact thing. We had starters in there roping our (clubhouse attendants), like, cattle-roping our clubbies. Guys on their computers, buying stuff, hanging out in the clubhouse. We had a guy with a year-and-a-half in the big leagues wandering around the clubhouse, hanging out. We had a closer in there sleeping until the seventh inning.”
The Reds had several players that could have (and apparently should have) stepped up and put a stop to this behavior. Homer Bailey, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Ryan Ludwick—all veterans with experience who should be teaching the younger guys the proper way to act in the big leagues. This is definitely an issue that Bryan Price must address during spring training, but it is up to the players to enforce it during the season.
I again question Latos’ willingness to address problems with his former team, but failing to act while he was here. That kind of openness is generally frowned upon by management, and the Bledsoe Brothers might want to address that with their client so he doesn’t diminish his free agent value when the 2015 season ends.
Thursday was an active day in baseball with several high-profile players changing teams, including Matt Kemp and Yoenis Cespedes. Unfortunately, the Cincinnati Reds did not land either of those sluggers to fill the emptiness that is left field. Despite failing to address the biggest need on the team, Walt Jocketty traded starting pitchers Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon, picking up four youngsters from the Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers in exchange.
Eugenio Suarez, Jonathon Crawford, Anthony DeSclafani, Chad Wallach are the newest members of the Reds organization. Crawford was Detroit’s first-round draft pick in 2013 and posted a 2.85 ERA in 23 starts for the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2014. Wallach has baseball in his blood; his father is Tim Wallach, the five-time All-Star third baseman.
Thanks to TWJ contributor Patrick for whipping up these awesome customs. Hopefully the Reds continue to wheel and deal without “going all in” by sending Johnny Cueto packing.
I took a week off from work last week, and it was nice. We didn’t do a whole lot, other than go to St. Louis for a day, but it was nice to go about my day without the hustle and bustle of actual work. This Monday it was a real chore getting out of bed to go back. Tuesday, believe it or not, was even harder.
Why is it so difficult to get going again after vacation? I have now worked two full shifts and a partial overtime shift since coming back, and am scheduled to work this weekend. But I really really really don’t want to go.
The blog has also suffered a bit this week. I scheduled a bunch of posts for last week while I was off, and still had internet access so could get on and do a little housekeeping. But I did not prepare anything for this week, and honestly haven’t been in the mood to get back into gear. I still have a few books to read and review, but most of my reading is done at work during downtime, so when I’m not at work, I don’t read as much. Thus, no book reviews this week. (There will definitely be at least two next week, though.)
Despite my apathy in working and posting, however, it is nice to receive cards in the mail, and even nicer that they don’t get abused and destroyed when they are left sitting in a mailbin for several days waiting for me to get them. Night Owl Cards sent nine cards from the 2013 Topps Opening Day set to me last week, and they were still in mint condition when I ripped open the package.
I needed six of the cards, and my youngest son didn’t have the other three yet, so all nine are going into binders in the house.
If it’s so difficult for me, a regular guy, to go back to work after just a week off, I wonder how difficult it is for baseball players when they have several months off in the winter?
Also, a reminder that I’m putting together a list of bloggers (and other collectors) to send out occasional PWEs. If you send me your address and favorite team, I’ll add you to the list. I may not send as often as others do, but I really need to get rid of some cards!
I recently sent GCRL a few Dodgers and double play cards, and he sent back a few Reds cards. Three I needed, and one I could never have enough off. The latter first…
1987 Topps Eric Davis. A classic card, a card every kid in Cincinnati owned and wanted more of. Of course, since 1987 Topps was so abundant, it wasn’t difficult to stock up on these puppies. I can just imagine Kal Daniels standing next to Eric the Red, with #44 explaining, “This is a baseball, Kalvoski. If you hit it, they pay you lots of money and the people love you. If you go into a slump, Cincinnati will hate you and demand that you be traded.”
We go next to 1970, and another card crossed off my wantlist…
1970 Topps Al Jackson. The famous (infamous?) 1970 set with all the hatless and black-hatted dudes and hideous gray borders. Seriously, who thought this was a nice design? Jackson didn’t play in 1970; his career ended in 1969 after appearing in 33 games for the Redlegs. He also played for the Pirates, Mets, and Cardinals.
The third card looks like 1972, but is actually 2003…
2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Joe Morgan. These things are getting more and more difficult to keep up with. You can’t just look at the last year of stats on the back anymore; now you have to get out your magnifying glass and find the copyright date. I love retro cards, but maybe Heritage is enough? I don’t know.
Finally, speaking of retro…
2013 Topps Archives Mat Latos (1990 style). I’m a 1990 Topps apologist. I think it is the best looking set of that year (not that the competitors were very good). Sure, it could have been better (check out Uncle Doc’s Redefine the Design post), but I liked it back then and I still like it today. I like the color coordination on Latos’ card with the red border. That was probably the thing that bugged me the most. Chris Sabo shouldn’t be on a purple-bordered card. He just shouldn’t.
All in all great selection of cards. Thanks Jim!
Mat Latos looks good in red, doesn’t he?
Many years ago (about a decade), before my bloggin’ days, I did a “fan pack challenge” of sorts. I didn’t keep track of everything I received, and I didn’t share my successes and failures with like-minded memorabilia geeks. But I do remember receiving an awesome package from the Padres which included a t-shirt. YES, A FREE T-SHIRT!
How times have changed. This year, I got one pocket schedule from the Friars. I’m not complaining, though, because that’s more than they sent two years ago.
Oh, they also sent a PDF file to my e-mail which they called a “fan pack.” Should I give them an “other stuff” point for that? Nah…
Here’s their score:
The inclusion of pocket schedule(s) = 1 points (featuring Mat Latos)
Stickers = 0
Baseball cards = 0
High-quality promotional items = 0
Other stuff = 0
Timeliness = 10 points
TOTAL SCORE = 11 POINTS