For the most part, the Cincinnati Reds have managed to recover from their post-All-Star Game slide and remain at least on the edges of playoff contention. For starter Alfredo Simon, though, Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the Miami Marlins kept him winless since the break and adds fuel to the idea that maybe the team should have traded him during his stellar first-half.
Before the break, Simon was one of the biggest surprises in baseball after being thrust into the starting rotation by virtue of Mat Latos’ early-season injury. He was selected to the NL squad for the Midsummer Classic in Minneapolis and sported a 12-3 record with 2.70 ERA and 1.05 WHIP heading into the break.
Even at that point, with the Reds streaking toward the top of the standings, Simon looked like a great trade candidate, because his value had never been higher. At 33, this was the first starting success he had found, and he was already right at his previous high-water mark for innings pitched in a season.
It was a classic sell-high situation, but the Reds hung on, even through their July slide.
Manager Bryan Price has managed to pick up the pieces of a fractured lineup to squeeze some life out of the rest of the Reds, but Simon is looking once again like a guy suited more for a middle relief role than a starting slot.
On Saturday, Simon gave up two runs on four hits and five walks over five innings, which leaves his post-break numbers at 0-4, 4.78, 1.59. On the season, he now stands at 12-7, 3.08, 1.15.
It may be time for the Reds to start looking for other options in the rotation.