The Reds will begin a four game series on Thursday, at Chase Field in Phoenix, against the Arizona Diamondbacks (22-33).  The Diamondbacks .400 win percentage is the second worst in the MLB, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (.373).  Their -61 run differential is the worst in the MLB, and it’s not even close.  The next worst run differential in the MLB is the Astros at -40.

You can now go ahead and throw away all those numbers I just gave you.  The Diamondbacks got off to a horrendous 8-22 start in 2014, and at that point had a run differential of -63.  They have been much, much better since then, going 14-11, and have a run differential of +2.

Also worth noting (in case you missed it), about 10 days ago the Diamondbacks hired former Reds nemesis Tony La Russa to be their Chief Baseball Officer.

*please note: all stats listed below only include games played through 5/27/14.

The Offense/Defense

Reds Dbacks


The Reds and Diamondbacks are just about even offensively, with the Dbacks having slightly better power,and the Reds having slightly better OBP.  The Reds are slightly better on the basepaths, but the big difference in these two teams are defensively.  If you don’t prefer the defensive metric (where the Reds have a 33.2 defensive value to the Dbacks 1.5), the Diamondbacks have committed 40 errors (.980 fielding %, tied 24th in the MLB), while the Reds have just 23 errors (.988 fielding %, tied 1st in the MLB).

The Lineup

Manager Kirk Gibson has shaken up his lineup quite a bit, as you might expect for a team with a 21-33 record.  Paul Goldschmidt has batter 3rd in all 55 of the Diamondbacks games, and Miguel Montero has batted cleanup 34 times.  Outside of that, it looks like Gibson mixes and matches.  Here is my best guess based on their most recent lineups:

  1. CF – A.J. Pollock: .290/.339/.500, 6 HR, 13 RBI, 128 wRC+, 1.4 WAR
  2. RF – Gerardo Parra: .263/.306/.382, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 86 wRC+, -0.3 WAR
  3. 1B – Paul Goldschmidt: .302/.356/.526, 9 HR, 34 RBI, 136 wRC+, 1.5 WAR
  4. C – Miguel Montero: .256/.361/.393, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 105 wRC+, 0.8 WAR
  5. 3B – Martin Prado: .264/.313/.348, 1 HR, 21 RBI, 80 wRC+, 0.1 WAR
  6. 2B – Aaron Hill: .255/.314/.404, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 95 wRC+, 0.1 WAR
  7. LF – Cody Ross: .189/.230/.242, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 25 wRC+, -0.9 WAR
  8. SS – Chris Owings: .258/.302/.396, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 89 wRC+, 0.8 WAR

The Bench

dbacks bench


The Pitching Matchups

Every pitching matchups looks pretty favorable for the Reds.  It will certainly be intriguing to see our old friend Bronson Arroyo pitch against the Redlegs on Friday night.  Brandon McCarthy is pitching the best of any Diamondbacks starter at the moment.  Over McCarthy’s last three starts, he has posted a 3.05 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.

Thursday, 9:40


Friday, 9:40



Saturday, 10:10


Sunday, 4:10


The Bullpen


Dbacks pen


16 Responses

  1. the next janish

    My heart say we got this series, but my gut says it could be a tough go round(or maybe I’m just hungry)

  2. Steve Mancuso

    Wow. Arroyo vs. Leake on Friday night. Wonderful.

  3. bohdi87

    I’d like to see Lutz get a few starts in LF this series. Not sure why the called him up to ride the pine. The one start he’s had he went 2-4 against Greinke after a bajillion days off.

  4. preacherj

    Hey, they have a guy on the bench who can backup first base.

  5. sultanofswaff

    Anything less than a split would be a failure. Nothing about Arizona’s pitching makes me think we couldn’t take 3 of 4.

  6. Kathy Lynn Bryan

    I am looking forward to the Arroyo / Leake matchup on Friday. Leake learned from Arroyo when he was a Red. They are both wiley instead of overpowering. Don’t think the youngster has copied the high leg throw though.

  7. Shchi Cossack

    The Reds face 3 straight RHP before facing Miley in the 4th game of the series.

    OPS+: 37 for Roger Bernadina
    OPS+: 78 for Skip Schumaker
    OPS+: 80 for Chris Heisey
    OPS+: 83 for Ryan Ludwick

    There is absolutely no excuse for the Big Lutz to not start ALL of the 1st 3 games of the series and a pretty compelling argument for the Big Lutz to start at either 1B or LF against Miley in the 4th game of the series. The other 4 options to Lutz are so far below average it’s sickening, yet Bryan continues to run them out there every game. None of these players are going to get better. Ludwick and Schumaker will probably play worse over the next season+ due to age regression. For the Reds to not seek a better option now AND evaluate a better option for next season is ludicrous. Pena has played marvelously at 1B in Votto’s absence, but even if Pena is playing 1B (and that should only be against a RHP), the black hole in LF is still omnipresent. Lutz has a very poor split against LHP, but he needs to play and the Reds need to find out how effective or not effective he can be as a starter against both RHP and LHP. All of the other options have had more than sufficient opportunities and failed miserably.

    OPS+: 44 for Ramon Santiago

    Steve made a pretty compelling argument in the game wrapup post for a regular day off for Phillips. There’s the built in playing time for Santiago in addition to occasionally spelling Cozart at SS. There is no reason for taking Frazier off 3B to play 1B in Votto’s absence and filling Santiago at 3B. That move weakens the offense and weakens the defense without any positive justification.

    Heisey can occasionally spell Hamilton in CF or Bruce in RF against a LHP in addition to his pinch hitting responsibilities. Schumaker can rarely spell Hamilton in CF against a RHP in addition to his pinch hitting responsibilities. Ludwick can rarely spell Lutz in LF against a LHP and fill in in LF against a LHP when Lutz plays 1B until Votto returns.

    • Michael J Hampton

      Check out tonight’s lineup, Bernadina at 1st (Never ever played 1st professionally) Santiago at short, Schumaker in left. Price has lost it.

  8. Earl Nash

    Game two is pretty much sensei vs. master with Leake going up against Arroyo.

  9. Dale Pearl

    I honestly think Price is not aware that Lutz can play the outfield. He could spell Bruce or he replace Ludwick.

  10. Aaron Bradley

    Well Lutz isn’t getting the start… proof the GM and manager aren’t on the same page IMO. If you bring this guy up, you play him, especially when the offense has been abysmal.

  11. jas428

    Ludwick has struck out 16 times in last 49 plate appearances, batting .182 over past 14 games.