Mike Leake’s 6.0 innings of one-run stuff accompanied with a 1-2, 3 RBI day reminded me a bit of the high school baseball showcases I used to frequent. You have one shot to show colleges and pro scouts that you have enough skill to keep playing, and then that’s it. Granted, Leake has had five and half seasons to prove his mettle, but knowing he’s going to be traded, maybe there is that sense of urgency to be sent to an actual contender.

Today, one of the Reds’ (40-47) stalwarts of the future toes the mound against an ace mired in his own Cleveland slump in a rematch of a pitcher’s duel back in May. In that game, both pitchers threw one-run gems, but the Reds’ bullpen eventually gave the game away in the eighth.

STARTING PITCHERS
All stats are 2015 actuals:

PITCHER ERA  FIP HR/9 BB% K%
Corey Kluber 3.38 2.49 0.68 5.2% 28.8%
Anthony DeSclafani 3.65 3.78 0.62 9.4% 17.0%

Disco DeSclafani had a strong first half of his rookie campaign, posting an above average ERA- of 96 and a WAR of 1.4. However, Fangraphs says he’s due for some regression in the second half of the year, putting his xFIP at 4.34, over half a point higher than where he is now. Against the Indians earlier this year, Disco went 7.0 innings allowing one run on three hits and striking out six.

Opposing the Reds tonight, is the reigning AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, whose win-loss record indicates a disastrous season but whose actual numbers tell a different tale. Kluber has been worth 3.9 WAR already this season, and his xFIP of 2.65 projects him to keep pitching about as dominantly as he did in the first half. Against the Reds and DeSclafani back in May, Kluber went 8.0 innings, scattering nine hits for one-run and struck out seven.

STARTING LINEUPS
Brayan Pena will catch for DeSclafani, but otherwise the Reds’ lineup is the same as yesterday:

1. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
3. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
5. Marlon Byrd (R) LF
6. Brayan Pena (S) C
7. Eugenio Suarez (R) SS
8. Anthony DeSclafani (R) P
9. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
WESLEY

Michael Bourn and Brandon Moss start in CF and RF respectively in today’s Indians’ lineup:

1. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B
2. Francisco Lindor (S) SS
3. Michael Brantley (L) LF
4. Carlos Santana (S) 1B
5. Yan Gomes (R) C
6. Brandon Moss (L) RF
7. Giovanny Urshela (R) 3B
8. Michael Bourn (L) CF
9. Corey Kluber (R) P
WESLEY

TRADE WINDS
No one has been traded yet, but everyone is on the table according to John Fay. Everyone save Todd Frazier that is. And Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Homer Bailey due to albatross contracts. And youngsters who are seen as the future of this club. And not-so youngster who aren’t the future of this club, but nobody else would really want. However, Fay expects Skip Schumaker to be on the market so maybe that last sentence isn’t true at all.

BYRD WATCHING (with Joel Luckhaupt)


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CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
Until the Reds make their first move on the trade market, it’s just gonna be wary anticipation in Reds’ country. On the flipside, however, much of the Reds’ future is on the field day in and day out because of the rash of injuries. Eugenio Suarez, Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen, Raisel Iglesias; all of these guys are making contributions now, rather than being just another name on just another prospect list. So maybe that’s something to revel in.

GO REDS

77 Responses

      • UglyStrike

        Have always liked BP, but could we package him with Schumaker? We would probably have to throw in a decent prospect or draft pick also.

    • Tom Gray

      He leads MLB with most PH in 2015.

      Of course (as a Reds “fan”) you knew that, right?

      • Eric the Red

        Any idea about his avg as a PH? OBP? Slugging? He’s so bad defensively they don’t even use him in the late innings for Byrd. He has no power. But by all means, defend his spot on the team because he has a few pinch hits.

      • Eric the Red

        Tom, he’s terrible. Even without looking it up, I’m sure that digging into the one thing you’re so happy about–pinch hitting–we’d find his OPS isn’t very good. It wouldn’t shock me if he also leads MLB in runners left on while pinch hitting.

      • jdx19

        Implying someone isn’t a Reds fan because they think Skip Schumaker is a bad baseball player is a bit weak…

      • Tom Gray

        No. Reds “fans” should know what his good points are. He is a PH. And a good one. He has 10 years MLB experience doing that.

        Too many “fans” are clueless about that.

      • tct

        Skip for his career as a PH; .242/.291/.318

        Yep, he’s a stud pinch hitter, alright.

        Also, saying he has the most pinch hits is kind of a cherry picked stat since he also has the most plate appearances as a pinch hitter.

        And his wRC+ as a pinch hitter is 98, so he’s still a below average hitter in the situation he’s supposed to be so good at.

        He’s 2 wins below replacement level for his career with the Reds. He is not a major league caliber player anymore.

      • DHud

        So you’re defending a below replacement level player because he has a handful of pinch hits this season. Tell me, how valuable do you think a dozen pinch hits or so are? Are they worth the $2.5 mil that the Reds are paying him. Quick answer Tom: no. Pretty sure a half dozen or so guys in the minors right now could pinch hit for league minimum.

        You should realize that as a “fan.”

  1. Kurt Frost

    How about flip flopping Suarez and Phillips in the order?

  2. Steve Mancuso

    Not as hot at the game as I expected. Although I am in the shade.

  3. pinson343

    According to the mlb.com sites, the lineups haven’t even been posted.

  4. pinson343

    Mlb.com is showing the Indians tv broadcast. Hate it when they do that for Reds home games.

  5. pinson343

    Suarez had a play on that bouncer up the middle.

  6. jdx19

    DiSclafani stakes the Tribe to a 3-0 lead to start the game…

    • Steve Mancuso

      Yes. I’m still not sold on Suarez overall.

  7. Eric the Red

    As good as Frazier’s season has been, for two months he’s been struggling with runners on 3rd and less than 2 outs. Bad luck, or putting too much pressure on himself?

  8. msanmoore

    OK, so at least we don’t get shut out tonight. Joey’s double looked like it was hammered.

    • Steve Mancuso

      It was. Into the RF corner on a line.

      • msanmoore

        Thanks, Steve. Watching it on MLB-tv on a small screen pales in comparison to seeing it first hand at GABP.

    • pinson343

      Not smart at all. Not supposed to get thrown out going to 3rd with 2 outs. Also not a good idea to help Kluber.

    • pinson343

      So far. There’s the old adage about getting to a good pitcher early. Reds blew a good chance to score 2.

  9. vegastypo

    Two thirds of the world is covered by water. The other third is covered by Billy Hamilton.

    • msanmoore

      +100 … but I’m a huge fan of Billy’s speed and D

  10. tgarretson82

    They are really going to have to re-assess or severely work on Saurez’s defense at SS if he is the future at that position.

  11. jamesgarrett

    Just can’t make that last out at third.Not sure what he was thinking or if he even was but hey we got a run.I often wonder if major league teams discuss base running errors?

  12. Eric the Red

    I like Lorenzen’s fastball, but Disco is way better with his secondary stuff. I hope he turns into Leake, but with a better fastball.

    • msanmoore

      I’m thinking that’s more likely than it is not. He and Lorenzen will be solid going into Spring training. Iglesias is still a wild card, but I still like what I’ve seen from him as well.

  13. Jeff Morris

    Watching the Game on Fox Sports 1. Announcers just said the Reds are next to last in the MLB (Mariners are last) in Hitting with Runners in Scoring Position. Just watching the Reds bat in the bottom of the first, I can clearly see why. 1. Why is Frazier swinging at the first pitch out of the strike zone. Also, the second pitch is out of the strike zone. He quickly is in the hole 0-2, and hits back to the pitcher. 2. Bruce flys out and gets a Sacrifice Fly to get one run in, but Bruce usually looks at strike one, and fouls off a couple, to get in the hole 0-2, or maybe 1-2, then strikes out many times. 3. With Byrd being hot last night, in almost hitting for the cycle, why does Votto take off at all for third? And, also Votto decides too late to take off for third, thus being thrown out at third.

  14. Jeff Morris

    The Teams I have seen in the past few years, in the playoffs, in particular, the couple that are always there…..the Cardinals and the Giants are patient at the plate, work the count, and don’t swing at bad pitches.

  15. jamesgarrett

    Nine pitch inning for Kluber in the bottom of the second kind of validates Jeff’s point.The guy struggled in the first and we bailed him out my swinging at pitches out of the zone and bad base running

  16. Steve Mancuso

    More shakiness from Suarez in the field. There might be a reason the Tigers were so eager to make the deal. Simon has bombed for them lately, too.

    • msanmoore

      I still think we get the better of that over time. I’d rather see him at 2B but we know that would take quite a change.

  17. BigRedSaguaro

    Disco channeling his inner Charlie Frazier.

  18. msanmoore

    Well since I’m not at GABP to at least talk with fellow Reds fans F2F and it appears this is NOT Disco’s night … I clicked that little “x” in the upper right corner after that shot. Just too hard to watch at this point, especially with the Cleveland announcers on (they are being fair, but …). I’m thinking of a phrase the father in “The Jerk” said right after Navin left home. It was said around the dinner table … any of you who know the movie could probably guess it.

    Good night all!

  19. Steve Mancuso

    Hatchet was really getting on Hamilton as he came off the field. They stood at the top step of the dugout for a while. Hatcher did all the talking and he didn’t look happy. I wonder if Hamilton was out of position on Santana’s double. No other questionable plays.

    • vegastypo

      The TV glimpse looked like he took a bad route, didn’t break back right away as he went laterally …

  20. mikemartz

    I’d rather see Cozy out there on crutches at this point than a healthy Suarez!

    • mikemartz

      Watching the replay of Suarez missing the throw from Phillips it looked to me like Brandon was not very happy with him.

      • vegastypo

        Could Suarez hit enough to be a corner outfielder if Winker isn’t ready to start next year in the bigs?

      • Evan armstrong

        Why do Joe fan think you can just move players to other positions that they have no background just like that?

      • tct

        Well in general if you have the athleticism and the arm to play shortstop, then you should be able to play anywhere, except catcher which takes different skills. But it doesn’t always work that way.

        But as to Suarez, I don’t think he really has the bat to play corner outfield, although he probably wouldn’t be worse than what the Reds have had in left over the past 6-7 years. He loses a lot of value if he is not a middle infielder.

      • Tom Gray

        LF has not been great for Reds over past 6 years BUT Gomes, Ludwick, Heisey, and Byrd are probably better fits in LF than Suarez.

  21. Steve Mancuso

    Man, do we miss Devin Mesoraco.

    • Tom Gray

      He is certainly missed but it’s debatable how well he recovers from serious hip surgery. He probably won’t be at maximum output in 2016.

  22. jamesgarrett

    Man we are just terrible with RISP.I just don’t see how we continue to do the same things over and over.Very frustrating when just a groundball or a fly ball gets a run and we can’t do it.We could have at least 3 or 4 runs tonight just by doing this.

  23. BigRedSaguaro

    Gomes would have got bonus time for that shot

  24. Jeff Morris

    Very Predictable and Consistent with RISP. Bruce gets a couple pitches to hit on a 3-2 count, and fouls them off, then Strikes Out! Byrd, who has power, but strikes out very frequently, Strikes Out!

    • Steve Mancuso

      Bruce knocked in a run in the first inning. So by consistent, looking at tonight, do you mean every other opportunity?

      • Jeff Morris

        Bruce should be doing better. He has almost been Inconsistent, and Strikes Out too much!

      • kmartin

        Every other opportunity? Yes, I think you detected a pattern.

  25. jamesgarrett

    Kluber retires the side in the 7th on 10 pitches.Skip swings on a 2-0 pitch with his team down 8 runs.I know its like beating a dead horse and the game has long been over but come on.

  26. jamesgarrett

    Doubt if you can win by just taking pitches(down by 8 runs) but Votto took a walk and scored on Bruce’s homer.Maybe I should have said wonder why Skip didn’t take a strike.

    • Tom Gray

      Batters are taught to hit their pitch when they see it. SS is a 10 year MLB veteran with pretty good PH results over time.

  27. Adam S.

    I am content with Suarez, I like his offense and will tolerate shakiness at defense.

  28. RedAlert

    Hamilton is now officially the “pop up ” champion of the world – geeze – his approach is just brutal

  29. Tom Reed

    Battle of Ohio trophy goes to Cleveland.