Last night, Reds fans got to see the downside of an all-rookie rookie rotation. This afternoon, Reds fans got to see the upside of an all-rookie rotation: a very promising young arm.

The Reds got off to a quick start this afternoon. Billy Hamilton lead the game off with a single, and then Eugenio Suarez was hit by a pitch from James Shields. Joey Votto ripped a single to right field (video). Billy Hamilton initially stopped at third base, but the throw went into second base, and Billy rushed home to give the Reds a 1-0 lead. After a Frazier strikeout, Jay Bruce just missed a home run to straight away center-field (video). Two runs scored to give the Reds a 3-0 lead, and Bruce made it to third base with a triple.

The Padres got right back in the game in a blink of an eye. Rasiel Iglesias hit the first batter Yangervis Solarte, despite quickly getting ahead in the count 0-2. Former Red, Yonder Alonso singled, and that brought up Matt Kemp. He smoked a 1-2 hanging breaking ball into the left-field seats to tie the game (video).

Rasiel Iglesias didn’t let his rough first inning define his start. After the first inning, Iglesias struck out 6 of the next 7 batters, and was perfect throughout the rest of his start. Iglesias retired 16 consecutive batters total. It was one of the most impressive starts you will ever see after a poor first inning (video: Iglesias strikes out eight).

The Reds would score another run in the third inning on a James Shields balk (video), and then score another in the seventh inning on a Frazier sacrifice fly (video). Joey Votto then made sure the Reds wouldn’t leave San Diego without a win in the top of the 9th. Votto hit his 20th home run of the season (video), a two-run bomb to straight away center to give the Reds a 7-3 lead.

The Reds bullpen did their job. Jumbo Diaz and J.J. Hoover pitched scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth, and Aroldis Chapman finished off the Padres in the ninth for a 7-3 win.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (50-62) 7 9 0
San Diego Padres (54-61) 3 5 0
W: Iglesias (3-4) L: Shields (8-5)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

WPA

Player of the Game

Rasiel Iglesias: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

Iglesias is turning into must see TV during a lost season for the Reds. Iglesias now has a sizzling 9.25 K/9, which if he qualified for the leaderboard, it would put him 14th in the MLB in K/9 right between Madison Bumgarner and Jake Arrieta. Check out Iglesias last three starts:

8/12 at Padres: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
8/7 vs Dbacks: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
8/1 vs Pirates: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Positives

The Reds non-elite first baseman Joey Votto homered, had 3 hits, 3 RBI, and a walk. Votto is now hitting .304/.434/.526 with 20 HR, and a 164 wRC+. Yawn.

Billy Hamitlon reached base twice (walk and a single), and actually had himself a pretty nice series in San Diego. Billy reached base 5 times in 13 plate appearances (3 walks!). Hey, that is a .385 OBP in the series. Billy also made a yet another great catch (video).

Jay Bruce reached base twice also (triple and a walk).

The Reds bullpen continues to pitch well of late. Diaz, Hoover, and Chapman each pitched a scoreless inning. The Reds pen entered today with a 1.59 ERA over the last seven days.

Negatives

After a leadoff single in the 7th inning by Phillips, Bryan Price called for Billy Hamilton to bunt. He kept the bunt on when Hamilton got the count to 3-1, but luckily Billy was smart enough not to try to bunt at ball four. Price then AGAIN called for the bunt for Eugenio Suarez. Suarez got ahead in the count 2-0, and he kept the bunt on AGAIN. Steve pointed out on Twitter that Suarez has a 1.016 OPS when the count is 2-0. It is amazing to see Price’s inability to read and understand a win probability chart, and even worse his need to keep a bunt sign on when a pitcher is struggling to throw strikes. DO. NOT. GIVE. AWAY. OUTS.

Marlon Byrd had a rough day at the office. Byrd struck out three times.

Not so random thoughts………………

Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma threw a no-hitter this afternoon (video). It was the first no-hitter in an AL game since 2012. Iwakuma’s line on the afternoon: 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K.

Our good pal Chris Heisey was picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays today. Heisey was DFA’d by the Dodgers after they picked up like 20 players at the trade deadline. I was already like 90% on the Blue Jays bandwagon, but this solidifies it at 110%. It would be pretty cool to see a Royals-Blue Jays ALCS. Johnny Cueto and Edison Volquez vs Edwin Encarnacion and Chris Heisey. Shameless plug: The Curious Case of Chris Heisey.

Up Next:

The Reds being a four game series tomorrow evening at Dodgers Stadium. The Reds will miss Clayton Kershaw this weekend (he is pitching tonight against the Nationals), but they will face Mat Latos tomorrow night for the first time since being traded this off-season. Latos was scratched for his start right before the ASG against the Reds. Tomorrow night’s game will certainly be worth watching. Let’s hope the Reds offense can have a really big night, and make Mat regret his ridiculous comments this spring.

Reds at Dodgers
Thursday, 10:10 PM
TV: FSN-Ohio/MLB Network
Keyvius Sampson (2 GS, 3.00 ERA, 3.18 FIP) vs Mat Latos (18 GS, 4.67 ERA, 3.65 FIP)

All photographs used are courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, and are used by permission. All statistics are used courtesy of Fangraphs, ESPN Stats and Info, and Baseball-Reference (including Baseball-Reference Play Index).

62 Responses

  1. Kurt Frost

    Votto with another meaningless home run. He never hits when it counts.

    That’s sarcasm.

    • lwblogger2

      Yeah, he and Bruce never hit when it matters.

  2. Tom Reed

    It looks like Iggy is an ace or a closer in the making.

    • liptonian

      Why why why would you put him in the pen? Is it not blatantly obvious already that a pitcher has more value starting? I sincerely hope this was sarcasm.

      • Tom Reed

        I didn’t put him in the pen. And it wasn’t sarcasm either. Just a statement as other Red’s fans are opt to make whether you agree with it or not. Relax.

      • Matt WI

        Not that this means a whole lot, but I’m pretty sure this was the second start in a row that Iglasias struggled in the first inning and then settled down. I remember how negative Marty was in the first inning of whoever it was they were playing, and then he had to compliment him later for getting it done.

        All that to say… maybe he’s better suited to the rotation anyway rather than being hit or miss (pun intended) right after warming up.

    • Jay King

      I really like what I am seeing so far from Iggy… He has done a pretty good job. I also like Disco too. He has had a very nice season. Lorenzen… I am worried about as a starter.. Perhaps he is better suited for relief??

  3. james garrett

    Good game by Iggy and the good guys win.The bunt in the 7th was a classic.Giving away outs in the 7th inning of a 1 run game on the road is dumb no its dumber then dumb.

  4. msanmoore

    So Marlon has 360+ PA’s … I’m thinking that vesting option should be pretty safe now, right?

    • Vicferrari

      I thought he was right on pace, seems a bit cold-hearted to let him get near 500 PA by early Sept, should not let him get near 500 so it does not become an issue. With 50 games to go if he gets enough starts would have a chance, Seems if they want they could get him near,

      • msanmoore

        OK, Vic. For some reason I was thinking it was closer to 40 games left (likely because I’m wishing August was over for a whole load of other reasons). Still going to be pretty close, though. I’m thinking he gets the waiver treatment before too long.

      • vegastypo

        You know, when players hold out for every single dollar/years on contracts they can get, all the while knowing that any offer they get will make them rich many times over, the common refrain will be that ‘baseball is a business.’

        If the Reds play Byrd enough to where he gets his contract trigger, good for him. If he falls short, by one plate appearance or by 50, hey, baseball is a business. And if teams are impressed enough with his performance this year, he’ll make his money next year.

      • jdx19

        Agreed. The Reds don’t ‘owe’ Marlon Byrd anything. Unless they feel paying him next year is the right move, they should not feel bad about shutting him down at 549 PAs, if it comes to that.

  5. azredsfan

    Rasiel was tough today. bad start but he is a gamer. Frazier still needs to recognize he has a hole in his swing (low and away) and make the mental adjustment. Suarz is a keeper maybe at 3rd base. Offer Frazier an extension, if he says signs keep him. If he refuses, trade him and sign Chapman. Go with kid starters and rebuild the bull pen around Chapman. Resign Pena as a 3rd catcher/ bench guy. Any win is a good win. Enjoy the traffic to LA.

    • Redsfan48

      Wow you’re tough, I’ve never seen anyone retire 16 in a row, giving up 3 runs and 3 hits, with only one walk, and 8 K’s and get it called a “bad start”

  6. UglyStrike

    I personally would like to have Marlon back next year. Just not at 8M.

    • Redsfan48

      I agree, offer him a one-year, $3-5 million contract. But if they do re sign him, do not be afraid to platoon him or make him primarily a bench bat if one of the young outfielders (Rodriguez, Waldrop, Winker) is ready for the Majors next year.

  7. Evan armstrong

    Could it be he doesn’t like other managers use a probability chart.

    • lwblogger2

      They were just talking on MLB Network and on ESPN about how the use of the sacrifice bunt is dwindling across the league. Maybe all managers aren’t using the probability chart but fewer managers seem to be sacrificing.

      Earl Weaver didn’t need a probability chart to know that as a general rule, sacrificing and giving away outs was a bad idea.

    • jdx19

      Yeah, what LW said.

      You don’t need a chart to know that wasting the only resource you have (outs) in a game is a bad idea.

      But, thankfully we have data to prove it.

  8. sezwhom

    Rasiel Iglesias looks like the real. Star potential in the making. Baring an injury or something unforseen, I’d pencil him as #2 starter next year. Heck, I could see him as #1 going forward too. He has the tools and moxy.

    • citizen54

      I think the only question mark for him is his durability. That’s why a lot of scouts had him pegged as a reliever.

      • redmountain

        Same argument was made about Pedro Martinez. It is why the Dodgers traded him.

      • lwblogger2

        Pedro’s mechanics were relatively sound though. Iglesias is sort of all over the place. He’s 25 so really not someone you want to tinker with very much since he’s been successful. I’m hoping he stays healthy.

  9. zaglamir

    One has to think that, if the Reds weren’t playing like a pig smells this year, Joseph Votto would be front-and-center in an NL MVP conversation. It’s such a treat to watch the man bat. I imagine this is what it felt like to watch Ted Williams… where you just “knew” he was going to get on base.

    • Tom Gray

      Other than both being LH batters, I think the Teddy Ballgame and Joey Votto comparison stops shortly thereafter.

      TW may be the best hitter ever in MLB. He gave up 5 or 6 of his prime years to WW2 and Korean Ware service and STILL is high up in most hitting categories.

      • jdx19

        That’s not where the comparion stops…

        Votto is Top 20 ALL-TIME in OBP. He swings at a very low number of pitches out of the zone (currently best in MLB at that, by 1.3%). Votto has stated he is a Teddy Ballgame fan.

        Sure, Votto isn’t anywhere near as good a hitter as Williams (who I have as the 2nd best hitter of all-time behind Ruth) but there’s a valid reason to talk about the two in the same breath.

    • jessecuster44

      Read David Halberstam’s “Summer of ’49” There’s a passage where Ted Williams describes hitting. I bet Votto read it too.

  10. Redleg 68

    Bryan “the bunt” Price strikes again. I wish he would throw away the Dusty Baker manager manual.

    • Tom Gray

      I wish he woulds read it and use it.

      Dusty is a MUCH more accomplished manager than Bryan Price.

      • Tom Gray

        Not true at all.

        Dusty Baker has been NL MOY 3 different times with 3 different teams. He led 3 different teams to NL playoffs. He managed in WS.

        The only way Price goes to WS is to buy a ticket.

      • jessecuster44

        Oh, Did Dusty win a playoff series when he managed the Reds? He’s irrelevant.

        Dusty was partially responsible for the Cubs’ 2003 collapse, and he couldn’t win a WS with the best hitter of his generation.

        Fie on Dusty. Nice enough man, but not much of a championship manager.

      • docmike

        Dusty Baker had the privilege of managing the most talented Reds roster of the last 20 years from 2010-2013. What did he accomplish during those four years? Two first round playoff exits, a wild-card flameout, and a losing season.

        You have fallen into the trap where good players can make a bad manager look good. But those of us who watched Reds games while he was manager know better. The Reds won division titles in spite of Dusty, not because of anything he did.

      • Tom Gray

        Dusty succeeded at SF, Chicago, and the Reds. He is a good manager. Price isn’t.

        Very VERY simple.

        The Reds from 1970-78 had good players. Are they why Sparky was a good manager?

        NO. Sparky won in Detroit, too.

      • docmike

        Where was Dusty’s “great managing” when the Reds struggled in 2008, 2009, and 2011? In his tenure with the Reds, Dusty’s teams had 3 losing records out of 6 seasons. The other three seasons ended in early playoff exits.

        He succeeded with the Cubs? Dusty managed 4 seasons there, with 2 winning seasons and 2 losing ones. He inherited a very talented team in 2003 that choked in the NLCS against the Marlins. His 2004 team was a major disappointment, failing to even make the playoffs. The Cubs were so enthralled after a 66-96 finish in 2006 that they fired him.

        His best years did come with the Giants. Managing a very talented team led by Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent, Dusty had 7 winning records out of 10 years in SF, yet only won 3 division titles in that span. His teams lost twice in the divisional round (notice a pattern here?), and choked away the World Series title in 2002. The Giants were pleased enough with Dusty’s managerial skills, that they did not renew his contract after a season that ended in the World Series.

        The bottom line is that in 20 years of managing, Dusty did take 7 teams to the postseason, but 5 of those exited in the first round. Why? Well, it does not take much managerial acumen to guide an extremely talented team in their prime to the playoffs. But a bad manager can fail to lead that team to their full potential, which seems to be a pattern with Dusty.

        Whether Price is a good manager or not is still up in the air. While I had high hopes for him at first, he manages too much like Dusty to ever be very good at it.

      • docmike

        And you will get nowhere fast comparing Sparky Anderson to Dusty Baker. Sparky Anderson won 5 league pennants and 3 World Series titles. He knew what to do with a talented team once he got into the playoffs.

        Dusty, on the other hand, was a playoff choker whose teams consistently underachieved. Not even in the same ballpark with Sparky.

      • jdx19

        Dusty had peak Barry Bonds and a team with pre-injury Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. He’s ‘accomplished’ in the sense that Travis Ishikawa is an outstanding, World Champion baseball player.

        Right place, right time.

  11. kmartin

    I love watching Chapman’s facial expressions when he pitches. When he would come in to protect a one-run lead for Cueto he would have a very intense look. Today, he looked bored. When he was striking out Alonso with sliders he was basically playing with his food. Even though it was his idea to be a relief pitcher, I wonder if on days like today he realizes how much his talent is being wasted.

    • jdx19

      Since he stated he’d rather close than start (at least that is the way it has been reported) I don’t think he understands his talent is being wasted. I’ll go out on a limb and say Chapman isn’t big on sabermetrics. Call it a hunch.

      • lwblogger2

        I’d go a step further and say that the money angle isn’t as big of a deal to him as perhaps some other things anyway. His view on money, coming out of Cuba, may be very different than how most other players view it. He may view it like he has plenty of money now and his next contract will pay him plenty of money. He’s got money beyond his wildest dreams. The difference between very rich and very, very rich just may not be a big deal to him. He may look at it as he’s got plenty of money and is happy doing what he is doing. Not many people can say that either.

        That’s all speculation of course. I don’t know Chapman.

      • kmartin

        I would love to know what his agents think about his desire to be closer.

  12. Tom Gray

    The Reds are heading toward their second consecutive sub-.500 season after going into the playoffs three out of the previous four seasons when managed by Dusty Baker.

    Baker was dismissed in 2013 after losing the National League’s Wild Card Game to the Pirates despite a 90-72 regular-season record.

    Like his stints managing the Giants and Cubs, Baker was beloved in the Reds’ clubhouse. Baker suffered a mild stroke at the end of the 2012 season and spent 2013 on the job recovering from it.

    Clipped from MLB article quoting Dusty:

    “I really needed this break,” said Baker, “But now I’m ready to manage again. I’ve been ready.”

    Baker, 66, should be a top candidate for any opening, particularly in San Diego. Baker has 20 years of experience and a .526 winning percentage. He had 509 wins and a .524 winning percentage in his six seasons managing the Reds.

    • jessecuster44

      Yet no team has contacted Dusty about managing. I wonder why.

    • docmike

      You bring up how the Reds are headed toward their second consecutive sub-.500 season this year. Yet one could have said the same thing in late 2009, as the Reds first two seasons under Dusty’s leadership were also below .500. The difference is that Price inherited an aging roster that has endured numerous injuries. Baker, on the other hand, inherited a young team with Votto, Bruce, and Phillips entering their primes. You tell me who stepped into a better situation?

      Baker should not be a top candidate for any opening, unless a team is interested in seeing their team underachieve.

    • jdx19

      If you can’t understand that managers shouldn’t get credit for winning baseball games when they have all-time great talent, I don’t even know what to say.

  13. Gonzo Reds

    Mr. Latos had better expect to get plunked his first AB

    • lwblogger2

      I don’t think that solves anything or sends a message. Best just to rough him up and let the bats do the talking. Now, my thoughts on that might change somewhat if he starts throwing at guys.

      • WVRedlegs

        LW,
        You probably know the Baltimore Orioles better than anyone on here, so why did the O’s dangle starting pitcher Kevin Gausman late at the trade deadline? He’s been moved to the bullpen and now back into their rotation. He was even down in the minors, so was that on an injury rehab, do you know? His fastball averages, averages, 96mph. Have the O’s given up on their 2012 1st round pick? And if they have, or are wavering on him, would he be a good trade candidate this winter for the Reds, to help lead the rotation next year?

      • lwblogger2

        I really don’t know. I asked a friend about him near the deadline when they’re were conflicting reports from the O’s on rather or not they’d be willing to move him. My friend’s answer was “Anyone is movable for the right price.”

  14. UglyStrike

    C.M. Newton said once, “You are the same coach when you win 20 games as you were when you lost 20. The difference is the players.”

  15. sultanofswaff

    Votto—-88 walks, 88 strikeouts. 3rd in the league in OPS. The MVP is likely between Goldy and Harper, but it’s likely neither will play for a playoff team. With a strong finish by Joey, the MVP is a possibility.

    Despite SuperTodd’s woes, he’s still 3th in the NL in OPS, tied with…………Matt Carpenter

    Brandon Phillips OPS watch—now .707! The lack of doubles (11) is killing him. If he ere around 20 like most 2B, the slugging % would be higher and he’d be just inside the top ten at his position.

    • jdx19

      I expect the Nats to sneak into the post-season somehow. They aren’t as bad as they’ve played the last 3 weeks and the Mets are not as good as they’ve played the last 3 weeks.

      Given that Harper has been in somewhat of a slump for over a month and he’s JUST dipped below 200 wRC+, I think the award is locked up in his corner assuming the Nats make it.

      If they don’t, and if Arizona doesn’t, and if the Reds don’t, then I think the award still goes to Harper unless Posey (assuming SF makes it) or Rizzo (assuming CHI makes it) have a great ending to the season.

  16. sultanofswaff

    With the trio of Diaz/Hoover/Chapman performing well, what is your confidence level in these 3 guys forming the core of next year’s bullpen?

    • redmountain

      Chapman should be traded. There is going to be a log jam in starters soon so use those guys in the bullpen.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Chapman is 3rd year arbitration eligible in 2016 and will almost certainly receive $12MM+ through arbitration. By WJ’s own admission, 2016 will probably not be a competitive season for the Reds and Chapman will be a FA in 2017 when the Reds expect to again challenge for the playoffs and NLCD. An elite closer for one season that is not expected top be competitive is a luxury the Reds can’t afford. Chapman must be seriously shopped in the off-season.

      Hoover troubles me. A 3.9 BB/9 pitching in GABP is just asking for trouble and Hoover is 1st year arbitration eligible in 2016. He offers 3 years of team control remaining and should be appealing to teams needing bullpen assistance in 2016 for an affordable $1MM-$2MM. I would try to aggressively shop Hoover in the off-season and see what he might fetch also.

      Badenhop is an interesting bullpen asset. His current 2015 contract is affordable (<$2MM including the 2016 buyout) with a $4MM mutual option for 2016. Badenhop simply stunk up the joint during April, but since the beginning of May, Badenhop has been solid with a 1.63 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 0 HR, .197 BA & .498 OPS. If the Reds were competitive in 2015 or anticipated being a serious contender in 2016, Badenhop would be useful, but such is not the case and I would send him through the waiver wire then trade him or let his waiver claim go through to save the $2MM.

      Mattheus would probably fetch nothing this season or in the off-season. He is 1st year arbitration available in 2016 and should not obtain more than a $1MM salary through arbitration. Mattheus should probably be retained for the 2016 bullpen along with Jumbo (league minimum salary) and Cingrani (league minimum salary) then let the young pitchers audition in 2016 and shake out the starting rotation and bullpen from the plethora of young talent available. If the youngsters step up for effective bullpen roles, the bullpen could actually be an assett in 2016, but will certainly be cost-effective at near league minimum salaries across the board.

      • lwblogger2

        It’s a good, low-cost approach. I just don’t know if the Reds will want to play it that way. There is a difference in saying “we’re retooling” and saying “we’re likely to lose close to 100 games this year”. I think those kinds of moves would hurt attendance quite a lot. They may be prudent moves but I’m not sure if Castellini would go for them. I mean, I’m on the fence about my tickets next year. I was on the fence this year but my dad convinced me into renewing (he played the ‘spending more quality time with his son’ card).

  17. james garrett

    I like all 3 but we should have plenty of competition next year.I love power arms in the pen and they fit the mold.

  18. lwblogger2

    About the bunt last night, ESPN and MLB Network were both talking about how sacrifice bunting is down around all of baseball. It would seem a lot of managers are not wanting to give away outs. ESPN during the Pirates/Cards game were mentioning that Hurdle was still a heavy user of the sacrifice, which I found a bit surprising. Hurdle is a traditional style manager for the most part, but is working for an analytics-driven team. I found the contrast interesting.

    • IndyRedMan

      Lower scoring games….playing for one run makes more sense but the way the Reds approach sacrifices rarely makes any sense. Yesterday it didn’t take Nostradamus to see a fresh pitcher coming in vs a slumping Frazier w/the bases loaded. Todd managed to get a 2 strike sac fly but why take the bat out of Suarez and Votto’s hands? Atleast Price has Hamilton batting 9th so he’s not attempting to bunt over a guy that could steal it anyway like Dusty always did w/Stubbs. Not that Hamilton or Stubbs get on base that often anyway?