You know the old saying, “with friends like these, who need enemies?” For some reason, I can’t help but feel like that applies to the Reds (5-5): with a bullpen like this, who needs optimism? It’s a stretch, I know, but ughhh.

The team takes on the Cardinals (6-4) today in a day-time matinee after being beaten down by homer after homer last night. At least Joey hit one too.

Starting Pitchers

Following stats are from 2015:

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 9.21.44 AM.png

Of the Reds starters, Brandon Finnegan has been the best in his limited sample season of two. His last time out against the Cubs, the young lefty flirted with a no-hitter into the seventh, throwing 111 pitches before the wheels fell off. In his only career start against the Cardinals, Finnegan got shelled for six runs in 5.0 innings, but he did strikeout seven.

The Reds age-old nemesis Adam Wainwright returns to the bump for the Cardinals after missing most of last year with an Achilles injury. So far, this year hasn’t been much kinder to Wainwright, as he took the loss on Opening Day to a good Pirates team and a no-decision a week later to a bad Braves team. Wainwright is walking a lot of batters right now, but he hasn’t been unlucky (.306 BABIP): he’s just been bad.

Starting Lineups

Reds Cardinals
1. Zack Cozart (SS)
2. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Brandon Phillips (2B)
5. Jay Bruce (RF)
6. Devin Mesoraco (C)
7. Adam Duvall (LF)
8. Scott Schebler (CF)
9. Brandon Finnegan (P)
1. Matt Carpenter (3B)
2. Stephen Piscotty (RF)
3. Matt Holliday (LF)
4. Randal Grichuk (CF)
5. Yadier Molina (C)
6. Brandon Moss (1B)
7. Jedd Gyorko (2B)
8. Aledmys Diaz (SS)
9. Adam Wainwright (P)

Down on the Farm
The Reds top-30 prospect list was released the other day, and while it is just a ranking of the players we already know so much about, it does speak to how the rest of the league values our farm system. Jesse Winker, Robert Stephenson, and Cody Reed top the list, followed by Amir Garrett and Jose Peraza. Tyler Stephenson sits at number seven and offseason pickup Rookie Davis at number 12.

Rob Billy Rob
The Statcast data of Billy Hamilton’s home run robbing grab is actually pretty incredible. The kid hit a top speed of 16.7 mph and took a 98.7 percent efficient route to the wall. All in fancy, specialty cleats no less.

Draft News
Likely top pick Jason Groome has been declared ineligible by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association because of transfer rules. Groome spent his junior year playing for the IMG Academy in Florida but wanted to return home to New Jersey for his senior year. According to the state’s athletic rules though, because Groome’s family did not change address, Groome must sit out 30 days or half of the athletic season. The decision comes after Groome threw a 19-strikeout no-hitter in his previous start.

Concluding Thoughts
Unlike last night, I will be at this Reds-Cardinals matchup and maybe that will make all the difference. More likely than not, it’ll be Brandon Finnegan making the difference, but I like to think of myself as some sort of good luck charm anyway. It’s a great day for some ball either way.

Go Reds!

About The Author

Wesley - or Wes, whichever really - first fell in love with the Reds because of Ken Griffey Jr.'s smooth swing and shining smile. Ever since that first infatuation, it has been tortured fandom broken up by a blown 2-0 lead to the Giants and a Roy Halladay no-hitter - but that's neither here nor there. The only things Wes loves as much as the Reds are pancakes, flannels, and Vanderbilt baseball. You can find more of his writing at wesjenks.com or his carefully curated retweets @_wesjenks.

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131 Responses

  1. vegastypo

    That prospect list includes anyone who would be considered a rookie, including Rookie.

    So Schebler is No. 16, Lamb is 20 and Moscot is 24. Would have thought guys already in the bigs would be a little higher on the list.

    • ohiojimw

      The list must be weighted toward projected eventual ceiling, especially with T.Stephenson at #7 when he is likely 3 years away from even a September first look call up..

  2. Patrick Jeter

    From 2-8, with the slight exception of Phillips, all those guys can hit the ball very, very hard.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Only 11 batters in StatCast history have hit a ball harder than our #8 hitter’s best this year (114.14mph).

      • Patrick Jeter

        Ah, nevermind… had the filter set to 2016. That’s this year only.

  3. sezwhom

    It’s time to get BP out of the 4 hole. Come on. It’s not that complicated. Of course, now that I say that, he’ll probably go 3 for 4 today.

  4. Steve Mancuso

    Wes – Have a great time at the game!

  5. David

    BP can still hit, but no, he should not be #4 hitter. It is anathema to the knifey-spooney theory of line-ups (by Dusty Baker, and his disciple of line-ups, Bryan Price) that Joey Votto and Jay Bruce cannot hit “back to back” because of the dreaded 8th inning loogy reliever nemesis that lurks in every game.

  6. vegastypo

    Price said in the pregame that Billy isn’t hurt, he just wanted to try to get more offense with Duvall and Schebler, and give Schebler some playing time.

    He also was talking mostly about the pitching when saying that the minor league is for development if guys aren’t ready for the bigs. Wish he would apply that to Billy’s offense, if he is going to continue to hit left-handed.

  7. Patrick Jeter

    Votto’s new trend of swinging at the first pitch continues.

    • Vicferrari

      Hey I thought Votto said he worked on his walking this off-season, hope he wasn’t given in to the critics and figured out how to do it less

      • Patrick Jeter

        Not true. He has a 1.177 OPS when he puts the first pitch in play. Slight difference.

        I wasn’t saying Votto shouldn’t do that. Just saying it’s weird how often he’s done it so far this year.

  8. Vicferrari

    So did I miss something on the rotation? I do feel for Price with the lack of talent. Are they really going to hope Moscot and his 11.2 career innings stabilize this rotation tomorrow- sure he may be good, but I thought he barely has had any rehab. Who starts Monday- Simon pitched relief yesterday and then who pitches Wed- and why is Mellville still on this roster? I would think you have to look at Straily who almost matches Moscot career innings the past 5 days. Not a godd sign when your long relief guy is 3rd on the team ininngs pitched

    • vegastypo

      I think Melville is listed as still in the rotation, but somebody’s gotta go when Moscot is activated. He’s the low hanging fruit at this point.

  9. Vicferrari

    Following on Gameday how bad was Sclebler’s misread

    • vegastypo

      The batter had to reach toward the outer half of the plate to hit it, which I’m sure is why Schebler initially broke in on the ball. And when he retreated, he got his glove on the ball over his head but couldn’t pull it in.

    • Patrick Jeter

      For what its worth, I thought the ball was a bloop. I was as surprised as Schebler. Ball was hit at 96mph, though, so it was stung pretty good.

      • vegastypo

        Exactly, me too. And Schebler had the same angle as we did, looking in from center field.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Yeah. Twitter being pretty negative towards him in CF, but I think that was a tough play. Given enough time, I think Schebler is probably only very-slightly below average in CF… which isn’t the end of the world if he hits.

    • Vicferrari

      I think there is a rule if the Reds cannot just have a single run inning against them, what is the record for 3 run HR’s in a series. I think that is the 4th and we are only in the 2nd inning of game 2

    • Vicferrari

      On the bright side Finegan;s ERA does not take a hit

  10. ohiojimw

    Anybody else having trouble getting the game on FSO? It’s a blank screen on my TV (via Time Warner). Every other channel seems to be working just fine.

  11. Patrick Jeter

    Votto’s double left the bat at 106mph. His hardest hit ball so far his year.

  12. VaRedsFan

    On Phillips…After a solid 1st week, week 2 hasn’t been as productive. He needs that day off to reboot. Seems to have helped in the past.

  13. Patrick Jeter

    Bruce uses his new oppo-swing to great effect for the 4th time this year.

  14. VaRedsFan

    Meso on top of everything….sigh

    • Steve Mancuso

      He’s hit a lot of ground balls this year, but his previous two AB (includes pinch hit appearance last night) he hit it pretty hard to the outfield.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Next person to buy a t-shirt will also get a t-shirt courtesy of me!! Moderated by Mr. Mancuso, if he’d be so kind.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Confirmed that ScotLykins bought a t-shirt. Guess the easiest way to handle the free shirt is for Scott to reply here with what kind of shirt he wants, including size, and Patrick will order it.

      • Scotlykins

        Guess women’s medium in red identity. Great site btw

      • Patrick Jeter

        Transaction complete! Red identity, women’s medium.

        Thanks, Scott and Steve!

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I can’t imagine his hitting like this lasting but is anyone else as surprised as I am at how well Cozart has played coming off that very significant injury?

  15. vegastypo

    Another line drive hit hard but caught. Wainwright isn’t fooling anybody now.

  16. Steve Mancuso

    Two really good defensive plays on Votto and Bruce or the Reds would have a few more runs.

    • Patrick Jeter

      That ball was spanked at 107mph by Mesoraco. One of the hardest hit balls all year by the REds.

  17. VaRedsFan

    Suarez gets in on the act…RBI Double!

  18. VaRedsFan

    Who comes in to pitch?
    Everybody get their defibrillators out, as long-time RLN Sarge used to say.

    • VaRedsFan

      No factual data on this, but BP seems to take it personal, and put together good AB’s when people IBB the guy in front of him.

  19. VaRedsFan

    Yet another double…as BP delivers Suarez.

  20. VaRedsFan

    Question. How many do we need to Hoover-proof this game?

    • VaRedsFan

      Yeah, of course. Can you describe the non-double play? At least they did wiggle out of the jam. How about some insurance!!

      • vegastypo

        A routine ground ball to BP, but it rolled up his glove and popped out. He grabbed it in time to still get the force.

  21. ohiojimw

    Between Fox and Time Warner, it only took me an hour to finally get a stream of the Reds games started and only then because I outsmarted the FoxGo interface which was telling me there was no available content…..

    • ohiojimw

      And I still haven’t figured out why the game is apparently blacked out on TWC cable. It was in their guide and I was able to dial it up to be recorded but its not there

  22. VaRedsFan

    Mez trying to run on Molina? Was it a sneak attack or something? hit and run? Otherwise, not smart.

    • vegastypo

      Had the looks that somebody thought a hit and run was on, and somebody else didn’t think so.

  23. vegastypo

    Mes tries to throw the ball away, but because the Reds were in a shift, Suarez was there to back up the bad throw. So, of course, Cotham throws it away on a pickoff attempt, and gives the runner second base anyway.

    And now THAT costs us a run, too. Of course.

    • ohiojimw

      So that is 5 unearned runs allowed by the Reds now? I don’t think 8 runs wins this game. 9 may for the Cards; Reds are going to need at least 10.

      • 666wolverine

        I say 12+ is needed since Hoover will be in.

      • ohiojimw

        I was correct that 8 runs wouldn’t win and also that 9 would but not on which team would win with 9. Oh well.

  24. mtkal

    The Reds may want to win the game, but man is it ever hard to tell sometimes.

  25. Indy RedMan

    Can you give away 6 runs and still win a game? We’ll find out?

    Guy isn’t stealing down 3 in the 7th…..weird shift turns a easy 4-3 into a rbi single but if you are going to shift then maybe don’t pitch the guy down and away?

  26. David

    To the casual observer, this is a really bad defensive team.

    • Indy RedMan

      You have to hope Suarez and Schebler will greatly improve with experience at their new positions. I wonder how much CF Schebler played in the minors?

      • Patrick Jeter

        Something like 35 games, off the top of my head. Looked it up about a month ago.

  27. 666wolverine

    Think Cincy has found it’s lead-off hitter!!!!! Wow just puts the bat on the ball time and time again!!!

  28. Indy RedMan

    Wacca vs Timothy Jon Mosville tomorrow….we need this game!!

    • 666wolverine

      sure need a win so we do not get the dreaded donut on the road trip!!!!

    • Vicferrari

      Really rooting for him, lost some faith after Monday’s performance, but it is tough coming in with base loaded with little experience doing it in the majors. I know most do not seem to expect much out of him and the knock is he only has fastball. But he threw a lot of sliders for strikes according to Gameday and he got Bryant out on one Monday, what is the take on his development.

  29. Vicferrari

    I would think if Cingrani’s spot does not come up, you stick with him…tough call if you truly believe roles are important & with all the RH coming up

  30. Vicferrari

    Remind me again why closers do not matter as the odds of winning up by 3 in the 9th are something really high no matter if you got an Aroldis or not

    • VaRedsFan

      The guy that made that statement never saw a bullpen like this one.

  31. VaRedsFan

    Mez lined out to 2B. Was there a shift on? I like the line drives regardless of where the defense played him.

      • Patrick Jeter

        And Gyorko had to jump to get it. That is a hit probably 97% of the time. Bad luck for Mesoraco.

  32. VaRedsFan

    Scored crooked numbers in 3 innings today. I really like that.

  33. VaRedsFan

    2 run HR. That Bruce HR might prove pivotal.

  34. dan

    Haha. OMG Hoover. Would he be playing on any other team?

    • vegastypo

      I suspect somebody might pick up Hoover, but guys like Jumbo and Sampson, not so sure.

  35. VaRedsFan

    Let’s throw a walk in there to .190 hitting Gyrko

  36. dan

    There is bad and then there is Hoover. Bringing to the world a new definition for terrible. I am curious how many more chances he is going to get.

    • RedAlert

      Hoover is a complete disaster – and Price is even worse

  37. VaRedsFan

    WooooHOOoooo…never a doubt!!!!

  38. dan

    Reds win off of good ole batter’s interference.

  39. VaRedsFan

    At least 2 more games that we will start the day .500 or above!!!

  40. vegastypo

    Even if Devin had not caught the ball, I think the ump was gonna call the batter out for interference

    • mtkal

      Certainly looked like it. Nice concentration by Devin to catch it anyway and make sure.

  41. mtkal

    Cozart had his first swing and miss of the season today. Very nice.

    I also liked the look of Devin’s swing a lot more today than it has looked up to now.

    Is Brandon Finnegan the Reds’ new ace? He has just been awesome so far. No earned runs today by him if I’m not mistaken.

    We could sure use a closer.