Despite the dropped fly balls, the bullpen meltdown, and the sting of sunburn, I watched the Reds (6-5) outhit the Cardinals (6-5) in an ugly but entertaining game yesterday. A win’s a win’s a win, they say, but they shouldn’t have to say that after a game featuring nine runs on a club-record nine doubles. Regardless, the Redlegs now sit second in the Central once more, just 3.0 games back of the Cubs.

Starting Pitchers
The following are stats from 2015:

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 9.13.39 AM.png

After a couple of rehab starts, Jon Moscot returns from the disabled list to make his 2016 debut against the Cardinals. During spring training, Moscot suffered an intercostal strain, otherwise he likely would have made the rotation out of the gate. Moscot made three starts for the Reds in 2015, the third cut short in the first inning after he dislocated his shoulder reaching for a tag.

On the other end of things, Michael Wacha is coming off an All-Star 2015 and a strong showing in his last start against the Brewers. In that game, Wacha struck out seven over 6.0 scoreless frames, righting the ship after a laborious first start to the season. ESPN’s Mark Saxon described why Wacha can be so successful as follows:

That’s because Wacha is 6-foot-6 and, when he is most effective, is typically obliterating the lower half of the strike zone. The ball bores through the hitting area at a downward angle, meaning it doesn’t stay there long, is hard to square up and usually looks low by the time the catcher has it. It’s like trying to hit an acorn blown out of a tree.

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. Jon Moscot (P)
1. Matt Carpenter (3B)
2. Stephen Piscotty (RF)
3. Brandon Moss (LF)
4. Randal Grichuk (CF)
5. Matt Adams (1B)
6. Jedd Gyorko (2B)
7. Greg Garcia (SS)
8. Eric Fryer (C)
9. Michael Wacha (P)

Home(r) Bound
Homer Bailey is heading back to the Ohio River banks after making his final extended Spring Training start. The Reds ace still has a few minor league rehab starts ahead of him before pitching in the bigs, but any progress is good progress, especially with the current state of the rotation.

In other rotation news, Dan Straily may be moving into Tim Melville’s spot, according to C. Trent Rosecrans. The move sounds a bit like switching from off-brand Band-Aids to the real deal to me, but if it works, I won’t complain.

Sticking by Hoover
In theory, naming your closer to be the guy named after a household appliance who cleans up messes makes perfect sense. In practice, names are fairly arbitrary and have no bearing on what happens on the field.

Despite this revelation and Hoover serving up a two-run shot in the ninth yesterday, Price will still stick with the big righty as the Reds’ closer. Granted, this decision could be because the Reds really have no other options at present. Price’s vote of confidence behind Hoover was neither confident nor a vote for Hoover; it was just resignation.

“He’s not throwing the ball the way that he’s capable of. But he’s joining a club with a lot of members,” Price said. “I don’t mean any disrespect by that but we’re not throwing the ball as well as we’re capable of. It will get better.”

Yikes.

Tomfoolery

It seemed that one fan didn’t know the name of probably the most prolific current baseball player. It seemed that one fan was making of fool of himself on national TV. It seemed like there were small, funny moments left in the world and humor could still arise from the little things.

Nothing was what it seemed and all attempts at humor are stale and scripted. Alas.

Concluding Thoughts
It’s another perfect day for baseball here in St. Louis, and the Reds will be looking to reclaim sole ownership of second place in the Central. I wish I could get out there again for another game today, but work awaits.

If you’re planning on attending the upcoming home stand with games against the Colorado Rockies and the Cubs, you can find the lowest ticket prices and support Redleg Nation by using TiqIQ.

Go Reds!

106 Responses

  1. Eric the Red

    Is Hamilton hurt? Two off days in a row, and all that outfield grass that needs to be covered….

    • Steve Mancuso

      Price says it’s the offense determining playing time. Hamilton did come in for three innings yesterday.

      Maybe a better question is if Hamilton has lost the CF job?

      • Patrick Jeter

        Yikes! Maybe Price doesn’t understand offense?

        Current wRC+ for Hamilton: 92
        Current wRC+ for Schebler: 56

        My guess… Price only looking at batting average.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Or Hamilton-Wacha history. That would be discouraging, if true.

      • MrRed

        Yup. Howevuh, just about 30 PAs for both players so far. Basically, if Schebler can run into a couple of extra base hits, he’s right there with Billy. Got to think he’s going to bring more to the plate than Billy over the course of the season.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Oh, absolutely. More PAs and Schebler will be the better hitter. But overall, not so sure.

        Yeah, Hamilton-Wacha history would be quite discouraging as a rationale.

      • VaRedsFan

        I’m probably one of the only ones here that think that if you are 1-21 against a pitcher, is of some significance.

      • Patrick Jeter

        This probably won’t convince you, VAREDSFAN, but batting average takes something like 900 PA before it means anything. 20 is a long was from 900.

      • ohiojimw

        Interesting take on things… Wonder if the catalyst is actually Duvall’s performance to date pushing Schebler out of PT in LF?

      • Shchi Cossack

        The substitution in CF seems odd since Hamilton is now hitting .185/.313/.407 for a .720 OPS compared to Schebler’s .207/.233/.379 for a .613 OPS. I think most of us would not be uncomfortable with Hamilton at a .313 OBP, although a more league average value would certainly be preferable. Schebler is not even a good LF, not to mention a good CF. Schebler’s value is in his bat, not his defense and Hamilton, with his elite CF defense, is producing better offensively than Schebler.

        As you noted in the prior thread, Price appears to be basing his decision to sit Hamilton against Wacha on 21 prior appearances against Wacha. How many times has Schebler faced Wacha? If there was any reasonable expectation that Schebler might be a viable CF option, I could see the efficacy, but Schebler will never be anything even approaching a good defensive CF.

      • Eric the Red

        Well, with Moscot’s strikeout stuff, the small outfield, and a fresh bullpen in case a few extra balls fall in, everything should be fine. Oh, wait….

      • ohiojimw

        Another possibility is that Hamilton’s shoulder is barking a little bit; and, in Reds tradition they are obfuscating about the situation.

      • Shchi Cossack

        That’s actually what I was thinking. I’ve seen Hamilton grabbing at the shoulder over his last few appearances.

      • Patrick Jeter

        I’m curious why you are so down on Schebler as a defender. From what we saw in ST, he looked good. He had one mis-read yesterday, which to be honest, is probably mis-read by a lot of regular CFs.

        Other than watching his minor league career with the Dodgers, I don’t know why folks are assuming he’s so bad. He’s athletic and probably the 2nd fastest player on the team; so he’s got that going for him at least.

  2. Patrick Jeter

    I’m a little sad to hear the Bruce Harper sign was a hoax.

  3. Indy RedMan

    I would cut Schebler some slack on that ball yesterday. He hasn’t played out there much and the guy kind of reached for the ball low and it didn’t look like much off the bat? He did make 1 nice running catch and he’s got good speed. With the way everyone is hitting though I would go with Ham’s glove/arm out there in the 9 hole but it is kind of nice to have a 3-4 hole guy in the minors with real power like Schebler in the 8 hole! I don’t think Moscot is much more than a Melville/Josh Smith type so hopefully I can be proven wrong? Can’t they call up Bob Steve and/or Reed pretty soon and still keep the extra year before free agency?

  4. Eric the Red

    The Hamilton thing is strange. Has Schebler really been that much of an offensive juggernaut? Didn’t it seem Billy was starting to have an offensive pulse, taking a few walks and hitting the ball on the ground?

    If Billy has lost the CF job but will be coming in in the late innings, I hope we find ways to bring him in as a pinch runner rather than starting a defensive half inning or pinch hitting.

  5. Mark Lang

    “In theory, naming your closer to be the guy named after a household appliance who cleans up messes makes perfect sense.”

    Except when you consider that a vacuum is also a household appliance that both sucks and blows.

  6. CI3J

    It really does make no sense if Price has given up on Hamilton after only 11 games. BHam’s defense is so good that even if they just put a carbord cutout of him at the plater for all of his ABs, he’d still finish with a positive WAR. Given that a player is starting with a positive WAR, wouldn’t it make sense to roll the dice and see if he can add even more value on the offensive side of things?

    If BHam has lost his starting job due to performance, it would be a truly baffling move on Price’s part.

    • Vicferrari

      I doubt to a slower player with far less superior defensive skills who has little experience and worse offensive stats… I would suspect Billy just needs some time off

    • Patrick Jeter

      Agreed. If he’s lost his job due to performance, it’s crazy. (FWIW, I don’t think he’s lost his job. I think as Steve mentioned above, Wacha has as much to do with Hamilton sitting as Schebler)

      Either way, I am fine with Schebler getting some PT to see if he’s going to be a part of the next Reds contender. We pretty much know what Billy is. We don’t necessarily know what Scott is.

      • Shchi Cossack

        The only portion of the playing time argument you proferred that I would amend is that if the Reds want to get a good look at Schebler or Holt, then option Hamilton back to AAA while they complete such an evaluation. Hamilton started the season with 2.028 days of major league service time. A couple of months at AAA while continuing to work on his plate approach and the Reds get an extended look at Schebler and Holt (not to mention Duvall) at the major league level could pay dividends on multiple levels.

    • VaRedsFan

      Not a popular stat here, but Billy is 1-21 vs. Wacha

    • Chuck Schick

      I don’t believe a lame duck manager, coming off a 98 loss season has the power to determine who the starters are. I’m sure the FO wants to audition guys in different spots.

  7. Vicferrari

    So is Simon still starting tomorrow??? After pitching in relief Friday??? Why is Mellville still on this roster???? Are they seriously going to start him Wed???
    I know the bullpen is a mess but it would be really great if the Reds could find someone to go 6 innings. Is any other team even close to the average innings from their starter, as I know it is below 5.

  8. preacherj

    Get ’em on, get ’em over, get ’em in…..

  9. preacherj

    Even with Billy out, this defense should be a LOT better than what it has been showing.

  10. preacherj

    We are hitting Wacha hard. There have been some tremendous cuts so far.

  11. I-71_Exile

    Listening to Pink Floyd, wishing BP were elsewhere.

  12. preacherj

    Wacha aint fooling anyone. We need to hit him before he finds a groove.

  13. preacherj

    I think this guy is the new Craig Biggio

  14. preacherj

    The Reds are hitting it on the button, but can’t get much to drop in.

  15. I-71_Exile

    It goes without saying: BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE!

  16. preacherj

    Way to take advantage of the bad defense! Good job by Brandon and Hatcher.

  17. preacherj

    Big Mes! Ironically, we’ve been hitting it hard all game and are beginning to bread through on dribblers and errors.

  18. I-71_Exile

    Boy it’s nice seeing the Reds swing some loud bats.

    • I-71_Exile

      On Gameday they all look like screamers.

  19. preacherj

    Don’t think this one can be overturned.

  20. Indy RedMan

    Schebler is Boesch’ng right now….might as well go with Billy in the 9 hole? I guess he atleast give Duvall some protection that he wouldn’t have with the pitcher or Billy behind him? Lets go Moscot….get in a rhythm now!!

  21. preacherj

    Why would Cozart even act like he is bunting?

  22. VaRedsFan

    3rd time thru the lineup….bear down Moscot

    • VaRedsFan

      Not exactly what i had in mind. tie game

  23. I-71_Exile

    Two close misses and BOOM. Dang it.

    • vegastypo

      Yeah, for whatever reliability the strike zone on Gameday has, Ball 2 and Ball 3 to Carpenter were strikes.

  24. preacherj

    Let’s spin the positive: George just said that was the first hit by hitters 1-5 in the Cards lineup.

  25. vegastypo

    The bad news is the Cardinals tied it up. The really bad news is that Moscot probably has at most one inning left, then the door to the bullpen swings open and … I don’t wanna think about it.

  26. VaRedsFan

    87 pitches for Moscot. Call it a day, or 1 more inning?

  27. I-71_Exile

    The Reds’ bullpen is kind of like the Royals’ in that a Trabant is kind of like a Ferrari.

  28. I-71_Exile

    Come on Brandon. You have old man legs.

  29. BigRedMike

    Shifts work. Adams ground out

    Moscot looks decent. Good movement on the slider in the zone

  30. Patrick Jeter

    Has Grande been saying “Smiling side of the scoreboard” forever? If so, I just noticed it yesterday.

      • preacherj

        ….and I would take George 7 days a week and a double header on Sunday over THOM!

  31. preacherj

    Don’t agree with that one. Looks like he wasn’t touched by that pitch to me.

    • vegastypo

      Yeah, yet they made the decision so quickly. I wonder what replay they were privy to.

  32. preacherj

    Here comes the bullpen…..strap in, folks……..

    • BigRedMike

      Do not want to watch, but, I just have to see the potential disaster

  33. preacherj

    Thank heavens for defensive placement that inning. Sheesh.

  34. preacherj

    More of that from the bench, please……

  35. Patrick Jeter

    Game of inches.

    Two “ties” at first base and both go the Cardinals way.

  36. preacherj

    Cingrani’s numbers don’t look too bad but is there anybody in this bullpen that isn’t averaging a walk an inning?

  37. VaRedsFan

    Lead off walk to a lefty by Cingrani…*facepalm*

  38. sezwhom

    Is it mandatory every Reds reliever starts their first batter off with a Walk? Sure seems like it.

  39. preacherj

    That would have been a simple play for Billy. Good thing Zach’s knee is healed up.

  40. sezwhom

    Ohlendorf is NOT our 8th inning option. My gawd. It’s so obvious. Bullpen just kills us.

    • BigDonkey44

      Just seems like another Badenhop. This bullpen is atrocious.

  41. VaRedsFan

    There are no 8th inning options, or 9th, 7th, 6th…ect

  42. TR

    3-3, eighth inning and you walk the first man up. How much effort did the front office make this off-season to give the Reds a good bullpen?

    • Don

      On the radio they hinted that Price gave him no time to warm up and he likely wasn’t ready. Frustrating because they guessed in the booth Cards would pinch Adams the inning before

  43. preacherj

    Swell. At least the game wasn’t miserable.