Game Thread

Reds vs Rockies – April 18, 2016

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The Cincinnati Reds (6-6) are coming off a tough 1-5 road trip. They will look to get back to winning baseball during a 7-game homestand. The Reds are 5-1 this season at Great American Ball Park. They will play a four game series against the first place Cubs this upcoming weekend, but first they will begin a three game series against the hot Colorado Rockies (7-5). The Rockies have a ferocious offense, and have been lead early by the surprising young shortstop Trevor Story. He already has 7 home runs on the young season.

Starting Pitchers

StrailyLyles

Tonight’s matchup features two pitchers who have both been traded at different times for Dexter Fowler.

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Dan Straily will get his chance in the Reds rotation. He has done a decent job in 8.1 innings as the Reds long reliever. The Reds picked up Straily off waivers from the Padres. He was traded to the Padres just a few days prior to that from the Astros.

Straily was a 24th round draft pick back in 2009 by the Oakland A’s. He quickly rose through the A’s system, as he compiled an impressive 9.5 K/9 throughout his minor league career. He was a September call-up for the A’s in 2012 before pitching nearly all of 2013. In 2013, Straily posted a 3.96/4.05 FIP in 27 starts with the A’s. He finished 4th in the AL Rookie of the Year vote, and even made a start in the ALDS for the A’s against the Tigers (6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K).

Straily struggled in 2014 with the A’s, posting a 4.93 ERA/5.66 FIP in 7 starts, and was sent back to AAA. He was then traded to the Cubs along with Addison Russell for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. He only made 7 appearances for the Cubs in 2014 (1 start) before being traded again in the offseason. He was traded to the Astros with Luis Valbuena for Dexter Fowler.

Straily spend most of 2015 at AAA, posting a 4.77 ERA/3.66 FIP in 122.2 IP. He only made 4 appearances (3 starts) at the big league level. The Reds are hoping they have found a diamond in the rough with Straily. His 4.77 ERA last year at AAA might not look great, but his peripherals there do. He posted a 9.10 K/9, 1.83 BB/9, and 0.95 HR/9. Those are all significantly better than league average.

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Jordan Lyles was the Houston Astros first round pick back in 2008. He dominated single A in 2009, posting a 3.24 ERA/2.70 FIP in 144.2 IP. He continued to push his way through the farm system until making his debut in 2011. Unfortunately for Lyles, he could never get it going in the big leagues with the Astros. In 72 appearences with the Astros (65 starts) he posted a 5.35 ERA/4.40 FIP.

Lyles was traded to the Rockies in December 2013 for Dexter Fowler. He pitched better in 2014 for the Rockies, posting a 4.33 ERA/4.22 FIP (which isn’t all that bad when your home ballpark is in Denver). He missed most of 2015 with a toe injury, but did post a 3.79 FIP in 10 starts.

Lyles began his career as a high strikeout guy in the minors, but that has not materialized in the majors. He is only projected to put up 5.81 K/9 this season. Where he has had success has been keeping the ball in the park. So far with the Rockies he has a 0.7 HR/9. That of course is very important in Colorado.

Starting Lineup

Rockies Reds
1. Gerardo Parra (LF)
2. Trevor Story (SS)
3. Carlos Gonzalez (RF)
4. Nolan Arenado (3B)
5. Ben Paulsen (1B)
6. Brandon Barnes (CF)
7. Cristhian Adames (2B)
8. Tony Wolters (C)
9. Jordan Lyles (P)
1. Zack Cozart (SS)
2. Jordan Pacheco (3B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Brandon Phillips (2B)
5. Jay Bruce (RF)
6. Adam Duvall (LF)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Dan Straily (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

The Rockies offense is really good. Their 112 team wRC+ is the third best in the NL behind the Cardinals and Pirates. The big story for the Rockies has been Trevor Story (pun absolutely intended). He hit 7 bombs in the first six games for the Rockies. He hasn’t even been their best hitter though. Carlos Gonzalez actually has the highest wRC+ at 180 (Story is at 174). Story, Gonzalez, and Nolan Arenado have a combined 17 home runs. The Reds entire team only has 10 home runs. This Rockies lineup is scary.

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Eugenio Suarez gets his first day off in 2016. Jordan Pacheco makes the start at third base against his former team. Pacheco was drafted by the Rockies, and played in Colorado between 2011-2014. Devin Mesoraco gets another day off. This will be 6 out of 13 games so far in 2016 that Mesoraco has started the game on the bench (he has appeared in 10 games though). Mesoraco did start on Saturday and Sunday.

Concluding Thoughts

The more that I look at Dan Straily’s numbers, the more I think the Reds could have something here. He has been traded around a lot for a guy who is only 27 years old, and maybe he just needs a place to stick. He is just another high strikeout guy in the Reds rotation to go a long with Iglesias, Finnegan, Lamb, and Bailey. Anyway, the Reds have been really good at GABP this year. The Rockies are off to a hot start, but they have got to come back to earth at some point. This is the time for that to happen. Go Reds!

83 thoughts on “Reds vs Rockies – April 18, 2016

  1. Four big hits. Straily gets it done, but not able to say the same of Ohlendorf and Diaz.

  2. Suppose that by the end of the 2016 season, the Reds have their rotation pretty much figured out. Iglesias, DeSclafani, and Bailey are locks for 2017 (assuming they remain healthy). The remaining two spots likely go to two of the following: Reed, Stephenson, Moscot, Finnegan, Lamb, or Lorenzen. Once the rotation is settled, the bullpen will hopefully receive a major overhaul. Sampson is already gone. I think it’s safe to assume that Melville, Diaz, Ohlendorf, and Simon are next on the chopping block. By the end of the 2016 season (or even by the end of May), assuming everyone is healthy, the bullpen could potentially look like this: Lorenzen, Lamb, Finnegan, Moscot, Cingrani, Straily, and Hoover. That also results in two pitchers being sent two AAA- Cotham and Wood, perhaps?

    Obviously, this situation is unlikely to play out exactly as I’ve described it, either due to injuries or ineffectiveness. Still, it’s a good problem to have and the Reds will likely have some major decisions to make this coming winter regarding some of their starting pitchers/ starting pitcher prospects. Who do they keep in the rotation, who goes to the bullpen, who is kept at AAA, and who is traded for a bat or multiple relievers?

    • I’d like to see Finnegan stay in the rotation, and have Lorenzen go to the pen, then after the All-Star break, they could switch roles and both build up their innings in advance of 2017.

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