What a difference a night makes. Yesterday, Reds hitters saw a grand total of 76 pitches in seven innings against Rockies starter Jordan Lyles. Tonight, the Reds offense chased Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa before he could record an out in the third inning. Reds hitters saw 63 pitches in 2.0 innings against De La Rosa.

The Reds offense got rolling in the second inning. Billy Hamilton drove in two runs with a double down the left-field line. That gave the Reds a 2-1 lead. Zack Cozart then had a brilliant ten pitch at-bat, and extended his hitting streak to ten games. His single up the middle gave the Reds a 3-1 lead.

That would be more than enough for Robert Stephenson. The Reds number two prospect was called up earlier in the day to make a start after Alfredo Simon couldn’t go. Stephenson showed much of his great promise tonight, shutting down the lethal Rockies offense over seven innings.

J.J. Hoover made things interesting in the ninth inning. He gave up a two-run homer to Mark Reynolds, which cut the lead to 4-3. Ben Paulsen hit a ball to the warning track, but Jay Bruce was able to get to it and secure a Reds win. The Reds are back to .500 at 7-7 on the season.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (7-7) 4 9 0
Colorado Rockies (8-6) 3 5 1
W: Stephenson (2-0) L: De La Rosa (1-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Reds Rockies WPA

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Billy Hamilton’s 2-RBI double with 2 outs in the 2nd inning, giving the Reds a 2-1 lead. That play increased the Reds chances of winning by 18.0%.

Other important plays (+/- indicates how much each play increased or decreased the Reds chances of winning):

  • +10.2% – 2nd inning: Mesoraco single. Runners on 1st & 3rd, 0 outs (Rockies lead 1-0)
  • +6.9% – 2nd inning: Cozart RBI single with 2 outs (Reds lead 4-1)
  • -9.5% – 2nd inning: Stephenson allows a RBI single to Paulsen with 2 outs (Rockies lead 1-0)
  • -8.0% – 2nd innning: Stephenson strikes out with runners on 2nd & 3rd. 2 outs (Rockies lead 1-0)

Player of the Game

Robert Stephenson: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 3.12 FIP, 0.21 WPA

StephensonTwitter

Stephenson was terrific in his second start in the big leagues. His curveball was absolutely nasty, and he was still hitting 96 MPH on his fastball in the 7th inning. He didn’t get a lot of strikeouts, but he kept the Rockies hitters off-balance all night. He has struggled at times in the minors with control, but overall it was good tonight. He only walked two batters in 7.0 innings.

Positives

image

Zack Cozart extended his hitting streak to 10-games with an amazing 10-pitch AB in the 2nd inning. Cozart fouled off pitch after pitch, until he finally ripped a single up the middle to give the Reds a 4-1 lead.

The Reds stole five bases (!) in the second inning. Jorge De La Rosa apparently doesn’t know how to hold runners on base.

Billy

Billy Hamilton came through with a huge hit in the second inning. His 2-RBI double with 2 outs in the 2nd inning kept the Reds rally alive, and was crucial toward chasing De La Rosa early.

Caleb Cotham has been the one bright spot in the Reds dreadful bullpen. Cotham has yet to allow an earned run in 8.0 innings this year.

BP

Brandon Phillips went 4 for 4, and was a home run away from the cycle. Don’t look now, but Phillips is hitting .333/.367/.511 on the season.

Negatives

Joey Votto is struggling. Votto went 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts. Votto is now hitting .196/.288/.275 on the season.

J.J. Hoover gave up another two run bomb tonight. He now has a 15.19 ERA on the season. Yikes.

Not so random thoughts…….

I was skeptical about Zack Cozart actually turning a corner offensively after his hot start last year. I’m starting to believe he just might have. Cozart entered play having hit .286/.329/.480 with a 114 wRC+ in 250 PA since the start of 2015. Only 1 of the 20 qualifying MLB SS in 2015 had a better wRC+ (Brandon Crawford – 117). I don’t think Cozart can keep up a 114 wRC+ over an entire season, but if he can hang around 100, then he is easily a top 5 MLB SS with his elite defense.

Bryan Price decided to not go with J.J. Hoover to start the 9th inning. He started the inning with Cingrani against the lefty Carlos Gonzalez. He then went to Hoover to face the right-handed hitter Arenado. It was smart managing by Bryan Price letting both pitchers pitch in the 9th, even though Hoover gave up another bomb. He set his players up for success, and didn’t let the ridiculous closer role completely dictate his decision making.

Around the NL Central

The Brewers beat the Twins 6-5 this afternoon. Scooter Gennett had a go-ahead RBI single in the 9th inning. The Cubs lead the Cardinals 2-1 in the 6th inning. The Pirates begin a 10-game west coast trip tonight in San Diego at 10:10.

Chicago Cubs 10-3
St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 3.0 GB
Pittsburgh Pirates 7-6 3.0 GB
Cincinnati Reds 7-7 3.5 GB
Milwaukee Brewers 6-8 4.5 GB

Up Next: 

Rockies at Reds
Wednesday, 12:35 PM
TV: MLB Network (select areas); Radio: 700 WLW
Raisel Iglesias (3 GS, 3.24 ERA, 3.72 FIP) vs Chad Bettis (3 GS, 2.95 ERA, 4.16 FIP)

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

Join the conversation! 81 Comments

  1. I agree with everything you wrote until the last statement. Bringing in Cingrani was the right move. Pulling him after a strikeout when 3 of the next four hitters are LH, and the RH is Mark Reynolds who can turn on that straight fat fastball that Hoover throws as well as anyone in baseball was not the move. Period. IMHO, that cast a shadow over the whole evening.

    Hopefully Price will see that JJ is not a closer, and will stop running him out there.

    • I seriously doubt that decision to use Hoover as the closer is Price’s. The primary objective this year is to see who can play…..wins are secondary.

      • Monday night was apparently enough seen of Jumbo. Hopefully Tuesday will do it for Hoover in a leverage role at least.

        • I was shocked seeing them send down Jumbo when he hasn’t even been the worst guy in the bullpen. Yes, he has struggled and a few weeks in AAA is likely all he will need to regain confidence, but Ohlendorf and Melville have both been worse. Would be surprised if he isn’t back within 2-3 weeks if he shows some competency in AAA and the Major League bullpen doesn’t get its act together.

        • I din’t believe Jumbo is or will be the competition for Ohlendorf or Melville. I do agree that Melville specifically has no business on the major league roster, past, present or future. The pitchers being pushed out of the starting rotation will be the real competition. Straily will be and excess starter in 2-3 weeks. Simon will be an excess starter whenever he comes off the DL. Moscot may be an additional casualty as a starter soon and Lorenzen may only have a role as a reliever in 2016 due to his bout with mono.

          Jumbo specifically has a problem with his age and talent. His velocity is down and may never come back for the 32-year-old reliever. Without that 99 MPH fastball, his effectiveness becomes questionable. His fastball has never had good movement and with the decreased velocity it just becomes a sitting duck. The Reds lost a year and a half of opportuntiy by keeping him in AAA for 2013 and half of 2014 when he could have really helped at the major league level. Now his time has probably run out due to age decline.

    • +10 Preach. Cingrani was overpowering. Dominant. And he gets pulled after q quick strike out? Get real.

    • Let’s play Devil’s Advocate, Cingrani is probably needed tomorrow and if he only throws 3 pitches tonight he is a lot more fresh than expecting him to throw 4 out of the last 5 days. Hoover gets the job done, probably would get a lot less flack if he walks Moss Sat and Reynolds tonight and gets out of it unscathed, but who cares if he gives the homer in that situation. Strangely I think its better he gave them something to hit- instead of wlaking them, I think it will even out- hopefully when it matters and he starts preserving one run leads
      All the love that Cotham and Wood are getting, I predict they blow more saves than Hoover by Memorial day and all will realize that Price has very few options.

      • If you manage today’s game based on tomorrow’s possible needs, you won’t be or shouldn’t be managing very long. You never know what tomorrow will bring. We could come out and score 10 runs in the first 3 innings, or give up 10 runs in the first 3 innings. Then you wouldn’t need to pitch Cingrani at all. That is just nonsense.

        Cingrani was a starter in college who got moved to the bullpen because he had very little control. He thrived in the bullpen his senior year. I don’t understand why they won’t just give him a chance at the closer role. He struck out the Rockie’s best hitter on 3 quality pitches and his reward was to hit the showers. I just don’t understand the logic.

        • Agree. IMO Cingrani has been mismanaged in his time between starter & reliever. Seems he is reliever now, but agree still not handled properly on his “role” out of the pen.

        • By your logic they should just have brought in Chapman anytime they had a lead in the 7th, who cares about tomorrow.
          But I agree Cingrani is the obvious choice as closer- began doubting myself after last Monday’s game. If having LH match-ups is so important then they should really search, I am sure you get 2 lefties to be a LOOGY over some of these guys

        • He is Price’s whipping boy. Before he got injured he was one of the most effective on the staff. Now, after becoming healthy, Price seems reluctant to use him as a starter or reliever.. I don’t know if it’s a personality issue or misjudgment. Price seems unable to understand his staff’s talent and their heart. I certainly hope Price is gone soon.

        • Because the next time he pitches (today, as it happens), he could easily be ineffective (he evidently was, though I didn’t see it). He is not consistent.

        • I respectfully disagree with this statement. Knowing how guys are feeling physically, mentally, etc on the bench and bullpen and managing this on a day to day basis is why we have managers. While high leverage and Saber metrics are important, until you’ve iced down an arm following an outing or had a bad warmup you won’t realize that pitchers are just little video game characters that are always 100% ready. (I’m an ex pitcher).

        • ** NOT little video game characters…

    • There’ll be more options for closer role as long as pitchers in DL resume duties roster. Sampson and Jumbo are already gone, others will follow…

    • I thought he should have stuck with Cingrani. Hoover has demonstrated he doesn’t have a lock on late inning high leverage situations. Price has also said in the past that he doesn’t believe in match up based management of the bullpen based on handedness. Yet he went against his own “wisdom” or rules tonight only to see Hoover get torched (who saw that one coming…).

      • Price has also said in the past that he DOES believe in accountability. Apparently that doean’t apply to giving up walks and gopher balls, at least regarding Hoover. It certainly applied to Jumbo. The accouintability also seems to bypass Melville.

  2. Good recap, Nick!

    One note: The line for Votto was entering the game. He’s now at .196/.288/.275. He’s hitting the ball hard and has stopped hitting so many grounders the last few games… I think he’ll break out soon. He has to!

    • Thanks, must have been looking at the wrong line on Fangraphs.

    • This is historic bad, maybe Marty can start some more Joey is not elite talk. Seems like right after that he had an amazing line for months if I recall.
      When have any of those slash lines ever occurred for him???

      • Over a 14 game period? Probably more often than we’d realize. Since it’s happening to start a season we notice it a lot more.

        • Yeah, I was speaking of the start and to have that obp at any point in his career (not a period); ready for the run of games that get him back to career norms

      • EXACTLY Vic!!! Marty’s statement was the key to Votto’s season last year.

    • Hopefully, it’s worrisome!!!

  3. Was it me or did Cingrani seem like he was about to boil over after Price pulled him? It seems as if he was expecting to be able finish the inning. If he was, that’s just poor communication on the part of the coaching staff and on Price.

    • You are correct about the poor communication part, but I suspect that Toni Cingrani channels his inner Christian Bale when on the mound and imagines each hitter moving his light.

    • I wouldn’t make too much of that, Cingrani is very emotional out there and was obviously pumped to be throwing in the 9th inning in a save situation.

      He was a closer in college and if he can stay healthy he would make sense as a closer, but I’d prefer to see 9th inning match ups using him and someone other than Hoover.

    • It’s no secret Cingrani and Price don’t see eye to eye. Can’t say I blame him after last night.

  4. I can almost buy into the experiment angle (i.e., Ws aren’t as important now as finding out what players can do), but I would have much preferred to experiment with having Cingrani pitch out the 9th…let’s see what he might do in a closer role. Plus, I love Cingrani’s emotion when he’s cranking, so it would have been very cool to see how he finished.

    • Would have been a lot easier had he not had so a bizarre outing last Monday in Chicago. Gets ahead 0-2 on Heyward, then gives up smash 2 run single, gets Bryant out, then Rizzo next inning, then seems like he cannot find the strike zone, tough call to stick with him after that

      • Yes, agreed that was a peculiar outing. I’d like to think it was the freak/horrible weather conditions. Overall, I like what I’ve seen out of Cingrani in 2016…beginning with Spring.

        • Was not having a bad season last year through mid June, but then he could not avoid the injuries and just gave up too many multi run innings when he came back.

  5. Bring up Lamb to be the situational lefty (for now) with that big curveball and let TonyC close!!

    What I wanted to mention though was how Bob Steve came inside often tonite and jammed some guys….he also has that big slow curve. To me Lorenzen has just as good of an arm as Stephenson and maybe better? Its my opinion that college pitchers get used to rarely if ever coming inside because jamming someone with an aluminum bat doesn’t work? Lorenzen also has a slider but the change of speeds isn’t that great. He just needs some more seasoning….maybe in the minors but I think they’re both guys that could be very good starters. Bob Steve didn’t K that many tonite and some people seem to find that to be a hole in Lorenzen’s game? I haven’t looked but I bet Bob Steve innings as a professional baseball pitcher dwarf ML’s?

    • A big part of Lorenzen’s issue was that he wasn’t actually a pitcher in college. He was a full time CF who closed games. The stats I’ve found on him say he pitched less than 50 innings in his college career

      http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profile.asp?P=michael-lorenzen

      The professional innings numbers I came up with on BBRef are ML=313; RS=467.2 (counting tonight). Actually I these are much closer to each other than I thought they would. basically RS has an additional full season plus what he has done to date this year over Lorenzen.

      • Yes and the usual reply on Lorenzon’s low K rate is that he hasn’t learned to set up hitters yet.

        For 2016 Price has said that Lorenzon’s role will likely be in the bullpen and I think he could easily be the Reds best reliever. In a few appearences last year in the bullpen, he looked great, throwing 97-98 with location.

        • Agree he should be in the pen this year to keep it from being a totally lost year.

        • I don’t think that’s his problem…he doesn’t call his own pitches so it doesn’t make sense.

          His issue has been inability to throw strikes and/or get ahead of hitters. He also doesn’t seem to have a true out pitch that he can consistently count on to get swings and misses.

  6. A re-building team is run from the front office as the long view is all that matters. Price is there to help develop pitchers and to execute on what the FO wants done.

    It’s obvious he’s not being evaluated by W-L’s…..but how the young pitchers grow and how accommodating he is to what Williams wants him to do. Price recieves a rather nice direct deposit on the 1st and 15th of the month….I’m sure he would like for that to continue after this year.

    ” Knowing” that JJ Hoover can’t close is far more important to the Reds future than a few games in April that will soon be forgotten.

    • The emerging problem for the front office is that the team is playing better than they anticipated was possible.

      The season is nearly a tenth behind them; and, at worst the team will be 7-9 over the that first tenth. This is with 3 starting pitchers and perhaps baseball’s worse bullpen and Votto contributing not much more than Hamilton to date. Looking ahead, Lamb, Bailey, and Desclafani may all be back by the middle of May; and the genie looks to be out of the bottle that Stephenson is ready for prime time. Then there are Peraza and Winker who are playing well at AAA, and maybe Reed.

      When everybody has been saying the team will be better later in the year anyway, the front office could be looking at a public relations nightmare if openly fold and tank rather than trying to fix the the pen for a possible WC run.

      Part of this is the front office’s own doing. They decided not to cut bait on Bruce by taking what was there to take and not to put the money up to buy out Phillip’s no trade rights. The rest is that to date Cozart has done well as has Suarez; and Duvall is looking like he could be that long missing LF bat at least as one side of a platoon.

      It promises to be an interesting summer both on and off the field.

      • It’s not going to happen this season, because the NL Central has good teams, but who can forget 2006, when the Reds were better than GM Krivsky (and everyone else) thought they could be and could easily have won the division with just an average bullpen. Krivsky went into panic mode and hurt the team while trying to improve the bullpen in mid-season.

        Even after an August West coast collapse, the Reds were not eliminated from winning the NL Central until the 2nd to last day of the season, when the Cardinals won a day game. The Cardinals won the division with 83 wins, and of course went on to win the WS.

        • I remember that well. The Reds for all intents and purposes folded their tents after either losing 2 of 3 or getting swept in Houston with 10-12 games to go afterwards. They were playing their call ups over their regulars then finally realized the Cards were stumbling towards the finish line too. The Reds basically punted away the last two games versus the then hapless Pirates after being eliminated on Friday nite and still finished just 3.5 back (there was an eventually unneeded game which was not played because of a Cardinals rainout).

        • OhioJim: Yep, memories. You’re right they were 80-80 when they got eliminated (but it was on Saturday afternoon) and then Narron rested a bunch of hurting players the last two games and they were shut out in both by the lowly Pirates.

          A limping Griifey Jr. hit a pinch hit game winning HR against the Cubs to help fuel a final week mini-winning streak that helped get them close to the free falling Cardinals.

      • You’re right, Jim…..to date. The Big 162 has a way of sorting things out.

        • Yes, we will see. However, the Reds starting pitching figures to only get stronger barring multiple continuing injuries; some of it will eventually end up in the bullpen leading to improvement there. Even with Bruce and Cozart eventually flipped, Peraza and Winker may well effectively fill those gaps. As I’ve said here, I look for them to end up in the mid 70’s in wins. But, how they get there could leave the typical fan in the street up in arms that could have done better with more effort from the front office.

  7. Hoover now looking good at all as the closer. Not sure why the Reds only have one left handed relief pitcher in Cingrani, You need two in the bullpen! Not sure who the closer should be? Maybe Cotham? I think Reds need to sit Hoover, and not pitch him for a week or so, and have him work on his stuff on the side, but do not put him in the games at all!

  8. From what I’m seeing on Twitter, during the postgame, Price told the media he would “sleep” on Hoover’s status as closer and talk to them more about that situation Wednesday.

    That sounds to me like buying time to check with his bosses and tell the players involved the news before he tells the media.

  9. A few numbers on Stephenson’s start:

    Avg 4-seam velocity: 93.9 (max 96.6)
    Avg Changeup velocity: 87.3 (89.5)
    Avg Curveball velocity: 80.8 (83.0)

    65 fastballs, 13 changeups, 27 curveballs

    Fastball induced 2 whiffs (3.1%), changeup induced no whiffs, curveball induced 5 whiffs (18.5%)

    • I think the 93-96 range is perfect for him to work in, until (if) his command improves. If he should have 1.5-2.0 MPH off his changeup he’d probably have better results. A 6.6 MPH diff between FB and CH isn’t fantastic.

    • RS said postgame that he liked his curve Tuesday but not his change up. Looking at the velocities I can see why. The difference was very borderline, needs to be greater to insure a misplaced change isn’t jumped like a batting practice get ahead fastball.

      • Yeah, he’s throwing his change too hard in relation to his fastball. It’s tricky to get the change right though because you need to keep the same arm-speed and arm-slot as the fastball. You also can’t totally choke the grip and make it a palm-ball because they often are seen (and tipped) if you break your hands too early. Not sure if he’s doing it already or not but one thing he can work on is dragging his back foot, which can shave a mph or two off your change. Keeping that arm-speed and arm-slot while still shaving enough velocity to get separation from the fastball is a tough thing for a pitcher to get right.

  10. Both Nick’s post and a lot of people have commented positively on Price’s use of Cingrani against Carlos Gonzalez, which was excellent (for now just commenting on that one matchup).
    If instead he just went with Hoover to start the inning, there’s a very good chance the Rockies would have tied the game or gone ahead.

    From what Price said after the game, from here he’s going to let Hoover find himself in a different role. Hoover isn’t this bad of course, but he has not established consistency so far in his career. Who could forget 2014 ? And he pitched poorly the last two months of last year. Too many walks, way too many HRs allowed over his career.

    • Don’t know if you saw it or not but Hoover’s failure rate in Save Situations was 28% last year (0 saves; 7 blown saves; 18 holds). Of course most of these Save Situations were 8th inning appearances setting up for Chapman.

      • Yes and as of July 20 2015, he had only 1 blown save. He had 1 9th inning blown save.

  11. As Nick said, it was positive to see that Price is not TOTALLY stuck on the “only the closer” in the 9th inning. Price should go by match ups in the 9th (as well as the 7th and 8th), rather than the usual “closer role” crap.

    Of course, you need good pitchers for high-leverage situations. My hope for the bullpen this year is that Cingrani-Lorenzon become a dynamic lefty/righty combo. Price has already said that Lorenzon will be pitching in relief when he returns.

    When Fred Hutchinson managed the Reds in their 1961 pennant winning season, he used a lefty/righty duo in the 9th (also used them outside of the 9th). Jim Brosnan (righty) and Bill Henry (lefty) combined for 32 saves, a whole lot in that era. (For one thing, the criterion for a save was tougher.)

    • Sparky did it too with Eastwick from the right and McEnaney from the left.

  12. Votto will be fine. He’s hitting the ball hard, it’s just been right people a lot. He is striking out more than usual, but I believe that’s just a fluke. You don’t play like an MVP the entire 2nd half of last year and thru spring training this year, and then all of a sudden fall into a river when Opening Day starts. IT’S A FLUKE. He’ll pick it up.
    Cozart has picked up right where he left off when he was injured. And finally hitting like we all expected and as he did as a rookie.
    If Stephenson is sent back down the Reds brass need their heads checked.
    This team can actually win some games if the Reds will ever figure out the bullpen is NOT the place to save money.
    When Homer is back….
    1. Iggy
    2. Homer
    3. Disco
    4. Finnegan
    5. Stephenson
    Move Simon & Moscot to the bullpen.
    Another lefty is also needed in the pen so bad.
    When Lamb is healthy he could be the guy.
    I don’t like sending Jumbo down, everyone struggles from time to time.
    I think Hoover will be ok. Pitch selection has been bad in my opinion.

    • You are absolutely correct in the assessment that Stephenson is one of the 5 best starting pitchers on the Reds roster and the Reds would win more games with him as a starter in 2016. The The flip side of that observation is when the Reds should win those games, 2016 or 2021? The Reds will burn a year of team control in a non-competitive season by starting Stephenson this season. In 2016, Stephenson would be 1 of the best 5 starting pitchers in the Reds starting rotation. By 2018, Stephenson may be 1 of the best 5 starting pitchers in the league and a true ace. If so, the Reds will not be able to afford his contract as a FA (just like Cueto). Also remember that Iggy won’t make it through a full season this year before the Reds have to shut him down.

      • They are a day under the window for control. He can stay up and they still control him the extra year. I believe that Steve worked that out yesterday as far as service time. What keeping him up will do however is assure that he’ll have “super2” status and therefore reach arbitration sooner and get 4 arb years. That doesn’t cost the Reds time that they control him but could cost them several million dollars.

    • Additional replacements for the starting rotation should be available before Simon comes off the DL, so he will almost certainly move to the bullpen, along with Moscot (probably). If Lamb is one of the best 5 starting pitchers, wouldn’t the Reds be better off, now and in the future, by making that detemination now and utilizing him wher his value is maximized (see Chapman, Aroldis)? In addition, Lorenzen is probably targeted for the bullpen due to his stamina issues coming back from his bout with mono. That’s 3 new bullpen arms for the 7 bullpen spots available. Straily also probably gets squeezed from the starting rotation to the bullpen, leaving just 3 other slots available in the bullpen. Cotham, Wood and Cingrani look like the pitchers to fill those 3 bullpen slots. Having an additional lefty in the bullpen would be nice, but quality is more important than handedness. Jumbo and Sampson have already been optioned back to AAA. Sampson may return at some point, but Jumbo is probably done at the majoe league level. Hoover may get additional time to turn things around, but the clock is ticking. There are other young relievers in the minor leagues who will be knocking on the door shortly, possibly as soon as this season.

      The bullpen is a place to save money within the budget, but not by continually shopping in the bargain basement for FA relievers. A team saves money by developing and utilizing young pitchers in the bullpen. This would be a philsophical change for the Reds, but that philosophy is what needs to change, not spending more on the bullpen with contract extentions and expensive FA signings.

      • I believe Jumbo was sent to AAA last year, where he regained his stuff. The he was was solid when he came back up. He might still have something left in the tank, as the 6th-7th guy in the pen, or as an injury replacement.

    • Cozart is off to a great start this season, but he is not hitting like his rookie season. During his rookie season (2011), Cozart slashed .324/.324/.486 in 38 PA w/ 0-BB, 0-2B, 0-3B & 2-HR before he ended the season on the DL. Cozart had a dead pull, all or nothing plate approach and experienced his success in a minutely small sample size before the league got a good gauge on his plate approach. Cozart continued with the same plate approach from 2012-2014 with poor results. This season, Cozart has been using an aggessive, professional plate approach by hitting to all fields and controlling the strike zone with his bat (the KC system of hitting), slashing .432/.425/.568 in 40 PA w/ 1-BB, 5-2B, 0-3B, & 0-HR. Note the transition from HR to 2B. This aggressinve, professional plate approach is equally effective as a patient, disciplined plate approach which increases walks and OBP. Cozart will certainly regress as his BAbip comes back from the stratosphere, but the approach may enable him to produce long-term, repeatable success at the plate.

      • I love the KC approach. Putting the ball in play, using all fields. Low strikeout totals. Very refreshing.

  13. I wonder if Cozart found Votto’s wallet and is keeping it for himself?
    🙂

  14. Wow, that curve ball IS nasty. Looks grooved right down the middle and drops to the dirt. There are some shining examples for the Reds’ future.

  15. I know that this is a a name that generates little excitement… but I would be surprised if we have seen the last of pedfro gvillereal until we get everyone back. somsen, diaz and villereal have all put up good numbers with the bats… and somsen or villereal can go multiple innings.
    i certainly enjoyed stephnson last night. we have 3 starters now who have bright futures.
    finnegan, iglesias and stephenson. bailey an disco on the way… to a lesser extent lamb and moscot. lorenzen coming back to the pen.
    season playing out the way many of us hoped.

    • pedro villereal. iphones.

    • Somsen (age 26), D.Diaz (age 27) & Villarreal (age 28) could all play a role going forward, not just this season. Wood, (age 30), Cotham (age 28) and Straily (age 27) are certainly not locks to contribute past this season or even contribute through this season.

  16. Its been a weird start offensively! If someone told you we’d be 14 games in and Votto, Meso, Duvall, Cozart, and Schebler would have 1 hr between them then you’d be very happy with 7-7! How bad have we been outhomered? GABP isn’t exactly the blueprint park for building an offense around manufacturing runs?

    • Reds out-homered 23 – 10 this year. Only 5 players have homered. BHam is one, Meso is not. Suarez has the same # of HR as Bruce and Votto COMBINED……. Crazy start for sure.

  17. Well, what a pitching performance by Stephenson last night. Just what he and the Reds needed. But what did it get him? A ticket back to Louisville. Stephenson sent to Louisville, Drew Hayes brought up to help out the bullpen.

    • First guy to give us 7 innings all year and we send him down? I don’t get it? I get that they need an extra year of control with him but 95% of the hitters in AAA can’t do anything w/a 95 mph fastball….that’s why they’re in the minors! They didn’t have any problem letting Lorenzen take his lumps with some real on-the-job training?

      • They surely could have used RS in the rotation until the reinforcements arrive in several weeks. However, since he still needs a week plus to save the year of team control, sending him back was the safe thing to do because heaven forbid he suffer an injury at the MLB level and end up on the MLB DL for the rest of the season accruing service time (like Moscot last year) which would cost them the year of control.

        Price did say that if Simon cannot make the start on Sunday, they would DL him which would allow the Reds to bring Stephenson back to pitch Sunday due to the injury replacement loop hole in the minimum 10 days down rule,

    • Yep, the question becomes as framed here yesterday by Steve, when will he be back for keeps. Will it be in a couple of weeks when it will be too late for him to accrue a full year of MLB service time this year or a couple of months so he will not become a super2 after the 2018 season?

  18. I can understand when I have heard some talk of how Stephenson needs more control/location. But, I do like what I see, with the exception of the control/location

    • Young Mr. Stephenson seems to me like a Tom Seaver in the making.

      • Tom Seaver was one of the 2-3 best pitchers of his generation. Robert Stephenson is one of the 2-3 best pitchers on the 2016 Cincinnati Reds…….lots of guys have had 2 good starts. I hope he’s a Hall of Famer, but lets put down the Kool-Aid.

  19. He’s been called up for 2 spot starts and here, going into the 3rd week of the season – he’s already number 4 on the team in Innings Pitched.

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About Nick Kirby

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

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Titanic Struggle Recap

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