Dan Straily has a certain ceiling. Today we saw just about his best game. Straily has proven to be a serviceable starting pitcher when the Reds needed one. But it’s hard to see him being one of the best five starters available to Bryan Price for long.

That said, as Matt Wilkes pointed out in his great breakdown of Straily this morning, the Reds made a nice signing when they picked up the right-hander after he had been waived by the San Diego Padres. Straily isn’t a washed-up veteran like Jason Marquis. He’s 27. If he keeps this up for a couple more months, Straily could be just the kind of player that can be flipped at the trade deadline for something. Or, the Reds could keep him around as a solid bullpen arm and spot starter.

The Reds bullpen was within one out of snapping an MLB-worst-of-all-time streak of allowing a run in 21 consecutive games. Somehow Ross Ohlendorf, who is awful, has risen to the top of the pile in Bryan Price’s mind. Hard to agree. Hard to disagree. Ohlendorf gave up a run.

Reds 7  SF Giants 4  |  FanGraphs  |  Obligatory Tony Bennett

Dan’s the Man Dan Straily had a chance to be the first Reds starter to get through seven innings this year. But with one out in the seventh, he loaded the bases and was replaced by Tony Cingrani. Straily gave up three runs, striking out four and walking two. That’s a good, not great, start but one the Reds needed.

Second to None The Reds struck for five runs in the second inning on homers from Brandon Phillips, Eugenio Suarez and Zack Cozart. Phillips tied the game 1-1 belting a solo shot to deep left field. Suarez’s blast also knocked in Jay Bruce who had doubled. Before his home run, Suarez had hit .186/.230/.271 in his previous 74 plate appearances, dating back to April 14. He had two more hits in the game. Cozart was back in the lineup for the first time since Saturday.

He’s Duvall the Rage Adam Duvall hit his second home run of the series against his former club. Duvall has the power to be a valuable major league left fielder. He needs to improve his batting average and walk-rate to be a well-rounded hitter. Jury is still out on his defense in the outfield, but early returns are positive.

Bullpen Report Tony Cingrani pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning, inducing a sacrifice fly and a ground ball. Cingrani followed that up with an easy 8th inning. Brantley: “Tony Cingrani threw the ball awfully good today.” Ross Ohlendorf gave up two doubles with two outs, giving up a run. Reminder that Ohlendorf isn’t good.

Injury Roll Call Anthony DeSclafani says he feels close to returning from his strained oblique injury. Billy Hamilton jammed the thumb that he hurt leaping over the fence in St. Louis and missed the start. He was available to pinch run. Devin Mesoraco is getting a second opinion on the best course of action for his torn labrum. Unlike with his hip injury last year, Mesoraco can hurt his shoulder worse by playing more, so surgery now seems like the right move.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 30 Comments

  1. Speedy recap Steve!!

  2. The cure for this version of the Reds seems to be more day games.

  3. Stephenson went 7 in his last start for the Reds. Still would have been an accomplishment for Straily

    I really hope they keep Straily around in the bullpen after he’s bumped from the rotation. We need guys out there who, you know, can actually get hitters out

    • I feel Straily might be best to leave as a starter bring stability to the rotation, I suspect Bailey, Lamb, Moscot, and Disco all have set backs. Maybe they ought to try to have Iglesias in the bullpen since he already has arm troubles. I thought Every one else thinks he cannot be a starter and he rarely gets through 6 innings.

      • Another way of going about things might be to trade somebody who looks to have a higher ceiling than Straily in order to get more back; and, hold on to Straily for the back end of the rotation innings eater.

        For me from AA on up the only three pitching untouchables would be Stephenson, Reed, and Garrett because at this point any of them could be the “next Cueto”. Also I think Bailey’s contract most likely makes him unmovable for fair return until at least the 2017 deadline when he will have (hopefully) had a year plus to show he is back to full form.

        I agree that Iggy’s ability to miss bats should make him a valuable backend leverage reliever if they choose to go that route.

  4. Seems like Joey Votto is snakebit. He scalded the ball every time today, and only has a 1-4 to show for it. He could have easily been 4-4 with better luck.

    • His BABIP is something like 90 points below his xBABIP (expected), so basically, you are correct good sir!

  5. It looks as if Straily will be that innings eater that the Reds front office thought Simon would be. It has worked out well so far for the Reds. And if Straily can continue to be what he has been, it works out well for him too. He might be pitching for a contender in August and September. Going from getting traded, getting released, getting picked up by the Reds all within a week and a half at the end of spring training, and then possibly pitching in a playoff race later would be quite the journey and story.
    However, I would hope they keep him for the bullpen.
    The Reds gift shop should start selling gasoline cans for the fans to hold up every time a relief pitcher is brought in with a lead. They’d make a killing.

  6. Glad to see Cozart back in the lineup. That attempt to spear the bloop into short CF seemed to stretch and aggravate the muscle and connective tissue above the knee, but the knee seems amazingly sound structurally after such a fearsome injury and major reconstructive surgery. This may happen again this season as Cozart stresses his leg, but I think it’s just part of the normal recovery process from such a severe injury.

    NIce to see Cingrani not only have an effective outing but be utlized appropriately. Cingrani needs to pitch no less than a full inning every time out. He is not a LOOGY and this insistance that he must pitch as a LOOGY just because he throws lefthanded is absurd. There aren’t many relievers on this squad who will remain on this squad past the 2016 season. Cingrani is one of the relievers who could provide value to the bullpen in the future.

    • Agree and he seems to have much shorter leash than some for whatever reason, hopefully he can get the walks under control. still feel he along with Iglesias, Finegan, and Lorenzen could form a pretty solid bullpen as it looks like a lot of other candidates are more suited to be starters

  7. I just kept thinking…. “Man these Giants are going to need a starter come late July” Just saying.
    quality start by stephenson today in the rain. not his best… but still.

    • RS got burned for 2 runs in the 6th and that was all he allowed on the day.

      6ip/5h/2r/2er/4bb/6k/1hr 95pitches/59Strikes.

      Maybe more impressive given the Reds plight, Rogers and Delabar threw 3 shutout innings behind RS in the Bats 3-2 win.

  8. Like Cossack i think Cingrani has a place going forward. Wish he could cut down on the wasted high pitches that typically get him behind the count limiting which pitch he throws next.

  9. I just like the look of Duvall’s swing when he makes contact. Hopefully that is going to be often enough to keep him around. Today in addition to his HR, he had a single and drew a walk off a 3-2 count. More days like this will get the job done for him.

    • Winker in LF and Duvall (think Dan Uggla) at 2B in the future?

      Pitchers duel tomorrow night

      Simon allowing .412 batt avg against
      Anderson allowing .346 batt avg against

      • I’d think it more likely that somehow the world turns in such a way that Suarez ends up at SS or 2B with Duvall at 3B. Blandino is certainly not setting the world on fire right now at AA; and, even assuming Peraza cuts the mustard, he can only play one position at a time.

        • This would make more sense, not sure Duvall can really play 3rd either but Surez is struggling

  10. Over/under on Mesoraco ever returning to being a factor player in MLB? At least, with the Reds?

    • It is too early in the process for us to know.

      I’ve heard Brantley speak about it at length on the Reds radio several times since the news broke; and, recall it was two labrum tears which essentially ended his playing career.

      He sounds quite clear and definite that he believes if the tear is what he refers to as a “flat tear” and does not involve significant separation of the labrum from the bone that the fix is relatively straightforward and the prognosis very good for a full recovery and resumption of Meso’s career.

      On the other hand, one can hear the trepidation come into Brantley’s voice when he starts talking about if the tear does involve significant separation of the labrum from the bone. He has said that this repair is difficult and used the word “brutal” to describe the rehab process from a tear of this variety. Without bluntly using the words he pretty clearly infers (to me at least) that this type of tear should be considered serious to the point of being career threatening.

      So, at this point we need to be on the alert for the use of terms like “flat tear” or separation from the bone and go from there.

      • Good news is it’s his non-throwing shoulder. The bad news is that it is his lead shoulder when it comes to his swing. You put a lot of stress on that lead shoulder swinging a bat. In fact, it’s my understanding that’s how he hurt it.

    • Devin is the new Sean Marshall.

      • Ryan Ludwick is probably a better comparison. The positive is that Mesoraco is younger and more likely to heal more fully perhaps.

  11. Someone, I think it was Daugherty, talked of how the Reds are getting what they paid for in the bullpen. The thing is, we had been paying, what was it, 21 million into only 3 players in the pen, one of them we didn’t see for 2 seasons, and another one wasn’t worth that kind of money. Bull pens are most always a crap shoot, unless you overpay.

    Granted, I’m not sure what’s going on back there. I mean, it seems like we have some big arms back there. I can only imagine that it’s big arms that leave everything right over the plate.

  12. Very encouraged by Straily’s start, Cozart back in the lineup, solid hitting from Suarez and Duval, a nice (and smart) outing from Cingrani, and perhaps most of all a scorching day for Votto. Not only could he have easily been 4 for 4, he could have easily had 9 or 11 total bases, depending on which near miss he converts in the first at bat. I’m looking forward to more Votto rockets and more solid games like today for the whole team.

    • Good point on Votto. Should have included that in the recap.

      • Votto, over his last 10 games:

        PA: 40, AB: 31, H: 9, 2B: 1, HR: 1, BB: 7, SO: 13, HBP: 1 … .290/.425/.419

        It’s getting there.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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