The Reds and their fans got an early glimpse of the Rebuild Binder tonight, with Jose Peraza starting his first game in a Cincinnati uniform. Peraza, who recently turned 22, was called up for three games to replace Billy Hamilton who is on bereavement leave. Peraza played centerfield. This wasn’t his major league debut though, having played seven games for the LA Dodgers last season.

Jose Peraza was the headliner return for the Reds in the Todd Frazier trade. Scouting reports on Peraza were mixed at the time of the trade. Some saw him as a soon-to-be solid major leaguer. Others felt that Peraza’s limitations – little power, poor plate discipline – explained why two organizations, the Braves and Dodgers had faded on Peraza’s promise. Doug Gray has Jose Peraza rated the Reds #7 prospect, after Yorman Rodriguez.

Service time and playing time considerations have conspired to keep Peraza at Louisville. If the Reds keep the number of days Peraza spends with the major league club this year below 130, his free agency will be delayed a year. That works out to a late-May call up. You can add three more days in AAA now. Because Brandon Phillips turned down at least two trades this offseason, it’s not clear that Peraza has a regular position to play. Barring a significant injury to Phillips or Hamilton, you have to figure Peraza is the heir apparent for Zack Cozart’s spot after the Reds trade their veteran shortstop at the trade deadline. Peraza has been playing shortstop for the Bats, where he has hit .295/.341 and isolated power of .098.

Tonight, Jose Peraza lined the first pitch he saw in a Reds uniform – a 90 mph fastball from Aaron Nola – into left field for a solid hit.

Reds 3  Phillies 4  |  FanGraphs  |  One-hit wonder about the future

Adlestart Tim Adleman pitched five innings and gave up three runs. He struck out three and walked two. Meh. It’s his third major league start. That’ll do given the pitching injury plague. It won’t do given the Reds offense. TOS. Reminder: The Reds signed Adleman (28), who is filling in for Raisel Iglesias, as a free agent in 2013 after he was released by the Baltimore Orioles.

Peraza Premier Jose Peraza had a single his first at bat and two infield outs the second and third times up. Peraza struck out in his fourth AB on a pitch at his eyes. Hope Peraza’s future is brighter than Timbuk 3’s.

Vote Zack Zack Cozart scored the first run on a heads-up base running play in the first inning. After he singled to lead off, he had advanced to third on a hit and a walk. Brandon Phillips lifted a pop up to Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. Cozart, in best Billy Hamilton form, tagged up and scored. Vote Zack.

Bullpen Artists Caleb Cotham had two strikeouts and a walk in the sixth. J.C. Ramirez gave up a solo home run in the seventh. Layne Somsen made his major league debut. In 14 innings in Louisville, Somsen had 15 Ks and 6 BBs and an ERA of 1.29. He gave up a ground ball single in the eighth but that’s it.

Duo of Doubles for Duvall Adam Duvall hit two doubles, each driving in a run. He fought off a couple tough pitches in the ninth inning before lining the ball off the bottom of the left field fence.

Slumping Suarez Eugenio Suarez has cooled off after a hot first two weeks. In the previous 21 games, he’s hit .187/.256 with isolated power of .120. He has two home runs, five extra-base hits total, in the past 111 plate appearances. Suarez was 1-for-4, with two strikeouts.

Tonight in Plate Discipline Before Jay Bruce’s leadoff walk in the ninth (he scored), the Reds had zero walks from players who were wearing a number other than 19. Swing, swing, swing, swing, swing, swing, swing, swing, swing, swing. I wish the organization had cared about plate discipline the past 8 years.

Tonight in Plate Blocking The final play of the game wasn’t a violation of the plate blocking rule because the throw itself took the catcher into the baseline. Oh, and Suarez is slow.

Bits of Good News on Pitchers Bryan Price gave positive reports on the progress of Anthony DeSclafani, Raisel Iglesias and Homer Bailey before the game. Each pitcher is progressing pain-free through their recovery programs. Price says the Reds are being overly cautious, in part because of concerns they have been rushing players back. “What I want to make sure is clear is we were never fast-tracking anybody,” said the Reds manager. “But it feels like now what we’re doing is pulling back and trying to make sure everyone has even more time.” (Mark Sheldon)

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. How long does Duvall have to keep doing even 90% of what he is doing before we can drop the obligatory preface, I know he’s not a starter but Duvall… and instead say Duvall isn’t as good as we hope and think Winker will be but the Reds need them both in the lineup until a surer guy comes along

  2. Knowing the Reds luck….wouldn’t be surprised if Suarez went on the DL or the full Mesoraco. Bright signs….he did get a hit to right which we haven’t seen in 3-4 weeks because he’s been pulling off the ball. Duvall continues to impress but same old stuff with the pen….Ramirez Ks a guy with 99 then hangs a breaking ball down and in to a lefty for the game winning HR. If you throw 99….then keep throwing 99?

    • The Twitter chatter is that Suarez says he is fine, We will see how he feels tomorrow once the adrenalin has ebbed his body has cooled down.

    • Because the hitters will time it and hit it into the river.

      • Well then atleast you got beat with your best instead of the way they keep losing with their secondary pitches….99 is pretty hard to hit!

  3. Tell me something please…if Peraza has very little power and poor plate discipline, what exactly do the Reds see in this guy? Does he still have poor plate discipline? What are his positives, his skills?

    • I’m not sure he has typical poor plate discipline. He doesn’t walk a lot but neither has he struck out a lot. He seems to be very good at making contact; and, accordingly puts the ball in play early in the count.

      The issue is if he maintains the same offensive approach in MLB as the minors, will his BABIP be high enough to in turn support a successful OBP level.

      • Correct, his plate discipline is more akin to a contact-heavy approach, similar to Phillips. Phillips neither walks or K’s at a high rate because he goes up with the intention of putting the ball in play. Unfortunately, Peraza doesn’t profile to have near the power potential Phillips displayed (especially in his prime years).

        A sliver of hope, Peraza did raise his BB% in AAA to 6.6% on the season after being at 2.1 and 3.5 respectively in AAA for the Dodgers and Braves. Of course, his K% has also risen (still only 14.6%). It does appear that he’s trying to see more pitches.

    • Brian, I was under the impression that Reds’ management views his speed as one of his biggest assets.

      • Well, I’m not as high on him as the Reds are then. His ceiling don’t seem to be at the level as some of the young pitching we acquired.

    • Speed and a good hit skill. He could bat .270-.280 in the majors. Reports on his defense are mixed, from OK to good.

      • Also important for folks to remember “OK to good” defense at SS/2B/CF is a valuable asset.

        • Whereas someone like Suarez, from what we’ve seen, at 3B or SS is “not great to terrible,” unfortunately.

      • For a guy with little power I hope he hits .330+ !

  4. A bit afield but still a Reds connection…. Drew Stubbs had a walk off HR tonight for the Rangers. Isn’t it strange how some guys seem to never do enough to stick with a team but keep landing on their feet and doing just enough to stay in MLB?

  5. I was at the game tonight. Nola must have a wicked running inner half two-seam fastball, because several Reds acted like a called strike was going to hit them. Not sure the homerun by Odrubel would have gone out from my vantage, bit it was painful to watch some of the Red’s swings tonight. I was amazed at how many folks gave Joey Votto grief when he came to bat. Happy to see Sonsem get to pitch. The play at the plate was really something to see in person, as I was on the second deck right behind the plate. Really wish that run had scored, but that’s baseball.

  6. This is an out-of-left-field question: Do the Reds need to worry about FC Cincinnati? They just drew 20,000+ again. They show up just when the Reds are down and are taking a big bite of the market’s summer sports ticket sales. Having to share summer is something the Reds are NOT used to. I wonder how this affects finances. On a related note, Lance Mcalister’s blog tonight has two posts on FC Cincy and none on Reds game (yet). http://m.espn1530.com/onair/lance-mcalister-7818/

    • Winning and confidence in the team would improve attendance.
      They have been trying to get soccer going in middle America for decades, and it looks like their efforts are finally paying off. I wouldn’t worry to much though, if the Reds had a better team then there would be no soccer game to mention.

    • They are the new girl at school. People are always interested in what is new.

      This is still America and that’s still soccer. Reds have nothing to worry about.

  7. like the Timbuk 3 reference. Often when people greet me with the “How ‘ya doiin'” greeting my response is “The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades” (and I’m in my 60’s).

  8. Chris Welsh was just gushing over Peraza’s “first major league hit” and “welcome to the big leagues young man” after his first inning single last night.

    That really annoyed me. As a professional broadcaster who’s entire job is to talk baseball, where has he been over the past 6 months of discussion about this guy? Everyone who remotely follows the Reds, let alone is employed by the organization, knows Peraza had a stint with the Dodgers last year. Like many other individuals in this organization, get your head out from under a rock

    • DHud, he works for the Reds and so everybody who works for the organization has got to gush over all these prospects the Reds acquired to sell the rebuild. If they don’t they’ll probably get fined or even fired. So, relax, he’s just doing his job.

  9. Pretty sure it was George that made the “1st mlb hit” comment but your point stands.

    • Yeah, it was Grande.

    • Thank you for the correction. If I’m not paying real close attention I get their voices confused.

      But yes, my point still stands.

  10. Anyone else confused as heck about the blocking the plate rule? Phils catcher was camped out directly in front of the plate as Suarez ran home – way before the ball arrived. By rule, he can’t do that – he’s got to give Suarez a lane to home plate.

    Of course Suarez should have been out… if that goofy rule wasn’t installed, but what’s the use of a rule if you don’t enforce it?

  11. Nola had wicked stuff so I tip my cap to him. Suarez and Barnhart were clueless against him. Had to be a great throw and catch to nail Suarez and it was! Speaking of Suarez, he runs like he’s pushing a cannon. Duvall continuos to be clutch. Finally, Adleman pitched well (47 of 67 pitches for strikes) but it’s SOS for a Reds SP: go 5, give way to bullpen. Love to see SP go 7 or 8 or once. Somsen finally gets in a game and looked good.

  12. Did anyone else see Lou Piniella and that “sports psychologist” up in the club box mimicking Joey Votto’s “T-rex arms” swing?

    I am becoming more concerned about his ability to hit inside pitches every time I see that. During the at-bat, he even stepped out of the box to practice that swing 3 or 4 times before the next pitch. It looks so awkward and more often than not turns into a check-swing “bunt.”

  13. To say I disagree that the throw took the catcher into the line is an understatement. The replay from behind the catcher looked to me that he was in the line set up waiting on the throw. I don’t like the rule but I am older and dislike change, I really don’t like the rule now. The culprit was not how slow Suarez was or the real nice play made by Philly it was swinging at a pitch because the pitcher turned loose of it. I know it has too be the organization because it doesn’t matter who is in a Reds uniform they are clueless about the strike zone.

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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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