LONG TIME, NO SEE
Are the Reds and the Cardinals still in the same division? This is only the 3rd series between these two clubs this season. Unfortunately, the Cardinals have won two out of three in each of the previous series and outscored the Reds 47-32. On the plus side, the Reds have scored over five runs per game against the Cardinals, and the Reds pitching has been much better since these teams last played two months ago.
The 2nd place Cardinals are 56-49 and find themselves eight games behind the Cubs. They are also 0.5 games behind Miami, with whom they just split a four-game series, for the 2nd wild card spot. In their only July 31 deadline move, the Cardinals added lefty specialist (and briefly former Red) Zach Duke in exchange for minor league outfielder Charlie Tilson.
But all is not quiet on the Cardinals transaction front. Shortstop Aledmys Diaz was diagnosed with a fracture in his hand yesterday, and will be sent to the 15 day DL. The Cardinals are activating Johnny Peralta from the DL to take Diaz’s place. Outfielder Brandon Moss (.256/.344/.566) has been on the DL and will be activated before today’s game also. Matt Carpenter (.298/.420/.568) has been on the DL, as well, and is expected to return to games this weekend.
If the Cardinals have a lead late in the game, you will see a new closer on the mound for the Redbirds. 34 year old rookie Seung Hwan Oh has taken over 9th inning duties for the injured Trevor Rosenthal. Oh was signed this past offseason after years of success in the Japanese and Korean leagues. In 53.1 major league innings, Oh has a 1.69 ERA, a 0.84 WHIP, and struck out 33% of batters faced.
Adam Wainwright had a string of four consecutive quality starts snapped last week in a game against the New York Mets. July was his best month by far, making five starts with a 1.77 ERA, 33 hits, 6 walks, 31 strikeouts, and just one homerun allowed over 35.2 innings. Wainwright lowered his ERA almost a full run during the month of July, and the Cardinals won all five games that he started.
In his two starts against Cincinnati this season, Wainwright has allowed nine runs over 11.2 innings. Of the Reds current roster, Brandon Phillips has given Wainwright the most problems over his career. Phillips is 18-for-59 (.305/.349/.407) versus Wainwright.
Dan Straily wasn’t traded yesterday. Of course, we have no idea what his market value is at this point. He doesn’t have a very long history of consistent success getting major league batters out, and he hasn’t had experience as the 9th inning closer. Visible arguments for not trading Straily include that he isn’t arbitration eligible until 2018 and is under team control through 2021. I would guess that if there was any interest in Straily from other clubs, that the offers aren’t as good as what the Reds could get for Straily in the offseason.
I’m happy to see Straily’s comeback story continue in Cincinnati. Straily enters play today on a string of five consecutive quality starts. Notably, in his last three games, he’s allowed just 3 runs, 11 hits, 5 walks while striking out 17 over 20.2 innings.
NOTHING LIKE YOUR FIRST LOVE
I’m a big fan of Jay Bruce and very sad to see him leave. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans wrote a great post-trade story showing that Bruce feels the same way. Bruce will be wearing Joey Votto’s #19 in New York.
“I’ve talked to some of the guys on the team. That’s going to be the biggest thing, leaving those guys. That’s my family,” Bruce said. “I’ll keep in touch, but obviously not coming into the clubhouse every single day and have those guys to lean on, personally, professionally, is something that I’m going to miss a lot. I’m sure they’re going to be some great guys over here with the Mets, but it’s nothing like your first love, you know?”
REDS 25-MAN ROSTER MOVES
Prior to today’s game, the Reds optioned Jose Peraza to AAA Louisville. To replace Peraza and Jay Bruce on the roster, the Reds called up AAA outfielder Scott Schebler and utility player Tony Renda. Schebler had been killing the ball in AAA and was named the International League player of the month for July with a .359/.436/.689 slash line.
Renda was acquired in the offseason in the Aroldis Chapman trade and has seen time at AA and AAA this season while playing second base, third base and left field. He is hitting .315/.363/.443 across both minor league levels.
|1. Stephen Piscotty (CF)
2. Brandon Moss (RF)
3. Matt Holliday (LF)
4. Matt Adams (1B)
5. Jhonny Peralta (SS)
6. Yadier Molina (C)
7. Jedd Gyorko (3B)
8. Kolten Wong (2B)
9. Adam Wainwright (P)
|1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (RF)
5. Brandon Phillips (2B)
6. Scott Schebler (LF)
7. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Dan Straily (P)
The Reds and the Cardinals will get to know each other very well over the next two months, as they will play 13 games over four series, which accounts for 22% of the Reds remaining games. The Reds have a chance to play spoiler to the Cardinals 2016 wild card chances, and the Reds will try to spoil with a much improved pitching staff relative to what the Cardinals saw earlier this season.