2016 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: The Legend of Tyler Holt

Final R H E
Los Angeles Dodgers (69-55) 18 21 1
Cincinnati Reds (53-71) 9 14 0
W: Chavez (1-0) L: Bailey (2-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–After the Cincinnati pitching staff had made a mess of things, allowing the Dodgers to score 18 runs on 21 hits through the first eight innings, manager Bryan Price called on his secret weapon.

He’s the hero Cincinnati needs, but not the one it deserves right now.

He’s Tyler Holt.

Floating a 68 mph knuckleball to the plate in his first appearance on a big league mound, Holt retired the Dodgers in 1-2-3 fashion. Holt needed just five pitches to choke the life out of a Los Angeles offense that had battered the Reds’ actual pitchers into submission on this beautiful afternoon in the Queen City.

If Billy Hamilton is a comic book superhero, then Tyler Holt is now his sidekick. He rescued us all, all of Redleg Nation, from what had been a dreary afternoon.

Tyler Holt. The man. The myth. The legend. Let us speak of him to the coming generations, to our children and grandchildren. There will never be another like him.

–Jose Peraza was 4-6 with two doubles and three runs scored.

–Joey Votto had a single, double, triple, and four runs batted in. Adam Duvall had a two doubles, a walk, and 2 RBI. Scott Schebler had a double, two singles, a walk, and a 2 RBI.

The Bad
–How much time do you have? I won’t go into all the gory details, but five different pitchers each threw at least two-thirds of an inning. Each of them — Homer Bailey, Josh Smith, Jumbo Diaz, Blake Wood, Michael Lorenzen — allowed at least two runs.

Bailey gave up six runs on nine hits in 2.1 innings. Josh Smith followed by allowing 5 runs in his two innings of work. Smith and Jumbo combined to surrender four home runs in the fifth inning alone. The Dodgers hit seven home runs in total.

–Two season highs for the Reds pitching staff: 18 runs and 21 hits allowed.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Wow, the last two games of this series didn’t go as well as the first two. Today’s game was completely insane, at least.

–Jose Peraza is 9-16 since being recalled from AAA Louisville. That ain’t bad.

–Joey Votto is good:

–The Texas Rangers come to town next. Are they ready to face Tyler Holt? Only time will tell!

Tune back in tomorrow: same Red time, same Red channel!

45 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: The Legend of Tyler Holt

  1. I’m thinking we could get a couple of top prospects for Tyler Holt from a contender that needs bullpen help! 0.00 ERA!!! Best in the league!

  2. Bailey’s problem was fastball velocity. He was at 90-92 the entire day. In previous starts, he’s been 94-95, topping out even higher.

    Where does that show up? Well, in the first inning, when you throw mostly nothing but fastballs, instead of getting it on top of the hitters in their first at bat, you’re throwing perfect hitting speed. I’m not sure how long it took Homer to figure out he didn’t have his fastball velocity, but after four pitches he was down 3-0.

    It also shows up when you can’t strike out anyone, including the younger players. Bailey has been averaging more than a strikeout an inning. Today, he didn’t have any. That’s because his fastball wasn’t getting by anyone and there wasn’t much speed difference between #1 and the off-speed stuff.

    That’s the thing with pitchers coming off TJS, lots of inconsistency for a while.

    Will be interesting to see what he says after the game.

    • I’m hoping it’s just the standard inconsistency associated with coming back from the surgery and not some sort of soreness or other issue. My worry is that it’s my understanding that most the time the inconsistency is with command more than it is with velocity. I didn’t follow the game at all. Thank you for your take on what was going on and the report on the velocity. Hopefully, you’re right and it’s just part of the recovery process. He looked so good his last start.

  3. Surprising, when the Reds take the first two games, and then their current #1 and #2 pitchers get pommeled by the Dodgers denying us a series win.

  4. Base ball is weird, this was 6-5 game after 4 innings. If Disco pitched today and has his mediocre effort yesterday Reds most likely win the series

    • Pretty much what I was thinking. The offense put the Reds right back into this one. As has been the case, it was the bullpen, particularly Smith and Jumbo with the HR deluge in the 5th. that let this one get away.

  5. Why are they wasting Holt in the bullpen?!?! He’s much more valuable as a starter.

  6. Jose Peraza has a .301 batting average. That’s good to see, because a lot of folks (myself included) had deduced that Peraza would likely need to run around a .300 BA to have a decent enough OBP to bat in the top part of the order (due to his inability to draw a walk).

    That’s all without too crazy of a BABIP. It’s .333 as of now, but his line drive rate is pretty high and he hasn’t hit many fly balls either, so running a good BABIP should be the norm for Peraza if his batted ball profile stays similar. Not to mention the speed…

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch any of the LAD games he played in…how was his glove work at SS?

    • Very good. Nice DP in yesterday’s game I believe. Peraza’s glove had Marty talking today about it and what the Reds will do with Cozart if Peraza is the SS next opening day.
      His HR this weekend was nice. About 12 rows up in LF.
      This is Peraza’s chance to show what he has and he hasn’t disappointed. He has a chance to flame out, but I don’t think that will happen. Looking like he’ll be the opening day SS in 2017.

    • I was at the game Saturday. He looked smooth. His home run was a bomb. I don’t get the reputation he is a light weight…he’s got great hands, great bat speed and hits the ball hard.

    • I didn’t see yesterday but he has looked competent at the position when I’ve seen him play there. There have only been 3-4 games that I’ve seen where he’s been the starting SS.

  7. Looks like Dilson Herrera is actually going to start tonite for Louisville. Rookie Davis is the listed starting pitcher.

  8. We were due for a stinker just to remind us of all the holes we have in the pen.Now why did we send down Sampson?Just need to get over it and move on.Baseball is weird because we didn’t score yesterday against a rookie and knocked out Kasmir,who pretty well dominated us in LA,in the third.Now why didn’t Peraza get a chance to play the first time he came up?

    • I am sorry I missed the 2 pitches Sampson threw to make a case. The Sampson I saw had nothing but the fact the team he was on had a terrible bullpen. The word that comes to mind is underwhelming!!

  9. Price is saying sometimes things aren’t in his hands and that if Cosart comes back and Peraza doesn’t play regularly for a week he could be sent down again.Not sure where to begin after hearing a comment like that.

  10. Reds minor league hitting prospects who are producing in 2016:

    Jesse Winker (OF) – 19th in IL (AAA) w/ .765 OPS
    age 23, .298/.387/.378

    Phillip Ervin (OF) – 12th in SL (AA) w/ .747 OPS
    age 24, .237/.351/.396
    Brandon Dixon (2B) – 16th in SL (AA) w/ .725 OPS
    age 24, .252/.304/.421
    Zack Vincej (SS) – 17th in the SL (AA) w/ .721 OPS
    age 25, .280/.332/.389
    Chad Wallach (C) – 9th in the SL (AA) w/ .799 OPS, but lacks qualifying PA
    age 24, .247/.388/.411

    Aristides Aquino (RF) – 2nd in FSL (A+) w/ .860 OPS
    age 22, .277.329/.531
    Angelo Gumbs (2B) – 7th in FSL (A+) w/ .805 OPS
    age 23, .300/.343/.462
    Brian O’Grady (OF) – 10th in FSL (A+) w/ .795 OPS
    age 24, .246/.380/.415
    Gavin LaValley (3B) – 14th in FSL ( A+) w/ .763 OPS, but lacks qualifying PA
    age 21, .265/.323/.440

    Shed Long (2B) – 8th in MWL (A) w/ .828 OPS
    age 21, .281/.371/.457
    Nick Senzel (3B) – 1st in MWL (A) w/ .945 OPS, but lacks qualifying PA
    age 21, .309/.400/.545
    Chris Okey (C) – 9th in MWL (A) w. .823 OPS, but lacks qualifying PA
    age 21, .256/.336/.488

    • Without even including Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera, there are 4 middle IF minor-league hitting prospects who are producing offensively in 2016 plus Tony Renda (age 25, 2B) who put up an .836 OPS (.326/.369/.467) in 282 PA at AA this season.

      • Yet Price’s hands are tied so we will see more of BP and Cozart starting.

    • It will be interesting to see who among this group gets the call for the Arizona Fall League. Whoever else may be there, I’m guessing Senzel for sure and likely Okey also will be there to assess whether to fast track them straight to AA next year. And if Senzel starts the year at AA and rips it, he won’t stay there all season.

      • Not sure I’d want Okey in the AFL this year. I think I’d like him to get some rest. That’s an awful lot of baseball for a catcher.

        • True, but the Reds took him where they did in the draft because they wanted (at the least) a high floor catcher to fast track.
          Given how the team is playing right now and the organizational depth chart, they may actually need him at MLB ahead Senzel. So much depends on how things turn out with Mesoraco; and it is hard to be very optimistic.

          • Yeah… I have always been optimistic about Mesoraco, but that optimism ended with this latest injury. Now, I’d be happily surprised if things work out with him, especially behind the dish.

            I think Barnhart can cover the starting duties for a while though. There is not any depth after him however so if he’s injured… Wallach would probably be the next guy up but last I checked he was a lousy backstop. Maybe he’s gotten better?

          • Three catchers were picked ahead of Okey. Two of them are already at A+, including Will Smith the U of Louisville catcher picked just 3 picks ahead of Trammell by the Reds. A person has to wonder if Smith would have been on the board when the Reds picked at the spot where they took Trammell, would the Reds have taken Smith instead and gambled Trammell would still be there 8 picks later?

    • I would like to see Winker get his ISO up. I love the OBP and the average but right now he’s making Sean Casey and Hal Morris look like power hitters. That’s not good. He doesn’t need to pound HRs but extra-base hits need to be more common for him. An .080 ISO for someone who runs poorly doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy. I also think that MLB pitchers will pound on him, thus lowering his BB-rate some unless/until he shows he can hurt them.

      • I don’t have any proof to back this up, but I think Jesse Winker is not hitting for power on purpose. Consider this…

        His strikeout rate is the lowest its ever been, while being at his highest level of competition.

        To me, this smells like a procedural thing. For example, perhaps Winker has decided to focus first on getting a feel for the pitchers in AAA, and getting a feel for his command of the strike zone and ability to handle the bat at this level. Once he’s comfortable, he can start either swinging harder, or being more aggressive with pulling balls in the air, etc.

        It’s probably far fetched, but the lack of power and drop in K-rate has to be connected somehow. Whether he’s doing it on purpose or not is the question.

        Also, it’s hard to say what he’s doing without having granular batted ball data like we get in the majors. Someone like Yelich, for example, hits the ball hard, but he has a swing path and swing tendencies that lead to tons of grounders and liners. He could hit 20-25 HR, but he hits 12-18 because of his swing path and pitch selection. So, Winker could be hitting the ball hard, just maybe not getting it in the air enough. Again, just another conjecture!

        All I know for sure is that Winker’s OBP is higher than Joey Votto’s was in AAA… that’s gotta be a good sign.

        • “…perhaps Winker has decided to focus first on getting a feel for the pitchers in AAA, and getting a feel for his command of the strike zone and ability to handle the bat at this level. Once he’s comfortable, he can start either swinging harder, or being more aggressive with pulling balls in the air, etc.”

          I’ve had the same suspicion since last season, with nothing solid for basis other than his performance last season and this season. Winker is every bit the student of his craft as Votto and such an approach for long-term development at the expense of short-term results would make sense under those circumstances.

          From April-July (inclusive), Winker had an ISO of .122, then he unleashed a .234 ISO during the final month+ of the 2015 season.

          Winker’s DL stint this season has delayed his final development at AAA and that could be delaying his power surge this season. I just hope the wrist isn’t bothering him again.

  11. AAA Bats lose to Toledo (Tigers afill.) 5-4. Rookie Davis allows all 5 runs (4 earned) over 5IP. He gave up 7H; 1BB, 2HR; K’ed 2; 90P/63K

    Delino DeSheilds apparently got the memo about not letting Keyvius Sampson start this time around in AAA. Sampson pitched 2 scoreless innings in relief allowing 1 hit and K’ing 3, 0BB. 19P/15S.

  12. Could’ve added Brandon Nimmo to the list of hot prospects! He was named Player of the Week in the PCL and is now hitting .345/.959 ops. Old school Jockerty written all over this deal!! We have Nimmo but injury questions lead us to take Herrera instead…..who of course immediately can’t play while the guy who was supposed to be a question rakes the ball all over the place:)

    • It was my understanding that the injury concern wasn’t with Nimmo but with another player that was supposed to be involved in the deal. I’m also not sure I don’t like Hererra more than Nimmo. Nimmo will probably hit a little better but as a corner OF he should hit better.

  13. does make you wonder if there is an over emphasis on the blazing fastball and lack of develop on “slower” pitched balls. Well not only this but there was a time when there was a dozen knucklerballers at a time. Now there is probably just 1 or 2 in the entire league.
    Did the Reds ever have a good knuckle baller?

    • When I went to look there was never “a dozen” at a time. There have been 11 pitchers who threw the knuckleball since 1980, some of whom (Hough, the Niekro brothers) started pitching much earlier. Since 2000, eight pitchers who throw a knuckleball have pitched (not including Holt) with only 2 active (RA Dickey and Steven Wright). Wright has only made 48 appearances in 3 years. In the reference I found, there have only been 29 since 1900. I don’t know if there are other references that show more but I seriously doubt that in years past we saw a dozen at a time.

    • Bob Purkey was a knuckle ball pitcher for the Reds in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Made the All Star team 3 times as a Red and is in the Reds team HoF. Sadly, he left this realm in 2008, a victim of Alzheimer’s.

      He was one of the stars in my early recollection of the team. I think he was more along the lines of Joe Niekro as opposed to Phil Niekro, i.e. he wasn’t as dependent on the knuckler, at least not in his prime.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Purkey

  14. Following yesterday’s game and thinking back to the first 8 or so weeks of the season, it seemed like a good title for yesterday’s “effort” on the hill would be that classic Rolling Stones’ album “Through the Past, Darkly.” Bombs away, Bullpen!

  15. Random fact of the day…

    Billy Hamilton is already the 64th most valuable base runner in MLB history.

  16. Random fact of the day #2.

    Jose Peraza’s BABIP is .333.

    Jose Peraza’s xBABIP (expected BABIP) is .33298

    Hence, no good luck whatsoever.

    (xBABIP is based on Spd, Opp%, Hard%, LD%, FB%, and IFFB%.)

    • Corollary Random Fact #3.

      Votto’s BABIP is .369 and his xBABIP is .36813.

      Amazing how close he and Peraza are.

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