Reds at Brewers – April 26,2017

Things haven’t gone well for the Reds in the first two games of this series. Collectively, the pitchers haven’t pitched well; and the hitters have hit well.  Just about whatever could go wrong has gone wrong. But today is another day; and, the Reds get one more chance to set things right in a matinee contest against the Brewers ahead of a day off Thursday.

Starting Pitchers

Rookie Davis (RH) returns to the mound for the Reds following a stint on the DL which resulted from him being  hit on his throwing arm by a pitch while he was batting. The injury occurred in the fifth inning of Davis’ second MLB start.  Davis’ stats in his first two games weren’t very good. In 7 innings he allowed 5 runs (all earned) on 7 hits (2HR) with 6BB and 7K.    However in his second start he fared much better having allowed a single earned run on just 2 hits in 4 innings prior to being injured. That performance gave cause for optimism.  Optimism is what the Reds need rekindled today.

Righthander Wily Peralta gets the start for the Brewers.  Peralta, despite being just 27 years old, has been in the major leagues since 2012 except for a stint back at AAA in 2016. Of his 117 MLB appearances, 116 have been as a starter.  His numbers through 3 starts this season look a lot like his career numbers. After  showing  greater promise early in his career, Peralta has become a back of the rotation grinder.  If the Reds are patient, they should draw some walks and see some pitches to hit.


Here’s the numbers, 2017 actual performance:

Wily Peralta 4.95 0.86 3.86 5.57
Rookie Davis 5.33 2.57 7.71 9.00


The Reds pen had only 3 innings to cover Tuesday, thanks to the Reds being a soundly thrashed  visiting team (again).  Barrett Astin and Blake Wood worked 1.1 and 1.0 innings respectively. Given the quick turnaround, they may be unavailable today.  Robert Stephenson worked a disastrous 0.2 innings; when and where he will next pitch is probably an open question.  The rest of the bullpen crew should be good to go.

Craig Counsel covered 3 of the 4 innings he needed to cover with one pitcher, Tommy Milone. Other than Milone, it is likely all hands are available for the Brewers.



1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Zack Cozart (SS)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Rookie Davis (P)


1. Jonathan Villar (2B)
2. Eric Thames (1B)
3. Ryan Braun (LF)
4. Travis Shaw (3B)
5. Hernan Perez (CF)
6. Jett Bandy (C)
7. Nick Franklin (RF)
8. Orlando Arcia (SS)
9. Wily Peralta (P)


Offensive Notes

So much for my hope that in the seventh game between these two teams, Eric Thames and Hernan Pérez would rest. Why are the Reds apparently the only team that doesn’t know how to pitch to these guys?

The Reds scoring chances often seem to come at the bottom of the batting order. Tuesday the #8 hitter left 8 men stranded. Perhaps it is time to shuffle the order and get the three guys with excellent OPS rates, Cozart, Suarez and Votto, batting in succession near the top of the order; but, today is not the day anything changes.

Roster Move

The Reds have optioned outfielder Phillip Ervin back to AAA to clear the roster spot for today’s starting pitcher Rookie Davis to be activated from the DL.

Final Thoughts

Last week was a tough week for the Reds because they lost some games they probably should have won against what was seen as top flight competition.  Many of us found solace, perhaps even some optimism,  in the fact that the Reds avoided being swept in either series and that all but one of the losses were very competitive games.

Then came this series with the Brewers which affirms the results of series with the Brewers at GABP two weeks ago.  The last two days have been even tougher for me than last week because the Reds have been unable to  stay close in either game against a team I’d like to believe is behind the Reds in their own rebuilding cycle.

In the first post I wrote for RLN about six weeks ago, I concluded that the Reds were still lacking enough quality major league players to make a serious move forward.   You can read it here. Perhaps I was even more on target than I believed at the time. If the Reds prove me wrong starting today, I’ll be happy to have been wrong. In the meantime like sports fans everywhere I’ll savor the good, have a constructively short memory of the bad and above all else keep looking for reasons to believe things are getting better.


Stats and data from Fangraphs, Baseball Reference and Major League Baseball


  1. vegastypo says:

    Alcantara, really?

    1. vegastypo says:

      And he gets a hit. Take THAT, Vegas. …

      1. Patrick Jeter says:

        Well played.

  2. Matt WI says:

    Billy needs to go yard now, it’s only fair if Arcia did.

  3. jaY jOHNSON says:

    Do any reds fan agree with me ?
    The front office is over thinking with all these roster moves.It seems to me they are getting the worst out of every guy with all these moves.Pick out 5 starters and your 7 or 8 relievers and let them pitch.By moving guys up and down I feel they are putting added pressure on every start,every bullpen outing and every pinch hit at bat.These kids are fearful of going down if they dont perform in an outing or an at bat.
    I think the pressure is killing them one after the other.
    Adleman,Rookie,stephenson,reed,even Amir seemed afraid in his last start.The pinch hitters that get brought up for 2 games are all doing nothing when given an at bat or two.
    Pick your roster and let them play.If after 3-4 weeks they dont perform move them down.
    The best example is Cody Reed.They give him a start.He obviously was nervous and couldnt throw it over the plate.Boom back to the bullpen with head between his tail and he will be down in Louisville if hes mentally destroyed in his next couple of bullpens.

    1. Matt WI says:

      I disagree a lot… I see them as making the moves primarily so they don’t break peoples arms, not because of performance issues/”punishment.”

      Well… it is performance issues in that the starters can get to the 4th inning, much less the 6th or 7th. They have to get arms in because no team has the ability to replace the starter after 2-4 innings every game. It’s bordering on surreal.

      Basically, the Reds are just trying to get by. This is not how anyone planned anything.

      1. jaY jOHNSON says:

        Dont you think that the starters with the exception of Arroyo have become mental cases?Theyre afraid to fail for fear of being sent down or to the pen.Put Reed and Stephenson in the rotation and see what they can do.Kind of what they did with Arroyo.If he was any of the kids he would have been demoted after his first 2 or 3 starts,but they let him pitch himself out of it.Why not the same for the kids ,both starters and bullpen.

    2. Shchi Cossack says:

      Unless the starters, whoever they are, can consistently go 6 innings, the Reds have no option but to use the shuttle for additional bullpen arms.

    3. citizen54 says:

      Agree completely, Reed can obviously get MLB hitters out. Let him work out whatever psychological issues he has by letting him know he is still in the rotation even if he messes up a couple of times. Even Rookie Davis, with his mediocre stuff, has been given three chances.

      The same could be said of Stephenson. He needs to be starting so he can work out his issues. Throwing one or two innings here and there isn’t going to help him develop.

      1. Big56dog says:

        To counter, who are they going to pitch in August and September? If they are not planning having them available then I agree, plans get messed up with all the injuries, thank goodness for Arroyo

        1. citizen54 says:

          Reed and Stephenson can pitch in August and September. You already have Aldeman and you can call up Romano among others. The Reds have plenty of arms.

          1. Big56dog says:

            If Reed and Stephenson start now they will be shut down in September or do you see them pitching all year like Finnegan last year and not develop arm trouble?

          2. citizen54 says:

            Why would they be shut down? Reed had 145 innings in 2015 he was a little lower last year but he can go 170-180. Stephenson has 170 inning last year so he can probably for 200.

      2. Simon Cowell says:

        He can obviously get MLB hitters out… are you sure about that?

        1. citizen54 says:

          He’s been pretty good outside of his last outing where he was obviously nervous and pitching against a good offense.

          1. Simon Cowell says:

            Reed? He pitched last year to disastrous results also what if his stat line close of 2017 mirrors 2016 then what?

          2. citizen54 says:

            Reed obviously wasn’t ready last year and even if his stats this year end up being as bad as they were last year I would still give some with stuff as good as his another chance.

    4. Big56dog says:

      I think you are off, kind of hard when you do not have ML ready pitchers and your top 2 start off on long term DL. They have already had 2 starters go on the DL plus Cingrani. Amir had a bad start not sure what you are saying about Adleman (I posted prior to game time it made no sense why he did not start today), but you may have a valid point with Reed but they really did not have a choice due to depth and he looking hot after 8 hit less innings. Stephenson I am not sure about, has had some decent outings this season, hopefully he can figure it out.

  4. IndyRedMan says:

    Reds…3 runs on 3 hrs. 3 additional hits and 3 Brewer errors = NOTHING

    1. Big56dog says:

      is it my imagination or have the Brewers made a lot of errors this series?

  5. james garrett says:

    They will have to get by just like last year until Disco,Homer and Finny get back.Untill then other guys are getting to see what they can do.These young guy will have starts just like today and just like last night while learning to pitch at this level.Of all the guys that are pitching up here and in the minors some will indeed not make it but some will.We just don’t know who that is going to be right.Some guys may be better suited for the pen while others start and others don’t make it at all.

    1. Big56dog says:

      Not like last year, anything but last year, wasn’t May one of the worst historical months ever?

  6. Simon Cowell says:

    I believe in giving these young guys plenty of room to grow. With that said I have seen enough of Reed, Stephenson, and Davis for this year. Please just for the sake of sparing my heart send them down to AA… forget Louisville let them learn to throw strikes at children before facing professional batters.

    1. Big56dog says:

      I disagree, not sure who you want as nobody is stepping up and there have been some positives for each

  7. Big56dog says:

    as they cannot get a hit with a runner in scoring position- can Reds get 6 more HR’s and 4 more shutout innings from the bullpen ?

  8. james garrett says:

    We don’t take walks,our speed at the top hasn’t reached base,so we have to get 3 hits to score or hit solo home runs.Hard to do with this free swinging bunch.Look at any box score of any team we face and compare their regular 8 to our regular 8 and look at OBP and you can see the problem.Throw in the fact we have the two guys at the top and our catcher that have no home run power then we are really lucky to score the runs we have so far this year.

    1. Joel Herzig says:

      Seriously. I still have no idea why Billy hasn’t been given every piece of body armor possible and then the instructions on every at bat to do one of three things: a) walk, b) swing ONLY at a pitch that is perfectly located for him to make solid contact, and I mean perfect, a big fat meatball that he picks up right out of pitcher’s hand and is headed right for his sweet spot or c) get plunked. We he’s on base, he’s lethal to the other team. When he’s swinging the bat, he’s often lethal to ours.

  9. james garrett says:

    Right on cue another solo shot by Schebler.I rest my case while I can.

  10. Joel Herzig says:

    This based solely on speculation and anecdotal information, I’ve got no sources whatsoever and I haven’t looked at any data on the issue, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this April, the Brewers can score a lot of runs against the Reds. As a corollary, the Reds pitching also gives up a lot of runs to Brewers hitting. Again, not looking at the data or anything, so I may be way off here.

  11. IndyRedMan says:

    How many times has a team hit 4 hrs and their opponents have made 3 errors and they’re still getting blown out?

  12. james garrett says:

    First and third and one out and Billy flys out on the first pitch to center and since Cozart didn’t tag I will assume it wasn’t deep enough.

  13. james garrett says:

    Their pitcher comes in with runners on the corners and no outs and makes 7 pitches and down goes Scooter,Billy and Peraza with all 3 hitting it in the air but not out of the infield.I am impressed.That’s why we only have 4 runs on 4 solo homers.Terrible situational hitting.

  14. james garrett says:

    Who would have thought that after 22 games Cozart would be taking walks,two more today,hitting 400 with an OBP of 500.He hits 7th I believe.

  15. Playtowin says:

    The sad truth is the Reds are painfully short of talent. The pitching staff is a mess. They have a bunch of throwers. Reed and Stephenson look like busts. Bailey is probably a shadow of his former self which was not outstanding to begin with. Reds have maybe 3-4 pitchers out of the 15-16 they are using who are legitimate major league players. Hamilton can not hit. He should be batting 9th or used as a pinch runner and late inning defensive replacement. His defense is fabulous but he is close to an automatic out. Duvall is Adam Dunn with better defense and fewer walks. There is zero offense at catcher. Peraza may not be the SS or 2B of the future. Votto is wasting his prime years with this outfit if he has any desire to compete for a championship. The overall offense is middle of the road but leans to heavily on the long ball which leads to inconsistency. The Reds may become competitive by 2020 but they will need 3 fabulous drafts. Without that it will be 2022. Patience is a must.

  16. WVRedlegs says:

    At least Davis can keep Stephenson company on that shuttle back to Louisville. It might be crowded with another addition in Alcantara. Reed and Astin should stay for now.
    Who will be on it on the return trip back? Romano, Hernandez and Rainey hopefully.

    1. IndyRedMan says:

      How did you forget Tyler Mahle? Perfect game and 99 mph on the last pitch!

  17. jaY jOHNSON says:

    Just 10 -12 games ago people were talking wildcard.Oh what a few shellackings will do.

  18. WVRedlegs says:

    The Reds offensive talent at the ML level is equivalent to an iPhone 4. Milwaukee’s offensive talent at the ML level is test driving shiny, new iPhone 8’s. By the middle of May the Reds offense will rank near last in every major offensive category.
    The Re-build is going nowhere, but down in flames.

    1. IndyRedMan says:

      Situational hitting is weak but its not like they’re not scoring runs! Its the pitching…as usual!

      Peralta was a starter in 2015….why not? Everyone else sucks!

    2. IndyRedMan says:

      The Pirates had Jaso batting 5th the other day. Their lineup w/Marte was bad. A lot of lineups worse then the Reds…atleast with the way Cozart is currently hitting!

      1. WVRedlegs says:

        BHam .213
        Peraza .226
        Votto .237
        Duvall .224
        Suarez .352
        Schebler .186
        Cozart .407
        Barnhart .250

        Exhibit-A in a poor offense. Is there another team worse than this? Six of the 8 at or below .250.

        1. IndyRedMan says:

          Well Votto, Duvall, and Scheb are on pace for 140-150 hrs….there is that! Peraza can hit…just isn’t selective! Suarez and Cozart have been going well! Votto isn’t going to hit .240…cmon?

        2. CP says:

          I could not care less about the Reds team batting average as compared to other teams. Choosing batting average is probably the absolute worst way to evaluate an offense.

          5 of the regulars have been above average at creating runs (yes, that includes Scott Schebler!). 3 of the regulars have a wRC+ of under 60, which is pretty bad.

          The offense is not a great offense, but they are clearly not the biggest issue with this ball club.

  19. Earl Nash says:

    Yikes, I’m glad the Brewers are gone for a while as they have totally clocked the Reds pitching. Back to the drawing board on these guys. Thames is hitting like roid rager Barry Bonds right now and paired with Braun and Shaw, they got a decent lineup.

    Let’s see how it goes against St. Louis. They got the Pirates and Giants after the Cards and neither of those clubs are going that good.

  20. james garrett says:

    Its the same thing with most teams that are struggling.When you hit you don’t pitch and vice versa.Remember the 2-0 and 2-1 losses and the 4-2 loss.I am always going to be on the offense because I feel the pitching will come around once Homer,Finny and Disco come back.These guys have some experience and the guys we are running out there either don’t or are named Scott and Bronson.Big difference.

  21. jveith1991 says:

    What is more beneficial to starting pitching prospects on a rebuilding team like the Reds? Should players such as Stephenson, Reed, Davis, Romano, etc. be starting in Louisville every 5th day working on their development while not accruing major league service time? Or does pitching for the major league club (whether as a starter or a reliever) benefit the pitcher more, as the competition is tougher?

    Obviously, the situation is not what the Reds had planned before Spring Training, as injuries have decimated the starting rotation. DeSclafani, Bailey, and Finnegan are all out, and Feldman and Arroyo are not eating innings as was the plan.

  22. jveith1991 says:

    What is going on with Dilson Herrera at AAA? In 13 games (55 AB), he is hitting .182/.250/.309. Obviously it’s a very small sample size, but should the Reds be concerned? Given the way Bruce is hitting for the Mets this season, I am afraid that if the Mets end up trading him in July, they will get a bigger haul than the Reds did (much like the Chapman deal).

    1. CP says:

      He started the season with a sore shoulder, that could be it.

      It’s possible regarding Jay Bruce, but I think us Reds fans have learned not to judge Jay over any 20 game stretch.

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