Game Thread

Reds at Cardinals  — April 28, 2017

The Reds are reeling, having lost 10 of their last 13 games after sweeping the Pirates in Pittsburgh. The club got a much-needed off-day on Thursday after getting dominated by the Brewers in a three-game sweep to begin the week. In that series, Cincinnati was outscored 29-12, as their pitching staff continues to struggle. With the return of Devin Mesoraco tonight, Bryan Price needs his starting rotation to find their footing and pitch deeper into games because he now has just seven bullpen arms to work with.

Starting Pitchers

Pitchers IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Tim Adleman
Lance Lynn

He’s only pitched 17 innings between the majors and minors this season, but Tim Adleman is another example of how little spring training stats matter. The right-hander was in contention to win a spot in the starting rotation to begin the season, but his spring performance (16 IP, 21 ER, 23 H, 9 BB, 10 K) put him out of that conversation. Due to injuries, the Reds called him up to the big leagues and after one appearance in long relief, he was inserted into the rotation to make a start against the Cubs last Friday. He kept the powerful Chicago offense in check, allowing only two runs (both on solo home runs), four hits, and two walks in six innings while striking out seven.

The 29-year-old has struck out nearly one of every three batters, thus far, and has only issued two bases on balls. While the well above-average K% will likely come down — his career rate is under 20 percent in both the majors and minors — the impeccable control is very real. Adleman’s career BB% (MLB and minors combined) is 7.0 percent, and if you only look at his last two seasons, that number drops to 5.9 percent. With so many ailing arms, along with the struggles of Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed, Adleman’s spot as a starter seems to be safe for a while.

After making 30+ starts for three years in a row, Lance Lynn missed all of the 2016 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. The 29-year-old is healthy and throwing the ball fairly well to begin 2017. The right-hander hasn’t lost any velocity and is putting up similar numbers to his pre-injury form (though his strikeouts are slightly down), so the Cardinals have to be encouraged by that. As if bouncing back from an injury wasn’t motivation enough, Lynn is also in a contract year, so he’s undoubtedly looking for a big deal in free agency.

The Reds have seen plenty of him over the years. In a huge shocker, Joey Votto has had the most success against Lynn, going 10-for-22 with two doubles and seven walks. Scooter Gennett has also hit fairly well against the righty, going 7-for-21 with two doubles and four walks. That’s about it, however, as most other Reds have struggled against him. These are all small sample sizes, though, so while these stats are fun to look at, they don’t necessarily mean much.


Reds Cardinals
1. Billy Hamilton (CF) 1. Dexter Fowler (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS) 2. Aledmys Diaz (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B) 3. Matt Carpenter (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF) 4. Jedd Gyorko (3B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B) 5. Stephen Piscotty (RF)
6. Scott Schebler (RF) 6. Yadier Molina (C)
7. Devin Mesoraco (C) 7. Randal Grichuk (LF)
8. Scooter Gennett (2B) 8. Kolten Wong (2B)
9. Tim Adleman (P) 9. Lance Lynn (P)

It’s official — Devin Mesoraco is back in the Reds’ lineup for the first time in just over a year (April 27, 2016). He’s coming off major shoulder surgery, so it’s hard to know what to expect from him right away, but it’s good to see him back in the lineup.

The struggling Jose Peraza is also getting the day off, meaning Bryan Price has finally moved the hot-hitting Zack Cozart up in the lineup. Perhaps Votto will actually have someone on base in front of him tonight.

News and Notes

Sounds like Cozart isn’t going anywhere, either. As long as he keeps hitting and showing excellent patience (he currently leads the Reds in walks with 13), it’s hard to disagree with this move.

The game plan for Mesoraco:

Uh oh.

Is that good?

Final Thoughts

Getting another strong start from Adleman and letting the bullpen catch their breath would be huge for the Reds. The starting rotation has not pitched deep into games all year — they’re dead last in baseball in innings pitched (102.1) — and the group accounted for only 11 innings in the series against the Brewers. The offense could also use a jump-start; perhaps sliding Cozart up to second and the return of Mesoraco will be what the team needs.

32 thoughts on “Reds at Cardinals  — April 28, 2017

  1. Geez Reed has had one bad game and Stephenson had been adequate up until his latest outing. Davis has been pretty bad from the get go and Garrett got shelled worse than Reed did in his last outing yet they get a pass in the struggling department?

    • No. I meant Adleman’s starting rotation spot won’t be challenged for right now because of injuries and Reed/Stephenson’s inconsistencies. I personally would’ve left Reed in the rotation to see if he could work it out, but the Reds don’t agree.

      • I apologize I read it wrong way. I guess I’m getting frustrated the way the Reds are handling Reed and Stephenson. As for Adleman, I don’t mind him getting a shot.

  2. When Adleman performs well, I like to affectionately refer to him as Timmy. It has a nice ring.

  3. Well not as stubborn as Dusty, but awfully slow to recognize a problem and address it.

    Really glad to see Mesoraco getting the start right our of the chute. I hope Price’s plan to alternate (if that is his plan) catchers only lasts through the first two turns through the rotation. Mesoraco should start agaionst EVERY LH starting pitcher and against RH starting pitchers to make up any disparity in his 50%/50% catching spit. take advantage of Mesoraco’s threat against LHP and Barnhart’s threat against RHP.

    How cool would it have been to see Gennett leading off in this lineup tonight in addition to Cozart hitting in the #2 hole!?

  4. Eugenio has started expanding his swing zone lately by chasing pitches out of the strike zone. That’s not a good thing. More plate discipline, not less plate discipline…please!

  5. I like this batting order if Price moves Billy to 8th. position and everyone else up one.

    • For some reason, my three-year-old second favorite Red is Scott Schebler. He so excited, it’ll take him a while to calm down enough to get to sleep.

      Worth it, though

  6. Adelman doing a serviceable job. He isn’t horrible. Bats need to wake up.

  7. Devin’s swing looks pretty sweet. Timing does look a little off, but can’t blame him for that.!

    • He did walk but he swung earlier at four pitches that each would have been ball four.

  8. Third TOOTBLAN in a week by Suarez. (Back to back vs. Cubs, I believe).

    Good for Chris Welsh, calling Suarez out, expecting better.

  9. Adelman’s final line Ugly. Not servecable after all. At least not tonight.
    Why not Peralta to pitch to Adams? Another head scratcher.

  10. The dumpster is on fire – I repeat – the dumpster is on fire.

    Well – they gave us two weeks of fun. That’s 1 week and 3 days more than I expected.

  11. This is a bad roster. Nice players but are at the bottom half of MLB players ex Votto. It will be a long time before the Reds are competitive. Schebler shows promise. Suarez needs to keep his head in the game. Hamilton can not hit but is great on defense, The pitching may be the worse in baseball.

  12. two on two out down by two. Why not use your new three headed catcher situation and bat Barnhardt for Hamilton there. He stays in to spell Mesoraco. Slide Schebler to center and Kivlehan stays in the game in right. Better option, Hamilton or Tucker to hit the ball hard?

  13. We, as fans celebrated Price for using his bullpen the right way early in this season when he had a large arsenal of pitchers to choose from. Now that the situation has flipped to an abundance of hitters, he did not use that to his advantage tonight. I feel like this team can be right there in the wildcard conversation, but they cannot afford to be mis-managed. Reds have no room for error..

    • Did you really say the ” Reds can be right there in the wild card conversation” ? WOW?

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