2017 Reds / Game Thread

Reds vs. Pirates – May 2, 2017

It took extra innings, but the Reds were able to take game one of this home stand against the Pirates in their 4-3 win last night. It’ll be the same time, same place tonight for Game 2: 7:10 PM at Great American Ballpark.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Tyler Glasnow 14.2 7.98 5.45 20.2% 15.5%
Scott Feldman 27.2 3.25 4.30 21.2% 11.5%

Although not quite this year’s version of Dan Straily, Scott Feldman has been off to a pretty decent start in his Reds career. He’s certainly a reliable arm on a pitching staff that doesn’t feature much reliability at this point. He’s been the Reds most valuable pitcher so far this season, a combination of his ability to go somewhat deep into games and his aptitude for not letting games get out of hand while he’s on the mound. The numbers suggest he may be due for some regression, but even a 4.30 xFIP isn’t horrible by any means. He’ll look to improve on his last outing, a 5 inning, 5 walk, 4 Earned Run appearance against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Tyler Glasnow has not gotten off to the best of starts in his Major League career. The young phenom only made it through 1.2 innings against the Reds in his debut, and things haven’t gotten much better for him since. Walks and pitch efficiency have been his major pain points thus far, walking almost a batter an inning so far in his career. He’s only pitched five innings once in a game so far, so the Reds will look to capitalize and should be as patient as possible at the plate tonight.

The lineups

Pirates Reds
3B Josh Harrison (139 wRC+) CF Billy Hamilton (43 wRC+)
1B Josh Bell (116 wRC+) SS Zack Cozart (159 wRC+)
CF Andrew McCutchen (107 wRC+) 1B Joey Votto (124 wRC+)
RF John Jaso (43 wRC+) LF Adam Duvall (123 wRC+)
LF Jose Osuna (151 wRC+) 3B Eugenio Suarez (163 wRC+)
C Elias Diaz (121 wRC+) RF Scott Schebler (130 wRC+)
2B Alen Hanson (17 wRC+) 2B Jose Peraza (37 wRC+)
SS Jordy Mercer (58 wRC+) C Devin Mesoraco (113 wRC+)
P Tyler Glasnow (5.45 xFIP) P Scott Feldman (4.30 xFIP)

The Reds will roll out their best 9 tonight. Billy Hamilton will look to feed off the energy from last night and turn around his struggles to start the season. Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez will look to shrug off some recent regression and join Joey Votto, Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler in the ‘heating up’ section of the lineup. Devin Mesoraco makes his second start for the Reds this season after appearing as a pinch hitter in the last two outings.

Quite a few changes for the Pirates today. Top 100 Prospect Alen Hanson will get the nod at second today. His career is off to a bit of a slow start, with a 29 wRC+ over 55 Plate Appearances dating back to last season. Real life Pirate John Jaso is back in Right Field for Pittsburgh, Elias Diaz takes over behind the plate, and young first baseman Josh Bell will hit second, sending Jordy Mercer to the bottom of the lineup. Josh Harrison is back, and will try to hit two home runs tonight as well.

News and Notes

Final Thoughts

Last night was fun, but more importantly, it was a nice quality win. This team has shown early on that they won’t be giving up mid-way through games this season. Most of that is due to the bullpen, which (except for one pitch from Drew Storen) was phenomenal again last night. That quality relief pitching has to have a massive effect on the confidence of the offense, and probably takes a ton of pressure off of the starting pitching as well. Let’s hope all of this combines to a third straight win tonight.

89 thoughts on “Reds vs. Pirates – May 2, 2017

    • Weighted runs created. It takes every offensive outcome for a player (single, walk, home run, etc.) and weights it based on how many runs that outcome usually creates in real games. Unlike batting average, it values walks. Unlike batting average and on-base percentage, it values power. It isolates the contribution of the player independent of teammates. It does not add value for stolen bases or subtract for caught stealings.

      The weighted value is divided by the number of plate appearances. The “plus sign” (as it does for any advanced state) means “adjusted” and that means the number is put on a 100-point scale, with 100 being average. A player with a wRC+ of 110 has hit in a way that produces 10% more runs than the average MLB player this year. A player with wRC+ of 80 is 20% worse. Adjusting this way also allows comparisons across seasons.

      https://redlegnation.com/2014/02/07/wrc/

      • To tag onto Steve’s comment, I personally use wRC+ to get a good feel for overall player production at the plate. It’s by no means the only metric I’ll check (I also still enjoy and use the standard AVG/OBP/SLG slash-line quite a bit), but wRC+ is usually the number I’ll check first if I want to get a gauge on how a player has been producing at the plate.

        I like it because of a reason Steve brought up – it’s easy to scan. I know if a guy has an OPS+ of 160 like Eugenio Suarez does, he’s hitting 60% better than the rest of the league.

      • Shouldn’t this be the defacto stat for lineup creation and assessment of offensive productivity? I don’t like WAR. We don’t need a metric that compares pitchers with hitters and muddies the water with defense.
        Is xFIP the wRC+ pitching stat?

        • Kind of. xFIP is Expected Fielding Independent Pitching. It takes Fielding Independent Pitching – A pitcher’s ERA if provided league average results on balls in play and league average timing – and then projects it forward. So it’s more of a predictive stat than wRC+.

          I use xFIP in my game preview posts because pitchers don’t get a chance to play every day, and one bad outing can really mess up his ERA or FIP. xFIP definitely takes what happens in a pitcher’s previous outings into account, but it also realizes pitchers can have bad luck, and tries to account for that as well. In my opinion it’s a better gauge of what a pitcher actually is, rather than what a pitcher has been so far.

          • In more granular terms, even, xFIP only looks at strikeouts and walks. That’s it. Nothing else. It uses a league average HR/FB rate along with the pitcher’s fly ball rate allowed, which is how it differs from FIP, which uses the pitcher’s true HR/FB rate.

        • wRC+ SHOULD play into lineup construction, yes But as Jordan alludes to above, traditional stats like the triple slash line of AVG/OBP/SLG still have uses.

          The slash line gives you a better idea of HOW the player produces, whereas wRC+ simply shows how much a player produces.

          For example, someone like Mark Trumbo (or Chris Carter) will hit 40 homers, but strike out a ton and not get many singles or walks. A different player might only hit 10 homers, but if he walks a lot and hits grounders and liners for more base hits, he might produce the same value as Trumbo.

          In numerical form (just for example’s sake)

          Trumbo: .240/.300/.520, 115 wRC+
          Other Guy: .280/.370/.450, 115 wRC+

          So, even with the same production, you’d probably want the guy getting on base more often to bat higher in the order than Trumbo.

        • Muddies the water with defense? Really? Those runs Hamilton takes away by being so fast in CF helps the team as much as any scored by anyone else on the team!

        • The thing that wRC+ and FIP/xFIP have in common is the goal of isolating the player’s performance. Valuing the player based on what the player himself can control.

          Your question about lineup construction is a little artificial in this sense: Managers aren’t limited to looking at one stat. Neither are we. Stats like wRC+ and OPS and OPS+ and xFIP etc. are available to summarize a player’s value in one stat. So no, managers shouldn’t use wRC+ to base lineups, they should look at several stats, including match-ups based on handedness and types of pitchers. And, as pointed out above, wRC+ doesn’t incorporate the base running +/-.

          But if the question was this: If managers could only look at one offensive stat, shouldn’t it be wRC+? Then maybe the answer to that is yes.

        • You don’t need a metric like WAR to compare pitchers and hitters, or types of hitters, to make a lineup. But you do to decide who to acquire and trade – again, if you want to look at one stat.

      • Steve thanks for the explanation. But just do not understand it nor know how to calculate. That’s why I’m stuck in old school. No idea what the weighted part means.

      • Thanks! I won’t stop doing it until wRC+ and xFIP are on every major league scoreboard.

        I might be doing this for a while.

        • I love that your posting these as well.
          Though I am afraid if Marty or Thom saw this there heads may explode…

        • I don’t play fantasy baseball but my coworker was showing me his league and I was surprised at some of the categories that are scored and weighted equally. Stolen bases and saves? I was surprised the fantasy leagues haven’t moved towards the more advanced stats.

          • One of the reasons I stopped played.

            Actually.. Holds. That’s why I stopped playing. My friends wouldn’t get rid of holds, which are arbitrarily assigned by the official scorer. Sometimes a guy meets the criteria and doesn’t get a hold. How the heck is that a real stat?!?

          • Some have. Mine replaced batting average with OBP more than ten years ago. Constraints on change include platforms like ESPN, Yahoo, CBS not offering advanced stats as categories. Wins is really the dumbest category. You just have to think about fantasy baseball as being something different from real baseball. Therefore different strategies.

          • Steve we use pitcher team win instead of wins stat. Not great but still better than just wins..

  1. Reds are facing a struggling young pitcher and Marte, Polanco, Freese, and Cervelli are all out of the lineup. No reason whatsoever that the Reds shouldn’t win this game!

  2. We wish our top 2 would get on base but Harrison’s obp is .385 and Bell’s is .350 and they’re 14th in the NL in scoring. The guys behind them have to move’m along!

  3. Billy leadoff walk and stolen base of course. Insane how good he could be if only he could get on more.

    • Yeah….I have him in 3 of my 4 fantasy teams. He can lock up the steals stat by himself by Wed or Thur then I can sit him for someone w/power!

  4. If he could hit 250 and walk some we have a game changer.His speed and defense in center are second to none.Just has to get on base.

  5. I was just about to say that I looked at Glasnow’s numbers compared to Robert Stephenson and they are very similar, except Glasnow gives up considerably fewer home runs. So much for that..wow

  6. I would say after another bad game tonight. Glasnow about to see some AAA time.

  7. If Feldman can pull off a nice Straily type run then maybe the Reds could deal him to Washington or Arizona? The Nats are surprisingly 11th in pitching in the NL (Reds 12th) and Strasburg hasn’t got hurt yet. Arizona looks like they might score heavily all year and Shelby Miller just went down and needs TJ.

  8. Its just always that way with young pitchers as far as throwing strikes in the big leagues.The calls they may get in the minors they won’t get in the majors nor will they get away with a lot of mistake pitches therefore they nibble more.All big leaguers can hit a fastball so you better spot it and have a secondary pitch or two.Power arms such as our guys and Glasnow play at all levels if they can throw strikes.

    • Reed doesn’t have anything soft though….and it also seems like he’s throwing 92-93 by his 3rd inning because he’s thrown so many pitches. If he could actually throw his slider for strikes and keep the fastball down? Bob Steve actually looks more refined to me with a nice curve but he can’t throw strikes or he’s wild right down the middle on a tee!

  9. Bruce #8 tonite….the Reds could’ve had 4 guys on pace for 45-50 HRs…lol.

  10. I saw him hit the other night and he hit a rocket that looked like it might take the second baseman over the fence when he caught it.It appears he has shortened his swing some.

  11. The kid must have been looking at REDLEG NATION between innings because he struck out the side on 10 pitches.

    • Yeah, he must have discovered his inner eyelids that inning. He blew Feldman/Billy/Cozart away that inning. No great shakes on the first two.

  12. Bunting in most instances is stupid! Feldman doesn’t throw hard but most pitchers throw so hard that its too difficult to get it down or it carries too far and gets caught. Teams are better off just letting the pitcher hack away or pull the butcher boy!

  13. Question remains do you want to see Feldman get hammered or one of the the younger guys.You could see it coming a mile away.

  14. I know it’s easy to second guess managing and all, but when I got in and turned on the game at top of 4 with one out, I watched Feldman throw a couple pitchers and thought “wheels are about to come off for sure, he don’t look sharp”. Point being that if I with my limited experience can see that, maybe we shoulda brought someone in from the pen. Ah, if ifs and buts were candies and nuts…..

  15. Oh how I wish we had healthy SPers. So some of the guys like Feldman and Arroyo wouldn’t be here starting.

  16. WOW its just batting practice.A two run single by the pitcher and a three run homer by Harrison.

  17. When are the Reds going to quit running out lousy washed up “inning eaters”? All they do is get bombed! We have a ton of young arms and Lorenzen and Peralta were starters in 2015. Cmon already? Too many years of Marquis, Simon, Arroyo, Feldman, etc etc????

    • It’s always been a mystery to me — the obsession with having older mediocre pitchers “eating innings.” Why pay above league minimum if all they’re doing is allowing your other pitchers to get some rest? There are enough arms in the minor leagues to fill these spots. Or just sign some decent college players for league minimum to be your “innings eaters.” Maybe one of them turns out to be good enough to keep in the system. I don’t see teams in any other sports doing this sort of thing. They use mediocre older plays as bench players who fill in when needed; they don’t stick them in the starting lineup to make sure their promising young guys don’t have to play very much.

  18. That was a brutal inning. Just hit hard. Good thing the Pirates ran into an out at 3rd.

    It was pretty clear that Feldman was done during the inning, guess as a manager you have to hope he gets out somehow and save the bullpen.

  19. Hate to hammer Feldman and Bronson but 4 innings a start isn’t much help if we are trying to keep the innings down for the young guys.In fact you could say the young guys can’t learn much at all from these type of performances.

  20. They have Tyler Mahle absolutely destroying AA and a lot of young guys have barely pitched AAA so move him up and see what happens? Feldman is now at 4.83 with a lousy 1.42 whip and Arroyo is worse. What do we have to lose? Romano is another one this is doing pretty well at Lville!

    • Nice change from Bob Steve….run him out there as a starter! Lorenzen & Peralta both started in 2015. They could move one of them in the rotation and they’d still have Hernandez throwing 100 for the late innings.

  21. Our veteran pitchers Arroyo, Feldman, and Adleman often get knocked out early and Stephenson, Reed, and Lorenzen end up pitching. Why not just start them instead?

  22. I guess the Reds have a plan but its hard as a fan to understand what it is.

  23. I would argue that every Reds starter is getting rocked outside of Garrett and have a four inning ceiling anyway. The order that they get pounded doesn’t matter. The young guys simply aren’t ready. They need seasoning at AAA. I just wish there were some alternatives. The Reds offense and bullpen is ready to win right now.

    • Lorenzen, Reed, and Bob Steve don’t need minor league seasoning. Romano, Mahle, and Castillo should be in AAA and ready for backup! Feldman can be the 5th guy and Arroyo can be the change of pace vs righties. Adleman can be back pitching somewhere overseas like Kenny Powers.

      • Lorenzen is not going to start in 2017 no matter how much Redleg Nation demands it. Maybe 2018 if he gets to 100 innings.

        • Reed may have some mental block when he starts or maybe opposing hitters have more time to prepare a game plan? I have no idea why he’s successful out of the pen and not as a starter. Stephenson needs a change of scenery. He’s Eddinson Volquez with less talent and worse command.

  24. A 5 pitch inning for Glasnow in the fifth.Wasn’t he having trouble throwing strikes?I am gone for tonight.Doesn’t appear anybody wants to compete now.Go Stephenson and show me I am wrong.

  25. Scouting report on Jose Peraza.
    Throw your best looking ball.
    He swings at everything.

  26. The Reds should be taking lessons from the Pirates on how to handle young promising pitchers (talking Reed and Stephenson in particular here). They didn’t panic after one bad start. They didn’t yank him after one bad inning. They are giving him room to grow. None of this “Hey we’ll give you one chance against the Cubs and if you fail it’s back to the pen” mumbo jumbo.

    • Good point….why does Price have a short leash with Reed but Rookie can give up a TD in a inning and he’s ok?

      • Case in point. Stephenson should have been out of the inning with no runs allowed if not for a couple of unlucky plays and here again is Price with his short leash even though the game is already over.

    • Stephenson has the stuff..But not the command…He can’t locate his pitches where he wants…When he wants…That may simply be a byproduct of the fact growing up he never had to compete….He just rared back and beat everyone….Easily. Now…He can’t do that….And because he never failed until he was 19 or 20….He’s incapable of responding to setbacks. This is not good. Mike leake has those intangibles…Cueto had them….Arroyo had them….Amir Garrett has them
      Stephenson can’t handle adversity.

        • Well…He looked good….Then fell apart…Take the ball..Get hitters out…No excuses…Stephenson has been given every opportunity. This game is a microcosm of his career.Flashes of brilliance…But then implodes and the end result is shaking your head. He doesn’t compete.

      • Its something? He has good stuff (not great) but he just can never get the 3rd out when stuff happens….and that stuff always involves walks and fastballs above the belt. For 2 2/3 he was fine….don’t get it? The Reds just aren’t ready for primetime. I wonder if we could trade Votto because this team is nowhere close….maybe 2019 we could reach .500?

        • Not everything is quantitative Indy. Some is qualitative…Mental.. Intangibles.

  27. Ok….well we have Adleman and Rookie coming up so their backup scrubs may take 3 of 4? Its going to be a long year. I won’t make the AS break.

  28. This is the worst I’ve seen the reds play this year. I’m talking to you Wood.What if we cut wood, Feldman and arroyo, and let the kids pitch.

    • Hernandez is 25 years old & throws 100 mph with an unhittable curve and is stuck at AA. Makes no sense whatsoever?

      • It sure doesn’t – yet they can run these other gas cans on the mound and give them chance after chance after chance ….

        • This is not their worst game this year. They aren’t playing an awful team. Pirates had a solid pitcher out there, Feldman just got tired early, and one bad inning hurts, but the real issue I see from this team (outside of a couple guys) is just free swinging and not taking strikes. We are losing because other teams are loading the bases with walks, and then clearing them. Think about how dangerous our lineup would be if Peraza and Hamilton walked more and had an OBP of .320. Stephenson needs to pitch and learn on the job it’s a rebuilding year and after tonight we won two of the last three. It’s not Milton, it’s youth/inexperience and we’ll get better.

          • The offense is up-n-down but when Feldman is your “ace” then you’re in deep doo-doo! Losing Disco was a back breaker! They should atleast run Romano, Reed, and Bob Steve out there and try to figure it out….Lorenzen back to starting too.

          • It’s hard to have a .320 OBP when the other team just throws you strikes because they don’t think you can hit.

    • A Joey Votto swing away from 12-0
      Milton indeed.
      Injuries have wrecked the starting pitching. Garrett is ready…Stephenson isn’t…Reed we don’t know…Rookie isn’t…Romano isn’t..

  29. Reds got to be losing patience with Bob Stephenson. He indeed needs a change of scenery. How long are they going to deal with him??? Let another team see what they can do with him…as Reds cannot get through to him on command of his pitches, or most likely going in “one ear and out the other” with him, thus time to move on!

    • I’m sure the demand for Stephenson is through the roof. Why would you trade someone with ability at their nadir? Wouldn’t it make sense to just see what he can actually do? He’s had about 1/3 of a season in the big leagues. 1/3 of a season into his career and Jack Armstrong looked like Tom Seaver.

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