The Reds are so desperate for starting pitching the team sent Asher Wojciechowski to the mound in an actual major league game. Asher Wojciechowski.

In an unrelated note, Michael Lorenzen pitched three shutout innings, appearing out of the bullpen. He whiffed the side in his first inning, including striking out Ezequiel Carrera on a filthy 98-mph fastball.

If there is ANY circumstance that would make the Reds consider starting Lorenzen, the tsunami of injuries to starting pitchers has to be it. Repeat: Asher Wojciechowski. Seriously, how could the case for giving Lorenzen a shot in the rotation be any stronger? We can dare to dream the three innings tonight were a step toward stretching Lorenzen out.

Cincinnati Reds 4  Toronto Blue Jays 6 || MLB || FG || Statcast

Asher Wojciechowski shut out the Blue Jays for the first three innings. But the #VoteAsher campaign had to be put on hold as Toronto blasted three long home runs in the fourth.

Blake Wood gave up two runs in the 8th inning for the loss. Wood has been OK this year and Kendrys Morales’ homer was the first bomb Wood had given up in 2017. The Blue Jays can hit.

Two of the Reds All-Star candidates – Zack Cozart and Joey Votto – barreled up pitches in the first inning for solo home runs. That gave the Reds a 2-0 lead in the first. #VoteZack #VoteVotto

The Reds had a lead last night, too.

Cozart hit his second homer of the night in the fifth inning, pulling the Reds to within one run, 4-3. Here’s a bittersweet thought: Zack Cozart is building some awesome trade value. It would cause me to shed a few tears, but I’d move him sooner rather than later if there’s a solid match.

Turning point: The Reds tied the game in the 7th on a leadoff single by Jose Peraza, a stolen base and an error on the throw that moved Peraza to third. Billy Hamilton knocked Peraza in with a sharp single to center. Zack Cozart walked, to bring Joseph Daniel Votto up with no outs and runners on first and second. For some reason, Hamilton tried to steal 3B and was thrown out. If the Reds called for that, it was capital-D Dumb. Votto walked and two outs later, the Blue Jays were out of the inning.

The Reds send ace Tim Adleman (ERA 4.95, FIP 4.850) to the mound tomorrow to try to avoid a sweep in the series. Hide the children.

Bryan Price on Robert Stephenson demotion to AAA-Louisville (C. Trent Rosecrans): “The first two months of the season have served him well in that he’s had a small handful of games where he wasn’t very good and a large number of games where he was very good.” That’s premium-grade baloney right there. Unless by “well” Price means “as poorly as possible” or “absolutely awful, terrible, horrible.” Stephenson pitched 24 innings with an 8.03 ERA. On pace for 72 innings. Bad pitching; bad management by the organization. Whatever you think of Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson, the 2017 season has been nothing short of a disaster for their development – so far.

News on Tony Cingrani (Rosecrans): Left-hander Tony Cingrani threw a scoreless inning for low-Class A Dayton on Monday. He’ll make two more rehab appearances in the minors and then evaluated. Cingrani is scheduled to pitch Thursday and Saturday for AAA-Louisville. “We’ll play it by ear and see how he comes out of each outing,” Price said. “At this point, he’s had no post-pitching issues and that’s a good sign.”

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 36 Comments

  1. Cozart’s homer extended his career-high on-base streak to 22 games, longest by Reds SS since Alex Gonzalez’ 22-game streak in 2007.

    I never would have guessed that if you gave me 20 guesses.

  2. Brice was a starter last year in the minors. Here’s a crazy thought….why not try to start pitchers with actual talent? It could be all hands on deck but Lisabronsono Wojochickroyo gets hammered out of the game by the 3rd-4th inning anyway?

  3. I don’t get not using Iglesias tonight in the 8th and 9th. Iglesias has thrown just 2 2/3 innings over the last week, 12 innings in the entire month. Waste of the Reds best pitcher.

    • Someone has to close if we get the lead but you’re not wrong. Wood is ok but he proved last year that hes not capable in high leverage situations. Not to mention…hes almost 32 and not part of the future. Go with Peralta…its a no-brainer! He’s better then Wood all season. Brice is a new guy that we need to see more in these situations and he’s been good so far.

      • You can’t close if Blake Wood is going to give up runs. They will now use Iglesias tomorrow in an eight run game because he hasn’t pitched much.

    • He an only pitch with a lead. And Peralta had to be saved to pitch the 9th (and only the 9th, because he can’t pitch two innings) if the game was tied. Price is always thinking ahead that way. I’m surprised he doesn’t keep Votto on the bench most days so he can strategically use him as a pinch hitter in 9th inning tie games with the bases loaded and the pitcher due up.

  4. The Reds have no chance to win in 2018 unless they look externally for starting pitching…..or build Michael Lorenzen’s inning mileage in 2017 to transition him as a starter.. They might actually be doing that.

    Lorenzen can throw 90 innings in a carefully scripted way in 2017….then throw a few starts in the AFL and hit ST in in 2018 as a starter.

    2018 starters

    Romano/Mahle/Reed can compete for the 6/7 spots when…not if….things don’t work out.

    • Don’t forget Castillo. He should be ready next year so add him to the list fighting for a spot if anything happens to the top 5

    • Agree 100%: +add

      2017 second half starters – same

      • LOL
        Disco will not pitch this year.
        Homer may pitch a few starts, then get hurt again.

  5. To be fair, I think Wojo is a better starting option than Adleman, Bonilla, or Arroyo. Obviously none of the 4 are a long term option, but I think when Garrett is back (hopefully next week or sometime shortly after), Bonilla should be the one booted back to AAA

  6. Duvall got robbed on a nice play that would have put the Reds ahead in the 7th. Blue Jays made plays and the Reds didn’t. Can’t win em all

    • That play saved 2 runs.
      Tulo also single handedly saved 2 runs early and 1 run late.
      That’s 5 runs saved by just awesome defensive plays.

      I wouldn’t say that the Reds didn’t make any. It’s hard to make plays on balls in the 5th deck.

    • Just build his arm up this year with innings and longer outings to start next year in 2018. Price specifically did not rule out a return to the starting rotation…just no imminent plans to do so now

  7. Hamilton’s getting thrown out at 3rd cost the Reds a run and possibly cost them a big inning and the game. With the opposing pitcher struggling, two runners on and no one out, Votto up, the risk far outweighed the reward.

    My guess is that Hamilton went on his own, he doesn’t weigh risks vs. rewards, he just assumes he’ll be safe. It’s up to Price to give him a red light on occasion, and this was such an occasion.

    • It was an awful decision, and I’m a Billy fan. If Votto failed at the plate, then it would be OK to try. But with none out, that wasn’t smart.

      It didn’t officially cost them a run, because you don’t know how the rest of the inning would have played out. (They might pitch to Votto, and he grounds into a DP, for example)

  8. Reds had many opportunities to score more than the four and while I’m 99% onboard with Hamilton running, two on and nobody out with LEFTY Joey Votto up is beyond stupid. Martin just missed throwing him out at 2nd. Listen, can anybody still throw four quality innings? They’re hiring in Cincy.

  9. Toronto is doing what the Brewers did to our pitching. Im just glad the Jays were tired from hitting yesterday. It could have been ugly.

    • It was ugly with Hamilton attempting to steal third with no outs and Votto up. Then Wood gives up a two run bomb.

  10. I love Lorenzen as a reliever would hate to see his career wasted as a starter once every five days. Better to keep your golden arms around for key leverage situations.

  11. The Enquirer (C. Trent this time) again report that the Reds don’t have concerns that Lorenzen can handle a starter’s workload. They keep talking about his stuff playing up in the bullpen, but everyone’s stuff plays up in the bullpen.

    They must not think he can get people out at 94-96 as opposed to higher velocity out of the bullpen. That’s interesting because he’s never thrown his cutter or sinker in a start before, so it’s hard to tell whether that’s true or not. I can’t think of another reason why they wouldn’t audition him right now besides that.

    • I read that differently perhaps. With him throwing 3 innings yesterday, that is a positive sign and regardless of what Price says, those are the kind of outings that lead to a transition to starting. Price is also only ruling him out as a starter in the near future…..He did not say a return to starting was out of the question at some point.
      I hope Lorenzen is still a candidate for 2018. With the Reed and Stephenson demotions from a misguided bullpen role to a more traditional AAA approach, I wonder if DW is starting to take more control of things. I would not have a problem with keeping ML in the bullpen in June and July and stretching him out in 2-4 inning stints. I am sure they have an innings limit on him this year at around 80-100.

      • Maybe Lorenzen becomes a starting candidate down the road. The rotation just becomes way more crowded once they get healthy and younger guys (Mahle, Castillo, Romano, Reed, Stephenson) develop. If they were going to give Lorenzen a look, now would seem like the time.

        • In an interview in April, Price seemed to rule Lorenzen out for starting this year but indicated he was likely to get that opportunity eventually (not an exact quote). I took it to mean as early as next year he could be tried in a starting role. If it’s not going to be this year at all then I’m hoping for next year.

  12. Agree about the handling of Reed and Stephenson. Don’t see how time in the bullpen or time with the Reds staff has helped one bit. I felt at the beginning of the season, and am more convinced now, that both needed to be in a rotation, either with the Reds or with Louisville. If Stephenson isn’t getting work consistently, and he hasn’t, how do they expect him to improve.

    Arroyo, Feldman, Davis, Wojciechekowski, Adleman, and Bonilla are guys who have all started games this year instead of Lorenzen and Stephenson. Why? It’s not like the Reds have anything to lose by putting them out there.

    • I could be cynical and say they have draft position to lose by winning games…..
      However I agree with you. Tomorrow never comes. Today is the time to try and get better.

  13. Here’s my take on Lorenzen. We saw last night he could go three shutdown innings versus an offense that’s been bombing everybody. The Reds starters are averaging around 5 innings a game which means many days they don’t even get that far.
    If Lorenzen could get to even 4 innings, four innings of him would be better than the same from about anybody who has been starting without substantially increasing the load on the bullpen.

    • I’ve been thinking that for a couple of weeks now. Couldn’t hurt to try it, although I’m sure it won’t happen.

  14. Austin Ross 1st game with Lville last night….8ip 2er. He hasn’t allowed a HR in 67 innings this year!! Get’em up here! Get rid of Arroyo and Bonilla pronto!! Price throws Wood out there to blow the game? Where is Peralta? If not Peralta then why not try Brice? Aren’t you supposed to be test the new guys in a rebuild? Wood will be 32 shortly…he’s not part of the future! Do something 100%!!! The Reds always half-@$$ stuff and get their litany of excuses ready when questioned!!

  15. There have been many many discussions and comments made as to why not Reed or Stephensen or Lorenzen getting some starts this year.I really believe the Reds decided long before spring training that these 3 guys were going to pitch out of the pen this year period.They had Disco,Finny and brought in Feldman to be 3 out of the 5 starters and opened it up for guys to win the other two spots.They gave them to Garrett and Rookie.They didn’t count the three guys I mentioned in the mix to win a starting job at all.Then when the injuries hit they went with Bronson and Aldeman and whoever else that could throw a ball.This is what has happened so far and the Reds have not been willing to deviate from this plan and won’t until July or August.They did not plan to win this year but I am sure they are pleased with every aspect of the team except the starters.As fans we want to win and since nobody in our division is running away with things we see an opportunity that nobody expected us to have including the front office.As CHUCK always says 4 or 5 more wins doesn’t make that much difference and it may not when the dust settles at the end but right now it would have us in first place.Certainly the Cubs will win the division because they have the most talent across the board but the rest of the teams have just as many holes if not more to fill then we do.We will get better once our injured guys and Garrett return.

  16. Tim Adelman is the ace? Completely disgusting. This team can hit, but never have I seen a Reds team have such a woeful collection of starters. I’d rather have the 2005 or 1987 rotation than what we have right now.

    Why are so many starting pitchers hurt? I say this a lot, but it has to be something more than bad luck. Maybe the Reds should exploit a market inefficiency and actually get a med/training staff that can keep players healthy.

  17. Hamilton thrown out stealing 3rd with Votto batting. Turned it off. Unbelievable bone head baseball

  18. Serious question – is Zack C. really, kinda, good now? Because we are starting to get into the this-could-be-real territory. And if, so, does it change plans to deal him?

  19. I don’t think Cozart is real. He will settle into .275 average by season end. He is hot right now and playing excellent baseball. At 31 he is the back of his base card.

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


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