2017 Reds

Reds vs Blue Jays- May 30,2017

Tonight in game 2 of 3 versus the Blue Jays in Toronto, the Reds get to test the time worn cliche that one of the best things about professional baseball is that a team doesn’t have to wait long for their chance to set things right after a terrible performance. The  Reds at 24-26 through 50 games will be trying to get back to one game under .500 for the third time on this road trip. The surging Jays, 24-27 and winners of 7 of their last 10 games, will be looking to continue their recovery from a disastrous start to the 2017 season.

Starting Pitchers

Asher Wojciechowski, who says it is OK to just call him Wojo, gets the start for the Reds. He becomes the tenth starting pitcher for the Reds this season.  This will be Wojciechowski’s  fourth MLB starting assignment but his first since April of 2015 with the Astros.  As irony would have it, the righthander was originally a property of the Blue Jays as the #41 overall pick (first round sandwich pick) in the 2010 draft. He went to the Astro’s in the July 2012 trade which brought JA Happ, tonight’s Toronto starter, to the Jays. Following an abbreviated MLB stint in 2015, Wojciechowski bounced through the minor league systems of the Astros, Marlins, and Diamondbacks. After being released by Diamondbacks at the end of 2017 spring training, Wojciechowski caught on with the Reds organization to provide depth at AAA; and now, here he is in the Reds rotation, at least for one game.

Veteran lefthander JA Happ makes the start for the Blue Jays. Tonight marks Happ’s return from a stint on the DL due to elbow issues. He hasn’t pitched for the Blue Jays since April 21 but did make a rehab start  with the Jays A+ minor league team last week. In the three MLB starts Happ made this season before going on the DL, his ERA was half a  run higher than his career ERA but his FIP and xFIP were both better than his career norms. In 16 MLB innings this season, he has yet to allow a walk but his given up 4 home runs. He has also struck out batters at a rate of more than 1 an inning this season. If he pitches true to this form tonight, the Reds will have to put the ball in play; but also may be able to put some over the fences.

Tonight is one of the situations where the numbers may not tell us a lot. Here’s what I chose to do with them:

PITCHER FIP HR/9 BB/9 K/9
Asher Wojciechowski 2017 AAA 2.86 0.70 2.10 4.83
J.A. Happ MLB 2017 3.78 2.25 0.00 11.25

Bullpens

With Monday’s game turning into a rout early on, no front line relievers were used by either manager.

Lineups

REDS

SP: Asher Wojciechowski

BLUEJAYS

SP: J.A. Happ

1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (DH)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Devin Mesoraco (C)
8. Patrick Kivlehan (LF)
9. Jose Peraza (2B)
1. Kevin Pillar (CF)
2. Josh Donaldson (3B)
3. Jose Bautista (RF)
4. Kendrys Morales (DH)
5. Justin Smoak (1B)
6. Russell Martin (C)
7. Troy Tulowitzki (SS)
8. Devon Travis (2B)
9. Ezequiel Carrera (LF)

The Reds are loading up with their best RH batting lineup to face Happ. Mesoraco gets consecutive starts. Duvall moves to DH to get Kivlehan into the action. Let’s hope Happ is not a short timer followed by a parade of RH pitchers.

Adam Duvall is in the midst of one of his hot streaks. Over his last five games, his slash line is .400/.400/1.150. That makes for an OPS of 1.550 and ISO of .750. The guy may have issues with above average pitching (what hitters not named Votto don’t); but he knows what to do when he sees average and below average pitching.

Seemingly everybody on the Jays was hot even before they saw Reds pitching on Monday. But How about this for commentary on Monday’s Blue Jays offensive outburst.

Final Thoughts

The hot topic in most Reds circles today seems to be what is going on with Robert Stephenson and how the Reds should proceed with him the rest of the season.

UPDATE

For the record, count me among those who think Stephenson needs to be pitching regularly somewhere as a starter.  The way events have unfolded to now this season, that “somewhere” pretty much has to be Louisville to allow him to get stretched out. However if he goes to AAA and gets on a roll, then waste no time getting him back with the Reds in the starting rotation. Now back to your regularly scheduled preview…….

Both starting pitchers come into tonight’s game as question marks, Happ due to injury and Wojciechowski because he has never had success at the MLB level. Both will be facing a big time offense. It seems like the makings of a last man standing cage match. So, now watch one of the starting pitchers go out put together a really strong outing. Hopefully it will be the Reds offense turn to have a “pratique de battage” game  for a change.

Stats and data from Fangraphs.com and Baseball-Reference.com

146 thoughts on “Reds vs Blue Jays- May 30,2017

  1. I don’t want the on base % boys on here to have a heart attack or put a contract out on me but I don’t see where Winker is supposed to play? Granted the rebuild is far from over but I would deal Winker/Stephenson for Blake Snell from Tampa yesterday!

    • Trade a top 100 prospect, position player, for a pitcher that has never thrown more than 99 innings in a season at any level. One that averages over 5 BB/9?

  2. We’d be up 5-4 already if Billy doesn’t get a brain cramp. He needs a hit here!!

  3. Price strikes again! Does Morales hit right handed too? Don’t lose with less then your best? Its not rocket science.

      • Lower ops vs lefties….this year and career but hey I’m not managing. Price is like the guy that interviews well…sounds good and then you hire him and he can’t sell s@#*#* and is at the bottom of the sales board

  4. Let 2017 sort out “Woody,”
    He’s a price favorite.

    Hooverohlenwoodendiazeldorf.

    • Price may love Wood, he may hate him. I don’t think Price was particularly enamored with Hoover or Diaz but he’s the manager of a rebuilding team and he isn’t being paid to win. His job is to see who can actually pitch and some nights ( like tonight) are going to suck

      • So has it already been established that Peralta is a great setup man? No more need to test that theory?

      • Price likes Wood ….read his quotes….he said last week after wood pitched 1 inning he was happy for “Woody” since he struggled earlier……..said nothing about Stephenson who pitched 1 2/3 scoreless same game.

        Price has his favorites.
        No one can blame anyone for the injuries to homer.disco.finnegan….but price is the architect for Reed and Stephenson being banished to the bullpen at ST while Rookie Davis and Romano and Wojo and Adleman and Arroyo have been escorted ahead….he’s the proponent who says young starters can develop in the bullpen….Reed and Stephenson have failed miserably…not to mention the cluster with Garrett….their non-development is the long term hiccup for the season….doesn’t mean either aren’t simply the latest in a long line if failed prospects….but Brian Price isn’t developing prospects….he also isn’t developing 40 year olds or wojos or bonillas….

        The Reds are good at getting guys to AAA…..then a wall .

      • Price’s job is to maximize the output of his resources. He’s done a horrible job of managing Stephenson and Reed, and from this year with Wood & Arroyo and previous years with Hoover especially, has displayed a lack of judgment. He’s done some good but the bad far outweighs the good. Time to kick him to the roadside…

  5. Price is obviously saving Peralta for a 9th inning tie game. He’s always thinking ahead like that. The man really knows his stuff.

  6. Just an observation….but the difference between Mez and Martin catching is light years apart. Mez stabs at every close pitch and hardly ever gets the borderline strike.

  7. Totally gave this one away tonite. Billy runs them out of a run so we don’t get to Peralta and Iggy with the lead. Price doesn’t help by playing like he has a betting slip on the Blue Jays. Peralta is better then Wood….who doesn’t know that? Wood spent his entire 20s pitching somewhere other then the big leagues….that should tell you something?

  8. We tried to steal 3rd in the 7th with our best guy up and no outs and he gets thrown out.We get a lead off double in the 8th and don’t score.We bring in Wood and he gives it up.I guess we lose this one as a team.

  9. Also, if you’re actually trying to win the game, you pinch hit for Mesoraco in that situation. He doesn’t hit the ball to right field very often, he’d looked pretty bad in this game, and he’s facing a right-handed sidewinder. Barnhart gives the team a better chance to score in that situation. I understand some people think everything happening on the field is all part of some master long-term plan, but I think the more obvious explanation is that Price is very bad at baseball strategy.

    • Good point….guy LOVES the bunt but then when it could really help put them in position to take the lead late then he never considers it? Gennett lined out but the bunt did make sense and obviously brings the infield in….maybe that ball shoots by their 1B?

  10. CHUCK is right Price isn’t paid to win.His job is just to see if some guys can pitch but only the old guys.You know the guys that have a full baseball card that an 8 year old can read and say this guy is good or in Wood’s case this guy is not good.Of course if we don’t do the dumb thing in the 7th and waste a lead off double in the 8th Wood isn’t even in the game.Losing while your best two relievers watch is just plain dumb but I will give Price a pass tonight.

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