The Reds (24-28) keep creeping toward .500 only to go on a losing streak. The club got a much-needed day off on Thursday after getting swept by the Toronto Blue Jays at the beginning of the week. Perhaps a return home against a subpar team will get them back on track.
Tonight, the Reds will take on the Atlanta Braves (22-29) for the first time in 2017, with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
With Julio Teheran struggling, right-hander Mike Foltynewicz has been the Braves’ top starter this season, along with Jaime Garcia. That said, his overall numbers are fairly pedestrian. The former top-100 prospect dials his fastball up to the mid-90s but doesn’t strikeout many batters, instead relying on above-average control to get hitters out. He isn’t much of a ground-ball pitcher (41.9 GB%), so he gives up his fair share of home runs (though not to the extend of the Reds’ pitching staff). He is coming off a rough outing against a less-than-stellar Giants offense, in which he surrendered five runs on seven hits in four innings.
Here’s how Foltynewicz has fared against current Reds’ batters in his brief career (stats courtesy of Baseball Reference):
Bronson Arroyo is still in the rotation, and things aren’t getting any better. He’s given up 12 home runs over his last five outings (26.2 innings) and is now tied with the Astros’ Mike Fiers for the MLB lead in long balls allowed (18). Somehow, all of those home runs over his last five outings were solo shots; otherwise, his numbers would be even uglier than they are. With Brandon Finnegan, Homer Bailey, and Anthony DeSclafani all expected (fingers crossed) to return this month, Arroyo’s time in the rotation may be running out.
Here is how the right-hander has fared against Braves hitters over the years:
*Note: The Braves designated Bonifacio for assignment today, so he’s no longer on their roster.
|CF Ender Inciarte (97 wRC+)||CF Billy Hamilton (79 wRC+)|
|2B Brandon Phillips (102 wRC+)||SS Zack Cozart (169 wRC+)|
|RF Nick Markakis (99 wRC+)||1B Joey Votto (152 wRC+)|
|LF Matt Kemp (160 wRC+)||LF Adam Duvall (105 wRC+)|
|1B Matt Adams (92 wRC+)||3B Eugenio Suarez (144 wRC+)|
|C Tyler Flowers (158 wRC+)||RF Scott Schebler (116 wRC+)|
|3B Adonis Garcia (66 wRC+)||2B Jose Peraza (69 wRC+)|
|SS Dansby Swanson (46 wRC+)||C Tucker Barnhart (74 wRC+)|
|P Mike Foltynewicz (4.28 xFIP)||P Bronson Arroyo (5.30 xFIP)|
— Nothing notable from the Reds’ batting order tonight. After an off-day, the usual lineup is rested and ready to go.
— Tonight marks Brandon Phillips’ return to Cincinnati after being traded to the Braves in February. He’s having a solid season thus far, hitting .294/.343/.413 with 10 doubles, three home runs, and seven steals, though he has cooled off since a red-hot start.
— As you can see, the Braves have a solid offense, although their big bat, Freddie Freeman, is out for the foreseeable future with a broken wrist. It’s a shame, too, because he was producing at MVP levels (.341/.461/.748, 14 home runs, 208 wRC+, 2.7 fWAR).
— Although his defense is poor, Matt Kemp is still mashing the ball. The 32-year-old is hitting .345/.381/.608 with 15 doubles and 10 home runs, good for a ridiculous 160 wRC+.
— In case you missed it, the Braves recently acquired a player familiar to Reds fans, making a trade with the Cardinals for first baseman Matt Adams.
News and Notes
Welcome back, DatDude!
— Brandon Phillips (@DatDudeBP) June 2, 2017
For those listening on radio tonight, you may hear a different voice than you’re accustomed to:
— Jim Day (@JimDayTV) June 2, 2017
Scott Schebler = good
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 2, 2017
Some big-name Reds prospects made the Florida State League All-Star Game, though Gavin LaValley was snubbed:
Congratulations to our 2017 FSL All-Stars!
— Daytona Tortugas (@daytonatortugas) June 2, 2017
The Louisville Bats are wearing some cool uniforms tonight:
— Bats Clubhouse (@batsequipment) June 2, 2017
With Arroyo and Foltynewicz taking the mound for their respective teams, tonight’s game has the potential to be a slugfest. Buckle up, everyone!
Growing up just north of Cincinnati, Matt has been a Reds fan for as long as he can remember. As a kid, he was often found leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 and imitating his favorite players (Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns) in the backyard. One of his earliest baseball memories is attending the final night game at Cinergy Field. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in the Dayton area. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.