Titanic Struggle Recap

Sometimes, You Lose Anyway

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (35-47) 3 5 0
Colorado Rockies (49-36) 5 10 0
W: Hoffman (5-1) L: Castillo (0-1) S: Holland (27)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Joey Votto hit a homer. He has 24 now, 82 games in. He has twice finished the season with 24 homers. Yeah. He’s awesome.

–And speaking of awesome – holy crap, Scooter Gennett. Where did he even come from?

–Luis Castillo. I suppose he technically didn’t have the best numbers, but 5 2/3 IP with 8 Ks and only 1 walk against a really good Colorado team in Denver in his third MLB start ever, I’ll certainly take it.

The Bad
–Beyond Votto and Scooter, there wasn’t much offense, but otherwise, this was a well-played game. Sometimes, you lose those.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Boy, Luis Castillo is a breath of fresh air isn’t he? I’m looking forward to his starts now and it’s pretty nice given what we’ve seen out of the rotation for much of the year.

–Joey Votto’s home run was his 1500th hit, passing Ted “Big Klu” Kluszweski. There are still people who will argue that Votto isn’t the best first baseman in Reds history. These people are silly.

–The Reds traded Tony Renda to Arizona today. Renda hadn’t seen any time in the majors this year and dealt with some injuries, but I liked watching him play in Louisville.

–Even though the Reds lost today, this team is feeling a lot less disastrous than they were a week or two ago.

 

59 thoughts on “Sometimes, You Lose Anyway

    • Their more recent road games have generally been against good teams so the lack of winning makes a lot of sense since the Reds aren’t very good.

  1. While Price still stubbornly and foolishly utilizes the fastest runner in the lineup to to hit leadoff…

    Jose Peraza 1-4 tonight & slashing .250/.276/.327 for the Cincinnati Reds

    Jesse Winker 2-3 w/ 2-BB tonight & slashing .309/.390/.398 for the Louisville Bats

    • Willy Taveras, CoreyPatterson, Billy Hamilton, Jose Peraza, I am surprised the Reds haven’t signed Usain Bolt to be their leadoff hitter.

        • Thanks for the reminder about Stubbs! What Reds fan wouldn’t want to forget him!

          • Hey. Stubbs actually had more than a bit of power and does not fit the mold–despite his speed. He had 22 HRs in 2010 before tailing off. That is no Taveras.

          • Wily Taveras finished 2nd behind Ryan Howard for ROY in 2005, and had a 30 game hit streak in 2006. He accumulated 5.5 WAR in 2 seasons with the Astros. He also hit .320 and had a great postseason for the Rockies in 2007.

    • I had high hopes for Peraza coming into this year. I’ve given up. He needs to be sent down to the minors. Don’t care who comes back. I can’t take him jabbing at pitches for the rest of the year. His defense is okay, certainly not great. Put in Gennett at 2B and keep him there. Put Hamilton back in CF and bat him 9th. Gennett, Cozart, Votto then whatever.

      Watching Peraza bat is painful. Him and Hamilton are two automatic outs. At least hamilton has crazy speed and is a great CF.

      • I agree…I’d only add, bring up Winker and platoon him in the OF (right field probably, moving Schebler over to CF to give Billy some breaks).

      • Peraza has the lowest BB% of qualified hitters in MLB at 1.6%.

        Negative WAR for the season.

        Interesting that the Reds just had to trade for him. Goes against the trend in hitting in baseball and the results are proof. Really provides no value at this point with that low of a BB%

      • There are a whole lot of sophomore slumps going on this year, a lot. Tho I agree, some time in the minors may get his head back in the game. He’s obviously his own worst enemy right now.

        • Agree, but the Reds may have caught lightning with Scooter. He’s only 27; needs to be the everyday 2nd baseman. Lose a little in fielding, gain a ton in offense. Peraza needs to go down to AAA for awhile, play a little short. I would have no problem with the Reds packaging Hamilton, Peraza, and a top prospect for a young CFer that can get on base. Think of that daily lineup.

  2. First time I have seen Castillo pitch.
    While he just came up from AA to pitch, I am concerned about pitch count.
    He is not getting ahead in the count, and the pitch count goes up.
    He does a good job of working out of trouble.
    But in this league, you cannot always be working out of trouble
    With Homer pitching today, It may be bloody out there.

    • Hopefully he will start throwing more first-pitch strikes. He got behind an awful lot of hitters. But he sure seems to have a major league arm.

      • Was at Louisville game last night at Indy, former top prospect Robert Stephenson started and did not look sharp at all. Gave up a couple homeruns and tribe hit him pretty hard. Winker had a nice night getting on base I believe all four at bats and Ervin had some nice at bats. I have no idea who some of the players were as mine have been mentioned here. Bats lost a close game.

        • But Stephenson walked 0 for the 2nd straight game and had a decent K total. Agree about the HRs. Seems like a step in the right direction though.

    • Agree he needs to improve on his economy of pitches by not wasting pitches early in counts and learning to put batters away. If he improves on these two factors that should go a ways in helping him stay out of trouble.

      Castillo is 24 years, 200+ days old. He is incrementally older than Stephenson, Reed, Finnegan, and Rookie Davis who are also in their 25th year of life and Sal Romano who has yet to reach his 24th birthday. I’m not sure we should be overly concerned with 100 pitch outings as long as he avoids innings and multiple high leverage situations..

  3. Whatever was bothering Nick Senzel when he timidly began his assault on AA pitching seems to be forgotten and behind him.

    Last night Senzel went 3-4 w/ 1-HR to move his recent improvement from league bumbling (.150/.227/.200) after 6 games to league average (.250/.368/.281) after 10 games in AA to league dominating (.306/.405/.417) after 11 games in AA. Baseball just operates on a different level for the Vottos and Senzels of the game.

    The Reds may need to escalate plans for reserving or creating a place for Senzel to play on the 25-man roster sooner rather than later.

    • Senzel went through a similar acclimation period last year when he was jumped from rookie ball (Billings) to Low A (Dayton) during the season. Doug Gray often comments that the Southern League, which Senzel is now in, is a tough league for hitters. It will be interesting to see where Senzel plateaus at there.

    • He’s very likely to finish the season in AAA. With a strong performance in next ST, he should be landing in the majors sometime in 2018. If Cozart is extended, and with Gennett playing at current level, I believe that Peraza will be relegated to a utility role and Suarez will be the sacrified lamb.

  4. The Reds are pushing Castillo, setting career highs for pitches thrown in his last 2 games. The young man is responding with promise at the major league level, if not baseline results yet. He was still competing when he threw his 111th pitch last night and was pulled from the game. It’s just a small handfull of starts at the major league level, but its been against some of the best competition the league can provide and the young man does not seem intimidated in the least. The sorting for the starting rotation is gearing up.

    • I think we all said similar things about Garrett at the start of the season…lets hope Castillo pans out better (not that i’m giving up on Garrett). In re to Castillo, personally, I’d rather see command of the strike zone than 100 MPH balls.

      • A major difference (Castillo v Garrett) is that a 100MPH fastball (Castillo) can become a greater equalizer and bail out pitch than a fastball thrown at the speeds Garrett throws thus giving Castillo more room for error.

    • What I like about,Castillo is he doesn’t lose his head when he gives up a hit or even a Homer. Garrett on the other hand pitched well until he got rattled and then lost it. He will learn how to overcome that in the minors. I think he will come back and be better this year. He had 12 starts and half were good. Nor bad for a rookie.

  5. I said during the game last night that he just competes which is what you are looking for in a young pitcher.He certainly battles and that is a good thing.Often young pitchers aren’t good at damage control and so far he has done that.Of course the idea is to not get in that situation to begin with so it will come if he throws more strikes and gets ahead in the count.This of course is what all young pitchers struggle with in the big leagues but just give him the ball every 5th day and lets see what happens.Learning to pitch at the big league level with both success and failure can’t be measured.Last night he walked only one but the Rockies were in hitters counts all night long and he still battled.

  6. I think the Reds anointed Amir and played around with service time by sending him down.If I remember right it was 6 years of control vs.5 years that was the issue.Well after all of that including an injury he started getting hammered.To believe he wasn’t going to have games like that would be just foolish and who knows how all of that effected him mentally.Amir can pitch but he doesn’t have the velocity of Castillo or Reed or Stephensen and therefore has no room for error.He also struggled with command just like everybody else and he always had that one inning where it got away from him.I feel the same about Castillo that I do about all young pitchers.Just let them pitch and give them a chance to fail.We haven’t given anybody a real chance.We tag them after a few starts as to who they are and what they can or can’t do.This is not sorting this is just the next man up mentality which works in other sports but not in baseball which is a 162 game grind.

    • I think we’re seeing just how much difference there is between Castillo and all of the the “prospect” pitchers. The others mess around, walk folks, and then can’t recover. Castillo has the stuff and ability to get out of jams. Of course, we were all anointing Garrett after his first few starts. Chris Welsh said last night on the telecast that Castillo is the best pitching prospect he has seen the Reds produce in many, many years. Hopefully he is correct.

      • Castillo was brought forward by the Marlins but I’m glad the Reds have him. He seems like a real building block of the rebuild.

      • His fastball/changeup combo remind me of Mario Soto. If he continues to develop in that direction it would be awesome for the Reds.

          • I didn’t recall, wasn’t even sure if they had radar guns back then, but I did find the following reference googling around…..

            http://reds.enquirer.com/2001/08/12/red_reds_honor_super.html

            ” “What he had was this curveball he’d throw about a foot outside, just to show the hitter he had it. Mario had hurt his arm throwing curveballs, and he never forgot that. He didn’t want to hurt it again. But what he did have was three changeups: one that would sink, one that went straight down and one that he’d cut. You’d be up there facing a 95 mile an hour fastball, and then he’d break your back with a changeup that moved. You ever hear of a guy today with three changeups?””

  7. It looks like the Reds have Stephenson on a strict protocol for his starts…throw strikes and throw strikes with ALL of his pitches. Stephenson gave up two dingers last night and was knocked around pretty good by the hitters. Stephenson pitched 5.0 innings (84 pitches, 59 strikes), giving up 6 hits: 2-HR, 2-2B & 2-hard singles. He had 6-SO and 0-BB. It wasn’t a pretty or stylish game, but it was effective within the process. He averaged just 17 pitches an inning before being lifted for a PH in the top of the 6th inning.

    That’s 4 consecutive starts totalling 22.1 innings with 17-H, 26-SO & 4-BB. That’s progress. If his performance is based on strict protocol and a plan to improve so he can get back to the show and be effective, I like what Stephenson and the Reds are doing. He still needs to improve his pitch command to turn those hard hits into easy outs, but Stephenson may finally be turning a corner in his development from a thrower to a pitcher.

    • The key for Stephenson as for all the other Reds prospective pitchers is control- not just enough control to throw the ball in the strike zone, but enough control to throw it where it needs to be inside the larger strike zone.

      • Yes, throwing quality strikes and not just strikes. One step at a time though and the past few games have been encouraging.

  8. Well they have Castillo and literally everything else is up for grabs for next year? I would think Stephenson has dropped down pretty far in their pecking order but who knows? I wonder if they can even sign Feldman to another 1 yr deal? He may have pitched himself into a dangerous 2-3 yr deal from someone? Romano goes Thursday and Stephens will probably be back at some point. They need to replace Adleman in the rotation too….he is what he is. Bottom line…if they resign Feldman plus Castillo then that leaves about 10 guys to step up and fill 3 spots? It doesn’t seem that hard on paper but then again nobody thought Disco & Finnegan would miss the whole season.

  9. Castillo has pitched 3 times. Like all pitchers, other teams will figure him out and make adjustments to mitigate his strengths. His long term success is tied to his ability to adjust to the adjustments. None of us have any idea if he can do that.

    • Barring injury….I have an idea that he can make this rotation. If hitters could just adjust to 100 then Chapman would be forced back to Cuba. Velocity isn’t everything but its like having a strong armed QB. If forces the hitter to commit to his swing a little earlier and gets them to chase more pitches out of the zone. A 2-0 or 3-1 fb may not get creamed like Garrett’s 3-1 fb at 91. Cmon Chuck….Castillo has talent and you know that too? Chris Welsh said the same thing I said….best Reds prospect in a decade atleast. It would be a diff story if he had Stephenson control issues coming up but his control was very good in the minors. He’ll be in the 2018 rotation if he’s healthy. He won’t be facing the Nats and Rockies in Colorado every start!

  10. So with Romano promoted to start for the Reds on Thursday, the Bats starting rotation heading into the break shakes, with stats from June/July, out to:

    Garrett (25) 5.2 IP (1 start) w/ 3.18 ERA, 3-H, 4-BB, 1-HR & 4-SO
    Reed (24) 33.0 IP (6 starts) w/ 1.64 ERA, 21-H, 15-BB, 0-HR & 39-SO
    Stephens (23) 24.2 IP (4 starts/5 games) w/ 3.28 ERA, 25-H, 14-BB, 0-HR & 20-SO
    Mahle (22) 13.0 IP (2 starts) w/ 2.08 ERA, 12-H, 2-BB, 1-HR & 15-SO
    Stephenson (24) 31.1 IP (6 starts) w/ 3.45 ERA, 18-H, 12-BB, 6-HR & 34-SO

    • Bonilla just had 7 shutout innings in Indy. Does he go back to the pen? Also where does Rookie Davis fit in? I think he’s pitching in Arizona? Wouldn’t he come back to AAA at some point?

      • Bonilla’s future is the same as Adelman, bullpen and swingman. Davis is on the DL and I don’t believe he will come off the DL until sometime after the break. I think Romano stays in the major league rotation along with Castillo and Bailey. Adelman probably moves to the bullpen after the break, creating an opening on the starting rotation and I think Stephens probably has first dibs on that opening. Feldman will be moved sometime between the break and the trade deadline, creating another opening in the starting rotation for the next starting pitcher ready for the move who is on the 40-man roster. Davis will take one of the starting positions in AAA that is vacated.

  11. Chuck is right in that we have no idea about Castillo.Just like all of the rest he has to pitch.Thanks Old Cossack for the pitching data from AAA.I will have to go back and check it out but it appears Reed is dominating even more so then his last time at Louisville.I continue to hope we will see two more young guys join Homer,Feldman and Castillo for the rest of the season.Wouldn’t bother me if they gave Lorenzen a shot as well.We have wasted so much time and so many starts on others and I have to ask why when we never were going to compete for anything other then last place in the central

  12. .735, .734, and .735. That was Daniel Murphy’s OPS at age 27,28, and 29. Now he’s a much much bigger guy then Scooter but maybe Scooter is morphing into Murphy-lite? The Reds deserve a break in our favor once in a while don’t we?

    • The only reason that Murphy is on the Nats roster is that Phillips wouldn’t waive his no-trade rights. Murphy was the Nats fallback option when the Phillips’ trade crashed and burned. Sometimes lucky is better than being good. Yes, the Reds deserve a break every now and then with something falling in their laps out of nowhere. I think you have to put T.J.Friedl in that category of falling in their laps after the last draft and the Reds being able to sign him as an undrafted FA because they had the biggest finacial cushion from their draft pool. Scooter may become a dominating offensive force, but like Murphy, he will be no more than serviceable defensively.

    • Yeah, don’t think anyone saw that coming. Murphy was a nice hitter but he’s now a monster hitter. Proof that drastic changes can happen but if I’m the Reds, I don’t bet on it. That said, after sorting is complete this season, if Peraza still isn’t really getting it done, Gennett should get a chance to start at 2B.

  13. Winker in RF and leading off again for the Bats in the 3rd consecutive game. DeShields has moved Herrera to the #2 hole behind Winker. The Old Cossack is becoming more and more excited by the events unfolding with the Bats. I find it hard to fathom that DeShields opted to make the changes in his lineup construction on his own volition.

    • Me either. Hard to believe he drank the kool-aid and had a revelation in the middle of the night. Whatever the cause, let’s hope we continue to see Winker at the top of the lineup and also see what Herrera can do batting right behind him.

      • And see Winker at the top of the lineup while playing in Cincinnati after the all star break, immediately after the all star break!

  14. Murphy could always hit but his power and average went up up up when he went to Washington.He went from a pitchers park to a hitters park and is surrounded by a bunch of good hitters.Not taking anything away from him but that has helped.Scooter may fall off the cliff but right now he is my every day second baseman.Peraza needs to be sent down and work with a hitting coach because he has not shown any improvement at all at the plate.You would have to be just lost at the plate to only walk 5 times in the first half of the year when playing almost every day.Day after day and at bat after at bat he just walks in to the box and starts swinging.Nobody is that bad.He either doesn’t understand or doesn’t care but what really concerns me is that we just keep sending him out there as if what he is doing is ok.

  15. I agree with you Old Cossack that Deshields just didn’t realize about how good Winker is about getting on base.Somebody had to call him for sure.

  16. Peraza needs to be sent down and Herrera called up to start. I’m loving what Scooter has done so far and am not discounting the possibility of him being the stating 2B one that next good team. However, in this seaosn of sorting we need to see Herrera got an extended look since (please correct me if I’m wrong) he’ll be out of options next year.

  17. Does anyone else think that Peraza would benefit from a leg kick? Don’t get me wrong I believe his biggest issue is his approach. But, if you’re constantly struggling to get the ball to the outfield you need to try to generate power somehow.??? He has strength it’s just that he try’s to flip his wrists at every pitch he sees. It’s maddening!!!

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