The Reds close out their visit to Denver with a 3:10 EDT afternoon game today. They will be trying to salvage a split in the 4 game series after falling to the Rockies 5-3 on Wednesday night. The Reds have competed in this series; but, they have come up short by the same 5-3 score twice in three tries. At least it has been exciting to see Luis Castillo and Homer Bailey pitch. Today has the potential to offer more of the same type of excitement for Reds fans as prospect Sal Romano goes to the mound for the Reds.
Amid much fanfare, spring training sensation 23 year old righthander Sal Romano made his MLB debut for the Reds on April 16 against the Brewers. After three innings and 82 pitches, Romano’s day was done. Remarkably, despite walking 4 batters and giving up 2 home runs, Romano allowed just 3 runs of which only 2 were earned. Following his debut game, Romano was sent back to AAA. Less than 2 weeks later, Romano was on the disabled list due to shoulder inflation.
Romano returned to minor league action in early June and has made 5 starts at AAA Louisville in which he has pitched a total of 25 innings. The statistics since Romano’s return from the DL are marginal but indicate a generally positive progression over the course of the 5 starts. Today he makes his second MLB start. Here is Doug Gray’s scouting report on Romano from the time of his MLB debut in April.
Tyler Chatwood starts for the Rockies. Chatwood is a 27 year old righthander who has been with the Rockies organization since 2012. His MLB career was off to a promising start when he was felled by elbow woes and subsequent Tommy John surgery early in 2014. He spent all of 2015 in rehab but returned last year (2106) to make 27 MLB starts. In 2016, he posted extreme splits in home and road statistics, pitching much better away from Coors Field. The same trend is reflected in his 2017 ERA and FIP home/road splits, but interestingly not his home/road xFIP split.
|Sal Romano (AAA)||4.28||0.19||2.68||5.36|
For the third consecutive game, both teams avoided a Coors bullpen Armageddon. Neither team should be feeling much if any bullpen distress or need for constraint in the use of their relief corps today.
Turner in for Barnhart. Cozart out which is not a surprise. He has looked like a shell of his former self since returning from the DL. It is going to be interesting to see how hard the Reds and Cozart push his envelope after the All Star break.
This has been an interesting series. We’ve yet to have a last man standing Coors field deathmatch.
Despite the Reds losing 2 of the first 3 games, the starting pitching has been OK. Yes, it has come up an inning or so shorter per game than it should be; but, there hasn’t a meltdown of the sort that has been the signature of the Reds starting staff in 2017.
The bullpen hasn’t imploded; but, in both losses it has allowed a single late run that helped tilt the scales against the Reds.
The offense looked very good in the win; but, it failed to capitalize at multiple crucial points in both losses.
In many ways this series has been the 2017 Reds in a nutshell, flashes of promise but not quite all there yet at the same time.
Just as with last night’s game, Fangraphs’ win projection model sees this one as favoring the Rockies by around a 57/43% split. Go Reds! Prove those computers wrong!