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.

Starting Pitchers

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
Tyler Chatwood 4.25 1.26 4.77 7.47


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.



1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Scooter Gennett (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Jose Peraza (SS)
8. Stuart Turner (C)
9. Sal Romano (P)


1. Raimel Tapia (LF)
2. DJ LeMahieu (2B)
3. Charlie Blackmon (CF)
4. Carlos Gonzalez (RF)
5. Mark Reynolds (1B)
6. Pat Valaika (3B)
7. Trevor Story (SS)
8. Tony Wolters (C)
9. Tyler Chatwood (P)

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.


Final Thoughts

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!

Statistics, data, and information from,, Baseball Reference,  and Wikipedia
Twitter: @jn_walkerjr

Join the conversation! 61 Comments

  1. Go Big Sal. This one will be much better.

    On the Hunter Greene front. Crickets and more crickets. Only 26.5 hours to go until signing deadline arrives.

    • The one surity in the Greene signing is that the Reds have a limited budget to offer. exceeding that budget would cost them their 1st round choice in 2018 and that ain’t happening. The consolation would be the #3 pick in 2018 and their normal 1st round pick in 2018 if Greene doesn’t sign. Anyone know when the last top 5 pick didn’t sign? Was that the Houston fiasco?

      • I remember some talk that Greene really wanted to go to San Diego. But to sit out an entire year and hope for a better outcome next time seems crazy.

      • Yeah, not the end of the world if Greene doesn’t get signed. I still think he will… No idea who the last top 5 that didn’t sign was. Reds can only offer what they can offer. It’s my understanding that even if they don’t exceed their that budget, the figure is still larger than what the #1 signed for. I wasn’t aware they’d lose their next 1st-rounder in 2018 if they exceed the budget. Look, the Reds should offer their best figure, which is supposedly higher than what the pick above Greene signed for. If he doesn’t want to sign, then that’s his problem. Take the consolation prize.

      • I think it was mark Appel pirates…it wouldn’t ruin my day if the Reds got the #3 and #7 picks in 2018. Lonzo Greene doesn’t seem so interested in playing baseball.

  2. I’d be shocked to see Cozart moved at this point. That quad has dropped his value in the crapper again. It’s a shame. Reds may end up getting nothing for him as they shouldn’t QO him.

    • Back to back games with hard hit doubles. Maybe he just needs some rest. Probably a bit preemptive to say he has no value

      • Could be a very hot “hot take” but if you were a GM with a need at SS and were a contender, would you give up anything for him? He’s been so good this year but he and the team have publicly said the quad will probably not be 100% until after the season.

  3. Hamilton! He’s hot right now. Even before that leadoff triple, his batting line in the last 11 games was .310/.370/.429/.798.

    If only he could stretch that out more medium- and long-term. I know, I know…

  4. Is Joey Votto clutch now?

  5. RBI steak, medium rare… Thanks.

  6. Valaika… Name from the past

  7. These GIDPs are getting old, quickly.

  8. Was there ever an explanation from the crew or the league office about last night’s botched challenge ruling?

  9. Not turning the DP turns into a run for the Rockies,. Scooter surely wanted a review there

    • Marty saying Price should have called for a review there when the player is so sure he made the tag, but I suspect that leaves out one factor. Maybe Price and his replay tech person don’t think there is a replay angle that will be strong enough to reverse the call.

      • Or if there is, maybe there’s a perfectly good angle and they call it wrong anyway. See: last night.

  10. Typical Reds…..1st/3rd nobody out and get nothing else. They get a questionable call go their way and Romano rolls a 0-2 slider for the game tying hit. It should be 2-3 to nothing. Romano looks pretty good though! His slider has been biting pretty good except for the last one to Story. He’s a guy they shouldn’t throw a strike to on 0-2….he goes fishing all the time. Romano/Turner….2 youngsters that don’t know anything yet

  11. After going 0-6 on Tuesday and 1st AB Wednesday, Votto has reached base in 6 straight PAs. Three hits, three walks.

  12. Good gosh, the Reds are hitting into a crazy amount of double plays this series.

    • I believe Schebler and Suraez each have one both last night and today.

      For Schebler, that’s now his fifth in the last seven games.

    • Seems the Rockies have finally figured out that they need to groom ground ball pitchers. Seems to be working as they have the best young pitching they’ve ever had.

      • Its pitching to the ump as well. This guy has called several that are normally a little low. An alert pitcher/catcher picks up on that but these 2 pitchers aren’t known for pinpoint control yet.

  13. Romano has thrown 45 pitches and 31 strikes. Love it.

  14. Romano to Tapia!! That was a nasty wipeout slider there!! He’s a big kid with good stuff! Aaron Harang type maybe except he throws harder and hopefully doesn’t give up so many HRs.

  15. Another freakin’ double play to end an inning. Sheesh

  16. Only have Gamecast here at work but mostly got to pay full attention that that AB. Was it as good as it seemed on Gamecast? Duvall really seemed to work hard for that one.

  17. Reds GM Dick Williams sounding a little frustrated on the Hunter Greene non-signing.
    24 hours and a few minutes to go. 5:00PM EST tomorrow is 2:00PM California time. Negotiations on-going, but somebody is playing hardball. Who flinches first, the high school kid or the Ivy League GM??

    • DW better not blow this! They can pay Cuban kids multi-millions that don’t have a third of the potential of this kid. They better ante up!!

      • Their hands are somewhat tied. The slot money is $7.1M and all indications are the Reds are willing to match and that and maybe go a little further to make Greene the highest paid signee in the draft. Note that nobody has ever gone over slot on a #2 pick previously.

        If they go over their total pool amount, which they will if they pay him slot money they’ll incur a 75% tax on the first 5% of the overage. If they go more than 5% over they’ll pay the 75% tax PLUS lose their first round pick in 2018. And the penalties get stiffer in 5% overage increments from there, starting with upping the tax to 100% and adding additional lost draft picks.

        The bottom line from everything which has been said is that the Reds are willing to shell out slot money plus some overage up to but short of losing their 2018 1st rounder. Even if Greene were to go the Jr College route and be back in the draft next year, he would be hard pressed to do any better for himself.

        There may be a reason beyond $$$ that Greene doesn’t want to sign with the Reds (or perhaps anyone) right now. If that is the case, the Reds need to just maintain their cool and take their compensatory pick (#3 overall) next year. That’s the attitude DW was projecting this afternoon.

        • That’s good info Jim.
          Didn’t senzel.take less than slot last year by a lot? Why?
          Did the Reds tell.him predraft we will draft u #2 if you work with us and you’ll still get more as a 2 pick at less than slot than if we pass on you and work a deal with someone else and u fall???

      • Have u been paying attention? Reds are spending every nickel they are allowed to spend.

  18. Good job by Big Sal! I’m impressed. Both of their runs were kind of flukey. He had them down 0-2 and hung sliders that got too much of the plate. He looked strong though….they need to leave him in the rotation!

    • He’d be a part of my future rotation. Stephenson, Reed, Romano, Mahle, Castillo

  19. Is Cozart not available to PH?

    • Apparently not. Apparently resting the quad must really be resting the quad. He hasn’t seemed himself since coming back from DL. The quad has dropped his value back to near zero and it wasn’t so great to start with. Looks like the Reds will lose him and get nothing in return.

      • He’s not been running hard to first base. Clearly it is still affecting him.

      • Cozart and the Reds have both admitted that the quad is not healthy, not nearly healthy, and it won’t be healthy unless he sits and lets it heal. Apparently both parties have agreed to let the situation play out.

        If Cozart sits to heal the quad, he may forego nearly the rest of the season and watch his contract value plummet. If Cozart aggravates the injury resulting in not being able to play, the impact to his FA contract is probably no more severe than sitting voluntarily right now. The same holds true for his trade value from the Reds perspective. There’s nothing there if he sits voluntarily or aggravates the injury.

        The only positive result comes from Cozart playing through the injury and hoping for a positive outcome.

        • Makes sense to me.

        • Joey Votto missed the final 62 games of 2014 with a quad injury.
          This is why there are rumblings of a mutual contract….Cozart has no value.

    • Might have let Lorenzen bat there

    • Appears I’m wrong. He is PH.

  20. might want to bring in Storen so Igelsias can be used tomorrow

  21. Maybe we can get 3 outs in the ninth without throwing the ball all over the lot.Gee Wiz.Maybe we can score 5 or 6 more and pull Iggy and let somebody else finish it.

  22. A much overdue good day for Suarez!

    I hope he can carry it forward.

  23. The data shows he hasn’t hit worth a lick for over a month but he still takes his walks and plays defense.He is not a 350 hitter nor a 250 hitter but more like a 275 hitter with a .340 OBP.We could use a bunch more just like him.

    • +275 I’m in complete agreement there

    • He hasn’t been anywhere close to .275 for two months now. This slump has been persistent, and the walks merely get his OBP slightly over .300. This is not what you want from a 3B.

      But I don’t have enough insight to diagnose the problem. Hopefully it was just confidence, and today solved it (hoping for the easy, if unlikely, solution).

      • I can diagnose the problem. When he’s going good he’s hitting the ball the other way constantly. These last 2 months he’s been rolling over on every outside pitch and hitting weak grounders. Now fixing it isn’t that easy or the slumps wouldn’t last this long! Its basically the same issues Jay Bruce had even though they’re much diff hitters. 1 hard hit today and 2 Coors field bloops….hopefully it will help?

  24. An afternoon win in the crisp mountain air would be sweet. A split at Coors is pretty special (given we had our chances last night).

    And there we have it! Nice game … a “W” for Sal.

  25. The Reds starting staff competed for 4 days in Colorado and split the series.Maybe should have won them all but to hold this lineup down to only 14 runs in 4 games is well really good Great job of extending the lead in the 8th to salt things away.

  26. Suarez has indeed struggled for two months but he has walked 42 times in 286 at bats vs 52 walks last year in over 550 at bats.He also has improved big time on defense.Unless he get injured he will finish at 20 homers with the average and OBP I mentioned earlier.Its his second full year in the majors after moving to a new position last year and he is 25 years old.The Reds have several issues to work through but he isn’t one of them.

  27. Love to hear Price talk about pitching; he’s extremely knowledgeable, precise, and articulate. If he’s gone next year I’ll miss that.

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About Jim Walker Twitter: @jn_walkerjr


2017 Reds


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