Reds pitching has been a cure for whatever ails an opponent’s struggling offense. Before this series, the Brewers had gone 14 games without scoring more than 4 runs. They managed 23 in this 3-game series. The Brewers have already hit 33 home runs against the Reds this year. That’s an all-time record for Milwaukee against any opponent. Six games remain between the two clubs in 2017.

The Reds head to Chicago for a four-game series with the stupid, first-place Cubs.

Cincinnati Reds 4  Milwaukee Brewers 7 || Box || Play Log || Statcast

Sal Romano pitched five innings, one too many. He gave up seven runs on nine hits. He struck out six and only walked one. If Romano ends up in the Reds rotation long term, these starts will prove to be valuable experience for him.

Tim Adleman pitched a clean 6th inning with a strikeout.

Robert Stephenson, who was activated from the DL today, pitched the 7th. He navigated the heart of the Brewers lineup giving up only a walk. Stephenson hit a batter in the 8th but was otherwise dominant. Really good slider and fastball. If the Reds had decided to use Stephenson this way (long relief instead of starting) for his first appearance, you have to wonder why they weren’t willing to replace Romano after four.

Adam Duvall hit his 27th home run of the season, knocking in Joey Votto who had … wait for it … walked. It wasn’t a typical Duvall homer. Not only was it to right field, but it was down the line, just clearing the fence. Duvall is on pace to surpass his breakout 2016 season when he hit 33 homers with an isolated power (ISO) of .257. His ISO this year is .267 right now.

Speaking of Joey Votto, he had two walks. Yes, he failed to add to his hitting streak which had reached 17 games. But Votto did extend his Reds modern-day record of games getting on base at least twice.

Tucker Barnhart twice missed extra-base hits down the right field line by inches. Both times two runners were on base. Barnhart did have two singles.

Jesse Winker‘s first inning error snapped the Reds streak of nine error-free games.

Amir Garrett pitched for the Louisville Bats this afternoon. He pitched 5.1 innings giving up two runs. Garrett walked four and struck out five.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 42 Comments

  1. Hopefully when the rosters expand we get to see all of our young guys in various roles.By that I mean start some and use the others to come in after 4 or 5 innings as you suggested could have happened today.Lets be creative and see as much of these young guys as possible

    • The Reds will be facing some teams fighting for playoff spots down the stretch. Teams will expect the Reds to field a competitive lineup to provide some fairness to all. Forgetting that, How about sitting Votto, Cozart Suarez, Duvall, Iglesias as we know what they can do. We can play every prospect in their place. The fans will learn something.

      • If the Reds have not already attempted to get Cozart, Feldman and Storen through revokable waivers, then shame on DW! If they have and any of the 3 players were claimed without anything being reported, I would have no issue with the Reds sitting any or all for the remainder of the season.

        Votto, Suarez and Duvall are not blocking any prospects from playing time.

        After roster expansion, I would…

        add Blandino and Herget to the 40-man roster;
        play Turner as the starting catcher with Mesoraco as the backup catcher;
        play Votto as the starting 1B;
        play Blandino as the starting 2B;
        Play Suarez as the starting 3B;
        play Peraza as the starting SS;
        play Winker and Ervin as starting OF;
        play Duvall and Hamilton as OF role players with Ervin and Winker playing every game;
        utilize Kivlehan, Scooter, Aquino and Barnhart as primary pinch hittersalong with any Duvall/Hamilton and Mesoraco when not starting;
        start Bailey, Castillo, Stephenson, Reed and Garrett every 5th game until any reach a personal innings limit for the season;
        pitch Schackleford, Davis, Stephens, Wojo, Astin, Hernandez, Farrell, Mella, Romano and Herget as primary options out of the bullpen;
        keep Storen, Wood, Peralta, Lorenzen and Iggy available as relievers if necessary;
        keep Feldman and Adleman available as spot starters/long relief if necessary.

        If Cozart, Storen or Feldman cleared revokable waivers, get them traded before rosters expand if possible.

        • I know Meso is well liked on this page and I understand given the point of this post, people would like to give Turner more playing time…but why sideline Barnhart. No he doesn’t have a lot of power, but he does have a nice swing and can drive the ball, his defense is said to be good (I’ve not checked his stats), and he supposedly works well with the pitchers and gets kudos for calling a game. If people are looking to trade him, let him increase his value by continuing to play. Barnhart is longer term, if Meso can’t regain his breakout year.

        • It would create a firestorm of ill will with players and agents if the Reds sat out guys not on long term contracts to obviously audition prospects because the “lost” production for those guys would impact their leverage and compensation in the arbitration and salary negotiation process whether that be in this off season or still a season away for a guy like Duvall.

        • The standard operating procedure is said to be that teams send virtually everyone on their 40 man roster through waivers after the trade deadline, pulling back the ones who are claimed unless they can make a deal with the claiming team.

          It is hard to believe they haven’t sent through Cozart, Storen, Feldman, Gennett et al. The way Cozart was limping around last week, you have to think he would have cleared. Same for Feldman assuming a guy on the DL can be sent through.

          Leaks often happen when a guy is claimed because there are generally negotiations between the waiving and claiming team concerning consummating a trade prior to the player being pulled back (or dealt to the claiming team). Yet the only waiver related leak/ rumor I’ve heard relating to the Reds is that Votto supposedly was sent through and cleared.

          • I agree Jim and I would be shocked if much of the roster wasn’t sent through waivers. Also wouldn’t be surprised if none were claimed.

          • I’m kind of surprised about Votto clearing. I’m guessing that teams really, really don’t like the last 3 years or so on his deal.

  2. Stephenson was suppose to pitch one more bullpen session before being activated to replace Austin Brice (10-day DL). Hopefully, today was used to replicate his bullpen session and he will be moved back to the satarting rotation post-haste.

    • Stephenson looked impressive to me. The one walk, to Thames, could well have been a pitch-around, and probably should have been if it wasn’t. If he keeps this up–showing command to go with his good stuff–he really ought to be in the conversation for the rotation next year.

  3. Big Sal is not ready to pitch at the major league level as a starting pitcher. I’m not sure he has the pitches needed to pitch as a starter at the major league level, but I would rather see him continue in the starting rotation as opposed to seing more of Feldman or Adelman this season.

    • Shchi,

      I think you are dead on regarding the Reds current dilemma.

      The rebuild of the starting pitching is no where close to polished, no youngster can seize and hold a spot (other than Castillo) and the Asher Wojciechowski/Tim Adleman’s, and their 2 HRs allowed per 9 are no fit in Great American Ball Park.


      All of the above are starters, 30 and older, free agents this off-season and on course for 2.0 WAR or more (Estrada already at 2.1). Feldman, Lynn and others are at 1.0 or higher currently.

      I am firmly in the “sort until your homegrown talent is ready, even that isn’t until 2020” camp, but between the FS Ohio deal, the BAM MLB media money and these names, the Reds could spend $15M a year (at least) per guy and quick fix the SP for a year or two.

      The opportunity is there. How do the Castellinis, Dick Williams and (ugh) Walt Jocketty see it? The multi-million dollar question.

      • Not that they would spend on 4 or 5 guys.


        DeSclafani/Finnegan (whoever is healthy) (???)

        Feldman/Kids as 6th/7th starters/injury replacements.

        You only need to squint slightly to see 81 or more wins with a stabilized rotation.

        • And, of course, I forgot Lorenzen.

          My point is, though, that all the injuries/youngsters/Lorenzen conversion make it a crapshoot that the starting rotation comes together significantly infernally in 2018.

          Signing a veteran stabilizer would be tempting to Castellini, IMO, if he thinks they can compete for a wild card spot next season. They are out there and will be available.

  4. Why are the Reds pitchers such poor bunters under game conditions? Well…

    8th inning and the Bats trailing by 1 run and a relief pitcher entering the game for the Braves.

    Phillips Ervin singles.
    Brandon Dixon doubles, scoring Ervin.
    Adam Walker HBP.

    With runners on 1B & 2B and no outs, the Bats bench coach (DeSheilds was ejected in the 6th inning) replaced relief pitcher Alejandro Chacin with a pinch hitter and instructed the pinch hitter to lay down a sacrifice bunt.

    I have no issue with ordering up a sacrifice bunt in a tie game in the 8th inning with no outs and runners on 1B & 2B and the pitcher due up. In fact Chacin had already retired 5 batters and would not have come back out for the bottom of the 8th inning, but why not let Chacin go to the plate and attempt to lay down a sacrifice bunt rather than replacing him with a pinch hitter? Without the experience under game conditions, pitcherws will look imcompetent when attempting to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Hmmmmmm…

    • It seems like it’s only Reds pitchers that fail at getting bunts down. Nearly every team they play seems to have no problem doing it. Perhaps it starts down in the minors like you indicated.
      In the example you cited though, relief pitchers bat so rarely that I can understand them not being able to bunt, and don’t mind a pinch hitter in that occasion.

    • Chacin is a relief pitcher and they rarely get any sort of ABs. I’m ok with a pinch hitter there because Chacin may only get 1-2 chances in any given year to bat. I don’t know if coaches/managers should expect him to be able to execute. Also with Chacin (or another pitcher) at the plate, the defense can really pinch because they absolutely know the guy is bunting. Having a legit hitter at the plate forces them to play the bunt at least a little more honestly because the manager can call it off if he thinks the defense is overplaying the bunt.

  5. Speaking of barreling baseballs, NIck Senzel has 2 more home runs and is hitting .354 in AA.
    Is he the top hitting prospect in all of baseball?

    • He’s certainly in the conversation, but his 2017 season will end with the AA playoffs this year. He will start the season in AAA next year and probably force his way onto the 25-man roster no later than mid-season. The question is where?

      I still contend that there are two defensive positions that Senzel could play for the Reds and both are available as an upgrade next season with neither being 3B. Senzel is an athlete with multiple tools and a lot of defensive experience under his belt, but the Reds need to begin getting him ready for their 25-man roster this off season.

      • With good spring trainings, Senzel and Mahle will be up with the Reds by late April 2018. The Reds will get the extra year of service time, but they won’t be concerned with super-2 status on either one.
        You are probably correct about the 3B situation with Suarez entrenched there now. The Reds should be getting Senzel some playing time at 2B at AA now. Get him re-acquainted with 2B again in the minors, don’t wait until he is called up to give him time there. The Reds should be stabilizing their plan, whatever it is.

      • What is Suarez’s preference? From Saturday evening from the Enquirer.
        “If you asked me if I wanted to play tomorrow at shortstop, I don’t know because I like to play third base. I don’t know what’s going on next year, but right now I just think about helping my team at third base.”

        • Given his success in the field at 3B, I would also likely prefer to stay there if it was me. Also, I still remember how awful he was at SS, not that he couldn’t get better. I would rather the devil I know (he can definitely play 3B) vs. the devil I don’t (can he become a good SS?).

  6. With a month and a half to go, the starting rotation should be Bailey, Castillo, Stephenson, Romano and either Garrett or Reed. Come ST we’ll see if DeSclafani and Finnegan are physically able to pitch. Winning at this point is not important but finding out the starting rotation for 2018 and beyond is important.

    • Winning at this point is not important but finding out the starting rotation for 2018 and beyond is important.

      That was what they were supposed to be doing all season.

  7. Bailey, Stephenson, Romano, Garrett and Reed have shown that they cannot pitch. Reds need to move on from each one. The rebuild will take longer. No way Cashner leaves the Rangers to go to the Reds. Rangers want him back.

    • Stephenson: age 24; Romano 23 going on 24; Garrett 25 but late start due to basketball; Reed 24. Not ready to give up on them yet. Maybe I’m crazy but I still think Bailey will be serviceable and the Reds are saddled with the contract so they need to continue to work with him to improve.

  8. They’re stuck w/Bailey for 2 more years. He may get it together somewhat? He def won’t be top of the rotation but maybe Feldman like? I’d be happy w/4.50 ish era from him. The free agents are pretty sketchy imo! We desperately need Lance Lynn but he probably gets a huge offer from someone. He’ll be 31 next year and has always been overweight. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was a scrub or out of the game by 2020. Alex Cobb? Nobody they could afford comes without a lot of risk!

    If you look at his stuff then making Peralta a starter might make more sense then Lorenzen. Or both of them? Peralta throws hard and has a great changeup and adequate curve. Why not? They need a lefty badly and Reed/Garrett haven’t stepped up.

    • Bailey is coming off TJ surgery. It takes a year to recover physically to even begin pitching. That’s the point when the determination of physically able to perform comes into play. After every start Bailey has made, good or bad, someone has observed that Bailey showed no signs of physical duress. That’s the 1st big hurdle and Bailey appears to have passed that hurdle. The next objective is to regain pitching prowess and consistency. Bailey is still working on that objective and the jury is certainly still out regarding his ability to pass that hurdle, but I haven’t seen any indication that he won’t regain his pitching prowess. He hasn’t done it yet, but he’s working through the process. We won’t have any real indication of Bailey’s future potential until next season. One thing we do know is that Bailey is a competitor. If he does ultimately fail to fully regain his ability to pitch effectively, it won’t be from lack of effort.

      • Its not just coming back from years on rehab but changing his whole approach as a pitcher. Previously he was throwing 95 when the average fb was 91 and now he’s throwing at the same speed as almost everyone else, so he’s not exactly a power pitcher any longer. Stephenson was up to 96 yesterday but I only saw 92-93 in his starts. They have to hit corners more and change speeds. Stephenson was really on point yesterday. Slider sweeping away but on the corner often enough and fastball on the inside corner and jamming them. Romano throws harder but has much farther to go. I think Mahle will factor in somewhere? He has better control then Stephenson and has about the same velocity.

    • Lorenzen and Peralta have both previously started. Lorenzen was moved to the bullpen due to physical concerns. Peralta was moved to the bullpen due to ineffectiveness as a starter. Both Lorenzen and Peralta appear to have turned the corner and could get/deserve another shot at starting. With Iggy firmly installed as the bullpen ace, I see no reason not to give one or both a shot at starting next season. By adding them to the mix for the starting rotation and culling out the pitchers from that mix and moving them to the bullpen or AAA, the Reds would get the most innings from the best pitchers and that’s a good arrangement.

      • I would love to see both Lorenzen and Peralta get an opportunity to start but if I were a betting man I would guess only Lorenzen gets a shot at it. Hope I’m wrong though. I was unimpressed with Peralta when they brought him up last year and was mildly surprised he was on the team this year. He’s made a believer out of me though.

  9. Senzel: August- .417/.451/.792, 6 of 12 games were multi-hit games, 5-HR, 13-RBI. Season to-date- .325/..385/.522, 39-2B, 3-3B, 13-HR, 62-RBI, 12-SB.

    Next year: Suarez to 2B or in a deal for pitching/catching.

  10. Tyler Mahle, if he’s not in the starting rotation plans for 2018 this FO should commit Seppuku.

  11. For arguments sake, Nick Senzel is the 3B for the Reds in 2018.
    Who do you choose to play 2B?
    Player #1: .263/.370/.475/.844, 20 HR, 62 R, 59 RBI, 62 BB, 109 K in 468 PA’s. Age 26.
    Player #2: .290/.340/.532/.872, 19 HR, 52 R, 66 RBI, 20 BB, 79 K in 338 PA’s. Age 27.
    Player #3: .262/.297/.330/.627, 4 HR, 36 R, 30 RBI, 13 BB, 56 K in 419 PA’s. Age 23.
    1= Suarez, 2= Gennett, 3= Peraza.
    With Gennett OPSing an incredible .872, it’ll be hard to keep him out of the lineup. If Peraza takes the SS spot, that helps to a degree.
    But then there will be Blandino, Herrera, and Dixon at AAA who all need to be given a shot for the 2B job through their performance, age or by having no options left.
    Reds will have to be active on the trade front this winter when it comes to the middle INF spots. Just by thinning the herd. If 2017 was the season to sort, the 2017 off-season should be the time for upgrades through thinning the herd. Upgrades at starting pitching and possibly SS will be needed.
    A .370 OBP and a 13.2 % BB rate is tremendous improvement by Suarez though. Votto, Suarez and Duval are the building blocks. Adding Senzel and Winker to this mix sure will solidify and stabilize this Reds lineup.

    • Suarez is a professional and he obviously put in a ton of work to become a good 3B. He could do the same in a return to SS. That’s my preference because Scooter can hit righties! You add Senzel to 3B and that would give the Reds one of the best offensive infields in mlb! They could use Cozart’s $ to get a starter! The offense will be dangerous but they can’t be forced to score 6-7 runs every night to win!

    • OK WV, just for aurguments sake, Eugenio Suarez plays 3B for the Reds in 2018 and signs an extention to buy out 1-2 years of FA. Blandino and Gennett form a solid platoon at 2B. Winker and Duvall solidify the corner OF positions and lineup. Which athletic player do you choose to play CF?

      Player 1: .247/.297/.333/.630; elite defense; hitting #1
      Player 2: .325/.385/.522/.908; average to above average defense; hitting #4

      By the 2018 all star break, the offense could look something like:

      #1 RF Winker => .360 OBP
      #2 3B Suarez => .360 OBP, .820 OPS
      #3 1B Votto => .450 OBP, 1.000 OPS
      #4 CF Senzel => .360 OBP, .840 OPS
      #5 LF Duvall => .300 OBP, .800 OPS
      #6 2B Gennett => .330 OBP, .780 OPS v. RHP
      #6 2B Blandino => .330 OBP, .780 OPS v. LHP
      #7 C Barnhart => .340 OBP, .730 OPS v. RHP
      #7 C Mesoraco => .340 OBP, .730 OPS v. LHP
      #8 SS Peraza => .320 OBP, .700 OPS

      The defense takes a hit (Senzel v. Hamilton starting in CF, Gennett playing 2B & Peraza playing SS), but that lineup could be at or near the league lead in OBP & OPS. That would mean buckets of runs and boxcars of opposing starting pitchers taking an early shower.

      Without any outside additions to the organization, the bench could look something like:

      OF Schebler
      OF/IF Kivlehan or Ervin
      IF Gennett/Blandino
      IF Dixon, Perez, Herrera, Sweeney, Vincej or ???
      C Barnhart/Mesoraco

      • Has anybody ever suggested that Senzel could be a centerfielder. If so… I must have missed it. Doesn’t he score as average to below average in foot speed.
        Just wondering and certainly might be incorrect.

        • No, Senzel has good speed. Senzel has played SS,3B & 2B. Moving Senzel to the OF, especially CF with his speed, is not like trying to force Alonzo or Mesoraco into the OF. No one knew if Hamilton could play OF, but Phillips and Cozart were blocking his path to the Reds, so someone decided to find out. Senzel has outgrown SS. It’s all about options and the Reds need to find a place for the best 8 baseball players to play on the diamond.

          While considering options and the best use of the players available to the Reds, I have not seen anyone suggesting Hamilton in a super utility role for the Reds. He came up through the minors as a SS. He had issues with his defense, but his move to CF was preidacted on fing hi a place to play rather than his defense. Hamilton would seem like a great fit for a utility role playing middle infield (SS & 2B) and CF. That would enable the Reds to utilize him selectively and have him fill a real need as a utility player that can play SS, along with 2B and CF. That could be especially useful with Peraza starting at SS and the ability to substitute to take advantage of Hamilton’s speed on the basepaths.

    • Billy and Peraza can’t continue to be regulars if the Reds are to improve their offense.We need guys that get on base or have power or both and they have neither.Winker can join Adam and Scott in the outfield and Senzel joins Suarez,Scooter and Joey in the infield.Gives us 8 guys with Tucker that can get on base at or above league average and 7 of them will hit between 15 to 30 homers.Everybody else can battle to take a spot from these guys.

  12. One other thing.My line up does hurt us defensively of course.However while we improve our starting pitching we will have to outscore people.We play 81 games at home and we must not let anybody come in here and beat us up by out homering us.

  13. My gut tells me if they sign Billy and it was posted on here that it would be around 6 million then he remains a starter and not in a utility role.In my world because I don’t pay the Reds bills he would be great at it.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


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