Tonight the Reds (55-74) open a 3 game series versus the Mets (57-73) to close out the current 9 game homestand. After dropping 2 of 3 back to back versus the Cubs and Pirates, the Reds need a sweep against the Mets to finish the homestand at .500. Over their last 10 games comprised of 7 versus the Cubs and 3 with the Pirates, the Reds are an even .500. The Mets also come into this series following an off day on Monday. They are 4-6 in their last 10 games including a split versus the Nationals over the weekend.

Starting Pitchers

Sal Romano will be making the eleventh start of his rookie season for the Reds. The big righthander has completed at least 6 innings in 4 of his last 5 starts capped by 7 inning stints his last 2 times to the mound. His recent performances have stoked hopes that he will be ready to step into the Reds 2018 rotation. Tonight is the next step in that journey. Keep an eye on Romano’s overall control and how he commands his pitches within the strike zone to gauge his performance as he has struggled with both from time to time.

Rookie righthander Chris Flexen gets the start for the Mets. Flexen who just recently turned 23 years old makes his seventh MLB start since being promoted to the Mets rotation in late July.  Flexen started 2017 at the A+ level but was quickly promoted to the Mets AA team from which, like the Reds Luis Castillo, he was promoted to the major league rotation without ever playing at the AAA. level. Flexen’s base on balls  numbers suggest that he has struggled with control since arriving at the MLB level.   

Sal Romano 4.86 1.20 10.6 18.6
Chris Flexen 6.57 1.93 14.0 15.3


Both teams were off Monday. There should be no availability issues tonight.



1. Jose Reyes (LF)
2. Brandon Nimmo (RF)
3. Asdrubal Cabrera (2B)
4. Wilmer Flores (3B)
5. Travis d’Arnaud (C)
6. Dominic Smith (1B)
7. Amed Rosario (SS)
8. Juan Lagares (CF)
9. Chris Flexen (P)


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

Bryan Price is hunkered down on his regular eight for reasons known only to himself.  On the other hand, the Mets have certainly cleaned house in response to their failed season.  

News and Notes

If you are not a hockey fan, just blindly hope that Nick Senzel’s approaching arrival in Cincinnati will mark an upturn in the Reds fortunes which matches what happened with the Blue Jackets after Zach Werenski arrived in Columbus this time last year.

Zack Cozart did not make this list; but someone the Reds are paying $13M to play for another team did.


The Reds announced the most of their players who will participate in the Arizona Fall League this offseason. It looks like another year of sorting  for the Reds in the AFL too.


I don’t have the day old tweets for you; but, yesterday Chad Wallach was optioned back to AAA. Presumably Stuart Turner has returned from maternity leave to back up Tucker Barnhart.



Final Thoughts

The dog days of August are all but behind us. Ahead lies the final month of what has been a somewhat disappointing season. The season has been disappointing not just because of the bottom line results but also because it has often seemed as if the Reds lacked the direction or resolve get on with the business of seriously sorting out their young prospects, in particular their young starting pitchers. In the last two weeks whether by choice or necessity, youth has ruled the day with the rotation; and, this has provided an injection of excitement for fans. Hopefully we will soon see more of the position player prospects in action. My feeling of day to day connectedness with the Reds will certainly be enhanced if this transpires. How about you? Go Reds.  

Data from and courtesy of  Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, and 

65 Responses

  1. WVRedlegs

    “The dog days of August are all but behind us” and a good night to send them on their way. Bark at the Park Night tonight. The Big Dog, Big Sal is going tonight, too.
    The Mets are a mess, should at least get 2 of 3 from them this week.

    • Jim Walker

      Count me clueless about bark in the park when I wrote that. Been on the road and just getting settled back into routine. Surprised I didn’t see a @Reds tweet about it though. 😉

  2. Ethan L

    Mets are leading off their order with a guy who has a 78 wRC+. Our leadoff guy has 62. Is there a metric for chaos created on base paths (CCBP)? Both leadoff guys will need a high CCBP to offset their woes with the bat.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Terry Collins is notoriously bad at forward-thinking. I think that is all we can read into Jose Reyes leading off.

  3. seat101

    I’ve been a fan Jose Perraza since we acquired him. Every day that he’s not in the lineup hurts a little more. I believe scooter is having an outlier year and Jose might get lost in all the shuffling.

  4. reaganspad

    The Mets know what they are doing. not only seeing the yoots in their system but also trying to catch the Reds for the 4th pick.

    Ervin should be in for Duvy today. Even Dusty would give a guy off at an off day when scuffling.

    Is Price now less than Dusty? awe geez

    • Jim Walker

      The Reds have proven hard to catch for draft position the last two seasons. They seem to have mastered the art of finishing poorly. Don’t count them out for better than 4th.

  5. bouwills

    There are 6 guys in the Reds lineup with more RBI than anybody in the Mets lineup tonight.

  6. David

    Scooter Gennett versus Jose Peraza at second base:

    Without going to the numbers (which would be the logical approach), I am going to give the eye-ball approach.
    Peraza is the better defensive player; better hands, better range, better throwing arm. But how much better?
    Peraza is a faster base runner. He does have base stealing abilities.
    Gennett is a left handed hitter (no kidding!) which is, most nights, an offensive advantage.
    Gennett has more power, even considering this is an outlier year (or maybe a breakthrough year which he sustains a 20 hr/year pace for the next 5 years?).
    Gennett has a better hitting approach; Peraza has been swinging at everything, but he has been showing MUCH better plate discipline the last 30-40 days. Perhaps he is learning.
    Gennett has a better OBP
    Gennett is older.

    Advantage: Scooter Gennett.

    At this point, I don’t know where Jose Peraza fits in, as well as Dilson Herrera. If Zach leaves after this season, Peraza (or Zach Vincej) gets a shot at SS next season. But if and when Senzel arrives, Eugenio may be moved back to SS. It will be interesting to see if Eugenio plays any SS next Spring Training.
    An infield of Senzel, Suarez, Gennett and Votto would be pretty solid offensively.
    Duvall in left, Schebler in center, Winker in right?

    Winker leads off, with either Senzel or Suarez batting second? Or Gennett bats second some nights?

  7. TR

    Hamilton leading off and in center. Winker and Ervin not playing. Nothing changes with Price and the young guys even with September almost here.

  8. VaRedsFan

    The Mets have beaten the Reds 14 straight games.

  9. VaRedsFan

    No more Lucas Duda to hit grand slams off us!!

  10. james garrett

    Basically facing a minor league line up and pitcher so you can figure what’s going to happen.

  11. Jack

    Brandon Nimmo was the original guy to be traded for Jay Bruce. Medical issues kept that from happening. So they took Herrara. Who has? Medical issues.

  12. Shchi Cossack

    This is exciting watching all the havoc and confusion Hamilton is creating on the bases. Oh wait6…Hamilton is not on the the bases. That’s Cozart and Votto on base with one out.. Ah, there’s Hamilton, sitting in the dugout.

    • Sliotar


      I was momentarily disturbed that the Reds were leading off with a guy with a .244 batting average.

      But, then I remembered that, just like ERA, we really don’t use batting average around here as a metric for evaluating players’ effectiveness, and everything was fine.

      Too bad the Reds don’t have some young players on the roster they could take a look at tonight, like the Mets are doing, even with an apparent lame duck manager.

    • james garrett

      Same song and it will be playing next year as well but he is fast.

  13. Sliotar

    “Expansion” is the reason quality pitching is at such a premium in MLB of 2017.


  14. james garrett

    So far everybody except the two guys that need a couple of days off have reached base and scored.Clueless in Cincy and lets set Schebler when Winker returns.

  15. Sliotar

    Good job Schebler.

    Hopefully, Romano goes after this AAAA lineup with a big lead.

    It would be fun to see Castillo get after these Mets with his stuff in this situation.

  16. Indy Red Man

    They just have to explore Schebler in CF and Winker in RF at some point? They have to! Billy will have some monster 2 week spurts, but his defense/running doesn’t make up for the difference in offensive abilities. I’m sure they’ll lead off Billy next year and find a way not to optimize their personnel. We’ll see?

    • james garrett

      There are tons of reasons to try Scott in center and Winker in right.Its not about throwing Billy under the bus at all it just makes sense.

  17. VaRedsFan

    Havoc created, but nobody could drive him in

    • Shchi Cossack

      The only havoc created was by Reyes in LF. that was absolutely the worst played, easy fly out I have ever seen. Reyes looked like the Old Cossack trying to play the OF and that is about as ugly as it gets.

      • james garrett

        For what he is getting paid we will all take a shot at it Cossack.

      • VaRedsFan

        When you play in trying to take away the soft hit, sometimes a normally catch-able ball will get over your head

      • Shchi Cossack

        You are correct, but the route Reyes took was horrendous. He would have been in no worse a position if he had just sat down when the ball was hit. Adam Dunn catches that ball every day of the season except off days.

      • Da bear

        Reyes played out of position, he has been an infielder nearly his whole career. No Bruce, Granderson, Conforto, Duda, Walker, let alone Thor Harvey Matz Reed

  18. james garrett

    Billy is not a secret and he would not be the headliner in any trade so he will be back at a high cost and will lead off as you said Indy.

    • Indy Red Man

      He could alot of teams more then he helps the Reds. I think GABP is the smallest outfield in the NL if I’m not mistaken

  19. james garrett

    Reyes on again after their pitcher gets a hit.Gonna be a long night.

  20. Sliotar

    Any dog that cares enough about this year’s team to wear a Reds scarf and drag their “owner” (we know who really owns who) to this game is a friend of mine and deserves maximum camera time.

  21. Indy Red Man

    I really Romano! He’s not real sharp tonite w/the slider but he keeps the fastball down. Only 7 HRs allowed in 55 ip so far. That would equal out to about 24 HRs in 190 ip. Thats pretty good for the new juice ball era and GABP as your home park!

    • VaRedsFan

      He pitched 157 innings last year, so he should be good to go for the rest of this year. (101 ip coming into tonight)

    • VaRedsFan

      He had a Eureka! moment when he stopped trying to throw the ball through a wall. I’m excited for his future. PLEASE let these youngsters stay healthy!

  22. VaRedsFan

    The shift robs Schebler of a hit/rbi

    • VaRedsFan

      Reds broadcast just mentioned it.

  23. Jeff

    Schebler’s mouthpiece still on the disabled list?

  24. J

    Sometime before the end of this season, Hamilton is going to get on base and Duvall is going to drive him in. And Price will say “See? That’s what I’m talking about.”

  25. james garrett

    Suarez has improved his plate discipline so much this year.His obp is 100 points higher them his average and his defense is really good.Most improved player on the team by far.

  26. Steven Ross

    Bryan Price is hunkered down on his regular eight for reasons known only to himself.

    Truer words have never been spoken. Never Wavers Price. So boring.

  27. Sliotar

    Duvall already at 0 for 3 tonight.

    Everybody on here knows Duvall is in a horrible slump.

    Maybe Phillip Ervin can play 3 innings in LF and get an at-bat, I mean, since it’s 7-1 vs. a minor-league Mets lineup?

    Ervin has not had an at bat since August 20 and hasn’t started since August 17, THAT 3 for 5 game in Chicago.

    I wonder if other MLB teams treat their first-round picks like this when they are on the 25-man roster.

    “Ervin, pick up on that 2 HR and 6 RBIs 4 runs scored in 12 PAs here in Cincinnati when you can and we’ll see about getting you a start before the season ends.”

    • Shchi Cossack

      Coming into the game tonight, Ervin had a 0.4 WAR in just 12 PA. For an entire season, Hamilton has just 1.2 WAR and almost(?) all of that is from playing CF and good defense.

  28. CI3J

    What does Peraza have to do to get in the lineup? He was going really well for awhile there with his OBP up around .370 after the All Star break, then Price decided to start yanking him around with his starts, so now he’s lost his groove and probably his confidence.

    Peraza is 23. Scooter is 27. Why is Price so against letting the kids play so we can see what we’ve got? This applies to Winker (pre-injury) and Ervin as well.

  29. james garrett

    Your 100% correct but it won’t happen.Its the Dusty code of vets play and rookies watch.

  30. Indy Red Man

    Romano….dang it. He was rolling along and then gave up 2 doubles for 2 runs (so far) on offspeed pitches. I would’ve like to seen the 94 mph sinker but still a pretty decent effort! 3 runs in 6ip is good when your guys have 7. Can he hold a 2-1 or 3-1 lead in the 6th though? Its the situation more then the numbers themselves.

  31. VaRedsFan

    Thom makes a rare good point….keep the shift on vs. the guy with 2 on. inning would be over and still 7-1

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah…Votto was way off the line, but the pitch was also down-n-in and easy to pull? Have to pitch to the defense. Romano is making strides though…looks confident out there!

  32. joshtrum

    Interesting article today on ESPN about how Maddox constructs his line up. Essentially came down to each night he was trying to optimize the lineup for success. Things change, matchups change. Long story short, Bryan Price should read the article. He might learn something.

    • james garrett

      Won’t happen cause he doesn’t think about those things.

  33. seat101

    I turn on the TV and they’re talking about their wardrobes.. I guess it’s a video version of Tom and

  34. CI3J

    Well, Big Sal is done pitching, none of the kids are playing, so that’s it for me tonight.

    Until next time, ladies and gents.

  35. james garrett

    Me too after Reyes reaches for the third time,twice on walks where he didn’t even swing at a pitch.His obp is worse then Billy’s and we pitch him like he is Babe Ruth.

  36. J

    Since the all-star break, Peraza has walked 4 more times than Duvall.

    • Sliotar

      Wow. Good stuff. That absolutely puts Duvall’s struggles into perspective.

      Duvall needs 1 (?) assist to break the team record; he has a whole month to get that, assuming teams are stupid enough to try his arm (and they will, most likely).

      He isn’t going to break George Foster’s season mark of 52 HRs.

      If Dick Wiliams is being hands-off to evaluate Price on bringing him back next year, that’s bad management.

      Williams not pressuring Price to get Ervin and Peraza in the lineup makes me feel that the Reds are directionless, just grinding through to the end of the season, or there isn’t an urgency to win.

      Less than 13K (announced) tonight, on dog night, in GABP would motivate me to get on with things, but my small business doesn’t get TV money (LOL).

  37. VaRedsFan

    Duval with a much needed BOMB…3 run variety

  38. VaRedsFan

    Double slam range…thank goodness Wood is gone

  39. Sliotar

    I heard about this Plawecki dude.

    When it comes to position players trying to pitch, he’s no Scooter Gennett.

    • VaRedsFan

      He did get Votto out…maybe he has a future??

  40. VaRedsFan

    5 runs in, nobody out, bases are full. Backup catcher coming in to pitch

  41. renbutler

    Gotta love a late-game touchdown to clinch the victory.