The Reds look to make it 2 straight over the Mets tonight in the middle game of the current series between the teams at GABP. A Reds win tonight would also assure them of a winning record for the month of  August. It would be not only their first winning month of the 2017 season but also their first winning month since July of 2016.  While it is a fact that 16 of the Reds 29 games in August will have been played versus opponents who like the Reds have also lost at least 70 games already in 2017, a .500 month would still be a .500 month and reason to celebrate a bit, right?

Starting Pitchers

Homer Bailey is scheduled to return to the mound for the Reds tonight in his first appearance since being removed for “precautionary reasons”  after 3 innings on August 22 versus the Cubs due to “irritation” in the back of his throwing shoulder.  Bailey’s return from Tommy John surgery in 2015 and a subsequent elbow “cleaning” procedure to remove bone spurs this spring is still very much a work in progress a dozen starts into 2017. The good news is much of the time his raw stuff has looked excellent. The not as good news is that he still has a ways to go in consistently maintaining command and control of his pitches.  Health would seem to be the real key for Bailey at this point. If he can get in the work, he should eventually regain much of his prior form.

Rafael Montero, a 26 year old righthander, is set to be the Mets starter. Montero made his MLB debut in 2014 starting 8 games for the Mets. Late in the 2104 season, he experienced shoulder issues which plagued him on into 2015, limiting him to just 12 appearances (7 starts) in MiLB/ MLB combined during that season. In 2016 Montero split time between MiLB (AA/AAA) where he started a combined 25 games and MLB where he made 9 appearances (1 start). This year Montero has split time between AAA (5 appearances, all starts) and MLB where 12 of his 27 appearances have been as a starter.

Homer Bailey 5.19 1.44 11.3 15.6
Rafael Montero 4.62 1.08 11.2 21.8


The Reds used 4 pitchers to cover 3 bullpen innings. Only Alejandro Chacin who needed 30+ pitches to close out the 9th inning is likely not available tonight.

The Mets used 4 pitchers to cover 3.1 bullpen innings. However one of those “pitchers” was back up catcher Kevin Plawecki who came on to record a full inning of work when “official” pitcher Chasen Bradford failed to retire a single hitter while allowing 7 runs in the 8th inning. Jeurys Familia worked 1.2 innings in his second appearance back from the DL. It is doubtful Familia is available tonight.


1. Jose Reyes (SS)
2. Brandon Nimmo (RF)
3. Asdrubal Cabrera (2B)
4. Wilmer Flores (3B)
5. Kevin Plawecki (C)
6. Dominic Smith (1B)
7. Juan Lagares (CF)
8. Matt Reynolds (LF)
9. Rafael Montero (P)
1. Phillip Ervin (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. Homer Bailey (P)


Phil Ervin finally gets a starting call for the Reds.

News and Notes

News about former Reds……

And this about a current Red…

You are right if you think Eugenio Suarez has been lighting it up lately…


Here is a late breaking story telling why Zack Cozart will not be traded


Final Thoughts

It was good for the Reds to find themselves on the happy side of a blowout laugher for a change.  However, the Reds have scored enough runs this season to have won a lot more games if their pitching had been even marginally better, let alone approaching even league norms.

Looking to 2018, the Reds major issue to be addressed is clearly their pitching and in particular their starting pitching. Yes, I’m almost convinced it is OK to believe Luis Castillo is for real. Sal Romano’s continued progress is encouraging. Even more so would be Homer Bailey staying healthy and progressing toward his previous form through the rest of 2017. However even if these three guys all work out for 2018, that is just a start. There is much work to be done; and, the Reds need to be proactive in the off season and not just hope a couple more guys from the internal stable of candidates come through next spring.  Otherwise chances are unfortunately high, we will see a lot of good offense going to waste again next season. Go Reds!

Data and information from Fangraphs, Baseball Reference,, and Wikipedia

38 Responses

  1. seat101

    Thank you Jim. In my opinion this will be the first for off-season that we can say is DW’s responsibility. I expect to see some changes.

    I will be very surprised if any former Cardinals show up on the roster next year

    • Jim Walker

      Not even a certain former Cardinal who was a former Red before he was a Cardinal and became a former Cardinal today when he was traded to the Mariners?

      • seat101

        Well, we do spring training in Arizona. Apparently that’s important to him

      • Derek B.

        What’s wrong with spring training in Arizona? It is awesome there

  2. Sliotar

    “Ervin, I don’t want to put pressure on you, but I want you to understand the big shoes you will be filling tonight by batting lead off and playing center field.

    These knuckleheads on these blogs, like that one, Redlegs Country, think I don’t understand advanced statistics. Sure, Billy Hamilton is only at 64 wRC+ for the season, meaning he’s not even producing 2/3rds of the offense of a league average player. I get that.

    But, you know what matters, especially in the leadoff position? Speed, Ervin, speed. And, on top of that, more speed.

    So, I want you to run like the wind, every chance you get. I want you gassed after every movement. And, if go 3 for 5, like the last time we started you, that’s OK, too. I guess.

    Just don’t lose focus on what our priority is for those at the top of the order.”

  3. CI3J

    I’m really disappointed that Billy Hamitlon hasn’t worked out. Do you remember that just last season he finished with a .321 OBP and everyone was saying he was finally starting to “get it”? It’s just so sad to see so much potential talent being wasted.

    Yes, I’m just about ready to give up on him. He’s 26, meaning he should just begin to enter his prime years starting next season. Theoretically, he SHOULD improve marginally, but I really can’t see how he can ever amount to a useful offensive piece in the future Reds puzzle.

    Let’s see what Ervin can do.

    • reaganspad

      I think that Billy’s growth has really been held back by thinking that he could bunt. He can’t. he is a horrible bunter and has given up too many strikes this year faking the bunt, thinking he could bunt and wishing he could bunt.

      he would be a better hitter today if he never tried to bunt as it not only puts hm in a hole in the at bat, but I think it has reduced his ability to understand the strikezone.

      It does look different when you square to bunt, and when you are as bad at bunting as Billy is, it creates all kinds of problems

      • VaRedsFan

        Billy bats .361 when bunting lifetime, however only 4-17 this year

  4. Indy Red Man

    I’ll atleast watch the rewind w/Ervin playing!

    I looked at Indians boxscore for a second and had a thought. Brantley is always hurt and I don’t know if Bruce will stay? If they fall short again then I wonder if they might make a move in the offseason. I’d put together something w/Schebler and prospects for Clevinger or Danny Salazar!

  5. citizen54

    I don’t think the Reds need to go out and overpay for a starting pitcher. They already have enough internal options. Right now you have Castillo, Disco and Bailey, assuming his arm doesn’t fall off as locks. Then you have Finnegan, Romano and Stephenson as good options for #4 and #5. If they don’t work out you still have Mahle, Reed and Garrett waiting in the wings.

    The Reds are going to be a tough spot as it looks like soon there will be too many players and not enough positions. This includes the already crowded outfield and the infield as well with Senzel knocking on the door.

  6. VaRedsFan

    Two, 2 out doubles = 2 runs out of the gate for the Mets

  7. VaRedsFan

    Irvin’s avg just fell 38 points

  8. VaRedsFan

    Catcher Plawicky was giving Votto the business about getting him out last night

  9. seat101

    This is been bothering me all season. Have you noticed that A batter never flies out when Thom is making the call? It’s a pop up. Or a long out.

  10. Indy Red Man

    Next year should be really interesting and I look forward to seeing Senzel & Winker with the rest of them, BUT I just know that Homer will be this years Arroyo or 2016’s Simon, etc. They always have to put 1-2 guys in the rotation based off of past numbers, innings eater, etc. They always have some nonsensical reason for some scrub thats blocking someone that can actual pitch or atleast has a future and needs the chance!

    • VaRedsFan

      He will probably get 6-8 weeks to figure it out next year…if he doesn’t he might turn into Barry Zito….High dollars for a mop up reliever.

      • Indy Red Man

        Yeah, but I have zero confidence that they would make him a reliever. We’d need 5 guys with an era 3 runs better then his.

        Watch a catch by Duvall. The guy is really good defensively…don’t care about defensive metric guessing.

  11. VaRedsFan

    Irvin not making the most of his opportunity. struck out twice on 6 pitches and misplayed a ball into a double in cf. Was hoping for he’d perform well and give Duval a blow tomorrow.

    • Jazzmanbbfan

      Me too but it’s hard to expect him to play well when he’s been wasting away on the bench since he was called back up.

      • VaRedsFan

        Agree. Spot starting can’t be easy, but Heisey was pretty good at it.

  12. Jazzmanbbfan

    Bailey threw more pitches in the first inning than he has in the next three combined.

  13. Sliotar

    Wait, Joe Morgan is a consultant to Bob Castellini?

    So, it’s Joe, Jocketty, who else?

    Surely The Mayor should have the owner’s ear. Barry Larkin, too.

    Maybe this contributes to the sluggishness/lack of urgency that sometimes comes off this team and finishing the rebuild.

      • Sliotar

        Thom said during the broadcast, as Morgan was leaving, that Joe was a consultant to Castellini, and “in the inner circle” on the Reds decision-making.

  14. VaRedsFan

    Barnhart pegs another base stealer.
    Trying to steal 3rd with 2 outs is just dumb

    • Indy Red Man

      Man on 1st though…..putting 2 guys into scoring position but the lead guy needs to make it!

  15. Sliotar

    “Don, we haven’t cranked up the Louisville Shuttle much lately. But, I gotta tell you, this Ervin kid, just not seeing it with him. This 0 for 3 stuff tonight. We just can’t have that out of the CF position, especially batting leadoff.

    Looks like it’s time to pull the plug on the ‘let’s see what the first round pick can do’ experiment.”

  16. msanmoore

    So Montero is a Cy Young candidate, right? Or is our magical ability to have a terrible night and make it look that way.

    We’ve got a BLARGH in the making here …

  17. Sliotar

    Montero’s been good, but Reds have played a “dog days of August, we are in last and this park is empty” kind of game to help him.

    No TV tomorrow? BLARGH is being kind.

    That is pure cheapness from the Reds and FS Ohio to pass on a home game.
    What will they be replacing by showing it? Re-runs of poker, or of rodeo?

    • renbutler

      The game will be on MLB Network in Reds territory.

      FS Ohio airs 145 games a year, which isn’t bad for a small-market team that’s struggled in recent years. A home game on a weekday afternoon late in the season is a good choice for one of the 17 games not aired.

  18. renbutler

    With Cozart out in favor of Kivlehan (PR), who will play SS if it goes to extras?

    • VaRedsFan

      Kiv to 2nd, Suarez to short, Scooter to 3rd

      • renbutler

        Thanks, I hadn’t seen Kiv as an infielder, although I now see he has played 3B a couple times this year.

    • Sliotar

      Good question. Turner (or Barnhart) to 3rd, I guess, Suarez to SS?

      Only move left.

  19. VaRedsFan

    The offense is fine…..they’ve averaged 7 runs over the last 2 games ( so far).
    They do have something cooking in the 9th