2017 Reds / Game Thread

Reds vs. Pirates – September 1, 2017

Zack Cozart’s future has been the focus of much speculation as the final year of his Reds contract concludes this month. Some fans are in favor of keeping him on, thanks in part to his amazing offense this year and consistently brilliant defense. Others say that an oft-injured shortstop on the wrong side of age 30 is not a player to whom management should offer a multi-year extension.

General Manager Dick Williams said at the All-Star break that the team may explore a contract extension with Cozart. But this interesting note appeared in a story on Reds.com by John Fay:

The Reds talked about the possibility of extending Cozart, but he said there have been no talks, so he’s preparing to become a free agent.

Early to mid-September would not seem to be the time one would start negotiations with a player you hope to retain before he enters free agency. So if the Reds are to retain Cozart, it will likely be due to them extending a one-year qualifying offer (estimated to be around $18 million). If the offer is turned down, the Reds would stand to receive draft-pick compensation. Another possibility is that Cozart could enter free agency and not receive an offer he likes. In that case, his agent may turn back to the Reds – his expressed preference — to see what might be worked out. But as Fay writes:

… at Cozart’s age, he sees the advantage of long-term deal.

… which is not likely to come from Cincinnati. So the chances of a return to the Reds for Cozart and his donkey seem to be fading. Enjoy the time you will get to watch him in a Reds uniform in September, which begins with the opener of a three-game series at PNC Park against the Pirates tonight.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Luis Castillo 77.1 3.26 3.65 26.4% 9.9%
Gerrit Cole 167 3.99 3.86 22% 5.7%

Bryan Price has said he views Castillo as a member of the 2018 rotation, based on his 2017 performance, which has been eye-popping at times. In recent starts, his strikeout percentage is trending upward and his walk percentage is trending downward. He pitched 131.2 innings last year in the Marlins system, and so far this year has pitched 157.2 for Pensacola and Cincinnati. There has been speculation that there is an innings limit for this year on Castillo, and that he may make only another start or two before he reaches it. So enjoy tonight.

Cole was the first overall pick in the 2011 draft by Pittsburgh, and has recorded a 58-38 won-loss record and a 3.40 ERA (3.46 xFIP) in 121 starts over portions of five big league seasons. If we could project Hunter Greene ahead to that sort of performance over the same early portion of his major league career, all Reds fans would be thrilled.

Bullpen

After two innings in relief Thursday against the Mets, Michael Lorenzen is the only bullpenner likely to be held back or have any limitations. Ariel Hernandez is back in the bullpen after being recalled from Louisville today. (More below.)

The Pirates were off Thursday, so they have no likely bullpen limitations. Juan Nicasio, Clint Hurdle’s eighth-inning setup guy, was placed on irrevocable waivers and claimed by the Phillies in what has to be characterized as a salary dump. Nicasio will be a free agent, and the Bucs apparently felt no need to pay him any longer this year.

Starting Lineups

Reds Pirates
CF Billy Hamilton 2B Josh Harrison
SS Zack Cozart LF Starling Marte
1B Joey Votto CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Adam Duvall 1B Josh Bell
2B Scooter Gennett 3B David Freese
3B Eugenio Suarez RF John Jaso
RF Scott Schebler SS Jordy Mercer
C Stuart Turner C Chris Stewart
P Luis Castillo P Gerrit Cole

News and Notes

September 1 is the date major league rosters can be expanded to as many as 40 players, and that process began today …

Who would you rather have now and for the next few years? Votto or Judge?

3 catchers, 3 babies …

26 thoughts on “Reds vs. Pirates – September 1, 2017

  1. Votto versus Judge question:
    Joey has better numbers including 113 BB vs 99, 310 avg vs 279, 6.2 WAR vs 5.6.
    But then, Votto is 33 and Judge is 25 years old. So, Judge is good for another ten to twelve years, Joey for another four to six.
    Gotta go with Votto anyway.

    • Aaron Judge has an OPS of .690 for the second half of the season. When you say he is ‘good’ for another ten to twelve years, that assumes he can duplicate the hot streak he had for his first 300 ABs, and that his most recent 200 are not the new norm.

      • Ya pitchers will make adjustments. That’s what makes Votto’s continued excellence all the more impressive.

  2. Cozy’s situation is what it is and I hope he does get a 3 year deal at max salary.Good luck and thanks.

  3. Josh Bell has an interesting stance. Im trying to think of who he reminds me of

  4. Why is Hamilton still starting? Below .300 OBP. He should be benched for Ervin.

    Oops, forgot he creates HAVOC on the bases. What’s the measurement for havoc on the bases?

    • Tied for 2nd in runs scored, second in hits. Leads in Steals. Great centerfielder. Lack of measurement doesn’t indicate lack of validity: it indicates lack of measurement.

  5. Short night ahead for Castillo unless the throws more strikes.Freese saw 8 pitches before getting a hit.We saw 7 pitches total in our second at bat.

  6. Freese’s single was just a ground ball. If Cozart can’t run, then how is he supposed to have any range at shortstop?

    Castillo not putting anyone away….going to be a short night for him if he doesn’t turn it around

  7. Joey with the range of a fire hydrant. I’m gone…had enough. 0-2 on the 8th hitter and doesn’t one slider on him? There’s a reason he’s batting 8th

  8. I have been flipping back and forth between this and U.S. playing a clunker vs. Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying…..so question for Ye Olde Faithful on here:

    Has the TV or Radio broadcasters mentioned why Peraza isn’t playing?

    If it’s Price trying to win instead of developing, Peraza is:

    17 for 51 (.333 average) vs. PIT this season

    2 for 5 lifetime vs. Cole

  9. Castillo looks like a different pitcher this inning. That changeup is hitting the corners perfectly now

  10. Castillo is done and so am I for tonight.Kid has the stuff and when he gets that slider up to just an average pitch he will be lights out.I am like Indy he just needs to bounce one very once in a while.Doesn’t need to be a strike just a show me pitch.

  11. As usual, not a lot of people here on a Friday night. Any chance you’re gonna be able to play that game tomorrow?

  12. Castillo pitches,Billy gets his 5 at bats,Kivlehan gets to pinch hit,Vincej gets to pinch hit,Irvin and Peraza went out for coffee and doughnuts we think and the Reds win.

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