We had some glimmers of hope in recent weeks that things may be looking up, thanks to home sweeps of the Brewers and Pirates. But the Cardinals stopped by and reminded us that the Reds are still not ready to compete with the better teams. (Maybe if Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle were still in the rotation, it would be a different story.)

Tonight’s opener of a three-game series against the Red Sox at Great American Ball Park is another case of a team that needs wins to keep pace in the playoff race rolling into town to face the home team, armed with a 20-man pitching staff of mostly age-26-and-under hurlers (and Homer Bailey).

Of course, a win is always the objective. But keep your eye on Sal Romano tonight and Robert Stephenson tomorrow. These two youngsters have pitched very well over the past six weeks, but many of those games have been against weaker offenses. This weekend, they get a very potent Boston offense, so we should get some sense of just how far they have progressed in just a couple of months’ time.

Starting Pitchers

Rick Porcello 193.2 4.46 4.41 20.2% 5.1%
Sal Romano 77.1 4.07 4.46 18.6% 9.2%

Porcello’s ERA and xFIP numbers are nearly identical, so you pretty much know what you’re getting when he takes the mound. Even the Red Sox’s potent offense has not been able to overcome pitching which has resulted in a 10-17 record in 31 starts.

Romano is 5-1 in his last six starts, and we’ve reached the point where we expect a well-pitched game out of the rookie righthander each time out. His recent streak has been against teams like Pittsburgh, the Mets and Atlanta, not-so-good teams. So it will be very interesting to see how he performs against a very good hitting team in Boston.


With 20 pitchers on the roster currently, there will be no arms shortage if needed. None of the bullpenners pitched any more than 1.1 innings last night, so all should be available. One of them could be facing a team managed by his father:

Starting Lineups

Red Sox Reds
SS Xander Bogaerts CF Billy Hamilton
2B Dustin Pedroia SS Zack Cozart
LF Andrew Benintendi 1B Joey Votto
RF Mookie Betts 2B Scooter Gennett
1B Mitch Moreland 3B Eugenio Suarez
C Christian Vasquez RF Scott Schebler
3B Rafael Devers LF Adam Duvall
CF Jackie Bradley Jr. C Tucker Barnhart
P Rick Porcello P Sal Romano

After a few games of moving players around both in the batting order and in the field, Manager Bryan Price has gone with his standard lineup for tonight’s game. The Red Sox lineup represents what the Reds would like to achieve — young players, mostly from their farm system, becoming standout everyday starting players.

News and Notes

Either you love him or hate him, but he’ll apparently be back …


Congratulations to the front office for a fantastic move …


Dick Williams apparently set the bar very high during Zack Cozart trade talks …

In the same post, it mentions that Adam Duvall has left 292 men on base, which leads all of Major League Baseball by 40. (Albert Pujols is second.)


Joey Votto to “stick with the Reds for another 10 years?” …


Memories …

About The Author

Tom Mitsoff is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Ohio. He lived a teenage life atypical of most his age by prioritizing following the Reds. At one point in the 1970s and early 1980s, Tom kept complete scorecards on more than 1,000 consecutive Reds games. Now that adult life has forced him to move on from his beloved Southwest Ohio, he follows the Reds daily through MLB.TV and other online media sources, including Redleg Nation.

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50 Responses

  1. Darrin

    I feel Duvall should have been shut down a long time ago and re-signing Cozart is wayyyyy too risky a move.

  2. old-school

    The handwriting has been on the wall with Cozart for awhile.
    The Reds have also struggled against lefties. Suarez, Senzel and perhaps Cozart would be a nice RH balance to Votto /Winker/ Schebler.
    Schebler’ s ISO is 12th in the NL. He is a perfect 6 hole hitter to unclog the bases from all those on base guys who both create and produce runs.

    Clearly, Bryan Price is now managing to defend his prior lineups.
    Winker did his job too well. Price is recoiling and removing him as a lead off hitter to protect Hamilton over the off-season. Maybe everyone will forget about Winker?

    Jesse Winker will be in baseball far longer than Price.

    • Sliotar

      Ha. You have been on fire this week, Old School.

      As soon as I saw Hamilton in the lead-off spot, I looked to see how far down the lineup Winker was.

      With the Red Sox in town, the front office might have pulled a Slapshot, where the owner comes through the locker room, “There’s a big crowd out there tonight, let’s really try to win this one.”

      All the kids, Winker, Ervin and Peraza, all on the bench.

      Learning by watching, I am sure.

  3. VaRedsFan

    Does anybody have a link to the whole Votto/Day interview?

  4. Shchi Cossack

    Exactly as feared and expected…

    Hamilton back in the lineup and leading off. Winker to the bench. It’s going to be tough to watch this for another year. Thanks for nothing BC.

    • CI3J

      If they keep this team together exactly as it is for next season, expect Winker to be the 4th outfielder and Peraza to be a utility infielder.


  5. VaRedsFan

    From the tweet Tom referenced above:

    Heyman also reports that the Reds may try to retain Zack Cozart in 2018 and beyond after holding onto him in July and August. Per Heyman, the Reds set an extremely high asking price on Cozart, asking the Orioles at one point for top outfield prospect Austin Hays in return. That’s a steep ask for a Cozart rental, considering Hays broke out with a .329/.365/.593 slash and 32 homers in 128 games between Double-A and Triple-A this season before making his MLB debut in September.

    • VaRedsFan

      Talk about asking for the moon….

      • Darrin

        Makes me think they weren’t actually serious about trading him and may be more inclined to throw a bunch of money at him……..which I’m not a fan of.

    • CI3J

      If the Orioles had done that, it would have been a serious coup for the Reds. I wonder how close it was to happening. I would have done Cozart and Ervin for Hays and another low level prospect.

    • TR

      The Reds will extend Cozart and put the rebuild on a side track.

  6. Scott Carter

    Sad to see, the same old lineup. Don’t mind Hamilton playing. He is trying to lead the league in SB’s. Just should not be top of the order but Winker ought to play. Give Duval another day off and then sit Schebler tomorrow or Sunday. SIGH SIGH

    • da bear

      As you said, Winker should start. That’s a given he has the most to contribute of the outfielders.

      Ervin should start. Performance alone merits playing more playing time.

      Either Duvall or Schebler in left field. Either they hit a home run (not often enough), strike out (far too often) or draw a walk….when that BB happens IMMEDIATELY pinch run BH for Duvall/Schebler steal two bases and finish out the game with enhanced defense.

      2018 is already shaping up to be a major disappointment.

      • greenmtred

        It’s still 2017, Da Bear. Bridges to cross, a winter to get through, and so on…

  7. Sliotar

    I am glad Marty is coming back. Maybe marriage has mellowed him out. He has even said nice things about Votto in the last season or two.

    It would be cool for him stick around part-time, and call another Reds playoff game, whenever it comes, before retiring.

    He is the last of his kind. No one in MLB broadcasting can go on a rant, against his own team, like Marty still can.

    Vin Scully – Best MLB storyteller. Ever. (Sirius should broadcast his old stories)
    Tom Hamilton – Best live action broadcaster. If the Indians win it, his call will be a doozy
    Marty – Most critical of own team (by a country mile)

  8. Sliotar

    Romano pulling what I like to call “The Cody Reed” – a hit and 2 walks in a half-inning.

  9. VaRedsFan

    Single and a double to lead off the game….let’s put up a big number here

  10. Darrin

    Darrin: no way he hits another grand slam
    Scooter: hold my beer for a sec

  11. Indy Red Man

    Duvall to Scooter….is that an assist? Duvall keeps his head in the game despite not hitting. He went from 1st-3rd on a bullet single by Schebler the other night. Nobody else but Billy/Jose would’ve done that on that rocket.

    Also might want to hold off on the Scooter for prospect trades. The guy can mash righties!!

  12. VaRedsFan

    They gave Duval an assist on that overslide by Devers. His 14th assist.
    Duval defense > Schebler

    • da bear

      Absolutely. I like Schebler’s hustle but Adam hustles just as much and Duvall’s defense is far superior to Schebler’s.

  13. seat101

    I’m in section 512 row R -the highest row. Will go down to Bob Evans area after the third inning. Then get some seats near the dugout.

    It would’ve been nice if Adam had gotten more rest this season. Billy, too

    • Sliotar


      Glad to see “moving down” is still a popular thing at GABP.

      Hopefully, you see a win this time.

      • VaRedsFan

        Didn’t know you could do that…the usher police at parks i’ve been to, won’t allow it

      • seat101

        As long as you don’t cause trouble, they don’t seem to mind. I go to the same place about even with the first base bag anywhere about halfway down. It seems a lot of people leave early from that area

  14. Old-school

    Porcello is making $20 million AAV.
    I’ll take Romano.

    • Indy Red Man

      He was getting smacked around in Detroit? I have never thought he was that good? 22 wins and 3.15 era last year was a great season but a fluke

  15. Sliotar

    “These analytical people chastise you if the stolen base percentage isn’t over 85%”

    “Pitchers aren’t nervous anymore.”

    -Chris “Baseball was better back in the 19th Century” Welsh.

    Holy cow.

  16. seat101

    The second time through the order thing our opponents are doing is maddening.

    • VaRedsFan

      Well it all started when Schebler wasn’t able to haul in that ball to his right. I’m guessing 80% of the league catches that one

      • Indy Red Man

        Yeah…he should’ve had that ball.

  17. Indy Red Man

    I was going to talk up Romano, but I thought I should wait for a little bit. He’s made a ton of progress overall. His minor league era was only 4.31 with a bad 1.41 whip. Its a process.

    • Old-school

      This is why Billy Hamilton is irrelevant….the game has changed…more runs…more bombs…Hamilton isn’t even Gary redus or Dave Collins…Joe Morgan and Eric Davis are far superior base runners….mike Cameron is 5x betterm…he bests Eddie milner and taveras by a little….Drew Stubbs is a push…

      Hamilton doesn’t impact a game 7-5 game. He also is overrated at baserunning.

      • VaRedsFan

        real stats disagree with you. He is rated the best baserunner in MLB

      • Old-school

        Exactly….no one cares about stealing bases….because they are meaningless….Look at the AL stats for stolen bases the last 5 years and then remove Altuve because his value isn’t stealing bases…it contributes nothing.

      • Old-school

        You are arguing which NFL fullback is the best???? Who cares. The game has changed….Rocky Bleier isn’t valued anymore.

      • BigRedMike

        With the game become more 3 outcomes, the need for an elite defender is decreasing. Fewer balls in play and many home games in a small ball park.

        Indians have started playing Kipnis in CF to get more offense and live with the few balls hit to a CF in a game

      • greenmtred

        27 outs in a nine inning game, same as always.

  18. BigRedMike

    Interesting Strike Out by Duvall. Not seeing the baseball very well

  19. Sliotar

    It is what it is (or what it was)…

    but, it would have been fun to send up Ervin to face David Price. Let the kid take on a $30 million per year All-Star.

    Ervin is 5 for 7 with 2 BB vs. LHP this year.

    Duvall, both his at-bats and his facial expression, look tired, like he can’t wait for the season to be over.

  20. VaRedsFan

    Price and Amir Garrett have similar motions. Amir should be studying

  21. Indy Red Man

    Sept rosters but lets not pinch run for Cozart or anything. Wouldn’t want to win a game by accident. I swear to God…its like the anti-Rose is running the team and betting against them.