Nick Senzel

Most of the civilized world knows today as Friday the 13th. Here in Redleg Nation, though, it may become known as Nick Senzel Day.

As our Steve Mancuso reported in a post that was lauded by members of the Cincinnati media for its clarity, today is the date minor league players can be promoted in the 2018 season and not accrue a full year of service time.

In short, players must accumulate six full years of MLB service time before they can declare free agency. Until then, they are tied to their current teams unless traded or released. A year of service time is defined as 172 calendar days. If Senzel joins the team today and stays on the roster the remainder of the season, the most calendar days of major league service time he can accumulate are 171 – one day short of what is considered a full year of service in the collective bargaining agreement.

Under that scenario, this year would not count as one of Senzel’s six full-service years. In effect, the Reds would have potential control over Senzel’s status for this season and the next six thereafter, or through the 2024 season.

There are some good reasons Senzel may not be promoted today:

1) The future salary implications of his possible Super-2 status;
2) He only has 29 Class AAA at-bats (with six hits) in early-season action with Louisville. There’s a good argument to be made to allow him to get comfortable at Class AAA

It certainly seems that this team needs an infusion of talent at this point. Marty Brennaman summed it up quite well during last night’s wipeout at the hands of the Cardinals:

Those of us here at Redleg Nation certainly feel his pain:

My perspective: Let Senzel get comfortable at Louisville and start swinging the bat like he did last year at Class AA Pensacola before rushing him up to the bigs. Seems pretty clear that no one player is going to make enough of a difference to make this team competitive this year, which is literally the worst 12-game start (2-10) for any Reds team in my 55-year lifetime.

UPDATE (Steve M.): Senzel is in Louisville’s lineup tonight. AND he’s playing 2B. The encouraging way to look at that is the news on Eugenio Suarez’s thumb is positive. There have been instances of players with fractured thumbs coming back after two weeks.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

We here at Redleg Nation will let you know as soon as possible if we learn that today actually does become Nick Senzel day. The second game of the four-game home series against the Cardinals begins tonight at 6:40 p.m. Eastern time.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Luke Weaver 11.1 1.59 3.98 22.7% 9.1%
Tyler Mahle 10.2 4.22 4.09 20.5% 6.8%

Righthander Weaver pitched 97 innings combined for the Cardinals in the previous two seasons, and opened eyes last year with a 7-2 record and 3.88 ERA (2.93 xFiP). Scooter Gennett is the only Red with more than one hit against Weaver in head-to-head matchups.

Mahle had a great first start (six shutout innings) and a pedestrian second start. He’s looking to get back on track to the form he displayed against the Cubs in his lone win of the year to date. In one start against the Cardinals last year, Jose Martinez was the only Redbird with more than one hit against Mahle.

Bullpen

Looked pretty bad last night, didn’t it? If nothing else, last night’s performance seemed to clarify who will be first out when the injured relievers begin to return. It seems clear that Zack Weiss and Tanner Rainey are not yet ready and need some more time in the minors. It also seems clear that Cliff Pennington will fill the role that Gennett filled last year – position player brought in to pitch when a game is completely out of control.

Update: MLBTradeRumors.com reported this afternoon the following Reds bullpen roster moves:

  • Tanner Rainey optioned to Louisville
  • Contract of RHP reliever Dylan Floro selected from Louisville
  • Righthander Ariel Hernandez designated for assignment to create a 40-man roster spot for Floro

Starting Lineups

Cardinals Reds
RF Dexter Fowler  CF Billy Hamilton
CF Tommy Pham  SS Jose Peraza
3B Matt Carpenter  1B Joey Votto
LF Marcell Ozuna  2B Scooter Gennett
1B Jose Martinez  C Devin Mesoraco
C Yadier Molina  RF Jesse Winker
SS Paul DeJong  LF Adam Duvall
2B Kolten Wong  3B Cliff Pennington
P Luke Weaver P Tyler Mahle

News and Notes

MLB Tonight analysts Ron Darling and Pedro Martinez critique Hunter Greene’s debut start with the Dayton Dragons:

Join the conversation! 143 Comments

  1. Nick Senzel is in Louisville’s lineup tonight. AND he’s playing 2B. The encouraging way to look at that is the news on Eugenio Suarez’s thumb is positive. There have been instances of players with fractured thumbs coming back after two weeks.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Reply
  2. Things are bound to turn around at some point, even without Suarez and Senzel in the lineup, with Mahle pitching, tonight is as good as night as any.

    Reply
  3. You go ahead and try to hit your 4 Hrs! We’re fighting back with double havoc 1 and 2 with Billy and Jose:) Actually Jose suddenly looks pretty good….if he’d quit making errors at SS and they can keep him awake on the bases!

    Reply
  4. Jose Ramirez? Did Jose Martinez change his name too? I don’t know who he is or where he came from, but he could’ve killed someone with that Hr last night. Geomike Stanton type exit velocity so keep your eyes on the action or else.

    Reply
  5. The favorable time frame on Suarez return likely dictated this. I wish the Reds would use this lost year and injury with Suarez to try shortsto and third. Instead….we get 2 months of Hamilton and peraza hitting 1/2.

    This is looking more and more like a 90 loss team again and perhaps even 95+.
    Good news is 4 consecutive years drafting in top 5.

    Reply
  6. Exciting to see Hamilton is back in the lead off spot. It was worked out so well in the past.

    Also, good to see the Reds are giving a promising young prospect in Pennington starts at 3B.

    Reply
    • *sniff sniff* Is that the distinct aroma of sarcasm I detect?

      Reply
    • All those times Hamilton was not at the lead off spot were not experimenting, trying new things, following analytics, optimizing the lineup, etc.
      It was to “get him going.”
      Now that he got a few hits and drew some walks the last few games, he is “going” and we can put him back at leadoff.
      Get ready for mayhem and chaos on the basepaths tonight!

      Reply
    • Yeah Winker showed nothing batting leadoff. (Rolling of eyes) Pennington should never be starting. Blandino or any other young guy should be in there. FBI should be looking into this team. Because it seems somebody is betting on baseball. Nobody can be this stupid.

      Reply
  7. Ariel Hernandez DFA?
    Must be hanging out with Aroldis.

    Reply
  8. Weiss may or may not be ready. But the guy hadn’t pitched since spring training, and was making his major league debut. He was hardly set up to succeed, and maybe we shouldn’t judge him too harshly yet.

    Hamilton leading off. Blandino sitting. Yeesh.

    Reply
    • Yeesh.

      Reply
    • Agree with all three comments. That is the second time Price put a kid in the game making his MLB debut in a high leverage situation. To me that is terrible handling of pitchers. Tonight 2 outs before Votto hits.

      Reply
  9. Why oh why is Blandino sitting?

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  10. Last night should have been Rainey’s debut. Instead, he gets kicked around in a high leverage situation and loses confidence, comes in last night and won’t trust his stuff which obviously has great potential. Potential. Weiss looks like he’s 16 years old; wondering if he shaves? Both will get sent back for seasoning after their bitter taste of the big leagues. It might seem strange but I’m confident the pitchers in the organization will succeed. What bothers me is the poor defense and plate appearances. Ervin’s been around long enough to provide a ML at bat and adequate defense. Scooter can obviously hit but scares me when a ball his hit his way. Winker should be getting reps at first to spell Joey now and take over when he declines. He looks like he’s running in mud out there. Mes played LF a couple years back when it looked like he might not be able to catch anymore. Why not revisit that for some more ABs? Duvall needs spelled right now.

    Reply
  11. The Reds have a CF problem. Lorenzen has problems staying healthy as a pitcher, and he is not overwhelmingly successful as a pitcher. He was a good CF in college. He hit and has speed. How about transitioning him back to CF. I think he would have a longer career as a position player.

    Reply
    • I’ve said the same thing

      Reply
    • I would be interested in what the scouts thought of his ability to play CF before he was made a pitcher.

      Reply
      • Here’s a few.

        “He’s a good athlete with true plus-plus defense in center fielder. He has a plus-plus arm as well. Lorenzen would be an instant defensive upgrade over half of the ML centerfielders.”

        “Lorenzen boasts outstanding instincts in center field according to BA, with Law giving him an 80-grade arm. Mayo feels that pitching should be a backup plan given his outstanding tools in center field.”

        Reply
        • Face palm

          Reply
        • Sounds good to me but I have a feeling he would be exposed as a hitter, not having focused on that element for the past few seasons. But hell this team has nothing to lose and everything to gain. You just look at the excitement and production Ohtani is getting for the Angels… that is an experiment in the works, sure he is gifted, but the team is giving him the chance to prove himself. The Reds have a void in CF if the team had guts they would experiment more during ST and give a guy like Lorenzen reps in the OF to see what he can do. This team lacks imagination and thinking outside the box despite having literally nothing to lose, they can’t go lower in the standings yet they play the most predictable boring brand of baseball and lineup construction. I think we could all live with a bad team if they tried different things and stopped giving veterans like Pennington playing time over youngsters. We are all saying the same stuff yet no one in management cares, very frustrating to say the least.

          Reply
        • Thanks for that, Tom. Do I remember correctly that most teams were interested in him as a position player, not a pitcher? Someone else on here used to talk about that, maybe Ohio Jim?

          Reply
  12. Also, I don’t mean to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm at the idea of Suarez recovering quickly, but given this team’s track record of luck and poor medical diagnosis, I’m expecting him back sometime after the All Star break. Possibly with a prosthetic hand.

    Reply
  13. John Hart on MLB network said when you are rebuilding you want to start with being strong up the middle. (He was talking about the Braves) . Wonder what his analysis would be with the Reds about strong up the middle.

    Reply
  14. After 40 years as a Reds fan it is time to move on.

    The Reds have lost over 90 games 3 seasons in a row and are 2-10 so far this season. The plan is to do the same thing with the same players. Hamilton/Peraza 1-2 and Gennett clean up. Winker down in the order at least until Schebler is back

    A worthless back up infielder that has no business on a MLB roster getting another start while a young player is on the bench. Because?

    Is there a way to contact Williams?

    Reds fans enjoy your future of Gennett Hamilton Peraza Duvall Schebler Gosselin Pennington. Hope the Reds lose every game. They deserve all the failure in the future

    Reply
  15. I know it’s easy to blame issues with team on lineup construction, and I do think they are not optimizing their offense to get the most runs. But to me, the problems are much greater on the pitching side. The front office and Price have completely and utterly failed to draft, trade, and simply develop ML pitching. If the Reds want to contend they truly need to rethink their coaching and development of pitchers.

    Reply
  16. Winker was a late scratch? Anybody know what happened to him? Thank God it’s not Friday the 13th. Er, well, never mind that last part.

    Reply
    • Weaver has never given up a steal….interesting. Both havoc makers on first and they didn’t run….maybe they believe the hype?

      Outhomered 20-7 so far….maybe the Reds should try Winker, Votto, Suarez, Schebler, and Scooter 1 thru 5 at some point. Steals are overrated….esp when Ks are up and everyone is throwing 96. Nobody can hit situationally on this team either except for Joey. Unless you have .340+ obp with your speed then it doesn’t work.

      Reply
    • Several tweets indicate Winker was scratched due to a sore right shoulder. No other details.

      Reply
      • Wonderful! Let’s see, so that means he’ll be day to day for a week while we play short handed, then they’ll put him on the DL finally, DFA Aquino so they can recall Kivlehan. Does that sound about right?

        Reply
  17. There are plenty of people here at RLN who are better at explaining mechanics and arm slots and the like.

    But, to my eyes….holy cow. This Weaver kid and his motion. Looks like all core, minimal motion, easily popping 94-95. Sure seems like less chance of arm trouble, but can that even be taught? Looks natural from Weaver.

    I haven’t seen a delivery like this so far this season.

    Reply
  18. All of our pitchers need to learn to back opposing hitters off the plate. Mahles going to be a hell of a itcher for a long time. Needs to back these Cardinal sluggers up.

    Reply
  19. Mahle had better get these calls tonight. 2 of the 3 strikes to Ervin were way outside, and the LH batters have had a couple called on them, too.

    Reply
    • Agreed. Hamilton just had two pitches that looked outside called as strikes, and then a pitch that was at the top of the strike zone for strike 3

      Reply
      • Seems like umps have a harder time with the outside corner on LH hitters than any other thing. I remember all those calls on Jay Bruce that weren’t strikes.

        Reply
    • Agreed. At least acc to Fox tracks or whatever it’s called, Weaver’s getting anything just off the plate. Mahles getting squeezed.

      Reply
  20. That was a good pitch that Mahle made…below the knees middle-away but Molina just got it and the ball carries great the other way in GABP.

    If I was trying to find hitters to fix the Reds mess…I’d like for guy with opposite field power. You don’t need to pull it to find the seats in GABP. I’d love to see the Reds grab a guy like Wil Myers from the Pads He has 3 hrs in 29 atbats in GABP. Pay him with Mesoraco’s money next year and Homers $ after that.

    Reply
  21. Through the 1st handfull of games I’ve watched, there seems to be an awful lot of flinching at the plate when the opposing pitcher throws a curveball.

    Is Pedro Serrano our hitting coach?

    Reply
  22. Three strong innings for Mahle. The home run pitch was down, out of the strike zone. Just a great hit by Molina. Mahle working fast and has 5 Ks the first time through a tough Cardinals lineup.

    Need to get some runs!

    Reply
  23. It must be a lot easier to pitch when your first pitch balls routinely get called strikes. Ervin, Pennington, Hamilton…and that’s just since I started paying attention.

    Reply
    • You may be saying that our guys need to throw first pitch strikes too and I agree.
      But it seems our guys are getting squeezed on the strike zone or the pitch track is a little off.
      Many of Weaver’s pitches are called strikes even though pitch track shows an obvious gap between the pitch and the strike zone.
      Mahle has not been getting the same calls. His pitches have to get at least half of the baseball in the strike zone before it is called a strike.
      Anybody agree or am I hallucinating again?

      Reply
      • No, I agree. That’s what I meant, that Weaver was throwing balls but they were being called strikes.

        Reply
  24. Mes never steals strikes, with his stabbing technique

    Reply
    • Ryan Hannigan was the best at framing pitches. Said the most important thing was having a strong grip so you can catch the ball a few inches off the center of the mitt so you don’t have to move the mitt.

      Reply
    • The bigger theft is how many strikes Weaver is getting. And Mes doesn’t look too bad tonight.

      Reply
  25. Yea, baseball is so corrupt these days. What is this umpire doing, this is robbery in broad daylight! We need computer umps. At the very least audit the umpires based on the video evidence and grade them and dump the ones who treat opposing pitchers differently like this.

    Reply
  26. Cardinal broadcast talking about Marty.
    Cool story….Marty is most proud of quitting smoking. Got hypnotized in 1990, and hasn’t smoked since.

    Reply
  27. Somebody has to say it before it’s too late. No hitter going on!.

    Reply
    • Yeah, lets jinx the Cardinal pitcher.
      NO HITTER HERE!
      Hey everybody, the Cardinal pitcher has not given up a hit.
      Look, the Reds have not got a hit yet.
      (That should do it).

      Reply
      • With this offense you can bring a Haitian Vodoo priest and would not jinx them.
        But yeah, lets try.

        Reply
  28. Took Under 9.5 runs tonite….knew that line was an over reaction to last night. Mahle/Weaver are both pretty good!

    Reply
  29. Sure, why not swing at a ball down on the first pitch when you are being no-hit. SMH

    Reply
  30. We’ll prob see Jordan Hicks tonite. New hardest thrower in baseball at 21 yrs old.

    Reply
  31. Inserting “no-hitter alert” jinx post here.

    Reply
  32. Pennington. and then Pennington again.

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  33. Pennington. Ugh.

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  34. Pennington, 2 consecutive boots.

    Reply
  35. So glad DW found Pennington. Guy is such a talent with a huge ceiling in the future at 31 or whatever. What the hell is he thinking?

    Reply
  36. Took for granite all those great defensive infielder he had. Phillips, Cozart, Geno.
    It sure makes thin worse when you don’t catch the ball

    Reply
  37. Fortunately Blandino is watching from the clubhouse how not to play….

    Reply
  38. Mahle’s is great.

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  39. Bases loaded…no outs… no runs.
    Cards gonna Red

    Reply
  40. You look for positives at times like this, and Mahle did one heck of a job in that situation!

    Reply
  41. You heard it here first! 🙂

    Reply
  42. Mahle!!! Love the way this young guy competes. Gets the ball and gets after it!!

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  43. And Mahle overcomes the fielding miscues!! Nice job.

    Reply
  44. Mesoraco’s hit is gonna get overturned.

    Reply
  45. Not indisputable. Good call.

    Reply
  46. 3-1 and Ervin swings a popout. Take a freaking pitch, please!

    Reply
  47. Offense is sputtering. I don’t know what we need to do to inject energy into this offense. Everyone looks asleep at the plate. Mahle, like bailey has been, is pitching his heart out, and the guys can’t hit for him. Pathetic.

    Reply
  48. 3 games in Philly = 30 innings + 14 back home. Thats 1 inning short of 5 games played in bandboxs and we have 1 hr from Tucker

    Reply
  49. This one is over too….just a lineup mismatch. Mahle is going to have to learn how to change it up when they’ve seen you a couple times already.

    Try it again tomorrow:(

    Reply
  50. It’s always darkest just before dawn

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  51. Sorry Blandino, you don’t get to double switch into the 5-0 game…we have Goose for that.

    Reply
    • Let’s face it, there is only room for one of Goose/Penny … having both of them is redundant. So Price needs to pit them against one another to see which is better. So far its a pretty even battle although I am favoring the Goose.

      Reply
      • Its like you get to choose between 2 women for a date, but they take you to Walmart and they’re both using mobility scooters

        Reply
  52. Good news! The Cards still have to score 2 more runs or we can lower our team era of 6.13:)

    Good thing our boys balance that pitching excellence with being 29th in scoring

    Reply
  53. Does Price actually believe that if he wins a couple more games by playing Gosselton instead of Blandino–and other similar choices–it will help him get his next managing job?

    Reply
  54. The manager needs to be good – I don’t know if this is possible. It certainly is possible but with this front office controlling who manages, I’m not sure

    The roster still needs quite a bit and help from outside the organization. I’m not sure how good the young pitchers will be but again with the offense and pitching you are relying on the front office to make a lot of good decisions and execute. Not sure if that’s possible

    The front office has to be better. Not sure if that’s possible or not given everything to this point. They’ve done some good and some very questionable things. Maybe that’s their talent ceiling.

    A playoff / highly competitive 2019 seems like a lot more hope than probability.

    Reds have already pretty much lost me financially as I just don’t want to spend money on their games and I already find myself not caring if they win or lose because I think so much change is needed anyway. I wouldn’t want them to improve to mediocrity and it give any false sense of how close they are to being a good organization from top to bottom.

    Their rebuild does not appear anywhere close to say what the Astros or Cubs did. I understand they had more money but they also flat out had better front offices navigating their rebuilds.

    Reply
  55. Price conceding this game again, like other games.Letting Mahle pitch, to see what he can do when in trouble. Reds hitters…too many dead outs. Pennington, Gosselin, Hamilton most of the time, Peraza most of the time, Duvall hitting terribly so far, and whoever is the Reds Pitcher. Odds are with these players the other team’s pitchers is going to get an out from them. Reds have a great chance of losing 100 to 120 games this year.

    Reply
  56. Votto looks like he has moved up on the plate.

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  57. Mez goes yard…2 run shot

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  58. Thats really disappointing with Mahle. He held to Pitt to 1 run in 4 innings and then melted down. Same thing tonite in the 6th. He’s got to work on damage control and mixing up his sequences by the 3rd time thru the lineup. He has something though! I doubt Price can help him, but Tucker’s pretty smart! Never really had even a glimpse with alot of the guys they’ve had.

    Reply
  59. A wall-scraper for Mes, but they all count. Long time coming for him.

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  60. 1st hit for Blandino…congrats young man

    Reply
  61. What would be Gosselin be looking for there. Right down the middle. Geez.

    Reply
  62. I’m not sure what shocks me more … That the Cardinals would allow themselves to walk Hamilton, or that Hamilton would be able to NOT swing at enough bad pitches to actually get the walk.

    Reply
  63. Joey with the ribbie. How about a bomb, Scooter ????

    Reply
  64. I like this version of Billy. Take walks instead of flailing line drives and pop flies for outs.

    Reply
  65. Is there a worse base runner in all of baseball than Joey Votto? That’s ridiculous to get picked off in that situation.

    Reply
    • All those singles make up for it.

      Reply
    • Votto was a halfway decent runner 6 or 7 years ago. These last three, four years JV has been almost Adam Dunn bad, really awful on the basepaths. Inattentive.

      Maybe it’s because he’s thinking about hitting when he’s on base as was captured the other day.

      It’s pretty scary the Reds might be saddled with $150MM for the next six years of a very mediocre player. He turned it around in June 2016 after a miserable start. These two weeks aren’t as bad but one has to shake their head over how lucky the Cards were to get away from Albert Pujols because the Angels were intent on outspending St.Louis while the Reds most unfortunate in tying up Joey Votto because they were intent on keeping him here for his whole career. The Reds could easily have lost 90+ games the last four years without Votto (including this year because it’s a foregone conclusion with Price’s mismanagement of resources the Reds will easily get there).

      Reply
  66. OMG…Votto checking out mentally twice now!!!!!

    We’re in frigging game 13????????????? Come on???????

    Reply
  67. That guy was hanging slider after slider too….decent chance Mes ties it up. That is inexecusable. The double play in Pitt was worse but both are just totally stupid

    Reply
  68. He is Hall of Famer for sure, but no one is above being criticized, when warranted.

    He is reacting on the bases so far this season like an old man, which in baseball terms, he is.

    Reply
    • Speed goes with age and can’t be replicated. Maybe JV is trying to cheat to make up for losing speed, like he did with the bat by choking up with 2 strikes.

      Reply
    • No…thats brain cramps. Liked he’s bored or its game 159 and he’s ready to go home. He’s only 34. I was playing poker with laser focus for 24 hours straight and I was older then that. Little fly ball with men on 1st/2nd in Pitt and he can’t even watch the runner on 2nd and gets doubled up. Crazy? Its like ADD or something?

      Reply
      • He’s the guy who was saying before the season how it’s time to put the losing seasons behind us, trying to be a team leader. Fair enough, but how about keeping your head in the game when you’re on the bases then?

        Reply
        • I love Joey and he’s got a weird sense of humor which I enjoy plus he’s obviously a great hitter. I think though….he’s a thinker and not just a guy that goes out and plays. I think he sees this franchise is going nowhere and his prime is about over. Just a guess. I’m sure he wouldn’t be doing that if he was in Boston’s lineup or somebody in first place.

          Reply
          • 35 games out of 1st with him or 40 game’s out without him. PLEASE ACCEPT A TRADE.

    • When the team is going through tough times it’s easy to “single” out one player. But c’mon, 14 games and 0 extra base hits.
      But Pennington, Duvall and Hamilton get the heat. Add to that horrendous base running.

      Reply
  69. Nobody is paying 25 mil/year thru age 39.

    Reply
    • Only an elite team could do it, if an injury forced their hand and they needed offense down the stretch and for playoffs.

      Reply
  70. Not only are these umpires terrible — they almost look like they enjoy making calls they know are wrong.

    Reply
  71. And this one…does not belong to the Reds (either)

    Reply
  72. Derek Jeter for GM!!!!! Miami has 4 wins and Votto could buy and sell their whole roster. Heck….Mesoraco probably could.

    Reply

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2018 Reds, Game Thread

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