An axiom cited by managers, coaches, players and executives in all sports is that you are never as bad as you look when you are on a losing streak, and never quite as good as you think you are when on a hot streak.
Keep that in mind as the Reds continue to search for ways out of this horrendous 2-11 start, the worst of any Reds team since 1955. A loss today for the home team would mean the Reds would equal the 14-game start of the infamous 1962 New York Mets, who finished 40-120. On the other side of that spectrum is the 1955 Reds team that started 2-11 and rallied to finish 75-79. While we’re all hoping for nothing less than competitiveness and excellence, we would all probably say that this current team finishing with 75 wins would be acceptable progress.
Every aspect of the team – starting pitching, relief pitching, hitting and defense – has been tough to watch over the first 13 games. And of course, the game management fits into that category as well. It was interesting to hear Jim Day and Chris Welsh talk last night after Cliff Pennington’s wide throw to second base on what should have been a double-play ball that Pennington’s arm was sore after pitching the night before. If the announcers knew that, you would presume the manager knew it. That wide throw could have been completely unrelated to any arm soreness, but during streaks like this, the negatives just compound.
Like Joey Votto getting picked off first base in the eighth inning with the tying run at the plate. That was one of a couple of baserunning gaffes by Votto so far this season that can only be explained by a lack of focus on the game situation. The team leader must set a better example than that.
Redleg Nation hopes a substantial reversal of these early season fortunes will begin today in the 1:10 p.m. Eastern time game three of a four-game set against the St. Louis Cardinals.
|Brandon Finnegan (2017)||13||4.15||4.79||7.7%||19.2%|
Righthander Mikolas has 103 Major League innings pitched since 2013 with the Padres, Rangers and now the Cardinals. According to Fangraphs:
Mikolas exhausted rookie eligibility in 2012 but has been refining his stuff in Japan before the Cardinals inked him to a two-year deal this offseason. He has a naturally cutting fastball in the low 90s, an average slider and curveball, a fringe changeup, and above-average command. Reports coming out of Japan indicate his command and sequencing have really matured and he now profiles as a solid fourth starter.
Finnegan makes his first Major League appearance of the year after a rehab start in Louisville. The lefthander experienced biceps tightness during spring training after missing most of the 2017 season, and is hopeful that today will begin an effective and injury-free season.
It was not at all surprising that righthander Zack Weiss was optioned to Louisville to make room on the 25-man roster for Finnegan.
Prior to last night’s game, the Reds selected the contract of righthander Dylan Floro from Louisville. Manager Bryan Price mentioned his featured sinkerball as part of the rationale for his promotion. The 27-year-old has a career ERA of 5.11 in 24 innings with the Rays and Cubs over the past two years.
To create a spot for Floro, the Reds sent Tanner Rainey back to Louisville. But a spot on the 40-man roster was needed for Floro, so righthander Ariel Hernandez was designated for assignment. This was the guy with the incredible breaking pitch, remember? Apparently the front office has seen enough of him after inconsistent control in his major league stint last season and in spring training.
The roster moves of the past 18 hours mean that Cody Reed is now in the bullpen.
|CF Tommy Pham||CF Billy Hamilton|
|SS Paul DeJong||SS Jose Peraza|
|1B Jose Martinez||1B Joey Votto|
|LF Marcell Ozuna||2B Scooter Gennett|
|C Yadier Molina||LF Adam Duvall|
|RF Harrison Bader||C Tucker Barnhart|
|3B Yairo Munoz||RF Phillip Ervin|
|2B Greg Garcia||3B Cliff Pennington|
|P Miles Mikolas||P Brandon Finnegan|
News and Notes
Interesting comments by Bryan Price about his managerial style and outlook during last night’s radio pre-game show:
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.