Tonight the Reds (2-13, 5th place NL Central) open their second road trip of the season versus the Brewers (8-8, 4th place NL Central)  at Miller Park in Milwaukee. As if it weren’t disheartening enough that the Reds already find themselves 9 games off the pace being set by the division leading Pirates, they are 5.5 games in arrears to the Brewers, the next team up the ladder. The Reds current MLB worst record represents the team’s slowest start since 1931 when Herbert Hoover was President and my 88 year old mother was looking forward to her second birthday.  But another day means another chance to try and right the ship.

Starting Pitching

Luis Castillo makes his fourth start of the season for the Reds. The Reds right handed phenom showed signs of  recovering his 2017 form in his most recent start last week.  He recorded a minimal quality start against the Phillies allowing 3 runs over 6 innings in a game the Reds eventually lost 4-3 in 12 innings.  Castillo  struck out 4 and walked none in that performance but did allow 2 home runs. Also to the positive side of the ledger, he recorded the 21 outs on 89 pitches, a pitch per out rate of just under 5 which was a step forward for him in 2018.

Left hander Brent Suter will be the Brewers starter.  Suter made his MLB debut with the Brewers in 2016  making 14 appearances of which only 2 were starts. He continued his development as a starting pitcher last season making 14 starts in 22 total MLB appearances. This year so far he is a rotation regular. Suter relies on control and location versus raw power in his pitching.  The Reds will need to be patient and selective versus Suter.

Here are the 2018 numbers for tonight’s starters

Luis Castillo 3.79 2.25 5.8% 18.8%
Brent Suter 4.87 0.59 7.1% 15.7%


Thanks to Homer Bailey’s strong 7 inning effort on Sunday the Reds bullpen, such as it is, finds itself in reasonably good form.  However Amir Garrett who worked an outstanding 1.2 innings in relief of Bailey on Sunday would figure to have very limited if any availability tonight.

The Brewers had 2 sub five innings starts versus the Mets this weekend; but the bullpen innings were spread over a number of pitchers. In addition by being the road team, the Brewers had to cover only 8 innings in one of the games they lost to the Mets. Like Garrett for the Reds, Taylor Williams worked 1.2 innings Sunday and may be unavailable tonight.


             REDS           BREWERS
1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Scooter Gennett (2B)
6. Phillip Ervin (RF)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Phil Gosselin (3B)
9. Luis Castillo (P)
1. Jonathan Villar (2B)
2. Lorenzo Cain (CF)
3. Domingo Santana (RF)
4. Travis Shaw (3B)
5. Jesus Aguilar (1B)
6. Hernan Perez (LF)
7. Orlando Arcia (SS)
8. Jett Bandy (C)
9. Brent Suter (P)


Still no Jesse Winker; and, his appearance yesterday as a pinch runner resets the disabled list  back date count to 0 should it come to that. I’m guessing the roster move for Scott Schebler’s apparently pending return from the DL will be Winker going to the DL and not Phil Ervin going back to AAA.  Also no Alex Blandino (again).

News and Notes

The weather is very wintery in Milwaukee today.  Ever wonder how a team decides whether or not to play when they have an enclosed stadium?

On the road back we hope…..

Here is some good news on a cold day for fans of an even colder team

Final Thoughts

These are tough times for the Reds and Reds fans. It keeps getting harder and harder to believe things will get better because while there are short spurts where things do get better, the overall long term trend seems to be that they haven’t gotten significantly better than they were at the start of the current “rebuild”.

When it is not baseball season, one of the  teams I follow to fill in the winter months is the Columbus Blue Jackets, once a the perennial laughing stock of NHL.  Believe me when I say if the CBJ can currently be in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the third time in 5 years and leading their current playoff series 2-0 on the back of consecutive overtime road wins, then the Reds can return to contention.

But a contention comeback for the Reds  isn’t going to happen unless and until their organization comes square up with the reality of where they are at,  realizes that significant portions of their rebuild  are not working right and make make the underlying organizational changes necessary to correct the resulting problems we all see on the field of play. Let’s hope this process is already starting to occur inside the management suites at GABP. In the meantime, as always,  Go Reds.

Data and Stats courtesy of and Fangraphs

116 Responses

  1. Tom Mitsoff

    I live and work about 90 minutes west of Milwaukee. There will be a lot of people bundled up in winter garb as they enter Miller Park. In Madison we had three inches of snow over the weekend. The advantages of a retractable roof!

    • Jim Walker

      Tom> I was wondering if the seating areas and field at Miller Park are specifically heated or if they just get residual heat from the concourses and office areas? Would you care to take a guess at what the probable temps on the field and in the seats will be tonight.

      • True Creature

        I live in Milwaukee. It’ll be in the mid 60s or more inside Miller tonight.

    • Jeff Reed

      Madison is a great place, U. of W., state capital, and beautiful lakes.

      • Dave Roemerman

        I second that. I lived in Wisconsin Rapids for a while and called Madison “Mecca” because I had to make the pilgrimage to somewhere I liked every few months, haha. Best college town in America, for my money (I’ve seen a lot of the Big Ten and lived in Gainesville and Chapel Hill both). Clean, friendly, educated, pretty – only thing I really dislike is the weather!

    • Jim Walker

      It is just coming up on 6 years since the Nash trade. At least in public perception that was probably CBJ’s lowest point much like many feel about the Reds now. Yet in the time since they’ve been in the playoffs 3 of the 6 seasons. Shows what can be done once a front office has a fire under it and moves with direction, focus and purpose. The curve may be a little quicker in the NHL than in MLB but even allowing for that, I think the Reds are still behind it rather than on the front edge.

  2. JB WV

    Some good news, as Stephenson the catcher is off to a great start. Which is worse: playing baseball in the low 30’s or golf?

  3. Indy Red Man

    I think the Reds win tonite! They’re missing Yelich, Thames, and Braun. Thats as bad as Suarez and Schebler. Castillo worries me though? When he came up he popped 100mph once in a while and was regulars 97-98. These last 2 starts it was more like 95-96 with an occasional 97. He’s primarily a 2 pitch starter at this point so he needs that velocity. Hopefully he just needs to loosen up from the cold like everyone else!

    • Sliotar

      This is a good call, Indy.

      I was putting together my lineup tonight on DraftKings and noticed all the scratches. Shaw is a potential pain, but he can be worked around with this lineup.

      Miller Park is great for LHs (cough, Votto, cough) to hit HRs and get their numbers up.

      Overall, just getting out of Cincinnati right now and out of the cold and into a dome may be just what this team needs.

      Go Redlegs.

    • Jack

      Thames and Braun are Reds killers. We have a chance.

  4. Jim Walker

    Hear what you are saying. I’ve seen a lot of Twitter traffic speculating that Castillo doesn’t seem to be the same pitcher so far.

    On the other hand Mario Soto rode his fastball and change up a long way. I know he supposedly also threw a slider but my recollection is it was really a flat cutter for the most part, 3-5 MPH slower than his best heater.

  5. JB WV

    The really good ones get better as the season rolls on. Castillo is one of those guys, I hope.

  6. Bill Moore

    I heard Chris Welch say that Castillo had changed his delivery back to the way it was while pitching in the Marlins minor leagues but I don’t remember the particulars.

  7. Sliotar

    Bryce Harper just broke his bat off a pitch by Jacob deGrom….and still hit a HR to right-center field. Awesome highlight to be played like a 1000 times on SportsCenter.

    He is on fire and entering his free agent year. Nice timing.

  8. Timmy RedLeg

    I think Castillos problem, along with every other starter on this staff,(except for Bailey & Mahle at times), is that they don’t locate well. If you haven’t already done so, look at where the catcher puts his target (the mit), and see how close the pitch comes to that target. This has been the case for just about every pitcher that has come up over the last couple of years. Reed, Stephenson, Davis, etc… They can get away with it more often in the Minor Leagues, but not so much in the Major Leagues.

    • Jim Walker

      And the other side of this is when they are wild out of the zone, hitters at MLB are less likely to chase; and their walk rates go up.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Timmy, you hit the nail on the head. I have caught glimpses of the game during errands and stops tonight, and have noticed that Castillo is, by and large, getting ahead and locating well in the strike zone. The one who I think is particularly guilty of nibbling / poor location so far is Romano.

  9. Indy Red Man

    If they don’t score much tonite then it might be ugly all April? 1-7 hitters are 9-22 with 5 walks off Suter. Duvall has just been depressing? Seems like he’s down 0-2 over half his at-bats.

  10. Indy Red Man

    96 mph to K Villar….beautiful location but his velocity bothers me? He was hitting 98-99 regularly last year

    • VaRedsFan

      He did come up in July last year…i think.

  11. VaRedsFan

    Ervin looked much more comfortable against the lefty starter. Early season AB’s scream platoon.

    • Indy Red Man

      Definitely. I crunched some numbers and had to take the Reds Over 3.5 runs tonite. Not breaking out the victory cigar yet but I like their chances!

  12. VaRedsFan

    2nd time I’ve seen Peraza swing at the 1st pitch with Billy on 1st. Pitcher on the ropes, and a chance for havoc, all negated

  13. VaRedsFan

    Dick Williams on Amir Garrett starting:

    Moving Amir Garrett from the bullpen to the rotation: “It’s certainly something we’re open to longer term. He was put in the bullpen because we wanted him to experience success. We thought he was more likely to experience success in those shorter windows. It certainly seemed in spring training he got those results.

    • VaRedsFan

      “Do you assume that success will extrapolate over six- or seven-inning starts? There’s a chance that it might. But we want to be more sure of it before we go changing his role. Right now, we put him there to experience success and he is. His stuff has ticked up. The velocity is higher. The stuff is sharper. You do have to question whether if you change the role would it go back to the performance we saw in the second half of last year.

      “Right now, let’s let him experience the success. And we’ve got a group of young starters we believe in, and if we let them pitch, they’re going to find success. But we have not closed the door on Amir starting.”

      • Indy Red Man

        I don’t feel like its that big of a deal with Amir. They’re so inexperienced that a bunch of guys are going to get a shot and you can’t have a 9 man rotation. I hope we see Garrett, Stephenson, Nicolino, and Lorenzen all get a shot. I’m not too high on Finnegan and Romano but they’re in there for now so we’ll see what happens. About the only good thing about losing huge is that its not a big deal if you lose a few extra games if you get see what more people can do.

      • VaRedsFan

        I feel that he was very sharp pre-injury last year, and he was the sharpest of all the pitchers this Spring. In this case, the Reds aren’t rewarding the player that improved the most. Finnegan is a non-starter IMO.

    • DB32

      Don’t drink the Dick Williams cool aid. He has no clue on what he speaks.

  14. VaRedsFan

    4 pitch walk to the pitcher out of nowhere

  15. VaRedsFan

    Ervin, another kick in the OF, both runner advance

    • Indy Red Man

      Not only the boot…but then he was fooled again when the guy took the extra base. Just assume the guy is going and get the dang ball? Peraza didn’t flag down the throw either? Amateur hour again?

  16. VaRedsFan

    Super changeup by Castillo tonight.

  17. VaRedsFan

    WOW…Sogard just missed a 3 run HR….foul

    • VaRedsFan

      Castillo wins the battle with a groundout. Big time pitching

  18. VaRedsFan

    Duvall/Scooter…back to back doubles

  19. Indy Red Man

    Duvall is starting to get going…..the ball jumps off his bat and the Reds don’t have enough guys that can do that! If he can just take the walks when the pitchers start nibbling. His opb in Arizona was good this spring!

  20. seat101

    You think this guy is ever going to describe what’s happening on the field? He just goes off on a Ramblin discursive talk and he doesn’t tell us about The game.

  21. VaRedsFan

    Castillo delivers 2 out rbi single!!

  22. VaRedsFan

    Peraza pulling the ball again….gets a double down the line….2 more rbis

  23. seat101

    I think Joey has half the number of extra-base hits that Peraza has, amirite?

  24. renbutler

    Can we play indoors every night?

    (Well, not at Rogers Centre…)

    • VaRedsFan

      The could wear helmets in the field though…right?

  25. VaRedsFan

    Votto tags his 1st XBH…rbi double. This is fun!

  26. Wobaisnotyoda

    Great, when the game is 8-0 Joey comes through….baby steps, I guess.

    • Eric the Red

      Yes, sometimes one at bat can take the pressure off and get a guy going. Duvall, for example, has resembled an actual major league hitter for the past couple of days. Votto will be fine.

    • Jazzmanbbfan

      Your Votto hatred is getting old. You’ve made it clear how you feel so you can let it go now.

      • Wobaisnotyoda

        And your worship on him is getting older. Now go and have a blast with the losing – it’s your right, but don´t go on telling nobody else to drink your Koolaid.

      • Jazzmanbbfan

        Good luck finding all my posts worshipping Votto. They don’t exist.

      • Wobaisnotyoda

        Or my hatred posts either. Just telling it as I see it.

        By the way, HE FAILED. AGAIN.

  27. Eric the Red

    Well, that was fun. But stay sharp, guys!

  28. Jack

    1st place here we come!! Lol just trying to stay positive

  29. Ernest

    Strange. Votto has an MVP and almost another one, yet, he still gets ridiculed on this site.

    • seat101

      I think Joey Votto must’ve walked on somebody’s lawn or something

    • J

      Votto makes a lot of money, so the fact that he’s one of the best hitters in the major leagues year after year isn’t good enough.

    • VaRedsFan

      Exactly how would you go about sugar coating the start to his 2018 season?

  30. Indy Red Man

    Its been fun!! Its hard to score 9+ runs without HRs but they’ve done it

  31. Old-school

    Bailey. Castillo.mahle and Ramono need to keep pitching every 5th day . I like Garrett….but it’s ok to give Finnegan 8-10 starts and let Reed and stephenson go every 5 th in AAA. It shouldn’t be hard to give Garrett lots of important MLB innings abd ready to step in. That’s what 2018 is about. Starting pitching.
    Castillo is back on track…maybe he doesn’t like 39 degrees and raining. I sure dont.

  32. Preach

    Missed most of this game. Looks like it’s been the most fun of the year

  33. turbobuckeye

    Now THIS is the sort of game we were hoping for this year!

  34. Preach

    Billy sure plays great defense. He saved another run there

    • Indy Red Man

      Yes he did….great jump on the ball!

      Baby steps for Castillo. Very good but this is Milw’s B team with Yelich, Braun, and Thames out. He has to quit grooving 0-2 pitches….thats 4 runs in the last 2 games on bad 0-2 pitches to the 8th and 9th hitters. I think he got squeezed on the walk before though…first 2 pitches were right there and the ump made it 2-0?

      • Eric the Red

        No one will ever see this comment, but I watch the games after the fact on and then go through the comments. You are absolutely right about Castillo getting squeezed on the walk (to the guy making his MLB debut.) The first pitch was a straight fastball in the center of the plate and just above center of the strike zone. One of the worst non-strike calls you’ll ever see. No idea why–pitcher throwing strikes all night, GG catcher, rookie at the plate, 9 run game…really poor by the ump, and a shame for Castillo.

  35. VaRedsFan

    So a relief pitcher spoils the shut out…crazy

  36. tomn

    Cody needs to come through here. One damn out.

  37. Indy Red Man

    Reed? I’ve had enough of him already. He’s not a big league pitcher. Period

    • Jack

      Is it me or his location is terrible. He hardly hits the target every time. He needs to go to AAA and start and find some success.

  38. VaRedsFan

    Ughhh…Castillo gets 2 more ER’s added to his line

  39. Preach

    1 strike to the relief pitcher to get a shut out, instead gives up 4 runs. Baseball is a vicious game sometimes

  40. Old-school

    Castillo throws a gem….then is inconsolable over one pitch. . He will be fine.
    Reed needs to go to AAA and get better.

  41. tomn

    This game isn’t over. Wouldn’t surprise me to see Cain hit a hr here

  42. renbutler

    All three Reds pitchers tonight currently have identical 6.75 ERAs.

  43. DetroitRedleg

    When was Cody’s last appearance? Why do they keep messing with him?

  44. Preach

    Looking at the Brewers score card, there are an awful lot of guys I’m clueless about, and they are still scoring runs. Wow, this bullpen.

  45. VaRedsFan

    So if it stays a 5 run lead, will Price use Iggy? (who pitched yesterday)

  46. tomn

    Send Reed to AAA. Please. Give herget a chance.

  47. Indy Red Man

    Quackenbush….nothing but high 90-91 mph fastballs. I could scout him for 2 innings and figure out that he would never make it in GABP? He’d be bad anywhere but he’s going to give up 15 HRs if he pitches 50 innings for the Reds

  48. Preach

    Different sport, but the Blue Jackets were down by 2 goals early in both their play off games, and I wasn’t worried at all. Reds are up 9-0 and I’m still nervous. 9-4 is way too close going into the 8th

    • Indy Red Man

      Same thing with my Pacers yesterday….had a 21 pt lead in the 3rd quarter and the Cavs cut it to 7 as the Pacers stupidly fouled Love as he hit a 3. I was sure that was a sign of another collapse but they won by 18

    • VaRedsFan

      As of now, it’s out of Hoover’s range with the 5 run lead

      • Preach

        I forgot all about “Hoover Range ” LOL

  49. Preach

    After his breakout tonight, Billy is up to .196. Sounds like he’s ready to keep the leadoff spot

    • Jack

      Over 300 OBP too . What the hell is going on out there?

    • Old-school

      Thom and Chris agree.The Billy PR machine fueled by Big Bob is back in full swing. This team has the mojo with Hamilton closing in on .198 and a home run. According to Thom….Duvall the slugger is knocking the cover off the ball. He’s approaching .200 now with his OBP pushing .250. The Big Red Machine is rolling.
      ..Billy was hitting leadoff before Winker was scratched Friday. Winker was in the 6 hole. Only Bob Castellini could leverage 2-13 and the worst offense in baseball as justification for Billy to get back to the leadoff spot.

  50. tomn

    Castillo pitched an awesome game. He’s getting there. Shouldn’t have walked the 8 batter then the opposing pitcher with his first hit ever (I think).

    • Indy Red Man

      First ever atbat yeah….he’s a reliever. Have to nibble atleast once…prob twice. Castillo will learn!

  51. tomn

    Great seeing Duvall have a good game finally.

  52. VaRedsFan

    Duvall with good results the last 2 games

  53. Preach

    6 run lead going into the magical 8th inning. Still a nail biter

  54. VaRedsFan

    Any word on the time table for the relievers that are out?

    • Indy Red Man

      I read something about Lorenzen the other day. He feels good and has been long tossing, but they’re not rushing it. Its his shoulder. He’s getting an MRI this week. Maybe 3 weeks? Haven’t heard anything about Shackelford. He’s not great but he’s 10x better then Reed and Quackenblast

      • Preach

        Quackenblast……..i can’t breathe…..

  55. Preach

    No hits but 9 walks in 6 innings. Scary

  56. Preach

    Wow, great throw to first. That was a cannon right there

  57. Wobaisnotyoda

    Among the positives, Wandy Peralta, no doubt.

  58. VaRedsFan

    There’s Iggy to protect the 6 run lead

    • Tom Diesman

      He’s in for the Price “Save” your arse.

  59. VaRedsFan

    Scooter has had a good game defensively tonight….That was spectacular

  60. Indy Red Man

    Wow….Scooter? What a play!!

  61. Tom Mitsoff

    And this one belongs to the Reds. 🙂

  62. tomn

    Brandon would have been proud of that play.

  63. J

    Chris Welsh explaining why it’s really not so bad that Iglesias only has only had two save opportunities — it’s because the Braves have only had two and the Cubs have only had three. (Or something like that.) Someone needs to tell him he’s not required to say every dumb thing that pops into his head.

    • Dave Roemerman

      Lol. Let’s send him outta town with Price, Williams, Castellini, and both Brennamans (should be the Brennamen, as I’ve been told about my last name). While we’re at it, burn down the GASP and have the Bengals pay for a pitcher’s haven!

      • jazzmanbbfan

        I normally like Welsh but I agree that was just a bunch of stupid coming out of his mouth.