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.
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
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.
|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?
— Enquirer Sports (@ENQSports) April 16, 2018
On the road back we hope…..
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 16, 2018
Here is some good news on a cold day for fans of an even colder team
No. 9 Reds prospect Tyler Stephenson went 2-for-4 for Daytona last night and leads the Florida State League with a .455 average, .727 slugging percentage and 1.288 OPS. He ranks second in the league with a .561 OBP, 15 hits and 6 extra-base hits. #RedsMiLB pic.twitter.com/Pnv1hKQpr0
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 16, 2018
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.