The Cincinnati Reds (5-20) make a rare trip to Minneapolis this weekend to take on the  the Minnesota Twins (8-12). The Reds last played the Twins in 2012 at Great American Ball Park, and last played in Minneapolis in 2001 at the Metrodome. This will be the Reds’ first trip to Target Field.

Playing in Minnesota in April isn’t always the most ideal, especially when the Twins don’t have a roof, but it looks like the weather will be tolerable for afternoon games on Saturday and Sunday, with highs in the 50’s and 60’s. The Reds just have to get past a low of 37 degrees tonight.

The Twins enter tonight’s game having lost seven in a row, including giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth to lose on a walk-off against the Yankees Thursday. While they started the season relatively well at 8-5, it’s been a rough week for the Twins. The team has a combined OPS of .705, 11th of 15 American League teams. The Twins are 10th in the AL with a 4.90 team ERA, and have given up 29 homes runs.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Luis Castillo 27.2 6.51 4.04 20.0% 9.2%
Phil Hughes  3.1 5.40 6.10 12.5% 12.5%

Castillo is coming off a performance against the Cardinals in which he surrendered three runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking four. Most concerning so far this season about Castillo has been his lack of command. He’s walked 11 batters in five starts. Last year, he walked 32 batters in 15 starts. For more on Castillo’s early struggles, go check out Chad’s piece for Cincinnati Magazine this week:

Hughes started the season on the disabled list, and returned last Saturday, pitching 3.1 innings against the Rays and allowing two runs on five hits, including a home run, while walking two and striking out two. Hughes is trying to come back from two surgeries for Thoracic outlet syndrome, which has been more common among MLB pitchers recently it seems.

Five Reds have faced Hughes in limited at-bats. The only one who doesn’t have any success against him is Joey Votto.

reds vs phil hughes


1. Jesse Winker (DH)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Adam Duvall (LF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
1. Brian Dozier (2B)
2. Joe Mauer (1B)
3. Miguel Sano (3B)
4. Eddie Rosario (LF)
5. Max Kepler (CF)
6. Eduardo Escobar (SS)
7. Logan Morrison (DH)
8. Robbie Grossman (RF)
9. Jason Castro (C)


-The Reds finally found a way to get all four outfielders into the lineup: go to an AL ballpark and have the DH. (This is by no means my endorsement for the DH).

News and Notes

-Jesse Winker needs to play everyday.

-I write about Joey Votto’s lack of power thus far this season and then he hits a home run in three straight games. Go figure.

Final Thoughts

With Cliff Pennington and Phil Gosselin both sent down to Louisville, it looks like Alex Blandino will get extended time with the Reds. This is a good thing, but I can’t help but wonder (along with every other Reds fan) why he didn’t start the season with the big league club. Obviously the Reds aren’t going to tell why that was the case, but it would be interesting to hear Dick William’s reasoning behind it.

73 Responses

  1. Jeff Reed

    It’s past time for the Reds to win a series in 2018.

    • Sliotar

      5-20 is just mind numbing.

      Watching the games this first month, I know why that is the record. But, still, for a team that Dick Williams said like 5 weeks ago he expected to see “make progress”….yikes.

      Go Redlegs.

  2. Redsfan4life

    I am on a island here by myself , but I prefer the DH. Teams are for the most part going to 8 man bull pens and 4 man benches anyway. I hate sac bunting and I hate seeing pitchers attempt to bat.
    For every Madison Bumgarner there is 1,000 pitcher that hit .056

    • Sliotar

      I am on that island with you, Reds Fan.

      Spot on about the bullpens crowding (pun intended) out the bench players.

      And, the old saw about “tradition” no longer washes well, with an interleague series going at all times and common umpire crews.

      The Reds would certainly benefit with a DH role to place Votto into during the “out years” of his contract, maximizing whatever he has left then with the bat.

      The DH is likely coming in the next collective bargaining agreement starting in 2022, anyway.

  3. JR

    Cannot stand the DH. But if you want a 12 or 13 man pitching staff, you’d better have position players that can hit. It’s that simple. Pamper the pitchers, get good hitters. To that effect, good riddance to Gosselin and Pennington. They never should have been on the roster in the first place.

  4. Hanawi

    Might be time to start worrying about Castillo

    • Indy Red Man

      I’ve been saying that that for a while now. He needs to try some AAA for a while. Give Garrett a shot and then someone new if Finnegan doesn’t get going. They need to start penalizing some guys for poor performance. 8 or 9 or 10 era for Castillo isn’t just struggling a little bit.

      • Jack

        Agree. If we can criticize the other pitchers, and say they need to go down or whatever, then so can Castillo. He needs to find it.

      • Bill

        Many were convinced he was the Ace of the staff and had written off Bailey, Disco, and Finnegan as being damaged goods incapable of pitching again. I think he will figure it out, but being a young pitcher with little experience it is not realistic to think he is going to compete for the Cy Young. I do have serious doubts about what is going on with all these pitchers. How many top or former top 100 prospects do the Reds have getting lit up in AAA and the majors? Finnegan, Reed, Stephenson, Castillo, and Mahle I believe have all be top prospects at one time

      • Jack

        Thom ” Schebler is going to tie the game with a two run double and the Reds are within one.” What the hell is he drinking up there?

  5. Chuck

    Over 30 pitches in 1 inning is not good.

  6. J

    How many times has this pitching staff given up big hits after throwing basically the same pitch at least five consecutive times? Does anyone on this team actually watch any of these games?

  7. docproctor

    Man, this Castillo stuff is getting old.

  8. Jazzmanbbfan

    Wow. Turned away to the NFL draft for a few minutes and tune back in to this…???

  9. Indy Red Man

    The few good feelings from offense they get always seem to get immediately reversed with the other team scoring. I guess thats one of the marks of a bad team. How bout they ship out Castillo/Finnegan and go with Garrett and Justin Nicolino.

    • Indy Red Man

      Senzel has his 2nd Hr tonite by the way

  10. J

    1-2 count and Schebler watches a fastball right over the plate. 2-0 count and Barnhart swings at what appeared to be ball three. I don’t watch enough baseball to know if other teams are this consistently stupid, but it’s hard for me to believe too many are.

  11. Kywhi

    Suffering through these 25-plus games of the worst Reds baseball in my lifetime makes me worry I have become a masochist in my later years. Otherwise, why would any sane person keep subjecting himself to this type of pain?

    • Indy Red Man

      Just expect the worst then you’ll be pleasantly surprised 60 times this year! Try being an Indiana Hoosier football fan. Highlights are “Hey we led Ohio State at halftime” or “Hey we took Michigan to overtime”

  12. Seat101

    Well slowly but Shirley were coming back. Nice at bat by Scooter

  13. Indy Red Man

    Miles Mikolas for the Cards tonite….7ip 2er. He’s now walked 2 guys in 40 innings! It was West Virginia on here that suggested the Reds sign him. He’s only 28 and the Cards got him for 2 years/15.5 mil. About half per year of what our backup catcher makes:( Thanks DW…..for nothing

    • Redsfan4life

      How good would it be to watch a Reds pitcher go 40 inns and only walk 2?

  14. turbobuckeye

    The Castillo outing adds to the concern about him potentially having an injury we don’t yet know about.

  15. Indy Red Man

    We could’ve brought up a Single A kid and they couldn’t have hit the ball any harder then they have tonite. Just absolute missiles! Quackelford isn’t my cup of tea:(

  16. Redsfan4life

    This is going to be another 12 plus run game. I am sure after Shakleford is taken out after giving up 5 runs. Floro will be up next to give up another 4 or 5.

  17. Old-school

    Reds pitching needs to get better.
    But, another example that hitting rules the day. How much did Billy Hamilton’s defense impact today or yesterday or the day before or before that .Now, he’s due to do something ridiculous in CF or on the basepath. .. but so what….we are 5-21.

    Another 3-7 stretch and this team is firmly in 100 loss discussion

    • Bill

      Hear Thom stating the FO line when he mentions “the speedy Hamilton on 2nd”.

    • Redsfan4life

      I agree. Nobody wanted to see Billy succed more than me. He is exciting player to watch but he has had more than enough chances. He isn’t ever going to hit. He is what he is. Soon to be a expensive late inn. Def. replacment/pinch runner. Which is how he should be used right now. That and a few starts when Reds play on the road in some bigger OFs.

  18. Aaron Bradley

    Did you guys read the Castellini interview last week? He basically admitted DW isn’t allowed to make personnel decisions. Everything is done by committee. And you know Jocketty is on that committee. Bob disputes he is making decisions but admits he presents his ideas to this committee and gives them the opportunity to disagree with him. It sounds totally dysfunctional and explains why there is no direction and just seemingly random signings like Gallardo, Pennington, Revere, etc. Its such a clusterfudge its beyond repair. He also said no one made a good offer for Billy. I will bet anything they don’t initiate trades, they just sit back and wait for an over-the-top offer to come along. Its really sad, we need a proactive GM with vision and a plan and not having Jocketty and other old dinosaurs peering over his shoulder.

    • TurboBuckeye

      The issues certainly start at the top. Makes you wonder about the long term viability of fielding a competitive team. Part of the problem in today’s game is the way that revenue sharing and media dollars are allocated. I sure wish we had a salary cap (and floor). In the absence of that, though, what we have is a team welfare system which allows owners to bank a profit without worrying too much about the product they put on the field. Ticket sales and concessions are just a small piece of the big pie (MLBAM revenue, rev sharing, the new regional TV deal). So in a sense the Reds don’t really bear any near (or even medium term) consequences for poor performance (whether it be from the players, FO, or ownership). Who cares if attendence is down if you’re saving way more than that lost revenue by keeping payroll low.
      Looked at it from that angle, Castellini is brilliant. Any business owner would kill for such a riskless model. And of course these yearly cash flow considerations are totally independent of the massive increase in equity that he’s gained over the past several years.

      • Aaron Bradley

        Yes good points. I wonder if that is why they over value speed and power over OBP… walks aren’t nearly as entertaining as bombs and stolen bases. They are running a circus, literally.

    • Jeff Reed

      General managership by committee is not going to lead the Reds to contention. The Reds need one general manager with a plan, period, and then an ok from the principal owner for significant trades and acquisitions.

  19. J.D.

    Did Thom just crack on how much the Twins gotta pay Hughes? That’s rich you flipping idiot. We have players around the league and retired we’re still paying.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      Besides deferred comp, who are the Reds still paying from the past?

  20. Scott

    Have to wonder when Price announced Castillo a starter for 2018 this past winter if Castillo mailed it in during the off-season?

  21. Aaron Bradley

    On another blog they are saying Ervin and Long were both late scratches today… trade possibility?

  22. Old-school

    Jesse winker doubles again….hitting streak…obp….and now slugging and OPS.

    Why the angst over Winker defense?

    Other than Adam Duvall in 2016…. No reds LF has been remotely good defensively ever who could also hit…multiple elite hitters who were not good defensively…Ron gant ….greg Vaughn..Adam Dunn….. Lots of bad
    To below avg players…..chris stynes , lance nix and Chris heisey… who were below avg replacement ….Ryan Ludwick was bad defense and bad offense x 1 year.

    Why the Winker hate? The guy is good and way better defensively than the majority of reds Left fielder’s for 20 years???? At some point , accept the obvious, unless you want Chris Stynes?????

    • Aaron Bradley

      The Reds seem to over value speed and power and not OBP hence the so-called hate, but I don’t think anyone can dispute that Winker is a major spark plug right now. Possibly the MVP despite the absurd 4 man rotation which needs to be declared null and void after this AL road trip.

    • Redsfan4life

      If they would just stick Winker in LF and not RF most of the time.

  23. Old-school

    Winker.votto.suarez.schebler can hit.

  24. docproctor

    Offense coming back strong. Man, it’s good to have Suarez back.

  25. Jack

    Thom ” Schebler just ties the game with a 2 run double and brings the Reds to within 1 run. ” WTH is he drinking?

    • TurboBuckeye

      Thom Brennaman is the Yovani Gallardo of broadcasting. Plenty of name recognition, and you think he might be good. Then it all just goes to hell.

  26. CI3J

    This game seems destined for a recap with a title joking about the Bengals playing the Vikings tonight.

  27. vegastypo

    anybody else listening to the radio feed? Marty thought it was off to a commercial, but at least on the feed through, he still had a live mic, and said ‘horse—-‘ (talking about the poor quality of baseball overall)

    • Sliotar


      Awesome update, Vegas.

      I caught him while working and driving at the end of yesterday’s game and it sounded like he had to hold himself back several times….about the game getting away from the Reds late, the attendance.

      He will go on a rant soon, probably starting when someone does not get a bunt down.

  28. docproctor

    Reds now lead. If you left early, come back!

  29. Jack

    Well there you go. Pencil Billy in the starting lineup for the next week and a half.

  30. Indy Red Man

    Beer league softball game tonite:) Both teams are just hammering the ball!

  31. TurboBuckeye

    Everybody but Duvall has a RBI so far! When was the last time we could say that!

    • Sliotar

      Oh, most any night this season, we are saying Duvall doesn’t have a RBI.


  32. Indy Red Man

    Alright Hernandez….do something crazy and put up a zero here!

  33. Sliotar

    You know Chris Welsh missed a great jab opportunity at Thom.

    Thom rants that 2/3rds of the crowd have already left.

    Chris could have just said, “Well, they have jobs that they have to get up and go to in the morning.”

    • MrRed

      Oh, if only it weren’t a weekend night game, he might have done just that.

  34. Chuck

    It’s time to option Duvall if at all possible.

  35. Old-school

    Reds are now pitching Garrett a lot in important situations. This is radically different from 2 weeks ago. This is good bullpen useage. Riggleman is way better than price in those areas he has control imn innings 6-9.

    • CI3J

      It’s an improvement, sure, but Garrett still belongs in the rotation.

  36. Aaron Bradley

    Well I am checking back in and can’t believe my eyes. This is a slugfest. Votto has caught fire.

  37. Aaron Bradley

    Can Duvall get an RBI? Maybe he can get 4 here…

  38. Aaron Bradley

    LOL… Duvall didn’t get one strike that AB and he swung at 5 of the 6 pitches.

  39. renbutler

    How hard is it to know how to run to first? I’ve seen it a few times already this year.

  40. Luckeydad

    I stopped watching this game after the 4th inning…..whoops