We’re in year four of the rebuild/reboot/insert-your-term-here. For other teams that have been through this process, this year is really the end of the “sorting.” They determine their best eight starting position players, five best starting pitchers, and best relievers, then go into the off-season ready to make upgrades where necessary to take the next step.

For this writer anyway, it feels as though the results of the “sorting” that has taken place through the previous difficult years is being dismissed. Two outfielders, Billy Hamilton and Adam Duvall, with sub-.200 batting averages are still involved in a four-man outfield rotation that also involves Scott Schebler and Jesse Winker.

The numbers in that tweet don’t include the last several games, but they are illustrative of trends that have been unfolding for awhile. The statistical performance for both players has been in decline for not just months, but years.

I’m curious about the thoughts of Redleg Nation about this idea. When the time comes that Nick Senzel is recalled and added to the lineup at second base, how about moving Scooter Gennett to the outfield? He played there a couple of times last year in a pinch. Your starting lineup could be something like this:

Jesse Winker RF
Nick Senzel 2B
Joey Votto 1B
Eugenio Suarez 3B
Scott Schebler CF
Scooter Gennett LF
Jose Peraza SS
Tucker Barnhart C

There’s not an automatic out in that lineup, as it sometimes seems with Hamilton and-or Duvall inserted. Clearly, outfield defense would be an issue. The argument could be made that this might be the worst defensive outfield in the majors. But you would have two Gold-Glove-caliber outfield defenders in Hamilton and Duvall to insert late into close games to help protect leads.

We know the results when the lineup includes two defensive studs who can’t hit their weight. It’s likely that we’re at least a couple of years away from one of the top outfield prospects in the minors being ready for the majors, so why not try a player (Gennett) — who has demonstrated a terrific bat and that he isn’t an everyday second baseman defensively – in the outfield? Let’s take a look and see if he can play an adequate left field. Let me know what you think.

Tonight is the first of a three-game home series against the Miami Marlins, a team which has gutted itself during the off-season in what seems like an every-few-years ritual for that franchise. Game time at Great American Ballpark is 7:10 Eastern time.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Wei-Yin Chen 5.1 1.69 6.19 13.6% 9.1%
Sal Romano 31 4.65 5.96 12.4% 10.2%

Chen, a lefthander, is making his second start of the year for the Marlins. He has a career record of 54-38 for the Orioles and Marlins. Romano’s numbers this year closely reflect his overall numbers from last year, which included some difficult outings. The hope for all of the youngsters in the Reds rotation is to show improvement this year. So far this year on the improvement graph, Romano is flat. It’s early, but consistently solid performance is still eluding Romano. The numbers above indicate tonight could be a high-scoring affair.

Bullpen

Amir Garrett is on bereavement leave and won’t be available. As of the writing of this preview story, a corresponding roster move to add someone from the minors had not yet been announced. All others should be available after an off-day.

Starting Lineups

Marlins Reds
LF Derek Dietrich SS Jose Peraza
C J.T. Realmuto 2B Alex Blandino
2B Starlin Castro 1B Joey Votto
1B Justin Bour 3B Eugenio Suarez
RF Brian Anderson LF Adam Duvall
3B Martin Prado RF Scott Schebler
SS Miguel Rojas C Tucker Barnhart
CF Lewis Brinson P Sal Romano
P Wei-Yin Chen CF Billy Hamilton

News and Notes

Remember that a case of vertigo cut short Nick Senzel’s 2017 season …

Perhaps related and perhaps not …

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.

Join the conversation! 102 Comments

  1. I’m pretty sure Scooter has to hit 4th.

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  2. No Winker huh?

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  3. No problem with the suggestion of tinkering with lineup. If there is one thing the Reds do this season, it should be giving young talent the chance to demonstrate its mettle. Keep the shuffling going, too. We are looking for guys with the ability at the major league level.

    Speaking of the “reboot”, has anyone ever called out Uncle Walt for the this holy sack of nonsense that he spouted way back when? This was 2015, mind you, and the implication was that the Reds just needed some light tinkering to maintain status as a contender in the National League. Or remember when he said after trading Broxton of all people in 2014 that the Reds were still competitive in the National League Central race (not so much)? Didn’t Bryan Price talk playoffs in 2016 or 2017 when the Reds were off to a decent start? Price was fired by Jocketty should have been gone long ago. That man is the real culprit for that abysmal state of the roster right now.

    Bottom lining this, it appears that this organization is in denial at the very top about where they are on the current food chain and what they need to do to right the ship. Without a complete commitment to young players and developing new talent, there is no chance they are going to be competitive, let alone in a position to contend for the World Series.

    All that said, beat Miami!

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  4. Sorry to hear the news about Garrett. Hope all is well with him and his family.

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  5. Can Peraza play CF? I still think Dilson Herrera is an everyday 2B, and I think Suarez/Senzel can handle the left side of the infield. If Peraza plays CF, with Schebler and Winker, that team can hit. Defense… maybe not the best team in the world.

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  6. If Peraza continues to hit and get on base the way he has been the last month or so, I will be surprised if they don’t try him in the outfield.

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  7. Can’t even about Winker sitting while Duvall plays again.

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  8. I like the idea of Gennett having some time sorting out his ability in the outfield because the Reds need his offense. But I would like to see him in right field although I know a lefty thrower is preferred from the right field corner. Winker and Schebler should be regulars in left and center fields. The sooner the 4-man outfield rotation ends the better except for late game moves.

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  9. We are in year 4 and Marlins are in year 1. This series will tell us how far behind we are.

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  10. Mets DFA’d Harvey today. Surprised they had the guts. This team just keeps running Duvall and Hamilton out there.

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    • Real good call here, Jack.

      Mets hire a guy from a successful organization to manage (Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway). He changes their spring training routine, down to rest and hydration, gets Asdrubal Cabrera on board with playing 2B again, overcomes injuries, has to release Harvey … and still, the team is 17-12.

      It’s not just playing playing Duvall and Hamilton that is showing the Reds are going nowhere.
      It’s 5 more months of Jim Can’tWinAgain as manager, when we all know he won’t be doing it next year.

      The Reds desperately need people from other, successful MLB teams in 2019, both as manager/coaches and to help Dick Williams.

      Reply
  11. Winker in LF (doesn’t have arm or speed or defensive instincts to be good in RF).
    Senzel … wherever you put him, keep him there. (Maybe the next Jeff Kent at 2B?)

    Give them a spot, leave them alone there, all they can eat in terms of playing time and fix the numerous other unfinished things with this roster.

    For years now (it seems)… the narrative was, “wait until Winker and Senzel arrive.”
    Well, WInker is here and his service time is being burned while he can’t get a game everyday.
    And, there is no position being cleared (yet) for Senzel.

    What a “rebuild.”
    Go Redlegs.

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  12. Marlins should save everyone a little time by telling the home plate umpire they’re walking Suarez four times tonight.

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  13. Mes should be in against the lefty and Winker should be playing regardless of who is on the mound.Tom,I like your lineup very much and it would be awesome against right handers.

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  14. Shackleford is the 8th reliever in the bullpen with Garrett on bereavement leave.

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  15. I’m sure this issue is way down the list in terms of priority, but the Reds are really gonna need a RH bat w/pop. They are a little lefty heavy. Especially when they move Duvall to the bench, for his role as a 4th or 5th OF.😏 I think that would be an excellent role for him. He gives pop off the bench also.

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  16. Benching Winker again makes me want to bang my head against the wall.
    Winker should be in left field on a daily basis. He’s the second best hitter on this team.
    Sensel should be at second.
    Mason Williams should be in center. He would hit better than Adam or Billy.

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  17. Duvall vs. lefties this year: .167.

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  18. NEVER. EVER WHEN IT COUNTS.

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    • Now we’re talking. Hopefully Perfect learns what clutch means from Suarez, but don´t hold your breath. The guy the Reds should build around.

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      • That questionable strikeout on what probably should have been ball four drops Votto’s batting average with runners in scoring position down to a woeful .379. And of course none of those hits “counted.”

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        • Keep bringing numbers in. I will keep pointing out high leverage (HL) situations where he has failed miserably. With today’s game and since Monday alone the score is: 5 HL, 0-5.

          So, no J, no hits that “counted”.

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          • Since the only way Votto doesn’t “fail” according to you is to drive runs in, I’ll just point out that the best hitters in baseball probably “fail” in high leverage situations something like 75% of the time. Hitting .370 and getting on base over 50% of the time with RISP is about as good as it gets in the real world of baseball. If someone really wanted to, they could say “NEVER EVER WHEN IT COUNTS” about 3/4 of the at-bats for ANY great hitter, and just ignore the other 1/4. I’ll let you figure out if you might fall into that category.

          • I’m feeling too lazy to explain it to you tonight. But you must feel relieved that Blandino hit into DP because next was JV and that’s a torture for you.
            He’ll probably walk in the next inning so cheer up, because that’s all that matters right?

            Back to the game. Go Reds.

          • I understand perfectly. When a pitcher pitches around Votto with runners on base and he walks, you call it “failing.” When he drives in a run, you say it “didn’t count” if the Reds were winning or losing by 3 runs, because, as we all know, those runs never make any difference. If he hits a HR now and gives the Reds a 5 run lead, you’ll say it didn’t “count” even if they end up winning 5-4. No need to explain. I get it.

        • I recommend ignoring his posts. Votto kicked his puppy and he has hated him ever since

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          • Exactly, responding to internet trolls just encourages them

          • Oh please, don’t hurt my feelings, especially for such a billiant mind.
            Now go and stare at Votto’s poster for the rest of the day

          • Nope,what encourage me is to make fun of the clowns who think they are pretty smart because they know how to copy and paste and get exposed on nightly basis.

            Got it Constanza?

    • There ya go, told you. Now his obp is .500 !!!!!! today. WE have Suarez for the RBIs. The little thing that wins games.

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      • Suarez failed in that at-bat by your standard. Which is why your standard is so wrong.

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        • Not at all, they pitched around Suarez, because he is clutch and probed it already. Votto was punch out swinging in the first inning or looking 3 nights ago or swinging 2 nights ago. So, your convenient short memory, numbers tinkering or putting words in my mind is your way to denial. If it serves you, fine with me.

          But everytime he’ll miss (and it will get worst and worst) when the team needs him the most you’´ll hear that voice in your head that says: NEVER. EVER WHEN IT COUNTS.

          Pd: Find solace in his walks, HRs when the game is 10-2 or the way he mocks fans with foul balls. Those are pretty funny.

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          • I meant putting words in my mouth, LOL !!

            Now, lets enjoy the game, the Reds are winning, Sal is doing a good job, Suarez shows up as the expected team’s star that he is and even Duvall came alive. And yes, Votto hit a double.

          • It looked to me that Votto checked his swing and should have walked in the first inning. And if he had, you would have said he “failed” because he didn’t drive in any runs. But when Suarez takes the walk, you have no problem with it. I’ve figured out how this works. Whatever Votto does, you’ll find a way to say it didn’t count.

          • True or false? Hitting a double to lead off the 3rd inning in a 4-0 game “counts.”

          • Yes it counts. For his obp, avg., woba, sat, fwar, IQ, slug pct and for your happiness.

            For the scoreboard? not so much.

          • Because Suarez failed to drive him in.

          • I think maybe you have trouble understanding that a run usually requires at least two different players to do something good unless there’s a home run. You seem to think only the guy who drives the run in makes any difference. If Votto hits a double and scores on a Suarez single, you’ll give credit to Suarez and act as if Votto made no contribution whatsoever other than “OBP” and “making people happy” or whatever. It’s a very odd (and totally wrong) calculation.

          • Yeah, Suarez sucks. He only has 3 of the 4 runs batted in, got on base 3-for-3. And you call me a troll. LOL.

            BTW, Perfect fails. Again.

          • Hitting a sharp line drive = “fails” in your world. Got it.

          • Incidentally, I never called you a “troll.” That was someone else. I sorta wish I had, though.

          • Also, in case you didn’t notice, I was the guy who said it would be wrong to say Suarez “failed” by drawing a walk with a runner on second. I’m the guy who thinks getting on base isn’t “failing” even if there are RISP.

          • I see, not all outs are the same. The hard outs don´t count as outsl and the soft outs do. Hey, lets give some points for style. You really are so full of it you might explode.

          • Votto is hitting .370 with RISP, you’re constantly posting “NEVER EVER WHEN IT COUNTS,” and somehow I’m the one who’s “full of it.” Got it. And hitting a sharp line drive is a “failure” because it went directly at a fielder. Got it.

          • I mean, in his three ABs today, Votto has a double, a hard line drive at an outfielder, and a check-swing that I believe should probably have been called ball four, and you’re on here badmouthing him as usual. But you’re not a troll or anything like that….

          • No, you got nothing. You keep copying and pasting like a 5th grader trying to look smart but at the end of the day, you got nothing. You make excuses #cold starter#, check swing, pitcher throws too hard, he walks at night, but still cannot see he fails miserably WHEN IT COUNTS.

            He is the alledged star and with a game on the line I rather see Suarez, Tucker or Schebler instead of your mega star. Like I did with BP, Cozart or the 2014 Mesoraco or the 2010 Rolen. And over and over I’ll probe you wrong, game after game that you got nothing. And the herd might follow you because it’s hard to go against the induced group thinking in here. I could care less, the truth will set me free.

            You can make all the excuses you want and copy /paste fangraphs all you want, but the REAL GAME is played in GABP not in your calculator. And no, you don’t get it and you got nothing.

          • Hey, that umpire is a troll !!! It wasn’t exactly in the middle ! That K doesn’t count because JV looked at it in a perfect way !!!

  19. “That’s alright Joey. I’ll drive him in since I’m the best hitter on the team.” -Suarez

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  20. Who is this Duvall guy?

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  21. So THAT’s why Duvall hits 5th. Now I get it.

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  22. Eugenio Suarez has passed Joey votto as the best Reds player . That’s not a knock on Votto. Suarez is a star.

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    • No it’s not. Votto is aging and Suarez is almost in his prime. Some of these,young guys need to take over.

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  23. Blandino with a 7 pitch walk was really nice.I love guys who can and will take a few.Suarez is indeed a star in the making for sure.

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  24. Romano looks as if he will give those runs right back.He is all over the place.

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  25. Scooter has trouble playing corner OF spots. I am certain he can’t handle CF. Blandino, on the other hand, seems like the odd man out once Sensei arrives. Why not try him in CF ?

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    • Scooter has no place on this team. Lets stop the rediculous talk of him in the outfield. On one hand evetybody wants the young guys to play and on the other they want Scooter in the outfield. And they say the Front Office is only half in the rebuild. I agree put Blandino or another young guy out there in left.

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    • Because BHam will be there. Sigh.

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  26. @James Garrett….feels like a Romano start.

    He shows flashes but has to go deep in counts. (Too much nibbling?)

    Tonight is seventh start this season, most 5 innings or less, none past 6th.

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    • I’m watching the Marlins broadcast . They said Romano had a 2.87 era in his last 3 games. He needs to keep that up but I agree he nibbles to much. Not aggressive enough. Lets call him Nibbles Romano.

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  27. I say, why not try Senzel in CF. Am I way off here?

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  28. At age 24, Peraza already has the most bloop hits to right field in the history of major league baseball.

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  29. You walk Billy Hamilton you suck as a pitcher. Billy should be ashamed to even get in the box…..good grief and i thought Paul Householder was bad. He would make Billy look like Hank Aaron. Sick of the dude really.

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  30. Here at the game. First this year.

    Don’t grab it with your bare hand, Sol!

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  31. I can see it’s a happy night here in the comment section.

    J.

    At the end of the season there are no poop hits. And how do you like his play at short

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    • Bloop! BLOOP!

      Not p**p!

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    • I’m not sure what to make of Peraza. The defense is certainly looking better. He’s gone through stretches before when I thought he was really becoming a very good hitter (minus being able to walk, of course) and hitting the ball with authority, but then for some reason he always regresses and starts taking mostly defensive swings. I hope this time it’s for real.

      Reply
  32. Why were they playing Joey so shallow?

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  33. There’s a double that doesn’t “count.” Because, as we all know, scoring a run in this situation would be totally meaningless.

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    • And yes, he definitely scored that run. LOL

      Now, if he’s hit that double in the first inning with runners on first and third and nobody out, with the game 0-0 or like a genius says: WHEN IT COUNTS….

      Fortunately, we have Suarez for that.

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      • Little known fact: About 80% of Pete Rose’s hits didn’t count.

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        • Little known fact for you, fangraphs can’t tell you that, but Pete Rose was the leadoff hitter not the guy supposed to bring the runners in. They Got Morgan, Perez, Foster and Bench for that.

          And please, don’t put the hit king, 3-time ws champion, 5 time NL CHAMP, A WINNER, in the same sentence.

          (and I mean only as a player, because Joey is 10 times the better person than Rose).

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          • The vast majority of Perez’s hits also didn’t count. Same with Bench and Foster. Most of those hits either didn’t drive anyone in or drove runs in when the Reds were ahead or behind by at least three runs. They were all big losers by your standard. Everyone is.

          • Come on, you can do better. I see your standard is as good as googling, copy and paste and putting words in my mouth.

            Meanwhile, on planet Earth another K looking. And that counts !!

      • Another little known fact: a good 85-90% of the hits in major league baseball don’t count.

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        • and the other 15-10% percent? What fangraphs says? Were the guys tattoed? Married or single? Vegetarians perhaps? hurry, copy and paste.

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          • Other than Votto’s .370 average with RISP, I’m just making the numbers up. Try to relax a little.

          • Hey, I’m having a blast, the Reds are winning, my point have been probed over and over again tonight. Perhaps you could tell Votto that so you don’t suffer as much listening that little voice in your head that says……NEVER EVER WHEN IT COUNTS

          • “my point have been probed over and over again tonight.” — I think you might want to keep that information to yourself.

  34. It’s Peraza’s defense which bugs me. Hot and cold.

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  35. Romano throwing a few more sliders and a change up this time out.Last game I watched he was just throwing fastballs.I also watched Castillo the other night and he was fast/change up.He needs to go upstairs with the fast ball and throw a few sliders.Last guy we had that was all fastball/changeup was Soto

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  36. Going to need some more runs.

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  37. Peralta has struggled big time against lefties.

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  38. It wasn’t pretty but Hernandez got the job done.

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  39. No hits since the 2nd inning and we still may win.

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  40. I swear that if Riggleman sits Winker again, I’m going to boycott.

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    • Riggleman sits him because he is a great pinch hitter. Last 5 pinch hit at bats -4 hits and a walk. Hey got to find something positive about it.

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  41. Sorry forgot Winker was coming up to pinch hit.Why isn’t he starting?Yeah I know we are platooning our outfielders.

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  42. There is absolutely no sane reason why a player who has one of the best batting average, one of the best OBP and one of the best OBPS on the team sits 4 out of the last 11 games while players with slash lines you need a microscope to read play on a regular basis. I am beating my head once table.

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  43. What’s really insane is he sets because we need to see more of Billy and to some extent Duvall.Nutty but I am sure this is coming from above because Riggleman can’t be doing this on his own.

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  44. The Marlins planned to be bad this year and they are just that but we wouldn’t have beaten anybody else tonight.Good job by Romano.I think he can become a league average pitcher and that works for me.Just needs to trust his stuff a little more and stop the nibbling.

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  45. Nice win even if t was against the Marlins. Hopefully a confidence boost for Romano.

    Great job by the ‘pen.

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  46. We’re going to hit double digits in wins before June, I just know it!

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  47. I would rather see Peraza in the outfield than Scooter. I thought he did a decent job in center the few times he was out there last year.
    Not sure if Senzel can play short or not.

    I still think long term around the horn

    Suarez at third, Greene at short, Senzel at second, Votto at first. With outfield of Trammel, Siri, Schebler.

    Bench- Gennet, Peraza, Winker, , Hamilton, mesoroco

    Reply

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About Tom Mitsoff

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.

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2018 Reds, Game Thread

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