Devon Mesoraco is the starting catcher for the Reds in today’s 7:10 p.m. Eastern time game against the Miami Marlins at Great American Ballpark.

If you believe in statistical trends, this does not portend well for the home team’s chances tonight.

We saw a tweet the other day that the Reds had lost the last 16 games that Mesoraco has started at catcher. So we thought we’d first confirm that fact and then dig into some of the particulars. My research showed that it’s actually the last 20 games Mesoraco has started in total, including one as a DH.

A couple of things jumped out at me from this chart:

1) Mesoraco has been unproductive offensively as a starter. The same can be said of his overall performance in recent years.
2) Luis Castillo has been the most frequent starting pitcher in this 19-game losing streak with Mesoraco starting at catcher.

The streak goes back to June 2017. Eleven of the games in the overall losing streak, and 10 as the catcher, occurred in June through early August, when Mesoraco fouled a ball off his foot and missed the remainder of the season.

You’re going to find statistics and trends like this for individuals who play on bad teams. You can attribute some of it to the individual’s lack of production, and some of it to the players he has around him as teammates. But this one is excessive, and I thought worth a closer look. My guess is that you could find similar discouraging statistics for many Reds players and that this one is a bit of a statistical fluke in terms of its severity.

Most of the games Mesoraco caught were close losses, and there is another very negative trend that is playing into Mesoraco’s streak:

It does reinforce that Mesoraco isn’t a player who will be part of a major turnaround in fortunes. He won’t be part of this team after this year. His contract expires, and he’ll become a free agent. The former All-Star has seen his career take a very unfortunate downward turn due to injury after injury.

As for today, let’s hope the stars align and that the home team can break this freakish losing streak.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Caleb Smith 28.2 4.40 3.77 33.9% 13.2%
Tyler Mahle 33.1 4.32 3.51 27.3% 7.9%

Like last night’s game, the statistical matchup of the starting pitchers on paper is very close. Smith, a 26-year-old lefthander, is in his first full year in the majors after coming over in a trade with the Yankees last November. Mahle has been the bright light among Reds starters so far this season, with standout starts more often than not. To date, Mahle has seemed to lose effectiveness after his second time through the opposing lineup. It’s not clear if the issue is stamina or just the lack of experience in understanding how to get hitters out three to four times in a game once they have seen his offerings a couple of times through the batting order.

(It was Mahle.)

Bullpen

Tanner Rainey was added Friday from Louisville while Amir Garrett is on bereavement leave. Rainey is seen as a future mainstay of the Reds bullpen, and has been very effective so far with the Bats. In 9.2 innings, he has allowed only two hits and walked three while striking out 17. He has finished four of the seven games he appeared in with the Bats. In a brief April look with the Reds, he was rocked for seven runs in only two innings, or a 31.50 ERA. (But, an xFiP of only 11.88!)  He hopes to get another look in live game action during the next few days.

This core of this group has been the most consistent on an otherwise very bad ballclub. Dylan Floro, Jared Hughes, Raisel Iglesias, Garrett, Austin Brice and Wandy Peralta have a combined 2.40 earned run average in 93.2 innings pitched. You would absolutely take that from your top six relievers over the course of a season in a heartbeat.

Hughes went two innings yesterday and may not be available today. Everyone else should be ready to roll.

Starting Lineups

Marlins Reds
C J.T. Realmuto RF Jesse Winker
3B Martin Prado SS Jose Peraza
2B Starlin Castro 1B Joey Votto
1B Justin Bour 3B Eugenio Suarez
RF Brian Anderson LF Adam Duvall
LF Derek Dietrich 2B Scooter Gennett
CF Lewis Brinson CF Scott Schebler
SS Miguel Rojas C Devin Mesoraco
P Caleb Smith P Tyler Mahle

News and Notes

Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen rehab updates …

Eugenio Suarez statistical excellence (on his bobblehead day) …

Prior to the start of the season, most of us at Redleg Nation anticipated statistical production much closer to what’s happened the past 11 games than what happened prior to that …

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! 33 Comments

  1. I love your droll commentary. Great review!

    Since it is Derby Day, I would like to place a bet. Keep in mind that I am always wrong about Scooter. I have underestimated his offensive prowess again and again and again. But here I go again. I’m betting that Scooter goes Ofer tonight. I will parlay that first bet with the fact that it least three Reds will get on base four times tonight. Give me 5 to 1 odds and I’ll bet a dollar.

    Plus, the top three finishers in the derby will be Justified, Mendelsohn, and Audible. Probably in that order, but I would box the trifecta.

    Reply
    • Is your real name Pete Rose?

      I like your horse picks, I’ll go with Justify and Mendelssohn, and Magnum Moon. I am not so sure about your Reds bets.

      Reply
  2. Rain delay?

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  3. Game on–and Marlins up 2-0 very quickly.

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  4. Castro’s homer looked like a pop up that kept going and going.Never for a minute did I think it would go.

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  5. Mahle’s velocity is down around 90-91.Very hittable so far.

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  6. Another lefty that is looking like Steve Cartlon.No runs in the last 10 innings.Come on batters lets get it going.

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  7. Pick off helps get Mahle out of the bad error by Peraza

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  8. That was a heck of a throw by Peraza, wasn’t it?

    I know, he’s young.

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    • Grass might be wet. Peraza has not been bad a SS. Peraza at SS is not too bad as long as Hamilton is not in the lineup.

      Reply
  9. We have to snap this Mesoraco streak….thats crazy? I agree that Castro’s ball didn’t look like a homer? Looked like it came off the end of the bat? We need to get some in the air as well. Red-hot 2 game winning streak on the line!!

    Reply
  10. Your right Indy but that’s 11 innings in a row with no runs.We just struggle with lefties but we shouldn’t if Duvall and Mes get going.

    Reply
    • Well if Mesoraco did get hot then that means he going on the DL in a few days. Duvall? I don’t know, but even if he did start hammering lefties like last year, he would need alot more help. Winker had like 1 hr vs lefties in AAA last year. I don’t expect him to do much but walk and hit singles vs lefties. Schebler? We know Scooter isn’t good. They really need a good righty hitting CF and a backup catcher with some thump vs lefties. Senzel might be able to help and they could platoon Scooter/Duvall. Something needs to happen because too many lefty scrubs like Wade Miley just mow them down.

      Reply
  11. Peraza’s throw was much better this time

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  12. Call me a stickler , but if I had a kid that started throwing the ball like Scooter or Votto in little league then he’d either fix it or go play soccer or something. No need to throw the ball submarine….no need whatsover. Overhand throws have worked for 150 years.

    Reply
      • lol….hadn’t thought about that. It’s worked for alot of pitchers too but I was referring to throwing the ball defensively.

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      • Cool link, SEAT101. Many early pitchers threw underhanded, as well. In fact, the only player ever killed by a Major League pitch was killed by an underhand-throwing pitcher, Carl Mays. Not that I’m arguing with your point, Indy Red Man. (Although I’m not sure I’d crow about being the coach who sent Joey Votto to the soccer fields.) The lackadaisical underhand toss bothers me too.

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  13. Joey .865 ops vs righties this year but only .594 vs lefties. Tonite was only his 2nd double and 1 hr in 36 at-bats. I would imagine all lefties that start to age struggle more vs lefties. Another reason why they need a big right-handed bat in the outfield. Add that to Senzel and we should start scoring some consistent runs.

    Reply
  14. Scooter looking helpless against the lefty.Blandino or Herrera need to play against southpaws.

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    • Guessing the Reds could not wait to get Gennett back in the lineup. Blandino would have been the correct option tonight, but, not sure it really matters anymore.

      Reply
  15. Do we have anybody anywhere that can hit a lefty/not a good lefty just a lefty.Good grief we aren’t even hitting it hard anywhere.

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    • They were counting on Duvall and Mesoraco but they stink. Didn’t they sign Jennings or something from Tampa last spring but he didn’t even make the team. I don’t know? You can count on DW to make minimal effort to fix ongoing problems with this team.

      Reply
  16. Schebler will never be great, but, he could play CF on a regular basis, particularly in this small ball park.

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  17. Mahle grooved that 4 seam there. Has to live on the corners. Although, that pitch was 96 mph which is impressive.

    Not a terrible outing for Mahle tonight.

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  18. I would take that every time out.Lets talk about the offense or lack there of.That makes 3 in a row where our young guys did there job.Now if we could hit just a little.

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  19. Yeah, Mahle 4Ks, 0BBs…95 pitches, 59 strikes.

    That’s a good foundation to work with.

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  20. Both Mes and Barnhart are sub-.235 this season. Not getting much O out of the C slot.

    Reply
  21. Nasty change up gets Saurez

    Reds bullpen needs to hold here

    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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