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:
Reds have lost 14 of their last 15 one-run games, going back to last season. Last time they had a stretch of 15 one-run games that bad was 1946.
— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) May 4, 2018
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.
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.
A #Reds player said his favorite Star Wars character is Jar Jar Binks. I will not name this Red to save him from internet ridicule – or a trip to the Rancor pit.
— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) May 4, 2018
(It was Mahle.)
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.
|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 …
Injury updates: Anthony DeSclafani threw 29 pitches yesterday while rehabbing from an oblique injury. Michael Lorenzen threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session. #Reds
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) May 5, 2018
Eugenio Suarez statistical excellence (on his bobblehead day) …
— OnBaseMachine (@RedsFan_Brandon) May 5, 2018
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 …
In their last 11 games, the #Reds lead all major league teams in walks (58), on-base percentage (.371), and lead the NL in runs scored (67). In that same span Reds pitchers are 5-6 with a 4.46 ERA.
— Jeff Wallner (@JeffWallner) May 5, 2018
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.