Tonight the Reds (16-32; 5th place NL Central) open a three game series at GABP versus the Pirates (26-20; 4th place NL Central) to close out the current seven game homestand. With a sweep, the Reds could salvage a winning homestand.

Starting Pitchers

Righthander Matt Harvey makes the third start of his Reds career.  In his prior starts as a Red, Harvey has completed just  four innings each time but was able to help position the team to eventually win the game. As a Red he has thrown strikes with just short of 2 of every three pitches and allowed 1 home run in 8 innings of work, both positive signs given his performances which led to being designated for assignment by the Mets. In his second Reds start Harvey bumped his pitch count from 55 his first time out as a Red up to 77. Tonight he will hopefully stretch out a bit more while maintaining effectiveness.

Jameson Taillon will be the Pirates starter. The big righthander has been on something of a roll in May despite the fact he has had to deal with a cut on the middle finger of his pitching hand. However a comparison of his ERA in May of 1.92 to his xFIP over the same period of 5.43 suggests he may have been pitching with some good luck on his side in the last three weeks. Taillon throws a fastball of some sort almost 2/3 of the time with these offerings about equally divided between his four seamer (30%; 96MPH) and sinker (35%; 95MPH). He throws his curve (~82MPH) about 25% of the time and an 88MPH change up to complete his repertoire.

For what it is worth (or not) given the history between the Reds and Pirates of batters being hit by pitches, Taillon is man who threw the pitch which broke Eugenio Suarez thumb back in April.

PITCHER xFIP HR/9 WHIP BB% K%
Matt Harvey 4.34 1.80 1.43 5.8% 17.4%
Jameson Taillon 4.02 1.19 1.26 7.8% 20.8%

  

Bullpens

Both teams were off Monday and should have no significant bullpen usage issues tonight.

Starting Lineups

           PIRATES             REDS
1. Josh Harrison (2B)
2. Gregory Polanco (RF)
3. Francisco Cervelli (C)
4. Josh Bell (1B)
5. Corey Dickerson (LF)
6. Colin Moran (3B)
7. Austin Meadows (CF)
8. Jordy Mercer (SS)
9. Jameson Taillon (P)
1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Tucker Barnhart (C)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Adam Duvall (LF)
8. Matt Harvey (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

Does Jim Riggleman secretly troll Redleg Nation for lineup ideas? Tucker Barnhart batting second is enough to make a person wonder! Jesse Winker sits. Yes, he is scuffling and struggling big time; but, he needs to be playing (somewhere). If your outfielders are batting #6,7, and 9 in the order, that might be an indication your team has offensive issues, yes?!?.

News and Notes

Never wish an injury on anyone but when they happen be ready to take advantage with an offer that can help both sides. Along with the Cano suspension this is two men down in a week for M’s at positions the Reds have player(s) who could fit.

The Reds are shuffling bench chairs…

A bit of background on the new man Dixon…

For anyone who hasn’t noticed, Amir Garrett has been doing an excellent job out of the Reds pen.

Final Thoughts

Remember back in the off season when the Pirates traded a couple more of the players who had been keys to their success in the last several years prior to 2017?  Many Reds followers, myself included, thought this heralded an opportunity for the Reds to move by the Pirates in the standings in 2018 and take a first tangible step which indicated the Reds retooling/rebuild was clearly moving forward.  Unfortunately things haven’t turned out that way to date. Yes, the Pirates are currently the team in fourth place right above the Reds in the Central Division standings; but, at 26-20, they are still very much in the division and NL wildcard pictures while the Reds at 16-32 are playing for 20??.  Nevertheless today is another day, another game, another chance to take a step forward. Go Reds!


Stats and data courtesy of Fangraphs and MLB.com

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Join the conversation! 90 Comments

  1. Dixon flat-out mashed the ball in Spring Training. Wish he and Blandino had been up here from the beginning instead of Gosselington.

  2. I know I’m crazy for even suggesting it, but tonight’s Harvey start would be the perfect opportunity to actually start Amir for 1-2 innings and then pitch Harvey. If it goes well, Harvey gets a “W” and that’s the most important stat for a pitcher … right?

  3. I will settle for five innings with no more than three runs scored by the Pirates

  4. With Dixon and Blandino now on the 25-man roster, the Reds are only 54 days and 48 games late from when the moves should have been made. This move coinciding with the lineup move with Barnhart in the #2 hole brings pause to consider Krall’s involvement as GM. We have to hang our hats on something positive to consider or simply bang our collective heads in frustration, so here’s hoping that these two moves have Krall’s fingerprints all over them.

  5. I know that Winker is scuffling right now, but it seems that the Reds are always seeming to sit Winker with right handers on the mound and play him when left handers are on the mound. Does not seem to me to be a formula for success for a young player. Seems like the are setting him for failure. The outfield rotation needs to stop. I’m not against having four outfielders who can start but a strict rotation where a player plays in strict rotation like pitchers is downright ridiculous.

  6. “If your outfielders are batting #6,7, and 9 in the order, that might be an indication your team has offensive issues, yes?!?.”

    .771 OPS Schebler
    .714 OPS Duvall
    .897 OPS Hamilton

    Combined with the pitcher’s slot in the lineup leaves a pretty big hole, the size of volcanic crater, in the lineup. Quite frankly, I’d be comfortable and actually supportive of optioning Winker down to AAA right now and playing those 3 OF full time. This OF rotation situation has become cumbersome and counterproductive and Winker might benefit from playing every game in LF for the Bats for a while while he gets his act together for a call up after the OF situation clarifies. If Krall really wants to make an impression that he is the man in charge of the baseball decisions while DW hadles business decisions with WJ and BC relegated to non-impact observers, then putting Senzel in CF with Long in RF along with Winker in LF and Dilson Herrera at 2B would certainly get the Old Cossack’s attention and support.

    • Cossack- I couldn’t agree more.
      Get Winker right.

    • Winker’s numbers since the 1st of May to me speak of more than mere bad luck cycling through. .224 OBP and .189 slugging. The OBP simply isn’t Jesse Winker at any previous level. His slugging has been a question at times but also nothing approaching this anemic. A person has to wonder if he is hurting; and, if that is the case, is he being forthright with management about it.

      • Also would point out that in action since May 1, Duvall has actually been doing quite well .349 OBP; .500 slugging = .849 OPS; wRC+=129. Teams seem to be pitching around him in many situations and he is taking the BB’s.

        Over the same period, BHam is doing much better than Schebler but not as well as Duvall. .698 OPS; wRC+=92

        Schebler is .631 OPs; wRC+=74

        These numbers are ~60 PAs.

    • By clarification of the OF situation, I mean disposition of the roles and players involved. If the Reds are working with the intent to trade some or all of these 3 OF and need them to establish trade value first, so be it. If the Reds still need to convince themselves that some or all of these 3 OF need non-starting roles on the team, so be it. Just get it done so the stupid sorting can make some actual progress. I would put Peraza in the same situation now.

    • That’s what I’m talking about Old Cossack. With an abundance of second baseman , put a few in the outfield. They can’t do any worse than those three.

    • Load the Bats lineup with the players competing for starting positions on the 25-man roster later this season or in spring training…

      #1 (LF) Jesse Winker
      #2 (CF) Nick Senzel
      #3 (DH) Josh VanMeter
      #4 (RF) Shed Long
      #5 (2B) Dilson Herrera

      then fill out the lineup…

      #6 (3B) Rosell Herrera/ D.J. Peterson
      #7 (1B) D.J. Peterson/Steve Selsky
      #8 (C) Pickup One
      #9 (SS) Blake Trahan

    • I believe in Outside the Box Thinking, but Senzel in CF and Long in RF may be a stretch.

      • It might be a stretch, but players with the kill and atheticism of Senzel and Long grew up playing SS and 2B and never sniffed the OF at any level because of their skill and atheticism at every level they played. The same situation evolved with Billy Hamilton and countless other pro baseball players. Unless the Reds and the players try, it’s not a given just because they’ve never done it before.

  7. Something is amiss with Winker. He had great power last year…7 home runs in limited playing time….then had a great ST and that 435 foot majestic bomb . Yet, he seems frustrated and not right the last few weeks. No power. Assuming he’s healthy, time to get mentally tough and compete.if he’s hurt….ala Scooter’ s shoulder .. Then get healthy.

    • You never know. There is so much video anymore; and, everybody seems to have access to it. If one team finds and exploits something over a series, it won’t be long before every team is onto it. But I’m more inclined to believe Winker is physically not close to 100%. It is the huge drop in both OBP and slugging and how neither fits his career history that has me leaning that way.

      • Could Winker’s slump be because he’s jerked in and out of the lineup without any logical reason?

    • The issue with Winker could be almost anything, but I’m certainly not ruling out something physical, especially concerning his wrist. That would be very distrubing news, but if so, it is what it is and what ever the issue, the Reds need to identify and address the problem. It might be nothing more than Winker’s frustration and preocupation with his RF defense. It could be the league finding a hole in his swing and plate approach. It could be a mechanical flaw with his swing. It could be lack of consistent playing time. It could be a chip on his shoulder related to the OF rotation. It could be he’s simply over-matcher at the MLB level. It could be he’s in a serious funk and slump.

  8. Could be something wrong with him but if not he needs to play every day period.We know what we have in Adam in year 3 and Billy in year 5.

    • Exactly. I don’t know how any of them can get in any kind of rhythm when they sit every other day. It’s rediculous.

  9. Wow. They just showed right field and it’s a LAKE from a flash storm. It’s going to take some time to get that drained.

    • I’m surprise that the field is not going to drain faster.

      It must’ve been a heck of a downpour.

      Or the drains were clogged

  10. They just said first pitch will be 8:15. Even though it’s no longer raining, it’s going to take awhile to get the lake to drain.

  11. Winker might have thrown his shoulder out of socket while running

  12. Chris Welsh is really off with his facts on a regular basis. Something is off .

  13. Nice number to Hater we have, eh?

  14. Polanco with a nice Winker impression in RF:) Jesse should still be in the lineup! The one guy we need to see the most gets the least atbats of the 4 outfielders? They still don’t understand how a rebuild works?

    As for the good news…Harvey has really good stuff! I guess its a foregone conclusion that they’ll deal him off somewhere but I wish they could sign him for 3 years somehow?

    • Based on that one inning, in which he loaded the bases but got out of it without any runs scoring, they should sign him for three years?

      • Yeah…thats it. I barely watch any baseball and know nothing about the guy.

        • As I write this we are now through six innings and tonight at least, Harvey looks like an actual Major League Pitcher!!

    • Gotta see much more of his doing well before any thought of a new contract makes any sense.

  15. Good start to this game. Suarez was all over that hanging breaking pitch

  16. Fun fact: Only 23% of the fans attending this game are rooting for the Cubs.

  17. Well that was a nice first inning.

    Jose Peraza needs a shin guard

    • I think they should all wear them, no reason not to

    • Well if he just took the pitch that was obviously inside then he wouldn’t have that problem. You could throw the ball at his nose and he’d still find a way to swing at it…..with one hand and intent on blooping it in front of the RFer of course!

  18. Billy then Jose…brilliant lineup construction! Billy can’t do the one thing that he’s good at because Jose swings at everything…weakly

    • Second time through they’ve been told It will be profitable to swing at the first pitch.
      It’s what they should’ve done the last time they faced him.

      And it look like he was really just trying to tell the boss once he saw where it was.

  19. You just can’t hide these guys.I was amazed Billy swung at the first pitch and more amazed he got a hit.Then you just knew Peraza wouldn’t even take one pitch and of course he didn’t.How can anybody play a guy that has no idea about what’s going on around him?Just dumber then dumb.

    • We’ve seen Peraza get hot and he’s still young plus he’s athletic BUT where do you bat him? He can’t in front of the pitcher because he doesn’t understand the concept of being pitched around and wouldn’t allow them to atleast get the pitcher out of the way so he doesn’t have to lead off an inning. You can’t bat him directly behind Billy either because he takes pitches the way my sales guys take direction. He rarely drives the ball so an rbi spot would be tough too? I would go with either Winker or Schebler leadoff and Jose 2nd. Actually I’d put Blandino at SS then Senzel or Suarez and let Jose try yet another organization…but thats just me.

  20. Matt Harvey is 3x better than Homer Bailey. That might not mean much but it’s better baseball in GABP.

  21. Sorry for the rant on Peraza but I just see us continuing to send him out there to do the same thing over and over.He is not going to change his approach unless he gets benched so bench him please.

    • Benching hasn’t worked for Billy so I’m pretty sure Peraza could care as well. This is the Reds organization. What are you thinking with that crazy thought?

      • Your right how foolish of me.

      • Never mind benching him. Do you believe anyone has ever said to him “don’t ever swing at the first pitch with Hamilton at first”? I don’t. I see no evidence that anyone on this team is ever asked to do anything other than “whatever feels best to you.”

  22. It’s time to look at Jose Peraza. Walk rate 2% obp .274. ISO below .100. negative WAR.

    He’s hitting leadoff tonight on the worst team in baseball. Maybe Walt Jocketty was wrong. Is this season about proving Walt???? It’s not working…AGAIN.

    My son went to the game. I bought his ticket.Do I get a discount?

    • Is that how you punish your kids? Send him to a Reds game?

      • Nope…4 others said let’s go.lots care about mlb and reds.
        2 of them have exit velocities way above Billy and peraza.

  23. Indians 10 Cubs 0 in the 5th. The Cubs just went like 8 games in a row without scoring more then 3 in a game. They’re not that good but somehow they look like the 27 Yankees against the Reds.

  24. Peraza adds 0-2 to May numbers of a .195 batting average, .225 obp, and .459 ops. Feel free to pile on like the chess pieces in Mel Brook’s History of the World!

    • Sounds like a player that should always bat in the top 2 spots of the order. Reds are just trying to get ahead of all other MLB teams by batting the worst hitter on the team 1 or 2 in the order.

  25. If Peraza doesn’t understand the basic concept of “take a pitch or two to let Billy steal a base,” that’s a problem, but what strikes me as the bigger problem is that nobody seems to be telling him he’s doing something wrong. The problem isn’t batting him after Hamilton, the problem is that nobody seems to be coaching these guys at ALL.

  26. By far the worst outfield in the league. Just embarrassing.

    • Lead off double and Scott and Duvall strike out on 6 pitches.Embarassing.

  27. You guys do know that the Reds are winning right now, don’t you?

    • Harvey looks good! 13 innings as a Red with a 2.77era. 12 Ks and only 2 walks. If he continues with anything like this then he could probably get $70 for 4 years or something from someone. A 3rd-4th starter on a good team or the ace for a scrub team like the White Sox.

    • Oh, then the team has no problems. Good.

      • I was just trying to say that he will probably price himself way out of the Reds price range. Maybe they could get a right-handed CF in a deal somehow? To the Yankees with Iggy for Clint Frazier and some premier Yankee prospects!

    • Yes and they still have the,worst outfield in the league.

  28. Scooter! Grand Salami !!!

  29. Someone tell scooter to stop swinging at that first pitch

    • The difference between Scooter swinging at the first pitch and Peraza is Scooter is a good hitter. Peraza is not. Peraza swings at pitches outside the strike zone. Todd Hollandsworth said the other night that Peraza doesn’t take enough pitches to get comfortable in the box.

  30. Wow. I think Scooter needs to come off the trade list if he was ever on there!

  31. Classic GABP homer. That ball’s a harmless fly out in every other stadium.

  32. Lol @ Pirates walking Votto to get to Scooter

  33. Scooter … makes … them pay …

  34. Does anyone want to talk about Scooter’s defensive metrics?

  35. This would make the Reds 3-0 in Harvey’s starts. The Mets actually won the last 3 games he pitched in for them. Compare that to the Reds 1-9 in Homer’s games

  36. Harvey was very good and very efficient after a 30 pitch first inning.You could see why he was an ace because he got better as the game went along.

    • I agree. And he kept his mouth shut when he walked back to the dugout when the first inning ended.

      I’m sure he had an opinion on the umps strike zone. I am glad he didn’t share it with the ump.

  37. Why not Hughes instead of Hernandez?

    • 1 hit allowed, but no damage. Garrett owes him a dinner

    • They’ve both been really good! They’re also both 33. Trade them with Harvey or Iggy…..do what you have to do but find us a right-handed CF and maybe some young power arms to help in the pen down the road.

  38. I throw a ton of poo on the wall verbally and hope a little of it sticks BUT I did suggest Tucker in the 2 hole back in early April. He gets a ton of basehits past the 1st baseman and can take advantage of that hole. Plus he’s smart and can take a pitch.

  39. Scooter…rbi #6 tonight

  40. Hughes said enough of this taking 4 guys to get 9 outs.I will get 3 really quick and the Reds win.

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