One of the critical aspects of a rebuild cycle such as the one the Reds are currently in is to take a good look at young talent to learn as much as you can about their current abilities and future potential.
One name flying way under the radar this season is Alex Blandino. Despite functioning primarily as a reserve and pinch hitter, Blandino is on the Major League Baseball rookie leaderboard in several categories:
- .363 on-base percentage, ranking fifth among all rookies
- .275 batting average, ranking eighth
- 0.3 WAR, tied for 15th
- 96 WRC+, 18th
Blandino is an infielder by trade, but is not going to supplant either third baseman Eugenio Suarez or second baseman Scooter Gennett (unless he is traded, which is an entirely separate idea being debated all over Redleg Nation). Blandino was drafted as a shortstop, so maybe it’s time to take a look at him more frequently at that position.
During his minor league career, he was primarily a second baseman, so perhaps the player development staff has determined that shortstop is not his best position. But it would be nice to see him get some starts at shortstop, particularly with the slump Jose Peraza has been enveloped in for the past couple of weeks. But Blandino won’t start today, as you’ll see below.
Today the Reds face the Colorado Rockies in the rubber game of a three-game series beginning at 3:10 Eastern time at Coors Field in Denver. The Redlegs are shooting for their second consecutive series win after taking two of three at home against the Pirates last week. Should the Reds win today, it would be the first time this season they have won back-to-back series.
All hail the #MattHarveyEra! Since he was added to the roster, the Reds are 9-7. In his three starts, he has posted a 2.57 earned run average, with 12 strikeouts and only two walks in 14 innings. At times we have seen the rustiness you would expect with a pitcher who has been struggling to come back from multiple injuries and was dropped from the Mets rotation. At other times, we’ve seen flashes of what appears to be an accomplished major league pitcher, who actually gets ahead of batters and then puts them away. He said recently that catcher Tucker Barnhart identified a mechanical flaw mid-game, and the results thereafter were noticeably better.
Marquez is a righthander in his second full major league season, and his statistics paint the picture of about as average of a major league pitcher as you can find. The Reds should have the chance to score some runs today.
Michael Lorenzen, Amir Garrett, David Hernandez and Jared Hughes each pitched one inning last night, and all should be available for at least an inning today. Wandy Peralta, Tanner Rainey, Dylan Floro and Jackson Stephens should all be available for multiple innings if needed. So this group should be ready early if Harvey struggles, and late in a close game.
|LF Jesse Winker||CF Charlie Blackmon|
|C Tucker Barnhart||LF David Dahl|
|1B Joey Votto||3B Nolan Arenado|
|2B Scooter Gennett||SS Trevor Story|
|3B Eugenio Suarez||RF Carlos Gonzalez|
|RF Scott Schebler||1B Ian Desmond|
|SS Jose Peraza||2B Ryan McMahon|
|P Matt Harvey||C Tony Wolters|
|CF Billy Hamilton||P German Marquez|
News and Notes
The Reds are next to last in the majors in batted balls hit at 110 mph or more …
— Daren Willman (@darenw) May 27, 2018
Did you catch the end of last night’s game? If so, you probably reacted like Scooter and me …
24/7/365, you know it. 👀 pic.twitter.com/W1XJrk0cdt
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 27, 2018
Billy Hamilton last night hit the fastest triple ever clocked by Statcast …
If you blinked you might have missed @BillyHamilton.
— #Statcast (@statcast) May 27, 2018
George Hill of the Cleveland Cavaliers has a big game this evening, but the Indiana native apparently has another team on his mind (and head) at least some of the time, based on this press interview …
The secret to George Hill’s success of late: Chipotle pic.twitter.com/5ZCrHEFlco
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 26, 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.