Tonight the Reds (21-39; 5th place NL Central) open a brief 6 game homestand with the first of three versus the Rockies (30-29; 2nd place NL West). Both teams sport 4-6 records over their last 10 games. However, the Rockies took 2 of 3 games from the Reds at Coors Field on the Reds recent road trip. Game time at GABP is 7:10pm.
Right hander Anthony DeSclafani is set to make his first start for the Reds since September 28, 2016 having missed the entirety of the 2017 season with elbow woes in his pitching arm which were eventually diagnosed as a partially torn UCL. DeSclafani received nonsurgical treatment for the UCL issue and was pronounced fit this spring only to be struck down by a recurrence of a left oblique injury which had previously sidelined him for 2 months at the start of the 2016 season. All told, since the end of the 2015 season DeSclafani has made 20 MLB starts and pitched a total of 123.1 innings all between June 10, 2016 and end of the 2016 season. What he will bring to the table tonight along with whether and how long he can remain in the Reds rotation are questions only time will answer. However his 2/3 of a season run in 2016 was head and shoulders better than any Reds starter since save the half season stretch by Luis Castillo in 2017.
Kyle Freeland, a 25 year old left hander who was the #8 overall pick in the MLB 2014 June draft, will be the Rockies starter tonight. Freeland debuted in the Rockies rotation in 2017 making 33 starts and completing 156 innings. Tonight will be his eleventh start of 2018 as he remains on pace for his second 30 start MLB season, To date in 2018 he has posted better than half a run improvement over his 2017 ERA, FIP, and xFIP. He has also improved his game longevity to just a tick less than 6.0 innings per start this season versus just better than 4.2 in 2017. Freeland recently had a streak of 6 consecutive quality starts ended. During this streak he averaged better than 6.2 innings per start. Freeland throws a fastball of some variety nearly 90% of the time mixing a four seamer (34%/ ~93 MPH), sinker (28%/ ~92 MPH) and cutter (25%/ ~86 MPH). He also throws a change up (8%) at about the same speed as his cutter and occasionally mixes in a full slider in the 80 MPH range.
Lots of similarity in the numbers right down the line. Let’s hope Disco can still dance as well as he did in 2016.
Both teams were off Monday. Both teams have 6 games in 6 days until their next off day. Bullpen availability should not be an issue tonight.
|1. DJ LeMahieu (2B)
2. Charlie Blackmon (CF)
3. Nolan Arenado (3B)
4. Carlos Gonzalez (RF)
5. Trevor Story (SS)
6. Gerardo Parra (LF)
7. Ian Desmond (1B)
8. Chris Iannetta (C)
9. Kyle Freeland (P)
|1. Jesse Winker (RF)
2. Tucker Barnhart (C)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Scooter Gennett (2B)
6. Adam Duvall (LF)
7. Scott Schebler (CF)
8. Jose Peraza (SS)
9. Anthony DeSclafani (P)
Looks like this is the Reds small field OF lineup rotation in place of the four man rotation. At least that works for me!
News, Notes and Reading
Here’s the roster dance moves to get Anthony DeSclafani from the 60 day DL to 40 man roster then on to the 25 man roster
#reds activated DeSclafani to pitch tonight. To make room on 25-man roster, Jackson Stephens was optioned to Louisville. To clear spot on 40-man, RHP Kevin Shackelford was released.
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) June 5, 2018
On Monday night the first two rounds of the June draft took place. Here is some background on the Reds #1 (overall #5) pick Jonathan India currently of the Florida Gators
Excellent background article on Reds #1 pick. https://t.co/MOmqTS29il
— Steve Mancuso (@spmancuso) June 4, 2018
— OhioJimWalker (@jn_walkerjr) June 5, 2018
And a clip of India doing what he does to help propel his Florida Gators into the NCAA Super Regionals
— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) June 5, 2018
As if we needed it, here is more fuel for the Scooter debate
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) June 5, 2018
It is back to baseball tonight for the Reds after a circus of a road trip where off the the field issues took the center ring. All eyes will be on Anthony DeSclafani who will step onto a major league mound for the first time in 20 months. Whatever Disco does or does not do tonight, we need to try and stay on even keel with him. World beater, beaten by the world or somewhere in between what we see tonight will be just the first step in what figures to be a long process.
Even if DeSclafani hits the road running and pitches lights out for the remainder of 2018, given the history of his injury woes, struggling to get started three consecutive springs, twice struck with the same or a very similar injury, we really won’t have an answer on him until he shuts down for the winter and tries to restart again next spring. Expect nothing. Be happy with any positive results and patient with less than positive outcomes. And as always GO REDS!