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.

Starting Pitchers

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.

 Comparative Stats:

PITCHER xFIP IP/ Start HR/9 BB% K%
Anthony DeSclafani
2016 MLB
3.99 6.1 1.17 5.9% 20.7%
Kyle Freeland
2018
4.10 6.0 1.10 7.8% 20.4%

Lots of similarity in the numbers right down the line. Let’s hope Disco can still dance as well as he did in 2016.

Bullpens

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.

Lineups

            ROCKIES             REDS
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

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

 

And a clip of India doing what he does to help propel his Florida Gators into the NCAA Super Regionals

As if we needed it, here is more fuel for the Scooter debate

Final Thoughts

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!


Data and Stats courtesy of fangraphs and MLB.com

75 Responses

  1. Tiffin Reds

    Come on reds!! Disco is back 😎

  2. Jack

    If Billy can hit 9th then why not Peraza? I would like Peraza to hit there more than the human strikeout. Am I wrong Jim? And I wouldn’t get to cozy within lineup. Billy will be back in there tomorrow. BC loves him.

  3. Jazzmanbbfan

    I saw DeSclafani pitch in the spring training game that afterward they announced the oblique injury. Thought overall he looked good that day; good breaking pitch, fastball a little low on velocity. I was really surprised when they announced the injury because he seemed smooth and not laboring at all while he was on the mound.

  4. docproctor

    This is close to my ideal lineup. Personally, I’d drop Barnhart in the order but keep Winker, Votto, Suarez, and Scooter at the top (in that order). I’d also rather see Blandino than Peraza at SS, but we all know that’s not going to happen.

    Other than that, I’m good with this lineup. And I also like the idea of Billy as a defensive replacement later in the game, bumping Schebler to RF and Winker to the bench.

  5. Sliotar

    LOL, Jack. Game thread snark around here is the best.

    Serious question….did Riggleman give a reason why Barnhart hits 2nd? I was away when he started doing that.

    The trend this season for many teams is to put their best hitter 2nd (Trout, Judge hit there daily).

    Small sample size and all, but Barnhart is much better htting 7th than 2nd in 2018….

    Hitting 2nd – 11 for 41 (.268), .318 OBP, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 70 OPS (wRC+ not on splits at BB Ref)
    Hitting 7th – 21 for 63 (.333), .391 OBP, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 148 OPS

    //widgets.sports-reference.com/wg.fcgi?css=1&site=br&url=%2Fplayers%2Fsplit.fcgi%3Fid%3Dbarnhtu01%26year%3D2018%26t%3Db&div=div_lineu

    That is quite the OBP with the pitcher hitting behind him.

    Go Redlegs.

    • Bill

      My guess is so he wanted a righty between Winker and Votto, but wants to keep Suarez in the four spot. That leaves Duvall and Peraza who aren’t good options either.

      I think I would just go ahead and hit Votto second followed by Suarez and Gennett and not worry about the LH specialist reliever coming into the game

      • Sliotar

        Ohhh…yeah. Good call. Thanks.

        I wasn’t thinking like that. Like you, I was thinking….these guys are good enough hitters, I would go for the upside of them sequencing a big inning, whether in 1st or later….and worry about the LH reliever thing later, if it even comes to pass.

  6. bouwills

    You look at those lineups, & I wonder, what if the Reds just had Blackmon in cf batting 2nd?? Completely different offense.

  7. big5ed

    This lineup shows the problem that the Reds have against left-handed pitching. They start 4 left-handed hitters, and until this year at least, Barnhart was better against right-handers. Votto has a .613 OPS v. LH, and .969 v. RH; Winker has a .438 v. LH, and .729 v. RH. Throw in Peraza and the pitcher, and you have 4 pretty weak hitters against lefties.

    Hamilton’s OPS against lefties is .583; figuring in base-running, he has pretty much been Votto’s offensive equal against lefties. That is pretty discouraging, although it does come with a 3-Star Small Sample Size Alert for Votto.

    Senzel in left or 2B would look pretty good.

  8. Seat101

    Hi say he has no more than three starts before he goes back on the DL

  9. Indy Red Man

    Disco grooves an 0-2 pitch…Winker and Votto with misplays. Typical start for the Reds. Winker not getting the ball cleanly as it wrapped around the corner is one thing but I have no excuses for Joey? I just don’t know what he’s thinking half the time? He loves to throw to 2nd and he had Arenado all day there but he was looking home and ended up with nothing.

    Arenado with a brain cramp too…it happens but its nightly (or hourly) for the Reds

      • VaRedsFan

        Not so. Votto has to pump fake every time a ball is hit to him with runners on. It’s Disco’s job to cover 1st base. No pump and he gets the out easily. 100% on Votto

      • Seat101

        I need to disagree with the distinguished gentleman from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

        He double palms because he didn’t want to throw the ball into the pitcher’s ear

  10. james garrett

    Can’t hit lefties.Back up catcher,Dixon and Blandino should be in there tonight.

  11. Indy Red Man

    This lineup? Winker & Barnhart are much worse vs lefties. Joey’s hitting .183 vs lefties and that might be semi-permanent as he ages? They signed that OF Jennings going into last year because they were weak vs lefties….he doesn’t make the team then they don’t even try to improve it this off-season?

  12. james garrett

    Guy gets us on 9 pitches and never broke 90.

  13. Seat101

    My goodness! Whom do you want catching Disco tonight? Does anybody want the backup catcher doing it?

    Anyone?

    • james garrett

      Sure why not.When you throw a cookie on 0-2 to the 8 hole hitter right it doesn’t matter if I am catching.Tucker does not hit lefties.Its already 4-0 and I would think we may have to score a few don’t you?

      • Seat101

        Before the game starts, if you don’t pick Barnhart to start, you’re not filling out the lineup card right.

      • james garrett

        I could be wrong he is hitting 12 for 30 this year against lefties which is a cool 400.Lets see what happens

    • Indy Red Man

      I agree with you. It just seems like a throw away game? I guess they’re all throw away games this year….from Opening Day on. Disco looks like he’s just trying to warm up like spring training….nothing but fastballs. It would be nice if he could get it back somewhat at some point? They need a veteran influence. If he could pull off 3.75 or something….that would be good!

      • james garrett

        It is a throw away game based on Disco and our line up.He will throw 80 to 9 pitches and take a seat more then likely and we will flounder all night against a lefty.Disco wasn’t going to come out and pitch he is just throwing.Its spring training to him for at least 3 starts.

  14. WVRedlegs

    I was afraid of having DeSclafani first game back against the Rockies. They just crush Reds pitching in GABP.
    Come on rain.

    • VaRedsFan

      Can’t believe the Rocks sat Cargo for 2 games in Col vs. the Reds. He might be cptain of the Reds killers team. 17 HR’s 1.048 OPS

  15. Old-school

    There is no one at the game. I had scouted stub hub tickets and never seen ticket prices this low.

    • Sliotar

      Yeah, this crowd may make @EmptySeatsPics tonight.

      Someone took a photo from a weeknight game vs. Milwaukee earlier this season, and posted it at the above account. There could not have been 1,500 people total in GABP that night.

      • Sliotar

        Naw. It is to be expected.

        I do think it is a little jarring to see, first night back at home, after the Reds have been on the road a lot in the last couple weeks.

        A vivid reminder of the state of things.

      • Old-school

        School is out!
        It’s not April. Wow

  16. Indy Red Man

    I’m tired of Barnhart batting 2nd as well. Votto is mostly a singles/walks guy at this point and you need some speed to score from 2nd or steal a base to get to 2nd to begin with? I’d bat Votto 2nd or call up Senzel and put him there with Scooter to LF.

    Bottom line…..their offense is ok most of the time, but they need an elite offense to compete with their pitching being what it is. There is no margin for error. About the best they can hope for in the near future is middle of the pack pitching and thats seems far away too?

    • james garrett

      I think if the starts align we can become a middle of the pack pitching staff and be that way for a long time.In our park that would be good enough but we have to improve our offense.Got to out homer our opponents to win and this team as it is right now will/can not do it.

  17. james garrett

    Six in a row with 3 punch outs after the cookie to the catcher for the 2 run homer.Disco fever is on the way after a couple more starts.

  18. VaRedsFan

    India will be live on the broadcast in the top of the 4th

    • Indy Red Man

      Winker? Couldn’t have 2 worse atbats. He looks bad vs lefties most of the time and only mediocre vs righties. Just keep playing him and see what happens? He can’t improve on the bench.

      • Old-school

        i would send him to Louisville AAA and play every day till.All star break. He hits…he comes back at All star break. Not same player as he was last August.september.

  19. VaRedsFan

    Winker vs. lefties .125/.282/.156
    Perfect spot for him to get a start

    • Broseph

      You gotta wonder if this is the Dusty Baker / Price treatment Riggleman is giving Winker:

      ”Oh, you want me to start the rookie? Ok, I’ll show you”

      Otherwise, spot starting a player against such bad splits is just stupid. I hope it’s just stupidity and not something egregious.

      • VaRedsFan

        That crossed my mind. Setting the guy up to fail.
        I don’t actually think that would happen.

  20. Jack

    Parra bunted on the Reds shift out in Colorado. The nerve that he would do that again.

    • james garrett

      Yeah and he tried to steal but well it didn’t work out for him.Good player and obviously he will take it if you give it to him.

  21. james garrett

    Disco gave up a triple and a homer when he had the hitter 0-2.Cost him 3 runs.That won’t happen with him again.Do we let him throw the 5th or call it a night?

  22. Sliotar

    I feel like CarGo totally “Rope-A-Doped” Barnhart on that play.

    He ambled over towards the wall, never looked panicked, rushed…like he was conceding the double.

    Then that throw. Wow.

  23. WVRedlegs

    Jonathan India on with Thom and Cowboy. He said he hopes to be a SS at the next level but will play anywhere. Boy that is huge.

    • Jack

      That doesn’t mean the Reds will put him there. They will try to make him a pitcher or put him at 2nd where there is no depth.

  24. Broseph

    Anyone know where to find a player’s average batted ball mph on the season?

    Votto’s soft grounders, lack of homers and line drives is a bit concerning. His numbers aren’t horrible, but his slugging % isn’t Votto esqe.

    Wondering if age is catching up and his mph on Babip is nose diving.

  25. Seat101

    Well it’s time to put my four-year-old to bed.

    You guys go ahead and complain about the Reds without me.

    And I will try very hard to stay off your lawn.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah….we’re all grumpy old men that are completely unreasonable. The Reds front office has worked so hard to make this team exciting. How come we can’t see it? How come the hundreds of fans at the game seem bored?

      • Old-school

        Get those cataracts fixed old man Indy….dozens!!? Not hundreds.

      • Bill

        For minor league baseball expect minor league crowds.

  26. james garrett

    Right behind you Seat.Disco finished by getting the last 12 in a row thanks to the caught stealing.I am sure he wants back those 0-2 pitches that cost him 3 runs.Finished with a punch out of Blackmon and well if we could hit a little.Bring home a win nation.

  27. Indy Red Man

    We score…they immediately score to reclaim momentum. Rinse and repeat. I’m done. If they don’t bring up Senzel then I won’t make it to the break.

  28. VaRedsFan

    Cody Reed tonight 5.1 innings 12 hits 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K’s
    Senzel 0-3 so far

  29. VaRedsFan

    There goes Cargo again
    . 473 feet worth of long ball

  30. Sliotar

    This game is really starting to encompass the whole season in just one contest….

    -Fall behind in 1st
    -Can’t get that key hit with RISP to get back in the game
    -Other team out HRs Reds, and their HRs happen with runners on, Reds are solo shots
    -Peralta isn’t fooling anyone, hasn’t for quite a while
    -Star of the game performance by a long-time Reds killer

  31. Old-school

    Someone make a reasoned argument how the Reds make the playoffs in 2019.

    I can’t see it. That means 2020 and major roster reconstruction and needed trade deadline moves.

    Starting pitching is at least 2 years away.
    Serious consideration should also be given to changing GABP by even 5% such that 100 feet in RF is 10 feet further. And the fence is 5 feet higher.

    • jessecuster44

      Starting pitching more than 2 years away. No one can get past the 5th inning! There’s no help in AAA unless you count Bob Steve, and Greene is still in A ball.

    • VaRedsFan

      MLB contracts the LA Angels and Astros
      Reds get Trout to play behind Billy and Acquire Verlander and immediately make him a closer.

  32. Jack

    Lol waiving around Winker! That sums up the season right there.

  33. jessecuster44

    This team is horrible. I’m sure the players know it, and most feel bad. And I’m doubly sure that the nepotistic jackass front office is slapping each other on the back, laughing at how they get paid to be so bad.

    This. Rebuild. is. Dead. Blow it all up.

    • Jeff Reed

      Let’s try to stay optimistic and remember the Houston rebuild and what they eventually accomplished.

  34. Sliotar

    Special late add-ons to tonight’s “season expressed in just one game”:

    -garbage-time offense

    -Reds TOOTBLAN, having Jesse Owens…err…Winker thrown out at home to kill garbage-time rally. Thanks Coach Hatcher.

    This one has it all, folks.

    (Just not in a good way. Only question left is if Milton will be appearing here later.)

  35. BigRedMike

    Why in the world would they send a runner there??? That run was not that important, but, an out certainly was. Just inept baseball by the Reds in all aspects.

  36. Old-school

    The math is not looking good.
    Play .500 and lose 90-91.
    This team is a bad june away from an inescapable 100 loss season.

    Love scooter….but he’s not fixing that this year or next year or the year after that.

    Jonathan india.nick Senzel.taylor Trammell Hunter greene…..maybe in 3 years.

  37. Sliotar

    Thom complaining about narcissism of others in today’s society.

    What a way to cap off this game.

  38. james garrett

    Just checked back and see we have 15 hits but 14 of them are singles and only 4 runs.They hit two homers that scored 5 runs and we were really never in the game.We get those cookies when we get down big.

  39. james garrett

    Add another single and another run.Go Scooter.

  40. james garrett

    One more single and another run.Gee I could do this all night and maybe pull this out a single at a time.

  41. james garrett

    Sorry could not make it happen and I missed the new back up catcher’s double in the ninth.So it was a homer,a double and 15 singles for the good guys.

  42. Wayne nabors

    Should never lose with 17 hits,just shouldnt