The Reds meet the Rockies tonight in game 2 of the current 3 game series at GABP. If the Reds harbor hopes of recording a series win, they must win this one to keep those hopes alive after they wasted a decent return effort by Anthony DeSclafani and 17 hits by their offense in Tuesday’s 9-6 loss.

Starting Pitchers

Tonight’s game features a rematch of two young right handers who faced each other on May 25 when the Reds were in Colorado, Sal Romano for the Reds and Jon Gray for the Rockies.  They were the pitchers of record in a game won 5-4 by the Rockies.

In his 13th start of 2018 Sal Romano may be coming to a crossroads  of his MLB  career. As Romano approaches  a full season’s worth of starts at MLB since being put into the rotation last season, his MLB career ERA/FIP/xFIP rates of 5.08/4.79/4.71 for 28 starts are marginally acceptable for a backend rotation man. However, the same measueres for 2018 (13 starts), 6.00/5.80/5.05, indicate he may be sliding down a slippery slope. Romano has particularly struggled in his four most recent starts completing just 17.2 innings while compiling a BB/9 rate in excess of 6 and HR/9 rate of 2+. With both Robert Stephenson and Brandon Finnegan seeming to gain traction and momentum at AAA, time may be running short for Romano to get things moving back in a positive direction.

Like the Rockies starter Tuesday, Kyle Freeland, 26 year old Jon Gray is also a high first round draft choice having been selected by the Rockies with the #3 overall pick in the 2013 draft.  In his most recent four starts Gray has struggled nearly as much as his Reds counterart Sal Romano. A comparison of Gray’s ERA and xFIP over his rough stretch suggests he may be experiencing a run of bad luck, a suggestion which is further supported by his career ERA/FIP/xFIP rates of 4.62/3.41/.350 in 70 MLB starting assignments.

2018 Comparative numbers:

Sal Romano 5.60 5.0 1.65 10.6% 15.3%
Jon Gray 3.07 5.1 0.97 6.6% 26.2%

Romano would do well to take heed and attempt to emulate Gray’s BB% and K%. If he could do this, his xFIP would probably go a long ways toward taking care of itself


The Reds bullpen had to cover 4.0 innings Tuesday, while the Rockies pen covered just 2.1 innings.

Four Reds pitchers went an inning each. While all are likely available tonight, Amir Garrett and Dylan Floro who often work stints of more than an inning were among Tuesday’s pitchers and thus are probably limited to an inning or just a bit more at most each again tonight.

With the game seemingly put away before the Rockies went to their pen, their top relievers were spared work until the situation nearly got out of hand in the 9th; and, the closer Wade Davis had to come on to record the final out on just 3 pitches. Their top bullpen arms should be ready to roll as needed tonight.


            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. Tony Wolters (C)
9. Jon Gray (P)
1. Jesse Winker (LF)
2. Tucker Barnhart (C)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Jose Peraza (SS)
8. Sal Romano (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

Remember last week when Jim Riggleman announced the outfield rotation was over? Did he maybe forget to read his own reminder memo?

News and Notes

The 2018 MLB Draft winds up today. Here’s Doug Gray’s wall to wall coverage.

This guy has done nothing but hit and hit some more since the Reds got him in return for Tony Cingrani last season; and he’s not quite even 21 years old just yet.

Has a year really gone by the boards since this??

Final Thoughts

Last night was one of those games filled with what if’s for the Reds.  Anthony DeSclafani pitched well enough in his return to keep the Reds competitive. Actually he pitched a bit better than that as shoddy defense played a role in a couple of runs he allowed. The Reds victimized themselves further with a couple of TOOTBLANs one of which appeared to be on the coach rather than the player. The first 2 guys out of the Reds pen failed in a big way to hold the line and let the game seemingly slip from reach with one of the major plays being a bases loaded walk to the Rockies pitcher. Still the game ended with the tying run at the plate in a person who had already gone yard earlier in the game. WHAT IF!!

What if the Reds played fundamentally sound baseball on a consistent basis? Might the talent they have in hand actually be much closer to being a good team than we realize? And, is there any level of talent which would allow them to overcome the consistently poor level of fundamental play we see on a daily basis? GO REDS!

Stats and data courtesy of Fangraphs  and

44 Responses

  1. docproctor

    Good stuff.
    I continue to be mystified that Winker keeps getting inserted in the lineup, despite what Rig proclaimed last week.
    Pleased, but mystified.

  2. Tom Mitsoff

    Jim, I agree on Romano. He needs to start holding down opposing offenses pretty quickly, or it’s time to give someone else a shot.

  3. Sliotar

    “The effort and the intensity, I couldn’t be happier with the way the guys are getting after it. Sometimes, it’s the little things, running balls out, taking an extra base and that type of stuff. We did everything right.’’

    Jim Riggleman after last night’s game.

    The Reds were down 4-0 after 2 innings and 6-1 after 6 innings. Hardly “everything done right.”

    The final was 9-6 thanks to garbage time offense, courtesy of a Rockies starter at the end of his exposure to the hitters, and a poor COL bullpen.

    Am hardly a fan of “Doc”, but kudos for not falling for this ridiculous narrative of last night’s game.

  4. Ben

    Romano just needs a third pitch. Either improve the changeup or learn something else.

    He’s usually all fastball-slider and he’s only good when either a) his fastball is really working or b) he can work the change-up in more often than normal. The dude has a great fastball and a great slider, but that’s a reliever’s toolkit, not a starter’s.

    When A or B are both not happening, he either nibbles the plate (walks everyone) or he gets shellacked.

    He just needs a third pitch.

    • Jim Walker

      Yes, or he likely ends up in the bullpen

  5. Aaron Bradley

    Weird my friend in LA was saying they stole Cingrani from us, that their coaches fixed him very quickly, and that the guy we got is a strikeout machine. Something doesn’t add up.

  6. Joey

    I like 1-6 in the lineup. Can we just skip back to 1 after 6? It’s my birthday go Reds! I’m living in Kansas now I’m from Southeastern Ohio originally. Going to Kansas City on the 12th to see Reds vs. Royals!

    • Thomas Jefferson

      Happy birthday, Joey! May the Reds turn their season and rebuilding process around – starting tonight. That would be a pretty cool BDay present, wouldn’t it?

  7. JR

    Riggleman’s statements after the game were pathetic. I knew he would be a stop-gap manager but he’s worse than I thought. Hopefully, he’s gone after the All-Star Game and we have our manager of the future.

  8. docproctor

    Let the record show that Winker just made a really nice diving catch on a hard-hit ball to LF. Looked like Duvall out there.

    • seat101

      Please don’t get me wrong, I really like Jessie Winker – But the only highlight reel that catch will appear is his ….

  9. Old-school

    Leave Winker in left field.
    He’s better than Adam Dunn and Kyle Schwarber defensively . That was a nice play…give him 1000 at bats like everyone else gets.

  10. Indy Red Man

    Romano is a thrower and not a pitcher. Period. Can we move on to someone else please?

    Garrett may be a reliever? David Price in his mid-twenties would’ve been a great reliever too, however, he was too busy pitching 215 ip with a 2.70 era or whatever. The Reds can’t afford to not give Garrett a chance. Its really that simple. They don’t have enough pitching. Even Dick Williams understands 27th, 28th, 29, or 30th in team earned run average! Same with Lorenzen….they don’t enough good starting pitching. Guys like Disco spend more time rehabbing then pitching. They have no choice, but of course they’ll keep beating dead horses! They’re jones’ing to get Bailey back in there. I believe Joaquin Andujar is deceased or they’d be bringing him back.

    • George

      “Even Dick Williams understands”
      That is a very big leap of faith!! 🙂

  11. VaRedsFan

    Bob Steve lit up tonight too…so i guess he won’t be the next answer

    • Indy Red Man

      Bob Steve lit up and an O-fer for Senzel. Future is so bright we gotta wear shades.

      Roll out Garrett and then whenever Disco goes down and/or Harvey gets traded then roll w/Lorenzen.

  12. VaRedsFan

    According to Thom…Bailey will rehab as a starter and come back as a starter. I guess they will cater to his whining

    • WVRedlegs

      I was wondering if it was going to be a rehab thing. Thom said that Riggleman said Bailey would go to the minors, but I thought I heard “after he came off of the DL”. Which wouldn’t be a rehab stint. I was hoping they would have said some more about it. I can’t see Homer accepting a demotion to AAA to work on something. A rehab assignment sure, but not an outright demotion.
      But yes, the bullpen idea is DOA.

  13. Grand Salami

    Romano rocked again. When was his last decent outing? I get that this is a rebuild but these aren’t growing pains. This is being deficient in your pitching repertoire. Time to go down to AAA and work some more with Soto on the change. He made Cueto into a Reds HOF with that addition.

  14. Indy Red Man

    Look at the Cards starting pitching. Wacha has really rebounded. Carlos Martinez was great til he got hurt and he’s back. This young kid Jack Flaherty has a 2.48 era. They smartly picked up Miles Mikolas from Japan and he’s been great. They have another kid Jordan Hicks throwing 105 mph or whatever. What do they keep doing right that the Reds always get wrong? Molina is back as well. I picked them to win the division going in and I think they will. The Cubs aren’t the same and Milw’s starting pitching will fade.

  15. Indy Red Man

    Scooter now .347! When is the last time a Red won the NL batting title? I think Votto has finished 2nd before but I don’t know? Scooter or Freddie Freeman? Unless Arenado or Votto go crazy?

  16. Darrin

    Votto looks uncomfortable running today

  17. Indy Red Man

    So glad Romano is still out there so the Rockies can build that lead back up. Riggleman is just as bad as Price. He left Romano in too long his last few starts as well.

  18. Matthew

    A lead-off double is what happens when you throw 8 fastballs in a row and nothing else to the same hitter.

  19. Broseph

    Votto looking like Johnny Gomes alligator arming that grounder. Think he had a good shot at ending the inning without any damage

  20. WVRedlegs

    Jim, nice inclusion of Clemintina. A very nice pick up for Cingrani from the Dodgers. Dodgers were generous on another former Red, Ariel Hernandez. Reds got Isabel Ibadel down at Daytona. I think he and Clemintina lead all Reds minor leaguers in HR’s. They are tied or 1 and 2. Some power was lacking in the system.

  21. Indy Red Man

    All the Lorenzen haters are pretty quiet. I like it that way. He’s still pretty raw but the talent has always been there.

  22. Sest101

    Good night all! Please bring home a winner !

  23. Kywhi

    With my current Reds’ soundtrack consisting solely of Frank Zappa’s “The Torture Never Stops,” I can only hope the Reds’ top brass are being forced to listen to The Bealtles’ “I’m A Loser” on repeat. Meanwhile, in the spirit of of the Reds’ current struggles and the old question about the meaning of insanity, I have a special request for Bob Castellini: Ozzy Osbourne’s “Diary Of A Madman.”

    • Sliotar

      KYWHI, this made me laugh.

      Work in a little “Road to Nowhere” by Ozzy, if you have time.

  24. Jack

    Cincinnati Tootblans. Not a professional baseball team.

  25. Bill

    What ever they do they need to keep BH in the lineup, without his glove & strikeouts what would they do.

    • Sliotar

      Reds Caravan, January, 2017 –
      Bob Castellini tells fans “I hope Billy Hamilton is with us forever.”

  26. Sweendog

    Watching this team reminds me of not being very good at golf and after a bad day at the golf course, you hit a shot or two that keeps you coming back for more just because you love the game.

    Hate to be a Votto basher, but it seems even though he hits for average and gets on base, it seems that many of hits are meaningless. The old fan in me seems to remember guys like like Tony Perez getting the key hit so often that meant something. Didn’t hit for a high average, but his rbi’s seem to be when needed and not when the games were out if reach. Its like getting garbage points in basketball to hit your average ppg.

    I realize statistically he is probably a hall of famer, but he will end up like a lot guys who got there without winning anything.

    • BigRedMike

      Votto has not been as good this year in High Leverage situations. .217 BA and a wRC+ of 82.

      In his career he has been great .350 BA and wRC+ of 188

      Trout career .317 BA wRC+ 168
      Rizzo career .289 BA wRC+ 135
      Beltre career .274 BA wRC+ 101
      Pujols career .331 BA wRC+ 163

  27. Jreis

    Rambling late night points
    1. We almost broke 20 k for a weeknight game!!!Maybe we aren’t going to be the Charlotte Reds after all

    2. I can see why Ringleman doesn’t like Winker. Votto should have had an rbi but Winker just cruises into third base on a Sunday stroll.

    3. Sal is a career minor leaguer I am afraid unless he can develop another pitch

    4. Maybe time to move Tucker down in the line up again. Almost went golden today. Maybe switch with Shebler for a while

    5. When is the last time Joey had a memorable game changing hit?