Top prospect Nick Senzel tore a tendon in the index finger of his right hand in last night’s Louisville Bats game, as reported this morning by our Steve Mancuso. The injury will require season-ending surgery, the Reds announced.

Reaction among Reds fans was predictable:

The debate of when to bring him up from Louisville, at least in 2018, is now moot. The most immediate impact is likely to center around Scooter Gennett and Dilson Herrera. Most of the talk centering around a possible Scooter Gennett trade was with the mindset that second base was being cleared for Senzel.

Here are some arguments from the perspective that Gennett’s development as a hitter is legitimate and not some fluke that is likely to unravel:

If Gennett is traded – and this correspondent says that should ONLY be done for equal or greater value, which ideally would be for a package including a starting pitcher either already in a major league rotation or banging on the door from the minors – then Herrera would likely be Gennett’s successor this year.

At Louisville, Herrera’s slash line is .285/.373/.423 with a .797 OPS. His reputation has been as an infielder who can hit, and we may get the chance to see him prove it. He’ll be the first call-up if injury strikes either Gennett or Eugenio Suarez.

Hypothetically, if Gennett gets traded, and Herrera comes up and is impressive, then you’ll have the same issue at the beginning of 2019 as you had this year: Where will Senzel play?

The positions which could use upgrades on the Reds as currently constituted are left field, center field and shortstop. There was an article earlier in the year in which Reds bench coach Pat Kelly, then serving as manager of Louisville, was quoted as saying that Senzel is definitively NOT a shortstop. It has been my argument for weeks that the second-base logjam will need to be broken by one or more of the principals moving to the outfield – or at least being given a long look there to see if they can handle it defensively.

Marty Brennaman agrees:

But enough of the bad news. The good news prior to today’s third game of the four-game set against the Cubs at Great American Ball Park is that the Reds have won eight of their last 10 games, including five in a row. Prior to yesterday’s game, the Reds media relations crew shared this information:

Game time is 4:10 p.m. Eastern time.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Luke Farrell 17.1 3.61 3.01 34.2% 7.9%
Anthony DeSclafani 15.2 4.60 3.92 22.7% 6.1%

There are some good storylines in today’s pitching matchup. Righthander Luke Farrell gets the call for the Cubs. He’s made 12 appearances in relief so far this year, and is starting today because Chicago had to juggle its starting pitching rotation after a doubleheader last Tuesday. Farrell, of course, pitched for the Reds late last season after being released by the Royals. As the Reds front office was making roster decisions following the regular season, they put Farrell on waivers – and he was claimed by the Cubs. Also, don’t forget that Farrell’s dad, John, is a part-time scout for the Reds.

The younger Farrell has 26 strikeouts in 17.1 relief innings to date. Since he’s averaging less than two innings per appearance, it’s quite possible this is going to be a “bullpen day” for the Cubs, similar to the strategy the Tampa Bay Rays are employing every fifth day. It’s going to be very interesting to see what kind of stuff Farrell has, and whether or not the front office may have made a mistake in letting this particular young pitcher slip away.

DeSclafani, after a rough first start, appears to be rounding into form following his injury rehab. His last two starts, both wins, have resulted in 10.2 innings pitched and four earned runs allowed. If he can stay healthy, and that is certainly questionable, he is the stabilizing veteran that the very young rotation needs and that Homer Bailey has not been.

Starting pitching update: Reds starting pitchers have given up 19 runs in the past 10 games, of which – not coincidentally – eight have been victories, and …

Bullpen

David Hernandez pitched two lights-out innings in last night’s win, and may not be available today. Everyone else should be ready if called upon.

Starting Lineups

Cubs Reds
3B Tommy LaStella SS Alex Blandino
RF Jason Heyward C Tucker Barnhart
2B Ben Zobrist 1B Joey Votto
1B Anthony Rizzo 2B Scooter Gennett
C Willson Contreras 3B Eugenio Suarez
LF Kyle Schwarber RF Jesse Winker
SS Addison Russell LF Adam Duvall
CF Ian Happ P Anthony DeSclafani
P Luke Farrell CF Billy Hamilton

News and Notes

Good news from Dayton …

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.

Join the conversation! 59 Comments

  1. I’d love to know if Greene’s line of 0 BB’s is because of his control or due to free-swinging at that level. Still like the looks of it.

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  2. Looking forward to a lineup with the best five hitters listed 1 to 5. I’m pretty sure I remember it happening once or twice this season, so it’s not out of the question for it to happen at least once before the end of the year. I hope the next manager understands why he might want to do it more than three or four times per season.

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    • Just looking at the 1976 lineups. With the exception of Driessen occasionally cracking the top 5, there were very few occasions when anyone other than Rose, Griffey, Morgan, Foster, Bench, or Perez occupied the top five spots. One could argue these were hall-of-fame quality hitters so of course they’d be at the top, but one could also argue the 1975 Reds were in a far better position to experiment with weaker hitters at the top of the order than the 2018 Reds are. Sparky’s team would have been fine with Concepcion or Geronimo hitting 1st or 2nd most games, but still he didn’t mess around with it. It shouldn’t be considered “old school” to do what Price, Riggleman, and Baker insist on doing. It should be considered “dumb school.”

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    • I guess you haven’t watched Tucker mash lately???

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  3. Iglesias’s competition Zach Britton got lit up last night. Gave up 5 hits and 4 runs while recording just 1 out. If the Reds plan on trading him that helps quite a bit. I also expect plenty of teams in need of starting pitching will have and eye on this game today. The Yankees were kicking the tires on J. Happ earlier this week.

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  4. The Senzel injury has given the Reds front office cover to not try and start the window of contention until 2020. Let’s hope the FO uses the time wisely to make the upgrades across the board that the team desperately needs.

    This nice stretch of play has just now moved the Reds above the Marlins for fewest wins in the National League. Projected currently to finish 70-92.

    A Senzel in LF, Winker in RF, Gennett at 2B (or Herrera), Peraza at SS…..that is a mini-Rockies setup…let’s win every home game 8-6.

    Which is one way to do, but you need a manager to implement it and game manage it that way. Riggleman and his love of bunting is certainly not the guy.

    Go Redlegs.

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  5. Glad to see Blandino get some playing time, would like to see Dixon get a little more.

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    • I agree Bill and last night against a lefty would have been a good time.Dixon has some pop and he is good enough at second base on defense or even in the outifield.Need to see more of him.

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      • Definitely need to see more of Dixon because he is creeping towards the bottom of the 40 man roster. Herrera is not even on it and if he gets recalled Ervin or Stephens are possibly next in line. Not to mention Bailey as well. I dont think they will becayse of the money but he could be taking up space.

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  6. Going for 6 in a row! GO REDS!!!!

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  7. Did they move the game to Wrigley? Cub fans with all the great seats.

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  8. Tucker!!! 2-0! Good guys!!

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  9. Well, I was pissed that they’re batting Blandino and Barnhart 1 and 2.
    Guess I’m glad I didn’t write anything about that here. 🙂

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  10. Probably a home run but still discouraging how many cubs fans there.

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    • I went to the last series the Cubs were at GABP, and it was truly a drag to be at a Reds home game and have what seemed to be more Cubs fans than Reds fans there. The Reds lost, and it was not a fun day in any way. The only way to change that is for the team to keep winning and bring more home fans back to the stadium.

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  11. A higher wall needed in right field, and too much blue in the ballpark and not enough red.

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  12. One day someone will stop walking Votto to get to Scooter

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  13. Suarez tacks on another

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  14. I knew Billy had picked up a tad lately, but I didn’t know he now 4th all-time in on base percentage? Turns out its a different Billy Hamilton. Who knew?

    Good to have Disco back!! Attacks the plate and he’s not at 55 pitches after 3 like most of our guys!

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  15. Another Maddon move backfired, pulling his starter with 2 outs in the 3rd.

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  16. Disco demolition slam!!!!!!!!!!

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  17. Most aren’t true fans,I live in cardinal country and they did same thing at Busch will go away soon enough

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  18. De-train with a grand slam. Holy cow.

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  19. That was absolutely outstanding. Who needs dh?

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  20. Disco! Lol sign him for 10 years. Stupid cubs

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  21. That did NOT just happen … what an inning. Stupid Cubs and 20k fans in shock.

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  22. I’m sure some are going away now haha

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  23. That’s a bit of history: the first since Bob Purkey in 1959. I remember him well. A solid pitcher. Not such a good weekend for Cubbie fans.

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  24. No grand slams for a Reds pitcher since 1959. Is that true? Thats crazy! That can’t be right? All of that with 2 outs and nobody on. They had Joey easily too, but messed up the relay twice!

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    • Yes. Last Red’s pitcher grand-slam by Bob Purkey in 1959 also against the Cubs, and now Disco 59 years later.

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  25. My apologies no sound here (finally getting to watch a game live though). Who got thrown out?

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  26. I have watched every inning so far and it seems to me that the stupid Cubs have turned into a bunch of whiny, spoiled brats……keep it up Redlegs.

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  27. If you are going to give up a few HR’s, solo shots are the way to go.
    2 ER’s thru 6 for Disco…most likely his last inning.

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  28. Maddon throwing his reliever 4 games in 5 days, multiple inning in some cases

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  29. Kyle Crockett went to high school 30 minutes from here in SE Va.

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  30. Getting really tired of watching Blandino and Votto take called third strikes.

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    • And all of the half swings are piling up too.

      Pitchers that throw that 2 seam fastball at his right hip that fades back to the inside corner, gives him all kinds of problems.

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    • Blandino for sure. Has done it for awhile. If he doesn’t want to swing the bat , they have plenty of guys in the minors who will

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  31. Disco back out there in the 7th. Only at 88 pitches. I like it.

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  32. Love to see Suarez drive the ball to center last night, and to Right center today for a triple

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  33. Is there a reason why the Red’s starting pitchers have been better lately?

    “Darwin was nicknamed “Doctor Death” by Houston Astros teammate Nolan Ryan because of how tough Darwin was and all the fights he had purportedly won.”

    “During a brawl between the Phillies and the Giants, Orel Hershiser claims Darwin punched him in the face. At the time, the two were teammates. Hershiser claimed it was retribution for Hershiser hitting Darwin back when he was pitching against him.”

    “During a game while playing with the Giants, Darwin and Barry Bonds into a heated argument when Bonds lazily fielded a hit that became an RBI.”

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  34. Atlanta closer Vizcaino hurting. Philly, Rox and Cleveland hurting for a closer or someone at the back end of the bullpen. The front office should show fans they have a pair and pull off a trade that brings quality players in return for Raisel to fortify the roster’s needs. All these teams are within 5g or closer of first place, if not in 1st place, in their respective divisions. This front office MUST START SHOWING THE FANS THAT THEY HAVE A PULSE!

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    • If they wanted to show a pulse, they would keep their good players, and buy a few free agents.

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      • Yo Bro! Who are the “good” players they should keep and are they young enough to be around to help the next playoff team? What FA’s should they “buy?” The free agent player must agree to come to Cincinnati, just a reminder, it’s not a one-way street.

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        • Reds are not far off from competing. They got rid of an incompetent, uninspiring dull manager who lacked urgency in Bryan Price. They called up someone with real pitching expertise in Danny Darwin.

          Next year and the year after are in play. What they need are a couple decent starting pitchers (an extra one or two for depth, see how it works for the Dodgers last year and this) – and this might be an acceptable time to acquire free agents at manageable, non budget busting prices. Last off season the market regressed more toward rationality. It has further to go. Salaries had gotten far out of whack for the small market teams. Will take some shrewd playing of chicken, Reds mgmt might be able to get a couple decent starters at Lance Lynn pricing or perhaps they can find some arms like the Cards from overseas.

          That won’t guarantee anything but it would give the Reds a chance to get in the playoffs. How far they’ll go depends upon further development of Castillo, Mahle and DeSclafani. If Castillo rebounds next year the way Severino has this year…..perhaps the Reds relive 2012 with a more appropriate outcome.

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  35. Garrett punks Rizzo again…GIDP. BEAUTIFUL!!!

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  36. Hbp here?

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  37. Allard, Toussaint & Pache and Atlanta still has a plethora of starting pitching prospects. Tjhis helps them separate from Philly and the Nats.

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  38. Nicky Lopez for Robert Stephenson.

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  39. One of these days a Red’s GM must go where no Red’s GM has ever gone before (in the BC era)…make a friggin trade for players we need!

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  40. Votto cranks one off the backup catcher. They all count though!

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    • He smoked a 67 mph heater but hey we have been on the other end of these kind of games for the least 5 years and counting.Cubs starters aren’t so good to begin with and we missed Lester this time.Of course the Cubs are 10 over after today’s loss so they do a bunch of things right.

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  41. And Votto helps pile on. Are there any Cubs fans left in the stands?

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  42. How about the play Blandino made?

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    • That was a beauty. I’ve heard some say Blandino can’t play SS, but I think they’re wrong.

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About Tom Mitsoff

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.

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2018 Reds, Game Thread

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