After a thrilling win yesterday in which Reds pitchers continue to reaffirm there should be no designated hitter in the National League, the Reds will try to split this four game series with the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon at GABP. First pitch is at 1:10 ET.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Matt Harvey 75.0 5.28 4.52 16.8% 6.5%
Freddy Peralta 22.2 1.59 2.56 41.7% 10.7%

Yes, Matt Harvey still has an ERA above 5.00 for the season. Does that help his trade value? No, but the fact that in his last two starts, he has a 2.13 ERA in 12.2 innings pitched with two walks and eight strikeouts helps his trade value. If he can continue to pitch like that, the Reds can definitely get something for him at the trade deadline.

Harvey’s fastball velocity has increased almost two miles per hour since April and early May. He’s also throwing more sliders now than he did early in the season, and he’s locating his pitches better. When Harvey is having a bad game, it’s partly because he’s walking batters. When his command is pinpoint, he is more likely to have a better game.

Of Brewers’ hitters, the one who has the most success against Harvey is Lorenzo Cain, who is on the disabled list right now. There are a few other Brewers who have had success off him as well, but in limited at-bats. And no, Eric Thames does not currently have a home run off Harvey.

Matt harvey vs brewers

The Brewers called up their 10th-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, Freddy Peralta, in mid-May to replace Chase Anderson when Anderson went on the disabled list. The 21-year-old pitched so well that when Anderson came back, Peralta stayed in the rotation. Through four starts, Peralta has 35 strikeouts in only 22.2 innings. He’s walked nine, but has only given up one home run.

Peralta has three pitches: fastball, curveball and change-up. He likes to throw his fastball, as he’s thrown it 80.3% of the time this season, and then mix in his curve. He has rarely thrown his change-up (2.9% this season).

Lineups

BREWERS REDS
1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Tucker Barnhart (C)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Scott Schebler (RF)
6. Adam Duvall (LF)
7. Alex Blandino (2B)
8. Matt Harvey (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

The Reds lineup is posted. You can find the Brewers lineup here.

News and Notes

The Reds may still be in last place, but for the month of June, they were the best in the Central. I’ll take it.

Michael Lorenzen made history with his grand slam.

Reds pitchers also made history during yesterday’s game.

Only FIVE more days to get Scooter Gennett to the All-Star Game. He deserves it. (Oh, and vote for Eugenio Suarez and Joey Votto too).

Final Thoughts

After Lorenzen’s week at the plate, I’ve seen people mention that he should be the DH in AL ballparks or that he should play center field. I’m of the opinion that he should get a chance to start first. The Reds should try with Lorenzen what the Angels were doing with Ohtani before he got injured, except for one difference.

Lorenzen is proving that he can pitch in the bullpen (1.93 ERA in 23.1 innings since coming off the DL). Let him start every five days, but instead of putting him in the everyday lineup, use him as a pinch hitter when he’s not starting. That way, he’s able to get at-bats nearly every day and still able to show his skills on the mound. I just don’t think the Reds should give up on him as a starting pitcher yet. And I like the idea of a rotation consisting of Desclafani-Mahle-Castillo-Lorenzen-Romano (or sub in another fifth starter from AAA-Louisville). Also, yes, Homer Bailey is missing from that list.

 

All statistics are from Baseball Reference and FanGraphs.

 

Join the conversation! 105 Comments

  1. Huge start for Harvey and the Reds. Harvey’s fortunes and the Reds fortunes have become intimately intertwined. If Harvey can continue his dominant performance from the last 2 starts against CHC & ATL, he will become a significant rental trade at the trade deadline, a dominant starting pitcher for both a playoff push and a playoff run, at minimal financial investment. That translates to serious prospect(s) coming back to the Reds and a nice payday for Harvey as a FA.

  2. Your Lorenzen plan sounds workable. Since the Reds have several staerting guys who have trouble getting past 5 innings another possibility would be to pair ML with a couple of them as the preplanned guy who replaces them. That would also get him six innings or so a week on the mound and have his bat available in likely leverage situations in at least 2 games a week. On his non-pitching days he could be available off the bench.

    Long term, if they are interested in seeing him in the OF either as 2 way guy or fully “converted” back to an OF, I think he needs to go play OF in a high level winter ball league and take it from there based on how he does.

    • Lorenzen is definitely an unique opportunity/situation. I think I’d stick him in LF at gabp with Billy next to him. Try something like 5 innings and then pitch 2-3 days later. If he feels alright then do it again. Actually its good for a sinkerball pitcher to feel a little fatigued. Or he could try starting? Thats better then what they’re doing now! They just need to use him more and find out the best way for him to contribute.

      Stupid lineup today? Duvall vs a righty? Over Winker? This is a big game if you believe in momentum and the team feeling “hot”! Scooter could’ve rested against the White Sox?

      • To me the key is that if he is going to be a 2 way player, he has to be pitching on a regular predictable schedule.

        Sliotar suggests below making him either a starting pitcher or a fulltime OF and not trying to manage the 2 way part. I could be satisfied with him being a starting pitcher if he were available (and actually used) to PH every day except the day before he was to start. But I really think the player and the team should get their heads together and if they both are of a notion, send him to a high level winter league to play OF just to see before making the decision.

  3. This isn’t directed towards Shchi and Jim, both of whom’s perspectives I greatly appreciate reading,

    I have read from plenty of people here recently about trying Lorenzen in some type of Ohtani-type role, and I have a tough time getting enthused about it.

    We (anyone still a Reds fan is suffering together) mostly were on the #FreeLorenzen movement to make him a starter around here not too long ago. I would rather see that, and take whatever you get at the plate from his starts. Or just convert him to OF full-time.

    I don’t think this current manager/front office can be one of the first to adequately execute Steve’s “SP revolution.” Plus, the team still has Hamiltion and too many OFs as it is.

    The Reds are cheap, which is a problem, plus they have not come close to normal optimizing in several other areas to get up the win curve. This franchise can win the NL Central without gimmicks, dim as it seems now.

    Go Redlegs.

    • The only quibble I have with the starter or full time OF approach is the Reds management. Once the Reds decide a pitcher will move to the bullpen, it’s a done deal and permanent. I would be completely comfortable with Lorenzen as a full time member of a 4-man starting rotation or a full time CF.

      I just don’t believe the Reds will allow either of those moves. I do think that Lorenzen can pressure them into working a dual role out of the bullpen, either as a primary reliever and part time OF or a full time OF and part time reliever.

      Of course Lorenzen would have to prove his ability to hit at the major league level to make such an arrangement more than a temporary trial. I’m not betting against Lorenzen.

  4. Just FYI … I live in south-central Wisconsin, and so my local news/sports media coverage focuses on the Brewers for baseball. The Milwaukee media is absolutely head-over-heels over today’s starting pitcher for the Brewers, Freddy Peralta. He’s only 22 and has pitched lights-out, as you can see from the stats above. I have not seen him, so I am very curious to see if the hype is justified. (I hope that it is not, for at least today.)

  5. I am a big fan of Jose Pereza as some of you might have inferred. But I think he makes a great number seven or even number six or number eight hitter until he’s had more experience around the league

    • I am a Pereza fan as well. At 24 I think his best baseball is ahead of him.

  6. How could Riggleman take Scooters left handed bat out of the line up today? Peralta is deadly against Righ handed hitters

  7. In the past, Duval would have struck out two or maybe three times in that last at bat

  8. The boys have their hitting shoes on today:) Have to love these crooked number innings lately where they go 4-5-6 guys in a row without making an out!

  9. May be time to consider sending Blandino down to get some regular at bats. He is looking lost at the plate. This will be tough to do because he is the only back up SS they have who could even remotely play at he ML level.

    • Unless they might decide to slide Suarez over to shortstop in an emergency. I agree, Blandino is completely fouled up at the plate.

  10. The Reds must be near the bottom of the league in first to third or second to home. Is there a way to track this?

  11. Blandino looks at strike three with bases loaded no out.

    This is getting ridiculous.

  12. Blandino has to be more aggressive at the plate. Somebody has to inform him he is not Joey Votto and won’t get the close calls. Those balls are to close to the plate to leave your bat on your shoulders.

  13. Yes, he needs to be more aggressive. Yes, he should’ve swung extract three. But, he is getting a rookie strike zone called on him. Strike three would’ve been ball for for a veteran

  14. Good news: Reds lead 3-0 after the first inning. The whole lineup batted. The Brewers’ rookie pitcher already has 43 pitches.

    Bad news: Blandino, Harvey, and Hamilton all struck out with bases loaded. Could have gotten a lot more.

  15. I know the right thing to do is trade Harvey but boy would I like to see him here next year throwing the ball like he is now.

  16. My initial thoughts in bottom of first inning:

    1) Things I don’t understand about Riggleman, this Peralta’s tough on RH, so he leads Peraza off instead of Schebler and has Winker on the bench. Just cause it worked early doesn’t mean it was the right move.

    2) They should have gotten more than 3 runs in the first, hope that doesn’t come back and bite ’em.

    3) I don’t know how many called 3rd strikes Blandino has, but it seems like a ton. He has got to be more aggressive at the plate, protecting the plate with 2 strikes.

  17. Harvey through 2 innings:

    17 pitches, 13 strikes, 2 K, 0 BB.

    More of this, please.

  18. Harvey looks totally different pitching now than when he first got here. He just looks more comfortable and sure of himself out there. Maybe he just needed to get away from NY and that limelight and figure it out on his own. Either way I wish him well no matter what type of person he is because that is his business, not mine.

  19. Interesting commentary on the Reds by the Brewers’ telecasting crew: “Their lineup is certainly post-season ready, and the bullpen is very good.” Like everyone else, they commented that they are two or three starting pitchers away.

    That followed a discussion on the fact that Harvey is very likely to be traded.

  20. I fully get that we’re going to trade Harvey for prospects.
    I fully get that Scott Boras would never let Harvey sign a team-friendly deal with the Reds.
    But right now it’s hard to imagine finding anyone better on the free-agent market than this 29-year-old veteran who probably likes pitching for this team that gave him a second chance.

    • I would hope that if he keeps pitching like this, the front office would at least ask if he might be interested in a short-term contract before trading him. You never know unless you ask.

      • I too had a fleeting thought of whether Harvey might take a 1 year deal at $10M (he is making $5.625M this year) with a mutual option on a second year at 15M but a healthy buyout of 2-3M which would assure him of 12M for next season.

        Boras apparently has an analytics operation of his own which rivals many team operations. I’m sure he has the numbers crunched and the risks calculated of Harvey’s chances of cashing in even bigger after the 2019 season or coming up snake eyes if he goes for a bridge deal like that.

    • No way can the reds sign a guy who has the injury history of Harvey to a big money multi year contract.

    • I think Harvey and pitching coach Danny Darwin have worked well together.

  21. Keon Broxton is not too far behind Hamilton on the defensive excellence scale. He has made great plays in this series.

  22. Harvey is pitching himself out of town fast. They need to get up 8-0 so he can Homer around for a bit and give up 3-4 runs in 6:) Seriously…now that he has his slider working then he can be a #2 type starter (3.25 ish?) and the Reds are still paying Homer. They can’t afford Harvey. They could afford a 4.10 era Harvey possibly, but this version is too good. I wish $35 mil for 3 years would get it done and sign him tomorrow, but thats not the Reds reality.

    • That would be a nice contract for the Reds. But unfortunately Boras is his agent. Nice though watching him pitch lately. He hits his spots and seems to throw 97 effortlessly. Oh well let’s enjoy it while we have it.

  23. With the 7,8,9 positions in the batting order being 99% sure 0uts The Reds will need to score more than 3 today or have Harvey throw a complete 3 hit shutoutThe brewers have the knack of striking quick.

  24. Can’t have a meaningless no hitter though? Big Bob pays $50 mil each for those.

  25. We need to score some more and leave no doubt about this game.Harvey is throwing lights out right now but we need more runs because well you never can score enough.

  26. Cannot understand managing decisions that sit two of your best left handed hitters when the right hander you are facing has only given up one hit to right handed hitters since called up. How bg could that first inning have been?

    • And you change your lineup and lead off with a RH, when you’ve been using a LH lately.

    • Yep. Makes zero sense.

    • We owe the Brewers (2-7 vs them) and the White Sox are horrible….so the time to rest Scooter is not today…period! Unless he’s dinged up or something? Winker has been great lately too….makes zero sense. Riggleman is ok, but he’s not the guy for the Reds moving forward!

    • Gotta get Duvall and Hamilton going.

  27. It may work out but Scooter and Winker both set today just doesn’t work for me.Scooter’s days off should be against lefties and in my opinion Winker plays every day.

    • Scooter’s days off should be on the road against non-division rivals. He’s batting just fine against lefties this year.
      And yes, Winker should play every day. Especially today.

  28. Get out of town game for the umps. That was ball four easily to Peraza.

    • The home plate ump has been bad all weekend. That wasn’t even close to a strike.

  29. Harvey is not getting the same strike zone called as Peralta. If he was, Peralta would be out of the game after the Reds had pounded the pooh out of him.

  30. Harvey is simply dealing today thru 5 IP. This is his best outing of the season and all 3 of his last outing have been outstanding with all 3 against quality opponents. Whoever pulled the trigger on the Mesoraco/Harvey trade is looking like a baseball savant.

  31. Damn, this is not what we wanted…

  32. That’s crappy that rain will derail Harvey’s superb start today.

    • Harvey already has a superb start in the books. A significant rain for any duration will probably spell the end for both Harvey and Peralta, creating a bullpen game with the Reds up by 3 runs with 2 outs in the top of the 6th inning. That could be Crockett coming in to face Thames for the final out of the 6th, then turning it over to Hernandez, Hughes and Iggy.

      • I agree. I was just hoping to get another inning or two out of him, especially with him cruising.

    • He clearly wasn’t happy about the rain delay. Nor should he be. That sucks.

  33. I’m about 10 miles SE of the stadium and it’s bright sunshine here. Go figure.

    • I’m about 50/55 miles NNE of GABP. Like at GABP it was bright sunny and hot but then about the time the rain set in at GABP it got dark here and the wind came. Heard some thunder rumbling in the distance but no rain right here.

      I’m sure this doesn’t involve the same cell as at the park, but a really ironical happening.

      Now it is brightening here; so, hope for reverse irony at GABP

  34. 24 yr old lefty Max Fried K’d 11 Cards last night. A great curveball and good enough fastball. #3-4 starter potential and the Reds need a lefty starter badly! I’d trade them Harvey and whatever for him. He was 2-11 with a 5.92 at AA last year and he’s had TJ surgery already.

  35. Last season the baseball gods conspired against the Reds in the efforts as the season progressed and the trade deadline approached, but this season the Reds may have finally moved out of the baseball gods purgatory with Iggy, Hughes and Hernandez as premier relievers in a market starved for quality relievers and Scooter continuing to prove he is more than a flash in the pan. All 4 players have at least 1 additional season of control and all are on team friendly contracts for quality players. Shoot, Hamilton and Duvall are even doing their best to present a positive resume heading into the trade deadline.

    • Yes.

      We are now in a position to go for quality not quantity, Looking at floors and not ceilings.

      Plus we’re going to have a big enough rule 5 problem as it stands now without the addition of more prospects.

      • Looking at floors not ceilings was the Reds’ problem when they traded away their other guys. They need another star or two.

    • All of those players are replaceable on the Reds roster with internal candidates waiting at the MLB and MiLB levels. The Reds could cash in for a treasure trove of quality prospects and a quality MLB ready or near MLB ready starter or two. And that’s not even factoring in Harvey with 3 outstanding starting efforts in a row against quality opponents. Throw in Senzel and India and the Reds could find themselves facing some very difficult tough, albeit good tough, decisions during the off season with plenty of time to resolve those decisions.

  36. Restart scheduled for 3:40 p.m.

  37. Hey Joey Votto!

    Happy Canada Dsy!

    🇨🇦

  38. Trade Gennett and either trade or dfa Hamilton some time soon. Both will be at or near 10 million next year. Frees up payfoll.
    Does 3/40 get it done for Harvey? Don’t buy the Reds have no money deal.
    Just have to find a place for Senzel. 2b or the outfield. Not that difficult.

    Free Stephenson

    • Listening to the Brewers telecast crew all weekend, they have made reference to the fact that Scooter is throwing sidearm and underhand due to his shoulder injury. (You have to figure those guys know him pretty well and have probably talked to him personally.) If that is true, there is no way he can play the outfield, at least this year. If he can’t throw overhand moving forward, then it will have to be Senzel who goes to the outfield.

      • Good report Tom. If Milwaukee notices this difference from his past style; so, do scouts from other teams. I think the Reds are best to ride the situation out until the off season. With India now in the fold pending his physical, there’s another guy who Williams has already identified as a possible corner OF by 2020-21 who otherwise also looks like a 2B or 3B.

        Scooter is the guy it makes sense to move if Senzel is ready for the show in 2019 but it needs to be done in a way they are dealing from strength and not just moving him to create a spot. Unless somebody knocks them over with an offer at the deadline, I think that is more likely to happen in the offseason.

    • Don’t know about 3/40M for Harvey but along the lines I commented above, I’d almost bet they’d take 2/30M if the second season was a player (only) option and he got at least $15M for 2019 even if he walked away after 1 year. Maybe $12M/ $18M with a $3M buyout if he walks after one?

  39. Herenandez takes over…vs Thames.

  40. I forgot here in NY its Bobby Bonilla day! The Mets put another million in his bank account today. Best player contract ever!

    • I’m surprised more players don’t defer payments like that.

      • Griffey Jr. had deferred payments from the Reds in his big contract. Don’t remember how long they extended or for how much.

      • Money today is worth more than money tomorrow.

        • ….unless you have no self discipline.

          Actually in the world of technology a dollar tomorrow is usually worth more than a dollar today thanks to human ingenuity.

          That’s how things should normally work (depreciation over time thanks to technological advances) in peacetime. inflationary forces come from printing too much paper or producing more and more people.

      • Braves are still paying Bruce Sutter from his 1985 contract. They will owe him 9 million in 2021 as his last payment.

  41. Winker Insurance Agency

  42. Peraza Slam!!!!!!!!!!

  43. We still looking for. a SS to replace Peraza?

    • Not today but wait a couple of days

      • His plate discipline is improving and he is 24 years old. He puts the ball in play, steals a base and in my opinion the will only get better. He is playing SS exclusively now and I look for his fielding to get improving.

  44. Peraza is really playing with some confidence lately

  45. The stars are aligning quit nicely and well its another granny this time for Peraza.

  46. Peraza is saying don’t forget about me !

  47. They threw up a stat on Peraza.
    He had got the runner home from 3rd with less than 2 outs 8 of 12 times.
    Make it 9 of 13 now.

  48. They need to go with Schebler/Peraza 1-2 & move Tucker back down. Schebler really likes leadoff and its nice to have speed in the front of the order!

  49. He continues to show improvement in all aspects of the game, as you would hope to see from a 24-year-old who was labeled as a top prospect. If what we’re seeing now is the new norm for him, there’s no reason to think about moving him or replacing him.

    • Peraza, that is.

    • Agree Tom. Really think his best baseball is still ahead of him. The next step for this team is not finding a SS but improving the rotation.

      • Lets see if he can keep it up! I hope so. I want to be wrong on him, but he never drove the ball in the minors either. This is brand new to him, but he does have a quick bat. Its just maturing as a hitter and staying within the zone. If he’s doing this and batting 7th or 9th then the Reds will have one monster lineup!!

        • Peraza need to come out of his shoes when he swings.The power plays at GABP.

  50. Brewers keep their HR streak alive at GABP.
    Braun…who else?

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