Make that a 4-3 home stand with a series win over the lowly Chicago White Sox. The Reds offense carried the load again, tonight slam-free with a bunch of singles and walks. The bullpen wasn’t dominant, but the end result was four shutout innings. The defense rebounded from a dreadful night yesterday. Reds are now 8-2 in inter-league games. The Pirates are losing, so the Reds may finish the night just 2.5 games out of fourth place. Good stuff.

The Reds have a day off tomorrow then play a challenging 9-game road trip against the Cubs, Cleveland and St. Louis leading up to the All-Star Game. The first three are day games in Chicago.

Cincinnati Reds 7 (38-49) • Chicago White Sox 4 (30-56)

Box Score || Win % || Statcast Hitters Report || Statcast Pitchers Report

Not a great start for Sal Romano. Romano began the game pitching down in the strike zone, but as the game moved to the third and fourth inning, he started getting his fastball up. The White Sox punished high pitches. Jeff Brantley, who warned that Romano was getting his pitches up before the White Sox first home run: “There’s a reason before the pitch the catcher puts his mitt low in the strike zone.” Romano made it through five innings, giving up four runs. The good: He struck out six and walked none. 

Amir Garrett gave up a lead-off double, but retired the next three batters in the sixth. Michael Lorenzen pitched 1.1 innings, striking out two (good to see the Ks from Lorenzen), but allowed a walk and hit. Jared Hughes was summoned to pitch next and — while also notching the free pizza strikeout — walked the first batter he faced and gave up a single. [If you have stock in Hughes, you might want to consider selling now.] Hughes retired the White Sox in order in the 9th, earning his 6th save of the season. 

The Reds scored six runs in the fourth inning. After being retired in order the first time through the lineup, Scott Schebler’s leadoff walk was followed by singles from Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett, Eugenio Suarez, Adam Duvall, Jesse Winker and Jose Peraza, accounting for five runs. Romano laid down a perfect squeeze bunt, scoring Duvall. The Reds last run came in the 8th when the White Sox “cubbed” an easy force play at the plate. 

Jesse Winker got a second hit, doubling off the yellow line at the top of the left field fence. Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez had two hits. Peraza walked twice. He’s still not walking at league average, but since May, he’s about doubled his own career rate. If Peraza could hold on to that momentum and sustain a league-average walk rate it would represent a huge increase in his value and production. 

Billy Hamilton made a good throw to the plate retiring the lumbering Jose Abreu and ending the White Sox 8th inning threat. 

Dylan, We Hardly Knew Ya The Reds traded Dylan Floro to the Dodgers this afternoon for two young right handed pitchers, James Marinan and Aneurys Zabala. Marinan (19) was the Dodgers’ fourth round draft pick last year. He started 6 games in rookie league in 2017 and three more so far this year. Marinan has a big frame and big arm. You’ll read he’s the #21 or #24 prospect in the Dodgers’ system, depending on who’s ranking. Every team has a #21 prospect and they are far from equal. The Dodgers have a good system, so that’s worth more than saying he’s the #21 prospect in the Giants system. Here’s a Dodgers Blog scouting report and another on Marinan. Video on Marinan from last year’s rookie league. Raw, long way to go.

Zabala (21) throws 100-mph but can’t find the plate. In 37 IP this year, he’s got 30 Ks (kinda low for that velocity) and 25 BB. That’s a really high walk rate and that’s been a consistent problem for Zabala for 4+ seasons. Spring training video on Zabala. 

Trade Bottom Line A low-stakes but good trade. Dylan Floro had a nice half year. His odds of repeating a 2.72 ERA the second half are slim. The Reds were smart to trade him when they did. Floro’s value could move to zero or below quickly. The trade opens up a 40-man and 25-man roster spot. It lets the Reds take a look at a new young arm at the major league level. The 40-man roster spot may pave the way for Dilson Herrera’s arrival. See below. The Reds added a couple big arms to the organization. Always, always be trading relief pitchers. 

Roster Moves The Reds called up Cody Reed and Tanner Rainey and demoted Brandon Dixon to AAA. My interpretation: Reed was up for a day in case they need long relief for Romano. He’ll head back to AAA tomorrow. Rainey replaces Floro in the bullpen. Dixon’s spot on the bench as a pinch hitter was expendable for a day because they knew Michael Lorenzen wasn’t going to pitch, so he’s the bat on the bench. (As it turned out, Lorenzen did pitch, and also had an at bat of the rare non-home-run variety.) The Reds will call up the replacement for Dixon for the road trip tomorrow. Maybe Dilson Herrera.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 40 Comments

  1. Jose Peraza had one of those RBI singles, too. Just sayin’.

  2. I have been waiting for a look at Herrera. If he lights it up the Reds are going to have a problem, in a good way.

    • Where can they play him? He’s not going to replace Suarez. Without a trade, the only way I see him getting time is if they bench Hamilton/Duvall and move Scooter to the OF.

    • Which will pave the way for the reds trading for Jacob degrom in the offseason, which includes senzel being the headliner. CALLING IT NOW

      • ESPN game crew mentioned several times they felt the Reds were getting close, other than starting pitching, to have all the tools to compete. 15-5 MLB best since June 10th I believe. If that’s the case, never too early to start stalking any opps for that #1 starter. However, I favor including Hunter Greene, not Senzel, as the big piece. Same reason smart using highest picks on batters not pitchers, the pitchers more often get hurt and never make it. Crew also pushing for Reds to give Riggleman the perm job. After Baker and Price we don’t need to be saddled with another old school coach. Perhaps this 9 game road trip will take the shine off of that apple for folks foolishly eying the snake in the garden of eden?

        • So winning isn’t the point after all? The point instead is to validate our theories of how to manage? It’s certainly premature to give Riggleman the full-time job, and the process should certainly include consideration of numerous other candidates, but if you believe that the manager makes a big difference, the Reds’ play under Riggleman makes a good case for him.

        • Don’t touch Greene or Senzel. Id rather give quantity over quality.

      • I’m with you Kap. Instead of selling off our veterans in trades, lets move our prospects to a team that’s not contending for a top tiered starter. DeGromm only has 2.5 years of control left, which might be a year short for my liking, but this is the general idea. Keep Iggy and the bullpen, and Scooter, and dump some prospects for a top line pitcher.

  3. If he’s finally called up should stay for good unless traded, otherwise will be exposed again to the waiver line. Now healthy, it’s hard to believe won’t be selected.

  4. They got up off the matt again instead of staying down and feeling sorry for themselves, from the perspectives of both Tuesday night and falling behind early tonight. This team is growing up. Question is how many of them will be around next year or the year after when the going gets more serious; and, to what degree will the group at that time have to retrace some of these steps.

    • It would be great if the front office could come up with a way to reinforce this current group into a contending bridge group thru 2020-21 while not mortgaging the longer term future from 2021 forward.

  5. Doesn’t really mean much if Dilson Herrera gets brought unless he actually plays with some regularity. Otherwise he will just largely wither on the vine like Blandino and Dixon have done for the most part ahead of him (and we could add as Phil Ervin did before them). For a team that keeps double switching itself out of bench players, the 24th and 25th man on this Reds roster seem to get virtually no opportunities to really play.

    • The bench role is a important part of the game. Blandino and Dixon need to fill the roles available. We are not going to sit Scooter or Suarez. Peraza is having a nice run as well. He may be the SS we have all been waiting for. They are already running a 4 man outfield and if you plan to trade one you can’t just sit them on the bench.

    • It will be interesting to see if Herrera is the player brought up to replace Dixon. If you look at it from the standpoint of those who say let’s get the best 25 players in the organization on the 25-man roster, then he certainly should be here based on his performance at Louisville. The other side of that coin is that he plays second base and some third base, and the guys who hold those two positions don’t sit much, for obvious reasons.

      If this team was in contention, Herrera’s bat coming off the bench would seem to be a big upgrade over Dixon. But Dixon suffered from lack of playing time while with the big-league team. Another option to move up from Louisville is corner infielder D.J. Peterson, a first-round pick of Seattle in 2013 who has bounced around the minors for the past couple of years. He has some power, with 95 career minor league homers. Like Herrera, Peterson would need to be added to the 40-man roster.

      All of that being said, it seems a certainty that, unless he is traded, Herrera will be added to the 40-man roster at some point during or after the season to avoid the chance of the Reds losing him via waivers.

      • Since they’ve already announced that Reed is back down, Dixon can’t be the guy unless multiple moves happen because he has to stay down 10 days except to replace somebody put on the DL.

  6. I like the Peraza with a better eye for pitches and an increasing BB rate. He got hosed on Tuesday by a pretty liberal strike zone. That didn’t seem to phase him tonight. My eye test tells me he’s learning. As we keep saying, he’s young. He may be the bridge to India after all.

    • I am not sure he is the answer at SS yet, but he has the rest of the year to prove it. If the recent Peraza is the real Peraza then he gets the position until someone forces him out, which short of India playing SS and being rapidly promoted there isn’t anyone who is going to force the issue.

      The team can hit, especially if Gennett is retained. It is looking more likely that Gennett is not traded especially with his possible shoulder injury. It seems that everything right now revolves around the solution to the 2B situation with three guys who all look to be able to be above average at the plate. The concern of course is the pitching and how to improve that

    • Peraza keeps getting better both offensively and defensively. He’s clearly made great improvement at the plate by laying off pitches outside the strike zone. Without the exit velocity statistics in front of me, the eye test tells me he is generally hitting the ball with more authority. Many of his hits earlier in the year were bloopers to short right field, but now, he is hitting the ball with more authority.

      Are there better shortstops out there? Sure, but until some team wants to trade one of them to the Reds, the current edition of Peraza looks more than adequate on a good team, which the Reds’ everyday lineup is currently.

  7. The sample size on Romano is large enough to know that he’s not getting it done with his current arsenal and that the trend isn’t improving. His only 2 good starts the last 2 months came against KC and Detroit. Stephenson is the better option.

    Don’t look now Winker-haters, but his slugging is over .400 now.

    For all the clamor about Iglesias being an ‘elite’ closer, like Chapman his save conversion % is very pedestrian.

    • I agree. I have seen enough of Romano to know that he’s not making the kind of strides you want to see in a guy who has made 34 major league starts. If I’m Dick Williams, he’s headed down to work on things, and it’s time to take a look at Stephenson again to see if the strikingly better numbers at Class AAA translate at the big-league level.

      • Reds starting pitching? Its pretty ugly. Romano is not close. Castillo’s era was 7.23 in April and 6.75 in June. If his fastball is going to be around 94-95 then he’s going to have to go back to the drawing board and work on a 3rd pitch. That’s why I suggested AAA for him. I don’t think Romano has what it takes at any level? Mahle seems to be the bright spot at this point! Disco will round back into form, but I think the hr ball is always going to be a problem. He can be a good 3rd starter if he can stay healthy.

        Bottom line….they really need to try and sign this latest version of Harvey! Although lets see how he looks in Chicago….esp if the wind is blowing out? If you subtract Harvey then the rotation is pretty short? They almost have to try Garrett imo! He came in last year with a nice changeup and he’s got the slider/breaking ball and excellent velocity! Lorenzen’s velocity seems down a little plus he’s basically a fastball/slider pitcher as well which spells relief! He could develop something and come back next year in the rotation? Try BobSteve and trade for atleast 1 guy that’s established or close. If they want to try and make things interesting next year anyway?

        • Indy, if Harvey continues to pitch over the next month as he has in the past few starts, I would hope they would at least ask his agent if he’s interested in a short-term deal with the Reds. By short-term, I mean two to three years tops. After the Bailey contract and several other long-term pitching contracts around MLB that have gone very badly, I would not sign a long-term deal with any pitcher if I was Bob Castellini.

          (The exception might be if Hunter Greene someday bursts onto the big-league scene with the impact of say, a Dwight Gooden. In a case like that, you might try to buy out his arbitration years and one or two years of free agency, while the arm is still young.)

          Take the money you would spend on a long-term starting pitcher contract and instead use it to turn your farm system into the best one in baseball at producing top young pitchers.

          • Big Problem with Harvey. His agent is Scott Boras. He has always pushed his clients to test free agency before signing extensions. It makes sense to see what other teams are willing to pay you before you lock yourself up and leave money on the table.

          • Agreed, that is what most would expect. I just hope the Reds don’t assume anything and at least broach the subject with Boras.

      • If the Reds option Romano to Louisville, doesn’t that use up his last option? That would mean he would have to stick on the 25 man roster next spring or be dfa, wouldn’t it? If that’s the case, not a smart move at this time.

        • Not sure on that. Typically if someone is in that position, it will be out there in the media, both online and in traditional media, as it was with Dilson Herrera. I frankly don’t know where to look for a specific player’s option status.

        • Looks right that he has one option left. Per Cot’s added to the roster in November of 2015. Optioned in ’16 and ’17. No option used this year. One remaining.

          Seems to me a little bit of 6 of 1 and a half dozen of another whether the option gets used this year or next. Where do you “park” him in 2016 if he is dropped from the MLB rotation; and given his body of work, if they have the arms to look at it would make sense to move him out to look at others.

          • Well the half dozen math analogy has to figure in that Garrett & R. Stephenson also are down to one option each. Having those 3 guys without options next spring could become a calamity. I think the Reds should keep Romano in the rotation through July at least. When & if they have a clearly better option for the rotation, make Romano the long relief guy & keep him on the active roster. If they bring up Stephenson to start , he has to stay on the ML roster or they would use his last option. Garrett, Stephenson, & Romano are more valuable to the Reds (& to other teams as trade chips) if they have an option left after this season.

  8. RHP Kevin Gausman with the Orioles…27 years old with a 3.58 era in his last 6 starts

    RHP Zack Wheeler with the Mets….28 with a 3.20 era in his last 7 starts

    RHP Jose Urena with Miami….27 years old shortly and 10 starts with 3 earned runs or less out of 17. Only 2 starts with more then 4 er. His whip is 1.18 which he’s lowered every season!

    The front office needs to get out there and make something happen? They wouldn’t have to give away the farm to get guys like these.

    • Absolutely. When DW talks about being opportunistic, these are the sorts of moves they should target. We have redundant minor league assets and depth to boot. These rebuilding teams are looking more for quantity over quality, so packaging multiple guys in the 7-25 range would get some team’s attention.

    • Would guess Wheeler still a Reds front office favorite target. Think he was supposed to come our way in a previous trade (Chapman?) until that fell apart and we got basically nothing for him.

      They also pointed out during the ESPN game last night that the Reds got 3 lefties from KC for Cueto and none of them has panned out to this point. Finnegan/Reed and someone released that is now on CWS.

      • Wheeler was supposedly coming back for Bruce at one point. Lamb was the third guy from the Royals. He has had injury problems and was pitching for the Angels this year until last week and will have Tommy John surgery

    • What could the Reds part with for the Angels LHP Andrew Heaney, a former teammate of Anthony DeSclafani in Miami?? He was traded to the Angels a day before the Reds got DeSclafani.
      Wheeler isn’t bad though.
      Heaney has 3 1/2 years of team control left as opposed to 1 1/2 for Wheeler. Heaney has a good sinker and comes with a 3.94 ERA, a 3.79 FIP, a 3.82 xFIP, and a 3.86 SIERA. Those numbers may go down a bit just being in the NL. Reds need an experienced LHP for the rotation. RStephenson +1(Herrera or Shed Long) might get him.

  9. The “trade Hughes now” comments absolutely reek of the trade Gennett now comments from this time last year. Hughes has been a quality big leaguer for 8 years, and with his arsenal and command that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Barring an obscenely one sided trade, it would be absolutely foolish to trade him now, unless you just want to go ahead and throw up the white flag for 2019 right now.

    I live in Tampa and have for 30 years now. I hope at some point Reds management decides that the Rays blueprint….and the blueprint that is advocated here on a daily basis…doesn’t have to become the Reds blueprint just because the Reds don’t play in NYC. It isn’t a requirement that every time you get a good player, you MUST trade him for someone that “might” be good, some day, maybe, because current player will inevitably “regress.”

    Jesus Christ man, all players regress at some point. Just trust your own eyes and intel and not some nerdy BS algorithm on when exactly it’s going to happen.

    I’m just sick to death of the defeatist mindset of yeah, but what about the 2022 lineup?? How bout the mindset be…..let’s just win??!!

    • I think your comments are spot on (except for invoking JC in the name of baseball algorithms) – a sinker baller in GABP is a valuable pitcher. I also suspect that Hughes is a very solid team guy – hustle, emotion and professionalism.

      That said, there are 2 things to consider; 1. if the right deal comes along, you always have to listen. It doesn’t mean you act. 2. when reading RLN you have to realize that this is a website dedicated to obsessive fane – that like to toss around strategies, trades, and even some opinions!

    • btw – I’m sensing a shift in the Peraza opinions also. Just 3 weeks back, the site was filled with how terrible this guy is. I think people expected him to become Zach Cozart overnight – even Zach Cozart didn’t become Zach Cozart overnight! Now that Jose hit a grand slam he’s “in the club”. Kinda have to take it with a grain of salt when it comes to young players too.

    • Tampa Red: Overall, I agree with your comment but the first sentence of your next to last paragraph is not necessary.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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