Dick Williams has found a trade partner with whom he is apparently comfortable with in Andrew Friedman of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The two have agreed to three trades in the past calendar year, the most recent of which was the one sending Dylan Floro to the Dodgers for a couple of young arms in the low minors.

Earlier this year, Williams sent Ariel Hernandez to the Dodgers for pitcher Zach Neal and first baseman Ibandel Isabel, who landed at Class High-A Daytona. Neal landed in Louisville.

It was very interesting that Neal went back to the Dodgers in the Floro deal. It was also interesting that Isabel was named the Reds co-minor league player of the month for June, sharing the honor with Nick Senzel. Isabel is a name that hasn’t received a lot of mention, but that may change:

Here are his (and Senzel’s) June numbers:

Isabel’s overall numbers with Daytona: .253 average, 19 homers, 44 RBI, .341 OBP, .566 slugging percentage, .906 OPS (higher than Taylor Trammell) AND 78 strikeouts. The latter number has apparently been an issue for Isabel, and was one reason the Dodgers were willing to part with him. Doug Gray could probably answer this question, but how long has it been since the Reds had a minor leaguer hit 20 homers (including his time in the Dodgers system) by early July? I frankly can’t remember.

Williams’ trades with Friedman have followed a similar pattern: Dodgers receive players with major league experience, Reds receive prospects from the low minors. Last year, Williams sent Tony Cingrani to LA for catcher Hendrik Clementina, who is playing this year for the Class low-A Dayton Dragons. He’s hitting .282, with 10 homers, .357 OBP, .527 slugging percentage, and .883 OPS.

In the Floro trade, the Reds received pitcher Aneurys Zabala, who just this week tied the Fifth-Third Field in Dayton record for fastest pitch recorded, 101 mph. (He tied Aroldis Chapman and Hunter Greene.) The key to the trade from the Reds’ perspective was righthanded starter James Marinan, a fourth-round pick of the Dodgers last year, and apparently ranked very high on the Reds’ draft board. This year and last year combined, he pitched 27.2 innings for the Dodgers’ rookie league team, and he’s been assigned to the Reds’ rookie league team in Billings.

Isabel, Clementina and Marinan all seem to have some potential for development, so keep them in mind years down the road when you wonder, “Who did the Reds get for Tony Cingrani, Ariel Hernandez and Dylan Floro?”

The Reds finish the three-game series at Wrigley Field against the Cubs today, with a 2:20 Eastern time start. It’s the rubber game of the series following Saturday’s very disappointing fall-from-ahead loss.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Luis Castillo 94.1 5.53 3.92 22.3% 8.1%
Jon Lester 100 2.25 4.53 19.3% 8.5%

On paper, this is the pitching matchup in this three-game series that looks to be the most disadvantageous for the Reds. Castillo has stretches where you see future ace written all over him, and other stretches where you see an average-to-mediocre, bottom-of-the-rotation starter. He has a tendency to get rattled and lose concentration when something negative happens, and that may very well be the biggest obstacle left in his development. It will be a tough road crowd at Wrigley today, so this should be a good measuring stick.

Lester has been the stopper in the Cubs’ rotation. He has won nine of his last 10 starts, and has surrendered more than two runs only once in that stretch. If recent form holds, the Reds are going to have to get a great game from Castillo and probably the bullpen to have a shot today.

Bullpen

In the course of yesterday’s very disappointing bullpen performance, nobody pitched more than an inning, so all hands (and arms) should be on deck today. Amir Garrett’s performance (walking the first two batters in the eighth inning) was particularly disappointing. Since he was hit in the leg by a batted ball a couple of weeks ago, he has been considerably less effective from the bullpen. There is no indication that there is a direct correlation, but Garrett cannot be used in high-leverage situations if he doesn’t have good control.

Starting Lineups

Reds Cubs
SS Jose Peraza CF Albert Almora Jr.
C Tucker Barnhart RF Jason Heyward
1B Joey Votto 2B Javier Baez
3B Eugenio Suarez 1B Anthony Rizzo
2B Scooter Gennett C Willson Contreras
LF Adam Duvall LF Kyle Schwarber
RF Jesse Winker 3B Ian Happ
P Luis Castillo SS Addison Russell
CF Billy Hamilton P Jon Lester

News and Notes

Minor leaguer suspended …

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! 163 Comments

  1. This is keystone cops day. Very disappointing.

  2. No. I did not anticipate giving away an out by randomly ejecting the ball from one’s glove whilst approaching the bag. Keeping it interesting.

  3. Let’s see the Reds won against the Cubs before when Wilson walked in the winning run.

  4. Bad news bears defense, bunting, wild pitches. The Reds absolutely deserve to lose this game because they cannot get out of their own way. Their defense sucks and they have a manager that is in the 1980s with bunting.

    This is back to back very frustrating losses.

  5. It’s a total shame that Jackson Stevens is having to pitch in meaningful ball games. Saw that one coming a mile away…

    • Yeah, but you have to feel a little sorry for the guy, too. Against the White Sox, didn’t the Reds make TWO errors behind him in that extra-inning explosion? Now, if Butterfingers doesn’t bobble the ball at first, there are two outs and Stephens at least has an open base to play with.

  6. It is absolutely unacceptable to lose a one-run game in extra innings having not used your best relief pitcher.

  7. If there ever was a day you make player run laps around the warning track, today would be that day. Play like 12 year olds, get coached like them.

  8. I haven’t been real critical of Riggleman, but the obvious thought process of bringing Stephens in (instead of Iglesias) is to save Iglesias for a “save” situation in the bottom of an extra inning when you might be ahead. Stephens is basically the last guy in the bullpen, so what sense does it make to bring him in in that situation? You think your least effective guy is going to somehow get you to Iglesias? Not cool.

    • Actually, Rainey and Stephens might be co-last men in the bullpen, but the Iglesias point is spot on. Right outta Dusty’s playbook there.

    • #closerrules and death by 1000 bunts. Either teach these people how to bunt or stop calling it.

      We would have been happy to lose this game in the 90’s. We’d have lost like men: burning outs in late, high-leverage situations and saving our relief ace for a hypothetical inning where we have a hypothetical lead. Ugh.

  9. Shame we didn’t take three shots at scoring a fast runner from second base in the eighth, opting instead to go with … none.

  10. What’s sad is this is big league baseball that is being managed and played like little leaguers.I set through the Price era and just watched time after time how he just gave games away while his best relievers set and watched.We watched the bunts and the obvious bone head plays in the field and nobody was held accountable and we watched guys come up and set on the bench or go get coffee etc etc.Guess what? We are still watching it because its the same guys doing the same thing over and over.The only difference is our starting pitching is better over the last month to 6 weeks.Scooter is hurting and needs to set.Votto has lost his power stroke and continues to use the inside out swing and hits everything to left field and he need to hit second.Suarez needs to hit third from this day forward.The whole team(I said this last week)needs to visit the little leaguers or maybe T Ball and get some basic instructions on how to play the game.

  11. And it was demonstrated again on ham’s lollipop throw that Scooter,s submarine arm is in bad shape. 2nd time in a week he was unable to get a ball to home plate, resulting in runs.

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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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