The Reds road show moves on to Cleveland tonight for the opening of a 3 game series which also begins the 2018 Ohio Cup. The Reds (39-51; 5-5 last 10) hope to reverse the bad karma of the final two games in Chicago which saw them morph a potential sweep into a series loss. The Indians (49-39; 1st place AL Central) are essentially in cruise mode already with a 9.5 game lead in their division  but are looking to figure out how to navigate some injury issues over the long haul. Game time is 7:10 on FoxSports Ohio.

Starting Pitchers

The game will be a battle of right handers at the start with Anthony DeSclafani going for the Reds and Mike Clevinger for the Indians.

After very impressive looking starts in his second through fourth outings since returning from the DL, Anthony DeSclafani has struggled a bit in his two most recent starts. However a deeper look at the stats via a comparison of ERA and FIP suggests that maybe Disco wasn’t quite as sharp as he seemed  on the surface in those three “impressive” starts and that luck has caught up with him in the two most recent starts.  Perhaps most troubling of all, to date in 2018, Disco’s HR/9 rate is double what it has been in any of his prior MLB seasons. Starting pitchers often struggle as they seek their week in week out rhythm at season’s beginning. Hopefully this is what we’ve witnessed with DeSclafani in his last two starts, and, he will pitch effectively and deeply into the game tonight.

At 27 years old Mike Clevinger, the #135 overall pick (4th round) in the 2011 draft, is in his first full season as a starter in the Cleveland rotation. In 2017, he made 21 starts in 27 appearance after being brought up to MLB in early May and compiled an overall ERA/FIP of 3.11/3.85. In 17 starts so far this season, Clevinger has compiled that same 3.11 ERA but has lowered his FIP to a nearly matching 3.19.  He will walk a few guys from time to time; but, he is very stingy with allowing home runs. About 75% of the time Clevinger throws a fastball (54%) or slider (20%) both in the low to mid 90MPH range. On his other pitches he favors an 88MPH change up (~15%) over his 76MPH curve (~10%).

Comparative 2018 stats for tonight’s starters:

PITCHER FIP IP/ Start HR/9 BB% K%
Anthony Desclafani 5.77 5.2 2.41 7.1% 20.6%
Mike Clevinger 3.19 6.1 0.57 8.1% 22.2%

Bullpens

The Reds pen was very used and at times abused (much of it self inflicted) in Chicago. It is a pretty safe bet that Michael Lorenzen who threw 40+ pitches Sunday won’t pitch again before Wednesday. Jared Hughes has worked an inning on consecutive days. David Hernandez has worked 1.2 innings in the last 2 days. Jackson Stephens threw 20 pitches in the process of walking in the winning losing run on Sunday. It looks like tonight the bullpen  for the Reds is Garrett, Iglesias and whoever else is currently filling out the billets.

Josh Tomlin and Zach McAllister both have worked an inning or more on consecutive days and would figure to be limited or unavailable tonight. Closer Cody Allen should be well rested if called upon.

Lineups

            REDS           INDIANS
1. Scott Schebler (RF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Jesse Winker (DH)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Adam Duvall (LF)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
1. Francisco Lindor (SS)
2. Michael Brantley (LF)
3. Jose Ramirez (3B)
4. Edwin Encarnacion (DH)
5. Yonder Alonso (1B)
6. Jason Kipnis (2B)
7. Yan Gomes (C)
8. Tyler Naquin (RF)
9. Greg Allen (CF)

About as expected by the Reds with a right handed pitcher going for the Indians. It would be nice to get Scooter’s shoulder some rest by using him as DH; but, with BHam on a hot streak I didn’t really expect him to sit out; so, that’s that.

News and Notes

OK, if you are looking for a Reds minutia/ trivia question here’s your answer

 

Abracadabra presto changeo (yes, I’m very skeptical about this really coming to pass)

And just in case you missed this good news about the Reds

And hopefully there many guys on this list who will become multiple year All Stars

Final Thoughts

It has been a couple of tough days for the Reds and their fans as the team frittered away a game which looked already won on Saturday then crashed in drive time again on Sunday. And against the Stupid Cubs at Wrigley Field nonetheless!!  However along with frustration we Reds fans should also be feeling at least a hint of encouragement. Despite how frustrating these loses feel, the Reds were in a position to win both games. For  a couple months now, that’s how things have been with the Reds nearly every day; and, the team has won about half the time.  That’s quite an improvement over the last several years. It is a step forward, an indication that the Reds are at the part of process where the task is to learn how to win these games. That’s really good news.  GO REDS!


Data and Stats courtesy of  MLB.com and Fangraphs

 

https://www.facebook.com/jim.walker.79
ohiojim67@hotmail.com
Twitter: @jn_walkerjr

Join the conversation! 82 Comments

  1. I’m absolutely dumbfounded that Scooter is playing in the field (instead of at DH) and that Herrera is (still) riding pine. I thought for SURE that Dilson was brought up to give Scooter a break at second base, and that playing an AL team would be the perfect opportunity to let Gennett hit without throwing for three days.

  2. We are stuck with gennett. His shoulder woes make him untradeable
    No reason not to play Herrera

  3. we are stuck with gennett. shoulder woes have taken care of his market.
    hard to believe we are not seeing what herrera has.

    riggleman is a rodeo clown.

  4. Someone has definitely dropped the ball on Herrera not playing him and cant send him back down,should have never been brought up,without some type of game plan

  5. I expected him to go get coffee and doughnuts.Its what the Reds do and follow that up with our minor leaguers are two or three years away comment.Old school Riggs backed up by old school Walt,DW and Bob.Dude has no options and put up some good numbers and now he sets.Doesn’t help him or the Reds by setting.Just comical stuff and why would anybody even inquire about him in a possible trade.I mean we call him up to watch.Dixon got a little bit and Blandino is now watching as well.This is what happens when you win a few and they start the rally cry of we think we can.Just dumb.Scooter is hurting and if you go back and look at the last 10 games so is his power stroke and maybe just maybe the arm is hurting his swing.

    • Maybe “Riggles” is just trying to keep his job for next year. If he can get the Reds to .500 (+ or -5 games) the front office will spin the story that he has earned it. If the Front office actually do a comprehensive, they may find out that a good manager will not put up with the current antics and want more control of the team. Bob C. does not want a “Star” manager, after all he is the owner.

  6. Has anyone in the Cincinnati media or in any media for that matter asked the interim manager why he called for Barnhart to bunt and why Dilson Herrera is not playing?

    • 101;
      The local “media” will not confront “Riggles” or anyone in the front office. It is a closed circle. Don’t cause waves and get access to the players and club house. Create a controversy and you get nothing from the Reds.

  7. I think Dilson kicked Rigglemans puppy

  8. Really? Dilson is up and they are not playing him? What a soo-prise.

    Just like the Reds. Riggleman, a manager who time has passed by.

    They’ll play him next week, after he loses some of his timing, and then tut-tut about him not being ready for Prime Time.
    Is Walt watching Edwin tonight, the man that he gave up on?

    • Well said and exactly 100% correct.

    • In his defense the Blue Jay’s also released him once. Before he figured things out he was also moved to DH

    • As Lance McAllister likes to say, the revisionist history on Edwin is very dramatic. He was nowhere near being this good when he with the Reds as his defense was terrible and was below average overall in both of his 2 full seasons

      • From 2006-08 EE was a slightly better than league average hitter with ~2.5 per season oWAR in his age 23-25 seasons. BUT terrible fielder. DH written all over him. Actually went down in production after leaving Reds and did not emerge until age 29 season.

      • Edwin Scissorhands….no DH in the NL as of yet.

  9. Just heard on the pregame show that Scooter says he would love to be in the HR Derby.
    JUST SAY NO, SCOOTER.
    THINK OF YOUR SHOULDER, SCOOTER.
    ASK TODD FRAZIER AND ADAM DUVALL, SCOOTER.

  10. The reds are inundated with second baseman. Blandino appears to be the utility infielder of the future as he can fill – in at 2b/SS/3b. No one else can. With the improved play of Peraza, I suspect the Reds are moving full steam ahead with organizational plans for Nick Senzel to be the 2b in 2019 and the infield picture is suddenly clear.

    The rule 5 draft was created to prevent teams from stockpiling players at the upper minors. The Reds are stockpiled at 2b:

    Senzel
    Blandino
    Gennett
    Herrera
    Dixon
    Long.

    The Reds will need a pre-emptive rule 5 roster purge/trade and if Nick Senzel is indeed the plan, then Blandino and Long are the only other 2 in the long term picture needing protection once Scooter is traded.

    I dont see the Reds retaining Scooter and moving Senzel to the OF. Even if they did, Herrera still has no role. They have a lot of pitchers and rising AA stars to protect.

    • Herrera at 2B and Senzel at corner OF is a combination they shouldn’t ignore. Book on Herrera is that not only will be hit. He is a plus defender at 2B.

      Herrera is only 14 months or so older than Senzel. He is younger than Winker (~4months) and Schebler (3 years and ~4 months). They are his roster spot competition as much as Senzel and other 2B if Senzel can play corner OF.

    • I got to say a good path to the ball and that’s no kind of spectacular catch at all.

  11. That ball was scorched by Scooter. Run saving catch.

  12. 81% catch probability on Scooter’s smash? The nerds better get back to work on that one? 81% chance for Spiderman maybe? That ball was crushed. Winker wouldn’t have even got 3 steps in before the ball rattled the wall.

  13. Tucker drives in Suarez. Maybe he can reestablish his stroke down in the lineup where he should be.
    Duvall has a double snatched away at the wall.

    • Adam crushed that ball….thought that was gone for sure? Clevinger learning that the Reds can hit straight heaters!

  14. Kipnis really poor offense. Perhaps this is a Scooter 2B showcase series. In the playoffs against the Yankees or Redsox or Astros, can you have a 2b hitting 6th with an OPS in the upper .600’s?

    • Doubtful.

      Kipnis is definitely one of Francona’s guys. I have Indians fans out the ying-yang in my life, and they all say the Indians are much cooler on the “have to do a deal” thing than is perceived.

      • I’d be confident too with Kluber, Bauer and that rotation and Lindor and Ramirez. But, they are very top heavy on offense.They need another bat.

    • If a team wants Scooter to be their 2B, I don’t see that happening until his shoulder issues are addressed. I question whether the Reds can even trade him until he’s healthy, which isn’t likely to be until the off-season, or worse if he has an issue that needs significant surgery.

  15. Clevinger has a Bailey-esque straight fast fastball. Reds are squaring him up big time. Only 1 run to show for it so far though.

  16. Scooter makes a play that Dat Dude would be proud of. Stellar!!!!!!

  17. I come back from out of town for a few days and see Steve throw a #FreeDilson out on Twitter.

    #FreeLorenzen has not even been “sorted” yet.

    As of today, Reds projected at 72-90…right about where they were projected at the start of the season…and they can’t find some playing time for Herrera, not even to showcase him for a trade?

    Feels another hidden cost of a manager trying too many bunts, etc., in hopes of winning enough to fool the front office that he is the best guy for the job in 2019;

  18. Great play by Scooter but Joey has to get that ball. It wasn’t hit that hard.

  19. Scooter just missed a 2 run HR with any elevation and now draws a walk. He’s just a tough out. I think you’ll see more walks as he’s maturing as a hitter and they have alot of other offense so he won’t feel that he has to do it all himself. To me he’s the glue of this team and trading him would be a mistake.

  20. Winker with a rope double, scoring Scooter. Years and years of perfect relay throws, and we have gotten 2 breaks in 2 games. Scooter was a dead duck

  21. Good night at the plate for Barnhart.
    LEAVE HIM BATTING DOWN THERE.

  22. 1-2 breaking ball that was hung over the plate and Winker knew what to do with it! Fastball away and he’ll effortlessly drive it to left. He’s really good and better then I thought he would be…plus he kept running and made 3rd base. Maybe we won’t beat ourselves this series?

  23. On the radio Marty just issued a public apology to Dick Williams for comments he made on air yesterday about him. Anybody know what he’s referring to? I wasn’t listening to the radio yesterday.

    • I don’t know but I want to issue a public apology questioning Joey vottos power.

      • It’s ok, that HR didn’t count. The Reds were already winning and out of the playoff race, invalidating that HR

        • It’s the kinda thing we’d like to see with the game tied in extras, or trailing by a run in your last AB. You know…when the team really needs a big hit late

          • So, if the Reds win this game by 1 run, will that make Votto’s HR valuable?

            Have you researched Votto’s batting statistics in High Leverage situations?

          • It still wouldn’t matter, because he didn’t hit the home run when it was tied. Stats don’t matter, because they are all made up by people trying to pad Votto’s numbers. It’s all a big conspiracy by Canada to ruin baseball

          • Could you be talking about with the bases loaded and a 3-0 count, down by 1, late innings, and you take a half-hearted cut and fly out to CF? Because, yeah, that’s what everybody else is talking about.

    • I don’t know, but maybe someone finally informed him publicly trashing your employer is frowned upon

    • Marty was “ticked off’ when Dick Williams did not call up to the broadcast booth and tell Marty that Homer Bailey would be used out of the bullpen that night. Apparently Marty was the only one not told. Marty said “two can play that game”.

  24. Clevinger is making Peraza look silly

  25. Votto extends his arms and spanked it out of here. No half swing, no inside out trash. Maybe he’s reading RLN?

  26. I have to say, I don’t miss seeing the pitchers hit in this game.

    • What? Did Disco’s granny not entertain you? I think he hit a single off the wall in his last start.

      • Wasn’t thinking about Disco in particular. I’ve just enjoyed flipping the lineup without seeing a pitcher hit.
        I’ve been a DH naysayer for years, but I might be turning.

  27. “Strikeouts are boring, besides that, they’re fascist”

    Maybe Disco has seen Bull Durham a bunch of times? A bunch of K’s aren’t boring to most fans, but its a lot of work trying to K everyone. Clevinger is at 96 pitches. Disco is at 73. I like that, but its more of an issue in gabp because some of the 370 ft cans of corn go out of the park. I still really like Disco. He can a rock solid #2-3 type of guy if his health holds up!

  28. No more fastballs to Duvall after taking one to the wall in the 2nd.

  29. I don’t want to trade this Billy. Getting on base like crazy and scoring from 1st on steals like little league. Running over to right-field and catching their balls too. He’s on fire! Normal Billy I’d trade for a 6-pack…luke warm is ok. Such an unique talent that if he turns the corner while on another team then your dreams are dashed. Dilson Herrera definitely has no home with the Reds. Peraza/Billy maybe? I can’t see both hanging around for our World Series runs:) Not only is Senzel ready but there’s a great chance that India flies thru the minor league system!

  30. Billy single….SB….havoc…scores on Schebler’s 3rd hit of the game.

  31. Well what a surprise. Riggleman didn’t have Schebler bunt, Billy winds up on third, and Schebler gets a base hit 😀👍🏻

  32. Schebler with a big night, including a RBI hit off a lefty. Take that.

  33. 97 pitches thru 7. No problem with him going back out for the 8th. Kudos for Riggs not pulling him after the leadoff double.

    • This is the kind of performance the team needed and just as importantly Disco needed personally. It was tough to pick on him some in the preview; but, his FIP numbers just said it was in order.

      • My aunt owns an animal shelter so FIP is something that kills cats as far as I’m concerned:) I thought Disco looked fantastic in that Milw game except for 1 bad pitch to Aguilar. The other 2 runs of his were given up by Garrett on the Thames HR. That box score was extremely misleading. He’s not far away at all.

  34. Have a night Scott Schebler!!!!!!!!!

  35. Maybe Milton is a motivator.
    Suarez with an OPS of ~ 1.000 . Votto, Schebler and Gennett comfortably over .800.
    Winker is a top hitting rookie with ops ~ .800 . He can hit and get on base and the no power narrative is dead. Winkers slugging is greater than Duvall. Repeat…. Winkers slugging is higher than Duvall.

    Duvall is a great 4 th outfielder and power bat and late inning replacement… He’s not an everyday outfielder and that’s not the worst thing. Jose Peraza and Jesse winker have earned their spots. Put Tucker in the 7 hole…..Billy in the 9 hole. Duvall starts twice a week on matchups. The 4 outfield experiment is over.

    • The rookie is 20% better than league average (wRC+120)
      The guy turning 30 in September is 20% worse than league aveage (wRC+80)

      Burning a year of Winker’s control for Adam Duvall. Yikes.

      The 4-man outfield idea is already the winner of the 2018 Reds Rebuild bad idea of the season.

      Last year’s winner was bringing back Bronson Arroyo to mentor the young pitchers.

  36. This guy is done….Lilly Tomlin has a better heater!

  37. Garrett sucking again in his second inning of work.

  38. Amir has been downright bad since getting hit. Everyone notices except the Reds manager in waiting

  39. Is Amir Garrett broken again?

    We all know Eric Thames ruined him last season in Milwaukee.

    Thought he had regained his swagger and mojo.

    Maybe not.

  40. Rainey’s ERA of 13.50 is not too encouraging. And now a double. Only up by 4 runs.

    • So Rainey sits in the bullpen and hasn’t pitched since they fought him up, and Riggleman expects him to be sharp?

  41. This is really not fun right now

  42. Iggy 94 mph? He was regularly 97-98 last year. Whats up with the loss of velocity with him and Castillo?
    He’s not an elite guy imo right now…..not top 3-4 anyway?

  43. Never easy. Good bounceback win, Pitch it, Field it, hit it…..all of the above

  44. Reds win!!! The AS break is coming at a good time for this bullpen. They’ll be ok.

  45. Riggleman shoulda let Tanner pitch through it.

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