The baseball regular season resumes on the banks of the Ohio River tonight, as two teams riding waves of resurgence go at it at Great American Ball Park.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have won seven of their last eight, including a five-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers last weekend. Prior to the break, the Reds won five of nine games in a very difficult road swing through Wrigley Field, Progressive Field and Busch Stadium. These two teams at the bottom of the N.L. Central standings are playing at a level that does not befit bottom feeders.

All of Redleg Nation hopes the Reds keep up the winning ways, but attention is also focused on possible deals as the July 31 interleague trading deadline approaches. As you’ll see below, several Reds players are the apples of other general managers’ eyes.

Still more attention is diverted toward the future, coming off Hunter Greene and Taylor Trammell’s standout performances in the MLB Futures game last Sunday. In a question-and-answer post earlier in the week, our Doug Gray says he believes the Reds’ farm system ranks somewhere in the range of fifth-best to 10th-best overall. Presuming that is the case, the Reds’ front office and minor league staffs have done an amazing job in recent years to rebuild a system largely bereft of impact players.

Chance of rain is around 70 percent at game time, 7:10 p.m. Eastern time.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Jameson Taillon 106 3.91 3.57 23.3% 6.8%
Tyler Mahle 100.2 4.02 4.21 22.3% 9.8%

This is a matchup of young pitchers with very similar statistical profiles who are projecting as mainstays of their respective teams’ starting rotations for years to come.

On April 8, when the Reds were in the midst of their historic season-opening tailspin, Taillon pitched a one-hit shutout against them. Mahle was the losing pitcher, giving up five runs in 4.2 innings – his only start against the Bucs this year prior to tonight.

On May 22, the Reds got to Taillon for 6 runs in 6 innings on their way to a 7-2 victory.

Several reporters covering the Reds reported this afternoon that Homer Bailey will return to the Reds’ rotation on Tuesday, with Sal Romano headed to the bullpen. The Reds have until before Tuesday’s game to make a roster move to accommodate Bailey’s return from Class AAA Louisville.

Speaking of starting pitching, the Reds reportedly have their eyes on Mets righty Zack Wheeler:

Interestingly, Wheeler was reportedly the Reds’ first choice when negotiating the Jay Bruce trade a couple of years ago. Wheeler at the time was coming off Tommy John surgery, and the trade eventually culminated with Dilson Herrera coming over from the Mets. If the Reds do acquire Wheeler, you’re likely to hear Dick Williams comment that they have liked him for quite awhile.

Wheeler has only one year of team contract control remaining after this year.

Bullpen

After a four-day break, the bullpen will be obviously well-rested and ready. We noted with interest this article on MLBTradeRumors.com:

It indicates that there is high interest from other teams in Reds relievers Raisel Iglesias, Amir Garrett, Jared Hughes and David Hernandez. With that being the case, and with other available relief candidates like Brad Hand coming off the market, it would be a bit surprising for the trade deadline to arrive without Dick Williams receiving an offer he likes for at least one of the four. (It would be highly unlikely for Garrett to be swapped, but never say never.)

Starting Lineups

Scott Schebler was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier this week with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder, suffered when he hit the wall awkwardly in St. Louis attempting to field an extra-base hit. Phillip Ervin was called up today to take his place and is in the lineup tonight. Joey Votto gets a rare night off.

Pirates Reds
LF Corey Dickerson SS Jose Peraza
CF Starling Marte C Tucker Barnhart
RF Gregory Polanco 2B Scooter Gennett
C Elias Diaz 3B Eugenio Suarez
3B Colin Moran LF Jesse Winker
1B Josh Bell 1B Adam Duvall
2B Sean Rodriguez RF Phillip Ervin
SS Jordy Mercer P Tyler Mahle
P Jameson Taillon CF Billy Hamilton

News and Notes

According to at least one statistical measure, Joey Votto has popped up only seven times since 2010 …

Note in the Tweet response thread that Reds statistician Joel Luckhaupt questions the validity of the claim.

80 Responses

  1. Wayne nabors

    Not sure why votto not in lineup,this is a good opportunity to close gap with pirates and hopefully get out of cellar.please please dont hire Riggleman

    • liptonian

      I’m not sure the two parts of this comment make sense together. 1. Play Votto so we can win. 2. Don’t hire the interim manager. Wouldn’t losing help cement the manager search?

      • Wayne nabors

        Maybe they dont,but point is I would think you would want to get out of cellar and sitting votto against another central foe after he has basically been off Wednesday and Thursday anyway just doesn’t make sense, already down schebler

  2. Old-school

    Reds have 10 games in 10 days with two 1 pm starts sun and Wednesday after night games.Uncertain weather today and all week

    Makes sense with Votto not getting rest over All star to cash in tonight’s weather uncertainty and take the day off so he’s rested and ready.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Agreed. He really should be given at least 10 to 15 days off without starting at his age. He will never request that, though.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Agree 100% with Old-School and Tom. I think he will be more effective with a few more days off than he has been getting.

  3. Jack

    Lol . You should have had Mendoza batting 6th across from Duvall. They could compare batting average. No Omar Moreno?

    • Jack

      Willie Stargell batting first! Chaos on the base paths for sure.

  4. docproctor

    Tonight’s game will not start on time due to inclement weather in the area. We will provide the next update at approximately 7:30PM.

  5. CI3J

    Doubt they’re gonna get this one in. Raining heavily, and no sign of stopping.

  6. Scooter Rolen

    Hearing that Reds are likely to use 6-man rotation now that Homer is back in the rotation. The official report is that Homer will take Romano’s spot now (5th starter – 2nd STL game) and Romano will be available in BP for next two days. If he isn’t used in the BP, then Romano will become 6th starter after Bailey in the Reds rotation.

    Riggleman said in pre-game interview that they did not want to remove anyone from the rotation. Harvey trade may solve some of this but maybe they’ll keep 6-man to have Stephenson pitch?

    • citizen54

      I hope that’s the case. With Romano headed to the BP and Harvey hopefully traded, seems like the door is open for Stephenson to return.

  7. Shchi Cossack

    I wonder what kind of traction a trade, centered around Dilson Herrera and Zack wheeler, might get?

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I would strongly consider that.

  8. docproctor

    From the Reds:
    The delay continues. We remain hopeful to play the game this evening. Next update at approximately 8:30PM.

    • docproctor

      I thought you were kidding. I just checked. You’re not. They’re doing fireworks at 8:15.

      • vegastypo

        Makes me wonder whether they feel pretty strongly that they won’t get the game in, so they at least want to give the people who showed up something to cheer for.

      • renbutler

        More likely, they don’t want to, or can’t, set off fireworks past midnight.

        That said, after the announcement, a new batch of rain has formed to the west of Cincy.

        If they’re going to play tonight, they’re going to start after 10:00, or play in the rain.

      • CI3J

        At this point, why not call it? They can make up the game later or get in a doubleheader tomorrow.

  9. Old-school

    Weather channel says heavy rain.storms move thru at 9 then clears up .with 710 start tomorrow and 4 days off… Might be looking at a 10 pm start….otherwise they’d cancel it now.

  10. vegastypo

    Are they so engrossed in the fireworks show that they forgot to give their promised 8:30 update about whether they’re gonna try to play the game?

    • Seat101

      my oldest turned 16 today. My youngest turns five tomorrow. One long day followed by another. I hope I can stay up long enough to watch the first few innings. Here’s my prediction for tonight‘s game. The Reds will tie the National league season record for doubles tonight

      • MrRed

        Fun prediction, Seat! But here’s my prediction: You’re going to have a lot more fun with your kids tonight and tomorrow then sitting around watching these games (if they’ll even get played). Have a good weekend with them!

  11. Indy Red Man

    Saw a stat yesterday that Zack Wheeler has allowed the 3rd lowest exit velocity in the NL. Of course he has a 4.44 era. Brent Suter is #1 but has a 4.39 era. I guess that would suggest they should improve. DeGrom and Thor are out of the Reds reach, but Wheeler or Steven Matz seem possible? I’d like either one but we need a lefty and Matz has been pretty good!

    • Daytonian

      This is abusive. 3 hours after the scheduled start. I live in Dayton and have to eat my tickets. Who would ever go to a late night game? MLB shoudl show fans–the ticket buyers–some consideration.

  12. Capt. Phreddie Pizazz

    While we wait to see if this game will be played, how about some fun discussion…

    Player/Managers seem to be a thing of the past. Who among today’s crop of Major Leaguers might make a good player/manager?

  13. Shchi Cossack

    Game is on and starting in a light rain.

    • Matt WI

      I don’t know, I didn’t see that as a bad Peraza at bat. He fought a bunch of pitches off, let one get buy, saw 6 or 7 pitches right?

  14. CI3J

    Scooter just missed! On a warmer, non-rainy night, that ball probably would have made it to the first row.

    • Matt WI

      Definitely had a chance even in the rain for a second.

    • Matt WI

      Good to see your screen name Preach! I was thinking it had been awhile since I came across one of your comments.

      • Preach

        My schedule is real strange right now. And hectic. That’s why sometimes I just watch the game with no phone or computer. Just peace and quiet

  15. Matt WI

    Wow! Amazing diving stop by Suarez, saved two runs. Demise of his defense not completely set in!

  16. CI3J

    Mahle just had an inning with runners on 1st and 2nd, 0 outs, and also an error….

    And yet 0 runs allowed.

    That’s how you battle!

  17. Indy Red Man

    Suarez bailed out Mahle/Billy there. They have to be smarter then that, but no harm done.

  18. Matt WI

    Aguilar just went deep for the Brewers again. What a season for him. I’ve got Brewers on the tv, Reds streaming on the phone, and Redleg Nation up. Wild Friday night.

  19. Indy Red Man

    Thanks for the shift Mr Hurdle! Otherwise Winker hits an easy 6-4-3. Some of these teams go way overboard on these shifts?

  20. Matt WI

    Recently traded Mr. Dylan Floro in for the Dodgers against the Crew in the 8th. Gave up a fantastic bunt single to his first batter but sawed off the next. Good for him.

    • Indy Red Man

      Speaking of ex-Reds pitchers. Dan Straily with his 5th straight quality start tonite with a 2.78 era over that stretch. I really enjoyed watching him pitch! A real thinking man out there! The Reds could do worse then try to get him back! He’s still only 29! If Castillo, Romano, etc are cutting the mustard next year then he’s a guy that can go out and put up a 4.25 era or something and keep you in games! If you get 3 starters in the mid 3s somewhere and 2 guys at 4.50 or less with a very good pen and great offense then they could compete next year!

      • Matt WI

        Ooof.. Floro pitched to two batters in the 8th, they let him back in the 9th after a 4 run lead was opened. He promptly gave up a single and a walk. Kanley Jansen has been called in to put out the fire.

  21. Matt WI

    Mahle did a great job of pitching around a double (which Billy played perfectly off the wall… subtle, but nice the way he adjusted his route to get the bounce right away)

  22. CI3J

    That was a horrible AB by Scooter. Way too eager to swing.

  23. Indy Red Man

    Seems like game 156 with no crowd and no enthusiasm. Players definitely need to keep their heads in the game. Have to make your own adrenaline!

  24. CI3J

    There are some absolutely stupid Reds “fans” behind home plate today.

  25. Preach

    A real game of inches. Just a tad to the right or left it’s a DP

  26. Preach

    Nice play by the Buccos there. Nicely done.

  27. Preach

    At least it wasn’t a black cat. We know how that turns out.

  28. Matt WI

    Good lord, Thom barely could stop talking about cats to call that Winker hit. He hardly paid attention to the run that scored on the bunt by the Pirates. Anyway, another runner on, wheel him all the way around this time.

  29. Matt WI

    The math on Duvall must be astounding. How does a guy hitting below .200 manage to have over 60 RBI? Curses to the Schebler injury. I blame the Cardinals, because I can.

  30. Indy Red Man

    Adam “Serrano” Duvall for fans of Major League. Breaking ball very very bad!

  31. Old-school

    Reds SP may be in trouble in 2nd half. Harvey pitched well but is gone and Bailey is back instead.
    Castillo needs to fix soph slump.
    Mahle nibbles with his fastball. He’s hit his ceiling this year and headed for a poor 2nd half . He doesn’t have a put away pitch. He nibbles with his fast ball….can’t put away hitters, yet doesn’t pitch to contact either.. His pitch count goes way too high and too many guys get on base . He and Romano have significant areas that need to improve, yet will continue to get exposed. Disco better dominate.

    The reds offense clearly misses Votto and Schebler.

    • Matt WI

      Homer may well be subtraction by addition. Hope not.

    • Sliotar

      Reds starters …

      Dead last in WAR
      Dead last in HR allowed per 9

      Bottom 10 in xFIP, BBs per 9

      They are/were in trouble long before the 2nd half of the season…with or without Harvey.

      Pirates are the third-toughest team in MLB to strike out…add in a crazy rain delay, maybe Mahle just can’t show an “A” game tonight.

      Romano probably needs Louisville to get right…Mahle just needs time in MLB cockpit, IMO.

      • Old-school

        You could see it coming. Mahke just had no no put away pitch and kept getting deep in counts. He’s git some maturing to do.

  32. Indy Red Man

    Cats are running around the field. More fans are sleeping then awake. Peraza is catching line drives. Whats going on tonite:)?

    • Matt WI

      I think that is the inevitable result of starting a game 3hrs after it was supposed to! Can’t imagine anybody wants to be there.

  33. Indy Red Man

    Billy 3 for his last 21. Reality is unkind at times

  34. Indy Red Man

    Oakland trying to get Familia from the Mets. I guess the Reds are going to sit on Iggy?

  35. Indy Red Man

    Mahle just didnt have it tonite. Velocity was 91 most of the night and breaking stuff was iffy. He needs work too. Absolutely no reason they can’t give Lorenzen and BobSteve some time in the rotation.

  36. Preach

    Every time I type “shut up Thom” I’m informed it’s a duplicate comment. I may need a thesaurus for this joker before the season is out.

  37. Jeff Morris

    Time for Jackson Stephens to go back to Louisville. Unless, he is up here to pitch games where the Reds are either way behind or way ahead. Its TIME to start penciling in the bullpen, enough of this rebuild and try outs. Especially for next year, the bullpen names needs to be pretty well figured out…no more bringing guys up and down from the Majors to the Minors.