Tonight’s game is rained out. Day-night double-header tomorrow.

Still processing the terrible, horrible, no good news about Hunter Greene’s frayed right ulnar collateral ligament. Doesn’t always mean surgery. Anthony DeSclafani and Michael Lorenzen are clear and present examples where rehab alone was enough. But the injury often does require surgery, eventually. The kind named after a famous Dodger pitcher. The kind you write a six-part series of posts about. Surgery would push Greene’s timetable back at least a full year. Let’s hope the knife isn’t necessary.

The baseball gods already have Nick Senzel’s finger, isn’t that enough? 

If we promise never again to say anything as stupid as “our Winning Culture prevented us from improving the team at the trade deadline” can the Reds please get Hunter’s ligament and Nick’s finger back healthy? 

We’ll throw this stinking three-game losing streak on the pile of penance, if that helps. 

Cincinnati Reds 0 (48-61) • Washington Nationals 0 (55-53)

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

What’s the DEAL-son? At 24, Dilson Herrera is basically the same age as Jose Peraza. Herrera has played in 49 games and accrued 119 days of service time with the New York Mets. The Reds called him up on July 6th, nearly a month ago. He’s received just 17 at bats in the 22 games and 2 starts since then. 

Scooter Gennett in July and August against LHP: .071/.156/.107, with wRC+ of -(that’s a minus sign)28. Gennett has a sore shoulder, yet, Riggleman won’t even start Herrera against the occasional LHP, like Gio Gonzalez tonight.

Every member of Team Trade Scooter or Team Extend Scooter, you’re aware the Reds have an important decision facing them about their current second baseman. It might be useful to know how able of a replacement the now-healthy Dilson Herrera would be. Maybe Nick Senzel’s sun blots out all the lesser stars here, but the Reds sure don’t seem to be handling Herrera well.   

Primer on Jesus Reyes (speed reading recommended) The Reds called up Jesus Reyes this afternoon to replace Tyler Mahle on the 25-man active roster. Mahle was sent to AAA Louisville. This is Reyes’ second stint with the 2018 Reds. He was called up in late May to cover the last two days of Raisel Iglesias’ trip to the DL with a strained bicep. Reyes was already on the 40-man roster, put there at the end of 2017 to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. He’s likely around to cover long relief in the next few days should the need arise.

Reyes (25) was born in the Dominican Republic, but played college baseball at a small, for-profit New York college in the United States, so he was subject to the domestic amateur draft not the international market. The Reds signed him as an undrafted free agent in August 2014 and he has worked his way up through the Reds system. If you want to read more about Jesus Reyes before he’s sent back to the minor leagues: Baseball Cube, Minor League Baseball, Doug Gray.  

49 Responses

  1. Old-school

    Calm down on Hunter. He chose to shut his arm down in 2017. He threw way more this year. He will be ok. Take a few months off….build it back up and start in Daytona next year. He’s 19.

    Hunter Greene and Nick Senzel and Jesse Winker will be 100% March 1. Write it down.

    • Steve Mancuso

      You might be underestimating what “sprain” means with a ligament. It’s the same as a strain with a muscle and often includes tearing to a degree. This isn’t just his arm being tired or dead. I certainly hope you’re right, but you obviously have no way of knowing. Nor does anyone.

      • Streamer88

        I’m with Steve on this one.

        As young pitchers gain strength and receive instruction from pitching coaches, they become more efficient at generating force through that UCL with their legs and hips. Meanwhile that UCL changes exponentially less to the training than those major muscle groups do.

        This injury represents an existential threat to what makes Hunter so valuable. He needs to rehab that UCL and quit trying to impress people with 102. It may be easier than ever for him to hit that number, but his UCL says otherwise.

        Pitch at 96-98, get some run on the FB, and have a nice career without TJS please.

      • Old-school

        The good news is it’s not a tear off the bone or severe injury or he’d be having surgery like johnny Cueto this week.Also good news is he’s immediately starting rehab .So very possible a mild sprain. Also good news is the timing. It’s August. He has 6 months and really 8 months till April where he would be competitively pitching again. That’s plenty of rehab time.

        Obviously Tommy John would be the worst case scenario- but unless your a crafty Mike Leake or Tom Browning that gets by with less than max effort and 97 mph- high velocity guys with hard sliders are always at risk for elbow injuries. It’s the new normal.

      • greenmtred

        New normals should not be immune to scrutiny. Predictably, as pitchers have thrown harder, hitters have adjusted. Lost in this arms race are control and movement, as well as career longevity, probably. While we’re making predictions, I’ll predict that the worm will turn, but it will turn slowly. Some club is going to be smart enough to groom a pitcher or two who consistently controls the strike zone and learns how to locate pitches, with movement, that can’t be hit well. These pitchers will prove effective and largely able to neutralize the upper-cut swing, and other teams and pitchers will reluctantly sign on.

  2. Scott C

    Dilson Herrera? Does he play for the Reds? Apparently not.

    • Old-school

      That just means Scooter is staying and Senzel is too. He has no spot

  3. Old-school

    Stwhphenson has 9k and no hits and runs in 4 innings. He’s part of the plan.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Stephenson ended up with 6 shutout innings, 13 K’s and 3 BBs, 1 hit allowed on 88 pitches. Stephenson’s been unhittable in AAA and even more so his last three games. 20 IP and 4 hits allowed over three games. There’s nothing left for him to prove in AAA. He needs to be up with the Reds.

  4. Hanawi

    I’m not sure Lorenzen and Disco are necessarily successes for that strategy. Neither one is the same pitcher. It seems that most guys that try to go that route end up having surgery anyway. Might as well get it over with.

  5. George

    UPDATE!!

    Louisville 4, Columbus 0

    Robert Stevenson; 4 innings, 53 pitches, 10 SO, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 runs.

    Just saying

  6. Kap

    The reds will lose dilson for nothing when his options are up. Just watch

  7. redsfan06

    If the front office was interested in seeing what Herrera is capable of doing, wouldn’t they let Riggleman know they want to see him get more playing time?

  8. DavidTurner49

    So, are Reds back to five starters? Seems like Mahle going down would mean Stephenson comes up.

  9. Shchi Cossack

    For those in the pitching school of ‘walks are the devils folly’, I give you tonight’s Bats/Clippers game:

    Josh Tomlin (Clippers starter) threw 25 pitches with 21 strikes with just 4 balls and 1 strike out no walks. The problem was the 6 hits and 2 home runs resulting in 3 ER in just 2.0 innings. Hmmmmmmmmmm…

    With 6 innings complete, the Bats lead the Clippers 4-0 with Stephenson 6.0 innings, 3-BB, 1-H & 13-SO.

    • Shchi Cossack

      The Clippers 1st reliever, Ryan Merritt, with 4.2 innings with 2 strike outs and no walks, but 4 hits resulting in 1 ER. No walks from the Clippers pitchers in 6.2 innings, but the Clippers trail 4-0.

      • Jim Walker

        But by Jove the Clippers made the Bats earn every one of those runs 😉

      • Rich H

        Conscience*. My editing and proofreading skills are really questionable lol.

    • Rich H

      If you think OBP is important, walking batters is a really bad thing to do. If you like Jesse Winker or Joey Votto, and think they’re valuable offensively, you cannot in good conscious tell me that Stephenson’s often reached 12-14% walk rate is not important at all. Because at that rate, he’s giving an entire lineup a Jesse Winker or Joey Votto BB/AB rate. It’s not about walks being the only important thing, it’s just a very important thing. There are certainly others. Just as there are other important things with hitters, but OBP and BB walk rate is very important.

      Whether Robert Stephenson should have been up, their timeline/plan for him, etc. are all easily open to debate, but it seems a bit silly and reductive to phrase an argument like that.

      • SF Reds Fan

        I don’t think it’s a matter of walks not mattering (I’m “Pro OBP”), but more that BobSteve can get out of them with Ks. If his WHIP is still very strong (I believe his is around 1.1), then I honestly don’t care as much if it’s a walk or a hit. I will say that a walk is limited to one base, a hit could be multiple.
        #FREEBobSteve!

      • Rich H

        I think he probably can survive a high BB against AAA batters, but the pros are gonna hit him better than the competition he’s facing and has faced. I’m in total agreement he’s been pitching REALLY well for 2 months now, and should be in the (near) future plans for the team. I just think that everyone killing the Reds FO for not having him up yet sometime gloss over the other factors that kept him down, things like developmental needs for other players, timing roster changes, etc. But the main one is that he didn’t pitch particularly well for the first two months, and a big part of that has to be that his walk rate was significantly higher during that period. His ERA dropped around a point and a half since May 25, and his WHIP had a dramatic drop as well… because (at least partly) he stopped walking 5.5+ batters per 9. I think anyone is really hard pressed to say his K ratio is so good he can overcome those kind of command issues, because the body of his own work and almost every successful, MLB, TOtR pitcher’s body of work, suggest that doesn’t happen very often. Guys with his talent can work out of it more often than others, but they can’t sustain it over long periods of time because their (and his) numbers show they generally don’t.

        All I’m saying is that there are a lot of things to argue for in terms of having Stephenson up, especially with the way he’s been pitching. Dismissing a walk rate as high as he’s often had shouldn’t be one of them.

      • SF Reds Fan

        You raise great points. I agree that the walks are not ideal and don’t translate well to MLB. My concern is that our window to figure out what the kid can do in the bigs before his options are up is NOW. Not Sept where he might get 4-5 starts, but tomorrow. Send Ramano to the pen for a while (he probably needs the rest). Let Disco miss a start. Stick with 6-man rotation and give him Mahle’s spot. Whatever it takes to figure out what he has at the big league level.

        Two months ago, I was fine with him in AAA, but it’s time to move.

      • Jim Walker

        Stepenson’s OBP against Friday night = .190; 21 batters faced; 4 reached. 1H; 3BB. WHIP=0.667

        He allowed only 5 balls in play all night: a foul pop out on the infield, a ground ball single and 3 ground ball outs (1 was a GIDP)

  10. Jack

    Watched a little of the Cards and Pirates. The Cardinals announcer said that they traded Pham because the team wanted to get a longer look at the younger guys and Pham was in the way. That’s a winning organization. The Reds are not.

    • Hammer

      They can say that, but there’s much more to it. I’m a Reds fan living in St Louis, so I see a lot of their games. Pham has a degenerative eye condition, and turned down a multi-year extension offer this past offseason, very publicly calling out the cards front office in the process. I was surprised the cards would risk a contract extension at all for someone with a known degenerative condition like that, especially one that had a breakout season at 29 and was entering his age 30 season. It also seemed like with the Matheny and Fowler situations, he was yet another problem in the clubhouse, especially after his comments about the front office and subsequent awful start to the season.

  11. Wizeman

    Don’t know what else Stephenson can do. Sure they will think of something

  12. WVRedlegs

    Stephenson on point tonight. Spectacular game so far. It just blows away what Romano can do. Stephenson has just raised his game more than anyone else. Put him up against the big boys. This situation just makes the front office look bad. Worse than usual.

    • Jim Walker

      RS ends up with 13s. If I read the tweet correctly that’s not only a personal best but also a BATS club record. But he walked 3. 2 of them were in his final inning of work (6th). Had a couple of really tough ABs in the inning but got through it by eventually striking out the side.

      The only other inning he had runners was the 4th. Lead off walk followed by single. He got a GIDP and K to get out of that.

      So , 2 leverage innings versus the top of the opposition order when he could have folded but instead took care of business. Note that the 6th inning was the notorious 3rd time the top of the opposition order was seeing him to boot.

      If I followed along correctly, 2 of the 3 walks were to the same batter. Not sure what was going on there

      Reed last night; BobSteve tonight. What’s the plan? Have them pitch their value up to be traded?

      • Jim Walker

        That 13S above was supposed to be 13K. sorry

      • Jim Walker

        Ah yes, As I was following along on MiLB version of Gameday the 14K thought occurred to me. I was hoping they would send him out for the 7th so he could go for it; but, it seemed pretty clear he was getting close to empty. Sort of ironic that if he would have allowed a few soft contact balls in play he probably could have gone deeper.

        As best I recall, he had a pop out in the 1st, the single and GIDP balls in the 4th and just one other ball in play out the entire game (b/c the GIDP)

    • Streamer88

      Haha. So they send a guy to AAA to get it figured out, he *starts* to get it figured out, and it makes the FO look bad?

      I was literally typing out a post saying the opposite— Here’s hoping Mahle going down to AAA can have the impact on his development that it has had on Bob Steve. Kudos to the FO for sticking with Bob Steve and not dumping him at the deadline for peanuts.

      • roger garrett

        The Reds won’t dump Bob or any other young pitcher.They are afraid they will become stars on another team.The Cards have unloaded Grichuk,Piscotty and now Pham in the last year and all 3 started a bunch of games.They don’t have the problem we have in that all our guys are always 2 or 3 years away.They bring em up say show us what you got and move on.

      • Streamer88

        It’s a good point. At some point you can have such a full farm system that even your top prospects only have so much time in the cocoon to hatch.

        Good problem to have for the RedBirds.

  13. Aaron Bradley

    Well that might be the end of Hunter Greene’s elite velocity without TJ surgery. Perhaps it is time to go to plan B and let him become an offensive player like he was thinking about anyhow. At least develop him with that in mind, because his arm might not hold up to the rigors of pitching especially when he is a power arm.

  14. WVRedlegs

    Silver lining? This winter when the Reds try to obtain a top rotation starter, teams won’t be so quick to say they want Greene or Senzel in return. Or Winker. It will be up to India, Santillan, Trammell, Siri and Gutierrez to bring in a top starter.

    • Jim Walker

      And with Schebler “recalled” from rehab and “shutdown from throwing” for a week and then to be reevaluated, he could be headed down the same path as Winker. As it is he is likely to end up with 2 months or more of DL this season even with a good outcome in a week (recall the ~3 weeks in April). Teams (at least other teams) pay attention to durability issues and this is 2 years in a row Schebler will have missed significant time.

      • SF Reds Fan

        Given this somber day, I’m looking for a ray of hope (other than BobSteve crushing it). If Schebs misses the rest of the year in a lost season, and it pulls down his Arb1 cost, it might make the 2020 WS Champion Reds more affordable :-). Grasping at straws…I know. Let me dream

  15. Gonzo Reds

    The Marlins should be dealing with Greene right now and we should be starting Yelich in CF…

    • Bill

      And the Reds would still have a losing record and probably would still have Hamilton in CF on a regular basis with five man OF rotation. Yelich would make the team better, but unless he can pitch 200 innings a year he doesn’t fix what is wrong with the Reds. Obviously no one can judge Greene at this point, he could be a bust or win the CY, but I will never understand the obsession with Yelich by so many on RLN.

      • Jim Walker

        He’s a guy who plays an average or better CF and is close to opposite of a black hole on offense. He is also young and under team control at a very good rate. Brewers have him for 4 years (2018-21) at an AAV of $11M and change (including the buyout on 2022) or alternately for 5 years (2018-22) at an annual AAV of $11.7M. He will be 32 years old at the end of the 2022 season.

        Not a unique talent but a rare one perfectly priced from a club’s point of view as he came on the market. The club which got him knew that barring injury they were set in CF long term at a very favorable rate.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Bill, you say you don’t understand but your reasoning points directly to the problem…Hamilton in CF. You are correct in observing if Hamilton is still playing CF with a proven, productive better option available on the roster, then Yelich would not be particularly beneficial. That’s a BC issue and problem, not a Yelich issue and problem.

        The starting pitching is the most impactful issue that needs to be addressed, but the missed Yelich opportunity just doesn’t drop in team’s laps very often. The key for the Reds regarding Yelich was filling the biggest offensive hole in the lineup with a long-term, team-friendly contract for an elite player capable of playing CF.

        3.8 WAR (2nd among NL OF & would be higher if he played CF rather than LF)
        3.8 WAR (6th among all NL hitters &would be higher if he played CF rather than LF)
        145 wRC+ (1st among NL OF & 4th among all NL hitters)
        .216 ISO (7th among NL OF & 19th among all NL hitters)
        4.8 BsR (3rd among NL OF & 6th among all NL hitters)
        .384 OBP (2nd among NL OF & 6th among all NL hitters)

        That’s replacing arguably the worst hitter in the NL by adding another Suarez quality bat to the lineup. It’s water over the dam, but it’s also an huge opportunity lost.

      • Bill

        They could also acquire someone else either through trade or free agency that could be an improvement over Hamilton for a lesser cost. Yelich doesn’t solve the teams problems, he just improves on the offense which is already good. I’m all for replacing Hamilton even if that means putting Schebler in CF and Senzel in RF until someone else is ready for CF. We don’t even know if it was Greene who would have got the trade accomplished. It mave have been a combo of Senzel and Trammell the Brewers wanted.

      • Jim Walker

        The Suarez comp is very good. Imagine having 2 positions covered with that production at or less than the cost of Votto per year over the same period.

        Quite possible the Reds were will to give a Senzel or Greene or Trammell but not 2 of the 3.

  16. Va. Reds fan

    I made the 3+ hour drive to last night’s “game”. Made it through security and all of the other hassles….. when the game was postponed 20 minutes before 1st pitch the sun was peeking through. I would say about 20k people in stunned disbelief. Never rained significantly. Pretty disappointing evening.

  17. Joel

    Both stat lines are 2018 AAA Reds organization:

    PA: 208, slash: .297/.367/.465, wRC+: 135, BB% 9.1%, K% 24.0%
    PA: 193, slash: .346/.389/.570, wRC+: 168, BB% 6.2%, K% 28.0%

    If the Reds had to call up only one of those guys, the second stat line simply makes a more compelling case. Sure, 3 points worse walk rate and 4 points worse K rate, but the rest is demonstrably better. My point is this, if one thinks it’s a good idea to bench Scooter so that Dilson Herrera (first stat line) gets more MLB playing time, then it’s equally if not a better idea to also rotate in Brandon Dixon (second stat line). I know, I know, Herrera is younger which makes some believe he has greater upside. That may be true, but if age is the sole differentiator, then that means Dixon is hitting his prime about now, assuming as a given that baseball players peak around 26-28 years old. If “see what the guy has” is truly necessary (isn’t it somewhat safe to assume that the Reds have a good idea “what either guy has,” instead it’s us fans who don’t really know aside than the stat lines above “what they have”?), then the figures suggest that starting Dixon more than Herrera may be a good idea. Point is if the Reds do need to see MLB level reps, then each players’ numbers suggest that they should both get playing time, not just one. My guess is that Herrera has people excited because he had a few nice at bats in a few high leverage situations (don’t get me wrong, those really were good at bats, and I’d love it if Herrera can step in now and prove he’s the future at 2nd base).

    In any case, I don’t see what the rush is. These are guys who put up pretty good numbers in AAA. That’s about it. No other team is exactly beating down the Reds’ door to bring either player over. If you’re worried about losing team control or getting nothing out of either, I’d say it won’t be too difficult to keep these guys in the organization without breaking the bank. Plus, what is so terrible about keeping Scooter? Sure, he’s probably about as good as he’ll ever be right now, but this year, he’s playing even better than last year (2.3 WAR in 2017 vs 3.3 WAR ytd 2018). He might have more in the tank as he turns 29 and 30.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      The big differences are in things not in these stat lines. Dixon is an atrocious fielder; Herrera can play a competent 2B. Herrrera has better historical career stats (pre-shoulder trouble) to back up his season stat line. And Doug Gray has mentioned multiple times that Dixon’s stats at AAA this year have been inflated by a high and unsustainable BABIP. It seems that those who scout and follow talent see Herrera as a much higher level talent than Dixon. Dixon may well wind up having a decent MLB career, but it is less likely than Herrera. And Herrera is out of options, as well, but Dixon has more time to bounce back and forth and prove himself in 2019.