Matt Harvey pitched for the Reds tonight instead of Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed or Lucas Sims. If it’s the case that the Reds couldn’t attract a decent offer for Harvey before the trade deadline, it’s hard to see that prospect improving much, if at all. How long will the Reds keep giving valuable rotation opportunities to a guy who won’t be with the team next year? 

The Reds play the series finale tomorrow at 1:35 pm. Luis Castillo vs. Tanner Roark. Then they head to New York for a 3-game series with the Mets. While the Mets have a worse record than the Reds, they’re due to start Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom in two of the games. 

Cincinnati Reds 2 (49-61) • Washington Nationals (55-54)

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

Matt Harvey gave up five runs in four innings, a run each inning he worked, including the fifth inning when he didn’t record an out. In 4+ innings of work, he struck out one and walked two. 

Jesus Reyes made his major league debut in the 7th inning. He hit the first batter he faced with a 96-mph fastball. He recorded a double play and fly out to finish his first big-league inning. Reyes returned to pitch a 1-2-3 8th inning.

The Reds got solo home runs from Jose Peraza, who homered on the second pitch of the game, and Eugenio Suarez who hit a 4th-inning bomb, his 26th of the season, both were to left-center. Outfielder Mason Williams had two doubles and a single. The Reds drew one walk tonight.  

Tucker Barnhart was thrown out of the game in the 5th inning after Matt Adams hit a home run off Matt Harvey. Barnhart appeared to be arguing previous balls-and-strikes with the home plate umpire. Curt Casali, who caught nine innings in the first game of the double header came in to sub for Barnhart. Barnhart was the second Reds player to be ejected from a game this season, with Joey Votto being the other. Casali’s OBP is .403. 

Futile Questions Why is Billy Hamilton starting every single game in centerfield? Are there no other players who the Reds would like to see play there to evaluate for the future? Hamilton is hitting .227/.301/.306 with a wRC+ of 66 (that’s 34 percent below league average). 

Lucas Sims First Louisville Start Lucas Sims, the headline return from the Braves in the recent Adam Duvall trade, pitched for AAA-Louisville tonight. He gave up one run in five innings, with no walks and six strikeout. Add Sims’ name to the list of pitchers who could use major league opportunity. 

India Homers Jonathan India, the only recent Reds first-round pick who hasn’t suffered a season-ending injury, homered tonight for the Dayton Dragons. 

The Guns of August Check out this list of all-time best on-base percentage for the month of August (courtesy of a screen grab by Nick Kirby). Williams, Ruth, Gehrig and Joey Votto. 

Great Expectations Here’s an update on where the Reds regular position players stand in xwOBA (expected, weighted on base average). Filter is 200 plate appearances, producing 279 major leaguers

  • Joey Votto #5 (.429)
  • Eugenio Suarez #10 (.409)
  • Jesse Winker #30 (.385)
  • Scott Schebler #69 (.367)
  • Scooter Gennett #134 (.340)
  • Tucker Barnhart #143 (.338)
  • Jose Peraza #235 (.295)
  • Billy Hamilton #277 (.251)

The four players above Votto are Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, JD Martinez and Matt Carpenter. The two players below Billy Hamilton are Orlando Arcia and Adam Engle. A few Reds friends: Choo (.398), Encarnacion (.387), Yelich (.382), Duvall (.347), Frazier (.340), Bruce (.339), Gregorious (.327), Mesoraco (.318) and Cozart (.310). Note, the odd-man out > Christian Yelich. 

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! 59 Comments

  1. Billy has been played in 106 of the Reds 110 games.Can somebody tell us how that happened?

    • It’s because he doesn’t clog the basepaths.

      • That’s right Billy has struck out now 99 times on the year. More than Geno, more than Scooter and more than Joey. No clogging the bases for Billy.

    • Sorting is a joke with this team. Ervin and Williams should be playing every day.

      • Well, Schebler, Duvall and Winker aren’t playing at all. Two of the outfield positions will be filled by players who aren’t regulars and are being evaluated. Why isn’t that sorting?

        • Could be a challenge for Duvall to play considering he is not on the Reds

          Not surprising that one of the worst teams in baseball continues to play bad baseball players every day, but, Billy smiles during those strike outs

    • Somebody who fills out the lineup prefers defense over deadwood in the bottom of the batting order.

    • Every year he’s in the bottom 5 of just about every offensive category among qualified players. He is who he is, as some of us have been saying for a few seasons now. Yet he still gets run out there every game with both Ervin and Williams fully capable of playing CF. As they’ve done throughout this rebuild, they missed their opportunity to trade Hamilton this past offseason. Can’t see much demand this offseason as he continues to get more expensive for, what should be, a bench player and late inning PR/defensive replacement. But at least Big Bob and do his best to meddle and keep Billy a Red for life.

  2. I’ve not understood why Billy has had any playing time for several years now. The only somewhat logical explanation I can come up with is that he sells tickets. Flimsy logic though. Winning more games than you lose sells tickets. Billy’s pathetic numbers don’t solve the winning problem.

    • Part of the reason he’s playing is that he is a very good defender. The Reds have few of those, and with Duvall gone, he’s the only one in the outfield. Maybe you’ve missed the sloppy plays the Reds have made recently that put opponents on base?

      • Mason Williams is a pretty good defensive outfielder. He isn’t Hamilton out in CF but he plays a better CF than Ervin or Schebler. I kind of wouldn’t mind seeing him out there with fewer days of Hamilton in the starting lineup.

  3. The price is going up bigtime on Zack Wheeler. He shutdown a good Atlanta offense over 7 ip with only 3 hits allowed with 1 walk and 9 Ks. He’s won 4 straight starts on that lousy team. They said he touched 99 and averaged almost 97 on the fastball. The Reds need him desperately!

    Good to see Lucas Sims in the mix. They say he has a good curveball and command of his breaking stuff. That might be a nice change for the Reds. Everyone seems to be too fastball heavy on their staff. Get him and BobSteve in there along with Ervin and Williams. How come the obvious never seems to make sense to the Reds front office? We know Billy….nothing is changing there? He’ll race back to the fence in GABP and jump on the wall to get the best views of their HRs. Nobody could get a better view then him! Unfortunately thats not important.

    • Wheeler is not a free agent for another year. Trading for a guy with one year of control is not what the team needs

      • I think someone like Wheeler is perfect. We have reinforcements waiting in the wings who are not quite ready, but can fill in on an as-needed basis. And can possibly turn themselves into aces by 2020. In 2019,give Mahle & Castillo the treatment given to BobSteve&Reed in 2018. Rotation of Harvey,Bailey,Wheeler, Disco,Stephenson. Will all those guys go all yr off the DL? Probably not. Now you have some depth with Mahle,Castillo,Romano,Sims. They’ll be primed to step in for Bailey and Wheeler the next yr, if it comes to that. Finnegan, Reed,Lorenzen, Garrett, Iglesias,Hughes, Hernandez in the pen. Plenty of depth and trade bait there.

        • What are you willing to give up for Wheeler? Personally I sign a free agent to replace Harvey before I trade for a one year rental. If there is a major pitching acquisition required use the money Bailey is getting next year to pay for that guy in 2020. Giving up the future for a guy in a year that is a question mark does not appeal to me. At next years deadline if the Reds are sitting in a wild card spot then my opinion would change. Maybe I am pessimistic, but Bailey is a $20 million question mark, Disco still has questions, Romano, Castillo, Mahle, Stephenson, Simms, etc. are all unproven. If four of those guys are pitching at levels then Wheeler makes sense. If it is a repeat of this year Wheeler just fills the Harvey role of taking starts from a younger guy in a losing season

  4. Never mind. My son Pwned me

  5. I dearly miss our old friend Choo hitting leadoff.

  6. It would be insulting to Harvey if a young and more talented pitcher took his place, so he must pitch. Billy Hamilton is very exciting when he occasionally gets on base, so he must play every game. Developing young players who could potentially help the team improve next year isn’t even on the radar.

    And don’t be so sure Harvey won’t be with the team next year. If he continues pitching badly and ends up with an ERA close to 6, who other than Reds will offer him $3 million for 2019?

    • Isn’t Winker a young guy. How about Peraza he is 24. Castillo,Romano and Mahle are young guys. Senzel is hurt and blocked by A All star at both his positions. I think the reds are developing young players.

      • They weren’t even willing to commit to letting Schebler and Winker play every day when they were healthy. Senzel, were he healthy, probably wouldn’t be on the major league team without other guys getting injured. Mahle was just sent down while Harvey continues making starts for some unknown reason. (Why not just let him skip Mahle once and see if that helps him? What are they learning about him in the minors?) They “develop” young guys when they don’t have old guys available.

    • Harvey is a talented pitcher. He had a bad day. That happens. It happens to everybody.

      • Harvey has a 4.8 ERA with the Reds and a 6.6/9 SO rate. Amazing talent

        Hopefully, the Reds sign him to a long term contract since Harvey has been so amazing

        • He’s returning from two surgeries, before which he was considered one of the most talented pitchers in the league. His velocity is returning, and so is his command. Few, if any, pitchers instantly pick up where they left off under such circumstances.

  7. I like Ervin but don’t trust the guy playing center until he gets his head right. Not sure if Williams can play center. Schebler- no!!!!!. Let’s face it, we are stuck with Billy in center until Siri and Trammel get here.
    Just enjoy the crazy defense and mad dashes on the bases for now.

    • Both Ervin and Williams can play center. Maybe Ervin is a better CF because it’s his natural position.

    • Choo played CF, any of those guys can play CF.

      • I could play CF, too. Being put in center and playing it properly are two entirely different things.

        • If you can equal Choo’s performance with a bat I’ll pay your salary. Ervin, Williams, and even Schebler can play CF. They aren’t winning gold gloves, but Williams and Ervin can likely play an average defense and Schebler isn’t a disaster out there

          • Williams maybe, but Ervin has been awful in his limited opportunities last year and this year. His defense is worse than Choo’s, without Choo’s stick.

  8. It still burns me up that the Reds could have gotten Yelich last offseason and not only didn’t get him, but let him go to an in-division rival.

    Yelich would have solved so many issues with this team. But of course, if something makes too much sense, you can be sure the Reds won’t do it.

    • Yelich is under team control thru the 2022 season at an AAV of $11.7M. Will be 32 years old at end of that contract.

      Imagine having he and Suarez for the less than or equal to the combined salary of Votto.

    • As I have said before Yelich wouldn’t solve the teams problem and probably would have been in a corner position with Hamilton still in CF. The problem is pitching not the hitting. Would you have approved of sending both Senzel and Trammell to get Yelich? That is likely what it would have taken to outbid the Brewers, The Reds would still have a losing record and potentially been out two guys who project to be good in the near future

      • You’re making sense, Bill. Stop it this instant!

      • The Marlins got Brinson (#1) and the #5 prospect, and 2 outside the top 10. If the Reds knew that Scooter would continue to be amazing, they would trade Senzel and #5(Gutierrez), and a few others in a heartbeat.

  9. For the reds to have any chance to move Harvey for a prospect he must pitch until at least the end of August. I would be stunned if he makes another start for the reds after that.

    Billy is playing CF because he is the only one on the roster capable of being a average fielding CF. Schebler is out and both Williams and Ervin are not looking good in the field. I also sense this is his last opportunity and he will be released after the season If he can not be packaged in another deal. The reds have Siri and Trammel almost ready. The reds will show improvement next year but the all in season will be 2020. This coincides with their arrival and Bailey’s departure.

    Stephenson, Reed and Sims will have lots of opportunities next season to show their skills. Stephenson is out of options and has to be in the rotation. Bailey will be released at some point next year with the reds eating a lot of his salary. Harvey will be gone. Only two spots in the rotation are assured. Castillo and Disco. The other 3 are up for grabs beginning in ST. Exposing them now makes very little difference at this point. Let them keep building on their success which helps their trade value if things turn that way and it also helps them gain confidence and keep perfecting their mechanics.

    • This post makes the most sense to me. I think you bring up a good point about the year being 2020.

    • I think you’re selling both Ervin and Williams short in the field based off a couple subpar games. Both can play there and be average defenders.

  10. The way the FO runs this baseball team has honed my sarcasm to a fine edge.

    • As in, it looks like 2019 will be the year the Reds sort out their starting pitching.

      • The sorting is like what Cubs fans used to say every year, “Just wait ’til next year!”
        But for sorting of the Reds starting pitching, next year never comes. Recently, anyway.

  11. It doesn’t bother me that the Reds didn’t trade Harvey. His latest outings justify other teams having their doubts and not offering much in trade for him.

    It would be nice to see the Reds go to the 6 man rotation Riggelman announced. This article about Freddy Peralta of the Brewers talks about him succeeding with high walk and strikeout rates and a low WHIP.
    https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/mlb/brewers/2018/08/04/brewers-rookie-peralta-has-been-hard-hit/875512002/

    Peralta’s and Robert Stephenson’s 2018 AAA numbers:
    P – 59 IP, 11.98 K/9, 4.73 BB/9, 45H, 2.75 ERA, 3.62 xFIP, 1.22 WHIP
    S – 113 IP, 10.75 K/9, 4.54 BB/9, 74H, 2.87 ERA, 3.84 xFIP, 1.16 WHIP

    While the walk rates are a concern, the Brewers are in a pennant race and are using Peralta out of necessity. The Reds can continue to work with Stephenson at the major league level, but they need to find out who is likely to be in the rotation next year.

  12. I will vote for you as GM in a heart beat because what you said is what should happen with Harvey,Bailey and Billy.I do think the league would say if you aren’t good enough to play or pitch for the Reds in another 90+ loss season well I don’t want you either.Just my opinion.

  13. No conversation about Joey’s HBP here?

    • Unfortunately Joey is becoming a 25 mil a year table setter. The power is gone his fielding has declined and what little foot speed he had has disappeared. He is a HOF’er but he is trending down. I was hoping to get a couple more 25-30 home run seasons from him to go along with his ability to get on base. Hope I am wrong and he bounces back next year.

    • Not much to say really. I’m not positive but didn’t Harper get hit by a breaking ball? Joey got a fastball. I think if I was Joey I would be more mad at Brice for him hitting Harper and his lousy pitching. I think Losing is frustrating Joey to no end. It has to. It’s frustrating for us to watch, imagine playing and losing 90 games every year. By the way Madson ignored him I think he wasn’t happy with the call to hit Joey either. They are winning the game just let it go.

    • Don Drysdale used to say. You hit one of mine I hit two of yours. They are in a pennant race and we hit their best player. We then hit their catcher. Have no issue with them hitting Joey in the leg. It was meant to send a message and not hurt him. That is how baseball has been played for years. Part of the game.

      • No you don’t throw at the leg with a 96 mile an hour heater. You throw into the back or backside where there is some flesh. That is how it has been played foe years. Hitting him intentionally in the knee was cheap.

    • The Old Cossack missed the pitches by Brice and Reyes that apparently prompted the retaliation by Madson. Reviewing the play log leaves a pretty good impression that Brice was struggling with his control and Reyes had no intention or reason to plunk anyone in his 1st major league appearance and 2nd major league pitch. I did see Madson’s pitch in the top of the 8th inning that plunked Votto and there’s no doubt that the pitch was deliberate and thrown with the intent to hurt Votto in retaliation for the injury to Harper after Harper had to leave the game in the top of the 7th inning.

      Votto was justifiably irate, but restrained himself enough to avoid escalation and a bench clearing brawl. I was very disappointed the umpires took no action. What really got scary was the two consecutive pitches at Casali’s head in the 9th inning. I believe both of those pitches just got away from Herrera, but tensions were already high.

  14. The Reds are not going to win 88-90 games in 2019 and overtake the Cubs or Brewers. DW can’t say that though. 2020 is the year and DW needs one last transition bridge of players to get them to 2020 -while still claiming they are committed to winning in 2019.

    #1 – Billy Hamilton
    He is a fan favorite .Hamilton in CF on Opening Day 2019 makes the casual fan happy- and the owner too and provides a familiar player to market. Gone in 2020 but part of the bridge.

    #2- Scooter Gennett
    Another fan favorite and a deserving All star. He has a final arbitration year. His replacements are also coming from surgery. A key part of the bridge over 2019.

    #3/4 David Hernandez and Jared Hughes

    This combo is cheap and helps avoid the nightmare scenario- another awful start. It also allows the FO to talk about how the bullpen will keep them in the playoff picture for 2019. Gone in 2020 but part of the bridge.

    #5 Homer Bailey

    This player contract is the biggest reason a bridge is needed over 2019 to get to 2020. Gone in 2020

    #6 PTBNL

    The Reds will add another player to the bridge over 2019. Ideally it would also be a player who is young and part of the winning window in 2020.

    • Don’t discount 2019…we’re building that winning culture now. Ask GreenMtRed

      • They were indeed playing winning baseball for a stretch, then they lose Winker, then Schebler. They aren’t deep enough to survive losing 2 major offensive pieces.

      • I’ve already answered. Something to the effect that we don’t know about the culture, but a bad stretch dowsn’t prove that it doesn’t exist, because it’s about attitude. For a bunch of people who constantly warn each other about SSS, we seem awfully eager to consider 14 or so games as more definive than 75 or 80.

  15. There better be a 98mph Castillo fastball into the back of Juan Soto in the bottom of the first inning. It’s the lady game with the Nats. Let’s see what Riggleman is made of. There is no way you let the intentional hitting of Votto go unanswered.

  16. Was at the game last night. No doubt in my mind Votto was hit in retaliation, just above the knee…not a nice place to hit anyone. The two at Casali could be considered errant high hard ones, but could have been real troubling. Ump came out with every successive pitcher with warnings. Horrible horrible plays by Tucker in left…threw a looper to second instead of third where the cut off man was…no one was even covering second. Took forever to get to the ball, then missed cutoff on the second bad play. I’m afraid of Votto’s lack of power this year. Hit a hard one to right field, looked like a good trajectory, but just not enough to even get to the fence. Wonder if he’s been trying something different, if he’s being pitched different, his legs are tired, or he’s just getting old.

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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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