It’s a rare Friday afternoon affair for the Reds (56-72) today. The club is looking to bounce back from a pair of lifeless games that saw them lose by a combined score of 11-1. Joey Votto and Scott Schebler are due back from the disabled list later this weekend, but in the meantime, the Reds will have to take advantage of a favorable pitching matchup against the Cubs (73-53). First pitch is set for 2:20 p.m. ET.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Matt Harvey 117.1 4.91 4.50 17.7% 6.0%
Alec Mills (AAA) 124.2 4.84 4.67 20.3% 7.7%

Whether Harvey makes this start remains to be seen. He was claimed on revocable waivers on Wednesday, and the Reds have to agree to trade him or give him away to the team who made the claim. While he has a decent 4.28 ERA since coming to Cincinnati and is coming off his best outing of the season, Harvey ultimately has no future on this team and is an extremely risky bet to sign to any sort of long-term deal. Even if the Reds get nothing in return for him, they’re probably better off letting him go for nothing and using the last month to get a longer look at a young pitcher like Cody Reed or Lucas Sims. If he does make this start, it means he’ll be with the team the rest of the year and walk as a free agent anyway.


With Tyler Chatwood heading to the disabled list due to left hip inflammation, the Cubs recalled Alec Mills from Triple-A Iowa to make today’s start. This will likely be a one-start appearance in the rotation for the 26-year-old, as Mike Montgomery is due back from the disabled list by next week. The former 22nd-round pick of the Royals was considered a top-20 organizational prospect at times during his career but has never received an extended shot at the highest level.

He has pitched in 5 1/3 major-league innings in his career, including a two-inning relief stint with the Cubs earlier in the year. Mills has a 3.42 ERA in his minor league career, but his numbers are fairly pedestrian this season after missing most of 2017 with various injuries. The 26-year-old right-hander has excellent command (5.8 BB%) but doesn’t figure to strike many batters out in the big leagues given his run-of-the-mill career numbers (22.5%). Joe Maddon will likely have Mills on a short leash if he gets into any trouble this afternoon, giving the Reds a chance to get into the Cubs’ bullpen early.

Scouting report: Mills’ stuff certainly doesn’t jump of the page. His fastball sits in the lower 90s and his breaking pitches (slider and curveball) are generally not regarded as anything special. The best pitch he offers is a changeup. He throws a sinker as well but has shied away from it as his primary pitch in favor of a four-seamer.

Lineups

Reds

1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Scooter Gennett (2B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Mason Williams (RF)
6. Phillip Ervin (LF)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Brandon Dixon (1B)
9. Matt Harvey (P)

Cubs

1. Daniel Murphy (2B)
2. Javier Baez (SS)
3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
4. Ben Zobrist (RF)
5. Kyle Schwarber (LF)
6. Ian Happ (3B)
7. Willson Contreras (C)
8. Alec Mills (P)
9. Albert Almora Jr. (CF)

News, Notes, & Pre-Game Reading

UPDATE: Neither Matt Harvey nor Billy Hamilton are going anywhere.

Stat of the Day

With 34 games remaining in the 2018 season, the Reds will need to go at least 17-17 the rest of the season to avoid their fourth straight 90-loss season.

42 Responses

  1. WVRedlegs

    Fifty minutes to go on the Harvey saga. Nothing is going to happen.
    Another lineup where runs will be at a premium. Reds will make another rookie pitcher look like Greg Maddux again. Mason Williams batting 5th is just stupider than having BHam lead off. Spring training lineups aren’t usually this weak. If these are the 8 you are going with a better order certainly would apply.

  2. Sliotar

    It is important that, this winter, the Reds sort through what Ervin, Williams and Dixon are doing right now.

    Kris Bryant hasn’t played for a month, missed more than 6 weeks already this season.
    A 6.6 WAR player last season.

    Yet, the Cubs have best record in NL and can roll out Ian Happ at 3B today (1.4 WAR, 13 HRs) and still have MLB-competent production.

    if Hamilton, Peraza and Barnhart are all starters in 2019, and Votto’s power is declining, the Reds are going to need cost-controlled HR pop off the bench and work them in regularly.

    Go Redlegs.

    (I figure this is the only non-Harvey post in today’s thread, better to get it out early).

    • big5ed

      You are obsessed by the Reds’ lack of power. Not that you are wrong, though.

      My obsession is how the Reds have managed to go 50+ years (Tony Perez) without signing and developing one standout Major League hitter from Latin America. Edwin Encarnacion is the closest, but they surrendered on him before he broke out.

      • Old-school

        Johnny Almarez- signed Johnny Cueto.
        He left the Reds to go the lead the braves Latino scouting .
        Ronald Acuna Jr and Ozzie Albies would have nice additions

      • Sliotar

        I wish the game wasn’t so much HR-dependent, Big Ed. I think it makes for a much more boring product.

        But, MLB is now a 3-outcome affair during an at-bat. HR/K/BB.

        Look how defense and now wild pitches are no longer such a big deal.

        If you hit enough HRs, you stick regardless if you can’t catch a fly (see Corey Dickerson, Pirates)

        If you can K your way out of trouble, the BBs and WPs are overlooked (see Carlos Martinez, Cardinals)

        I heard on MLB Radio that HS and College kids are still being taught to swing up, go for HRs every AB. That means we have at least 10-15 years of this being the trend.

        I would hope the Reds see this, especially playing in GABP….but I dunno.

      • lwblogger2

        Didn’t Encarnacion come from Texas?

  3. Don

    The Reds are 45 minutes away from really embarrassing themselves with their lackadaisical approach to this Harvey saga.

    • Show Triple Slash

      We don’t know what was offered. It might be more important for the future to demonstrate the Reds front office won’t just roll over. The Brewers screwed up with Scooter, and just might be making another big mistake.

  4. Old-school

    Harvey will not be traded per Nightingale.

  5. Scott Gennett

    Harvey will be a Red until infinity, and beyond.

    • CI3J

      Or at least until the season end where he’ll walk away for nothing.

      But yeah, same difference.

  6. lost11found

    Hopefully they can complete the trade for something halfway decent. It if is the brewers, it may be a reluctance to trade in-division, which I kindof get, but kidof don’t too.

    Any word on Hamilton or was it erroneously reported that he’d been claimed too?

  7. Sliotar

    LOL.

    Krall saying Harvey not traded because “wants positive momentum rest of the season.”

    Record since Dick WIlliams said on afternoon of July 31 “winning culture now established” …. 8-14.

    Again….do we really want to see this front office try and negotiate with a charged-up Scott Boras, looking to reclaim his reputation as getting teams to overpay, on a deal for Harvey?

    • Don

      That statement by Krall is an insult to the intelligence of the fanbase. Management clearly doesn’t fully understand how to relate to a fanbase that is tired, frustrated and very jaded. Statements like this create further divide between the organization and the loyal fans.

      • lost11found

        Its standard, boilerplate PR nonsense…why let it get under your skin? Most of us work or worked for companies/organizations that say stuff like this all the time. I get half a dozen e-mails a week that look and sound like this.

    • lwblogger2

      I think I have to write Nick Krall a letter now. That’s a BS answer that isn’t flying w/ this fan. Positive momentum is all well and good but the Reds aren’t close enough and all the positive momentum in the world doesn’t overcome a lack of talent.

  8. Seat101

    Well at least Harvey doesn’t have a lame nickname…

    If they got an offer they couldn’t refuse I’m glad they refused the offer. Frankly it just means it a couple of lousy pictures won’t get quite as many starts. I can live with that.

    Can someone help clarify whether or not Billy Hamilton was claimed and pulled back? And if so by whom I can live with that.

    Can someone help clarify whether or not Billy Hamilton was claimed and pulled back? And if so by whom? ?

  9. earmbrister

    Friday afternoon baseball, and on TV for us out of towners. BONUS!!!

    No way of knowing what was offered for Harvey. If the Brewers really low-balled them, then why help a division rival? Bob Steve has not shown he’s grown as a pitcher, Mella was awful in his latest stint in MLB, who else has laid claimed to Harvey’s spot?

  10. Jack

    And Billy legend continues…. blaargh

  11. Indy Red Man

    At work….but I did see ole Matty K’d Baez. Slider away? Just a guess. No reason to throw that guy anything out over the plate. Ever!!

    • Jack

      Agree same scouting report since he came into the league. The Reds like to do the opposite though.

  12. Indy Red Man

    Havoc I-II combined 0-4 with 3 Ks. One..you don’t have to ever walk because he can’t hit and the other one won’t walk. Lots of speedy right turns at 1st base….yeahhh

  13. roger garrett

    I thought Cy Young pitched on Tuesday or was it last night.I thought we would for sure get Loretta Young today.

  14. Indy Red Man

    Well Votto, Winker, and Scheb wouldn’t help vs Hamels or any decent lefty, but now Suarez is 6 for his last 34 and we can’t score vs righties either.

  15. earmbrister

    I like Steve Cishek’s nickname: Speedpass

  16. roger garrett

    Harvey knows just like the rest of us he will have to shut them out to win.He may just do it.

  17. msanmoore

    Good thing we kept Harvey. Solid outing so far, so I’m thinking his value is increasing again today.

    Oh, wait … I forgot … silly me!

  18. Old-school

    Cody Reed gets the 1-6-3 DP.
    Great opportunity against Rizzo. These are important games for the young guys.

    • lwblogger2

      Yes Huge!!! And a big thank you to Rizzo for swinging at ball 4 and ball 5, both WAY outside.

      • Old-school

        The first 3-2 was way out…but he threw a slider 3-2 and lots of guys swing at sliders . That’s gutsy. The second 3-2 was a great pitch .

  19. Indy Red Man

    Cody Reed! Give that kid some starts! Too bad the bats are asleep? Dixon 0-3 with 3 Ks? I think his ceiling is higher then Blandino’s, but his swing looks so long?

    • lwblogger2

      His ceiling may be higher but his floor is lower. I have a hard time seeing him being a good MLB player. He’s got lots of power but that’s about it.

  20. Old-school

    Cody Reed can’t help himself with a BB , but still a nice 1 and 1/3 inning. Danny Darwin effect? Let this guy pitch out of the bullpen and find his confidence a high leverage lefty. Reed and Garrett could be a nice 1/2 punch out of the bullpen from the left side AND major league minimum salary.

    Get younger and use that money to sign vet lefty.starter.

  21. lwblogger2

    Dang it, Daniel Murphy! Nice pickup for the (not so) stupid Cubs.

  22. Old-school

    Suarez in a slump is still good.
    #29

    • lwblogger2

      He’s hit some big HR too. He seems to be hitting them when they matter.

  23. lwblogger2

    That looked like a no-out, bottom of the 9th, pitch-around to Rizzo.