The Reds open their second series of the season tonight at GABP versus the Milwaukee Brewers. Starting time is 6:40PM.  Note this  will be the starting time for Monday-Thursday night games through the end of May. While the Reds and Pirates split their opening series, the Brewers opened by winning 3 of 4 at home from the Cardinals. The bigger news is 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich has picked up where he left off last season. In 4 games he has 4 home runs and an OPS of 2.250, yes, an OPS of 2.250. That’s not a typo or April Fool joke.

Starting Pitchers

Tanner Roark for the Reds and the Brewers Zach will be on mound to start the game. Both are right handers.

Reds

Tanner Roark is one of the three veteran pitchers acquired by the Reds in the off season to bolster their rotation. The Reds traded pitching prospect Tanner Rainey to the Nationals for the 32 year old Roark who will be eligible for free agency at season’s end. Roarks’ career began when he was drafted deep in the 2008 draft (25th round; #873 overall) by the Texas Rangers.  In 2010 Roark was traded to the Nats.  With the Nats Roark carved out an improbable MLB career eventually making 141 MLB starts (182 appearances) between 2013-18. His career FIP (4.27) and FIP- (105) suggest he is a league average pitcher.

The Reds hope Roark’s sinker based repertoire will play well in GABP. But Roark sports a full arsenal of pitches.  In addition to the sinker (40%) look for a  4 seam fastball about 20% of the time augmented by a slider, curve, and change about equally mixed to fill out his pitch count.The Reds also hope Roark will be an innings eater as he has pitched at least 180 innings per season since 2016. Tonight against the slugging Brewers we will get the first test of those hopes.

Brewers

Like Roark, Brewers Starter Zach Davies has also defied long odds to make it to MLB since being drafted #785 overall (26th round) by Baltimore in 2011. Davies was traded to the Brewers in July of 2015 and made his MLB debut later that same year. He has appeared in 80 MLB games, all starts, since.  Following complete seasons in the Brewer rotation in 2016 (28 starts) and 2017 (33 starts), rotator cuff irritation limited Davies to 13 starts in 2018. Davies is also similar to Roark in featuring a sinker as his primary fastball.  Look for him to throw the sinker between 55-60% of the time and spread the remainder of his pitches somewhat evenly among a cutter, curve and, change up.

PITCHER 2018 FIP HR/9 BB% K%
Tanner Roark 4.27 1.20 6.6% 19.6%
Zach Davies 4.39 1.09 7.5% 17.5%

 

Bullpens

REDS

The back end of the Reds pen is rested. Michael Lorenzen and Robert Stephenson both worked 2 innings yesterday and are most likely very limited or not available. The silver lining here is that Lorenzen should be fully available for off the bench work.

 

Brewers

Matt Albers worked 2 innings Sunday. The guy that really matters, Josh Hader, last worked on Saturday for just 1 inning.

LineUps

            BREWERS

1. Lorenzo Cain (CF)
2. Christian Yelich (RF)
3. Ryan Braun (LF)
4. Travis Shaw (3B)
5. Jesus Aguilar (1B)
6. Mike Moustakas (2B)
7. Yasmani Grandal (C)
8. Orlando Arcia (SS)
9. Zach Davies (P)

           REDS

1. Scott Schebler (CF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Yasiel Puig (RF)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Matt Kemp (LF)
6. Jose Peraza (2B)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Jose Iglesias (SS)
9. Tanner Roark (P)

 

News and Notes

Reds have a rotation update.  Castillo on Wednesday, Mahle pushed back to Thursday:

 

And perhaps we have our first lineup controversy of the David Bell era roiling up

Final Thoughts

And so another season is underway. Hopes are soaring among Reds fans because of the Reds busy off season. Yet the first series of the season versus the Pirates underscored that baseball is a sport where the long view is best. On Thursday the Reds looked like world beaters. Sunday they were much the polar opposite. As the events swing back and forth, keep in mind that even the best teams often win just around 60% of their games.  Thus over a season, changing the outcome of 1 game in 10 typically defines the difference of how teams align. Little things do add up over time to make a big difference. 160 games remain to see where toward the middle  of the spectrum the Reds will end up.  GO REDS!

 

Stats and data courtesy of  Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, and MLB.com

64 Responses

  1. WVRedlegs

    I asked yesterday about Castillo maybe starting Wednesday. Just had a feeling that they didn’t want him to go a full week between starts. Wednesday afternoon should be a lot warmer and much closer to opening day’s weather. Good decision.
    The omission of Winker again surprised me a little. This warrants keeping an eye on. The same could be said about not having Dietrich in at 2B and Peraza at SS vs. some RHP too over J. Iglesias.

    • Eric McAllister

      I think they want Kemp to put up some numbers so they can trade him.

  2. Bred

    They must be showcasing Kemp hoping he gets hot like he was in ST, so they can make an early trade. Why else take ABs from Winker?

    • Sliotar

      Brad…nice call on the early showcase.

      Getting someone to bite might free up some needed payroll, if the team is in it and needs an upgrade at the trade deadline.

  3. Patrick Jeter

    Matt Kemp getting 2 of 3 starts versus RHP. Interesting…

  4. Keith

    What did David Bell say about Winker’s number of at-bats he was going to receive this year? Didn’t he mention 500? Not a promising start in that department.

  5. Sliotar

    Yesterday was a clunker…happens to all teams.

    Let’s hope the Reds clunkers are really limited vs. teams in the division. The other 4 teams have rosters that look like they could be competitive if things fall right, some needing more things than others.

    Earlier today, Pirates led Cardinals 4-0, with Archer starting, into the 7th inning…..St. Louis won 6-5 in 11 innings.

    Go Redlegs.

  6. Sliotar

    Boo birds out early tonight.

    When are the #GetThePitching guys the team acquired going to start some games? (LOL.)

  7. Hotto4Votto

    Throw freaking strikes. This is embarrassing. Roark did a lot of talking this offseason about attacking hitters, but he’s pitching scared so far.

  8. Andrew Workman

    Is anyone having issues watching the game? I’m trying to watch it on FSO and they’re showing some stupid men’s diving event instead!

  9. VaRedsFan

    I thought hitting was hard in cold weather???
    Or was it…Easy for Brewers to hit in their nice warm stadium.

  10. matt hendley

    Is it COld today too… .at least we just traded a throwaway pitcher for this guy.

    • matt hendley

      Also SHowcasing Kemp does sound like a reasonable reason he is getting back to back starts.

      • redfan4life

        I agree this is probably the reason. But the thing is Kemp no matter where he goes probably only plays against LHP anyway.

  11. Free house

    Back to back Ks with bases loaded. Might be a long day for the Redlegs again

  12. Indy Red Man

    Not real big on Roark. 4.67 & 4.34 era’s in the last 2 years and now he’s coming to a smaller park with a sketchy outfield defense. Down the road I’d really love to see young guys like Lorenzen, Garrett, or Reed get a shot in the rotation!

    • ohiojimw

      The guy that’s going to get the first shot after Mahle is BobSteve if he does his job in the pen until the opportunity is there. If not he likely will be in a different organization.

      • Indy Red Man

        I forgot about BobSteve. Everyone on RLN is higher on BobSteve and Romano then I am, but he did have electric stuff yesterday! It comes down to the same complaints we’ve had for 4-5 years now….if the veteran guys aren’t getting it done and we’re not ready to roll with the big dogs then why not turn the youngsters loose? I feel like Bell gets it!

  13. Free house

    These guys making Davies look like a future cy young. Need to get the bats going and Roark needs to start throwing strikes

  14. redfan4life

    This will never happen, but who else thinks Cincinnati needs a retractable roof like Milwaukee?
    I mean it is either freezing cold or blistering hot or raining 90% of the home games.
    We have next to no spring or fall anymore.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yep…global warming. The beautiful Midwestern fall season is over in 5 weeks now? Then its 5 months of winter. We still had snow on the ground this morning in Indy. Then it rains all April?

      • Wayne nabors

        Indy if bell gets it,winker would be playing,he is just to good a hitter to be on bench

      • Indy Red Man

        I agree with you, but its only game 3. Not to mention for some reason I checked Kemp’s numbers for the last 2 years and he’s got like a .950 ops for April-May

  15. Eric the Red

    Great. A ball that was called a strike snuffs out another scoring chance.

  16. Indy Red Man

    Cubs with the ole 0-3-4 line that the Reds had yesterday….but its the 3rd inning….lolllllllllll

  17. Eric the Red

    Meanwhile, Garrett gets squeezed….

  18. mark Tokarski

    2019 Reds look alot like 2018 Reds except that occasionally the pitchers go to 2-1 instead of 3-0. When bases are loaded and they all walk off the field hands in pockets, it feels like 2018 redux.

  19. Mark Tomarski

    Let’s not kid ourselves … as we go up against other teams, it appears the other teams have better players. Reds are still a used car lot.

  20. Indy Red Man

    Puig!!! Picks up the 2nd rbi due to a Braun brain cramp. No way Joey scores otherwise….ball was hit too hard! I have Puig on every one of my fantasy teams. He’s going to kill it this year!

    • Eric the Red

      That’s what I thought, too, about Votto scoring. THOM! of course had no clue about what was happening, even on the replay.

  21. Indy Red Man

    Amir at 98!!! If he’s better off in the pen then so be it, but I see David Price Jr from his Tampa days. If you develop a talented arm then why have him go 60 ip when he might go 180?

  22. WVRedlegs

    If they are showcasing Kemp, doesn’t he have to not get thrown out of the game?

    • matt hendley

      True, he was right about that pitch though, was obviously low. Was upset that noone on the bench wanted to go out there and back up their player. Weird movement of the players around, leaving Farmer in instead of Deitrich. Looked like it backfired with 2outs in the 8th. All you Winker lovers have at least half a game

  23. Seat101

    I hope the Reds do not have to bat in the bottom of the ninth.

    And Fangraphs agrees with me that “BobSteve” is a lame nickname

  24. Chris

    I don’t understand the Grandal shift. What is it’s purpose?

  25. Seat101

    I was hoping the Hunter Greene news was an April fool joke

  26. VaRedsFan

    Hunter Greene…torn UCL…Tommy John surgery.
    Should have done that last year…inevitable.

    • Seat101

      Yes. You can’t force someone to have surgery. But they should’ve done a better job of convincing him.

  27. Indy Red Man

    Hunter Greene done TJ. Jeez. Reds just can’t catch a break. Maybe the Cubs have the right idea. Develop a bunch of position players and trade some of them for arms.

  28. WVRedlegs

    Oh no. Reds lose #2 overall draft pick Hunter Greene to Tommy John surgery. That’s a shame.

  29. VaRedsFan

    Iggy given up 3 missles…2 were caught

  30. James

    Good thing we refused to trade greene for some like yelich or kluber. Would hate to lose a guy that talented who is so close to helping the reds

    • Seat101

      Feel better?

      it’s a I’ll wind that blows nobody good.

  31. Chris

    Only three games in and it feels like the same old Reds.

  32. Old-school

    Stay tuned on Iglesias. This story has been ignored all spring. 96-97 mph all star now very hittable at 92 mph with poor command .

  33. FreeHouse

    Iggy not looking like himself lately

  34. Indy Red Man

    Iggy 92 mph right down broadway to Braun. Oh boy. Thats not going to work? The bats haven’t done much tonite either? HBP and a walk scored on Puig’s double. Its not like they’ve hit the ball hard?

  35. Chris

    Just wait until we get a hit out of our leadoff spot this season! We’ll really start cookin’!

  36. Indy Red Man

    Now thats a personnel issue in my mind. You have 13 pitchers when you know games are going to get rained out? Schebler has zero shot vs Hader. Ervin would atleast be able to see the ball.

    • FreeHouse

      Exactly. I’m sure everyone had the same feeling that Scheb was going to strike out. He’s definitely not seeing the ball well right know. Maybe he should try and bunt more often.

    • VaRedsFan

      agree…rare time i would use a bunt. Then they said he hasn’t bunted since AA. Pull a ground ball maybe. How about Let Lorenzen bat for Schebler??? He won’t be getting any offspeed crap to hit

  37. Indy Red Man

    Hader? The dude is ridiculous. He wasn’t paying that much attention to Lorenzen. He can fly so maybe he could steal 3rd. That was our only shot to tie it. You’ll see 2 hits in an inning off him about 3x a year

  38. matt hendley

    If Schebler had laid down a SAC Bunt, this game would be tied. I guess it does have its uses. I think there is something wrong with IGGY. Hope he is not joining the TOmmy John line. Starting to think Kimbrel is not a bad Idea.

    • VaRedsFan

      Yes, paging Craig Kimbrell.
      Saw it in Spring with Iggy…Everybody was saying it’s just Spring.

      Velocity down is a problem…hopefully just dead arm phase.
      Can a beat writer get an explanation please?

  39. Jeff Morris

    Something obvisouly wrong with Raisel Iglesis. From what I saw….he allowed hits and runs in spring training, and so far, has been terrible in both regular season games so far this season. Wouldn’t be surprised if he goes on the DL…probably for a while knowing the Reds pitchers luck. Hunter Greene, not sure about Alex Wood, now Iggy probably injured…Reds are defintely snake bitten!

  40. matt hendley

    As far as Hunter Greene. Get his Bat to work as soon as he has recovered enough. Make lemonade out of the lemons

  41. Choo choo

    Be so glad when Senzel is up… tired of watching Schebler K on 3 pitches every time game is on the line. Ground ball to 2b & Reds are still playing…just a ground ball.

  42. Jon

    It’s only three games into the season, but the Reds’ offseason trade acquisitions aren’t looking too hot (hope it’s just due to the freezing weather). Kemp and Puig aren’t hitting, Roark and Gray’s debuts were lackluster at best, and of course Wood is on the IL.

    On top of this, R. Iglesias has looked terrible since Spring Training (not to mention the fact that he didn’t appear in a ST game until significantly later than everyone else, supposedly so that he could work on some things). Gennett won’t be appearing in a game until late June at the earliest. Senzel cannot stay healthy. Now Greene is going to get TJ surgery and be out until the middle of next season.

    Not a good past few days to be a Reds fan, especially in contrast to the optimism that was present throughout the winter and on Opening Day. The Reds still have 159 to play and hopefully as the weather warms up, so do the team’s bats and arms.