Of all of the issues that one could have foreseen for the Cincinnati Reds this season, this was not one of them:

This malady has translated to the worst team batting average in the majors as of this date, .200; the third-worst team on-base percentage, .270, and the seventh-worst team OPS, .644. You have to believe that sooner or later, these guys are going to swing the bat the way the back of their individual baseball cards indicates that they should. But will it be too late to translate into anything meaningful in 2019?

Tonight at 10:10 Eastern time, the Reds begin a four-game weekend series against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Since sweeping the Marlins at home last week and boosting some hopes, the Reds have dropped four of five against the Cardinals and Dodgers.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Tanner Roark 14.2 4.30 4.51 22.1% 8.8%
Chris Paddack 14 1.29 3.82 30.2% 11.3%

Paddack is a rookie right-hander who has struck out 16 batters over 14 innings in three starts to date. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 at a time when he was ranked the number 22 prospect in the Padres farm system. He has been very impressive in his early starts this year. Similar to Luis Castillo, the scouting report on Paddack is a fastball in the 92 to 95 mph range with an outstanding changeup.

To date, Roark has been about what one would have expected after he was obtained from the Washington Nationals. He keeps his team in the game for the most part, with the occasional outlier subpar outing.

Starting Lineups

Reds Padres
1B Joey Votto SS Fernando Tatis
3B Eugenio Suarez 1B Eric Hosmer
RF Jesse Winker 3B Manny Machado
LF Matt Kemp RF Franmil Reyes
2B Derek Dietrich LF Hunter Renfroe
CF Scott Schebler CF Manuel Margot
SS Jose Iglesias C Austin Hedges
P Tanner Roark 2B Luis Urias
C Tucker Barnhart P Chris Paddack

Out of the ordinary tonight:

  • Yasiel Puig gets the night off.
  • Tanner Roark bats eighth.
  • Tucker Barnhart bats ninth.

When position player Billy Hamilton batted ninth in the past, the idea was to create the possibility of him leading off innings (after a pitcher batting eighth makes the final out), while minimizing the number of at-bats he would have at the top of the order. Frankly, it will be interesting to hear the rationale of batting Barnhart ninth, because he has been one of the few Reds so far who has hit close to his career numbers.

Additional insights into the statistical history of the players in today’s game is available all season long at BaseballSavant.com.

News and Notes

Taylor Trammell is making a case for a promotion to Class AAA Louisville sometime this summer:

This may surpass Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak or Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games played as the most elusive milestone for any future major leaguer to achieve:

54 Responses

  1. matt hendley

    Trying to make Votto both a leadoff and RBI guy with Barnhart batting last. Not a horrible idea. David bell must be cycling through ideas. Hope the reds can take advantage of a new pitcher.

  2. Sliotar

    A.J. Preller was named Padres General Manager on August 5, 2014. He had been Assistant GM of the Texas Rangers.

    When you watch the Padres tonight, you see the pieces around Machado and it’s easy to conclude, “Preller had a plan. Machado was icing on the cake, but the Padres had a core, a future, a contention window coming.”

    2 unpleasant questions in Reds Country….

    1) What was accomplished over the last 4 seasons in Cincinnati, while San Diego was going through the same thing, using an outsider to re-stock talent? The “build through young pitching” was junked…that is about all I can see.

    2) If this team doesn’t turn it around soon, then what? Firesale? Try and extend guys who haven’t done much (Puig) or anything (Wood) in Cincinnati?

    Go Redlegs.

    • Hanawi

      Preller started out with some horrendous deals while trying to immediately build a winner. They pivoted quickly though and got good value for some pieces by focusing on ceiling rather than how close they were to contributing to the majors. Then they plowed a ton of money into international signings one year. Basically all things the Reds failed at when rebuilding.

    • WVRedlegs

      Yes, both Re-builds and Re-builds philosophies will be on display this weekend. SD is a light year ahead of the Reds and that is downright depressing. It is astounding that with the additions of Puig and Kemp to the offense, that the offense would be this bad. I still think it has something to do with Turner Ward.

      • CP

        When you say their “rebuild” is a light year ahead of the Reds, I think we need to remind you that San Diego hasn’t had a winning season since 2010.

        They have some exciting players but let’s not get crazy…they started hot against a much weaker schedule than the Reds have faced. We’ll see how things look by the end of the season.

  3. FreeHouse

    Nice looks like they might score one run again.

    • Roger Garrett

      Game will be over early.Give Bell credit because he is trying everything.Seven hits over the last two games is well just awful.Just doesn’t appear they are ready to play mentally or physically and I am not sure even if that is true but how can a whole team hit less then 200 after 17 games.

  4. Old-school

    Trammell is barely 21 and could be in AAA by late June playing with some grandpa’s. The reds FO planned for a fiasco. Kudos to them. Not BC or DW or DB fault the reds can’t hit. No new big money to players over 28 unless it’s elite pitching. Quit blaming coaches . The hitters aren’t getting it done.

    The season isn’t over until 10 games under .500. Then it’s about 2020. The window is closing.

    • vegastypo

      It has always been about 2020. Of course the Reds’ braintrust is going to tout having a contending team this year, but with all of the uncertainty on this roster (Kemp will be gone next season, Wood, Roark, Puig unsigned after this season, maybe Gennett gone too?), this is still a rebuilding stage, even if they don’t want to call it that.

  5. Seat101

    My goodness!

    Will all the people who predicted great pitching and lousy hitting please raise their hands?

    Not a soul*

    I’d say something about testicular fortitude but I think that would not be PC

    * did you catch the reference to “Damn Yankees”?

  6. Indy Red Man

    Nice start for Taylor Trammell! Can’t wait til he joins the Reds in 2025!

    • matt hendley

      Assuming he is able to maintain his batting as such. should be moved to Triple A in late June after AA ends it first half. Spends the remainder of that season in AAA. Starts next year in AAA where assuming he puts up similar numbers should make it up around June of 2020. Assume a super 2 hold. Now if he runs into a hicup, that will slow down the estimate.

  7. Bill J

    It looks like the Reds get there hits in 1 or 2 games then go 3, 4 or 5 without. As for Trammell I think he has to stay down 3 more years until he’s 24, I think it’s a REDS rule

  8. Tom Mitsoff

    Homer Bailey now 2-1 for Kansas City. He pitched 6 innings and allowed one run as the Royals defeat the Yankees, 6-1.

    • matt hendley

      Homer Bailey, american league All star lol

  9. matt hendley

    Padres made a humungous amount of mistakes. After spending significant money and prospects to bring, powerhouses like *checks notes* Jamie Sheilds and Matt Kemp (why does that sound familiar). Its not like they traded away Yasmani grandal or anything….oh wait. They recovered a bit last year and have made a good trade (brad hand) and drafted Tatis but the Manny 300$ million will hamper their ability to get more in the future. by no means a guarantee the padres will be succesful.

  10. matt hendley

    *sotto voice* Oh my god….votto regressing… we need to bench him….. hahahaha

  11. jazzmanbbfan

    Did that extra batting practice yesterday pay off for Joey?

  12. matt hendley

    I admit it, i got a little scared with the sound off of Hosmers bat. Then i remembered it was Eric Hosmer.

    • matt hendley

      I gotta admit it, I was a little scared when Hosmer singled. Then I remembered it was Eric Hosmer

      • matt hendley

        I gotta admit it, I was a little scared when it looked like Hosmer completed an Unassisted DOuble play. Then I remembered, it was Eric Hosmer

      • matt hendley

        I got to admit it, I was a little scared when Bell brought in Duke to face Eric Hosmer. Then I remembered it was Eric hosmer

  13. Joey

    Nice response to his first infield pop up!! GOAT!

  14. matt hendley

    Home plate umpire seems to be favoring his right (viewers left) side of the zone. Who is the unlucky guy who will be responsible for David Bells ejection tonight?

      • matt hendley

        Right and Low in the zone… helping Roark more than The Padres. I feel someone is getting tossed for Arguing balls and strikes tonight.

    • vegastypo

      Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I see the relatively youthful Bell arguing with an umpire, it always looks like a kid arguing with his dad.

  15. WVRedlegs

    Just think what the Padres would be like this season if they hadn’t had to give Luis Castillo back to the Marlins?

  16. WVRedlegs

    Look at Kemp doing his imitation of the Chapman Summersault.

  17. vegastypo

    That pitcher is bent out of shape by a ball call on a pitch that was well low. There’s no guessing along with the umpire tonight.

  18. HoF13

    Was that a 3 pitch half inning? I wasn’t totally paying attention but pretty sure it was — never seen that before.

      • vegastypo

        Actually, I think it was. A single on the first pitch, a double-play on the second pitch and a fly out on the third pitch.

      • HoF13

        I thought it went hit, DP, fly out – all on first pitches.

    • matt hendley

      My bad, I thought you meant the reds at-bat.

  19. Scott Gennett

    It shouldn’t be long before Winker and Schebler are replaced with Ervin and Senzel.

  20. Sliotar

    Nice job by Roark and Duke (!!!)

    I remember the old days …. 2 weeks ago…. when Iglesias was the guy to pitch high-leverage situations (LOL).

    Good thing Stephenson has stepped his game up.

  21. Sliotar

    I wonder if Dietrich has ever played LF in Petco Park before.

    He sure looked uncertain of the surroundings out there.

    • vegastypo

      As bad as Dietrich is defensively, I’m not sure it matters how many times he has played there. The guy can hit, though.

    • TomN

      That slider of Stephenson’s is killer. Makes his fastball much tougher to hit cause you really have to be looking slider.

  22. Ethan L

    Bob Steve! Can he finish things out for the rest of the game?

    Duke’s seat should be getting a bit warm now.

  23. Sliotar

    2 days in a row that J Iglesias has been picked off of 1B.

    Another day, another sloppy play with this lot…we are at 2 so far this game.

    Glad the OF is hitting so well these things surely won’t matter. /s

  24. vegastypo

    Whatever Stephenson is doing differently, I hope he sticks with it. If the Reds do shed some starting pitching at the deadline, I’d be interested to see if he could carry it over into the rotation.

  25. gusnwally

    I thought when we signed Derek Johnson that it would have a huge effect on our season. I have seen nothing to change my mind. Of all the moves we made, this was the most important. After all the years of watching Bob Steve struggle mightily, we are now seeing the talent show itself.