Welcome to the second month of the 2019 MLB season. Tonight the Reds (11-16; 5th NL Central) open a 4 game set versus the Mets (14-13; 2nd NL East) at Citi Field in New York City. Game time is 7:10pm. Despite the Reds  having settled into the all too familiar NL Central cellar, there are a few tidbits of good news for Reds fans to hang their caps on. Since starting the season 1-8, the Reds have played at a .555 clip over their last 18 games.  They are 6-4 over their last 10 games. Finally, focusing on this series, against common opponents in 2019, the Mets are 7-6,  the Reds 7-7 with both teams record aided immensely by a 3 game sweep of the Marlins.

Starting Pitchers

The game will feature a battle of right handers on the mound. Tanner Roark goes for the Reds with Zack Wheeler for the Mets.

Tanner Roark

Through five starts for the Reds, Roark has been pretty much as advertised in the preseason buildup. He is a guy who goes 5-6 innings per start and generally keeps the team in the game. Roark has lived a little on the dangerous side with a walk rate approaching 4 per 9 innings  but offset that somewhat by averaging just less than a strikeout per inning.  Comparison of his ERA (3.24) to FIP (3.81) to xFIP (4.59) suggests he has been pitching with a fair amount of good luck. However other than xFIP, these splits are not wildly off of his career lines. Maybe this is just the pitcher Tanner Roark is. From the Reds viewpoint though, it would be a huge positive for Roark to consistently extend himself through 6 full innings or more.

 

Zack Wheeler

Doesn’t it almost seem like Zack Wheeler was a Red or should have been a member of the Reds at some point? For several  years, his name kept coming to the top of the list of hot starting pitchers the Reds were trying acquire. But, it never quite happened. Yet despite the hubbub we’ve heard about Wheeler, his career FIP/xFIP lines come out to be roughly the same as Roark’s.

Wheeler, like Roark, has also made five starts in 2019. He’s gotten a bit deeper into games than Roark, struck out about 1 more guy per 9 innings but also walked batters at a slightly greater rate. Wheeler is coming off an absolutely shutdown 7 inning performance versus the Phillies. It earned him a negative FIP for the game. Yes, a negative FIP (I’ll let someone else cluck about just how valid that could be).  Mets fans are hoping this is an indication of things to come in 2019. As Reds fans, let’s hope it was an aberration which mitigated his 2019 stats toward his career norms.

PITCHER FIP WHIP HR/9 K% BB%
Tanner Roark 3.81 1.60 0.72 21.4% 9.8%
Zack Wheeler 3.64 1.35 0.91 26.0% 11.0%

 

Bullpens

Reds

The Reds bullpen used 3 pitchers to cover 3 innings Sunday. Everyone worked an inning. Nobody worked on a consecutive day. There should be no serious constraints. However the men who worked on Sunday, Stephenson, Peralta and Hernandez, would figure to work short stints if used tonight tonight.

Mets

The Mets pen used 2 pitchers to cover 2 innings on Sunday. Edwin Diaz, the closer, was working on a consecutive day.  He has thrown 2 innings totalling 22 pitches in those appearances.  He could be limited or unavailable tonight.

Lineups

Please check here for latest lineup information

  REDS   METS
1. Jose Peraza (2B)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Jesse Winker (LF)
5. Yasiel Puig (RF)
6. Scott Schebler (CF)
7. Jose Iglesias (SS)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Tanner Roark (P)
1. Jeff McNeil (2B)
2. Peter Alonso (1B)
3. Brandon Nimmo (LF)
4. Michael Conforto (RF)
5. Todd Frazier (3B)
6. Wilson Ramos (C)
7. Amed Rosario (SS)
8. Juan Lagares (CF)
9. Zack Wheeler (P)

Are you also wondering why the Reds seem to be playing Tucker Barnhart into the ground early on when they have a very reliable alternative in Curt Casali? Is it possible Casali’s catching duties are being limited by ongoing recovery from his offseason hip surgery?

And yes, still Scott Schebler in CF. Pretty clear the Reds have nobody else they are comfortable playing there. At least he is out from immediately in front of the pitcher which should get him more fastballs in hitable locations. I’ll say more below about this situation.

RE: Peraza as lead off man> NO COMMENT.

News and Notes

Why not in Cincinnati?

 

Up the road in Columbus today preparations for NHL Round 2 playoff action. Meanwhile I am yearning for an October when we see postseason activity once again at GABP

Final Thoughts

Centerfield has become a white hot button issue for the Reds and their followers. Scott Schebler, the guy the team chose to keep the seat warm until Nick Senzel was ready to ascend to the spot is off to an abysmal start. Senzel remains unavailable as he continues to get back up to speed from injury. Meanwhile there is apparently no one else on the MLB 40 man roster the Reds trust to play CF.  What should we make of this situation?

First, cool the anger directed at Schebler personally. He’s a just guy trying his best to do the job his boss is assigning him.  Three prior seasons with the Reds (~1250 plate appearances) say that Schebler is a dead center of the road average MLB hitter. His OPS/ OPS+ over the 3 seasons are in a very tight band shouting average hitter.  So, he is probably more frustrated  and upset by what’s going on with his offense than even the most ardent fans are.

Instead, focus dissatisfaction on the Reds front office and their plan which brought the team to the current situation.  They knew (or should have) that rushing Senzel as the everyday CF was a high risk proposition even without considering  his injury risk. They also knew that Schebler as more than a spot/ emergency CF was a stretch defensively (and they should have factored in that he too presents an elevated injury risk). Still they did  not acquire a legitimate backup/ alternate CF. You reap what you sow.  BTW, some guy named Mason Williams hit a big run versus the Reds AAA team over the weekend.  Just saying….  GO REDS

 

Data and stats via Baseball Reference and Fangraphs

89 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    “Maybe this is just the pitcher Tanner Roark is.”

    “Doesn’t it almost seem like Zack Wheeler was a Red or should have been a member of the Reds at some point?”

    Yes and yes. Great (and funny) comments, Jim.

    Over/under on runs of only 7.5. Reds projected at 3.34, Mets at 4.16….not a lot between them.

    This feels like a “gettable” game, especially with deGrom and Syndergaard (his recent struggles notwithstanding) as the last 2 scheduled opposing starters in this series.

    I am agnostic about Peraza….not down on him, but also realize no way would his performance justify a starting spot on any of last year’s playoff teams. If he pulls an 0fer in the leadoff spot, the Game Thread will be even livelier than usual.

    Go Redlegs.

  2. ToBeDetermined

    Jim
    You’ve got some very valid assessment there. That I won’t get into.
    For the 1st time this year I turned the final game against St. Louis off on my MLB App that I was listening to.
    I was just bored.
    But, I’ll turn it back on tonight. Because…
    The Moon will come out
    Tonight
    Bet your bottom dollar
    That tonight
    There’ll be moonshine!

    • Jim Walker

      I got to be honest here. I’ll be paying pretty close attention to baseball tonight; but, tomorrow when the puck drops at 7pm in Nationwide Arena for game 3 of round 2, CBJ versus Bruins that’s where my eyes and thoughts will be. Maybe the Jackets can mount a blowout that will free me up to split time between the two as the night goes on (I refuse to consider the alternate possibility).

      But have no doubt that when the October comes that the Reds are involved in playoff baseball during the early NHL season, I’ll be the same way in reverse, Reds first and always.

      • ToBeDetermined

        Jim
        So your a BlueJackets fan. A lot of people in CBus are stoked

  3. Klugo

    Still would rather have Scheb in CF right now than Billy. Where’s Ervin?

    • ohiojimw

      If I said with Task Force 58 chasing decoys would anyone else have a remote idea what I was referring to?

      I doubt it. But I suppose Ervin is on the bench waiting for the call to go into the game. I thought he might be nicked a bit but then they sent him out play field in the 9th inning Friday. Also in checking the box scores, he PH for Hughes in the 7th inning Saturday and flied out.

      • ohiojimw

        Had a feeling my history might have slipped a bit and checked. The Task Force in question was actually TF34, for all the difference that would make for you young’uns 😉

      • mike martz

        TF 58 later names TF38? Leyte Gulf? Son/son in law of a couple of Swabbies. Father on a Destroyer father in law on an LST.

      • ohiojimw

        MIke> yeah there was a single set of ships which alternated between being the 3rd and 5th fleet depending which admiral and flag staff was in command at a particular time.

        Here’s a link to an explanation the fiasco I was referring to:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_world_wonders

      • Indy Red Man

        Bull Halsey. Where are you….the world wonders

  4. Old-school

    Go redlegs. Nice inning. Funny game.

  5. Seat101

    According to the close captioning provided on the Reds game Joey Votto is batting “Vatican two hole”.

  6. Old-school

    Ahhh…. The Riggleman factor in the Mets dugout.

  7. Roger Garrett

    Kind of saw it coming.Get 4 and give them right back.Long game tonight.May take 10 or more to win it.Go Reds

  8. Sliotar

    LOL. Yup.

    Roark at the end of his career, seems to make hard work out of most every batter.

    That third time through the lineup could be a doozy, if he is still out there.

    At least no one seems intimidated by Wheeler.

  9. Roger Garrett

    Roark seems to nibble after he gets ahead and that leads to more and more pitches and the more a guy sees well you know.When he pitches to contact down in the zone is when he is most effective and of course I am sure that is what he is trying to do.We will see as we go along.

  10. Reddawg12

    Watching Roark pitch is not very fun.

    • Indy Red Man

      Just thinking that. The nibblemaster….cant stand it!! He completely sucks. He needs to go

  11. Chris Holbert

    Just throw it in there…quit nibbling. 1-2 on the #8 hitter. Two curves in the dirt, then it all comes tumbling down. They always say Roark throws a lot of pitches, after watching him a lot his year now I know why….

  12. Indy Red Man

    These Reds are nothing if not predictable. Hit 5 hrs and smash the Cards. Of course they do nothing and lose the next 2. 4-0 tonite but you know Roark is trash…and so do the Mets. Sonny Gray can’t get 4 runs of support in 3 starts

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Shades of the past few seasons.

  13. James

    Just wondering. Anyone able to provide Wandy’s % of first batters retired? Cause my memory is telling me that it is very small.

  14. Indy Red Man

    Roark’s “grit” (only 1 letter off) would get him to August with Dusty and Price….wouldn’t matter if his era was 6. I wonder if Bell will be any different? We have alternatives to non-producers. Garrett likes the pen and Stephenson seems to be a better reliever, but that still leaves Lorenzen and Reed.

    • Indy Red Man

      make that 2 letters off but it does rhyme

  15. Roger Garrett

    That was just awful pitch selection to the number 8 hitter and the pitcher after having both of them down two strikes.Stop this curve ball change up cute stuff to the bottom of the order.Say hit and if they do move on.

  16. Roger Garrett

    Got to go.Bring it home nation.We need this game.

  17. Indy Red Man

    Nobody cares about batt avg except the old guys like me, but the Reds have 1 guy hitting above .240 in the lineup tonite (Iglesias). That is #&^$$@^ pathetic

  18. Indy Red Man

    Josh VanMeter 3-4 (.363) with 2 bombs and 7 rbis tonite!! Why am I the only one that ever talks about this kid? Is he supposed to be a non-prospect that is just riding a hot streak?

    Senzel 2-4 by the way

    • matthew hendley

      For starters, no 40 man spot. Second in line minimum, (after senzel) who are you giving up for him to get one. Looking up his history now.

    • MK

      Go to Doug’s redsminorleagues.com there is plenty of talk about him there. I do think he was a Padres Top 30 prospect before the trade.

      • matthew hendley

        Traded for what. Looking at his splits, he doesn’t look like he is full of power, usually, think that the early start is an aberration. Not saying he is bad, just not hitting his norms RN. Good to hear about Senzel. even though LOU is committing murder down there tonight

      • Indy Red Man

        You don’t know how it translates to big boy baseball until you give him a shot. For the life of me….can’t understand why Peraza gets a pass to just play the game completely wrong? Suarez never hit that much in the minors? VanMeter is only 24….maybe he’s a late bloomer? Is DD going on the DL? I’d platoon VanMeter with Peraza at 2b. Peraza would atleast have some value as a pinch-runner late in tight games.

      • matthew hendley

        Sal Romano pitching for the bats while up by 8. Should give you an idea of his chances of coming up soon, (none). A player who hit .791 OPS is not getting called up for hitting an OPS of 1.110 in one month. That is an aberration.

      • Indy Red Man

        Last year he had 25 doubles, 6 triples, and 11 bombs in 332 atbats. Thats not bad for a 23 yr old in AAA? Peraza never had a month of 1.100 ops in the minors. I guarantee you that

      • matthew hendley

        If you are looking for me to defend perazas presence in the majors you will be waiting a long time. Still haven’t answered the question on who else gets the DFA for the Roster spot (assuming duke goes for Senzel)

      • Hanawi

        I’d give up on Siri personally and get him off the 40 man.

      • matthew hendley

        Siri will be claimed. Jackson Stephens is the most likely possibility

      • Indy Red Man

        I don’t know? I saw where DD was gimpy for some reason? Thought they might DL him? I just want a new hitter or 2 in their lineup. Tired of watching Schebler, Peraza, and Barnhart. Even a nice little player like Iggy is way overmatched by our competitors versus guys like Baez and DeJong at SS that will hit a ton of HRs.

  19. Chris Holbert

    Barnhart vs Casali. There is not that much separation in the defense and Casali always seems to be on base..

  20. matthew hendley

    GOod work by the bats. Peraza surprised me after taking exactly 1 pitch in that first at bat. But he did score, as did schebler, with his one walk. Puig, Winker, even Barnhart getting hits. Iglesias coming through, with the bat, with the glove, but somehow will still get overlooked extension time.

    The Pitching. I don’t blame Peralta too much, as he was placed into an unenviable situation. Roark on the other hand, has trouble getting through 5. He may have to be planned for as an opener if this continues.
    Games tied. good to see the fielders in good spirits.

  21. Old-school

    As the old saying goes, everyone leaves spring training 60-60… It’s the other 42 you play for. This is one of those 42.

  22. Indy Red Man

    My God? Send him already b4 Joey goes 4-6-3?

  23. matthew hendley

    Get Puig to some acting classes.

  24. VaRedsFan

    Righties are batting .095 vs. Garrett. Why not let him finish the inning? Maybe making him available tomorrow is all i can think of.

    • lost11found

      For some reason, Bell and Johnson treat Amir more like a LOOGY than the guy who has been the definition of LOOGY the last few years… It puzzles me.

      • matthew hendley

        probably saving him, besides, even Hernandez’s waste pitches are strikes…..evidently.

      • lost11found

        Problem is that he spends more pitches warming up than the team gets out of him in a game. I dislike LOOGY’s in general for the same reason, but like it even less so in Amir’s case.

  25. Old-school

    Louisville box score looks like a men’s softball league. But, Mr Senzel 3-6 4 runs, Homer. RBI and now hitting .296.

  26. matthew hendley

    Scheblers BA may be bad but his OBP is quietly rising.

  27. VaRedsFan

    They won’t need replay for that HBP

  28. Mark Lang

    Guy can’t get an out, so we give him one.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Peraza hit that ball hard. Just right at Frazier.

      • lost11found

        Blarg is just an expression of the Reds and bad luck for April. If it wasn’t for bad luck they’d have none at all..

  29. VaRedsFan

    Bad luck for Peraza. He hit it hard.

  30. Indy Red Man

    Schebler can run…that would’ve been a great spot for a bunt. Peraza on 1st with nobody out and 1-2-3 coming up = nothing. Bases loaded 1 out = nothing. Jeez?

  31. matthew hendley

    A pitcher who has not seen the strikezone with a map…. just the right idea to swing at the first pitch. I would say unbeleiveable, except I can completely believe it.

    • lost11found

      Your dislike of Peraza is odd.. If votto had done it, how many excuses would you be making?

      • matthew hendley

        1. If votto had been up there, we would have at least a 1 run lead right now. He sure wouldn’t have GBDP on the first pitch.
        2. My (and anyone elses dislike) of peraza is not odd. He sucks. ALOT. Dumb moves, no plate discipline, poor contact if he even makes it. And yet he is given chance after chance after chance, while players who bump him off position repeatedly because they are better are treated like crap by the Reds organization.

      • lost11found

        Votto hits DP’s first pitch, 10th pitch. doesn’t really matter. Its baseball. It happens.

      • matthew hendley

        like I said, had votto been leading off hit that like that, SAC FLY and we have the lead.

      • matthew hendley

        Comparing Peraza to Votto is like comparing a pile of manure to a diamond.

      • lost11found

        not as certain as you claim. If he’s failed once, then your point is invalid.

        As much as I like joey, he’s not perfect..

  32. TR

    The hacker swings at the first pitch. Forget working the count with Peraza. Seems like a long time since the Reds have scored a run from third on a fly ball with less than two outs.

    • VaRedsFan

      Suarez…earlier in the game…6 innings ago

      • matthew hendley

        true story…. we are short of slams this season

      • ToBeDetermined

        VaReds
        I guess we have verrrryyyy short term memories.
        But the TR’s point. It doesn’t seem to happen very often.

  33. Seat101

    Power went off at my house for about three minutes I missed a homerun. Thank goodness Winket’s power turned on!

  34. VaRedsFan

    Iggy change up is wicked tonight.

  35. matthew hendley

    Iggy fans the side. First win. Bullpen win for the reds. Isn’t vargas pitching tommrow?

    They really should do something about that microphone in the dugout. Children and all

  36. vegastypo

    And this one belongs to the Reds …

    Are there Reds’ fans in right field stands, or is Winker taunting Mets’ fans?

  37. lost11found

    Looks like Winkers power is back for real. Great to see. too bad he downplayed his shoulder problem for so long.

    • lost11found

      But did he work the count enough before hitting the HR?? 😉

      Need an official ruling from the resident members of the ‘working the count department.’

  38. Tom Mitsoff

    That’s a game that the Reds of recent past years don’t win. They wouldn’t have had a bullpen that shut down the other team for the final 5.1 innings.

  39. Roger Garrett

    Just saw Winker turn on 96 and go yard.Not many can do that in the big leagues.Safe to say his shoulder is ok.Big Big win