The 2019 Ohio Cup Series between the Reds and Indians begins tonight  with the first of two games at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The series will conclude with two games at GABP July 6 and 7 leading into the All Star Break.  The Indians are 5-5 in their last 10 games. They come into the series at 33-32, good for 2nd place in the AL Central but a distant 10.5 games behind the division leading Twins.  They are 2 games away from an AL Wildcard spot, tied with Boston as 1st team out. The 5th place Reds, 4-6 in their last 10 games and 29-35 on the season, are 8 games off the NL Central lead. They are 6 games but a whopping 8 teams from a wildcard spot.  Maybe the Reds can catch the Indians looking past them.



Righthanders Luis Castillo (Reds) and Trevor Bauer (Indians) are scheduled to square off. Need we say more than this could be a doozy  of a pitching matchup?  Well….


Actually Bauer has not shown the dominating form in 2019 which he demonstrated last season when he led the AL in FIP (2.44) and best HR/9 innings ratio (0.5). Nonetheless he has struck out 103 batters in 91.2 innings which should sound a caution for Reds fans given their team’s propensity for striking out.

Most recently Bauer has struggled through a series poor starts.  In his last 7 starts dating back to his first start in May, he has accrued a 5.33 FIP in 44 innings pitched.  He has allowed a uncharacteristic 1.84 HR/9 innings over this stretch. Surprisingly Bauer’s BB rate over this stretch is actually lower than his seasonal BB rate; and, his WHIP while higher than his seasonal rate is not greatly inflated.

Consider this: Bauer’s overall 2019 numbers look a lot closer to his career norms than do his 2018 numbers. Perhaps his “breakout season” in 2018 wasn’t a breakout after all?



Reds fans hope Luis Castillo is moving in the opposite direction from Bauer.  Castillo’s last start, versus the Cards, may have been among the most accomplished of his MLB career. After allowing a lead off home run to Matt Carpenter and following infield single,  Castillo did not allow the Cardinals either another hit or run through 6 innings of work.  While he did walk 4 batters on the day, Castillo closed out his day by retiring 12 straight Cardinals.

In completing those 6 sterling innings versus the Cardinals, Castillo was extended a bit  by throwing 111 pitches.  Thanks to the off day Monday, he has had a full week to recuperate.  Nonetheless keep an eye on his velocity and command as the game unfolds.

Tale of the tape:

Luis Castillo 3.42 1.10 0.71 11.8% 29.4%
Trevor Bauer 4.41 1.16 1.28 10.3% 26.5%


Both pitchers could stand to lower their BB%. Castillo’s K% may be the difference that has allowed him to get along better with his BB%  than Bauer has. The numbers which stand out in comparing  Bauer’s outstanding 2018 year and 2019 to date are that his K% is down  by ~4%, his BB% up by ~2.5% and his HR/9  up by .78. Plus of course his FIP is just shy of +2 full runs per game.



Both teams had Monday off. Barring injury or illness, they should have all hands on deck. However with the quick turnaround to a Wednesday matinee, the managers may be cautious with their pen usage. Then again with both teams off again on Thursday, they may not be.




SP: Luis Castillo


SP: Trevor Bauer

1. Nick Senzel (CF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Derek Dietrich (2B)
5. Jesse Winker (DH)
6. Yasiel Puig (RF)
7. Josh VanMeter (LF)
8. Jose Iglesias (SS)
9. Tucker Barnhart (C)
1. Francisco Lindor (SS)
2. Oscar Mercado (LF)
3. Carlos Santana (1B)
4. Tyler Naquin (RF)
5. Jose Ramirez (3B)
6. Jake Bauers (DH)
7. Roberto Perez (C)
8. Mike Freeman (2B)
9. Leonys Martin (CF)


The Reds are playing in a DH eligible game and actually using a DH!!

News and Notes


We have breaking news of the very good kind from Doug Gray and Reds Minor Leagues, the companion site of Redleg Nation!

There was a record setting event in MLB last night and apparently some guy named Jay Bruce was a part of it. At least the Reds weren’t the opposition this time.

The Reds bullpen is off to a good start in June. Now if they can just get the offense going.

Hopefully help really is on the way.

Finals Thoughts

It has been a rough couple of weeks for the Reds.  They are still 5 games, give or take, better than they were after the same number of games in 2018. That’s good news.  However 40% of the way through the season, they are on a seasonal pace to lose 89 games. That’s not as much improvement as most expected.

Continuing to flirt  with .500 week to week as they’ve done for 2 months isn’t going to significantly change that 89 loss projection. The Reds need a big bump up or a long haul 5 to 10 games better than .500  followed by sustained play at or near .500 play to do that. Read Wes Jenkins similar thoughts here. And let’s hope the Reds start that climb tonight. GO REDS! 

Data and stats courtesy Fangraphs, Baseball Reference and

93 Responses

  1. Big Ed

    It’s time to win a series or two.

  2. matt hendley

    DH are like Ice Cream, Good every once in a while. I do enjoy me a DH game, but not enough to ruin tradition.

    It may be the correct night to also pick up being a Braves fan for a game or two. Because completely missed in all the bellyaching about the last place reds is, that if they win tonight and the Braves beat the Pirates, well the reds just wont be a last-place team any more.

    Small Steps

    • Jim Walker

      Very true that every journey starts with the 1st small step.

    • Jim Walker

      And you may have just given me my lead for tomorrow’s preview too!
      Go Braves! Go Reds!

    • redfan4life

      Yes go Braves. It would be nice not to be in last this far into a season.
      Saw Hurdle and his boys were up to there old tricks. Beamed Josh Donaldson.

      • VaRedsFan

        Well….an inside pitch brushed his jersey. IMO Donaldson instigated the benches clearing

  3. Old-school

    Out of 200 mlb hitters with 180 at bats, Yasiel puig is 198/200 on OBP.
    Just objective data.

  4. Sliotar

    LOL. TV broadcast sure is different tonight.

    Welsh rants (and it’s a fair point, IMO) about Puig keeping bat in his hand after leaving the batter’s box.

    Day…. offers no comment, leaves dead air for a few seconds, then goes on to VanMeter’s at-bat.

    • Seat101

      Yeah Jim is the player’s friend. He’ll call an error an error but I’ve never seen him call out a player for not hustling or having a bad attitude.

  5. Indy Red Man

    I really enjoy watching Castillo pitch! He just needs to keep attacking and keep his pitch count down. He needs to get into the 7th atleast on most nights with his stuff!
    Pitch Puig away and he will never hurt you. He needs to go back to the drawing board somehow?

    JVM? Cmon kid? We need a spark and who else is going to do it? They’re not going to play Ervin. Joey’s warming up. Scooter is coming, but who else? Suarez has gone cold. Puig is terrible. They got the memo on DD and are just pitching him away nonstop now. 2-3 guys have to pick it up or they’re never getting in the mix?

  6. Sliotar

    Yes, Indy, Castillo is like the perfect example of John Wooden’s saying “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”

    Little wasted energy or movement.

    When he barely misses on a pitch, he walke quickly backwards up the hill to toe the rubber and quickly throw the next pitch. Seems like it would be a little intimidating to the hitter with his stuff.

  7. Indy Red Man

    Bauer is good, but he’s been getting bombed lately. Nola is good, but he’s been bombed lately. DeGrom is good, but he was getting bombed b4 schooling the Reds. Rinse and repeat. Now they did beat Patrick Corbin to death and he’s pretty good, but then Roark drove in the only 2 runs the next day versus a stiff. This team has to hit better then this?

    • Seat101

      Getting bombed? Perhaps I should go back to AA… Get it?

  8. Seat101

    Jessie Wenker is looking more confident at the plate. I know my opinion and $.25 is good for a quarter, but I think he’s going to go on a tear (Or as Doug might say “not a sprain”.)

    • Old-school

      Thanks to Steve and Doug.
      Thanks to the RLN staff who write the pregame and post game.
      Thanks to Indy and Roger Garrett and Sliotar and WV .

      • Sliotar

        Same, Old-School.

        I know Castillo just got touched up by the last 2 hitters, but I see Castillo and I think, “Absolutely would I have 100% faith in that guy starting any playoff game.”

        IMO, he just reeks of “Big Game Pitcher.”

        Just have to get some other stuff rounded out to get him that start.

      • Indy Red Man

        Have to give that one to Puig! He scores on Schebler easily. Winker? He’s def coming and its about 50/50. 2 runs feels like a fatal blow tonite. 1 might be too much?

  9. VaRedsFan

    Doesn’t Santana do this every time we play them? Seems like it.

    • VaRedsFan

      45th game vs Reds…10th HR…not every game, but close.

  10. VaRedsFan

    How about the guys go up there looking for the get me over curve ball for a strike, and pound it.

    • Slicc50

      I saw a couple of them try, just weren’t able to hit it yet! Man, it sure does look easy to hit from my computer chair! Lol

      • VaRedsFan

        I know right??? I guess when it starts at you eyes, you give up on it, then it snaps off….strike 1

      • Slicc50

        He has a good one….that is the one guy I had hoped the Reds would get last offseason. Imagine him and Castillo as 1 and 2 in the rotation!

  11. Seat101

    Nick. Nick. Bo-Bick.

    What is Nick out on a fielders choice? Or did the batter get a fielders choice and was it a separate plate to get Nick out?

  12. Slicc50

    Love Nick Senzel so far…he is a keeper! Anyone else watching the game enjoying listening to that loud mouth fan heckling Joey Votto like I am?

  13. Sliotar

    That guy sounds like he is auditioning to be the Official Heckler at the All-Star Game.

  14. Indy Red Man

    Hopefully the Reds front office will learn something from their handling of Nick Senzel. I know he’s been hurt at times, but they should’ve called him up 2 years ago.
    He’s not killing the ball yet, but he’s obviously not overmatched. Benintendi skipped AAA and they’re the world champs. Look at Suarez. He never hit half this much in the minors. When you’re losing then bring up the young talent and let them learn at the highest level. Moncada for the White Sox is another one. He’s been whiffing 200+ times a year, but now he’s taking a step forward! They’re dozens of examples!

    • Sliotar

      In Wes’s article today, someone posted about calling up Trammell.

      If Puig can’t pull out of his funk, making room for Trammell, either through benching or DFA, would be a great “jump start” move. (If the Reds are out of it in September).

      Maybe Trammell can cut the mustard already at MLB level.

      A 2020 outfield of Winker-Senzel-Trammell just feels like what the end of a rebuild should look like.

      • Jim Walker

        Don’t think Trammell is that close to being ready for MLB and certainly not on a hot run they’d be trying to exploit by forcing him. His OPS at AA is .711. The OBP is OK at .371 but he is slugging at only .340. Also a huge portion of the OBP is walks as his BA is only .245.

  15. C Holbert

    Lindor can be had in trade. There is no one coming from AAA for that position. Get him, sign him and worry about other positions. There is plenty of money coming off the books. It may mean not signing Scooter, but that is an excellent trade off, and 2B is more easily filled.

    • Indy Red Man

      The Reds drafting stinks though? Trammell is hitting .236? Cleveland is going to want to raid somebody that actually drafted well and has alot of top prospects!

      • C Holbert

        True, you could practically let them have anyone they want with the exception of maybe Greene and India. You could give them Peraza, if they want him. Most of those guys are at least 2-3 years away anyway. The way things are going the Reds will be drafting at the top for a few more years anyway.

  16. Indy Red Man

    Looking at the Reds schedule…..they have 4 more days off by June 27. They go all the way from Milw to Anaheim for 2 games and come back home? Insane? Who figures this stuff out? Houston for 3 at home and then 4 in Milw. Those teams are going to put up runs! Hate to say it, but their bats are going to bury them this month!

  17. Sliotar

    Win or lose, Castillo got to 100 pitches and had his chance to work out of the jam.

    Could have easy for Bell to pull him, with an off-day yesterday. Good to see.

    If Castillo is a future Cy Young winner, those type of guys stay out there and get to work out of trouble.

    • Jim Walker

      Yep Over 100 pitches again tonight and working in deep leverage at the end. He’s getting there. I was a doubter about his ceiling; and, he is proving me to be wrong. I’m glad to be so in this case.

  18. VaRedsFan

    I don’t know this inning will finish….but heck of a strikeout to Jose Ramirez

  19. VaRedsFan

    Get the man a run and let the bullpen take it to the house.

  20. Indy Red Man

    Curveball from Castillo? You’re in big trouble there in the last few years vs Cleveland. Ramirez drives in atleast 1 and then its Andrew Miller. Indians aren’t the same though.

  21. Sliotar

    Heck yeah.

    109 pitches.
    39 (?) in that jammy 6th inning.

    Castillo is cash money.

    • Jim Walker

      IMO, the last piece for Castillo is to learn better pitch efficiency so that he is an inning later when he reaches the century mark.

      At least part of this process is on the guys catching him. They have to believe in Castillo’s stuff enough not to be essentially wasting pitches spending too much time setting hitters up.

      Chris Welch sort of inferred this when he was reading out the stats about Castillo leaning heavily on the change at 2 strikes and guys not being able to hit it even when they know it is coming.

      • Sliotar

        Great point.

        Perhaps add to the “to do” list….find a personal catcher for Castillo (and other SPs secondarily), if these current guys can lower the pitch count.

        There is a thought in social media that DeGrom isn’t as effective in 2019 because old friend Devin Mesoraco is no longer with the Mets.

  22. WVRedlegs

    Great pitch by Castillo on his last pitch of the inning. Good call by the umpire. I am afraid though that a robo ump would have called it a ball. Need a run, or two or three.

  23. Indy Red Man

    Man I want to see Puig bust out of it and go on a tear! He plays hard and that arm plays especially big in GABP. He can get a ball off the wall and hold a guy to single.

  24. matt hendley

    Pirates Braves tied at 4 in the 5th.

    excellent pitching performance by Castillo

  25. Steve

    No one on this team can get a clutch hit

  26. vegastypo

    How do I manage to turn the game just in time to see Senzel hit into a bases=loaded double-play ????????

  27. VaRedsFan

    Devastating….I was kind of hoping they would squeeze bunt

  28. VaRedsFan

    Do we get good Lorenzen, or bad Lorenzen tonight?

  29. Wayne nabors

    another double play to end a scoring threat

  30. Indy Red Man

    110 pitches and Ks our 2nd hitter and a little dribbler from the 3rd hitter? This team is hard to watch? Nobody scores in soccer either, but there is a bunch of people running around and then flailing on the ground and acting for a penalty. Pretty exciting stuff really:)

  31. Roger Garret

    Same story every game Can not hit

  32. Indy Red Man

    Farmer and/or Ervin should’ve been playing vs LHP all along!

    Young guy that works for me said he went to Purdue with this kid coming in…Nick Wittgren

  33. Curt

    Bauer was very good. But like so many, looked even better against the Redlegs.

    • Indy Red Man


      Brandon Dixon (.828 ops) with a 447 ft shot tonite. He didn’t do much with the Reds, but they give up on some of these guys so fast? Senzel is a no-brainer, but you have Winker, JVM, Farmer, and Blandino. I’d like to see them get some of Iggy’s at-bats. Some of Puig’s…esp if he’s hitting .220? And all of Peraza’s at-bats of course:)

      • daytonnati

        So you’re giving up on Peraza? 🙂

      • Indy Red Man

        I think I gave up on Peraza early in year 2.

        Ever seen Stepbrothers? Where Rob whateverhisnameis tells Will Ferrell that he doesn’t know why, but he just wants to punch his face:) Peraza just always has that blank look on his face like he doesn’t know what he’s doing and that he wasn’t prepared for whatever just happened. Once you get in my (sports only) doghouse…its like Saw. You’re not getting out

  34. VaRedsFan

    Thought Puig got more on it coming off the bat? Hit it 100 mph, but only went about 300.

  35. matt hendley

    No Secret I have been using similarity scores to determine whether or not the Reds should extend/trade/let walk various reds on various stage of Free Agency.

    David Hernandez is a trade now- whether or not the plan is to contend, rebuild, or just get to .500. Of the top three players that matched him, 2 retired/left baseball after their Age 33 season. The last one, tanked his way out of baseball by 36.

    Good inning pitched by him though
    Just food for thought.

    ATL 4 PIT 4 BTM 6

    • Indy Red Man

      No doubt about it! They’re atleast 2 years away and probably 3. Scooter is only 29.
      I think this pathetic offense proves they need to pay him for 3 years. Votto & Sonny are signed, but anyone else over the age of 28 needs to go. I guess they could sign guys like Iggy the SS for 2 years just to hold the fort.

      Why not Casali for TB there? Bell is just bound and determined to play TB over Casali. I don’t get it?

      • matt hendley

        Reds would be good with anywhere from 3-5 years with scooter. This year’s injury aside, Scooter should come back and put up a series of seasons that make 2018 look like childs play. His Age 35 season is where he should finally end up declining for good. Anything through age 34 and before is Good for him.

        As far as Iggy, and this is actually surprisingly, this season may very well be an outlier. A return to Sub level play is in his future, followed by a position change to 2B, and finally to UT, to counter a declining bat and glove. I would trade him if we are out of it, and keep him through the season if we are making the effort, but an extension…. i am afraid not.

      • Indy Red Man

        They won’t pay him to 34? One thing he has though is that Scooter really improved against lefties. In a way that DD hasn’t shown. He just cracking the ball to left on them all day long! 22-25 HRs+ and .290+…Scooter can do that all day!

  36. Seat101

    This is been a great game so far, hasn’t it?

  37. vegastypo

    First pitch to Barnhart was high, second one was outside, so of course they’re both called strikes.

  38. matt hendley

    Brian McCann is my new favorite red…..wait that’s not right. 3R HR in the B7. braves doing their bit.

  39. First2Third

    The two called strikes on Barnhart were ridiculous.

    These low scoring games are so boring to watch. And they almost always end with a disappointing outcome.

  40. Indy Red Man

    Last inning for me. Lets take it down!! Hernandez has to be worth something to a contender? He’s a professional!

    • Indy Red Man

      They lean on him now, but it feels like when the next good Reds team occurs I will have been dead for 18 years and the highlight of Hernandez’s day will be sucking apple sauce thru a straw in an old folks home. In other words what Hernandez can do now matters little to the Reds future.

      • vegastypo

        Raisel can go too. Heaven forbid he blow a few saves or lose a few games, and we have to endure more complaints about how he’s used. And this guy might more value.

      • Sliotar

        For sure.

        His deal is up at end of this season.

        Thank him, and hope he can land with someone else. (Hughes, too).

        Young and Cheap should extend to all positions possible.
        Surely someone in Louisville can make the jump, fill his spot.

      • matt hendley

        Thats the beauty of it. His replacement is already here.

        Matt Bowman.

      • RedAlert

        Iglesias is a head case – geeze can’t trust this guy far as you can throw him . needs to be traded . One of the most if not the most unreliable reliever they have.

  41. Mark Lang

    They’re working their way to one of their creative – kick to the fan crotch – losses

  42. Sliotar

    Hernandez’s deal is up.

    Iglesias would be a great “Beat the Rush” trade guy, if things go south over next few weeks.

    But, that goes against the whole (sort of) “going for it” vibe Reds management pushed last winter.

  43. matt hendley

    Gross. Hope alanta holds out and then try to get to 4th place again tomorrow

  44. vegastypo

    And there it is. How dare they use him in a non save situation. How can he be expected to compete in that situation ?????????

  45. Mark Lang

    It’s sort of for the best he got it over with – we certainly weren’t going to score another run – and why sit through 4 or 5 more innings to get to the same result?

  46. FreeHouse

    What a surprise the Reds only scored one run, Iglesias loss and it was another one run game….SHOCKING!

  47. vegastypo

    I think my concern is that the Reds won’t make trades because it would look like they’re ‘giving up’ on the season, even though they’re not good enough to make a run at the postseason anyway. …. But no, they’ve been promising their fans a winner after going several presidential administrations since even winning a postseason series, so gosh darnit, we’ve got to stay the course.

    • FreeHouse

      Reds are not good enough to string up a 5,6,7 game winning streak. David Hernandez is way better than his era indicates. I would put Hernandez, Garrett, Jose Iglesias and Iggy in the trade block. They would have the biggest return for this team

  48. Scott Gennett

    Another game, another one-run loss and another over-managed case. Peraza hitting for Vanmeter? Is Peraza now a RH hitter threat? Lorenzen pitching only one inning in a 1-1 game with DH? Bases loaded with one out and Puig in 3B with Senzel hitting against a tough pitcher with +100 pitches, what happened with the squeeze play? This team is going nowhere with DB at helm.