One step forward, one step back is a great way to describe the Reds’ 2019 season to date. Following a four-homer, 7-2 win over the Indians Wednesday, Redleg Nation members were hopeful that their team would return home against a team with some pitching challenges Friday night and begin a winning streak. But …

Game two of the weekend three-game series against the Texas Rangers begins at 7:10 Eastern time at Great American Ball Park. It should be another good crowd for Barry Larkin Bobblehead Night.
Before today’s game:

Ervin is in the starting lineup in left field tonight against lefthander Mike Minor.

The weather outlook is bleak, with a 100 percent chance of rain tonight in Cincinnati, with some storms possible. If the game is rained out, the teams would almost be forced to play a day-night doubleheader Sunday. This series is the only time this season the Reds and Rangers are scheduled to meet, and therefore the Rangers won’t be back in town. A mutual off-day that makes sense travel-wise for both teams would be the only other alternative.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Mike Minor 89.1 2.52 3.90 25.7% 7.%
Tanner Roark 67.1 3.74 4.53 23.6% 9.2%

Lefthander Minor has been the Rangers’ best starter this year and over the past two seasons combined. The Reds as a team have a much better batting average against lefties (.252) than righthanders (.225), but the team OPS split is not nearly as pronounced (.712 vs. lefties, .701 vs. righties). Roark’s clear role is to get through the opposing batting order at least twice while keeping his team in the game.

Bullpen

Matt Bowman and Zach Duke both pitched two innings in Friday night’s loss, and as a result may be unavailable.

Starting Lineups

Rangers Reds
LF Shin-Soo Choo CF Nick Senzel
CF Danny Santana 1B Joey Votto
SS Elvis Andrus 3B Eugenio Suarez
RF Nomar Mazara RF Yasiel Puig
3B Asdrubal Cabrera LF Phillip Ervin
2B Rougned Odor SS Jose Iglesias
1B Ronald Guzman C Curt Casali
C Jeff Mathis 2B Kyle Farmer
P Mike Minor P Tanner Roark

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

News and Notes

Just in case you missed this fantastic play by Jose Iglesias …

Remember this trade (and this magazine cover)? …

Ian Krol opted out of his contract with the Reds today, leaving Cincinnati with one less left-handed option in the minors.

53 Responses

  1. Seat101

    That play by Iglesias reminds me of one or two plays that Brooks Robinson made at third in the 1970 World Series against us.
    Whatever happened to Ken Burkart?
    Yes I said “us”. Sue me.

    • TR

      How did the Reds get this smooth fielding shortstop for practically nothing? I guess the same way they got their outstanding third baseman. J. Iglesias is a real bright spot in a frustrating season.

  2. matt hendley

    Even Ian Krol Was tired of watching Peralta Pitch.

    I assume weather updates will be posted up here.

    There is a piece that was just published to MLBTRADERumors, about an interview with DIck Williams. Cleared up the Party line from the Front office.
    A couple points (and it is worth the read)

    This is a WIn Now season

    There are going to be some extensions.

    The Reds Still expect to recover and be in the fight come the Trade deadline, but will be willing to make decisions closer to it then now.

  3. Sliotar

    No Winker. Not a fanboy of his, but objectively, it’s tough for me to see at the moment how the Next Good Reds Team doesn’t have him as a regular contributing piece.

    Burning control time, not playing with a (very) slim chance of contending..no bueno.

    As a progress report on Year 5 of the “Rebuild”, let’s check ages/wRC+ of the lineup:

    1- age 24 season / wRC+ 111
    2- age 36 / wRC+ 93
    3 – age 28 / wRC+ 112
    4 – age 29 / wRC+ 66
    5 – age 27 (hardly a “kid”) / just called up
    6 – age 29 – wRC+ 95
    7 – age 31 – wRC+ 106
    8 – age 29 – wRC + 73

    P – age 33

    • Sliotar

      So…. not young and overall, below league average.

      By all means, let’s keep grinding with this bunch, and try to avoid 90 losses in 2019, and worry about the future…in the future.

      Let the good times roll.

      Go Redlegs.

      • vegastypo

        Sliotar: This is purely my speculation, but I don’t think Dick Williams has been fully “in charge” except for about the last year.

        I’m really going to judge him based on the moves he makes at the trade deadline (if the Reds have any pieces that anybody wants) or in the offseason.

        Heck, there are still TV shots of Walt Jocketty sitting in a suite with various Reds front office types or alums. It scares me to think he’s anywhere near this organzation, perhaps still offering his old-school ‘wisdom’ to Castellini.

    • Seat101

      Yes, our offense is having a bad year. That’s a round about way of showing it?

      Here’s the good news:

      May I mention that we have a brand new team in place in the front office and in the minors and in scouting and in development? Along with sports medicine, and nutrition.

      • Sliotar

        Oh, I am not going anywhere.

        I think it is fair to wonder where this organization is currently heading, beyond this season.

        What “brand new team” in the front office?
        Williams has been in Reds baseball operations since 2006, Krall since 2008.

        Bell is new and seems OK, some good things, some warts…

        but, I can’t wait to hear how he is going to woo potential free agent pitchers, with about half of his current staff already vocally upset before the All-Star break.

        Lot of “short-termism” around this franchise, all for a projected losing record.

  4. Seat101

    Maybe some new thunderstorms are going to abruptly appear but it looks to me as though this is going to pass and it will be clear for a couple of hours

  5. Seat101

    Sliotar I think the moves that the team has made since the end of last season shows that while not all the faces are new (the many R), there’s an entirely different philosophy. That’s my explanation for the
    “New team” tag.

    The off-season moves got generally good reviews at the time. And the acquisition of some major league baseball players at minor league contract has been praised by almost everyone. The other moves, scouting and development will take years before we know if they’ve done them well.

    I’m interested in your other two points I had not thought at all about the process of acquiring one or two free agent pitchers. Perhaps because of our pitching coach, we might be able to draw some higher quality people who are impressed with him, or be a more desirable location for a “pillow contract” situation

    Which leads to your last idea, the very aptly named “Short Termism” with the exception of Sonny Gray we knew going in that there was going to be a lot of short term contracts on the payroll. And happier days I and many others believed that we could be in the position of making qualifying offers to one or two of them and possibly reaping extra draft choices or keeping them for another year. We hope that this would be a bridge year when our younger guys and AAA guys would be able to step up in 2020.

    • Sliotar

      @Seat101,

      Fair enough.

      Personally, I think Bell would be best suited being full-time in minor leagues/player development, but that is years away. (He isn’t getting fired, now or years from now).

      If your theory is true, then I would hope that Puig if DFA’d/benched and a few others in September. Tough to “bridge” if the future starters can’t play regularly.

    • Indy Red Man

      Trammell is our #1 prospect in the minors and he’s hitting .245 at AA. Ervin and Blandino might be able to help the Reds, but there is no pitching whatsover? Maybe Sims or Cody Reed, but they’re not difference makers. They’ve basically got to make do with what they’ve got for 2 seasons atleast. Make any midseason/offseason trades and signings count! Maybe they trade DD, Puig, or Winker. Disco maybe? They just can’t miss….not if they want to get out of last.

      I’m glad the FO is finally talking about analytics (only about 28th to pick it up?), but its the same cast of characters…don’t fool yourself.

  6. Indy Red Man

    Texas plays in a launching pad, but loses their big bopper Gallo. What do they do? Start running more and steal home a few times! Take it to your opponent…be the aggressor.

    Lived in Texas from 87-98 & former Rangers season ticketholder. That WS loss to St. Louis still stings. Hamilton’s HR in Game 6 should’ve won the series & the mvp.

    Like the Reds lineup tonite, but Minor has been too tough this year. They haven’t seen him at all. He’s been tough. Could be another long night.

  7. Sliotar

    Brewers up 4-1, give up runs in each of last 4 innings, lose 8-7 at SF.
    Diving outfield catch to end game, prevent tying run from scoring.

    Maybe it’s good the Reds are done with Giants. They are playing hard for Bochy in his last season.

    • vegastypo

      Well, the Brewers helped out the Giants by walking four straight batters at one point, so they gave the Giants plenty of help, but yeah.

  8. Big Ed

    The Reds appear to have shown up with hangovers again today.

    • Scotly50

      They have been playing uninspired for a few weeks now. A losing culture is in their nature.

  9. Indy Red Man

    The Reds with their typical intensity tonite. 2 errors and 2 unearned so far. And Texas is Houston’s little brother and he’s coming to town next.

    Yeah they’re so much better this year. Might lose 91 instead of 94 or whatever. Whoop-d-versatile word-doo

  10. TR

    The Reds are behind the eight ball again in the 1st. inning as .500 continues to fade away.

  11. Roger Garrett

    I would say that is a Roger from Roger.Just don’t get it and there is just no acceptable excuse for this type of play is there.Need to stop and regroup in the club house or maybe a good fight is in order.Nobody is going to go and watch this little league stuff.Heck Roark may be ready just to DL himself and hang out for a few days.

  12. Big Ed

    Votto has an OPS against lefties this year of .608. Billy Hamilton’s is .580.

  13. Indy Red Man

    My satellite went out again. Have to consider it a sign that I’m wasting time waiting on this team to be decent! It only took me a 3-4 episodes on 2.5 Men to realize that Ashton Kutcher isn’t funny and ruined the show, but I’ll watch the Reds ruin what used to be entertaining every night and every year for atleast 4-5 months at a time?

    • Seat101

      How much does it cost to send a repair crew up there?

      • Indy Red Man

        Rain > satellite every time? Its actually back on for now. I guess I have to watch. I have Minor on daily fantasy….might make a couple of car payments if he throws a no-no. Unfortunately, I’m not into loveable losers as entertainment. Although Puig and DD are fun guys and would be fun to watch if the team was good.

  14. Jeff Morris

    Part of the problem with the Reds hitting is that they thought the trade for Kemp & Puig would give them run production and power hitting. Matt Kemp never panned out and was released. Yasiel Puig has not been hitting….look at his batting average. And….the third guy they thought would contribute to their hitting, is a great hitter, but he is on the DL. Scooter Gennett. So….that is three players they expected to really pick up the slack with power hitting. But….none of the three have panned out. Take out the pitcher, and you are expecting the 5 other guys to pick up the slack.

    • Sliotar

      You are right. Add in a declining Votto, and the boat doesn’t have enough rowers.

      But, all three were on expiring contracts, and age 28 and over.

      What was the plan with that? Hope they excel, and overpay in free agency for their decline years?

      No one is trading for Gennett and Puig now… if they are coming back, surely the Reds go (very) short and cheap. There is no 4-year deal out there.

  15. Jeff R Morris

    Also….Votto has had a down year with the bat, and Tucker B has not hit hardly at all. Schebler did not work out and is in AAA right now. Nick Senzel is a rookie and is learning, Jose Peraza is not hitting, and really should be DFA’d. So in summary there is your problem.

  16. Old-school

    If the reds lose, it’s another series lost and then the Astros with Verlander and Gerrit Cole followed by 4 at the Brewers and then the Cubs. Hit now or this year is over.

  17. Indy Red Man

    Satellite tv? I will say this and bid everyone a nice evening. As a Reds and Ranger fan….see atleast some similarities between Lorenzen and Kevin Brown. Both strong as an ox and can just pound the strike zone with a power sinker with movement. Now Lorenzen will obviously never have a career like Brown’s. He’s just not as good, but he has 10x more talent then Roark and he’s better then Mahle and Disco too. Turn him loose as a starter and do it soon!

  18. Sliotar

    Walks will haunt.
    As will meatballs over the plate.

    Halfway back.

  19. Sliotar

    Between the collision in Cleveland and foul ball to the face, Lil Senzil needs tomorrow off and needs to forget this week.

  20. yorktownred

    Wow. Just when we thought things couldn’t get worse. Hope nothing is broken, Nick.

  21. WVRedlegs

    Rain is coming, about 25-30 minutes out. Looks like it could be a lengthy delay. They need some urgency and get a couple of runs to tie it so they can’t call it.

    • Sliotar

      Here’s the opportunity.

      Third Time Through Monster makes another appearance.

      • Sliotar

        Or not.

        Disappointing to come out of that with nothing.

  22. Roger Garrett

    Lets see through 6 innings we have 3 errors and two hits.Sounds about normal for this team and oh yeah Peraza is now in center after replacing Senzel.Guess it can’t get much better then this or maybe it can.

  23. Don

    how can bell let Peraza hit in 7th. Terrible managing. Had to use one of the 3 left handed hitters on bench and put lorenzen in center and let someone else pitch.

    • Seat101

      Yeah this loss, like every other one is on Peraza’s shoulders

      Wait! What? We haven’t lost yet? Just wait…

  24. VaRedsFan

    8th inning, down 1…strike 3 looking to Votto…strike 3 looking to suarez.
    Obviously they are just guess hitting.

    • Curt

      Capsulizes why we are where we are. Those two have to better than that.

  25. matt hendley

    A game where the Errors were costly.

    Great Pitching performance by Roark.
    Puig has changed his swing. Also his approach. While his results were not as evident as yesterday, he still had the monster HR.

    Hope Senzel is ok, Him down is something the reds do not need right now.

    • VaRedsFan

      He has shown signs, but he hit the low and inside pitch out, which he hasn’t had a problem with. He has only been able to hit mistake pitches. At least he swings at them.
      If he can lay off anything up, or low and away he has a chance.

  26. Paul

    Highlight of year… getting out of last place for a day… we are obviously now sellers at the deadline, what can we sell? Kemp? Nope, we dumped him for Van Meter. Puig and his useless hitting coach in a package deal, I wish! Alex Wood? Is there a clause in the trade where we can give him “back”? Hunter “will never see the majors” Greene? Clearly after MVP and 26 HRs this year Yelich, wow we choked big time not pulling the trigger on that deal. almost Frank Robinson deal bad. Scooter? Naw no one wants damaged goods. We wont lose 90 but this even more frustrating and we’re rebuilding again next year with the one year contracts. Why go on, same ol same ol!