The Cincinnati Reds (36-40) start a short two-game series against Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels (39-40) at Angel Stadium in Anaheim for the first time since 2016. First pitch will be at 10:07 ET.

While the Reds are coming off a productive 5-2 week against the Houston Astros and the Milwaukee Brewers, the Angels are returning home from a 4-3 road trip in which they won three of four in Toronto and lost two of three in St. Louis. The Angels currently sit in fourth place in the NL West, already ten games behind the Astros.

The Angels are 7th in the AL in team OPS at .777, while the pitching has really struggled. Their 4.98 team ERA sits at 12th in the AL. Of course, when Mike Trout plays for your team, there’s always something good to talk about. And right now Trout is swinging a very hot bat.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA FIP xFIP K% BB%
Tyler Mahle 77.2 4.17 4.15 3.74 24.80% 5.60%
Andrew Heaney 25.1 5.68 5.55 5.02 29.90% 9.40%

REDS

Tyler Mahle returns to his hometown tonight to pitch in front of his family and friends. He will try to build upon his most recent start, when he had his longest outing of the season, pitching 7.0 inning against the Astros and giving up four hits and two runs while striking out seven. He will also try to correct his road woes this season. Mahle has given up 27 earned runs on the road compared to only nine at home. He’s also allowed 10 home runs on the road and only three at GABP.

These days every start Tyler Mahle makes is important in proving he should stay with the major league club when Alex Wood comes back from the injured list. Most think either Mahle or Anthony DeSclafani will be the odd pitcher out, and that Mahle will get sent down. However, one could easily argue that Mahle has been the better pitcher.

In 112.0 innings last season, Mahle walked 53 batters and struck out 110. This season, in 77.2 innings, he has walked only 18 batters while striking out 80. His K% has increased slightly from a season ago, and his BB% has dropped by five percent. That’s a huge improvement and has resulted in a K/BB% of 19.3%, up from 11.2% in 2018.

Mahle has faced two Angels hitters in his career, Tommy LaStella and Justin Bour. Bour has a home run in three at-bats against him.

ANGELS

Twenty-eight year old left-hander Andrew Heaney is making his fifth start tonight after starting the season on the IL with elbow inflammation. It’s been a struggle for the 2012 first round draft pick so far. He’s given up 16 earned runs in 25.1 innings. The home run ball has plagued him, as he’s given up seven of them. His most recent outing against the Blue Jays was his shortest in those five starts, giving up five runs in 3.2 innings.

In 2018, Heaney had a very good season, considering that it was his first full season after having Tommy John surgery in April 2017. He had a 4.15 ERA/3.99 FIP with 180 strikeouts and only 45 walks. More importantly for the Angels, he started 30 games and pitched 180.0 innings. That’s what all teams love to see from a pitcher coming back from TJ surgery.

Heaney has four pitches, but relies on just two: his sinker (64.6%) and his curve (29.2%). He will occasionally use his change-up (5.8%), but has only thrown his four-seamer twice this season in 25.1 innings.

Jose Iglesias and Yasiel Puig are the only two Reds to have faced Heaney. Puig has a home run off Heaney in three at-bats.

Lineups

REDS ANGELS
1. Nick Senzel (CF)
2. Joey Votto (DH)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Yasiel Puig (RF)
5. Jose Iglesias (SS)
6. Phillip Ervin (LF)
7. Jose Peraza (2B)
8. Curt Casali (C)
9. Kyle Farmer (1B)
1. Tommy La Stella (2B)
2. Mike Trout (CF)
3. Shohei Ohtani (DH)
4. Justin Upton (LF)
5. Kole Calhoun (RF)
6. Albert Pujols (1B)
7. David Fletcher (3B)
8. Luis Rengifo (SS)
9. Jonathan Lucroy (C)

Joey Votto will be the DH tonight against the left-hander, while Kyle Farmer plays first base.

News, Notes, and Pregame Reading

-Scooter Gennett is rehabbing with Louisville this week. I would guess he’ll be back with the Reds sometime this weekend.

Stat of the Day

I know what you’re thinking. There’s a lot of Trout content on this post about the Reds. Well, when the Reds play against a team that employs a once-in-a-lifetime player, this is what you get. Trout is already one of the greatest players to ever play the game of baseball, and at only 27 years of age, he keeps getting better every year.

During these five years, he has only one MVP award to his name (not counting a potential one this season). That’s a little mind-boggling. Anyway, I hope the Reds can keep Trout hitless over these next two games. Then I will be free to root for him again.

79 Responses

  1. matthew hendley

    So a Slugfest. Hope Mahle has a good homecoming. GO Reds

  2. Sliotar

    Nice write-up on Trout, Ashley.

    He is ridiculously good. Every once in a while, he will just take over a game…. through a home run-saving catch, not being fooled by any pitcher, whatever.

    Zero playoff wins, though, showing how hard it is for one player, no matter how great, to dominate over 162 games.

    Go Redlegs.

    • ToBeDetermined

      Sliotar
      “Zero playoff wins, though, showing how hard it is for one player, no matter how great, to dominate over 162 games.”

      Looking at the 3 major sports.
      1) Basketball – if you have 2 really good players you got a chance at a championship
      2) Football – if you have 1 really good player (at the right position – Tom Brady) you got a chance at a championship
      3) Baseball – Having a few really good players and you may not even make the playoffs.

      I also, find your comment below about having too much money tied up with one player to be fascinating.

  3. Sliotar

    Feels like an appropriate time to post this interesting factoid…..

    “No club that has committed more than 20 percent of its payroll to one player has won the World Series since 2003.”

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/good-mlb-teams-oppose-income-inequality/

    Moreover, since Giants in 2010 (Zito), no player has made more than 15% of total payroll on a winning side.

    Trout will be making $37 million next season, as his new contract kicks in.

    Reds started Opening Day with $127 million payroll, Votto at $25M.

    • Old-school

      The Reds need to get younger.
      In Louisville tonight, they are starting a 30 yo catcher, a 30 yo SS and a 29 yo CF. Jimmie Herget has a 3 year career in Louisville.

      • Sliotar

        You were probably referring to Puig as the 29 yo.
        You are spot on.

        Ervin is 27, Farmer is 28….Gennett is 29 when he returns.

        The last 4 years were a waste…and this is the result.

        I would not be shocked if Castellini/Jocketty pulled this Mickey Mouse stuff during the “rebuild”…..

        “The New York Mets’ front office has dictated at least some pitching moves during games this season”

        https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/27048818/mets-front-office-making-game-moves

      • Old-school

        No… Where do the reds get younger and better?

        Juan Graterol is 30 and starts at catcher at AAA. No replacement for tucker.

        Christian colon 30 starting at SS… Trajan is plan B. No SS succession plan..

        Scott Schebler 29 in CF.

        The bullpen in Louisville is old.

      • Jim Walker

        @OS

        I don’t think the older catcher at AAA is that unusual. He is the typical “3rd catcher in waiting”. They had a prospect, Okey, at AAA early on; but, he was overmatched at the plate. They sent him back to AA and re-signed Stuart Turner, the former rule 5 guy who had been released, to be the backup.

        But yeah, on the others.

  4. Reddawg12

    This is random, but the Cardinals are in the midst of a stretch in which they play a very weak schedule. From June 10th until the all-star break, 23 of their 25 games come against teams with a losing record (they start a two game series tonight against the A’s, who are a few games over .500). 2 of the Reds 23 games during that same stretch are against teams under .500 (the two games against the Angels.)

    The Cardinals certainly have it easier for the time being.

  5. Old-school

    Alex Wood setback.
    Close the book on Wood.
    Reds need an external starter for 2020.

  6. ToBeDetermined

    Ashley

    No need to apologize your the Trout tribute. We don’t get to see him play very often.
    Though I do enjoy having some blackened trout every few weeks. You can’t beat it.

  7. Jreis

    Set back for Wood. Dodgers hustle us again!

    • Indy Red Man

      For what? They took Homer and we still got Puig out of the deal. Puig is just not warming up, but to me he’s the best potential right-handed power hitter they’re going to get. Especially if he can ever draw 60 walks again like 2017?

      • Indy Red Man

        Make that “just now warming up”

    • Matt Hendley

      Nick howard has been released

  8. Indy Red Man

    Run themselves out of an inning….what else is new? Good 1st inning though.

  9. VaRedsFan

    Can someone describe the play that Suarez was thrown out?

    • Seat101

      Suarez thought the ball got out of the infield and was going to try to score but it was an infield hit and Suarez was thrown out In a rundown.

      • VaRedsFan

        Thanks, I just watched it on mlb.tv. Suarez was running with his head down…never looked at the coach once.

  10. VaRedsFan

    Senzel was there to make the play, but just flat missed it…. and where was Puig at?

    • Seat101

      Puig is playing right field this game.

      • VaRedsFan

        Right…the ball caromed all the way to right center. Puig should have been there backing up any ricochets

  11. Seat101

    Now that’s something you don’t see every day. An inside the park home run

    When was the last time they were two inside the park homeruns by opposing teams?

  12. Seat101

    Another cheap hit for Peraza. He should be ashamed to take the base

    • VaRedsFan

      He must have agreed….just gave it back.

      • Seat101

        I hate to say it but I am afraid Jose Peraza went to the Eddie Milner school of base running.
        At least he doesn’t have that silly grin Eddie had when he was picked off.

        Don’t like this umpire’s strikes zone

        Nor his helmet, either

    • Sliotar

      What he should be ashamed of was that pick-off.

      Good news for him….other, more established players mailing in efforts so far as well.

    • Indy Red Man

      Comment on that too…while you’re at it:)

  13. Pete

    Peraza is not the sharpest tool in the shed. Probably play as a Red for the whole of his baseball career.

    • Indy Red Man

      If I had $5 for every time I’ve seen a befuddled look on his face then I’d be retired by now. Suarez & Winker seem to think they’re track stars too for some reason? The baserunning is slightly better then last year, but still subpar. They were so good during the Rolen era. Reading balls off the bat and taking an extra base. Keepig their heads in the game.

    • VaRedsFan

      I’m not as angry with the pickoff as I am that he stopped running. Might as well keep going to 2nd, maybe they throw it away, or the ball hits you.

  14. Pete

    Not exactly a base running clinic for the good guys tonight.

  15. Roger Garrett

    I am really impressed.Four hits and a walk with one of the hits a homer and two guys thrown out on the bases.Reds asleep again so I might as well go too.Yep we are going to make that big run and compete.Yeah not with this little league baseball team.

  16. Jim Walker

    So I’m a little late to the party. Two Reds TOOTBLANs already and a ball in the OF misplayed for an inside the park homer??? Say it ain’t so!

    • Seat101

      Senzel made a game attempt to catch it but he flat out missed it. The right fielder was playing in right field and by the time he was able to get to the ball the centerfielder got to the ball.

      We got a rookie in centerfield – it happens

      • Jim Walker

        Well as long as Senzel stays healthy, he is going to get them a lot more runs than he gives away.

    • Sliotar

      @Jack

      Just did a quick scan on FanGraphs on road starts, and the one thing that has jumped this month is the BB% rate.

      And, Miller Park and Anaheim Stadium are both top 10 HR-parks this season.

      Maybe they are combined (pitching cautious?), maybe some regression.

      Either way, the last few days have shown how thin the margin of error is for the Reds when the SP isn’t above average.

  17. Seat101

    Well I am going to bed now. You ladies and gentlemen I will have to take care of this tonight

    Bring home a winner

  18. RedAlert

    Mahle needs to go back to AAA and learn command – HE HAS ZERO – Maddening watching him pitch – he just ain’t that good period

  19. Indy Red Man

    Goodnight. Mahle is terrible again. Nibbling…can’t put anyone away & then delivers center-cut meat right to your door like Omaha Steaks. I give up. Win 6 and now they’ll drop 5 of 6. It never changes. SELL SELL SELL

    • RedAlert

      He’s awful – script rarely changes with him and he gripes about being pulled early . Needs to shut his mouth and pitch – lucky he’s up here at all

  20. VaRedsFan

    Mahle just feeding belt high fastballs in the middle of the plate….1st to Pujols….then to Renigfo

  21. Jack

    Four bad starts in a row from the Reds starting pitchers…start of a regression to mean?

  22. Indy Red Man

    Well the Reds numbers have been off all season. They were going to hit at some point, but in no way, shape, or form do they have a top 5 ML pitching staff. Roark’s whip is 1.40 or something. That doesn’t = 3.50 era or whatever. He had 2 hrs allowed thru 1/3 of the season. Mahle isn’t nearly as good as Lorenzen or Stephenson, but they won’t start them. Castillo is good, but 2.30 is too low for him. He only throws 2 pitches? Bell uses Hernandez every day almost….he’s going to wear down at his age. Where do they go from here? Probably only a matter of weeks before Bumgarner goes to Milw and the Cubs rearm too. I’m sure I’m a Debbie downer but thats the Reds reality.

    • Bruuuuuccceee

      Wow…you are certainly the glass-half empty kind of guy!

  23. Mark Lang

    The good news – the Reds hitters have gotten a bit better.
    The bad news – The pitching has gotten significantly worse.

  24. C Holbert

    Suarez really needs some time off……

  25. RedAlert

    Move along – nothing to see here –
    goodnight nation !

  26. Sliotar

    @Jack

    Just did a quick scan on FanGraphs on road starts, and the one thing that has jumped this month is the BB% rate.

    And, Miller Park and Anaheim Stadium are both top 10 HR-parks this season.

    Maybe they are combined (pitching cautious?), maybe some regression.

    Either way, the last few days have shown how thin the margin of error is for the Reds when the SP isn’t above average.

  27. Indy Red Man

    Trout is great, but I don’t see what he has on Yelich? Yelich might go 50/40 this year….has anyone ever done that before?

    • Bruuuuuccceee

      You must be suffering from proximity bias seeing Yelich play within the division. Mike Trout has finished Top 2 MVP voting 6(!) times, and finished 4th in another. He and Yelich are the same age yet Trout has amassed double his career WAR (69.5 vs 31.1). Yelich is a fantastic player but he is still no Mike Trout.

      If only the Reds had put together a package for Yelich when the Marlins were selling off assets…………………

  28. Jim Walker

    Somebody said here or on Twitter the other day that as long as the Reds kept Trout under control, things would be fine vs. the Angels. I guess the Angels didn’t read that.

    • Sliotar

      #RLN Posts That Did Not Age Well

      (if you don’t have a few over 162 Reds games, you aren’t posting enough)

    • matt hendley

      I said it jim, the Angels pitching leaves much to be desired, in my defense i did not see them running themselves off the basepaths

      • matt hendley

        also in my defense, he is absolutly dominating trout today.

  29. matt hendley

    One mistake for Mahle, one mistake for Senzel. now the reds are trying to give themselves up.

    Would say that this is the perfect time to offer Alex Wood a 1y 2million guaranteed, 15 million in incentives linked to innings pitched to secure him cheaply for next year.

    Reds need to make moves against a team that has a notoriously bad rotation.

    • Sliotar

      You know it’s a bad night when the TV camera catches Bell giving the “Let’s Go” clap.

  30. matt hendley

    unbelievable…. one completely on Peraza AGAIN, and then David Bell shifts on Othani…. you don’t shift on him. Mahle getting worked over by his own team.

  31. Curt

    Wow, how’s the “let’s all learn to play different positions” plan working. Who needs a starting 8? It still blows my mind that the only path to the bigs for Senzel was to learn a new position. As if there were all these all-stars in the way. Annoying stuff. And don’t get me wrong, Nick’s been a champ with doing whatever is asked. No blame on him.

    • Sliotar

      Yup.

      That flat-out run on the foul ball down 3B line speaks volume.
      Senzel is a gamer, for sure.

      Yet, the calls to “re-sign Scooter” and block him from 2B are likely to come back.

      Winker can’t play vs. LHP.

      Can’t imagine this is how the White Sox would handle Moncada, or the Braves with Acuna.

      Winker and Senzel are the Reds equivalents to those guys.

      • matt hendley

        except he is not being “blocked” from second, he was never a second baseman. he was a third baseman, and short of a suarez trade or injury he is blocked there.

        Its not like the scooter is absolutely useless either.

      • Curt

        Here’s Dick Williams in 2017…

        “I think he’s got the talent to play a couple of different positions, and we’re going to let him do that,” Reds general manager Dick Williams.
        Cincinnati has the so-called good problem in that its third baseman, Eugenio Suarez, is coming off of breakout year. It doesn’t mean that Senzel is necessarily blocked, because Suarez — a natural shortstop — could always be moved to a different position. But Senzel has experience elsewhere, too.
        “This is a guy that played shortstop in college [at Tennessee], played third base in college, played second base as an amateur,” Williams said of Senzel. “We think he’s clearly athletic enough to go to left field or right field. He’s got the bat to do it.”

        Notice he doesn’t mention centerfield at all. And Nick did play 2nd to begin 2018 in Louisville.
        And why wasn’t moving Suarez to short considered.

  32. matt hendley

    Couple of Really quick Hooks by the HP umpire.

    Puig was right about ‘strike 1’ being inside. Since there is no volume we wont know what he said. Unless someone here is a lip reader.

    Good on DB getting out there and deflecting before Puig completely lost it.

    • Hanawi

      Reds are still paying for trying to do a quick rebuild by targeting near MLB ready players. They ended up with a bunch of AAAA guys instead of real talent. Those guys are now older, still not any good, and aren’t exactly valuable for flipping.

      Meanwhile, other than Senzel, the drafting has been pretty much a bust. I didn’t completely hate the Greene pick but I preferred both Gore and Adell at the time. The India pick was a reach. Wanted Kelenic who is mashing for the Mets. They then traded away two of their better picks from the 2nd round in the ill-fated Dodgers trade. And all the same people still have their jobs in the front office.

    • Curt

      Also in the excellent interview he did on Jim Day podcast, he did say he wouldn’t mind moving to 2nd but for now would focus on CF.
      A last place team, shoulda just asked him where he wanted to play and then put him there. Anybody else can move.

      • matt hendley

        I can see it now, scooter in center. finds a new niche.

        One problem. We are not a last place team.

  33. Mark Lang

    NOW can we make him a bench rider?

  34. Wayne nabors

    Sure hope all the peraza lovers seen that,he has no business playing outfield

  35. matt hendley

    And before that….none….. Which means his natural position of CF will provide him more experience by the End of the season than he ever had at 2B. oh and that pushing 30 guys. 4.2 WAR player….. Senzel needs some work to meet that.
    SS was the natural fit. CF was a good Fit after Billy left.

    See what you actually do is find good players and extend them. Supliment them with proven minor leaguers. Not bring up everyone and their mother and throw them at a wall and hope that they stick.

    instead, the reds allow Jose Peraza to make his THIRD blunder of the game. If only the angels had started an RHP tonight.

  36. Sliotar

    Are we going to look back at this as “The Peraza Game?”

    I wish the fella well, he is a Reds player and all…. but, boy, tough to think of him as a “difference maker” on a night like tonight.

    Lot o’ holes in his overall game (still), and he is getting a long, long look.

    • matt hendley

      something that we can agree on. Scooter is due up this weekend. Someone has to go

  37. matt hendley

    The good news is that SEA OAK and ATL were all winners, which means CHC, MIL, and STL were all losers. REds will stay 5 out, 3 out (3rd Place). Really hope there is a Righty starting tommorow. Scooter is due up this weekend, really hope that spells the end for Peraza.

  38. matt hendley

    Well, i will rarely write a game off as quickly as some here, but as soon as the Ump expands the zone, (and he has ) the game is effectively over. At least there will be a new one behind the plate tommorow

  39. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Alright, given that defensive blunder by Peraza, I’ve seen enough from him. He’s no better than a bench player. The more he starts, the worse a team will be.

    I will admit, it probably isn’t easy for him in having to be ready to play so many different positions. But, if we aren’t going to regularly play him somewhere, then he should be a bench player.

    I wouldn’t even rotate him with Winker right now. And, people were worried about Winker’s defense? Geez.

  40. matt hendley

    The one thing I do think David bell is alot alike Dusty Baker is in the way that they get tossed from ballgames. Both come out calm and rise up to the point when they are tossed. Not like Lou Penella, who one honestly knew as soon as he exited the dugout that he was getting ejected.