The 2019 Cincinnati Reds (52-58) certainly aren’t boring. The Reds somehow, someway found a way to split a four game series against the first place Braves in Atlanta. The Reds now head home where they will play 13 of the next 16 games. The Reds have found themselves now 5.5 games back from the second wild card spot (6.0 back from the first wild card spot). The Reds playoff odds sit at 5.2% according to Fangraphs. That might not seem like a lot, but considering the Reds playoff odds each of the last four years on August 5th were all at 0.0%, we will take it.

First up for the Reds homestand is a two-game series against the Los Angeles Angels (56-57). The Angels have lost four straight games, and they are just 2-8 in their last ten games. They have of course had a devastating season not only on the field with injuries, but also with tragic the death of their starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs. The Angels are 17.0 games back in AL West, and they are fading quickly, now 9.0 back from the second wild card spot.

Starting Pitchers


Luis Castillo is coming off his best start of the year (according to FIP) against the Pirates: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K. The most impressive part of Castillo’s start was that he did not allow a walk. This will be his first appearances of his career against the Angels. Castillo has a 2.20 ERA at GABP this season and a 2.25 ERA in 2 inter-league starts this season.

The Angels will be employing the opener tonight as Taylor Cole (RHP) will start the game. Cole has started 5 games and also finished 5 games for the Angels. Cole’s starts have been all 1-2 innings pitched, but he has gone as long as 3.1 innings in relief this season. Cole has a 3.97 ERA/2.78 FIP. He has incredibly not allowed a home run in 34.0 innings.

Patrick Sandoval (LHP) will pitch the bulk of the game for the Angels, and he will be making his MLB debut tonight. It is not often you see a guy with a 6.41 ERA get called up, but that is how desperate the Angels are. Here is what Dylan Chase of MLB Trade Rumors had to say about Sandoval:

The Angels are set to promote pitching prospect Patrick Sandoval to take the ball for Monday’s game in Cincinnati. Acquired by Los Angeles in a 2018 deal involving Martin Maldonado, Sandoval has been identified by evaluators as a lefty with a reasonable ceiling as a back-end starter. Fangraphs has him ranked 15th in Los Angeles’ lightly regarded system.

Beginning the year with his second stint in Double-A, Sandoval overwhelmed hitters across his first five appearances, logging a 14.40 K/9 and 1.76 FIP in 20.0 innings before receiving a promotion to Triple-A. The PCL has been less kind to the southpaw, as his 6.41 ERA through 60.1 innings isn’t all that much better than his 4.97 FIP mark. Nevertheless, in a season challenged by pitching injuries, the Angels will look to provide MLB opportunity to this college-aged hurler.

Starting Lineups

1. Jesse Winker (LF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Aristides Aquino (RF)
5. Jose Iglesias (SS)
6. Nick Senzel (CF)
7. Jose Peraza (2B)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Luis Castillo (P)

The Reds lineup is kind of all over the place with the opener being a righty and the primary pitcher being a lefty. You have to wonder if Winker will get 1 PA and call it a night?

Reds claim Gausman

The Reds claimed Kevin Gausman off waivers from the Braves today. Doug Gray broke that down earlier today. Gausman’s 4.20 FIP makes him a very intriguing project for Derek Johnson.

Dietrich to IL/O’Grady called up

Brian O’Grady was hitting .277/.351/.562 with 27 bombs at AAA. The Reds are certainly giving the guys raking at AAA a chance, which you love to see. O’Grady will help the Reds keep some left handed thunder on the bench with Dietrich out. O’Grady split most of his time at AAA between CF and 1B, but has played 3B and both corner OF spots in his career. Doug Gray took a little deeper of a look at O’Grady’s 2019 and has some information from a scout on his profile.

Conclusion 

If you have made the poor mistake of following me on Twitter then you would know that I’ve been preaching for the past month that if the Reds can just hang around 5.0 back in the wild card race until August 22nd, then they will have a chance for a late season run due to the favorable schedule (you could maybe move that up to August 19th now as the Padres have really struggled of late). Well, here the Reds are……5.5 back. The next 13 games will make or break the Reds season as they play the Cubs, Nationals and Cardinals after this series. It would be so much fun to see the Reds hang around and play some meaningful games in September. Go Reds!

 

132 Responses

  1. CI3J

    The Reds picked up Gausman off waivers from Atlanta. His FIP is 2.00 lower than his ERA and he is striking out 10 per 9 ip. This is a really smart move, and could be an awesome addition to the bullpen.

    • LWblogger2

      Not sure how Gausman would fare in the pen since he’s always started. I’ve followed his career closely. He’s got a lot of talent that he just hasn’t been able to put together. Worth taking a flyer on to see if Johnson can sort him.

  2. Klugo

    Don’t have the #s but it seems like the Redlegs don’t do so hot against guys making their debut. If true, hopefully that doesn’t ring true tonight.

  3. Pete

    Nick, I don’t think your over-the-top in your optimism and 5% chance? Huh, we shall see. This basically a new team. Recent upgrades:

    Bauer > Mahle
    Wood > Roarke
    VanMeter > Scooter/Peraza/DD

    and yes, great chance:
    AA > Puig

    Now get the BP straightened out and we should be good to go. Can’t.lose.this.game.tonight.

    • Chris

      And again, no JVM in lineup. “A guy that we want to look at playing every day.” Since those remarks he has not played more than he’s played. I guess it’s imperative that both Iglesias and Peraza play more. SMDH.

      • Don

        No clue why JVM is not in the game at 2nd. Does not make sense.

      • RojoBenjy

        I’m ok with Iglesias at SS.

        Not playing Van Meter is beyond stupid.

  4. Rick

    ESPN is now listing Taylor Cole as the Angels’ starter for tonight.

    • Pete

      Cole, a RHP, is being used as an opener and I’m guessing why Winker is in instead of Ervin. He has only 34 innings in 22 appearances.

      Watched Sandoval’s last two AAA outings. He has four pitches: FB, Slider, Curve and Change Up. FB sits at 92 mph and looks straight as a string, he can throw a good curve – real 12-6 like Barry Zito but hangs a bunch of them. the slider he seldom threw in the strike zone but threw often. In fact, he rarely throws pitches over the plate. He isn’t wild, I think because his stuff is marginal, at best, he knows better than to stay in the zone. Not many change ups. The Reds need to be patient and they should have no problem scoring.

  5. Don

    Reds need to get to 86 to 88 wins to have a shot in the division or wildcard (+5 to 7 over 500). Currently are 6 under 500 after 110 games. 52 – 58 (.472), Reds need to go 35-17 (.673) to get to 87.
    Breaking down the last 52 games into 3 segments (16,18,18) around off days and assuming 87 wins makes playoffs.

    Starting Today, 13 of next 16 are at home, with the only off day is Thursday this week.
    Reds have to win 10 of these 16 (10-6) to get to 2 under 500 (62-64) to start the easier stretch”.
    2 – Angels – H
    Off Day
    4 – Cubs – H
    3 – Nationals – A
    4 – Cards – H
    3 – Padres – H

    Off Day – August 22, then 11 games in 10 days on the road then 7 home days with no days off (18 games, 17 days). For these 18 games (12-6) to get to 74-70.
    3 – Pirates – A
    4 – Marlins – A
    4 – Cards (includes a Saturday Double Header)- A
    4 – Phillies – H
    3 – D-backs – H

    Off Day – Sept 9 – Reds need a finish of 13-5.
    3 – Mariners – A
    3 – D-Backs – A
    3 – Cubs – A
    Off Day – Sept 19
    3 – Mets – H
    Off Day – Sept 23
    3 – Brewers – H
    3 – Pirates – A

    This would get the Reds to 87-75.

    Never giving up hope.

  6. Steve Schoenbaechler

    There is no reason why Peraza should have played so many games this season, especially as a starter.

    • Pete

      Especially at 2B. Even at his best, he doesn’t hit well enough for a second baseman. I have no idea what the Red’s are doing with VanMeter but it’s puzzling. Should be able to win tonight handily without him. This weekend is another matter.

  7. JB

    You can move it up even more Nick because the Reds go against Sanchez and Ross in two of the games against the Nationals. The Cardinals are reeling again as well and I’m just not impressed with the Cubs at all. 35-18 the rest of the way is possible against the teams they play and this pitching staff they have now. Comes down to the bullpen. Can they rally and hold leads and can the offense score.

    • B-town fan

      You mean 35-17 the rest of the way. The other is a 163 games. But I get your point they need to play really well down the stretch.

  8. Roger Garrett

    Any time Peraza plays any other position then short he is taking at bats away from a player we need to evaluate for next season.Hopefully next year we don’t have to talk about this any more.Just tired of it so I will just leave it alone but it makes no sense and I would just love to really know what the thought process is behind it.Doesn’t matter if Peraza goes 5-5 or if we win or lose we need to see if JVM can get it done.We already know Peraza will not hit enough nor field enough to play any position on the diamond so whats the point.Now I am done.

    • doofus

      Peraza had 182 hits in 2018. If he was on the way to that many this season would you still believe he does not “hit enough?”

      Some players do not do well in a platoon. Perhaps he is one of them?

      • docproc

        He also led the NL in errors. At any position.
        He also has a .313 lifetime OBP. Because he never walks.
        Enough about a guy with a .634 OPS this year.

      • RojoBenjy

        Hits without walks no bueno. It’s a smokescreen.

      • doofus

        Rafael Devers led MLB in 2018 with 24 errors.

  9. doofus

    My sons played Travel/Club ball against Brian O’Grady when they were teenagers. He also went to high school with one of their cousins. O’Grady is a good kid. It is good to see him get the call.

  10. docproc

    With a RHP “opener” going for the Angels tonight, it makes even LESS since to have Peraza in the starting lineup.
    And it already made no sense.
    #Free JVM

  11. ToBeDetermined

    “Well, here the Reds are……5.5 back. The next 13 games will make or break the Reds season as they play the Cubs, Nationals and Cardinals after this series. It would be so much fun to see the Reds hang around and play some meaningful games in September. Go Reds!”

    Yea, for the 1st time all season. It appears to me that if the Reds can play some good ball, game after game, that they could put together an interesting W-L record by the beginning of next month. It seems like most of these games should be winnable and we could hope to see some series where the Reds have a legitimate chance of sweeping.

  12. Sliotar

    The Angels were just swept by the Indians…. no reason the Reds can’t get both games here.

    However…..

    Road wRC+ 83
    24th in MLB

    Most nights, the Reds offense is 1-5, and 6-9 is, on paper, giving away outs.
    Tonight – Iglesias wRC+ 83, Peraza 63, Barnhart 67.

    There’s “hanging around” and there is truly contending. Some more offense needs to be found for it to be the latter.

    • Sliotar

      Winker is a prime example of GABP distorting his stats.

      (And I would like Winker playing every day, but facts are facts).

      Home – 185 PA, 10 HR, wRC+ 139

      Road – 172 PA, 5 HR, wRC+ 81

      (Thanks, FanGraphs)

      Those cheapie, GABP opposite-field HRs don’t make it in many other parks.

      Trying to “sneak on in” winning 3-1 every night doesn’t leave any margin for error.

  13. Seat101

    It doesn’t matter if Peraza goes five for five.

    Does that mean he asked to go six for six?

    Give the guy a break. And if you say you’re not gonna talk about him anymore why do you keep talking about him?

    Anyway it’s good to see everybody is in a great mood tonight. Go Reds!

  14. LWblogger2

    In what world exactly should Iglesias be hitting in front of Senzel? What algorithm is telling Bell this is a good idea? Traditional thinking you could argue maybe he should hit 1st or 2nd but 5th in front of a way better hitter?

    Ok, so enough lineup critique. I’m in section 135 with my dad for this one. It’s our last game this year. Go Reds!

    • RojoBenjy

      Flip Votto and Senzel in the order and it makes more sense.

      The best player in your team hitting sixth is dumb. It’s like if the Angels batted Trout sixth.

    • Seat101

      Man you’re going to see what you want to see. Explain how that was a “blown tag” what’s your definition of a “blown tag”? How do you put that down in your score card? B. T. ? Blota?

      Just how many of your dogs has Jose Pereza kicked?

      I can tell it’s personal. Tell me why

      • VaRedsFan

        I will criticize Peraza with the best of them…but I think it was just Trout being great on the tag avoidance. No blame by me on that one.

      • vegastypo

        Now you’re making it personal, when it’s not. Peraza’s not the first guy to be deked, and he won’t be the last, but he’s got to make plays like that to be the long-term answer at second base, in my opinion. … But I am curious when it got ‘personal.’

  15. VaRedsFan

    Aquino!!….is that 4 straight hits, with a walk tpp?

  16. VaRedsFan

    Jose Iggy….on fire again….Love his 2 strike hitting!

  17. RedsMonk65

    Hit after hit. Heart of the order. Keep ’em coming!

    • RedsMonk65

      Now time for the bottom or the order. Pile on!

  18. Seat101

    @ Vegas Look at that, Peraza with a blown homerun

      • Seat101

        Again you don’t have the ability to tell me what a “blown tag” is. Just lay off the guy instead of making stuff up

      • vegastypo

        Making stuff up? He has the ball at the base waiting for the runner, and the runner decoys him into missing the tag. I don’t think I’m making anything up. Not sure what you’re seeing there.

  19. Slicc50

    Words cannot even explain how much I love games like this!

  20. RedsDownUnderer

    The “opener” seems like a great idea, but when it doesn’t work, it just seems like a really bad idea. Also, when the best player in baseball can’t catch the ball…

    • ToBeDetermined

      Underer
      I’m glad the Angeles did the Opener thing. I bet the next time that rookie gets a chance to start he actually starts the game.
      Since this is my first experience seeing an opener game. That’s not a bandwagon I’m ready to jump on.

  21. LWblogger2

    Mike Trout proves that even the best can have a “Doh!” moment.

    • Aaron B.

      My friend says he did something similar vs the Indians just the other day, but I think it was close to the wall.

  22. Seat101

    I love the Peraza’s reaction when Castillo pull the bat back.

    Of course no particular poster is going to tell us how that was Peraza’s fault

      • Seat101

        Read what I posted. I said no one was going to say that.

      • vegastypo

        Ah, excuse me. The ‘particular poster’ seemed aimed at me. If it wasn’t, again, please excuse me.

  23. VaRedsFan

    No Thom….Freddy B isn’t calling for more stolen bases, just because Suarez and Votto had a SB lately. They were strictly sneak attack opportunities…when the pitcher wasn’t paying attention

  24. rex

    I really like the opener thing….I wasn’t sure I would

    • Seat101

      I know what you mean but the twist off caps are pretty nice too

    • RojoBenjy

      The Reds opened a can of something for sure!

  25. VaRedsFan

    Angel 2b allowing Winker to freely go to 2nd on the groundout.

    • VaRedsFan

      2 wild pitches later…a free run.

  26. Seat101

    I have yet to begin to feel the slightest sympathy for this American League team

    • vegastypo

      With ya there. I got to watch one of the losses to these guys in Anaheim awhile back. I’d love nothing more than to have a leisurely win, even if I’m relegated to watching it on TV.

      • Seat101

        I have to get up so early these days that I’m asleep by 10. So it be nice to go to bed with a big lead against the junior circuit

  27. vegastypo

    This is unreal the way this game is starting. Not that I’m complaining about a 6-0 lead, but wow.

  28. Slicc50

    Aquino hit that one pretty well too! He is hitting some line drives so far

    • Pete

      The ball he hit foul had to be well over 100 mph, hope no one was hurt.

      • Slicc50

        Let’s hope not. Better keep the old glove handy and pay attention when that boy is at-bat!

  29. VaRedsFan

    Pete said Aquino reminded him of Kingman.
    That bat whip looks like a right handed Darryl Strawberry to me

    • ToBeDetermined

      VaRed
      I’ll have to take a closer look at Aquino’s swing.
      I got a chance to see Darryl Strawberry in a minor league game when he was making a comeback with the Yankees. It was incredible how hard he could hit the ball. And if I recall he did hit a couple of HRs that night.

  30. VaRedsFan

    THOM! please!!! “The Reds could use a layup game tonight”
    WHACK!!! Home Run.

    He and Welsh both had similar comments the night they blew a 7 run lead to the Cardinals.

  31. Slicc50

    Boy…they don’t want Jesse getting anywhere near a left handed pitcher do they?

  32. Indy Red Man

    Iggy SS rebounding with a 10-27 stretch with 2 doubles, 2 hrs, and 7 rbis. Pay the man for 2-3 years. He’s only 29. We aren’t going to get anyone better anytime soon.
    If he’s batting 8th instead of 5th then they might have a good lineup!

  33. Hanawi

    Angels probably regretting that whole opener strategy right now. This dude is mowing them down.

  34. Seat101

    Help! I am addicted to this new game called 2048. And I get so close but I can’t get to 2048.

    I am watching the game though. Top of the six then he always get worried with Castillo for some reason

  35. Seat101

    That shortstop the Reds have today looks pretty good doesn’t he?

    And I was a nice little flourish by Joey Votto and a very happy pitcher at the same time.

  36. Seat101

    First homerun in a real game for trout at GABP

    • Seat101

      Makes that play by Iglesias even bigger

  37. Indy Red Man

    Huge play by Iggy. Saved a run. Pay the man!

    Tonite would make a 7-3 streak. Thats red-hot for this bunch! If Philly/Wash were to both lose then a Reds win cuts the wildcard down to 4.5!

  38. Seat101

    They never mention the name of the company giving away the free pizza do they

    • VaRedsFan

      LaRosa’s Pizza. Don’t recall them saying it tonight, but previously maybe??

      • Seat101

        I never see an ad for LaRosa’s pizza or hear an ad for LaRosa’s Pizza on any of the broadcasts. The pizza giveaway is totally between the Reds and LaRosa’s.
        There’s no vague for the broadcasters to mention the name of the pizza company when they have other Pizza sponsors

    • RedsMonk65

      I’ve heard them mention the name before — on radio, at least.

      • RedsMonk65

        Marty just now mentioned it — 8:43 p.m. CT.

    • ToBeDetermined

      Seat
      Are you foolin around. Or are you being serious ?

  39. Indy Red Man

    Give Thom B. his props…..nice comparison of this Sandoval kid to Jaime Garcia. He’s got good stuff and knows how to pitch! Glad they started w/the righty scrub instead and let us jump on them!

    • Hanawi

      If that was the case you’d think he would be able to do better than a near 7.00 ERA in AAA.

  40. Indy Red Man

    Castillo may end up with the greatest change-up of all-time. Seriously! I’m old enough to remember Soto, but he missed 10x more bats with the fastball then Castillo does. Luis gets 2 strikes on them and everyone knows whats coming and they still whiff. I bet he doesn’t even get 20% of his Ks with the heater.

  41. VaRedsFan

    The Reds need to score enough to bullpen proof this game. I’m rooting for a 5 spot. The reevaluate in the 8th.

  42. Indy Red Man

    Reds 5.5 out of the 2nd wildcard which sound that bad except there is 7 teams ahead of them fighting for the 2 wildcards. The Mets are now 16-6 since the AS break.

    • RedsMonk65

      I’ll start getting excited once/if they get over .500.

      Still, it is nice to at least be talking about the possibilities in early August. Haven’t been able to do that since …. when? 2014?

      • Indy Red Man

        Yeah I don’t give them much of a shot, but Bauer, JVM, and Aquino make them more interesting atleast. If they can build up the pen and find a catcher that can hit then next year could be interesting! They’ll have plenty of money compared to this years payroll.

  43. RedsMonk65

    Could have used a couple more runs there. I’ll take the one we got.

    • RedsMonk65

      Bullpen in. Buckle up. Could get bumpy.

  44. Indy Red Man

    Wandy being Wandy. He’s still scraping by off the nice 1st half from 4 years ago:)

    I don’t care which arm they throw with…..Matt Bowman is 10x better then Peralta.

    • Pete

      I only trust Iglesias and only for a 1-inning save.

  45. Indy Red Man

    Bowman 4.15 career era….allowing .245 batting average
    Peralta 4.77 career era….allowing .262

    • RedsMonk65

      Lorenzen prevails. Don’t let up.

  46. Indy Red Man

    Lorenzen can be elite….just need more strikes. 0-2 turns into 3-2 and 2-0 turns into a walk.

  47. Seat101

    That was a great matchup that Lorenzen won.

  48. VaRedsFan

    It’s what’s so frustrating about Lorenzen…so much talent, but so many games like Saturday for him.

    Huge 2 outs he just got.

  49. Indy Red Man

    In other words….7-3 ball game men on 1st & 3rd with 1 out. We go to commercial while Iggy comes in.

    • Indy Red Man

      That was never a strike but ok!

  50. Pete

    We won a game yesterday. If we win today, that’s two in a row We win tomorrow, that’s a winning streak. Inspiring words from Lou Brown.

  51. Reddawg12

    Is it time to release David Hernandez?

    • RojoBenjy

      Gausman can have his roster spot as far as i’m concerned.

  52. Seat101

    I am going to bed anyway bring home a winner

  53. FreeHouse

    Is it time to give Hernandez the slip? Any word on Cody Reed? Because Wandy also gotta go.

  54. RedsMonk65

    Our bullpen is such a crapshoot.

  55. Roger Garrett

    Reds will surely have to make some moves.Just can’t use 3 or guys every night trying to get 6 outs or less.Time to look at some guys on the farm.Peralta never was any good and it looks like Hernandez who is never good two days in a row is just well lost what he had earlier.Just can’t hide them any more.

    • RojoBenjy

      Option Wandy for one of Kuhnel or Herget (I prefer Kuhnel), or the new LHP Collins.

      DFA or IL Hernandez for Gausman tomorrow,

      Hernandez made it a lot easier to make the choice tonight.

  56. RedsMonk65

    Finally! Like pulling teeth ….

  57. FreeHouse

    I’d rather see Finnegan than Wandy.

    • RojoBenjy

      Keep forgetting about his comeback. Still not getting any info on his velocity though.

      • FreeHouse

        Idk about his velocity either but seems to be pitching effective.

  58. TR

    Castillo gets it done and R. Iglesias gets a save.