The Cincinnati Reds are looking to bounce back after last nights loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in the opening game of their series.

Starting Pitchers

Lucas Sims (2-1, 4.99 ERA, 30.2IP, 7 HR, 13 BB, 44 K)

The Reds will turn to Lucas Sims for a spot start tonight after scheduled starter Alex Wood’s back problems showed back up between his last start and this one. Sims has only made two starts this year for the Reds, but did spend the first half of the year starting in Triple-A for the Louisville Bats. With that said, his last start came six weeks ago, so don’t expect him to have a very high pitch count as he’s not exactly stretched out right now. His ERA is better as a reliever than as a starter – 3.86 to 4.85 (AAA & MLB).

Left-handed hitters have had a little more success against Lucas Sims this season in the Majors, posting a .737 OPS against him with 8 walks and 16 strikeouts in 54 plate appearances. Right-handed hitters are hitting .203/.271/.438 against him with just 5 walks and 28 strikeouts in 70 trips to the plate against him. Both lefties and righties hit for power against him, but they don’t do much hitting besides that. When they made contact, they tend to do damage. They just don’t make much contact.

Vince Velasquez (6-7, 4.86 ERA, 96.1IP, 22 HR, 35 BB, 103 K)

After being moved to the bullpen in early May, Velasquez returned to the rotation in late June and he’s stuck there ever since. Overall since that time he’s posted a 5.40 ERA in his 12 starts, but he’s been a lot better in his last seven, even including his 7-runs in 2.1 innings start against the Marlins less than two weeks ago.

Much like Lucas Sims, Velasquez doesn’t have heavy splits. But he does get hit well by both lefties (.798 OPS against) and righties (.842 OPS against). Both sides show power against him, as he’s been rather home run prone this season. The right-hander has allowed 22 home runs in just 96.1 innings this year. He’s got a solid walk rate and a strong strikeout rate, but when guys do make contact they tend to make it count.

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

  1. Josh VanMeter – LF
  2. Joey Votto – 1B
  3. Freddy Galvis – 2B
  4. Aristides Aquino – RF
  5. Tucker Barnhart – C
  6. Nick Senzel – CF
  7. Jose Iglesias – SS
  8. Kyle Farmer – 3B
  9. Lucas Sims – SP

Philadelphia Phillies

  1. Corey Dickerson – LF
  2. J.T. Realmuto – C
  3. Bryce Harper – RF
  4. Rhys Hoskins – 1B
  5. Brad Miller – 3B
  6. Cesar Hernandez – 2B
  7. Scott Kingery – SS
  8. Adam Haseley – CF
  9. Vince Velasquez – SP

Pre-game Notes

Prior to the game the Cincinnati Reds recalled pitcher Keury Mella and infielder/outfielder Brian O’Grady. While O’Grady is returning, Mella will be making his 2019 debut whenever he takes the mound. I wrote a little more in detail about how he should be used given how his 2019 season in Triple-A played out.

Cody Reed is not going to return to the mound this year. He last pitched in late May and has been recovering from a knee injury ever since.

Aristides Aquino brought home the hardware this afternoon. He was named the National League Player of the Month as well as the National League Rookie of the Month for August.

Down on the farm Tejay Antone took home the final Pitcher of the Week Award for the International League this season. He struck out 19 batters and walked just 1 over two starts to end the season for the Louisville Bats.

93 Responses

  1. matthew hendley

    The Phillies bringing the A team. Hope Sims brings his A game.

  2. vegastypo

    Why anybody would throw a hittable pitch to Aquino in anything resembling an important juncture in the game would be beyond me. Barnhard is no No. 5 hitter. ….

    • vegastypo

      And then right on cue, they give Aquino a 1-2 pitch right down the middle, and he laces it for a single. Thanks !!!!

    • JB

      Total garbage lineup. Galvis and his 298 obp batting 3rd as well. I dont see any difference in Price, Riggleman or Bell. Cincinnati Retreads. Ervin in left and Van Meter and Blandino in the infield.

      • RojoBenjy

        They don’t have anyone else.

        Suárez’ hand is blown up like Mickey Mouse’s glove.

        Winker’s neck/back is in traction.

        They should try to let the young-uns play.

        Pretty uninteresting for sure.

      • JB

        OGrady, Ervin and Blandino on bench. They have people. I dont try to get negative but it’s the same crap every September.

      • RojoBenjy

        I’m with you on that as far as letting those 3 play over the vets. Don’t need to see Joey or Freddy at this point.

  3. vegastypo

    I just feel like, if the Reds have to insert a lefty in Barnhart to break up right-handers batting back to back, then what’s the logic in having Votto and Galvis back to back? Yeah, I know Galvis is a switch hitter, but still, why not go VanMeter, Senzel, Votto, Aquino to begin the lineup?

    • RojoBenjy

      You wrote, “what’s the logic…?”

      I’ve given up on trying to figure it out.

      • RojoBenjy

        Jim Walker posted the other day that now is the time for Bell to show that he has more to offer than just following a printout or a spreadsheet.

        Still waiting…I want to be positive, but he’s making it difficult for those of us with critical thinking skills.

    • RedsMonk65

      Because that would make way too much sense.

  4. Seat101

    Howdy! Does anyone have an opinion on why Mike perfectly innocent comments about the need for pictures to go an extra inning and other common place opinions about the pitching staff were deleted yesterday?

    • RojoBenjy

      Sorry, I missed them.

      I have noticed that the site is wonky today, loading a cached version of the threads and i’m having to reload to see comments I’ve already posted.

      • Seat101

        Thanks. Really all I said was that if we could get our starters to go an extra any more often than not it would help our bullpen

    • Doug Gray

      I checked in the “trash” for such a comment from yesterday and only one comment from anyone remotely close to using a name of Mike was in there. And he wasn’t talking about the need for pitchers to go extra-innings. So I can’t really help out on this one.

      • RojoBenjy

        I think he meant to type “my perfectly innocent comments.”

  5. VPinson

    Senzel can’t hit a breaking ball. Big problem

  6. Seat101

    Plus it would help if I read my posts and then edited them before I hit submit

    • JB

      We are all use to you Seat and your non edited comments. I actually
      enjoy them. They are more entertaining trying to figure them out than the Reds are.

  7. Old-school

    Garrett is a Loogie. A 1 pitch slider against lefties. This is the first Reds Opener game.

    Pirates are creeping up on the Reds again. Bell with a 30 + man roster in September is painful. All games will be 4 hours.

    • VaRedsFan

      I sometimes think that if a lefty went up there decided not to swing, that AG couldn’t throw 3 strikes.

      • VaRedsFan

        again… another walk…didn’t have to swing

      • SaveTheFarm

        The slider they swing at is never a strike anyways. I’d stand there like a statue.

    • JB

      He certainly cant go longer than 1 inning.

  8. Old-school

    Amir Garrett can’t throw strikes.
    Good thing Bell pulled his starter.
    Maybe the Reds can use 10 pitchers in a 9 inning game.

    • vegastypo

      Well, keep in mind, his “starter” was a bullpen guy no longer accustomed to starting. I doubt he had much left in the tank, anyway.

  9. SaveTheFarm

    How many of Garrett’s strikes this year are swings at balls out of the zone? Haseley wasn’t going to swing at anything.

    • Doug Gray

      Not that Amir’s been throwing tons of strikes lately, but most swinging strikes are on pitches not in the strikezone. The average major leaguer makes contact on pitches they swing at in the zone 85% of the time.

      • SaveTheFarm

        Wow 85% that’s a bit higher than I would have expected. That’s good info. Thanks Doug!

  10. VaRedsFan

    Senzel double switched out for Ogrady.

    Johnny Wholestaff is warming up now

  11. Old-school

    And a double switch in the 4 th inning to substitute out the #2 prospect in baseball in a meaningless September game. Bell has outdone himself.

    • RojoBenjy

      Old-School, I submit that he may just be getting warmed up.

      Mods- is it ok to call the Reds’ manager David “DouBell” Switch?

  12. Old-school

    Josh van meter, Nick Senzel, and Phil Ervin are now sitting the bench behind Freddie galvis, Jose Iglesias, Brian O’ Grady and Kyle Farmer.

    • RojoBenjy

      Well, maybe that means that Castellini removed the mandate to “win as many games as possible.”

      • Sliotar


        Get swept by Philadelphia, who is playing for their October lives and “Mission Accomplished” is in jeopardy.

        6 left with Arizona, who has a winning record, Chicago, New York…even the last 3 with Pirates may be their World Series to tag the Reds with another 90-loss season.

      • vegastypo

        Well, from the “Don’t Look Now” Department, the Pirates are only a few games back of the Reds. The Reds might be playing the Pirates to close out the season having to win 2 of 3 or whatever just to avoid another last-place finish. (Which doesn’t matter a whole lot to me. If you’re not in contention, what does it matter? But I’m sure it matters to Castellini.)

      • Aaron B.

        Right now it should be lose as many games as possible. They are nearing top 10 in the draft, and it will be a good draft class. They have won some good will with the fans with Aquino, as long as they fix the bullpen in the off season, things look good going forward. I hear the gripe about Senzel being double switched, but he has gotten tons of playing time and is in a bit of a funk, and I think it is a good idea to see if O’Grady can handle CF.

    • Old-school

      Not Van Meter… Who can keep track of this spring training game.

      • RojoBenjy

        On what channel is the “B” game? I want to check out that Siri kid—he’s supposed to be pretty good, right?


      • VaRedsFan

        Not really…he can’t hit a lick.

    • VaRedsFan

      I don’t think this, but does anybody think Senzel got pulled because of the lackluster effort on the ball that got over his head?

      I really think they want Alaniz to go more than 1 inning is why they did it.

      • Sliotar

        It crossed my mind.

        Or, he has been just scuffling all around in general and not off to a good start tonight, so tell him to clear his head and come back tomorrow.

        The Reds certainly have a book on him for this season, so he was an easy pull, if your theory is right (and it could be).

      • JB

        Senzel made the last out of the inning. It’s on page 6 paragraph 4 of the Managers book that he must be double switched.

  13. Eric B

    The reds should have tried much harder to land Realmuto. I would like to know what they were not willing to give up to get him.

    • VaRedsFan

      He would be a Red if they included Trammell.

      So it begs the question. If the Reds traded Senzel and Trammell for Yelich and JTR where would they be as an offense? The now would look awesome for sure

      • Eric B

        So they let Trammel go for TB but he was the deal breaker preventing Realmuto AND Yelich from being reds?
        If that happened William’s should have his brain scanned to be allowed in any further trade talks.

      • VaRedsFan

        At that time Trammell still was a star prospect…not so much anymore.
        JTR was only controlled for 3 more years too, which some people cried about.

  14. B

    What is the all time record for double switches in a season? Bell has to be approaching. He is a bad manager

    • RedsMonk65

      Perhaps among the new rules for next year should be a restriction on double switches. Call it “The Bell Clause.”

    • RedsMonk65

      Almost everything about this game has been brutal.

  15. Eric B

    It does seem as if almost everything DB does makes what is a bad situation worse

  16. Ed

    I’m just disappointed because it’s mostly no longer even fun to watch. A lot of work needs to be done before next year. Talk about no depth….

    • RedsMonk65

      Thinking the same thing. Sigh…

  17. Eric B

    3 yrs of Realmuto would beat everything they now have at catcher and would give Tyler Stephenson the time to either fish or cut bait.
    BTW…”Votto for President” I would go along with that. It would free up his salary and open his spot for a real first baseman with a prototypical bat to go along with some defensive ability.

    • VaRedsFan

      Yes indeed. I was so excited when it almost happened. What a huge letdown when it didn’t.

  18. Chris Holbert

    I think there may be some depth. It is just hard to see it, because it is managed like travel ball, where everyone plays and bats every game.

  19. RedNat

    Joey looks really tired. Does he really need to be in the lineup everyday at this point. Looks like he needs a break

    • Eric B

      In what is essentially the start of spring training in September for the reds, Votto should not be playing at all. Play O’Grady and give him an opportunity to build some trade value as a first baseman. I don’t think he can play outfield but with this team that don’t seem to be a problem.

  20. Chris Holbert

    I keep hear the announcers talking about how great it is to Blandino back….good for him, for fighting through that terrible knee injury, but to me he is more of the same, a guy who can play a couple positions? and is a marginal hitter…and he will be 27 in November…he really is a poorer man’s Farmer and he can catch…

  21. RedsMonk65

    Peralta — Mr. Predictable.

    Does Bell WANT to win this game?

    • Chris Holbert

      Obviously he is “trying to get him going”

    • Chris Holbert

      He is still a Red because he is left handed, he has/is been as bad as Hernandez, and Hughes was better, but he is left handed

    • Eric B

      Maybe Bell has finally been told at this point, draft position is more important than a few more wins.

      Or is that too sensible for this club to comprehend.

      Yes I am going there. It’s time to inconspicuously tank. Drafting out of the top 10 for this team with the talent to be had in this upcoming draft should be considered unacceptable.

      • Aaron B.

        Here here, I agree wholeheartedly and I think that is what we are witnessing. If Peralta sticks around the rest of the year they are a lock to draft top 10, hopefully higher.

  22. RedNat

    In all seriousness this is the first time I have seem some real quit in Votto. He didn’t even leave the batter’s box on his last ground out. Maybe just fatigue or back issues? But I have to believe maybe he is seeing the writing on the wall with this club’s bleak future

    • RedsMonk65

      Outrageous thought: What if during the season he surprises everybody and retires? Not likely, but he is a unique individual, and I could see him doing something like that.

      Not wishing for or advocating such a move. I would much rather he figure things out and become Comeback Player of the Year/MVP in 2020. Age 36 is not too old–yet. He just seems to have gone from a full tank of a gas to an eighth of a tank in the blink of an eye. I really used to enjoy watching him bat, very confident he was going to get on base one way or another — until about midway through last year. Then … that tank sprung a leak.

      • Daytonnati

        Excellent comment. I have thought the same thing. He has enough money for several generations of Vottos. How does he want to be remembered? It would not surprise me a bit if he suddenly decided to retire.

      • matthew hendley

        Votto wont retire this offseason. He sees what the FO sees and that is the march for 2020. If the FO goes all in, which it is expected to do, Votto is going to stay for the run. There are players that have undergone career renaissances in their mid 30s and put up MVP caliber seasons, Votto would fit that mold. Should the reds Falter, or Votto falter again, a settlement may start being thrown around between his agent and the FO. One thing is for sure though. Don’t expect him to walk away from a cent.

      • RedsMonk65

        Votto in 2016 after beginning the season poorly:

        “It’s not something I’m OK with. I’d rather quit and leave all the money on the table than play at a poor level. I’m here to play and be part of setting a standard. It’s something I’ve always taken pride in. I love to play at a really high level. So far this year, it’s not been that. I will not be a very satisfied, happy person if I don’t perform at the level that I expect. … I signed up for a high-level of performance. I didn’t sign up for this just to make money. It’s great and I don’t take it for granted. I appreciate every dime that comes my way. I just care a great deal — desperately. I refuse to accept my peak has past, I refuse to accept that my best days are in the past. I’m not there yet. I just don’t see that, I don’t feel that.”

        Turns out, he was right (near-MVP season in 2017) Since then, though …

        Not saying he will retire, or that he should. Just wondering out loud, especially in light of what he said back in 2016. I consider him a person of integrity, someone who means what he says, and says what he means.

        We’ll see. Personally, I’d rather see him turn it around in marvelous fashion next year.

  23. Seat101

    Points here

    One) the pace of this game is brutal

    Two) I really miss players getting hits

    3a) I’m watching Harry Potter six on another channel and “spooks“On Netflix on my phone. Occasionally I check the score

    3b) i’m bored. At the beginning of the year I expected us to have 10 more wins than we have now. That’s only two wins per month.

    Four) When it comes to the number 44 do you remember those catches of his? Two games in a row he stole home runs. The second time he threw the ball into the stands and a friend of mine has it and the one and only item in his prenup agreement is that he gets to keep the ball. His wife said she doesn’t mind because she has the other two in her purse.

    That is all

  24. RojoBenjy

    Wandy says “goodnight, Fellas!”

  25. matthew hendley

    Many Non tenders coming after the end of this season. Peralta, Peraza, Stephens. Roster spots will be available. Wood is gone, fairly sure Iggy will head to greener pastures.

    I will take Blandino every day all day over Peraza.

    Bowman should never have been sent down after he came up. Once he was healed he should have been a bullpen mainstay. Instead Hernandez got his spots and got his spot (roster).

    Bengals are back sunday, bout the only good thing to be said of this week.

    Unless the FO is directing for deliberate losses, DB should be fired for playing Peralta in that position.

    • RojoBenjy

      I second that on Blandino.

      Lastly, Buddy’s kid (Brantley’s dad) got to go.

      “I’ve seen enough.”
      -Lou Piniella

      • matthew hendley

        if David bell is the Buddys kid reference I will point out there was a commenter on this site that IDed him as a fraud within the first month of the season.

        The man has been given more then enough talent, and squandered it. Then he was given young talent and squandered it. He hasn’t fired or tried to have his hitting coach replaced or actually try to fix some of the broken bats.

        For those of you that are talking tanking, I forwarn you, The Tigers and their star first baseman, (sac) Brandon Dixon, are going to make that number 1 hard to get.

      • AirborneJayJay

        But that guy got kicked off the site just because he didn’t buy into the Mancuso hype. Just made no bones about Bell being in over his head. And he was banished.

      • Doug Gray

        Buddy’s kid is not Brantley’s dad.

        And just call him David. We get it, you don’t like him. You think he’s bad at his job. Great. Call him David Bell.

    • Eric B

      Wandy does what Wandy is, a batting practice pitcher at best and the opposing teams best friend. This guy has one good year and they simply cannot come to the realization that it was a fluke. As in every dog has his day. Well, Wandy had his day and it’s done, it’s over, move beyond this guy. Why can they not see this.

  26. Eric B

    The crowd at GABP looks disengaged, even the dogs are bored.

  27. RedsMonk65

    Uninspired performance all around.

  28. TR

    A lot of humor in the comments tonight. Exhaustion is evident.

    • Eric B

      Contrar mofrar.
      In a year of seemingly never ending humorous decisions that have wound up on the smelly end of the jackass.
      A little Humor to offset the doom and gloom of an abysmal season can do nothing but help.

  29. Ed

    I gotta say- Iglesias making incredible plays, Suarez mashing home runs, Aquino crushing expectations, plus Gray and sometimes Castillo. That’s the good of the Reds post-trade deadline. Everyone else has either failed or just gone quiet. Barnhart and Casali occasionally make hits, but not at the level of Grandal or Realmuto. For all this talk about Iglesias not hitting- we just need something to watch at this point. I could honestly argue FOR Iglesias, Suarez, Aquino. but just about every other position could be upgraded. Significantly. Even Winker and Ervin as a platoon– would they be starting for the Dodgers? The Astros?

    • Ed

      Oh man. Sorry. I’m wallowing and getting dark over here.

      • george

        It has been very dark for a long time. I ran out of candles in May and not even the cheer leaders who write for this site have been able to even find a flash light to see the end of the tunnel.

  30. Eric B

    Me too Ed. I usually try and be optimistic but I have taken my eye off the prize.