Tonight the Reds try to salvage a win and avoid a sweep by the Mariners in the series finale. Earlier this season the Reds were lauded for their resilience from adversity. They will need a ton of it tonight coming off of back to back crushing losses. Same Bat time, same Bat channel (10:10 EDT/ FSO).
Tyler Mahle gets the call for the Reds tonight. I almost said “young Tyler Mahle”; but, he is finishing his second season of getting an extended look in the Reds rotation. As the saying goes in college athletics, at some point freshman need to play like sophomores; sophomores need to play like juniors etc. That point is probably now for Mahle if he wants to be in the Reds rotation plans for 2020.
On the positive side, Mahle has lowered his FIP into the league average range this year. However he continues have issues with allowing big innings. Four times this year (most recently last week), Mahle has allowed 5 or more earned runs in 5.0 or fewer innings pitched. Overall he has averaged less than 6 innings per start across 21 starts in 2019. He needs to learn how to limit damage in tough situations and go deeper into games to hold onto a rotation spot moving forward.
For the first time in this series, the Mariners will be starting a right handed pitcher when Justin Dunn takes the mound tonight. Dunn, 23, becomes yet another Mariners starting pitcher in this series who was a first round draft pick of a different MLB team (2016; #19 overall; Mets). Dunn came to the Mariners in the December 2018 trade which sent Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz to the Mets. Tonight is Dunn’s MLB premier appearance after being called up from AA in the September roster expansion process. At the time of his call up he was rated in the bottom third of MLB top 100 prospects by various lists.
Expect to see a mid 90’s MPH fastball from Dunn and a hard slider, both considered to be a plus pitches by MLB.com which rates his change up as a work in progress. According to MLB.com, Dunn will serve as an opener and pitch 3-5 innings tonight. He will be followed by Tommy Milone a veteran left-hander.
Tale Of The Tape
|Justin Dunn (Class AA)||3.55||3.43||1.19||0.89||7.1%||28.6%|
Dunn’s large plus margin between K% and BB% jumps out for someone of his age, regardless of classification. It is right in the same range as Luis Castillo was at AA when he got the direct call to MLB. However Dunn both strikes out and walks about 3% more than Castillo at that juncture.
The Reds pen covered 1.2 innings last night, all thrown by Kevin Gausman (25 pitches). He figures to be on very short duty or unavailable tonight.
The Mariners pen covered 2.0 innings. Anthony Bass worked for a second consecutive night (1.2 innings; 21 pitches total). I’d be mildly surprised to see him tonight. Sam Tuivailala needed 20 pitches to get through just 0.1 innings and is likely a scratch tonight on several counts.
SP: Tyler Mahle
|OP. Justin Dunn
PP. Tommy Milone
1. Shed Long (LF)
2. Austin Nola (1B)
3. Kyle Seager (3B)
4. Omar Narvaez (C)
5. Kyle Lewis (RF)
6. Daniel Vogelbach (DH)
7. Dylan Moore (2B)
8. Donnie Walton (SS)
9. Braden Bishop (CF)
Interesting to see platoon master David Bell’s response to an opening right-handed pitcher scheduled to be followed by a left-handed pitcher.
Pre-Game News and Notes
Nick Senzel is going to miss the rest of the season.
#Reds Nick Senzel has a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He won’t play the rest of this season.
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) September 13, 2019
Chad Dotson wrote about Joey Votto yesterday in his piece titled The Decline and Stall of Joey Votto over at Cincinnati Magazine.
There is no way to evaluate Votto’s 2019 season without first conceding that it’s been the worst campaign of his 13-year career. I believe there is plenty of evidence, however, that he can and will be a productive player for the Reds, at least for the foreseeable future.
You can read the entire piece right here. And you absolutely should go read it.
In what seems to be “Award Week” over at RedsMinorLeagues.com Doug Gray handed out his award for the 2019 Cincinnati Reds Starter of the Year to Packy Naughton.
According to the Pythagorean Theorem (of baseball) developed by Bill James, the Reds should be a .500 team today; but, instead they are 12 games under that mark. As recently as the start of the current series versus the Mariners, the Reds Pythagorean was actually better than .500. This difference is a lot to write off to simple bad luck. Let’s hope there is abundance of honest self analysis, evaluation and proactive response to the 2019 season inside the Reds organization during the coming off season.