There are only 12 games remaining in the season, starting later today with a 3-game series in Chicago to take on the Cubs. But the Reds will be going with a new rotation starting tonight. Kevin Gausman, who the Reds acquired on August 5th by claiming him on waivers, will make his first start since joining Cincinnati as the team takes on the Cubs this evening.

Guasman isn’t replacing anyone in the rotation. But it does seem that there will be six pitchers in the rotation the rest of the season. C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic was the first to report that Gausman would be joining the rotation, and what it would look like late on Sunday.

Assuming this isn’t just a 1-time spot start for no apparent reason at all, here’s how the remaining schedule will look for the Cincinnati Reds:

Date Opponent Pitcher
16-Sep at Cubs Kevin Gausman
17-Sep at Cubs Sonny Gray
18-Sep at Cubs Tyler Mahle
19-Sep OFF OFF
20-Sep vs Mets Luis Castillo
21-Sep vs Mets Anthony DeSclafani
22-Sep vs Mets Trevor Bauer
23-Sep OFF OFF
24-Sep vs Brewers Kevin Gausman
25-Sep vs Brewers Sonny Gray
26-Sep vs Brewers Tyler Mahle
27-Sep at Pirates Luis Castillo
28-Sep at Pirates Anthony DeSclafani
29-Sep at Pirates Trevor Bauer

Kevin Gausman made 16 starts with the Braves this season before they placed him on waivers. Things didn’t go well for him as he posted a 6.19 ERA in 80.0 innings where he allowed 92 hits, 12 home runs, walked 27 hitters, and racked up 85 strikeouts. Since joining the Reds he’s pitched exclusively out of the bullpen where his 2-pitch repertoire has performed better. His ERA as a reliever is 4.02 in 15.2 innings where he’s walked just 3 batters, given up 2 home runs, 15 hits, and he’s struck out 22.

The Reds have a rather important decision to make with Kevin Gausman before December rolls around. He’s making $9.35M this season, and he’s going to be entering his final year of arbitration next year if he sticks around. What he will be paid in arbitration would make him one of the most expensive relievers in the game. His track record as a reliever simply isn’t there. As a starter he may not even have a spot with the team. The Reds would need to non-tender him for 2020 before December 1st in order to not be locked into arbitration (unless they could sign him to a deal prior to that time). Getting two starts isn’t useless, but the information it provides won’t be substantial, either. Especially given he’s been in the Majors since 2014 and there’s mountains of information already there.

Freddy Galvis update

On Saturday night Freddy Galvis injured his knee while swinging and had to leave the game. After the game was over he said that he was feeling fine and should be ready to play on Sunday. But that didn’t happen and it didn’t happen because overnight things changed. He noted before the game on Sunday that there was “some soreness”. Manager David Bell said he “thinks it’s going to be a days thing.” We’ll have to wait and see if he’s able to play later today.

43 Responses

  1. CFD3000

    With just two pitches, I don’t see how Gausman projects as a starter. He’s got to be behind Castillo, Gray, Bauer, and DeSclafani and probably behind Mahle and even Reed. At $10M plus next year he’s a very expensive reliever or sixth or seventh starter. Maybe he pitches really well in two starts and slots in nicely as part of a multi-player trade. But that salary and being just one more year from free agency makes me skeptical that he has that much value. Best case might be Derek Johnson works some magic with Gausman, the Reds cover his 2020 salary and he becomes a lights out setup guy. It will be interesting to see how the FO handles Kevin Gausman.

    • W Lackey

      Find another starting pitcher or 2 via trade, minors or FA

    • Max

      Sixth or seven starters are not going to help this team REDS need a LEAD OFF HITTER!!!!!!!

      • jon

        Exactly castillo,gray,bauer,disco and a 5th is not the problem. The BP and lack of hitting is the need.

  2. Mark Moore

    OK, so give him some starts. At this point it really doesn’t hurt anything. And by all means try to sign him before December if his presence on the staff will be beneficial (yet TBD). But don’t, in any universe, fail to release him and go through the arbitration process. You never get a reduction and he’s already too high to keep when those dollars are needed elsewhere.

  3. RedBB

    Bout time…Management is so slow to realize the obvious

  4. Ed

    I really wanted to take my daughter to see Sonny Gray start against the Mets on the 22nd, so I splurged on front row tickets near the dugout. now Bauer is getting that start. Oh well. I guess it’s the same basically. Sorta.

  5. Hotto4Votto

    I can’t fathom paying Gausman over $10m next year, either as a fifth starter or set up reliever (especially the last one). The Reds are opening up a good bit of payroll space, and would hate to see them use over $15m to keep Gausman and Galvis. Paying that much for guys released for nothing is not smart business. Other bigger needs are out there, primarily offense help from the catcher and shortstop position.

    • Scott C

      Absolutely true. There has to be better pitching options and I guess I would be ok with Galvis at short but there are so many needs on offense for this team. We certainly do not need Galvis, Peraza, and Iglesias on the team. One of the three is OK but the is all and it is hard to see paying Galvis 5 million to be a back up. My fear is that keep one of the two of Galvis or Iglesias and Peraza as a backup because he will still be cheap.

    • jon

      going to be an intersting off season. Will there be a major trade of Bauer or Suarez? Will team add a SS or CF. VIA FA. How many BP piesces will be added? Will galvis and igleseas (ss) be kept. Whos catching next year.

  6. W Lackey

    Keep J. Iglesias and Galvis a good combo. Move Peraza, Barnhart get some catching help. Plus much more hitting from someone. Offense is awful for most of the Reds

    • Doug Gray

      Keeping Iglesias and Galvis makes the awful offense, awful, because they are both poor hitters.

      • Pete

        Great question. I can live with one or the other but not both.

      • Rick

        I just don’t get why you’ve posted several times that Iglesias is a poor hitter. He’s been a top shortstop all-around, a clutch hitter, and I’ll be very disappointed if the Reds don’t sign him for at least a few more years. He’s one of the brightest spots for the Reds this year.

      • Doug Gray

        Because HE IS a poor hitter.
        His OPS+, which is adjusted for the park he plays in, is 84. That means he’s 16% WORSE than the league average hitter. His wRC+ is 82. Which means that he’s 18% WORSE than the league average hitter.

        He’s not a good hitter. He’s not a bright spot for the Reds this year. He’s not a top all-around shortstop. He currently is 27th among shortstops in WAR (Fangraphs version).

        He’s had some clutch hits this year. Let that fudge the numbers upwards a little bit if you want to, I’ll allow it because even though it’s not repeatable as a skillset, it did happen and he shouldn’t be punished for the fact that he’s not likely to do it again moving forward. He’s still a below-average player.

      • MBS

        I love the stability Iglesias gives the D, but I am OK with Galvis as the SS. I have finally come around to moving Senzel back into the infield. Which means the Reds would need to target a CF. He did a good job in CF, but seems unlikely to become a great CF. Also, playing the infield should help mitigate his injuries.

      • Don

        agree Doug. Would rather see neither one than both. My fear is the team figures out how to keep both and the middle infield just does not get on base.

        Iglesias career numbers are better for average and OBP (> 20 points higher that Galvis), Galvis higher on slugging (12 points higher).

        Iglesias is a better fielder as well.

        Neither has come close to the Peraza 182 hits in 2018 as well.

        Peraza has about the same offensive stats as Iglesias for BA and OBP and almost the same slugging as Galvis. He will also 26 in 2020 and not 30.

        My ranking would be (all batting #8 in the lineup)
        Iglesias (mainly on defensee)
        Peraza (same offensive production)
        Galvis (not an upgrade over Peraza based on numbers).

  7. AirborenJayJay

    I had been hoping that Robert Stephenson would get a couple of starts here at the end to see if really has become better. I had visions of the Reds doing with Mahle in 2020 with what they did with Stephenson this year, by pitching him out of the bullpen to establish some better confidence. And then letting Stephenson vie for a rotation spot. I can see Stephenson reporting to spring training next February as a man on a mission after having a pretty good 2019. I think Mahle can repeat this same plan just one year behind Stephenson and can capture a 2021 rotation spot. And it certainly would hedge against losing both Bauer and DeSclafani after 2020.
    But I understand the move with Gausman. They know more or less what Stephenson is, and probably so with Sims. They need some info on Gausman to base some decisions on this winter regarding Gausman. There is a good chunk of change on the line with Gausman and a roster spot in 2020. I am suspect of Gausman in the bullpen next year at the price he will command in his final year of arbitration. And more so of him in the rotation for 2020 as a #5 starter at that price also. One negative with Gausman in the rotation for 2020 is that it sets the stage for the Reds to lose 3/5 of their rotation to free agency after 2020. Bauer, DeSclafani and Guasman all become eligible for free agency then. I would be leery of this plan if it is one.
    It is really a great “problem” to have that at this late juncture of the season, the Reds have no reason to shut down any of Castillo, Gray, Bauer or DeSclafani to get another look at a couple of the younger guys like Stephenson and Sims.

  8. Mason Red

    The Reds are setting up their pitching rotation for the playoffs….oh…uhm….wait….never mind.

  9. DocProc

    Switching topics to JVM.
    He was a butcher at 1B yesterday, and he’s been a butcher in LF. But he’s looked good at 2B, so I hate that Bell’s not letting him play there.
    Makes me wonder if his relative woes at the plate might have something to do with playing out of position.
    So here are some admittedly tiny samples:
    JVM OPS when playing LF: .714
    JVM OPS when playing 1B: .751
    JVM OPS when playing 2B:. 902
    Wish they would let him play 2B the rest of the way.
    But of course, since we’re facing two lefties in Chicago, I’m sure Peraza and his .622 OPS and 60 OPS+ will get the starts.

  10. TR

    The pickup of Galvis and Gausman is confusing to me. Is the waiver wire usually a part of a successful rebuild?

      • TR

        Thank you. That clears It up for me. But another question on my mind, as this season draws to a close, is; were the Reds ever really committed to a rebuild?

    • Pete

      Backup guys? Yes but combined these guys could cost the Reds +$15M in salary next year. There is no demand for their services that we know of. Release both and if they available after the first of the year and the Reds are desperate, they can sign both to minor-league contracts.

  11. Sliotar

    Kevin Gausman …. WAR this season and the last 3 ….

    2016 – 3.1
    2017 – 2.6
    2018 – 2.4
    2019 – 1.5 (in 96 innings, about half of what he pitched each of last 3 seasons)

    If Gausman is “too expensive”, as suggested up above and has been mentioned numerous times recently on RLN…. then this ownership group is not equipped to compete in MLB, even with the revenue sharing they receive.

    Less than $10 million for a guy who could be the sixth starter/stretch guy out of bullpen/maybe even close, in a pinch?

    For one season? For the Reds, who can’t attract FA pitchers, had to trade for Gray/Roark….and rarely (really rarely) develops its own pitching?

    Keep the guy, and see if Johnson can get a third pitch developed.

    The Reds aren’t attracting a soon-to-be 29 year-old with that WAR track record for under $10 million per year… even if he would come to Cincinnati.

    Not to mention the hole if one of the Big 3 starters misses starts next season.
    Pitching depth is always needed.

    • Sliotar

      Also….Gausman is averaging over 10 Ks/per 9 this season and under 3 BBs/per 9

      That swing-and-miss production is a must, playing home games in GABP, where one-handed contact sometimes seems to result in a home run.

      • RedNat

        and that is my problem with GABP. WE have to spend so much money on strike out pitchers that we have no money left to sign good position players. we are a small market team in a big market stadium!

      • Doug Gray

        The Reds are worth over a billion dollars. Maybe they should just spend some money.

      • da bear

        Spending money is no recipe for success (unless you can afford to outspend the opposition like the Yankees or Dodgers). Being efficient is a recipe for success, no matter your financial status in life.

        The Reds from a financial standpoint are not worth a billion dollars unless you can demonstrate their cash flow is about $70MM per year, and that’s only because interest rates are as low as they are. Normal times, for an enterprise to be worth around $1B you want cash flow of $100MM.

        Their valuation is inflated by a ‘trophy wife’ sense of worth, dependent upon the next greater fool coming along to tell the world ‘I’ve made it’. This won’t last forever. The bubble valuations of sports enterprises might not burst soon, but will eventually settle down toward the same calculations used to value a company that makes bubble gum or ball bearings.

    • Big Ed

      I’m with you, Sliotar. Gausman has a very good arm, and spending on him for one more year isn’t going to bust even the Reds’ bank.

      Stockpiling good arms is never a bad idea.

      • Mason Red

        He’s not a good arm. If he were he would still be in Atlanta. The Braves know a thing or two about good arms. He’s another Reds reclamation project.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Gausman has -1.1 bWAR this season. Tyler Mahle has .1 bWAR this season. Gausman would cost over $10m in arbitration. Mahle will cost under 600k. It’s not that the Reds can’t afford to pay someone $10 a season, it’s just that it makes little sense when they have a better, cheaper, more controllable option in house. Work smarter not harder. And, show me where any big market team is paying over $10m for a mid-leverage reliever. I’m guessing they’re not, because it would be a ludicrous way to spend money, and if they are it’s been a regrettable decision.

  12. MBS

    I fail to see how 2 starts at the end of the year will be a deciding factor on retaining Gausman. Maybe it’s more about limiting the work load on the arms for the 2020 season.

    Castillo 18 season 31 starts, 169.2 innings
    Castillo 19 season 30 starts, 178.2 innings, 2 starts, 12 innings now remaining
    Gray 18 season 23 starts, 130.1 innings, and 7 appearances out of the pen
    Gray 19 season 29 starts, 163.2 innings, 2 starts, 11 innings now remaining
    Bauer 18 season 27 starts, 175.1 innings, 1 appearance out to the pen
    Bauer 19 season 33 starts, 206 innings, 2 starts, 12 innings remaining
    Disco 18 season 21 starts, 115.2 innings
    Disco 19 season 29 starts, 155.2 innings, 2 starts, 12 innings remaining

    These 4 guys are extremely important to a 2020 Reds team. The two extra starts might not saved over the starters may not seem like a lot, but they all have had major increases in use, plus it gives them each an extra day to rest between their final starts.

  13. FreeHouse

    The Reds main offseason target should be Nick Castallanos

    • Big Ed

      FreeHouse, I don’t know you or your family, but I would bet (sight unseen) that at least half the women in your family are better outfielders than Castellanos.

      When the Tigers came into Cincinnati to play a couple of years ago, I had seen that in some FanGraph metric that he was the worst outfielder in baseball. Then I saw him play in GABP and understood immediately. They report him to be better now, but he made Adam Dunn look like Roberto Clemente.

      I will take his bat, though.

  14. WillieG

    I wonder if Gausman and Johnson have already been working on a third pitch, and they now want to see him use it in a starters role

    • Big Ed

      I think so, too. Johnson would have seen Gausman while Gausman was pitching for LSU, and probably knows him pretty well. I have to believe that the front office conferred with Johnson before making the waiver claim on him.

      In Johnson we trust. And note that they are using Gausman in a meaningful game, against the Cubs, who need the win.

  15. Colorado Red

    I am in the non-tender for Kevin Gausman at this time.
    Then offer him a chance to come back at about 3 – 5 mil for a setup guy out of the pen.
    Unless he can show a 3rd pitch, he is too costly for the reliever.
    there are also several candidates in high minors.
    #1 need catcher.
    #2 need SS
    I think we can give VanMeter a short at 2nd.
    Aqueno a short in Right.

  16. JB

    Just totally blown away that people are complaining about the front office but are ok with Iglesias and Galvis. They are HORRIBLE! Like Doug has pointed out they are below average and have no place on this team. Move on! Maybe the Reds should call Oakland about Marcus Semien. He has 1 year left and then free agent. Oakland wont sign him. Maybe a sign and trade. Anything over the 2 we got.

    • roger garrett

      Had planned to be gone until the spring but just have to comment on the Iggy,Peraza and Galvis debate so here goes.Its insane for any of them to be back next year because all of them are just terrible hitters but we know what will happen.At least two or maybe all three will be on the 25 man roster and if so I won’t be here in 2020.I understand somebody has to play short so if it were my money it would be Galvis who when he does hit it,it goes farther then when the other two guys hit it.Always liked Gausman and his stuff can be at times electric but at 10 mil I would have to pass.

  17. Mark Moore

    Lineups posted on the Reds site … no Joey again. Anybody know anything about that?

  18. Chris Holbert

    As a starter or reliever, I am not sure how you can justify Gausman for that much money. Gray’s deal I believe is for around 30 mil/ 3 yrs. Giving Gausman 10 mil means he is making virtually the same as Gray…there is a better way to spend that money…