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The Reds Report

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds Report, October 1st

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

An overall rough season for the Cincinnati Reds finished up even worse than most of the year, as the Reds only managed to win two of their final 12 games. Cincinnati played the final week of their season on the road with series against two NL Central division foes, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs.

Reds finish the season with an overall record of 68-94

Two weeks ago, I wrote one of these pieces and included an assumption that the Reds would be improving on their final record from last season. Cincinnati had twelve games to win only three, which would give them a minimum of 69 wins and an improvement on last season’s tally. In true Cincinnati-fan fashion, I was let down again. The Reds went 2-10 in the two weeks since I wrote that post and finished with the exact same record as last season. While Cincinnati fans know that the Redlegs are in full rebuild, not seeing any improvement makes it a lot tougher to swallow.

Joey Votto is the best hitter in the National League

Cincinnati first-baseman Joey Votto had one of the best seasons of his career in 2017, but honestly, it was just more of the same for one of the best hitters in Major League Baseball year in and year out. Votto finished the year batting .320, good for fourth in the National League and sixth overall in the MLB. The veteran also was just short of his career high of 37 home runs, hitting 36 this season. He had 179 hits, 34 doubles, 100 RBIs, and an MLB leading 134 walks. Today, he became the first Cincinnati Red since 1975 to start all 162 games on the year. Votto should be in the conversation to win his second MVP award, but his case will suffer because the Reds had such a poor season as a team.

On top of how great Votto is at the plate, his interactions with fans this season have shown what a great person he is off the field as well. This moment is up for the Best Player-Fan Interaction of the year. You can vote for Votto here.

More than just a game. This one was for Superbubz.

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In today’s game, Votto interacted with two young Cubs fans, and you can truly see just how much it meant to these kids.

“Here, kids. These will help you have a .450 on-base.” —Joey Votto, probably

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The end of the Bronson Arroyo era

The end of the 2017 season marks the end of the career of Bronson Arroyo. You won’t see Arroyo enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and some might even know him for his long, flowing hair more than his pitching abilities. However, Arroyo was a staple in the Cincinnati Reds rotation from 2006 to 2013 and came back for one final season this year to retire as a Red. Arroyo won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2004, was an All-Star in his first season in Cincinnati, and won a Gold Glove award in 2010. Arroyo finished his career with an overall record of 148-137 and is in the top 200 all time in career strikeouts with 1,571. Thank you, Bronson, for the years you spent with the Reds.

Bronson is recognized at the Friendly Confines.

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Billy Hamilton finishes just short of league lead in stolen bases

In not shocking news, Billy Hamilton is still really, really fast. He finished the season with 59 stolen bases, one short of league leader Dee Gordon’s 60 for the Miami Marlins. In comparison, Gordon was caught stealing 16 times on the year, while Hamilton was only caught 13. Watch below as Hamilton shows off his speed in one of the more incredible things I’ve seen on a Major League base path.

Scoring on a pickoff throw? Nobody but @bham4. 🔥🔥🔥 #RunBillyRun

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David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds Report, September 17th

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

As hard as it may be to find positives at this point in the season for the Cincinnati Reds, this past week was about as close to positive as Reds’ fans could hope for. After losing three straight games to end last week, the Redlegs bounced back with a 5-2 week, including a weekend sweep of NL Central rival Pittsburgh Pirates.

Starting pitching stepping up their game

Any Reds’ fan knows that the primary issue for this team all season long was not on the offensive side, but was mostly due to struggles with the pitching staff. Short starts leading to a gassed bullpen were a recipe for a lot of losses throughout the year. However, this week saw the starting pitching really show their potential. In four of the five wins this week, Cincinnati starters held the opposing team to 1 run or less. In the fifth win, the starting pitcher only surrendered 2 runs to fit with the theme of the week. Yesterday’s start from Sal Romano was particularly pretty.

Reds tie franchise record set in 1956

As I mentioned earlier, the Cincinnati Reds have actually had a pretty solid offense for the most part of this season. Today, the offense provided further proof, as a Scooter Gennett home run in the 6th inning gave the Reds five different players with 25 or more home runs on the season. This number ties a franchise record that was set for the Reds all the way back in 1956. Joey Votto (35), Adam Duvall (31), Scott Schebler (27), Eugenio Suarez (26), and Scooter Gennett (25) could be joined with a record setting sixth member before the season ends as shortstop Zach Cozart is sitting at 22 bombs on the year.

The 29th anniversary of the first perfect game in Reds history

Yesterday was September 16th, which is a date that lies in the annals of Reds history as Tom Browning’s perfect game. Browning sat down all 27 hitters he faced, throwing strikes on 72 of his 100 total pitches. An even crazier note is that he didn’t throw 3 balls to any one batter all game. Browning remains the only Cincinnati Red to ever throw a perfect game.

The ultimate pitcher’s duel

Speaking of “On this date in Reds history”, a week ago today was perhaps the greatest starting pitching performance in Major League Baseball history. Cincinnati starter Johnny Vander Meer threw 15 shutout innings, including 14 strikeouts against the Dodgers. The game went 19 innings, and ended in a 0-0 tie as the game was called due to darkness.

The Week Ahead

With the win today over the Pirates, the Reds record sits at 66-84. Cincinnati only totaled 68 wins last season, and with 12 games remaining on the schedule before they close up shop, the Reds should surpass that win total in 2017. This week is the final homestand for the Reds, hosting three games against the St. Louis Cardinals, and three games against the Boston Red Sox. Tuesday is Military Appreciation Day, Thursday is a Bark in the Park night, Friday will be the last Fireworks Friday of the season, and Saturday is Tucker Barnhart bobblehead night for the first 20,000 fans.


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The Reds Report, September 10th

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It has been a strange week for the Redlegs. Cincinnati swept Milwaukee in a three game series to start the week. The happiness from the sweep didn’t last long as the Reds proceeded to lose three of four to the Mets in New York.

Billy Hamilton’s Walk-Off Starts Sweep

The three-game sweep of Milwaukee had a special start on Monday. Tied with two outs in the ninth, Billy Hamilton smacked a solo bomb to win the game for the Reds.

Hamilton’s homer was fuel on the fire for the Reds against the Brewers. In game two, the Brewers hung around until the late innings. Scooter Gennett hit a three-run home run in the 7th to give insurance for the Reds’ bullpen after Robert Stephenson went six strong innings in a 9-3 win. Luis Castillo knew game three of the series would be his last start of the season. On Wednesday, Castillo dominated one last time against the Brewers. Castillo allowed one run over eight fantastic innings as the Reds completed the sweep over the contending Brewers.

Reds Drop Three In New York

The winning streak was short lived as Cincinnati lost the first three games of a four-game series to the Mets. New York held the Reds to a combined four runs in their wins this weekend. The offense finally woke up for a huge rally on Sunday afternoon. Trailing 5-2 in the 7th, Zack Cozart tied the game with a three-run home run. The eighth and ninth innings were the Tucker Barnhart show. Barnhart drove in five runs in the final two innings, including a three-run home run in the ninth to give the Reds a 10-5 in game four.

Luis Castillo Shut Down

The young stud was shut down for the season as he hit his innings limit this week. In his final start, Castillo struck out ten in eight innings to finish off a sweep of the Brewers. On the year, Castillo finished with a 3.12 ERA in 15 games. Castillo struck out 98 batters in only 89.1 innings. I would expect Castillo to get a handful of votes for Rookie of the Year in NL and most likely finish in the top three.

Billy Hamilton Hits 10-Day DL

It has been a news-filled week for Billy Hamilton. After the game-winning home run and centerfield assist, Billy Hamilton broke his left thumb on Wednesday and will miss at least ten days.


Anthony DeSclafani Slowly Making Return

Desclafani is making his way back to the majors slowly but surely. The young righty sprained his UCL in Spring Training this season and has missed the last six months due to the injury. Desclafani threw a 20-pitch simulated game this week and is expected to get some more work in over the next month of the season. According to Bryan Price, it is doubtful that he will make his return to Cincinnati this season.

Minor League Teams Find Playoff Success

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos won their first championship in team history with a sweep of Jacksonville in the Southern League Finals. With a loaded roster that includes Shed Long, Aristides Aquino, and Austin Ross, the Blue Wahoos rolled to the title. The Dayton Dragons upset West Michigan in the first round of the Midwest League Postseason. Taylor Trammell and the Dragons will take on Fort Wayne next.


The Week Ahead

The next two weeks may not be pretty for the Redlegs. After a day off on Monday, Cincinnati travels to St. Louis for three games, then back home for a weekend series against Pittsburgh. The week after contains three games against St. Louis and three against the Red Sox.

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The Reds Report: September 4th

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We are in the home stretch of the MLB season. Rosters have been bumped to 40 and all the trades have been finalized. For the Reds, they are just trying to wrap up the year. Cincinnati took a pair of series this week against the Mets and Pirates.

Reds Take Two of Three Against New York

In the only home series of the week, Cincinnati’s offense was too much for the lowly Mets. Scott Schebler’s grand slam helped the Reds win game one 14-4 on Tuesday. Adam Duvall hit his 31st home run of the season to help Sal Romano pick up the win after throwing six strong innings. Rafael Montero shut down the Reds in game two with eight shutout innings in a 2-0 win for the Mets. Following Montero’s gem, the Reds destroyed Erik Goeddel in game three. Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett, and Stuart Turner all hit bombs in a 7-2 win for the Reds.

Mahle Much Improved in Second Start

After making his debut last Sunday against the Pirates, Tyler Mahle was much improved in his second start against the Bucs. Mahle threw six scoreless innings on Saturday, striking out three and walking none. Know for his command, Mahle improved on his four-walk outing last week with last night’s impressive performance.

Offense Falters Against Pirates

The Reds scored seven runs on Friday to take down Gerrit Cole and Pittsburgh in game one of a weekend series. Cincinnati managed to score one more run over the next 18 innings as the Pirates took two of three at PNC Park. Tyler Mahle and Sal Romano both turned in good starts but could not get any run support. The Reds went 1-10 with runners in scoring position in yesterday’s finale.

Will the Reds Have Three Guys Eclipse 100 RBIs?

It isn’t all that far fetched. Joey Votto is currently at 92, Adam Duvall at 91, and Scooter Gennett at 82. The first two sluggers are almost locks to reach the 100 RBI mark, but Gennett will need a big final month if he wants to get there. The Reds would most likely be the only team outside of Colorado to have three guys drive in 100 runs this season. Votto, Duvall, and Gennett are all in the top 30 in RBIs this season.

Reds Call-Up a Pair of Prospects 

Zach Vincej and Ariel Hernandez joined the big league club this week as part of September call-ups. Vincej played in 110 games for Louisville this season, primarily at shortstop. He hit .270 with 21 doubles and 38 RBIs. Hernandez is a top 30 prospect for Cincinnati, and rightfully so. The 25-year old was dominant out of the Pensacola bullpen earlier this season before struggling in Louisville.

Bryan Price to Return in 2018

Mark Sheldon is reporting that the Reds picked up Price’s option for 2018 on Saturday. Next year will be Price’s fifth with the Reds. The Reds believe Price is the man that can lead the team through the rebuild and back into the spotlight. In his time in Cincinnati, Price is 266-355.

The Week Ahead

Cincinnati plays a full slate of games this week starting with three games at home against the Brewers. Milwaukee is making a late season push to win the division and will be looking for some easy wins this week. The Reds will hit the road for four games in New York to take on the Mets. As previously mentioned, the Reds took two games over the Mets this week at home.

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The Reds Report: August 27th

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It’s time for the weekly update on the Redlegs. Cincinnati dropped a pair of series this week to division rivals and saw their offense falter in the final two games of the week. Even with four losses in six games, the two series gave fans an opportunity to look at the future pitching staff in Cincinnati.

Reds Starting To Dip Off

As the distant hope for a playoff bid becomes virtually impossible, Cincinnati has started a fall to cellar dweller in late August. The Reds went 2-4 over the past week with a pair of series losses to the Cubs and Pirates. With the pitching staff struggling the way it is, scoring more than five runs only twice in six games won’t cut it. The Cubs lit up Cincy’s bullpen on Tuesday with 13 runs in the final five innings to down the Reds 13-9. Sal Romano turned in a nice start to help the Reds pick up a 4-2 win in the finale of the series against Chicago. Robert Stephenson came back on Friday and shut down the Pirates to open the following series. Pittsburgh would need only six combined runs over the next two games to win the series.

Tyler Mahle Makes MLB Debut On Sunday

The #4 prospect in the Reds’ system took the mound against Pittsburgh on Sunday. Known for his command, Mahle struggled to locate against the Pirates. Mahle walked four and struck out five while allowing three runs in five innings. The first two innings were very solid for Mahle. Pittsburgh didn’t get their first hit until the third inning. Mahle really labored in the next two frames and was pulled after throwing 92 pitches over five innings. Mahle is 10-7 with an ERA of 2.o8 in the minors this season.

Luis Castillo Unlucky Once Again

A 3.26 ERA is usually good enough to earn you a few wins over the course of a season. Unfortunately for Castillo, it hasn’t been enough. Castillo fell to 2-7 on the season (once again, showing wins and losses for a pitcher are almost pointless) after losing a 1-0 game to Pittsburgh on Friday. “La Piedra” struck out nine in seven one-run innings on Friday. If Cody Bellinger wasn’t raking in LA it is possible Castillo would be a favorite for the NL Rookie of the Year. His .251 BABIP is tied with Clayton Kershaw in the top ten of all pitchers. It has been fun watching Castillo develop into a potential frontline starter. (Check out the spin rate on this 97-mph fastball)


The Young Rotation Is Coming Together

Romano, Stephenson, and Castillo turned in brilliant starts this week. Throw in what Tyler Mahle may produce following his debut and this rotation may be set for 2018. Tim Adelman, Homer Bailey, and Scott Feldman are not long-term pieces to the Reds’ puzzle. It has been fascinating to watch the rotation come together. The Reds will most likely give these four youngins plenty of starts in September. Bryan Price noted that Castillo will be in the 2018 rotation. Romano and Stephenson have a lot to prove and will have four or five starts to show their stuff.

Players Weekend Wraps Up

Over the last three days, all players across the league wore special jerseys with nicknames on the back and a tribute patch on the right sleeve. The Reds’ all had pretty cool nicknames, check them out below.


Who will get called up this week?

MLB Rosters will expand to 40 this week as teams prep for the postseason. The Reds will bring up a handful of players from Triple-A. Cody Reed, Alejandro Chacin, and perhaps Kevin Shackelford could come up to help out of the bullpen. On offense, Tyler Goeddel, Sebastian Elizade, and Dilson Herrera are also options as bench players. It is doubtful that Nick Senzel and Alex Blandino will make an appearance in the final month of the season, but both will be in big league camp to start 2018.

Jose Peraza Showing Improvement

August has been good to Peraza. His OBP has risen by 16 points this month as he has eight of his 18 walks on the season in August. Peraza had a huge two-run double against the Cubs in the only win of the series for the Reds.

The Week Ahead

The Reds have Monday off before hosting the Mets for a three-game set. Both teams are limping to the finish line, so it could be a chance for the Reds to win a series. Cincinnati will hit the road to start September with another three-game series against the Pirates. September will be a fun month for fans as the Cardinals, Red Sox, and Brewers all come to town.

Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds Report, August 20th

Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

After a miserable start to the second half of the season, including a 2-14 stretch just after the All-Star break, the Cincinnati Reds have now had three straight winning weeks. This past week, the Redlegs went a combined 4-3 against the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves.

Reds take 2 of 3 from the Braves through the weekend

Cincinnati went 2-2 against the Cubs in Wrigley through the first half of the week, but finished out the week winning the series in Atlanta. The two wins came at the power of the long ball. In the first win, the Reds went into the top of the 6th down 1-0, but Adam Duvall, Eugenio Suarez, and rookie Jesse Winker combined for three bombs in four batters to give Cincinnati a 4-1 lead which proved to be the difference in the 5-3 final score. In game 2, the Reds were up 7-4 in the top of the final frame, and a Scooter Gennett grand slam stretched the lead to 11-4. Those insurance runs were needed too, as the struggling bullpen let the Braves bring it to 11-8 before closing the door.

Runs, runs, and more runs

Despite winning 4 of 7 this week, the Reds needed a ton of offense to win those four games. The pitching staff for Cincinnati surrendered at least 7 runs five times in seven games. It is more of the same from the arms for Cincinnati, who give up the most runs per game in the MLB at 5.25, with the next closest being the Detroit Tigers at 4.99 and the Baltimore Orioles at 4.84 runs per game. The bullpen was so overworked this week, that Scooter Gennett had to take the mound in the 8th inning of a 15-5 loss to the Cubs. Gennett gave up a two-run home run and a walk in his one inning of work, but he was able to have a little fun at his own expense about only throwing in the high 60s on the mound.

Kris Bryant says Joey Votto is “the best player ever”

Any baseball fan knows the basics about Joey Votto and how talented he is at the plate, but few know just how incredible he has been over the span of his career. One player who has always taken notice is Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. In an interview with CSN Chicago, Bryant had this to say about Joey.

He’s the best player ever. He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain.

Bryant continued later in the article:

He’s not just doing it this year — he’s doing it his whole career. He’s a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.

Check out the rest of the piece here.

Joey Votto’s streak comes up just short

Speaking of how unbelievable Joey Votto has been, this week saw the end of his 20 game streak of reaching base at least two times per game. Votto came up one game shy of tying Ted Williams record of 21 straight games in 1948. Votto had a chance to tie the record in the last inning, but flew out to end the game.

The Week Ahead

Cincinnati has tomorrow off, but on Tuesday they start a nine game homestand. In the first series, the Reds play host to the Cubs for three games, followed by three games against the Pirates. Saturday will be Homer Bailey bobblehead night for the first 20,000 fans, while a week from today will be Scott Schebler Fathead night for any child 14 years of age or younger.