On a whim, 2018 five-star wing Keldon Johnson decided to take an unofficial visit to →
The Reds Report
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.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 20, 2017
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.
Scooter Gennett stepped up when asked, he's just curious if the radar gun was broken? pic.twitter.com/ZU2AGx4dZV
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) August 15, 2017
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.
Joey Votto has reached base multiple times in 20 straight games; only Ted Williams has a longer streak in the modern era (since 1900). pic.twitter.com/327ePUH2Ly
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 16, 2017
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.
It was a huge week offensively for the Redlegs as they went 4-3 against the Padres and Brewers. Adam Duvall, Joey Votto, and Zack Cozart all delivered home runs over the course of the week, but it was the unsung guys that stepped up to help the Reds finish with a winning record over the last seven days.
Cincinnati Takes Three Of Four Against San Diego
In the first series of the week, Andy Green and the Padres road into Cincy for a four game set. In an 11-3 win in game one, Joey Votto hit his 136th career home run at GABP, a new Reds’ record. Patrick Kivlehan added a grand slam as Cincinnati rolled over the Padres. After dropping game two, the Reds bounced back with a pair of blowout wins to take the series. Asher Wojciechowski was solid once again in game three, and Luis Castillo held the Padres at bay in game four. Scooter Gennett hit the second grand slam of the weekend to boost the Reds to their third win over the Padres. While it may seem like the Padres are one of the weaker links in the NL, San Diego did have the only winning record since June 1st outside of the Dodgers. The Reds’ offense was able to drive the team to another series win over the Friars.
Reds Lose In The Worst Possible Way On Saturday
With a chance to win the series in Milwaukee, the Reds dropped a heartbreaker in the tenth inning. The Brewers had two on with two out in the inning when the Reds elected to walk Eric Thames to load the bases. Tim Adelman’s 1-2 pitch got away from the catcher and allowed the winning run to score from third. The Brewers manufactured a run in the inning with only one hit, a pair of walks, and a wild pitch.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) August 13, 2017
Peraza? Kivlehan? Gennett?
OK, so Scooter isn’t really a surprise at this point. The other two names definitely are at this point in the season. Peraza delivered three RBIs with two outs in an 8-3 win over the Padres on Wednesday. Both Kivlehan and Gennett smacked grand slams this week as the Reds’ offense scored eight or more runs in all their wins this week. Kivlehan added a two-run bomb on Saturday as well.
— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB_) August 13, 2017
Arismendy Alcantara Designated For Assignment
Scott Feldman made his return from the DL this week, meaning someone had to be moved to clear a roster spot. Alcantara played in 70 games this year, hitting just .171 as a Red. The former top prospect for the Cubs will be assigned to Triple-A after he clears waivers.
Cozart Raking In Return From DL
It didn’t take long for the All-Star Shortstop to return to his hot-hitting ways. In six games this month, Cozart is hitting .346 with four home runs and seven RBIs. He reached base ten times in six games as his OBP has risen over .400 once again for the season. Cozart’s big return helped to bolster an offensive outburst for the Reds.
Reds And Braves Complete Phillips Deal
Months after the trade that sent Brandon Phillips to Atlanta, the Reds and Braves completed the trade on Saturday. Cincinnati sent former second-round pick Kevin Franklin to Atlanta to finish off the deal. Franklin never met his potential in the Reds’ system. The California-native could not get out of Single-A in four years with the Reds. He hit .232 in 211 career games for a variety of affiliates.
Taylor Trammell Is REALLY Good
Nick Senzel has stolen the show as the top pick of last year’s Draft. Trammell could surpass him soon. Trammell was a freak athlete that was raw when the Reds drafted him 35th overall last year. A top football prospect, Trammell has come into his frame for Dayton. Trammell is hitting .282 (.365 OBP) in Low-A with 32 stolen bases, nine triples, and nine home runs. After this season, I would put Trammell right behind Senzel when ranking the top prospects in the Reds’ system.
The Week Ahead
Cincinnati will continue their road trip over the next week. After wrapping up in Milwaukee, the Reds will travel to play the Cubs and the Braves over the next week. Chicago has slipped a bit since the trade deadline, and the Reds’ could help other teams in the Central by beating the Cubs at Wrigley.
The trade deadline has passed and the Reds remained stagnant as they head into the final two months of the season. The young talent for the Reds has stolen the show once again this week.
Reds Go .500 Against Division Rivals This Week
After a 1-6 week, the Reds responded with a series win over Pittsburgh. Homer Bailey and Robert Stephenson turned in quality starts in a pair of wins over the Bucs. Joey Votto reached base seven times in the three-game series. It was a rough series for Pittsburgh who began to sell off some pieces before the July 31st Deadline. The Reds had a chance to go for the sweep, but Chad Kuhl shut down Cincinnati with seven shutout innings on Thursday. After taking two of three in the first series of the week, Cincinnati dropped the weekend series to St. Louis. Asher Wojciechowski twirled an excellent start on Friday to lead the Reds to their only win of the series.
Joey Votto Is In The MVP Conversation
For years, baseball fans have called Paul Goldschmidt the most underrated player in baseball. It has to be Votto now. He has been a premier first baseman for years, but his stats are getting more and more ridiculous. In 2017, Votto has 56 strikeouts and 51 extra base hits. In the year of the strikeout, Votto has managed to hit 29 home runs and strike out at an extremely low clip. His .587 slugging percentage is the second-highest of his career next to his 2010 MVP season. He leads the league in walks and already has a higher WAR than he did all of last season. Votto will be up against Goldschmidt, Corey Seager, Max Scherzer, and Nolan Arenado for the MVP in the NL.
Cozart Returns From The DL
An oblique injury sidelined Cozart for a week and a half before he returned Sunday. The All-Star shortstop went 1/5 in his return from the DL.
Jesse Winker Makes A Powerful Return
It took Winker no time to adjust in his fourth trip to Cincinnati. In his first two games back, Winker homered twice. The Reds have brought Winker up several times this year, but this has been the most he has played in any trip. Winker posted a .357 OBP in the first five games this month.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 3, 2017
Jose Siri’s Hitting Streak Ends
After an impressive 39-game stretch, Siri’s hitting streak ended against Great Lakes this week. With only one more chance at continuing the streak, Great Lakes did not give Siri anything to hit in his final at bat. Ryan Moseley tried to hit Siri on the first pitch of the at-bat before walking him on terrible pitches at least two feet off the plate. Benches cleared as the Dragons were clearly not happy at the bush league approach.
Jose Siri’s MWL-record 39-game hit streak came to an end, but not without some controversy after he was nearly hit by a pitch. pic.twitter.com/P904nQhGc8
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) August 5, 2017
The Week Ahead
Former Cat Andy Green and the Padres ride into town for a four-game set to start the week. The young Padres are in competition for next year’s number one pick, which should show how their season is going. Hunter Renfroe might have some fun at GABP with his crazy right-handed power. After the homestand ends on Thursday, the Reds will play three games in Milwaukee over the weekend.
The past week was hard on the Redlegs as they went 1-6 with three more losses to Miami. Injuries have hit both the lineup and the rotation. Luckily for the Reds, Scooter Gennett and Rasiel Iglesias are giving fans something to watch for in the second half of the season.
Reds Limp Into August
The last week has been a disaster for the Reds. After losing a makeup game to the Indians on Monday, Cincinnati dropped a pair of games to the Yankees and three in a row to Miami. Todd Frazier made his debut for New York last week and took on his former team twice. Frazier and the Yankees ran through Cincinnati in the Bronx in the two-game series. After scoring 22 against Texas earlier this week, Miami kept the offense rolling against the Reds. The Marlins outscored Cincinnati 22-14 over the weekend. The Reds had lost six straight and nine of their last ten before salvaging a win on Sunday.
Luis Castillo Dominates His Former Team
Castillo was traded to Cincinnati for Dan Straily this offseason. The young flamethrower has shown lots of promise in his rookie season. Castillo allowed one run in eight strong innings on Sunday against Miami. After today, Castillo now sits at 2-4 with a 3.56 ERA in eight starts.
Will Cincinnati Make a Trade in the next 24 hours?
I doubt it. With Cozart and Scott Feldman both going on the DL, Cincy’s options for trading away rentals are few and far between. There’s no real reason to trade Raisel Iglesias (who now owns a 0.93 WHIP) and Adam Duvall at this time. It appears that the Reds are beginning to trust the players they acquired throughout the rebuild. Rather than move a young piece such as Iglesias for several top tier prospects, it appears the Reds will ride it out and keep premier young players.
Two Infielders Hit the DL
Shortstop Zack Cozart is headed to the disabled list with a quad injury. Cozart last played on July 25th against New York when he was removed after only one at-bat. One thing to note is Cozart will no longer be an option for a trade before Monday’s deadline. There was never much of a market for shortstops this season, especially after Eduardo Nunez was traded to Boston. Dilson Herrera will also miss a considerable amount of time after having surgery to remove bone chips in his shoulder.
The Issue of Robert Stephenson
2011 First Rounder Robert Stephenson continues to struggle in the big leagues during his sophomore season. The Marlins forced Stephenson to throw 92 pitches in only 4.1 innings of three-run ball on Thursday. Stephenson is yet to have a quality start in 2017 and hasn’t gone more than six innings since his second career start. With 25 in 34.1 innings, walks have been a big issue for the 24-year old. His WHIP is over two in the majors but under one in the minors. It remains to be seen if Stephenson will right the ship and find his control this season.
Scooter Gennett Continues to Hit For Power
As the second half gets rolling, Scooter Gennett is showing he wants to be a part of the Reds’ future. Gennett blasted two more home runs this week and is up to 18 in only 264 plate appearances. His .572 slugging percentage is second on the team behind Joey Votto.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 25, 2017
Prospect Jose Siri Continues Long Hitting Streak
Dayton Dragons’ Outfielder Jose Siri extended his hitting streak to 35 games last night. Siri has hit .360 during his hitting streak with 12 home runs and 28 RBIs. He now owns the longest streak in Dayton history and is tie for the longest in Midwest League history.
Nick Senzel is Dominating Double-A
It didn’t take long, but Senzel is beginning to outgrow Double-A. After collecting four hits on Friday and two more on Saturday, Senzel is now hitting .339 for Pensacola. When Senzel played against UK, there was a different vibe with him. He mashed against everyone, and he is still doing it against professional pitchers. His slugging percentage has actually risen since he got promoted. Senzel is forcing the Reds to clear a spot for him in the next year with how well he has hit the last season and a half.
The Week Ahead
The going won’t get any easier for Cincinnati in the coming week. After traveling to Pittsburgh for a three-game set, the Reds will host the Cardinals for three games. At this point, it is all about getting reps for younger guys and finding which pieces will be instrumental in the next step of the process.
For more baseball coverage across all levels, follow @TreyHuntsmanKSR on Twitter.
The Reds have had a rough start to the second half of the season. Cincinnati went 2-5 over the past week, and the team is preparing for a ten game road trip. The final few months of the season should give the Reds an opportunity to get a look at players who might help the team in the future.
Let’s get to this week’s Reds Report.
This kid hasn’t given up on the Reds. He was doing his part to help the team win on Sunday.
— Mike Roberts (@mikerobspeed) July 23, 2017
Another Pitcher Hits the Disabled List
The health of the Reds starting rotation has been an issue all season. Those problems continued this week as Scott Feldman was sent to the 10-day DL with “right knee inflammation.” As Mark Sheldon notes, Feldman’s injury means that all five pitchers in the Reds Opening Day rotation have now spent time on the disabled list.
Thankfully, Feldman’s injury will not require surgery.
Scooter Gennett Takes Over at Second
Earlier this week, Bryan Price announced that Scooter Gennett will take over at second base for Jose Peraza. According to Zach Buchanan, Peraza will assume a bench role while making periodic starts. Peraza had a successful run once getting promoted to the majors last season, but he’s struggled for most of 2017 at the plate. He’s hitting just .253/.277/.328 this year.
Meanwhile, Scooter Gennett has been one of the biggest surprises on the Reds roster. He’s hit .311/.362/.584 with 16 home runs in 81 games. Few people would have expected Gennett to force his way into the starting lineup, but that is just what he’s done.
Assessing the State of the Rebuild
It’s not surprising that the Reds aren’t winning many games right now, but are they taking steps forward? C. Trent Rosecrans took some time this week to assess the state of the Reds rebuild. Specifically, he compared Cincinnati’s progress to other teams in a similar situation like Philadelphia, Atlanta, New York, Milwaukee, San Diego, Oakland, and Chicago (AL).
Click here to read his answer.
Zack Cozart Gets His Donkey
Joey Votto promised Zack Cozart a donkey if Cozart made the All Star team. Cozart accomplished that goal, and this week Votto held up his end of the deal. Cozart and his family met the donkey on Saturday prior to Cincinnati’s game against Miami. Jessica Kleinschmidt of MLB.com has a few more details on the story.
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) July 22, 2017
The Reds head to Cleveland for a makeup game on Monday. They’ll visit New York to take on the Yankees on Tuesday and Wednesday. Over the weekend, Cincinnati will be in Miami for a four game series with the Marlins.
The Reds are limping out of the All-Star break with three straight losses to the Nationals. Despite nearly completing a ten-run comeback on Saturday, the Reds still sit in last place in the NL Central. There were a lot of highlights from a week without nightly baseball.
Cozart Makes His First All-Star Appearance
In the first ASG that didn’t determine home-field advantage for the World Series since 2002, Zack Cozart made his first career ASG appearance. Cozart started at shortstop and went 1/2 with a single to left. Joey Votto entered later in the game and went 0/1 with a walk.
Aaaaaand Cozart Gets His Donkey
Votto promised Cozart a donkey if he made the All-Star team this year. After fans voted Cozart in as the starting shortstop, Votto made good on his promise. The donkey that Votto gave Cozart is still in training and he will get it later this year, but that didn’t stop the Reds from bringing in another donkey for Cozart to meet before yesterday’s game.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) July 16, 2017
Senzel and Herget Represent Reds In 2017 Futures Game
Cincinnati sent two players to Miami for the Futures Game and both found success for Team USA. The top prospect in the Reds’ system Nick Senzel went 1/4 with a RBI single in the first inning. The starting third baseman for the US Team also scored a run and struck out twice. Jimmy Herget came out of the bullpen and retired three top prospects in order in the eighth. For Senzel, it was a national showcase for what Reds’ fans have been watching over the last year.
— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) July 9, 2017
The Reds Are Preparing For The Deadline
It is yet to be seen if the Reds will make a blockbuster at the trade deadline in a couple weeks. The team is 11.5 games back in the Central and fading at a time when they need to decide if they are selling. Scott Feldman is the most likely player to be traded near the deadline. He is a cheap rental who can eat innings for a contender and won’t require a big return. Raisel Iglesias is technically available, but the Reds would need a huge return to convince them to trade the talented reliever. The Nationals were interested, but their deal for a pair of relievers this morning will likely put them out on Iglesias. No teams seem to be interested in Cozart at this point in July. Seattle was in on the shortstop last year before a trade fell apart near the deadline. It will be a big surprise if the Reds go full seller at the break and include pieces such as Billy Hamilton, but they will be making some moves in the next two weeks.
Saturday’s Comeback Falls Just Short
The Nationals scored the first 15 runs of the series before Cincy’s offense woke up in the eighth inning on Saturday. After scoring two in the eighth, the Reds’ offense jumped on the Nats’ struggling bullpen with five runs with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. Matt Grace retired three in a run to seal a 10-7 win for Washington. The three-run loss was as close as the Reds would get to beating Washington as the Nats outscored Cincinnati 29-11 over the weekend.
Homer Bailey Still Can’t Find Consistency
After allowing only one run in consecutive starts, Bailey fell off hard against Washington. Bailey allowed eight runs in four innings as his ERA ballooned to 10.13 in five starts. Games against the Nationals have really been hard on Homer. The Nats have scored 16 runs in 5.2 innings against Bailey this season.
Scooter Gennett Stays Hot
Gennett drove in seven runs this weekend on three hits. An interesting trade chip, Gennett is now hitting .382 in July with a .488 OBP. The Reds will need to decipher if Gennett is a key piece of their future or if they need to cash in on his success at the deadline.
The Reds will look to avoid a sweep against Washington on Monday before Arizona and Miami ride into town for a pair of three-game series at Great American.
The first-half of the baseball season has come to a close. The Reds entered the All-Star break going 3-3 over the past week (Sunday’s game was not finished at the time of writing). Cincinnati currently has a 38-49 record. Obviously, fans were hoping for more wins this season, but there have been some positive signs regarding the Reds future over the past few months.
Let’s get to this week’s Reds Report.
Luis Castillo Gets His First Win
One of the bright spots of the 2017 season has been the emergence of Luis Castillo as a major-league caliber starting pitcher. On Saturday, Castillo notched his first win of the season. The 24-year-old struck out eight over 6.2 innings of work. While injuries have plagued the pitching rotation this season, it’s been nice to watch Castillo’s development. You can read a full recap of his day from Jarrid Denney.
There were several pieces of news on the injury front for Cincinnati this week. Devin Mesoraco hit the 10-day DL with a left shoulder strain. This was the same shoulder he had surgery on in 2016. It’s unknown how long Mesoraco will be out, but the hope is that he can return early in the second half. You can read Mark Sheldon’s notes on Mesoraco here.
The worst news of the week was in regard to Brandon Finnegan. According to an AP article, Finnegan “had surgery after tearing the labrum in his right shoulder in an off-field fall.” The surgery ends Finnegan’s injury plagued 2017 season.
In better news, Mark Sheldon writes that Anthony DeSclafani is seeing some good improvement from his elbow rehab. He threw a bullpen session on Saturday that included all of the pitches in his repertoire. The expectation is that DeSclafani could potentially rejoin the team in August.
Hunter Greene Signs With the Reds
There were some tense moments in Cincinnati on Friday. The Reds had not reached an agreement with #2 pick Hunter Greene, and they were facing a 5 PM deadline to get a deal done. Thankfully, a deal was reached seconds before the deadline. According to Zach Buchanan, the Reds signed Greene to a record setting bonus (for the current system) of $7.23 million. It will be a while before fans see the 17-year-old in the majors, but he has the potential to be an All-Star down the road.
What Will the Reds Do at the Trade Deadline?
Now that the first-half of the season is done, it’s time to give some attention to what the Reds might do at the trade deadline. On Sunday, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN gave his thoughts on Cincinnati’s plans moving forward. He believes the Reds will possibly look to move Zack Cozart, Scott Feldman, and/or Drew Storen.
#Reds prime trade talks at deadline are more likely to revolve around Zack Cozart, Scott Feldman and Drew Storen. More attainable targets.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 9, 2017
A more unlikely scenario, but still possible, is that the Reds could look to trade Raisel Iglesias. According to Crasnick, Cincinnati is (rightly) asking for a haul in return. Wick Terrell of Red Reporter commented on the rumors from this past week that the Nationals and Reds were talking about a deal involving Cincinnati’s closer.
#Reds closer Raisel Iglesias’ name has been mentioned in trade speculation. But one source said the asking price will be “astronomical.”
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 9, 2017
The All-Star break begins with the end of games on Sunday night. The Home Run Derby will take place Monday at 8 followed by the All-Star Game on Tuesday. The Reds will resume games on Friday when they host the Nationals for a three-game series.
That’s more like it.
Cincinnati won a couple of series this week against division rivals. After losing a game in St. Louis, the Reds took two of three from the Brewers. They also took two of three against the Cubs over the weekend. Obviously, a 35-46 record isn’t ideal, but the Reds are still just 7.5 games out of first. If the team can string together a few more successful weeks, then things could get interesting.
Scott Schebler’s Incredible Catch
Scott Schebler doesn’t just hit bombs, he robs Stephen Vogt of a HOME RUN #Reds
— Around The Bases POD (@AroundBasesPOD) June 28, 2017
Schebler has been one of Cincinnati’s better hitters this season. This week, he also flashed his defensive ability. Schebler robbed a home run in a game against the Brewers, and it was another great moment in a solid season for the Reds right fielder. Schebler’s hitting .256/.337/.531 with 20 HR and 40 RBI. Those 20 homers are tied for the fourth-most in the National League.
Jackson Stephens Makes His MLB Debut
This week featured the debut of another Reds pitcher. Jackson Stephens took the mound for Cincinnati against Chicago on Saturday. Stephens looked solid through five innings of work. He gave up three earned runs and struck out eight. Not only did Stephens pick up his first major league win, but he notched his first hit and RBI as well.
— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB) July 1, 2017
Adam Duvall Continues to Impress
Last season, Duvall put together a surprisingly successful first half of the season. However, he struggled down the stretch, and analysts wondered if those results were closer to his true talent level. Duvall has spent the first part of 2017 proving his doubters wrong. As Jeremy Vernon of MLB.com notes, Duvall is on pace to set career highs in just about every category this season.
Currently, Duvall is hitting .287/.331/.571 with 19 HR and 58 RBI. He made his All-Star debut a season ago, and it’s possible he could represent the Reds on the National League roster this season. The All-Star rosters will be announced tonight on ESPN at 7 PM.
Your Summer Playlist…Reds Walk Up Music
Other than the weather, nothing makes it feel more like summer than some summer jams blasting through your speakers (I feel so old writing that sentence). Over at Better Off Red, Jamie Ramsey updated his list of Reds intro music. Did you wake up today in a Joey Votto mood? Now you know to throw on “DNA” by Kendrick Lamar. Feeling a little more Tucker Barnhart on this Sunday? Go find “They Don’t Know” by Jason Aldean. You’ll probably never play in a major league game, but at least you can be a little more accurate when you pretend.
Bronson Calls It Quits
Reds fans got some expected but disappointing news this week. Bronson Arroyo announced that he has likely thrown his final pitch. You’ll want to check out Wick Terrell’s summary of Arroyo’s career as well as his thoughts on the end of an era in Cincinnati baseball.
Bronson Arroyo says June 18 appearance was likely his last.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 27, 2017
The Reds head into their final week of play before the All-Star break. Cincinnati will take on the Rockies in Colorado to open the week. Over the weekend, they’ll face the Diamondbacks in Arizona.
The Reds were able to win a couple of games this week, but overall the team continued to struggle. Cincinnati dropped two of three to Tampa Bay to open the week. Over the weekend, the National also took two out of three from the Reds. Cincinnati remains in last place in the NL Central, and they’re eight games back of the first-place Brewers.
Luis Castillo Makes His Debut
Castillo made his major league debut on Friday in a start against the Nationals. The 24-year-old pitched fairly well. He gave up 2 ER in five innings of work. The fact that he walked five batters isn’t ideal, but it was a solid start for Castillo who could be a major player in Cincinnati’s rotation in the near future. The Reds acquired Castillo in January in the trade that sent Dan Straily to Miami.
Homer Bailey Struggles in Return
Homer Bailey made his much-anticipated return to the starting rotation on Saturday. Unfortunately, he didn’t provide the type of performance fans were expecting. Bailey gave up eight runs in just 1.2 innings. What made this start even more disappointing was the fact that Bailey had pitched well in his rehab starts in the minors. You can read Mark Sheldon’s assessment of Bailey’s night here.
You can hear Bailey talk about his struggles below.
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) June 25, 2017
Brandon Finnegan Set to Return
The Reds got another piece of good news on the pitching front this week. Kyle Melnick of MLB.com reports that Brandon Finnegan is slated to take the mound for the Reds on Monday against the Cardinals. It will be his first start since April 15.
As Melnick notes, the Reds rotation is in a better position than it has been in for several months. The return of Bailey and Finnegan along with the promotion of Castillo gives the team three of their better options at the position. Cincinnati’s starting rotation currently has the worst ERA in baseball (5.27). The unit can use all the help that it can get. Thankfully, it seems like help is on the way.
Joey Votto in the Home Run Derby?
Votto has seemingly done it all in his big league career, but one thing the Reds first baseman is yet to do is participate in the Home Run Derby. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Votto hasn’t been asked to participate yet, but he would agree to do so if given the opportunity. As of Sunday afternoon, Votto was tied for the NL lead in home runs with 20. Reds teammate Scott Schebler also has 20 HR.
On Monday, the Reds head to St. Louis for a makeup game from April 29. They’ll host the Brewers at home starting Tuesday followed by a series with the Cubs.
It’s going to be difficult to find a silver lining in this edition of the Reds Report. Cincinnati lost every game they played this week, and the team is currently on a nine-game losing streak. This run has left them in last in the NL Central. The Reds trail the first-place Brewers by seven and a half games.
Highlights from Cincinnati’s last win. pic.twitter.com/X3x7EkGBhG
— Eric Roseberry (@ericroseberry) June 18, 2017
The End of the Line for Bronson Arroyo?
The biggest piece of news from Sunday is that Bronson Arroyo might have pitched his final major league game. In today’s start against the Dodgers, Arroyo threw three innings and gave up five earned runs. That ran his ERA to 7.35 for the season. Arroyo made a few postgame comments that suggested this could have been the final appearance of his career.
— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) June 18, 2017
It was easy for fans to be frustrated with Arroyo’s performance this season, but it’s pretty remarkable he was able to return to a major league rotation at age 40 given his injury history. Arroyo accomplished a lot of good during his time in Cincinnati. Everyone will be wishing him well if this was, in fact, his last time on the mound.
Cincinnati Gets Rave Reviews at the MLB Draft
The MLB Draft took place this week, and the Reds entered with the second overall pick. They selected Hunter Greene from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA. Mark Sheldon has a helpful breakdown of the 17-year-old’s potential. At least once, he was clocked throwing 102 mph.
Reds fans, I think you’re going to love this kid.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 12, 2017
Doug Gray of RedsMinorLeagues.com provided a helpful roundup of what other executives thought of Cincinnati’s draft. Gray cites a Jon Heyman interview where an unnamed executive said, “Cincinnati won the draft by far.” You can read more quotes from around the league in Doug’s write-up.
A Few Pitching Updates
As of now, the thing most Reds fans are looking forward to is the return of a few key starters. This week Homer Bailey and Brandon Finnegan both took a few steps forward.
- On Wednesday, Bailey started for low-Class A Dayton. He pitched six shutout innings and struck out six. According to Zach Buchanan, Bailey threw a bullpen session in Cincinnati on Friday, and he’s slated to start for Louisville at some point this week. If that start goes well, then it’s possible he could be back in a Reds uniform sooner rather than later.
- Brandon Finnegan also made a rehab start this week. He pitched four scoreless innings for Double-A Pensacola. Mark Sheldon notes that Finnegan will make a start for Louisville this week, and he’s expected to make at least two appearances at that level. Check out Sheldon’s article for more details on Finnegan and Bailey.
Zack Cozart Takes the Lead
Why don’t we end with a little bit of good news? Zack Cozart’s impressive play is finally being rewarded. In the most recent NL All-Star voting, Cozart took the lead as the potential starter at shortstop for the National League. Zach Buchanan has details on all of the voting, including Joey Votto’s current status.
Speaking of Votto, he continues to insist that if Cozart makes the All-Star team he’ll buy Cozart a donkey.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 14, 2017
“I don’t have the internet.” You know, Votto is the one guy I kind of believe when he says that.
The Reds head to Tampa Bay to take on the Rays on Monday. They’ll finish the week with a trip to Washington for a three-game series against the Nationals.
The Reds got off to a great start this week thanks to a four-game sweep of the Cardinals. However, the team stumbled over the weekend dropping their first two games to the Dodgers (Sunday’s game was not finished when this article was written). As of Sunday morning, the Reds were just three games back of the NL Central-leading Brewers.
Let’s get to this week’s Reds Report.
Who Run the World? Scooter Gennett.
On Tuesday, Reds fans were treated to a historic performance at Great American Ball Park. Scooter Gennett became just the 17th player in major league history to hit four home runs in one game. The Reds celebrated Gennett’s big night with the following video.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 8, 2017
Gennett’s final stats from the Reds win over the Cardinals were remarkable. He went 5-5 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI. The home runs will get the attention, but it was just the 15th time since 1924 that a player racked up at least 10 RBI in one game. Simply put, Gennett put together one of the greatest single-game offensive performances in MLB history.
With a 5-for-5, 4-homer, 10-RBI night, Scooter Gennett has a legit claim to putting up the single best offensive game in baseball history.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 7, 2017
Zack Cozart Update
Well, apparently some of you answered the challenge from last week’s Reds Report. As of Tuesday, Cozart had moved up to second place in the voting to be the National League’s starting shortstop at the All-Star Game. Jamie Ramsey of Better Off Red offered a helpful summary of Cozart’s growing credentials.
It’s Almost Draft Day
The MLB Draft kicks off on Monday, and the Reds will have the second pick. They were in the same position a season ago, and they used that selection to take Nick Senzel. There are a few players who could hear their name called when Cincinnati makes their choice. Brendan McKay of Louisville could be the Reds pick. Kyle Wright is another option, but several outlets project the pitcher from Vanderbilt to be the #1 selection (Minnesota Twins).
Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that Hunter Greene could likely be Cincinnati’s pick. Greene was a shortstop/pitcher this season for Notre Dame High School in Los Angeles. He could be developed as a pitcher or position player. However, most expect him to end up on the mound given the 17-year-old hit 102 mph on the radar gun in January. It’s always risky taking a player out of high school, but Greene has the kind of upside that makes him worth it.
— MLB (@MLB) June 8, 2017
A Few Pitching Notes
There’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding the Reds starting rotation. This week, there were a few updates regarding members of the staff.
- The Reds got some disappointing news about injured starter Anthony DeSclafani. Bryan Price told Tom Groeschen that at this point, he doesn’t expect DeSclafani back in the rotation until at least August.
- There was a scary moment in Saturday’s game when Amir Garrett was hit by a line drive on his left hand. Joshua Thornton of MLB.com had a helpful breakdown of what followed. He noted that Garrett couldn’t feel his hand immediately after being hit. However, Garrett’s x-rays came back negative, and he’s still scheduled to make his next start.
— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) June 10, 2017
Tyler Mahle to start the AA All-Star Game
How about some good news on the pitching front? Tyler Mahle, who has a 1.66 ERA in 12 starts for Pensacola, has been selected to start the AA All-Star Game. Doug Gray notes that Mahle has been the best pitcher in the league up to this point. It’s likely the 22-year-old will be in Louisville sooner rather than later.
The Reds head to San Diego on Monday for a three-game series. They’ll return home on Friday to host the Dodgers over the weekend.
Cincinnati’s pitching struggles returned this week which led to the team running a 1-5 record since Monday. The Blue Jays had their way with the Reds, and they swept Cincinnati by a combined score of 28-10. Over the weekend, the Braves took two out of three from the Reds.
At this point, it’s clear that the narrative with this team isn’t going to change. The offense is good, but the team is only going to go as far as the pitching will carry them. That’s a frightening prospect given that three of the team’s best starters are still on the disabled list.
Regardless, there was still plenty of news to dive into this week. Let’s get to the latest Reds Report.
Devin Mesoraco Delivers
Cincinnati’s lone win of the week came on Friday night. The Reds entered the 9th inning trailing 2-0. Eugenio Suarez had a big hand in helping the team get the game to extra innings. In the 10th, Devin Mesoraco provided the team with his biggest hit since his return.
Devin Mesoraco WALKS IT OFF in the 10th for the #Reds
— Around The Bases POD (@AroundBasesPOD) June 3, 2017
Mesoraco has hit .246/.370/.443 with 3 HR in 23 games this season. His return to the lineup as a productive hitter is an important development for the team moving forward. Here’s hoping that this is just the first in a long list of future highlights from Cincinnati’s catcher.
Brandon Phillips Returns to Cincinnati
On Friday night, Brandon Phillips made his first trip back to Cincinnati since being traded to Atlanta over the offseason.
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) June 2, 2017
Phillips played in Cincinnati for 11 seasons, and he was an important part of three playoff teams. However, he wasn’t averse to speaking his mind during his time in Cincinnati, and his return to Great American Ball Park included some controversial comments.
Prior to the start of the series, Phillips met with reporters and stated that the fact another player was wearing his number 4 (Scooter Gennett) was “a slap in the face.” That wasn’t the only comment he made that raised some eyebrows. You can read a complete recap of those statements thanks to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Let’s Get Zack Cozart in the All-Star Game
I never thought I would have the opportunity to say this, but Zack Cozart is having the best offensive season of any shortstop in baseball. Currently, he’s hitting .344/.429/.622 with 9 home runs. It’s been a remarkable year for the 31-year-old who was viewed as a defensive specialist for most of his career.
It’s safe to say that this level of production should be rewarded.
Earlier this week, MLB released their first National League All-Star Voting Update. Cozart currently finds himself in third place at the position. He trails Corey Seager (Dodgers) and Addison Russell (Cubs) in the voting. This is an injustice that cannot stand, and Reds fans need to do what they can to ensure he’s in the starting lineup on July 11 in Miami.
You can vote for the All-Star game starters until Thursday, June 29. That gives Cincinnati fans a little less than a month to ensure that Cozart takes the field at short for the National League. You can fill out your own All-Star ballot here. Let’s show MLB the power of BBN.
On Sunday, Cozart helped his case by blasting two more home runs. He added a triple for good measure.
Slight work from Zack Cozart. pic.twitter.com/XE1FHRn77K
— MLB (@MLB) June 4, 2017
On Saturday, Scott Schebler and Billy Hamilton both left Cincinnati’s game against Atlanta with injuries after attempting diving catches. Fans were left wondering if the team would be without two important pieces for a significant period of time.
Thankfully, it appears that neither outfielder is headed to the disabled list.
Bryan Price said the initial prognosis on Hamilton and Schebler is that a DL stint won’t be necessary
— Zach Buchanan (@ZachENQ) June 4, 2017
So, what would Cincinnati do if they were without Hamilton and Schebler for any length of time? The team already has a short bench, and there were questions regarding how the Reds would fill out their lineup in this scenario. Bryan Price mentioned to Zach Buchanan that in a pinch, he wouldn’t hesitate to deploy Michael Lorenzen in the outfield. Lorenzen played centerfield in college, and fans are well aware of his athletic abilities.
He’s been a solid reliever for the Reds this season. Is it possible he could also see time in the field? I wouldn’t put it past him.
The Reds will host the Cardinals for four games at Great American Ball Park before heading to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers over the weekend.
That’s more like it.
The Reds were able to put their recent struggles behind them, and they racked up a 4-2 record this week. Cincinnati won series against Cleveland and Philadelphia. They find now find themselves just two games out of first in the NL Central. There isn’t a team pulling away from the pack just yet, and if the Reds continue to get healthy things could get interesting.
Let’s get to this week’s Reds Report
It’s a Bad Idea to Heckle Joey Votto
This Indians fan learned the hard way that if you’re going to heckle Joey Votto, then he’s going to give it right back to you.
— Keegan Haag (@THEkeeganhaag) May 23, 2017
Can we talk about how bad this guy’s heckling skills are for a moment? “I remember when you used to be good?” Votto is hitting .287/.413/.567 this season with 12 HR and 39 RBI. He’s been one of the best 15 hitters in baseball. This guy needs to try again.
The Starting Pitching Stepped Up
Last week we lamented the state of the starting rotation. The Reds were desperate for a starter to give the team some quality innings. They got a few of those performances this past week. On Monday, Scott Feldman gave up one run over six innings of work. Tim Adleman was even more impressive on Friday. He pitched eight innings and held Philadelphia scoreless during his time on the mound.
Billy Hamilton is Still Fast
Can anyone go from first base to home plate on a single? Billy Hamilton answered that question this week.
— megan brown (@thatgirlondeck) May 25, 2017
The Reds Have Some Pretty Good Position Players
Earlier this week, Wick Terrell of Red Reporter wrote about how well Cincinnati’s position players are performing this season. According to FanGraphs, the non-pitching portion of the team has been the most valuable group in baseball. Check out Wick’s article to read his breakdown of this pleasant surprise.
What’s the Future for Zack Cozart?
Coming into the season, most fans assumed the Reds were going to try and trade Zack Cozart. His hot start hopefully increased his trade value, but is it possible it might be in Cincinnati’s best interest to try and extend Cozart now that the team is more competitive? You can read C. Trent Rosecrans’ answer to that question here.
The Return of Brandon Finnegan is Getting Closer
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com provided an update on Reds starting pitcher Brandon Finnegan this week. Finnegan threw off of a mound for the first time since his injury, and it means things are heading in the right direction with his rehabilitation. As of now, Bryan Price expects to have Finnegan back on the mound at some point in June. You can read more about Finnegan’s recovery here.
Scott Schebler Keeps Hitting Home Runs
Fans weren’t quite sure what to expect from Scott Schebler in his first full season with the club. Needless to say, they’ve been pleasantly surprised with his production over the season’s first two months. Since Monday, Schebler has connected on three more home runs. He now finds himself tied for the National League lead in homers with Bryce Harper.
— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB) May 28, 2017
The Reds head to Toronto on Monday for three games with the Blue Jays. Over the weekend, they’ll welcome the Braves to Great American Ball Park.
How bad did things get in Cincinnati this week?
By the middle of Sunday afternoon’s game, Thom Brennaman was interviewing a bird.
Interviewing a bird … We’ve now seen it all.
— MLB (@MLB) May 21, 2017
What led to this level of despair? The Reds went 1-5 on the week. That lone win on Saturday snapped a season high seven-game losing streak. Cincinnati is now closer to the bottom of the division than the top, and the optimism/surprise of the season’s first month has worn off for most fans.
Now that you’re in a good mood, let’s get to this week’s Reds Report.
The Highlight of the Week
Let’s think happy thoughts for a moment. The Reds win on Saturday required coming back from a five-run deficit. The rally was capped off by a big Scott Schebler home run.
— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB) May 20, 2017
Don’t Blame It On the Offense
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you can’t blame this week’s struggles on the offense. Since Tuesday, the Reds have scored five, five, five, six, eight, and four runs. At the end of the week, they only had one win to show for a pretty impressive offensive output. So, what’s the big problem?
The Starting Rotation Is Really Struggling
Cincinnati is in desperate need of a solid performance out of the starting rotation. Unfortunately, they didn’t get any of those this week. Here is what Reds starters accomplished since Tuesday:
- Bronson Arroyo: 5 IP, 5 ER
- Scott Feldman: 2.2 IP, 5 ER (7 R)
- Amir Garrett: 4 IP, 6 ER
- Lisalverto Bonilla: 5.1 IP, 6 ER
- Tim Adleman: 4.2 IP, 6 ER
- Bronson Arroyo: 5.1 IP, 6 ER
You’re not going to win many games with performances like that. The injuries to three Reds starters are really starting to take a toll on the entire staff. Cincinnati’s starting rotation has thrown the fewest innings of any rotation in baseball. That has left a lot of innings (the most in MLB) for the Reds bullpen to clean up.
Zach Buchanan detailed Bryan Price’s struggle to manage the staff this season. The Reds have tried every available option to fill the open spots in the starting rotation, but they don’t have a lot of reliable contributors at this point. Brandon Finnegan is expected to be the first man back, but that won’t be until mid-June. It could be a long month for the Reds unless a few starting pitchers step up.
What About Anthony DeSclafani?
One of the other major pieces the Reds are waiting on is Anthony DeSclafani. For the past two months, DeSclafani has been rehabbing his elbow in an attempt to avoid surgery. He was cleared to resume throwing this week. This is a good sign, but as Mark Sheldon notes the team still isn’t ready to put a target date on his return.
The Reds Make Their Facebook Debut
Recently, MLB and Facebook finalized a deal to stream a game on the social media platform every Friday. The Reds and Rockies earned the distinction of being the first two teams to have a game broadcast via Facebook. Head over to facebook.com/MLB to find each weekly matchup. In between looking at pictures of people’s kids and reading their political rantings…you can now watch a little baseball.
Let’s Talk About Zack Cozart
Who’s having the best offensive season in Cincinnati? Most would assume it’s Joey Votto, but by several advanced metrics that distinction belongs to Zack Cozart. Cozart is currently hitting .351/.432/.595 with 4 HR, 26 R, 19 RBI, and 2 SB. For a number of seasons, Cozart’s glove made him valuable to the Reds. Now, he’s providing production at the plate as well.
Should you expect Cozart’s increased production to last? Wick Terrell of Red Reporter took some time this week to compare Cozart’s development to that of another shortstop (Brandon Crawford). He finds some interesting comparisons between the two and suggests that the team might have a pretty valuable asset on their hands as the trade deadline gets closer.
The Reds take on the Indians for four games (two home/two away) to open the week. They’ll head to Philadelphia for a three-game series over the weekend.
It’s May 14 and the Reds still have a winning record. So far, they’ve exceeded most fans’ expectations for this season. However, the team is coming off of a down week. Cincinnati went 2-4 against New York and San Francisco, and they finished the week on a three-game losing streak.* A series against the Cubs kicks off on Tuesday, so things aren’t going to get any easier for the club.
*At the time of writing the Reds were trailing the Giants 7-2 in the 5th inning. Yes, I’m assuming they lost today’s game. If they end up coming back, I’ll gladly be wrong about their record.
Let’s get to this week’s Reds Report.
Lisalverto Bonilla Shines
One of the Reds best performances of the week came from a pretty unexpected place. Lisalverto Bonilla started for Cincinnati on Saturday and gave up three runs on six hits in eight innings of work. Chris Biderman of MLB.com notes that this was Bonilla’s first MLB start since 2014. The team is desperate for solid performances out of their starting pitchers, and the 26-year-old Bonilla came up big this week.
Hello Wandy Peralta
Several players performing unexpectedly well has been a major reason for Cincinnati’s success. One such surprise has been reliever Wandy Peralta. Peralta has a 1.13 ERA, and he’s struck out 27 batters in 16 innings. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs offered a helpful breakdown of Peralta’s performance this season. In summary, Peralta is combining a nasty slider and changeup with a mid-90s fastball.
Also of note, Peralta has one of the fastest paces in baseball. If you think the game moves too slow, then Peralta is the pitcher for you. He might be the best chance we have of getting Drew Franklin to watch the Reds this season.
17 Innings of…Birds?
The Reds were in for quite a game on Friday night/Saturday morning. Cincinnati and San Francisco battled for 17 innings before the Giants finally won on a Buster Posey walk-off home run. C. Trent Rosecrans notes that the game ended at 12:45 AM Pacific time, and it took five hours, 28 minutes to play.
As the game went on, the stars of the night became the birds flying around AT&T Park. They regularly flew in front of the camera in the later innings, and their overwhelming presence was repeatedly highlighted.
It was almost like something straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) May 13, 2017
— Eric Roseberry (@ericroseberry) May 13, 2017
To WOOO or Not to WOOO?
There’s a controversy brewing at Great American Ball Park. If you watch, go to, or listen to a Reds home game, then you’re likely to hear a familiar sound in the later innings. A group of fans has taken it upon themselves to serenade the players and fans with a chorus of Ric Flair “WOOOOO”s for several innings.
Apparently, some analysts and fans have had enough. Paul Daughtery of the Cincinnati Enquirer penned a passionate column this week describing his hatred of all things “wooo.” How does he feel about those who participate in this nightly ritual?
“The Reds train their ushers in the ways of courtesy and pleasantness. They should also train them to identify Wooooers and warn them once to take a damned pill. Second woooo, banish them the rest of the game. Sentence them to doing something terrible, such as acting civil.”
I’m hoping and assuming that Daughtery was employing some hyperbole in his article. However, the growing frustration over the “woo” does seem to be a bit of an overreaction. According to ESPN, the Reds have the fourth-worst attendance in baseball this season. At this point, I don’t care what Reds fans do when they go to games. I simply want them to start showing up.
Homer Bailey Update
On Friday, Homer Bailey threw 48 pitches in a bullpen session. Chris Biderman notes it’s the longest session Bailey has had since March. There is still hope that he can return to the rotation sometime in June.
Currently, Brandon Finnegan, Homer Bailey, and Anthony DeSclafani are all on the disabled list. Those losses have left a major void in the starting rotation. It will be interesting to see how the team looks when/if all of the starters are healthy. If the Reds can find ways to hang around the top of the NL Central, then things could get interesting as the team gets to full strength.
What’s Coming Up
On Tuesday, the Reds head to Chicago for the start of a three-game series with the Cubs. Over the weekend, they’ll play the Rockies at home.