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The Reds Report

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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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@BrettBibbinsKSR


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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.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


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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.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


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The Reds Report, August 13th

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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.

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.

 

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.


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The Reds Report: August 6th

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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.

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.

 

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.


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Reds Report: July 30th

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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.

 

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.


Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds Report: July 23

Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

What’s Ahead

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.

You can read Eric’s writing all season long at The Sporting NewsRed Reporter, and Baseball Prospectus. He also hosts the On Baseball Writing Podcast and appears on the Red Reporter podcast.


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The Reds Report: July 16

Getty Images

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.

 

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.

 

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.

Looking Ahead

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.


USA Today

The Reds Report: July 9

USA Today

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.

Injury Updates

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.

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.

What’s Ahead

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.

You can read Eric’s writing all season long at The Sporting NewsRed Reporter, and Baseball Prospectus. He also hosts the On Baseball Writing Podcast and appears on the Red Reporter podcast.


David Kohl - USA TODAY Sports

The Reds Report: July 2

David Kohl – USA TODAY Sports

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

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.

Doug Gray had a full recap over at RedsMinorLeagues.com.

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.

What’s Ahead

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.

You can read Eric’s writing all season long at The Sporting NewsRed Reporter, and Baseball Prospectus. He also hosts the On Baseball Writing Podcast and appears on the Red Reporter podcast.


Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds Report: June 25

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Doug Gray of RedsMinorLeagues.com had a complete breakdown of Castillo’s performance.

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.

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.

What’s Ahead

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.

You can read Eric’s writing all season long at The Sporting NewsRed Reporter, and Baseball Prospectus. He also hosts the On Baseball Writing Podcast and appears on the Red Reporter podcast.


Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds Report: June 18

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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.

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.

“I don’t have the internet.” You know, Votto is the one guy I kind of believe when he says that.

This Week

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.

You can read Eric’s writing all season long at The Sporting NewsRed Reporter and Baseball Prospectus. He also hosts the On Baseball Writing Podcast and appears on the Red Reporter podcast.