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.