Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds  (10-11)
5 6 1
Pittsburgh Pirates  (9-13)
2 6 3
W: Simon (3-1, 1.30 ERA, 3.82 FIP)     L: Morton (0-3)     S: Broxton (3)
 Box Score  |   Play-by-Play    |    Photos    |    Depth Chart    |    FanGraphs Win Probability


The Reds win moved them to 1.5 games ahead of the Pirates and within 1.5 games of the second place Cardinals, who lost to the NY Mets. The good guys play the Pirates tomorrow afternoon and a win would bring their record back to .500.

Bryan Price got another tremendous start from Alfredo Simon, who along with Johnny Cueto and Devin Mesoraco, are the brightest highlights of the Reds first month. Other than a temporary loss of command in the first inning, Simon’s only blemish was giving up the nightly homer to Andrew McCutchen. Simon allowed just four Pirate hits in seven innings.

The Redlegs had their track shoes on tonight, cleverly taking advantage of Charlie Morton’s high leg kick and Chris Stewart’s gimpy knee to grind up the Pirates. Roger Bernadina, Jay Bruce (twice) and Billy Hamilton swiped second, and created enough havoc doing it they earned a couple extra bases and a Hamilrun on errant throws.

Hamilton and Bruce each had two hits and an RBI. Joey Votto had a hit and two walks. Bernadina and Ramon Santiago each had two walks.

Speaking of the Reds starting catcher, you know you’re having a good season well when you go 1-for-2 and it lowers your batting average. Devin Mesoraco (.525/.565/.900) actually went 1-for-3 tonight, but the first out he made was on the hardest hit ball the Reds had all night, maybe the entire series. His second out drove in a run. Mesoraco über alles.

Brandon Phillips, who has been swinging at more than 40% of the pitches out of the strike zone, drew his first walk since the third inning of Opening Day. Seriously. Not kidding. It was reportedly the first time in 40 at bats that Phillips (.264/.289/.333) had reached a 3-ball count.

The Reds offense continued their streak of scoring at least four runs. They’ve now done that in ten straight games.

Sean Mmmarshall entered into a high leverage situation in the seventh and retired the dangerous Pedro Alvarez on a tapper back to the mound. Marshall, Sam LeCure and Jonathan Broxton combined for 2.1 shutout innings.

Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart made excellent defensive plays.


Nothing. Again. 

Not so random thoughts

It’s terrifying to imagine where the Reds would be without the job Alfredo Simon has done in replacing Mat Latos. When you add this contribution with his two outstanding seasons in the bullpen, you have to say his acquisition by GM Walt Jocketty was a huge success. Simon only threw 87.2 innings last year, so there’s a limit to how much he can play this role either now as the Latos sub or later in the year if there’s another injury to a starter. But in April 2014, the Reds needed a stopgap and Simon has been more than that. 

Maybe the Reds pitchers have agreed to let McCutchen hit a home run every night so Manny Parra doesn’t feel too bad about Monday night.

I was more than a little surprised that Simon went out to pitch the seventh inning having already thrown over 100 pitches. Does Bryan Price have that much confidence in a former reliever or that little faith in the bullpen? Gotta say, it worked out splendidly.

Top game thread comments

PhoenixPhil: If Simon gives up an earned run, his ERA will go up (even if he gets a complete game). He’s dealing.

CharlotteNCRedsFan: Praying that Skipper doesn’t sit Billy tomorrow. Back-to-back 2-hit days. Let him get his groove on.

ToddAlmighty: Mesoraco needs to bat higher if only because he’s losing out on extra ABs. Didn’t need it today, but if you had BP and Mesoraco and you could give one 5 AB in a game and the other 4 AB. Who would you choose to give which to?

JDX19: (After going 1-for-3) Watch (Mesoraco) end up batting 8th tomorrow.

73 Responses

  1. Earl Nash

    Barring further injury and considering the inning’s limitations on Tony Cingrani which will come up at some point, I’d think Alfredo Simon could get some spot starts from that after Latos returns.

  2. Eric NYC

    So Pirates fans are going to do the “Cue-to” chant for every Reds pitcher from now on? Can’t wait until those guys are back under .500. Grow up.

  3. Ryan

    The two games the Rats have won this year from the Reds were games where it took a 92% humidity in GABP and on Monday a bloop walk off hit that apparently would slice that way 1% of the time.

    I’m sorry, but the Pirates just do not impress me outside of McCutchen and Cole. The Brewers are going to regress as well.

    • VaRedsFan

      Everybody kept saying last year, The Pirates are going to regress…and so on. Well, they never did, and got a playoff win over our Reds. Don’t discount winning by “on-paper, less talented” teams as a fluke.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Agree and to that fact, I expect the Cards, Pirates and Brewers to all be a handful this season. If you are in the Central and want to make the playoffs, you will have to earn it. Don’t count on any of these teams fading.

      • Bill Lack

        Good point…those of us old enough to remember, remember the 1973 Mets beating the Reds.

      • lwblogger2

        I agree with VAREDSFAN that you can’t be sure a team will regress. When I look at the Brewers, I see a team with a very good lineup and a good starting rotation. The only weakness appears to be the bullpen, but they have been lights-out. I’d expect them to regress some but honestly, I think the Brewers will be competitive throughout the year. In my pre-season standings predictions, I had them as a 84-78 and in 3rd place behind the Cards and Reds. I had the Pirates at 4th at 83-79.

  4. John Walsh

    Am I missing the double entendre in “Track meAt,” or just unwittingly being “that guy.”

    C’mon guys, this isn’t a John Fay article.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Yeah, you’re missing it. Reds speed grinds up the Pirates.

      • Pete Rose

        yes, and who is leading that track meAt? Well, Billy hamilton of course.

      • charlottencredsfan

        It would be enlightening for someone to chronicle the positive effect Billy has on the scoring this year. It appears since the first week, he has a hand or foot in nearly every game. By my eyes, this effect just grows as the weeks pass.

      • Steve Mancuso

        See numbers below. He’s scored nine runs total, none of which were game winning margins. He’s still net negative in almost every comprehensive offensive category. Low line drive rate, poor K/BB rate (not particularly good qualities for a lead-off hitter). With no power, he lacks in RBI potential. Heisey has been better than Hamilton in every one of these areas, by far. Even has a higher runs/on base percentage.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Steve, you’re just giving me stats not the “effect” he has on a game. I know the stats, as anyone that can read can. Right now he is more valuable as a lead-off hitter than Heisey. You’re right the stats don’t support it but the play on the field does.

        Anytime BHam touches 1st base successfully it changes the dynamic of the game. To me, it doesn’t matter how he gets there: hit, walk, HBP, FC,etc. IMO, Billy is creating a paradigm shift in the game and can’t be measured by the normal criteria that is used to judge a player’s effectiveness. Some see this and some don’t but the real good news is he plays for the Cincinnati Reds.

        I will be absolutely floored if this does not come to pass and consider 42 years of following MLB day to-day a futile exercise. I could be as wrong, as wrong can be, but time will tell and would put money on it.

  5. Kurt Frost

    When datdudegidp walked I told my wife it’s nearly impossible to walk Phillips.

  6. sergeant2

    I wrote Simon off as a quitter after last seasons game (I don’t recall who the Reds were playing) in which he just flat out quit. His demeanor at the time looked like he was very close to simply walking off the mound, into the dugout, than into the locker room, getting dressed and going home. Simon’s performance this season has shown me that if he was a quitter at one time, he certainly is no quitter now. Simon has come through in a lot of high pressure situations this year, like many others I hate to think of where the Reds would be without Simon doing his version of the Calvary riding in to save the day. Alfredo Simon has definitely regained my respect. Go Reds!

    • lwblogger2

      It’s hard for me to think of someone as a quitter because we don’t know the whole story. This is even more true when we look at a single performance or a couple performances. Maybe Simon was sick that day and gutting it out? Maybe he had a personal issue he was dealing with? Clearly you saw something to make you think that he didn’t want to be out there but reading the body language is different than attaching the meaning behind it. What’s really awesome is that falling out of favor with you wasn’t a banishment. It takes a pretty good person to reevaluate someone’s initial opinion. I’m glad Simon has come through for you and for all Reds fans with what he’s doing right now.

  7. Prospect Cincy

    Three thoughts to make here …

    First – Billy Hamilton is awesome, however the majority of his K’s have come leading off a game. For whatever reason, that first AB to start things off, he’s tentative at the plate, and after 2 strikes, the pitcher almost always throws a hook in the dirt that Hamilton swings over the top of. As the game progresses, he lays off that pitch more and more, but it appears that opposing pitchers have the book on him (while he does not on them). I’d like to see better game preparation going forward.

    Second – I have no confidence in Mat Latos pitching for Cincinnati for a good long while; does anyone know if the Reds have a plan for him going forward? The guy (while a starter in the past), has conditioned his arm to throw 80 innings a year; so I fear the more innings we see from him now, the less we’ll see in the future (and the less quality ones at that as his arm starts to wear down). If the plan is to keep Simon on board as a viable reliever in September, should be expect to see him only start a couple more games, regardless of when Latos is available to return?

    Third – I can appreciate the Reds trying to run all of the time; but it’s doing more damage than good. Tonight is a good example of that … ran into too many outs while not really accomplishing much w/ the SB’s the achieved. Outside of Hamilton (who can run whenever the hell he wants), remember that this team is speed challenged. Guys like Votto, Phillips, Mesoraco etc. should never be attempting stolen bases without a 100% guaranteed rate of success; and this game, while very comfortable from innings 4-8 showed exactly why you don’t run into outs. All of a sudden in the 9th inning, you feel “wow, this game felt over, but somehow, with one swing, it’s tied”. Bruce occasionally, Frazier and Cozart on a whim, and Hamilton always. Every other starter … NEVER.

    That’s it. Back to .500 tomorrow.

    • Prospect Cincy

      Quick Edit … my second point is about Alfredo Simon and the plan the Reds have for him (if they have one) going forward.

    • Steve Mancuso

      My two thoughts about Latos/Simon (and I agree with you that Latos’ return is still completely up in the air) are first, that this next check point seems like the critical one. If Latos can’t get back on schedule, the Reds need to come up with a non-Simon plan. Second, it would be good if the Reds could save some of Simon’s innings to use later in the year in case another pitcher gets hurt or they want to limit Simon’s innings.

      Simon, being an older pitcher, is less vulnerable to injury based on an increase in innings pitched. The so-called Verducci Effect — and there has been plenty of recent research calling it into question entirely — only ever has applied to young pitchers. Veterans seem to cope with sudden increases in workload better.

      Still, you have to worry about Simon’s effectiveness and fatigue, even if not injury.

      • Prospect Cincy

        You certainly do. And the argument could be made that an inning in April is just as important as an inning in September … so if Simon were to have 10 more starts, throw a total of 100 innings by the end of June and be then all of a sudden be done for the season; we’d had to live with the decision IF the results continue to be this good.

        The problem though, is that the Reds have nothing readily available in the SP department. There’s nothing in Louisville and Stephenson/Lively are well outside 2014 plans so the “opportunity cost” of moving Simon to the bull-pen appears to be too high.

        We’ll just have to wait and see; and then second guess the move when it blows up!

      • greenmtred

        I don’t actually know about conditioning a pitcher’s arm, but do know a little bit about conditioning in general. Unless a throwing arm is entirely different from the rest of the body, stressing it should build up strength and endurance. Of course, if the stress causes injury, all bets are off. And, of course, this wouldn’t apply if there is no recovery time (Simon remains a starter all year). But it would seem to one who doesn’t really know (me) that Simon could return to the pen and limited innings after starting for awhile longer. I hope.

    • ROKland

      IIRC, the idea of only adding 30 innings per season to a pitchers arm is meant for younger pitchers. Once these guys get to be 27/28 years old, the extra pitches don’t increase their injury risk. I’m not sure whether it will give them dead arm later in the season or not, though.

    • VaRedsFan

      I certainly agree with you about Simon. We hope that Latos can get on schedule, and be back in a month or so. If he doesn’t burnout is surely a possability.

      regarding stealing bases:

      Tonight is a good example of that … ran into too many outs while not really accomplishing much w/ the SB’s the achieved.

      The 4 SB’s tonight led DIRECTLY to 3 runs being scored. They forced errors and allowed us to drive in runs without getting a hit. So I don’t see where you are coming from there. I didn’t agree with Votto stealing on the back end of a double steal with Hamilton however.

      • ProspectCincy

        No they did not.

        The Reds scored two runs as a result of a stolen base. One of those runs was because of a Billy Hamilton stolen base … so only Bernhardina was able to swipe a bag successfully that led to a run.

        So the Reds sacrificed a 1st and 2nd situation w/ one out when Mesoraco was picked off first, and a 1st and 3rd situation w/ one out when Votto was caught stealing second (because Hamilton was already on the bag before Stewart threw to second). Both of Jay Bruce’s stolen bases occurred with a runner on 3rd and two outs, so a throw wasn’t even made (and those are great, situational spots to steal).

        Phillips / Votto / Mesoraco / Ludwick should never make an out on the basepaths … and by my count; thats 7 already this year (4 caught stealings, 3 blunders).

        Simply can’t keep happening.

    • Bill Lack

      I agree about the running. I’m all for being more aggressive on the bases, but you have to also take into account who and when this makes sense.

      Yesterday, Joey Votto gets caught stealing (and it cost the team a run)…is a stolen base in that situation worth the possibility (long odds, I grant) that he’d get hurt and be lost for an extended period? Phillips is terrible at base stealing and Mesoraco is a catcher, with the normal speed associated with that position.

      • greenmtred

        Mes looks unusually fast for a catcher, or any other player his size. He also runs really hard. Not saying he should be aiming at 30 stolen bases, but it’s not like having Corky run.

      • lwblogger2

        Agree GREENMTRED. Mesoraco has decent speed and exceptional speed for a catcher.


      You should remember that Hamilton is seeing most of these pitchers for the very first time. He does not know the release point or how the ball will move. The fact that he strikes out then comes gets hits later is because he adjusts in later at bats.

      I dont know how you figure that the Reds kept running themselves into outs, I have not seen that much, and none tonight

  8. ohiojimw

    I’m in a better mood than Monday because both Ohio teams playing Pittsburgh teams returned the favor and reversed the double whammy! The Reds seem to be getting their act together; but they need to learn to fight through to the end like CBJ have been doing.

  9. ohiojimw

    Sorry if it was mentioned elsewhere and I missed it on my quick check; but the report on Chapman’s live batting practice session today seems to be all positive. Per Sheldon, Price thought Chapman seem to be in mid season form today; and, Chapman said afterward that he felt great and had no issues.He threw today with the protective bp screen in place. He will throw again in a couple of days, this time without the screen. If that goes well Sheldon and Marty seem to think he will then move on to a rehab assignment.

    • Steve Mancuso

      They talked through a possible calendar that would have Chapman back with the Reds the first weekend of May.

  10. Larry1980

    The Reds are getting it together. The offense is finding itself. The bullpen will come together. The Brewers are for real people. Those games will be huge.

    • Pete Rose

      Larry, for those who have not had a chance to acquaint themselves with the 2014 Brewers (and who consider them a flash in the pan) – the first week in May will be a great opportunity to become better acquainted. And from this humble vantage point, they’re for real and thus a bona fide threat to win the NL Central in 2014.


      The Brewers starting pitching is all #3 starter and below and the bullpen has been out of their minds. This is unlikely to keep them at the top for the whole season.

  11. desertred

    When does Price move BP out of the three spot?

    • Whoa Bundy!

      Hahahaha. Never. BP runs the show.

    • greenmtred

      anytime, but he can’t leave that spot blank on the lineup card, can he?

  12. preacherj

    That sound you hear is Broxton channeling his inner David Weathers. Sheesh. I forget which closer it was, but I’m reminded of the nickname “full pack”, because that’s how many cigs Jimmy Leyland would smoke watching him pitch.

    • vegastypo

      I believe that dates back to Earl Weaver, who joked that he would smoke a full pack of cigarettes while his late-inning reliever, Don Stanhouse, would work his way into trouble and then (usually) worm his way out of it.

  13. sultanofswaff

    Anyone else think we should bat Votto somewhere other than second just so we could have a right handed hitter at the plate when Hamilton is (often) on second base? I like the idea of a righty complicating the throw for the catcher. There’s been a lot of situations lately where Billy could easily take third with less than 2 outs.

    • liptonian

      No, at that point you are catering your lineup too much to a guy who hasn’t proven he can get on base enough. I think the priority is getting on base and JV in the 2-hole give the Reds the best opportunity to do that.

  14. WVRedlegs

    A win tomorrow and the Reds will be 5-2 vs. the Pirates so far this year and 5-2 on this road trip so far. Cingrani going up against Compton. The Reds owe Compton one or two from last year. It’d be nice for them to be riding a 3 game win streak going into Atlanta.

  15. John Walsh

    I seem to remember Simon having a less than stellar career as a starter. If he’s going to be an extended fixture in the Reds rotation, any chance the good RLN folks could do a deep dive on him.

    I guess that I’d be interested in two questions: 1) What does Simon’s peripherals suggest we could expect? and 2) Can we expect recently solid numbers as a reliever to hold, or is there evidence that Simon (or relief pitchers in general) can see diminishing results as their innings increase (e.g., physical effects, opposing batters’ more familiarity).

    Obviously, people would like to know if Simon can handle the workload, but I’m also still interested in understanding what’s different now as opposed to when he was a starter before…

    • Eric NYC

      Well if he had a stellar career as a starter he probably would never have found himself in a bullpen so your memory is accurate. But I’m also afraid of the wheels suddenly coming off. I thought we were seeing it in the first inning last night. All of his numbers are unsustainably low even for an elite starter so he’s going to regress just based on that, but when you factor fatigue from not having done this in a while and the fact that yeah he has never been a great starting pitcher so it’s a little odd that he would magically become one now then you have to feel like we’re playing Russian roulette here. Frankly, the fact that he’s given us 4 amazing starts already puts him in 2014 Reds MVP territory as far as I’m concerned, but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if he came out next time and laid a total egg. And then the time after that. And then the time after that.

      Then again, he’s a #5 starter. He’s filling in for our #2 guy so it’s tempting to hold him to that standard, but if your #5 guy gives you a solid 50/50 shot at winning a game he’s doing his job.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I’m very curious if Simon has any history of injuries, in particular arm injuries. The guy is built like a bull and I would not be so quick to lump him with other pitchers’ stamina limitations. At this point, I think they need to ride him out until Latos returns and make a decision at that point.

        Last night’s game showed me a lot about his resiliency. Maybe it’s just the light has gone on for him?

      • eric nyc

        I mean that wouldn’t be totally insane. Most guys come into pro ball as starters and then at some point get relegated to the bullpen and very rarely get the chance to move back into a starting role. I’d imagine there are a lot of relievers out there who were cast as relievers in the minors or after short, unsuccessful streaks in the majors but with a little more seasoning could have turned it around. Maybe that’s what we’re seeing with Simon.

      • greenmtred

        It seems to me that Chris said that Simon was competing for a rotation spot and pitched injured in spring training, with predictable results. Ipso facto: he became a reliever. He’s always had good stuff, evidently. Perhaps he has learned more about pitching in the intervening years.

  16. ci3j

    Billy The Kid is doing fairly well, but I’d really like to see him take his game to the next level, by which I mean I’d like to see him turn about a third of his strikeouts into walks.

    Think about it. He is scoring roughly 50% of the time he gets on base. (9 runs, on base 20 times). He has struck out 19 times. If he could have walked 6 more times, that would be about 3-4 more runs scored.

    I think he can do it as he becomes more comfortable and more familiar with the strikezone and how he’s being pitched. And once he does, the Reds’ offense will be all the more dangerous.

    • Pete Rose

      Hey CI, the kid is only 23 – please give him a chance to grow up – under the best of circumstances, even the best players take time getting their feet under them (unless of course they are supermen like Mike Trout). And Billy Ham will definitely up to the task that the Reds asked of him coming into this season – its just going to be a work in progress. Pete hit a combined .270ish his 1st 2 seasons, what if the Reds had said they needed a player with greater power (HRs)? Billy will follow suit – but with blazing speed.

      Patience is a good thing – too bad we live in a world seeking immediate gratification. Billy will help Reds fans eventually forget Choo – count on it. Btw, speaking of Choo – he looked great up to Memorial Day last year – slumbered through the summer and then finished with a bang knowing a new contract was on the line. Will take Billy anyday – even if it means being patient with him.

      • ci3j

        Yep, I know. I am one of BHam’s biggest supporters around here and I am thrilled he seems to be holding his own thus far after a rocky start. I’m just saying that for him to shut up all his doubters, taking more walks is the next logical development in his game.

      • Pete Rose

        CI, I am with you, Billy definitely has parts of his game to improve on – and from what I have seen and heard about Billy, HE WILL. He will learn to work the count more to his advantage and in the process rack up walks and in time become a better bunter. Fans question whether he will hold his own once pitchers become acquainted with him – well that road goes both ways as he will learn pitcher’s tendencies and begin to lay off low pitches in the dirt. And like Pete (reference to Pete only because he may become the Reds most prolific lead off hitter since Pete), Hammy is a student of the game and here’s hoping he continues his learning process and only gets better. Stepping up to the bigs has been a major step and he has adapted well. Here’s hoping it is just a prelude of things to come. And if the IF continues to play in, he will really benefit as he will become adapt at slapping the ball by them and thus become a triple threat – getting on base via a walk, bunt or slap single.

    • VaRedsFan

      It’s nice to think that way, surely it would work. But pitchers are throwing him a bigger percentage of strikes because 1. he can’t hurt you deep, and 2. they don’t want to walk him, because it is an automatic double.

      His walk rate will go up when he starts to hit better (which i think he will).
      Extend at bats with the art of fouling off pitches. (again he will get better)
      His weak spots are the curve in the dirt and the high fastball. I’m seeing a better eye on the curves for him lately.

    • eric nyc

      In AAA Hamilton scored over 50% of the time he was on base and before the season I said he could probably hang right around there in the majors. That is an incredible number. He really only has to get his OBP up above .320 to be one of the most dangerous players in baseball.

      On a side note, it always amazes me when I check Ricky Henderson’s stats during a Billy Hamilton conversation only because the guy had 84 PA’s in freaking 2003. That’s nuts. He was 44 years old. And he still swiped 3 bags!

      • charlottencredsfan

        Eric, great point about the 50% and consider this: he didn’t have JV hitting behind him either

      • Steve Mancuso

        Billy Hamilton has scored nine runs this year. None of those runs provided the margin of victory in a game. As far as run scoring percentage, Chris Heisey (46%) and Jay Bruce (45%) have higher rates that Hamilton (43%), although Hamilton’s is clearly well above league average (29%).

        When you factor in times on base, here are their respective Runs/Plate Appearance: Mesoraco (.20), Bruce (.18), Frazier (.15), Votto (.13), Hamilton (.11), Ludwick (.10), Phillips (.05), Cozart (.04). Others: Heisey (.15).

        Hamilton has the lowest LineDrive/Balls in Play rate *by far* among Reds regulars: Mesoraco (44%), Votto (36%), Ludwick (29%), Phillips (27%), Bruce (26%), Frazier (26%), Cozart (24%), NL Averge (24%), Hamilton (19%). Others: Heisey (26%), Leake (29%), Pena (27%), Santiago (27%).

        I’m not saying Hamilton won’t/can’t get there some day, just that we need to keep clear eyes and not be dazzled by his speed and create a mythology that isn’t there (yet).

  17. KyleZombie

    You say that a win would put the Reds “back” at .500 but they haven’t been .500 at any point this year. They lost their first game and have had a losing record ever since.

    • kylezombie

      Nope, I was wrong. They won their second game putting them at 1-1.

  18. Drew

    Wasn’t Simon a starter before the Reds converted him to the bullpen? What is with this innings limitation for a veteran pitcher like Simon? Hell pitch him till his arm falls off. As for the increased base stealing attempts, I say YEA…keep it up, make the other team make the plays, and it sure as heck makes the game more exciting. Also you can steal a base and not be Hamilton fast, you can steal with the right technigue.

  19. Shchi Cossack

    The Old Cossack was particularly anxious about Simon’s control struggles in the 1st inning. I could see the proverbial wheels falling off with Latos not due back for a month and no other starting options available. Simon’s comments after the game about his struggles being weather related (his inability to find his grip on the ball due to the cold weather) and his focus on dealing with the problem and getting control of the game were probably more encouraging than even his spectacular performance during the previous games. Simon demonstrated talent AND maturity as a pitcher; someoner who the team can count on and not just a flash.

    I don’t know if Phillips’ struggles last season and this season are injury related or age regression, but does it really matter? Phillips is not producing and continuing to hit him in the #3 hole is hurting the team. Since his back spasms on 4/18, Phillips is slashing .160/.192/.200 in 26 PA with 8 SO. I don’t know how long Mesoraco will continue with his torrid pace, but does it really matter? Mesoraco is simply destroying the ball; even his outs are impressive (and productive). since 4/18, Mesoraco is slashing .556/.619/.722 in 21 PA with 1 SO. Drop Phillips to the #7 hole and flip Mesoraco to the #3 hole NOW! The concern that Phillips might take exception to being moved down in the lineup is absurd. Phillips has a huge personality and is very demonstrative, but he is a professional. I don’t hear Ludwick complaining about being moved down in the lineup and I don’t think we will hear Phillips complain about being moved down in the lineup. Phillips’ skillset is simply better suited for hitting in the bottom half of the lineup, just like Cozart. Trying to force Phillips to fill a top of the lineup slot is simply not productive and is hurting the team production. Perhaps Mesoraco will come back down to reality and struggle at the plate (I think he has actually turned that proverbial corner as a major league hitter), but let’s cross that bridge over the Ohio if and when we get there. Votto is being Votto with a .900+ OPS. Bruce is heating up with a 1.137 OPS since 4/18. Geesh, even Hamilton is starting to hit some line drives and has an OBP of .345 since 4/18! Get Mesoraco up in the lineup and ride these horses while we can and see where it takes us. Honestly, do you think any pitcher wants to face a lineup of Hamilton-Votto-Mesoraco-Bruce-Frazier right now?

    • Drew

      How often do you see managers demote players on the level of a Philips? Most managers are going to stick with that type of player with the feeling they will come out of it.

      • Shchi Cossack

        A material difference between Joe Maddon and Dusty Baker. We’ll find out where Bryan Price falls on that scale.

  20. Drew

    Has anyone noticed how poorly Bronson is pitching for the Dbacks? I am shocked, I didn’t expect this poor of a performance from him.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Bronson made a tough choice by signing with Arizona, but it was his last big contract and Arizona was willing to pay him the big bucks. I would like to see Bronson go out with a flourish, but Arizona is simply the wrong place for him to pitch.

      • Grover Jones


        ERA of Diamondback starters who have made more than one start:

        9.50 (Bronson)

        It’s been tough all around so far this season in Phoenix.

  21. Shchi Cossack

    Nice move by Price yesterday in getting Bernadina and Santiago some playing time without hurting the team. Using the light-hitting LH’s with reasonable plate discipline against Morton worked out nicely.

    0-2 with 2 BB and 1 R for Bernadina
    0-2 with 2 BB, 1 R & 1 RBi for Santiago

    More of these types of decisions by Bryan, please.

  22. Greg Dafler

    I don’t mean to bring up an old beaten horse, but if Latos is out all year, would this be the opportunity to stretch Chapman into a starting role? He’s getting a late start to the year, so his IP increase workload should be OK.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Yes. I’ve got a post ready that makes that argument should the worst come to pass with Mat’s diagnosis this year.

    • Shchi Cossack

      It’s been brought up and discussed multiple times since Chapman and Latos went on the DL this season, always with the consideration of ‘not wanting to beat a dead horse’. The stars that aligned to move Chapman from the starting rotation to relif corp have certainly diametrically shifted to justify such consideration now.

      • preacherj

        I agree it’s worth considering. But I don’t see it happening in a million billion years. Especially with Broxton looking so scary everytime he goes to the mound. It was discussed that Parra was in line for closer until Marshall became gimpy. Maybe, still I doubt it, if Marshall continues to look good and Parra stays where he was….nah, not going to happen anyway.

    • Drew

      To me that boat has sailed. He has stated he doesn’t want to start and the Reds show no desire to change that and now with what happened last thing you want to do is agravate Chapman.

      • Janet

        Totally agree. Besides, the Reds have fantastic starting pitching and a bullpen that has struggled. The last thing they need to do is start scrambling around for more starters and removing their top arm from the bullpen.