[Nick Kirby’s Central Intelligence column will return next Monday.]

Our Cincinnati Reds stand in first place in the NL Central after one week, followed by the Cubs and the Cardinals. The Pirates are fourth and the Milwaukee Brewers are last.

NLC

Offense The five NL Central teams are clumped together in hitting statistics, sorted by wRC+, with the Reds and Pirates tied for fourth and fifth. The Reds have the most home runs and the most stolen bases. All five of the offenses are off to a slow start.

Hitting

Starting Pitchers The Reds have the second (after the Cubs) starting rotation, sorted by K-BB%, a strong indicator of future performance. The Cardinals and Reds are #1 and #2 in ERA in the division. The Cubs have the lowest FIP and xFIP. The Cubs and Reds are #1 and #2 in SIERA.

Rotation

Bullpen The Reds bullpen is #1 in the division ranked by WAR. Other clubs lead in other statistics. It’s early and the bullpens haven’t thrown many innings.

Bullpen

This week: The Reds head to Chicago for a three-game series against the Cubs, have Thursday off, and then head to St. Louis for a three-game weekend series. Mike Leake, Anthony DeSclafani and Jason Marquis will face Chicago, while Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey and Leake will face St. Louis.

25 Responses

  1. PDunc

    I like the way the rotation works out for the next 2 series. Hope Leake, DeScalfani and Marquis can win at least 2 of 3 in Chicago then have our top 3 pitchers going in St. Louis.

  2. bhrubin1

    Yeah, I’m definitely in favor of our 3 top pitchers going v. St. Louis. Good on Price for thinking ahead and juggling it that way. Crazy the way that, other than the Braves, the WRC+ stats fall neatly three divisional clumps.

  3. sultanofswaff

    —Given the Cubs defensive shortcomings, I expect their FIP to tilt this way all season.
    —The K/BB% numbers among the starters should hold stable. Marquis (or any 5th starter not named Lorenzen) won’t strike out as many as he did in his first start, but Bailey will K more than Iglesias likely will.
    —From what I’ve seen of the NL Central, they all seem solid offensively, but flawed. If that’s the case, advantage Reds due to starting pitching.
    —After what we saw from them, is anyone scared of the Pirates?

    • charlottencredsfan

      With our bullpen, everyone scares me.

    • jdx19

      McCutchen seems to have a lingering injury, from what I heard and read. Maybe that is the biggest reason not to be scared of the Buccos.

  4. WVRedlegs

    When Homer Bailey returns Saturday, he instantly makes the rotation better. And moving Iglesias to the bullpen instead of AAA, and releasing Gregg makes the bullpen better.
    That won’t happen until Saturday. Until then, the Reds offense has to get going and give the team some leads that even Gregg and Badenhop can’t give back. But its going to be 3 chilly night games in Chicago when a bullpen is used alot. I might have to stop at the store and get an extra bottle of Pepto to have on hand for this week.

    • gaffer

      If that really works out, I love it. Why has Gregg piched more than Cingrani?

      • hof13

        I believe Price pretty much knew that Iglesias would only pitch 5 innings at most with a strong possibility he might be out a lot sooner than that so he was saving Cingrani to be the long man for yesterday. Cingrani could have helped the team if he had been more efficient in the innings he pitched yesterday. He could have gone back out to pitch the 8th instead of Diaz since he was still in the game after his failed bunt attempt. But alas, was not to be.

  5. George Mirones

    The Wednesday start for Marquis is a key factor in the pitching rotation. The move when they activate Bailey will tell us a lot. Bye the way Homers start for the Bat’s yesterday was not that impressive, if that means anything. A random thought is that maybe Iggy should go to AAA for continued grooming as a starter instead of him sitting in the bullpen, long term it might be the best. I think that Gregg has demonstrated that he is related to Logan Ondrusek. Based on Walt’s previous roster management, contract cost and major league back ground will play into any personnel movement.
    Let’s hope that next Monday the Reds are 8-4.

    • jdx19

      I call this article the CHARLOTTENCREDSFAN Special!

      • charlottencredsfan

        Nice piece, thanks for sharing. It is a symbiotic relationship to be sure – Hamilton & Votto.

        If Billy completely stops moving around his front foot he will be a 300 hitter and probably a +.350 OBP guy. Great to see him in a square stance, that is a must or he will never be a true MLBer. When the kid is really going he will stay balanced and hit liners on a regular basis – book it. This opens up the field and wow. In the meantime, I wonder how much using the butcher-boy would help him. Imagine a world where the infielders play in at their own peril. Oh to dream!

        Keep ’em coming JDX.

  6. brmreturns

    Today’s lineup:
    1. Kristopher Negron (R) CF
    2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
    3. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
    4. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
    5. Marlon Byrd (R) LF
    6. Jay Bruce (L) RF
    7. Brayan Pena (S) C
    8. Zack Cozart (R) SS
    9. Mike Leake (R) P

    • charlottencredsfan

      Billy’s hand?? Mes???

      4 through 7 is not pretty.

      • Jeremy Forbes

        Cozart is looking pretty good this year, actually. (For a shortstop, at least.) He’s hitting .250/.318/.350 with a 95 OPS+/96 wRC+. He’s also currently hitting the most line drives of his career at 21.4%, and is the team leader in doubles because of it.

      • charlottencredsfan

        You bet. If that line holds, I’ll take it. Certainly cut back on the pop-ups. Always been a decent contact guy.

      • jdx19

        Yeah, I always thought Cozart could manage better than a 50-something wRC+. Let’s hope he sticks to it!

      • jdx19

        Do we know if this is his hand or just a day off?

        Apparently Pena’s shoulder isn’t hurt too badly. Maybe it is and Meso is just worse? Shudders.

    • Jeremy Forbes

      .261/.306/.381 that is the Reds’ #4 hitter’s line since the start of 2013. To put that .120 ISO in comparison, Hamilton has a career .107 ISO in the majors. Who in their right mind bats someone with barely more power than Hamilton at cleanup?

  7. WVRedlegs

    Not having BHam and Mesoraco in against a top LH pitcher is going to hurt doubly tonight. Then add BP in the cleanup role. Got to suit up and take it to Lester early and often tonight.