The Cincinnati Reds (8-9) are back under .500 and for some reason continue to play with a 23-man roster when the rules so obviously allow for 25. I’m not counting Mesoraco’s at-bat last night as he did not look comfortable at all at the plate. Maybe management feels that wins count just a bit more if you have to grit them out. Regardless, they play the Cubs again today in a classic Chicago afternoon game.
All stats are 2015 actuals:
|PITCHER||Ã‚Â ERA||Ã‚Â FIP||HR/9||BB%||K%|
Today marks the matchup of the surprise stars of both the Reds and Cubs rotations. Anthony DeSclafani, the Reds’ parting gift from Mat Latos, has far exceeded any expectations fans had of him already. In three starts and 77 batters faced, DeSclafani has only allowed nine hits for a .123 batting average against. In his start against the Cubs earlier this year, DeSclafani pitched seven innings of shutout ball, striking out five and walking two.
On the other side of things–and maybe less of surprise than DeSclafani–is the Cubs’ #2 Jake Arrieta. In his rookie season last year, Arrieta had a 2.53 ERA and a 2.26 FIP over 25 starts, quickly earning the mantle of the Cubs’ rotation. However, with the addition of Jon Lester, all expectations were shifted to the long proven ace rather than the one-year hero. So far, Arrieta has outperformed his running mates once again, posting an unbelievable 1.77 FIP in three starts so far. His one hiccup this year did come against the Reds when Arrieta allowed three runs in 6.2 innings and took the loss for the Cubs.
#Reds bullpen, last 10 days
*Villarreal optioned 4/18
— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) April 25, 2015
The Reds don’t have a bad bullpen. Okay, that’s a lie; the Reds don’t have as bad of a bullpen as last year. This year it seems rather than lack of talent, the Reds just have absolutely no idea how to use their bullpen. Simply enough, the fact the Tony Cingrani hasn’t been used in over a week is ridiculous; he is probably the second or third best pitcher out there, so to not use him shows a serious lack of understanding of how to win games. Unless he’s hurt, in which case he should be put on the DL immediately so that the Reds aren’t playing with 23-men once more.
Jay Bruce gets the day off, and Brennan Boesch will start in his place in today’s Reds’ lineup.
Miguel Montero returns to the Cubs’ lineup today, replacing David Ross who caught for Lester yesterday.
Mark Sheldon posted an article last night detailing a conversation with the Reds catcher, supposedly to give Reds fans hope of a return. The headline runs that Mes could catch a bullpen session soon and return to game action. Yet the bulk of the interview focuses on Mes’s progress so far, and it’s…not promising.
Mesoraco said he was given a cortisone injection shortly after he was first injured.
“It didn’t really do a whole lot,” he noted.
The hip is making some progress, but not a great amount.
“It’s definitely feeling a little bit better,” Mesoraco said. “I still haven’t done a whole lot of things to test it. I guess we can say it feels better doing nothing.”
SPEED, NOT EVEN ONCE
But thrice apparently as Billy Hamilton once again stole three bases in yesterday’s game, the second time he has done that this season. Billy is now 13 for 14 on the season. While his speed is impressive in itself, I have to wonder if coupled with the Reds hitting woes, maybe the team would be better suited as a run and gun offense. More hit and runs, drag bunts, small ball really. It wouldn’t work with the current lineup of course–too many free swingers–but free swinging obviously isn’t working either. Just a thought.
With Jason Marquis on the bump tomorrow, the Reds really need to scratch out a win today. It’s still too early for the standings to mean much of anything, but the Reds can’t afford to fall too far below .500 if they are to make any sort of run this season.