The Reds (48-59) are mired in yet another stretch of futility, a 27 inning stretch to be precise, as that is the exact amount of time since a Red last crossed home plate. Over those barren innings, the Reds have tallied 3 doubles, 9 singles, and 10 walks. Remove Joey Votto from that equation and you are left with 1 double, 9 singles, and 4 walks. Yes, Joey Votto has accounted for 8 of the 22 baserunners the Reds have marooned on base in the last 27 innings. Oh, the Reds have also struck out 27 times in those innings (to be fair, Votto accounts for two of those strikeouts). Sheesh.

*Stats are from AAA appearances:

Robbie Ray 3.01 2.98 0.50 6.8% 21.3%
Keyvius Sampson* 5.08 3.66 0.23 12.4% 18.5%

Keyvius Sampson took the loss in his first Major League start, but it was a promising outing regardless. Giving up three runs on three hits (two doubles and a homer) in 5.0 innings against a strong hitting team like the Pirates is all the Reds could ask for their number five rookie pitcher (I put the order as DeSclafani, Iglesias, Lorenzen, Moscot, Sampson, Holmberg). Striking out six while only walking one showed strong control and poise in an environment that typically plays head games with young guys.

Opposing Sampson is another rookie in Robbie Ray, making his 13th start of the season. Ray was aquired by the Dbacks this offseason from the Tigers for Shane Greene, but he was originally dealt to the Tigers from the Nationals for Doug Fister before 2014. For a guy with solid 2015 stats (0.5 Hr/9, .295 BABIP, 7.91 K/9), it doesn’t make too much sense why Ray has been dealt around so much. Not even the industry can make sense of it as he was labeled a work in progress in May 2014, a wash out in December 2014, and a resurrected star* this July. Whatever the case, right now the Diamondback are having the last laugh as Fister has spent most of 2015 hurt and Greene sports a 6.88 ERA.

*Note: The use of “star” is hyperbolic. The kid is still a unproven rookie having a good year.


The pitcher is in the 9-hole once again as Billy Hamilton leads off for the Reds:

1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
4. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
5. Jay Bruce (L) RF
6. Marlon Byrd (R) LF
7. Eugenio Suarez (R) SS
8. Tucker Barnhart (S) C
9. Keyvius Sampson (R) P

Aaron Hill starts at second for the Dbacks as the top 6 stay the same from yesterday:

1. Ender Inciarte (L) RF
2. A.J. Pollock (R) CF
3. Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
4. David Peralta (L) LF
5. Welington Castillo (R) C
6. Jake Lamb (L) 3B
7. Aaron Hill (R) 2B
8. Nick Ahmed (R) SS
9. Robbie Ray (L) P


(They’re both Dbacks related, sorry.)

MORE JOEY VOTTO GOODNESS (courtesy of Nick Kirby)


I’m higher on Keyvius Sampson than most in Reds’ Country, but I do feel the kid can crack the starting rotation come next spring. He is only one start into his Major League career, but his propensity to keep the ball on the ground plays well to Great American Ballpark and he has shown a ability to miss bats. In my opinion, the rotation in 2016 rounds out to be Bailey, DeSclafani, Iglesias, Lorenzen, Sampson with Stephenson in the wings as the sixth man whenever one of the five inevitably gets hurt.



98 Responses

  1. Evan armstrong

    I think to pencil Bailey into next years rotation us foolish. He isn’t thought to be able to return post ASG. I think at best we might see a month to maybe a month and a half of him. I think as the ACE/leader of this rotation is 2017.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Not sure where you’ve come up with that timeline. Bailey said he expects to be throwing off a mound before Spring Training.

      • Evan armstrong

        I would be shocked if Bailey is back to 100% pre ASG, its usually a one year plus to return and that is without hiccups.

      • Steve Mancuso

        You said before you didn’t think he’d even be back before the ASG, now you’re saying not 100% pre ASG. That’s two different things. There are a lot of uncertainties, to be sure.

  2. DHud

    Yeah but how many RBI’s does Votto have since the all star break?

    Everyone knows that’s the only stat that matters. He picks it up there, then we can talk about “elite” status.

    • User1022

      After all, Joey Vitto is paid to get RBIs, not to walk.

    • Steve Mancuso

      They are honoring Randy Johnson and the ceremony is running long.

  3. jdx19

    At some point you have to wonder if anyone in the Reds organization is trying to get Billy to stop hitting the ball in the air like he were a power hitter. A mechanical change to his swing is required. When better to get to work than in the last 1/3 of a lost season?

  4. RedAlert

    Billy is just brutal at the plate – I know his defense is brilliant. He is an almost automatic out. Reds better have some other option in mind.

    • BigRedMike

      Hamilton is last in wRC+ in MLB for qualified hitters

  5. RedAlert

    Wow – Todd – better pass on that Derby next year

    • jdx19

      Derby has nothing to do with it, really.

      It’s a case of sample bias. Guys in the Derby generally had great 1st halves… so, they are more likely to regress to the mean than most people.

      Todd isn’t a 160+ wRC+ true-talent level guy. We shouldn’t expect him to maintain that type of production.

      • RedAlert

        Well – say what you want , he hasn’t done squat since that derby – there is NO debating that

  6. jdx19

    Thom mentions “multi-hit games” before OBP or any other relevant statistic. I mean… multi-hit games is probably more useless of a stat than RBI or batting average. 😉

  7. vegastypo

    So, did I miss something? I saw the D-backs guy get a double, and then I heard the D-back TV announcer Brenly make some comment about Bruce being an adventure in right field. Did Bruce mess up that play?

    • jdx19

      Nope. The ball was a rocket that hit right near the base of the wall from what I could tell. Bruce was drifting back but couldn’t get to the wall in time. It would have been a spectacular play if he’d have made it.

  8. VaRedsFan

    no…they scored on a double and a single cleanly. On the double, the mentioned how shakey his defense was despite only 1 error

    • jdx19

      I wonder where he gets that from. Bruce isn’t top notch by any stretch, but he’s not terrible and never really has been. Maybe last year due to the knee, but that’s it.

      • VaRedsFan

        my view is that he makes all the routine plays, but rarely the spectacular. He comes in on balls above average, and goes back on balls below average.

  9. VaRedsFan

    reds haven’t scored in 29 innings….(going for the jinx angle)

  10. BigRedMike

    Hamilton has no clue at the plate, just terrible swings

    • jdx19

      It amazes me that Price understood hitting Hamilton 9th, and then periodically puts him at leadoff.

      Until he maintains an OBP above .300 in the 9 spot, he should never bat anywhere else. He’s the worst hitter in all of baseball.

      • vegastypo

        Price is just moving him around in the batting order to try to “get him going.” There can be no other explanation. He still has Phillips and Votto batting behind him, whether at 9 or 1. Price is clueless.

      • jdx19

        I’m more worried about the fact that in over a year and a half of regular playing time, he hasn’t been coached to modify his swing mechanics. Until he changes his swing to stop favoring fly balls, he will probably never be more than ‘competing for worst hitter in the league.’

  11. jdx19

    It’s funny that since Votto has been so good in the last few weeks that 0 for his last 3 makes it seem like there’s something wrong with him. 😉

    • peter ponds

      Yeah, clutch and elite as always, don’t worry. They pitched him around.

  12. VaRedsFan

    Not that the Reds were looking to acquire players off waivers but, the blue jays released Danny Valencia. The A’s claimed him of course. He was batting .296/.331/.506 with a wRC+ of 129. Even though he only has 173 plate appearances, he’s posted a 0.9 fWAR on the season. He’s played 5 different positions this year. He’s under control for 1 more year. Makes less than 2 million.

    Never too soon to look for good bench player for next year.

  13. spro

    Wow, I was just about to post some TOS (as if we needed to know), and then Suarez hits the bomb. Nice timing. Why isn’t he batting higher in the lineup again?

    • jdx19

      Because Bourgeois is better? I have no idea… there is no logical reason why Price won’t bat Suarez ahead of Pena and Bourgeois/Schumaker/DeJesus.

    • jdx19

      Here’s an interesting snippet… Brayan Pena has never hit more homers in a season than Suarez has right now.

  14. RedAlert

    Suarez bat HAS TO BE in this lineup next year – A MUST !!!

  15. peter ponds

    Right now, Suarez is the only guy I feel confident when meaningless RBIs are needed.

  16. jdx19

    Im glad Joey turned around and said something to Vanover. His zone has seemed pretty erratic tonight.

  17. Mack Ashley Potter

    I always liked and respected The Big Unit. But I’m a Reds fan watching the game on Cincinnati’s station. I know Thom spent a long time in Arizona, and while a word here and there is ok, please gawd shut up about Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks. I COULD NOT CARE LESS.

  18. Mack Ashley Potter

    You don’t honestly consider bringing back Bryan Price do you? I would imagine it’s a 100% definite he will not be managing the Cincinnati Reds in 2016 right?

  19. RedAlert

    Hamilton is just horrid with a bat -and getting worse as the year goes on

      • Mack Ashley Potter

        You would think there would be SOMEONE worse. But no, Billy is the worst. I can see him stealing 200 bases if he could just hit .270 or walk every now and then.

  20. RedAlert

    Does this coaching staff spend ANY TIME WHATSOEVER on baserunning skills ???- Must be the worst baserunning team in majors for how many years now ? – unfreaking believable that this seems to NEVER improve !

  21. RedAlert

    Jumbo bringing the Chalula hot sauce tonight !

  22. Mack Ashley Potter

    Geeze, I’m turning the tv. Tired of hearing about Randy Johnson. Breaking news Thom!! NEVER A RED = I DON’T CARE

    • RedAlert

      I’m watching Diamondbacks feed and I bet Thom has spoken about Johnson more than these guys have !

  23. RedAlert

    Is Todd rooming with Billy ? Wow , talk about cold as ice at the plate

  24. VaRedsFan

    Jumbo was so bad he didn’t get to pitch another inning

    • VaRedsFan

      as Hoover walks the leadoff batter

      • VaRedsFan

        He regains control to retire the side

  25. mtkal

    Hoover sucked it up and got the job done. (sorry)

  26. vegastypo

    Chapman gets the bottom of the lineup with a three-run lead. It just seems unfair sometimes …

  27. Jeff Morris

    Pitching has always been pretty good for the Reds, better than alot of teams. But, the Hitting is always the weakness for the Reds, at least the last few years. I know Suarez is hitting very well, but making many errors. You have to wonder if Cozart would be healthy and playing, if Cozart would be hitting as well, though he would be fielding much better. Steve mentioned this a time or two. Reds really need to get players with higher then average on base percentage. Its good they are getting pitchers in the two trades, but when there is a chance to trade again….especially for Chapman and/or Bruce, got to get better Bats then they have Now!

  28. Carl Sayre

    I have some serious doubts about Cozart returning anything close to his defense at SS because the injury has been described so bad. The thing is Suarez has to be in the line up his bat is to valuable to sit but if Cozart does return to his preinjury defense I don’t see Suarez at SS. The rest of the season and maybe some winter ball might change things but to me even when he makes the play he looks uncomfortable. BP has had a power shortage this season but that might be because of a different approach hitting lead off. I would rate his overall performance at the plate as higher than acceptable and his glove is stellar as we have grown used to. I don’t see Suarez at second so I am thinking LF, it has been a problem for a long time.

    • Tom Gray

      I wonder if Cozart will recover to his 2011-2015 level on offense OR defense. His knee injury was severe and total recovery (to pre injury level of play) is unsure.

      I think Suarez will be SS for Reds in 2016 as a result.

    • Myron Gaines

      I doubt that Phillips has a “different approach” hitting leadoff. His OBP is actually below his career average with the Reds, and he swings at anything that crosses the plate. It’s nice to see him stealing bases again, though.