The Cincinnati Reds (51-62) will go for their third consecutive win tonight at 10:10 PM against the Los Angeles Dodgers (64-51). The Reds exploded for a 10-3 win last night, as they beat up on their former pitcher Mat Latos. The Reds scored five time on Latos, and chased him after just 4.2 innings. Latos was booed from the Dodgers faithful in the 4th inning, and that had to be a delightful moment for the Reds players.

Starting Pitchers

WoodLamb

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John Lamb will make his major league debut tonight for the Reds. Lamb was one of the three minor league pitchers the Reds got in return for Johnny Cueto. Lamb has been terrific this season in 20 stats at the AAA level. Lamb’s 9.5 K/9 and 0.6 HR/9 look very good.

Lamb is a 25 year old lefty. He was drafted in the 5th round by the Royals back in 2008. After compiling a 2.38 ERA and 9.7 K/9 in 28 starts 2010, Lamb was ranked as the #11 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball Prospectus. He then had to have Tommy John Surgery after just 8 starts in 2011. He struggled in 2012 and 2013, posting an ERA of 6.92 and 5.80 in those two seasons. Lamb improved drastically in 2014, posting a 3.97 ERA, before having his breakout season in 2015.

Lamb is currently the Reds #21 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He will be wearing the #47, which was held by none other than Johnny Cueto. Here is the scouting report on Lamb (courtesy MLB Pipeline):

Though Lamb still can hit 96 mph on occasion, he has lost a couple of ticks off his fastball and usually works from 89-93. His changeup isn’t the weapon it once was, so he has come up with a low-80s cutter to keep right-handers at bay. He also has a soft curveball that wasn’t much of a factor before he got hurt.

Our own Kevin Mitchell wrote an extensive piece about John Lamb right after the Reds traded for him. I would highly recommend checking that out.

—–

Alex Wood began 2015 with the Atlanta Braves, the place where he also began his big league career. Wood was a 2nd round draft pick by the Braves back in 2012. He quickly reached the big leagues in 2013 after only 25 appearances in the minors. Wood was mostly used in the bullpen in 2013, but did make 11 starts (31 appearances overall). He posted a stellar 3.13 ERA and 2.65 FIP in 2013.

Wood began 2014 in the Braves rotation, then was moved to the bullpen in early May, and then made it back to the rotation for the remainder of the season in late June. He made 24 starts (35 appearances overall in 2014), and posted a 2.78 ERA and 3.25 FIP. Wood was looking like a future ace for the Braves. He was inconsistent this year with the Braves, but still posted a 3.54 ERA and 3.42 FIP in 20 starts. The Braves surprisingly traded Wood in a 13-player deal to the Dodgers, the same deal that sent Mat Latos from the Marlins to the Dodgers.

The first two starts in a Dodgers uniform haven’t gone too well for Wood. In his first start, Wood allowed 8 hits and 4 ER in 6.0 innings in a 6-2 loss to the Phillies. In his most recent start, he only lasted 5.0 innings, allowing 5 hits, 3 ER, and 3 walks in 13-6 loss to the Pirates.

Wood would love to have his first good start with the Dodgers tonight. He has never made a start against the Reds, but did make one really good relief appearance. On July 12th, 2013, Kris Medlen allowed 9 hits and 4 ER against the Reds, and lasted just 4.0 innings. Wood came in for relief, and dominated the Reds by pitching 3.2 scoreless, no-hit innings.

Lineups

Reds: Phillips 4, Suarez 6, Votto 3, Frazier 5, Bruce 9, Byrd 7, Pena 2, Lamb 1, Hamilton 8

Dodgers: Rollins 6, Hernandez 4, Turner 5, Gonzalez 3, Van Slyke 7, Puig 9, Grandal 2, Pederson 8, Wood 9

Billy, Billy, Billy

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Billy Hamilton went 4 for 4, hit a home run, stole a base, and scored 4 runs last night. Over his last five games, Billy has reached base in 11 of 22 PA (that’s a .500 OBP!). Oh man, it sure would be nice to see Billy Hamilton have a strong finish to 2015.

Well done, Walt

Walt Jocketty gets a lot of criticism from Reds fans, and much of that is certainly fair. However, the job Walt did this past off-season was nothing less than incredible. Look at this fact:

Walt Jocketty traded 2 years of Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon for 12 years of Eugenio Suarez and Anthony DeSclafani (plus the Reds current #13 prospect SP Jonathan Crawford and #27 prospect C Chad Wallach).

This season alone, Suarez and DeSclafani have combined for 3.2 fWAR (and Suarez spent the first 2+ months in the minors!), while Latos and Simon have combined for 2.5 fWAR. Plus, the Reds saved nearly $15 million in salary by getting rid of Latos and Simon.

Robert Stephenson update

Stephenson

Reds #1 prospect Robert Stephenson left Wednesday night’s game after just two innings with a wrist injury. Bryan Price said Stephenson will take a couple days off, but he doesn’t think the injury is serious. The Reds and Stephenson believe it was just cramping in his wrist.

So You’re Saying There’s a Chance?

Despite the possibility that Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier might, some day, be hitting well at the same time, despite the decent pitching of Raisel Iglesias, Anthony DeSclafani and Keyvius Sampson, there’s no chance the Reds can get back into contention. Confused? Perhaps you need a refresher in how odds are calculated.

Other news and notes

Nick Carrington wrote a good article today on RN about Jay Bruce and his adjustments.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to John Farrell.

Concluding Thoughts

latos

Last night was about as much fun as I’ve had all year watching the Redlegs (well, maybe the first four games of the year were better, and the HR Derby, but still). The Reds beating up on a guy who completely unnecessarily trashed them on the way out was awesome. And Vin Scully on the call too, just awesome.  Now it’s time to see how young John Lamb can do. The Reds have like 568 potential starting pitchers. Now, it’s just time to find the five that will get us back to the promised land in 2017. Go Reds!

115 Responses

  1. seat101

    Well I have to get up early tomorrow, and am heading to bed now. Hope to have some happy news when I awaken early in the a.m.

    Bring home a winner

  2. Vicferrari

    I think this could be a huge situation for the Reds. Is there any reason why Lamb could not be a LH version projected near the levels of Homer Bailey when he came up
    1. coming off TJ surgery- stretch for a connection but you gotta hope there is a pattern for success
    2. Top 20 prospect for a few year in minor league out of high school
    3. he is almost 5 year younger and 100 million dollars cheaper
    From what Kevin Mitchell wrote got me fired up…
    John Lamb has improved upon almost all his deficiencies and it’s showing up: He’s posting near-bests in strikeout rate (25.1%), walk rate (7.6%), WHIP (1.16), strand rate (75.6%), homers per nine (0.67), ERA (2.67), and FIP (3.57) at the highest level he has ever pitched at. Furthermore, being a (former) member of the Royals organization, he’s been pitching in the notoriously hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

    • Vicferrari

      I have to admit I am borderline trolling right now, but truly hope the Cueto trade proves to be a steal as Reds get 3 studs to rule the rotation…no way Sampson, Holmberg, or Josh Smith lead the Reds to contention.I think if conditions are right and Lamb reverts to top 20 prospect form Reds can contend in 2016, he could have outings like Holmberg’s first 2 for all I know.

      • Vicferrari

        That is fine that they choose to over pay for his talents, but when you consider what they paid for and what they whine about what they cannot afford like 2 Nil for Heisey, I cannot react anyway other than the cliche …SIGH…. I guess a No-hotter is worth 50 million to pitch like a Disco Inferno

  3. Tom Gray

    “Well done, Walt – Walt Jocketty gets a lot of criticism from Reds fans, and much of that is certainly fair. However, the job Walt did this past off-season was nothing less than incredible. Look at this fact: Walt Jocketty traded 2 years of Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon for 12 years of Eugenio Suarez and Anthony DeSclafani (plus the Reds current #13 prospect SP Jonathan Crawford and #27 prospect C Chad Wallach).”

    You overlooked another good trade over the winter that has been in the Reds favor, namely acquiring power hitting OF Marlon Byrd for MiLB P Ben Lively. In 2015, that trade is clearly in the Reds favor. And the Reds have plenty of MiLB P to replace Lively.

    • Vicferrari

      If Lively ever makes it to the big leagues it is a loss, it is a clear cut disaster if the Reds have to pay for LF who cannot get on base above Steve Selsky levels, 10 million or whatever it is to vest what they clearly paid him to do ,,,hit 25 HRs with a .750 SLG and play – WAR defense

      • Tom Gray

        Byrd is paid for HR and RBI not OBP.

        He is on pace for 27 HR, not. No one expected Byrd to have .750 SLUG average.

        He has 0 errors in 2015 last time I checked. 0 errors is pretty good defense in LF.

      • jdx19

        Byrd is paid to provide value to his team. Something he has done to the tune of being a below-average player. Defense and baserunning count.

        Errors are worthless measure for outfielders. Outfielders generally have 0 errors because if they can’t get to a ball you can’t give them an error. Last time I checked, catching a fly ball is easy. Throwing the ball into the IF is easy. The only way OFs get errors usually is if they air-mail a throw over the catchers head at a play on the plate.

        No one is saying he’s been bad. He’s been fine for what he is, but he’s certainly not a good ball player and certainly isn’t clearly a winner in the Lively trade.

      • Tom Gray

        Read what I typed. The TRADE has worked out in the Reds favor in 2015. Byrd has done more for Reds than Lively has for Phillies MiLB team. It’s that simple.

      • jdx19

        The statement which was a reply to your “paid” comment said nothing about the trade. I was replying to that specific post.

        But, I’m done with this fruitless conversation. I still can’t believe people think guys are paid for certain things… EVERYONE is paid to help win ball games. That’s it.

      • Vicferrari

        Thank you JDX, while Tom Gray can make some valid points based on stats that snobs might disregard, Byrd was paid to make a difference that he is not making….
        Overall his numbers are fine and his LF play could be compensated if they had a player like Heisey as defensive replacement in high leverage games. But 27 projected HR’s may be worth a Ben Lively it only is a payoff if Ben Lively is not a true Ml pitcher and I am truly on the fence if Byrd steps it up and ends up with 30 HR’s and genuinely inherits hid=s vesting option

      • Tom Gray

        And NN Byrd has done that – help the Reds W ballgames.

        Ben Lively has never done that. Wouldn’t have done that this year, either.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Byrd has barely performed better than a replacement player. Considering how badly he faded in the second half last year, let’s not assume Byrd’s net positive value just yet.

    • jdx19

      You must be under the impression that Marlon Byrd is a good ball player. 19 HRs does not make a good ball player.

      • jdx19

        Yes. It does. 27 HR by itself does not a good ball player make.

      • Tom Gray

        Good trade. Byrd improved the Reds in 2015 more than Ben Lively would have.

        Good TRADE is what I typed.

      • jdx19

        He improved the Reds in a season that they did not compete for the post-season. Very unlikely they do even with Meso and Bailey. The Cubs and Pirates are just much better than the Reds.

        So, I’d rather have Lively in the system to help us win later.

        It’s a fine opinion to have, but I feel compelled to argue against it! 😉

      • Vicferrari

        So what is your point,
        1)Libely never ammounts to much
        2) Byrd was worth the chance the Reds were a contender in 2015

        Curious your prediction
        1) Byrd Deserves 550 PA to vest with the Reds 2016
        2) Lively never makes a MLB roster

      • Tom Gray

        Yes.

        Yes.

        No. He won’t get there.

        Yes.

        Ask some freaking hard questions. My two cats can answer those.

      • Vicferrari

        Tom Gray while you are being insulting…So you are not on the fence that Byrd should get paid 8 million or whatever to play for the Reds, essentially not paying 2 MLB quality players who could provide more wins in 2016

  4. Vicferrari

    And more reason to feel optimistic… Barnahart has a ,340 obp, he could be a key if the Reds get decent pitching in 2016 assuming Mes and Cozart come back full strength… with a .782 catcher batting LH you have 9 decent playesr to put into you line-up.

  5. Indy Red Man

    I remember having high hopes for Brandon Claussen. The Reds just haven’t had any good lefties recently..its been a long time since Tom Browning and Danny Jackson. I hope this kid can make it! I watched some of the Cubs/White Sox today….Jocketty should try to deal a pitcher or 2 for Adam Eaton with the WS. Plays hard w/a .350 obp and could be our leadoff hitter for a while.

    • Vicferrari

      Totally agree, you would think there would be a good lefty out of Aruba, Curacao, or even Cuba now that we have opened opened up diplomatic relations///but I guess it is harder than it looks

      • GreatRedLegsFan

        We spent summer in Aruba and I could not see any good lefty, but the beaches are awesome!

      • Tom Gray

        Try Bonaire (the B in the ABC islands) for scuba diving or even snorkeling sometime.

      • Vicferrari

        I could not think of anything that rhymes with Cuba that would give half a clue that the obvious answer is the pitcher accumulating 60 innings a year…do not know if anybody is a Monty Python fan but it reminds of the guy who makes the great point about what was that about wearing hats when the meaning of life was brought up and quickly shot down

    • Tom Gray

      John Smiley in early to mid 1990’s. Pete Schourek (sometimes, not always) around then.

  6. msanmoore

    OK, that could have been a LOT worse. Seemed he settled down a bit. Not sure if Jay should have been behind Joey, but I agree with the announcers that Joey probably threw too soon. Kind of a reverse TOOTBLAN on us.

  7. VaRedsFan

    Game will be on mlb network if red sox game ever ends

    • jdx19

      Unless you live where I do and the WAS/SF game is on!

      • VaRedsFan

        Bummer…cuz they have the dodger/scully feed

      • jdx19

        I’m watching on my computer and listening to Scully. Too bad he can’t pronounce “DeSclafani.” But, to be fair, most folks can’t.

  8. jdx19

    Just saw the Nats get thrown out by 10 feet at the plate on the contact play. At least someone else in the league runs that stupid play as well.

    • VaRedsFan

      I watch the Nats a lot…they are managed eerily similar.

  9. Vicferrari

    Baseball is funny game, been casually watching the Blue Jays / Yankees. Price Dodged bullets all game could have caMe out pitching a gem with decent BP pitching turns out Nova had the better game to take over 1st place, while Price blows 3-0 lead

    • VaRedsFan

      well….the bullpen gave up 2 of his 3 runs, on the 3 run blast by Beltran.

      • Vicferrari

        But an Ace can somehow not aloow the opposition to get on base 3 out of 4 AB, I assume Jays win divsion & it changes in postseason

  10. RedAlert

    Lamb maybe gets over first inning jitters – so far so good – like his pitch mix – kid looks legit

    • msanmoore

      Yeah … see my note below on that 71MPH bender.

  11. msanmoore

    That 71MPH bender was NASTY. And young Joc knew he had been done in with the 3rd strike. Settling down nicely … so far.

    • RedAlert

      Hope Reds can get back on top first and let him pitch with the lead again

  12. RedAlert

    Eugenio “THE RAKE ” Suarez !!!

  13. jdx19

    So far as I can tell, Joey took two FBs down the pipe and then swung at one on the inside corner. A rare bad AB for Joey.

  14. VaRedsFan

    That inning started nicely, but ended abruptly

  15. msanmoore

    FX has our boy getting squeezed top and bottom on Wood.

    • msanmoore

      4 strikes … only 1 called. Getting tired of lousy calling.

  16. RedAlert

    Lamb showing NASTY breaking stuff

    • Vicferrari

      I will say just from watching game day, 4 innings on 60 pitches with speeds he has thrown looks promising

  17. Vicferrari

    Judging from Gameday, he got jobbed on the pitches to Wood first 4 looked like strikes, walks pitcher leading off inning

    • msanmoore

      FX on MLB.tv showed the same. 4 strikes only 1 called.

      • Vicferrari

        Got through top of order 2nd time through

      • Vicferrari

        Got K’s 2nd time through…John Lamb cannot hit..so hopefully he can pitch more than 5 MLB innings

  18. RedAlert

    Man , this appears to be a nice get for a portion of the Cueto trade – looks like Finnegan had a good outing for Louisville tonight also, even though he didn’t get a decision

    • msanmoore

      Well, no … but most pitchers can’t. He also is seeing his first plate appearances tonight, so who knows what might happen. He’ll probably not be Mike Leake or Michael Lorenzen with the bat, but that’s not his job anyway. 🙂

  19. msanmoore

    Pitiful umpiring behind the plate tonight. Just pitiful!

  20. Vicferrari

    Anybody else following on Gameday, all 9 pitches to Peterson could have been called strikes, c’mob ump put on your glasses

    • msanmoore

      +500 … and a 10x adder if we get out of the inning.

  21. VaRedsFan

    Love all the camera work and replays that the Dodger feed shows.

  22. msanmoore

    He’s pitching junk as slow at 69MPH …wonder when some of these guys have seen that slow?

  23. msanmoore

    A bloop, a flair … a ground ball with eyes …

    • jdx19

      Looks like Lamb’s great debut might get spoiled by some rotten batted ball luck.

      • msanmoore

        Even as you post it … and now our inability to hit will haunt us.

    • Vicferrari

      And AGon takes care of it, amazing what elite Ib can do to change a game

      • jdx19

        Votto’s numbers are better than Gonzo across the board.

      • Vicferrari

        When Votto is approaching his 8th season with the opportunistic stat of triple digit of RBI I will bow down to your superior evaluation of eliteness, I am on the fence and would probably jump at the throat that any non -Reds fan would suggest he is not up there in top tier IB, but I just feel AGon is better considering the years Reds are paying for

  24. jdx19

    Makes me sick. Could easily have gotten out of the inning if the first 2 balls are hit at a guy instead of where a guy ain’t. BS. Still, a lot to like about Lamb’s first start.

    • Vicferrari

      Agree, just a shame he lets a pro destroy a good debut

  25. VaRedsFan

    3 run blast makes it 5-1. Shame….I liked what I saw up until this inning.

    • Vicferrari

      How about he struck the lead off hiter multiplrt times and still gave up 4 runs,not a good sign when you cannot avoid 2 outs and no one on and you are grooving and you still gie up 4 runs

      • Vicferrari

        Venting, I know nice bounce back 6th

  26. msanmoore

    OK, no matter what (and Gonzo just hit that bomb), I like the fluid mechanics of this kid. He got robbed on some calls at the plate, made a couple mistakes, and the Dodgers have hit plenty where we ain’t tonight. Still, I think he’ll be fine over time.

    Night all – it’s getting late here in the Eastern US.

  27. VaRedsFan

    Votto-bomb…that’s two of ’em back

  28. mtkal

    We just might have 2 and 3 in the batting order settled for a few years here.

  29. Indy Red Man

    Uhhhhhh….how many times like tonite have the Reds had 2 on and nobody out with the meat of the order and get nothing while the other guys have 2 outs and 1-2 on Rollins and before you can tie your shoes they have 4 runs? Why doesn’t Price send out the pitching coach just to slow down that rally momentum a little bit? Lamb looked awesome up til then though! Live arm with a nice slider and a nice changeup. He’s got a ton more talent than someone like Holmberg. He might make a nice Leake type lefty possibly?

    • jdx19

      Good call. Much more upside than Holmberg… hopefully if he continues to develop he could be as good as Leake from the left.

  30. jdx19

    Bryce Harper just put his first 30 HR season in the books at the ripe old age of 22.

    • Vicferrari

      He better learn to get hit by a pitch and not turn into a WLB, or he will never hear the end of it from certain Reds

  31. VaRedsFan

    Kemp gets a triple to complete the cycle

  32. mtkal

    Very impressive comeback inning by the youngster.

  33. VaRedsFan

    This ump keeps giving up on Lamb’s curve ball

  34. RedAlert

    Lamb will be in he rotation next year unless injured – book it – looks like he belongs – mixes pitches well – he will be a good addition

    • jdx19

      Hope so. Despite the outcome, this is the best (in my opinion) debut of all the Reds rookies this year.

      • RedAlert

        I agree with that as well – really encouraging

      • Vicferrari

        I am on board, but I am bit jaded in just hoping that what I posted earlier would be true
        Reds need 2 of 3 to be decent hauls in the Cueto trade given that they bkew that opportunity, ACES come along once every generation if they are not turned into WS or 2 #2 it is a waste

  35. Indy Red Man

    68 mph curve and a heater up to 93…..lot to like about this Lamb kid! I like the way he sets the hitter up and works both sides of the plate. I had him in my 2016 rotation before I saw tonites game and I’m more impressed now. I think Jocketty might’ve got a pretty good haul for KC to rent Cueto for a few months.

  36. Indy Red Man

    So do we have some kind of option on Badenhop and Parra? I’d like to have both them of back…esp Parra but I guess its not a necessity.

    • mtkal

      I don’t know, but it seems like there is enough good pitching in the system now that in addition to a heck of a talented young rotation in the next couple of years, we should also be able to build a really strong bullpen.

      • Indy Red Man

        You would think so? We def shouldn’t have to see AAAA guys like Villareal or retreads like Kevin Gregg. You add Sampson or Lorenzen to Jumbo, Hoover, and Chapman…if he’s not traded? Finnegan pitched 5 shutout innings for Lville tonite….he’s shorter and supposed to be a very hard throwing lefty so I would think he might project to end up in the pen too?

    • Steve Mancuso

      Reds and Badenhop have mutual option (either can say no). Would cost the Reds $2.5 million to bring him back. Parra is a free agent.

      • Indy Red Man

        Thanks Steve. I would bring back Badenhop for 2.5. He’s about like LeCure was 2-3 years ago. Who knows how much Parra would cost? He’s still getting up there 93-94 which is kind of rare for lefties but it seems like he’s always missing time too though?

      • Vicferrari

        But is it worth for you 4th option out of the pen, Badenhop failed in high leverage but has been awesome since April despite allowing a hit or 2 when brought in with runners in scoring position

      • Eric the Red

        Badenhop has not been awesome. He’s been bailed out repeatedly by great defense. He doesn’t strike guys out, and he gives up a lot of hard hit balls. He’s a disaster waiting to happen. I wouldn’t sign him for 2.5 million unless he’s been pitching hurt all year and we’re confident an offseason will be enough to heal him.