The Cincinnati Reds (6-6) are coming off a tough 1-5 road trip. They will look to get back to winning baseball during a 7-game homestand. The Reds are 5-1 this season at Great American Ball Park. They will play a four game series against the first place Cubs this upcoming weekend, but first they will begin a three game series against the hot Colorado Rockies (7-5). The Rockies have a ferocious offense, and have been lead early by the surprising young shortstop Trevor Story. He already has 7 home runs on the young season.

Starting Pitchers


Tonight’s matchup features two pitchers who have both been traded at different times for Dexter Fowler.


Dan Straily will get his chance in the Reds rotation. He has done a decent job in 8.1 innings as the Reds long reliever. The Reds picked up Straily off waivers from the Padres. He was traded to the Padres just a few days prior to that from the Astros.

Straily was a 24th round draft pick back in 2009 by the Oakland A’s. He quickly rose through the A’s system, as he compiled an impressive 9.5 K/9 throughout his minor league career. He was a September call-up for the A’s in 2012 before pitching nearly all of 2013. In 2013, Straily posted a 3.96/4.05 FIP in 27 starts with the A’s. He finished 4th in the AL Rookie of the Year vote, and even made a start in the ALDS for the A’s against the Tigers (6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K).

Straily struggled in 2014 with the A’s, posting a 4.93 ERA/5.66 FIP in 7 starts, and was sent back to AAA. He was then traded to the Cubs along with Addison Russell for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. He only made 7 appearances for the Cubs in 2014 (1 start) before being traded again in the offseason. He was traded to the Astros with Luis Valbuena for Dexter Fowler.

Straily spend most of 2015 at AAA, posting a 4.77 ERA/3.66 FIP in 122.2 IP. He only made 4 appearances (3 starts) at the big league level. The Reds are hoping they have found a diamond in the rough with Straily. His 4.77 ERA last year at AAA might not look great, but his peripherals there do. He posted a 9.10 K/9, 1.83 BB/9, and 0.95 HR/9. Those are all significantly better than league average.


Jordan Lyles was the Houston Astros first round pick back in 2008. He dominated single A in 2009, posting a 3.24 ERA/2.70 FIP in 144.2 IP. He continued to push his way through the farm system until making his debut in 2011. Unfortunately for Lyles, he could never get it going in the big leagues with the Astros. In 72 appearences with the Astros (65 starts) he posted a 5.35 ERA/4.40 FIP.

Lyles was traded to the Rockies in December 2013 for Dexter Fowler. He pitched better in 2014 for the Rockies, posting a 4.33 ERA/4.22 FIP (which isn’t all that bad when your home ballpark is in Denver). He missed most of 2015 with a toe injury, but did post a 3.79 FIP in 10 starts.

Lyles began his career as a high strikeout guy in the minors, but that has not materialized in the majors. He is only projected to put up 5.81 K/9 this season. Where he has had success has been keeping the ball in the park. So far with the Rockies he has a 0.7 HR/9. That of course is very important in Colorado.

Starting Lineup

Rockies Reds
1. Gerardo Parra (LF)
2. Trevor Story (SS)
3. Carlos Gonzalez (RF)
4. Nolan Arenado (3B)
5. Ben Paulsen (1B)
6. Brandon Barnes (CF)
7. Cristhian Adames (2B)
8. Tony Wolters (C)
9. Jordan Lyles (P)
1. Zack Cozart (SS)
2. Jordan Pacheco (3B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Brandon Phillips (2B)
5. Jay Bruce (RF)
6. Adam Duvall (LF)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Dan Straily (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

The Rockies offense is really good. Their 112 team wRC+ is the third best in the NL behind the Cardinals and Pirates. The big story for the Rockies has been Trevor Story (pun absolutely intended). He hit 7 bombs in the first six games for the Rockies. He hasn’t even been their best hitter though. Carlos Gonzalez actually has the highest wRC+ at 180 (Story is at 174). Story, Gonzalez, and Nolan Arenado have a combined 17 home runs. The Reds entire team only has 10 home runs. This Rockies lineup is scary.


Eugenio Suarez gets his first day off in 2016. Jordan Pacheco makes the start at third base against his former team. Pacheco was drafted by the Rockies, and played in Colorado between 2011-2014. Devin Mesoraco gets another day off. This will be 6 out of 13 games so far in 2016 that Mesoraco has started the game on the bench (he has appeared in 10 games though). Mesoraco did start on Saturday and Sunday.

Concluding Thoughts

The more that I look at Dan Straily’s numbers, the more I think the Reds could have something here. He has been traded around a lot for a guy who is only 27 years old, and maybe he just needs a place to stick. He is just another high strikeout guy in the Reds rotation to go a long with Iglesias, Finnegan, Lamb, and Bailey. Anyway, the Reds have been really good at GABP this year. The Rockies are off to a hot start, but they have got to come back to earth at some point. This is the time for that to happen. Go Reds!

83 Responses

  1. Patrick Jeter

    My beloved Redlegs against the “hometown” Rockies! Look forward to this every year.

    I was informing some of my coworkers today that Story and Arenado may have a big series due to Straily and Simon. One of my coworkers remarked “At least we have a better pitching staff than one team in the league!”

  2. Patrick Jeter

    I should have read the preview before posting above…

    JORDAN PACHECO BATTING 2nd?! I hope he goes 4-4, but WOW….

    • Pooter

      Infuriating! Does Price even look at advanced stats?!

      • Gaffer

        Advanced stats include 1) the guy has been well rested on the bench for a week 2) has hit for a higher average in this stadium than other stadiums 3) a low average means he is due …. Right?

  3. DHud

    So we just going to accept that Mesoraco is never going to catch more than two games in a row ever again?

    I understand the whole coming off injury early in the season taking it slow blah blah blah…but come on. You have to take the reigns off eventually and actually play baseball

    • vegastypo

      If this is still the case a month from now, I’d be more concerned than I am now. He is coming off an injury not a lot of catchers have had to rebound from, and he also had a groin injury in spring training, if I recall. And with the quality of some the pitchers throwing to him to start the season, it might just be out of kindness to worry about overworking him two weeks into the season.

      • Gaffer

        I think his inconsistent hitting is more concerning actually. You have to ask whether he is a good hitter or not based on 1-2 months of being really hot 2 years ago. Other than that he has been pretty weak, before and since that time. Can we get shout out a stats eval on redlgnation?

  4. vegastypo

    Price said on pregame that Simon is going through a ‘dead-arm’ period, which he would have experienced in spring training after several starts. That was why he switched over to Straily tonight. With the side benefit of giving Iglesias an extra day.

    • Indy RedMan

      As opposed to the people that hang out with Simon in the Dominican Republic…..they go through a dead-dead period

  5. preacherj

    Only have gamecast tonight, but it had three of the 4 balls straily just threw in the heart of the zone. Is gamecast that far off, or did he just get hosed?

  6. Patrick Jeter

    The fellows on the Rockies broadcast said Nolan Arenado is “right there” in the conversation for best player in baseball with Trout and Harper. They said this about a guy who had a below-average OBP last year. The blinders of RBI are strong in Colorado.

  7. vegastypo

    this from Joel Luckhaupt on Twitter …

    Wheels turning round and round for the Rockies. Straily Dan is looking forward to going back, Jack, and doing it again.

  8. muttonlettucetomato

    The Reds left handed hitters are getting some crazy inside pitches called as strikes on them. Better be ready to swing the lumber tonight.

    • msanmoore

      Decent from the little I’ve seen. Free game tonight.

  9. msanmoore

    Blew that call, but Bruce needed to drop the front leg.

      • msanmoore

        Sad but you’re probably right.

    • VaRedsFan

      Sliding 101. Bruce has slid that way throughout his whole career. It costs him on nearly every close tag play.

  10. Patrick Jeter

    Bruce’s decision lowered RE for the inning from 1.1 runs to 0.254 runs. And lowered chances of scoring at least 1 run from 83% to 15%.

    • ohiojimw

      Yes, but in part being that aggressive in such a situation is an opportunity cost of playing Hamilton. I agree that if Hamilton plays 9th is where he has to bat but that is still making life hard on the back end of the Reds order. If Bruce stays at 2nd, the Reds are unlikely to score him from there even with no outs unless Duvall or Barnhart get a hit..

  11. NYRedfan42

    Boy the Reds can make any pitcher look like an all star.

  12. vegastypo

    What’s the point of Billy bunting when infielders are playing so close? That play at first wasn’t even close.

  13. VaRedsFan

    You can’t lay down a better bunt Billy, but Arrenado is too good. File that away and never try that again on him.

  14. VaRedsFan

    Only the 2nd IBB for JV his year. 7th overall

  15. huskycardinal

    I want to know how many bunt singles Hamilton has reached safely last year. I haven’t seen it and it seems like a useless strategy.

  16. I-71_Exile

    Brian Price sniffs out a Jordan Pacheco double!?!

    • VaRedsFan

      I don’t disagree that he should get 1 day off (not 2 or 3). The pitch he swung at was in the zone.

    • indredsfan

      Here’s an idea. I hear Bruce will be off for paternity leave coming up this weekend. Why not fill the roster spot with Peraza while Bruce is off. Gives the team a quick look, plus gives BP a few days to rest.

  17. VaRedsFan

    Nice inning by Ross. I would like to see him stay in for another.

  18. VaRedsFan

    Story almost hit the Toyota sign.

  19. VaRedsFan

    Don’t throw fastball hitters fastballs.

    • VaRedsFan

      Shame too, because he had gone 5 up 5 down with 4 K’s

  20. Jeff Morris

    Ross Ohlendorf AKA Kevin Gregg of last year…

  21. citizen54

    Whoever had “8th inning” in the Bullpen meltdown pool wins.

  22. BigRedMike

    Just an awful bullpen, offense not much better. The bullpen makes the games this year less enjoyable to be sure

  23. VaRedsFan

    Jumbo gives up another 3 run shot

  24. BigRedMike

    wow Diaz might need to be gone as well

    Low fastball to a left hand hitter does not work

      • RedAlert

        How bout me – I could do just as well ! Lol ! 😀

    • I-71_Exile

      Maybe because Cingrani has pitched two games in a row?

  25. Matt WI

    Flat out unacceptable from Diaz, no matter how low the season expectations are. If he can’t strand runners and pitch from the stretch, then goodbye.

    • RedAlert

      Yes – time to cut bait with both him and Hoover – then cut bait with Price at end of year

  26. vegastypo

    Gotta figure that when Lamb, Homer and Disco come back, Melville is gone. Jumbo too? Then who? Ohlendorf or Hoover?

    • VaRedsFan

      No doubt.
      He did sting the ball, but really is not elevating much of anything.

  27. Indy RedMan

    After this series we have Cubs 4, Mets 3, Pirates, 3, and SF for 3. I don’t think the pen could be fixed that quickly even if Votto/Mesoraco started hitting? 5-8 is about the best they could do if Hoover could actually save a slim lead? Oh well….we knew the pen was a patched together mess. Straily actually looked good! Guys like Moscot try to be power pitchers without power stuff but Straily knows what he is and is ready to throw the change and curve in diff counts and tries to limit the fastballs down the middle. I like him!

    • Indy RedMan

      As opposed to our pen which allows hard hit balls right at people too….they’re called people with tickets in the outfield seats

  28. Indy RedMan

    Fowler another HR….prob the Cubs MVP so far along w/Arrieta. Still don’t get why the Reds didn’t make an attempt but nobody else did either except for Baltimore. Cozart is on fire but he wasn’t go to score from 1st on a ball to the wall if they didn’t make an error? We’re going to need a real leadoff man at some point?

    • jveith1991

      I agree with you about Fowler. Was hoping the Reds could sign him this winter, but obviously that didn’t happen. How much longer are they going to try the Billy Hamilton center field experiment before they realize it just isn’t happening? He couldn’t hit from the leadoff spot, and still cannot hit in the nine-hole. He needs a trip to AAA, and if he still cannot hit after that, needs to be relegated to a pinch runner/late-game defensive replacement role. I would compare Hamilton to the Royals’ Jarrod Dyson, but a quick look at Dyson’s stats shows that even he has had a batting average over .250 and an OBP over .310 in each of the last four seasons.

      As for your comment about a “real leadoff man”, I think the Reds definitely see Jose Peraza fulfilling that role in the not-too-distant future. One has to wonder whether he will end up taking over center field within a couple weeks if Hamilton cannot get his act together.

  29. TR

    Four big hits. Straily gets it done, but not able to say the same of Ohlendorf and Diaz.

  30. jveith1991

    Suppose that by the end of the 2016 season, the Reds have their rotation pretty much figured out. Iglesias, DeSclafani, and Bailey are locks for 2017 (assuming they remain healthy). The remaining two spots likely go to two of the following: Reed, Stephenson, Moscot, Finnegan, Lamb, or Lorenzen. Once the rotation is settled, the bullpen will hopefully receive a major overhaul. Sampson is already gone. I think it’s safe to assume that Melville, Diaz, Ohlendorf, and Simon are next on the chopping block. By the end of the 2016 season (or even by the end of May), assuming everyone is healthy, the bullpen could potentially look like this: Lorenzen, Lamb, Finnegan, Moscot, Cingrani, Straily, and Hoover. That also results in two pitchers being sent two AAA- Cotham and Wood, perhaps?

    Obviously, this situation is unlikely to play out exactly as I’ve described it, either due to injuries or ineffectiveness. Still, it’s a good problem to have and the Reds will likely have some major decisions to make this coming winter regarding some of their starting pitchers/ starting pitcher prospects. Who do they keep in the rotation, who goes to the bullpen, who is kept at AAA, and who is traded for a bat or multiple relievers?

    • vegastypo

      I’d like to see Finnegan stay in the rotation, and have Lorenzen go to the pen, then after the All-Star break, they could switch roles and both build up their innings in advance of 2017.