Having had basically two off-days in the past three days due to Tuesday’s rainout and Thursday’s scheduled break, the Reds (14-20) start a three-game series with the Phillies (20-15) on entirely fresh legs. The Reds took two of three from the Phils in the second series of the season, but the two clubs have been on greatly different paths since.

In other news, the Reds have called up top-ranked prospect Jose Peraza and placed OF Billy Hamilton on the bereavement list.

Starting Pitchers
The following are stats from 2016:

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 1.28.54 PM.png

The last four starts of Brandon Finnegan‘s career have by no means been his best. Yes, two of them were quality starts, but just barely. Over those 21.1 innings, Finnegan has pitched to the tune of a 5.91 ERA with a 7.03 FIP. His average game score for the four outings is a 35, and he has given up six home runs. The trick for Finnegan is to just get the ball back on the ground–his groundball percentage has tanked by 13 percentage points while his flyball percentage has jumped up by five points.

For the Phillies, Jeremy Hellickson has had some of the same problems as Brandon Finnegan, but they just haven’t been as concentrated. In his seven starts this season, Hellickson has had two very quality starts, two mediocre outings, and three abysmal appearances. In his one start against the Reds, Hellickson went 6.0 innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits, but couldn’t earn a win.

Starting Lineups

Reds Phillies
1. Zack Cozart (SS)
2. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Brandon Phillips (2B)
5. Jay Bruce (RF)
6. Adam Duvall (LF)
7. Tyler Holt (CF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Brandon Finnegan(P)
1. Odubel Herrera (CF)
2. Cesar Hernandez (2B)
3. Maikel Franco (3B)
4. Carlos Ruiz (C)
5. Freddy Galvis (SS)
6. Tommy Richard Joseph(1B)
7. Tyler Goeddel (LF)
8. Jeremy Hellickson (P)
9. Peter Bourjos (RF)

Jose Peraza Primer
Jose Peraza was the centerpiece of the Reds offseason moves, brought over from the Dodgers as part of the three-team Todd Frazier trade. After the 2015 season, Peraza was ranked the top prospect in the Reds system and the #24 prospect in all of baseball. Before 2016 however, Peraza had fallen to #5 in the Reds system and #67 in all of baseball.

In 30 games at AAA Louisville, Jose Peraza has been stellar, slashing .295/.341/.393 with a wRC+ of 116 (100 is average). While a good portion of that is likely buoyed by his .343 BABIP, Peraza largely looked solid at AAA. One concern though would be his slightly heightened K%, currently sitting at 14.6 percent whereas it has tended to hover around 10 percent in the past.

Amir Garrett Dominating
Reds #4 prospect Amir Garrett has been outstanding at AA Pensacola this season, pitching to the tune of a 1.26 ERA and 2.23 FIP. Tonight, the southpaw goes against Chattanooga at 7:15 EST.

Concluding Thoughts
There’s no reason Jose Peraza should not start all three games of this series if the Reds truly are preparing for the future. It’s a shame not to see his name in the lineup today, but after an off-day, it does make sense to get the regulars back out there. But Bryan Price’s mission this weekend in regards to Peraza should still be: Get him out there, see what he can do, and then send him back down so as not to burn his eligibility. Upsetting a veteran guy for one game is definitely worth a test drive on a future championship car.

Go Reds!

64 Responses

  1. DHud

    Does anybody really expect Bryan Price to actually put Peraza in the lineup?

    He’ll sit the bench for 3 games and then return to Louisville, as is the case with anyone that ever comes up from Louisville

    • jazzmanbbfan

      He said tonight on the pregame that he’ll get “a start”. I agree he should start all 3 games.

  2. james garrett

    Right on Wesley about Peraza playing all 3 days but until I see it I won’t believe it.I won’t believe we have a plan for the future until we start auditioning position players even it is for only 3 games.Williams talked about developing players in the minors but what does Peraza and Winker need to do to get a few starts in the big leagues if for no other reason to give the fans some hope for the future.

  3. Eric The Red

    Can someone explain to me why we’re facing suspensions after Wednesday’s game with the Pirates? Bottom line: there was one pitch thrown intentionally at a batter in this game, and it was thrown by a Pirate. And the “provocation” was a poorly thrown 3-0 pitch that didn’t hit anyone followed by a poorly thrown breaking ball.

    It’s ridiculous Ohlendorf and Price have been suspended, but not Hurdle and Nicasio. Does MLB really believe Ohlendorf intentionally put a runner in scoring position in the 9th inning of a one run game? Maybe you can justify the ejection on the grounds of “somebody has to pay after plunking 4 guys even if they were accidents”, but a suspension is completely unfair.

    • vegastypo

      Those are the rules. If a pitcher is deemed to have hit a batter after warnings were issues, the manager and the pitcher are ejected, and a suspension is automatic.

  4. seat101

    The Reds as an oganisation have often brought a guy up, not played him extensively (if at all) and sent him back to the minors. Both Dusty and Price have said that this is a way to show ‘the kid’ what the majors and/or the Reds are all about.

    Is it a smart policy? I dunno. But it is a rational one.

  5. james garrett

    Sure looks like we are ready to hit.Three up and three go down swinging.Off day didn’t help much in the first inning.

  6. james garrett

    Hellickson’s ERA is close to 5 so we will struggle.

  7. james garrett

    Duvall has stepped up and played well.The ball jumps off his bat.

  8. preacherj

    I was thinking about the batting average article on the way home from work and I thought occurred to me as I recall seeing Lenny Randall’s name on the list: isnt a stat like AVG more valuable to look at depending on your role with the club? For example, if I need a pinch hitter late in the game, i most likely pick a spot where. I have runners on. I want a high average guy to generate offense. If im down multiple runs or have no one on, OBP becomes more important.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Perhaps. But are there really any “high average guys” that are bench players?

      Agreed on your point, though. It’s more likely to need a hit with a PH since a manager can, at times, strategically deploy a PH.

  9. Indy RedMan

    Nice gift there but you have to hit the ball first! Seems like we get the lead in every one of Finnegan’s starts!

    • preacherj


      Or choke

  10. preacherj

    That field is causing the ball to die on those bunts. I hope Billy is watching

  11. Mack Ashley Potter

    It’s amazing really….
    The Reds sweep the Phillies to start the season, but yet the Phillies are sitting a game out of 1st in their division while the Reds are known as one of the worst “teams” in baseball. And all because for some reason the Reds’ front office thought they could use an Instructional League bullpen in the majors.

    • seat101

      Yeah, it’s not like the pitching staff has had any injuries or setbacks!

      • Mack Ashley Potter

        Our starters have been outstanding.
        You can’t hand pick 8 guys from the minors and say “Here’s our bullpen this year”

      • Eric The Red

        If these guys weren’t on the DL for much of the year, do you think we’d have the same bullpen?: Iglesias, Bailey, Lorenzen, DeSclafani, Lamb, Moscot? No front office can effectively plan around that level of injury.

  12. preacherj

    Slow pitch, bad spot, and poor throw. Suarez was out easily.


      Yeah — its a shame that Cueto is not a red. The Bay Area is saying he’s their baseball version of Steph because he’s doing the same shimmy that Steph does before free throws. umm… Cueto was doing that WAY before with the reds… and this is all of sudden a new thing??? Good grief…

    • jazzmanbbfan

      When you walk as many as Finnegan has, it is bound to be slow. Glad I don’t have TV, I would have thrown something at it by now.

  13. Indy RedMan

    Phillies have nothing….absolutely nothing and they’ve went 20-12 since the opening series. That tells you the NL is wide open and the Reds could compete next year (wildcard) if they can fix the pitching

  14. Darrin

    I’ve never seen such a collection of ml pitchers that just cant throw strikes

  15. preacherj

    Runner never should have scored on that squeeze

    • Indy RedMan

      Yep….Barnhart didn’t look him back….or should’ve got him in a rundown if he lingered? Typical Reds….they give us 2….we give them 3

  16. TR

    Finnegan is up 2-0 and puts the first two men on. You can’t win games doing that.

  17. Eric The Red

    I don’t know whether Finnegan is going to make it as a starter, but I sure hope we give him a chance. I’d rather see him starting in AAA when we get Homer and Disco back instead of putting him in the bullpen.

  18. Indy RedMan

    Finnegan isn’t ready for primetime….not yet anyway

    • Indy RedMan

      Not that pitching in front of 13k in GABP is primetime:)

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I think he has less than 100 innings pitched in the minors. Based on that and what we’ve seen a few times so far, I would agree. Potential, yes, but not ready yet.

  19. james garrett

    Untill Finnegan throws throws more strikes he will remain a 5 inning pitcher.I like him much better as reliever but we will see.He is getting his chance so its up to him.

  20. Indy RedMan

    Starting pitching C-
    Bullpen F-

    No real leadoff hitter, no real cleanup hitter, and our best hitter is on pace for 9 doubles…but other than that we’re pretty strong!! Other then that Mrs. Kennedy…how’d you like the parade?

  21. Eric The Red

    Let me guess…tonight will be the night our bullpen throws 4 shutout innings, and we’ll lose 3-2.

  22. BigRedMike

    Reds cannot figure out the change up

  23. Indy RedMan

    Hellickson may just have Joey’s number or something but overall I don’t want to hear about how Joey’s actually crushing the ball because that’s not true! He’s walking less and he’s K’ng more than ever so the exit velocity is zero.

    2012 – 44 doubles in 374 atbats
    2016 – 2 doubles in 114 atbats

    I didn’t go to MIT but I’m pretty sure that’s not just bad luck. That means someone isn’t driving the ball consistently and nothing else. Votto opened as the 23rd more valuable fantasy player on yahoo and now he’s 221st or something? Now when Marty said he wasn’t elite last year I was thinking the exact same thing at the time and obv he made us look foolish for ever considering that but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a mess right now

  24. David

    This team, as you watch them play, has a low baseball IQ. They repeatedly do dumb things to give away runs.
    Miss the cutoff man, throw to the wrong base.
    Can’t hit behind runners to advance them.
    Pitchers don’t concentration on throwing strikes.

    This is not really that green a team. Joey Votto has been in the bigs since 2008. Brandon since 2006. Jay Bruce since 2009. Jay Bruce may be a very nice guy, but as a baseball player he shows no understanding of the game he has been playing in the Major Leagues for 7 years.

    They play very poorly on the road, and I would not be surprised to see the Reds lose all three games to Philadelphia this weekend.

    It starts with the attitude in the clubhouse, and the manager and coaches have done a poor job in instilling anything like a winning attitude among the players.
    This, more than anything else, will condemn the Reds to losing OVER 100 games this year. And when a team gets infected with losing, it is a hard attitude to shake.

    • Chuck Schick

      Their lack of talent will “condemn” them to a losing record. Attitude doesn’t hit the ball…..attitude doesn’t get people out…. Talent does. This isn’t Little League

      • David

        The mental mistakes will condemn them to losing. There is no demand that they stop making mistakes on the field, on the mound and at the plate. It’s not attitude, it’s mental focus. They don’t have a winning attitude in the clubhouse, which tolerates the continued mental mistakes on the field. The poor bullpen is part of the mental approach to the game that has failed. Their pitching coach should be screaming at them to throw first pitch strikes. That is a mental problem, a problem of approach. to the game.

      • Chuck Schick

        If what you’re stating is true, then couldn’t every player just “focus” his way to stardom? Why not just have a team full of replacement level players and hire a zen instructor? Is it possible for a bad team to have a winning attitude?

        Did Joe Torre tolerate a “losing attitude” with the 99 loss, void of talent 1980 Mets and then magically instill a winning attitude with Jeter, Williams and Rivera? Why did Sparky Anderson show no tolerance for losing with the 1975 Reds and a lot of tolerance for losing with the 103 loss 1989 Tigers? Bruce Bochey’s untalented Padre teams lacked a winning attitude….yet, amazingly, his very talented Giant’s teams seemed to find that focus.

        The bullpen has failed because they have a bunch of pitchers who are simply band-aids. They don’t have sustainable MLB talent and they’re simply placeholders until the “real” pitchers are off the DL or are called up from AAA. They don’t throw first pitch strikes because they aren’t good pitchers……bad pitchers have a tendency to be bad. A screaming pitching coach changes nothing.

  25. preacherj

    The bunt giveth, the TOOTBLAN taketh away

  26. BigRedMike

    George just said that Pacheco is the Reds most reliable PH. Pacheco has no business playing above A ball

  27. preacherj

    I like the splitter this guy throws. Lots of movement coming from a lot of different angles

  28. Mack Ashley Potter

    I know I sound like a repeating machine when I say this, but I get SO MAD how other teams get calls in their home park and the Reds DO NOT.
    Like that 3rd strike to Sureaz.
    Reds pitchers hardly EVER get calls like that in GABP.

    • Chuck Schick

      So, every close pitch…thrown by a Reds pitcher…. at GABP is a ball….and every close pitch…. thrown by pitchers on every other teams in their home park is a strike? Is there an umpiring conspiracy against the Reds? Has Rob Manfred mandated the
      “no close strike” for the Reds at GABP policy or was that a carryover from Bud? Do you think some bitter umpire will eventually come clean and write a book?

  29. james garrett

    Its the same position players doing the same things they always do and to expect anything else well it won’t happen.The sad part is that the front office still believes this core group can compete and until they break this team up we will still be talking about the same things.Pitching will be this teams strong point for years once all are healthy and guys arrive from the minors but the offense is full of the same low OBP guys that swing for the fences.

    • Chuck Schick

      I’m not sure why you think the FO thinks this core group should stay together? They traded Phillips twice and agreed to a trade for Bruce that fell through. Everyone else is still somewhat of an unknown or Votto.

  30. Tom

    I can’t remember what TOOTBLAN stands for; can someone fill me in?
    Also, it seems that the Reds should just blow up their offense. It is so frustrating to see the Red Sox and Pirates, among others, with such great OBP, and the Reds have no one with these skills, other than Votto.