The 2018 battle for the Ohio Cup resumes tonight at GABP as the Reds (52-66; 4-6 last 10) meet the Indians (66-51; 7-3 last 10) in the first game of a 3 game set. The Reds took 2 of 3 from the Indians in Cleveland back in July and need to at least repeat that result to lock down the 2018 Ohio Cup since the current Cup holders, the Indians, retain the Cup  if the season series ends tied at 3. Yes, it’s not a real alternate championship like the FA Cup; but, the Ohio Cup is at least something for the Reds and their fans to aspire to in another season gone sour. Game time tonight is 7:10pm Eastern.

Starting Pitchers

A pair of right handers, Homer Bailey (Reds) and Mike Clevinger (Indians) make the start tonight. Tonight marks Homer Bailey’s first appearance of the year versus the Indians. Clevinger started the opening game of the series between the Reds and Indians in Cleveland a month ago allowing 5 earned runs over 6+ innings in a game won 7-5 by the Reds.

Tonight is Homer Bailey’s fourth start since his return from the disabled list. His first 2 starts went well. His most recent start did not go well which has reminded Reds fans of his strong start start to the 2018 season followed upon  by the downward spiral which ended up with Bailey on the disabled list. Reds management is apparently  committed to riding out the string with Bailey at least to the end of the current season. Fans can only hope that this commitment yields positive results and does not come back to haunt the Reds longer term development.

Mike Clevinger has been having a bit of a rough spell himself over the last month or so; but, all things are relative. In his last 7 starts he has pitched more like a league average starter rather than the up and comer many have pegged him to be. However in his most recent start, Clevinger showed signs of getting back into a more positive groove.  Clevinger throws his fastball a little over 50% of the time at a velocity in the low to mid 90’s, mostly as a 4 seamer but with a few sinkers mixed in. His main secondary pitch is his slider which he throws about 20% of the time. The remainder of his pitches are split about evenly between a change up and curveball. An interesting point to note is that according to Fangraphs’ data, Clevinger’s change up clocks in the high 80’s while his slider is in the low 80MPH range which is something of a reverse look.

2018 Comparative Data

PITCHER FIP IP/ Start HR/9 BB% K%
Homer Bailey 5.62 5.1 1.91 7.4% 14.7%
Mike Clevinger 3.35 6.1 0.80 7.7% 24.1%

Interesting to note that Bailey doesn’t walk batters quite as often as Clevinger’ but; Clevinger strikes out batters at more than 150% of Bailey’s rate and allows only half as many HR/9 as Bailey. At this point in his career, Bailey appears to be simply too hittable.

Bullpens

Keury Mella pitched 2 innings for the Reds Sunday and would figure to be limited or unavailable today. 

 

UPDATE:

The Indians current closer, Cody Allen, has pitched 5 outs in the last 2 days; and could be on short availability tonight. Also keep in  mind that with National League Rules (no DH) in use, Indians manager Terry Francona may have to change his bullpen patterns during this series which may or not work to the Reds advantage.

Lineups

              INDIANS            REDS
1. Francisco Lindor (SS)
2. Michael Brantley (LF)
3. Jose Ramirez (3B)
4. Yonder Alonso (1B)
5. Melky Cabrera (RF)
6. Jason Kipnis (2B)
7. Yan Gomes (C)
8. Greg Allen (CF)
9. Mike Clevinger (P)
1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Tucker Barnhart (C)
6. Mason Williams (CF)
7. Phillip Ervin (RF)
8. Preston Tucker (LF)
9. Homer Bailey (P)

Billy Hamilton gets a night off. The Reds player with the best wRC+ ranking since the All Star Break, Phil Ervin, will bat seventh. I guess we should just be glad Ervin is actually in the lineup and not sitting next to Dilson Herrera on the bench yet again.

News and Notes

We all have missed seeing Nick Senzel debut for the Reds this season too.

Have a look at another Reds up and comer

How about the last 3+ weeks at the plate for the guy at the top of this list?

For those of you otherwise occupied over the weekend, this really happened on Saturday

PS. Votto burned them with an RBI single.

Final Thoughts

Writing about Homer Bailey today in the Starting Pitchers segment was difficult. My first thought was to say that we should hope for the best results from his efforts tonight. But then I found myself debating just what the “best results” for the Reds would be at this juncture where Bailey is concerned.  What purpose is served by a strong start such as we saw from Matt Harvey over the weekend? Would that actually portend good for the Reds over the longer haul? Does anyone really believe Homer might find a formula to enable him to pitch well enough in 2019 to be a solid rotation piece? Even if he did, it is hardly imaginable the Reds would pony up the $25M to keep him around for 2020. We can but hope for an end result that somehow is best for both Homer Bailey and the Reds. MLB needs to find a better way  for the player, the team, and we fans.


Data and stats courtesy of  MLB.com  and Fangraphs

35 Responses

  1. Jim Walker

    I pretty much agree. I don’t want Bailey or anyone to play badly. The issue is opportunity cost versus paying off or slowing paying down the tab which will be still be $28M at the end of this season.
    Keep in mind, Baily becomes a 10/5 guy by the end of this season (9.017 at the start of 2018). That could color anything they seek to do in the off season or next year since he will be in a position to block any deals.

    • bouwills

      LOL. Block? Bailey should bronze (a statue of) anyone deft enough to trade for him.

      • Jim Walker

        He is going to be paid regardless. Why should he put himself out for anyone unless he has designs on playing after 2019?

  2. Jeff Reed

    Dilson Herrera should start every game from now to the end of the season. Too much potential to not find out what he can do either at second base or in the outfield.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Unfortunately the guy making out the lineup card disagrees and said a week or so ago that Scooter was likely to start every game the rest of the season, or at least until late September.

  3. Darrin

    I’m pretty sure Clevenger embarrassed Peraza in all three of his plate appearances against him last time.

    • Jim Walker

      Thanks Not surprising given Mella pitched and pitched poorly yesterday plus they are an arm short because of being committed to the 6 man rotation.

  4. Sliotar

    Wow.

    Almost 15 comments before the first pitch. I personally choose to believe the FA Cup reference fired up the Nation early tonight. Nice write-up, Jim.

    Go Redlegs.

  5. Sliotar

    Good call on the youngster.

    There was a segment this morning on MLB Radio, discussing what a bad practice has developed, shaming people to throw home runs balls back on the field, if a visiting player hit it.

    They cited what happened in Yankee Stadium over the weekend, where a kid caught a home run ball by Adrian Beltre, that moved him up on the all-time list…a collector’s item, or certainly one Beltre would have traded for.

    The dad was shamed by Bleacher Creatures to throw it back, and he did.

    Kid is always likely to remember that as a bad day at the park.

    • Jack

      Didn’t the stupid Cubs start that crap?

  6. Indy Red Man

    More nonsense on the pitch selection….like I was talking about earlier today? Homer drops a curve on the outside to go up 1-2 on Ramirez so why throw a heater inside to a short guy with short arms? He didn’t even hit it that good, but he’s got a million HRs and a quick swing so how is that pitch going to work? Stupid? You throw your pitch and if he walks then he walks. Alonso isn’t 1/3 the threat!

  7. Indy Red Man

    I refuse to believe Joey is done with the long ball. He’s not stepping into his swing at all and still just muscled that ball 390 feet off the wall with his arms! If he gets his knees/legs right then he could still be a force!

  8. Scott Gennett

    $105MM for 350 innings of 5.70 ERA ball, that’s what Bailey has provided under current contract, I can’t wait to see him cut loose.

    • Sliotar

      Bailey won’t be here for the 2020 season, so his days are numbered.

      The year before his extension, he got paid $5.4 million and produced…..$30.4 million of value (per FanGraphs).

      He got hurt. It is what it is.

      I am glad all MLB players are guaranteed. The money is certainly there, no reason for a guy not to get everything the team promised, injury or no injury. The NFL is an absolute travesty.

      His story is a cautionary tale about trying to land a “name” SP via free agency. Most are going to be 30 years old or close, with some miles on the arm.

      Much cheaper (if a longer path) to sort the numerous cheap, cost-controlled arms.

  9. Jeff Reed

    The big swing of Gennett is not getting it done. Let’s see what Herrera can do at second base.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah….he needs a few days off atleast. He’s barely missed 3 hrs in the past 2 weeks and maybe thats making him press even more? No reason why they can’t play Herrera at 2B once a week and 4-5 more in LF.

  10. Indy Red Man

    Homer competes but 1-19 in his and Finnegan’s starts. The Reds are 51-47 in the other games. 25-9 when they get a quality start.

  11. Indy Red Man

    Just a wee bit off there. Scooter will be 29 in May. I think he’d take 35 for 3 years….thats to age 31. We’re already down 40 in HRs at gabp this year? Maybe a decent manager would give him some rest? The Reds just run people into the ground like Duvall last summer. THat was painful to watch. He’s 4th in hitting and he’ll hit again. Plus you have the vertigo issue with Senzel. Personally I get rid of Peraza and Billy and fit Senzel in somewhere. We need to play longball in GABP not small ball and stupid bunts.

    • Jim Walker

      Ervin is putting in a claim to be in the mix too which complicates things a bit (actually a good thing). Would be nice to know if PE could play CF or if he is in the corner pool with Winker, Scheb, and possibly Senzel/ Scooter.

    • Indy Red Man

      I’m guessing a 3 yr deal would rewrite his 2019 paycheck right? I’m in sales and working with numbers on spreadsheets all day/every day, but I hate talking about that stuff with sports? If he goes then he goes….just think it would be a mistake. Plus I think big Bob looks at everything from a marketing (fans) standpoint and Scooter is the hometown underdog story!

  12. Jack

    Left Bailey in to long . Every time this team gets a run they give it right back.

    • roger garrett

      Your right and looks like we will have to get use to it for this year and next.

  13. Indy Red Man

    I just picked up Diaz for my fantasy leagues when the Indians get the DH back. He can rake. Bailey tries but he just doesn’t have it any longer. Peraza didn’t do him any favors either….making him throw another 20 pitches.

  14. Indy Red Man

    I’ve had it with Garrett. He’s been terrible since May. Send him down

    This makes 1-15 in Homer’s starts although his luck is even worse then he is.

  15. Jeff Morris

    If the Reds want to start being competitive, starting next year…should be the year, they need to find pretty much consistent left hand relievers like their rightys, Hernandez, and especially, J Hughes and R Iglesias. Like last year, Garrett struggling the second half of the season. Not sure W Peralta, A Garrett, and I forget the other guys name that is a lefty in their bullpen are the answer. So…Reds, make getting a reliable left hand reliever or two for next year, make that a priority!!

  16. roger garrett

    Seven hits,six walks and two runs through 6 innings.Both runs on solo homers.Not good.

  17. roger garrett

    Cookie time for our guys.Lets see if we can eat a little.

  18. roger garrett

    Nope but Terry tried by putting in Ollie.Guess he is still mad about being released.Got us on 6 pitches.

  19. kmartin

    I am sorry to see Cody Reed used in relief. I would like to see him start.

  20. roger garrett

    Dixon with a perfect inning.Guess the Tribe can’t handle 66 with movement.

  21. James M Robinson

    Everyone talking about Votto’s power outage. Couple months ago I started thinking he was hurt. Hit a ball to the gap that was a double all the way, but he almost got thrown out at 2nd. Replay showed he ran hard to first, slowed way down rounding the bag, and ran hard into 2nd. And not in a coasting kind of way. Seemed like he wasn’t confident of his legs if he rounded it hard. Just my thoughts.