Final R H E
Cleveland Indians (69-51) 4 5 1
Cincinnati Reds (52-69) 3 10 0
W: Dan Otero (2-1)  L: Cody Reed (0-1) SV: Brad Hand (28)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast

In a game that saw 15 hits and eight walks and lasted nearly three-and-a-half hours, only seven total runs were scored in the finale of the Ohio Cup. In the end, the result was the same for the Reds, who were swept at the hands of the Indians to drop the season series, 4-2.

Here’s how it all went down:

The Hitters

The Reds wasted no time getting on the board in this one after scoring just once the night before. Jose Peraza led the first inning off with a double and eventually scored on a two-out single by Scooter Gennett. The next batter, Preston Tucker, then blasted his first home run in a Cincinnati uniform.

Unfortunately, those would be the only runs the team scored on the night. The Reds chased Indians starter Shane Bieber from the game after just 4 1/3 innings, racking up seven hits and two walks in total against the rookie, but they couldn’t capitalize after the opening frame.

Their best opportunity came in the ninth inning, when Billy Hamilton led off with a single and Peraza followed with a ground-rule double to put runners on second and third with no outs. Joey Votto then hit a groundball to the first baseman, who was playing in, and Hamilton was thrown out at the plate. Eugenio Suarez then struck out and Gennett walked. That left the game in the hands of Curt Casali, who flew out with the bases loaded.

Peraza was the offensive MVP on the night, roping three doubles to give him 25 on the season. Tucker Barnhart and Hamilton also had two hits — a single and a double each — and Gennett had a pair of singles.

The Hurlers

Robert Stephenson, to put it kindly, was a mess tonight. As has been the case far too many times in his career, he could not consistently find the strike zone, throwing only 26 of 57 pitches for strikes. The problems started with the first batter of the game, when Stephenson issued a walk to Francisco Lindor. After giving up a single, he managed to get out of the jam with a flyout and a pair of strikeouts. His fate was not so fortunate in the second frame.

He again walked the leadoff batter in the second and wasn’t able to work around it that time. Stephenson uncorked a wild pitch, moving Jason Kipnis to second and allowing him to score on a single to the next batter. After a flyout, he walked the opposing pitcher on four pitches (again). Lindor then hit an RBI groundout, and Stephenson issued his fourth free pass of the day to Michael Brantley. That was all Jim Riggleman needed to see. Stephenson’s day was done after a miserable 1 2/3 innings, though he managed to only give up two runs.

That opened the door for Cody Reed to throw an extended outing and, a cheap GABP home run aside, he made the most of it. The left-hander cruised through his first 3 1/2 innings, giving up just one hit and striking out one. At one point, he retired eight consecutive hitters. He ran into trouble in the sixth inning when he allowed a leadoff walk — a rare lapse in control in his outing — followed by a home run to Melky Cabrera that had a hit probability of 19% and likely would’ve been a flyout in many other ballparks. He retired Kipnis before giving up a single and exiting the game. All in all, this was an encouraging showing from Reed.

Jared Hughes was the next man to emerge from the right-field bullpen. He proceeded to do what he’s done all year long, throwing 1 2/3 perfect innings and striking out two. Hughes now has a 1.31 ERA and 3.30 xFIP this season.

David Hernandez pitched a perfect eighth inning. Raisel Iglesias grazed the pant leg of a batter in the ninth but was otherwise perfect.

Not-So-Random Thoughts

  • The Reds have not won the Ohio Cup since 2014. Old friend Kristopher Negron was named the Most Outstanding Player of that series. Unsurprisingly, Jose Ramirez won the honors this time around.
  • Reed’s control has been significantly better in Triple-A this season (6.9 BB% vs. 12.7% last year), and that was on display tonight. Shameless plug alert: look out for an article from yours truly on his mechanical changes next Tuesday.
  • Peraza now leads the team in doubles after his outburst tonight, passing Gennett and Votto, who both have 24.
  • Riggleman has made a plethora of strange in-game management decisions, and he was at it again tonight. In the sixth inning, he used a double-switch to bring Hughes into the game, simultaneously subbing Mason Williams into the game for Tucker in right field. Williams was set to lead off the next inning, but Brandon Dixon was the one who took the at-bat. Williams played all of one out in the field before he was replaced. Unless he’s injured, it’s tough to come up with an explanation for that one. Perhaps Riggleman was trying to play matchups — the Indians brought in left-hander Tyler Olson to face the lefty Williams — but it’s a complete waste of a bench player in any scenario.
  • Rough, rough game for Suarez, who struck out a career-high five times. Even the team MVP will have bad nights.
  • Votto deserves credit for playing through his knee injury, but at this point, the Reds really need to consider the future and sit him until he’s healthy. There’s little sense in playing their star player in a meaningless season when he can barely jog to first base.

Up Next

Anthony DeSclafani (4.46 ERA, 4.15 xFIP) will toe the rubber Friday night as the Reds begin a three-game series at home against the San Francisco Giants. He’ll be opposed by Dereck Rodriguez (2.25 ERA, 4.00 xFIP), the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who is quietly having a solid rookie campaign.


Photo credit: Sam Greene, Cincinnati Enquirer

87 Responses

  1. Rut

    It is flat out absurd that the Reds havent put Votto on the DL, especially given the 6 man rotation.

    It’s not like he has ever had any lingering knee issues, and the club certainly doesn’t have much invested in his future.

    But by all means, let’s see if we can’t screw that future up too!

    • Ryan Howell (@rmhowell2)

      It’s evident he isn’t good. If he isn’t on the DL tomorrow I have no faith in Riggleman as a manager(which I barely have any left anyway).

      • Westfester

        It’s not Riggleman’s call on whether or not to place a payer on the DL. that’s on the Front office and the training staff.

  2. Klugo

    I like BobSteve, but Im starting to think that maybe he just doesnt have the mental toughness to be successful in the bigs.

    • James H.

      “Walks are part of my game.”- worst. quote. ever. by him

    • lwblogger2

      It’s very hard to determine state of mind and perform amateur psychology from a fan’s perspective. It’s certainly possible but most guys who get this far have “intestinal fortitude” as we used to say in the “before time”.

      He definitely is all amped-up, all the time. I know that people like players to play with passion and emotion but in baseball, that’s often very counter-productive. Stephenson never seems calm and in control. He also takes a world of time between pitches. It could be he’s thinking too much. It could be a million other things.

  3. Sliotar

    Really nice write-up, Matt.

    Suarez with the really rare Platinum Sombrero tonight.

    Suarez has not had an extra base hit in over a week, has not had a HR since Aug. 4.

    Combine that with Votto limping around, and its not a surprise that the Reds have only scored more than 4 runs 3 times in 14 games this month (4-10 record).

    It feels like its been that way all season. Suarez healthy and hitting, Reds offense clicks. If he’s not right, neither is the offense.

    • Davy13

      To your point, the Reds need to sign another strong, consistent bat in the offseason. Healthy or not, Votto is on the downward side of his peak. I’m not saying he’s done, but I’m not going to expect him to be classic Votto as most > 35 yr olds aren’t (e.g. Pujols). Suarez is the only stud batter the Reds have (avg + power).

      • CP

        C’mon man. They are not going to do that. Even if they could, they should spend that money on a pitcher. Offensively, most of us would be happy if they just made a few small upgrades in the OF.

        For the hitters, they just have to cross their fingers and hope Nick Senzel and the next wave of young hitters gets here and figures things out quicker than the all the young pitchers have.

      • WVRedlegs

        You mean someone like, oh say, a Christian Yelich?? A .309/.372/.514, and 3.6 fWAR OF would have looked good in a Reds uniform. Even if it meant having to trade Hunter Greene and his imminent now TJ surgery.
        And the rotation could use an inexpensive starter like Miles Mikolas, now 12-3 with a 2.85 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 3.77 xFIP, and a 3.1 fWAR.
        And now, both reside in the NL Central for other teams.

        The Reds front office had ample, ample opportunity to trade for and sign both of these players. And neither would have harmed the budgets for this year and the next several years. But the Reds front office squandered the opportunities as usual.
        So, you expect this same Reds front office to go get a stud batter by trade or free agency? They need two starting pitchers to obtain, that they will solve by signing Matt Harvey to 4 year / $70MM deal.
        They have a manager hire to screw up.
        They have the Director of Player Personnel and the Director of Amateur Scouting hires now to screw up. Maybe Castellini has more sons, or grandsons, to hire and bring into the front office mix.
        They have multi-year extensions to sign with BHam, Gennett, and Peraza.
        Too much on the plate of the Reds front office. They don’t have the time to be looking for a stud batter.

      • lwblogger2

        Yikes, harsh.

        I would have done the Yelich trade from the Reds’ standpoint it it meant Green but Doug was pretty certain that Senzel would have had to have been part of it to get it done. I’m not sure I would have done that.

        I’m not sure if Mekolis was looked at or not but the Reds had a long line of internal pitchers to look at and they haven’t been great about doing that even. Maybe that’s why he wasn’t extended a serious offer. If the Reds pass on these sorts of moves going into 2019, it will be more disappointing.

        As far as hiring is concerned, I’m afraid, as negative as your assessment is, I have to agree with you. History tells us the probability of your prediction is high.

      • Davy13

        If there’s anything that this FO has proven is to lower the fans’ expectation, so, no, I don’t expect them to do anything. I wrote what they should do. I actually agree with you. My concern is that the team ends up constructed like a see-saw – strong pitching/weak hitting or vice versa. I have seen that before. Sure they do need to sign 1-2 rock solid starting pitchers. I just hope the hitting will remain strong with a healthy Schleber, Winker, & Votto. But if Votto continues to decline who will replace him? What about CF? I don’t believe that the FO has to do an either/or approach to the offseason, but I believe it can do a both/and when it comes to pitching & batting.

        Thanks for the input.

    • lwblogger2

      So that’s what you call that!! I was at a loss for a term on Twitter last night after his 5th.

  4. DavidTurner49

    Has the rule changed on catchers allowing runners a path to the plate? Hamilton was blocked like the notorious Cozart play a couple years ago.

    • Jim Walker

      Catcher had the ball well ahead of the runner’s arrival. He doesn’t have to give way in that circumstance.

  5. jessecuster44

    That 9th inning was a complete cluster. There have got to be people out there who can teach the team proper baserunning.

  6. Hanawi

    It’s completely unfathomable to me that the Reds are going to continue running Votto out there on one leg in a season where they are going to lose 90 games. That is pure incompetence. Give Herrera a first basemen’s mitt or Scooter and have Herrera play 2nd. I can’t watch this anymore.

    • Jim Walker

      They can reassign people in an apparent hush, hush front office reorganization but no one can take the time to make and enforce the decision that their most valuable (or maybe 2nd most now) position player asset should sit for his and the org’s best longer term interest. The Reds way I guess

  7. Ryan Howell (@rmhowell2)

    This team is so hard to watch. No Winker, Schebler, and an ailing Votto, and an ice cold Suarez makes this offense inept. They need to stop running Tucker and Williams into the corner outfielder positions. That should be Ervin and Herrera everyday.

  8. Indy Red Man

    Votto? Totally agree with everyone else….not to mention Dixon has some upside imo and it would be nice to see him play every day for a while. Scooter/Dilson are too short to play 1B but what difference does it make?

    It didn’t matter in the outcome, but Peraza will another brain cramp in the 9th inning. The kid is hitting pretty well, but I’ve always said his baseball IQ is pretty low.

    Billy comes home on Joey’s grounder and Peraza stays at 2nd base? Why? All you have to do is get your secondary lead and when the 1b comes home then you break for 3rd. It would’ve been a piece of cake with his speed and wouldn’t have even drawn a throw! When the ball was chopped to the 1st baseman…Peraza actually was going back to 2nd? Why would they throw to 2nd base? Thats crazy?

    Thats how a team can be 5th in batting average in mlb and barely average in runs scored!

    • Hanawi

      Peraza isn’t the shortstop on the NGRT. His defense is poor and he still has no plate discipline. He’s a utility player.

      • Jim Walker

        Well Peraza certainly cost Stephenson a bundle of leverage pitches in the 1st inning by not grabbing that very grabbable looking liner that went through his glove, for all the difference it probably would not have made in Stephenson’s night. So that’s at least twice in this series something like that has transpired.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        So, if Peraza is going to hit at least better than Billy, and…he’s almost as fast, could he play CF? Seems in some ways it would be less costly to the Reds’ defense if he could play there rather than SS.

      • lwblogger2

        He was pretty bad out there when they tried him out there before. Having said that, I don’t think he’s played much CF really at any level professionally or perhaps even as an adult. I think he has the tools to do it and by all reports he’s a hard worker. If told to work to be a CF and be ready for a good amount of CF action in spring training next year, I’d bet he’d turn himself into at least a decent CF in short order.

    • Keith

      Peraza was probably heading back to 2nd because he assumed Billy would return to 3rd like he should have. Otherwise you’d be ripping Peraza for running to 3rd on a play where Hamilton should have stayed put.

      • Indy Red Man

        All Peraza had to do was watch the play unfold. Billy was coming and their guy was throwing….no hesitation from either one? Peraza just has zero instincts. Can it be learned? I don’t know? Joey doesn’t have any either (except at the plate) and how long has he played?

      • Still a Red

        There should have been clear signals between Riggleman, Hatcher, Hamilton, and Peraza. The key link was probably Hatcher-Peraza. Now, whether it was Peraza missed it, or Hatcher did not make it…don’t know.

    • Sparky

      If you watch that play from the camera behind home-plate, he would have been toast at 3rd. Remember the 1b was in. When the ball beats the fastest MLBer in the league to home by 3 strides. 2nd ain’t going to third. I thought the same thing till i saw the other view.

    • VaRedsFan

      Amen Indy. Couldn’t believe Peraza didn’t go to 3rd on that groundout.

      That non-catch of another line drive makes the 7th (that I know of) over the last 2 seasons.

  9. big5ed

    I look forward to the article on Reed’s change in mechanics. He looked much more comfortable than I had seen before. I especially liked his game tempo – reminded me of Tom Browning.

    Reed’s outing was very encouraging. He is their big breakout candidate for 2019.

    Votto would hate it, but he needs to be on the DL. I wish they would give Aristides Aquino his ABs, but they would have to platoon Williams and Dixon at first to do that.

  10. Kettering Reds Fan

    Today’s totally nonserious suggestion:

    (1) Send BobSteve back to AAA ….. again.

    (2) -This- time, send back an MLB umpire along with him. His own -personal- ump, calling balls and strikes with the tighter (and sometimes more eccentric) MLB strike zone as opposed to AAA level.

    (3) Then wait and see if he can adapt. Anyone want to set odds?

    • big5ed

      Stephenson’s issue is 100% mental. He has let his adrenaline get the better of him in his two starts. He needs to get a grip on it, before he turns into Steve Blass with his fastball.

      Stephenson can’t learn to deal with major league adrenaline/anxiety in AAA, because he doesn’t get the same adrenaline rush or same level of anxiety in AAA. The Reds don’t have much choice but to keep trotting him out there every 5 days. If he fails, he fails.

      I saw a good article yesterday on Randall Grichuk, who got off to an awful start this year in Toronto, and then took some advice to quit squeezing the bat into sawdust. Tension is an enemy; relaxed muscles are strong muscles. Grichuk has been excellent now for about 2 months. Stephenson has to get to the same point: relax, forget what stage he is on, and pitch his game. Once he does, his natural ability will take over, and he will be fine.

      It is easier said than done, though.

      • Kettering Reds Fan

        That’s actually a very good point.

        Reed has gone through the same learning process, it would appear. Also, bringing him in midgame probably has reduced his SPA (Starting Pitcher Anxiety level) down to something he can manage. He looked very calm and collected on the mound last night.

        What you say is applicable to Stephenson as well, but the problem may have a deeper component. He gradually works out the AAA strike zone and then becomes overconfident about what will and will not work within the tighter MLB strike zone.

      • big5ed

        They apparently use a different ball in the minor leagues, with a bit higher seams. It is beyond me why they do so. As reported last year on FanGraphs, the MLB balls are made in Costa Rica, and the MiLB balls are made in China. The cost difference would seem to be absurdly small for a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

        I favor universal Costa Rican baseballs.

      • Kettering Reds Fan


        A personal major league umpire -and- a personal bucket of Costa Rican MLB balls.

        As you said, the cost differential is de minimus. Didn’t the Powers That Be say they were prepared to spend more?

      • Jim Walker

        Yes. Sports psychologist. That’s what kept occurring to me the entire time RS was on the mound Wednesday.

        Also the team needs to work with all young guys on how to speak with the media. The entire context of what he said last night post game wasn’t nearly as other worldly and off the wall as the out of context hook quote of “walks are part of my game”. As reported in the Enquirer his lead quote was actually that his performance had been “unacceptable”.

      • Westfester

        Good teams don’t send their pitchers up to the Majors to develop their mental toughness. All of that should have been dealt with during development. The Yankees and Cardinals operate under a strict development process. If you don’t meet certain benchmarks both physically (throwing strikes while changing speeds) and mentally (pitching when you’re tired, limiting damage, STAYING FOCUSED), you don’t get rewarded with a call up, no matter how naturally talented you are. You must prove to them you are a PITCHER, not a thrower.

      • lwblogger2

        I tend to tune out when a fan says something like “so and so’s issue is 100% mental” but in this case I mostly agree. There are clearly still some physical issues with his mechanics that are harming his command but the adrenaline/anxiety and general nervous energy seem to be the largest factor to his command issues. That’s only an observation and guess on my part but it sure appears right.

  11. Jeff Reed

    I don’t understand why Herrera does not start every game as the season winds down. Isn’t this vetting time in the rebuild? He can play an infield or outfield position and he’s a right handed bat the Reds need. What’s the point of starting Tucker, a player who finds it very difficult to hit lefties. Cody Reed, after not being around for a while, looked like he’s matured and able to get the ball over the plate on a more consistent basis. I hope he keeps working with Darwin and Power because he’s a lefthander the Reds need.

  12. Bill j

    BHam trotting into to home standing on up on a grounder to 1st base, that’s havoc on the bases.

    • big5ed

      Riggleman said that the play was “go on contact.” It played out worse than it should have, because Peraza didn’t run like he was supposed to. Suarez whiffed, anyway. He is another guy who could use some rest, but maybe a couple of games of playing shortstop will give him some oxygen.

  13. bouwills

    I haven’t read any comments about eventually delegating Bob Stephenson to the bullpen. He has no options next year. The Reds will not put him through waivers, not a first round draft pick at age 25. If the Reds find 4 possible sp (plus Bailey), there’s no place to put Stephenson but in the pen. Let’s face facts, Robert is going to be just like a Rule 5 draft pick next season, you use him (in the ML) or lose him.

    • Jim Walker

      And he may turn out to be like Edwin Encarnacion and need the shock of bouncing around through a couple of organizations to come around.

      • Kettering Reds Fan

        I’ve been (trying to) make the same point for two years now. Two years in which we’ve slowly allowed his perceived value to decline. Hello, Front Office? Would someone in the Front Office pick up the white courtesy phone?

      • Jim Walker

        There is an old baseball axiom which came to my mind. It says that the two worst times to base judgements of emerging players on are spring training and September (for guys not in a playoff race).

        RS had a league average run in the Reds rotation in August and September of 2017 including nigh onto brilliant in Sept. (2.77 ERA/ 3.54 FIP). Meanwhile Romano who had muddled along all season also took root in Sept and pretty much matched RS performance (3.49/3.55 ERA/FIP for Sal in Sept). Then Romano outpitched RS in the spring for the final rotation spot.

        Now come late August of 2018, and what do the Reds have to show from either of them?

  14. docproctor

    In his defense, Suarez got hosed on several pitch calls, including the ones that allegedly rung him up.
    My only solace is that every loss is one more deserved nail in Rig’s coffin.

    • big5ed

      Yes. The computerized strike zone can’t come fast enough for me. Especially one that calls the high strike as written in the rulebook.

    • VaRedsFan

      For sure, on 2 such AB’s, the pitch was very much outside.

    • lwblogger2

      There were 4 calls in Stepenson’s time on the mound that went against him. 2 of those got a lot of the strike-zone and were called balls. Seems the Reds had a lot of calls go against them last night. I’m against robo-umps but there is enough inconsistency that the argument for robo-umps make a stronger and stronger case.

      • Jim Walker

        I favor a prompting system versus flat out robo calls for ball and strikes. Baseball is about the only major sport left where the officials are not wired in on the field whether it be for communication among themseleve or with somebody/ something off the field.

        Give the home plate ump an ear piece or a vibrating device which triggers with varying tone or intensity according to whether the robo reads a pitch clearly in the zone to a fringe strike with no tone at all for a ball. But still leave the final call to the human.

  15. sultanofswaff

    I can’t remember the last time Smiling Billy attempted to steal 2nd in a close/late situation. In a one run game he should’ve tried as baserunning is supposedly his one useful offensive skill.

    The ‘run on contact’ play is the dumbest play in all of baseball. You NEVER see it work. More to the point, the play was in front of Hamilton, and yet he mindlessly ran into the out.

    It was truly offensive to hear Thom dumping on Robert Stephenson one batter into the game. Considering the measured analysis of other young Reds pitchers when they have blowup starts, Brennaman’s harping was way over the top. Like father like son.

  16. cfd3000

    I was at the game sitting just behind home plate. Stephenson looked bad. Again it was clear he had more control of the slider than the fastball, a pitch over which he had zero control. It was even uglier than the result. I was one who had called for his promotion, and was excited to see him pitch, but he wasn’t even close to ready last night.

    Reed looked a LOT better and I won’t be surprised if he gets RS’ next start. The Cabrera pop homer was unfortunate, but it was still a mistake pitch, but really the only one he made. His arm slot is more consistent than last year, but his arm speed does appear to be slightly different on the offspeed stuff. Maybe that’s just me looking for a tipoff. I hope I’m wrong there. In any case the difference between Cody and Robert was huge.

    Finally, Votto can’t run and probably does need to go on the DL. On the other hand, he had more hard hit balls last night than I’ve seen in a while. The 400 foot out in the first was loud, and the liner to left in the third was smoked. I’m guessing he thinks he’s ready to break out at the plate and doesn’t want to sit. From a selfish point of view I want to see him bat in person for the Giants series and he can go on the DL after I’m back in Atlanta. But I’ll admit it looks like he needs to heal.

    • VaRedsFan

      Could have used one of those flyball outs in the 9th when they were down by 1 and men on 2nd/3rd. or even one of those inside out pop ups to the left fielder that he is fond of. Pitchers aren’t afraid to throw him inside pitches (as they are to most leftys) because he refuses to pull the ball in the air, thus, the plethora of grounders to the right side.

  17. roger garrett

    Votto needs to set and Eugenio needs a couple of days off.Reds have now lost 42 games when scoring 3 runs or less yet have some very good team stats on offense.Lack of power is the culprit and if not the two run homer in the first they get 1 run on 7 hits and 4 walks.This has been an on going problem all year and has little to do with Winker and Scott not playing since their replacements have held their own with 5 homers combined and are taking some walks.The issue is Joey’s power is gone and 3 other guys have no power and all will play 145+ games.I know its like beating a dead horse but it is what it is.

  18. doofus

    It’s simple, insularity and nepotism is killing this franchise.

  19. Indy Red Man

    Cody Reed needs to watch some film on Sean Manaea with the A’s. Manaea doesn’t throw as hard as Reed, but he uses his 6’5 to get a good downward bite on the slider. If Reed figures that out then he could atleast be a decent #3! Last night was encouraging.

    • David

      Yes, he looked more relaxed and his motion seemed smoother. I don’t know what happened in the 6th inning, but through 5, after relief of Stephenson, he looked pretty good.
      I think he deserves some starts, just to see what he can do. Maybe the light has come on, and he is more in control of his pitching than before.
      Very good point about Sean Manaea. Velocity is always impressive, because you can’t teach someone how to throw a ML fastball. But you have to be able to throw strikes and command the strike zone.

  20. WVRedlegs

    The “wealth” of young starting pitching for the Reds has turned into a big ole bucket of fool’s gold. The Not Ready For Prime Time Players.

    1. Amir Garrett has assigned himself to the bullpen for his career. Inconsistent and streaky. The Jay
    Bruce of bullpens.
    2. Brandon Finnegan has regressed all the way back to the AAA bullpen.
    3. Sal Romano is on the cusp of being sent to the bullpen, maybe for good.
    4. Robert Stephenson will be completely out of the Reds organization by this winter.
    5. Tyler Mahle regressed back to the AAA rotation. He needs more work and to learn another pitch.
    6. Rookie Davis has been injured for 2 straight seasons and very well could to get released this winter.
    7. Jon Moscot has been hurt for 2 straight seasons.
    8. Luis Castillo is having a sophomore slump season.

    The sorting has been a grind on the young starters. Grinding them up and spitting them out.
    This is reason enough to give Michael Lorenzen and Cody Reed some shots at starting games from now until the end of the season. Resurrect them from the bullpen. They have to find a couple of starting pitchers to go with Castillo. Mahle just isn’t ready and Sims should get a chance in September to show his stuff.
    “Starting pitching? We don’t need no stinkin’ starting pitching.”
    “We got Robert for that.”
    But this is the Reds front office-by-committee we are talking about.

    • Jim Walker

      Also add in that 2 first round choices who look like keepers at the plate, Winker and Ervin, showed at MLB looking clueless on the field and running bases.

      And maybe these results are why the deck is getting shuffled in the front office right now with the heads of drafting and development being “reassigned”?

    • Nick Carrington

      Just some additional thoughts on a few of these guys:

      Finnegan’s stuff was diminished after the shoulder injuries. I wouldn’t call that regression. He still has the command issues, but the stuff just isn’t the same. Maybe, he gets something back with a healthy offseason (Reds shouldn’t bet on it).

      Mahle has three pitches, but two of them (slider and changeup) aren’t that great right now.

      I’m not giving up on Romano, but if the changeup doesn’t take a step forward, I don’t see how he is one of the five best starters on the team. Definitely a bullpen candidate as a fastball/slider guy.

      I’d be happy to see Reed and Lorenzen get a chance. Reed needs to find a way to limit solid contact on his fastball, and he seems to be making some mechanical adjustments to do just that. Lorenzen needs to recapture the put-away pitch he’s had the last two years and walk fewer people.

  21. bouwills

    I just don’t get the level of criticism to which Peraza continues to receive at this site. He is so much better than the alternative @ ss (which was signing Cozart). Jose has as many xbh as Votto, about half the strikeouts as Suarez. He has the same # of errors (14) as Suarez in a third more chances. True, his game needs improvement, but there’s plenty time. He’s only 24. Things would be peachy-keen if Peraza was the weakest link in the Reds starting 8. The real disappointment is in other ss in the organization. Garcia & Alfredo Rodriguez have not been impressive at the plate. It doesn’t look like Downs or Senzel can field the position adequately. I wonder if the Reds might consider converting one of their many cf prospects to a ss (Friedl, Siri, Sinai, Fairchild, Sugilio, etc)? After 4 years of quasi-rebuild, the organization should have more talent at the ss position in the minor league.

    • Mocat816

      What doesnt show in the box score for Peraza are the mental mistakes. Not covering the bag on steal attempts, not being quick enough to turn the double plays. Not following the lead runner and moving up to thrid base in the 9th. On a single to right field Scooter lined up to take the outfield throw, Peraza lined up between the right fielder and third base. Because Peraza did not cover the bag, the Indians player took second base, turning a stright single into a double. He is young, hopefully he will learn, but situational awareness sometimes isnt something that can be taught. While it would be nice, i dont believe anyone expects to see Peraza make a ton of exceptional plays. We would just be happy to see the routine plays made, and the fielders be in the right defensive postiions, whether that is to receive throws or cover the bases. A lot has been made about outfielders not hitting the cut off men lately, but what if some of those missed cutoff men are not where they should be? Bad middle infielders make their teammates look bad. We have been spoiled by players named Morgan, Concepcion, Larkin, Oester, Cozart, and Phillips.

      • bouwills

        I agree somewhat. Not to defend him but he’s still young. Peraza certainly doesn’t have the
        Cincinnati market cornered in mental mistakes – there’s plenty to go around. Winker & Ervin were both high draft picks by this organization, tutored by this organization and neither is fundamentally sound. Mental mistakes are tolerated here, unfortunately.

      • doofus

        These are simple principles that all middle infielders learn in HIGH SCHOOL! How many years did Peraza have in the minors, in all of professional ball to hone these skills?

        After originally being heralded as an up-and-coming SS in the Braves org, he was traded to the Dodgers. Then he was traded to the Reds. Does anyone think the Braves and Dodgers, who seem to have an ability to judge young talent, knew something about Peraza’s ability?

        The organization needs to seriously address the SS position.

    • Old-school

      Peraza has improved this year from last significantly. If he could keep improving his BB% and ISO and tighten up the defense and mental errors, he could be a solid SS. He’s not there yet but he’s improved in his year 24 season. Suarez took off in year 3.

      • roger garrett

        He has improved but the Reds gave him a job in 2017 and again in 2018 and he will be at short next year.All of these jobs were by default just like Billy in year 6 next year.Will he be the same as Billy?I really don’t know but I don’t think so.Reds award jobs by default and have other players being blocked from coming to the big leagues which is just insane.To say we have to play this guy and can’t play this guy has nothing to do with performance obviously.Every other team finds a way to get there best hitters on the field and we in what will be year 6 for Billy and what will be year 4 for Peraza still have nobody better or can compete with them is again insane.The Reds especially Bob seem to be in awe of Billy and it appears to be happening to Peraza.Luckily Peraza is already a much better hitter and it will probably work out that he is good enough at short.

      • Old-school

        I don’t disagree a lot. He was given the 2b job though…not SS. Scooter beat him out and then it was Cozart still at SS.

        He’s different from Billy in that he’s improving after 1000 at bats. He’s increased his BB% by 1.5% from last year. His K% is down 3%. His OBP is a respectable .329 and most importantly, he has 35 Xtra base hits already and counting. Last year in the same # of bats he had only 18. If he makes the same incremental improvements again next year and tightens the defense and mental errors- he’s a solid SS.

        Believe it or not, Peraza leads the Reds in doubles with 25- more than Scooter, more than Suarez and more than Votto. That’s progress..

      • lwblogger2

        I’ve been hard on Peraza since the Reds acquired him. I was extra critical of him last year when Scooter was hitting the cover off the ball and Peraza remained at 2B. I still don’t like his walk rate and although I can see a potentially above average defensive SS, his progress seems excruciatingly slow. Having said that, he is making progress as you point out. I also keep reminding myself that although it seems he’s been around a long time, he’s a young player. He didn’t turn 24 until the beginning of the 2018 season. If he keeps improving, especially his walk-rate and defense at SS, then the Reds might end up with at least a league-average and perhaps an above average overall SS. One thing I’ve not been critical about is his work ethic. He is by all accounts a very hard worker.

  22. Indy Red Man

    Meanwhile Zack Wheeler just won his 6th straight start for a team as bad as the Reds. They need to do something?

    • lwblogger2

      You keep beating the Zack Wheeler drum. He is under contract next year and 2020 I believe. That’s 2 years of control with one of them being likely another rebuilding year for the Reds. So, the question is, what do you suggest the Reds give the Mets to acquire him for 2019 and 2020? This is Wheeler’s first healthy season since 2017 and he looks healthy. I’m not sold he’s the guy but he seems attainable and is only in line for arbitration raises. What do you think would be a good trade to get him?

      • lwblogger2

        See what happens when I don’t check contract status in Cots or on Baseball Reference… Considering he’s a FA after 2019, I don’t want the Reds to trade for him at all.

      • WVRedlegs

        The caveat would be to get Wheeler to sign a three year deal. His last arbitration year and 2 free agent years.
        Your trade package is for one year of Wheeler. Then sign him to 3 years and you get 3 of his prime years. If he stays healthy. I think he is now.
        Like you say for 1 year, pass, but for 3 I would take a very close look. Of course the next question is can you get Wheeler to sign for those 2 extra years? If the money is right, maybe so.
        The Reds will have to do something creative to get 2 good starters.

      • lwblogger2

        I agree… I think they will need to trade for someone and probably need to buy someone else. I’m not sure what the budget will look like. Jeff Todd (MLBTraderumors) doesn’t think the Reds will take payroll much over $100-million. He says they have over $70-million committed prior to arb raises. He doesn’t see them willing to spend much on the market. They will have to be creative, as you say.

      • Indy Red Man

        Good question? The Mets are terrible and old….for the most part, but I would think their objective is to pay DeGrom. We supposedly have the 7th best farm system….make it happen! Miami got Brinson for Yelich and he was terrible. Either hurt or in the minors? It shouldn’t cost that much?

      • lwblogger2

        So, with a year of control left, if the Mets said: “Senzel, Trammell, Samtillan” you’d pull the trigger?

        That would probably be an initial ask. I don’t think it would take that much to get him but you basically said “get it done”, so I’m wondering how far you’d want the Reds to go to do that?

      • Indy Red Man

        Yelich cost the 23rd best prospect and he’s much more important then a 3rd starter. I doubt Wheeler would cost that much? I haven’t seen enough of our guys in the minors to make the call?

      • lwblogger2

        Chances are, it would come down to something more like Trammel, Santillan, and someone not in the Reds top 25. I’m not sure I make that deal. Maybe one of Trammel/Santillan and someone else or two someone elses… He’s only signed through 2019 though so I don’t make even that deal. I want a guy who I’ll have at least through 2020 and perhaps later.

  23. David

    I would add that Cozart has an OPS of .658 this year. There were a lot of folks who wanted to sign him to an extension. His career OPS is .711 so I’ll give Peraza some more time. Now if they had kept Didi you would have a player with a .809 OPS. You pick and you choose and then second guess yourself.

  24. jeffery stroupe

    Need to invite Jack Morris to spring training, somebody that had some backbone.

  25. TomN

    Suarez may be in a funk but I thought two of the called K’s came on pitches outside the strike zone – especially the second was a good 4-6 inches outside. I agree though, he’s looking tired or somewhat out of sort. Maybe the losing since the ASG is getting to him.

    • lwblogger2

      With Votto hurting and with Schebler and Winker out, he might be trying to do too much.