The Reds open their second series of the season tonight at GABP versus the Milwaukee Brewers. Starting time is 6:40PM.  Note this  will be the starting time for Monday-Thursday night games through the end of May. While the Reds and Pirates split their opening series, the Brewers opened by winning 3 of 4 at home from the Cardinals. The bigger news is 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich has picked up where he left off last season. In 4 games he has 4 home runs and an OPS of 2.250, yes, an OPS of 2.250. That’s not a typo or April Fool joke.

Starting Pitchers

Tanner Roark for the Reds and the Brewers Zach will be on mound to start the game. Both are right handers.


Tanner Roark is one of the three veteran pitchers acquired by the Reds in the off season to bolster their rotation. The Reds traded pitching prospect Tanner Rainey to the Nationals for the 32 year old Roark who will be eligible for free agency at season’s end. Roarks’ career began when he was drafted deep in the 2008 draft (25th round; #873 overall) by the Texas Rangers.  In 2010 Roark was traded to the Nats.  With the Nats Roark carved out an improbable MLB career eventually making 141 MLB starts (182 appearances) between 2013-18. His career FIP (4.27) and FIP- (105) suggest he is a league average pitcher.

The Reds hope Roark’s sinker based repertoire will play well in GABP. But Roark sports a full arsenal of pitches.  In addition to the sinker (40%) look for a  4 seam fastball about 20% of the time augmented by a slider, curve, and change about equally mixed to fill out his pitch count.The Reds also hope Roark will be an innings eater as he has pitched at least 180 innings per season since 2016. Tonight against the slugging Brewers we will get the first test of those hopes.


Like Roark, Brewers Starter Zach Davies has also defied long odds to make it to MLB since being drafted #785 overall (26th round) by Baltimore in 2011. Davies was traded to the Brewers in July of 2015 and made his MLB debut later that same year. He has appeared in 80 MLB games, all starts, since.  Following complete seasons in the Brewer rotation in 2016 (28 starts) and 2017 (33 starts), rotator cuff irritation limited Davies to 13 starts in 2018. Davies is also similar to Roark in featuring a sinker as his primary fastball.  Look for him to throw the sinker between 55-60% of the time and spread the remainder of his pitches somewhat evenly among a cutter, curve and, change up.

Tanner Roark 4.27 1.20 6.6% 19.6%
Zach Davies 4.39 1.09 7.5% 17.5%




The back end of the Reds pen is rested. Michael Lorenzen and Robert Stephenson both worked 2 innings yesterday and are most likely very limited or not available. The silver lining here is that Lorenzen should be fully available for off the bench work.



Matt Albers worked 2 innings Sunday. The guy that really matters, Josh Hader, last worked on Saturday for just 1 inning.



1. Lorenzo Cain (CF)
2. Christian Yelich (RF)
3. Ryan Braun (LF)
4. Travis Shaw (3B)
5. Jesus Aguilar (1B)
6. Mike Moustakas (2B)
7. Yasmani Grandal (C)
8. Orlando Arcia (SS)
9. Zach Davies (P)


1. Scott Schebler (CF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Yasiel Puig (RF)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Matt Kemp (LF)
6. Jose Peraza (2B)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Jose Iglesias (SS)
9. Tanner Roark (P)


News and Notes

Reds have a rotation update.  Castillo on Wednesday, Mahle pushed back to Thursday:


And perhaps we have our first lineup controversy of the David Bell era roiling up

Final Thoughts

And so another season is underway. Hopes are soaring among Reds fans because of the Reds busy off season. Yet the first series of the season versus the Pirates underscored that baseball is a sport where the long view is best. On Thursday the Reds looked like world beaters. Sunday they were much the polar opposite. As the events swing back and forth, keep in mind that even the best teams often win just around 60% of their games.  Thus over a season, changing the outcome of 1 game in 10 typically defines the difference of how teams align. Little things do add up over time to make a big difference. 160 games remain to see where toward the middle  of the spectrum the Reds will end up.  GO REDS!


Stats and data courtesy of  Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, and

27 Responses

  1. Patrick Jeter

    Matt Kemp getting 2 of 3 starts versus RHP. Interesting…

  2. Eric McAllister

    I think they want Kemp to put up some numbers so they can trade him.

  3. Keith

    What did David Bell say about Winker’s number of at-bats he was going to receive this year? Didn’t he mention 500? Not a promising start in that department.

  4. Andrew Workman

    Is anyone having issues watching the game? I’m trying to watch it on FSO and they’re showing some stupid men’s diving event instead!

  5. Free house

    Back to back Ks with bases loaded. Might be a long day for the Redlegs again

  6. Indy Red Man

    Not real big on Roark. 4.67 & 4.34 era’s in the last 2 years and now he’s coming to a smaller park with a sketchy outfield defense. Down the road I’d really love to see young guys like Lorenzen, Garrett, or Reed get a shot in the rotation!

    • Indy Red Man

      I forgot about BobSteve. Everyone on RLN is higher on BobSteve and Romano then I am, but he did have electric stuff yesterday! It comes down to the same complaints we’ve had for 4-5 years now….if the veteran guys aren’t getting it done and we’re not ready to roll with the big dogs then why not turn the youngsters loose? I feel like Bell gets it!

  7. Free house

    These guys making Davies look like a future cy young. Need to get the bats going and Roark needs to start throwing strikes

  8. Indy Red Man

    Yep…global warming. The beautiful Midwestern fall season is over in 5 weeks now? Then its 5 months of winter. We still had snow on the ground this morning in Indy. Then it rains all April?

    • Indy Red Man

      I agree with you, but its only game 3. Not to mention for some reason I checked Kemp’s numbers for the last 2 years and he’s got like a .950 ops for April-May

  9. Indy Red Man

    Cubs with the ole 0-3-4 line that the Reds had yesterday….but its the 3rd inning….lolllllllllll

  10. Indy Red Man

    Puig!!! Picks up the 2nd rbi due to a Braun brain cramp. No way Joey scores otherwise….ball was hit too hard! I have Puig on every one of my fantasy teams. He’s going to kill it this year!

  11. Indy Red Man

    Amir at 98!!! If he’s better off in the pen then so be it, but I see David Price Jr from his Tampa days. If you develop a talented arm then why have him go 60 ip when he might go 180?

  12. Chris

    I don’t understand the Grandal shift. What is it’s purpose?

  13. Indy Red Man

    Hunter Greene done TJ. Jeez. Reds just can’t catch a break. Maybe the Cubs have the right idea. Develop a bunch of position players and trade some of them for arms.

  14. James

    Good thing we refused to trade greene for some like yelich or kluber. Would hate to lose a guy that talented who is so close to helping the reds

  15. Chris

    Only three games in and it feels like the same old Reds.

  16. FreeHouse

    Iggy not looking like himself lately

  17. Indy Red Man

    Iggy 92 mph right down broadway to Braun. Oh boy. Thats not going to work? The bats haven’t done much tonite either? HBP and a walk scored on Puig’s double. Its not like they’ve hit the ball hard?

  18. Chris

    Just wait until we get a hit out of our leadoff spot this season! We’ll really start cookin’!

  19. Indy Red Man

    Now thats a personnel issue in my mind. You have 13 pitchers when you know games are going to get rained out? Schebler has zero shot vs Hader. Ervin would atleast be able to see the ball.

    • FreeHouse

      Exactly. I’m sure everyone had the same feeling that Scheb was going to strike out. He’s definitely not seeing the ball well right know. Maybe he should try and bunt more often.

  20. Indy Red Man

    Hader? The dude is ridiculous. He wasn’t paying that much attention to Lorenzen. He can fly so maybe he could steal 3rd. That was our only shot to tie it. You’ll see 2 hits in an inning off him about 3x a year

  21. Jeff Morris

    Something obvisouly wrong with Raisel Iglesis. From what I saw….he allowed hits and runs in spring training, and so far, has been terrible in both regular season games so far this season. Wouldn’t be surprised if he goes on the DL…probably for a while knowing the Reds pitchers luck. Hunter Greene, not sure about Alex Wood, now Iggy probably injured…Reds are defintely snake bitten!

  22. Choo choo

    Be so glad when Senzel is up… tired of watching Schebler K on 3 pitches every time game is on the line. Ground ball to 2b & Reds are still playing…just a ground ball.

  23. Jon

    It’s only three games into the season, but the Reds’ offseason trade acquisitions aren’t looking too hot (hope it’s just due to the freezing weather). Kemp and Puig aren’t hitting, Roark and Gray’s debuts were lackluster at best, and of course Wood is on the IL.

    On top of this, R. Iglesias has looked terrible since Spring Training (not to mention the fact that he didn’t appear in a ST game until significantly later than everyone else, supposedly so that he could work on some things). Gennett won’t be appearing in a game until late June at the earliest. Senzel cannot stay healthy. Now Greene is going to get TJ surgery and be out until the middle of next season.

    Not a good past few days to be a Reds fan, especially in contrast to the optimism that was present throughout the winter and on Opening Day. The Reds still have 159 to play and hopefully as the weather warms up, so do the team’s bats and arms.