Of all of the issues that one could have foreseen for the Cincinnati Reds this season, this was not one of them:
Reds are dead last in hard contact rate as calculated by Statcast (EV of 95+ mph).
Y I K E S https://t.co/5d6bK3aHpL
— Matt Wilkes (@_MattWilkes) April 18, 2019
This malady has translated to the worst team batting average in the majors as of this date, .200; the third-worst team on-base percentage, .270, and the seventh-worst team OPS, .644. You have to believe that sooner or later, these guys are going to swing the bat the way the back of their individual baseball cards indicates that they should. But will it be too late to translate into anything meaningful in 2019?
Tonight at 10:10 Eastern time, the Reds begin a four-game weekend series against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Since sweeping the Marlins at home last week and boosting some hopes, the Reds have dropped four of five against the Cardinals and Dodgers.
Paddack is a rookie right-hander who has struck out 16 batters over 14 innings in three starts to date. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 at a time when he was ranked the number 22 prospect in the Padres farm system. He has been very impressive in his early starts this year. Similar to Luis Castillo, the scouting report on Paddack is a fastball in the 92 to 95 mph range with an outstanding changeup.
To date, Roark has been about what one would have expected after he was obtained from the Washington Nationals. He keeps his team in the game for the most part, with the occasional outlier subpar outing.
|1B Joey Votto||SS Fernando Tatis|
|3B Eugenio Suarez||1B Eric Hosmer|
|RF Jesse Winker||3B Manny Machado|
|LF Matt Kemp||RF Franmil Reyes|
|2B Derek Dietrich||LF Hunter Renfroe|
|CF Scott Schebler||CF Manuel Margot|
|SS Jose Iglesias||C Austin Hedges|
|P Tanner Roark||2B Luis Urias|
|C Tucker Barnhart||P Chris Paddack|
Out of the ordinary tonight:
- Yasiel Puig gets the night off.
- Tanner Roark bats eighth.
- Tucker Barnhart bats ninth.
When position player Billy Hamilton batted ninth in the past, the idea was to create the possibility of him leading off innings (after a pitcher batting eighth makes the final out), while minimizing the number of at-bats he would have at the top of the order. Frankly, it will be interesting to hear the rationale of batting Barnhart ninth, because he has been one of the few Reds so far who has hit close to his career numbers.
Additional insights into the statistical history of the players in today’s game is available all season long at BaseballSavant.com.
News and Notes
Taylor Trammell is making a case for a promotion to Class AAA Louisville sometime this summer:
Reds No. 2 prospect Taylor Trammell launched his third homer last night for the @ChattLookouts. He’s slashing .351/.500/.622 and has recorded an RBI in eight of his 11 games. #RedsMiLB pic.twitter.com/ALlIJOV1T9
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 18, 2019
This may surpass Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak or Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games played as the most elusive milestone for any future major leaguer to achieve:
— JC.Designs (@JeremyCaloDsgn) April 18, 2019