The Cincinnati Reds are looking to bounce back after last nights loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in the opening game of their series.

Starting Pitchers

Lucas Sims (2-1, 4.99 ERA, 30.2IP, 7 HR, 13 BB, 44 K)

The Reds will turn to Lucas Sims for a spot start tonight after scheduled starter Alex Wood’s back problems showed back up between his last start and this one. Sims has only made two starts this year for the Reds, but did spend the first half of the year starting in Triple-A for the Louisville Bats. With that said, his last start came six weeks ago, so don’t expect him to have a very high pitch count as he’s not exactly stretched out right now. His ERA is better as a reliever than as a starter – 3.86 to 4.85 (AAA & MLB).

Left-handed hitters have had a little more success against Lucas Sims this season in the Majors, posting a .737 OPS against him with 8 walks and 16 strikeouts in 54 plate appearances. Right-handed hitters are hitting .203/.271/.438 against him with just 5 walks and 28 strikeouts in 70 trips to the plate against him. Both lefties and righties hit for power against him, but they don’t do much hitting besides that. When they made contact, they tend to do damage. They just don’t make much contact.

Vince Velasquez (6-7, 4.86 ERA, 96.1IP, 22 HR, 35 BB, 103 K)

After being moved to the bullpen in early May, Velasquez returned to the rotation in late June and he’s stuck there ever since. Overall since that time he’s posted a 5.40 ERA in his 12 starts, but he’s been a lot better in his last seven, even including his 7-runs in 2.1 innings start against the Marlins less than two weeks ago.

Much like Lucas Sims, Velasquez doesn’t have heavy splits. But he does get hit well by both lefties (.798 OPS against) and righties (.842 OPS against). Both sides show power against him, as he’s been rather home run prone this season. The right-hander has allowed 22 home runs in just 96.1 innings this year. He’s got a solid walk rate and a strong strikeout rate, but when guys do make contact they tend to make it count.

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

  1. Josh VanMeter – LF
  2. Joey Votto – 1B
  3. Freddy Galvis – 2B
  4. Aristides Aquino – RF
  5. Tucker Barnhart – C
  6. Nick Senzel – CF
  7. Jose Iglesias – SS
  8. Kyle Farmer – 3B
  9. Lucas Sims – SP

Philadelphia Phillies

  1. Corey Dickerson – LF
  2. J.T. Realmuto – C
  3. Bryce Harper – RF
  4. Rhys Hoskins – 1B
  5. Brad Miller – 3B
  6. Cesar Hernandez – 2B
  7. Scott Kingery – SS
  8. Adam Haseley – CF
  9. Vince Velasquez – SP

Pre-game Notes

Prior to the game the Cincinnati Reds recalled pitcher Keury Mella and infielder/outfielder Brian O’Grady. While O’Grady is returning, Mella will be making his 2019 debut whenever he takes the mound. I wrote a little more in detail about how he should be used given how his 2019 season in Triple-A played out.

Cody Reed is not going to return to the mound this year. He last pitched in late May and has been recovering from a knee injury ever since.

Aristides Aquino brought home the hardware this afternoon. He was named the National League Player of the Month as well as the National League Rookie of the Month for August.

Down on the farm Tejay Antone took home the final Pitcher of the Week Award for the International League this season. He struck out 19 batters and walked just 1 over two starts to end the season for the Louisville Bats.