The Reds begin their penultimate road trip of 2019 tonight with the first of three games versus the Seattle Mariners. For those wondering, the Reds and Mariners last met in 2016 when the Mariners swept a 3 game series at GABP. Overall, the Reds have won just 2 of 15 games played between the teams. Their most recent win versus the Mariners came in 2013 at GABP. The Reds other win against the Mariners happened in Seattle back in 2007.
The Mariners come into this series at 58-86 having lost 8 of their last 10 games. The Reds enter the series at 67-77, winners of 4 of their last 10. The stars may just favor the Reds chances of turning a new page in the history of competition between these two teams. Game time is 10:10PM EDT.
Righthander Trevor Bauer makes his eighth start for the Reds. Saying things haven’t quite gone well with him as a Red so far is probably an understatement. The good news is he is still striking out a lot of people among the walks, home runs and other hits he is allowing (BABIP .379; WHIP 1.69 w/ Reds). That has to be a cause for believing that someday he will get better, doesn’t it? Let’s hope so.
For what it is worth, or not, current members of the Mariners have .680 OPS versus Bauer in 68 plate appearances. However there are a couple of Mariners with seasonal OPS numbers in the .800 or better range who have never faced Bauer.
Justus Sheffield, a 23 year old left hander, will start for the Mariners. Sheffield was the first round draft pick of Cleveland (#31 overall) in June of 2014. He was shipped to the Yankees (along with Clint Frazier and 2 other players) for super reliever Andrew Miller in a 2016 deadline deal and subsequently on to the Mariners this past off season as part of the package which sent starter James Paxton to the Bronx.
Sheffield made a single relief appearance for the Mariners in April before being sent to the minors. He was recalled in mid August and placed into the Mariners rotation. Tonight will be his fourth start of the season and major league career. Indications are he is a fastball (93 MPH)/ slider (83 MPH) pitcher who mixes in an occasional change up. Interestingly, his change up averages 4 MPH or so more in velocity than his slider.
|Trevor Bauer w/Reds||35.0||8.23||5.27||1.69||2.06|
Both teams appear to have been off on Monday. Therefore the biggest bullpen question may be what Michael Lorenzen is up to tonight. Reliever, pinch hitter, CF substitute or possibly all 3?
1. Alex Blandino (DH)
10. Trevor Bauer (SP)
1. Dee Gordon (2B)
10. Justus Sheffield (SP)
Pre-game News and Notes
C. Trent Rosecrans had an interesting weekend in Seattle, resulting in his landing himself in the hospital and under the knife (subscription to The Athletic required). He’s a trooper, though, and is back to his day job and ready to cover the game tonight.
While he’s currently in the Major Leagues with the Cincinnati Reds, Brian O’Grady got the nod for 2019 Cincinnati Reds Minor League Player of the Year today at RedsMinorLeagues.com.
Speaking of the minor leagues, the Reds are also the favorites to land one of the top prospects in the 2020 International Signing class.
The Reds have 18 games remaining in 2019. This means it is still mathematically possible they will finish at .500 (or better). However the formula for calculating what record they need in these last 18 games to reach .500 is eluding me right now. So, let’s just take things a game at a time and hope for an exciting win tonight. GO REDS!
Stats and data courtesy of Fangraphs.com, Baseball-Reference, and MCubed.net