In a packed day on Sunday full of roster moves, multiple scratched players from the lineup, a great Trevor Bauer start, and a punishing loss – the Cincinnati Reds made a waiver claim of now former Chicago Cub Robel García. The infielder/outfielder/utilityman was picked up and assigned to the alternate roster at Prasco Park in Mason.

If you are unfamiliar with Robel García, that isn’t too unexpected. The 27-year-old has only spent 31 games in the Major Leagues – all of which came with the Cubs last year. He showed off plenty of power in that stretch, clobbering nine extra-base hits out of his 15 total hits, but hit just .208/.275/.500 overall with seven walks and 35 strikeouts in 80 plate appearances.

In Triple-A he performed much better, hitting .284/.369/.586 with 27 home runs in just 98 games. Like his time in the Majors, though, he had a big strikeout rate as he picked up 120 strikeouts in just 388 plate appearances. That’s a 30.9% strikeout rate for those of you who didn’t break out a calculator.

Defensively he has played just about everywhere for the Cubs, either in the minors or in the Majors. He didn’t play in center field and he didn’t catch – but he played the other six defensive positions at least once last season. He’s versatile with the glove and has some real thunder in his bat – that’s something that could be valuable off of the bench at some point for many teams across baseball.

With the movement on the rosters there are now 22 players on the Prasco Park roster, 30 players on the big league club roster, three players on the injured list, and one player on the paternity list.

David Bell riding the starting pitching

If I’ve pulled out a clump of hair once after hearing David Bell should have left his starters in longer over the last three days, I’ve pulled out all of the clumps of hair that I have over the last three days. It’s been brought up numerous times that the Reds manager has pulled the starters too soon because they were dominating. Half of that statement is true – the Reds starters were dominating. The other half of the statement isn’t really true.

Pitchers got about three weeks to ramp up and get ready for the season. For those three weeks we all heard about and were told that pitchers would be on shorter leashes because they wouldn’t quite be ready to go a normal full-games worth of pitches. Every team in baseball said it.

As I type this late on Sunday night, only the Dodgers and Giants game isn’t yet complete. It’s their 4th game of the year. Every other team has played three games this season. That’s 92 starts across Major League Baseball. 18 pitchers have thrown 90 pitches this season. Three of them have been Cincinnati Reds. Only Lance Lynn has thrown more pitches than Trevor Bauer did on Sunday.

David Bell has asked his pitchers to throw more pitches than any other manager in baseball has. The bullpen meltdowns on Saturday and Sunday were tough to watch – but that result doesn’t change the fact that Bell pulled his starters at the right time. There’s not an off day for two more weeks. Just because it’s a short season does not change how long it takes for a pitcher’s arm to recover after making a start. They won’t have to make as many starts as they normally would – but the recovery time between the starts that they will be making is the same. And just like in a normal year, when the season begins, the pitch count is a little lower than it is in the middle and end of the year because those pitch counts are built up. Baseball isn’t there yet.

Nick Senzel also isn’t feeling well

After Matt Davidson’s positive test for COVID-19 landed him on the injured list on Saturday, Mike Moustakas was not in the lineup on Sunday and was said to be not feeling well. He was then placed on the injured list. Nick Senzel was originally in the starting lineup, but was scratched from the lineup and replaced by Travis Jankowski. After the game manager David Bell said that Senzel, too, was not feeling well. Unlike Moustakas, he has not been placed on the injured list as of 11:57pm ET on Sunday night.

25 Responses

  1. magi210

    Yep, I don’t blame Bell for this. Can’t help it if the bullpen fails to execute.

    • tomn

      Agree. The bullpen has a job to do. Didn’t get done. Twice. But don’t see the members of the bullpen changing anytime soon. They need to get back on track.

    • Eville Dad

      Can anyone explain why Garret can only go one inning?

      • Emil

        Don’t agree. Each starter gets at most 12 starts. If full 9 that’s 108 innings. Thats IF full 9. You are trying to tell me pro pitchers making millions who have trained for this there entire
        life shouldn’t be asked to throw at most 108? Bauer has BEGGED to pitch every 4th day. What are we saving them for now? Too many innings? NO. Too many starts NO. Too many appearances? NO. Geez Mickey Lolich used to pitch 300 innings! Let pitchers pitch until they are gassed, being roughed up, or asked to be taken. Do you take a hitter out that is raking because he got 6 ab in a game? NO In a shortened season that save em mentality has to be gone now. Already cost the Reds 2 games. Games the should have never lost.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        That fact that you can’t deduct the reasoning why a batter doesn’t need to be pulled after 6 at-bats in a game but a pitcher might need to be after throwing a lot of pitches is a lot to unwind there Emil.

      • greenmtred

        It’s true that starting pitchers years ago pitched more innings and threw many more pitches than today’s starters do. But it’s also true that the game was very different: There wasn’t the huge emphasis on strikeouts there is now, and 90mph was fast. There has been no evolutionary change in pitchers’ physiology since then, so it’s unrealistic to expect pitchers to throw as many pitches when they’re higher stress. It’s worth noting how many pitchers get injured every season.

    • Nelson Coble

      I still believe Bell is miss using Shogo.

      • Gary Hinman

        I agree completely. Shogo was a superstar in Japan and can hit both lefty’s and righty’s. Where on Earth did Bell get the idea that he couldn’t hit left handed pitching? That is such B.S. He was also a Gold Glove center fielder. With Senzel out, why is he playing left field? Makes no sense what-so-ever! They paid a lot of money for him to what, sit the bench? Come on Bell, at least give him a chance. You might be pleasantly surprised!

  2. CFD3000

    If Moustakas and Senzel are Covid positive that’s a huge blow for the offense (not to mention scary for their health and their families health). But even scarier is the potential implication for the rest of the team. First Davidson, just one not so important player. Then Moose and Nick – two main cogs. If that turns into four more tomorrow or the next day? The Reds season and likely the MLB season are over before they started. Masks, social distancing, hand washing and all the other protocols really do matter. Oh, and no strip club outings boys (see NBA bubble). Come on guys, let’s get this right!

  3. AndrewMan

    It definitely worries me with Moustakas and Senzel seemingly being sick. They’re a big part of the lineup this season. I hope they recover with no underlying problems. It does kind of put a damper on the early part of the season and does place a higher burden on other guys to contribute more. I also hope this isn’t a team spread thing because if it is Covid and does spread the team is basically screwed.

  4. BK

    Well said on the starting pitching. Disappointing start has not been due to pulling starters early: too little hitting and our top relievers surrendering 4 HR in two days have doomed the last two games.

  5. Matt WI

    14 Marlins may have COVID and they’ve cancelled their game today. Not news I needed on a Monday. Enough to stop the whole train? Hope not, but, wow.

    If it does, I’ll always remember the amazing starting pitching of the 2020 Reds. GOAT. 🙂

    • Gonzo Reds

      Enjoy Reds baseball while you can. Hoping we aren’t next for cancellations. And with no late West coast games I expected to watch all 60.

      In other news, can we call up Kuhnel and install him as our late inning guy /closer? Lorenzen seems to be a better hitter / pinch runner than a pitcher at this point and Iggy… well, we missed our window a long time ago to unload him and we don’t need another 13 losses from him this year!

      As for 2B, with Moose out, still think we should be trying to trade for Dozier who should be available on the cheap, not picking up this 30% K machine in Robel-K.

  6. MBS

    Don’t pull out your hair! The pitchers have been stretching themselves starting in February, and then March, April, May, June, and July. Let’s not act like this is a normal year and they’ve been working out for only 1 1/2 months. Bell should have let Gray and Castillo do at least what Bauer did, and go into the 7th.

    • Grand Salami

      Maybe Castillo, but Doug is right. You have a lead or a tie in everyone of those games. Lose one of these guys and the post-season hopes take a huge hit.

      Who thinks it’s odd that Cubs take Dietrich and expose a younger player with more potential to waivers and the team that gets him is the one Dietrich left?

      • MBS

        I agree the bullpen has to be able to do it’s job. The bullpen is full of people who didn’t hack it as a starter. On top of that you are bringing an unknown element (is his stuff working today) when you bring in a reliever. Relievers are necessary, but the least you need to use them the better off a team is.

  7. MICHAEL E

    I respectfully disagree Doug. AA professional SP should have been (and probably was) throwing while being away from the team during Covid. If they weren’t then shame on them. This “only 3 weeks to ramp up” is a VERY thin argument. Maybe 3 weeks of OTHER supervision, but no excuse to not go and pitch/throw at home or nearest park. You can pay any teenager to catch you or just throw to no catcher with a bucket of 25 baseballs.

    • Doug Gray

      The amount of teenagers that can catch professional pitching are incredibly small. How many high school catchers you think can catch a slider from a big leaguer?

      And there’s an enormous difference between throwing on the side versus throwing to live hitters. Every single team in baseball is playing this carefully and slowly. The Reds are playing it far more “loose” than anyone else is, and people are still mad that they aren’t playing it more loose. I just don’t understand the sentiment other than “the bullpen blew the game and I want to scream at someone”.

  8. KYPodman

    Does it seem to anyone else that Suarez is a bit out-of-shape? He looks “heavier” this year and his bat is slower, he cannot get around on a 93 MPH fast ball. From watching the first 3 games and some of the inter squad last week, Suarez does not look nor came into the summer camp baseball ready, in my mind.

  9. Charlie Waffles

    Bob Castellini stepped up big this past off-season spending $149MM for offensive upgrades. David Bell’s job is to place this team in a position to succeed and win. His lineups and bullpen usage ate not getting the job done. That is $149MM invested for better offense but we are seeing the same results as a year ago. Somebody is not doing their job. As long as David Bell is the manager, this same ole same ole is going to be just like last year. With Bell at the helm, might as well start looking towards the trade deadline.
    Who can the Reds trade at the deadline? Bauer and Galvis probably. Maybe a spare Outfielder.
    I thought the Reds were in line for 33 wins in 2020 because I thought we would see some improvement in Bell. Well after this weekend and seeing no improvement at all in Bell as a manager I have to reset that number of wins to 25 if Bell is still around for all 60 games. Does Bell make it past the 44 game Tony Perez line before he gets fired. Why fire Bell? Castellini has 149MM reasons if things don’t make a remarkable turnaround soon.

  10. Nelson Coble

    They cannot continue to give away games. In a shortened season those types of situations are magnified. Suarez & Senzel have show me nothing after 3 games. What is Bell’s love affair with Ervin. Below average fielder, average base runner . Put Shogo in the line up every day leading off. Winker isn’t the answer.

  11. Bob Purkey

    I get limiting the SP. . .to a degree. But I don’t get pulling Bauer after one hitter in the inning. If you knew you were only going to let him go so many pitchers, why didn’t you bring the RP in at the beginning of the inning?

    Secondly, I don’t get Winker hitting first and Shogo 6th.

    • MBS

      It’s hard to figure why Winker is leading off instead of Shogo. They seem to be protecting him a lot. Batting him in the 6th, and only against righties.

  12. Roger Garrett

    Reds lost 2 games they shouldn’t have because Lorenzen failed twice and Iggy again proved to everybody he either can’t or won’t pitch well unless its to close.I have confidence Lorenzen will bounce back but not Iggy.Still talking after 3 games though about the same things we finished last year talking about.Starters are good,pen is suspect and unless we homer we don’t score.Offense was addressed and will come around and the starters will do what they do but the pen was and is the weak link.Jf the high leverage guys ain’t getting it done then may have to try some other guys.So far after three games its the same team finding ways to lose which has been what they have done for a long time.GO REDS.