The Cincinnati Reds (2-4) are making their first road appearance of the season tonight as they take on the Detroit Tigers (4-3) for the second series in as many weeks. Both starting pitchers in the game have already faced the opposite side this year and both performed well, but tonight they will match up against each other for the first time.

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Detroit Tigers

Shogo Akiyama – LF Nike Goodrum – SS
Joey Votto – 1B Jonathan Schoop – 2B
Eugenio Suarez – 3B Miguel Cabrera – DH
Mike Moustakas – 2B C.J. Cron – 1B
Nick Castellanos – RF Harold Castro – 3B
Jesse Winker – DH Victor Reyes – RF
Nick Senzel – CF Christin Stewart – LF
Freddy Galvis – SS Austin Romine – C
Tucker Barnhart – C JaCoby Jones – CF
Luis Castillo – SP Spencer Turnbull – SP

This is the same lineup that was going to be on the field yesterday before the game against the Cubs was postponed. Turnbull, like Yu Darvish, is a right-handed pitcher, so it makes sense to send out the game lineup. You get lefties Akiyama, Votto, Moustakas, Winker, Galvis (switch hitter), and Barnhart against the starter. Take your chances there and adjust to the bullpen moves later if needed.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Luis Castillo 6.0 1.50 1.17 4.0% 44.0%
Spencer Turnbull 5.0 1.80 1.40 18.2% 36.4%
Links: Luis Castillo’s 2019 Stats | Spencer Turnbull’s 2019 Stats

Luis Castillo

We are going into the second week of the season today in Major League Baseball, though for the Reds it is still just six days into the season. Luis Castillo was outstanding in his first start. The 2019 All-Star allowed one run on six hits in 6.0 innings with a walk and 11 strikeouts against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.

Let’s take a look at some stats on Luis Castillo from last season to get an idea of what we could expect today.


Home 125.2 3.15 12 8.1% 27.9% .191 .263 .308
Away 65.0 3.88 10 13.6% 30.7% .222 .337 .407
1st Half 106.0 2.29 9 12.3% 28.8% .169 .286 .276
2nd Half 84.2 4.78 13 7.4% 29.1% .239 .296 .419

Luis Castillo threw a lot more innings at home last season than on the road – 66% to 34% to be exact – and he was more successful at home. Far fewer home runs on a per-rate basis, and his walk rate was significantly lower. In turn, his average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage against were all also lower in Cincinnati than when he was pitching in the opponents ballpark.

His first half and second half splits were also a bit different. Actually, they were a lot different. His ERA more than doubled from the first to second half as his home run rate jumped up in a big way, and his BABIP went from .226 to .309 and that resulted in an OPS of .715 in the second half for hitters facing him versus the one they posted in the first half of just .562.

vsRHH 369 64 12 0 9 9.2% 27.9% .194 .270 .312
vsLHH 412 75 17 1 13 10.9% 29.9% .209 .308 .372

Luis Castillo is strong against both lefties and righties, but he really dominates right-handed hitters. Last season their OPS against him was just .583 on the year. Lefties didn’t have much success against him, but they did better than righties as they posted a .680 OPS against him during the 2019 season.

Pitch Usage and Value

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change
Velo 96.5 96.6 85.9 87.3
Usage 30% 21% 17% 32%
Value/100 -0.36 1.5 -0.13 2.68
MLB Rank 82nd 11th 61st 2nd
MLB Rank among 130 pitchers with 100 IP in 2019

Luis Castillo has two very good pitches – his 2-seam fastball and his change up. Both of them are among the best in all of baseball. But his slider is basically a league average offering, and his 4-seam fastball despite strong velocity is a below-average pitch – or at least that was the case for 2019.

Spencer Turnbull

The now 3rd-year right-handed pitcher has 34 career starts under his belt (and 1 relief appearance as a rookie in 2018). Despite posting a better than league average ERA+ of 104 (4.61 ERA), he went 3-17 and led (?) the league in losses (and hit batters) in 2019. But in his first start of 2020 he was very good against the Cincinnati Reds, allowing just three hits and one run over 5.0 innings with eight strikeouts. Turnbull did walk four batters in the game, though.


Home 78.2 4.92 8 8.5% 24.1% .283 .350 .446
Away 69.2 4.26 6 9.5% 20.1% .248 .349 .374
1st Half 89.2 3.31 8 8.7% 21.5% .250 .332 .390
2nd Half 58.2 6.60 6 9.4% 23.3% .293 .376 .448

Spencer Turnbull was better on the road last season than he was at home. His walk rate was similar, but his strikeout rate was lower on the road by a decent amount. The biggest difference seemed to come down to a 61 point difference in BABIP with a .362 mark against him at home versus just a .301 mark on the road.

Spencer Turnbull saw his ERA make a big jump in the second half as his ERA nearly doubled. Much like his home and road splits, a lot of the difference came down to a huge swing in BABIP. In the first half it was .307, while in the second half it jumped up to .373.

vsRHH 315 64 17 1 7 9.8% 26.0% .234 .328 .380
vsLHH 341 90 17 3 7 8.2% 18.8% .298 .370 .444

Left-handed hitters had more success against Spencer Turnbull than right-handed hitters did in 2019. Lefties didn’t walk as often as righties, but they struck out significantly less while also hitting for more average and more power.

Pitch Usage and Value

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change Curveball
Velo 93.9 94.4 86.7 86.8 80.6
Usage 45.4% 19.4% 20.2% 2.9% 12.1%
Value/100 1.17 -2.15 0.04 N/A -1.55
MLB Rank 16 81 54 N/A 86
MLB Rank among 130 pitchers with 100 IP in 2019

Spencer Turnbull has a pretty good 4-seamer, and his slider is about league average. But his 2-seamer and his curveball are about as far down the list that you can get (while there were 130 pitches that qualified for the ERA title in 2019, not every pitcher throws every pitch so there pitch rankings don’t go 1-130). He will also occasionally mix in a change up, but it’s a rare showing.

When and Where

  • Game time: 7:10pm ET
  • Where: Detroit’s Comerica Park
  • Watch: Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports,
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: Cloudy, 79°, 0% chance of rain.

NL Central Standings

Team Wins Losses GB
Cubs 4 2 0.0
Brewers 3 3 1.0
Cardinals 2 3 1.5
Reds 2 4 2.0
Pirates 2 4 2.0

News and Notes

Saturday’s Reds game moved to 1:10pm Start

From the Detroit Tigers:


Tejay Antone shows off elite spin rates

We shared this one yesterday, but with the game being postponed and a lot of the usual game thread crew not even checking in, I’m sharing this piece on Tejay Antone again today.

In his Major League debut this week, right-handed pitcher Tejay Antone threw the ball very well. He allowed one run, a solo homer, on one hit in 4.1 innings of relief of Wade Miley. Antone also picked up five strikeouts with just one walk. It was an impressive showing, but the Statcast data showed a whole lot more impressive stuff going on, too. The spin rates that the Reds rookie showed jumped off of the chart.

Tejay Antone showed off elite spin rates in his Reds debut

The Reds DH has been, uh, bad

Everyone’s favorite Reds statistician, Joel Luckhaupt, shared a piece of stat goodness on twitter this afternoon noting that National League designated hitters are hitting just .180/.287/.325 entering the day.

That’s pretty awful on it’s own. But the tweet got my brain wondering about what the Cincinnati Reds designated hitters were doing through six games, and let me just advise you to get the barf bags ready. Got it? Alright, here goes: The Cincinnati Reds designated hitters are 1-21 through six games. That’s a .048 average. They’ve been pinch hit for five times. Those efforts have come without a hit. Here’s to Jesse Winker changing all of that tonight, because the Reds sure could use it.

Cardinals vs Brewers game postponed after multiple COVID-19 Positives

The St. Louis Cardinals have reportedly had their games against the Milwaukee Brewers postponed tonight after two Cardinals pitchers have tested positive for COVID-19. For the time being the game for Saturday between the two sides is still on as scheduled, and a doubleheader is now scheduled for Sunday between the two teams. If the doubleheader goes forward, it will be the first time that we see the just passed rule for 7-inning doubleheaders in action at the Major League level.

103 Responses

  1. VaRedsFan

    The real question (besides the DH anomaly), is how are we gonna stop Jacoby Jones.

  2. Bred

    If the Reds would play half as good as Doug’s write up, they’d go undefeated. Go Reds!

  3. JB

    Thanks for update on tomorrow’s game time Doug. Hockey and baseball. Life is good.

    • Sliotar

      Heck, yes, JB … on the return of hockey.

      5 playoff games tomorrow, back-to-back … plus a day of MLB. Good times ahead.

    • Sliotar

      Heck, yes, JB … on the return of hockey.

      5 playoff games tomorrow, back-to-back … plus a day of MLB. Good times ahead.

  4. Sliotar

    Awesome game set-up, Doug. Really good info. Thank you.

    I entered into a tournament on DraftKings and decided to stack some Reds, plus start Castillo as one of the pitchers. (Also some bats from SD-Col. Always have to have some exposure to Coors Field when there is a game there).

    While looking up stuff …

    Turnbull is 0-12 lifetime at home. Yikes.

    Lots of things line up for Reds to avenge series loss last weekend. Go Redlegs.

    • MK

      Had my #1 high school pitcher who had never won at home. Stopped pitching him there. The other boys finally told me he could not pitch with his girl friend there. Was 0-10 at home 16-2 on road in three years. Maybe Turnbull has a girlfriend.

  5. Klugo

    Glad to see MLB moving a game up for weather. Nice move.

    Our DH problems start with that stinker, Winker.

    Enjoy it while we can because I’m not so sure baseball will be around much longer.

    • earmbrister

      Yeah, I’ll take the stinker Winker (lol) on my team any time.

      • earmbrister

        LOL. I’ll take a walker Winker or a walker Votto. It’s all about OBP

  6. Eric the Red

    Shogo looks like a leadoff hitter. I wonder how many 6 pitch ABs we got leading off a game last year. (Especially after going down 0-2)

  7. MK

    What is the over and under on the # of times Thom says “I beg your pardon” tonight. He yaps so much he has a tough time keeping track of the game in person it should be worse watching on a monitor. He’s already messed up the count on one Reds batter.

    • Eric the Red

      I’m hoping that watching on a monitor will reduce the “he took thatpitch right down Broadway!” calls.

      • VaRedsFan

        Don’t forget “straight up in the air”

      • earmbrister

        Lmao. There’s a pop up, straight in the air …

        As opposed to the pop ups that stay on the ground.

    • VaRedsFan

      I’m getting the away feed…luckily

      • earmbrister

        He just did the straight up in the air comment again. Didn’t want you to miss it

  8. VaRedsFan

    Castillo…easy gas early…consistently 99 mph

  9. DocProc

    Just read the news about tomorrow’s gametime–thanks. Can’t believe they haven’t said anything about it yet on tonight’s telecast (at least I haven’t heard it).

  10. Eric the Red

    Nice hustle. Guys will start rushing their throws, which may lead to an error or two. (Of course, even better would be a double off the wall rather than infield groundouts…)

  11. earmbrister

    LOL. I’ll take a walker Winker or a walker Votto. It’s all about OBP

    • earmbrister

      Sorry, just learning how to post …

  12. Eric the Red

    A four pitch walk (to the #8 hitter), a double, and he still only threw 9 pitches. He will hopefully go deep in this one.

  13. Roger Garrett

    Just tuned in and see we have no hits.Has anybody hit it hard yet?

  14. VaRedsFan

    Did the rules change again?? do you have to pull all pitches into the shift?

  15. Old-school

    Turnbull is the best 3-17 pitcher I’ve seen.

    Castillo is pitch efficient. Walk..lucky GB double and a sac fly.otherwise dominant .

    Castillo has thrown 41 pitches in 4 innings. Interesting to see if this strike thrower keeps it up.

    • Sliotar

      Things turning around … 3rd time through lineup coming soon.

  16. Eric the Red

    How are we losing this game???? It looks like Castillo is in complete command.

    • Roger Garrett

      Good question especially after we just saw this guy last week.

  17. Eric the Red

    The good news is, two ground balls to the right side—our main offensive move tonight—would tie this up.

  18. Old-school

    Suarez hasn’t shown up. It’s time to drop him to the 5 hole and move Castellanos to the 3 hole.

  19. earmbrister

    After a head first slide into second on his double, Castellanos wipes his gloves on the backside of the SS.

    It’s only about practicing good hygiene …

  20. Roger Garrett

    I would sure like to see just that cause that would mean we are thinking about just putting the ball in play rather then a 5 run home run.

  21. Old-school

    Way to go Nick Senzel .

    Nick and Nick.

  22. Eric the Red

    Nice! I agree with Chris….that foul ball should have warned the pitcher not to throw that ball to Senzel.

  23. earmbrister

    Senzel is a professional hitter. We are very fortunate to have him in the 7 hole.

    A testament to how much better this lineup is

  24. Old-school

    Here we go… tucker hits a tough pitch for an oppage drive in a needed run.

  25. Eric the Red

    Beautiful! Excellent situational hitting by Tucker.

  26. VaRedsFan

    2 out knock for Tuck…
    You don’t have to pull it fellas

  27. VaRedsFan

    out…in real life….love the hustle though Akiyama

  28. Sliotar

    Got the lead … heart of lineup getting 3rd crack Cy Turnbull next inning … Castillo should really getting after Tigers now.

  29. VaRedsFan

    Jacoby Jones’ 200th career hit
    At least 150 of them vs. the Reds

  30. VaRedsFan

    Hard hit balls tonight”
    Tigers 9
    Reds 3

  31. Eric the Red

    Our LH batters are all doing the same thing, except Tucker on the RBI. Maybe one of them could try bunting down the third base line.

  32. SoCalRedsFan

    Meanwhile, our 3-hole hitter’s average sounds like a B-I-N-G-O number.

  33. Jack

    Bottom officially in a slump. If he keeps hitting it on the ground he will hit about .200 this year

    • Old-school has article on Votto. He’s struck out once this year. But exit velo and hard hit percentage career lows by a ton. He had a great first 2 games.. but he’s not hitting the ball hard.
      Suarez isn’t hitting the ball period.

      • Jack

        You have to swing hard to hit the ball hard. After first two games he looks exactly like last year, check swings and half swings

      • VaRedsFan

        You aren’t alone in you observations Jack. Extreme choke up….no extension on the swing.

  34. Eric the Red

    This is one of the reasons I was so mad MLB scheduled us to play the Tigers 6 times in our first 10 games. A team like this will eventually sink to its level…but just like last year, they haven’t yet. (Meanwhile, we seem to specialize in slow starts.) We should be winning this game, but we’re not. Very frustrating.

    Anyway, good night all and Go Reds!

  35. VaRedsFan

    Soto is just nasty…I’m sure he gets to throw another inning, unless Bell suddenly became the Tigers manager.

  36. Old-school

    Reds need to trade for Soto. That guy is good. Does Bell have a RH hitter who can hit good lefties?

    • JB

      Apparently he thinks Davidson can. The guy hasnt played since last Saturday and he is first pinch hitter.

      • Mark Moore

        No explanation Bell could give would make sense to me. None. Nada. Zip.

  37. Mark Moore

    So the Tigers are the favorites to win out the AL, right?

  38. JB

    ” The Reds are fortunate to play the Tigers 6 games this year.” They need to switch the teams in that sentence.

  39. VaRedsFan

    So how can such a man like Votto, who is very cerebral about hitting, at least not look at his 2017 swing, and see the difference.

    Votto 2017 home runs:

    • Jack

      He’s not stupid so the only thing I can conclude is that he simply can’t swing hard any more. Rumors of back troubles.

  40. earmbrister

    Jones v Jones

    Sounds like a divorce proceeding

  41. BigRedMike

    Thom is in full Thom mode this inning

    Jones is the best pitcher ever after throwing 13 pitches

  42. earmbrister

    I was just thinking that Nate Jones was showing unusual control, then he crossed Tucker up with that pitch at the knees when Barnhardt was standing for some high heat.

    • earmbrister

      Yeah, that wild pitch is more like Jones

  43. Mark Moore

    Well, it was fun to hope for the first few innings. No matter how well our SP’s do, if we can’t hit consistently, we can’t win. This is more like a glacial start than a slow one.

    Going to take some magic in the final 2 innings …

  44. Mark Moore

    Buck Farmer … now THERE’s a baseball name!

  45. Gonzo Reds

    Starting 5-14 against the easiest schedule in our division. Not right. Somebody has to get the blame. Dusty Price Bell somebody hired them all. Look UP the food chain!

    • FreeHouse

      At this point I’ll take Dusty back he at least takes us to the playoffs before he chokes.

      • Mike

        Plus a 100 on that. How long do they hang with Bell. Easy to tell the players don’t enjoy playing for the man. So little emotion, so little fire. Might be hard to pull the plug on him with his dad in the front office though. He is the Dave Shula of the Reds….

      • Indy Red Man

        I’m not necessarily pro/con towards Bell, but if a major league ballplayer needs the manager to motivate them then something is wrong. The players are not producing

      • Melvin

        I’ve always said Dusty would be good as long as you fired him right before the playoffs. I was thinking I’d take him back for the season and thought…no…. I don’t want to think about moving one of our worst hitters, e.g. Edgar Renturia in front of Votto so that hitter would get better pitches to hit. He did that on several occasions when Votto hit 3rd. Talk about frustration. He always played everyone too which is NOT what we need right now for sure. Dusty and Bell at least have one thing in common. In the post game interviews they both act like they can barely stay awake. 🙂

      • Melvin

        I hate to be so hard on David Bell. It’s not really fair but he is the manager. You’re right. The team is not responding under him. As much as I hate to say it, if I was management, I’d seriously consider letting him go right now before it’s too late. There is no time to lose. Maybe that would light a fire under the team and help them to gel and be more focused. I really think they are confused and unmotivated under Bell. There is way too much talent on this team to be playing this way.

  46. FreeHouse

    This 2020 Roster giving me 2019 flashbacks lol

  47. Mark Moore

    There’s always tomorrow … I guess.

    Night all. I will say if we have to suffer, I’m glad to be doing it with this crowd and this mighty fine fan site.

    • RedAlert

      Iglesias in a non save situation – WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG HERE

  48. Andy

    That’s not Iglesias fault. He is only allowed to pitch with a 3 run lead and save situation

  49. SoCalRedsFan

    I’m fine with MLB just pulling the plug on the season.

    • RedAlert

      Another disappointing season and only 7 games in – just amazing
      Been a Reds fan for life – and I’ll stick with em . It’s disgusting to see them play to this level time and time again . Something has to change .

      • Jack

        What generally happens when a team under performs is the manager is fired. Doesn’t matter if it is their fault or not that is what happens. One more week like this and the season is over so how much longer will they wait?

  50. daytonnati

    RedAlert – it’s like you can look into the future 🙂

  51. Tom Mitsoff

    Updated through eight innings: Reds bullpen ERA is 7.46.

  52. Jon

    So where’s this offense the Reds were supposed to have gotten?

  53. Chris Holbert

    Suarez swinging at anything and everything, as hard as he can….

  54. earmbrister

    It’s it wrong to be rooting for the season to be canceled?

  55. Chris Holbert

    Give Senzel a shot in the 2 hole behind Shogo…at least his swing looks good

  56. SoCalRedsFan

    Is it just me, or does Votto look completely disinterested?

    • Jack

      I think its just you. He is clearly frustrated.

  57. Indy Red Man

    3 straight losses to a 90-100 loss regular season team. They’re improved from 114 losses, but not that much?

    Pitiful performance from the Reds, but if they were 5-2 then this upcoming shutdown would sting a little. I root for it now. I now an underachiever when I see one. Iggy?
    Votto? Votto was a great hitter and I like his personality, but he’s a subpar fielder and possibly the worst baserunner I’ve ever seen in 40+ years of baseball. Not a HOFer imo.

  58. Indy Red Man

    Reds are now 17-16 in Castillo’s last 33 starts. Dude throws 99 and we can’t put together wins when he pitches? Thats crazy.

    3 hits & 1 walk? Thats with a DH vs the worst team in mlb. Dish doesn’t have the Reds/Chicago markets anyway? Almost time for me to bail out. I’ve seen about 7 innings on tv so far((

  59. Melvin

    I actually think Price was a very good manager and getting better all the time. He was in a no win situation. Sparky couldn’t have won with the players he had.