In game one of the Cincinnati Reds doubleheader on Sunday Mike Moustakas was hit in the forearm by a pitch and left the game. He also didn’t play in game two. Manager David Bell provided and update on the Reds second baseman.

“He got hit good in the arm,” said Bell. “I do believe it’s muscular – he was hit in the muscle, which temporarily, that tightens up and it’s almost impossible to do anything. The good news is that it wouldn’t be near a bone if that is the case. It’ll be a shorter recovery, but there was just no way he could play today (Sunday).”

The lineup for today’s game is not yet released, so we don’t know if Mike Moustakas will be in there or not. The left-handed hitter is out to a strong start for Cincinnati. In his five games played he’s hitting .313/.421/.688 – good for an OPS+ of 202 on the season to go along with two home runs and six runs batted in.

Nick Castellanos is crushing the baseball

Speaking of good starts at the plate – how about what Nick Castellanos is doing right now? His defensive miscue on Sunday in game one made that game a lot more stressful at the end than it needed to be, but the right-handed slugger is just destroying the baseball from the batters box right now.

Castellanos has played in all nine games for the Cincinnati Reds this year and he’s hitting .387/.472/.871. He’s leading the National League in slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+ (264), total bases, and one category no one ever would have expected (that also won’t last) – caught stealing. He’s just continued what he started last season when he joined the Cubs after the trade deadline. In 51 games last season with Chicago he hit .321/.356/.646 and was an extra-base hit machine. With seven extra-base hits in nine games this year for the Reds, it’s been an impressive start.

The Reds pitching staff is in impressive company

Everyone’s favorite Reds statistician, Joel Luckhaupt, had a tweet after Sunday’s doubleheader about two of Cincinnati’s starting pitchers. Luckhaupt pointed out that there have only been four pitchers in Major League Baseball history that have allowed four or fewer hits and had 20 or more strikeouts through their first two starts of the season. Here’s the list:

  • Nolan Ryan – 20 strikeouts, 3 hits – 1970
  • Mike Clevinger – 22 strikeouts, 2 hits – 2019
  • Sonny Gray – 20 strikeouts, 4 hits – 2020
  • Trevor Bauer – 20 strikeouts, 4 hits – 2020

Wade Miley’s start not withstanding – and worth pointing out that he wasn’t pitching entirely healthy that day – the Cincinnati Reds rotation has been better than expected this year, and that’s really saying something given that it was expected to be one of the best in all of Major League Baseball. Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle have combined to throw 47 innings with nine walks, 63 strikeouts, allowed just two home runs, and have an ERA of 1.91 between them. Even including Wade Miley’s rough start, the team ERA from the rotation is 2.77 on the year. That’s getting it done.

12 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Hopeful news on Moose. Even if he doesn’t start tonight … that was a straight-on hit. Very glad it wasn’t his hand.

      • lost11found

        This qualifies as a ‘dad joke’ But since I am a dad, I found it funny.

  2. lost11found

    The SP has been overall very good. Some good starts at the dish by a few players. The BP has to get straightened out overall, but the arms are out there that can do it.

    All in all, sitting just below 500 after two weeks, not ideal, but they are not in a bad spot overall.

  3. BigBill

    Hope that Bell sees that our starting pitching is the top strength of this team and allows them to go further in the game.

    • TR

      With less than an outstanding bullpen in a 60 game season, not routinely pulling a starting pitcher getting it done because of the pitch count, should benefit the Reds.

  4. Klugo

    Castellanos is carrying this offense much like Puig early last season. Unfortunately, he’s only been able to carry us to a 4-5 start. Could you imagine where we would be without him though?!

  5. JayTheRed

    Would like to state that Disco did a nice job Sunday too. I know he didn’t have the strikeouts like some of the other rotation guys but very nicely pitched game. Bullpen continued to scare us though in game 1. Iggy did do a nice job in a SAVE type situation of course.

  6. KDJ

    Wow. The ERA of the rotation is 2.77 and the team has a losing record. I wonder how many times that has happened?

    • Doug Gray

      Over a 9-game span? Probably a lot.