After an off day yesterday, the Cincinnati Reds (7-9) are back at Great American Ball Park to take on the Kansas City Royals (7-10) in the first game of a two-game inter league series and the first of a six-game home stand. First pitch is at 6:40 ET. It can be viewed or listened to on the usual channels within the Cincinnati viewing area: Fox Sports Ohio for TV and 700 WLW for radio.
The Royals come to town on a hot streak, having beaten the Chicago Cubs by a score of 13-2 on Thursday and sweeping the Minnesota Twins in three games over the weekend.
Twenty-two-year-old rookie southpaw Kris Bubic was drafted in the CBA round of the 2018 MLB draft. Last year he was pitching in High-A ball, so he’s a player who probably would not have made the big league team had it not been for COVID-19 and the weird season we are witnessing. Bubic made his major league debut on July 31 against the White Sox. He pitched four innings and gave up two earned runs on three hits with three strikeouts and a walk. He then faced the other Chicago team five days later and surrendered only two runs while striking out six and walking two in six innings.
The sixth-ranked prospect in the Royals organization according to Baseball Savant and MLB.com, Bubic has three pitches. He throws his four seam fastball and his change up most often, while occasionally mixing in a curve. He doesn’t have top velocity. Bubic’s fastball has topped out at 92 mph this season, while his breaking pitches are around 80-82 mph.
Tonight Luis Castillo tries to bounce back from a subpar performance on Thursday when he allowed three runs on four hits in a loss to the Indians. Castillo has had an interesting start to the season. After pitching brilliantly in his first start, he responded by giving up five runs on eight hits to the Tigers the second time he faced them. He didn’t have any control problems in his first two starts, but against Cleveland, he walked four batters.
Some of Castillo’s troubles can be solved by pointing to his BABIP of .415. He’s had some really bad luck in his first three starts. Batters are putting the ball in play against him. While he’s getting ground balls (26 of them, to be precise), they are finding open space. Castillo does still have that gorgeous change up working for him, however; and it’s a reason why his K% is incredibly high, despite his BABIP also being high.
Castillo has faced just one Royals hitter. Maikel Franco is hitting .167 off him in six total at-bats.
|1. Whit Merrifield (CF)
2. Jorge Soler (DH)
3. Salvador Perez (C)
4. Hunter Dozier (RF)
5. Ryan O’Hearn (1B)
6. Adalberto Mondesi (SS)
7. Maikel Franco (3B)
8. Alex Gordon (LF)
9. Nicky Lopez (2B)
|1. Nick Senzel (CF)
2. Nick Castellanos (RF)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Matt Davidson (DH)
6. Jesse Winker (LF)
7. Curt Casali (C)
8. Christian Colon (2B)
9. Kyle Farmer (SS)
Fun fact you may not have realized about the Royals: Alex Gordon has been in the major leagues since 2007 and has played for Kansas City his entire career. He’s the Joey Votto of the Royals.
News and Notes
I wrote some words this morning about David Bell pulling starters “early”.
Checking in at Prasco Park
Over at RedsMinorLeagues.com Doug Gray shared insights from reliever Joel Kuhnel about how things were operating at Prasco Park for the “alternate site” roster players and how they are going about trying to stay game ready.
Trevor Bauer shares what it’s like during a rain delay in 2020
Trevor Bauer is recording vlogs during this crazy season and I highly recommend checking them out. I know Bauer isn’t liked among some people, but even if you aren’t a fan of his, it’s fun to get a glimpse behind the scenes of this 2020 season. The most recent one posted below has some fun teammate interactions.
(Note: there is strong language in this particular vlog. Do with that information what you want).
Taking two out of three in Milwaukee was a big deal for the Reds. Even though they lost Sunday, winning the series gives them a bit of momentum and confidence going into a home stand against the Royals and Pirates that they should win. This team currently has a 59.6% chance to make the playoffs, according to Fangraphs. I like those odds.