Welcome to the Jose Garcia show, Cincinnati Reds fans. At 5:10pm ET the Reds (11-17) will start their top shortstop prospect, making his Major League debut, against the Milwaukee Brewers (13-15). The two teams will play two games today, both of which are scheduled for seven innings. In game one the pitching match up will feature Sonny Gray and Adrian Houser. The Reds will turn to Wade Miley for game two, with the Brewers countering with Josh Lindblom.

Game 1 Information

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers

Shogo Akiyama – CF Avisail Gacia – CF
Nick Castellanos – RF Christian Yelich – LF
Jesse Winker – DH Keston Hiura – DH
Eugenio Suárez – 3B Justin Smoak – 1B
Mike Moustakas – 1B Mat Gamel – RF
Freddy Galvis – 2B Omar Narvaez – C
Mark Payton – LF Orlando Arcia – SS
Jose Garcia – SS Jace Peterson – 2B
Curt Casali – C Eric Sogard – 3B
Sonny Gray – SP Adrian Houser – SP

The Reds are shaking things up tonight. At least a little bit. Jose Garcia takes over at shortstop and for at least one game Freddy Galvis slides over to second base, which slides Mike Moustakas over to first base, and has Joey Votto out of the lineup.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Sonny Gray 36.2 2.21 0.98 8.9% 34.9%
Adrian Houser 29.0 3.72 1.24 8.6% 17.9%
Links: Sonny Gray’s Stats | Adrian Houser’s Stats

Sonny Gray

The Reds ace heads to the mound tonight to try and stop the losing streak that has watched the team fall in five straight.

2020 Splits

RHH 60 11 1 0 1 6.7% 40.0% .200 .267 .273
LHH 86 12 3 1 2 10.5% 31.4% .158 .256 .303

No one has been able to really do much against Sonny Gray this year when it comes to lefties or righties. From a peripheral standpoint, lefties have had more success – they’ve hit for more power, walked more, and struck out less. But they are still hitting .158 and have an OPS of .559 against him. Right-handed hitters are doing a bit better, but still are hitting .200 and are striking out 40% of the time they step into the box against him.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change Curve
Velo 93.6 93.2 83.5 89.1 81.1
Usage 29% 26% 18% 1% 25%

Adrian Houser

Lots and lots of ground balls. For his career, Houser has a 55% ground ball rate in the Major Leagues. But this year it’s been a 66% rate, which is far and away the best in baseball among starting pitchers.

2020 Splits

vsRHH 45 4 1 0 0 6.7% 28.9% .098 .178 .122
vsLHH 72 22 3 0 4 9.7% 11.1% .344 .417 .578

Small sample size alert here, but the difference between how lefties and righties have hit Adrian Houser this season is about as drastic as it comes. For his career things aren’t that drastic, but still favor lefties in a big way, who have hit .282/.369/.465 against him, while he’s crushed righties to the tune of .211/.271/.330.

Here’s something that’s perhaps even crazier than the triple-slash line splits:

  • Left-handed hitters have a ground ball rate of 58.2% this season against Houser.
  • Right-handed hitters have a ground ball rate of 82.1% this season against Houser.

Only three starters, including Houser, are even at a 60% ground ball rate overall this season. 82.1% is absolutely crazy.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change Curve
Velo 94.0 93.8 86.4 85.1 80.9
Usage 20% 44% 13% 12% 11%

Plenty of fastballs from Houser – 64% this season between the two of them. You’ll see more sinkers than 4-seamers, but there will be a solid mix of both. Among the secondary stuff you’re also getting a good, even mix between a slider, change up, and curveball.

Game 2 Information

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers

Shogo Akiyama – CF Ryan Braun – RF
Nick Castellanos – RF Christian Yelich – DH
Jesse Winker – DH Keston Hirua – 2B
Eugenio Suárez – 3B Jedd Gyorko – 1B
Mike Moustakas – 1B Avisail Garcia – CF
Freddy Galvis – 2B Manny Pina – C
Mark Payton – LF Mark Mathias – LF
Kyle Farmer – SS Luis Urias – 3B
Tucker Barnhart – C Orlando Arcia – SS
Wade Miley – SP Josh Lindblom – SP

The lineup for game two will be updated once it becomes available.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Wade Miley 8.1 9.72 2.40 15.2% 17.4%
Josh Lindblom 21.2 6.65 1.57 11.3% 33.0%
Links: Wade Miley’s Stats | Josh Lindblom’s Stats

Wade Miley

The left-handed pitcher will be making his fourth start of the year tonight and he’s going to be hoping it’s the start that turns things around. In his previous three starts he’s made it out of the second inning just once, and his ERA currently sits at 9.72. He was solid the last time out, allowing three runs in 5.0 innings – but he struggled with the strikezone once again that night.

2019 Splits

RHH 557 134 22 2 16 8.4% 19.2% .267 .332 .415
LHH 163 30 3 0 7 8.6% 20.2% .207 .284 .372

With just 8.1 innings pitched this season, using his splits for 2020 would be rather useless. Looking at the splits from last season the one thing that really stands out is that teams didn’t let too many lefties face off against Miley. The ones that did get out there didn’t find much success – showing solid pop when the ball went as a hit, but they didn’t go as a hit much.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change Curve Cutter
Velo 90.1 89.9 81.6 82.7 75.1 86.0
Usage 9% 6% 3% 27% 12% 43%

We’re dealing with a very small sample size in 2020 with Wade Miley, but he is throwing more change ups and fewer fastballs this season than he was throwing last season. His cutter and his 4-seamer both aren’t being thrown as hard in 2020 as they were in 2019. The 4-seamer is down 1 MPH, while the cutter is down 1.5 MPH. The sinker is actually up a fraction of a MPH. Small sample size – probably not a ton there, but could be worth watching, too.

Josh Lindblom

After pitching in the KBO from 2017-2019, Josh Lindblom is back in the Major Leagues this year. Thus far in his five starts, Major League hitters haven’t exactly welcomed him back in the way that he hoped. His ERA sits at 6.65 in 21.2 innings and he’s given up five homers.

2020 Splits

vsRHH 41 7 1 0 0 7.3% 43.9% .189 .268 .216
vsLHH 56 16 3 0 5 14.3% 25.0% .333 .429 .708

We’re still dealing with a small sample size for 2020, but Josh Lindblom looks like a very different pitcher against lefties and righties. Right-handed hitters have simply been overmatched. They haven’t been able to make contact, striking out 44% of the time they step into the batters box, and when they do make contact on that rare occasion, they aren’t doing anything with it. Lefties on the other hand are crushing the ball against Lindblom, with an OPS against him over 1.100. They still strike out at a good clip, but they walk at an elite level against him and have hit for tons of power.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam Split Slider Change Curve Cutter
Velo 90.7 83.9 76.7 84.4 71.8 86.2
Usage 33% 10% 17% 11% 9% 19%

Josh Lindblom is going to throw everything at you (not literally AT YOU), including the kitchen sink. He’ll bring six pitches to the plate, and he mixes the usage of those pitches up quite well.

When and Where

  • Game time: 5:10pm ET
  • Where: Miller Park, Milwaukee
  • Watch: Fox Sports Ohio, MLB.tv
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: It’s in a dome so it doesn’t matter.

NL Central Standings

Team Wins Losses GB
Cubs 18 12
Cardinals 11 9 2.0
Brewers 13 15 4.0
Reds 11 17 6.0
Pirates 7 19 9.0

News and Notes

You already read that the Reds called up Jose Garcia. Over at RedsMinorLeagues.com I wrote 3000 words on just about everything you could possibly need to know about the new Cincinnati shortstop. I covered his entire playing history, including some of his time in Cuba as well as his time at Prasco and what he was working on there and how he looked. There’s a fairly detailed scouting report, spray charts for his minor league career, talking about his strengths and weaknesses, and more. Check it out.

Everything to know about Reds shortstop Jose Garcia