The Cincinnati Reds will kick off the 2021 season this afternoon by hosting the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ballpark. It’s been a heck of a year, hasn’t it? A lot has changed since last April. The Reds reached the playoffs last year for the first time since 2013. They had their first Cy Young Award winner, but he left via free agency in the offseason. Eugenio Suárez has returned to shortstop after an offseason of trying to find one from outside of the organization. The television booth added both John Sadak and Barry Larkin. New season, new team, new hope.
And here is the first lineup of the regular season.
St. Louis Cardinals
|Tommy Edman – 2B||Jesse Winker – LF|
|Paul Goldschmidt – 1B||Nick Castellanos – RF|
|Nolan Arenado – 3B||Joey Votto – 1B|
|Paul DeJong – SS||Eugenio Suárez – SS|
|Tyler O’Neill – LF||Mike Moustakas – 3B|
|Yadier Molina – C||Nick Senzel – CF|
|Dylan Carlson – CF||Jonathan India – 2B|
|Justin Williams – RF||Tucker Barnhart – C|
|Jack Flaherty – SP||Luis Castillo – SP|
Stats are from 2020.
|Links: Luis Castillo’s Stats | Jack Flaherty’s Stats
The 2020 season was a small sample size as a whole. That means that the splits are even smaller and less useful than other seasons. That said, Luis Casitllo pitched much better against right-handed hitters than he did against left-handed hitters. While it’s not shown below, he also pitched better at home (2.05 ERA in five starts with a 1.08 WHIP) than he did on the road (4.12 ERA in seven starts with a 1.35 WHIP).
Pitch Usage in 2020
The same small sample stuff applies for Jack Flaherty as it does for Luis Castillo, but more so since Castillo threw 75% more innings. Last season saw enormous splits for Flaherty on the road versus at home. On the road he posted a 9.45 ERA in four starts, while at home he posted a 2.67 ERA in five starts. He only managed to throw 13.1 innings on the road in his four starts.
Pitch Usage in 2020
When and Where
- Game time: 4:10pm ET
- Where: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati.
- Watch: Bally Sports Ohio (formerly Fox Sports Ohio), MLB.tv
- Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
- Forecast: 37°, partly cloudy, 5% chance of rain
News and Notes
The Full Opening Day Roster
We posted it in a separate article, but in case you wound up here without first seeing that and are interested here’s the link to see the whole thing.
The Alternate Site Roster
Until the minor league season begins in May, Major League Baseball teams will have alternate sites once again. The Reds will have theirs in Louisville this year at the Triple-A facility. You can see the full roster of 31 players at RedsMinorLeagues.com. A few interesting names are not on the list, including the teams top prospect Hunter Greene.
Jonathan India’s debut
It’s been nearly 60 years since a Cincinnati Reds player has made their debut at second base. That player? Pete Rose in 1963. It’s been over 30 years since a position player made their Major League debut in the Opening Day starting lineup. That was Chris Sabo in 1988. He won the Rookie of the Year and was an All-Star that season.
How the Reds built Spincinnati
C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic wrote about the Cincinnati Reds rebuilding the entire pitching philosophy, and the importance of a high spin rate within the organization. Of course, as noted by pitching coach Derek Johnson, high spin isn’t the only way a pitcher can find success. Still, many of the pitchers the team has targeted of late are high spin rate pitchers and it’s helped turn things around.
You can attend Alternate Site games in Louisville
In a surprising move, the Louisville Bats announced yesterday afternoon that the alternate site that will be held at their facility will host 11 games in April against other alternate site teams from the region and that there will be a limited amount of tickets available for purchase. You can buy them right now at BatsBaseball.com.
In Case You Missed It
This morning kicked off Ashley Davis’ bi-monthly column here at Redleg Nation and her first contribution this season looks at why outfielder Nick Castellanos could be primed to break out for the Cincinnati Reds this season.
ZiPS Projected Standings
Dan Szymborski released the ZiPS projected standings at Fangraphs this morning. ZiPS projects the Reds to finish 80-82 and in 4th place, six games back of the Cardinals who are projected to win the division. Cincinnati’s projected playoff percentage is 17.6% according to ZiPS. The Pirates are at the bottom of the division at 65-97 with a 0.0% chance of the playoffs.