The Cincinnati Reds won the first of two series against Cleveland over the weekend, taking the first two games of the three game series. That helped them remain in 1st place of the National League Central as they moved to 9-6 through the first two-and-a-half weeks of the season. There were a few things that we learned over the weekend about the Reds, both on and off of the field.

Shogo Akiyama is running once again

On Sunday prior to the game we saw outfielder Shogo Akiyama on the field running the bases and doing some running-related drills. If you tuned into the game on Bally Sports Ohio you got a chance to see it. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer had a birds-eye view from Great American Ballpark, too.

Manager David Bell noted over the weekend that he was hopeful that Shogo Akiyama could be in games with the alternate site team by the upcoming weekend.

Michael Lorenzen gets a PRP injection in his shoulder

In a set of roster moves we saw Michael Lorenzen head to the 60-day injured list due to his shoulder injury that’s kept him out since the middle of spring training. Earlier in the week he got a PRP injection with the hopes that it’ll get him to where he needs to be.

He had a bit of a set back with his rehab during a bullpen session.

“I was feeling great,” said Lorenzen. “The day before I was scheduled for a bullpen, I was felt the best I had felt. Then I went to throw the bullpen the next day and I didn’t feel great – the only day I didn’t feel great. So I threw a pen probably like 50% effort just to get the feel for the mound and still couldn’t even finish it. I figured it was probably just a bad day, body didn’t recover well – just give it the night and tomorrow, feel better. They want to get another MRI and I figured Kremchek would just say it was getting better and we just need to take a little more time, and he said it’s gotten worse somehow. So we had to do a PRP and do something that takes more time with it and be more cautious with it. That was a major surprise to me and a major blow to me, just mentally and everything, but just got to keep pushing forward.”

The right-hander is looking at the situation in a positive light right now. He still plans to return to the team in the role as a starter. With so many unknowns in how starting pitchers will be able to handle their workloads after last season, he believes this could potentially be beneficial for both himself and for the team in the long run of a season.

“I think it’ll be a good boost. That’s kind of where my mind is, and where’ I’m staying positive. There won’t be any need to hold me back, and I’ll just able to go and go, and go through October even and have nothing hold me back because sadly enough I didn’t start the first two months. I’ll be able to finish strong.”

With the move to the 60-day injured list, Michael Lorenzen won’t be eligible to return to the Cincinnati Reds roster until the 61st day of the regular season at the earliest. That would be May 31st.

Sometimes it IS better to be lucky than good

On Saturday afternoon the Reds had some good luck go their way. In the bottom of the 9th inning an error on a routine ground ball to first base that would have ended the game went under the glove of Josh Naylor. It led to the game-tying run that sent the game into extra-innings. Sean Doolittle kept Cleveland off the board and opened up the possibility for Cincinnati to win the game with a single run. And that’s exactly what happened in the bottom of the 10th on Tyler Stephenson’s single to the warning track in right field.

While the error opened up another opportunity for the Reds, they had to keep fighting to make something happen. The old saying that it’s better to be lucky than good has something to it, but you’ve still got to be good in some cases in order to help take advantage of that extra bit of luck that went your way.

This offense has a chance to be very good

We saw in the first week of the season that the Reds could put together some ballgames with big run totals. On Friday night it was more of the same. Trailing 1-0 entering the bottom of the 3rd inning the Reds put together a 7-run inning to put the game away (they won 10-3).

When the team is healthy the only weak spot in the lineup is the pitchers spot. It’s a deep lineup from top to bottom, and right now the bench/platoon guys are playing quite well, too. They probably won’t score the 983 runs that they are on pace for this season – which would shatter the team record for most runs scored in a season (the 1999 Reds have the modern record at 865, but the team scored 883-936 runs in several seasons in the late 1800’s) – but the early returns show an offense that can do some real damage and could be one of the stronger offenses the team has seen in quite a while.

Wade Miley wasn’t going to keep a 0.00 ERA forever

Entering the game on Sunday Wade Miley had not given up an earned run through two starts. That wasn’t going to last forever, and Sunday was the day that saw it come to an end. He would give up four runs – all coming on two homers allowed – on the day. As a pitcher who doesn’t miss a ton of bats, Miley’s success in-part hinges on his ability to keep the ball in the yard.

Converting some into believers

Over at MLB dot com they released their week two power rankings and the Cincinnati Reds found their way all the way up to the #4 spot in baseball. The 9-6 start has been impressive, particularly from an offensive standpoint. Cincinnati leads baseball in runs scored with 91 and is second in team OPS at .808. Only the Dodgers team OPS is higher – .811 – and only the Dodgers have also scored at least 90 runs, but they’ve scored their 90 runs over a span of 16 games.

57 Responses

  1. wkuchad

    “Only the Dodgers team OPS is higher – .811 – and only the Dodgers have also scored at least 90 runs, but they’ve scored their 90 runs over a span of 16 games.”

    And only the Dodgers have scored their runs with over double the payroll as the Reds.

    Keep it up Redlegs! Been a fun season so far!

  2. Rob

    I agree. Saturday’s win was great but I wouldn’t count on too many more of those. The error in the ninth happens and the Reds took advantage. But the triple play could have had a dozen worse outcomes if that scorcher was 12” in a different direction. Garrett was toast and a single out or single would have put the Reds in a dire situation. It didn’t happen but I know to count this one as very very fortunate. And then the flukey error on top of that.

    • Doc

      Nothing like looking for the ray of darkness in a sunny sky. Only here could commenters find a way to see darkness in a triple play. My hat is off to Votto, who snagged the ball where it WAS hit, not where it could have been hit, made the heads up play to tag the bag, and even better, stayed cool in getting the third out.

      I wonder if the situation had been reversed and the Reds had blown the game on a Buckner, would the comment have pointed out the dozen or so ways it could have worked out better, or would it have been a castigation of the first baseman, especially had Votto been manning the bag.

      • RojoBenjy


        Not just “only here” but it’s really “only Reds fans”

        I blame Mike Brown for breaking the City’s spirit LOL

      • MK

        I’m a Cleveland Browns’ fan and find that Mike Brown has a tendency to boost my spirits.

        Back to our Reds I wonder if Lorenzen might learn at some point that his over the top weight training leads to many of his injuries. Typically pitchers don’t show up as a model at Venus Beach

      • RojoBenjy

        MK you’re cracking me up.

        Mike Brown fan you are, like I am a big fan of Jim Harbaugh as Michigan’s football coach—he has them right where I like them!

        And “ Typically pitchers don’t show up as a model at Venus Beach” now that’s funny right there!

        I too have wondered if Lorenzen is so driven that he can’t be patient enough to let his body heal. The PRP route is always a shaky one—I hope they make him shut it down and take some yoga for awhile

    • Westfester

      When another team gives you another out, you jump on it. Great teams punish mistakes.

      • Doc

        Since the player who hit into the triple play is also the player who made the critical error, it is quite possible that Votto’s heads up effort contributed to the critical error the next inning. Was the first baseman’s concentration broken just enough by the triple play to cause the error. Don’t know, but it is not easy to forget something like that just as it is not easy to forget a bad golf shot by the time of the next shot.

      • RojoBenjy

        Doc- interesting observation. Baseball has so many layers and so much is between the player’s ears. I’m sure he would never admit that, but it still may have been an X factor like you say

  3. RedsFan11

    Reds already get their chance to get back at the D-Backs.. MLB Scheduling is weird.

    Need to take 2 of 3 as another tough road trip looms. Going into this weekends road trip at 10-8 will very likely mean coming home at .500

    • Matt WI

      Agree… I understand it’s more likely with divisional foes, but it’s really annoying when you see the same team within about a week and then never again. I am way for decreasing the emphasis on divisional games and playing more even distribution across the board.

    • 2020ball

      Whats so bad about coming back to your home yard from a tough road trip at .500? sounds like a good thing actually.

  4. Bred

    Some would say that the Reds got lucky Saturday, but the error does not happen if he strikes out. Votto’s check swing bunt was also “lucky”, but again put the ball in play and good things can happen. If either Ks, it is over. On the triple play, was it a “lucky” catch? Was his dive to make the tag “luck”? The runner leaving early was bad base running not luck. I give credit to Votto for good D.
    Side question could Votto perfect the check swing bunt to beat the shift or at least give teams the idea that it was possible thereby altering the shift? Probably not, but it sure would be cool if he could and did it.

  5. SultanofSwaff

    The Reds have 4 players on each side of the ball with at least 0.4 WAR. Balance and depth. That’s a recipe for success over a 162 game season. The schedule is favorable in April and May and the team is mostly healthy and rested.

    At this point there’s no reason not to put some real expectations on this team.

  6. Tom Reeves

    Friday, the Reds won a game they should have won. Saturday, they won a game they probably shouldn’t have won. And Sunday, they lost a game they probably should lose.

    It’s the game in the middle that’s so critical.

    It’s going to be so important this team have games where they blow out of the competition and games that they have to come back to win.

    This team has the ability to comeback on nearly anyone.

    One of the coolest things I saw at the game Saturday (other than the triple play!) is how Castellanos ran over from first to pump up Jesse Winker at second after they both reached base. The Indians were conferencing on the mound and Castellanos is getting Winker and the entire Reds dugout fired up. You could feel this team was willing itself to win.

    We might quibble a bit with David Bell’s in game moves but, wow, he seems to be doing a great job leading this team the way it needs to be led. And great job by the front office bringing in the right veterans who have also set the tone.

    • Roger Garrett

      Winning games makes everybody look good.Bell is still Bell and his tendency to try to play everybody and at any position will never go away.Lets just hope we can have enough blowouts in our favor so that when he dazzles us with all of his moves they don’t actually cost us a game here and there.

    • Chris Holbert

      I think leading is a stretch. He is not a good manager, this is not travel, where eveybody has to play, and needs to be able to play a bunch of positions. At the start of the year he was relatively consistent with the starting 8, but now after the series loss in AZ, he seems to think, playing everyone, like in previous years, is the fix. The best players need to be playing consistently, we all have a good idea who those are, so he should, with occasional days off. Days off need to be staggered so that a third of the team is not backups every Sunday. When the young guys slump, which they will, that is not a notion to bench or platoon them. As they say you need to hit out of a slump. Certain players get the benefit of the doubt, track record, (recent or past) or not, and that not is not necessarily the best for the team. Managers rarely win games, but they can lose them for sure.

      • Roger Garrett

        You put it much better then I have been able to say it and I have been trying to say it for years now.Reds just never have treated their players the same and that has always drove me nuts especially the younger players.They must walk on water just to get a chance and at the first sign they start to sink they throw them under the bus.Let me say this and I will go away.Senzel,Wink,India and Stephensen are the key position players that will turn this franchise around if they are given the chance to do it.Finally we have a new core that can lead this team for the next several years and the manager won’t let it happen.Just awful.

      • Indy Red Man

        I hammer Bell quite often myself, but the young guys are playing from what I can see? For one thing Stephenson moves like he’s 6’8 behind the plate and Tucker is actually hitting (for now) so you get what we have. India is a regular and Naquin is outperforming Senzel. I would move Senzel around in kind of a super utility role and maybe give India a little time at SS with Nick at 2B. Suarez might need a breather vs RHP with good sliders. Its just an 0-4 with 3Ks waiting to happen.

        My only complaint with Bell so far is Romano having more innings then Sims/Garrett combined. They’re off today so throw the A team in there and try to get a sweep. Instead Bell bats Shrock 6th and brings Sal into a 2 run game. Bell is planning for 162 and I get that, but take advantage of all these days off.

      • doofus

        Nice insight.

        Bell needs to get Senzel in the lineup. The second overall pick in 2016. Acknowledged as the best hitter in the draft that year, yet Bell feels the need to jerk him in and out of the lineup.

        He is healthy, LET HIM PLAY!

        Bring it on…

      • 2020ball

        why is everyone grasping at straws to criticize Bell? the teams playing well and hes made minimal mistakes while saving his better pitchers for the long haul. Cant we wait until there are some actual issues before we throw the manager under the bus?

  7. SultanofSwaff

    Team OPS rankings:

    Team ERA:

    This division is not good and there for the taking……might only take 87 wins, who knows. You’d have to think only the winner will make the playoffs.

    • Doc

      Small sample size alert, making conclusions from these numbers suspect.

  8. TR

    At this early point, David Bell is tempering his over-management style a bit. I hope that continues.

  9. MBS has the Reds ranked #4, that’s amazing.

  10. Mike Brown

    I’m assuming the negative comments here are about the Bengals’ former owner and not me, a Reds fan for over 60 years. (Vada Pinson is still the best overall ballplayer I ever saw).

    Major pleasant developments: The hitting overall, Jesse Winker, Johnathan India, Tejay Antone and starting pitching.

    Major worries: The middle of the bullpen, Geno’s rough start, those (*&*)*( Cardinals (how DID they get Arenado?), my wife’s not liking Skyline.

    Still on the fence about: Castillo’s problems, how we play on the road, the new TV guy.

    Nice to have Barry Larkin in the booth. What a reminder of the way things could be.–The REAL Mike Brown.

    • RojoBenjy

      Well, the comments above were directed at the Bengals’ current owner Mike Brown, son of the legendary Paul Brown who founded them. No ill will toward you 😉

  11. MBS

    If we all agree Winker and Castellanos are starters, how do we see Senzel, Naquin, and Shogo working out? If you asked me preseason, it was Shogo as the CF, and Senzel as the 4th. I know many will have the exact opposite view, but Naquin is throwing a wrench into all of our though processes. How is Naquin not playing everyday? Bell’s got a tough job on this one.

    • Sliotar

      FanGraphs today has the Reds as:

      33% chance to make playoffs
      1% chance to win World Series

      Playing Shogo and Naquin over Senzel probably does not move needle on either number


      It would another season where Senzel’s ceiling isn’t figured out.
      Senzel has an injury history … so, when he can go, IMO, he should play every day.

      • Chris Holbert

        He is 0 for the last 17 or so, Bell feels he needs to find a platoon….cannot just let him figure it out, like some others, in the same position

      • MBS

        Don’t blame Bell too much, Naquin keeps getting it done, he leads the team in HR, RBI, SLG (excluding Aquino) #2 in OPS behind Barnhart.

  12. ClevelandRedsFan

    At what point do we start worrying about Suarez? He’s hitting under the Mendoza line with an OPS under .700

    He hit a few balls hard on Saturday, but so far he looks more like the 2020 Suarez instead of the 2019 Suarez.

    • Sliotar

      His strikeout rate is 35% this season … never had a season at 30% before.

      He is what he is … a boom or bust guy … aging now .. on a cheap deal, fan favorite … ownership apparently values that that stuff greatly … he’s not being traded, not being benched.

      He will get hot at some point, when it heats up and balls fly out of GABP … and the focus will go to someone else.

      Suarez is lucky he doesn’t play in a market with quality media covering the team, like in New York, Boston or Chicago … his blowing gum-bubbles schtick might not work so well.

      • Greenfield Red

        I would not call the media in New York, Boston, or Chicago “quality media”. Maybe those people call athletes out more, but I would call them the polar opposite of “quality”.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Yeah, based on last year and now this year he’s looking like a 3 outcome hitter. Fortunately, he’s looking like the only one on the team so far. If that’s the case, we can live with it.

    • Chris Holbert

      He has turned into the Khris Davis of the National League

  13. TR#1

    Is anyone else a little concerned with India’s power? I know he’s had some hard hit balls and showed some power before. But he has 2 extra base hits in 14 games. With everyone else hitting for power, then I’m a little concerned. Small sample size, but I think we were counting him as a 20 HR guy not Jose Iglesias. And to be clear I am a big fan of India so far, but wondering about power.

    • RojoBenjy

      I’m not concerned as long as he gets on base.

      At some point the manager may have to move him up the lineup so one of the sluggers can drive him in.

      But I expect the power to come, and think he is adjusting to the league by not trying to do too much. A real sign of maturity

    • JayTheRed

      Power is not everything and this team already has a ton of power. I would rather he continue to focus on getting on base. I’m sure he is going to hit some Home Runs at some point.
      Don’t change the approach he is using so far. Love his game thus far.

  14. tommyd

    Quality media? The same cities that always over value their teams to be bigger than life! Geesh you need a reality check dude you sure you are not from L.A.?

  15. centerfield

    India hits enough balls to the warning track to keep the outfielders honest. We have plenty of power, just need some men on base at all times. India can provide some of that. Great series against Cleveland especially considering the Moose did not play. Bell didn’t do anything overtly mind boggling over the weekend and made a few very nice moves. Maybe he is finally getting it. Suarez is looking much better at short, but Winker is looking equally worse in the OF. Let’s hope Votto can sustain his recent success. Romano looks like the next cut. When Shogo returns, Paton goes down. Finally, Mikey needs to be banned from the weight room. He needs to concentrate on stretching those muscles out instead of bulking up. He also needs to dump those supplements. Mikey, please see Wade Miley asap! The Central division is weak and 87 – 89 games will probably win it. The wild cards are going to be from other divisions.

    • JayTheRed

      Thought it was interesting that Senzel got to play 3b. too.

  16. Still a Red

    I know many here think bad luck did not play into our historically poor BIBP citing poor contact…but some more luck came our way Sat. Luck should average out…maybe this year we get extra lucky.
    Senzel got off to a pretty good start, but slumping now…not sure if taking a seat didn’t sit well with him…but as mentioned above pretty hard not to find a place for Naquin at the moment…and with Shogo coming…perhaps let the best man win (until he doesn’t).
    Dont need power from India, but do need good contact. Suarez went to right a few times this weekend…needs to keep doing that…and quit taking fast balls down the middle.

  17. Indy Red Man

    I’m very impressed with India so far. I think a big arm in RF is huge in a park like gabp, but having a cannon at 2B really helps as well. He seems so athletic that I would have India spell Suarez occasionally too. Now hitting wise….its hard to say at this point. We’re going to have a logjam in the OF and maybe Senzel replaces India at 2B if the kid doesn’t hit, but thats premature at this point. Overall having too many hitters with potential is a good problem to have. I’m more concerned with the back end of the pitching staff. Getting Antone into the rotation so Bell can’t screw him up….i.e…Romano 12 innings & Sims/Garrett 9 combined.

    Castellanos 2 game suspension upheld. Well Nick replaces Nick in the lineup. Lets go Senzel! Pick it up!

    • doofus

      I like the outside the box thinking! Senzel to 2B.

  18. Jeffery

    Well..let’s see….they play in NL Central and played their first game in like 1869.

  19. Mark Moore

    I learned that the kids look alright to me. India and Stephenson especially.

    I’m encouraged but cautious. We seized some opportunities and some slipped away.

    If we end April on top of the NLC, I’d say we’re headed in the right direction.

  20. doofus

    The Braves fans are hankering for a third baseman. I see it on trade values and other forums. Suarez? India?

    • RojoBenjy

      If they’d take Suarez I’m doing that yesterday–except the Reds are in a bind because he’s their SS now…


      Unless you can win the division or WC with Farmer there

    • CP

      It is April 19th, the Cincinnati Reds are in first place, and RN posters want to trade low on a guy that has averaged 4+ WAR over his last 3 full seasons. What a strange world
      we live in.

      • doofus

        I have advocated that Suarez be traded a couple of years ago. Nice of you to come to the party.

      • CP

        Well, at least you remain true to your screen name.

    • doofus

      Twins and Mets fans also show interest in Suarez.

  21. Indy Red Man

    Here’s a rule change rule that might help stimulate the dying running game in mlb. If you reach the base before the tag then you’re safe. I don’t remember Eric Davis or Barry Larkin stealing a base and getting called out because the infielder tagged/pushed them off the base. From my memory if the guy’s momentum took him off the base for a second then the umps let it slide::)) Kind of like the “in the vicinity” on the double play throw to 2nd.

    • CP

      The running game was dying before instant replay, but both those guys would still be stealing bases in today’s games, although perhaps not as frequently.