Chicago in Cincinnati week resumes tonight with the south side White Sox meeting the Reds at GABP. Game time is 6:40pm. The Reds (13-14) are 4-6 in their last 10 games. The better news is they’ve won consecutive series by posting those 4 wins in their most recent 6 games. The Sox (15-12) are 7-3 over their last 10 games and have also taken their last two series by defeating both Detroit and Cleveland in 4 of their last six games. The Sox may be reeling tonight from the news which broke Monday that their young star centerfielder Luis Robert will be out (at least) 12-16 weeks with a hip flexor tear suffered on Sunday.
Right hander Jeff Hoffman makes the start for the Reds night. He will be opposed by Dylan Cease who is also right hander.
Remember 5 weeks ago when Reds fans thought Jeff Hoffman was just keeping a rotation seat warm for the likes of Sonny Gray, Wade Miley or Michael Lorenzen? Thankfully the former 2 are now safely ensconced in the Reds rotation; but, Lorenzen has found his way to the 60 day IL leaving Hoffman in the rotation for the foreseeable future. Through 5 starts Hoffman’s been no worse than a league average starter and perhaps better depending where a person stands in the ERA (3.33 for Hoffman) vs. FIP (4.63) debate. The biggest knocks on Hoffman’s performance to date are his low K/BB ratio of 1.58 and his BB/9 rate 4.4.
At age 25 Dylan Cease is making the 6th start of what he hopes will be his full second season in the White Sox rotation after breaking into it in July of 2019. However due to the pandemic situation this will be just his 34th ever MLB appearance, all of them as a starter. Cease sports the very same 4.4 BB/9 rate as Reds starter Hoffman but has done a better job of offsetting the walks with strikeouts, compiling a 2.42 K/BB ratio with an elite 28.2% K rate. Cease’s ERA/FIP comparison is 2.96/3.28, a tight range suggesting to date his results have been somewhat luck neutral.
Both teams had Monday off and should have pens ready to go for tonight.
|1. Tim Anderson (SS)
2. Nick Madrigal (2B)
3. Yoan Moncada (3B)
4. Jose Abreu (1B)
5. Adam Eaton (RF)
6. Andrew Vaughn (LF)
7. Yasmani Grandal (C)
8. Leury Garcia (CF)
9. Dylan Cease (P)
|1. Jesse Winker (LF)
2. Nick Castellanos (RF)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Mike Moustakas (3B)
5. Eugenio Suárez (SS)
6. Tyler Naquin (CF)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Jonathan India (2B)
9. Jeff Hoffman (P)
I’ll be the first to admit, I had forgotten where Yasmani Grandal signed. On the Reds side, these next few days may be very telling in terms Jonathan India’s short term future. Shogo Akiyama is expected back with the Reds very soon. If the team persists in keeping 9 relievers, India could be the man on the bubble to go to AAA Louisville what with the minor league season now underway to provide an every day playing assignment for India.
News and Notes
Nick Senzel scratched from the lineup
Nick Senzel was a late scratch from the starting lineup with a sore left shoulder. He was replaced in center by Tyler Naquin who also was slotted into the same #6 spot in the lineup.
No Luis Robert
It look like a short time former Reds player may figure in how White Sox try to cover the huge loss of Luis Robert
OF Brian Goodwin has signed a deal with the White Sox, per source.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) May 4, 2021
It’s minor league baseball season, officially
We mentioned above the opening of the minor league season. Doug Gray and RLN’s companion site, Reds Minor Leagues, have all that action covered too
Just a week from now the Reds will be at the 20% point of the 2021 season. What do you think of their performance so far? From where I sit, the Reds bottom line is in a range I expected. However they have looked good enough at times to leave me frustrated that their record isn’t better.
Why is the Reds bullpen struggling so mightily? Could it be the problem is more about their approach than the physical stuff they throw? I’m leaning in that direction. I don’t understand why guys like Sims, Antone and Garrett come in and lead with breaking stuff versus spotting their very good fastballs then working their breaking pitches off of them.
But actually I have a nagging bigger worry than the pen. With Michael Lorenzen out of the picture, what would the Reds do if one of the 5 current rotation starters went down? There certainly doesn’t seem to be much if any nearly ready depth in the farm system. Moving Tejay Antone to the rotation would make a sorry bullpen even worse; and, just maybe, as it appears with Lorenzen, his body is more attuned to 2 or 3 inning relief stints than starting anyway.
Here’s hoping the Reds get the win tonight to get back to .500. GO REDS!
WHERE: GABP Cincinnati, OH
WEATHER: 67 degrees/ chance of early thunder storm
GAME TIME 6:40pm EDT
WATCH ON: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB.tv
Listen ON: 700 WLW AM