Luis Castillo’s slow start to the 2021 campaign was not helped by Coors Field. The first inning woes continued, as the Rockies scored three runs in the first. It all fell apart for Castillo in the fourth. The Rockies got a pair of cheap hits, and then poured it on against Castillo, scoring five more runs to chase him from the game.
That might not even have been the worst part of the game. Nick Senzel had to leave the game with a left heel contusion running into the wall in the first inning.
The Reds as they’ve shown all year didn’t go away quietly. The Reds scored 8 runs in the top of the 8th, and cut the deficit to 10-8.
The small deficit did not last long, as Cionel Perez got rocked in the bottom of the 8th. The Reds fell 13-8 in just another wild game at Coors Field.
|Colorado Rockies (14-24)||13||15||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (17-18)||8||12||2|
|W: Gonzalez (2-1) L: Castillo (1-5)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Biggest Play of the Game
According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Luis Castillo allowing a 2-run home run to Josh Fuentes with 2 outs in the first inning, giving the Rockies a 3-0 lead. That play decreased the Reds probability of winning by 14.7% (from 38.7% to 24.0%).
Tyler Stephenson had a 2-run, pinch hit homer. He now has a cool slash line of .310/.355/.448 on the season and a career 120 wRC+. This guy is going to be a really good player for the Reds.
Jonathan India had a 2-hit night, including a big (at the time) 3-run home run.
Shogo Akiyama got his first hit of 2021.
On a night where every other pitcher was awful, Sal Romano pitched a perfect inning.
Luis Castillo gave up a career high 10 hits tonight. The Rockies certainly had their share of cheap hits, including a home run with a .270 xBA. It is just hard to watch him pitch right now. He can’t seem to locate his off-speed pitches well enough, which is putting everything else out of wack. I still have full belief that he will pull it together, but it’s not a lot of fun watching him try to get to that point right now. Castillo has a long enough track record to have belief in him.
Cionel Perez looked really bad in the 9th inning. He came in after the Reds cut the deficit to 10-8 and proceed to walk a batter with a career 77 wRC+ and then get rocked. Perez clearly has some talent, but it’s hard to see what value he provides the Reds at this stage.
Jonathan India had a bizarre throwing error in the bottom of the 8th. He did not need to throw the ball home on a relay (the runners had stopped at 2nd & 3rd), but he did and airmailed it allowing a runner to score. That certainly didn’t help an already struggling Cionel Perez.
Nick Senzel went down with an injury again. I’m not going to speculate as to what this means, but it’s a brutal time for him. He looked like he was really turning a corner at the plate. Mike Moustakas also left the game early. It looked like he cut his finger on the net chasing a foul ball. The Reds were down 8-0 when he left the game. I would imagine he probably sticks out the game if it was close.
#Reds David Bell said Moustakas (shoulder) will be "back in the lineup for sure tomorrow." Said he didn't expect Senzel's injury to be a long-term issue
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) May 14, 2021
The Reds offense got shutdown for a second straight day against a really bad starting pitcher. The Reds scored 1 run in 12.1 innings off Trevor Cahil and Chi Chi Gonzalez.
Not so random thoughts……………….
Eugenio Suarez might have had an 0 for 3 night, but he absolutely crushed a ball. Suarez hit a ball 405 feet with a 100.1 EV and .610 xBA. He also had another hit taken away on a nice play by the Rockies LF, Raimel Tapia (98.8 EV, .430 xBA). Let’s hope Suarez is really about to go on a tear.
This certainly is not a one size fits all comparison, but maybe some perspective on Castillo. He has made 8 starts now in 2021. Anthony DeSclafani made 7 starts and 2 relief appearances last season for the Reds. Our guy Disco was really bad in 2020. He lowered his ERA to 2.14 (3.16 FIP) in his 8th start of this season earlier today.
Reds at Rockies
Friday, 8:40 PM
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Wade Miley (2.00 ERA) vs Germán Márquez (5.49 ERA)
Never want to see the Reds lose … but, had this game ended with a 10-8 score, it would have been one of their most misleading final scores in years.
Look at the win probability chart up above.
I am getting frustrated with Castillo, What is going on with him? Just don’t understand why he has been so poor this season. Sample size continues to grow and we don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.
I was mad we didn’t resign Disco… I know he had a rough year last year but he would have been a nice number 5 guy in the rotation.
I would just like to say our bullpen is a mess. There is very little positive I can honestly say about it.
That 8th inning was amazing and for Perez to come in and give back 3 runs was so disheartening.
Castillo is a Huge problem. I cringe when his spot is up in the rotation. The problem is what can you do about it. Sending him to AAA to work on it won’t help, plus it would probably mentally hurt him. I’d say a IL stint with shoulder fatigue might be coming soon. Gives him a breather, while saving face.
Perez did let those runs in, but India’s bad relay allowed the 1st runner to score, and the 2nd runner to advance to 3B, who came in on a sac fly in the next AB. Then again he gave up a HR to the next batter, so maybe they’d all score either way.
“I still have full belief that he will pull it together”
I don’t know Nick? I think I could make a case that we’re watching Volquez II. He was an All-Star in 2008 and then a 5.71 era and gone a few years later. He’s had how many years to develop his slider? Baseball IQ (and competitive desire) which was EVs issues too. Cueto never had an arm that powerful, but he reinvented himself. Maybe Luis is happy enough carving out a long & mediocre career like EV?
I saw Sonny Gray several times when he was struggling in New York and he absolutely didn’t have that crazy screwball action on his fastball. If he did then he would’ve had success there. What is he 5’10? He’s not supposed to be a good big league pitcher but he is! I don’t see that drive to be great in Castillo.
Agree, Castillo doesn’t seem to “bow up” when needed – almost lackadaisical at times. However, I thought his tempo\attack mode was better last night. I see he did use his slider more, but location\command on all his pitches appears to be the problem. He would get a hitter in a pitchers count and then leave a pitch in the middle of the plate to b hit hard. Or, he made a great pitch only to have it fisted for a bloop hit. Tough sledding for him right now, but I think he can recover
Luis has been better than Edison was for a longer stretch. His 2017 season with 15 starts was a 144 era+, 2019 was 140+ in 32 starts, 155+ in 12 starts. That is 59 starts spread out over 3 different seasons at a very high level. He was average in 2018 and is having a rough start to 2021. Maybe you should give him a bit more time before you question his baseball IQ and you make it sound like developing a pitch should be a snap of the fingers or maybe I am misreading your tone.
I know pro sports are difficult! At the same time its basically impossible for a starter to make it on 2 pitches.
I remember reading many years ago about Darryl Strawberry and how when they were losing to the Red Sox in the 1986 WS before the Buckner play & rally that he was down in the clubhouse changing with Kevin McReynolds. That was a cardinal sin according to his teammates because everybody knew Kevin McReynolds was just going thru the motions…..and he was a pretty good player, but his teammates knew that he wasn’t hungry and wasn’t fully committed. Now I don’t know Castillo, but I’m not seeing that drive.
I would suggest a haircut. Go back to what worked. Play the mental game
Geno added some highlights to his lettuce, and got a few hits.
If that fails, maybe sacrifice a chicken?
Time to put to sleep that puppy…
With injuries to Senzel and Moose, tomorrow might be a good day to try Winker at 1st. He took grounders in bp the last series. Lineup tomorrow Shogo, Winker(1st), Castellanos, Naquin, Suarez, Barnhart, Farmer, India, Miley
If not, Blandino(1B), Winker, Castellanos, Naquin, Suarez, Barnhart, Farmer, India, Miley
We’ll see what DB comes up with. As far as Castillo goes at least it’s not a physical problem. He will get it straightened out but may need to do it in AAA as Tom suggested.
The way he’s hitting maybe it’s finally time to give Stephenson a start at 1B. Wouldn’t be surprised if Moose is back in there.
I agree. Stephenson should be in the lineup either catching or at 1st. base. His time is now.
Dittos! Tyler has the exact hitting approach the Reds need more of. He stays inside (doesn’t try to pull everything) the BB and could be a great bat hitting 5th or 6th providing protection for the big bats.
Bob Steve still looks like his old self…
Time is running out to address the most important issues and do not loose the Cards out of sight: Suarez, Castillo, Hoffman and 50% of the bullpen, I hope something will come up.
For something to come up, we have to rely on Manager Bell, GM Krall, & majority owner Bob Castellini.
So… does Castillo have options??
Castillo has no clue where his fastball is going, his breaking stuff is useless and his changeup is flat as a pancake. I have no idea what they do with him. He can’t pitch out of the bullpen since his first inning is always a disaster. Does he have any options left?
At least this didn’t happen AFTER they signed him to a long term contract!
Couple of weeks ago I commented that it was to early to speculate on what we have learned about the Reds. Most of the favorites in each division were closer to last than where they were projected to be . By game 40 the cream will rise to the top and teams will show who they are. The Reds have 5 games to show who they are. Contenders or just a team wallowing in mediocrity. Cant see this team being contenders. To many players who are streaky or are still searching for something positive 35 games in. I feel confident with two hitters in the lineup when they come to the plate. There isnt much confidence in the entire pitching staff. I think they have more talent than the Cardinals, but to me the Cardinals just bleed confidence. Need a big hit and they produce it. Need a big pitch and they bring it. Reds need to find that confidence and fast. They need to believe that when they step on the field the other team knows they are in for a beating. 5 games to 40. You are a contender or non contender.
You hit the nail on the head with your comparison of the Reds with the Cards. Confidence. The Big Red Machine of the 70’s had it. As Joe Morgan once said, when we put on the uniform, we knew we were going to win.
Maybe it’s time Bell takes a shower.Reds blew the gate off in first 7 games.What has happened since?We keep seeing Senzel in center and a gold Glover and .300 hitter on the wood.Wake up Reds,get your heads on straight.
Luis is dropping his arm slot from pass years not staying on top of the ball, thus side to side motion,which he can not control it goes pretty much every where. No down ward break.
I am trying to understand what happens with Reds offense.. can’t they hit Trevor Cahill and Chí Chí Gonzalez? or maybe it has been some bad luck… we would check the BABIP and hard contact stats in those games …
NO doubt, Reds are a team searching for their identity. Musical chairs on Def doesn’t help this any IMHO. They have some good pieces, but they R far from a quality team. CF, SS and 2nd R still a question marks, BP is a mess, NO true LO hitters w/ speed who can create some offense on their own. Trades / FA moves R still needed to build a better team, but we know the org isn’t likely to do that. Who knows if they can pull it together and develop some consistence when they R moving guys around and up and down the lineup everyday.
Does Castillo have an option? I’d guess so, and honestly he may need to work this out in AAA. If it’s getting a feel for his pitches again then do that where the games don’t matter. But he’s a mess now, he’s hurting the team, and there’s no sign for optimism at this point.
Also, the bullpen usage needs to be addressed. Why does Fulmer, Romano, and DeLeon all have more IP than Antone or Sims? Perez has pitched as many innings as a LH as Doolittle. Those four guys (and I realize DeLeon is) should probably be in AAA if we had better options, but not having options in the minors doesn’t mean you should pitch them more than the guys who have shown they can do it at this level. I don’t know man.
Fulmer, Romano and DeLeon have more IPs than Antone/Sims, because the Reds (mostly Castillo) have more god-awful starts this year than they have excellent ones. Thus, there are many more innings needed for the mop-up relievers than there are for good relievers.
There isn’t any point in using Antone when down 6 runs, which has occurred far too often this season.
Then maybe Antone should be starting to avoid some of these deep deficits. He could build up innings in some of these blowouts and that would be valuable for later on.
I get not wanting to use your better bullpen options in blow outs all the time, but this Reds offense will keep battling. Why not give them a better chance at overcoming the deficit? Having Fulmer, Romano, and DeLeon pitch more combined innings than Antone, Sims, Doolittle, and Garrett combined isn’t a recipe for success.
1. They are 16-11 in games not started by Castillo, or a 96-win pace. No question that Antone or even Blandino would be an upgrade in Castillo’s spot in the rotation.
2. If you start Antone, which I don’t necessarily disagree with, then you give up your best bullpen arm, which in turn would re-slot every other bullpen arm. Part of the reason that they are 16-11 in non-Castillo starts is that they get to deploy Antone for the biggest outs in those games. Getting Lorenzen back would help, but he is probably a month away, and you and I probably agree that they don’t have that much time.
Agree, still believe Reds could benefit w/ a Tampa type approach: Opener, followed by a starter ect., on at least a couple of guys. Castillo would b at the top of that list as would Hoffman.
Tucker puts the glove down for an outside pitch and Castillo throws in right over the middle or inside. He’s not even close plus his breaking pitch has zero bite. I’m not sure this is something which be fixed anytime soon. You can maybe ride these ugly stats for another start or two but if this continues into June, you gotta move him to the bullpen.
Reds have talent and young talent but must hope for another miracle again this year.Castillo is hurting the team every 5th day and more if the pen has to cover 4 innings like last night.We know about Suarez and his problems.We are just like we have been for awhile and that is a homer hitting club that struggle to manufacture runs.We lack situational hitting and our baseball IQ to the game in general along with the feel for the game being played has been lacking for a long time.Bell misses things from time to time just as do other managers but his are magnified by guys like me because we lose more then we win.Tony Larussa admitted he messed up after the 1-0 loss to us when he wasn’t clear about who was to be the runner in the 10th at second.His team hasn’t lost since.I believe Luis will get it right,I also feel the pen will get help from the minors and settle down.I don’t believe any of the other things will improve because they require a big change in how we play the game and manage the game.
I just tried to call my old buddy Nick Krall with some ideas, but his assistant told me he was busy sorting his sock drawer, so I left a message.
1) On Sunday, move Antone into the rotation in Hoffman’s spot, and move Hoffman to the bullpen in the long-man, mop-up role.
2) Option Castillo to Louisville to work out his issues. He is not helping the team at this point, and shows no signs of improvement. Recall Santillan or Gutierrez to take his spot in the rotation. Or maybe Ashton Goudeau, who pitched very well in his first start after being claimed on waivers.
3) Call PIttsburgh Pirates GM Ben Cherington and see if there is a possibility to trade for a couple of the very promising arms in their bullpen. Cherington probably knows they should make that bullpen a focal point of their rebuild, but they also need some major-league caliber bats in the lineup. Offer up Akiyama or Naquin and see what develops.
4) And …
Then the voicemail clicked off. Hmm.
Afraid Antone is a bullpen piece for the whole year. He could’ve pitched 3+ innings the other day but was only used for 1.1. That says it all.
Totally agree about talking to the Pirates about their bullpen arms.
I like these suggestions — keep trying to get hold of him!
Changes need to be made. Otherwise, we will continue on as we have, and that is not acceptable.
Agree on optioning Castillo.
How many starts similar to Hunter Greene’s first two do you see the Reds being from the nuclear option?
In the last two weeks I’ve seen every minor you pitcher mentioned via MiLB.TV and while the competition level for Greene at AA is a step down from the three guys at AAA, Greene’s command, not to mention stuff, is superior to all three.
I’d agree 2 times to the well isn’t enough, but if one of the AAA guys is elevated now, it might be time to also move Greene up a level to AAA just to see how well he plays there.
Dittos, Chi Sox and Braves need OF help due to injuries. Sox have some nice BP arms; Heuer kid is pretty electric w/ 98 FB and very nice change combo. Could b a closer down the road?
Works for me and the next time you call your old buddy,mention that he has some good young position players on the roster and some good young arms in the minors that deserve some playing time.
I think that maybe the Pirates GM would consider as not so good idea trading some of their BP good arms to a divisional direct rival
hahaha He’s not very wise if he doesn’t listen to you Tom.
I see the problem with Castillo as threefold:
1. Scouting report. Like telegraphing a pass in basketball, Barnhart telegraphs what the approach to the hitters will be and doesn’t deviate. As a result, you see multiple pitches in the same location consecutively. I mean, how is it that the Rockies could put some well place pitches in play unless they where looking for them in that zone?
2. Sequencing. 2-2 is the action pitch where you want to get the at-bat over. On at least 3 occasions, Barnhart went away from Castillo’s strength and backed his pitcher into a full count, which makes the hitter’s job of guessing the pitch that much easier. More to the point, down 10-0 Barnhart called for a slider from Hendrix on a full count. WHO DOES THAT?!?
3. Location. Castillo needs better command of his changeup and slider. You can tell last night he was trying to speed up his delivery and overall tempo. Still a work in progress, but guys with his pitch arsenal don’t grow on trees. Stay the course.
Castillo has no strengths, so Barnhart could not possibly have went away from them.
Castillo throws the ball. It is his fault, not the catcher’s. If Dickey/Campanella/IRod/Bench all rolled into one were catching, Castillo still would have gotten shelled last night. He is the worst starting pitcher in MLB, and would likely be getting shelled in AAA.
@Sultan> Sam LeCure said on the Reds postgame show that he thought the Reds kept going back to the things that weren’t working for Castillo as opposed to adjusting on the fly and using pitches that did seem to be working better last night. This aligns with your #1 and #3 to some extent
If so that is about the dumbest baseball I can think of.
Wish they would act like they got some smart
Just listened to the call on India’s homer and Cowboy said its always good to have a guy with a chip on his shoulder say I told you I need to be playing.Speed,a little pop,maybe our best infielder and 24 years old and we can’t find a permanent job for him.Wishful thinking I know but just couldn’t help myself.
I think Derek Johnson was a great hire, but he’s got some ‘splaining to do about Castillo. Castillo is utterly useless right now, with no visible hope for turning the corner. I suppose that “Colorado” is the one last excuse that they have, and that they will trot him out there one more time. It should be Castillo v. DeSclafani on Tuesday night, which will be a bloodbath.
Danny Darwin is credited with refining Castillo’s change-up, and I can’t find where he is still working in baseball. I would give Darwin a call and have him work with Castillo again and see what he can do, even if it is in Goodyear or Daytona. Some coaches seem to have a special ability with certain pitchers (DJ with Sonny Gray, for example). What do they have to lose? They are 16-11 in games not started by Luis Castillo, which equates to a 96-win season.
I was more disgusted with the Reds’ hitters for the first 6 innings than I was with the bullpen. After 6 innings, the Reds’ pitchers had thrown 131 pitches and the Rockies’ soft-tossing starter had thrown 78. It was the baseball variant of “time of possession.” The Reds would bat for 4 minutes, and then the Rockies would bat for 20 minutes, every inning. Almost every hitter was over-swinging, and popping the ball up, which is the one thing you can’t do at Coors Field.
Spot on Ed. Luv the Darwin suggestion and believe Soto has worked well w/ Luis in the past also
Do you think Castillo and the team could be in denial about him NOT having a physical issue because he can still throw at 97-98?
All the talk is about his hand positioning and finding his release points. He’s been pitching successfully at MLB level for 3+ years. Logically it doesn’t seem to me he should be having such an extended struggle to get these basics dialed in unless there is some other physical change.
I am just thinking out loud; but, when a guy loses command and the movement on his pitches leaves or changes radically don’t the internal physical pieces get examined when it continues over an extended period.
Maybe. But after the first inning homer last night, you could tell he was ticked off and he blew 3 fastballs by the hitter for a strikeout at about 97. I just don’t think he could buck up and throw like that if he had an injury.
I believe it is a mini-case of Steve Blass disease. Instead of just doing throwing, he’s thinking too much on how to throw. He’s lost his release point on everything, and to get it back, he has to feel it not think it out intellectually. That is why he blew Nunez away in the first – he got mad and threw naturally, rather than intellectualizing his motion and release point.
Would like to see them throw Castillo out of the bullpen a couple times to see if it might straighten him out giving him a different mindset and routine. And I’d like to see Garrett get the start(s) Castillo misses for the same reason.
Totally agree about moving Castillo (and/or Hoffman) to the bullpen for a while. Scratching my head on why Antone isn’t in the rotation right now.
None of us knows why Antone isn’t starting, just as none of us knows why Greene isn’t being called up. And that’s it in a nutshell: we don’t know because we don’t know the state of their rehab from injuries . And, of course, we’re not responsible for guiding them through it , so it’s easy for us to say what should be done.
We lost two starters and potent hitters last night due to injuries sustained while fielding batted balls. Winker nearly went down, too, on that catchable HR. You can shrug it off as bad luck or part of the game, but over the course of a season, having too many Castillos throwing BP will take an awful toll on our defenders. Management must improve or their pitching decisions will sink this team.
Somebody else wrote about an opener for Castillo Tampa style. Why not? They’ve tried everything else except send him to AAA. He almost always gets rocked in the 1st inning so let him start off with the bottom of the lineup in the 3rd inning or maybe the power guys in the 2nd inning instead of the obp guys at the top of the order that are always setting the table against him.
As shaky as the Reds seem, they’re still 3-0-2 in their last 5 series. Win 2 of 3 vs the Rockies and that will make 6 straight series that they didn’t lose. You do that long enough and you’ll make progress at some point!
In the post game interviews Thursday night, Barnhart and Bell were both adamant that Castillo was somewhere between “close” and “very close” but just wasn’t getting the results yet. Those two guys in addition to being closer to the situation probably know more about the nuts and bolts of it than most of us added together.
However I hope they, or at least Bell, are also aware that the road followed by progress is often like climbing a mountain, taking more time and harder work for each step as it gets closer to the goal. To borrow from a 1970’s Eagles song lyric, situations often reach a point where “Half the distance takes you twice as long. So you keep on singing for the sake of the song,”
For the sake of the team’s season, the time has come for the Reds to change their tune and let Castillo work out his issues at AAA.
I’ve changed my opinion on Antone being a starter. With the 1 and 5 spot pitching so poorly something needs to happen. Antone has great stuff, and Bell is not using him often enough out of the pen. Swap Hoffman and Antone, IL Castillo with “shoulder fatigue”. DFA Romano, and Fulmer, and bring up Gutierrez, Santillan, and Rodriguez.
Veteran Brad Brach is pitching well in Louisville bullpen. I can see him being a Hembree-like signing. Need to call him up soon or lose him to team USA. Per MLB traderumors
luis castillo was one of the most dominate pitchers in baseball last year but after ive seen him play he is not as good this year i hate to see him struggle but he really need to step up his game i bet you he will be good next time he pitches hopefully mahle can get us the win tonight go red
When I saw Robert Stephenson come in from the Rockies bullpen, all I could think of was that line from Dumb and Dumber: “So you’re saying I’ve got a chance”….
The Phillies sent Archie Bradley to the minors, so letting him go might not have been so bad. The problem is giving up the prospects to get him.
Did they send Moss or Packy for him?
Moss not out to a great start
Josh VanMeter and Stuart Fairchild (an outfielder) traded for Bradlety. Maybe worth noting that Fairchild was the #38 overall pick in his draft (2017), 11 picks earlier than Winker was in his draft (2012). Fairchild often gets overlooked for being a “2nd round” pick which is true; but in 2017 there weren’t a lot of compensation or sandwich picks; and he was technically a 2nd rounder at #38 while Winker was technically a 1st rounder at #49 as a supplemental sandwich pick.
Castillo has 2 options and Vladimir Gutierrez is slotted on the same day as Castillo at AAA. I would option Castillo and let him build confidence here and now. Guti is on the 40MR so you don’t need to make any cuts.
Optioning Castillo sounds reasonable to a lot of us here. Maybe someone in the Reds org is looking at the other side of the result coin though? What if they option him but instead of getting things back on track in short order, he gets lit up like a Christmas tree at AAA?
Better there than in the bigs, no?
IDK, I didn’t see a lot of hard hit balls last night – I did notice a lot of handle shots though. I am sure they’ve checked arm angle vs past performance? Is he executing proper arm slot – is there an injury preventing this?? Obviously, He has to improve his command on all pitches & may need to use the slider more as out pitch until he finds his change up again
@muddycleats> Well the old theory is that every hitter in AAA can hit fastballs and every pitcher there can throw a fastball which makes AAA about which hitters can hit breaking pitches and which pitchers can throw for strikes breaking pitches few if any of the hitters can hit.
I think in the case of Castillo and Suarez who are just awful right now that sending them down to work things out is a great idea.I know Castillo has options left but I don’t know about Eugenio.Even though Luis just appears every 5th game we need him at his best as we do Eugenio who plays every game.I don’t see anybody the Reds slot in to their spots being any worse then these guys for a short time while they get right.We need them both but to continue to play them while at the same time the Cards widen their lead isn’t helping.Long season I know but we are headed in the wrong direction after 35 games.
What about Shogo? Is he out of this player talk? He finally got a hit today. We already have tons of OF. I mean this is probably the real question. Who bats better. Shogo? Naquin?
Who fields better. Shogo? Naquin?