The Reds (37-36) hope to make it 2 consecutive wins tonight in the second game of their current 4 game set versus the Atlanta Braves (35-39) at GABP in Cincinnati. Game time is 7:10 Eastern.
Right hander Vladimir Gutierrez gets the call for the Reds. The Braves will send left hander Drew Smyly to the mound to start the game.
Gutierrez has compiled an ERA/FIP of 3.86/4.51 in 5 starts since replacing Jeff Hoffman (due to injury) in the Reds rotation making him a league average starter. He has gone at least 5 complete innings in each start and as deep as 7 full innings in one effort. Gutierrez has been stingy with the HR ball (0.96 HR/9) which is a very good thing because he has been a bit generous with walks (4.5 BB/9) enroute to a overall 1.32 WHIP. He strikes out slightly less than 1 hitter per inning on average.
Gutierrez uses his 93MPH fastball about half the time and mixes his curve (79 MPH) and Slider (83 MPH) about equally on the remainder of his pitches with an occasional 78 MPH change up also thrown into the mix. His fastball and slider rate slightly above MLB average. His other 2 pitches below MLB average.
Drew Smyly who makes his 13th start of the 2021 season for the Braves is back in an MLB rotation on a full time basis for the first time since 2016. With the Braves coming off a bullpen night on Thursday and Charlie Morton scratched as their Sunday starter, the Braves need big effort from Smyly tonight. Unfortunately for the Braves, Smyly has struggled to get beyond the 5th inning in most of his starts.
Smyly’s ERA/FIP of 5.11/5.73 is less than encouraging as are his HR/9 of 2+ and BB/9 of 3.36. Smyly’s right hand/ left hand batter splits for 2021 are worth noting. Left-handed hitters actually hit for a higher average and slugging rate versus Smyly but RH hitters have a better OBP. Apparently he has trouble throwing strikes to RH hitters who wait him out??
Smyly is a 4 seam fastball (53% at 93MPH)/ curveball (37% at 79MPH) pitcher who also mixes in a cut fastball/ flat slider at 88MPH to fill out his offerings. Only his 4 seamer rates as at least average MLB quality.
Tale of the tape:
Vladimir Gutierrez is off to a reasonably good beginning as an MLB starting pitcher. However if he is to emerge as a longer term starter versus being a bullpen man, he probably needs to knock several percentage points off his BB rate and add them to his K rate.
For once, the Reds bullpen report is relatively simple. Three guys each worked a full inning Thursday. Amir Garrett (8 pitches) should be reasonably unlimited tonight. Brad Brach (14 pitches) may be limited to a situation of getting an out 1 or 2 to end an inning. Tejay Antone (27 pitches) is almost certainly not available tonight. Everyone else is believed to be fully available.
Thursday was a bullpen night for the Braves. 5 guys threw 20+ pitches each and would be figure to be somewhere between limited and not available tonight. Closer Will Smith was NOT among those working Thursday. Keep an eye out for call ups and deck chair shuffling here.
|1. Ronald Acuna Jr. (RF)
2. Freddie Freeman (1B)
3. Ozzie Albies (2B)
4. Austin Riley (3B)
5. Abraham Almonte (LF)
6. Dansby Swanson (SS)
7. William Contreras (C)
8. Guillermo Heredia (CF)
9. Drew Smyly (P)
|1. Jonathan India (2B)
2. Jesse Winker (LF)
3. Nick Castellanos (RF)
4. Tyler Stephenson (C)
5. Joey Votto (1B)
6. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
7. Aristides Aquino (CF)
8. Kyle Farmer (SS)
9. Vladimir Gutierrez (P)
News and Notes
Have you heard or read about Reds pitching prospect Graham Ashcraft’s complete game shutout at AA Chattanooga? Doug Gray wrote about it and his current streak of shutout appearances over at RedsMinorLeagues.com on Thursday. Today the Lookouts shared some striking highlights:
— Chattanooga Lookouts (@ChattLookouts) June 25, 2021
Memo to Reds front office and ownership. If you are looking for a reason to invest in the Reds bullpen, here is a pretty good one. A little bit could go a long way:
SP ERA in the NL Central over the last 30 days:
— ???? ????y (@Nicholaspkirby) June 25, 2021
And the Reds are top 5 in MLB per game scoring. Might that be a another good reason to fix the bullpen?
Runs per game leaders:
1. Astros, 5.8
2. Dodgers, 5.1
3. Giants, 5.03
4. Reds, 5.01
5. Blue Jays, 5.0
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) June 25, 2021
An inexact update on Nick Senzel because that’s all David Bell has for us.
David Bell said it will be “some time after the All-Star break” until Nick Senzel returns.
The latest update is toward the end of July.
“There’s not an exact clear date."
— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) June 25, 2021
Second verse, Mike Moustakas, the same as the first
David Bell says Mike Moustakas “is still dealing with some pain” and isn’t running.
“Maybe a similar timeline (to Senzel)."
— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) June 25, 2021
NL CENTRAL STANDINGS
The Reds appear to have caught the Braves at a good time due to their injury woes. Whatever it takes, the Reds need to cash in on this opportunity. GO REDS!
GAME TIME: 7:10 EDT
LISTEN: 700 WLW; MLB.com Gameday audio subscription
WATCH: Bally Sports Ohio