Cincinnati Reds reliever Art Warren began his rehab stint with the Louisville Bats this past week. On Thursday he threw a perfect inning against Nashville that included a strikeout. The righty then sat out the next two nights, but he returned to the mound on Sunday evening with the Bats. He took the mound in the 3rd inning and proceeded to strikeout the side.

It’s been a while since Art Warren last pitched. He injured himself on July 11th in Milwaukee and went on the injured list a few days later. Warren then missed the next seven weeks before beginning his rehab assignment. At the time of the injury he was pitching very well with Cincinnati. He had allowed just three runs in 14.1 innings (1.88 ERA) while striking out 21 batters in his first big league run since 2019 when he pitched in six games with the Seattle Mariners.

Given the extended layoff, Art Warren isn’t likely to be rushed back to Cincinnati. Manager David Bell noted on Friday that Warren would still need time to get back when compared to Brad Brach, who only had two rehab appearances before being activated on Sunday.

Reds fall behind the Padres in playoff race

Cincinnati’s loss on Sunday to the Detroit Tigers combined with a win by San Diego dropped the Reds to a half-game behind the Padres for the final spot in the wild card race. Here’s what the standings look like currently for that final wild card spot, along with the playoff odds for the teams still in the face according to Fangraphs.

Team W L GB Playoff%
Padres 73 64 0.0 38.9%
Reds 73 65 0.5 44.8%
Phillies 70 66 2.5 31.4%
Cardinals 69 66 3.0 4.6%
Mets 69 68 4.0 10.8%

The favorable remaining schedule still has the Reds just ahead of the Padres in terms of likelihood to make the playoffs, but the recent losing ways have really dropped the Cincinnati chances – they were as high as 73% in the last week.

The Reds now head to Chicago to take on the 63-75 Cubs at Wrigley. San Diego has Monday off before beginning a 2-game series with the Angels. Philadelphia hits the road to start a 3-game series against the Brewers. St. Louis will welcome the Dodgers in for a 4-game series. New York has a game against Washington on Monday and then they head to Miami for a 3-game set with the Marlins.

27 Responses

  1. LDS

    That schedule breakdown suggests if the Reds are going to ever make a move, this would be the week to do it.

    Reply
    • CI3J

      Nah. The Reds will have plenty of chances to make their move while the Padres are playing the Dodgers, Giants, and Cardinals. The Angels are the last “easy” team the Padres get all year.

      The Reds have 16 games against the Pirates, Cubs, and Nats, and only 8 against the Cards, Dodgers, and White Sox.

      Based on the schedule, the Wild Card should be the Reds’ for the taking. Of course, they still have to perform on the field, but the Reds have owned the Cubs and Pirates recently. They just need to keep that trend going.

      Reply
      • LDS

        LOL, isn’t that the mantra we used through Detroit, Miami, etc? Personally, I think the Reds are better than how they are playing. Generally, I don’t think they field their best line up day-to-day. But that’s how Bell does it. Players are not fungible.

      • CI3J

        No, “we” didn’t say that, because Detroit is not a bad team. They are 5 games over .500 since May 9th, which would have put them on pace to win 85 games over a full season. The only reason their record is bad is because their first 5 weeks of the season were REALLY bad. Anyone who thought Detroit was an “easy” team hasn’t paying attention.

        And playing Miami in the late summer heat of South Florida is a completely different beast than playing them in Cincinnati.

        Think this is all hindsight? Nope, I wrote about it on August 22:

        These next 12 games are the last really tough stretch of the Reds’ schedule. First 3 against the Brewers in Milwaukee, then 3 against the Fish in the soup of Miami weather with no off day in between. Then back to Cincy to take on a suddenly dangerous Cards team followed by 3 against the sneaky-good Tigers.

        Then they have a relatively easy September with 16 games against the hapless Pirates, Nats, and Cubs, with only 8 tough games against the Cards, Dodgers, and White Sox.

        By way of contrast, the Friars have an extremely brutal September, with every single game being against a contender (except 2 against the Angels) including 13 games away at the Giants and Dodgers.

        Point is, if the Reds can come out of these next 12 games and still be 10 games over .500 or better, then the Wild Card should be theirs for the taking. If they are 3 games or fewer behind the Friars on the morning of September 7th, then I like the Reds chances very much.

        https://www.redlegnation.com/2021/08/22/tyler-naquin-crushes-two-homers-as-cincinnati-reds-sweep-the-marlins/#comment-813018

        I knew this stretch the Reds just finished was going to be tough, and I was honestly hoping they could just play .500 ball. They almost got there, if they had won yesterday, they would have finished 6-6 over their last tough stretch of the year.

        Now it’s time for the easy stretch. I’m predicting 11-7 against the Pirates, Cubs, and Nats, and 3-5 against the Cards, White Sox, and Dodgers. That will put the Reds at 87 wins. Good luck to the Pads in their meat grinder schedule.

        Honestly, at this point I think the Phillies are the biggest threat to the Reds, as they have a very soft schedule too. All the Reds have to do is keep pace with them.

      • LDS

        Good analysis CI3J. I’d be as confident as you if I believed the management, either field or FO, were actually committed to winning. I don’t see that.

  2. Mark A Verticchio

    Art Warren is not going t fix this broken team. However he is a lot better than Brach, I guess some other players like Lopez and Barrero would not be able to handle the pressure as well as the clown show that has lost 4 consecutive series. This is a sinking ship led by Captain Smith { think Titanic }.

    Reply
  3. Old Big Ed

    The “strength of schedule” analysis is a pile of it, if you ask me. This isn’t Alabama having to play Western Carolina instead of Florida. These are major league teams with major league players, and any of them can and do beat the best teams in the league.

    The Pirates, for example, have Bryan Reynolds, who is slashing .301/.384/.518. Reynolds is much better offensively and defensively in centerfield than anybody the Reds, plus he is faster than any Reds starter. The Reds would be VASTLY better if they had Bryan Reynolds to play centerfield. Ke’Bryan Hayes is having a sophomore slump, but is better than what the Reds are throwing out there at third base. Colin Moran is a solid first baseman. Throw in a decent arm with nothing to lose by being aggressive, and the Reds could lose any game to the Pirates.

    There are no easy games in major league baseball. The Reds still have to play a good game to beat anybody in the league, and they haven’t been playing good games. They lost series to the Marlins and Tigers, because the Marlins and Tigers played a lot better than the Reds. Both teams were faster, younger and more hard-nosed than the Reds.

    The Reds right now need the best self-improvement tool ever invented – a mirror.

    Reply
    • Jim Walker

      I am in the middle on strength of schedule. It does provide an insight into how difficult games should be in general, but perhaps the record of the last month or so should be considered versus the entire year. Witness the fact Tigers are marginally a .500 team minus the 6-19 start in April.

      But the final determinant is how the teams play on the field during the individual games. These younger teams the Reds have been playing all seem to have a higher energy level. They are filled with guys motivated because they are playing for their careers as individuals; and, the sum of the individuals’ efforts is exceeding the sum of the Reds efforts.

      However of the teams in the wild card shootout, I think any would prefer to have the Reds schedule versus having the Padres schedule (or even the Cards who 14 games with the Brewers (7), Dodgers (4), and Padres (3).

      Reply
      • CI3J

        I think the final WC spot is going to come down between the Phillies and the Reds. The Pads and Cards will most likely fade down the stretch as their tough schedules and injuries catch up to them. The Phillies, on the other hand, have an extremely soft schedule and seem to be getting hot at the right time. In fact, the Phillies may just win the NL east, and that would leave the Reds to hold off the Braves instead.

        Lots of moving parts, and still a lot of games to be played.

  4. Hotto4Votto

    Kind of wish they’d have taken more time in bringing back Brach.

    Reply
    • Chris Holbert

      Or just a DFA and add Moreta..but that is too logical

      Reply
      • Arthur

        Right.

        You can look at the strength of schedule, and which team stacks up better all day long, but the analysis is meaningless until you factor in that the Reds are knee-capping themselves every game with their personnel decisions.

        Maybe they win the WC, maybe they don’t. The only thing for sure is that they haven’t given it their best shot.

    • Old Big Ed

      I don’t understand why they need 14 pitchers for the rest of the season. They have 4 off days in the next four weeks, and if anything right now they are having trouble keeping their relievers sharp.

      I would go with 13 pitchers and 15 players, to allow them to mix and match better with the gaping holes at 3B and at one outfield spot. Barrero is eligible to be activated on I think Tuesday, and if they don’t call him up and play him, I will give up and become a WNBA fan.

      Reply
      • Doc

        Enjoy the WNBA. At least it will be one fewer constant griping about Barrero’s status to wade through.

      • Jim Walker

        Agree; but, I am too low on energy to spend on them to try and figure out where they are concerned Brach would land if he were DFA and waived.
        I keep a reasonably close eye on the AAA team; and, as far as I have seen or been able to note from the box scores, Barrero hasn’t played a single inning of defense in the OF (so scratch that option, as long as it doesn’t mean he sits the bench at MLB).

        For me, two weeks until NHL camps start and just a tad over a month till the puck drops for real. What looked destined to be a full tear down and rebuild for Columbus is instead looking like a major overhaul that could keep them in sight of the playoff bar. Or, at least it will make for a more interesting winter if it turns out this way.

      • Jim Walker

        Missed adding above that Barrero did not play for the Bats Sunday. I am presuming that means he is probably with the Reds now. The buzz over the weekend was that Farmer was about to go onto paternity leave; but, he is listed as a started in the Monday lineup.

        The interesting move is going to be the one that comes when Farmer is back from paternity. Assuming Barrero stays who goes (and doesn’t it have to be a pitcher)?

      • Old Big Ed

        Doc, I’m still waiting for somebody to give a rational explanation for thinking that Asdrubal Cabrera is a better baseball player than Jose Barrero. Fast and young is better than slow and old.

        I just think the decision was jaw-dropping incompetence, and they’ve gone 2-6 since making that decision.

      • Arthur

        I agree 14 pitchers is ridiculous – but then you have to ask, which position players at AAA should be called up? Aside from the obvious answer of Mr Barrero, and Lopez, there aren’t a lot of great choices. Maybe Friedl for OF defense? A catcher?

        Louisville isn’t exactly dripping with talented position players.

      • Jim Walker

        @ED> I agree the team has not been the same since Barrero was sent down. I’m not sure if it was so much that Barrero himself was sent down or that he was the choice over sending Moustakas back to the IL.

        When Moose bumbled away that middle game of the Marlins series by setting up the 5 run 1st inning, the air went out of the team and has never come back. He clearly has not fit since being back from his injury. The team is playing a lot like it was when he went down. Yet management seems intent on force feeding him opportunity upon opportunity. That can’t be sitting well with some folks on the team.

    • RedAlert

      This might be the absolute worst lineup of the year by Bell !!! He would have been
      better off just throwing names in a hat and pulling them out randomly.
      Unfreakingbelievable ……. I mean I knew the guy is clueless , but this is just brutal .
      Bell is in another universe ….

      Reply
  5. LDS

    The lineup is out and the worst hitter on the team is batting clean up. And against a lefty at that. Suarez is hitting an awesome .139 against LH’ers. Maybe the Reds get lucky today. Bell just isn’t a competent MLB manager. I’m not sure he’s suited for anything beyond Little League.

    Reply
    • Doc

      The Reds are tied for the fifth best record in the NL. They may be doing it in spite of a lot of deficiencies, but the manager is not one of those deficiencies.

      Reply
      • RedAlert

        Beg to differ on that one …… it sure isn’t because of him

      • Arthur

        I will hold fire on Bell until we know who is making the personnel decisions.

        Was Bell told to not play Barrero when he was called up, or was that his decision? Did he ask for Brach to be added to the team instead of Moreta, or was that someone else’s call?? Does he pencil in Suarez against every lefty, despite his sizzling .139 batting average against lefties??

        If he is making these decisions, then he most certainly is part of the problem.

  6. Doc4uk

    Cabrera is done . Huge error filling in at 1B. Game is over after one inning . Anyone have any confidence Reds can come back against a lefty?

    Reply
  7. JayTheRed

    Reds always seem to take teams they should beat for granted and end up losing series to them… Cubs, Marlins are just recent examples. Detroit is a pretty good team actually. I fear we won’t make it. A winning record is what we probably end up with but no playoffs.

    Reply

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