The Reds got their first lead of the week in the first inning when Tommy Pham finally got his first extra-base hit as a Red. The Friars faithful for some reason decided to boo the .039 hitter, and Pham returned the favor with a 424 foot blast into the left field seats.

Unfortunately for the Reds, who have had little go right through the first few games of the season, that lead only lasted a couple minutes. The second batter of the game for the Padres, Manny Machado hit a two run home run off Nick Lodolo to quickly put the Reds behind 2-1.

Lodolo settled down and pitched five strong innings overall – a very strong rebound from his disastrous first start at Great American Ballpark. The Reds offense had plenty of good chances early in the game, but could not find a way to get any more runners across the plate off Padres starting pitcher, Sean Manaea. The Reds lost their 7th straight game to fall to 2-9 overall.

Reds worst starts through 11 games since 1955 (how bad it got before win #3 of the season):

2022: 2-9
2018: 2-9 (2-13)
1993: 2-9 (2-9)
1955: 2-9 (2-11)

Final R H E
San Diego Padres (7-5) 4 7 0
Cincinnati Reds (2-9) 1 6 0
W: Manaea (2-1) L: Lodolo (0-2) S: Rodgers (5)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game


Source: FanGraphs

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the biggest play of the game was Nick Lodolo allowing a 2-run home run to Manny Machado with 0 out in the 1st inning, giving the Padres a 2-1 leadThat play decreased the Reds probability of winning by 18.2% (from 52.8% to 34.6%).

Positives

Tommy Pham made his return to Petco Park a triumphant one, and it was much needed for Reds fans. Pham entered the night hitting .038/.194/.038 with zero extra base hits. He finished the night a triple shy of the cycle.

Nick Lodolo got off to a rough start, but settled down to give the Reds a really quality second big league start. His final line was certainly not spectacular (5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K), but he got a lot of bad swings and weak contact after the first inning. Lodolo only allowed 2 hard hit balls according to Statcast, and finished with a .243 xBA against.

Alejo Lopez got a hit in his first start of 2021. He also hit a rocket later in the game for a tough out.

Negatives

Joey Votto is really struggling. He is now 1 for 28 with 14 strikeouts in his last 8 games. The Reds will be facing their first RHP since Friday tomorrow, so I doubt that he gets a day off then, but if he doesn’t get things going tomorrow, you have to wonder if he would get Wednesday off vs a LHP with an off-day on Thursday for a nice two day breather.

Brandon Drury‘s hot start was cooled tonight. He went 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts – batting second for the Cincinnati Reds.

Not so random thoughts……….

It’s not a lot of fun right now, but it’s going to get better for the Reds. Maybe folks like me who thought this team could perform close to their pre-season near .500 PECOTA projection were off – time will tell on that. The Reds aren’t this bad. Until this team finally does get going, we will just have to enjoy starts like Nick Lodolo’s tonight. Brighter days will come.

Up Next:

Reds at Padres
Tuesday, 9:40 PM
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Reiver Sanmartin vs Joe Musgrove

111 Responses

  1. JayTheRed

    So how many loses before major changes are made? It’s one thing if the team was healthy. I’m sure that would help a lot.

    It’s going to be a long season for Reds fans that is for sure. but you know Have faith!

    • Sandman

      How do you know this team isn’t this bad? Are these brighter days you speak of coming this season?

  2. LDS

    7 losses in a row this early in the season calls for changes. This season is shaping up like 2018. The ownership needs to give the fans something. Currently, there’s not a lot to be optimistic about. Fire Bell and Phil and at least pretend to care about winning.

    • Votto4life

      I would be happy if they started by firing Nick Krall. He is over his head. Picking up Mike Minor, Tommy Pham and Colin Moran was a waste of money.

      Keep Bell until the end of the year and then let the new GM determine his fate.

      I really hope Nick Krall isn’t the GM at the trading deadline. He will give Castillo and Mahle away.

      • DaveCT

        Nick Krall should have refused to sign Minor, Pham and Moran, for the good of the team and the organization because ownership panicked,

      • Old Big Ed

        If you don’t like Krall for dubious signings, then you must really loathe Dick Williams.

        Minor, Pham and Moran will cost the Reds about $15 million, and about $13 million if you deduct Amir Garrett’s. Replacement players would each earn about $700k, so the actual net cost of these 3 players is about $11 million. Plus, their contracts do not extend into next year.

        Meanwhile, Dick Williams signed Mike Moustakas and Shogo Akiyama to a total of about $86 million. In return, the Reds got a total of 1.1 bWAR from those two contracts, which doesn’t count Moose’s robust slashes in 2022 of .129/.125/.129 or his contributions with the glove and his wheels. (In Moose’s defense, his slowness has not been a factor, given his .125 OBP.)

    • LDS

      Krall has the job because he’s a yes man. He may be lousy at the job but he’s one of theirs. But I’m okay with firing Krall, Bell, and Phil. That’s a good chain of accountability. And hopefully a new manager would fire the coaching staff. I can’t really point to a Zinter success either.

      • MK

        Does anyone keep a job if they don’t do what their boss says? Would anyone here not follow their bosses instructions? Is Krall supposed to have some higher calling to do as he wishes? He traded an expensive Interstate average hitter and was forced to included a one dimensional All Star offensive hitter for a descent return including the prospects. Tucker was going to make too much to be a backup catcher. Miley played for six teams before having a career year. Sonny has digressed the last two years. I no more put this on Krall than Bell. It is COVID’s fault as much as anyone.

      • Doug Gray

        Every other team also dealt with the COVID situation and most of them didn’t do what the Reds did. It’s simply an excuse.

      • LDS

        Actually, yes. On more than one occasion throughout my career, I have challenged my bosses. Sometimes they agreed with me and sometimes not. But most of the folks I’ve worked for in my career would have fired me had I been a yes man. I worked for companies that actually valued integrity (and didn’t allow nepotism), something the Reds organization clearly does not.

      • BK

        The Reds entered COVID with a record payroll. For a franchise that was operating at their limit, COVID couldn’t have come at a worse time.

      • LDS

        BK, as Doug stated, it’s not COVID. Every team dealt with COVID. The Reds have the worst record in baseball and the worse stats to go along with it. If this was unique over the last couple of years, then maybe we could hide behind the schedule. But it isn’t. It’s a trend that has grown more pronounced year over year. When I read things like Fay’s article today, touting Bell for being all in on analytics, I laugh. Actually, that article was filled with laughs but hey the man has to make money and keep in the team’s good graces. But Bell isn’t analytical in the least or perhaps draws the wrong conclusions. And in that he is not unique. He is however a lousy manager, his apologists notwithstanding.

  3. Rednat

    i appreciate your optimism Nick. I agree this team is not terrible but that does not mean they are not going to lose a lot of games.

    I consider myself an expert on the 1982 reds. i was going through my divorce that year and i attended 61 home games that year just to pass the time. (I know ,glutton for punishment right). That team was not bad either. their pitching was decent enough to keep them in games. but they just could not generate enough offense to win. So you had a lot of 4-2, 3-1 losses and i think that is what we will see this year.
    not a lot of 16- 0 blow outs like in 2017 but a lot of low scoring losses. I just hope these young pitchers don’t get into bad habits knowing that if they let up just one run they will likely get the loss.

    • Votto4life

      Rednat, I also spent a lot of time at the ball park in 2005 during my divorce and again in 2014 when my father died. Baseball can be comforting. Especially, if you just try to enjoy the game for the sake of the game. When you focus on winning, the game can be frustrating.

  4. Frankie Tomatoes

    More fans Opening Day or the entire 3 game series this weekend against the Cardinals?

    Hate it for the players but this ownership deserves a weekend crowd of 32000 people for Friday Saturday and Sunday.

    • Votto4life

      I’m sure Hunter Greene will draw a crowd, but yeah the crowds will continue to get smaller.

      • DaveCT

        We’ll soon be re-defining ‘a crowd.’

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Depends on how many people come in from St. Louis.

  5. Votto4life

    How do you know the team isn’t this bad? Yes they have some injuries, but they lost nearly 100 home runs during the off season. That is pretty hard to overcome.

    I like your optimism, but sorry I am not sure it’s warranted.

    • MBS

      It’s an understatement to say some injuries. Castillo, Minor, Sims, Dunn, Barrero, Solano, Schrock, India, Duarte, with the ill Senzel, and Naquin That’s 39% of the roster, and to be fair if all those guys were healthy Duarte wouldn’t have made the 28, so 35% of the roster. Either way that’s more than some.

      You are right of course, there is no way to know if it would have made us a good team, with those guys in, but odds are a better team.

      • Votto4life

        I guess that’s kinda of the point. Every team has injuries. This team is so thin in talent there is no one to step in to provide even league average production.

        We can not assume India, Stephenson and Votto are going to duplicate their 2021 season. Likely one or two will regress. The problem is now their is no margin of error for injuries or someone having an off year.

        Will the Reds play better when everyone is healthy? Maybe, but how often over the past few seasons has everyone been healthy at the same time. It certainly never happened last year.

      • MBS

        I’m with you, we need to be very lucky just to be ok. That’s not a good position to be in.

        I’m more excited about seeing the youth emerge and supplant the old players. India, Stephenson, Gutierrez, Santillan and Warren did that last year. Greene, Lodolo, Sanmartin, and Morreta will have their shots + hopefully an unexpected name.

      • Votto4life

        Yeah I agree, I think there will be some bright spots (especially in the second half) and hopefully by the end of the season we will be able to see a path forward.

        I just hope the GM is replaced before then because honestly, I don’t think he has any idea what he is doing.

        This team can ill afford to lose any more trades. Especially, if it includes Castillo and/or Mahle. The team must get those trades right. It will mean the difference between a 3 year rebuild and a 7 year rebuild. I just don’t trust Nick Krall to handle it.

      • William

        Hopefully, the Reds young pitching will improve and be able to keep them in games. I am not impressed with the starting 8, except Votto, India, and Stephenson. It is a case of pennies buying you a below average lineup. General Manager did not get his job done. He will only keep his job if he is in with the owners who are more concerned with profit than winning. I think winning will bring you more profit.

  6. MBS

    Pointing out the positives have become less satisfying. We need some W’s, and I don’t know where they’re going to come from.

  7. David

    Well, maybe they really are ….this bad.

    There’s still a lot more that can go wrong. They are not hitting, and likely they will not hit this year much at all. The pitching is…ok, overall. Not great, maybe end up league average. Offense will continue to be below league average, much below league average. So yeah, a lot of 4-1, 3-1, 4-2 losses. A lot. This team will likely lose 90 games.
    Changes? Bench Votto? Release Aquino? Fire Bell? Then what? Tommy Pham actually had a good night tonight. Can he string a month of good hitting together? Because he has been lousy until tonight. They just don’t have very many good players. Firing David Bell won’t change that.
    Good players have good nights a few times every week. Let’s see the next time Pham has a three hit night.

    • Votto4life

      That why I think it’s crucial Nick Krall is fired ASAP. He will trade Castillo and Mahle at the deadline and will not get much in return.

      • Still a Red

        He isn’t going to trade those guys unless the front office orders him to. And he will only get what others are willing to give him and what the front office will approve of. Is the front office really that involved? If they are trying to trim payroll, yes they are. I don’t see it being Krall’s fault, or Bells. With all the other off-loading the Reds did, they couldn’t have matched Phillies offer to Castellanos? $4 million more for the next two years then $20 M for the next two, when Votto’s contract would be off the books (or reduced).

    • oklared

      Yep, release Votto refrain again. Check back ant end of year and see if he is top 3 performer again then get with me on this tired subject!

      • Still a Red

        I wasn’t arguing for releasing Votto at all. In fact, I’d sign him up some more for less money after his current contract is over. My point was, they could have afforded to keep Castellanos and Votto.

  8. Michael E

    Draft lottery here we come!

    Of course, we’ll lose the lottery and end up drafting 30th in the first round somehow.

    Because, it’s what the Reds FO does, botch things…lol.

    • DsveCT

      Or Bob will insist we acquire Aaron Judge for 3 weeks.

  9. Michael E

    Sadly, one more year of Mike Moustakas. Ugh, hate to say it, but Reds better off if he gets a blister on his big toe that takes two years to heal, or turf toe or something. I don’t want the man to suffer, but hoping something small pops up to keep him out. Pop up and K machine with no athletic ability. Sigh.

    • Votto4life

      Do you think Moose will be in a Reds uniform in 2023? That is a depressing thought. I think Moose is a decent guy, I met him once and he was very kind and generous with his time. But I do hope the Reds will release him after this season.

      • VaRedsFan

        Moose may not be on board, but I’d like the Reds to release him and pay his salary next year over 10 years. If I was a player, I think it would be great to spread out the final year of a big contract.

    • Michael E

      and he is on the IL today. Like I said, a good thing. If we’re going to stink, would rather see young guys get that necessary experience, even if they’re 3-30 with 12ks

  10. CI3J

    I don’t know why anyone would be shocked by how bad this team is. In the past offseason, the Reds lost:

    Castellanos
    Winker
    Suarez
    Barnhart
    Miley
    Gray
    Lorenzen

    Those are all pretty good players, with some of them being REALLY good players.

    They have replaced them with names like:

    Pham
    Fraley
    Dunn
    Moran
    Drury
    Solano
    Minor

    These are not good players. Most of these players are in or past their prime, so there is no reason to expect them to get any better. In addition, Votto is another year older and is continuing his decline.

    Outside of India and Stephenson, it’s hard to see where the Reds are going to get any consistent offense from this season.

    The pitching is young and exciting, but these guys have never experienced a MLB season before, so expect it to be a bumpy ride.

    For me, projecting this as a .500 winning % team made no sense. The Reds lost way too much talent and replaced it with a bunch of retreads and/or inexperienced kids. It’s also hugely frustrating how the Reds gave away some of their best trade chips for basically nothing.

    I still have yet to watch a single inning of Reds baseball this season, and I don’t plan to. After everything that happened this past offseason, from the strike to the fire sale to the actions of the Castellini family, I have zero interest in wasting my time on this team. I’ll check in every now and then on this board, but that is the extent of my Reds fandom now. Kudos to those of you who actually have the stomach to watch this team.

    • CI3J

      I also want to add, even WITH all those players they lost, the Reds still barely broke above .500. How in the world could anyone project them to be a .500 team WITHOUT those players?

      Makes no sense.

      This is a team that will struggle to win 70 games, if things fall just right.

    • Tom Reeves

      Farmer

      Farmer is the other player who adds consistency.

    • Old Big Ed

      Well, the Reds were outright lousy down the stretch last year with the guys they had. And the departed Reds are necessarily killing it this year, either:

      Castellanos is performing as expected.
      Winker is hitting .152 with a .501 OPS.
      Suarez is hitting .182 but has hit for some power.
      Barnhart is hitting .133 with a .368 OPS.
      Miley is on the IL (0 IP) with a bad elbow.
      Gray is on the IL with a hamstring issue; 5.68 ERA in 6.1 IP so far.
      Lorenzen has had one sharp start and one bad start.

      (Granted, hitting .152 would put Winker in the top 4 or 5 Reds’ hitters this year.)

      Winker will hit, and Gray and Lorenzen figure to contribute if they stay healthy, but they didn’t exactly trade Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas over the off-season.

      I would highly recommend that you watch Hunter Greene pitch a few games. You could do it at a sports bar or at a friend’s house, and take the position that the game just happened to be on while you were there. (Kinda like saying you ate your dear Aunt Ethel’s Derby Pie, despite watching your eating, because you wouldn’t want to offend her.)

      • 2020ball

        I don’t know why anyone should be embarrassed about watching their favorite team, especially the star rookie from them.

  11. Gonzo Reds

    Time to unleash Wilbur (the donkey with braces for you new comers). Doug where you got him hiding? It’s time…

    • Gonzo Reds

      Actually, now I’m thinking his name was Milton? Been awhile…

      • CI3J

        Yeah, Milton. Named for the immortal Eric Milton.

      • Mark Moore

        Sadly, Milton the orthodontically challenged goat isn’t available. Somebody else owns his image. We need a new one for Doug and crew. A grieving Mr. Redlegs just isn’t enough.

      • old-school

        we need a gawky Moose with braces.

        one of the worst FA signings in Reds history

    • Dennis Westrick

      A donkey would be appropriate for this 2022 Reds team!

  12. GreatRedLegsFan

    Over the years I’ve seen so many bad Reds teams, so this is not strange. However, what make things worse this time, is the number of irrelevant signed or traded players to fill the holes left, just crazy.

  13. Cyrus

    I don’t think I’ve seen a single post or write-up on what I consider a most interesting topic in light of what we are witnessing with this year’s version of the Reds: how are all those players doing that we thought would have helped this team this year?

    Well, it’s a small sample size but, since we are making strong judgment calls 11 games into the season, let’s look at how those former players are also doing 11 games into the season:

    Miley and Gray are on the IL. Gray had started 2 games, pitched a total of 6 innings, had an 0-1 record and a 5.68 ERA. Miley has not been able to pitch yet due to injury.

    Garrett has pitched 1.2 innings in relief (obviously not being used much in KC) but has 1 K and an ERA of 0.00.

    The biggest surprise is Lorenzen who is finally getting to be a starter in his hometown (something the Reds never seemed to want to seriously consider). He was stellar in his 1st start but knocked around in his 2nd and has an ERA just under 5.00.

    Winker, Suarez and Barnhart have been just abysmal at the plate, hitting .152, .182 and .132, respectively.

    Castellanos is the only ex-Red with respectable production thus far, hitting .293 with 2 HRs, 12 hits, and a solid OPS and OBP.

    Finally, of the former Reds just mentioned who are not injured, only Lorenzen’s Angels are above .500.

    So as bad as the Reds are, those players who were dealt or signed elsewhere aren’t setting the world on fire and, in fact, all but one are performing as bad if not worse than the current Reds roster.

    I realize it’s very early in the season but, still, I think it might be tough to argue that had we still had last year’s roster, we’d be seeing better results.

    • CI3J

      Are you familiar with the “Butterfly Effect”? You cannot say for certain that if those players were still playing with the Reds that they would be putting up similar numbers.

      The bottom line is, there is zero debate the Reds lost a lot more talent than they brought in. This team is a hodgepodge of retreads or washed-up has-beens. We can at least be sure that Winker, Castellanos, and probably Suarez will put up better numbers than any of the players the Reds brought in to replace them.

      • Hanawi

        Someone made the point yesterday about what the trades signaled as well. Some of these guys (Suarez, Castellanos, etc.) were the leaders of the team and brought an attitude with them. The signal from the front office was that they were giving up on the season mere days before it was to start. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they have played even more poorly since the comments by Phil.

      • CI3J

        @Hanawi, yes, I haven’t watched the games, but my feeling after all the trades were made was that the Reds were trading away their soul. Castellanos, Winker, Barnhart, and Saurez brought intangibles with them, a passion and a presence, that I don’t think any of the players the brought in can really replicate.

        The closest any of the players the Reds have now to having “it” is Barrero. When you see him on the field or at bat, he just has that certain something, a certain flair. Sadly, he never gets the chance to play consistently, so he can never “get going” like he was in the minors.

        But yes, great point.

      • scotly50

        Trading away the players, Winker, Saurez, Barnhart, not signing Castellanos long term were not bad moves. They all had major flaws in their respective games. Their replacements were the bad moves.

        How bad would this team be with Saurez striking out and Winker whiffing against all the lefties the Reds have faced thus far?

      • Joey Red

        Scotly you are right about the players traded away. It’s not like the Reds traded away future Hall of Famers. But those players did give the Reds. I would have maybe understood at the very least if the trades were made to save payroll. With the players brought in it saved little in payroll. I would have understood if it was done for a youth movement to let prospects get playing time now. That wasn’t the reason either. This is like a bait and switch. Decent players for bad players. The only reason I can see for it being done was to rip the heart out of Reds fans so they wouldn’t bother going to games. After the comments by Phil C maybe they really do want to move this team. Or maybe to at least threaten moving to get something in return from the city/county. I don’t know the lease deal the Reds have.. GABP is over 20 years old. The Texas Rangers left a ballpark that was like 25 years old for another stadium with a retractable roof which they felt would increase attendance because the other ballpark was open air. I’m grasping at straws of course but I just think there has to be more to the trades.

      • VaRedsFan

        @CI3J Castellanos wasn’t traded. He opted out, and became a free agent. Winker was a solid hitter, but had holes and can’t stay healthy. They used his niche’ (righties only) hitting skill, to help unload Suarez, who became a deadweight anchor, with his sub .200 avg. They moved Gray for the Twins #1 pick last year.

        I’m fine with the trades. But if you want to rebuild, do it the right way. There was no reason to waste money on Pham, Minor, or Moran. I’d be happy if they just saved that money and put it towards free agents in 2024. But they botched it IMO.

      • RedsFan11

        Completely agree CI3J and Hanwaeih

    • BigRedMike

      Reds have 2 committed contracts in 2023, Votto and Moustakas. Minor and Pham are contracts the Reds can get out of.

      Winker is probably the only tough loss. Suarez is likely on the downward spiral. Gray was a good trade getting value back.

      The additions of Pham and Minor were to show the MLBPA that the Reds are spending money. One year contracts are not a bad thing, gives flexibility. The Reds payroll this year is around $110 million.

      At this point, there just needs to be a consistent plan at this point. Build through the young starters (Greene, Mahle, Lodolo, Castillo, etc.). Position player talent is an issue. India and Stephenson are a good start. Probably time to move Senzel to another team if they can get a decent return.

      The Reds will need to add one year contracts to keep payroll at this level, which has its own risks in regards to performance. As others have noted, the Reds have no committed salary in 2024, not sure what they will do with the option on Votto.

      It is kind of an interesting spot to be in, when Votto and Moustakas are off the books, the Reds would have money to spend on a couple of decent FA, the issue is, as other teams find out, those FA want long term deals.

      Also, the Reds have pretty much run out of assets to trade to obtain prospects. Going to need to develop from within.

      • Greenfield Red

        The Reds still have Castillo and Mahle that can be traded for significant return… and they should. I also think, of all guys, Farmer has value as a trade chip. He is better than anyone here gives him credit for.

      • Michael E

        I am with ya Greenfield. As bad as this team is, why not move Mahle and Castillo for a few more prospects to slot into our top 10 (hopefully one or two in our top 5.

        No point in holding either to lose them just when ownership is finally ready (if they ever are) to spend money on FA again. Once Mous/Votto contracts are off the books, Greene and Lodolo with two years solid MLB experience, we could be finally ready to attempt to contend again with a big FA splash or two.

  14. Melvin

    Well the offense is clickin on all cylinders ain’t it. lol It will be hard for it to get any worse. I guess that’s a positive. 🙂

  15. Joey Red

    I don’t think it will get any better and Reds are this bad.

  16. TR

    It is what it is. There’s no question that change is needed, and it should begin with cutting ties with Phil Castellini and Nick Krall. Bring in an assistant GM from the Reds or another ML club. Changes in majority ownership and the manager can wait until the offseason. The pitching, led by Hunter Greene, is a positive. The offense, after the loss of Winker and Castellanos, will be a struggle.

  17. DataDumpster

    A big problem last year (a stunning lack of success against LHP) caught Bell off guard. There was some hoopla before the season started about some “innovative” changes to pitching machine angles and extra one on one BP sessions to address this. With only 2 or 3 hitters performing above trend and overall stats in the dumper, I guess the “still early” argument will be the watchword. Losing HR capability is real but what about veteran leadership and clubhouse glue (guys like Castellanos, Suarez, Barnhart or Grey)?
    Who replaces any of that on this squad? Then, there is the manager. Is there any inspiration, discipline, or new strategy to inject some energy into this flailing effort? As usual, “trust it and the results will come “, as Bell likes to say. It dovetails nicely with the Phil Castellini message that kicked off this morass.

  18. Tom R

    I’m not going to put more effort into this season than ownership is.

    They’re not sitting around cheering on my business.

  19. SultanofSwaff

    Did the old TOS (THIS OFFENSE STINKS) die off just like Milton? I would like to formally request its reinstatement for games like this.

    I know you have to really squint, but golly, the core of a really good team is forming. Greene and Lodolo are just different, man, and just in this first wave you’ve got stepenson, india, barrero, mcclain, ashcraft, friedl……soon to be followed by de la cruz, williamson, allen, and petty. So while I don’t have any issue with the player development side, what will scuttle this rebuild is ownership not ponying up to pay Mahle and Castillo. Not locking up home grown talent will continue the boom/bust cycle, the very thing Krall has stated they want to avoid.

  20. CFD3000

    This team does look bad so far. But I agree Nick that they will get better. Votto will hit, I’m confident about that. His reaction on missing a couple pitches last night tells me that he’s frustrated (obviously) but also that he’s closer than recent results suggest. And he has faced a lot of tough lefties. But that’s only a small part of the problem. India, Senzel, and Barrero will all upgrade the offense. So will more Lopez and Drury and less Moran / Moustakas. Greene and Lodolo need a little time but they will be very good soon enough. And of course getting Castillo back will upgrade the rotation. I still think this is a .500 team IF healthy. But injuries, a tough early schedule, and the patented slow Votto start are all brutal in the meantime.

  21. Steven Ross

    Pham got a late start in ST so you had an idea he’d figure it out. Lopez actually makes contact which is refreshing. I’m only watching to see Greene & Lodolo.

    Yes, we’re replete with injuries and probably not this bad but we’re still tough to watch & not very good.

  22. VaRedsFan

    Yordan Alvarez was on the COVID IL for 5 days. The day he came off the IL (last night) he hits 2 HRs.

    Senzel was removed from the COVID IL yesterday, but he doesn’t get an AB vs a lefty starter? Drury could have played 3rd (instead of Moran) and let Senzel DH, or maybe start Senzel in CF, in place of Fraley (Lefty batter.)

    At the very least, he could have PH in the 9th for Moran.

    Senzel may not be the be-all end-all for the Reds. But I think he stands a better chance against a left starter than Moran and Fraley.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree, it sure seems like despite the shuffle off the Undesignated IL, Senzel was not in playing form last night. Fraley made the last out of the game with a man on base. If that spot extends the game, Farmer bats as the tying run. That’s a strong sign that Senzel was flat out unavailable regardless how the team (Bell) tries to paint things.

    • Old Big Ed

      Senzel wasn’t really available yesterday, except in an emergency. Naquin got sick after they had posted the lineup (likely with what Senzel had, or Covid), so they activated Senzel just in case. They couldn’t have gotten a guy from the farm system to San Diego last night to replace Naquin.

      Senzel will be more available today, and may even start against the lefty on Wednesday.

      • Jim Walker

        Let’s hope (on Senzel). He took a nasty shot to the gut in that collision.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Proving once again that Bell is clueless!

  23. Mark A Verticchio

    I also don’t understand why Senzel didn’t play last night. I also want to point out that even with all the so called talent last year this team won a whopping 83 games. With the drop off in talent this year it looks more like 63 but, there is a lot of young talent on the way. Look back at Houston before they made their run 3 100 loss seasons in a row. The Reds are in that spot right now but without a plan. They must get rid of Krall and Bell to have any chance of pulling this off.

  24. Mark A Verticchio

    Do you all remember when Sports Illustrated declared Houston the 2017 World Champions while they were awful, years before. The Reds have that kind of young talent especially pitching, but it must be managed well. We need to think about 2024 and beyond, could be the same story? Please get the right people running this core group of young talent.

    • Daytonnati

      And some trash can bangers 🙂

    • William

      I am critical of the Owners and General Manager, but actually think Bell performed well enough the last two years that he deserves atleast a full year to show what he can do with this team. If the Pirates end up having a better record than the Reds, Bell will be fired. The General Manager is weak for sure. I do not think he will last more than a year or two. Go Reds! Surprise me! Please!

  25. Doc4uk

    Get rid of the scout who signed Akiyama. Just look at what Suzuki is doing to ML pitching. Japanese League players can be productive but clearly Akiyama could not hit a 95+ mph fastball and the scout should have known it.

    Also the scouting department brought us an over the hill Mike Minor, Colin Moran, and Moustakis. Then we took on the contract of Dunn who may never pitch an inning for the Reds. Fraley is nothing more than a late inning defensive replacement.

    So we can pick on Bell but it all starts with the scouts and of course the GM who approves of any deals. The Reds seem to always be on the short end of any trade or free agent signing. Even the Castellanos deal was not favorable for the Reds given the opt out clause!

    • Old Big Ed

      Dick Williams made the Akiyama decision.

      “Taking on Dunn’s contract” consists of paying him minimum league salary.

      I am with you that Moran, Moustakas (another Williams failure) and Fraley need to be DFA’d

      • William

        Dick Williams had some bad failures. Nice guy, but he left the Reds in a hole. I think he saw the writing on the wall and fled to greener pastures. I am still here because I grew up with the Big Red Machine and became a fan for life. For better or worse.

  26. Old Big Ed

    While this Reds team has a chance to be historically bad offensively, they have been unlucky, too.

    The real Reds offense figured to have Barrero, Senzel and India in it, with Farmer playing 3B against LH pitching. The first three of those were out when would be facing four LH pitchers in five games. None of those injuries/illnesses are serious.

    By mid-May, all four should be playing regularly. They won’t have to play 4 LH hitters — all with issues against LH pitching — against a LH starter.

    I don’t see how anybody could watch Alejo Lopez last night and not understand that he is a much better player than Moustakas, Moran, Fraley and Drury.

    • David

      I think Alejo Lopez is a very promising young player.

      And when the roster has to go down to 26 men, he will go back to AAA ball. Because…that’s how the Reds roll. They need the older, “experienced” guys to give “veteran presence”.
      I thought Alejo should have been on the original roster on Opening Day, but instead we get the old re-treads.
      I think the Reds lost a LOT of money in 2020 (and yes, I have no proof of that) and lost money last year. I recall that Marge Schott got very frustrated at less than “full house” attendance for a very good 1995 Reds team in the playoffs. And then she remarked they had lost over $60 million from 1991 through 1995. And there were cuts, and the 1996 team was pretty lousy. ’97 and ’98 were not good, but showed signs of getting better. But the 1999 team was actually pretty good.
      Since 2012, how many “good” Reds teams have their been? I think 2013 team made the Wild card playoff game and got blown out by the Pirates (remember, they used to be good too?). And then nothing, until the short 2020 season when they snuck into the playoffs and did nothing. And last year, when they, at times looked promising. And that team has been scrapped (and it had to be).
      I just wish they Reds had gone whole hog and brought in or promoted all the young guys. Yeah, they would have lost a lot of games, but it would have been a real re-build start.
      Instead we get this festival of mediocrities and cast – offs from other teams.
      Clap harder, Reds fans. It’s your fault. Phil Castellini said so.

      • William

        I like Alejo Lopez as well. He can hit and is a good DH option. Of course, India is the man for second base. Lopez fills in good at second when needed.

    • Votto4life

      I am just not convinced “all will be healthy” at anytime during the season. It’s just rare, at least for this team, to have the starters all healthy at the same time.

      Other teams overcome injuries with depth. This Reds team doesn’t have much depth.

      I think if we are waiting for everyone to be healthy at the same time, we may have a long wait ahead of us. Even if it does happen, how long will it last?

    • BK

      I’m with you OBE, Reds have 5 position players out right now. Dodgers and Padres combined have one. This is not an “everybody has injuries” situation for the Reds. They have had their depth completely gutted by injuries leaving mostly suboptimal matchups.

      As for Lopez, he looks a little challenged defensively to me. Sunday, he stayed back on a ball that if he had charged, would have likely led to a double play. I noticed that tendency continue last night as well–it’s a small thing, but it cost the Reds a run on Sunday and extended the inning. I’m also not sure he’s strong enough to repeat his hitting success at the MLB level, but he’s certainly a quality depth player at the very least and hopefully more.

      Reds are at a low point and while these games count as much as the ones in September, I’m also optimistic that we’ll see a much improved team in a few weeks.

    • Bill J

      Ed, the thing I wonder about is the last 3 or 4 years the Reds seem to say the injuries aren’t bad, then we find out they were worse than we were told.

  27. kevinz

    Agree feel like get better law of averages, will even things out.
    Now if always injured might be tough most nights.
    Reds at the state they are atm.
    Makes tough early schedule even tougher.
    Moran for example hit rhp well last season.
    But facing mostly lhp so far.
    My theme is Devlp and patience.

  28. AMDG

    The Reds’ offseason saw them lose about 9 WAR from an 83 win team last year. That approximately makes them a 74 win team.

    So, we knew they weren’t going to be good, or a playoff team.

    But to then sink $$$ into bad players like Minor, Pham, and Moran just made matters worse, because it tied up more money to bad contracts. As if they learned nothing from Moose or Shogo.

    • BK

      To a certain extent I agree with you. On the other hand, if Minor and Pham rebound, they could both net the Reds prospects at the trade deadline. I don’t think either player is blocking anyone now either.

      • Old Big Ed

        It may end up a challenge to get Minor to that point. His shoulder problem seems worse than they originally thought.

  29. Old Big Ed

    Joey Votto is 1-for-his-last-28, with 14 strikeouts. For the season, he has struck out 12 times in 20 ABs against LH pitching.

    I understand that we go through this every year and he generally proves the naysayers wrong. They are going to play him against the RH starter tonight, and likely rest him against the LH pitcher on Wednesday, so he gets two full days off. (They have other equally bad LH hitters who would be candidates to sit on Wednesday.) Perhaps he will turn it around, but they may need to take a hard look at sitting him against LH starting pitching.

    Votto’s lifetime average has fallen to .300, and he is now unlikely to finish his career with a slash of .300/.400/.500.

    They are going to be 1962 Mets bad, if Votto gets 450 PAs hitting like this.

    • Jim Walker

      Sooner or later the clock strikes midnight for everyone. Time will tell if it has for Votto this time around the block.

    • Old-school

      He’s not hit lefties for 4 years. It’s also time to start planning for the future at first base. I would start by giving Stephenson 30 starts this year and advancing that next year and identifying a primary catcher. It wouldn’t both me if Stephenson became the primary first baseman and 2nd catcher. Every team need 2 capable catchers.

      Its time to start acknowledging the end of the Joey Votto era is upon us and its not ending in a winning way. This time next year we will be in full throttle Joey Votto Farewell tour. Last Opening Day as a Red. Final LA Dodger road trip, etc..etc.

      • Melvin

        Hahahaha!!!! Votto has a bad start, which practically everyone else has too by the way, and you’re ready to put him out to pasture. Don’t you know it’s not wise to bet against Joey Votto?

      • Old-school

        @ Melvin. Enjoy your posts. But, objectively look at Votto against left hand pitching the last 4 years. He was great against RH pitching last year. Top 5 in baseball. But against LH pitching, his OPS since 2019 hovers around .650. That’s just facts. He cant hit lefty pitching.

        Yes- I am writing off Votto against left handed pitching and I am writing off the Reds as playoff contenders in 2022.

      • Melvin

        I understand your frustration big guy. Nothing personal.

  30. Scott C

    Thanks for the positivity Nick. I’m just not buying it till I see an attempt to make this team better. Start by releasing Moustakas, then go out and get someone who actually can hit.

  31. Mark A Verticchio

    The future of this team is starting pitching, Green, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Williamson, Guituarez, Sanmartin and even more including Petty. They need to deal Castillo and Mahle for some good young offensive players to help India, Stephenson, Barrero, Mclain, De La Cruz and others including Senzel, I hope.

  32. Jon

    So what’s the Reds’ plan moving forward? You have to think that Castillo and Mahle will be dealt at the deadline if healthy, otherwise this winter. Moustakas almost certainly won’t be on the Reds roster in 2023, though the Reds will still be paying him. The team already has holes in all three outfield spots and lacks any sort of actual DH.

    • Votto4life

      It really scares me that Nick Krall is the one who will be trading Castillo and Mahle. If he blows these trade it could set the team back many years.

      I am really hoping they fire Nick Krall before we get to the trade deadline.

      • RedsFan11

        Bobby is on the hook in 2023 for $25(Votto) and $18(Moose). Everyone else is Arb or Free Agency. Look for them to package their 2 best Arb players in 2023 (Mahle and Castillo). They will get nothing in return for them outside PTBNL and the hope said team will pick up remaining $

  33. Indy Red Man

    The Marlins got Jesus Sanchez and Ryne Stanek from Tampa in 2019 for releivers Trevor Richards and Nick Anderson. Tampa actually got railed in a trade for once.

    Thats what the Reds need out of Castillo. A cornerstone middle of the lineup hitter like Jesus Sanchez. Won’t happen, but thats what they should shoot for if they actually had a competent front office.

  34. Mark Moore

    Moose and RoY to the IL. TJ is up and starting tonight. Garcia at DH. No Lil’ Nick in the line-up yet.

  35. Mark A Verticchio

    Why in the world is Senzel not playing again tonight? Something strange is strange as Aquino continues to play, this is one messed up team.

      • William

        Bell needs to communicate why he is not playing senzel. If he is sick, pla e him on the injured list. You need someone on the bench who can contribute.

  36. Mark A Verticchio

    We these line ups I don’t know when the losing streak will end, soon I hope.

  37. William

    I miss Winker. I know he has not hit well yet in Seattle, but you know it is a matter of time. I miss Suarez as well. He had a down year last year, but great personality. Votto is a slow starter in his older years, but I expect him to have a good year. We had a fun team to watch last year.

  38. William

    Hopefully, the Reds young pitching will improve and be able to keep them in games. I am not impressed with the starting eight, except Votto, India, and Stephenson. It is a case of pennies buying you a below average lineup. General Manager did not get his job done. He will only keep his job if he is in with the owners who are more concerned with profit than winning. I think winning will bring you more profit. Long gone are the days of the Big Red Machine.