The Reds and Cubs square off tonight in game two of the current three game series at Wrigley Field in the toddling town of Chicago. The Reds need a win tonight to avoid being mathematically eliminated from winning the series. But given the way the Reds season has unwound, losing the series would be just the first of several mathematical eliminations ahead in the month.
Mike Minor starts for the Reds. Javier Assad goes for the Cubs.
|Mike Minor (LH)||84.1||5.98||1.53||3.3||7.2|
|Javier Assad (RH)||10.0||0.90||1.60||5.4||5.4|
|Links: Mike Minor’s Stats | Javier Assad’s Stats
What is there to say to Reds fans about Mike Minor’s season that hasn’t already been said? How about he is what he is at this point in his career? Unfortunately for Minor, the Reds, and Reds fans, that is a not very effective starting pitcher. On average, he lasts 1 out into the 6th inning giving up about 2/3 of a run for every inning he pitches. Perhaps the “sore shoulder” Minor suffered in spring which held him out of action until June has been a factor in his performance; or maybe not. The possible glimmer of hope is that in his last 2 starts, Minor has pitched 11.2 innings with a 3.09 ERA.
Javier Assad, a 25 year old from south of the border down Mexico way, hopes he is at the opposite end of a long career from Mike Minor. Tonight he makes his 4 MLB appearance (3rd start).
Assad was signed by the Cubs seven years ago as an international free agent. Coming into 2022 He was not among the Cubs highly rated prosects. However, he caught attention of the organization at AA this season, advanced to AAA and on August 23 was promoted to the Cubs. Assad compiled a sub 3.00 ERA at both the AA level (23 games) and AAA level (7 games) this season.
Assad doesn’t dazzle with his stuff; but, he seems to have mastered the art of pitching effectively. At least the Cubs hope so.
Checking our usage chart below, note Assad uses 3 different fastball types totaling to over 80% of his pitches. He favors the cutter over his 4 seam and sinker. In addition to the speed and movement differential among the fastball types watch for him to create confusion and timing issues by slipping a full slider in among the cutter offerings.
Hunter Strickland threw 26 pitches (1.1 innings) on Tuesday. Art Warren need 33 pitches to navigate just 0.2 inning. Both would seem unlikely to work tonight.
Buck Farmer and Alexis Diaz did not see action Tuesday and should be ready to go in leverage situations if needed.
Hayden Wesneski followed Wade Miley to the mound Tuesday for Cubs and finished the game. Everyone else should be good to go.
SP: Mike Minor
SP: Javier Assad
|1. T.J. Friedl (CF)
2. Jonathan India (DH)
3. Kyle Farmer (3B)
4. Jake Fraley (LF)
5. Spencer Steer (2B)
6. Donovan Solano (1B)
7. Aristides Aquino (RF)
8. Jose Barrero (SS)
9. Chuckie Robinson (C)
|1. Nick Madrigal (2B)
2. Seiya Suzuki (RF)
3. Ian Happ (LF)
4. Franmil Reyes (DH)
5. Nico Hoerner (SS)
6. Nelson Velazquez (CF)
7. Yan Gomes (C)
8. P.J. Higgins (1B)
9. Christopher Morel (3B)
Spencer Steer makes his first MLB start at 2B
Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) notes NIck Senzel remains out the lineup following being scratched die to a sprained ankle Tuesday.
News, Notes and Commentary
Elly De La Cruz was named the Double-A Southern League Player of the Month after hitting .355 with 19 extra-base hits for the Chattanooga Lookoutshttps://t.co/ivFhEZuqcs
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) September 7, 2022
And here is the link to Doug’s deeper dive into EDLC’s big August
Not quite ready but hopefully very close…..
Hunter Greene will make another rehab start at Triple-A Louisville on Sunday. He’s expected to rejoin the Reds’ rotation afterward.
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) September 7, 2022
But Wait! Here is more starting pitcher rehab good news!
Reds starter Connor Overton, out since May, is scheduled to pitch in a rehab game today in Goodyear. Then a rehab start in Triple-A on Tuesday.
A great development who a pitcher was was throwing really well before he got hurt.
— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) September 7, 2022
Jim’s Soapbox Minute
Tuesday night in 3.1 innings (10 outs) of work the Reds bullpen issued 7 walks and hit a batter. Along the way they also allowed 5 hits. This works out to a WHIP of 3.9. It is probably a miracle they gave up “only” 6 runs which translated into a bullpen ERA a tad higher than 16.
I’m worn out and down by a lot of things about this Reds season but the bullpen takes the cake. It is past time to quit trying to reinvent the bullpen wheel and get back to a proven scheme which works. Find guys who can spot and command a decent fastball in the zone for strikes with a enough of a change up or mediocre breaking pitch to get by working off their fastball.
When, Where, and Weather
Game time: 7:40pm ET
Where: Wrigley Field Chicago, IL
Watch: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB.tv (out of market)
Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
Forecast: 75°, Partly cloudy, NE wind 5mph; 10% chance of rain