The Cincinnati Reds played home run derby on Saturday, hitting three home runs as they picked up a 6-2 win to even up the opening series with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The two clubs will wrap up their series this afternoon with first pitch set for 1:40pm ET.
|Oneil Cruz – SS||Jonathan India – 2B|
|Bryan Reynolds – CF||TJ Friedl – CF|
|Andrew McCutchen – RF||Jake Fraley – LF|
|Carlos Santana – 1B||Tyler Stephenson – C|
|Ji Man Choi – DH||Jason Vosler – 1B|
|Ke’Bryan Hayes – 3B||Wil Myers – DH|
|Connor Joe – LF||Spencer Steer – 3B|
|Ji Hwan Bae – 2B||Will Benson – RF|
|Austin Hedges – C||Kevin Newman – SS|
|Vince Velasquez – SP||Graham Ashcraft – SP|
Stats from 2022
|Links: Graham Ashcraft’s Stats | Vince Velasquez’s Stats
After a strong spring training where Graham Ashcraft posted a 2.60 ERA with 25 strikeouts and just 2 walks in 17.1 innings, the big righty will take the mound in the regular season and look to keep all of that going. An offseason focus on improving his slider and making it more consistent seemed to pay off out in Arizona.
Last year he really struggled against right-handed hitters but was dominant against lefties. Left-handed hitters managed just four extra-base hits against him in 2022 and slugged just .263.
Pitch Usage (from 2022)
In 2022 Velasquez was much better in his 18 relief appearances than he was in his 9 starts. As a starter his ERA was 1.01 higher, his home run rate was more than twice as high, his walk rate was nearly 50% higher, and his strikeout rate was lower. Hitters also had a .150 point OPS advantage against him as a starter. This spring he struggled, posting a 5.79 ERA in four starts and walking nine batters in 14.0 innings. Righties and lefties both struggled to hit for much average against him, and they didn’t get on base against him all that much in 2022. While lefties also didn’t hit for much power, righties showed plenty of it. Those splits haven’t always held up for his career.
Pitch Usage (from 2022)
When and Where
- Game time: 1:40pm ET
- Where: Great American Ball Park
- Watch: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB.tv
- Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
- Forecast: 47°, sunny, 0% chance of rain
News and Notes
Joey Votto launched one into the sun on rehab
Last night saw Joey Votto begin his rehab assignment with the Triple-A Louisville Bats. He played in the first game of the Bats doubleheader and finished 1-3 with a walk and 2 strikeouts. His one hit was a 448-foot home run on the first pitch that he saw in the game.
Earlier today we got some updates on the status of Nick Senzel, Tony Santillan, Lucas Sims, and Luke Weaver. It sounds like Santillan or Senzel could be the first players to head to the minor leagues on a rehab assignment.
QUIZ for all you RLN followers! Can you name who ranks 4th on the Reds 2023 player payroll?
Believe it or not Reds actually did well on that deal. From what I’ve read though, there was no verbiage in that contract that accounted for inflation.l – it was just flat rate. So effectively the reds have paid him less and less over the years
Considering Manny Ramirez got $20 million per season, the Griffey contract was very team friendly. Injuries stink. Jr certainly would have hit 700 HR if consistently healthy.
Nick Senzel and Tony Santillan will report to louisville on tuesday per C trent
Santillan healthy would be a quality addition to the bullpen.
He could be better than our current 5th starter.
Anyone see Levi Stoudt pitch? How did he look? O hits and 0 runs in 4 innings sounds great but 3 walks???
Williamson sounds like 1 step forward 2 steps back.
Stoudt was outstanding, especially compared to Williamson, but not without blemish. He allowed no runs and no hits while getting 4 Ks but walked 3 in 4.0 innings with ~43% of his pitches being called balls.
I guess he either made pitches when he really needed them or was lucky or both.
And just an aside, a request in advance for some slack when I inevitably cross my baseball and football and refer to Stoudt as Stroud. 😉
He also could be better than our current 5th starter. Lol
Watching the pregame and remembering how easily I fall in love … Annie Sabo!!
And absolutely loved the Jim Day interview with India and TySteve. Great couple of young guys who compliment each other well in this lineup.
Clearly, she took after her mother.
Lets go Reds
that was a nice opening inning. Is anyone else noticing a color shift in the broadcast
1-2-3-4-5-6 21 pitches
Does a good game for Vosler today bring us to that point where Friedl and Benson need to show some offense to avoid being replaced instead of Vosler when Joey V comes up?
I’m thinking it’s between Benson and Fairchild. But you raise a good point. Somebody will head to L’Ville.
Trying not to show my Fairchild bias too much 😉 …..
It is a lot simpler to have Fairchild around to
platoon with and protect Fraley from LH pitching within games than scrambling around the pieces with Barrero and Newman and tie up your back up middle IF in the process.
Fairchild likely goes down. He’s not going to get a fair shake in Cincinnati. Yesterday showed that. He’s going to have to absolutely destroy AAA to get any credibility. And even then he’s more likely to be traded – again.
JIm…you sere saying?
well…that helps his cause…i would have said nope, unless he had a whit hot start
@Jim, Well Vosler is now a 40 man guy, so that advantage others would have had over him is gone. Fairchild is my 1st out if all remain healthy.
2 innings in the bag with good efficiency from Ashcraft. Now for the Crooked Number Parade, please!!
And we get a Lucky Buckeye sighting 😀
once again….the hated enemy…. Miami valley gaming has not improved their commercials
More retreads than our 2022 line-up.
nice HR vosler…..wait a minute where we get him from?
Pretty evident Vosler wants to stay in Cincy.
Steer quality Ab and line drive hit
Yep. And Benson didn’t whiff either. Seeing a few encouraging signs all around.
2 innings in and I’m remembering why I go to the WLW audio feed overlay. It’s been a little better so far, but I’m seeing “the signs” of classic Sadak oral diarrhea coming on.
I like the dugout home run celebrations. Team unity matters IMO…..They are like 3 years late to the party….better late than never.
The Viking thing is kitschy but fun. Can’t wait to see the first time Joey has the cape and hat placed on him.
Can’t go wrong with Viking gear 🙂
Can anyone answer why the Giants would just get rid of controllable contracts for Alex Young and Jason Vosler? Both pre arbitration players who can provide solid value this year. Something a team like San Francisco would seem to need for this year.
I mean Young had a 170 ERA+ for them last year and Vosler a 169 OPS+
Hypnosis … voodoo … SF Bay recreational drug use?
Tommy Pham leading off for the Mets today
Jon India with play from 2b. Put a start by that one. Nice 3 innings from Ashcraft. Get some runs now.
India leading by example and enthusiasm
And a single. India has started off great. TIm for Friedl to get something going.
1B umpire looked like he took that ricochet off the onions.
Come on TySteve!!!
India is winning me over a bit. I’ve been very critical of his defense, but with the lighter weight, he seems more agile. I always knew he had a bat, but it would be great if his D has caught up. I still don’t like the “I’m going to be the leader” talk, leaders don’t have to announce that they are leaders, but I think his heart is in the right spot.
Did you hear the Jim Day interview in the pre-game? Neither he nor TySteve sounded at all like they were “claiming” leadership. Yet they knew others are looking to them. TySteve said India always plays “balls to the wall” which made me laugh. I guess we saw that when he just scored.
I’m not referring to what India has said recently, it was before the beginning of camp.
“I want to set a culture this year that’s different from the past,” India said. “Everyone has the same mindset, no matter who it is. That’s what we need. That’s our ticket to success. Everyone having the same mindset of competing every day no matter the outcome.”
I didn’t like it, but like I said I think he heart is in the right place.
Gotcha, MBS. Completely agree.
there we go…. making things happen
India had home plate on his mind all the way. Love that hustle.
India in a 10 minute span flashes the leather and the speed on the bases. Can we just drop Friedl from the 2 hole? Go India,Fraley, and Stephenson and be done with it. Votto hits 4th when he comes back.
runner on second got him shook… i like these new rules
just noticed…. remember this day when we were in a 5 way tie for first place in the division
Or a 5-way tie for last place!
the glass is half full, not half empty
Stanton just popped one 495 feet.
Who cares! My favorite teams are the Reds and whoever is beating the Yankees and the Dirty Birds!
I hate the Yankees, but that’s a mighty blow.
0h Wow that’s hitting one a ton. Wow. Love to see that dude hit.
I think the ball was dead last year and now back to normal
Last year, Reds opponents thought otherwise.
Maybe the ball was normal last year but now is back to live.
Here we go with the walks! Slow learners I guess!
Maybe they should check Stanton for PEDs?
Would you be surprised with all the injury time he’s had to recover from?
Not in the slightest!
Limited damage. That’s always a good thing. Need to add on this inning.
Stephenson has got to do better behind the plate! Those miscues can prove costly against better teams!
It looked like it was tipped to me. I don’t put that on him.
It wasn’t tipped and apparently TySteve told Jim Day it was a cutter that was supposed to break in but it broke four feet out. He said both he and McCutchens said it was unhittable and uncatchable.
Time for Benson to get off the schneid
I’d love to see him get going, a walk or bunt would do the trick.
Well, that was a weak inning! Not comfortable with a one-run lead with this BP!
I know its early but Benson and Friedl are 0-15 with 9K’s
Reds desperately need to find some real major league OFs going forward. Whether that is moving McClain, CES or EDLC or trading for someone, they don’t have any real full-time players that seem like they will be a cornerstone among the current crop. Maybe Fraley can get there, but he needs more opportunities against LHP to know.
Agree! Nothing, absolutely nothing from the 3 Reds outfielders so far today!
I just simply do not understand how Jake Fraley is not considered a real major league OF at this point
Do not/will not get it.
Yeah … UGH!!
Needed that 1-2-3 from Ashcraft. Looked pretty sharp there. Would love to see 7 from him today if possible.
Crooked Numbers, guys. Crooked Numbers!!!
Taking bets on how long the typo “runers” will appear in the scrolling banner about the new rules.
I haven’t noticed that yet.
Just saw it 😀
He needed that. Huge run
I’m a fan….glad he’s off the the ofer bus…
I thing he could be our Tommy Edman type.
And as I was typing a negative comment about the Reds offensive production by the 3 starters, Friedl hits a HR! Go figure!
Reds playing another nice game today. Good pitching. Good D and tacking on runs. Now finish this and win a series.
But…But…but…Fraley cant hit lefties???
hey…. i thought i copyrighted that lol
Fraley just looks determined this year. Like he wants as much playing time as he can get.
There you go Fraley! He hit 2HR’s against LHP in spring, and now a double in the regular season. I guess he doesn’t want to be a platoon guy.
*Single* but still, a hard hit ball.
Well, I had it right to begin with, I looked up and saw a man on 1B, and assumed I had it wrong, I missed the walk to Stephenson.
Lefty on lefty double for Rake
Ashcraft 6 strong innings. Despite the narrative, India and Steer have been solid at 2b/3b defensively.
Need another run.
Agreed and +5,000 on needing another run. How about this inning?
To be fair, India has been bad for 2 seasons at 2B, but he is looking a lot more agile with his new weight, and I’m sure a lot of practice.
Should Ashcraft pitch the 7th? I think he’s at 80 pitches. Like to see it.
I’d be in favor of seeing him pitch. He doesn’t seem to be flagging at this point. Cutch just got a good hit on him, nothing more that I saw.
3rd time around for PBurg’s 5-6-7 hitters.
Of course if healthy.
Ashcraft was great until he was injured last year, then he was horrible to end the year. This spring he looked great, and he’s following that up with 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB 6 K’s so far. Looking like a bulldog.
Only game 3 so it’s far too early to be making definitive observations, whether it’s about Fraley hitting lefties, Barrero not hitting, etc. At this point though, it is good to see Ashcraft pitching more like last season vs. the spring games where it looked like he was going for SO.
Yes, but it’s fun to see the bright side of things!
Yeah, while we can. If the Reds win today, they’ll be a full game ahead of the Pirates and not in last place. Hopefully, that lasts but who knows.
That’s just hard luck for us on a great snag by Santana.
Reds baserunning continues to be poor at best! It’s called “Situational Awareness”!
Steer a solid series as the everyday 3b.
Hitting ok for average, but obp and plate discipline and power great. Defense is good.
Good job young man.
Agree. Excellent eye, good athlete. Hope Bell doesn’t move him around and let him settle in at third.
Ashcraft a pitcher…not a thrower. Great job!
A hit nobody was getting and then bear down and escape with no damage. 7 fine innings from Ashcraft.
Really like watching Ashcraft pitch when he is throwing like he is today! Man… we are really going to have a fun top 3 in the rotation as the year goes on!
That’ll do, Graham! That’ll do! Now, hear me! Now, hear me! Bullpen – No Walks!
Young in the 8th, and Diaz in the 9th? ?
Ashcraft, 7IP and less than 100 pitches and only one walk. I didn’t know the Reds had a pitcher capable of that. We haven’t seen that in a while. Hopefully, Bell lets him start the 8th.
Nah…seeing Cruz and Reynolds a 4th time?
Why risk it now?
Why not? If the first one hammers him, go to the bullpen. As for the third or fourth time through the lineup – it doesn’t matter. Statistical averages and individual performances are two different things.
A couple more runs would help the BP a lot right now.
Wasted challenge, but it’s the 7th inning, so no huge deal.
Indy’s bat dies a happy death
It gave its all 😀
Another nice job by India. Shaking off that Sophomore Slump.
And Friedl gets one down with everybody safe!!!
Friedl competes again with the hated bunt….that works….love it.
No one really hates bunts. They hate bunts purposefully designed to be outs – not ones used in an attempt for hits.
No one should hate the competitive strategic bunt. But some dont discern the difference. Plus…the Tucker barnhart sac bunt is a good thing as opposed to the 4-6-3 DBP.
Ok Ty Steve..Lets play add-on
Well nuts! That just died more than a little and Cutch found a little bit of his old range to snag it.
Ty Steve has left a small village on the bases this series!
Tysteve almost came through again. Good play by McCutchen.
Bad communication there. Really bad. Hope it doesn’t cost us dearly.
2nd in betweener play that we dropped. A bit of bad luck, but the Law dog is coming to settle things.
That one over in the Bermuda Triangle behind 1st was way more difficult.
Darn it! Could and probably should be two outs right now. These guys have work to do defensively!
Really, really, REALLY need a GIDP here after the pitching change. Can’t hang all of that on Alex Young as I see it. Steer should have made the play and Fraley shouldn’t have called off Newman.
I saw it the same way. Steer need to charge instead of retreat.
Cowboy had that take on it. He just kind of pulled up on it and let it sneak under his glove.
Got that ol’ Reds bullpen feeling coming on.
I mean if your not a Reds homer, this is a dang good baseball game.
Id much prefer 6-1
Deep breaths … one more out is what we need and we’re through the worst of it.
OK, everybody breathe now … 😮
“I fought the Law and the Law won.”
They fought the Law…and the Law won.
+250 (only because Harry posted it first)
Great job by young and law to pitch out of the jam caused by poor defense. Let’s get an insurance run or two here.
Vosler just likes extra bags!
Yeah … Vosler really doesn’t want to go back to L’Ville. Then again, he’d need regular playing time. Almost kissed his 2nd dinger of the day.
Vosler – you cant stop him…only hope to contain him.
Time for Steer to redeem himself just a little bit
That worked out but I would still have opened with Ashcraft, assuming he didn’t say he was gassed.
LDS – Agreed. 94 pitches. Let him start the 8th.
Pitchers aren’t generally going to say they want to come out. Very early In season. He pitched very well. No resson to extend him at this point of the year.
a seriously not awesome commercial
I’ll give you a +1,000 as compensation, my friend 😀
Awful AB by Myers. He looks like he is too far from the plate.
Benson just overwhelmed right now. Probably needs to go to AAA and get some reps and confidence.
I was afraid of that, when he cooled off when the minor leaguers left Spring training
An easy call to swap Benson out for Votto if that JV is ready in the next few days as it wouldn’t change the Left/ Right side batting mix among the position players.
Friedl had to bounce a few times but looks like he finally has things straightened out.
A measly 3 outs … that’s all we’re asking for, folks. Just 3. Quick ones are preferable, but we’ll take them any way they come as long as the Pie-Rats don’t score.
Let’s go Diaz…no drama please.
The spelling of “runners” has been corrected 😀
Do I dare say Bullpen throws two straight games of no runs or walks?
Notice how Steer took his time setting for that throw? Made it a little closer, but no acrobatics required.
That was a really good baseball game.
Alright, alright, ALRIGHT!!!
Nice 9th by Diaz!
Maybe Diaz is the real thing?
Another game under 2:30 as well. I could get used to that.
Pretty fun having Diaz be the closer. Good pitching the last two days.
Nice win. They won’t be this easy vs non Pirate opponents
masterful game…. tied for first in the central, lets end the season now and go to the postseason
Hey. As of right now we’re in the playoffs. 🙂
Way, Way earlier, however gotta like Farmer, Young, Law, and Diaz as the top four. Cruz and Sanmartin not bad either. This bullpen could as I have read from a few, surprise people
Wow. Two in a row. 🙂 Now we have to see what the 4th and 5th starters can do. Good pitching today though.
Good starting pitching, some timely hitting and the pen closed it out. Nice!!!
Bell made good calls again. Hat’s off to him and the Reds. Ashcraft pitched a gem. We have a couple weaksticks in the line up, but suspect they will be replaced soon. Go Reds!
That’s typically a sign things are going right.
Nice to see Ashcraft in pre injury form.
Maybe he tried to come back too quickly end of last season.
It’s nice not having Strickland’s paw prints on games like these
Just knowing he’s not an option for Bell is mildly reassuring.