The game started out poorly for both starting pitchers as they each allowed three runs in the 1st inning, and both struggled in the 5th inning before things turned into a battle of the bullpens. A big home run from Jason Vosler turned out to be the difference in the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 win over the Chicago Cubs as the infielder continued his torrid start to the season.
|Chicago Cubs (1-3)||6||12||1|
|Cincinnati Reds (3-1)||7||10||1|
|W: Cruz (1-0) L: Smyly (0-1) SV: Law (1)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The 1st inning didn’t go well for Connor Overton. He gave up back-to-back singles to start the game, bringing Reds-killer Ian Happ to the plate. Overton struck him out, but Cody Bellinger picked up his teammate by crushing a 3-run homer to put the Cubs on top.
Cincinnati’s offense must have picked up whatever the Chicago hitters were picking up in the top of the inning before they went to work immediately. Jonathan India walked and then four straight singles followed – one by Spencer Steer, Wil Myers, Tyler Stephenson, and Wil Myers – to tie the game up before the Reds even recorded an out. But after Stuart Fairchild struck out, Luke Maile grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The 2nd inning wasn’t an easy one for Overton, either, but he was able to work around two singles and keep the Cubs off of the board – but his pitch count had already reached 49. In the bottom of the inning Jose Barrero led off with a single, but he left the game after reaching first base. It appeared he was trying to stretch out his right hamstring and tried to talk the trainer and manager David Bell into allowing him to remain in the game, but Jason Vosler was called in off of the bench to come on and pinch run. TJ Friedl then laid down a bunt and he picked up a single and moved up a base along with Vosler when Drew Smyly threw the ball away trying to beat him to the bag. Jonathan India followed up with an RBI fielders choice to give the Reds a 4-3 lead.
When the top of the 3rd began TJ Friedl moved to center to take over for Barrero, with Wil Myers moving from first base to right field, and Jason Vosler taking over at first. Vosler didn’t wait long to make his presence felt on the defensive side of things as he ended the inning with an outstanding defensive play, grabbing a hard grounder while sliding to his right and then flipping the ball to a covering Overton at the bag.
With two outs in the 4th the Reds tried to get a rally going, starting with a triple by TJ Friedl. Jonathan India was hit by a pitch, and then Spencer Steer walked to load the bases. Will Myers would leave them there, popping up in foul territory to end the threat.
Chicago wasted little time in the top of the 5th as Dansby Swanson led off with a single and moved up to third when Ian Happ doubled. That was the end of the day for Connor Overton as Ian Gibaut was called in from the bullpen to take over. He got Cody Bellinger to pop up for the first out of the inning, but a ground out brought in the tying run. Gibaut then hit Patrick Wisdom in the hand/wrist area to put runners on the corners. With three left-handed hitters due up it was time for another pitching change and manager David Bell called for Alex Young to enter the game. The move didn’t pay off as Eric Hosmer lined a 2-run double into right field to put the Cubs up 6-4.
In the bottom of the 5th inning it was the Reds turn to put up some runs. Tyler Stephenson led off with a single and with one out Stuart Fairchild was hit by a pitch. Then it was time for JV – Jason Vosler that is – to do damage as he got all of a 91 MPH fastball from Drew Smyly and put it into the seats in left field for some lefty-on-lefty crime to put Cincinnati up 7-6 and send Smyly to the clubhouse.
The Cubs had a big opportunity in the top of the 7th inning after loading the bases on two walks and a catchers interference, but Reiver Sanmartin was able to strike out pinch hitter Yan Gomes to leave the bags full and keep a 1-run lead. Cincinnati’s offense went quietly in their half of the 7th. Buck Farmer took over in the top of the 8th for Sanmartin and got three ground outs to make easy work of Chicago.
With Alexis Diaz unavailable after pitching in the previous two games, the Reds turned things over to Derek Law for the 9th inning hoping that he could pick up the save. Cody Bellinger popped out to start the inning and Trey Mancini grounded out, making for two quick and easy outs. But Patrick Wisdom picked up a bloop single on a broken bat and Eric Hosmer lined a single into right field to put the go-ahead run on base. The Cubs then called for pinch hitter Miles Mastrobuoni to try and keep the hit parade going, but as things tend to go when you fight the law, the (Derek) Law won as Mastrobuoni lined out to Jason Vosler.
Key Moment of the Game
Take your pick:
- Jason Vosler’s go-ahead 3-run home run in the 5th inning.
- Reiver Sanmartin stranding the bases loaded in the 7th.
- Derek Law getting Mastrobuoni to line out with two on in the 9th.
Notes Worth Noting
Spencer Steer continues to rake. He’s now hitting .333/.500/.667 with twice as many walks as strikeouts on the season.
Jason Vosler has driven in six runs in four games this season.
Derek Law picked up his first save since September 18th of 2019 when he was pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Reds remain in 1st place with the win. Milwaukee also won today and are 3-1.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds
Tuesday April 4th, 6:40pm ET
Hayden Wesneski vs Luis Cessa
Notice 2 of the 3 “key moments” you offer up involved Vosler. I’ll pick either of them (or both).
Love beating the Stupid Cubs. Absolutely LOVE it.
Should have just put “VOSLER DOES COOL THING” and let you determine which cool thing. Missed opportunity by me, but I won’t go edit it.
+1,000 for you, Doug.
Mark, I will say one thing about Cub fans! They are loyal, win or lose! I lived in northern Indiana many years ago when attending Notre Dame University! My graduate school advisor was a huge Cubs fan and we went to several Cub games together! That was before Wrigley Field had lights so all games were day games starting at 1:30 Chicago time! Good memories!
Absolutely agree. I lived in Elkhart and then Mishawaka for several years in the 80’s. Cubs fans are loyal almost to a fault.
I lived in South Bend in the late 70s. You guys can have your lake effect snow. I headed south.
I grew up within walking distance of Notre Dame. Never understood why more weren’t Sox fans there… We got the Sox on 32 and Cubs on 9. I remember watching Harry Carray as the White Sox announcer…Jack Brickhouse doing the Cubs. But…you know…Pete Rose…the 70’s… I think all those Notre Dame fans and all their stupid history (Go Boilers) infected those Cubs and all their stupid old baseball stadium with the I beams crap and they just started to worship an old scoreboard. I can’t stand finding parking on the north side. I still love Buckner though…world series meltdown aside…he was one of the greatest baseball players I ever saw…and I’ve seen some good ones. Saw Pete tie Cobb in Wrigley.
They are the most repulsive fans to be around of any group I’ve ever attended. shared season tickets several years ago and did my best to never attend Cubs games just because of their fans. One thing to be loyal another to be jerks.
LDS: where I live, we don’t need no stinkin” lake to get lots of snow.
I may actually look for a game this month or next. This team is exciting to listen too so far.
3-1 Record. Now all we have to do is keep up this pace and we’ll win, hmmm. around 121 games. I can live with that. 🙂
By the way I will personally crown David Bell Manager Of The Year if that happens. 🙂
You won’t have to be would win it without you. If he can get to 85 he is in the running.
Yes, I know this line is hokey and will hopefully get worn out throughout the season but, “The Cubs fought the Law and the Law won”! Not pretty, but a win is a win!
On a serious note, I can breathe again! Let’s limit the one run games! Happy for all involved!
A 1 run win or a 5 run win, is still a win.
I like one run games, especially when the Reds win. They tend to be exciting with the bullpen getting it done. Winning more one run games than losing usually means a team has grit and the future looks good.
Actually, Fernando Cruz got the win and that’s not mentioned.
They must have gone back and changed that because Alex Young was originally listed as the “winner”. I recall laughing at how silly that was.
It’s really fun to feel good and optimistic after games! Of course it’s very early, but it’s fun!
+1,000 for more fun nights like tonight.
We already tied our wins for last year’s first 25 games. 🙂
Bell can relax a little because they can lose the next 20 and still be ahead of last year’s team.
I just about fell out of my chair.
Exciting win. This team is becoming must-watch baseball.
But… I’m already fed up with the three catcher thing. All it’s doing is making it harder to replace an injured player, pinch hit, or pinch run. And for what? So Casali can get a little extra rest?
Others have said it … Krall was affected by the throng of catcher injuries last year. You’ll remember they had a waiver pickup from ??????? catching quite a few games. With the three catchers, Stephenson’s chance of injury is minimized by playing first and DH (which I am all in favor of), and Casali and Maile are very capable defensive catchers at the major league level. If one gets hurt, they still have two good options. Maile should never bat anywhere but ninth, IMO.
If they’re so worried about injuries, then they shouldn’t allow Stephenson to catch at all. If they’ve got two other capable catchers on the team, then let them handle it, and let Stephenson play exclusively first and DH. The problem is that one of those catchers is a VERY bad hitter, and the offense is far worse when he’s in the lineup. So, they’re hurting themselves when he plays, and they’re hurting themselves every single game because they’re basically playing a man short. It’s nice to minimize the chance of injury, but at what cost?
Votto missed a half season with a knee and now the shoulder. I guess you can get hurt anywhere.
Frankly, I don’t view it as 3 catchers. I view it as 2 catchers and a 1B/DH who can also catch.
This is the key point- krall committed to never having such poor catching in the big leagues. No more Michael papierski, Chris okey or aramis Garcia’s catching for the reds.
This stems from Stephen sons injury history and the inability to develop another home grown catcher – even though significant draft capital expended.
Besides, it is April and it will likely work itself out with a trade or injury by July. In the meantime it gives us something to follow and debate.
I said this earlier…Stephenson is our best hitter. Three catchers is all about keeping him in the lineup. Teams played with 25-man rosters and four bench position players for a long time. With the DH, a deep position player bench to support double switches is less important. Lastly, all three catchers are excellent defensively and with the pitching staff.
I understand the downside, but I think this is the optimal roster construction for now. The Reds really need to bring in another catcher who can hit and play defense. Then two catchers will be the way to go.
If they had two other catchers who could hit, they could stick Stephenson at DH and 1st every day. That would be great. The problem is that the backups can’t hit. So, the offense is worse when they’re playing, and the team is basically playing a man short every game because the third catcher is totally useless. I understand the concept of wanting to protect Stephenson, but if you lose a bunch of games because you’re playing a man short, it’s just not worth it. There’s no guarantee that Stephenson won’t get hurt anyway.
A strategy of putting yourself at a disadvantage every single day to reduce the chances of one guy getting hurt just doesn’t make sense to me unless that guy is someone like Babe Ruth, and then MAYBE it makes sense to me.
@J, Normally you wouldn’t want to use a 13th man off the bench, making that player a catcher actually increases the value of the last man imo. I’d also be OK with an elite speedster, or elite defender, but given our issues last year, a 3rd catcher seems like a solid choice.
Just three catchers (Realmuto, Will Smith and Sean Murphy) got enough PA to qualify for a batting title. The Reds need Stephenson hitting, and they want to have him as a catcher long term.
You’re absolutely right, every game he catches, the Reds have their best hitting lineup. But keeping his bat in the lineup is important, too.
How is it valuable to have a bad-hitting catcher as the last guy on the bench? He’s only going to be useful if your catcher gets hurt. In a weird situation where you’ve got literally nobody who’s capable of playing catcher, you forfeit the game and call someone up the next day. Worrying about that one weird situation isn’t a reason to effectively play a man short every day.
When I think about the best offensive catchers in MLB history, I think of them playing catcher most games. I don’t think of them as guys who occasionally caught but mostly played other positions because their team was so worried they might be injured playing catcher. If it’s too dangerous to have a good hitter catching, then don’t let good hitters play catcher. If you want a catcher who can hit, then let him play catcher and take your chances. The Reds are just being silly about this.
I’ll add one more reason for three catchers: there’s a good chance they will be able to flip either Casali or Maile at the deadline. There is a shortage of “good” catchers across the league.
BTW, Guardians, Astros, Mariners, and Cubs are carrying three catchers. Three playoff teams in addition to the Cubs and Reds.
BK – Does that mean we’ll be more likely to make the playoffs if we carry three catchers? Okay. I understand the strategy now. 🙂 Let’s go for it!
@J, the last man on the bench used to be the 12th position player on most teams pre roster expansion. The 12 man got very little use, and now that we are 13 deep on the bench the 13th man should get even less use.
Maybe the better question is who do you want to sit the bench instead of Casali or Maile? Pinder, gone, Solak, gone, a 6th OF?
Melvin, no, I don’t think I said that. I don’t know whether it will work, but I don’t think this plan is “silly,” and it’s certainly too early to evaluate it. That said, it’s an unconventional move and will be debated as the season progresses.
What I do know is that the parade of backup catchers for the Reds logged -2.3 bWAR. Casali and Maile garnered +2.0 bWAR.
“Guardians, Astros, Mariners, and Cubs are carrying three catchers.”
And how did that work out for the Cubs today? They were forced to use two catchers as pinch hitters, while undoubtedly having some much better hitters in the minors. I bet not too many of their fans are defending it by saying “well, the Reds carry three catchers, so why shouldn’t we?”
BK – I know you didn’t mean that. I was just playin with ya. I know there’s good debate on both sides I guess. You’re a smart guy for sure and well respected on here.
The point is, if you have someone else on the bench, they don’t have to SIT on the bench. A guy like Lopez, for example, could actually be a regular contributor as a pinch runner, pinch hitter, etc. He gives you added flexibility by allowing you to move other guys to different positions.
But the issue isn’t which player in the minors would be a great major leaguer right now. The issue is that when Votto is activated, who’s getting sent down? Probably an outfielder, so they’ll have even less flexibility than they do now. They’ll have a guy who can only play first, two guys who can only catch, and another guy who can only play catcher and first. Ugh.
@J, I think we’re at an impasse. My point is the 13th player should sit. There are only so many starts, to go around. The fact that we have a DH also lessens the pinch hit opportunities. I’d rather have a bat in the best hands possible, and that’s not the 13, or even 12 man on the bench.
Again I wouldn’t mind it being an elite speed guy or elite defender, as those are also valuable, but utility guy like Lopez wouldn’t do it for me.
The argument of when the team gets stronger is a valid point, but we are far from that being the case. When Votto, and Senzel comes up, Fairchild, and Benson will probably go down. Still no need to worry about the 3rd C.
When CES, EDLC, McLain, Siani, and McGarry start to rise, then it’s clear the way for the future, and our 13th man will probably be a guy like Newman, who is a GG quality glove. That’s my kind of 13th man.
I love a good impasse, but I rarely let them stop me from continuing to argue.
The problem I have with your argument is twofold. First, I think the “13th guy” can come in handy quite often, because it won’t be the same guy every game. There are times when it’s handy to have a right-handed infielder, a left-handed outfielder, a guy who can run, a switch-hitter who can play several positions, etc. There isn’t going to be one guy who’s the designated 13th man every game, because you’re going to find uses for all of them on a regular basis. But having Maile on the bench will be utterly useless in virtually every game.
Second, having a 13th guy who isn’t a catcher allows you to use your other guys more effectively. It’s the difference between “I’d like to pinch run right here, but I can’t do it because that leaves me with only a catcher on the bench” vs. “I’m going to pinch run here because I’ve got a utility guy on the bench as insurance.” He can help the team simply by being available even if he never plays. Maile might as well be an empty space on the bench when he’s not starting.
@J, since you seem to be enjoying this, I will continue:
You cited the Cubs game last night, but failed to point out the last guy they used off the bench was a utility infielder. All three catchers entered the game earlier than Mastrobuoni, a utility infielder. The Cubs still pinch ran and pinch hit subbing a LH hitter for a RH with the game on the line. Had Mastrobuoni’s batted ball gone anywhere but directly to an infielder, the Cubs would have likely taken the lead. So, the anecdote you cited actually demonstrates David Ross preferred his third catcher over a utility infielder–it in no way supports your argument.
You suggested Alejo Lopez as a player in the Red’s organization that you might prefer, today over a third catcher. Both Casali and Maile had better OPS+ (86 and 82 respectively) than Lopez in 2022 (76). While Lopez can play a lot of positions, he below average at all of them. Per Statcast, Lopez also has below average speed. Both of our backup catchers can play 1B (Maile likely won’t because he’s the best defensive catcher), where Vosler is playing, but has the same versatility as Lopez. In short, Lopez would add very little to the Reds right now.
What will happen when Votto returns? Barring an injury, Fairchild or Benson will be optioned. The Reds are currently carrying five outfielders. Vosler’s versatility will be kept over one of those two.
Again, I’m not saying this is the ideal roster configuration, but it seems to fit the Reds well now. Given that three solid teams, including the reigning world champions, elected to go this route, it should not be summarily dismissed.
I really dislike the Reds carrying 3 catchers. If Stephenson is a catcher, he should be catching. Every game Stephenson is in the lineup and not catching results in a weaker Reds offense since the backup catchers are lesser hitters than the 1B/DH that Stephenson replaces. Also, every game Stephenson is in the lineup and not catching takes developmental PAs away from younger players like Fairchild, Benson, Friedl, etc…… What good does it do maximizing Stephenson’s PA if it weakens the lineup and prevents us from seeing more of the players we need to get answers on in a season where we are still sorting? We don’t need any answers on Casali/Maile bats. Casali who by the way is is 34 and has hit .207/.315/.342/.657 in 407 PA over the last two seasons. They need to either catch Stephenson at least 100 G per seasons, or start thinking about flipping him at the deadline to someone who will.
“So, the anecdote you cited actually demonstrates David Ross preferred his third catcher over a utility infielder–it in no way supports your argument.”
That’s false. Part of my argument is that managers will always want to a have a utility guy on the bench if they possibly can. So, if you’re down to a catcher and a utility guy, and you’re forced to have one of them pinch hit, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll ask the catcher to pinch hit so you can save your utility guy for a “what if” scenario that might occur later. That’s what the Cubs did. If, instead of a catcher and utility guy on the bench, Ross had an outfielder and a utility guy on the bench, he’d have been in a better position because the outfielder would almost certainly have been a better hitter than the catcher he was forced to use as a pinch hitter.
With the Reds it’s even worse, because the 2nd and 3rd catchers are both really bad hitters, so it would be extremely rare that you’d want either of them pinch hitting. Bell is effectively playing a man short. And for as long as Barrero is unable to play but not moved to the injured list (which we know is something the Reds love to do), Bell is effectively playing two men short, which further illustrates the the stupidity of this roster construction.
“Both Casali and Maile had better OPS+ (86 and 82 respectively) than Lopez in 2022 (76).”
I’m not talking about using Lopez as a starter. I’m talking about late-inning situations where the manager is trying to decide whether to pinch hit, pinch run, etc. If he’s got Maile and Casali on the bench, his options are significantly worse than if he’s got Casali and Lopez on the bench. There are a zillion scenarios where having that utility guy comes in handy, and almost none where that extra catcher comes in handy.
And if you want a guy who’s a better hitter than Lopez, or faster, or a better fielder, the Reds have some of those in the minors. Pick one. Or sign a free agent. Whatever. There’s just no reason for Bell to ever be in a situation where the only two guys he’s got left on the bench are two bad hitting catchers. It essentially means he’s out of moves despite having two guys on the bench. That’s bad.
@J, 25 MLB teams have built their rosters as you suggest with three catchers. So clearly, your point that is preferable is supported in general. However, some teams have chosen three catchers. A few rebuttals:
– The Cubs had used all three catchers by the 7th inning. Yesterday when there were two other bench options. The notion that David Ross found carrying three catchers “useless” is not supported by his managerial decisions. You may not agree with his usage, but last night did not support your case.
– Your argument that Casali and Maile are such bad hitters that they are useless late in a game but could be replaced by a lesser hitter is circular. As MBS asked, who do you prefer over the third catcher? I, for one, do not want a prospect sitting on the bench. It’s pretty clear you don’t like the third catcher, but what is your solution?
I’ll add, when the Reds made this decision back in November, the timing of Votto’s return was quite uncertain. Both Casali and Maile are on small enough contracts that they can be cut if a better alternative emerges–the Reds have the flexibility to pivot. As stated above, the Reds netted +4 bWAR in adding Casali and Maile over the cast of catchers that played behind Stephenson last year.
“The notion that David Ross found carrying three catchers “useless” is not supported by his managerial decisions.”
I think a better way of stating this is that David Ross is trying to do the best he can with what he’s got. Sometimes this will mean choosing a catcher to pinch hit because that’s the best hitter he’s got, or because he’s saving another guy for a different pitcher. But I’m willing to bet any amount of money that the Cubs have better hitters somewhere in their organization than their third catcher, which they’re choosing not to include on the major league roster for some stupid reason, and if one of those better hitters were on the bench, Ross would have used that guy instead of his third catcher to pinch hit.
“Your argument that Casali and Maile are such bad hitters that they are useless late in a game but could be replaced by a lesser hitter is circular.”
Nope, I didn’t say they could be replaced by a lesser hitter. I said they could be replaced by someone who’s more valuable overall. Someone who’s faster and/or a better hitter and/or able to play several positions. Lopez can play several positions (even if he’s “below average,” I’d still rather see him at second or third than Maile), he’s faster than Maile (so if you need to pinch run for a catcher, he’s a better option than Maile), he’s more likely to reach base against right-handed pitchers than Maile, etc. Overall, he’s a more valuable player and gives the Reds a slightly better chance of winning each game. And this is just one example of a guy I could name. There are plenty of other guys in the system who would be more valuable than a guy who’s guaranteed to serve absolutely no purpose in the vast majority of games, and whose contribution in the games he does play will be negligible because you’ll have a guy sitting on the bench who’s basically the same player.
No one can honestly say after Overton in the first inning they thought the Reds would win. they did.
Intriguing team and now Fun team
Let’s go. Win another series tomorrow.
Tied for Best record in NL…why not us???
I didn’t think there was any way Overton wouldn’t give up a lot more runs. 🙂
Think Overton actually gave them what they wanted out of 4th and/or 5th starter.Keep them in the game for 5 or 6 innings and turn it over to the pen. It is important to remember that even though he has been in the big leagues previously it is the first time he has made the team and not just been an injury replacement. Had to have the nerves of a rookie tonight.
MK making some good points about Overton’s appearance today. Considering he had a lousy spring training, and the Cubs have a fairly decent 6 or 7 hitters, and that he got hit badly in the first inning, this was a very good start. Still, high pitch count and only 4 innings, but if he can get to 5 innings and 3-4 runs allowed, that’s a fairly good 5th starter. A very good spot starter or long reliever.
He had a very small and misleading sample size last year, so that is easily discounted, and the spring was very concerning. If his next two starts show even slight improvement or adjustments, he’s very much in competition with Weaver, Anderson, whoever is next on the list as a 4-5-6th starter.
This was OK and better than expected.
Some credit for this positive early psychological view of the Reds should go, in my view, to the Viking helmet and cape.
The pen really stepped up tonight, they bent, but didn’t break.
Vosler has been fun to watch, and doesn’t appear to like going only 1 bag at a time. 2 HR, 1 triple, 1 double.
Steer has the quietest .333 BA on the roster, just getting it done.
Newman gives you a sense of security if Barrero is held out, solid start as a Red.
You know, I’m still not 100% sold on Vosler. But in a little over 111 PAs last season, he DID put up a 127 OPS+.
If that wasn’t just the result of a small sample size and was actually indicative of what he can do, then the Reds might have something here.
Again, I’m not 100% sold, but at least past performances does give a hint this may not be a mirage.
It’s just too bad this is already his Age 29 season. I’d be much more excited about him if he were a few years younger.
If he’s a late developer, he still has six years of team control left.
Nah, if he maintains a decent performance, odds are he’s gone at trade deadline. Same with Myers. Particularly Myers given what he costs.
Why? If he’s already making league minimum and will continue to do so for the next 6 years, the Reds have no incentive to trade him. The only way trading him would make sense is if they are looking to upgrade the team by packaging him in a trade for a young starting pitcher.
Again, we’ll have to see if Vosler works out. It’s not a foregone conclusion just yet. But if he does, he gives the Reds yet another good problem to have.
@Tom>> Agree. Adam Duvall comes to mind as a late developer who put together a solid career after he was considered over the hill as a prospect.
I could see them trading him at deadline because:
1) contender makes them too good of an offer
2) they believe in their scouting reports that he’s over-achieving currently and sell high
3) make room for CES/EDLC/McClain
@LDS, India is the one who is playing his way to a trade. If he hits at or above his rookie numbers by the trade deadline, teams will be asking for him, same with Diaz. I want to keep both btw, but there will be a lot of interest in them.
I would have cut and released him out of ST so it’s good I wasn’t making the decisions.
Would it be hyperbole to believe the Reds lose yesterday and today with last years bullpen?
It definitely would not be hyperbole to say that the Reds would have lost yesterday and today were it not for the bullpen AND Vossler…and that’s not a knock on Votto. Vossler is just that hot.
Vosler has been a pleasant surprise so far. The bullpen has held up overall. Nice getting off to a solid start.
I’ve said it multiple times on here, and I’ll keep saying it: This bullpen is going to be much better than people are expecting.
Between Diaz, Sanmartin, and Young, the Reds have a trio of very, very good relievers. Law, Gibaut, Farmer, and Cruz should all be, at worse, average relievers, with some of them above average.
Kuhnel is the only weak link right now, and he should be the first to go once Santillan or Sims are back. I don’t know who else I would get rid of, and actually hope either Sims or Santillan might be willing to try being a starter again.
I’d like to see the Reds make a trade to acquire a young, MLB-ready starter at the deadline to add to the Big 3. They certainly have enough pieces to get a trade like that done.
Trading for major league ready = the kiss of death.
“I’ve said it multiple times on here, and I’ll keep saying it: This bullpen is going to be much better than people are expecting.”
Well they’re better than most of us thought so far.
I think we’ll see Strickland back before either Sims or Santillan.
Harry: consider this scenario: Strickland comes back fully restored and becomes an excellent middle-inning guy. Not a prediction by any means, but you might consider saying that you’d eat turkey instead of crow.
@Greenfield, Steer, and CES were major league ready. I was super nervous and skeptical of them, but it seems to have been unwarranted. Krall seems to be a “winning trades” more than losing.
Sure, Green Mountain.
As long as you’re tossing out rhethorical questions how can anyone respond?
You can project any possible scenario your mind conjures.
Strickland comes back and becomes a two-way player and solves the Reds CF issues.
I’ll be eating chateaubriand.
He come back becomes the 5th starter and goes on to win the Cy Young award.
Let’s imagine he comes back and posts a 5.00 ERA out of the bullpen?
You’ll likely be praising him for the Reds’ HOF.
Because that’s just the way you roll.
@MBS> RE: “major league ready…..”
Add Fraley to your list. MLBR is essentially where he was at when the Reds acquired him.
You misjudge me, Harry. My post wasn’t about Strickland–whom I’ve never praised–but about substituting turkey for crow, a good move on several counts. Bon apettit.
So far, everything is going about how I expected it to go. We don’t have enough Starting Pitching to realistically contend, but these guys are young and eager to be good and the team should be enjoyable to watch.
It’s unfortunate they chose not to bring in another Starter or 2, but I genuinely like where the roster is more than the 20-21 teams that were stagnating.
It’s icing on the cake anytime the Reds win this year when one of the Big 3 aren’t starting.
I’ve said it before, but I REALLY wish we had one more reliable starter, because I like our starting position players.
It seems like the Reds are going to need to dip into their deep prospect pool to make a trade for a starter, like when they acquired Latos to go with their Big 3 of Cueto, Arroyo, and Bailey.
Still have no idea who’s going to play the Mike Leake role, though.
I have said this on another post but hope Reds don’t make any trades unless someone (Mets) come a callin for Diaz and give us a decent overpay and or we somehow are in the playoff race. This year is already written of by most as a rebuild year. I am hoping we can get by this year with what we have and get some good players to augment the talent we already have with the money saved from Votto/Moustakas expiring contracts.
Clearly Overton is not the same pitcher that he was before the injury. His performance mirrors spring training performances. So where do we turn for help? I assume they are thinking Weaver, but is he really the answer?
My MVP of the game is Jose Barrero.
Didn’t want to come out of the game.
I’m still pulling for him to be the SS of today and the future.
I still see the inability to lay off the low and away breaking ball with a long looping swing from him
So much talk all spring about him making adjustments that apparently have gone out the window once real games against real pitchers started
The Reds won on a day when Connor Overton started and Alexis Diaz was unavailable out of the bullpen. I will take this victory no matter how it looked.
3 and 1?!? Nice!!!
Here is a concerning pattern: Senzel goes to OF – gets hurt. Barrero goes to OF – gets hurt. Ok. Maybe Senzel gets hurt all the time, but still…
Votto got hurt playing first, India got hurt playing second, Moose got hurt playing third, Stephenson got hurt playing catcher, Senzel, Schrock, and Naquin got hurt playing outfield, and a bunch of pitchers got hurt. So, the obvious solution is to play everyone at shortstop to avoid injuries.
Seems logical, J, except that Farmer was playing hurt most of last season. Safest bet is to keep the best players on the bench. And, Michael: the indication is that Barrero got hurt while batting. Maybe institute designated fielders?
I love it. 🙂
Twice thru the rotation is 10 starts–6 by the big three and 4 by Overton and Cessa. If the Reds can win 4 of the 6 games the big three starts and just 1 by the other guys you’re a .500 team.
When you think of it like that it seems plausible.
I had a similar formula in my head, but it was the big 3 at 60%, the 4 at 40%, and the 5 at 30%.
1 @ 60% 19.44 W Greene
2 @ 60% 19.44 W Lodolo
3 @ 60% 19.44 W Ashcraft
4 @ 40% 12.96 W Cessa
5 @ 30% 09.72 W Whomever
Total 81 W
I see we got Strickland back. Also seen this on MLBTR NEWS LETTER: Jake Fraley who has produced a Top-20 max-EV despite a poor 83.5-mph average EV. This is a career-long trend for Fraley. For his career, he has a max of 112.2-mph and an average of only 84.9-mph. If he continues posting fantasy-relevant stats for the next couple weeks, he might turn into a sell-high candidate.
Looks as if the Reds might have dodged a financial bullet in not signing a hurting Cueto, who is scheduled for an MRI after pitching one ineffective inning.