The Philadelphia Phillies scored nine runs in the 1st inning off of Luis Cessa and never looked back, earning a series split with the Cincinnati Reds thanks to their 14-3 rout on Sunday afternoon.

Final R H E
Philadelphia Phillies (6-10) 14 23 1
Cincinnati Reds (6-9) 3 8 1
W: Nola (1-2) L: Cessa (0-2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Philadelphia Phillies scored nine runs in the top of the 1st inning. Trea Turner had two hits in the inning and J.T. Realmuto was the only batter to not reach base or score a run. Realmuto would get on base in the 2nd inning with a double to the wall but Cessa, who barely made it through the 1st, stranded him on the bases this time around.

The Phillies got back to work in the 3rd inning with a 2-out rally. Trea Turner picked up his third hit in as many innings, moved to second when Kyle Schwarber walked, and then Turner scored on a single by Nick Castellanos that made it 10-0. After Brandon Marsh singled on a ball that deflected off of Luis Cessa to load the bases the Reds got lucky – if such a thing can happen in a 10-0 game in the 3rd inning – when J.T. Realmuto’s line drive was caught by Spencer Steer at third to end the inning and strand the bases loaded.

Cincinnati wasn’t going to be shutout on the day. Jonathan India doubled in the bottom of the third and he scored on a Jake Fraley triple batted ball into the right field corner (this was changed to an error in the middle of the 7th inning). Jason Vosler would walk to put runners on the corners, but a ground out ended the inning.

Philadelphia would get that run back in the top of the 4th inning when Alec Bohm doubled to lead off the inning and scored when Jake Cave followed to a single. Josh Harrison was then hit by a pitch and that would end the day for Luis Cessa. Fernando Cruz took over for him with two men on and no outs with the Reds trailing 11-1 and he stranded both runners.

The Reds weren’t going to just roll over. Spencer Steer walked to lead off the inning – giving him more walks on the season than he’s got strikeouts. Nick Senzel followed up with a double to put two men in scoring position. Steer then scored on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Newman to make it 11-2. Luke Maile singled to move Senzel over to third and another sacrifice fly made it 11-3. Philadelphia got one of those runs back in the top of thee 5th when Alex Bohm singled and the ball bounced off of the glove of Stuart Fairchild enough that Brandon Marsh was able to come around to score from second base.

In the top of the 7th the Phillies added another run when J.T. Realmuto came out on top of an 11-pitch at-bat against Reiver Sanmartin with a solo home run that made it 13-3.

In the top of the 9th inning the Reds got some bad news when Spencer Steer made a diving play at third base and came up firing to second base to try and get a force out. He didn’t. But he did leave the game after the play. Following the game it was revealed he had dealt with a quad/knee issue, but he was already feeling better (reported first by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic). With Jason Vosler pitching – yes, you read that correctly – the Phillies added a run to make it a 14-3 ballgame. That was the final run that scored in the game as Philadelphia salvaged a split of the 4-game series.

Key Moment of the Game

Every last bit of the top of the 1st inning. The game was over almost as soon as it begun.

Notes Worth Noting

The last time the Reds allowed nine runs or more in the 1st inning came in July of 2009. Johnny Cueto didn’t make it out of the 1st inning that day. It also came against the Philadelphia Phillies. The last time it happened at home was in May of 2005 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Tampa Bay Rays vs Cincinnati Reds

Monday April 17th, 6:40pm ET

TBA vs Hunter Greene (0-0, 5.14 ERA)

87 Responses

  1. Old-school

    So Nick Senzel is the Reds starting 3b tomorrow?

    • David

      That’s not a bad guess, if Spencer was hurt on that play.

      Maybe just a “stinger”, like football players get when they are hit in a certain way, and it passes in a few minutes.

    • Melvin

      One could argue that McLain is ready in AAA. Not sure if he would play 3B.


      • LGR

        Daily Andy Fisher update from me. Another 2 IP,
        0 hits, 0 walks, 1 K. Call up to Louisville when?

      • LGR

        Definitely didn’t mean that as a reply. Woopsy.

      • Melvin

        No problem. I would guess it would be soon.

  2. Beaufort Red

    So Barrero plays lousy defense and still can’t hit. Comparing him to Larkin or any other HOF shortstop is a joke. He is what he is. Everyone keeps crying he needs more at bats. How about giving McLain some ABs . He outplayed Barrero in spring training. Don’t know what the Reds are waiting for.

    • John

      Barrero has decent range and a powerful arm, I think he needs more reps, gets an off day half the time.

      McLain was talked about a lot on the radio broadcast they all say he is ready but they want to wait and see the barrero situation.

      It’s also hard because now you got to move pieces my person opinion, 1B steer, 2B India 3B McClain SS barrero

      Also wanna point out cessa be Overton shouldn’t start a game the rest of the season.

      • Beaufort Red

        Exactly, more reps ad nausesm. Insanity personified. Is everyone afraid McLain may be the answer.

    • old-school

      Barry Larkin wasn’t a finished product at 24 years old. He got way better with years of experience
      Derek Jeter wasnt a finished product at 22 years old in his first year. He got way better. Hunter Greene still has room to grow in his 2nd year.
      Spencer Steer and Jon India and Graham ashcraft and nick Lodolo arent finished either. I think all of them are going to improve and grow as will Jose Barrero.
      Mclain absolutely will as well.

      Probably not so much for Connor Overton or Luis Cessa or Kevin Newman or Luke Maile.

      • Daytonnati

        Does anyone else remember when Davey Concepcion was considered “good field, no hit”?

      • Oldtimer

        Yes. All of 1970-71-72. From 1973 to 1982 he was the best SS (hitting or fielding) in NL. Then came Ozzie Smith.

    • old-school

      Will Benson outplayed everyone in spring training.
      He was 0-5 with 4 K’s yesterday in AAA after failing in MLB.
      your point about spring training is exactly what?

    • CI3J

      So Barrero plays lousy defense and still can’t hit.

      Ummm… Have you not been watching any games since Opening Day? Or did you mean to say Newman, not Barrero?

    • Old Big Ed

      Barrero went 0-7 to start the season, and then has an OPS of .753. That would place him 9th among MLB shortstops last year, between Willy Adames and Bobby Witt, Jr. When he bats 9th — i.e., with India in front of him instead of Casale or Maile — Barrero has slashed .286/.375/.417. He has also hit the 7th longest home run in MLB this year, at 455 feet.

      Barrero is 25. In his age 23 season at AA and AAA, he slashed .303/.380/.539 and was the Reds Minor League Player of the Year. McLain, whom I like, is 16 months younger than Barrero and has at least somewhat similar MiLB statistics. They both have a lot of promise.

      Barrero has made some miscues at SS. But all young shortstops have that issue as they adapt to the speed of MLB. Dave Concepcion was 26 when he finally became the full-time shortstop in 1974, and he made 30 errors that season. Even Ozzie Smith made 25 errors his rookie season at age 23, and he made 24 at age 25.

      Barrero is the best overall athlete on the active roster. He is faster than anybody other than maybe Friedl; he has the strongest arm; and he is capable of elite defense at every position. Yes, he broke his hand and then got out-of-whack offensively last year, but even Johnny Bench had a .722 OPS between his two MVP years.

      Barrero is going to play. When EDLC is ready, Barrero may move to CF, but he has too much upside to sit. And there would be 29 other teams interested in him if the Reds put him on the trade market.

  3. Grand Salami

    Cessa, Overton and other 4/5 options were going to be a drudge but this is tough. Guaranteed losses (Cessa’s last outing agains the Phillies was respectable). Hopefully Weaver can offer something. The Reds can’t be conceeding 2 of every 5.

    • John

      That’s the frustrating part. The team is talented, average teams have holes, but haveing 2 inexperienced non starters both with 10plus eta is an automatic loss.

      And lodolo Greene and ashcraft will lose a few games a month. Hopefully weaver pitches decent 4.5 era or less would be a big upgrade.

      Who replaces Cessa though? Anderson, Stoudi, Abbott?

      If we invested in ONE solid pitcher this off-season I think we have a shot at being a wild card team if health is on our side….

      Also seems like McClain is trying to tear barrero out of a job lol.

      • Ryan

        I’d guess Anderson gets the call next turn through. Stoudt should show he can deeper and also show some more success. Abbott is probably closer than many may think. 2 or 3 more good starts and I wouldnt hesitate to call him up. He’s now at 22 starts in AA, if he’s dealing, he’s up.

    • GMan88

      Cessa looks out of shape to me. Would he make any other rotation in the bigs?

  4. LGR

    Is someone like.. idk.. Chris Archer a better 5th starter option than Cessa? Assuming Weaver is taking Overtons place.

  5. John

    “ Exactly, more reps ad nausesm. Insanity personified. Is everyone afraid McLain may be the answer.”

    From what I hear he is ready, gots the tools and IQ of a real ball player.

    I think it’s partly deciding is Barrero a MLB player? Some players just can’t hit MLB stuff, I also think it’s ironic he had his flag at bat approach, and I get so many video’s recommendations of trout and judges coach who shows the more upward swing. Whatever works works. Yet he looks better but soon McLain will be so loud you can’t just ignore him right?

  6. Optimist

    Psychology can work in strange ways for MLB players from the Esasky/Hooten/Sax/Knoblach end to zero effect in seemingly awful circumstances. Not knowing the individuals involved, Cessa was a very good reliever, and he may be time to return to that role. The term certainly needs those.

    The good news is no Minor-type contracts this year demanding playing time, so they can go thru 4th/5th starters freely. Anderson and Stoudt are likely next, but if Abbott has 2 more great outings he may get here before June, which would be interesting.

    • Optimist

      Typos in that – “it” may be time to return him to relief and, the “team” needs relievers.

  7. Beaufort Red

    Saw him in spring training and he is a natural baseball player. Kind of an Alex Bergman type. Solid and reliable. And he outplayed Barrero by a mile.

  8. LDS

    For those saying Barrera can’t hit, you are aware he came into today’s game hitting .304 against RHers with an .863 OPS. Hitting much worse against lefties. With more time, he should hit even better. Further, he’s been acknowledged as the best defensive SS in the organization, excepting possibly Arroyo. Far bigger issues at 1B than SS.

    • Beaufort Red

      As stated in an earlier post, of 19 shortstops with at least 40 innnings in the NL, Barrero is LAST defensively. But I know Larkin, Jeter, Ripken etc we’re all bad defensively their first years. I guess that makes Barrero a shoo in for the HOF.

      • DW

        Can you please share where you are getting these numbers?

      • LDS

        @DW, my numbers are from baseball @BeafortReds are from FanGraphs.

      • Doug Gray

        Defensive stats, particularly for infielders, aren’t worth the digital paper they are printed on.

        Defensive stats after two weeks are worth even less than that. Even the people who believe in defensive stats being of value generally believe you need 2-3 YEARS worth of them to think they’re in the ballpark of being correct.

      • DW

        LDS, I was referring to Beaufort’s numbers that he was stating. Thank you.

        Thank you Doug for your comments on this.

        Barrero had seemed like a strong defender to me, but I wasn’t sure. I hadn’t seen any numbers. I don’t know much about the defensive metrics like defensive runs saved or outs above replacement.

    • Jim t

      Im still holding out hope he can put it together but his pitch recognition is not very good. He chases a lot of pitches outside the strike zone

      • Melvin

        Looking at the stats on the Reds site looks like Barrero has 10 Ks in 41 PA. That’s an improvement. (24%)

      • VegasRed

        Yeah and our entire team doesn’t? Chillax on Barerro and these other young guys. Time will tell. Barrerò is making progress, Steer, TJ, Fraley, Senzel, Fairchild all getting mlb reps.

        Good talent in the wings in the minors. If you guys hate Barerro or Senzel or anyone else so much, you should still want them to be successful because they might get traded for another part the team needs.

        This team isn’t going to win anytime soon anyway you slice it—no need to be impatient with the young guys.

    • MBS

      Myers to 1B makes all the sense in the world. That would leave open the 3rd OF spot for Fairchild to try and hold.

      It’s tempting to cut bait on Vosler, but I’d hang on to him for a bit longer. No one can expect him to play like he did to start the year, but an infield utility with a left handed bat doesn’t grow on trees.

      If it comes to a point where it Vosler can’t turn it around, you’d have Siani who is an excellent defender, or Hopkins who has a more potent bat to call up.

      • JB

        Unfortunately Siani hasn’t done anything with the bat so far. Hitting worse than Votto.

      • MBS

        You’re right Siani’s not hitting, but his role doesn’t have to be primarily as a bat. He’d be a great defensive replacement / pinch runner. Fairchild would be the 3rd OF, and Senzel would Fraley’s platoon partner. Senzel would also be a backup utility along with Newman.

        If a bat is the primary goal, Hopkins would be the better fit. I’m still holding out hope for Vosler. In a bit more time McLain, CES, and EDLC will plug up some of the holes in the lineup, but we actually have a pretty good offense. I’m most worried about our 4 / 5. Hopefully Weaver, and Anderson can fill the role until Abbott or others can rise up.

  9. Dennis Westrick

    As the self-appointed Commander-In-Chief of the Redleg Nation army, I call for an immediate CESSAtion of any activities that involve occupation of the pitching mound by Luis Cessa in any MLB game! What we witnessed this afternoon was embarrassing!

    Plus, I understand the need to rest players over the long grind of a 162 game season. But, having as many as 3 of your best/hottest hitters out of the lineup indicates to me, and hopefully others, that Bell is not serious about winning. I thought the goal was to win and in order to do that you need to have a competitive lineup each and every game! Just frustrated as I think this team is better than their 6-9 record.

    Back in last place in the NL Central division but only 4.5 games from the top!

    • Jim t

      You could of had the 27 Yankees in our line up today but when you give up 9 runs in top of first inning you don’t have much of a chance to win.

    • Melvin

      Haha Yeah. It kind of feels like we conceded the loss before the game started. Maybe Bell had been talking to Little Phil. 🙂 David Bell just does not know/understand how to win consistently. I’ll never understand why a player needs so much rest such as Stephenson when he’s already spent several games at the DH. It’s only been 15 games into the season. We’ll be really rested and refreshed when we’re 25-30 games back in August. You win as many as you can while you can since you never know when something will happen such as Steer getting injured today, which by the way wasn’t because he wasn’t rested for crying out loud. Of course give players rest but one at a time when they’re struggling, not when they’re hitting well.

      • greenmtred

        A couple of things, Melvin: These guys do a fair amount of training, so it isn’t just in-game activity that is the issue. Also, waiting until somebody is really knackered before resting him makes injury more likely and probably requires multiple days of rest for full recovery.

      • Melvin

        greenmtred – Balance buddy. Balance and common sense is all I’m after. 🙂 Winning is always the goal. Building momentum. You can’t build momentum taking a step forward and then a step back. When you have a team like the Reds sometimes it’s necessary to push a little harder than a team packed with stars. That is if being competitive is the goal.

    • 2020ball

      “Plus, I understand the need to rest players over the long grind of a 162 game season”

      Do you? One day of rest sure does get a lot of “understanding” around here.

      • Dennis Westrick

        Obviously, players don’t need rest after only 15 games! My point was players MAY need a day off deeper into the season due to minor injuries such as muscle pulls, bruises from foul balls, etc. Bell programs player days off at the most inopportune times such as the 3rd game of a series after splitting the first 2 games! Today’s lineup had little chance to win against most teams!

      • LDS

        @Dennis, and after 3 hit games unless you a veteran presence. Then 4 SOs won’t get you a day off. You have to play to “work through it”. Bell is a legendary baseball genius, don’t you know!

      • greenmtred

        It would take a deep dive into statistics to find this out, but I wonder if there’s any evidence besides anecdotal evidence that a hitter is more likely to hit well the day following a good game. I have my doubts, but could be persuaded by actual data.

    • greenmtred

      At this very early point in the season, the Reds have looked better and been more interesting than they were last year, but I don’t agree that they’re better than their record because their bullpen still isn’t reliable and Cessa and Overton are mis-cast as starters. MLB starters average fewer than six innings per start. A team cannot win without a good pen.

  10. jessecuster44

    Having Overton and Cessa in the starting rotation at the beginning of the season was criminal negligence by Krall and Bell.

    And, they just might have ruined Cessa as a reliever. Bravo.

    • Redsvol

      I think its criminal to keep them both there but Krall didn’t have much choice coming out of spring training. Ownership game him no $ to add anyone of significance – he had $2M to spend and used it on Weaver. Hopefully Weaver can keep us in games better than Overton and Cessa.

      You can have 1 5th starter but you can’t have 2 and that’s what we’ve had these first 2 weeks. Personally, I think cessa will become a serviceable 5th starter before Overton will. The youngsters in AAA (Williamson, Stoudt) aren’t seizing the day so really its going to be on Weaver to stabilize the rotation – no pressure, right? Maybe Justin Dunn?

      Bell will probably have to shuttle 1-2 relievers a week between Louisville end Cincinnati to keep the bullpen afloat until someone steps up and becomes a reliable 4th or 5th starter. Very demoralizing for the offensive players and bullpen, I’m sure.

      Jeff Hoffman couldn’t have done worse than Overton and Cessa thus far, could he? I think I’d be furiously signing some minor league free agent pitchers if I were Krall.

      • David

        I think the “plan” was likely Weaver and Anderson as 4 and 5. Cessa did start in the last 3rd of the 2022 season and was an option for 2023, but there were other intentions. And the door was open for Williamson and Stoudt to make the team, too.
        Anderson was not terrible in 2022, just an older guy with limited future potential.

        Weaver and Anderson both were hurt with small things about mid-way through Spring Training, so neither was ready for 2023 Opening Day. Williamson got bombed at the end of Spring Training and pitched himself back into AAA. Stoudt struggled with his control too.
        Weaver, at least, seems to be ready to come back to Cincy. Anderson is not far behind now. I don’t care if they waive Overton; judging from his overall career, this is him. The fluke was Connor Overton pitching very well early in the season in 2022. Ben Lively’s numbers are about the same as Anderson’s and Weaver’s, if one of them flounders, he is the next option.
        Can Cessa return to the bullpen and pitch from there? And who goes out if they put him back in the pen?
        If Andrew Abbott continues to “wow” them in AA, he could be in AAA soon. And see if he is effective there, and he gets on the 40 man and comes to Cincy. Maybe.

        All is not lost, it is just the first two weeks of 2023. But this is largely a result of Red’s Top Management’s penurious ways.

      • TR

        I like the use of the word ‘penurious’ to describe the Red’s current management and their inability to spend the needed money to address the 4th. and 5th. starting pitchers. It’s a case of how much does management really want to give the fanbase a competitive team. An older pitcher, Johnny Cueto with history as a Red, was available to help bring a young team together but money was not spent.

    • greenmtred

      Jesse: Bell can’t use starting pitchers he doesn’t have and Krall doesn’t have enough money to work with to get better starters.

  11. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I will just never understand Bell. Pulls Ashcraft with a huge lead. Leaves Cessa in there to get his butt chewed up and spit out. I heard an announcer say something like that was the most earned runs given up by a Reds pitcher in something like 80 years.

    Someone tried to say “Cessa should never been in that position. The front office is at fault”. While I understand what he was talking about, perfectly, all pitchers have had a start where simply nothing was working at some point in time. So, I don’t fault Cessa with that at all. And, I can’t put much blame on the front office. Cessa is a 5th man in the rotation as well. He’s not going to be that good of a starter. But, where was the manager?

    • JB

      Trying to save his bullpen. They have 20 games in 20 days. Bullpen is getting wasted early. I’m sure Bell would have wanted to pull him in the first. Cessa took one for the team and was probably all right with it.

      • Grand Salami

        Last night the Phil’s saved there pen by pitching Harrison. Reds used to run Blandino out there in dark moments. Probably need it.

      • Melvin

        Vosler pitched some today I think. (one inning)

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        If he was interested in saving his bullpen, he should have sent Ashcraft back out for the 7th in his start the previous day. Possibly keep it at needing one reliever for that day.

        And, that’s my point. Bell has no point. That was simply disgraceful.

      • greenmtred

        Of course he has a point, Steve, and it’s probably that he doesn’t want to risk any of the big three–particularly because the team, though improved in some ways, is not yet built to win. Preseason, there were many comments here endorsing the idea that player development should be the primary goal this year rather than winning as many games as possible, given that that the team would not yet be a contender. Having Ashcraft, who throws hard, go deeper in a game that was already a blow-out, seems an unnecessary risk to a young player who should figure prominently in the rotation for years to come.

    • Doug Gray

      Don’t avoid the swear filter. Just use a different word. Butt is right there for ya.

    • Kevin H

      Not 80 years. Go back to Jonny Cueto in 08 and Jimmy Anderson in 03.

      Also the bullpen has been over used ready. Remember Overton was pulled early and Lodolo went 5 innings in his start.

      So the manager was trying to save his bullpen the best he could. Not having a day off in something like 20 games in a row isn’t helping either. This in my opinion does fall on krall and upper management. One can’t expect to win with only 3 solid starters who themselves are still learning.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Then he should have had Ashcraft come back out for the 7th the previous day. Attempt to keep it at needing at most 1 reliever for the day.

        So, saving the bullpen? Sorry, I don’t buy it. Not based on what he did the previous day.

      • Kevin H


        That is okay that you don’t buy it, however doesn’t diminish the fact that bullpen has been over used. One can’t expect to see bullpen pitchers to pitch 30 pitches every other day and not be injured.

    • Jim t

      The manager was trying to save his bull pen. Exactly what he should have done.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Then, he should have left Ashcraft in to start the 7th the previous day, an attempt to just use one reliever that day.

        Sorry, I don’t buy it.

    • Jimbo44CN

      When you are 9 down in the first inning, chances are you ain’t coming back. Leave him in there as long as you can. As someone else said, this game was over as soon as it started. All this talk about days off and moving position players around or up and down means almost nothing at this point. WE NEED ANOTHER STARTER. Period

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Well, if that’s the case, why not send him out there the 4th, 5th, and 6th inning, also? Shoot, why not send him out there 2, 3, 4 days in a row. Have him take one for the team!

        Sorry, your post doesn’t hold up.

      • Jimbo44CN

        @Steve, Neither does yours. I was only responding to another post and I still believe I correct. You are just being silly. Saving the bullpen makes sense. He was out there no longer than necessary.

  12. Frankie Tomatoes

    This game was easy to not watch after about 15 minutes. The next few games should be easier to watch the entire way through.

    • Jim Walker

      I thought there was some drama from the 3rd inning thru the end of the 5th when it was looking like some serious rain could erupt again. 😉

      I figured they would keep playing thru anything short of lightning in the area or a tornado warning until the Reds had made their required 15 outs to make the game official.

      Thank goodness for the pitch clock. Otherwise the Reds would have probably stalled by stepping out of the batter’s box after every pitch, and their pitchers would have shaken off signals and walked around the mound ad nauseum.

      • greenmtred

        A definite case of pray for rain.

  13. Hotto4Votto

    Maybe Cessa should have skipped the WBC.

    • Jim Walker

      Also Gibaut. He has not lived up to the creds he built in the WBC.

      • Old Big Ed

        Gibaut hasn’t been bad. He’s allowed 1 run to score in 2 of his 7 appearances. He has a WHIP of 1.06 and yielded an opponents’ average of .176.

        Gibaut’s Stuff+ numbers on Fangraphs are very good.

      • Jim Walker

        OBE>> 13.6 BB rate is a drop dead red flag with a reliever for me.

  14. Steven Ross

    Turned game on and heard John Sadak say: Reds have a lot of catching up to do. Thought, hmmmm…down 4 or 5 to nothing? Nope. 9 to 0. Turned it off then went out and enjoyed my Sunday. Good times.

    • TR

      A turn around drubbing by the Phils after they got drubbed the day before. At least the Reds got a split series. Hope Greene is on tonight against the highflying Rays.

  15. Old Big Ed

    There is some unnecessary piling-on here as to Cessa. He had an excellent season in relief for the Yankees and Reds in 2021. (A guy doesn’t stick around the Yankee staff for 5 1/2 years if he’s bad.) The Reds tried him as a starter because he has 3 pitches and because he had been a starter in MiLB and had 20 career starts for the Yankees.

    Cessa got lambasted yesterday. It happens. I saw Nolan Ryan get chased in the first inning at Fenway Park in May 1979. Ryan faced 9 hitters and got 2 of them out. Even the Yankees, using their 5th starter, gave up 9 runs in the 1st on Thursday night. Cessa did give up 3 infield hits in the 1st inning (along with some bullets). I’ll give Cessa credit for eating a couple of innings afterwards in a hopeless and thankless position.

    Cessa got hosed by the WBC. Mexico didn’t really use him, and as a result he got behind in his preparation for the regular season. The Reds had about 7 options to be the 4th and 5th starters: Dunn, Williamson, Stoudt, Overton, Cessa, Weaver, and Anderson. Due to injuries and underperformance, none of these guys were ready to be starters as the season opened, so Cessa took the ball. It didn’t work. It isn’t Cessa’s fault that management couldn’t sign a viable free agent or didn’t try the opener/bullpen route.

    The Reds are almost certainly not going to start Cessa again, and he ought to be a solid reliever for the rest of the season.

    Weaver and Anderson have done pretty well at Louisville and should be major improvements over Overton and Cessa. Abbott is close, but may need some time at Louisville first. (And Joe Boyle had by far his best pro game this weekend.)

    Overton and Cessa managed to go 2-4 in 6 starts, so it could have been worse. The Reds have been 0-3 in Greene’s 3 starts, and getting him on the right track is a bigger concern to me than the 4th and 5th starters.

    There is a misconception out there that great 5th starters are there for the taking. Johnny Cueto is on the IL. Noah Syndergaard has a 5.63 ERA. The Yankees’ 5th starter got lifted in the first inning last week. Fifth starters almost by definition are not among the top 100 starters in baseball.

    • BK

      Good points. I wonder how much WBC is affecting Cessa. Given that the Reds had him start an intrasquad game on the Wednesday prior to Opening Day, and then used him as the fifth vs. fourth starter it looks like nobody was comfortable with his ST prep. Perhaps he’s going through a “dead arm” period that a lot of pitchers experienced in mid March during ST. Whatever the reason, he’s destroying his trade value and his future market as a free agent.

  16. DataDumpster

    Et tu, Cessa? I never could understand Bell’s infatuation for pitchers like Hembree, Doolittle, Strickland, etc. but really thought they had some solid arms in Sanmartin, Antone, Santillan, Overton and Sims (maybe). Now, it seems like Cessa is joining the club of those indisposed to take the field or currently too blown to bits to run out there. It’s early (as always) but it just seems that all the most promising pitchers are in big failure mode while the rest of the questionable arms (except one) just happily continue to show their mediocre stuff when the computer calls their name and happily exit when the PC hits the warning chirp. The good possibilities in the relief staff fooled me but apparently also management and the FO. Apparently, a 10-15 mil insurance policy was not needed in their view and/or their eternally misplaced confidence in David Bell and staff continues to be unchecked. What was the point of letting Cessa get hammered for 9 runs? Were there no relief pitchers available to succeed him, did this accomplish some unexplained other purpose, or what? Hopefully Cessa can be salvaged back to his productive relief role from last year.

    • VaRedsFan

      He saved the bullpen 3 innings of pitching. The mop up guys had already pitched the day before in the blowout win, so they had to be limited too.

    • DataDumpster

      They only needed 1 inning from Farmer and two from the guy that just got called up. I suggest that’s a poor excuse for giving up on a game before you even bat. The collateral damage to Cessa and the fanbase nonwithstanding.

  17. old-school

    RLN will like this lineup against a lefty with 1 glaring exception.

    1.) Fairchild in the 2 hole playing LF
    2.) Both Fraley and Friedl playing against a lefty pitcher
    3.) Barrero stays at SS

    Newman hitting 5th and Dh-ing.

    Senzel starting at 3b and hitting 7th.

    • Old Big Ed

      They are using a lefty opener, so you may be right, but they may place Fraley lower in the order than normal.

      The 3-catcher thing needs to go, because it results in things like Newman as DH.

    • Kevin H

      I would bat friedl 2nd like Nirmal. India, Friedl, Fraley, Stephenson,Myer works in my opinion

    • Melvin

      Fairchild has a little bit better arm than the other two with good range so I’d rather him be in CF or RF. Not a whole lot of difference though according to the stats I found.