After an unplanned off day Thursday, the Cincinnati Reds (6-6) head west for a six-game interleague road trip starting in Chicago with a weekend series against the White Sox (2-10). It’s early in the season and so far, the White Sox have held to expectations. The South Siders have already been swept twice, and it wasn’t to the Braves–it was at the hands of the Tigers and the Royals. Their two wins came exactly a week apart, one to the Braves in Chicago and one to the Guardians in Cleveland this past Tuesday.

First pitch from Guaranteed Rate Field is at 7:40 pm EDT.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB K
Andrew Abbott 109.1 3.87 1.32 44 120
Chris Flexen 60.1 6.27 1.54 19 45
Links: Andrew Abbott’s Stats | Chris Flexen’s Stats

*Stats are from 2023.

Andrew Abbott

Left-hander Andrew Abbott will be making his third start of the season tonight. Through his first two starts, he’s pitched 10.1 innings and has allowed four earned runs on 10 hits with eight strikeouts. He did give up one home run against the Mets at GABP on Sunday, to Francisco Lindor, on the way to taking the loss. It’ll be Abbott’s second road start of the season. He wasn’t terrible in Philadelphia (2 ER and 3 H in 5.1 IP), and hopefully he can pitch similarly in Chicago tonight. In 2023, Abbott was a better pitcher at GABP than he was on the road, with a 3.51 ERA and a .653 OPS at GABP to a 4.29 ERA and an OPS of .832 on the road.

The 24-year-old uses four pitches and mixes his off-speed pitches very well. Last season, he distributed usage evenly between the curve, slider, and change up. This season, through two starts, he’s cut down on his four-seam fastball usage ever so slightly (48.1%) and has gone with the slider more (18.1%). His velocity has stayed about the same, with only his fastball velocity ticking up slightly.

2023 Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB% K% AVG OBP SLG
RHH 374 85 23 1 14 11% 25% .259 .337 .463
LHH 85 15 1 0 2 5% 33% .185 .224 .272

Pitch Usage (2023)

4-Seam Curve Slider Change
Velo 92.6 80.8 82.8 86.5
Usage 50% 17% 17% 16%

Chris Flexen

Drafted by the Mets in 2012, the 29-year-old right-hander debuted in 2017 with the New York Mets. After three seasons with the Mets, he signed with the Mariners in December 2020. The Mariners traded him in July 2023, and since then he’s bounced around with a couple teams, signing with Chicago in the offseason.

Last season with the Rockies, Flexen started 12 games and had a 6.27 ERA and a 5.92 FIP. While that can be standard for a pitcher at Coors Field, he also had a 7.71 ERA over 17 games with Seattle as well. This season, Flexen has made two starts, taking the loss in both games. He allowed four runs in 4.1 innings to Atlanta, and three runs in 6.1 innings to Kansas City.

The real struggle for him has been his walk rate. In both games combined, he’s allowed five walks in 10.1 innings. It’s a small sample size, but a 50 percent walk rate is not good. Flexen’s also not a huge strikeout pitcher, especially to right handed batters. He struck out only 45 batters in 60.1 innings last year. Over the course of his career, right-handed hitters have a career average of .311 and an .883 OPS against him.

Flexen mainly throws a four-seam fastball and a cutter, but in 2024, through two starts, he ‘s thrown a lot less cutters (18%) and a lot more curveballs (14.2%). He’s also increased his change-up usage slightly and has thrown his slider less.

2023 Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB% K% AVG OBP SLG
RHH 256 80 9 1 18 8% 13% .345 .400 .625
LHH 210 53 10 0 7 8% 20% .282 .348 .447

Pitch Usage (2023)

4-Seam 2-Seam Cutter Curve Slider Change
Velo 92.1 90.9 88.1 71.6 80.9 81.1
Usage 41% 2% 29% 2% 10% 16%

 

Details:

  • Time: 7:40 p.m. EDT
  • Place: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL
  • Weather: 57 degrees, partly sunny, 1% chance of rain
  • TV: Bally Sports Ohio
  • Radio: 700 WLW

Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Chicago White Sox

2B Jonathan India RF Robbie Grossman
CF Will Benson 3B Lenyn Sosa
1B Christian Encarnacion-Strand 1B Andrew Vaughn
LF Spencer Steer CF Kevin Pillar
RF Jake Fraley LF Andrew Benintendi
SS Elly De La Cruz SS Paul DeJong
C Tyler Stephenson DH Korey Lee
DH Nick Martini 2B Zach Remillard
3B Santiago Espinal C Martin Maldonado

Jeimer Candelario gets the night off on a night the Reds face Chris Flexen, in whom Candelario has a .750 BA/1.500 OPS with 1 RBI in four at-bats. Even with the small sample size, it’s a interesting decision.

 

News and Notes

Matt McLain Timeline

Take it how you want to take it, but David Bell told the media yesterday that Matt McLain has a timeline to return that would put him back with the team in August.ย 

 

David Bell also noted that Nick Martinez’s spot in the rotation is being skipped this weekend, so we now may have a slightly better idea of what the Reds’ plan is when Nick Lodolo is re-activated tomorrow.

 

What Could Elly De La Cruz Do This Season?

There is a hot take circulating that Elly De La Cruz could do something no player has ever done before. Redleg Nation weighs in on if it is possible.

 

Reds Minor League News and Notes

A couple of young players with Dayton and Daytona have ongoing hit streaks right now.

 

Division Standings

Team W L GB
Milwaukee 8 3 โ€“
Pittsburgh 9 4
Chicago 7 5 1.5
Cincinnati 6 6 2.5
St. Louis 6 7 3.0

 

185 Responses

  1. Klugo

    Let’s just start with beating the teams we should beat. Like this one.

  2. VaRedsFan

    A lot of people jumping on Hunter Greene 3 starts into this season.
    Keep in mind:

    Johnny Cueto: 1st 2 seasons/61 MLB starts
    4.61 ERA
    4.79 FIP
    1.38 WHIP
    ERA+ 93

    Hunter Greene: 1st 2+ seasons/49 MLB starts
    4.64 ERA
    4.29 FIP
    1.30 WHIP
    ERA+ 97

    • LarkinPhillips

      Interesting comparison VA. I rear something awhile back where Cueto said what helped him take a step forward was watching Arroyo pitch. Maybe Montas or someone else will get through to Hunter.

    • Doc

      Comparison to the Braves young pitchers would be more interesting. They were rewarded heavily early in their careers, as has been Greene.

      • Mauired

        Lol. Greene is getting paid the same as the Reds backup catcher. Relax.

  3. Dennis Westrick

    Cheer up Redleg Nation! It’s very early in the season and our Reds are playing .500 ball with 3 key ingredients missing from the starting lineup!

    After each game, I review the box score to look for positives! In the last game against the Brewers, despite the loss, the Reds hitters only struck out 2 times! That’s a vast improvement over the 10.6 strikeouts per game average thru the first 11 games!

    Need to start the series off with a win! Let’s score early & score often!

    • Doc

      I would feel better if they were getting strong pitching night after night but losing close, low scoring games due to inability to hit. Then those three key pieces might make the difference. But that is not the case. BP has blown hot and cold. SP have blown hot and cold. Hitting has blown hot and cold. Defense has blown cold and frigid.

      • Tom Reeves

        Well, good thing they blew them out tonight.

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    The Reds should find the way to defeat CWS , it’s necessary and imperative

  5. LDS

    Good to see Steer in the cleanup slot and Candelario on the bench. Would like to see CES and EDLC swapped but this is a welcome change. When they bring back Candelario, bat him in 7-9 until he lives up to the hype.

  6. Melvin

    “Jeimer Candelario gets the night off on a night the Reds face Chris Flexen, in whom Candelario has a .750 BA/1.500 OPS with 1 RBI in four at-bats. Even with the small sample size, it’s a interesting decision.”

    Funny

      • Tom Diesman

        He was in pain on Wednesday night when Miley hit him in the hand with a pitch. Seems like he was hurting a few games back to when he maybe hyperextended his elbow. So he might be nicked up but probably needed a night off anyway.

      • Mitch

        He’s been stinking up the place with his hitting or perhaps more accurately lack thereof.

  7. Melvin

    Alright! Good hit by our #4 hitter. ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Bet on Red

    i like these taking second on these plays

  9. Huber Heightian

    Would rather have Steer bat 3rd every day. Leadoff with India, then Benson, Steer, Fraley at cleanup, CES, EDLC, Candalario, Martini, and Stephenson against righty starters. Steer is an absolute beast!!

  10. Old-school

    Nice first inning. To all you David Bell apologists defending Spencer Steer batting 7th??? Stand downโ€ฆ. You are just wrong. no one in their right mind can defend the Reds 2023 MVP batting 7th and reigning Nl player of the week and #2 in MLB in OPS batting 7th. Please apologize but you wont. Spencer Steer can hit a baseball.
    batting order does matter.

    • MBS

      Steer is a 3, 4, or 5 type of hitter. RBI man all the way

    • Tom Diesman

      Batting order is negligible in the long run. Iโ€™m still glad Steer is batting higher in the order though. Even though he does only .773 OPS vs RHs and a by far best .961 OPS from the 7th spot.

    • wkuchad

      Ugh.

      Iโ€™m glad heโ€™s moved up, but I can easily defend him batter 7th against righties, and I have numerous times using actual stats.

      Hint, take a look at 2023 stats for all hitters vs RHP.

    • Mark Moore

      Didn’t notice that … is it 3′ long?

  11. Old-school

    Jake Fraley great catch
    Andrew Abbott throwing strikes.

  12. VaRedsFan

    Jake will run through walls to catch baseballs.
    Hope he’s OK.

  13. Mark Moore

    Fraley made a nice play … hoping he doesn’t pay for that until later on when the pain really sets in.

    And love, love, LOVE the stand and tag by Elly (I’m sure Cowgill called it). It was either out of the park, carom off the wall, or the caught fly it ended up being. If it were a carom, he likely scores anyway.

    Good first 2 innings from Abbott.

  14. Mark Moore

    I’m going to see how long I can hold up with the TV feed so I can enjoy in-sync video/audio. Anybody want to guess the over/under innings?

    ๐Ÿ˜›

    • JB

      I lasted until 2nd inning. Watching Sox announcers now.

      • Mark Moore

        It’s already getting tiring. I may have to try their feed.

  15. RedsMonk65

    Candelario on the bench? OMG whatever will we do without him? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Seriously, glad to see Steer in the No. 4 lineup position.

  16. Mark Moore

    That’s 2 would have been out at GABP. But we are putting wood to ball, so that’s a good thing.

  17. LarkinPhillips

    Nice 2 ABs from CES. The ball don’t seem to be carrying too well tonight. I thought tysteve and Benson both got those two fly outs better.

  18. Mark Moore

    CES going all the way takes advantage of the muffed ball.

  19. Old-school

    Jake Fraley continues to hammer right handed pitching

    Abbott and Reds offense playing well

  20. Melvin

    Alright. We got two runs. ๐Ÿ™‚ CES is faster/quicker than he gets credit for.

  21. Mark Moore

    Oh Doug Dirt … what was that article about what EDLC might be able to do???

  22. VaRedsFan

    Elly got a small piece of that one

  23. Mark Moore

    Ashley, you do realize if they win you have to host every game going forward … right?

  24. Melvin

    Someone else needs to be moved up in the order. Not mentioning any names. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Optimist

      After he returns from the AAA tune up work/pitch recognition.

      • Harry Stoner

        The 2-10 White Sox might be providing that.

      • Brian Rutherford

        Of course. It can’t be that he’s good at baseball. The other team just stinks more. Got it.

        Amazing

      • Harry Stoner

        You’ve got to try and read for comprehension, bro.

  25. JB

    I think our shortstop is turning the corner and starting to figure it out

    • RedsMonk65

      Let’s hope. We’re all behind him!

  26. Jason Franklin

    Flexen isn’t flexing anything. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. JB

    When Tysteve goes to right he is heating up.

  28. Melvin

    Alright Stephenson! Ball is carrying NOW. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • LarkinPhillips

      Haha. I almost said the same thing.

      • Melvin

        Don’t be stealin my lines. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. VaRedsFan

    Ty Steve getting in on the act.
    His best stroke is Oppo

  30. Jason Franklin

    Now Martini just needs to hit the third homer in a row.

  31. RedsMonk65

    Tyler piles on!

    Good to see. Reds pitching needs to hold the line…..

  32. Mark Moore

    That isn’t an “almost” for TySteve ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    The obligatory “Flexen” joke from Sadak as he exits.

  33. LarkinPhillips

    Good way to start the series. Hopefully Abbott does better with the lead than Ashcraft did the other day.

  34. Harry Stoner

    Anyone here been to the old Comiskey Park?

    • Mauired

      I went to the new park last year. I’m surprised they want to get rid of it. It’s not Wrigley Field but it’s not the coliseum in Oakland either. Not a bad place to catch a ballgame.

      • Harry Stoner

        Wait.
        Are you talking the original Comiskey or the replacement, now named something else.
        The one I’ve been to was torn down around ’90 or so.

    • LDS

      I have, back in 1984 I think. Rough neighborhood but I liked the park.

      • Melvin

        Are there any “non rough neighborhoods” these days in Chicago? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Harry Stoner

        @LDS That’s probably around the time I went there.

        It was a nice ballpark.

        Riveted steel construction and it would really shake.

      • LDS

        @Melvin, back in the 80s, I had a lot of fun in Chicago, places like the live jazz clubs near Rush Street, whose names I no longer remember. We knew the neighborhoods to avoid, etc. Now not so much, I guess. Amazingly, I was a lot younger in those days. Be glad to go back forty years and do it all again.

      • Melvin

        Eh. You’re still young big guy. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • LDS

        Haha, yep @Melvin, arenโ€™t we all.

  35. Old-school

    Letโ€™s see what Abbott does with a big lead. Can he pound the strike zone and give 7 innings? Love to see that maturity from a 24 year old. Need quality innings.

  36. Indy Red Man

    Elly Over 0.5 run/Reds over 4.5

    Always sweet to cash a nice ticket in the 3rd inning

  37. Dennis Westrick

    Okay, Abbott! Do not walk anybody, please!

  38. Dennis Westrick

    Stop the presses! Espinal got a hit!

    • Melvin

      haha He hit the ball fairly hard last time too right at the RF.

  39. Beaufort Red

    Benson is really going to have pick it up to be an everyday player.

    • Mark Moore

      I think you used the wROng FonT, BR! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      • Beaufort Red

        Explain or just being a douche.

      • Mark Moore

        BR,

        It was the SarCASm FonT I was using. Unless I missed your intent about Benson.

      • Beaufort Red

        If he canโ€™t hit lefties heโ€™ll never be an everyday player. Easy enough.

      • Brian Rutherford

        LOL. They just said he has hit lefties better than righties this year. But , you know, why do facts matter.

        Fire Bell!
        Bench Benson!

  40. Mark Moore

    Annoyance #1 tonight … name pronunciation where certain syllables are over-emphasized. We’ve seen it before and the current iteration is for Es-PEE-nal … despite Welch pronouncing it the way the everybody else does.

    I’ll get over it. At least we’re winning and hitting.

    • Old-school

      Careful Markโ€ฆsite guideline’s

      • Mark Moore

        I don’t believe I’m even close on that one. And, as far as the “other one” goes, I shall refrain going forward.

        ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  41. Mark Moore

    Wondering how humid it is there tonight. Balls seem to be hanging … some of them hanging until they sail out of the park.

  42. Mark Moore

    For Melvin (and others who like when I share this stuff), homemade pizza tonight (from scratch crust and sauce) plus a good beer (Kentucky bourbon barrel). Tomorrow night will be charcoal grilled T-bones and another good beer (Innis & Gunn rum cask). 38 years with my First Wife deserves something, yes?

    • JB

      I had the local favorite – Pudgies Pizza.

      • Mark Moore

        I remember Pudgies. We lived in Horseheads back in the early to mid 70’s. Rohan’s was better IMO. But I do recall when we got a Pudgies there in Hanover Square.

      • JB

        Rohans were good friends. They went out of business when all the kids finally graduated from High School in 83.

      • Mark Moore

        Loved Rohans Italian sausage, pepper, and onion sub.

        I was long gone by ’83.

        Oh, and now the Pudgies jingle is stuck in my head … ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    • Melvin

      All sounds great. I’m not a drinker though so I’ll just take a double helping of the food (doggie bag) and a Sprite 0 if that’s okay. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Mark Moore

        No carbonated beverages other than the beer in this house … sorry. But I do get an unsweetened iced tea every day (Madagascar Vanilla Red Rooibos).

      • Melvin

        Is beer carbonation better than Sprite 0 carbonation? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Melvin

        haha I’ll take your word for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • RedsMonk65

      OMG! Sounds delicious. How late is the drive-thru open? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. Bet on Red

    Welsch: Abbot doesnt get ground ball double plays
    Abbott: immediatly gets a GBDP

  44. Mark Moore

    Bike Helmets!!! Nice way to wrap the inning.

  45. Mark Moore

    Stand-up freaking triple!!! Perfect spot.

    Of course, Elly would be home with the Viking gear on … ๐Ÿ˜›

  46. VaRedsFan

    EsPEEnal is having a nice game tonight.

  47. Mark Moore

    It’s just me, but I’d have pulled the trigger on a challenge there. And I’d probably be wrong.

  48. Mark Moore

    B6 and I’m still on the Bally feed. That might be a record for me.

    I do think Welsh helps mitigate the “usual”. I prefer Cowboy to him, but either is better than Larkin in the #2 chair IMO.

    Nice field and throw by EsPEEnal.

    • VaRedsFan

      Welsh is a pro.
      I like him.
      Good info always.

  49. Old-school

    Espinal really nice play at 3b

    Abbott nice start and competing

    • Melvin

      In terms of knowing how to pitch and implementing it Abbott is probably the best we got.

      • Mark Moore

        And he’s still so young and developing. Definitely a bright spot for us.

  50. Indy Red Man

    Kevin Pillar batting cleanup? Anything less then a sweep is a disappointment. Especially with Pitt and Milwaukee winning almost every night

  51. Mauired

    Not sure if one strike was thrown in that strikout to CES

  52. VaRedsFan

    In a world with sketchy umpiring. This guy one has been pretty good.

    • Mark Moore

      Yep. Noticeable by being unnoticed. Rare thing these days, or so it seems.

    • Mauired

      I meant CES swung at all pitches outside of the zone. This ump has been great.

      • VaRedsFan

        What does that have to do with the ump?

      • Mark Moore

        It was for the comment above. Just out of place, that’s all.

      • Mauired

        Yeah I thought my previous comment might need some clarification lol

  53. Roger Garrett

    Old school said it in that Abbott competes and that’s called pitching.Hope he can give us 130 inning or so and a 4 or under ERA again this year.Whats not to like about this kid?

    • MBS

      Abbott threw 163.1 combined last year. A 180+ goal is what Iโ€™m hoping for.

  54. Dennis Westrick

    Solid 6-inning outing by Abbott! Now we start the Bell BP wheel of fortune! Why do I have this feeling of dread with a 6-run lead and 9 more outs to go?

  55. Mark Moore

    Abbott for the 7th. A lot to like with that. Given the unexpected off day, this should be a VERY rested pen. Rested and ready to deal when needed.

  56. MBS

    Iโ€™m glad theyโ€™re bringing Abbott out for the 7th.

  57. Dennis Westrick

    Amazing we were able to score 7 runs so far with one hitter in the lineup hitting .164 (CES) and another hitting .150 (Espinal).

  58. Old-school

    Andrew Abbott longest start by a Reds SP this year.
    24 years old folks.

    • Mauired

      Yeah it’s nice to have two 24 year old pitchers in Greene and Abbott with such great potential.

  59. Dennis Westrick

    I figured it out Mark! The phone from the Reds dugout to the bullpen is broken!

    • Mark Moore

      Quite possibly. Maybe Abbott sabotaged it and then went on a 7-inning tear.

  60. Dennis Westrick

    Abbott pitching to contact in the 7th inning! Refreshing to see!

  61. LDS

    The curious thing is this is the second straight game that Bell has largely stuck with his starting lineup. Uncommon but maybe a promising development.

  62. Mark Moore

    That’ll do, Pig … that’ll do … ๐Ÿ˜€

  63. LarkinPhillips

    Great job Abbott. Martinez is definitely in BP now.

  64. VaRedsFan

    7 Strong for Abbott.
    Starting pitchers need to start competing with each other. String some W’s

  65. RedsMonk65

    NICE game by Abbott! Just what we needed.

  66. Mark Moore

    One of our favorite mini-commercials … Ohio Valley Gaming … AWESOME!!!

  67. RedsGettingBetter

    The bullpen is well rested, I am shocked Abbott went 7 innings…

    • Mark Moore

      103 pitches. VERY efficient over multiple innings.

  68. Mark Moore

    8 straight out of the zone. Time to convert, CES.

  69. VaRedsFan

    CES deserved that after all of the hard contact outs he’s had.

    • Mauired

      I’ll take the two rbi opposite field hit, but CES still swung at every ball in that at-bat. I think that’s the one thing holding him back from being a super star. He swings at everything.

      • Melvin

        He’s talked about in the past how he doesn’t like to leave close calls up to the umpire (doesn’t trust them). He needs to balance that out.

      • VaRedsFan

        Surely could walk more.
        He will.

  70. Melvin

    At least CES didn’t try to pull it. Broken bat base hit to RF. 2RBI

  71. RedsMonk65

    CES rocks. Still expecting a great year from him.

  72. RedsMonk65

    Let’s enjoy a laugher… PLEASE!!!

      • RedsMonk65

        So let it be written, so let it be done…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  73. RedsGettingBetter

    I had forgotten Pagรกn plays with the Reds…

  74. Melvin

    Espinal doing good things with the bat tonight.

  75. RedsMonk65

    And we have a laugher! Good to feel!

  76. Mark Moore

    4th walk for RoY India … first time in his career

  77. Mauired

    Elly with a fantastic play in the field. Good to see.

    • Mark Moore

      Very smooth on a play that really wasn’t that easy to make.

  78. Mark Moore

    An this one belongs to the Reds!!!

    Wonder who gets the Day post-game. Abbott gets my vote.

    • wkuchad

      Well, itโ€™s happened more than 50% of the games this year

      • RedsMonk65

        Thank you. But after being blown out the last two games by the Brewers and losing two of the last six games, it is still nice.

      • RedsMonk65

        Excuse me — winning two of the last six games….

  79. Dennis Westrick

    Bell uses Farmer so much he’s under investigation by the US Dept. of Agriculture!

  80. LDS

    Iโ€™d like to have seen Pagan pitch two innings and save the bullpen. But, beyond that, Bellโ€™s managerial restraint was nice to see. Keep it up.

  81. Mauired

    Bell had a great game. I think he has a bright future managing against minor league teams.

  82. TR

    I’ve noticed after a blowout win, the Reds often have trouble scoring a run or two in the next game. We’ll see what happens today.

    • Doug Gray

      They are facing a guy who, in limited bit league action, has been dominant as a big leaguer. 91 innings, 2.57 ERA, 106 strikeouts. This season he’s got 1 walk and 21 strikeouts. Maybe today’s the day he doesn’t have it….. but he’s been pretty good when he’s taken the mound.