Preview: Cincinnati Reds Blog
Cincinnati Reds Blog
A day-to-day record of the mind of a Cincinnati Reds fan.
2016 Season Review: Bullpen
The Reds bullpen was a horror show in 2016. The tools to do better are present, but they might need some or most of those arms in the rotation. Here's what happened in the season past, in order of relief appearances.
Blake Wood pitched in 70 games even though he missed some time with injury. The 31-year old was 6-5 with 1 save and a 3.99 ERA. He's miscast as the setup guy they used him as in 2016, and is better cast as a middle reliever. He's cheap so he'll be around.
Tony Cingrani spent much of the year as the closer and finished with a 2-5 record and 14 saves in 65 games while posting a 4.14 ERA. He'll also be around but may end up also in middle relief or as a lefty specialist. He's 27.
Ross Ohlendorf is now 34 and probably won't be back. He was 5-7 with 2 saves in 64 games and a 4.66 ERA. He was one of the contributors to the homers given up record, allowing 14 in 65 2/3 innings.
Jumbo Diaz pitched in 45 games at age 32, just a 1-1 record and 3.14 ERA. He's still a useful arm.
Michael Lorenzen pitched in 35 relief games at age 24, delivering a 2-1 record and 2.88 ERA. Lorenzen was the second-most effective pitcher on the team behind Raisel Iglesias. He may be used as a starter next year.
Iglesias, who we also looked at last time, was 3-2 with 6 saves and a 2.53 ERA in 32 relief appearances and five starts. He may also start in 2017.
Josh Smith made 30 relief appearances and two spot starts. He was 3-3 with a 4.68 ERA and is a perfectly acceptable long/mop-up man. He may get that job again.
J.C. Ramirez was in 27 games and was 1-3 with a 6.40 ERA.
Caleb Cotham was in 23 games and was 0-3 with a 7.40 ERA.
J.J. Hoover pitched in 18 games and was 1-2 with a save and a 13.50 ERA.
Those last three guys are likely to be cut loose. And that's the list of those who pitched in more than 10 games.
2016 Season Review: Starting Pitching
In this installment, and in the spirit of late October, a look at the very scary Reds starting pitching crew of 2016.To open the season, the Reds used this starting rotation in this order; Raisel Iglesias, Brandon Finnegan, Robert Stephenson, Alfredo Simon, Iglesias again, and Tim Melville. That lasted 11 games, then Jon Moscot and Dan Straily got starts. In all seven pitchers would start at least ten games for the Reds, fifteen would start at least one game.Iglesias, 26, was the team's most effective pitcher in 2016 but would make only five starts before going to the sidelines. He returned to make 32 relief appearances and finish with a 3-2 record, six saves, and a 2.53 ERA. The question to team now faces is whether to try Iglesias as a starter again, gambling with his health, or shift him permanently to the bullpen.Finnegan, 23, made 31 starts and posted a 10-11 record and 3.98 ERA. That answered questions of whether the small-framed lefty could last a full season as a starter. The next question is whether he can cut down on the 29 homers he gave up in 172 innings. If he can, he could be a solid mid-rotation guy.Stephenson made two early starts, went back to the minors, then later came back up and made six more. The 23-year old had a 2-3 record and 6.08 ERA due largely to shaky command. He has ace potential if he can throw enough strikes. He walked 19 in 37 innings and gave up nine homers when he felt the need to come in with a fat strike.Simon, 36, was a disaster from start to finish, posting a 9.36 ERA that reflecting an inability to soak up the innings the team needed from him. He will not be back, which improves the pitching immediately.Melville, 27, made two starts (and one relief appearance) and posted an ERA of 11.00. He won't be back either.Moscot, 25, made five starts with an 0-3 record and 8.02 ERA. He has a lot to prove before getting another chance. Most especially he has to prove he is healthy.Straily, 27, was used as a long reliever for the first two weeks and then inserted into the rotation in desperation. He finished the year as the team's top winner at 14-8 with a 3.76 ERA. His peripheral stats do not give one confidence about his ability to repeat that, but in 2016 he was a rotation saver.And there are four guys who started a double-digit number of games we haven't named yet. They didn't start early in the season because of either injury or youth, Now we come to Anthony DeSclafani, John Lamb, Tim Adelman, and Cody Reed.DeSclafani, the most effective starter of 2015, started the year on the disabled list. The 26-year old was effective when he returned, making 20 starts with a 9-5 record and 3.28 ERA. He was the team's best starter once again.Lamb, 26, looked overmatched in his 14 starts. He posted a mere 1-7 record and 6.43 ERA. Lamb has more potential than that but needs a reset to get going again.Adelman, 28, was not overpowering but was often effective. In 13 starts he was 4-4 with a 4.00 ERA. He figures to get a chance to show he can repeat that performance at the back of the rotation.Reed, 23, also looked overmatched in his 10 starts. He was 0-7 with a 7.36 ERA and seemed to get worse each time out as his confidence waned. The kid has too much stuff to shunt aside, but will need to work on his consistency.The other starter of note is Homer Bailey, who struggled in his six starts in a comeback from ligament replacement surgery. He would look good one outing and bad the next, finishing with a 2-3 record and 6.65 ERA. The hope is that with more rest and recuperation he can take his place at the front of the rotation.These guys, and possibly Michael Lorenzen, are also the candidates for the 2017 rotation. Minor leaguers who could push their way into the discussion are Rookie Davis and Sal Romano. The team will look for improvement from the young guys to improve the pitching.[...]
2016 Season Review: Outfield
The Reds opened the season with veteran Jay Bruce in right field, coming off two subpar seasons; speedster Billy Hamilton in center, with a splendid glove but questions about his bat and durability; and minor league veteran Adam Duvall, a power hitter who might not make sufficient contact in left field.
Bruce posted a comeback year by hitting .265 with 25 HR and 80 RBI in 97 games and was dealt at the trade deadline for prospects. That counted as a win for the franchise.
Hamilton had a slow first half but a very encouraging second half until missing most of September with injuries. He finished the season with a .260 average and .321 on-base average plus 58 steals. That makes watchers feel better about his offense, but concerns about durability for the 26-year old continue.
Duvall put up 33 homers, 31 doubles, and 103 RBI in his first full season at age 27, but batted just .241 with 41 walks. He made a lot of outs. He did play good defense in left and showed durability, playing in 150 games. Given his age that could be a career year for him. He should at least have value as a part-time player going forward.
Scott Schebler got playing time early and did poorly, went back to Louisville and did well, then came back up after Bruce was dealt. He started slowly again but ended well. For the season he hit .265 with 9 HR and 40 RBI in 82 games. His defense graded out about average in a corner spot; for some reason the Reds keep trying him in center, which he does not have the speed to cover. Schebler has some skills but is best cast as a backup.
Tyler Holt had trouble covering CF too, but in his case he was supposed to have that in his skill set. Short on defense, just four steals, and a .235 average mean he is unlikely to return, likely to get released. He did get in 106 games but did not demonstrate many reasons to keep him around.
The hot prospect on the way is Jesse Winker, who should be in the outfield by midseason after a solid year at Louisville. The Reds will delay his arrival a bit to put off his arbitration eligibility.
2016 Season Review; Infield
In this installment, a look at the 2016 Reds infield, with a peek forward.
Joey Votto got off to a slow start, but warmed up as the season went on. He stayed healthy, playing 158 games. When the year ended, he had batted .326 with 29 HR and 97 RBI. If only he could have added a three-run homer to total 30 and 100, it would look superficially more impressive. As it was, the Best Hitter in the National League posted a 160 OPS+. Defense, meh. Votto at 33 is still a force at bat.
Brandon Phillips continued to be durable, playing 141 games in his age-35 season. He batted .291 with 11 homers and 64 RBI but rarely walks and shows declining power. He is cheating on fastballs to catch up to the hard stuff. He has settled in as a below-average hitter and his range has declined so that his defense is now below average. 2017 will be the last year on his contract and likely last year as a Red. He might also lose some playing time.
Zack Cozart bounced back from an injury-plagued 2015 and had a terrific April. He cooled off as the year continued and ended up missing most of the last month, finishing with 121 games played. The Reds had hoped to trade him down the stretch and nearly made a deal with Seattle. Cozart batted .252 with 16 HR and 50 RBI and still shows solid defense. He'll have to demonstrate his mobility in spring training, and if he does the Reds will seek to deal him and replace him with someone younger than his 31 years.
Eugenio Suarez took over at third base and played 151 games there, establishing himself as an everyday player. He made a number of errors but his range was good and he graded out as average or better at the hot corner. Suarez started slowly with the bat but came on and finished at .248 with 21 HR and 70 RBI. He also drew 51 walks and stole 11 bases. That's some all-around skill for a guy playing his age-24 season. Improvement at age 25 can be expected.
Ivan DeJesus Jr. returned to the majors in 2015 after a two-year absence and turned in a decent year as a backup. In 2016 the bit of power he had shown disappeared and he was far less valuable, though his defense was still solid. He is not yet eligible for arbitration and thus still cheap but 2017 may be his last year with the team at age 30. The Reds may keep him to have a backup to cover shortstop for one more season.
Jose Peraza started the year without a position in the majors and mostly in the minors. He ended up pushing his way into a supersub spot and finished the year playing shortstop for the injured Cozart. The Reds would like to make him the 2017 starting shortstop after his .324 average for the club in 72 games. He won't turn 23 until the end of April and his 21 steals injected some welcome speed into the lineup. His work in the outfield was rough and he may not have the range for shortstop but the Reds would like to find that out for themselves.
On the horizon as prospects are Dilson Herrera, who hit .274 in triple-A at age 22, a second baseman; Calten Daal, ..310 at age 22 in double-A as a shortstop, but only in 40 games in an injury-filled year; Shed Long, hitting .293 with 15 homers in A-ball as a second baseman, age 20; and Nick Senzel, the first-round from 2016 and third baseman who hit .305 in his first pro season. Help is on the way.
2016 Season Review: Catchers
We'll take a look at the catching situation in this entry.
As spring training started it was hoped Devin Mesoraco could resume his place behind the plate after missing most of the 2015 season. Visions of his All-Star 2014 danced in Reds' fans heads; a middle of the order of Votto, Mesoraco, and Bruce would provide some thump. Alas, Mesoraco followed up his 23 games of 2015 with only 16 games in 2016.
Missing nearly all of two seasons plus multiple surgeries make it very unlikely Mesoraco can come back to any reasonable quality. At this point the best outcome is that Mesoraco becomes a respectable bench player. He's 28 now. His ceiling is "useful" rather than "star."
Fortunately the Reds have some alternatives. Tucker Barnhart emerged as a capable backstop at age 25, batting .257 and showing good defense in 115 games. Barnhart looks similar to former Red Ryan Hanigan, with a bit more power and less on-base skill, but similar strong defense. He is still better suited to being a backup but will do for now.
Ramon Cabrera, age 26, put himself on the list of decent backup catchers with a .246 average in 61 games. His hitting was not up to expectations but he did a good job defensively. He can partner with Barnhart to cover the position, or step aside without much fuss if Mesoraco is able to return to duty.
The prospect on the way is Tyler Stephenson, just 20 years of age. The 2015 first-round pick hit .216 in 39 games at Dayton but at just 19. He'll likely be back in Dayton to start 2017, and hopefully move steadily up the ladder.
2016 Season Review, Part 1
Wow, it's been almost two months. I'll try and get back into the habit of writing, spending part of the postseason on a review of the year in Reds, and then moving on to a look forward to 2017 and possibly beyond.
The Cincinnati Reds achieved a minor goal by avoiding their second-ever 100-loss season, with a 68-94 final record that was actually four wins better than the year before. That was in spite of a pitching staff that, according to the Fangraphs WAR metric, was the worst staff in major league baseball history. The 854 runs allowed was the highest since the 2005 team, in a much stronger offensive era.
At the same time the team got significantly younger, with the youngest team on the field since the 2003 season. It was almost two year younger on average than the previous season. That in itself offers hope for the years to come.
We will break down team performance by groups in the next few posts over the next week or two. Hope someone is reading.
Reed Sent Down; Mercy Rule?
The Reds sent Cody Reed back down to Louisville before tonight's game. In ten starts with Cincinnati, Reed was 0-7 with a 7.36 ERA and was averaging less than five innings an outing, as you would expect with that ERA. The 23-year old has nothing to prove in triple-A, going 6-3 in eleven starts at Louisville earlier in the year with a 3.20 ERA, but probably needs to regain some equilibrium. He will likely be recalled in September to pitch out of the bullpen somewhat.
With some nagging injuries the Reds recalled Kyle Waldrop to take Reed's roster spot. Waldrop hit ..250 (4-for-20) in an earlier callup and was batting .250 in 81 games at Louisville. He'll mostly be a pinch-hitter but may get a start or two. He probably won't be around long because the Reds will need a starter to replace Reed in the rotation during the weekend series.
So Long, Jay Bruce
Jay Bruce, it was good to know you. The Reds have traded their right fielder as part of the rebuilding program. We're going to miss the fine man and fine player that is Jay Bruce.
Bruce was a first round pick in 2005, the 12th pick overall in that draft. He went through the minors at a good clip and debuted in Cincinnati in 2008. He has been the team's regular right fielder ever since, with some time spent in center that rookie year. In 1220 games as a Red, Bruce has hit .249 with 233 HR and 718 RBI while playing solid defense and showing a strong arm. Bruce departs the Reds as the #7 man on the all-time home run leaders chart.
Best of luck in the future, Jay. You deserve it.
In the trade with the Mets the Reds received two players, Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell.
Herrera is a right-handed hitting second baseman from Columbia, just 22 years of age but with enough major league at bats that he has exhausted his rookie status. He has batted just .215 in the majors, but that comes with a 94 OPS+ at a very young age. In the minors he has hit .299 with 58 homers in 539 games. He profiles as a good bat/average glove second baseman with some power. He has 84 steals in the minors, so there's not a lot of speed but there is some. He'll take over second base as soon as Brandon Phillips is incapacitated.
Wotell is farther away, a left-handed pitcher just 19 years old who has a low-90s fastball, a solid slider, and a changeup that is a work in progress. He's pitching in Rookie Ball now, so this will take a few years, but if all goes well he could be a mid-rotation starter. Worst case, he's a good reliever.
Memo to Marty Brennaman; the National Baseball Hall of Fame is not in the habit of inducting pitcchers with a 135-117 record and 3.90 ERA. Joe Nuxhall will not win induction to the Hall under any circumstances.
Marty, it's been a great run, but it's time to retire. You've lost your grip.
Book Review: Handsome Ransom Jackson
Book review: Handsome Ransom Jackson, Accidental Big Leaguer.
This is a book of stories from a major leaguer of the 1950s, mostly with the Cubs but also the Dodgers and Indians. Ransom "Randy" Jackson signed with the Cubs and became a regular there, then was traded to Brooklyn to serve as insurance against Jackie Robinson's age, but faded just slightly after Jackie himself. Jackson did manage to get on a couple of All-Star teams and hit 103 major league home runs.
This is a very lightweight book. It is largely a collection of anecdotes from the man's career, written originally on yellow legal paper, then whipped into book shape by writer Gaylon White. The book is pleasant and nostalgic, but provides no great insights or revelations. It is a remembrance from one of the last living 1950s ballplayers.
Jackson lived an interesting life. He played in two consecutive Cotton Bowls for two different schools, TCU and UT. Can't do that any more. It was possible then mainly because of the war. Jackson didn't play high school football or baseball, but walked onto both teams at both schools because of his athletic ability. Then the Cubs signed him. Football didn't pay well then.
The tome is pleasant and sweet, doesn't knock on anybody except for some Old Ballplayers' Syndrome, where the oldtimer says players today aren't like we were in my day. Of course, when you were teammates with Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, and Ernie Banks, you have some reason to say that.
Jackson has stories about what has happened since his retirement as well. Again, nothing new here, just a pleasant easy read. No great literature but it could help you pass a lazy hour or two.
Cincinnati Reds....In 2017
Hi, folks. If anyone is still reading besides the bots, you know that I've been on radio silence for the last few weeks. Personal reasons and all that. I decided to emerge and post on what the team will look like come next season, since we are beginning to get some signs of that.Let's start with who won't be here. Alfredo Simon will not be back. He probably won't last this year, sticking around to be a mop-up man until they need the roster space. They have to pay him either way. Jay Bruce has an option for next year, which the Reds might actually pick up since he has been playing well after two bad years, but they will try and deal him if they can get a decent return. I expect him to go before the trade deadline at the end of July.The guys that will be around if for no other reason than their contract: Joey Votto, who has been picking up lately; Homer Bailey, who should return to the mound soon; Brandon Phillips, who has one year left on his contract; Devin Mesoraco, who has two years left on his, but whether he will be able to play is a question; and Raisel Iglesias, signed through 2020, though he may be a reliever since efforts to have him start have ended in arm troubles two years in a row.There's the arbitration guys; Zack Cozart, who has one year in arbitration remaining. The Reds will also likely deal him by the deadline, since he has shown he is healthy. At 30, the team would like to get some value out of a serviceable shortstop whom they can replace with Jose Peraza. J.J. Hoover will not be offered arbitration after his early-year implosion, and he may or may not be back for around the minimum. He might like a fresh start elsewhere. Billy Hamilton is a wild card of sorts. He's valuable for his defense, but has not hit.Ross Ohlendorf will be gone after this year; he's just filling a spot. Dan Straily is a decision to be made; do you see if a contender wants to get him to fill out their rotation, or keep him since he's just 27 and cheap? I think you at least have to see what someone will give you for him. Maybe someone even hands you something for Ohlendorf at the deadline.OK, so, 2017. The infield looks much the same; Joey Votto at 1B, Brandon Phillips at 2B for one more year, Eugenio Suarez at 3B, and Jose Peraza moving in at short.The outfield is.....harder to predict. Adam Duvall certainly has earned some time, and will be in LF or in RF replacing Bruce. You've got to figure Hamilton is in CF until someone comes along who can play good defense there. LF, there's Kyle Waldrop, who is showing some promise, or Jesse Winker, who has the best projection. Even Scott Schebler, doing well in Louisville. One of those guys takes the other flank.At catcher you simply can't count on Mesoraco. Tucker Barnhart and Ramon Cabrera are fine, but both hit like backups. They'll do until something better comes along.The pitching staff, well, that's starting to come into focus. The rotation right this minute has the three guys from last year's Cueto trade, the lefties Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, and Cody Reed. Add in Dan Straily and Anthony DeSclafani. By this time next year, that's a pretty good rotation. Slip in Robert Stephenson, perhaps why you trade Straily (or at least listen) and then it looks like a rotation that might carry a team soon. If you put Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen in the bullpen, then you've got two power arms for the late innings. That puts Blake Wood and Tony Cingrani into the middle innings, for which they are more suited. Now, you've almost got a full staff. Who does Bailey bump to the bullpen, if healthy? Mix in Daniel Wright as a[...]
It was a normal-scoring game at altitude, with the usual Coors Field funtime. The Reds had fun, winning 11-8.
Dan Straily had a Coors-quality start, where a starting pitcher throws six innings or more and allows fewer runs than innings pitched. He gave up one in the first and four more in the third, but allowed five runs in six innings on eight hits and three walks with four strikeouts. That qualifies as a quality start in Denver. Blake Wood gave up a hit and two walks in the seventh, but escaped without a run scoring. Ross Ohlendorf pitched a clean 8th. Tony Cingrani started the 9th but was tagged for three runs so J.C. Ramirez came in to get the last out.
Zack Cozart and Billy Hamilton had three hits each, Joey Votto, Adam Duvall, and Eugenio Suarez two hits each. Cozart homered to lead off the game, Duvall homered twice, Votto hit his 200th homer on a solo shot, and Suarez also cleared the fence. Tucker Barnhart walked twice. However, Brandon Phillips is having trouble with his ankle and came out early.
Reds Lose Again
A 9th inning rally fell short and the Reds lost to the Brewers Sunday afternoon. The final was 5-4.
Brandon Finnegan was charged with four runs in 6 1/3 innings on six hits and four walks with four strikeouts. Dayan Diaz was charged with one run in 2/3 of an inning. Ross Ohlendorf pitched a scoreless frame.
Tyler Holt and Ivan DeJesus had two hits each. Jay Bruce hit a solo homer. Billy Hamilton was credited with a double on a mishandled bouncer up the middle, but soon afterwards was picked off second.
Cincinnati will conclude their road trip with four games in Denver.
It's been nearly two weeks, but the Reds finally won a game. It wasn't easy, and it was close, but the Cincinnati club took a 7-6 victory over the Brewers Saturday afternoon.
It wasn't because of the pitching, or at least mostly not. Alfredo Simon started, gave up two runs in the first, settled down, then was ejected after hitting the first batter in the 5th. Simon himself had been hit while trying to bunt with a runner on third earlier. So, he gave up two runs in four innings, getting his ERA below 10. A.J. Morris gave up one run in the 5th (on a homer), which lowered his ERA to 13.50. Caleb Cotham gave up a hit and walked two while getting one out in the 6th, and was pulled and eventually charged with two runs. J.C. Ramirez got the last two outs in the 7th. Then good things happened, as Blake Wood threw two scoreless innings, and Tony Cingrani struck out the side in the 9th for a save.
The Reds got a run in the 4th when Adam Duvall and Tyler Holt doubled, making it 2-1. They were down 6-1 in the 7th when they scored five times to tie it. Tucker Barnhart doubled, and two outs later Joey Votto singled him in (6-2), Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce singled (6-3), and then Duvall tied it with a three-run homer. In the top of the 9th the Reds took the lead when Zack Cozart singled, Votto grounded into a force play, Phillips walked, Bruce singled to load the bases, and then Duvall grounded into an apparent double play to end the inning....but on appeal, the pivot at second was ruled a "neighborhood play" and Bruce was declared safe at second, meaning Votto had scored. That gave the Reds the lead, and they held it.
That's better. Maybe they can win tomorrow, too.
Eleven losses in a row. The Brewers won Friday night, 9-5. Adam Duvall hit a three-run homer and Joey Votto a solo shot.
John Lamb got rocked, giving up six runs in 3 2/3 innings on seven hits (two of them homers) and three walks with three strikeouts. Josh Smith got the last out of the 4th but also gave up a hit that scored Lamb's last two runs. Dayan Diaz gave up three hits and a run in the 5th. Caleb Cotham pitched a scoreless 6th. J.C. Ramirez gave up two runs in the 7th. A.J. Morris pitched a scoreless 8th.
Dan Straily was good, but Wednesday night's series finale was the 10th loss in a row for the Reds. Just four hits including a triple by Jay Bruce that drove in the only run. Straily went seven, gave up three runs and struck out 11; three hits and a walk. Blake Wood pitched a scoreless inning.
Thursday is an off day, then they head to Milwaukee.
9th Consecutive Loss
The losing streak is at 9 and there is no end in sight. The Reds held a 2-1 lead in the 4th after an Adam Duvall homer, but it did not last.
Only three hits on the night; besides Duvall, Jay Bruce and Joey Votto hit doubles. Just one walk, this time by Brandon Phillips. The offense continues to sputter.
Daniel Wright made the start in his major league debut. He gave up four runs, three earned, in 5 1/3 innings on seven hits and one walk with four strikeouts. He got his feet wet. Dayan Diaz got the last two outs of the 6th but also got tagged with an unearned run. Caleb Cotham pitched a scoreless 7th. A.J. Morris also made his debut, but walked three while getting just two outs. Add in a hit and he was charged with three runs. Josh Smith got one out while giving up a hit and a walk.
Wright to Start; Somsen Claimed
The Yankees have claimed Layne Somsen off waivers. Somsen was being sent down to make room for Daniel Wright on the roster to start tonight. So long, Layne, we hardly knew ye. Best of luck.
Update: Steve Selsky was optioned to Louisville. So long, Steve, hope you make it back.
The Reds had lost seven games in a row and were facing Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher in the major leagues. The outcome was never truly in doubt, though the score was just 1-0.
Cincinnati had two hits (Zack Cozart double and Tucker Barnhart single) and one walk (Joey Votto). that was it. Brandon Finnegan came up with his own strong effort, going all the way for the first complete game by a Cincinnati pitcher on the season (albeit eight innings) giving up one run on five hits and four walks with two strikeouts. Combined with three Cincinnati errors, it's something of a miracle the Dodgers scored only one run.
Reds Swept Again
The Reds lost again Sunday, this time by one run. It was the team's seventh loss in a row, all to American League teams.
Cincinnati got out to a lead with a three-run first inning. Zack Cozart doubled, Billy Hamilton was hit by a pitch, Joey Votto singled to load the bases, Brandon Phillips doubled to score two, and Jay Bruce hit a sacrifice fly to score the third. The Mariners scored two to make it 3-2, then Adam Duvall homered in the fourth. But Seattle tallied three in the fifth, and the score remained 5-4 the rest of the game.
Ramon Cabrera had two hits, but all extra-base hits were in the first.
Alfredo Simon was charged with five runs in five innings on nine hits and three walks with one strikeout. Dayan Diaz made his major league debut with a scoreless 6th, Blake Wood tossed two scoreless frames, and Tony Cingrani pitched a scoreless 9th. That's two days in a row the bullpen has been unscored upon.
Cincinnati now hits the road, with three scheduled in Los Angeles, three in Milwaukee after a Thursday off-day, and then four in Colorado before returning for a homestand.
The three pitchers called up by the Reds for today's game are Dayan Diaz, A.J. Morris, and Josh Smith.
Josh Smith has started for the Reds in previous years, with unimpressive results. He is probably around as a long reliever this time. For 2016 he has made eight starts for Louisville and is 3-4 with a 3.86 ERA.
The others, if they pitch, would be making their major league debuts. Diaz, who had a solid spring training and could have made the team, has a 1.88 ERA in 12 relief games for Louisville. Morris, who is 29, has a 2.70 ERA in nine games, six of them starts.
One of these guys is slated to go down for Tuesday, when Daniel Wright will be recalled to make a start. To make 40-man roster room, Anthony DeSclafani and Yorman Rodriguez moved to the 60-day disabled list.
Emptying the 'pen
After Saturday's game, the Reds announced they have sent Jumbo Diaz and Keyvius Sampson (who both just came back up) back down to the minors, and designated Steve Delabar for assignment. We assume they will be replaced, but that announcement probably won't come until just before the game tomorrow.
Some possibilities: Daniel Wright, Robert Stephenson, Chad Rogers, Dayan Diaz, Wandy Peralta.
One does wonder why Jumbo was sent out and not Caleb Cotham.
Reds Lose to King
The Reds faced one of the best pitchers in the majors Saturday and the results were what you would expect. "King" Felix Hernandez and three relievers pitched a four-hit shutout and Seattle defeated Cincinnati 4-0.
All four Reds hits were singles. Billy Hamilton had two of them. Tyler Holt walked twice.
John Lamb started and gave up four runs (three earned) in six innings on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts. He coughed up two homers. Steve Delabar, Ross Ohlendorf, and Jumbo Diaz all pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
The series wraps up Sunday.
Offense So-So, Bullpen Bad
It was the usual story. The offense was adequate, but not nearly good enough to overcome the bullpen with arsonist tendencies. The Reds lost the opener of their series against the Mariners.
Cincinnati got off to a 3-0 lead as Dan Straily pitched well around a shaky second inning. Joey Votto walked and scored on a Brandon Phillips double, Zack Cozart hit a solo homer, and in the fourth Eugenio Suarez walked, Adam Duvall singled, and Tucker Barnhart singled in the run. Barnhart had three hits and Duvall two.
Straily gave up just one run in six innings on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts. Blake Wood entered for the 7th, gave up two singles and then two walks, the second forcing in a run. He was removed at that point, but Tony Cingrani let the inherited runners all score to give the Mariners a lead they would not surrender. J.C. Ramirez gave up one run in the 8th and Jumbo Diaz two runs in the 9th.
Try, try again.