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Cincinnati Reds Blog

A day-to-day record of the mind of a Cincinnati Reds fan.

Updated: 2016-09-28T11:32:29.788-04:00


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.

Nuxhall Hall?


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 long man, maybe Amir Garrett gets in by mid-2017.  It's not hard to imagine an excellent pitching staff by early 2017.The only spot that concerns me is center[...]

A Win!


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.

Reds Win!


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.

Me Elsewhere


Hey, I'm on another blog!  Peter at Baseball Reflections asked me questions about the Reds, and I answered, and the results are posted here.

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.

8th Dropped


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.

Call-ups Announced


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.

Another Starting Pitcher to DL


Tim Adelman, last night's starter who came out with pain in his side, apparently an oblique muscle strain, has been placed on the disabled list.  Steve Selsky, an outfielder, has been called up.  Drew Hayes has been designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Selsky is 26.  He has played right field, left field, and first base for Louisville this year, and made one start in center field.  He's hitting .275 with one homer in 35 games.  Last year he played 51 games for Louisville and hit .317 with two homers.  He's been a good hitter in the minors.

Selsky likely goes back down in a few days when Adelman's spot in the rotation comes back around.  Early lead in the guessing for the spot is Robert Stephenson.

Reds Swept


In fact, it would make sense to say the Reds were doubly swept, but I really consider the home-and-home Ohio Series with Cleveland to be all the same thing.  So, the Reds were swept in four games by their cross-state counterparts.

Joey Votto hit a two-run homer in the 4th inning, which tied the score at the time, and encapsulates virtually all the good news.  Zack Cozart had two hits including a double, and Billy Hamilton also doubled.  So, those things were nice too.  The team collected just five hits and one walk.

Tim Adelman pitched three scoreless innings and then in the fourth gave up two runs while getting one out and left with pain in his side.  So, that wasn't good.  Caleb Cotham came in and finished the fourth all right but gave up four runs in the fifth, which wasn't so all right.  Keyvius Sampson then made a mop-up appearance and went three innings giving up one run on three hits and three walks.  Blake Wood finished with a scoreless frame.

The Reds host Seattle over the weekend, continuing the interleague theme, then will hit the road next week.

Reds Fall in Extras


The Ohio Cup series is not going well.  The Reds lost their third straight game to Cleveland by an 8-7 score in 12 innings.

Brandon Finnegan was wild in the strike zone, giving up four runs (three earned) in 5 2/3 innings on eight hits with no walks and six strikeouts.  The stuff was there, the command was not.  Jumbo Diaz pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up a run while surrendering two walks.  Ross Ohlendorf pitched a scoreless 8th, but Tony Cingrani gave up two runs in the 9th on a homer by Rajai Davis while getting just two outs.  J.C. Ramirez got four outs and Caleb Cotham three, but Keyvius Sampson gave up a homer to Francisco Lindor in the 12th for the loss.

The offense at least did something.  Jay Bruce hit two homers and had three hits.  Eugenio Suarez hit a three-run homer that gave the Reds the lead for a while.  Zack Cozart had three hits including a double.  Billy Hamilton had two singles.  Joey Votto hit a two-run double and walked twice.

One last game in this series.

Rearranging the Bullpen


In a move reminiscent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, the Reds made some moves to change up the bullpen.  Jumbo Diaz and Keyvius Sampson, who both opened the season with the team, return from the minors and IF-OF Jose Peraza and P Layne Somsen have been sent back to the minors.  To bring back Sampson, who was taken off the 40-man roster when sent out, Homer Bailey has been moved to the 60-day disabled list.

It probably improves the bullpen marginally.  I like Jumbo, and Sampson could become somebody.  It means eight relievers again, and a four-man bench, though.

Crushed in Cleveland


Well, it was scoreless in the first inning.  Then came the onslaught, and by the end Cleveland had defeated Cincinnati by a 13-1 score.

Jay Bruce had two hits and Tucker Barnhart hit a double.  Thus endeth the offensive highlights.

The bad Alfredo Simon showed up for this start.  He gave up ten runs in 4 1/3 innings and gave up 14 hits and one walk with two strikeouts.  Steve Delabar got one out but walked five while doing it.  Blake Wood was charged with one run while pitching 1 1/3 innings.  Tony Cingrani and Ross Ohlendorf pitched a scoreless inning each, being reduced to pitching in a blowout.

The series now switches to Cincinnati.

Reds Lose Slugfest


The Reds got off to a 4-0 lead Monday night in Cleveland....then things went off the tracks.  By the end, the home team won 15-6.

John Lamb was not sharp in his return to the major league mound, charged with seven runs in four innings on 10 hits and two walks with one strikeout.  This led to a parade of sacrificial lambs from the bullpen.  Layne Somsen got rung up for five runs in 1 1/3 innings, then Caleb Cotham two runs in 1 2/3.  J.C. Ramirez gave up one unearned run in his inning.

Eugenio Suarez, Jay Bruce, and Jose Peraza had two hits each.  Adam Duvall hit a solo homer in the 2nd, Suarez a two-run blast in the 3rd.  Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto hit doubles.

Another game in Cleveland will be played Tuesday night.