by Steve Mancuso

RC+ Preview: MORE AQUINO!

The Reds (56-61) look to rebound tonight after two disappointing losses. I’m not saying you should give up hope about the postseason. That needed 10-game winning streak might be right around the proverbial corner. Two series against last-place teams are coming up. So are 8 games against the Cardinals. The Reds will continue to run Trevor Bauer, Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo out there 3 of every 5 games. But that money you’ve been saving to buy tickets for the postseason, you can probably start thinking of other uses for it.

Also, a win tonight before facing Stephen Strasburg would be nice.

Roster Move

The Reds activated IF Freddy Galvis. In the least surprising roster move, they optioned IF Brian O’Grady back to Louisville.

O’Grady made 5 plate appearances with 1 hit, a single. He also earned 8 days of major league payroll, which is worth roughly $25,000, a share of the MLB players’ licensing revenues and lifetime health care.

Good News on Tyler Mahle

Mahle has been sidelined with a hamstring issue he sustained on the final pitch of his last start on July 19. Mahle has pitched well this year, with an xFIP of 3.81 (MLB average 4.36) and an xwOBA of .315 (MLB average .318).

Today’s Reading in Schadenfreude

From FanGraphs: The Pirates Crumbled Before Our Very Eyes

Breaks my heart to see stories like this about one of our NL Central rivals. If you don’t have the time to enjoy read the entire post, here’s a bit:

“Going 5-24 isn’t easy. The only team even close to the Pirates over this stretch is the Tigers, who are 7-23. This is despite the Tigers being really, really bad. They were projected for the third-worst record in baseball before the season, and they steered into the skid, trading almost everything not nailed down and building for the future. The Pirates don’t have that excuse. … If you’re a Pirates fan, there are no silver linings here. Most of the team has been terrible, and the 10% playoff odds at the break and general good feelings around a few promising players have evaporated.”

The guy I feel the worst for is Clint Hurdle.

Pitching Matchup

Alex Wood is making his fourth start of the season. He’s had two good ones and a bad game against the Cubs.

Dating back to 2015, Joe Ross has made 51 starts for the Washington Nationals. This season, he’d been assigned to the bullpen where he was such a disaster Ross was demoted to AAA. He got called back up in July and when Max Scherzer went on the DL, Ross got promoted to the rotation. He’s made three starts. The last two Ross has shut out the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks over 11.1 innings. He’s making a strong case for staying in the Nats rotation when Scherzer gets back.

Ross relies on a 94-mph sinker and a 94-mph fastball. Between the two pitches he throws them 64% of the time. He’ll add an occasional slider, curve and changeup.

Reds Lineup and Stats

Tonight’s Reds lineup is similar to last night. Jesse Winker, Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez are the top three. Manager David Bell has flipped Superman Aristides Aquino and Josh VanMeter. Nick Senzel and Jose Iglesias are there again. Kyle Farmer gets the start at catcher and bats 8th. Farmer and Reds starting pitcher Alex Wood are close friends back to their days playing together at the University of Georgia. The right-handed guys (Phillip Ervin and Jose Peraza) are sitting. Freddy Galvis joins the Reds tonight.

[Graphics: Baseball Savant]

Nats Lineup and Juan Soto

With OF Juan Soto back in the Nats lineup — he sat out last night because he rolled his ankle rounding third on Sunday — Washington’s lineup is fully operational. Soto is obliterating the concept of Sophomore Slump by putting together a second season for the Nationals that matches his breakout first. Soto hits for average, has an enormous walk-rate (16%), hits for power and even swipes a base or ten. His wRC+ of 141 is much better than any Reds regular not named Aristides. And Soto is FIVE years younger than Aquino and has played more than 11 games. Soto is a lefty, so Alex Wood offers a 30-point generic handedness split advantage. But Soto is still a career 124 wRC+ against LHP. He’s not a platoon guy.

Howie Kendrick plays 1B instead of Reds murderer Matt Adams. /waves small Reds pennant/ Victor Robles moves up to bat 2nd. The Nats have different 2B and C tonight, too.

[Graphics: Baseball Savant]

Steve Mancuso is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up during the Big Red Machine era. He’s been writing about the Reds for more than ten years. Steve’s fondest memories about the Reds include attending a couple 1975 World Series games, being at Homer Bailey’s second no-hitter and going nuts for Jay Bruce at Clinchmas. Steve was also at all three games of the 2012 NLDS, but it’s too soon to talk about that.

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Raul Acedo
Raul Acedo
1 year ago

At the beginning of the post you have record as 54-61, should be 56-61.. Need to finish with a 30-15 run to have a shot, running out of time/losses.

With Peraza arb eligible and assuming another year of Iglesias at $2 mill, that equals $5 mill. Galvis + Blandino would cost roughly the same, which combination would create more production?