Nine games remain in the 2018 season, for the Cincinnati Reds (65-88). An offseason full of change (presumably) awaits, but there are still nine more chances for players to make impressions on the coaches and on us. There are also a few more things worth keeping an eye on.
First of all, the Reds have a shot, granted a long one, but a shot at avoiding 90 losses. Now, I Amy be the only one saying that, but whatevs. Hear me out. The Reds have a better record than two of the three remaining teams they play. The Marlins (59-92) and the Royals (52-100) have both had an even tougher go of it in 2018, and pose size very winnable games for the Reds. It’s been doom and gloom in Reds country, as of late, as people speculate whether the Reds will end this year with a worse record than last. Hot take, I’ll be optimistic, the Reds will finish the year 8-1, to win 73 games and avoid 90 losses.
Scooter Gennett and the batting title. James has mentioned this on the podcast, but this could be a really neat thing to end the year with. Sure, the Reds pitching staff has brought up the rear of the league, all year, but the lineup has been a pleasure to watch work. Scooter ending the year with the National League’s best average would make 2018 feel slightly less sour. He’s currently .002 behind the NL’s future MVP, Christian Yelich. Playing the hypothetical game, if Scooter manages to get 16 hits, and supposing he accumulates five at-bats a game (45 total the rest of the way) then he will finish the year with a .319 average. Interestingly enough, if he messes around and gets 17 hits in 45 at-bats, he will finish the year at .321, which would overtake Yelich (supposing he maintains his average. Needless to say…keep an eye on Scooter, these last two weeks.
Cody Reed and Michael Lorenzen figure to get at least one more start, and maybe even two. Reed is still looking for his first career win and Lorenzen looked really good in his first start since 2015. Both are set to pitch in the series in Miami, Reed on the bump tonight and Lorenzen penciled in on Sunday. Cody struck out 10 in his last start, so maybe, at the least, check out Twitter during tonight’s game. Along with your’s truly, there’s sure to be folks tweeting about Cody Reed tonight.
Piggybacking off that, Luis Castillo looks to put a cherry on top of what has been a stellar final three months to the season. Sure, his cumulative numbers don’t look snazzy, but look a little closer. Beginning on July 2nd, Castillo took a turn for the better. Since then he has pitched 72.3 innings, averaging just under six per start (5.2). A pair of his starts lasted four innings or less, but six starts have gone at least six innings, or more. He’s racked up 75 strikeouts compared to just 15 walks, and has a 2.93 ERA. The Reds are 9-4 in those 13 starts. Suffice to say, he has solidified his rotation spot for the foreseeable future, and I am looking forward to seeing him work a few more times.
And if non of that does anything for you, one Joseph Daniel Votto figures to get a few at-bats in. He’s pretty good at what he does.
Now I don’t think momentum is a thing in baseball, especially going into an offseason that figures to see some roster shakeups. Nevertheless, there are only nine more days that have Reds baseball in it, in 2018, and there are a few more points of interest to keep an eye on.
As the season changes into the offseason Locked on Reds will have you covered. Subscribe to the podcast, follow us on Twitter @LockedOnReds and @jefffcarr, and check out our Instagram pages @LockedonReds and @lockedonReds_jeffcarr.
As the clock hit 6:30 pm, last Saturday, I was ready to go to Great American Ballpark. That’s when my wife reminded me that it was December. Every year the Cincinnati Reds put on a first class party for their fans called Redsfest and they’re pretty good at what they do.
I got to meet Michael Lorenzen, Tyler Mahle, Ibandel Isabel, and Jimmy Herget. I got my copy of “The Big 50” signed by Chad Dotson and Chris Garber, made a video with Mo Egger, and talked shop with Doug Gray. Okay, I get it, enough with the name dropping. Basically, it was fun.
I made it a point to ask some light-hearted questions (or in Lorenzen’s case, make a light-hearted, but factual, statement) to see what their reactions would be.
I first met Lorenzen. I told him that he was the real silver slugger and I am attempting to get that other guy to mail him the trophy he deserves. Lorenzen responded with, “Well, that just gives me motivation to hit twice as many homers next year.” Might have to get me a Lorenzen jersey…
I then got Mahle’s John Hancock (or is it Herbie Hancock?) on a baseball and I asked him if we can expec upwards of three, or more, 20-strikeout games this year. He replied “Let’s hope so. I’ll see what I can do.” Hope you folks in the bleachers with K’s are ready to work, this season.
I then got autographs from Isabel and Herget. Isabel just gave me an awkward smile and a chuckle when I asked if he will focus on inside-the-parkers this year instead of traditional homers, since he’s already hit a lot of those. Herget gave me a classic answer to my simple question of what his favorite pitch was when he said, “A strike.” Well played Jimmy.
The main stage offerings were also enjoyable. The best was at the kids-only press conference. Joey Votto, Amir Garrett, and Eugenio Suarez were on stage for the show, and when asked what their favorite memory of 2018 will be, Joey decided it was “When Amir tried to fight the Cubs.” Suarez bumped in, “Yeah, when he struck out Baez and stared him down. That was awesome, man!” As much as we fans may have liked that moment, it seems to have been even cooler to the team.
Memorabilia-wise, there was a ton of stuff to get. I didn’t go too crazy, this year, but I did end up with a new hat that has a Jackie Robinson 42 patch on it. Definitely my favorite hat, now. All in all, a good weekend.
If you went, let me know how your experience went!
Follow @jefffcarr and @lockedonReds on Twitter for more baseball content during the winter months!
Live (Sorta) from Redsfest with Mo Egger
Follow @jefffcarr and @lockedonReds on Twitter
Instant Reaction: Bye, Bye Billy
Wow! It’s the first hour of Redsfest and there are fireworks, already! The world’s fastest man (probably), Billy Hamilton, was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds making him a free agent. I have a few instant thoughts on this.
Firstly, I am bummed. I watched his career develop in the minors all the way up til he got the call to the Bigs. He looked like a star in the making in Pensacola, but what we now know is that he was defensively gifted and offensively challenged. He will go down, in my book, as the foremost example of “You can’t steal first.” I hope that his next step (if he doesn’t return, that is, but more on that in a second) he finds that missing piece and becomes a star.
Nextly, where do the Reds go from here? The encouragement is that we know Bob Castellini loved Billy and wanted him to be here forever and ever. That means the front office has definitely, officially been handed the reigns. If that’s the case, maybe we see Nick Senzel brought up and given the CF job, or Jose Peraza move to CF (he has a few minutes of experience there) and Senzel put in at shortstop. Those possibilities excite me. Whatever gets Senzel in the lineup is the right course of action, to me.
Lastly, maybe this is a little Michael Johnson maneuvering? For those who don’t follow the other professional franchise in Cincinnati, the Bengals made a move, right before the season, where they cut one of their longtime veterans only to resign him a few days later. They made the move to get some young guys onto the practice squad, but I digress. What if the Reds and Billy have a little head nod and handshake agreement that they will sign him for a year or two at his current rate, avoiding the arbitration-hike in salary he was about to get? This is purely a hypothetical notion by me, by the way, and I don’t know if they can do that, or if Billy would want it that way. Just a thought from a fan who can never truly be unbiased when it comes to Cool Papa Bill.
Anyway, I am sure there will be more to come from Redsfest!
Follow @jefffcarr and @lockedonReds on the Twitter!