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Cincinnati Reds links - Small sample size decisions

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Duvall's been worth a surprising 0.3 dWAR so far this season.
Duvall's been worth a surprising 0.3 dWAR so far this season.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Twelve games is a terribly small sample to use to evaluate anything in the game of baseball, especially to start a season.  Jay Bruce is on pace to drive in 162 runs, but Jay Bruce is not going to drive in 162 runs.  Zack Cozart is on pace to hit 0 dingers, but Zack Cozart is going to hit a dinger at some point before the end of September.

Still, it's what we have to look at so far, and while the numbers themselves may be dismissed due to being completely irrelevant in the larger scheme, there are certain nuances and transformations that the coaches and managers may have seen in two weeks of action that will drive decisions.  One such decision is in LF for the Cincinnati Reds, and The Enquirer's Zach Buchanan took a look at it in today's BAR.  Both Scott Schebler and Adam Duvall had a fair share of opportunity there so far in 2016, though it's been Duvall that's so far posted the stronger numbers.  The two haven't been in a super strict platoon out there, but Buchanan notes that much of Duvall's success has come against LHP.  That's a bit of an interesting development given that Duvall actually hit RHP (.837 OPS) better than LHP (.780) across all levels, though he's certainly shown ample propensity to crush southpaws in his previous years in the minors.

Schebler, to his credit, has been tasked more recently with manning CF instead of Billy Hamilton, as Bryan Price has opted to keep a more offensively gifted lineup in at times.  Ultimately, there should be plenty of playing time to go around for those three alongside Bruce (sorry, Tyler Holt) as the season winds and grinds down.  The Reds appear to have hopes it will turn into the successful days of when Laynce Nix and Jonny Gomes split time out there.

Small sample size noise is what makes us not worried about the slow starts of both Devin Mesoraco and Joey Votto while simultaneously not surprised that the Reds have called time on Tim Melville's spot in the starting rotation.  Both Mesoraco and Votto have shown in much larger stretches that they're capable big league sluggers, while Melville owned a 4.75 career MiLB ERA prior to allowing 7 ER in 7 IP in 2 starts for the Reds in 2016.  Dan Straily will take over that vacated spot in the rotation, and he'll do so tonight against the Colorado Rockies.  Straily's posted a solid 3.24 ERA in his 8.1 IP since joining the Reds, as MLB.com's Mark Sheldon observed, but what likely has the Reds intrigued by him is his previous big league success as a starter.  Straily logged a 3.96 ERA in 152.1 IP back in 2013 with the Oakland Athletics, in the process finishing 4th in the AL Rookie of the Year voting, and while the still just 27 year old hasn't replicated that since, the Reds feel he's still got what it takes to be an innings-eater on the mound for them.

My backyard (/thinks for a minute about house's orientation) frontyard Rockies roll into Cincinnati today fresh off a series victory from Wrigley against the Chicago Cubs.  Yep, the same Chicago Cubs that put the Reds' bullpen in a blender just last week.  If you've read this far into this Reposter, it's clear you're a fan of links about baseball, so here's the latest news from the Rockies' corner of the universe courtesy of our friends at Purple Row.  SPOILER ALERT:  Nolan Arenado is seven feet tall and will probably consume Reds pitching with fireballs from his eyes and lightning bolts from his arse.

Slightly off-topic, but here's a baby goat trying to sleep on the back of a horse.  Sorry.

Nick Kirby checked the lay of the land in the NL Central over at Redleg Nation, and it's a catch-all for how the Reds' division rivals have performed to date.  Unless, of course, you're a Cubs fan, in which case just stop rubbing it in already.

Anthony DeSclafani is set to throw live BP this afternoon, according to Jamie Ramsey.  With Disco, John Lamb, Homer Bailey, and Michael Lorenzen all set to return within the next month, there are going to be plenty of jobs on the line for Reds pitchers, and soon.  That means that a relief core that's combined for the 3rd worst fWAR so far (and 2nd worst BB/9) in all of baseball is fully on "put up, or shut up" notice.