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18 Games at a time - Capsule 4

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Selective endpoints on the 2018 Reds: Games 55-72

Detroit Tigers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

I don’t have much to say about this capsule. Not because of how the Reds have played, but because life has gotten in the way and I finally found a few hours of free time to crank this thing out.

The gist of this team is the same. The offense is hitting up to their potential (5 regulars with OBP’s over .350) and the bullpen is more than reliable for the first time in forever. The starting pitching continues to be the thorn in the side of this team, as it has been for the last 4 seasons. The best part is, since that horrible 3-18 start, the Reds are only 3 games under .500 and in their last 36 games they are 18-18. Even with a team that leads the National League in dingers allowed, the Reds are playing .500 baseball for over a month. That’s exciting. Once the starting pitching shores up, this team has the potential to be good. Maybe the next 18 is where they turn the corner.

All stats and notes are through Tuesday’s games.

2018 Reds - Capsule 4

Record: 8-10

Season Strength of Schedule: .467 (11th hardest in NL; 20th hardest in MLB)

Season RPI (ESPN): .467 (15th in NL; 27th in MLB)[Previous: .472 - 14th NL; 25th MLB]

Baseball Prospectus division odds: 0.0% (Previous: 0.0%)

Baseball Prospectus post-season odds: 0.0% (Previous: 0.1%)

Offense

  • .285/.364/.430 slash line for capsule 4, compared to the NL average of .250/.320/.412 and .238/.307/.384 for capsule 3.
  • The regulars, as defined by plate appearances: Barnhart, Votto, Gennett, Suarez, Peraza, Duvall, Hamilton, Schebler.
  • Hoo boy that’s more like it from the offense. Really, unless your name is Billy Hamilton, you had yourself a good 18-games at the plate. They were actually a little below league average in a few of the counting stats, but they walked a lot more and struck out a lot less than the rest of the league.
  • Let’s talk about Joey Votto. He hit a very Votto-esque .348/.483/.522 with 8 extra-base hits, 17 walks, and 11 strikeouts while driving in 12 runs. Of those 8 XBH, only 1 was a home run that was hit on the 18th game of the capsule (Thanks, Wick!) I won’t go into much more about his power, because the aforementioned Wick Terrell wrote plenty about it on Tuesday, but it looks like everything else has come together for Votto recently.
  • Eugenio Suarez, as he is wont to do, was also very good. He slashed .338/.440/.560 for capsule 4 and led the team with 5 dingers while walking 11 times and striking out 15 times. His 13.1% walk rate was the highest non-Votto walk rate on the team for this capsule. This kid is so much fun to watch.
  • Jose Peraza hit .343/.380/.403 for this capsule and collected 4 walks while striking out only 4 times. Things go great for him when he is actually making contact, as shown by the most recent 18 games, but not so much when he is swinging and missing. He also has a 19-game on-base streak.
  • Scooter Gennett just keeps on rolling in 2018, hitting .328/.365/.463 for capsule 4. He didn’t hit for quite as much power, knocking in only 5 XBH with 2 home runs, but he continues to produce at the plate for the second straight season.
  • The 4-man outfield rotation as turned into a 3-man rotation for the 2 spots that are not occupied by Scott Schebler at the moment. Schebler played in all 18 games and had 72 PA’s this capsule while Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton, and Jesse Winker had 55, 55, and 50, respectively.
  • Speaking of Schebler, he had himself a great capsule. He hit .333/.400/.583 over the last 18 games while leading the team in XBH with 10. He did post his lowest walk-rate for a full capsule this season at 5%, but he continues to hit well. He also has the most satisfying swing on the team when he makes contact, because he swings as hard as he fucking can every time and it’s great.
  • Duvall had his best capsule of the season by quite a large margin, posting a line of .255/.305/.436. This was the first capsule where he had a batting average over .200.
  • Billy Hamilton had a .290 OBP for the capsule, which could be much worse considering his .200 BA. He was also one of 4 Reds to post a walk rate over 10% for the capsule.
  • Tucker Barnhart had a very Barnharty capsule, hitting .262/.357/.328 in capsule 4 while walking 8 times with 11 strikeouts.

Defense

  • Team ERA of 4.81 for capsule 4, compared to the NL average of 4.18 and 4.39 for capsule 3.
  • This capsule was once again the same as the last 20 capsules or so. The starting pitching was trash once again, putting up an ERA near 5.00. The Reds have given up the most homers in the National League with 102, while Luis Castillo leads the league with 17 dingers allowed. Damn.
  • Let’s start with something positive, shall we? Tyler Mahle had one hell of a capsule. He made 3 starts and allowed only 2 runs over 16.1 innings of work, which was good for a 1.10 ERA for the capsule. He was also the only Reds’ started to not allow a home run in the last 18 games.
  • It was a “half and half” capsule for Sal Romano. While his overall numbers look pretty good (3.60 ERA over 25 innings), he had 2 excellent starts and 2 bad starts. His first 2 starts combined to last 10 innings and he allowed 9 runs, while he allowed only 1 run over 15 innings in his other 2 starts. He also only allowed 2 walks combined in his first 3 starts in this capsule, which is a nice development for Sal.
  • It was nice to see Anthony DeScalfani back on the mound. After missing the last season, and then some, due to injury, Disco was able to make 3 starts in this capsule. He threw 15.2 innings in this capsule and improved in each start. In his last start, he allowed only 2 runs on 5 hits while walking only 1 and striking out 4 over 5.2 innings of work. While the results will continue to improve, having a healthy Disco in the rotation could go a long way to improving the team’s starting pitching.
  • Luis Castillo, man. He had another rough capsule, giving up 16 earned runs over 4 starts that spanned 20.2 innings. He gave up 6 more home runs this capsule, contributing to his league-leading 17 for the season. He is still striking out batters, as he rung up 21 in the capsule and posted a 9.05 SO/9, but just can not keep the ball in the yard. He has given up almost a full home run per 9 innings this season compared to 2017.
  • Matt Harvey is who we thought he was. He posted a 6.75 ERA over 16 innings of work this capsule.
  • The bullpen, once again, was great. Jared Hughes posted a 1.29 ERA over 7 innings. David Hernandez didn’t allow an earned run in 7.1 innings. Michael Lorenzen only allowed 3 over 14 innings and Raisel Iglesias struck out 8 in 7.2 innings, allowing only 3 runs. It has been a nice change of pace to not have to worry about what will happen in the late innings of Reds’ games.
  • Wandy Peralta’s numbers have been solid for most of the year in that he’s been able to consistently limit the damage he has created by walking too many batters. He unfortunately regressed to the mean in this capsule. He allowed 10 runs on 10 hits in only 5 innings of work, raising his season ERA from 3.65 to 6.14. That...is not good.
  • A team’s Defensive Efficiency Rating (DER) is the percentage of balls in play that they’re able to convert into outs. The Reds’ DER is currently .686, which is good for 12th in the National League. The NL average DER is currently .693.

The Next 18:

  • 12 games at home, 6 on the road.
  • 11 of the next 18 against NL Central opponents.
  • 4 of the next 18 are against American League teams, none of which use the DH.
  • 7 of the next 18 against 2017 playoff teams.
  • .530 combined winning % for teams in the next 18.
  • Another tough stretch for the Reds. There are 2 series with the Cubs along with series with 2 division leaders in the Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves.