Scooter Gennett is a Giant, Tanner Roark an Athletic, and Yasiel Puig is now with Cleveland. Hell, even manager David Bell is out of commission tonight, as he’ll be suspended for the first of 6 games thanks to this week’s Reds/Pirates brawl.
It’s a new-look Cincinnati Reds club, to be sure, one that has also promoted slugging outfielder Aristides Aquino. Trevor Bauer is around, too, and set to start Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, the second of the 4 game set these two clubs will play in their first series post-deadline.
It’s an odd place for these Reds to be, really. By the time the dust settled on deadline day, the Reds had just finished winning their third series in a row for the first time all year, and their recent run of solid form has them firmly out of the NL Central cellar for the first time in ages and just 6.5 games back of the division leading Cubs. But, Scooter and Puig are gone, the lineup has been turned over to the youngsters in the system, and while Bauer and Alex Wood have taken spots in what looks to be a formidable rotation, it’s hard to really feel like the 2019 Reds really made a push at the deadline to emphasize the remainder of the 2019 season.
That’s prudent, probably, but it sure was a little bit deflating.
Anyhoo, we’ll find out whether that’s the sentiment around the Reds immediately, as they’ll be taking on a juggernaut Atlanta team on the road for 4 games that could well bury the 2019 season. Atlanta, of course, spent their deadline building a completely new bullpen, one with the likes of Shane Greene and Mark Melancon as fresh imports, and the NL East leaders are poised to kick tail as deep into the playoffs this year as possible.
Anthony DeSclafani will toe the rubber for Cincinnati tonight, and he’ll do so while on a damn good run of form. He’s pitched to a tidy 2.94 ERA over his last 9 starts dating back to the turn of the calendar from May to June, an impressive 55/12 K/BB highlighting those 49.0 IP. Perhaps just as important, 8 of those 9 starts came against teams in playoff position at the time, so he wasn’t just feasting on rebuilders.
Meanwhile, Atlanta will send out lefty Max Fried, the youngster who owns a solid 108 ERA+ in his 109 IP so far this year. As you might guess, the Reds will be rolling out a lineup full of righties to try to mash Max.
First pitch is set for 7:20 PM ET.