18 Games At a Time – Capsule 8
The 2019 Reds are as frigid and withholding as a rich WASPy grandma.
“Do they have a chance this year?”
“No, but we’ll make you believe there is a chance for as long as is possible.”
The season was officially put down back in the last capsule, so those of us still paying attention wanted something to pay attention to. “Could they put a decent run together to close the season, something to prime us for things to come next season?”
“No. You can’t have that.”
“Can we at least get excited watching the new guy slice up some eyeballs?”
“No. His Jimmy Haynes-lookin’ ass is busy pitching like Paul Wilson.”
“How about all the rookies? Surely there is … ”
“I said no.”
All stats through this past Sunday.
2019 Reds – Capsule 8
Season Strength of Schedule: .512 (hardest in MLB) [previous was the same]
Season RPI: .502 (11th in NL, 17 in MLB) [previous was also the same]
Baseball Prospectus post-season odds: big ol’ goose eggs
.223/.296/.413 for capsule 8, compared to the NL average of .247/.320/.425
The Regs as determined by PAs: Barnhart, Votto, Iglesias, Suarez, Aquino, Senzel, VanMeter, Galvis
The offense struggled quite a bit this capsule on a rate basis, but they swatted a lot of home runs. Or, to be more specific, Eugenio Suarez swatted a lot of home runs. He knocked ten of them in this period, slashing a Leviathanian .367/.406/.900. He touched 54 total bases, nearly as many as the next two Reds combined (Aquino had 34 and Iglesias had 23). This is Geno’s galaxy and we are all just orbiting in his gravitational field.
As Wick illustrated earlier this week, we might be seeing what mid-30s Joey Votto is all about. For the capsule he slashed .292/.397/.458. Now, that’s a far sight from Peak Votto a few years back, but it will definitely play.
Speaking of regression to the mean, Aristides Aquino might have done just that. For the capsule he slashed .250/.292/.500 with four dangoes and five doubles. He struck out 18 times, which would be bad if Phillip Ervin and Freddy Galvis hadn’t done the same and Geno hadn’t whiffed 23 times. These guys struck out a lot.
Tucker Barnhart seems to be a-okay. He looked dreadful to begin the season, but he picked it up after his stint on the IL and did just fine these past few weeks: he slashed .256/.356/.359 with as many walks as strikeouts (6). It’s not great, but it’s basically what we’ve come to expect from him throughout this career. I’ll take it.
We gotta talk about Nick Senzel, guys. He slashed .184/.279/.342 in this capsule with 15 Ks in just 43 PAs. It’s a slight improvement over the last capsule when he slashed .179/.208/.284, but jeez louise this sucks. He’s been laid up of late so perhaps we can excuse all of this because he was playing hurt, but dear lord that better be the case. It’s a possibility that the league has gotten a decent look at him now and has figured him out pretty good. He’s a hell of a ballplayer so I bet he can adjust, but I kinda really want him to be Alex Bregman already, you know?
His buddy Josh VanMeter looked real bad, too. He hit just .140/219/.316. For a kid auditioning for a primo spot on the squad to begin next season, it’s like his voice cracked when he tried to stick the chorus. Then he slumped over in a coughing fit and threw up a little.
Freddy Galvis won the award for Suck Bucket of the Capsule though, hitting just .119/.161/.203. After his hot start with the club, this was the exact opposite that anyone wanted. With three guys angling for the shortstop gig next season, not a one of them looks too eager to run with it. Jose Iglesias posted an empty .274 batting average continuing his whole thing he’s had this season and Jose Peraza got only a few PAs because he got relegated to AAA. Alex Blandino did get into a few games (FINALLY) and got on base nine times in 19 PAs.
Team ERA was 4.65 for capsule 8 compared to the NL average of 4.29 and 4.80 for the last capsule.
Sonny Gray and Tony Disco were your highlights of the capsule. Gray made three starts and gave up just three earned runs in 19 innings while Disco made four starts and gave up just seven earned in 26.
Luis Castillo looked fantastic once again, but the top-line numbers obscure it a little. His ERA was 4.69 in 19 2/3 innings, which is unremarkable, but he struck out an incredible 29 against just eight walks while allowing just 15 hits. His strand rate was an abysmal 62%, which goes a long way to explaining the dissonance. Sonny has been the pretty face of late, but don’t forget about Luis Castillo and His Red Right Hand.
Trevor Bauer acted like he completely forgot how to throw a baseball. He made three starts but totaled just 12 innings. He gave up 21 hits and 17 earned runs. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it can’t possibly get any worse now, can it?
Robert Stephenson and Michael Lorenzen were nails in the ‘pen, combining for 19 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings and just four runs allowed. Amir Garrett struggled quite a bit but somehow avoided catastrophe. He gave up seven hits and six walks in 6 2/3, but just two runs were accounted to his ledger. Raisel Iglesias was not so lucky. His ERA was nearly 8.00.
The Next 18:
Six at home and 12 on the road to close out the season
Half of these are against NL Central foes
One last interleague series with three in Seattle
Just three games against projected postseason teams