It has been impossible to ignore just how incredible both Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos have been for the 2021 Cincinnati Reds. Winker’s pair of 3-dinger games have catapulted him to the top of the league’s OPS leaderboards, while Castellanos constant bashing of extra base hits has him right there, too. The two were a huge, huge reason why the Reds just swept the St. Louis Cardinals in a 4-game series in Busch Stadium, something that simply does not happen around these parts.
That’s the good, for now.
The bad? Well, Sonny Gray just hit the 10-day IL with a groin issue that hopefully, mercifully will only cost him a couple of starts, but that’s already his second trip to the IL this year. Pair that with Jeff Hoffman being shelved and Luis Castillo struggling, and the starting pitching is in need of rescue. Fortunately, Vladimir Gutierrez has filled in quite well, but Sunday presents yet another need for a starter. Will it be Tejay Antone’s time, or will Tony Santillan finally get his first shot?
As for the ugly, well...it’s the bullpen. It’s always been the bullpen. From the moment Raisel Iglesias and Archie Bradley were cut loose to save some coin, we knew this unit was going to be the wild card. Once Lucas Sims and Amir Garrett showed up to Goodyear with sore arms, that wild card immediately looked rough. There was hope Derek Johnson and Kyle Boddy could cobble together something out of nothing, but so far it’s just been frustration after frustration on that front.
BK joined me for the first full episode of the Bleav in Reds pod last night to discuss it, which you can hear by either smashing that play button in the embed below or by clicking this here link. You can also find it where you find most all of your pods these days, and I look forward to spinning these your way on a weekly basis going forward (without the use of spider tack, of course).