This is the production line received by the Cincinnati Reds from their rookie hitters thus far in the 2023 season:
.273/.357/.452 (.809 OPS), 25 HR, 137 R, 102 RBI, 34 SB, .352 wOBA, 115 wRC+ in 927 PA
That’s doing some freakin’ work, folks. How great? Well, here’s the career line and per 162 game averages from a player you may remember:
.268/.352/.463 (.815 OPS), 25 HR, 28 SB, .358 wOBA, 123 wRC+
That guy? That’s Kirk Gibson, former National League MVP and, still to this day, likely the greatest player in the All Star Game era who never once made an appearance.
Thing is, the Reds are regularly rolling out three rookies in their lineup who have actually far exceeded that overall average, seeing as it’s pulled down by the 25 PA of .367 OPS work put up by TJ Hopkins. Pull out Hopkins and focus purely on Spencer Steer, Matt McLain, and Elly De La Cruz, and the Reds are rolling out a trio that more closely resembles the career line of Roberto Alomar, Jr.
Anyway, those guys just watched their 12-game win streak end on Saturday as the Atlanta Braves held on for a 7-6 victory in Great American Ball Park, but today they’ll get the opportunity to begin another one off veteran righty Charlie Morton.
The bats are going to need to do some heavy lifting once again, I assume, as the Reds threadbare rotation has turned to rookie Levi Stoudt for the start with Ben Lively having landed on the 15-day IL yesterday. Stoudt has struggled on most every mound from which he has pitched so far this season, so keep your fingers crossed he can channel the adrenaline from a packed GABP to get the job done with proclivity today.
First pitch is set for 1:40 PM ET. Go Reds.