August Preliminary Report: Reds

Cincinnati Reds

• The Reds went 17-11 in July, yet garnered only two complete games from their pitching staff. Those numbers aren’t likely to improve by much in August, but at least the four starters will have a solid bullpen to back them up: Doug Bair (PB 2-9), Dan Dumoulin (PB 2-9), and semi-starter Mario Soto (PB 2-8), whose player card numbers may be better suited to relief work. Plus, Pedro Borbon will be available for middle relief; he went 3-0 in ten games pitched for July.

• Reserve catcher Vic Correll, whose batting stats were unimpressive so far this season (.162, 1 HR, 2 RBI in 29 games), was sent down to AAA Indianapolis on August 1st; Don Werner was recalled to replace him.

• It’s interesting to note that Werner’s Statis Pro card, which spent the past 14 years in a protective baseball card sheet, sticks out like an untanned thumb: it is by far the whitest (i.e. least weathered and unstained) card in the Cincinnati team deck.

• Cesar Geronimo will be stationed in center field again after a round robin of backup outfielders—Mike Lum, Dave Collins, and Champ Summers—took turns at the position throughout June and July, with varying degrees of success. Summers showed the most promise, and will waiting in the wings should Geronimo fail to improve on his .214  season average.

• The Reds will stick to a four-man rotation for August: Tom Seaver, Fred Norman, Paul Moskau, and Tom Hume. Hume’s season ERA of 2.76 is the best among all Reds starters.

• The Reds starting lineup for August will be identical for both left-handed and right-handed opposing pitchers, until the return of second baseman Joe Morgan from the DL on August 6th, at which point slight changes will be made. When Morgan is activated, look for Indianapolis Indians shortstop Ron Oester to be summoned up to the parent club as well.

• Through the end of June, Cincinnati led the NL in intentional walks allowed, with 22, while in July, they allowed none.

• The Reds finished July on a hot streak, going 13-5 over their last 18 games, but it’s still going to be tough to overcome that 16-game deficit between fourth and first place. For now, I’m going to hope for a six-game jump in the standings by the end of August. If they can do that, and get to ten games back or less, they might have a shot at first place. That is, if the Dodgers, Padres, and Giants all secede from the NL West.

2 responses to “August Preliminary Report: Reds

  1. I like the Reds’ bullpen but I’m curious about Mike LaCoss. His ’78 numbers included 15 starts, and I see 5 starts by the end of June but no mention of him here. Has he been sent to the minors, or is he on the DL? And despite the unbearable whiteness of his being, Werner was recently the Orioles bullpen coach and is still a minor league catching instructor for the Birds.

    • LaCoss is kinda caught in no-man’s land right now; he and Hume were both being considered for the fourth starter opening, but I liked Hume’s current numbers (and yes, I know that Hume is currently 3-9 compared to LaCoss’ 2-1!), so even though LaCoss had 15 starts and just one relief appearance in ’78, he’ll be doing more bullpen work in August, with the occasional spot start if need be. Looking at their season stats right now, besides the W-L disparity, they’re pretty much equal in results, so who knows, maybe by the time I start playing again, I’ll have changed my mind and put LaCoss in the starting rotation!

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