The Cincinnati Reds defeated the Oakland A’s 3-0 yesterday to sweep the series and finish the road trip at 3-3. Not bad after a disastrous start in Seattle.
The Reds have today off–their 3rd and final one of June–before hosting the Cleveland Indians on Friday. Sam LeCure is scheduled to make his first start against someone who’s not a Cy Young candidate in Aaron Laffey at 7:10pm EDT.
Not Quiet on the Rotation Front
The Reds have some interesting decisions to make in the coming months regarding their starting rotation.
Mike Leake continues to be awesome, but everyone’s known the Reds will need to limit his innings to reduce his injury risk. Not having any professional experience does have some draw-backs. Yesterday, a step towards that was made with the announcement that Leake will be skipped for his next start. According to Walt Jocketty, there is a goal in mind: “We have a round number. Probably 170, but it’s not etched in stone.”
Edinson Volquez also continues his rapid rehab. He pitched for the Bats yesterday, and was very good, allowing 1 run over 5 innings. He has yet to walk a batter in any of his rehab starts. At this rate, he may be ready before the All Star Break, although I’d prefer the team take it slow.
Because Volquez started for Louisville on Aroldis Chapman’s regular starting day, he pitched in relief. The Reds have been consistent that they view Chapman as a starter, but as John Fay points out, plenty of great starters have begun their MLB time in the bullpen: “A long line of good starters began in the bullpen – Roy Oswalt, Adam Wainwright, Nolan Ryan, Don Gullett – it may help Chapman’s development.” I’m not sure what the best decision is here, but there are definite advantages to having a left-hander with a 100 mph fastball available in the bullpen.
What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
Joey Votto has reached base safely, by hit, hit-by-pitch, or walk in his last 32 games. This ties him with the longest such streak in the majors this year, by Evan Langoria, who also reached base in 32 straight games.