Tag Archives: Cincinnati Reds

First-place Phillies host last-place Reds at Citizens Bank Park

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The last-place Cincinnati Reds visit the first-place Phillies

Things were really looking bleak for the Philadelphia Phillies (35-27) just a few days ago. The club had dropped the first four games on a west coast trip and had lost starting outfielder and leadoff man Andrew McCutchen for the season.

But then the Phillies turned things around, fighting back to capture the final two games of the trip in San Diego. Now as they return home to Citizens Bank Park for the next week, the Phillies lead the National League East Division by two games. They have sat on that perch atop the division for all but seven days in this 2019 regular season.
The opposition for the weekend will be the Cincinnati Reds (28-33), who find themselves at the bottom of the NL Central Division standings. But don’t let that fool you, the Reds are an interesting team that is not out of the postseason hunt by a long shot.
After winning their season opener, the Reds proceeded to lose their next eight straight and 12 of their first 17 games. However, since that time, Cincinnati has gone 23-20. They have not lost more than two straight games since April 17, and have not won more than three in a row in that same span.
The Reds have scored 265 runs so far this season, which is just 11th of the 15 teams in the National League. They rank just 12th in OPS, and are at the bottom of the league in doubles. However, they can hit the long ball, as Cincy hitters rank 7th in the NL with 85 home runs.
Pitching and defense, that is where Cincy has buttered their 2019 bread. Reds pitchers have the NL’s second-best ERA and batting average against marks. They also rank second in the league in strikeouts.
Cincinnati excels with their gloves. The Reds have the National League’s second-highest fielding percentage, and their 25 errors committed rank only behind the Arizona Diamondbacks, who happen to be following the Reds in to Citizens Bank Park next week.
The Reds have played exactly .500 ball this season at home in Great American Ball Park, but have just a 13-17 road mark. The Phillies the season series a year ago by a narrow 4-3 margin after Cincy captured four of the six meetings between the two teams in each of the previous three seasons.
Generally, Cincinnati is a sound ball club. They won’t beat themselves, so for the Phillies to take the series they are going to need to hit the ball consistenly while not giving away runs themselves. With the weather warming up, you can expect to start seeing more balls flying over the walls at Citizens Bank Park. That could well become a factor this weekend in South Philly. Keeping the ball in the yard will be a key for each team.

CINCINNATI REDS

TOP LINEUP THREATS

Joey Votto: The now 35-year-old first baseman is one of the best hitters of the last decade. The 2010 NL Most Valuable Player (top 7 in voting five more times), runner-up for the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year Award, 2011 Gold Glover, 6x NL All-Star. Age may finally be slowing him down, as Votto is slugging just .246/.338/.362 with four homers and 11 RBIs this year. But don’t count him out this weekend. His 10 doubles and 30 runs scored are both second on the team, and he is hitting .293 for his career at Citizens Bank Park with 13 extra-base hits over 30 games.
Eugenio Suarez: The 27-year-old third baseman was a first-time NL All-Star a year ago. He is slashing .277/.353/.527 and leads the Reds with 40 RBIs, 27 extra-base hits, and 32 runs scored. His 14 homers are second on the club.
Derek Dietrich: One of MLB’s biggest breakout hitters this season, the 29-year-old signed as a free agent back in February after playing his first six big-league seasons with the Marlins. Dietrich is slashing .263/.369/.684, leads the team with 17 home runs, and is second with 37 RBIs. All that damage was done in just 157 plate appearances, as he has bounced around the lineup, used at four different positions. He has spent most of the year as the club’s starting second baseman, however.
Yasiel Puig: “The Wild Horse” is now 28-years of age. The right fielder came to Cincy in a December trade from the LA Dodgers, with whom the Cubano had spent his first six big-league seasons. Puig remains wildly inconsistent at the plate, slashing just .210/.257/.388 to this point. But his 11 homers and 33 RBIs are both third on the club and demonstrate that he can still be extremely dangerous on any given night.
Jose Iglesias: The Reds 29-year-old starting shortstop leads the team with a .294 batting average, and his 21 RBIs are fourth-best in their lineup.

SPOTLIGHT PLAYER

Nick Senzel: One of baseball’s top rookies, Senzel was handled similarly to Scott Kingery in that he was a natural infielder who was bounced around by the Reds organization in order to find a place for his bat. They moved him from third base to second, and now Senzel is their starting center fielder.
The 24-year-old was the club’s first round pick at 2nd overall in the 2016 MLB Draft, chosen right after the Phillies had selected Mickey Moniak at first overall. The 24-year-old Senzel is holding his own in his first taste of big-league life, slashing .266/.331/.453 with 14 extra-base hits in 143 plate appearances since being promoted from Triple-A on May 3.

SCHEDULED STARTING PITCHERS

Tyler Mahle (FRI): 24-year-old RH, 2-5, 4.26 ERA, 1.255 WHIP, 63 hits over 61.1 IP across 11 starts with a 67/14 K:BB
Tanner Roark (SAT): 32-year-old RH, 4-4, 3.47 ERA, 1.396 WHIP, 62 hits over 62.1 IP across 12 starts with a 65/25 K:BB
Sonny Gray (SUN):29-year-old RH, 2-5, 3.54 ERA, 1.213 WHIP, 51 hits over 61 IP across 12 starts with a 68/23 K:BB

KEY BENCH & BULLPEN PIECES

Kyle Farmer: 28-year-old utility infielder has come off the bench to provide five homers and 16 RBIs over 82 plate appearances.
Curt Casali: 30-year-old backup catcher is slashing .292/.347/.438 in 38 games and 98 plate appearances.
Raisel Iglesias: The Reds 29-year-old Cuban closer has a 2.93 ERA and 1.301 WHIP. The righty has allowed 26 hits over 27.2 innings across 26 games while recording a dozen Saves with a 39/10 K:BB. He can be alternatingly dominating and disheartening at the end of games for Cincy.
Michael Lorenzen: 27-year-old righty setup man has allowed 36 hits over 33 innings across 27 games with a 31/10 K:BB
David Hernandez: Former Phillies 2016 reliever and a 10-year big-league veteran righty has allowed 28 hits over 27 innings across 29 appearances with a 35/10 K:BB ratio.
Amir Garrett: The top lefty out of the pen, the 27-year-old has a nice 1.69 ERA. Has allowed 20 hits over 26.2 innings with a 39/12 K:BB ratio. If you examine these numbers so far, you will see that the Reds truly have a power bullpen, as far as striking out hitters and keeping walks to a minimum.
Jared Hughes: 33-year-old, 9-year big-league veteran righty has allowed 21 hits over 25.2 innings with a 17/8 K:BB

THE SKIPPER

David Bell: Phillies fans who were around to follow the team as Citizens Bank Park first opened should be very familiar with Bell. After signing as a free agent in December 2002, he was the Phillies starting third baseman from 2003 into the 2006 season. He was then dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers just prior to the 2006 MLB non-waiver trade deadline. Bell slashed .258/.331/.385 over 470 games with the Phillies, almost all of those at the hot corner, and produced 137 extra-base hits. In 2004 at Citizens Bank Park, Bell hit for ‘The Cycle’ against the Montreal Expos, the last Phillies player to accomplish that feat.

SERIES WEATHER REPORT

FRIDAY: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees at 7:05PM first pitch, dropping into the mid-70’s during the game with light winds and no chance of rain whatsoever.
SATURDAY: Cloudy, 80 degrees at 4:05PM first pitch, temps holding with a moderate breeze about 10mph throughout and no chance of rain whatsoever.
SUNDAY: Cloudy, 78 degrees at 1:05PM first pitch with a moderate breeze at around 12mph and a slight chance of showers. Conditions steady throughout the game. Precipitation does not look like a real factor at this point.

Phillies begin addressing needs by acquiring Jay Bruce from Seattle

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Jay Bruce brings a needed veteran lefty power bat to Phillies mix

It is no secret that Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak has been investigating ways in which to upgrade the roster of his first place ball club.

The starting rotation, bullpen, and the Phillies bench are all areas of potential concern as the team tries to reach the postseason for the first time in eight years.
Now it appears that they have begun to fill those needs. A trade originally reported as being discussed on Saturday with the Seattle Mariners has reportedly been concluded now, with the Phillies obtaining veteran outfielder Jay Bruce.
Hearing the Jay Bruce deal is complete. Not out of question he is in Dodger Stadium for series finale today. Phillies need win to avoid sweep.

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Bruce fills a Phillies need to upgrade the bench and outfield mix perfectly. The 32-year-old is now in his 12th big-league season, and though no longer performing at an All-Star level, his left-handed power bat would be an absolute upgrade.
On Saturday afternoon, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported on Twitter that the Phillies were “nearing a deal” to acquire veteran outfielder Jay Bruce from the Seattle Mariners. However, he immediately followed that up with a comment that “they are not far enough along that a deal is imminent.
The two bits of juicy information reportedly came from two different sources. The first source, according to Passan, was from within one of the two organizations.

The Philadelphia Phillies are nearing a deal to acquire outfielder Jay Bruce from the Seattle Mariners, a club source familiar with the talks tells ESPN. The trade is expected to be finalized within the next 24 hours.
Another source familiar with the Phillies-Mariners discussions on a Jay Bruce trade says they are not far enough along that a deal is imminent. The sides have talked about Bruce, Seattle is willing to deal him and Philadelphia needs a bench bat. No trade agreed to, however.

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He was the first round pick of the Cincinnati Reds at 12th overall back in the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft out of high school in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas. Bruce quickly became one of the top prospects in the game, and made his Major League Baseball debut in 2008, finishing 5th in that year’s NL Rookie of the Year voting.
An All-Star with the Reds in 2011, 2012, and 2016, Bruce won Silver Slugger Awards in both 2012 and 2013. He also finished 10th in the National League Most Valuable Player Award voting in those two seasons.
Bruce was dealt by Cincinnati to the New York Mets for a pair of prospects on August 1, 2016. The Mets dealt him to the Cleveland Indians just over a year later. He then re-signed with New York for three years and $39 million as a free agent in January 2018, but was traded to Seattle this past December.
So far in 2019, Bruce has regained his power stroke, having slammed a dozen homers. He has also knocked in 28 runs, scored 27, and has 25 extra-base hits. However, he is also hitting just .212 with a .283 on-base percentage. The Mariners have used him for 24 games in right field, six in left field, and in 16 at first base.

We’ll provide more information on this story here at Phillies Nation as any verifiable developments come available.

If J.T. Realmuto comes to the Phillies it will cost them top prospect Sixto Sanchez

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J.T. Realmuto is considered the top catcher in baseball today

It has been reported for days now that the Philadelphia Phillies have become one of a number of teams talking to the Miami Marlins regarding a trade for all-star J.T. Realmuto.

The catcher will turn 28-years-old on March 18, right in the middle of spring training. An Oklahoma native, Realmuto was the Marlins choice in the third round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft out of high school.
He reached Major League Baseball for a cup of coffee with the Fish in the 2010 season, and then became the club’s starting catcher the following season.
Last season, Realmuto emerged as a National League all-star for the first time, won the NL Silver Slugger Award for catchers, and became universally regarded as the top backstop in the game.

His numbers during that 2018 campaign included a .277/.340/.484 slash line with 21 home runs, 74 RBI, 74 RBI. It was his third consecutive season producing 30 or more doubles. Fangraphs statistical compilations reveal him to also be one of the top defensive catchers in the game today.
This afternoon, Marlins insider Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reported that in order to actually land Realmuto, the Phillies would have to include top prospect Sixto Sanchez in any deal.

Though it was unable to be confirmed by Frisaro, it is also believed that the Marlins would want catcher Jorge Alfaro as part of the package. Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill and CEO Derek Jeter are believed to be examining the Phillies minor league system for a possible third piece to the return package.
Frisaro reports that Miami would ideally like to get a deal done before their pitchers and catchers report for spring training on February 13.
However, he also notes that all players on the club’s 40-man roster are required to attend Marlins Fest, which is scheduled for this coming Saturday and “it would be uncomfortable to have Realmuto at the ballpark if he is on the verge of being traded.
Realmuto is signed through 2020, so the Phillies would have him for at least two full seasons. They would almost assuredly try to extend that deal by at least a couple of years at some point. The San Diego Padres reportedly made a formal request to speak with Realmuto’s agent Jeff Berry regarding an extension prior to their own trade talks, a request that was denied by Miami. Any such talks would happen after the catcher is in a Phillies uniform.

A deal for Realmuto would likely not be the last move by the Phillies, who are still front-runners for the services of free agent superstars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. A Realmuto trade might actually be a signal that the club truly believes that they are going to land one of the young free agent studs and will be going all-in to contend right away in the coming season.
If that is indeed the plan and the Phillies feel sure that they will acquire one of the big fishes, then adding this particular Fish star makes sense. Sanchez is indeed an elite prospect, but the Phillies would be getting the top catcher in all of baseball in the prime of his career.
The Cincinnati Reds are reportedly one of the other major players in a Realmuto deal with Miami. Assuming Frisaro is correct in his timing on such a deal, you can expect something will come together quickly. And with the Phillies scheduled to officially open their own spring training camp next week, we should be getting a lot of big, important news very soon.

Remembering the Phillies first-ever big free agent signing of Pete Rose

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Rose became the first big free agent signing by the Phillies in December 1978

The Philadelphia Phillies frustratingly lost out on free agent starting pitcher Patrick Corbin. They supposedly remain among the most active bidders for  the big bats of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado as this off-season moves along.

It was forty years ago today that the Phillies made their first-ever free agent signing, and it was a big one. It turned out to have as positive an impact on the history of the organization as those who made the decision could have hoped.
There were a number of superstars who made up the core of the Cincinnati Reds legendary ‘Big Red Machine’ back-to-back World Series champions of 1975-76. But the man who provided the engine to that powerful train was Pete Rose.
Nicknamed ‘Charlie Hustle’ because of his highly competitive style of play, Rose was already 37-years-old when Phillies owner Ruly Carpenter gave his blessing to the four-year, $3.225 million contract negotiated by GM Paul Owens.
The Phillies had won three consecutive National East Division crowns from 1976-78. But each year they fell short in the League Championship Series. They were swept out by Rose and the Reds champions of 1976. In both 1977 and 1978, the Los Angeles Dodgers won an NLCS each year when the Phillies seemed poised to win for themselves.
Those Phillies teams were extremely talented. Led by future Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton and filled with numerous Gold Glove Award winners and NL All-Stars, they had the talent to win. They just didn’t seem to quite know how to actually get the job done.
Rose knew how to win the big one. He was a key part, perhaps the most important part, of those Reds championship teams. Voted the Most Valuable Player of perhaps the greatest World Series in history, the Reds unforgettable seven-game 1975 victory.
Rose was the 1963 NL Rookie of the Year and a decade later was the 1973 National League Most Valuable Player. He had been runner-up for that NL MVP in 1968, and would finish among the top five in voting on three other occasions. Rose was a 12x NL All-Star, and won back-to-back NL Gold Glove Awards as an outfielder in 1969 and 1970.
This was the player whom the Phillies decided was, even at an advanced age for a baseball player, worth the largest contract in the history of the game. Carpenter and Owens brought Rose to Philadelphia for one reason alone, to put the team over the top. To finally win the first World Series title in franchise history.
During his first season with the Phillies, Rose helped drive the team back to the top of the division. They moved into first place on April 21 and would remain there for more than a month, building an early 3.5 game lead at one point. And then the wheels fell off.
The 1979 Phillies collapsed under a myriad of injuries, losing second baseman Manny Trillo, catcher Bob Boone, and starting pitchers Dick Ruthven and Larry Christenson for chunks of the season.
They would finish 84-78, a disappointing fourth place, 14 games behind the division-winning “We Are Family” Pittsburgh Pirates team that would go on to win the World Series that year.
Rose himself could hardly have been considered a disappointment, however. He had 208 hits, including 40 doubles. He stole 20 bases and his .418 on-base percentage led the National League. Rose was selected to his 13th NL All-Star team that year.
It would finally all come together the following year. Rose led the NL with 42 doubles and was again an NL All-Star. And finally, the Phillies were World Series champions.
It wasn’t an easy battle. The Phillies had to fight off the tough, young Montreal Expos over the final week of the regular season, winning their fourth NL East crown in five years on the final weekend of the season in Montreal. Next came a tremendous challenge, overcoming the tough Houston Astros and their dominating pitching staff led by Nolan Ryan.
The Phillies would win what still may be the greatest NLCS in history by 3-2. Each of the last four games were decided in extra innings. Rose famously steam-rolled Astros catcher Bruce Bochy to score the winning run of Game 4 as the Phillies tied the series. It was stereotypical Rose, and epitomized the very reason he was brought to the team.
In the World Series against the Kansas City Royals, Rose was largely absent at the plate. He hit just .261 with a double and two walks, and one RBI.
But even without his usual offensive impact, Rose would still leave a lasting positive impression. With one out in the top of the 9th inning of Game 6, Tug McGraw was on the mound and the Phillies were trying to nail down the title.
The Royals had base runners and were threatening a comeback when Frank White sent a foul pop towards the Phillies dugout. Catcher Bob Boone ran to snare it for the second out, but the ball popped out of his glove. It could have fallen to the ground, and the Royals could have been given another shot to extend their rally.
Rose would have none of it. Again typical of his ‘Charlie Hustle’ nickname, Rose sped towards Boone and the popup. When the ball bounced out of Boone’s glove, Rose shot his own out and snared the ball before it had a chance to drop.
The Phillies had the valuable second out. McGraw then struck out Willie Wilson, and the Phillies were world champions for the first time in their 97-year history.
That would be the lone championship during the four seasons that Rose would play in Phillies pinstripes. The 1981 team reached the postseason but were defeated in a tough five-game NLDS by the Expos. Rose hit .325 and led all of baseball with 140 hits during that strike-shortened campaign.
The 1982 Phillies were in first place once again as late as September 13, but a 4-9 stretch over the next two weeks doomed them. That team finished in second, three games behind a Saint Louis Cardinals team that would win the World Series. The four-year contract was up, but Rose and the Phillies agreed on a one-year deal for the 1983 season.
In his final Phillies season, Rose again helped lead the Phillies to a National League pennant. He was an NL All-Star for a 16th time in that 1983 season, his fourth straight all-star appearance as a member of the Phillies. Rose hit .375 in the NLCS victory over the Dodgers and then .313 in the World Series, but the Phillies lost in five games to the Baltimore Orioles.
Rose would sign as a free agent with the Expos, where he would play 95 games during the 1984 season. The Expos would then deal him back to where it all began in Cincinnati. Rose would finish out a 24-year big-league career with the Reds in 1986 at age 45.
Over his five seasons in Philadelphia, Rose hit .291 with a .365 on-base percentage from ages 38-42. He banged out 826 hits, including 139 doubles, and scored 390 runs. Perhaps most importantly, Rose pushed Schmidt from being an all-star to a Hall of Fame caliber player.
“Mike was the best player in the league three or four days a week when I got to the Phillies in 1979,” Rose told The Sporting News when Schmidt entered the Hall of Fame. “By the time I left, he had learned to be the best seven days a week.
There were a number of controversies that would envelop Rose in his later years as a manager. Even more would pop up in recent years to derail his enshrinement into the Phillies Wall of Fame.
But on this date in 1979 the Philadelphia Phillies did what the 2018 Phillies can only hope to accomplish. The signed a controversial superstar free agent player who actually helped the team win a World Series championship, and helped them contend for the life of his contract.

David Bell, former Phillies third baseman, named as new Cincinnati Reds skipper

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Bell started at third base for the Phillies from 2002 through July 2006

The Cincinnati Reds have announced that former Philadelphia Phillies third baseman David Bell has been named as their new manager. Bell will be introduced to the Cincinnati fans and media at a Monday press conference.

The 46-year-old Bell signed a three-year contract with a club option fourth season in 2022. He and his father, former big-leaguer Buddy Bell, become the fourth father-son combination to manage in Major League Baseball.
Bell was already an eight-year big-leaguer when he signed with the Phillies as a free agent for the 2003 season. He, first baseman Jim Thome, and closer Billy Wagner were brought in specifically to help the Phillies try to contend as they transitioned from Veteran’s Stadium to Citizens Bank Park.
Over parts of four seasons with the Phillies, Bell slashed .258/.331/.385 with 38 home runs, 209 RBI, and 191 runs scored. On June 28, 2004 at Citizens Bank Park, Bell became the 264th player in MLB history and the eighth and most recent player in Phillies history (Chuck Klein did it twice) to hit for ‘The Cycle’ (a single, double, triple, homer in same game.)

Bell was dealt away by the Phillies to the Milwaukee Brewers at the 2006 trade deadline. He would then play the final 53 games of that, his final season, with the Brewers.
Overall, he played in a dozen MLB seasons with a .257/.320/.396 slash line. Bell produced 123 home runs and 589 RBI over 5,380 plate appearances with six organizations. In 2002, Bell received the Willie McCovey Award as the San Francisco Giants most inspirational player for a team that reached the World Series.
A Cincinnati native, Bell helped Moeller High School win the 1989 Ohio state championship. He also managed for four seasons from 2009-11 in the Reds minor league system, compiling a 227-332 record.
Bell became the Chicago Cubs third base coach during the 2013 campaign. He also obtained managerial experience in 2009 in the Arizona Fall League.
In 2014, Bell became the assistant hitting coach with the Saint Louis Cardinals. For the last three years he served as Mike Matheny‘s bench coach with the Cardinals.

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David Bell has been named the new manager of the Cincinnati Reds. He will be introduced at a press conference on Monday at 11:00 a.m.
Bell comes from a baseball family. In addition to his father, his grandfather, Gus Bell, is a Reds Hall of Famer. His brother, Mike Bell, was also a third baseman. He appeared in 19 games with the Reds during the 2000 season.
With his grandfather and father having played Major League Baseball, the Bell’s are one of five families to send three generations to the majors.
One of the others is the family of former Phillies catcher Bob Boone. Boone’s father, Ray Boone, played in MLB, as did sons Brett Boone and Aaron Boone. Both Brett and Aaron had multi-year stints with the Reds.
Bell spent last season with the Giants as their Vice-President of Player Development. That type of role may become a trend in the grooming of managers. Gabe Kapler served as the Los Angeles Dodgers Director of Player Development prior to landing his current job as the Phillies manager.
The Reds finished the 2018 season in fifth (last) place in the National League Central Division with a 67-95 record. It was the team’s fourth straight last place finish. Cincinnati last reached the postseason as an NL Wildcard team in 2013. They last won an NL Central crown in 2012.

The Reds have not been to the World Series since sweeping the Oakland A’s 4-0 in 1990. That was the fifth victory in the Fall Classic in the history of the franchise, which began play in the old American Association as the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1882. They joined the National League as the Reds for the 1890 season.

Originally published at Phillies Nation as “Former Phillies third baseman David Bell named new Cincinnati Reds manager