Riggleman to make Reds home debut vs. Braves

Riggleman to make Reds home debut vs. Braves

So far, the Cincinnati Reds of manager Jim Riggleman haven’t looked that much different than the Cincinnati Reds of Bryan Price.

Not much hitting. Certainly not much pitching. And, from the looks of things, not much hope for the immediate future.

The Reds return home Monday to face the Atlanta Braves in their first game at Great American Ball Park since Riggleman replaced Price as manager last week. About all that’s different since the managerial change is the Reds are 3-18 after being 3-15 when Price was let go.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished off a second successive weekend swept of the Reds by winning 9-2 on Sunday at Busch Stadium, Cincinnati’s fifth loss in a row, 13th in 14 games and 15th in 17 games. The Reds already are 0-7 against the Cardinals this season, and their 3-18 start is the worst in franchise history — and the franchise is 136 years old. It’s also the worst record in the majors.

Reds right-hander Luis Castillo lasted five innings Sunday, surrendering three runs and seven hits while walking four, and the bullpen gave up six runs in the next three innings.

“There’s better days ahead for him (Castillo) and the ballclub,” Riggleman said after the game.

The Reds can only hope so, but their numbers don’t lie. They’re hitting only .220 as a team and the team ERA is 5.55, with both numbers ranking in the bottom five in the majors.

If management was hoping for the turnaround that quite often occurs when a managerial or coaching change is made — even if it’s short-lasting — that hasn’t been the case with the Reds. They’ve now lost 24 of their last 28 games dating to last season, when they dropped 10 of their final 12.

“We’ve got to pitch better and hit better,” Riggleman said.

Atlanta, which unexpectedly got Sunday off when its series finale against the New York Mets was rained out at SunTrust Park, has won three of its last four.

The Reds will send one of their many struggling starters to the mound to begin the four-game series, with right-hander Sal Romano making his fifth start of the season. He’s 0-2 with a 5.75 ERA, allowing four homers and walking 11 in 20 1/3 innings.

Romano did beat the Braves last season, allowing one run and five hits in seven innings of the Reds’ 5-3 win on Aug. 18. He doesn’t have much of a history with the current Braves hitters, although Freddie Freeman has doubled off him in three career at-bats.

Romano will be opposed by right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, whose start was pushed back a day by the rainout. He’s off to a good start with a 1-1 record, 2.53 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings.

Foltynewicz didn’t get the decision in a 5-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday in which he gave up only one earned run and four hits while striking out eight and walking four in six innings — all while admittedly not having his best stuff.

“My fastball command wasn’t there, but it had good life,” he said. “I was effectively wild. I kind of had to rely on the slider.”

Foltynewicz’s outing impressed manager Brian Snitker, who said, “He kept the game in check, never gave it and made pitches when he had to.”

Foltynewicz has had success against the Reds, going 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA against them in three starts, striking out 19 while allowing 14 hits in 18 2/3 innings.

Among the current Reds batters, Joey Votto is 2-for-5 (.400) against him, Billy Hamilton is 2-for-9 (.222) with a double, and Scooter Gennett is 0-for-4.

The Braves and Reds split their six games last season.

Late April Rosterbation

Late April Rosterbation

Hi there everybody, back again here with quality rosterbation at your fingertips. I have two rounds to pump out here, so I’ll get right to it: Mid-2018 roster and Opening Day 2019. First, the 2018 roster at about the trade deadline:

2018 Trade Deadline

Lineup vs RHP:

Nick Markakis RF – Ozzie Albies 2B – Freddie Freeman 1B – Ronald Acuna LF – Kurt Suzuki C – Dansby Swanson SS – Johan Camargo 3B – Ender Inciarte CF

Lineup vs LHP:

Ronald Acuna LF – Ozzie Albies 2B – Freddie Freeman 1B – Jose Bautista RF – Kurt Suzuki C – Dansby Swanson SS – Johan Camargo 3B – Ender Inciarte CF

Bench: Tyler Flowers C – Jose Bautista 3B/RF – Ryan Flaherty UT – Preston Tucker COF

Rotation: Julio Teheran – Mike Foltynewicz – Sean Newcomb – Luiz Gohara – Mike Soroka

Bullpen: Matt Wisler – Max Fried – Shane Carle – Sam Freeman – Daniel Winkler – Jesse Biddle – Arodys Vizcaino – A.J. Minter

Key Departures: Brandon McCarthy, Charlie Culberson, Peter Moylan, Jose Ramirez

2019 Opening Day

Lineup vs RHP

Matt Joyce LF – Ronald Acuna CF – Freddie Freeman 1B – Bryce Harper RF – Austin Riley 3B – Ozzie Albies 2B – Dansby Swanson SS – Tyler Flowers C

Lineup vs LHP

Ronald Acuna CF – Freddie Freeman 1B – Bryce Harper RF – Austin Riley 3B – Ozzie Albies 2B – Dansby Swanson SS – Kurt Suzuki C – Dustin Peterson LF

Bench: Matt Joyce / Dustin Peterson COF – Tyler Flowers / Kurt Suzuki C – Johan Camargo INF – Alex Jackson C/LF – Albert Almora Jr / Mark Zagunis OF

Rotation: Sean Newcomb – Mike Soroka – Luiz Gohara – Mike Foltynewicz – Kyle Wright

Bullpen: A.J. Minter – Arodys Vizcaino – A.J. Ramos / Brad Brach / Adam Ottavino – Grant Dayton / Jesse Biddle – Daniel Winkler – Max Fried / Patrick Wiegel – Lucas Sims / Matt Wisler

Departures from 2018: Julio Teheran, Ender Inciarte, Arodys Vizcaino, Nick Markakis,

Basic idea for me this offseason is trying to unload some guys who I think show some value right now but have risky profiles heading into our 2020s as a contender — that’s Julio and Ender mainly. Here are some of my moves:

– Sign Bryce Harper to the slick $400M deal.

– Sign Matt Joyce to something like 2 years, $24M.

– Trade Ender Inciarte to the Cubs for Albert Almora and/or Mark Zagunis, with a pitching prospect like Duane Underwood attached.

– Trade Julio Teheran

– Sign one good reliever out there like A.J. Ramos, Brad Brach, or Adam Ottavino.

– Allow Austin Riley, Mike Soroka, Kyle Wright, Dustin Peterson and Alex Jackson to slide right up into the majors.

– Extend Suzuki and Flowers to at least another season.

– Move extra starters like Max Fried, Patrick Weigel, Lucas Sims, into a permanent relief role where they can become 2-3 inning machines to pair with a good core of Minter/Viz/FA. With that amount of inning coverage available, use a 5-man bench.

This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Talking Chop.

Braves rally past Familia, Mets for 4-3 win

Braves rally past Familia, Mets for 4-3 win

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Atlanta Braves’ Johan Camargo dives across home plate for the winning run as New York Mets catcher Jose Lobaton, left, reaches for him during the ninth inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Atlanta. The Braves won 4-3. (AP Photo/John Amis)

ATLANTA (AP) — Johan Camargo tripled home the tying run, then scored on Ender Inciarte‘s bunt single as the Atlanta Braves scored twice in the ninth inning off Mets closer Jeurys Familia to beat New York 4-3 Saturday night.

A crowd of 41,396 that was the largest of the season at SunTrust Stadium saw starters Jacob deGrom and Julio Teheran each pitch seven scoreless innings. After they left, the bullpens wilted.

Familia issued a leadoff walk to Dansby Swanson and Camargo followed with a triple that made it 3-all. With one out and runners at the corners, Inciarte put down a bunt to the right side. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez made a quick throw home, but Camargo was already across the plate with a headfirst dive.

Familia (1-1) entered the game unscored upon and tied for the major league lead with eight saves.

Each starting pitcher allowed just four hits. DeGrom struck out 10 for the Mets and Teheran fanned six.

Atlanta lefty Sam Freeman replaced Teheran to start the eighth and Wilmer Flores, pinch-hitting for deGrom, drew a walk. Jose Reyes followed with his third hit, a perfect bunt. Reyes had his first three hits of the season to break an 0-for-20 streak.

Michael Conforto followed with a grounder to third base and Camargo threw to second base, where Ozzie Albies tried to turn a double play. But Albies dropped the ball and, a video replay reversed the call and ruled all runners safe.

With the bases loaded, Atlanta righty Shane Carle came on to face the right-handed Yoenis Cespedes, who struck out three times against Teheran. Cespedes flied out, but Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run single and Jay Bruce added an RBI single.

Freddie Freeman hit a two-run double off Jerry Blevins in the bottom of the eighth. Freeman hit two doubles.

Jesse Biddle (1-0) went one inning for the win.


Mets: LHP Jason Vargas, who signed a two-year contract with New York in February after playing most recently for the Royals, is expected to make a final rehabilitation start Monday for Triple-A Las Vegas and then join the Mets’ starting rotation. He has been out since surgery to remove a small bone in his non-pitching hand.

Braves: C Tyler Flowers, who has been sidelined since straining an oblique on opening day, is working with Triple-A Gwinnett. If all goes well, he may rejoin Atlanta as soon as next weekend.


Mets: Right-hander Zack Wheeler (1-1, 2.77 ERA) will make his fifth career start in Atlanta, where he is 2-1 with a 1.93 although this will be his first start in SunTrust Park. It’s been a while since he pitched in Atlanta, but he threw six scoreless innings for a win on Sept. 19, 2014 in old Turner Field.

Braves: Righty Mike Foltynewicz (1-1, 2.53) will make his third start against the Mets since joining the Braves in 2015 and hope for better. In his first two starts against the New York, he was hammered while surrendering 17 hits and five home runs in just 8.0 innings. Including a relief appearance that he made for the Astros in 2014, he’s 0-1 with a 10.45 ERA in 10.1 innings vs. the Mets.


The Braves selected the contract of Triple-A RHP Miguel Socolovich from Gwinnett, and sent righty Josh Ravin to Gwinnett one day after he took the loss when he walked Mets reliever Robert Gsellman to start the 12th inning. He eventually scored the go-ahead run in what became a 5-3 defeat.

Braves' Kurt Suzuki: Has big day at plate against Mets

Braves' Kurt Suzuki: Has big day at plate against Mets

Suzuki went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run, a pair of doubles, three RBI and three runs, helping the Braves to a 12-4 triumph over the Mets on Thursday.

The explosive effort brought Suzuki’s slash line up to .317/.420/.610 over 41 at-bats and he’s been getting the lion’s share of the work at catcher with Tyler Flowers out of action with an oblique injury. His hot bat makes him usable for fantasy purposes for the time being, but Flowers’ eventual return figures to put a dent in his workload whenever it takes place.

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Braves News: Wisler spins a gem

Braves News: Wisler spins a gem

Braves News

Matt Wisler stifles the Mets hot bats in 7 inning masterpiece

Nobody could’ve predicted Matt Wisler to be as sharp as he was last night and the Braves offense got behind him early and often as Atlanta cruised to a win against Matt Harvey and the Mets. Wisler had 8 strikeouts over 7 innings and was flat out dominant against a pretty difficult lineup to face.

T-Flow back to the show?

According to Braves manager Brian Snitker the Braves could see the return of Tyler Flowers to the club as early as a week or two. The Braves stud catcher will begin a rehab assignment this weekend and will be a massive boost once he returns.

How will the promotion of the Braves top prospects increase production?

Doc contrasts the production increases we might see as the Braves replace veterans with the next generation of Braves in the forms of Ronald Acuna, Johan Camargo and Luiz Gohara. Three guys who may just be able to carry the Braves to the next level.

MLB News

The Reds fired their manager and pitching coach… 18 games into the season

No, the Reds have not been anywhere close to good, but it is odd for them to choose now as the time to clean the bench. This mess also makes you have some appreciation for the Braves rebuild around pitching prospects since the one thing the Reds cannot find is decent pitching.

Mets' Syndergaard tries to subdue Braves

Mets' Syndergaard tries to subdue Braves

ATLANTA — Noah Syndergaard struck out eight straight Milwaukee batters and 11 overall in 5 1/3 innings Sunday, but the New York Mets right-hander said he didn’t feel like he was all the way back.

“I’m barely scratching the surface,” he said afterward.

Syndergaard, who was limited to seven starts by a lat tear last year, will try to make it to the seventh inning for the first time this season and get his first victory over Atlanta as he faces the Braves at SunTrust Park on Friday night.

Syndergaard takes a 2-0 record and 2.95 ERA into the matchup with Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb and is hoping to build off his no-decision against the Brewers, when he allowed only an unearned run.

“I feel like this is finally a step in the right direction,” he said afterward. “I finally got a glimpse of what I’m capable of. I felt like my first three starts were not up to par.”

Syndergaard is 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA in four career games against the Braves, but pitched six scoreless innings in a no-decision at New York last April.

Freddie Freeman is 5-for-9 with three extra-base hits against Syndergaard and the first baseman will be in the Braves’ lineup after getting a scare Wednesday in the series finale against Philadelphia.

Freeman, who missed 47 games last year after being hit on the left wrist by a pitch from Toronto’s Aaron Loup, was plunked by Hoby Milner in the same area.

“It missed (the bone) I broke last year by about half an inch,” Freeman said.

Freeman suffered just a bruise this time and he was 2-for-3 and drove in his 13th run of the season with a sacrifice fly as the Braves defeated the Mets 12-4 on Thursday in the opener of the four-game series.

The victory moved the Braves (11-7) to within two games of the Mets (13-5), who had been 6-0 on the road, for first place in the National League East.

Preston Tucker drove in a career-high five runs with a pair of doubles and fill-in starter Matt Wisler limited the Mets two hits, one a homer by Todd Frazier, over seven innings.

The Braves lead the National League with 104 runs scored and are four games over .500 for the first time since April 2015.

Newcomb made his major league debut against the Mets in June and will be facing them for the fourth time after going 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA versus New York in 2017.

The former first-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Angels is 1-1 with a 4.02 ERA in three starts this season, the last two impressive outings in frigid conditions in Colorado and against the Cubs in Chicago.

Newcomb, who was 4-9 with a 4.32 ERA as a rookie, has shown an effective changeup his last two starts.

“I’ve been throwing it more, more than my curve, and it has been a good pitch,” Newcomb said. “I’ve gotten out some good hitters out with it.”

Asdrubal Cabrera is the Met who has had the most success against Newcomb, going 5-for-9 with a double.