I fell behind on these pretty quickly this year. I had huge expectations for my Reds this year, but when they started the season so poorly I focused on other things. Call me a bandwagon fan, but I’m not going to stand by and root for a terrible team. I’m happy when they win, and love seeing guys like Aristides Aquino excel, but as a whole the Reds have been an enormous disappointment in 2019.
Anthony DeSclafani, while not the ace of the staff, has been a solid back-of-the-rotation starter. His 8-7 record and 4.40 ERA are about what I would expect for a 4th or 5th starter, and his 1.6 WAR isn’t terrible. He’ll never be mistaken for an All-Star, but as long as he can avoid injury I expect “Disco” to have a nice long career on the mound.
My wife and I spent a few days in the Smoky Mountains last week. For the past two years, we have participated in the Great Smoky Mountains Marriage Retreat, sponsored by the Jacksonville church of Christ. It is a fantastic getaway, and refreshing to just turn everything off for a few days. I would highly recommend this retreat to any married couple, no matter how long you have been together. We were blessed to hear great lessons from God’s Word presented by Dan Winkler, B.J. Clarke, and Melvin Otey.
Of course, even when I’m not home, life goes on. The mail still runs. Packages still arrive. I was ecstatic when I got home Saturday night to find a package from the legendary Night Owl. The note inside read, “Useful? Dupes? You decide —N.O.”
First off, no Reds card is ever useless. Even dupes can be used—for trades, for TTM requests, for art projects that I will probably never ever tackle.
The package contained a handful of 1981 Fleer, all doubles. The only 1981 Fleer Reds card I am missing is Bill Bonham, “small hand on back” variation. I’m not really concerned about obtaining that variation which looks more like a printing error to my eyes.
Then there was a 2017 Joey Votto “League Leaders” card. Double. But far from useless. I’m always happy to have an extra Votto card.
Then we get to the non-dupes. Several 2017 Topps Update Series cards, including the future ace of the Reds staff, Luis Castillo, and the short-printed red jersey Jesse Winker. Moving along, there is a 2017 Topps Bunt Anthony DeSclafani and a 2017 Topps Gallery Winker. I had no cards from either set already, so it’s great to get started toward the team set in each.
Spring training is underway. Regulation baseball is right around the corner. The Reds have a young, promising team. 2018 will be full of growing pains with young players learning the ropes, and .500 looks to be a longshot. But you never know. You just never know.
April 18, 1990
Anthony DeSclafani was supposed to be the ace of a very young Reds pitching staff this year, but will not see any major league action until at least June due to injury. He impressed fans last year with a 9-5 record and 3.28 ERA in 20 games to go along with a promising 3.0 WAR.
The rookie right-hander put on a pitching clinic yesterday in Chicago, only giving up two hits to the Cubs over a tremendous seven-inning outing. Of course, the bullpen made it a nail-biter by allowing two runs to score in the eighth inning, but Aroldis Chapman shut down the Chicago offense in the ninth to give Anthony DeSclafani his first Reds win.
Acquired in the Mat Latos trade, DeSclafani has outpitched the sullen former Red in their first two outings. DeSclafani is 1-0 in two starts with a 1.38 ERA and 11 strikeouts; Latos is 0-2 with a 17.36 ERA and only 5 K’s. While it is certainly too early to declare DeSclafani the Rookie of the Year, he is off to a strong start.
Thursday was an active day in baseball with several high-profile players changing teams, including Matt Kemp and Yoenis Cespedes. Unfortunately, the Cincinnati Reds did not land either of those sluggers to fill the emptiness that is left field. Despite failing to address the biggest need on the team, Walt Jocketty traded starting pitchers Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon, picking up four youngsters from the Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers in exchange.
Eugenio Suarez, Jonathon Crawford, Anthony DeSclafani, Chad Wallach are the newest members of the Reds organization. Crawford was Detroit’s first-round draft pick in 2013 and posted a 2.85 ERA in 23 starts for the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2014. Wallach has baseball in his blood; his father is Tim Wallach, the five-time All-Star third baseman.
Thanks to TWJ contributor Patrick for whipping up these awesome customs. Hopefully the Reds continue to wheel and deal without “going all in” by sending Johnny Cueto packing.