If there was a toilet series in the major leagues, it would likely feature the Cincinnati Reds and Kansas City Royals. The 23-43 Reds and 22-44 Royals meet for a date in the basement. Cincinnati and KC join the White Sox and Marlins fighting to avoid last place in baseball. The Royals at least have a World Series win in 2015 to brag about. The next closest is the White Sox team from 2005.
It’s been a lot of ugly days and nights these days for this bunch, though. It’s almost hard to believe that the Royals won the World Series just a few years ago. But like most other teams, there is always a rebuilding process at some point. The Astros were rebuilding for a decade after they lost the 2005 World Series to the White Sox, but they sure are shining now.
The last time the Reds won the World Series it was 1990. This was a few years after Pete Rose retired, but Rose did win three World Series with the Reds in his career. The fact that I need to go back this far to find the last time the Reds put fear into opposing teams highlights the problem in Cincinnati. The Reds do have one of the best players in the majors on their roster, Joey Votto, but his talent is largely going unused on this bad team.
It really doesn’t matter how slick he is getting on base if no one is going to bring him home. It also doesn’t help if the pitching doesn’t provide any support. He has a $25 million per year contract until 2022, so some could be gun shy about approaching the Reds about a trade, but he could instantly help a contender who needs the help now. He voiced his displeasure with the organization earlier in the season, but would have to waive his no-trade clause to get the ball moving to another club. As far as today is concerned, the Reds will look to Sal Romano to get the job done on the hump, while the Royals counter with Ian Kennedy. Head below for our free Reds vs. Royals pick.
Cincinnati Reds vs. K.C. Royals Pick
Sal Romano (3-7, 6.23 ERA) vs. Ian Kennedy (1-6, 5.76 ERA)
Sal Romano should just feel fortunate that there is a rotation as bad as the Reds out there. If there wasn’t, he wouldn’t have a job in the major leagues right now. He’d be down in the minors by now trying to fine tune his arm, but it’s trial by error for Romano at the moment in the big leagues. In his last five starts, he hasn’t allowed less than 4 runs per game: 6, 7, 5, 4, and 5. After that kind of production from a young pitcher, you usually hear about them getting demoted to the minor leagues.
I don’t think he can afford another slip up, but there are no indications that he’s going to confuse anybody at the moment. In his last three outings, he has posted an ERA of 8.22 and 1.70 WHIP. Romano only made 16 starts a year ago as a rookie. The Reds don’t have much of a short leash on him and he’s not going off a pitch count. In other words, his arm could be getting tired already. Is that the reason he’s been getting pushed around? Maybe, maybe not, but the fact of the matter is he’s getting railed.
Romano has also been bad on the road. He goes into Missouri with a 7.57 ERA and 1.87 WHIP away from Cincinnati. Ian Kennedy doesn’t have much to say himself. His ERA is a bit better in his last three starts, but that’s nothing to brag about when the other guy is riding a 8.22 ERA into this game. Kennedy posted an ERA of 7.62 with a 2.08 WHIP and .415 OBA in his last three outings. In his last 9 innings at home, he’s given up 13 runs in total. The bullpens for the Reds and Royals haven’t been much help either. The Royals’ relievers own a collective ERA of 5.40, 29th in the majors. Conversely, the Reds are 20th with an ERA of 4.00. I believe this has the makings of a high-scoring game.