When the Cincinnati Reds try for a three-game sweep of the host Miami Marlins on Wednesday, both managers will be busy adjusting to their new rosters.
Within the past week, the Reds have traded five starters: pitchers Tyler Mahle and Luis Castillo, outfielders Tommy Pham and Tyler Naquin, and infielder Brandon Drury.
Cincinnati manager David Bell had good things to say about all the departed Reds, including: “Pham was a great guy on this team.”
Miami wasn’t as aggressive a seller, but the Marlins’ bullpen did take a hit as Zach Pop and Anthony Bass were sent packing on Tuesday.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said he will miss both relievers.
“Anthony has been our most consistent guy this year,” Mattingly said. “Zach has been a success story as a ‘Rule 5’ guy who took on some bumps and bruises last year. But then you saw him grow and get better.”
The Reds, with their depleted rotation, will throw struggling left-hander Mike Minor (1-7, 6.31 ERA) against the Marlins on Wednesday. The Reds will try for their fifth straight win.
Miami will counter with right-hander Sandy Alcantara (9-4, 1.99), who is considered a front-runner to win the National League Cy Young Award. Alcantara leads the NL in ERA and tops everyone in innings pitched (149 1/3).
Alcantara is 1-2 with a 2.86 ERA in five career games against the Reds — including three starts.
Alcantara has yet to face the Reds this season, but he has been dominant all year. His “worst” month came in May, when he had a 2.13 ERA in six starts. He has been equally good at home (2.00 ERA) as on the road (1.98).
However, Alcantara has slumped in his past two starts, allowing six runs in 11 innings.
Meanwhile, Minor, 34, has seen a downturn in his career since going 14-10 with a 3.59 ERA in 2019. Since then, he is 10-25 with a 5.40 ERA.
In 14 career starts against the Marlins, Minor is 3-5 with a 5.05 ERA.
The Reds are 1-9 this season when starting Minor, who hasn’t won a game since June 13.
However, Minor pitched fairly well in his most recent outing, a 6-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, allowing just four hits and two runs.
“He gave us fits,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
As for the Reds’ and Marlins’ offenses, their strategies likely will be different on Wednesday.
Alcantara usually goes deep into games — he leads the majors in innings for a reason — and with the trades made by Miami, the Marlins’ bullpen has been weakened.
Conversely, Marlins hitters shouldn’t be worried necessarily about working deep counts. Miami has struggled to score lately — averaging 1.8 runs during a five-game losing streak — so they are more likely to be aggressive early.
Miami, which lost right fielder Avisail Garcia to a hamstring injury on Tuesday, seems to badly miss Jazz Chisholm Jr., Jon Berti, Brian Anderson and Jorge Soler. All four of those hitters are on the injured list.
–Field Level Media