Cincinnati Reds: News and notes from Blog Red Machine – June 27, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 16: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after giving up a home run in the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 16, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 16: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after giving up a home run in the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 16, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Reds are surging. They’ve won 8 of their last 9 games.

The Cincinnati Reds have won 8 of their last 9 games and are the hottest team in the National League right now. The Reds close out their 3-game series with a rubber match against the Braves Wednesday afternoon before heading home to play the Brewers at Great American Ball Park.

Luis Castillo has struggled throughout the month of June

Cincinnati Reds’ starter, Luis Castillo, has been struggling of late. The young right-hander is 1-3 during the month of June with a 6.33 ERA. During his 4 starts in June, Castillo has surrendered 6 home runs in 21.1 innings pitched.

Castillo will get a chance to close out the month with a win against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday afternoon. The first pitch is scheduled for12:10 ET.

Brandon Finnegan is headed to the bullpen

The last time the Reds made a move involving Brandon Finnegan, he didn’t take it too well. What do you think his reaction will be now?

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Finnegan was demoted to Triple-A Louisville back in May after the Reds acquired Matt Harvey. Now, Finnegan has lost his starting spot in the rotation and will be pitching out of the bullpen. Reds’ GM Dick Williams, via Reds.com, expanded on the reasoning for moving Finnegan to the pen:

"“This is no punishment, whatsoever. We’re just not seeing the performance that we’ve seen before. At the end of ’16, he was an effective starting pitcher. Then because of the time off for injury or whatever, he just hasn’t gotten back there. He hasn’t recaptured it. We’ve just got to get him in a role where he can experience some success again.”"

Finnegan’s ERA with Louisville (7.24) isn’t much better than it was with the Reds (7.40) this season. Maybe moving to the bullpen will help. In his last start, Finnegan only went 3.1 and allowed 9 hits and 10 runs. Ouch!

Amir Garrett injured, but X-Rays negative

Amir Garrett was struck in the leg by a comebacker up the middle during Tuesday’s game against Atlanta. Garrett moved to his right in pursuit of the ball and immediately fell to the ground. Garrett exited the game and was replaced by Michael Lorenzen.

Garrett has been one of Cincinnati’s best relievers of late. In his last 5 appearances, Garrett has 4 holds in 3.2 innings pitched and 5 strikeouts.

X-Rays were negative and the diagnoses is a lower leg contusion according to Reds.com. Garrett appeared to have a bit of fun with the entire incident based on his social media post.

Looking ahead

The Reds close out their series with the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves on Wednesday and then head home for a 4-game series with the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers.

Regardless of the results over the next 4 games, Cincinnati is guaranteed to finish the month of June with at least a .500 record. The Reds are currently 13-9 (.565) with 4 games remaining before heading into July.