The Cincinnati Reds need to bounce back after a dreadful road trip

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 01: Billy Hamilton #6 and Scott Schebler #43 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate after the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park on July 1, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 8-2. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 01: Billy Hamilton #6 and Scott Schebler #43 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate after the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park on July 1, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 8-2. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Reds are returning home after a dreadful road trip that ended with a 4-game sweep at the hands of the Cubs. What can Reds fans expect when the Brewers and Cardinals come to town?

The Cincinnati Reds were dismantled over their 7-game road trip. The Reds went 1-6 last week, with their lone win coming against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night. Cincinnati will get a chance for redemption starting on Tuesday when those same Brewers come to Great American Ball Park. A few things may be different than the last time these two clubs met.

The outfield rotation is a thing of the past. Say goodbye to the outfield rotation that interim manager Jim Riggleman had in place since he took over. Whether it was Adam Duvall and Jesse Winker, or Phillip Ervin and Mason Williams, or even Preston Tucker and Dilson Herrera, the Reds have not had a consistent outfield for most of the season.

According to Riggleman, that ship has sailed and Reds fans should look for an outfield of Ervin, Scott Schebler, and Billy Hamilton for the remainder of the season. There’s likely to be a few spot starts for Tucker or Williams against right-handed pitchers, but they’ll more likely serve as a pinch-hitter off the bench, or maybe a defensive replacement late in games.

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Schebler is back. Speaking of Scott Schebler, he’s back. After injuring his shoulder before the All-Star break, Schebler’s missed 33 games before returning last Saturday in Chicago. In his first game, Schebler got a hit in his first at-bat.

Unfortunately, that was his only hit in his 8 plate appearances over the weekend. Schebler was not alone, however, at the Reds managed only 3 hits during their game on Sunday, and waited until Saturday’s game was well out of hand before provided some run support.

Schebler hit in the leadoff spot Saturday but was plugged into the No. 5 hole during Sunday’s finale. While he excelled as the leadoff hitter earlier this season, Jose Peraza has shown a knack for hitting in the No. 1 spot as well. Even Billy Hamilton has received a few starts at the top of the order.

Look for Jim Riggleman to move Schebler around in the lineup until he finds a comfortable spot for his outfielder. With the prospect of Joey Votto returning from the DL in the near future, Schebler could be bounced all over the lineup. Regardless of where he hits, it’s nice to have his bat back.

Joey’s getting closer. Joey Votto was able to come off the 10-day disabled list on Sunday. Instead, the Reds’ first baseman is still out with a bruised knee courtesy of the intentionally, yes, I said intentionally, thrown fastball by Ryan Madson that struck Votto in his right knee.

It sounds as though Votto is close, however, and he may even be back in the lineup on Tuesday. Votto is well off the pace from the MVP-type season he had last year, but he still leads the NL in on-base percentage.

No more 6-man rotation. The Reds are ready to move on from the six-man rotation. Anthony DeSclafani will get the ball on Tuesday. He will be followed by Matt Harvey, Luis Castillo, and Homer Bailey. The fifth starter hasn’t officially been named yet, but it’s assumed that Cody Reed will get the ball to start Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Robert Stephenson and Sal Romano will be available from the bullpen, most likely for the remainder of the regular season. Stephenson is 0-2 with a 9.26 ERA and Romano is carrying a 7-10 record on the season with a 5.47 ERA.

Cody Reed deserves the opportunity to start. His 1-9 career record would suggest otherwise, but he’s looked good since coming up from Triple-A Louisville. The Reds traded away Johnny Cueto for Reed, Brandon Finnegan, and John Lamb (no longer with the organization), and he’s only received 12 starts at the Major League level.

Ervin may push Hamilton for a starting spot in 2019. Next

Reed is a hard-throwing left-hander; something the Cincinnati Reds desperately need if they want to compete next season. If the Reds are able to put Reed in a starting role this year and he succeeds, he could have a leg up on a starting spot in the 2019 rotation for the Cincinnati Reds.