Cincinnati Reds: Five bold predictions for the MLB Playoffs

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 25: The Cincinnati Reds celebrate after clinching a wild card spot in the postseason. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 25: The Cincinnati Reds celebrate after clinching a wild card spot in the postseason. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 6
Next
Adam Frazier #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates scores a run in the first inning as catcher Curt Casali #12 of the Cincinnati Reds awaits the throw during game two of a doubleheader.
CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 14: Adam Frazier #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates scores a run in the first inning as catcher Curt Casali #12 of the Cincinnati Reds awaits the throw during game two of a doubleheader. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

3. Reds catcher Curt Casali draws more starts than Tucker Barnhart.

While it’s debatable as to who the Cincinnati Reds starting catcher is, Curt Casali has done his best this season to lay claim to that position going forward. While a lot of Reds Country is excited about the future of Tyler Stephenson, Casali has played extremely well this season, both behind the plate and at the dish.

While Casali has fewer than 100 plate appearances this season, the 31-year-old backstop has the second-highest OPS (.866) on the team. That’s better than Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas, Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suárez. It’s certainly better than Tucker Barnhart’s .679 OPS, who has about an additional 20 plate appearances.

While David Bell likes to play the matchups, he’s not been afraid to throw Curt Casali out there against right-handed pitchers. While Casali’s 1.067 OPS versus lefties is certainly impressive, his .733 OPS against right-handers is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, it’s just a few points behind Barnhart’s .774 OPS against right-handed pitchers.

Casali will no doubt draw the start in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series versus the Atlanta Braves, but I would wager we’d see Casali behind the plate for Game 3, if necessary, with former college teammate Sonny Gray on the mound. Look for Casali to get more starts than Barnhart during the MLB Playoffs, setting up some decisions for the front office this winter.