CINCINNATI — Most of the chatter and chit chat involving the Cincinnati Reds these days concerns the all-rookie chorus line of starting pitchers.
Everything is being built toward the future, but wasn’t it Yogi Berra who wisely said, “The future ain’t what it used to be?”
What the Reds would like their future to look like is what the New York Mets pitching staff looks like right now. And those Mets are on display this week in Great American Ball Park, where the Mets have a chance to clinch the National League East championship.
And here is what the Reds will see:
THEY START out Thursday night facing 24-year-old rookie Steven Matz, who is 4-0 with a 1.80 earned run average since his call-up from Triple-A.
ON FRIDAY the Reds see 23-year-old rookie Noah Syndergaard, 8-7 with a 3.39 ERA.
ON SATURDAY the Reds face 26-year-old Matt Harvey, who is in his fifth season and is 12-7 with a 2.80 earned run average.
ON SUNDAY the Reds face second-year pitcher and Rookie of the Year last season Jacob deGrom, 13-8 with a 2.64 earned run average.
Now that is a young and efficient and productive pitching staff with no much esperience but a big pile of success.
CONTRAST THAT TO the youngsters the Reds are running out there: Josh Smith (0-2, 7.71), Anthony DeSclafani (9-11, 3.79), John Lamb (1-3, 4.60), Keyvius Sampson (2-5, 6.45), Raisel Iglesias (3-7, 4.15).
It would behoove all those young Reds pitchers to do another thing Yogi Berra once said: “You can observe a lot by watching.”
There is no doubt Reds manager Bryan Price would like to see all his young pitchers evolve into what the Mets have put together.
“Yeah, we absolutely want it that way,” said Price when asked if he’d like his young pitchers to magically materialize into what the Mets have. “In certain ways we did that between 2010 and 2012 by promoting some of our young pitchers and seeing them start to flourish — guys like Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto.
“You see a guy like Matt Harvey and deGrom, an All-Star and Rookie of tye year, and Syndergaard and now Matz is being very impressive. Their list goes on and on with Bartolo Colon giving them quality innings. They have like seven guys they feel confident in running out there as starting pitchers.
“You saw the same thing when Tampa turned things around when Joe Maddon got there and they really invested in their young pitching staff,” Price added. “You get that and you have a chance to win your division and compete in the postseason.”
STOP RIGHT HERE is you have heard this one before: Billy Hamilton is going to spend the winter working on his bunting and his hitting.
First, though, he will have arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to clean debris from his right shoulder. He was scheduled to do it Friday, but it was moved back to Tuesday so he can attend his sister’s wedding.
He will do his shoulder rehab either in Cincinnati or at the spring training complex in Goodyear, Ariz., then his winter workload will begin in early November.
“The recovery period won’t be extensive so we have some things we’re getting in place for him to do in the off-season,” said Price.
“He’ll spend a bulk of his time in southern California doing some preparation for next year,” said Price. “There will be some specialty time with coaches. He’ll spend some time with (hitting coach) Don Long and he’ll spend some time with somebody focusing on utilizing his speed as an offensive player. We’ll focus particularly on his bunting because that’s where he has real room to grow.”
THERE WAS some mini-excitement in the Reds clubhouse before Thursday’s game.
Pitcher Anthony DeSclafani pulled a box of equipment out of his locker, where it was stored during the Reds just completed 10-day trip. When he opened the box he discovered that a mouse had nested in his gear.
“Guess I’ll get a new box,” he said.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: There was a long pregnant pause in manager Bryan Price’s office before the start of his daily media briefing and he broke the silence by saying, “Searching, searching. Yeah, I get it. Not much to talk about.” The meeting was over after only two questions and he said, “Good? All right. Short and sweet. You guys are in season-ending form.”