As the Reds prepare to welcome yet another newcomer to the mound tonight, when Louis Castillo will become the sixth rookie pitcher this season to start a game for the team in Washington, there’s one way to forget recent misery – think about their bopping boys, Scott Schebler and Joey Votto.
Sure, Cincinnati (30-41) has dropped 11 of its past 12 games to fall into last place in the National League Central division, eight games behind Milwaukee (40-35), but why not dwell on the fact the Reds have a rare combination of bona-fide thumpers?
When Schebler homered in Wednesday’s 8-3 loss at Tampa Bay, that marked just the third time that the Reds have had two players with 20 dingers through the first 75 games.
The right fielder and first baseman Votto each have 20, tied with Milwaukee’s Eric Thames and Miami’s Marcell Ozuna for second in the National League behind the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger (22).
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, two special tandems have done this in Reds uniforms previously: Johnny Bench and Tony Perez went wacko yard in 1970, and Ted Kluszewski and Gus Bell rang ‘em up in 1953.
So, there’s that.
Meanwhile, here’s a look at Castillo, who has been called up from AA Pensacola to help – hopefully – a starting rotation that has ranked at or near the bottom of the National League in ERA.