March 28, 2013
W: Christiani (1-0)
L: Layne (0-1)
Yes, the Cincinnati Reds are fine-tuning their intensity.
For most of spring training, the Reds’ players were obviously testing out things other than winning. Which was fine. For the first time since I can remember, there were no true battles for roster spots. Everything was set, and everyone had time to work on things and ease back into baseball. Now that opening day is less than a week away, it’s time to practice how to win. And the Reds have done that two games in a row.
Yesterday, Mike Leake made his final start of the spring and did well. Leake pitched 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and no walks while striking out 4.
The offense has woken up, too, and I’m certain that all the regulars playing most of the game is a factor. Shin-Soo Choogot the Reds on the board in the 5th with a solo shot. But Ryan Ludwick was the hero for this game, hitting his first spring home run in the 7th inning, a 3-run shot that broke a 1-1 tie.
Then in the 8th, Joey Votto added his own 2-run home run to extend the lead, which was good, since the San Diego Padres scored a couple more in the top of the 9th.
March 27, 2013
W: Cueto (2-1)
L: Samardzija (2-1)
As if in response to Amanda’s call to start practicing intensity, the Cincinnati Reds demolished the Chicago Cubs yesterday, winning 11-1.
Johnny Cueto made his final start of the spring, and looked like the ace of old. He tossed 6 shutout innings, allowing just 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5. Granted, it was the Cubs, but that’s still good to see this late in the spring.
The Reds took the first lead in the 3rd inning when Cueto had a two-out single. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Emmanuel Burriss doubled to center and Cueto scored. In the 7th inning, Todd Frazier added another run by hitting his 5th home run of the spring.
The Cubs made it a one-run game again by scoring in the bottom of the 7th, but the Reds broke it open in the 9th, unloading on the Cubs bullpen and scoring 9 runs in the inning. It was a prodigious display of offense that I hope we get to see often in the regular season.
The win is the Reds’ 10th of the spring, so they won’t be toiling in the single-digit wins wasteland any more.
And now there are just 5 spring training games left until Opening Day.
March 22, 2013
Aroldis Chapman signing on Opening Night 2012.
The news we were expecting came today
, and it’s what I’d feared, the Cincinnati Reds are not the forward-thinking organization that statistics-aware fans wish they were. Instead of seeing if they’re $30 million investment could become a great starter–what they initially scouted him for–the Reds bowed to the whims of manager Dusty Baker and made Aroldis Chapman the closer.
“We made a decision on our rotation. It’s Cueto, Latos, Bronson, Homer Bailey and Leake,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
I’m not that upset about this. Chapman is very good as the closer. And now there’ll be Jonathan Broxton to help when Chapman cannot pitch a second or third day in a row. I’m just a little disappointed. I really wanted to see what Chapman could do as a starter. I mean, the list of tall, flame-throwing left-handed starters isn’t long, kind of starting and ending with Randy Johnson. And Chapman could’ve added his name, but the Reds were apparently too scared to upset their manager and their player to find out.
But this isn’t bad news. At least, not for this season. The Reds already had an awesome rotation in Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo, and Mike Leake. And the bullpen is a very stacked place. The 2013 season is looking very bright.
Still, it sure would’ve been nice for the team to find out what they had in Aroldis Chapman.
March 18, 2013
The Cincinnati Reds cut 5 more players from their roster over the weekend, getting their total roster count down to 39.
Optioned to Triple-A Louisville were right-handed pitchers Pedro Villarreal and Curtis Partch, infielder Henry Rodriguez and first baseman Neftali Soto. Outfielder/first baseman Donald Lutz was optioned to Double-A Pensacola.
Lutz, Rodriguez, and Soto all impressed manager Dusty Baker during the spring and leave knowing they have things to work on in their progress to the majors. There’s a good chance these players will make appearances with the club during the season.
Just 14 cuts to go!
March 13, 2013
The Cincinnati Reds made their first cut of spring training yesterday, removing 12 players from their roster.
Left-hander Tony Cingrani and right-hander Daniel Corcino were optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Right-handers Kyle Lotzkar and Josh Ravin were optioned to Double-A Pensacola. Right-hander Carlos Contreras and outfielder Yorman Rodriguez were optioned to Single-A Bakersfield. Left-hander Ismael Guillon was optioned to Single-A Dayton.
Right-handers Chad Rogers and Nick Christiani, catcher Nevin Ashley, infielder Kristopher Negron and outfielder Ryan LaMarre were re-assigned to the minor league camp.
None of these cuts are a surprise, as none of them had a chance to make the major league roster. However, I am a little surprised that Cingrani was was at this time. He and Corcino are likely to see time in the majors this year should the rotation not repeat last year’s iron man challenge of every starter remaining healthy.
The roster stands at 44, with 19 more players to be cut by opening day.