2014 Reds / Spring Training

Updates from Goodyear

The club announced their first roster moves last night, cutting the number of players in the big league camp to 44:

  • Optioned to AAA Louisville: RHP Carlos Contreras, RHP Daniel Corcino, RHP Chad Rogers, LHP David Holmberg, OF Ryan LaMarre and OF Donald Lutz;
  • Optioned to AA Pensacola: OF Juan Duran, OF Yorman Rodriguez and LHP Ismael Guillon;
  • Reassigned to minor league camp: RHP Tim Crabbe, RHP Michael Lorenzen, RHP Robert Stephenson, C Rossmel Perez, C Max Ramirez and IF Reynaldo Navarro
  • Released: IF Henry Rodriguez

So far, so good. Billy Hamilton (.318/.444/.409) is 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts this spring. Spring training stats are generally meaningless in predicting how players will perform in the regular season, but two to watch for Hamilton are these: 5 walks, 2 strikeouts. Bryan Price isn’t the first Reds’ manager to face the issue of starting an inexperienced player in centerfield. Read John Errardi’s excellent column on how Sparky Anderson and Bill McKechnie handled similar situations.

After several strong starts, Tony Cingrani met Buster Posey yesterday. Mike Leake, who has been battling an “abdominal issue,” takes the mound at 4:10 (ET) today against the Colorado Rockies. You can hear it on WSAI-AM (1360). Tomorrow’s afternoon game against the Los Angeles Dodgers will be televised on the MLB Network.

Fox Sports Ohio announced its 145-game broadcast schedule for Reds’ games this week.

Mat Latos remains on track to take the mound during the first week of the season, possibly. “We’re not going to do anything irresponsible to get him ready simply to have him on the opening day roster,” said Bryan Price. “But if he stays on his protocol that he’s on now, there’s a good chance he could be ready to start somewhere after that off day on April 1. He could pitch on (April 6), but the priority isn’t the sixth — it’s making sure he’s ready to go.”

Cautiously positive news from the bullpen:

  • Jonathan Broxton threw close to 45 pitches in live batting practice for the first time this spring and reported being pain-free. He’s recovering from right forearm surgery in August. The plan is for Broxton to throw another bullpen session in a couple days then maybe another live BP. His timetable in relation to Opening Day is still uncertain. “There’s a chance he will be (ready for Opening Day),” said Reds’ manager Bryan Price.
  • Sean Marshall is “a couple days” away from pitching off a mound, according to Price. Marshall is still battling the shoulder tendinitis that limited him to 10.1 innings pitched in 2013. He’s been throwing the ball, but not off a mound. “He’s feeling great but with his history and the shoulder from last year and not feeling great here early in camp, we are going to go on the ultra-conservative side and just make sure he does everything in his throwing protocol to verify that he’s feeling great and then get him back on the mound,” Price said. “He’s not starting from square one. He threw all offseason and threw a handful of bullpens before he got here and three or four bullpens while he was here. He’s more advanced than somebody that had to completely shut down for three or four weeks.”

Spring training stats may shed light on the outcome of the competition for roster spots:

  • Hot – Skip Schumaker (.550/.583/.800), Roger Bernadina (.500/.650/.875), Neftali Soto (.375/.375/.708).
  • Not – Ramon Santiago (.118/.250/.176).

From the “just can’t let it go” department:

  • Aroldis Chapman pitched three innings yesterday.

The glorious tradition that is Opening Day in Cincinnati is a mere 19 days away. In case you didn’t know, the Reds play the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park at 4:10 ET on Monday, March 31. The Grand Marshall for the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade is Davey Concepcion, shortstop for the Big Red Machine.

48 thoughts on “Updates from Goodyear

  1. I thought that David Holmberg was being considered for a temporary rotation spot if Latos wasn’t ready opening week? I guess he could still be called back up…maybe this just helps get the starters more playing time as their inning workloads increase.

    • @Greg Dafler: Brantley was saying yesterday that Alfredo Simon filled that role for Baltimore once, which is why the Reds have been stretching Simon out this spring. Nightmare scenario is what if Latos hits a bump and another SP gets sidelined (like Mike Leake). Then what? Chapman?

    • @Greg Dafler: Holmberg got hit with a ball in the leg during drills and had to take a few days off. Not sure where that leaves him when scheduling his appearances.

  2. I’ve admittedly not been paying all that much attention to him, but I’m surprised that they outright released Henry Rodriguez. They must not think he’ll ever “get it”.

    • @DevAJS: Marty was saying on the radio just yesterday (or the day before) that on his early walk to the Reds compound he walks by a field where every morning Henry Rodriguez was taking extra fielding practice.

  3. Yeah, the Sizemore thing makes me sick. Price could have had fun with a three man/two spot rotation in CF and LF to maximize platoon matchups, have BHam on the bench from time to time for a pinch running spot, etc. Regarding starting pitching contingencies, what about recent waiver wire pickup Brett Marshall? . . .

  4. Just be glad we aren’t in the Braves spot right now. They did just sign Santana.
    Medlin goes down Sunday and is lost for the season. Beachy goes down Monday. Minor hasn’t pitched yet this spring.
    Could the Reds interest the Braves in Wang or Francis?
    The health of the Reds starting rotation is paramount this year. Make sure they are good to go before sending them out to pitch. Same with Broxton and Marshall. The news about Broxton is very encouraging. I didn’t think he’d be ready until mid-May.

    • @WVRedlegs: Yeah, but I’m less than enthused about the Marshall news. It sounds like to me that we can’t expect him back anytime soon. Even once he’s healthy, I can’t imagine him not having to do some time in the minors to rehab and get his sharpness together.

      • @preach: Marshall hasn’t pitched in 1 game this spring. After missing a large portion of last season, how is it that 5 months later he comes to spring training and is not ready to pitch yet? I wouldn’t count on him being a reliable bullpen resource.
        Nick Masset all over again.

        • @VaRedsFan: Yeah, I certainly no medical professional (insert Reds training staff joke here), but I have to believe that a year long bout of tendonitis is something other than tendonitis. And if the shoulder has been painful for that long, how close to pitching shape can it possibly be?

        • @preach: After many years of tree climbing, logging and general chainsaw operating, I was diagnosed with tendinitis and struggled with it for a few years. Then, suddenly, it was a very advanced case of traumatic arthritis. Not making predictions, but I believe the same ailment ended Koufax’s career.

        • @VaRedsFan: I hope we’re both wrong but I agree with you. I did see Nick Masset pitching for the Rockies earlier this spring in a game, so maybe Marshall will be back in a few years. Ugh.

    • @WVRedlegs: I said this a year ago–the Reds are downplaying the severity of his injury and I doubt he’ll ever come back 100%. I stand by those words.

      Walt is looking pretty darn smart for signing Parra to a 2 year deal on the cheap. It’s probably not a stretch to say Parra is our 2nd most important reliever.

      • @Sultan of Swaff:

        I have big concerns for Marshall, too. He has avoided surgery so far on his shoulder. I wonder if he has tried that Platlet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy since he hasn’t had surgery? That seems to be the popular route to take when trying to avoid the surgeries.

        FYI. There is going to be a big new sports medical facility located in WV soon. It is being reported that it is going to be headed up by Dr. James Andrews. It will be called the Greenbrier Medical Institute. I believe it will have a state-of-the-art sports rehab facility also.

  5. As for those players getting optioned, I could easily see Corcino getting released/traded in the event Walt wants to acquire a player released near the end of spring training, similar to the Francisco/Hoover deal. If I were Walt, I wouldn’t feel to comfortable about my backup infielders and would look to acquire someone. I mean, if Cozart goes down, we’re really screwed.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Picking up a waiver claim on a quality utility middle IF will be probrlematic this season with so many teams still looking to fill holes at 2B/SS. Even the trade market for middle IF is being squeezed as a seller’s market. Let’s hope Cozart stays healthy.

  6. Does anyone know the numbers on Billy’s bunting for the spring. How many att’s and successful ones. I am sure happy with how many times he has been on base and scored.

  7. With Atlanta signing Santana, that means they give up their 1st round pick, which was #26. That means the Choo compensation pick moves up one more spot. It is at the #28 overall spot now. The Reds will get a stud pick at #28. They have their regular pick at #19 too. Getting Ervin (#27) and Lorenson (#38) last year in the first round and the two this year, could really set up the Reds future for many years.

    • @WVRedlegs:

      I have to make a small correction here. MLB has given KC the #28 spot for losing Santana, so the Reds are at #29 for the Choo comp. pick.

      That could still change as Drew and Morales are still out there in FA limbo.

  8. I have zero interest in Marshall updates…They have been the same for what seems like forever. Really were just talking about an 8th inning set-up guy. Never was impressed with Broxton either. He looks like a walking injury waiting to happen. I wish them luck, but don’t really see them making much of an impact this year.

  9. I still find it nearly impossible to believe that Fox Sports Ohio gets better ratings from five year old reruns of the World Poker Tour, UFC fights, and infomercials than from Reds games that start at 12:35.

    • @Kyle Farmer: It’s a contract for 145 games per year. If you can’t show them all, you eliminate the games played when most people are working.

      Also, it takes a lot of money to put on a live production in the field. So much higher ratings are required to make money in the time slot.

      Anyway, some of the other Reds games will likely get moved to FOX or ESPN later in the year. At that point, FS-O will pick up some of the currently untelevised games to get back to 145.

  10. I’m also glad to hear they are taking their time with Latos. It really wouldn’t bother me if he didn’t pitch until after the weather started getting consistenly better. Cold and wet is usually not what you want in injury recovery.

  11. Economic Development for MLB.
    Bad idea: Having the NL adopt the DH rule, as is being discussed in MLB.
    Good idea: Having NL teams use a 26-man roster, by adding a player. Give NL managers a little more flexibility with their lineups. Minor details would have to be worked out like interleague game rules.

    That is 15 new good-paying jobs created by a swipe of the pen or a vote by MLB teams.

    • @WVRedlegs: I like the idea of another player as I really like pinch hitter type players. I’ve always thought it was one of the more interesting parts of rosters. The spot player.

      I’d probably go with a C-1b that has some pop that might not be much with the glove. That is a popular combo for that type of spot player.

      Sad thing is that some clubs would just carry ANOTHER pitcher and do even more pitching changes.

  12. Sirius/XM radio was at Reds camp yesterday (Casey Stern/Jim Bowden). The had a lot of great interviews. The ones I heard were BP, Latos, and Frazier. I have tried to find a link to those but can’t.

  13. The Reds were going to have 8 guys for 7 bullpen spots already going into the year. Having Marshall start the year on the DL alleviates that issue. The only issue is that Ondrusek (the 8th guy) probably isn’t as good as Beato, Bell, and Diaz. But only Beato has a spot on the 40-man.

    Of course, if Simon is going to be stretched out for Latos, the opening day roster may have need for another relief pitcher.

    Santiago and A. Diaz are the only guys in ST that play SS other than Cozart. Santiago has likely had a leg up all offseason, but neither has done much in ST. It’s a shame to think the Reds keep going down the path of no-hit back ups for Cozart, who doesn’t need a defensive replacement. Especially because we’ll need to make a roster move to accommodate Santiago. Either way, with Hannahan and some other light hitting MIF, our bench is looking as poor as ever.

    • @hotto4votto: Beato and Bell are looking like solid relief acquisitions. They are reminders what the Marshall and Broxton contracts are albatross’. However, under Dusty and his defined bullpen role approach, those signings were probably more important than they are now.

      I am looking forward to a ‘cheap’ bullpen!

    • @hotto4votto: @rightsaidred: Once the Marshall and Broxton contracts expire, the Reds should be in a position to fill out a bullpen with a moderately expensive to relatively inexpensive key relievers and a plethora of near league minimum talent coming up through the minor league system along with opportunities picked up from dumpster diving. That’s additional, severely needed, payroll to spend on higher priced talent to fill some of the gaps in the starting position players.

  14. Sizemore – .308/.357/.308/.665

    Hamilton – .318/.444/.409/.854

    Sizemore has 4 singles. Big whoop.

  15. With Marshall, I am wondering what diagnostic measures did they take? Like someone said, 5 months of tendonitis may very possibly not be tendonitis. Did he have an MRI? Did someone at least go in to scope the damage? I mean, essentially nothing from Cueto, Marshall, Broxton, and Masset last season. We let Masset go. I won’t be fully convinced Cueto is back until he pitches through the 6th at least a couple of times. Marshall and Broxtonhaven’t even been in a game yet. And all of this after Jared Burton and his injury trouble before last season?

    I thought it interesting that Henry Rodriguez was released. He was the known Plan B for BP if we let him BP go. Anyone currently in the minors looking good enough to take BP’s place?

    • @steveschoen: Marhsall has had an MRI. The results according to the Reds: “… no structural damage to the shoulder…” I had tendonitis in my right elbow and it kept me from catching for almost a whole season. I mostly played 1B or DH because I couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher 120 times in a game. After a whole off-season of mostly resting it, I thought it was fine going into the next season. By 5 games in, it had flared up again. This next time, so I ended up at 1B and DH for what amounted to a whole season. I took the next couple seasons off and found myself in an over 30 recreation league (as a 29-year-old) in 1999. That season, the elbow didn’t bother me at all and I spent most of the season catching. Tendonitis can be a very, very strange thing. Do I think we can count on Marshall? Not really. That said, I don’t necessarily think that the Reds medical staff has dropped the ball. I don’t think you scope the shoulder when an MRI doesn’t show damage. A scope is minimally invasive but it’s still surgery and recovery time varies.

      Reports on Broxton sound promising but again, I don’t count on him. If he and Marshall can go, then great. These are really just examples of why the Reds shouldn’t have signed 2 relievers to deals that were longer than 2 years. Especially Broxton, who had an injury history.

      I also think it’s interesting that Rodriguez was released. I don’t think there is anyone in the system that could replace BP at 2B. Schumaker would likely be the guy if BP was out for any length of time or was moved. The latter seems very, very unlikely at this point.

  16. I am really excited about where Billy is right now. If he was hitting 183, everyone would be saying “see I told ya he was a bust.”

    Now that he is hitting like he did in 2012, and at the end of 2013 for that matter, everyone has to take a different view of him. Sure, most will wait until the Billy Show is really up and rolling at the All Star Break. But me, I am enjoying it now.

    I like his approach at the plate and how he is making defenses shift on him right now. The double yesterday scorched over the Outfielders head because they are worried that Billy turns a single into a double on a flair hit in front of them.

    His first hit, a bunt. The guy is a nightmare and I am so glad that he is in our rock and roll fantasy

    • @reaganspad: I don’t think that outfielders are worried about him turning a single into a double on a flair. They are probably so shallow because they don’t respect his power and they don’t think he can hit one by them. If he can burn them a few times, they will have to play a bit deeper, if only to cutoff hard hit balls into the gap. I mean if it gets by them, there is a good chance Hamilton is on 3B and an outside chance he’ll get an inside-the-park-HR.

      I like what I’ve seen of Hamilton so far. It isn’t so much the results as much as it’s been the quality ABs. Actually, I think that during the season he should bunt less and continue to work deep counts. Bunts tend to happen early in the count and even with Hamilton’s speed, he has to execute pretty well to get on. He should bunt sometimes just to remind them but the focus should be getting good ABs. Good ABs usually result in some hits, some walks, and tired pitchers. I like what he’s been doing.

      • @LWBlogger: I think I disagree somewhat LW. I think Billy makes every defender aware. We have seen guys take extra bases on the outfielders play. Billy explodes out of the box and creates the same tension for a guy fielding and throwing in the corner or gap cut off as he does for the 3 hopper to short.

        Sure, he is going nowhere on a line shot right in front of the outfielder, but any other ball in your outfield mr. opposition is game on.

        Totally agree on the good ABs

  17. So far, I’m most thrilled w/ the play of Hamilton. Not a single fly ball out this spring and just 2 K’s. Keeping the ball on the ground, bunting very very well.

    What I’m most concerned about is Joey Votto. 10K now in just 23 AB’s, 7 of them looking. I don’t know what kind of approach he’s taking, but I saw a lot of K’s looking last year, and even in a short sample so far this year, that better change.

    • @FrustratedRedsFan: Hey Frustrated, I also have no problem with Joey’s approach at the plate. The guy gets on base just about every other at bat. The middle of the year I think his OBA was 494

      I would be happy if the rest of the team could get on base that way.

      I actually like reigning in the free swinging ways of the Reds. Our young guys have forever chased pitches outside the zone. Maybe that was all these critics telling them that they needed to swing at pitches that were out of the zone to drive in runs. I like swings at strikes.

      Yes it may cause a few more strike outs looking for the team, but Jay had a ton of them last year (185), and I would like him to see a few more pitches and get rid of 30 or so of those K’s

        • @FrustratedRedsFan: maybe more people should work on honing the strike zone during the practice games so that in the regular season they swing at strikes and win batting or MVP titles….

          Like Joey Votto

          “practice games” Pitchers are honing 3rd and forth pitches. Homer threw a pitch on 3-2 the other day that he said that he would never throw in the season and it got hit

          “practice games”

          If these guys had never won 98 games, had never had a winning record, then the winning spring games means something

    • @FrustratedRedsFan: Votto’s best season was 2012. Even by his own words.

      2012 Spring Training: .264/.350/.321 (7 BB/19 K)
      2012 Season: .337/.474/.567 (94 BB/85 K)

      I’m not worried about Votto.

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