Down on the Farm

Games Played on 5/8/2013

Minor League Player of the Day: Making his 7th start of the season, Robert Stephenson was dominate for 6 shutout innings. Stephenson allowed just 3 hits, no walks, and struck out 9.

Louisville 6 – Lehigh Valley 3

Louisville scored four times in the 1st inning, which is all they would end up needing for the victory. Henry Rodriguez (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R) kicked off the rally with a one-out double. Neftali Soto (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R) and Felix Perez (2-for-4, R, 3 RBI) followed with back-to-back singles, which plated Rodriguez. Ryan Hanigan (2-for-4, R, 2 RBI) followed with a 2-run single. Hanigan took second base on the throw to the plate and later scored on Kristopher Negron’s only hit of the game.

In his second rehab game, Hanigan stretched his outing from 5 innings in the first contest to 7 innings last night. In addition to his solid night at the plate, Ryan threw out a would be base thief, who had been 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts.

Greg Reynolds tossed his 4th straight quality start for the Bats. Reynolds struck out 8 batters and walked none over 7 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits. The starting pitcher also had a hit in three trips to the plate.

Jacksonville 3 – Pensacola 1

Ryan Dennick bounced back from his last outing to throw 6 innings of 5-hit, 1-run baseball. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out 4. Dennick also contributed at the plate with a double in two at-bats.

Joe Mather (2-for-4, 2B) knocked in the only Pensacola run. Travis Mattair was the only other Blue Wahoo with two hits. David Vidal (1-for-3, BB) also reached base twice.

High A
San Jose 6 – Bakersfield 1

Juan Perez was 2-for-4 with a double and the lone Blaze run scored. Kyle Waldrop also collected a pair of hits.

James Allen (1-4, 5.50 ERA) allowed just 2 runs over 5 innings on 4 hits, 4 walks, while striking out 4.

Low A
Dayton 11 – Lansing 4

Robert Stephenson (2-3, 4.76 ERA) was dominate on the mound for the Dragons. Stephenson allowed just 3 hits, didn’t walk a batter, and struck out 9 over six shutout innings. It was the most innings he’s thrown and the fewest hits, walks, and least runs he’s allowed in any of his seven starts this young season.

Doug Gray of redsminorleagues.com commented that Stephenson was “sitting upper 90’s” last night with his fastball, and that he was throwing his change-up 88-90mph. In the post-game story, Stephenson credits a teammate’s advice on his successful night on the mound:

A couple starts ago, saddled with an 0-3 record and 5.48 ERA, one of Robert Stephenson’s Class A Dayton teammates suggested he try using his old mechanics from high school.

It was working for the teammate — Sal Romano — and so far, it’s hard to argue with the results it’s delivering for Stephenson.

The second-ranked Cincinnati prospect has won both his outings since taking the advice, most notably Wednesday, when he produced one of the best starts of his career.

The Dragon’s offense scored 11 runs for the 2nd consecutive night. The team also scored 11 runs in Stephenson’s previous start on May 1. Junior Arias went 3-for-5 with a triple, an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Nick O’Shea (2-for-5, HR, 4 RBI) had a big 3-run homerun in the 1st inning to give the Dragons the early 3-0 lead. Tanner Rahier pushed the lead to 11-0 with a 2-run homerun in the 6th inning. Jesse Winker (2-for-4, BB, 2 R, RBI) and Jeff Gelalich (1-for-3, 2 BB, 2 R, RBI) each reached base three times.

Johnny Cueto is scheduled to make a rehab appearance for the Dayton Dragons tonight.

Join the conversation! 14 Comments

  1. Well, Hanigan looks healthy. I’m not sure what another rehab start will accomplish, but they may want to stretch him out completely to 9 innings before making a final evaluation to remove him from the DL and reactivate him. He is desperately needed back with the big club, but they need him completely healthy.

  2. I’m still very concerned about Cueto, even if his rehab goes well. Only time will tell, but the recurrance of the oblique tenderness is not a good sign. If it becomes a chronic problem…well let’s just hope that doesn’t happen.

    • @Shchi Cossack: Yes, that kind of thing is career limiting.

    • @Shchi Cossack: Get that man a pilates instructor.

    • @Shchi Cossack: You have to wonder if Cueto’s windup may have some effect on his ability to overcome these sort of strains quickly. The spinning motion may not have led to the issues of the oblique or lat but it could certainly hamper the recovery if he’s not 100%.

      • @RedManifesto: TV commentators who are former major league pitches claim that Cueto’s spinning motion stresses the right side in the oblique and lat areas. They were saying this before the injuries.

  3. The Reds don’t have many bright spots among their prospects (like maybe 1) so far this season. Stephenson getting his performance on the right track again would go a long way to turning that around.

    • @Shchi Cossack: I wonder if using his old high school mechanics may not be what is in his long term best interest. There was likely a reason why they started tinkering with his mechanics when he started in the system.

      • @TC: I wondered that when reading it, too. What are his old mechanics and what is wrong with them…too stressful on the arm? Something unsuitable against major league hitters or upper levels of the minors? I don’t know. Hopefully, this at least gives him some confidence as I’m sure they’ll try to transition him back to the mechanics they want him to have…

        Other than one start where he gave up 8 runs (6 earned) over 2.2 innings, Stephenson’s peripheral numbers had been pretty good. He strikes out more than a batter per inning. He’s only given up 2 HR in 34 innings (one of those in the bad start.) He had a really high BABIP (over .400) before play yesterday.

        He noted another big thing for him last night is the development of his changeup:

        One of the things the 20-year-old said he was encouraged by this year has been the development of his changeup, which he pointed to in particular as a pitch that helped him succeed Wednesday.

        “I threw [the changeup] last year. It was the first year I had thrown it — I didn’t throw one in high school — but I’ve been getting a lot better feel for it the last few starts,” he said. “[Reds instructor] Mario Soto was helping me with the mechanics on it last year, just telling me to throw it more like a fastball and not throw it like a changeup, and that helped a lot.”

    • @Shchi Cossack: Besides Cingrani, Stephenson and Jesse Winker are the 2 that really stick out.

      I guess we won’t know what Travieso looks like until Billings starts in June? I wish he opened up in Dayton so I could watch him. 😥

  4. “A couple starts ago, saddled with an 0-3 record and 5.48 ERA, one of Robert Stephenson’s Class A Dayton teammates suggested he try using his old mechanics from high school.”

    What is this I don’t even…

    Are the Reds really this hands off with arguably their best prospect? Holy ****.

  5. Hey Bill, you were right to say last week there shouldn’t be any concern with Stephenson’s slow start. He is back in form. Great to see.

  6. Check out the promo photos of Cueto for tonight’s game on the Dragons’ website from when he played for the Dayton Dragons. Now that’s a young Johnny!

    • @Shchi Cossack: Nice pictures!

      Also, if you live in the Dayton area, the pre-game article says that “Thursday’s Dragons game will be televised on WHIO Digital Channel 7.2 and Time Warner Cable channels 23 and 372.”

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