It was only the second day of actual baseball, but Wednesday’s Reds-Indians tilt held some intrigue because Anthony DeSclafani and Raisel Iglesias made their Reds “debuts.” One guy had a good day. The other guy did not. On the hitting side of things, Billy Hamilton flashed the skill set that makes his potential so enticing.

Pitching: DeSclafani started and was solid, tossing two innings and allowing an unearned run. The right-hander’s stuff matched the scouting report, as he wielded an assortment of pitches in and around the zone. Iglesias, Disco’s competition for the one of the two open spots in the starting rotation, didn’t fare as well. Iglesias was nearly taken deep on the first pitch he threw (the ball died on the warning track), but wound up retiring two of the first three batters he faced. The Cuban then allowed the next three batters to reach base, though Ryan Rohlinger reached on an error by third baseman Neftali Soto. Iglesias struggled with his control, surrendering a pair of walks and two wild pitches. Both runs the righty allowed were unearned, and he struck out one.

I’d chalk up Iglesias’ performance to a case of the nerves. Iglesias said after the game that Wednesday was the first meaningful stint he’s had on the mound since the 2013 World Baseball Classic. In any case, Iglesias will be the rare pitcher that’s fun to watch. He changes arm angles, and his delivery isn’t exactly repeatable — which I’m sure will drive Bryan Price and pitching coach Jeff Pico nuts on occasion.

As for the other Reds’ arms to throw Wednesday, Kevin Gregg, Sam LeCure and Jumbo Diaz delivered scoreless innings. David Holmberg allowed three hits and an earned run in one inning of work.

Hitting: The Reds started fast but faded after the first inning. Hamilton smoked Josh Tomlin’s fourth pitch of the game over the right-field wall to put the Reds up 1-0. Skip Schumaker flipped the next pitch into the left-center gap for a double. Todd Frazier moved Schumaker over to third on a flyout, and then Chris Dominguez doubled down the left-field line to plate Schumaker. The eighth inning would be the next time the Reds registered a hit. Cincinnati finished with four hits, two walks and eight strikeouts.

Back to Hamilton for a second. In the third inning, he laid down a nearly-perfect bunt between the pitching mound and first base, only to be thrown out by a half-step at first. In the fifth, Hamilton scalded a C.C. Lee offering that was seemingly destined for the gap in right-center field, but Ryan Raburn made a nice play to run the ball down. Even though Hamilton was only 1-for-3 on the day, it was the kind of performance that makes an observer wonder, “Man, if Billy ever puts it all together.” Have to remember the kid is only 24, though.

Other reports on the game: MLB.com, Fay, Fox Sports Ohio, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Box Score

Spring training game and broadcast schedule

  • Today’s game: vs. Cleveland, 3:05 p.m. ET
  • TV: FSO live, MLBN delayed
  • Radio: WSAI-1360

27 Responses

  1. PDunc

    Glad to hear that Hamilton had a good game. His improvement at the top of the lineup is crucial to this years offense.

  2. preacherj

    Thanks for the update. I wasn’t able to watch/listen yesterday. I’m curious how LeCure looked. Was his velocity good?

    • Grant Freking

      There was no stadium gun, so I can’t answer the velocity question. LeCure looked sharp, though.

  3. sultanofswaff

    I like what I’m seeing so far from Boesch. He will be useful as a bat off the bench. If he can play a little 1B, he will be even more valuable.

    Kyle Waldrop has some plus bat speed as well…….

    • Steve Mancuso

      I hope you’re right about Boesch. But he’s been cut by three major league teams in two years. Hasn’t been able to stick even as a bench player. I’m worried the Reds are over-relying on him.

      • lwblogger2

        If Schumaker is healthy, I don’t think Boesch even makes the team. I think they’ll want a RH hitter. The Reds seem to go with roles more than talent sometimes.

  4. lwblogger2

    Yeah, multiple arm angles and unrepeatable delivery are two huge red flags for me. ZiPS had an odd projection for him too. Not sure how ZiPS can project Ingelsias because he hasn’t even thrown a pitch in the minors. It would almost have to be a complete guess.

    • jdx19

      That would be a perfect question for Dan Szymborski on his next chat over at FG!

      Sure does seem like a curious prediction, though.

      • lwblogger2

        Yeah, I’ll have to catch his next chat over there. I’ll also need to email him and see if he’s teaming up with Diamond Mind again to do a projection disk with ZiPS data.

  5. VaRedsFan

    Happy to see Billy put some good AB’s together. I mentioned this a few days ago, but I’d like to see him try to bunt with 2 strikes more. Bunting when they expect you too takes away the element of surprise. He is a very skillful bunter, but the numbers, while still good, aren’t what they could be because the defense is standing on him expecting it. Give 2 strike bunting a test drive here in Spring Training.

  6. Steve Mancuso

    Today’s lineup, with replacements in parentheses:

    1. Jason Bourgeois CF (Phillip Ervin)
    2. Brandon Phillips 2B (Luis Gonzalez)
    3. Marlon Byrd LF (Jimmy Pickens)
    4. Devin Mesoraco C (Kyle Skipworth)
    5. Jay Bruce RF (Aristides Aquino)
    6. Brayan Pena DH (Tucker Barnhart)
    7. Donald Lutz 1B (Brian O’Grady)
    8. Josh Satin 3B (Taylor Sparks)
    9. Eugenio Suarez SS (Alex Blandino)

    Cueto P
    3:05 p.m., WSAI-1360, FSO-TV

    • redsfan06

      Ugh. Phillips batting 2nd again. Is that a sign of things to come?

  7. Steve Mancuso

    The rest of the pitchers in today’s A game: Aroldis Chapman, Manny Parra, Burke Badenhop, Jose Mijares, Dylan Axelrod, Michael Lorenzen

  8. Steve Mancuso

    The Reds and Cleveland are playing a B game. The game is at 1 p.m. ET.

    1. Yorman Rodriguez CF
    2. Kyle Waldrop 1B
    3. Jesse Winker LF
    4. Neftali Soto 3B
    5. Felix Perez RF
    6. Juan Duran DH
    7. Ivan DeJesus SS
    8. Irving Falu 2B
    9. Ramon Cabrera C

    Pitchers scheduled are Jon Moscot, Nick Travieso, Amir Garrett and Nick Howard.

  9. vegastypo

    The Indians TV announcers said during an at-bat by Brayan Pena that the Reds are “tinkering with carrying three catchers …” Really? I hadn’t heard that ….

    • Steve Mancuso

      Thom Brennaman shouted that theory, too. Right after he said that Brayan Pena was the third most valuable hitter on the Reds last year. (Try second-from-last, but who cares if the Reds announcers have any clue about what they’re saying). Right after that, I turned the TV audio off.

      • jdx19

        You can’t make that stuff up! Good ‘ol Thom!

      • lwblogger2

        He does tend to shout… I haven’t been able to watch the ST games yet but when I watch games during the season I tend to turn the sound off entirely and listen to music. I can’t stand to listen on TV most the time. Sometimes when it’s not Thom I manage. I even don’t mind the occasional dose of George Grande. It’s a whole season of him that gets really tiring.

  10. charlottencredsfan

    JC looks like he didn’t join Weight Watchers over the off-season.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Well I’ll be kind: it doesn’t look like he has lost any weight. Doesn’t seem to have affected his arm.

  11. Jeremy Conley

    Cueto pitches well when he’s on the chunky side. The question is just going to be if he can hold up after throwing an amazing amount of innings last year.

    Of all of pitchers that the Reds had a few years ago (including Arroyo and Latos), I really hoped that Cueto would be the one that we held on to. He’s such a special pitcher, and he seems to fit in so well with the team. I still hope that they can extend him, but after giving Bailey $100+ million and then seeing the contracts given to Lester, Kershaw, and Scherzer, it seems hard to believe that they can keep him.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Honestly, JC reminds me of Manny Rameriz, who also wore his uni baggy style. Manny with his shirt off should how ripped he was. I wouldn’t be surprised given the reports of Johnny’s workout regime, he is the same way. I would guess, outside of Mes, he is probably the strongest guy on the team.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Oops. I forgot about Frazier. Make Cueto #3.

  12. charlottencredsfan

    JB singles to left and on the ground.

  13. charlottencredsfan

    Yawn, Chapman strikes out the side.

  14. Tom Reed

    I hope the Reds don’t get too good too soon with seven inter-divisional series in April.