2017 Reds / Spring Training

Reds invite 19 non-roster players to Spring Training

Are you desperate for spring to hurry and get here? Well, here’s a morsel of news, if you’re scoring at home: the Reds extended a spring training invitation to 19 non-roster players today:

Cincinnati also announced the invitation of 19 non-roster players to big league camp at Spring Training: catchers Rob Brantly, Chad Wallach and Shawn Zarraga, right-handers Alejandro Chacin, Vladimir Gutierrez, Jimmy Herget, Tyler Mahle, Evan Mitchell and Kevin Shackelford, left-handers Ismael Guillon, Lucas Luetge and Nick Routt, infielder Brandon Dixon, shortstop Zach Vincej, outfielders Sebastian Elizalde and Gabriel Guerrero, infielder/outfielder Patrick Kivlehan and Tony Renda and utility player Hernan Iribarren.

Of that group, Iribarren and Renda would seem to have the best shot at making the Opening Day roster. The most interesting name on the list, of course, is Vladimir Gutierrez, the 21-year old Cuban right hander that the Reds signed back at the end of August. If you remember:

At 6-foot-3, Gutierrez is a lanky, long-armed pitcher who has been one of the top prospects on the international market for a while, with his stock initially dipping upon poor early showcases before rising higher than after when his velocity spiked earlier this year, touching 97 mph after he topped out at 93 mph in Cuba to go with a swing-and-miss curveball. While his assignment for next year has yet to be determined, based on his present ability, he should start in the minors at one of the Class A levels.

For what it’s worth, MLB Pipeline has Gutierrez as the fifth-best prospect in the Cincinnati organization.

22 thoughts on “Reds invite 19 non-roster players to Spring Training

  1. If I were King of the Forest, Tyler Mahle would get a shot at being a short reliever this year (at least in the beginning), as when Jack McKeon jumped Scott Williamson up to the Bigs from AA ball in 1999. He’s got great stuff and could help the Reds THIS YEAR in the bull pen. IMHO.

    • Other nite on Hot Stove League MB said Reds are looking for a 3rd bullpen guy (maybe a FA) and as he saw things were trying to build a 2017 version of Nasty Boys….3 relievers pitching high innings and Closer by Committee.Iggy and Lorezen being 2 and I’m wondering why not Mahle or Adleman or Garrett or Stephenson or ?? who’s already in Org…

      • Garrett should be starting this year. Again, IMHO. I really don’t want to see Garrett in the bullpen at his age. Mahle is 3 – 4 years younger. Stephenson should be prepping to start in the bigs at AAA if he is not on the 25 man roster out of Spring Training.

        • Homer,DeSclafani,Straily,Finnegan,Lorenzen,Iglesias,Moscot,Garrett,Adleman,Stepehenson….in last week seen almost everyone of these guys mentioned as starters or possible starters for Cincy in 2017….they can’t all be in the rotation.I am rapidly warming up to a bullpen capable of eating innings.As in a core of long relievers who can get both LH and RH hitters out and even make spot starts.Reds have 2 pitchers (maybe 3 who) who might reach 200 IP plateau this season….so as I see things 2017 will be another season of relying heavily on Red’s bullpen…

  2. Hidden among the invitees are two more catchers recently signed to MiLB contacts, Rob Brantly and Shawn Zarraga. Both guys are 27 years old. Brantly has seen enough MLB time to accumulate not quite 400 MLB PA at ~.600 OPS. He played in AAA for the Mariners in 2016 and hit 14HR with an OPS around .700. Zarraga has never never seen MLB action but the name should count for something.

    For complete details:

    • Extra catchers are always invited to help with the early workload while the pitchers ramp up their endurance and stretch themselves out. There is a lot of bullpen activity early on and the extra catchers are necessary.

      • I watched Zarraga play a AA game in Tulsa last year. My coomon non professional scout eyes told notices that he hit the ball very hard in each at bat. He also looked to be a tad bit over weight but I could be wrong. I also noticed the Dodgers AA cf that everyone talks about had an odd batting stance.

  3. Wow, the Old Cossack completely whiffed on Iribarren. The last I heard was that Iribarren had opted for FA after he was removed from the 40-man roster. I was very disappointed to see him leave the Reds organization and now here he is with a ST invite and a reasonable chance to make the 25-man roster as a utility player. This is really good news. I would like to see Iribarren finish his playing career with the Reds and move into a position within the Reds organization after he hangs up his cleats.

      • Third. Tell me when we get to fifth, and we can drink to that. 🙂

        • Fourth. I am guessing no one else offered him a better deal than the Reds’ invite to ST so he stuck with the organization he knows best. Hopefully he will be a useful utility guy. Really liked what I read about him after his call-up last season.

  4. What NRI did Reds go north with (as they use to say) last season?? Pacheco and Adleman or were there more?? Always thought it was a shame Reds kept Pacheco and let Jake Cave go back to Yanks….I thought Cave had potential…

    • Cave had an OK AAA year with Scranton – Wilks Barre Yankee team. Nothing to get excited about. Could he have helped the Reds last year? Certainly more than Pacheco.

      • 2016 was a throw away year for Cincy so they could have kept him on roster and had him now for cheap.Cave is young,athletic can steal a base once in awhile,good fielder…kinda guy I like to see in Org.Try and develop him and if he didn’t work out use him for depth or trade bait later.Possible high rewards with little invested….a Blue Light Special 🙂

        • He only stole 6 bases between AA/AAA last year in over 100 games… really, anyone can steal 6 bases if they tried.

          Cave is a AAAA player, in my opinion, without any real upside. Doesn’t hit for power, doesn’t walk a lot… he’s organizational filler.

          With that said, he 100% definitely should have been retained over Jordan Pacheco, who is one of the worst major league baseball players of the last 1/2 decade.

        • @Patrick – Not ‘anyone’ per se. There are a lot of really, really slow ballplayers. You either need to be really smart, have good speed, or both. A lot of those slow guys aren’t smart enough to really steal bases either. I get your point though. 6 bases is hardly what I’d call a base-stealing threat.

  5. Guerrero? Does the FO think that highly of him? Would’ve been better to see someone closer to the bigs like Amaral. Even Daal or Blandino would’ve been better options to me. The fans would’ve been more excited to see Senzel instead of Guerrero. I noticed that Weiss was not invited. Not a good sign about his recovery from injury last season.

  6. What is schedule for senzel? I would have liked to see him start with club anyway?

    • I agree. Have his locker next to Votto for a few weeks in the spring!

  7. Yorman Rodriguez still a free agent. Many people here were quite high on him and yet he still remains unsigned by any other team. That alone is quite telling on our judgement of internal talent.

    • Injury prone. I think if he had been healthy, he would have been with the Big Club in late 2015 and in 2016. He just has not been free of injuries.

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