2017 Spring Training

Goodyear journal 3/24

The Reds played the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark. More fabulous weather. Crisis Day #8: No pitch speed on scoreboard.

I move around to different seats during the game. In one location I sat in front of two loud know-it-alls. They covered the entire gamut of mistakes by the Reds. Bailey, Cueto, Bruce, etc. Well, they finally got around to attacking Joey Votto. “You know ever since he signed that contract, he’s been OK but not great. Don’t tell me about O-B-P. Don’t tell me about that. I don’t care about Oh-Bee-Pee. And don’t tell Chad Dotson about that.” Just then the guy’s phone rang and he didn’t return to our fearless leader as a topic of conversation. I told Chad, the only thing worse than people talking about you is people not talking about you.

Notes from Reds vs. Brewers 

The two Brewers pitchers who split 8 innings were Tommy Milone and Chase Anderson, two big leaguers.

Sal Romano started today, possibly pitching for a spot on the Opening Day roster. When he was warming up before the game, ten Reds pitchers (including Homer Bailey) sat in the small pitching area of the bullpen. I’ve never seen that before and I checked with housemate Doug Gray just now and he hasn’t either.

Romano warming up before the game

There’s no way to sugar coat Romano’s day. He was hit hard and often. If you’re looking for silver linings amid the overcast skies, Romano didn’t walk anyone and he struck out six Brewers. Milwaukee played mostly big leaguers. Romano isn’t afraid to throw inside. The Reds defense didn’t help in the 5-run second inning, but the Earned Runs in the box score don’t matter. Getting hit hard matters. Romano had his good innings – he struck out the side in the first inning. But this outing didn’t strengthen his case.

Patrick Kivlehan had two strong hits and the out he made was sharp fly ball into the right field corner that produced a run. He has good speed. The idea of him making the OD roster as a utility player is growing on me. Kivlehan is 27 and can play 3B, 1B and OF. The Reds picked him up off of waivers last September.

Patrick Kivlehan in the dugout after hit and run scored

Devin Mesoraco caught five innings. He looks perfectly fine catching. His timing at the plate remains inconsistent. Mesoraco looks a lot better on fastballs than he does against breaking balls or off-speed pitches. He hit a line drive single and made several strong defensive throws to bases.

Devin Mesoraco mid-air working on blocking balls before the game

Eugenio Suarez has been the most consistent player on offense and defense. Suarez hit the ball hard again today and made a couple nice defensive plays at 3B. Suarez has the best arm among the major league players and others I’ve seen this week.

Zack Cozart had three hits, including a home run on the first pitch he saw in the first inning. He’s looked like Zack Cozart on defense, too, a bad flip to second base today notwithstanding.

Scott Schebler had a couple shaky plays in centerfield. He’s looked decent-to-good at the plate, but it’s worth remembering that CF is not his regular position. It’s a stretch to play him there. Schebler had a two-run single and a walk today.

Finally got to see Michael Lorenzen and Drew Storen pitch. Neither one looked particularly sharp, especially Storen. According to Zach Buchanan, a scout said Storen was 88-90 on the radar gun, which isn’t where he needs to be. Lorenzen got on base on a fielders choice. He stole second. It’s a shame his athleticism is wasted being a bullpen pitcher.

Michael Lorenzen pitching

The youngsters got in the game the final three innings. In Nick Senzel’s (3B) at bat, he was jammed and broke his bat but was strong enough to keep the ball fair and it rolled down the third base line for a double. He also made a routine play in the field. Shed Long (2B) made two good plays in the field, but whiffed on a hard hit ball up the middle.

Nick Senzel’s bat already broken, ball headed down 3B line

The defensive play of the game was by Brandon Dixon (25). Playing 2B, he ranged far to his left, diving to field a ground ball, recovering and getting the out at first. He also had two doubles. Dixon was acquired from the Dodgers in the Todd Frazier trade.

Raisel Iglesias was healthy enough to catch the ceremonial first pitch from a 10-year-old.

Shed Long swinging

I left after the bottom of the 8th and missed the fireworks in the ninth. The Reds gave up three runs to fall behind 11-10 but then came back to win 12-11. T.J. Friedl (21) led of with a single. Reydel Medina followed with a hit and Shed Long (21) walked. With two outs, Arismendy Alcantra (25) doubled to deep center, plating two runs. Reds win!

17 thoughts on “Goodyear journal 3/24

  1. Thanks again – great roundup and tough day for Sal. Too bad as he has had a nice Spring.
    Still excited at the number of young names. I can see why the Reds farm is now considered in the top 10. I like our young team and I think the current team can make it a more enjoyable season – maybe 80 wins?

    We’ve just got to let the stew simmer!

    • I’d rather have Romano starting Opening Day than Feldman. That’s all I have to say about that.

  2. One less name? Not necessarily. Joe Nuxhall always used to talk about pitchers getting to a point in Spring Training where their arms were “dead”, after working hard to get in shape. I hope Romano has one more start before they set the 25 man roster.

    He may start the year in AAA, but I think this guy is the real deal, and has a bright future in the Bigs.

  3. I love that Romano has forced his way into the conversation about the future rotation, even if he starts the year in AAA. I’ll be very surprised if we don’t see him starting in Cincinnati at some point this year. Thanks again for these great reports Steve. Next year I’ll go to Goodyear and you can design some buildings here in Atlanta and deal with my needy clients. Fair enough?

  4. Thanks, Steve. Romano wasn’t even in the conversation when ST started, so it’s great to see him force his way into it. As noted, hasn’t pitched above AA, so heading to AAA to start the year is still a promotion. He’s now on the short list if an injury/poor performance warrants a call up.

  5. That was a fun game yesterday and there were plenty of positives from that game.

    Sal Romano faced adversity for the first time this spring and feeling the positive accolades lavished upon him and he handled the adversity well. This game may have been his most important game of the spring.

    Zack Cozart has answered any and all questions regarding his health with a serious exclanation point (!!!), offensively and defensively. He’s playing without the knee brace, making all the plays defensively as expected and mashing the baseball. I hope Cozart has the opportunity to lead a contender to a serious playoff run this season before signing his FA contract following this season. His availability as a premier SS will turn a contending team’s loss of their starting SS into a golden opportunity.

    Eugenio Suarez looks like the real deal, poised for a breakout season in 2017. Just leave Suarez at 3B and let him hit. I really like Suarez hitting in the #3 hole behind Votto, but I doubt Price will see the efficacy of such a lineup.

    Mesoraco has done everything this spring that I had hoped, except getting off to such a late start. I don’t mind the caution, or even over-caution, regarding Mesoraco. He continues to build up his stamina behind the plate while working on getting his stroke and timing at the plate refined. This is all good news regarding Mesoraco. A trip to the 10-day DL to finish building up his stamina gradually to catch back-to-back 9-inning games at the beginning of the season followed by a 20-day rehab assignment to finish getting his hitting ironed out will work out splendidly.

      • I keep hoping that DW keeps distancing himself from the roster management exhibited by WJ. We shall see…very soon.

    • I still have not figured out why Price is the manager and you are relegated to a very wise fan, it makes no sense! Leaves me shaking my oversized cranium when you call it perfectly and he…. well he is Price! LOL Very concise call sir!

  6. Pretty safe call Alcantara is on the roster. He is versatile and has some surprising pop in that bat. Kivlehan is versatile as well and just keeps hitting. If he doesn’t make it, it wasn’t for anything he didn’t do. Irbarren and Turner ditto. Both have performed to the best of who they are. Jennings hasn’t done much. Raburn has some pop but he was awful in Colorado last year…..yes….Colorado. I could see him making at as a Jonny Gomes type RH pinch hitter of the bench.

    So I’m calling the bench. Mesoraco starts on the DL.

    Alcantara
    Kivlehan
    Irbarren
    Turner
    Raburn.

    Garrett getting challenged. Looks like Stephenson competed. Astin imploded.
    This is why Reed/Garrett/and Stephenson need to pitch every 5th day. Its their time. They need to experience the challenge of pitching every start against MLB hitters and take their licks now. Tim Adleman does not.

    • I think Jennings will make the team over Raburn but it wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t. Jennings may make it over Iribarren perhaps? I hope not but maybe.

      I would like to see Garrett work at AAA for a bit because he got so little work down there. Adleman getting some innings in April and even May is probably not a bad thing in a lost season. If Garrett does make the opening day roster though, I’d not question the front-office’s reasons for doing so. The guy has looked great.

      • Raburn was released so that opens the door for Jennings if that’s how the Reds want to play it. I’m definitely good with the other 4 listed above.

    • I have been overloaded with life getting in the way of my baseball but the Recaps and box scores I have seen says Stephenson is more of the same only less from last year! Did I miss him making a case to pitch in the majors? I am not being a jack-arse I really haven’t followed well enough to have an opinion just going off what I have read and that is sparse!

  7. Doesn’t that make you a k ow it all also byjudging them? Part of the fun of baseball is thinking we know better than ownership or believing that our own skills could outshine the players. The saying comes to mind don’t try pulling a splinter out of someone else’s eye while you have a plank in your own.

    • I don’t believe Adleman should be on the team. This is an opinion blog about the professional sports team- the Cincinnati Reds
      The Reds’ young pitchers, particularly Garrett.Stephenson and Reed have earned the opportunity to pitch every 5 th day. Presumably, spring training is the basis for decisions on which players….Who are all new…..Make the team based on their performance.

      Please clarify “you” and ” own skills” and “plank in your own”. This would seem to be a blatant violation of personalizing attacks for RLN posting conduct.

  8. Stephenson, and Reed, and ?? for starters. Alcantara, Kivlehan and Jennings, plus a catcher for Bench. Irbarren, I like but does not make it. Coleman a surprise for Bull Pen.

Comments are closed.