Remember when we were worried about whether Jesse Winker was going to have enough power to be a top corner outfielder in the big leagues? Well, in today’s spring game against the Indians, a 7-6 victory, Winker just killed a ball, so maybe he has a little power after all.

Scooter Gennett and Brian “Don’t call me Bryan” O’Grady also homered.

Footage of Scott Schebler’s sacrifice fly was not available at press time.

Brandon Finnegan got the start today and was mostly effective — and healthy — in his two innings of work:

Other than a simulated game on Thursday against teammates, Reds pitcher Brandon Finnegan hadn’t toed the rubber in a competitive game since re-injuring a muscle near his left shoulder last June.

That made a two-inning Spring Training start vs. the Indians on Tuesday less mundane and more exciting for Finnegan.

“I had a lot of jitters,” Finnegan said. “I knew I was going to have a lot of adrenaline going into the game. My main focus going in was to stay composed, stay in control of my body and try not to overthrow, just throw strikes and hit my spots. For the most part, I did that.”

Check out the rest of Mark Sheldon’s report on today’s game and Finnegan’s start. Hear Finnegan speak here:

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 30 Comments

  1. I didn’t need any convincing after seeing Winker in Pittsburgh last year. He almost hit the ball out in the river to RF….about 2 rows from the top then hit one to LF that the outfielder had to literally jump in the 2nd row to catch. He’s got pop! Looks like Will Clark at times…he needs to play as much as possible!

    • Winker needs 600 PA and a home in LF for the next 6 years.

      • I would agree, if he can find his stroke against left handers. His rbi single was against a lefty on a curve. I thought that was better that the belt high fastball he hit out. But both were against minor league caliber pitchers.

      • YES PLEASE

    • After that Pittsburgh shot I just skipped over any posts lamenting his lack of power. Those people obviously didn’t see that home run.

      • Peraza cranked one about 480 in Colorado. Distance doesn’t always mean a guy has 30 HR/yr power. Hope Winker gets the AB’s to do it.
        I wish they had move Schebler over the winter.

        • I agree completely. It’s not so much about how far a homerun is hit when deciding a players power.

        • Peraza is an ideal candidate for showing the different between what scouts call “raw power” and “game power.”

          Peraza is not a slight man like Billy. He’s got a decent frame, he just generally swings at about 50-60% in games with no stride at all, attempting to bloop a single to right field. We’ve seen it dozens of times.

          When he swings full power with a stride, he’s got good pop. At least 50 (average) raw power, with like 35 (1.5 STD below mean) game power.

        • On the other hand, if a guy can hit one 480, then he has potential to develop more power. And I think Patrick is right on this thread…I dunno if Peraza will ever develop any consistent power, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.

  2. Scooter almost received a bonus for taking out the cameraman behind the LF fence.

  3. Great video on Winker. The RF just turned and watched it go.
    Great news on Finnegan. I was afraid they would have to go slow with him through ST with his delayed start. A good first step.
    Winker is squeezing playing time away from Schebler and Duvall. That 4 man OF rotation isn’t going to be 4 players with equal amount of AB’s.

    • It will still be 4 man even, I bet, because Duvall and Schebler have “earned” their playing time. That is what Price will say.

      He still uses past performance or longevity as a deciding factor in playing time, not what will help the team with the game of the day.

      That is mostly why Price is a lost cause in my mind.

      • I can’t argue with saying Price is a lost cause. But Winker has mostly been batting high in the order this spring, 2nd and 3rd. Price clearly likes him, it seems.

        Or maybe I’m just seeing what I want to see.

  4. You hate to root for someone to get hurt, but we also know that injuries will happen. When some other team has an early season Ryan Ludwick moment, here’s hoping they’ll call Dick Williams and make him an offer he can’t refuse, for Duvall or for Hamilton. Winker needs to play.

    • They don’t need Revere…thats for sure? AAA maybe? They could play Schebler and Ervin in CF at times. They could platoon Schebler and Duvall some in LF. Ervin could also spell Winker vs lefties if he has any issues. Duvall would be better served with maybe 350-400 atbats at most with his diabetes. It could possibly be worked into a productive outfield but I have no faith whatsoever that Price could figure it out?

  5. On a slightly related note: to the RLN writers – please start a thread on the recent Fangraphs idea of using Billy Hamilton as an early game pinch runner. Fascinating idea and I’d love to see where that conversation goes.

    • I read the article. The idea may be fascinating, but it is an awful idea. It stated that Billy would be inserted as a pinch runner as soon as the first non-pitcher, or Votto got on base.

      Example: Winker leads off the game with a walk. The author would insert Billy as a pinch runner….thus lose Winker for the rest of the game.

      Say it was Suarez. It becomes even more ludicrous.

      • It’s surely ludicrous as presented. But with the 4 man OF rotation in mind, what if it was modified such that he replaced one of the other three OFs after a hit with nobody on base in front of him in about 140 games right around the 4th – 6th inning? He’d get about 300 PA but would be on base to take advantage of his scoring ability about 230 times compared to his normal 180 times with 600 PA. This would maximize his base running and scoring abilities, probably assuring him of a SB title, and would have his glove in CF for half the time and at the end of most games. All that while saving the Reds all the extra outs he makes at the plate in those other 300 PA as one of the teams weakest hitters. There are issues with it regarding the roster. Price would be forced to run the season with the 12 man pitching staff, something he’s had a hard time doing. Also would burn a person on the bench, so we would effectively also still have a 4 man bench at Price’s disposal, but he’s used to that. Price would also have to balance out who he replaces to manage the playing time of the other 3 OFs. I’m sure there is more to it that I haven’t thought of, but this is one of the more interesting out of the box ideas to maximize his value I’ve ever heard.

  6. Just what Bryan Price wants – a LH power bat off the bench.

  7. He seems to be standing more on top of the plate and turning on the ball better than when he first came up. The pitch was a floater, sure, but that swing was pretty. I’m with RLN in saying Winker has to get his ABs this year!

  8. Unrelated comment: it looks like Dixon supplants Kivlehan on the 25-man at this point in ST.

  9. The Rebuild. A timeline. A post-mortem.

    Bronson Arroyo (2014)= 0, Zero, let become free agent.
    Jonathon Broxton (2014)=Kevin Shackleford, Barrett Astin.
    Alfredo Simon (2015)==Eugenio Suarez, Jonathon Crawford.
    Mat Latos (2015)=====Anthony DeSclafani, Chad Wallach.
    Johnny Cueto (2015)==Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed, John Lamb.
    Mike Leake (2015)===Adam Duvall, Keury Mella.
    Marlon Byrd (2015)===Stephen Johnson.
    Todd Frazier (2016)==Jose Peraza, Scott Schebler, Brandon Dixon.
    Aroldis Chapman (2016)=Rookie Davis, Tony Renda, Caleb Cotham, Eric Jagielo.
    Jay Bruce (2016)====Dilson Herrera, Max Wottel.
    Dan Straily (2017)===Luis Castillo, Austin Brice, Isaiah White.
    Brandon Phillips & $13M (2017)=Andrew McKirahan, Carlos Portuondo.
    Zack Cozart (2017)== 0, Zero, let become free agent.
    Tony Cingrani (2017)==Scott Van Slyke, Hendrick Clementina.
    Nothing (2018)==Stand Pat.

    14 players jettisoned. 28 players imported.
    2 possible studs in Eugenio Suarez and Luis Castillo.
    1 good important piece in Adam Duvall.
    2 good important pieces but injuries have derailed in Anthony DeSclafani and Brandon Finnegan.
    5 nice bullpen possibilities in Shackleford, Reed, Mella, Davis, and Brice. 3 though originally were not meant to be bullpen pieces.
    After the Mike Leake trade, the wheels fell off of The Rebuild, with only the Dan Straily trade netting a positive gain. Every deal after Leake and excluding Straily, was a fumble in futility.

    The Chicago White Sox made a killing and hauled in uber prospects when they dealt Chris Sale, Adam Eaton and Jose Quintana. They had the stones to win the bidding for Luis Robert.

    When the front office fumbles as many trade opportunities as the Reds FO has, you have to tank to get the better draft picks to make up for it. The Reds FO fumbled the timing on many trades and fumbled the return on many also. And here we are in Year 4 of the Rebuild, still projected for a last place finish in the NLC division.

    • I left out one important sentence.
      The jury is still out on Finnegan, Peraza, and Schebler.

    • Not going to argue with the overall point that Reds management has missed on some recent trades. Comparison to the White Sox recent trades though doesn’t seem quite fair.

      Chris Sale was a top-5 MLB pitcher for the 5 seasons prior to being traded, was only 27 years old and had 3 years of team control remaining.
      Quintana had been a top-15 pitcher in MLB for the 5 seasons prior to being traded, was 28 years old and had 3 years of team control remaining.
      Johny Cueto is the only other player near that caliber that the Reds have traded away recently. You could argue that he should have been moved at the 2014 trade deadline or after the 2014 season but even then he would only have had 1-1.5 years of team control remaining and had a spotier injury record.

      Todd Frazier, I’d agree, should have been traded earlier than he was, after the 2014 season or at the 2015 trade deadline instead of after the 2015 season. If traded after the 2014 season; he was 28 at the time, a top-40 player per fWAR over the 3 previous seasons and he would have come with 3 years of team control.
      For the 3 seasons prior to being traded, by fWAR, Adam Eaton was a top-25 MLB position player. He was 28 years old at the time of being traded and also had 3 years of affordable team control remaining.
      The Sox got 2 top-50 prospects for Eaton, the Reds got (sort of) 1 in Peraza.

      I’d also agree that the Chapman deal was poorly handled, but a difficult situation due to the domestic violence issue.

    • I take issue with quite a bit of this, but here’s a thought:

      Todd Frazier accrued 4.3 WAR for the White Sox over parts of two seasons.

      Scott Schebler and Jose Peraza already have gained 2.5 WAR between them. Considering both of them figure to be in the starting lineup for at least 2018 (both players are under team control for multiple years), there’s a more than good chance they add to that.

      Add in Brandon Dixon, who has impressed this Spring and is basically the answer at first base if Joey Votto goes down for any amount of time (and can play just about anywhere else except CF, SS, and C), and there’s very little chance this trade doesn’t work out in the Reds favor.

      The fact is, you win some and you lose some. To compare the Reds FO to the White Sox FO isn’t exactly fair. One of the teams plays in the second smallest TV market in baseball. The other plays in a gigantic market with plenty of money to spend.

      Also, none of the Reds pieces came anywhere close to being as valuable as Sale, Eaton or Quintana. Eaton was coming off of a 6 WAR season when he was moved – Aroldis Chapman has only sniffed HALF of that number once in his career, in 2012. Sale and Quintana are top of the line starting pitchers, with Sale being in the conversation for the best in baseball. Were you really expecting a comparable return from Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce, or Brandon Phillips?

      • I agree that the Reds haven’t had a trade chip near as valuable as Sale or Quintana when they were traded.

        I believe, though, that if Frazier had been traded after the 2014 season he may have brought back a return more similar to what the Sox got for Eaton.

        Eaton played 2014 and ’15 for the White Sox at CF where he was average to below average defensively and was a 3-4 WAR player. He moved to RF for the 2016 season where he was much better defensively and put up the 6 WAR season. With the Nationals playing him at CF, they were trading for a 4 WAR center-fielder with 3 years of control remaining.

        Todd Frazier had 3.1 and 4.8 WAR seasons in ’13 and ’14. A team trading for him after the ’14 season would have been trading for a 4 WAR third-baseman with 3 seasons of control remaining.

  10. I’m a sensitive guy, and I’m pretty disappointed that no one mentioned my line about Scott Schebler in the post above. That one made me happy as I wrote it.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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