Early in Saturday’s audio webcast of the Reds vs. Giants spring training game, announcers Marty Brennaman and Jeff Brantley discussed how important that day’s starting pitching assignment was for Cody Reed.

Marty intimated that the starting rotation was all but set, with Homer Bailey, Luis Castillo, Sal Romano and Tyler Mahle as the first four. He then asked Brantley if he believed the fifth spot was now a battle between lefthanders Reed and Amir Garrett, and Brantley seemed to agree.

This discussion makes it sound as though Brandon Finnegan won’t be ready for the start of the regular season with the sore left biceps muscle, and it already was clear that Anthony DeSclafani will be out for at least the first month with his strained oblique.

So as important as Saturday’s start was for Reed, today’s start for Garrett is equally if not more important. Reed might have a chance to make the Opening Day roster as a reliever, but for Garrett, it seems that his destiny is as a starter in either Louisville or Cincinnati.

Today’s game begins at 4:05 Eastern time, and is televised by Fox Sports Ohio.

Reed makes his feelings clear in this Mark Sheldon story.

“Who says I can’t be a starter? Who says I’m not one of the top five guys? Whoever does, they need to re-evaluate what they’re saying. I’m think I’m good enough to pitch with the five top guys. I know I’m one of them. I’ll be the best bullpen guy there is and I’ll be the best starter I can be with those five guys. I got the opportunity today and thought I made pretty good progress.”

Today’s starting lineup:

  1. Billy Hamilton CF
  2. Alex Blandino 2B
  3. Eugenio Suarez 3B
  4. Scott Schebler RF
  5. Adam Duvall LF
  6. Sebastian Elizalde 1B
  7. Cliff Pennington SS
  8. Tucker Barnhart C
  9. Amir Garrett P

Other pitchers listed as likely to appear today are Barrett Astin, Raisel Iglesias, Tanner Rainey, Domingo Tapia, Zack Weiss and Vance Worley.

News and Notes:

John Farrell, new Reds scout, on the speculation that he might be viewed as some as a manager-in-waiting:

Another essay on the excellence of Joey Votto, in particular his OPS on two-strike counts:


38 Responses

  1. jazzmanbbfan

    So are Marty and the Cowboy convinced that the Reds will keep Mahle from the start of the season? Was there any discussion of service time issues, or is that too complicated for them? He’s pitched like he should be here from the start but reality is different from fantasy.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      They did not discuss service time issues.

  2. WVRedlegs

    Garrett with a 1-2-3 first inning. 2 ground outs and 1 fly out. Very good beginning.

  3. Bill

    BEgan looks like our leadoff hitter for sure, the speed causes havoc.

  4. Matt McWax

    I’d like to see Elizalde as a pinch hitter on the the 25-man. Very nice swing there and just seems to hit everywhere.

    • lwblogger2

      Lack of power is the only thing holding him back in my opinion. He can flat out hit. He’s always hit, at every level. I’d love to see him get a shot, if not with the Reds, somewhere else. I don’t see a starter but I see a guy who can give you a reliable bat off the bench and give you some innings at 1B and corner OF.

  5. WVRedlegs

    Blandino single.
    Schebler a BB.
    Duvall a BB.
    Elizade with a 2 run single.
    Garrett working with 2 run lead.

  6. Old-school

    Is anyone listening to old cossack on blandino?

    • WVRedlegs

      Oh yes. Coming into his own. Blamdino that is, I don’t know about Cossack.

  7. Byron

    Amir having another impressive outing. I don’t see how you can’t name him to the starting rotation if you’re Price. They screwed with Amir’s head at the beginning of last season and he is out to prove that he belongs in the bigs and in the starting rotation.

  8. WVRedlegs

    Garrett putting exclamation point on he isn’t going to the bullpen.
    So far 4 innings, NO hits, 1 BB, 4 K’s. Looks like he will be in for the 5th.

    • Colorado Red

      I would like to see him go 5 innings.
      Only 50 pitches.
      Looked over powering.
      (Just got my MLB.tv)

    • WVRedlegs

      Game day had him with 0 hits and a 1.34 ERA, but now they credit 1 hit, but ERA a tick higher at 1.38. It’s spring. Great outing by Garrett. Brice is pitching his way to the AAA side.

  9. Shchi Cossack

    Nope, Garrett shut down after 4 innings, 4 outstanding innings. Carpe Diem young man!

  10. JB WV

    Good time for Price to tell Garrett he’s in the rotation so he can work on some stuff his last two tune ups rather than worrying about making it.

    • Indy Red Man

      He’s in. Only mystery now should be if they’re sending Mahle down or not? If so….then it would seem to be between Reed or Lorenzen. Blandino needs to be on the team as well.

      It could just be the air in Arizona, but the offense looks pretty good except for Billy/Peraza. Big shocker that they can’t hit:) Schebler is on fire and could be dangerous this year! Winker & Tucker too. Duvall had a nice at-bat in the 1st inning and fought off several pitches and drew a 3-2 walk (.366 obp) If he got his opb up to .330 or so and they kept his total at-bats around 400 or so then they’d have a really nice player!

  11. tomn

    Garrett has been awesome today. One cheap infield hit and a HBP. Solid Fielding play and throw to 2b for a force out. I think Mahle and Garrett have outpitched Romano, though Romano has been good. I’m really glad that Garrett has come through today.

    • Shchi Cossack

      If Garrett had laid a buffalo chip, the competition for the starting rotation on the 25-man roster may have progressed down the the ball boy.

    • Colorado Red

      I still think they was an error.
      I know it was a hard play, but MLB SS should make it.

  12. Shchi Cossack

    After a single and a triple in his 1st 2 PA, Alex Blandino has joined the .900 club this spring along with Schebler, Barnhart, Winker, Suarez, Duvall & Mesoraco. The really interesting aspect of Blandino’s success at the plate is that his playing time has increased as ST progressed, meaning he’s facing more MLB talent than non-roster callups and having success.

    Scooter Gennett v. LHP:
    0.522 OPS (2018 ST)
    0.691 OPS (2017)
    0.708 OPS (2016)
    0.310 OPS (2015)
    0.253 OPS (2014)
    0.329 OPS (2013)

    Scooter Gennet v. RHP:
    0.839 OPS (2018 ST)
    0.930 OPS (2017)
    0.733 OPS (2016)
    0.713 OPS (2015)
    0.802 OPS (2014)
    0.946 OPS (2013)

    Anyone want to guess who Price plays at 2B against LHP?

    • Indy Red Man

      Ummm Scooter….because Price has to get Scooter going against lefties:) Scoot had 109 atbats vs lefties last year? They had the same people last year with Brandon Dixon, Blandino, or giving Peraza more at-bats. All made more sense then playing Scooter vs lefties when the numbers already prove what he is and what he isn’t. I have no faith that Price will ever figure it out?

      • lwblogger2

        Wasn’t just last year. Gennet has historically struggled against LHP. Reds management doesn’t like platoons based on handedness, for whatever reason. I don’t understand it.

  13. Eddiek957

    Scooter and tucker should not be playing against lefthanders neither should billy

  14. VaRedsFan

    So glad to see Amir G. take the ball and run. Keep it up young man…he could possibly claim the #4 spot. And not be the one skipped over early in the season.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Garrett has pitched solid this ST. He’s had one tough outing, but his only issue has been not being only Price’s radar for the starting rotation heading into ST. I see no reason for Mahle’s inclusion on the 25-man roster on opening day with no need for a 5th starter until the 3rd time through the rotation.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Finnegan may be ready by that time, as well.

      • Shchi Cossack

        That would be my plan of action, with an alternative in my back pocket of a relief day or call up a temporary starter from AAA. I don’t want to write off Stephenson or Reed or Lorenzen, but they haven’t presented a good argument for inclusion. Nothing wrong with giving one of those starters a spot start occasionally as needed.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        My thought on Lorenzen: He should go to Louisville and work on being a starting pitcher. My sense is that Hughes, Hernandez and Peralta will be the setup relievers for Iglesias. No point in Lorenzen remaining in the bigs as a middle reliever.

        If Lorenzen performs well as a starter, then he’ll be ready for injury on the MLB staff, as well as give Dick Williams some pause to think about the idea of trading DeSclafani and-or Finnegan before the trading deadline if they pitch well and hold up until then.

      • Shchi Cossack

        The way Lorenzen was handled in his meteoric promotion through the minor leagues was hideous. Drafting a spot reliever, making him a starting pitcher a year after drafting him and promoting him to MLB as a starter the following year. Is anyone actually making decisions or do the Reds have a rock/paper/scissors club that handles all decision making regarding player development?

        I don’t think Lorenzen would be receptive to a demotion to AAA as a starter, but that’s exactly what I would do too. Let him work on his craft in a controlled environment with the development time he never received after being drafted. If he wants to be a starter, that’s the path he needs to take.

  15. Tampa Red

    Gosh bless it, Schebler crushed that HR. CW mentioned it and I was thinking it….I’d love to see the numbers on that one. I’m going with 430 ft and exit velocity of 110+.

    • David

      Schebler crushed it, and hit it off a left hander too. He is one very strong amigo.

      Garrett is supposed to be 6 ft 5, but Jim Day mentioned that he thought he was taller than that. And he is a very good athlete; very agile for a man that big, Probably part of his college basketball career. He has gotten stronger, and he just has to stay on top of his mechanics and maintain his control – throw strikes.

      Rotation for Opening Day:

      Romano (he’s a hoss!)
      Garrett (let’s see one more start)

      Reed could make the team in the BP, and get a chance to be the fifth starter, if he manages to distinguish himself in relief. The Reds need a left hander in the pen.

      Lorenzen continues to struggle with his control. His motion/mechanics are screwed up somehow.

      Stephenson needs to go down to AAA and start everyday. There will be a chance for him later this year, because SOMEBODY will get hurt (looking at you, Homer).
      Ditto Mahle, although I would not mind if he started the year in the rotation and Garrett started the year in the BP. Mahle, in my mind, is ready to pitch in the ML. It’s just a question of how they want to manage his service time.

      Raisel Iglesias (of course)
      Kevin Shackleford
      Jared Hughes
      David Hernandez (well, maybe)
      That’s four. Will they carry 12 pitchers to start the year?
      Then, it gets a little shakey

      Wandy Peralta has not had a good spring
      Lorenzen has been groomed for starting, but gets one more start to distinguish himself. Or does he go back to AAA to get fixed?
      Cody Reed, the perennial mystery pitcher; what to do with him? Can he really pitch in the ML?
      Brandon Finnegan: DL and extended Spring Training or carry him on the roster?
      I am going to guess DL and extended ST. That solves one roster spot.
      Quackenbush? He has looked REALLY good this spring. Is he for real, or is it just Spring Training?

  16. Shchi Cossack

    With 8 games and 10 days remaining in ST, every starting pitcher candidate will have 1-2 more starts in ST as Price sets the starting rotation in preparation for opening day. The candidates for starting pitchers on the 25-man rotation are …

    Amir Garrett (0.099 years service time):
    13.0 IP w/ 15-SO; 3-BB; 6-H; 1-HR; 1.38 ERA; 0.69 WHIP

    Tyler Mahle (0.036 years service time):
    14.2 IP w/ 9-SO; 2-BB; 7-H; o-HR; 2.45 ERA; 0.61 WHIP

    Sal Romano (0.081 years service time):
    12.0 IP w/ 15-SO; 2-BB; 12-H; 1-HR; 3.00 ERA; 1.17 WHIP

    Luis Castillo (0.101 years service time):
    8.1 IP w/ 9-SO; 2-BB; 11-H; 0-HR; 3.24 ERA; 1.56 WHIP

    Homer Bailey (under contract thru 2019 w/ 2020 team option):
    12.0 IP w/ 7-SO; 2-BB; 17-H; 5-HR; 9.00 ERA; 1.58 WHIP

    Cody Reed (0.166 years service time):
    12.1 IP w/ 10-SO; 2-BB; 20-H; 3-HR; 5.11 ERA; 1.78 WHIP

    Michael Lorenzen (2.159 years service time):
    9.2 IP w/ 10-SO; 6-BB; 13-H; 0-HR; 8.38 ERA; 1.97 WHIP

    Robert Stephenson (0.167 years service time):
    8.0 IP w/ 10-SO; 6-BB; 13-H; 2-HR; 9.00 ERA; 2.38 WHIP

    ST numbers mean virtually nothing, but take a good close look at the 1st 4 names listed above. Those 4 pitchers are the future and the future looks bright.

  17. Eddiek957

    I’m digging the talent infusion a choice between mahle Garrett Stephenson and reed sure beats last years starting five. A healthy mes blandino possibly Dixon our bench should be stronger. If our bullpen comes around we can be a competitive team

    • David

      Let’s not start getting too giddy here yet, my friend. At least climb out of Last Place and maybe get to 0.500 for the year.
      The Diamondbacks went from 69 victories in 2016 to 93 victories in 2017.

      IT COULD HAPPEN!. But probaby not.

  18. Brian Byrer

    I’m a little concerned about the bullpen outside of Iglesias. Hughes and Hernandez seem more like middle relievers than set up types who can be counted on with the game on the line, and outside of those 3 there isn’t really anyone with a proven track record. I know there are a lot of guys we’ve heard some positive things about (Weiss, Rainey, Herget, to name a few) but no one established.

    Peralta struggled a lot down the stretch last season and that seems to have continued into the spring (for what it’s worth). He just doesn’t seem reliable.

    I’m really encouraged by the starters (despite a couple injuries already), I just hope the bullpen doesn’t start losing us games in the 7th/8th innings!

  19. Eddiek957

    After Feldman addelman bronson rookie Davis and an injured Garrett I am giddy this year