The Cincinnati Reds don’t play today. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have plenty of news to share about the team. This weekend the team will be playing a 2-game series in Monterrey, Mexico against the St. Louis Cardinals. Both teams will be allowed to have 26-man rosters for the series and the Reds have chosen to use their extra spot on the roster to call up outfielder Phillip Ervin.
During spring training it was Ervin who was swinging perhaps the hottest bat of any player in camp. In 41 at-bats he hit .341/.438/.780 with five home runs. Still, when the Reds decided to go with an extra pitcher in the bullpen instead of an extra man on the bench, that sealed the deal for Ervin being sent to Triple-A. In the seven games played this season with the Bats he’s struggled, sort of. He’s hitting .148 without an extra-base hit, but he’s also walked more times than he’s struck out, 5-to-4.
Nick Senzel improving, still weeks away
Another outfielder who was sent down late in spring training, Nick Senzel injured his ankle shortly after being sent to the minor leagues in Goodyear. It’s been about two weeks since the initial injury and he spent most of that in a walking boot. He has been getting in baseball activities recently, though – and on Thursday he was expected to get live at-bats at the complex in Goodyear where the Reds are in extended spring training. With that said, Fletcher Page of The Cincinnati Enquirer noted that David Bell said that Senzel was still a couple of weeks away from playing games at any level.
If Nick Senzel is going to be several weeks away from even playing in games – let’s just call it the end of April, that begs the question of if the Reds will just try to keep him down another month in order to get past the Super 2 date. Sometimes the Super 2 and the “extra year of control” thing get confused for each other. They are different things. The extra year of control is just that. It basically means that a team gets to keep control over a player for six full seasons, plus that first season that they missed out on 11 days of.
Super 2, however, is for players who among the players with more than 2, but less than 3 years of service time. Among the players that meet that criteria, the top 22% with the most service time become arbitration eligible for four seasons, rather than three. The date isn’t set in stone like the “extra year” is. But the Super 2 date is usually between May 20th and June 1st of a given season.
Playing in Monterrey, Mexico
Major League Baseball has or will play six games in Monterrey this year. Two of them have already happened, with Colorado and Arizona playing a set of games there in spring training. This weekend the Reds and Cardinals will play games that actually count. In a few weeks the
Mike Trouts, err, Angels will take on the Astros in a 2-game set.
The games will be played at the home ballpark of the Sultanes de Monterrey. The Mexican League as a whole is very hitter friendly. The league OPS last year was .800. Among leagues that are considered “minor leagues” that is far and away the highest OPS for any league. Park factors aren’t exactly easy to find for the league. Google got me nowhere. So I picked the most recent season I could find a full season of data for on Baseball Reference and manually ran the home/road splits for every hitter on the team. The difference was only 8 points of OPS, so it *seems* that the park itself doesn’t play much different than the league as a whole. But that still means it’s quite hitter friendly. Good luck, pitchers.
- The stadium itself is the largest in all of Mexico.
- It holds 27,000 people.
- 325 feet down both lines, 405 feet to center field.
- Has field turf, not grass.
- Would be the second highest stadium in elevation behind Coors Field (by several thousand feet) among Major League Baseball stadiums.