It was a pretty quiet week for the Reds. The team kicked off their spring training schedule with games on Friday (loss), Saturday (loss), and Sunday (loss). The next few weeks will be a great opportunity for fans to get a look at some of the younger players who could become regulars on the roster over the next few seasons.
1. The Reds opened their spring schedule against the Giants on Friday. For eight and a half innings things were great. There were a few impressive pitching performances (Sal Romano and Barrett Astin), and Cincinnati took a lead into the bottom of the ninth.
What happened next? Reds reliever Kevin Shackelford gave up a 3-run homer to give the Giants the walk-off win. These results don’t count, but given the bullpen’s struggles last season it was a rough way to end the first game.
Repeat after me: “It’s only spring training, it’s only spring training, it’s only spring training.”
2. On Saturday, things got out of hand for the Reds. Cleveland ended up winning 8-2, but in the eighth inning the baseball gods decided they had seen enough.
– CinCity (@CinCitySports) February 26, 2017
The outcome was disappointing, but Eugenio Suarez did hit the first home run of the spring for Cincinnati.
– Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) February 25, 2017
3. Saturday was also a chance for fans to get a look at top pitching prospect Amir Garrett. Garrett started the game for the Reds, and he gave up two hits and one run in 1.2 innings of work. Mark Sheldon of MLB.com took some time to profile Garrett this week. Sheldon also looked at the 24-year-old’s chances of making the rotation in 2017.
Prior to the season FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus, and MLB Pipeline all ranked Garrett as the Reds #2 prospect (behind Nick Senzel). He has the potential to be an important piece of Cincinnati’s rotation for a number of years.
4. Garrett isn’t the only player worth paying attention to this spring. Brandon Kraeling of Red Reporter broke down the “Players you should be paying attention to in spring training.” On a similar note, C. Trent Rosecrans looked at the competition for bench spots on the Reds roster.
5. The Reds did receive a bit of bad news this week. Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enqurier wrote that Dilson Herrera will be unable to play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic due to a sore shoulder. This was the same issue that limited Herrera’s playing time after the Reds acquired him last season from the Mets (in the Jay Bruce trade). It’s possible Herrera could see some time in the big leagues this season as a utility player. The front office and fans will be hoping for a speedy recovery.
6. If you follow the Reds, it’s no secret that they’ve been in the rebuilding process the past few seasons. How is the rebuild going at this point? One way to try and answer that question is by looking at the state of the farm system. Over the course of the offseason, a number of sites released their Reds prospect rankings. You can find them at the links below:
- FanGraphs – Top 32 Prospects: Cincinnati Reds
- MLB Pipeline – Reds Top 30 Prospects
- Baseball America – 2017 Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospects
- Baseball Prospectus – Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospects
7. I’ve mentioned their names already, but Zach Buchanan and C. Trent Rosecrans are doing a great job of letting fans in on the action in Arizona. Their regular Facebook Live videos have included: player interviews, Q&A sessions, and news recaps.
This week they had the opportunity to ask Zack Cozart one of the most important questions a person will ever have to answer. “Skyline or Gold Star?” (Skip ahead to the 10:00 mark to hear Cozart’s unsatisfactory answer).
If you missed Zack Cozart — and his stunning answer to the Gold Star vs. Skyline question — watch here.
– Zach Buchanan (@ZachENQ) February 25, 2017
I’m a card carrying member of Team Skyline.
8. This is probably the highlight of spring training so far. No, it wasn’t a Reds player, but it was still impressive.
.@TheJudge44 likes to hit baseballs.
– MLB (@MLB) February 24, 2017
That sound off the bat…