Kyle Lotzkar remains a wild card because of his inability to stay healthy.

Kyle Lotzkar remains a wild card because of his inability to stay healthy.

This came out last week and I missed it somehow. Kyle Lotzkar actually tore his labrum last season in his shoulder, but it didn’t require surgery. However, as a result, he will be used as a reliever moving forward in his career. Last year was the first time he had really made it a full season without an injury causing a chunk of missed time, and unfortunately he did wind up with an injury, just in the last two weeks of the season. Whenever you hear shoulder injury, it isn’t good. The fact that there was an actual tear in his shoulder and he is still pitching is concerning for the future, but let’s hope there is no further injury. It will be interesting to see how he responds to working out of the bullpen, both in terms of his stuff and the usage patterns given his arm history.

Drew Hayes has impressed Dusty Baker this spring. However it is a good example of why it is not good to really pay attention to spring training. Dusty had this to say:

“He’s a guy I brought in the first two or three games with the bases loaded,” Baker said on Friday. “I apologized to him and said, ‘Hey, sorry I can’t start you out with a clean inning.’ He seemed unfazed by it. He said, ‘It’s OK, no problem.’ He throws strikes. He has a good attitude. He and [Chad] Rogers, they stand out by throwing strikes.”

Hayes has a career walk rate of 5 batters per 9 innings in the minor leagues and in two of his three seasons is well over 5.0. Historically speaking, he is not a strike thrower at all. I am also curious about Baker’s quote, as Hayes has 3 walks and 1 strikeout in 2.2 innings this spring. His stuff is impressive, but control isn’t and hasn’t been any kind of asset to this point.

Reds.com has another article up on Chad Rogers that details some of his shark attack and dives into his spring a little bit as well. Rogers has had a solid spring thus far with a walk and 4 strikeouts in 5 innings.

Tom Nichols has up his 2013 Dayton Dragons preview on first baseman up at DaytonDragons.com. He pegs Carlos Sanchez as the likely starter after his outstanding 2012 with the Billings Mustangs. Robert Maddox could also see time at first base.

Harder throwing pitchers have less hard contact against them according to a new study done by Graham Goldbeck who studied years of Hit F/X data (which I would LOVE to get my hands on, just in case someone is out there listening). The studies shows something that we all have known since little league: When you pull the ball, you hit it harder. The further in front of the zone a hitter makes contact with the ball, the harder they tend to hit the ball. The pitchers that throw the ball harder tend to have the ball contacted further into the zone, thus decreasing the speed of the ball off of the bat.

Jon Roegele poses an interesting question (more of a series of questions throughout his article) at Beyond the Box Score. Can adding extra oomph on your fastball when desired potentially be dangerous? It seems that there may be a small correlation with relievers. It is also interesting to note that both starters and relievers tend to add velocity with each additional strike they throw in a given at bat.

Tim Crabbe threw for Team Italy against the USA on Saturday. Crabbe worked out of the bullpen and tossed just 0.2 innings. His fastball was 92-93 MPH. In terms of movement, it moves similarly to the fastball of Jose Arredondo. He mixed in a cutter, change up, curveball and slider as well (he only threw one of each off speed pitch in his 13 pitch outing).

15 Responses

  1. The Duke

    Given how his season nose dived last year it wouldn’t shock me if his shoulder was bothering him before the tear happened. Will Lotzkar still throw FB/CV/CH in the bullpen or will he be bleeding of a two pitch guy in a reduced role?

    Not really shocked that Dusty doesn’t know about the minor leaders outside of the top guys.

    • Doug Gray

      I would imagine, at least for now, he probably keeps three pitches. Still, I would expect 90% of it to be FB/CV.

  2. paco

    Doug First time here, I am at the World Games in PR and loving every minute of it . I came across your blog by accident while using google to look up some info on the reds. I must say I have read four days worth of your stuff and you do a nice job. Hey full disclosure I played for team Spain and I am an infielder. Great experience and great competition . or I should say the competition was off the charts.

    I had to give a shout out to our boy Chris Manno. I played against him in College and remember him being very good. I am a bit older then he is, so I only played against him for one season. So for you readers and for him let me give you the run down
    (1) He pitched 1 2/3 inning against the best team in the classic (DR) and came in with two on and no out. 1st batter 90 mph fast ball broken bat fly ball out. Then a classic inning ending double play.
    He came out to pitch the next inning and was 88-92 with good action . Strike out and he ended his day with a weak ground ball from Jose Reyes. So the day for your young lefty was great. The WBC has very strict rules so they stopped in at 26 pitches . He had 1 K no walks , no hits against DR. He was able to pitch against Venezuela and it was on 0 days rest which we knew would never happen in spring training. Manno had good velocity and gave up 2 hits and a broken bat blooper. He struck out one and a weak pop up to center field. Now his line was not good but he should of been out of the inning . He jammed a batter and the catcher dropped a ball behind the plate. Bad luck . He came out and then the flood gates opened up with our next pitcher giving up 4 hits in a row. I write this not because of his performance which was great but because of the person. In just 2 short weeks, manno is a friend for life. He embraced his teammates and made everyone around him better. Clubhouse guy like noone’s business and he works his tail off. I hope he reads this but Reds fans and Mr Doug. He is someone I want on my team ,and the entire coaching staff echoed the sentiment .

    • mace

      Excellent, very substantial report, paco. Manno has always put up very good numbers, but it’s nice to hear that there’s something behind them. I hope you chime in here on a regular basis.

    • Doug Gray

      Thanks for sharing that. While I do hear things about guys in the clubhouse, I tend to not put it out there much unless it is incredibly overwhelming (like in the case of Todd Frazier). Having that get out there for other guys is nice to hear.

      As for the on the field stuff, Manno is good enough to pitch in the Majors one day if he can stay healthy. How he continues to develop will determine just how much his role will work out to be.

  3. MK

    Loek Van Mil did a nice job for Netherlands versus Cuba in 9th inning. Nice compact delivery for a seven footer.

    and, becomes winning pitcher

  4. Scott R

    Hello again – I’m back home in NY after a great time in Arizona. Saturday we went to Major league practice but there wasn’t much going on since the fields were still wet. There was some fielding pracice and bunting practice. For hitting, they went to the indoor cages. Doug – you would have loved the game against the Brewers. The Reds threw out mostly minor leaguers with Donald and Hannahan thrown in. Bailey looked better than his stats with shoddy fielding behind him. I was surprised that Yorman led off until I saw what he did. Just like Hamilton the night before, he legged out a single and stole second. He got in to score on a hit. Negron had a great game and looked good and Itzuras (sp?) stole the show (unfortunately) with a HR and an RBI single (the game winner I think). All the Major league releviers pitched an inning. Broxton worked slow and didn’t really look good although he didnt give up a run. Marshal was lights out and Hoover saved it.

    After doing Spring Training, I highly recommend it for all you Reds fans out there, especially with kids. I went last year solo and this time with my 2 boys (10 &13) sans wife. We came with 5 balls to get signed and came home with 5 more game balls and 2 practice balls. For signatures, we got Griffy Sr, Eric Davis (great sense of humor) and Foster ($10 to charity). For Major leaguers we got Heisey, Cozart and Itzuras that I can remember and about 15 minor leaguers (most who even after reading this site religiously I don’t know who they were). I need to check the balls and the rosters and write them down. Thanks for reading, sorry for interrupting and I’ll go back into my hole now!

    • Doug Gray

      Haha. Scott, you don’t have to go to your hole. We will let you hang out and see the sun.

  5. redsfannorth

    Scott,

    You can crawl out of your hole anytime! As someone who is thinking hard about getting down to ST that is great info! Thanks!

  6. hunr4redsoct

    I am leaving Wednesday for my 22 consecutive Reds spring training, thank God for income tax refund. Always a great time, especially getting to share it with my sons.

  7. bj

    I am also leaving for AZ Wed. Hope to put some updates on the site for you guys.

  8. Mel

    Doug and Paco that is refreshing to hear that about Manno. It is his make up and his back-round . As far as his WBC showing, I thought he looked great, especially for this time of the season. Chris can pitch, I just want him to trust his slider and cutter more

  9. Terry M

    With all the posts on spring training I’m going to start planning on going next near. Any nice close extended stay places anybody can recommend ??

    • Scott R

      Terry – I didn’t book until late and ended up staying at a Hilton resort for about $200 per night (Buffet breakfast which wasn’t free and plenty of pools). There are other places that you can get cheaper, maybe at the $125-150 pricepoint but I was also trying to stay close to a particular neighborhood where a friend lives. I don’t know if you can get cheaper booking early but its always possible.

      • Terry M

        Thanks Scott I appreciate any info as I now have the bug….