The Reds made their first real cuts of the spring yesterday. Here is how it broke down:

  • Optioned to Louisville: Tony Cingrani and Daniel Corcino
  • Optioned to Pensacola: Kyle Lotzkar and Josh Ravin
  • Optioned to Bakersfield: Carlos Contreras and Yorman Rodriguez
  • Optioned to Dayton: Ismael Guillon
  • Reassigned to minor league camp: Nick Christiani, Chad Rogers, Nevin Ashley, Kristopher Negron and Ryan LaMarre.

No real surprises in there as far as who got sent down. None of these players were truly competing for a roster spot and while some of them had performed well, they were keyed in for the minors unless there were injuries. The one non-move that surprised me was Billy Hamilton. First, he is hitting just .111/.200/.111 with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks in 20 plate appearances. Secondly, he simply isn’t competing for a job and we all know that. I guess that they may want to see him a little more, or perhaps work more directly on a day-to-day basis with the guys in to help with big league camp in terms of defense in center field.

John Sickels released his Top 150 Prospects this morning at MinorLeagueBall.com. Here are the Reds that made the list:

  • 14. Billy Hamilton – OF
  • 55. Robert Stephenson – RHP
  • 65. Tony Cingrani – LHP
  • 81. Daniel Corcino – RHP
  • 125. Jesse Winker – OF

Sickels made notes on both Stephenson and Winker.

Fried and Stephenson both have Top 20 potential, if not Top 10, for 2014.

Coulter, Roache, and Winker are 2012 drafts who could all rank much higher a year from now.

While Mark Prior is going to wind up in the bullpen, he made a start in an intrasquad game yesterday for the Reds against the “Double-A” team, facing 4 batters. He performed well. From what I saw from watching him pitch last year, if he can throw strikes, I believe he can get Major League hitters out. Control was a serious issue for him though last year as he walked 23 batters in 25 innings (with 38 strikeouts).

My last note for the day and it isn’t really minor league related: Joe Posnanski shows us that the entire idea of a closer just doesn’t matter. Teams are winning the same amount of games as they always have regardless of the lead heading into the 9th inning.

40 Responses

  1. Stock

    Bold predictions for next year:

    Notable Graduation Hoover
    Hamilton top 10
    Cingrani, Stephenson 15-25
    Corcino 30-40
    Winker, Yorman 70-80
    Langfield, Lutz 100-125
    Potential 125-150 Travieso, Guillen, Soto, LaMarre, Vidal and Rogers

    Hopefully, Langfield jumps up a line. Travieso could jump up two lines but I don’t think he will leave Rookie ball this summer. Rogers will be interesting.

    • fromcubawithluv

      Fun to think about, but there is 0 chance Cingrani jumps into the top 25. All else, I would think is possible.

      • wanderinredsfan

        Why no faith in Cingrani? If he puts up similar numbers in AAA as he did previously in AA, then there is no doubt he will be the top lefty arm in all or prospect land.

      • Doug Gray

        That isn’t true. If he does it without improving his breaking ball, he won’t be close to the top lefty arm in all of prospect land because people still won’t be sold he can start.

      • wanderinredsfan

        Well, Cingrani won’t likely perform as well in AAA without a good breaking ball. I’m assuming progress on his slider, which I think is happening.

      • fromcubawithluv

        even if he improves the breaking ball, he is in the 40s, and if he doesn’t then he stays where he is at or drops. he is a bit old and not really a top of the rotation kind of guy. 24 yr old number 3 starter is not in the top 25.

    • The Duke

      Stephenson 12
      Hamilton 22
      Winker 45
      Corcino 52
      Cingrani 68
      Travieso 77

      • fromcubawithluv

        stock is right about one thing, we do have a number of guys that could make the jump and be added to your list. We may have a very highly ranked farm system next year.

  2. Kevin

    Perhaps we can send the Poz article to Dusty and stop his terrible open insurrection against Chapman as a starter.

    http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2013/03/13/baker-wants-a-decision-on-chapman-soon/

    Last year Frank Francisco had an opp BA of .269, an ERA of 5.53, a whip 1.61 and he converted 88% of his save opportunities.

    Meanwhile, Chapman was blowing people away with an almost historic K-rate, barely allowing a hit, let alone a run for most of the year, and he converted…yep, 88% of his save opportunities.

    The ends don’t justify the means here. The means justify the starts.

    At first I thought it was crazy to pay Broxton $7 mil per year to close when Hoover could do it better for $6.5 million less. But maybe that’s the price the Reds pay to prevent Dusty from getting his way. You don’t pay Broxton 7 mil to setup. Even Dusty has to understand that.

    Please, please don’t get hurt Jonathan.

  3. wanderinredsfan

    Yesterday’s podcast regarding Frazier got me thinking a bit about the future of 3B.

    What players from other organizations are blocked at the big leagues, and are potentially on the trade-block?

    How about Walt making a push for Anthony Rendon from Washington? Move Frazier into LF once Rendon is ready.

    Any thoughts to what it would take to pry him from Washington?

    • Doug Gray

      I think it would be quite a high price to acquire Rendon. Hamilton and Corcino/Cingrani?

      • Stock

        I think they are going to try Rendon at 2B this year. Another option is to move Zimmerman to 1B.

  4. Jon Ryker

    Faulty reasoning on closers not mattering……with much more power and much smaller ballparks, it is more difficult to close games out than it used to be…..with bullpens routinely covering 3 solid innings a night, the closer is essential, and a reliable one is not easy to find. These guys aren’t stupid. They don’t pay positions big money for no reason…..

    • Jake

      A good pitcher is a good pitcher… you don’t need someone at a Chapman level pitching one inning per game, only 2 or 3 games per week, when someone as good as Hoover or Broxton or Marshall could do just as good of a job. I think if given a chance Hoover could become rather reliable. Walt and Price have done a good job of finding and developing guys that won’t get blown away in GASP ( I really think the whole small park factor is getting overblown here anyway).

      Beyond that, last year our starters routinely went beyond 6 innings. Granted, we were blessed with a lot of luck and health with our rotation, and that could change.

      The front office guys and coaches aren’t stupid, they’re conventional. They feel safe paying big money to a guy to pitch one inning just because it’s the last one. Hell, lots of games the “big inning” may be in the 7th or the 8th (see the Sunday night game against Detroit this past year).

      • MK

        Jake I personally think Chapman should be the closer because I think the chance of winning a championship in 2013 is better that way and with only five since 1919 I think that is pretty valuable. That being said I understand the value of both sides of this argument.

        However using your logic of three innings in three games a week or 6 innings in one game a week I think three innings in three games wins out. I can impact half the games in a week rather than one for what amounts to three innings? No brainer.

  5. Patrick Williams

    Please let us know where Scott Rowland is . The reds need to sign him as a player
    coach. He was and is a lot of help to the younger men.

    • Randy in Chatt

      Do you mean, Scott Rolen? He’d be a good coach but it all boils down if he wants to. He’s a family man that turned down $4mil from two teams. Would he want to be a coach? I doubt it at this point.