Louisville won 4-3. Box Score

  • Billy Hamilton went 1-4 with a double.
  • Felix Perez went 1-4 with a walk off HR (1).
  • Mike Hessman went 2-3 with 2 solo HR (2).
  • Henry Rodriguez went 1-3 with a double and a run.
  • Denis Phipps went 1-3 with an RBI.
  • Tony Cingrani threw 6 no-hit innings with a walk and 14 strikeouts.
  • Justin Freeman threw 2 shutout innings with 3 strikeouts

Game Notes

The big story here was the debut of Tony Cingrani at the AAA level where he was dominating, striking out the side in three different innings and totaling 14 before reaching a pitch limit of 85. He worked mostly in the 91-92 range, but touched 95-96 early in the game. Billy Hamilton had a steal wiped off of the books. He was on the front end of a double steal, but Felix Perez was thrown out at second. Kevin Whelan gave up three unearned in the 9th, but he wasn’t fooling anyone as several balls were crushed. Felix Perez led off the bottom of the 9th with a home run off of the “foul” pole to end the game on opening night.

Pensacola won 7-3. Box Score

  • Ryan LaMarre went 1-4 with a walk and an RBI.
  • Devin Lohman went 1-4 with 2 RBI.
  • Bryson Smith went 1-5 with a solo HR (1).
  • Donald Lutz went 1-4 with a solo HR (1).
  • Travis Mattair went 1-4 with a solo HR (1).
  • Tucker Barnhart went 2-4 with a solo HR (1).
  • Brodie Greene went 2-3 with a walk and 2 runs.
  • Steve Selsky went 0-0 with a walk and a run as a pinch hitter.
  • Chad Rogers went 1-1 at the plate. He allowed 2 runs in 5 innings with a walk and 4 strikeouts on the mound.
  • Yohan Pino threw 2 perfect innings with a strikeout.
  • Curtis Partch threw a perfect 9th inning with 2 strikeouts.

Game Notes

The wind was blowing out in Pensacola last night and it showed as there were 5 home runs in total hit on the night. Travis Mattair absolutely crushed his home run and the wind helped carry it into the water, but it was leaving the park on any night. Tucker Barnhart hit one out to center field from the left side of the plate. Chad Rogers pitched really well, giving up two runs on a home run that was a wind aided shot.

Bakersfield lost 6-2. Box Score

  • Juan Perez went 1-4 with a run.
  • Ryan Wright went 2-4 with a double and an RBI.
  • Yorman Rodriguez went 1-4 with a double and 2 RBI.
  • Mike Dennhardt threw 2 shutout innings with a strikeout.
  • El’Hajj Muhammad threw a hitless inning with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.

Game Notes

The pitching staff had a total of 12 strikeouts in the game, but they were hurt by the home run as they gave up 3 on the game.

Dayton lost 7-6 in 10 innings. Box Score

  • Seth Mejias-Brean went 1-4 with a walk.
  • Junior Arias went 1-4 with a walk, 2 runs and solo HR (1).
  • Joe Hudson went 1-4 with a walk, RBI and a run.
  • Robert Ramirez went 2-4 with a walk, 2 RBI and a run.
  • Robert Stephenson allowed 3 runs in 5 innings with a walk and 6 strikeouts.
  • Wes Mugarian threw 2 perfect innings with 3 strikeouts.
  • Alejandro Chacin threw 2 hitless innings with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.

Game Notes

On the surface, Robert Stephenson appears to have struggled. But two of his hits were infield hits and a third one was one I still don’t understand how it possibly got through as it rolled at 10 MPH. He pitched better than his line may suggest. The Dragons walked 8 times on the night and had several hard hit balls turned into outs on nice plays.

Game Preview

Team 1st half 2nd half Time Probable Box Score Listen Live Watch Live
Louisville 1-0 N/A 6:35pm Galarraga Here Here Here
Pensacola 1-0 N/A 8:00pm Smith Here Here Here
Bakersfield 0-1 N/A 10:05pm TBA Here Here N/A
Dayton 0-1 N/A 11:00am Guillon Here Here Here

38 Responses

  1. icehole3

    Cingrani’s curve was so nasty it reminded me of Chapman’s curve. I wonder if the opponents were so concerned with it that they were gun shy pulling the trigger on his pin point fastball. His curve is that good.
    Imagine Cueto’s fastball with Chapman’s curveball.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t want to go that far, for a few reasons. Cingrani was throwing a curve last night, while Chapman throws a slider. (I will have more on Cingrani’s curveball over the weekend). Chapmans slider is simply better, if for no other reason than it is 90 MPH.

  2. icehole3

    Stephenson’s stuff looks a little bit like Latos, his fastball is MLB ready but his breaking balls seem to be a little bit off. Hopefully he gets fast tracked this year.

  3. The Duke

    How long will everyone remain on the 80-85 pitch counts?

    Not much more you can ask for from Cingrani. How often was he throwing his slider? Caj it become not only a workable 3rd pitch, but a 3rd above average to plus pitch?

    Hamilton sounds like he had a solid game in center, hopefully he keeps it up and keeps improving his jumps, reads, and routes.

    Freeman also had a nice line in relief, how did his stuff look? Fastball speed?

    Rogers with a solid, but not spectacular first start

    Nice to see some pop out of Barnhart, and to centerfield no less

    Lutz and Mattair should have a nice little home run duel between them, batting 4th and 5th. And wind aided or not, still impressive to see a splash down home run from Mattair.

    Ryan Wright with a nice first game in Bakersfield, I could see him as the first guy promoted from Bakersfield this year (barring injury forcing something else).

    I listened to most of Stephenson’s start, seems like he had a little trouble spotting his curve, and he didn’t throw many changeups. West Michigan couldn’t handle his fastball for the most part, maybe only 2 balls hit hard all night and the others being infield hits or seeing eye weak grounders. Despite a few control issues he did only issue one walk, so it’s good he didn’t let it phase him much at all. Dragons announcer Tom Nichols was very impressed with the curve when it was working though.

    Mugarian had a nice outing from the pen, maybe starting just isn’t his thing

    Heard that Arias’ home run was a lazer shot, never more than 15 feet or so off the ground.

    • Doug Gray

      I think guys will be in that 80-90 range for all of April, even in the AA/AAA range, then they will be given more leeway. The guys in the lower minors, it will just depend on which guy we are talking about.

      I didn’t see a single slider from Cingrani last night. All breaking pitches looked like curves to me.

      Freeman looked good. 91-93.

      I will have more on Stephenson over the weekend. I will back up what I said on twitter last night and what Tom Nichols was saying…. when the curve is on for Stephenson, it is just outstanding.

      • icehole3

        who impressed you more last night between Cingrani or Stephenson?

      • Doug Gray

        Stephenson. He just has a special, special arm. Cingrani is clearly the better pitcher at this point (and several years old, so that is to be expected). I honestly think that Cingrani pitched much worse than his line suggests. He was good, but I will have more on his start this weekend. There were things to like, but also things that weren’t good either, but just happened to work last night.

  4. Ryan the Red

    Stephenson had 6 k’s to 1 BB and he wasn’t getting hit hard , ill take it. Cingrani dominating is very encouraging as well. Nice security blanket in case of struggles in the Reds rotation.

  5. Krozley

    I just love seeing Minor League Game Reviews again.

  6. Stock

    Nice opening day for Cingrani. His control has returned. Hopefully he just tired the last couple of months of 2012 and as a result his control wained some.

    If Cingrani first half of 2013 matches 2012 he could vault to the top of the Reds midseason prospect rankings.

    • Doug Gray

      I do think that had something to do with it. His fastball wasn’t quite where it was in the first half during the second half last year velocity wise. This first start had a tick more velocity than he was at all second half in 2012.

      I will be honest though, I would be doubtful to see Cingrani jump ahead of Stephenson. Stephenson is just a really special kind of arm, so unless something drastic happens, I don’t know that there is much Cingrani could do to jump ahead of Stephenson. But, I could see him jumping up overall in the rankings. He showed things last night that I had never seen him show before.

      • Stock

        I could for the simple reason that Cingrani is on the doorstep to the majors and Stephenson is a long way away. The extra risk associated with Stephenson lowers his value somewhat.

        Cingrani has something that super prospects such have Taijuan Walker and Zack Wheeler have yet to show and that is great control (this assumes you give him a pass for the 2nd half last year due to tiring).

        It should be a great summer to comment on the Dayton, Penscola and Louisville teams.

    • Doug Gray

      It was last night. The breaking ball showed up.

      • icehole3

        I agree Doug, when he threw the curve, it was like the hitters were walking through the haunted house

  7. MK

    They have added the Dragons games to milb tv at the last moment today.

    • Doug Gray

      I saw that too. I added the link above. I am watching as well. Before the season began, it was listed as available. Then yesterday, it wasn’t listed, so I took it out. Then I decided to double check just in case before it started and sure enough there it was.

  8. sultan of swaff

    While impressive, it’s well established Cingrani can get minor league hitters out with his fastball. I really hope the focus is on developing his secondary stuff rather than putting up gaudy numbers against inferior competiton. I guess that goes for Stephenson as well.

    • icehole3

      I would love for both guys to be able to add a cut fastball

    • Doug Gray

      I will get into it more this weekend with an article I am working on right now, but I think Cingrani pitched better last night than most nights I have seen in the past.

  9. Brian

    Is there a place you can find a breakdown of what pitches Cingrani threw. The Bats gameday only shows Ball, Called/Swinging Strike, Foul.

    • Doug Gray

      No, there isn’t. You could go back and watch the game and chart it if you subscribe to Milb.tv.

  10. jim t

    Doug, didn’t have the chance to watch the Louisville game but can you give a assesment of how Hamilton looked in the field? Any tough chances,arm,how was his range etc…

    • Doug Gray

      I will have some stuff tomorrow on Hamilton and others. Going to be a new feature for the site.

    • icehole3

      I wont jump ahead of Doug but a teaser, he had a very good play, I’ll let Doug explain it though

      • Doug Gray

        Jump right in. I have several notes on Hamilton to talk about.

  11. BJ Ruble

    I was at the Louisville game and Cigrani was very impressive all around. He was sitting at 92-93 and touched 95 at least once. He honestly looked like he was far more advanced than anyone he faced (looked like Cole Hamels facing AAA batters, IMO). His breaking stuff looked great, and it was an oddity when their batters actually fouled one off. Other than the guy he walked on 5 pitches, he was pounding the zone, getting ahead, and flat out overpowering all of them. Very impressive.

    • Doug Gray

      He hit 95 once and 96 once, stadium gun of course. Where were you sitting at?

  12. Joered

    Apparently Hamilton stole home in the bats game tonight. Did anyone see how it happened?

    • Doug Gray

      Runners on first and third. Guy on first got picked off, but took off to second. The first baseman threw to second and it was high. Hamilton took off and the shortstop had to leap for the ball. At that point he never had a chance at home, but he made the throw anyways. Hamilton was easily safe.

    • hunt4redsoct

      double steal, burriss stopped and got in rundown, Hamilton beat throw home.