Last night the Cincinnati Reds 2012 third round draft pick Dan Langfield returned to the mound for the first time since September 3, 2012 when he pitched for the Billings Mustangs. Langfield suffered a shoulder injury and missed all of the 2013 season. After beginning the year in extended spring training back in Arizona, continuing to rehab, he was promoted to Low-A to pitch out for the Dayton Dragons. He followed Nick Travieso who had just fired five shutout innings and entered the game in a 0-0 tie. The stage is now set.

Here is how things went in that first inning: 12 pitches, three strikeouts, utter domination. I tweeted this out following the inning:

I don’t recall the last time that I saw a pitcher and was that impressed right off of the bat. Excited and impressed doesn’t describe it. I watch a lot of minor league baseball. When you see certain things they stand out. The performance last night was that to the tenth power. Langfield returned to the game for a second inning. It wasn’t quite as good as the first inning, but was still very impressive. He finished the game with two perfect innings and four strikeouts.

So, how exactly did the stuff look last night? How about the mechanics? What does his future role look like? Let’s jump into it:

Scouting Report

Fastball | The pitch sat at 94 MPH and topped out at a confirmed 97 MPH (it turns out that the stadium gun in Great Lakes is indeed accurate). Oh, and it has sink to it.


Curveball | This is a potential plus pitch. It was an above-average to plus pitch in the first inning of work, but two were a bit flat in his second inning of work, showing a bit of inconsistency with it before breaking off a few more that were just filthy. A true put away pitch with 12-6 breaking action.

Slider/Change Up | In the past both of these pitches existed for Langfield, but he didn’t seem to show these pitches in this outing. Past reports had him throwing a solid change up and an above-average slider.

Mechanics | He utilizes a high 3/4 arm angle, almost an over the top arm angle.

Control | He was spotting his fastball very well, only missing the target twice in two innings. He was able to locate it in the three quadrants of the zone that he threw to. He didn’t try to throw the fastball to the up and away area, but spotted it well up and in, low and in and low and away. The curveball location was hit and miss. He located several very well, under the hands and on the outside corner at the knees. But as noted above, he left a few of them that were flat up in the zone.

Future Role | Obviously he was used out of the bullpen last night, but he had been a starter in the past. Talking with a source, it sounds as if he will remain in the bullpen. If he does remain in the bullpen, based on his first outing, he has closer upside. 94-97 MPH that sinks with a very good breaking ball and control? Sounds like a closer to me.


13 Responses

  1. Krozley

    I see Vidal is now on the Bakersfield roster. Is he the backup catcher?

    • Doug Gray

      Yes. Look for him to start twice a week for now and see where it goes.

  2. The Duke

    I don’t know if I would give up on Langfield starting yet if I were the Reds. Maybe have him go the Lorenzen route this year of coming out of the pen and progressing him up to a level where he belongs and then stretch him out a bit in the fall and come back to starting next year.

    Nice to hear the stuff wasn’t affected too much by the injury, and that he looks like he has navigated a long hard road back to playing.

  3. Terrence Meranda


    From what I read about Langfiels injury it was an impingement. Is this what you understand. While it kept him out for a year it doesn’t sound like a reconstruction type of surgery. I read that a shoulder impingement could be caused by tendons or perhaps a bursa. I like your excitement about him last night.

    • Doug Gray

      I will ask him about it later this week and get more details on exactly what the issue was and what he had done.

    • MountainLover

      He was interviewed on the pregame show. He emphasized that there was no reconstruction involved in his surgery. He basically said that they released the tightness in his shoulder and cleaned up the labrum.

      • Doug Gray

        Cleaning up a labrum isn’t exactly an every day thing though and is still rather serious. So far it hasn’t seemed to bother his stuff. Not everyone is so lucky.

  4. charliefunny

    These are Langfield’s pitches that the announcer called:
    first inning – 3 batters 3 K’s 9/11 first pitch strikes
    Batter 1 – K on up in fastball
    Batter 2 – pitch 5 was a 97 mph fb, then #6 K on a curve
    Batter 3 – K on a curve
    Batter 5 – K on a backdoor curve
    Batter 6 – 6-3 ground out on a cutter that started in the zone and ended up on the fists

    What did the rest of our scouts see there? Anyone? Duke? MK? Bueller? Bueller?

  5. Josh

    With the Reds having impressive depth at SP right now, I would stick Langfield in the BP and make him a quick moving RP, he could get it up near 100 MPH coming out of the pen. Our BP could use a late inning hard thrower.

  6. charliefunny

    Can’t have too many starters! Keep Langfield as a long reliever this year and starter next year. Plus it’s easier to convert a starter to a reliever than a reliever to a starter. Starters are the most important, costly & riskiest player! Like the Reds in the 10’s and before them the Orioles in the 70’s, A’s in the 80’s, in 90’s & Braves in 00’s, best Starters = effective bullpen = Wins = best chance of Championships. Look what Latos got SD from the Reds?