It was a big spring for Sebastian Elizalde. It started with an invite to spring training as a non-roster invitee. He then joined Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.

He was sent to minor league camp late in March and assigned to the Louisville Bats. Louisville has played seven games on the season and Sebastian Elizalde has had a hit in all seven. In six of those games he has played he’s racked up multiple hits.

On Wednesday night the 25-year-old racked up his second consecutive three hit game. He’s now 15 for 31 on the season (.484) with a double, two triples and a home run. He’s hitting .484/.485/.742 on the season with a walk and four strikeouts.

While it’s still too early in the season to think he’s on the verge of a call up due to his performance, he got an extended look with the Reds after returning from the World Baseball Classic. He’s not going to hit .484 on the season, but if he continues to play well then he could certainly get a look later in the season if the Reds need a corner position player to call up.

Other news and notes

Seth Mejias-Brean was “called up” from the Billings roster on Wednesday to join the Bats. He was sent down to make room for Tyler Goeddel the other day when he cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A. He’s taking the roster spot of Barrett Astin, who re-joined the Cincinnati Reds when the team sent Rookie Davis to the 10-day disabled list.

The Reds signed outfielder Cedric Hunter to a minor league deal last week. He’s spent small parts of two seasons in the Major Leagues. In 2011 he played in six games with the Padres and in 2016 he saw action in 13 games with the Phillies. In total he’s had 41 total plate appearances in the Major Leagues. The now 29-year-old has been solid, but unspectacular over the last two seasons in Triple-A. He’s hit .283/.331/.420 with Gwinnett and .294/.324/.433 with Lehigh Valley the last two seasons. He’s pretty much limited to the corner outfield spots at this point in his career. Hunter was suspended for 50-games for testing positive for amphetamines. We won’t see him playing anytime soon because of that.

Amir Garrett and Robert Stephenson pitched well on Wednesday

For Amir Garrett, it was another notch in the belt. The left hander cruised through six innings before the Pirates got to him with a 2-run homer in the 7th inning. Holding an 8-0 lead heading into the inning, the damage meant very little. Garrett threw 96 pitches on the night in 6.2 innings, walking no one and striking out five batters. Through his first two starts he’s posted a 1.42 ERA in 12.2 innings. He has walked jsut two batters and has nine strikeouts with just seven hits allowed. He’s been incredibly pitch efficient in his two starts, averaging less than 14 pitches per inning.

The fastball velocity was a little lower than expected again on Wednesday for Amir Garrett. He averaged just 91.9 MPH on the night, though he did note in the pre-game interview that it’s a calculated move. The control has been outstanding and the trade off has been worth it thus far. Garrett induced 10 swinging strikes in his start. One came on his fastball, five more came on the change up and four came on the breaking ball.

After a very rough first outing, Robert Stephenson rebounded in a big way. He threw the final two innings for the Reds in their win over the Pirates. Stephenson walked a batter and allowed two hits in 2.0 innings with four strikeouts and no earned runs. He threw 29 pitches and 19 of them were for strikes. The fastball reached 98 MPH and averaged 95.8 on the night. His splitter generated six swings and misses on only eight splitters thrown.The righty also got a swing and miss on a curveball.

21 Responses

  1. The Duke

    That curveball that that got the swing and miss for Stephenson was nasty. Started out over the heart of the plate, and then buried inside and low at 81 mph to the left handed hitter. He just flailed at the pitch not even getting close to it.

    • kevin zook

      sure was nasty.. if can pitch like did vs Marte more often he gonna be a problem hitting against.

  2. terry m

    Amir change up really looks good and the pitch he throws to right handers back foot is nasty. Really impressive !!

    • Nate Adams

      those pitches will only be effective if he is locating the fastball on the glove side of the plate (which he has been awesome at so far). he is a tough matchup for sure!

  3. sultanofswaff

    Improvement from Stephenson, but no slam dunk. He was still missing high and away or low and in with the fastball. In between pitches he was so twitchy you would think he had 5 Red Bulls. Like Finnegan, he’ll need to find a way to dial it back. I’d like to see him do that at the big league level pitching with more frequency. That said, he has frontline starter tools and should stay on that path.

  4. Cbus

    Garrett’s control looks better than advertised, if he keeps this up they won’t be able to send him down…which is why he should have spent 2 weeks to start the season in AAA.

    Stephenson definitely has great stuff, but his fastball control still looks shaky. I think we can continue to expect very inconsistent results from him until something changes.

  5. MK

    Interesting Chris Welsh’s discussion of keeping Stephenson pitching tall rather than bending the bag leg, to keep the ball down. The difference between the Tom Seaver “drop and drive” and Nolan Ryan “long and strong”.

  6. Seadog

    Amir Garrett has learned to be a “pitcher” rather than a “thrower”. His fb velocity sitting around 90-92 mph is proof. Yes, he can throw 95-96 if he wishes, but at what cost. He has learned to pitch at a velocity that he can control. Robert Stephenson needs to take notice. This is the next step for him. No need to throw 98mph. Dial it down a bit to where you can (spot/control) the ball. His stuff– off pitches are nasty. When he learns (as Amir has) to pitch within himself, he will be outstanding. I know it sounds simple, but it is all up to him. No need to throw 98,,, Control/spot and change. He will get it.

    Awesome job on these guys Doug.

  7. Jim Delaney

    I love how almost every Garrett pitch is knee high, if he can continue to keep the ball down and throw strikes, he will be very effective. He also seems to have a very calm, collected demeanor on the mound and he works very fast, receives the ball, receives the sign and throws. I know it is only 2 major league starts but it has me pumped… Looking forward to seeing if the REDS pitching can get it done at home the next 10 against the Brewers, Baltimore and Cubs… The competition RAMPS up severely next week with facing the Orioles and CUBS lineups…. Also, so far I will give Price a lot of credit, he has pulled all the right moves, almost everyone has contributed and the team has been a joy too watch for the first 9 games of the season!

  8. Steve

    Cincinnati Reds (28)
    Louisville (AAA): RHP Nick Christiani | RHP Jon Moscot* | LHP Andrew McKirahan | 2B Hernan Iribarren | 3B Zach Walters
    Pensacola (AA): RHP Jose Adames* | RHP Zack Weiss | LHP Joel Bender | SS Carlton Daal | OF Jonathan Reynoso
    Daytona (Hi A): RHP Tejay Antone* | RHP Mark Armstrong | RHP Nick Howard* | RHP Brian Hunter | RHP Jeremy Kivel* | RHP Wyatt Strahan | LHP Seth Varner | 3B Tanner Rahier
    Dayton (Lo A): RHP Junior Joselin Arias | RHP Alexis Diaz* | RHP Marcos Encarnacion* | RHP Nick Hanson* | RHP Sarkis Ohanian | RHP Adrian Rodriguez* | RHP Alex Webb | LHP Jacob Constante* | LHP Andrew Wright* | 1B K.J. Franklin

    Injury report. Asterisk means 60 day DL. Others 7 day DL. Knew about some of the players that underwent TJ surgery, but others like Adames, Howard and Constance answer my question of why they weren’t on any rosters to begin the season. Hope this info is useful for you Doug.

    • Arnold Ziffle

      Nick Howard on the 60-day DL? Who knew? It must be a 60+ day journey to see the Wizard of Oz to get a heart and courage to throw strikes. At least ThrowinStrikesaphobia is a recognized medical condition for the DL.

      • BigDee

        Man that’s harsh on a kid that had labrum surgery in June. He had a little setback in AZ, but was making great progress

      • Doug Gray

        Arnold is about as tough of a critic as one can be around here.

      • Arnold Ziffle

        BigDee
        The Reds paid Howard a $2M signing bonus and in 3 seasons have received from him 91.2 IP, 82 H’s, 92 BB’s, 74 K’s, 65 R’s, 57 ER. That is an incredible “career” WHIP of almost 2.00. Extremely poor performance, especially for a 1st round pick. In those 3 seasons, Howard went from A ball all the way up to A+ ball. Whew.
        Highway robbery that would make Bonnie & Clyde blush.
        B-U-S-T !!!!!! at #19 overall in 2014. Look who was taken after him
        #21 OF Bradley Zimmer CLE
        #22 RHP Grant Holmes LAD
        #26 SS/3B Michael Chavis BOS
        #27 RHP Luke Weaver STL
        #30 LHP Luis Ortiz TEX
        #31 RHP Justus Sheffield CLE
        #33 Michael Kopech (105 mph) BOS
        #37 OF Derek Fisher HOU
        #41 SS Jacob Gatewood MIL
        #42 1B/OF AJ Reed HOU
        #46 Nick Burdi (101 mph) MIN
        #49 Sean Reid Foley TOR
        #62 OF Alex Verdugo LAD

        CLE, HOU, BOS, and LAD didn’t miss on their picks.
        Harsh? Harsh was the Reds 2014 draft. Harsh has been Howard’s performance. Fugly Ugly they were.

  9. Colt Holt

    Anyone get the chance to watch the game? I am in Red’s country and limited to MLB.TV, so I have to watch the games after the fact. The one walk Stephenson had looked like he got badly squeezed based on the k zone…any insight from those watching the broadcast?

  10. Arnold Ziffle

    Stephenson looked better last night. But he didn’t look good. OK maybe. Some balls were hit hard, but the 4 K’s were nice to see. He still has a ways to go. He was the beneficiary of some good late inning defense.

    • Cbus

      I agree his numbers looked good but I still see the same old problems. Fastball command was better but not good. He has swing and miss stuff but I don’t see how Price is going to be able to trust him in close games. He more than anyone else needs to be in AAA starting.

    • kevin zook

      off topic but nice to see Ervin… off to a early good start, has hit well, in hitters parks…but struggles in pitchers parks, so thought good fit, with reds, has lil speed lil bit pop… would be nice to see Senzel, have a good game, just for a peace of mind lol