C. Trent Rosecrans announced a new podcast earlier today at Cincinnati.com. It’s called Great American Dream and will focus on the minor leagues, stories from the minors and features on the players. I’m kind of kicking myself for not thinking of it first, but I can’t wait to give it a listen. The first episode will go up next week. You can read more about it here.

Michael Baumann of The Ringer has up an article on Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Amir Garrett that’s pretty good. While I’ll disagree with the idea that his ceiling is a middle of the rotation innings eater, there’s some good stuff in there. Baumann notes that the change up could be key for Garrett to remain in the rotation. As I wrote in November, we saw improvements with the change up last season, and it made a difference. We are seeing more strides with it again this season, too – at least early on.

That’s why his third pitch, the changeup, is so exciting. A work in progress heading into the season, it looks really good so far. The change is 10 or 11 miles an hour slower than the fastball, but it has exactly the same hard arm-side movement. And when I say “exactly the same,” I mean it. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a fastball-changeup combo track this closely.

That quote is followed by a chart from BrooksBaseball that shots the fastball and change up being charted by movement. The two pitches are almost on top of each other. Generally speaking, you don’t see that with change ups. Most guys show more sink and armside run on their change up than their fastball. That’s not been the case for Amir Garrett through two starts.

I’ve got an idea for a weekly article I’d like to run by you guys. Would you be interested in something like “Who hit the longest home run of the week?” – with three of the four teams having the MiLB.tv package, I can generally see most of the home runs and then use google maps to measure their landing distance. Maybe just something like a Top 5 for ones that were able to be viewed? I think it would be a cool thing to do, but if there’s no real interest then it’s not worth the time to go back and watch all of the ones hit and measure them out.

25 Responses

  1. kevin zook

    I think Amir can be at least a 2 starter.. if all things go to plan..

    • Gaffer

      That’s not far out by any means. The question is if you mean a top 60 starter or the reds second best starte, which could be very different. In fact he has always been a top stater vs. Loogey based on development of control and a third pitch.

  2. Michael B. Green

    I’d especially like to track opposite field home runs along with home run distances. Opposite field home runs, in my opinion, provide excellent insight into a player’s power potential.

  3. Reds4ever

    Garrett will stay in the rotation. Period. Cody reed should stay In the bullpen, he doesn’t have a 3rd pitch that he can rely on, and stephenson just doesn’t throw enough strikes to be a starter. Garrett will be our Ace next year. You heard it here first

    • heard it from someone else

      pretty sure someone else told me that first. sorry!

    • CP

      I have to respectfully disagree that Reed should stay in the bullpen. Especially this early on. He has far too much potential value as a starting pitcher to relegate him to the bullpen this early in his career. And having a reliable third pitch hasn’t been his problem, but rather just control in general. His “stuff” has been great and stayed great sense we have acquired him.

      We have to have some patience with these young pitchers….

      • The Rage

        Not having a good 3 pitch makes the rest of your stuff harder to “control”. RS has 6 pitches he can throw at any one time and they are getting better and better. He truly has weird lapses in control while having periods of strong control. His development has been periods of surges(2013,15) coupled with periods of stagnation and poor performance.

        Reed needs to figure out a changeup or he is going to be a co-closer with Finnegan in the Reds bullpen.

    • ohiojim

      I would not be at all surprised if Reed or Stephenson, one or both, end up having better MLB careers as a starter than any of the three rookies who have made starts for the Reds so far this year. However it could be that much of their success will come elsewhere. The stuff is there; somebody somewhere will be able to help them harness it.

    • Jake

      Let’s just turn every starting pitcher we have into a reliever, my goodness

  4. James K

    Yes, I think longest home runs of the week would be interesting, but I think everything you post is interesting.

  5. jrat

    when will we see the draft player updates? i really enjoy those!

    • Hoyce

      I agree. The draft prospect posting is the best.
      I think an armchair gm post would also be interesting. Saying what u would or wouldn’t do if u were reds gm.

  6. Steve

    A little good news in the minors. Closer last year at Dayton, Ohanian, healthy for 2017 and just assigned to Daytona. Rainey on the move soon? Wahoos roster at 24, but Bats roster at 26, so waiting to see what happens. Guillon didn’t do so well in debut at Louisville, so maybe he’s sent back to Pensacola. Bats short a starter if they’re planning to use Astin as a starter, 2 if not. Time for Mahle and Castillo to make their AAA debut? More minor league transactions to follow

    • Steve

      Just saw that Guillon is back in Pensacola. That solves roster issue.

  7. OnBaseMachine

    The Reds video board posted an image of Luis Robert photoshopped in a Reds uniform today. Not sure what to make of that…it’s very, very interesting. Why would they randomly post that picture if there was nothing to it?

    • Doug Gray

      I’m guessing it was either in preparation of a workout, to show him what it could be like to be playing there with his face all over the place, or they actually had the workout. I’ll see if I can get someone to talk – but I’m not sure I know the right people for that one, at least that I can get in touch with easily. We will see.

  8. Steve

    Pensacola leads the SL South at 8-3 with the lowest BA at .194 and lowest ERA at 2.07. Good pitching beats good hitting? Starters with the exception of Mella all under 2.00 ERA. 7 relievers at 0.00 ERA. Even if Mes can catch 2-3 full games in a row, not sure if his bat is ready to return to the Reds. Might need to spend a couple more weeks in the minors getting his stroke down. DH hen not catching to maximize ABs.
    Senzel 3-4 today to raise his BA to .280. Hope this game is the slump buster.
    Who will be the first player up from Billings to Dayton and first to go down? My guess is Veras or Vasquez and Chavez or Wright. Gordon if there is an injury to an OF. Correll if there is an injury to a reliever.

  9. seadog

    Chicks dig the home runs. The bigger the boat, the bigger the t*#ts. Etc. Please don’t bring yourself to this level. I could care less how long a home run travels….It makes no sense to worry. Should we next consider the longest foul? Doug, you are way better than that….

  10. Bill

    I would prefer to see the State of the Farm series concluded to HR distance tracking.

  11. Hingle McCringleberry

    I think the success of Amir will have the whole reds front office scratching heads on why they felt allergic to left handers, especially in free agency. Also, if you give the best pitcher, not a thrower a chance on the roster, It could pay huge dividends.

    Still with all the hype doug and the local media is giving to ted power and others, at the end of the day , the pitchers besides amir have 2 main pitches, no movement, and awful control. Its been a constant issue for years on how nobody has good control. Nobody can locate on a regular basis. This starts at rookie league. The reds must get some college stud coaches to teach these guys about the importance of control and not say “he’ll eventually get it”. If they come to us with two pitches, teach him a 3rd and a 4th in rookie ball.

    Also the abundance of pitchers at the minors level who seem to stay around 92mph with 2 pitches seem to be growing. Unless you have pin point control, its gonna be hard to carve out a mlb career. They seem to draft the same type of pitchers, getting the same result.

    Control, Control, Control! It should be a second language in the minors. Its almost as if Robert Stephenson had no clue what control was because he was always taught that his stuff was so electric that he didn’t need it. Now everyone knows to back off and take some pitches.