redsminorleagues.com http://redsminorleagues.com Thu, 05 Mar 2015 23:17:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 3/5/15 Reds Spring Training Game Recap http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/05/3515-reds-spring-training-game-recap/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/05/3515-reds-spring-training-game-recap/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 23:17:01 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12105 Recaps from the spring training game for the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, as well as the "B Game" that took place on the back fields.

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The Cincinnati Reds took their second loss in a row to the Cleveland Indians on Thursday afternoon out in Goodyear. There were plenty of minor leaguers that got game action though as the Reds also had a “B Game” take place on the back fields earlier in the day that included several big leaguers, opening up spots for a lot of the minor league guys to get their first on field action of the year (a reward of sorts for some of the guys who showed up for the strength camp last month – minor league position players don’t have to report for spring training until a week from today). Here’s how the minor leaguers performed in the regular game today:

  • Phillip Ervin went 1-2 with an RBI and a run.
  • Luis Gonzalez went 1-2 with a double and an RBI.
  • Aristides Aquino went 1-2.
  • Taylor Sparks went 1-1 with a double and a run.
  • Michael Lorenzen threw 2 shutout innings with a walk and 4 strikeouts.

Other minor leaguers who played in the game but didn’t reach base: Jimmy Pickens, Kyle Skipworth, Tucker Barnhart, Brian O’Grady, Josh Satin and Carlton Daal.

As noted above, the Reds played a “B Game” earlier in the day. The game wasn’t official and in some innings there weren’t even three outs required for the inning to end. It was a glorified scrimmage, but the big league manager and coaches were running the show.

Jamie Ramsey was tweeting all day during the game, which only lasted eight innings. Here were some of the highlights:

  • Juan Duran hit a long 2-run homer.
  • Felix Perez had a single
  • Nick Travieso tossed a perfect inning with a strikeout.
  • Kyle Waldrop had a single.
  • Irving Falu had a single.
  • Neftali Soto had a single.
  • Jesse Winker had a double.

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Don’t sleep on: Reds 3B Tanner Rahier http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/05/dont-sleep-on-reds-3b-tanner-rahier/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/05/dont-sleep-on-reds-3b-tanner-rahier/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 17:00:58 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12100 Looking at why you shouldn't overlook Cincinnati Reds third base prospect Tanner Rahier heading into the 2015 season.

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Today is the third part in a series that we are running where we look at a player that may currently be overlooked, but is someone you shouldn’t be sleeping on for the 2015 season. In part one we looked at outfielder Kevin Garcia. Last week we looked at reliever Drew Hayes. This time we will look at third baseman Tanner Rahier.

The Reds selected Tanner Rahier in the second round of the 2012 draft, which makes his inclusion a little bit strange given that he is just entering his age 21 season, but he’s never hit over .238 and never posted an on-base percentage of .300 in three seasons. The 2014 season was easily the best of his career and he hit .238/.298/.356 during the season.

While the overall line leaves plenty to be desired, there’s some good in there as well. From the start of the season through the first week of July, over 291 plate appearances, Rahier was hitting .294/.341/.434 for Dayton. From that point forward he hit .140/.226/.223 while watching his strikeout rate go from 16% to 29%, nearly double the rate.

The explanation for the huge drop off in production can be partially explained through the stats. In his first half he saw his batting average on balls in play at .332. That rate falls in line with one that is within reason of expectation. In the second half that number dropped to .183. That rate simply isn’t something that should be expected to happen. The league average is just over .300 in the Midwest League. Normalizing that goes a bit of the way to explain the second half struggles.

On the other side of that though was the nearly doubling of his strikeout rate and his power disappearing over the second half. There could be a reason to explain both of those as well.

Scouting Report

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Thoughts on Reds Raisel Iglesias’ first appearance http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/05/thoughts-on-reds-raisel-iglesias-first-appearance/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/05/thoughts-on-reds-raisel-iglesias-first-appearance/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 11:00:37 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12097 Cincinnati Reds Raisel Iglesias made his first appearance on the mound this spring and there were both good and bad things to see.

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When the Cincinnati Reds signed right handed pitcher Raisel Iglesias late last summer he didn’t head out and begin pitching right away. He took some time off before heading out to the Arizona Fall League to make seven appearances. He was impressive, not allowing a run in the span, striking out seven batters, allowing one hit and walking three batters.

On Wednesday afternoon he made his first spring training appearance for the Reds as they took on the Indians. The outing could have gone better as he was charged with two unearned runs in an inning of work with two walks, a strikeout and a hit.

Let’s look beyond the numbers though. Iglesias allowed some hard contact in the inning. The first pitch he threw was hit to the warning track in left field but was tracked down by Jason Bourgeois. The next hitter lined a single into left. He followed that up by striking out Destin Hood.

Things then began to fall apart, partially on his side and partially on the defense. Iglesias began to struggle with the strikezone and walked the next batter. He got a ground ball to shortstop that should have ended the inning but the third baseman cut in front of the shortstop before deciding to let the shortstop play the ball, which was unknown to him and it rolled into the outfield and extended the inning.

Iglesias then walked the next batter to load the bases as he continued to struggle with his fastball location, leaving the pitch up in the zone consistently. He uncorked a wild pitch to bring in the go-ahead run for the Indians. After that he would get a fly out to end the inning, but he would wind up taking the loss due to allowing the two unearned runs in the inning.

The struggles with control and the hard contact were not good to see. Of course there was some good things to see as well. His fastball showed good life on it at times with armside running action to it. He flashed a good breaking ball. He was in a jam and he got a weak ground ball that should have ended the inning and holding the lead.

It was his first appearance on the mound for the Reds big league club in any capacity. Perhaps he was nervous, over throwing trying to impress… there could be plenty of things that were going on leading to some of the struggles he had. But there were good things that showed up as well. In his next outing we will see how he does, but look for the control as a sign that maybe he did have some “first day jitters” going on in his outing on Wednesday afternoon.

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3/4/15 Reds Spring Training Game Recap http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/04/3415-reds-spring-training-game-recap/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/04/3415-reds-spring-training-game-recap/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 22:45:42 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12095 A quick look back at the Cincinnati Reds loss to the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday afternoon.

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The Cincinnati Reds lost the second game of spring training to the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday afternoon, falling 4-2. Here’s how the minor leaguers performed in the game:

  • Chad Wallach walked in his lone plate appearance.
  • Chris Dominguez went 1-2 with a double and an RBI.
  • Irving Falu went 1-1.
  • Anthony DeSclafani was charged with an unearned run in 2 innings with 2 strikeouts.
  • David Holmberg allowed a run in 2 innings with a walk and 2 strikeouts.
  • Raisel Iglesias allowed two unearned runs in an inning with 2 walks and a strikeout. (more on his outing coming later)

Several minor leaguers got two at bats but went without hits. A few more had a single at bat and went without hits as the entire team struggled at the dish today, managing just four hits and added just two walks. The pitching was solid throughout most of the game, but the defense had some struggles along the way as the team allowed three unearned runs in the game thanks to two errors.

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Which prospects to watch Wednesday afternoon http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/04/which-prospects-to-watch-wednesday-afternoon/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/04/which-prospects-to-watch-wednesday-afternoon/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:43:33 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12093 Which Cincinnati Reds prospects to watch for on Wednesday afternoon when the Reds take on the Cleveland Indians.

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The Cincinnati Reds will play this afternoon against the Cleveland Indians and the game will be live on Fox Sports Ohio if you are able to watch.

On the pitching side there are three top prospects that will be pitching for the Reds. Anthony DeSclafani will get the start. Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen will both pitch out of the bullpen for the Reds.

DeSclafani is one of the favorites to land in the starting rotation and this will be his first appearance in a Reds uniform since being acquired in the Mat Latos trade. It’s early, but a strong appearance will get him off on the right foot. The right hander has shown strong control in the past and quality stuff.

Iglesias will be making his first spring training appearance, but it won’t be his first time in a Red uniform, as he had one on during the Arizona Fall League where he made seven appearances without allowing a run. It will be the first time that the Cuban pitcher will face big league competition (assuming the Indians are still playing big leaguers when he takes the mound). With such limited experience in the US it will be good to just see him on the mound and get a true first look at him. Look for his change up, as it’s his newest offering that he is mixing in with his fastball and breaking ball.

Lorenzen will be getting his second spring training with the big league club underway. The right hander threw 7.1 innings last spring in his first full season after being drafted in 2013. Coming off of a breakout season at the Double-A level, he’s looking to turn some heads in the spring and keep his name on the short list of pitchers the team could consider for a call up if and when a pitcher is needed once the season begins. Lorenzen has a very good sinker, so watch for him to pound the bottom of the strikezone with the pitch.

On the offensive side of things there are a few minor leaguers in the starting lineup. Newcomer Chris Dominguez is getting the start at first base, Brennan Boesch is starting in right field and Tucker Barnhart is starting behind the plate.

Dominguez has plenty of power to work with, but his over aggressive plate approach has led to struggles along the way through the minor leagues and in his brief big league action.

The same thing could be said about Brennan Boesch. After a very strong 2011 in the big leagues he has struggled at the Major League level to repeat that success. He crushed the Pacific Coast League in 2014, but his aggressive approach remained. His power could help the bench, but he may need to tone down his aggressiveness at the plate in order to get the most from his bat.

Barnhart made the opening day roster last season as a fill in for an injured Devin Mesoraco. Unless another injury happens to a catcher, Barnhart will be heading back to the minor leagues to start the 2015 season. He’s a premium defender behind the plate with a strong glove and arm all while being praised for his ability to handle a pitching staff.

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Early Preview: The Dayton Dragons starting pitchers http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/04/early-preview-the-dayton-dragons-starting-pitchers/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/04/early-preview-the-dayton-dragons-starting-pitchers/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 13:30:16 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12090 Could Jackson Stephens return to the Dayton Dragons to fill out their rotation in 2015?

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Tom Nichols, the Dayton Dragons radio and television broadcaster has begun his spring series where he previews potential Dragons players. On Tuesday he previewed the potential starting pitchers.

The article only lists six potential candidates for the five rotation spots. Jackson Stephens, Wyatt Strahan, Tyler Mahle, Mark Armstrong, Luke Moran and Tejay Antone are the six candidates. The article has a profile on each player, so go give it a read.

The stats from 2014

Player Age Team W L ERA IP HR BB K
Jackson Stephens 20 Dayton 2 7 4.84 67.0 8 22 54
Wyatt Strahan 21 Billings 0 3 2.76 42.1 0 12 40
Tyler Mahle 19 Billings 5 4 3.87 76.2 5 15 71
Mark Armstrong 19 AZL 4 3 4.23 61.2 4 14 56
Luke Moran 22 BIL/DAY 5 5 4.38 78.0 13 15 63
Tejay Antone 20 AZL/BIL 2 3 5.76 54.2 4 18 34

One of these guys will be on the outside and looking in from the bullpen, or perhaps one of these guys winds up pitching in Daytona and the other five fill out the Dayton rotation. Jackson Stephens is the most likely to wind up in Daytona, having spent time in parts of two seasons with Dayton already. Wyatt Strahan would probably be the next most likely as a college draft pick who also had plenty of success in Billings.

Be sure to go check out the original article at DaytonDragons.com to get some more information on all of the pitchers.

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3/3/15 Reds Spring Training Game Recap http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/03/3315-reds-spring-training-game-recap/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/03/3315-reds-spring-training-game-recap/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 23:14:41 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12088 The Cincinnati Reds have gotten their first spring training game out of the way with a 10-0 win over the Indians on Tuesday afternoon.

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The first spring training game is in the books and the Cincinnati Reds came out looking like world beaters as they prevailed over the Indians 10-0. There were plenty of minor leaguers who got into the game today and here is how they performed:

  • Brennan Boesch went 2-2 with an RBI.
  • Eugenio Suarez went 0-1 with a walk.
  • Irving Falu went 1-1 with a double, run and an RBI.
  • Kyle Skipworth went 1-2.
  • Jesse Winker went 1-1 with an RBI and a run.
  • Kyle Waldrop went 1-2 with a double, RBI and a run.
  • Chris Dominguez went 2-2 with a double, RBI and 2 runs.
  • Jason Marquis threw 2 hitless innings with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts.
  • Keyvius Sampson threw 2 shutout innings with a walk and 2 strikeouts.
  • Nate Adcock threw a perfect inning with a strikeout.
  • Pedro Villarreal threw a perfect inning.
  • Daniel Corcino threw a hitless inning with a walk.
  • Matt Magill threw a shutout inning with a walk.

With a score of 10-0 you’d imagine a lot of the guys on the team had a good day, and they did. Most of the hitters got in on the action and every pitcher threw at least one shutout inning.

The Reds and Indians will mix things up tomorrow as they play at the same time in the same stadium, but with the Indians playing the home team for this one. Anthony DeSclafani is scheduled to start for the Reds.

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Shifting around the league http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/03/shifting-around-the-league/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/03/shifting-around-the-league/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 16:45:01 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12085 Taking a quick look at how teams and players are viewing the shift around baseball.

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If you’ve been around the site long enough, you know that I’m not a fan of the shift in baseball. I’m not so much against it because it takes hits away, but more so that it effects left handed hitters at a far greater rate than it could ever effect right handed hitters. Baseball Prospectus has up an interesting article on the shift and how some teams are dealing with it this season.

The article starts out with Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler talking about how he doesn’t like the shift when he’s on the mound.

Say a guy is a pull hitter, a lefty, and you’re pitching him away,” he says. “He’s a major league hitter, he’s going to go that way with it like you’re supposed to. But when the shortstop is playing second base and the ball goes straight through the hole, I’m like ‘Seriously, that’s out.’ If you’re playing baseball the way it started from Day One, that would have been out. And I’m just like an old school guy — I’m young but I’m an old school guy at the same time. I believe in all the old school stuff.

Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson had this interesting piece to say in the article:

Not all are on the board with its flourishing use. And that disconnect serves as another flashpoint for the communication bridge between front offices that rely heavily on ideas driven by advanced analytics that peck away at baseball’s conventional thinking.

That comment takes me back to the quote from Wheeler above: Miscommunication. There shouldn’t really be an issue here for Wheeler. If the shift is on, don’t pitch away. Guys aren’t going the other way if you pitch them inside. And let’s note that when his second baseman turns a grounder into an out that he fielded 90 feet deep into the right field grass, “that’s a hit”. But it’s not anymore. I understand where he’s coming from in the sense that when something goes against what you normally see, it’s annoying. But we also know that we tend to remember the failures more than the successes and that’s what is going on here. Teams are going to the shift more and more for a reason: It works. It turns hits into outs more than it turns outs into hits.

Last spring training the Houston Astros sat down with their team and showed them why they would be shifting more often in 2014. They showed them video, broke down the odds that said they would increase their ability to turn hits into outs by following the idea and opened up questions from the players. It took about an hour to do. The team communicated their plan with the players and explained why they wanted to go down that road and took questions and comments from the players. It seems like a rather simple thing to go.

The Red Sox have quite a few pull oriented hitters on their team. This spring they have begun to work in specific drills for their hitters to help them work against the shift, which they expect will once again see an uptick from the previous season. If baseball isn’t going to change the way teams can align their defense, hitters are going to have to find a way to do something about it. Bunting is the most likely scenario to work. As noted above, if a pitcher is throwing inside, it’s very difficult to go the other way and beat the shift. But the hitter could lay down a bunt much easier on an inside pitch and get it down the third base line.

Nearly every team in baseball has a guy or five working on advanced statistics and ideas to help improve the ballclub in one way or another. While players and fans seem split on the idea of sabermetrics, the teams themselves are all in on using them to help shape their thought processes along with traditional scouting data from their advanced scouts and coaches. Finding people inside your organization, or ones outside that you can bring in, who can take the ideas and explain them to the team/the manager/the coaches in a much easier way could be the next “big thing” that comes through baseball that can give a team an edge over the competition. While the Astros were mentioned above for some good explanation processes,they’ve also been cited for a lack of people skills by former players in recent years. Having the data is one thing. Being able to relay it to the people on the field so they can use it to properly improve their on field production is an entirely different animal and one that not everyone has been able to figure out yet.

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The Cincinnati Reds begin spring training games today http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/03/the-cincinnati-reds-begin-spring-training-games-today/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/03/the-cincinnati-reds-begin-spring-training-games-today/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 10:43:31 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12082 Tuesday afternoon marks the beginning of spring training games as the Reds will take on the Indians.

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Today officially kicks off spring training games for the Cincinnati Reds as they take on the Cleveland Indians. Most of the every day eight players will be in action, but the pitchers are guys that are all fighting for their spot on the roster. The game will be live on 700 WLW on the radio and on delay on MLB Network for those wanting to watch in on TV.

The most interesting news out of a rain filled day in Goodyear on Monday was that Homer Bailey threw his second bullpen session and came out of it feeling well. After it was noted last week that Bailey wouldn’t be ready in time to begin the season with the Reds he had put a slight deviation in that comment after his session yesterday:

I haven’t ruled out anything but I haven’t completely kept the door open.

While the quote isn’t him saying that he will be ready, it’s more optimistic than the one he gave last week. With an off day in the first week of the season the Reds wouldn’t need a fifth starter until¬† April 12th. If Bailey is on schedule to be ready by then there may not be an additional rotation spot available for someone to open the season, though it would be likely that the Reds would open up an additional bullpen spot until the day that Bailey would be needed with Bailey likely making a “rehab” start during the first week.

If that scenario plays out the additional roster spot would go to someone on the 40-man roster as the use of the spot on a current non-roster player would be a bit of a waste for just a week and a half before sending that player back to the minor leagues when Bailey is ready. If a current non-roster player is set to make the bullpen it will be a job that the team expects them to keep throughout the season.

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Several minor leaguers scheduled to pitch on Tuesday http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/02/several-minor-leaguers-scheduled-to-pitch-on-tuesday/ http://redsminorleagues.com/2015/03/02/several-minor-leaguers-scheduled-to-pitch-on-tuesday/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:00:09 +0000 http://redsminorleagues.com/?p=12080 There will be a handful of minor leaguers pitching for the Cincinnati Reds as they open up their spring training schedule on Tuesday.

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Tomorrow is the first spring training game of the year for the Cincinnati Reds. They will go up against their spring training facility roommates, the Cleveland Indians. Early on in spring training hardly anyone is throwing more than an inning or two and that seems to be the plan for the first game, with eight pitchers listed (and two guys as backups in case something happens).

Jason Marquis will get the start and be followed by new arrival Keyvius Sampson, JJ Hoover, Nate Adcock, Pedro Villarreal, Daniel Corcino and Matt Magill. There’s a chance that all of those guys could start the year in Louisville, though I’d be surprised if Hoover didn’t head north with the Reds.

Marquis, Sampson, Adcock and Magill will all be pitching in a Reds jersey for the first time.¬† Adcock is a guy I think has one of the better shots of making the Reds bullpen from the non-roster invites. He’s got big league experience and a big arm.

While it’s early, it will be interesting to see where Marquis is at on the radar gun. Usually you don’t pay much attention to those things during the first game of the spring as guys aren’t in full season mode yet and are still gearing up their velocity, but Marquis was sitting in the mid-80’s with his fastball last season. If he’s going to have any chance at making the Reds, he’s going to have to be throwing harder than that.

The other interesting part of how the pitchers are lined up is how far down the list Daniel Corcino is. Is this just a random assignment or is the first sign that he’s going to be making a move to the bullpen? He’s struggled over the past few years with control and his velocity has dropped off. A move to the bullpen may be able to improve both of those things and lead to him being more effective. Or maybe it’s just a random assignment right now and he will find his way into the Louisville rotation when their season begins in five weeks.

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