Photo: Doug GrayCincinnati Reds Spring Training Game Review: 3/11/19 Doug Gray March 11, 2019 57 Comments Monday afternoon was a big day for the Cincinnati Reds. It was the day in which they sent Michael Lorenzen to the mound, and then followed up by sending him into center field. But more on that later. The game today between the Reds and Indians ended in a tie – the third of the spring for Cincinnati. They are now 4-10-3 on the spring. You can see the entire box score for the game right here. Let’s start off by talking about Michael Lorenzen. He entered the game as a pitcher for the 5th inning. Things went well there as he threw a perfect inning with two strikeouts. The next inning saw him head out to center field and he was immediately tested as a double went off of the fence. At the plate he went 0-1 with a strikeout. It was his first at-bat of the spring. Offensively the Reds got home runs from their now former Dodger outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig. The one that Puig hit was reportedly an absolute blast, clearing the fence beyond the berm in left-center. Using the Google Maps measurement tool, the shortest distance from home plate to that second wall in anything remotely considered left-center is 423 feet. https://t.co/7FzAB3AvyU — Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) March 11, 2019 For Matt Kemp it was his 3rd homer of the spring and it was a 2-run shot. Puig’s mammoth blast was a solo shot and his second of the spring. Nick Senzel, Scooter Gennett, Christian Colon, TJ Friedl, and Jordan Patterson all added a hit. On the mound Anthony DeSclafani got the start and allowed a run in 3.1 innings with a walk and 2 strikeouts. Rob Wooten took over in the 4th inning and struck out the only two batters that he faced. Jesus Reyes fired a perfect 9th inning with a strikeout. Scheduled to pitch for the Reds tomorrow against the Padres: Luis Castillo, Zach Duke, Raisel Iglesias, Wandy Peralta, and Ian Krol. Scheduled to pitch for the Reds tomorrow against the Cubs: Tyler Mahle, Matt Wisler, Vladimir Gutierrez, Anthony Bass, Sal Romano, and Cody Reed. Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditPocket 57 Responses DocProc March 11, 2019 We were at the game and the Puig HR was destroyed. Off Kluber, no less. Simon Cowell March 11, 2019 Luis Castillo still have options remaining? Doug Gray March 11, 2019 Players with no options: Casali, Garrett, Puig, Stephenson, Wisler. Everyone else has options. Some others, however, can’t be optioned, due to service time. Simon Cowell March 11, 2019 If Castillo has options and Stevenson does not wouldn’t it make sense to break camp with Stephenson on the roster and leave Castillo in AAA? If Stephenson excels we can either trade him or keep him and allow Castillo to regain his 2017 form or try to discover what happened to 1.5 mph on his fastball. I would hate for the Reds to lose Stephenson with nothing in return. He isn’t bullpen material and he is also out of options. He either starts or isn’t a Red. Castillo meanwhile continues to show lackluster results. Even Lorenzen is looking like a better starting option. I guess the Reds don’t have to make a decision just yet but they are facing very difficult 25 man roster moves. Doug Gray March 11, 2019 Luis Castillo had a bad 4 week stretch in 2018. It just happened at the start of the year. From start 7 through the end of the year he was basically the guy he was in 2017. He’s had one bad month in his entire MLB career. The idea that he should be anywhere but the Reds rotation, locked in, is a wild, wild take. Wes March 11, 2019 I’m all for Castillo starting in Louisville but not at the expense of bobsteve. If he’s not top 25 player when camp breaks or not on DL then he needs to go. Reds need to compete and not have dead weight on the 25 man roster. Willy Stirrup March 12, 2019 It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize who the two people are that you feel it is ok to mock on twitter. Do you feel this is the best way to engage your fan base that takes the time to write topical, reasoned statements on your website? Just because you think they are silly doesn’t mean they deserve your public bullying. Doug Gray March 12, 2019 Yeah, I do. Because it’s not a reasoned statement to say Luis Castillo belongs in Triple-A. Or that Joey Votto isn’t really that good. And frankly, I’m tired of reading about it every day. It’s not just that I think it’s silly. It’s that it is actually silly. And it gets posted over and over by the same guy or two on a weekly basis. Eventually, it just gets tiring, frustrating, annoying, stupid. There’s having a bad take because you simply don’t understand. It’s an entirely different thing when it’s been shown to you why you are wrong, fifty times, and just stubbornly say, no – this is how it is. One of the things I actually like to do is learn. And as an extension of that is liking to share things that I’ve learned. Stubbornly burying your head in the sand after being shown actual, real evidence, over and over – I’m just going to have to start calling people out on it. Or I could just ignore all comments and let the comment section turn into a cesspool. Or I could just turn off all comments like almost every other site has done because, well, they all eventually turn into a cesspool when they get large enough. Wes March 12, 2019 @doug. I think u can argue Castillo had one good month last season just as easy as he had 1 bad month last year. Outside of September, He was no where near 2017 form imo. You see it in baseball all the time too. A player breaks out and then struggles to get back to that break form again…..also, what’s twitter and who u mocking lol?? The Duke March 12, 2019 Statistics say otherwise. Castillo’s May was above average, and he was borderline elite in July and October. That’s at least 3 good months. Does he need to be a little more consistent? Sure, but saying he should be in AAA is just straight lunacy. The Duke March 12, 2019 Meant to put September/October as he only made one start in October. Patrick March 12, 2019 Castillo was good month/bad month all of last year. His inconsistency come from him pitching out of the stretch. He is not as good out the stretch so he will give up big innings. He will have periods where is very good because of sequencing and then he will have really bad periods lot depends when he gives up base runners with no one He did have a 5.07 era going into September last year. The Reds gave him a lot of rest in August making only 4 starts. Responded with a good September It is funny in the end his era and fip came into alignment. So he was 4.30 pitcher last year which is a below average starter. So he was not as bad as when he was bad and not as good as when he was good. MikeinSoCal March 11, 2019 Since the Reds will be shopping Kemp wouldn’t it make sense to allow him to pad his stats the first half of the season? If given the opportunity I think he would do very well especially at GABP. That would come at the expense of Winkers playing time. An ex Dodger OF of Schebler, Kemp and Puig, interesting. Simon Cowell March 11, 2019 Yeah, I agree with this mindset. I think even the MLBPA would support playing a veteran on the edge over low paid rookies. Kemp isn’t washed up by no means. He still has a few years in him. Probably not as a Red though. You seldom hear his name mentioned as an everyday Red. Puig yes, Winker yes. Everything else is still up in the air. Stock March 12, 2019 I think Reds brass is seriously considering an OF of Schebler, Kemp and Puig. I have no problem sending Winker to Louisville. The thing I love about Kemp and Puig are that they are really driven to perform this summer. Some players come to play everyday (Joey Votto). Some need motivation at times (Puig and Kemp). A new contract is a lot of motivation. jon March 12, 2019 winker to AAA? lol!! CP March 12, 2019 Yeah I don’t think there is any way that the Reds are sending Winker to AAA. Patrick March 12, 2019 Sending Winker to AAA may not be a bad idea. You could gain a year of control and trade Kemp mid season. It would also allow Winker to play everyday. I would like him to learn 1B The Duke March 12, 2019 Winker has a year and 80 days of service time. He’d have to spend half the season in AAA to get another year of control. https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/national-league-central/cincinnati-reds/ The Duke March 12, 2019 Ideally, someone comes knocking for Kemp before opening day. If i’m Krall, I’m shopping Kemp and letting teams know i’m willing to eat $20 million in salary for a good prospect package in return. Nothing elite, but maybe a fringe top 100 guy or someone who fits in that 101-150 range, and another flyer. We need Winker in the lineup, he’s the future over the next 5+ years. Cguy March 12, 2019 If the Reds are “going for it” in 2019, to the extent that they forgo an extra year of control of Senzel by starting him in cf on day 1, then it makes little sense to start Winker in lf everyday. Bell will field his best lineup, which shouldn’t include Winker, especially vs lhsp. I believe Kemp will demonstrate that his career is far from over, & could possibly win the lf job for the Reds outright. If Senzel is in cf then there’s Schebler and Dietrich who will also need playing time in left field. As to whether Winker’s career is best served by being optioned to Louisville this season remains to be determined. He has 2 options left & needs to get regular ABs. The Duke March 12, 2019 It doesn’t have to be a binary answer, either all in or all out. You can try to win now while still preparing and planning for the future. It’s not like we’re saying throw Michael Beltre in LF over Kemp, we’re talking about Winker, who has a career .857 OPS so far in the big leagues. Kemp hasn’t had an OPS over .857 since 2012. Wes March 11, 2019 Gray Roark and disco look good this spring so far. Hopefully wood is ready to start the season too. May make sense to leave the 5th spot open as spot starter and give it to whoever earns it. Mahle/Castillo/Bobsteve/Wisler/sims. Bass looked really good yesterday again too. Simon Cowell March 11, 2019 What is the consensus view of Robert Stephenson? Does he make the team or is he released? Stock March 12, 2019 Starts the year on the DL. Becomes the 8th bullpen arm when recalled The Duke March 12, 2019 I think they might try to sneak him through waivers in early May after a full DL rehab stint. MuddyCleats March 12, 2019 How low can Tucker Bs BA go before Reds R forced to start someone else @ Catcher Simon Cowell March 12, 2019 He’s in decline already. Most Catchers only last a few years. I wouldn’t be opposed to trading him. At worst it will cost us 1WAR at best we’ll gain 2 or 3. His whopping .9 WAR for 2018 shouldn’t make him a coveted player. He should be replaced in order to keep Connor Simon Cowell March 12, 2019 Doug’s a bully. That’s ok. I don’t care what he says about me on Twitter. If it makes him feel good about himself then belittle me all you want. It probably doesn’t help grow his user base knowing that if you disagree he’ll talk down to you because well he’s Doug Gray. Then again it’s his business he can run it any way he sees fit. Joey Votto doesn’t even have 2000 hits or 300 dingers and yet he is a sure fire HOF all while being C – defender. But hey… mock away. As far as Castillo starting I don’t get it. He isn’t that great. Maybe he needs to learn another pitch. I’d rather at least try someone else to start the season 3 or 4 times before simply handing over the reigns to Castillo. I’m pretty sure his ego isn’t that fragile as to snap with such a move. Then again we never know. Boss: “Hey Castillo, we are sending you down to AAA to see if we can regain some speed on your fastball. While you are down there we’d like you to learn to throw a screwball.” The Duke March 12, 2019 Someone else 3 or 4 times? You think Castillo is our 9th or 10th best starting pitcher? In his “bad” year last year he still had a 4.30 ERA, which I think led the pitching staff. He was inconsistent sure, but when he was on he was borderline elite. He’s 26 years old, so you can argue he isn’t even entering his prime yet. Castillo is closer to being our best starter than needing to go to AAA. Patrick March 12, 2019 I see no need to send him to AAA Simon Cowell March 12, 2019 3 or 4 starts. The Duke March 12, 2019 What’s the point of going with an inferior pitcher for 3 or 4 starts? Castillo has 1 year and 101 days service time career to date, so it’s not like we gain any additional control. A.B. March 12, 2019 Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Your Castillo take is probably one of the worst I’ve ever seen in my life. Every GM in MLB would laugh that suggestion out of the room immediately. As far as DG, he can do whatever he wants on Twitter. It’s not like he used your handle or linked to the article to drive more attention to your comments…sack up. Is Castillo a Clayton Kershaw caliber? No. Will he ever be? Probably not. Suggesting sending him to AAA for a string of bad starts in 2018 and a few duds in spring training is unbelievably hilarious though. Thanks for the laugh. Wes March 12, 2019 Every GM? He couldn’t crack rotation for Red Sox, yanks, Indians, Mets, nationals, cubs, dodgers And prob not twins, Astros, Seattle, Atlanta, phili, St. Louis, Rockies And he shouldn’t be givin a spot in cincy for production from 2 seasons ago. That’s 1/2 the teams in baseball. Far from a gm consensus. The Duke March 12, 2019 He should be given a spot in the Reds rotation for production from last year and the potential he has shown so far in his career. Last year was his age 25 season and for parts of that season he was dominant. At age 26, we hopefully see more consistency. Denis March 12, 2019 Agreed Doug Gray March 12, 2019 You realize there’s disagreeing and just making outrageous, troll like arguments, right? When you continue to make ridiculous arguments, I’m going to continue to point out just how insane they are. That you don’t get how or why you are wrong is on you because it’s been shown to you time and again how and where and why you are incorrect. You just aren’t trying to understand it. rgslone March 12, 2019 Simon, I’m not in any way wanting to belittle your opinions. They are your opinions and you’re entitled to them. I also like your contributions to the discussions – whether I always agree with them or not. But, it appears you and I have a vastly different view of Joey Votto. I grew up in the Big Red Machine heyday, and I have always had a hard time accepting that any of the Starting-8 could be replaced by someone better. But, truth is truth. Votto would have played 1st Base and batted 3rd on the 75 & 76 squads. To me, once you’ve said that nothing else needs to be said to demonstrate Votto’s greatness. They’ll be talking about Joey Votto as part of Reds lore long after we’re all gone. I am grateful I got to watch him play baseball in a Reds uniform. Oldtimer March 12, 2019 Reds tried that in 1977 without success. The importance of starting 1B on 1975 and 76 Reds went far beyond results and performance on the field. The success of the BRM is in large part due to the leadership of Rose, Bench, Morgan, Perez, Sparky, and Howsam. rgslone March 12, 2019 They were some kind of unit, for sure. And maybe our nostalgia is close to truth, so that substituting one of the Starting-8 and shuffling the positions a little – even to get a better offensive player into the lineup – would have lessened the overall result. But, Joey Votto is still good enough offensive player to bat 3rd on the Big Red Machine. And for any of us old guys to believe that – or even believe that it’s close to correct – is saying something strong about Mr. Votto. Plus, you can’t compare Dan Driessen to Joey Votto. Dan Driessen was a good ballplayer, but he was no Joey Votto. And, for that matter, Perez would have continued to be been fine at 3B. Oldtimer March 12, 2019 https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/index.shtml#all_teams_war_images he could replace Foster in LF for sure. From memory, lineup was 1 – Rose, 2 – Griffey, Sr and 3 – Morgan. Joey Votto is not better than Joe Morgan. Oldtimer March 12, 2019 Perez was NOT fine at 3B. Not even close. Rose played 3B for BRM. Rick in Va March 12, 2019 The great eight are hardly that sacrosanct (and I am at least as old as any of you guys, born the same week as Johnny Bench). Not only would Votto have won 1st base, but Eric Davis would easily have beaten Geronimo for center field. I think Barry Larkin would have won the shortstop position as well. Great team, but not necessarily the 8 greatest Reds players ever. Steve in TX March 12, 2019 Wes, I live in Houston. You are crazy. The Astros would love to have Castillo. They only have two MLB starting pitchers. Seattle doesn’t know what to do with King Felix because he was terrible last year and this spring. They are putting him as #5 because no one wants him. I bet the Cubs would love to have him also. Teams have to take the good and the bad with young starters. They have to learn in the big leagues not aaa. Wes March 12, 2019 Steve, I’m from Charlestown Indiana and yeah I am prob a lil crazy but My location and mindset has nothing to do w Castillo starting for any team in mlb. U touched on 3 of the 14 teams I mentioned….. King Felix will make 27 million this year. Just like homer last year- he will get all the opportunity in the world to start for that fact alone. There’s no way Castillo cracks a rotation over Jose Quintana and Keuchels most likely destination is back in Houston on a 1 year deal but if not Castillo and his 15 era is still has to beat out Brad peacock. In 2017 Castillo had a fantastic season. Many many pitchers in mlb history have fantastic seasons and then go on to be mediocre. Prior to 2017 Castillo was projected, by Doug and everyone else, to be a back end rotation guy at best. He looks like a stud late reliever to me and there’s no way reds should give him a rotation spot if they want to compete. He needs to earn it. Denis March 12, 2019 Yep needs to earn it. You’re right. Optimist March 12, 2019 I may mildly disagree with Doug about Castillo, but it’s only to a very slight degree. This thread has a string of disagreements of a serious kind – so let’s examine. Has Castillo ever shown an attitude problem, or history of injury/unreliability? Has he ever had a string of consecutive bad performances (not just an up-and-down month, but 3 or more real stinkers in a row)? Has he ever really been worse than a back end rotation piece? He has had 46 starts for the Reds – do they look more like Mike Leake’s or Tony Cingrani’s? Is there any indication that his mechanics are faltering, or his pitch selection has peaked or cannot evolve? Any word from catchers/coaches that he has plateaued? Considering it all, to this point he’s been above average, very reliable, durable and dependable. Unlike the past five years of tryouts, has-beens, and hope-for-the-bests, he’s perhaps the only Reds pitcher who gets until Memorial Day to prove he does NOT belong in the rotation. StatJunkie March 12, 2019 FYI on Tyler Mahle. It was said that both he ran out of gas and hitters caught up to him because of lack of Secondary pitches. What really happened was his 2nd game before the All Star break he injured his shoulder. Trainer said it looked like inflammation and was treated as such. At this time he could no longer control his fastball and as his shoulder got worse his velocity dropped a bit also. Being a young guy he tried to pitch through it as it got progressively worse. (His mistake) The biggest mistake was that the interim coaches could not see that there was something terribly wrong? Sent him down where he threw 85 in AAA. Still brought him back up and was pulled with bad pain in shoulder. Now they had MRI and found Secondary injury due to compensation from the first issue. He is 100% now but it’s scary as it could have been worse . I could tell more but thought this might clear up some questions. mace March 12, 2019 Watching Mahle last year, and knowing how he’d pitched previously, this is totally believable. Thanks. DrBagel March 12, 2019 Where did you get this info? I haven’t heard anything about an injury other than this comment. It’s believable, but I’d like to know how you got this info. Daytonian March 12, 2019 I can’t see Stephenson making the roster. The only way the Reds keep him if all of the other organizations pass on him. I’d this pint I’d rather make a move to protect Wisler rather than Stephenson. And Mahle–not Stephenson or Wisler or Romano or anyone else,–is the obvious next man up if one of the expected staring five cannot start, as seems to be the case. Cguy March 12, 2019 I’m not sure the Reds really need that 5th sp until they go on the west coast swing on 4/15. A 4 man rotation will work, pitching on the 5th day, with the sole exception of a Tuesday(4/2) or Wednesday (4/3) start vs the Brewers. That could be a good opportunity to try a “bullpen start”, using Lorenzen, Wisler, Garrett, Bowman, etc for multiple innings to get to the 7th inning. If Wood isn’t ready to start one of those games in LA, they’ll probably need to call up Mahle or Reed. The Duke March 12, 2019 You’ll need a 5th starter on 4/9 unless a starter goes on short rest, a game is rained out, or you do the bullpen game idea which I don’t think is a good idea blowing through your bullpen in the middle of 9 day stretch of games. Cguy March 12, 2019 If Reds utilize a “spot starter” or use the bullpen to start the game on 4/3, a 4 man rotation gets at least 4 days between starts through 4/28. In addition all 4 sp get an extra day between starts on 4/13 thru 4/16. I don’t see “blowing through your bullpen” to be any problem the first several months as the Reds have a bunch of ML experienced depth available to them in Louisville. I believe the Reds will have a 5 man rotation by the time they head to the west coast, but it’s not a necessity before then. Kindell March 12, 2019 Luis Castillo was much better the 2nd half of the year last year. He still needs to get better against Left handed hitting going forward. He also needs to get much more consistent on the road. Left handed hitters on the road turned into HOFers against Luis Castillo last year. I still think Castillo can be the best pitcher on this staff this season and he needs to stick to what he does best. He needs to get ahead of hitters and keep them thinking about that changeup. His second half stats compared to a couple other pitchers that we all have asked for. 2nd Half Luis Castillo .96 WHIP 3.17 XFIP 9.36 K/9 Dallas Keuchel 1.34 WHIP 4.02 xFIP 6.56 K/9 Corey Kluber 1.13 WHIP 3.07 xFIP 9.96 K/9 The Duke March 12, 2019 Castillo just turned 26. He’s not even in his prime yet. After this season we should lock up his arb years and try to get team options on a couple free agent years.