Fairly interesting article in today’s Enquirer on Todd Benzinger’s first year as a minor league manager:

Benzinger, a nine-year veteran of the major leagues, played for the Reds from 1989 to 1991 and caught the final out of the Reds’ 1990 Word Series sweep of the Oakland A’s. The New Richmond High School graduate has coached girls basketball in high school and last year coached the Cincinnati Steam of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League.

But this is his first job in professional baseball and he’s managing a Reds Class A affiliate that is not loaded with top prospects.

I would agree that there aren’t many top prospects on this team (Sulbaran, Lotzkar (if and when he gets out of extended), maybe Fairel)..but this is a group of players that won both halves of the division title last year in Billings. So it’s not that they’re without talent.

But it is an interesting look into the duties, responsibilities, and drudgery that comes with being a minor league manager.

3 Responses

  1. Bill Lack

    But also worth nothing that Buchholz only played 34 games due to injury, and, as you say, Soto only 15 games before coming to Dayton.

    I’ve never heard someone say a pitcher pitched “pretty well” with an 8.45 ERA. That’s a lot of “bad luck”.

    Also, Dayton has Sulbaran and Fairel, neither of who pitched in Billings last year.

  2. Bill Lack

    Could have been the defense, could have just been a lot of hits…

    Sulbaran will be fine, he’s pitched reasonably well in his first two starts..considering they’re his first professional starts, which bodes well, IMO.

    I agree about the middle of the order though…Brown looked like a middle of the order guy, he’s struggling. Our guy, Tyler Stovall is really struggling, the Dragons expected Mike Konstanty to provide some offense and he didn’t make the team out of ST (don’t know why)…

    But the ERA this year is over a run higher than it was last year at Billings, and their offense is dead last in the MWL (they’ve only scored 112 runs (lowest in the league) and their team OPS is .636 (2nd lowest in league).

    This team is not playing up to potential. I questioned the appointment of Benzinger at the time (no experience and the team let go a proven winning manager) and believe at some point, when a team is not performing, you have to look at its management.

  3. wanderinredsfan

    From someone who was able to see Billings play, I will agree with Doug regarding the impact of Buchholz, Soto, and to a lesser degree Shunick. They were by far the best players on the field, and it wasn’t even close. If memory serves correct, it should also be noted that Buchholz and Soto did not overlap much in their tenure; Soto was promoted by the time Buchholz recovered from his early injury. As for the others; Brown, Stovall, and Sappelt didn’t really impress me, however I am surprised by Wiley’s slow start, and I expected more production from Wideman. The Billings pitching squad was mostly unimpressive. Hopefully, the three latin youngsters (Gonzalez, Duran, Guillen(sp)) will be in Billings this summer, along with a fruitful draft-class.