Reds lose to the Indians again, this time 4-2. Many more bright spots today, however.

Chief among those bright spots were a couple of young pitchers:

Baker got his first look at pitching prospects Mike Leake and Travis Wood against major-league hitters. Wood worked two hitless innings and Leake, a first-round pick in 2009, pitched a perfect seventh. Each had one strikeout.

“It was the first time I’ve seen Wood,” Baker said of the second-round choice in 2005 who had a 1.21 ERA a year ago in the Double-A Southern League. “He threw the ball great. Leake threw the ball as well as Wood. He moved it around changed speeds. He had an idea of what he was doing.”

I’ve been saying for weeks that I thought Matt Maloney had the inside track on the fifth starter spot. Wood, however, is a serious wild-card in the race for that role on the major league roster. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see him blow by the competition to win a job. Reminds me of Johnny Cueto a couple of years ago, when no one expected him to make the roster.

Leake isn’t going to make the Opening Day roster, but he could be on the fast track. I watched him play several times last year, when he was a senior at Arizona State. The kid knows how to pitch. Period.

Back on the topic of Cueto, he started today’s game, giving up four runs in two innings. Only two of those runs were earned, and everyone seems to agree that he was throwing the ball well. Then there’s this:

Reds manager Dusty Baker was more impressed with right-hander Johnny Cueto trying to give a postgame interview in English.

“Go on, Johnny Cueto,” Baker said of the Dominican Republic native. “That’s improvement right there.”

Good for Cueto, making an effort on that front. It can only help his marketability. Of course, I’m much more concerned about his pitching, but I’m expecting a big season out of the young guy, after skipping winter ball.

So much young pitching talent. Me happy.

23 Responses

  1. Wire to Wire

    Yes. This was a much more encouraging game. We out hit the Indians today, which was nice. I am sure it is not easy to evaluate the hitters when you only got five hits (and three from catchers) like they did yesterday. I think Rollen, Votto and Phillips are looking at a lot of pitches, which is what they are supposed to do at this point. We have to remember that the score is not important. What is important is coming into the season with the best possible team.

    • hoosierdad

      How in the world has Baker not seen Travis Wood before?

      Same here. Kinda makes you wonder who else he hasn’t seen.

  2. Y-City Jim

    I suppose if Wood has never been to camp before that Dusty wouldn’t have had the chance to go watch him pitch.

    • hoosierdad

      I suppose if Wood has never been to camp before that Dusty wouldn’t have had the chance to go watch him pitch.

      Even if he has never seen him in person, surely he has seen video of him. His remark was though he had never seen anything about the kid. Simply amazing.

  3. Y-City Jim

    When is Mr. 40-40 going to get on track?

  4. Steve

    Career OBP:

    Willy Taveras – .321
    Orlando Cabrera – .322

  5. pinson343

    When Dusty says he hasn’t seen Wood throw before, I presume he means it’s the first time he’s seen him pitch in competition. When would he have had a chance before now ?

  6. BJ Ruble

    I like the improvements Wood made over the last year. I would really like to have a lefty in the roation.

  7. RedinFla

    If Maloney wins the spot, Wood and Leake (and maybe Chapman by the time things get rolling) work in Louisville, waiting for an opportunity to step in. Not a bad situation.

  8. Rod Denton

    Before Wood got hurt in 2007 he was a top pitching prospect.After last season getting to AAA I think the world knows it now!!I don’t know offhand what his GB% is and his GB to FB outs ratio doesn’t reflect it from last year.But after reading a few coach comments he is a groundball pitcher.Being a lefty,with his control that could be gold in GABP.I’m rooting for him definitely.

  9. Bill Lack

    In C-Trent’s article, Baker is quoted as saying it was the first time that he’d seen Wood “in action”…I assume that means game action.

  10. RedNovy

    Its nice to see so much talent for consideration.

    Have you see It’s good to know that the Reds’ potential is striking fear in the hearts of Cardinals fans. Also interesting for me to know — as one of two Reds fans in Nova Scotia where the Reds consist of Joey Votto and Aroldis Chapman — that Jocketty has an Ahab-like drive to beat his old team.

  11. Rod Denton

    RedNovy.Good article.Saw that on the Zone by the info machine OBM.

    I think the Cards should be scared.Surely not about our offense,at least right now.But we could have a rotation that is either all power arms or groundballers,lefties and righties,and what doesn’t get mentioned is that there are some good relievers in the system and on the team.You get a 5 man pitching staff that is lights out and under control for less than 10 mil and fill the O-gaps with the subsequent money;who knows where this team could be in a year or two.This year I predict 82-86.

  12. Glenn

    Just seemed like the Reds slept walked through that first game. Listened on XM to both games. Much better effort during the second one.

  13. David

    Something interesting to ponder. Should the Reds deal a pitcher to Texas for Hamilton who is back on the block? Seems like the perfect RH LFer. He’s had some injury issues, but it might be worth considering.

    • Bill Lack

      Something interesting to ponder.Should the Reds deal a pitcher to Texas for Hamilton who is back on the block?Seems like the perfect RH LFer.He’s had some injury issues, but it might be worth considering.

      David, I hadn’t heard that he was “on the block”…where did you read this?

      • hoosierdad

        David, I hadn’t heard that he was “on the block”…where did you read this?

        Nick Cardofo of The Boston Globe reported the possibility of the Rangers trading Hamilton (courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors).

  14. TC

    It may be a safe bet that the 5th starter is going to be a left hander.

  15. TC

    @David: I think the questions revolving around Hamilton are starting to be answered. Off the wagon… Continuous injuries… no thanks.

  16. RedinFla

    As much as I want Josh to be successful, I don’t think he’d be a very wise investment.