The Reds finally won a game yesterday, beating the world champs 6-2. The Reds are now 1-6 this spring. Wins and losses are meaningless in the spring (the Cubs went 11-19 last year), and players stats don’t mean much more. That being said, here are some of the early numbers that stand out through the first seven games.


Amir Garrett has been impressive through his first two starts (4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K). Yesterday, Garrett pitched three scoreless innings against the Cubs (who had Bryant, Zobrist, Heyward, Russell, and Contreras in the lineup). Bryan Price has been impressed with Garrett’s changeup and slider. If Garrett keeps pitching well, he could force the Reds’ hand at the end of the spring (although the Reds would be better off bringing him up in May for service time reasons).


Jose Peraza is 7 for 12 (1.417 OPS) with 3 stolen bases in 4 games. Peraza had the second-most at-bats of any player for the Reds last spring, and hit .281/.299/.406. It’s encouraging to see the Reds’ new second baseman get off to a hot start swinging the bat, but disappointing that he has yet to draw a walk.

Arismendy Alcantara is just 1 for 13, and has already committed 3 errors this spring. He is out of options, so the Reds could possibly lose him if he doesn’t make the club out of camp. A guy who could be looking to take Alcantara’s spot as the utility man is Hernan Iribarren. He is 6 for 12 so far.

Jesse Winker is 1 for 11 with 1 BB and 5 K. The best bet for Winker would be probably be to start the season at AAA, and get called up around May for service time. If Winker even wants the Reds to think about that, he will have to show something.

Several of the Reds regulars are off to slow starts: Joey Votto (1 for 11), Billy Hamilton (2 for 10), Scott Schebler (1 for 10), and Adam Duvall (1 for 9).


Eugenio Suarez, Zack Cozart, and Ryan Raburn have each hit a home run this spring.

Robert Stephenson (1.o IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, o K) and Drew Storen (o.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) were both hit hard in their only appearances. Stephenson will be on the mound again today for the Reds.

All photos are used courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, and are used by permission.

23 Responses

  1. ohiojimw

    It is still a long way to the end of spring training; but, the potential conundrum of what to do with Amir Garrett is already looming large.

    The by the book solution is to hold him back in AAA at least long enough to create an “extra” year of team control, three weeks or so.

    However recall last spring when Robert Stephenson appeared to be one of the Reds top 5 rotation candidates coming out of spring. The Reds played that situation by the book; and, to date it hasn’t worked out so well. Following two quality spot starts at MLB woven in among AAA time, Stephenson got off the rails at AAA while we were counting down the days until his “permanent” promotion to MLB. To date he still hasn’t returned to the form he flashed in those first two MLB starts.

    So the Reds need to tread carefully where Garrett is concerned. Come the first of April if he looks ready, perhaps even more than ready, for MLB duty, the better course of action may be to put him in the MLB rotation. This would not immediately rule out being able to create an “extra” year of team control along the way during the season. Maybe Garrett would encounter a rough patch during the season and need to go down to AAA for several weeks; that would fit the bill. Another possibility is if as anticipated the team is not competing for the playoffs, they could simply shut Garret down at the end of August and option him to AAA; that would also get the job done.

    • ohiojimw

      Injuries happen thus Stephenson was one of the top 5 candidates available to actually pitch at the start of the season.

      In Stephenson’s two MLB April starts he pitched 12 innings with a WHIP of 1.08 (9H; 4BB). His walk rate was 3 per 9IP in those starts. His ERA was 3.00. They were both quality starts and eventually Reds victories We haven’t seen that pitcher since.

      Thus my point… When a guy appears ready maybe a team needs to run with him until/ unless he fails because it may not be as simple as turning a switch off/ on, especially for a starting pitcher.

      In 2016, had RS been left up with the MLB team early on when he was pitching better, he may have continued to thrive under the challenge of facing MLB competition or he may have faltered just as he did in AAA. If the latter happens, then simply send him down when it does. If doesn’t, they have an MLB starting pitcher.

      We will never know which would have happened. Which brings me back to my original point, why be afraid to risk success?

      • citizen54

        Let’s not jump the gun yet. Garrett has pitched a total of 5 inning so far and Stephenson 1. Your point about Stephenson doing well in his first two games last year should be to not make any conclusions based upon on small sample sizes

      • VaRedsFan

        Come onnn Jim!! They had to get Big Pasta going ya know?

    • ohiojimw

      I certainly agree Garrett is trying to seize the moment; he said as much back in the off season. I always wonder how much of his attack attitude comes from the time he spent playing D1 NCAA basketball. If that experience was a major contributor to his current attitude then it wasn’t really wasted time after all was it (creds to Henley, Frey et al).

    • Chuck Schick

      If he’s performing well and they send him down in August his agent and the MLBPA are going to go nuts for at least a couple of reasons:
      1. He’ll stop making MLB money and will make Minor League Money
      2. You can’t transparently and overtly manipulate service time and Super 2. If a guy has been on the roster for 4 months and is performing and you send him down then the MLBPA has justification to file a breach of CBA claim.

      A team can justify holding a guy back for a few weeks by claiming they ” don’t think he’s ready or they don’t want him pitching in the cold.” If you send him down in August…and he’s performing…you need a reason that potentially an arbitrator would accept.

      The Bryant prescident is a smart path for teams to follow so the MLBPA is looking for a test case to prove overt manipulation….so teams need to be very careful.

    • ohiojimw

      You all are probably correct that the late option scheme is a bridge too far. The service time would likely be much more of an issue than the money for this year. Whether he starts the year at AAA and comes up early or started at MLB and was sent down at the end of August, he would get 5 full months of MLB pay in either case; the difference would come down to a week of so less of MLB pay if he was sent down in August versus being brought up in late April. That amount could easily be buried in his 2018 contract.

    • Tim Baugh

      Amir Garrett is the #1 the Reds have been looking for. No matter the time. He “needs” will come out of Spring in the starting rotation. He is a legit #1.

  2. ohiojimw

    One of the long standing old school truisms is to never base personnel decisions on spring training or September roster expansion call up performances. Two thoughts here. 1) Is that accurate over time; and 2) how often do teams do it regardless.

      • Darrin

        “Alright we’ll go to the brewery, but then I’m taking you to the looney bin”

    • Darrin

      At they’re mostly unearned……I guess that’s something, amirite?

  3. cfd3000

    I know it’s spring training and the Cubs obviously didn’t bring the “A” team, but it’s still nice to see an almost no hitter from the staff – everyone but Jumbo. Small sample size sure but that can’t be a bad thing!

  4. ohiojimw

    I wouldn’t sell short on Stephenson as long as he is healthy. I have a feeling he learned some shoulders up lessons from last season. Like you said, it makes for great theater and eventually a better team to have two or three young guys going at it tooth and nail for spots.

  5. Jack

    If Storen keeps this up do you think the,Reds release him and eat the money or keep him to save face? Hopefully he gets the kinks out and comes around.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      If he continues getting hit like this for the next several weeks, I don’t think they would have any option other than to release him. Hopefully that won’t be the case.

  6. Jack

    I haven’t been watching much this spring. Has Mesoraco played much ?

  7. Tom Mitsoff

    On the topic of very early spring training numbers …

    If the season started today, the players who would have won reserve positions would be Renda, Kivlehan and Iribarren. No natural shortstop nor a natural centerfielder there, so something would have to give. Also, there’s still no clarity on the catching situation. How would you feel with those three on the bench?