The Reds played the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark. More fabulous weather. Crisis Day #8: No pitch speed on scoreboard.

I move around to different seats during the game. In one location I sat in front of two loud know-it-alls. They covered the entire gamut of mistakes by the Reds. Bailey, Cueto, Bruce, etc. Well, they finally got around to attacking Joey Votto. “You know ever since he signed that contract, he’s been OK but not great. Don’t tell me about O-B-P. Don’t tell me about that. I don’t care about Oh-Bee-Pee. And don’t tell Chad Dotson about that.” Just then the guy’s phone rang and he didn’t return to our fearless leader as a topic of conversation. I told Chad, the only thing worse than people talking about you is people not talking about you.

Notes from Reds vs. Brewers 

The two Brewers pitchers who split 8 innings were Tommy Milone and Chase Anderson, two big leaguers.

• Sal Romano started today, possibly pitching for a spot on the Opening Day roster. When he was warming up before the game, ten Reds pitchers (including Homer Bailey) sat in the small pitching area of the bullpen. I’ve never seen that before and I checked with housemate Doug Gray just now and he hasn’t either.

Romano warming up before the game

There’s no way to sugar coat Romano’s day. He was hit hard and often. If you’re looking for silver linings amid the overcast skies, Romano didn’t walk anyone and he struck out six Brewers. Milwaukee played mostly big leaguers. Romano isn’t afraid to throw inside. The Reds defense didn’t help in the 5-run second inning, but the Earned Runs in the box score don’t matter. Getting hit hard matters. Romano had his good innings – he struck out the side in the first inning. But this outing didn’t strengthen his case.

• Patrick Kivlehan had two strong hits and the out he made was sharp fly ball into the right field corner that produced a run. He has good speed. The idea of him making the OD roster as a utility player is growing on me. Kivlehan is 27 and can play 3B, 1B and OF. The Reds picked him up off of waivers last September.

Patrick Kivlehan in the dugout after hit and run scored

• Devin Mesoraco caught five innings. He looks perfectly fine catching. His timing at the plate remains inconsistent. Mesoraco looks a lot better on fastballs than he does against breaking balls or off-speed pitches. He hit a line drive single and made several strong defensive throws to bases.

Devin Mesoraco mid-air working on blocking balls before the game

• Eugenio Suarez has been the most consistent player on offense and defense. Suarez hit the ball hard again today and made a couple nice defensive plays at 3B. Suarez has the best arm among the major league players and others I’ve seen this week.

• Zack Cozart had three hits, including a home run on the first pitch he saw in the first inning. He’s looked like Zack Cozart on defense, too, a bad flip to second base today notwithstanding.

• Scott Schebler had a couple shaky plays in centerfield. He’s looked decent-to-good at the plate, but it’s worth remembering that CF is not his regular position. It’s a stretch to play him there. Schebler had a two-run single and a walk today.

• Finally got to see Michael Lorenzen and Drew Storen pitch. Neither one looked particularly sharp, especially Storen. According to Zach Buchanan, a scout said Storen was 88-90 on the radar gun, which isn’t where he needs to be. Lorenzen got on base on a fielders choice. He stole second. It’s a shame his athleticism is wasted being a bullpen pitcher.

Michael Lorenzen pitching

• The youngsters got in the game the final three innings. In Nick Senzel’s (3B) at bat, he was jammed and broke his bat but was strong enough to keep the ball fair and it rolled down the third base line for a double. He also made a routine play in the field. Shed Long (2B) made two good plays in the field, but whiffed on a hard hit ball up the middle.

Nick Senzel’s bat already broken, ball headed down 3B line

• The defensive play of the game was by Brandon Dixon (25). Playing 2B, he ranged far to his left, diving to field a ground ball, recovering and getting the out at first. He also had two doubles. Dixon was acquired from the Dodgers in the Todd Frazier trade.

• Raisel Iglesias was healthy enough to catch the ceremonial first pitch from a 10-year-old.

Shed Long swinging

I left after the bottom of the 8th and missed the fireworks in the ninth. The Reds gave up three runs to fall behind 11-10 but then came back to win 12-11. T.J. Friedl (21) led of with a single. Reydel Medina followed with a hit and Shed Long (21) walked. With two outs, Arismendy Alcantra (25) doubled to deep center, plating two runs. Reds win!

12 Responses

  1. brunsfam

    Thanks again – great roundup and tough day for Sal. Too bad as he has had a nice Spring.
    Still excited at the number of young names. I can see why the Reds farm is now considered in the top 10. I like our young team and I think the current team can make it a more enjoyable season – maybe 80 wins?

    We’ve just got to let the stew simmer!

  2. GreatRedLegsFan

    I’d say one less name for the rotation

    • Chad Jones

      I’d rather have Romano starting Opening Day than Feldman. That’s all I have to say about that.

  3. David

    One less name? Not necessarily. Joe Nuxhall always used to talk about pitchers getting to a point in Spring Training where their arms were “dead”, after working hard to get in shape. I hope Romano has one more start before they set the 25 man roster.

    He may start the year in AAA, but I think this guy is the real deal, and has a bright future in the Bigs.

  4. cfd3000

    I love that Romano has forced his way into the conversation about the future rotation, even if he starts the year in AAA. I’ll be very surprised if we don’t see him starting in Cincinnati at some point this year. Thanks again for these great reports Steve. Next year I’ll go to Goodyear and you can design some buildings here in Atlanta and deal with my needy clients. Fair enough?

  5. JB WV

    Thanks, Steve. Romano wasn’t even in the conversation when ST started, so it’s great to see him force his way into it. As noted, hasn’t pitched above AA, so heading to AAA to start the year is still a promotion. He’s now on the short list if an injury/poor performance warrants a call up.

  6. Simon Cowell

    Doesn’t that make you a k ow it all also byjudging them? Part of the fun of baseball is thinking we know better than ownership or believing that our own skills could outshine the players. The saying comes to mind don’t try pulling a splinter out of someone else’s eye while you have a plank in your own.

  7. Eric The Red

    That’s how I’d handle Mesoraco, too. But I doubt it’s how the Reds will handle him.

  8. jazzmanbbfan

    Raburn was released so that opens the door for Jennings if that’s how the Reds want to play it. I’m definitely good with the other 4 listed above.

  9. sixpacktwo

    Stephenson, and Reed, and ?? for starters. Alcantara, Kivlehan and Jennings, plus a catcher for Bench. Irbarren, I like but does not make it. Coleman a surprise for Bull Pen.

  10. Carl Sayre

    I still have not figured out why Price is the manager and you are relegated to a very wise fan, it makes no sense! Leaves me shaking my oversized cranium when you call it perfectly and he…. well he is Price! LOL Very concise call sir!

  11. Carl Sayre

    I have been overloaded with life getting in the way of my baseball but the Recaps and box scores I have seen says Stephenson is more of the same only less from last year! Did I miss him making a case to pitch in the majors? I am not being a jack-arse I really haven’t followed well enough to have an opinion just going off what I have read and that is sparse!