The Minor League season is less than a week in, but it seems that Reds fans may need to start looking for good signs anywhere they can, and the minors has a few bright spots to look at right now.
If you happened to be living under a rock in the last 48 hours, you may have missed Hunter Greene starting for the Dayton Dragons on Monday evening. The first inning didn’t go as well as the other two, and he allowed two runs in 3.0 innings on five hits. But, he struck out eight of the 14 batters that he faced, and looked awfully good doing so. You can see video of his postgame interview here if you’d like. Here’s video of almost his entire start (I screwed up and missed the first few pitches of the game).
Last night saw another strong start from a Dayton Dragons pitcher. Packy Naughton, who Chad Dotson wants to see play for the Reds in the future more than you can imagine, was very strong against Lake County. The left hander struck out seven batters without a walk in 6.1 innings where he allowed just one earned run. Through two starts he’s allowed just three earned runs.
Down in Daytona it was another lefty who put together the highest strikeout start of the season thus far. Scott Moss, who went to high school 21 miles from the home of the Tortugas at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, had a great showing in front of a close-to-home crowd. In 5.2 innings he allowed just one run without walking a single batter and he struck out nine. For Moss, he’s just picking up where he left off in 2017, when he led the Midwest League with 156 strikeouts in 135.2 innings.
With all of the pitching performances mentioned above, the most impressive game of the first week of the season, though, has to go to Gabby Guerrero. The outfielder went 2-5 on April 9th. Both of his hits were singles. And he struck out twice. So, how is that the most impressive game? Well, let me fill you in on the details. Playing center field on the day, the game entered the bottom of the 9th inning with Pensacola leading 5-4. A leadoff double put the tying run on base. The next batter singled to center and Guerrero uncorked a bullet to the plate to throw out the runner. The player who singled moved up to second on the throw. The next batter also singled to center and for the second play in a row, Guerrero unleashed a laser to the plate and the runner was again tagged out. The Blue Wahoos would hold on for the 5-4 win, thanks in large part to the right arm of Gabby Guerrero.
Packy Naughton has the best Boston name of all time. He is from West Roxbury, MA, and played at Virginia Tech (9th round last year), and just turns 22 next week. I am rooting hard for him.
A good draft will have a guy or two like this who vastly outperform their draft position. Shed Long fits that bill to, from a few years back; one similarity is that they were younger than most of their class, Long’s having been drafted out of high school a bit young.
Brewers have designated JJ Hoover. He can get the Reds to 90+ losses even quicker than Gallardo. I say- pick him up, Williams. Show fans your true colors.
Catchers have a lot more than the batters box to worry about. You don’t tend to see them accelerated because of that. With Barnhart locked up for a few more years, there’s no reason to push Stephenson. He’s never played more than roughly half of a season because of injuries.
If he’s not actually hurt, then no, you can’t just decide to put him on the DL.