In a packed day on Sunday full of roster moves, multiple scratched players from the lineup, a great Trevor Bauer start, and a punishing loss – the Cincinnati Reds made a waiver claim of now former Chicago Cub Robel García. The infielder/outfielder/utilityman was picked up and assigned to the alternate roster at Prasco Park in Mason.
If you are unfamiliar with Robel García, that isn’t too unexpected. The 27-year-old has only spent 31 games in the Major Leagues – all of which came with the Cubs last year. He showed off plenty of power in that stretch, clobbering nine extra-base hits out of his 15 total hits, but hit just .208/.275/.500 overall with seven walks and 35 strikeouts in 80 plate appearances.
In Triple-A he performed much better, hitting .284/.369/.586 with 27 home runs in just 98 games. Like his time in the Majors, though, he had a big strikeout rate as he picked up 120 strikeouts in just 388 plate appearances. That’s a 30.9% strikeout rate for those of you who didn’t break out a calculator.
Defensively he has played just about everywhere for the Cubs, either in the minors or in the Majors. He didn’t play in center field and he didn’t catch – but he played the other six defensive positions at least once last season. He’s versatile with the glove and has some real thunder in his bat – that’s something that could be valuable off of the bench at some point for many teams across baseball.
With the movement on the rosters there are now 22 players on the Prasco Park roster, 30 players on the big league club roster, three players on the injured list, and one player on the paternity list.
David Bell riding the starting pitching
If I’ve pulled out a clump of hair once after hearing David Bell should have left his starters in longer over the last three days, I’ve pulled out all of the clumps of hair that I have over the last three days. It’s been brought up numerous times that the Reds manager has pulled the starters too soon because they were dominating. Half of that statement is true – the Reds starters were dominating. The other half of the statement isn’t really true.
Pitchers got about three weeks to ramp up and get ready for the season. For those three weeks we all heard about and were told that pitchers would be on shorter leashes because they wouldn’t quite be ready to go a normal full-games worth of pitches. Every team in baseball said it.
As I type this late on Sunday night, only the Dodgers and Giants game isn’t yet complete. It’s their 4th game of the year. Every other team has played three games this season. That’s 92 starts across Major League Baseball. 18 pitchers have thrown 90 pitches this season. Three of them have been Cincinnati Reds. Only Lance Lynn has thrown more pitches than Trevor Bauer did on Sunday.
David Bell has asked his pitchers to throw more pitches than any other manager in baseball has. The bullpen meltdowns on Saturday and Sunday were tough to watch – but that result doesn’t change the fact that Bell pulled his starters at the right time. There’s not an off day for two more weeks. Just because it’s a short season does not change how long it takes for a pitcher’s arm to recover after making a start. They won’t have to make as many starts as they normally would – but the recovery time between the starts that they will be making is the same. And just like in a normal year, when the season begins, the pitch count is a little lower than it is in the middle and end of the year because those pitch counts are built up. Baseball isn’t there yet.
Nick Senzel also isn’t feeling well
After Matt Davidson’s positive test for COVID-19 landed him on the injured list on Saturday, Mike Moustakas was not in the lineup on Sunday and was said to be not feeling well. He was then placed on the injured list. Nick Senzel was originally in the starting lineup, but was scratched from the lineup and replaced by Travis Jankowski. After the game manager David Bell said that Senzel, too, was not feeling well. Unlike Moustakas, he has not been placed on the injured list as of 11:57pm ET on Sunday night.