According to the collective bargaining agreement, players don’t actually have to show up to spring training until February 26th. That said, no one actually holds teams to that part of the contract and teams begin their spring training a bit earlier than that. The Cincinnati Reds have a report date for spring training this year for pitchers and catchers of February 17th – that’s this Wednesday! – but some players have already arrived in Goodyear.
Tejay Antone posted a video over on instagram on Sunday of one of the practice fields at the Cincinnati Reds Development Facility. The right-handed pitcher was one of the breakout rookies in the 2020 season in Major League Baseball. Antone split time between the rotation and the bullpen for the Reds, throwing 35.1 innings with a 2.80 ERA, 20 hits allowed, 16 walks, and he picked up 45 strikeouts. In his minor league career, Antone had always been a starting pitcher, but last season he filled whatever role Cincinnati needed. According to general manager Nick Krall, the now 27-year-old will be fighting for a spot in the rotation along with Wade Miley, Michael Lorenzen, Jose De León, and Jeff Hoffman. It seems that Antone is ready to get things going and try to grab one of the two spots up for the taking in the rotation.
Catcher Tucker Barnhart is also out in Goodyear early this spring. Half of the team’s catching duo, Barnhart was taking some swings on the backfields over the weekend and shared one such swing over on twitter.
Sadaharu Oh anyone… pic.twitter.com/Q4AsLU0CJP
— Tucker Barnhart (@Tucker_Barnhart) February 12, 2021
The Dayton Dragons announce their coaching staff
There’s been a lot of changes in the minor leagues over the last year. A bunch of teams no longer exist in affiliated baseball. But even the ones that stuck around are finding themselves in newly aligned leagues and some at entirely different levels of the minors. The Dayton Dragons are one of those teams that are at a new level. In the past they had been at the Low-A level, but in 2021 they will be moving up to the High-A level (and the Daytona Tortugas are making the opposite switch, going from High-A to Low-A).
On Monday morning the Dragons and Reds announced the coaching staff for the team. They will have a new coach this year in Jose Moreno. He’ll have pitching coach Brian Garman, hitting coach Daryle Ward, and development coach Darren Bragg on his coaching staff. You can read more about each of them at RedsMinorLeagues.com. The Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts coaching staff was announced last month. We’re still awaiting the announcements for the Daytona Tortugas and Louisville Bats coaching staffs.
Former Reds reliever Jared Hughes is retiring
Jared Hughes announced his retirement from baseball over the weekend. In his announcement, made on instagram, he joked that “I’ve hung up my cleats. It was time. They were worn out from all the sprinting.”
Hughes spent parts of two seasons with the Reds – a full year in 2018 and a partial season in 2019 before being selected off waivers in mid-August by the Phillies. During his time with the Reds he pitched in 119 games and had a 2.76 ERA in 127.0 innings. Over the course of his 10-year big league career he posted a 2.96 ERA in 542 games between 2011-2020.