On Monday afternoon the Cincinnati Reds played at Salt River Fields against the Colorado Rockies. Salt River Fields is one of the few parks in the Cactus League that has the pitch tracking system turned on for the public (they’ve all got Trackman installed, but most are not turned on for public use). That gives us a taste as to what was going on more than just the bare statline. For the most part, the performance from the pitchers was strong as only one pitcher allowed any runs, while the group combined to strike out 12 batters.

One quick note before we jump into each pitchers breakdown, over the last two seasons the average swinging strike rate is 11.3%. Generally speaking a fastball is going to be lower than that, while offspeed stuff will be higher than that. Also be sure to note that in a one game sample size, this isn’t terribly useful – but I did want to include it because it’s not completely useless information, either.

Tejay Antone

The basic statline was strong as Antone threw 3.0 shutout innings with no walks and three strikeouts. Last year it was the right-handed pitcher that was turning heads in spring training at this time. He came out of nowhere throwing 96-98 MPH after throwing mostly in the low 90’s the year before. We all saw what happened once the season did finally begin. On Monday he was throwing in the 95-98 MPH range in his outing, topping out at 98.3 MPH.

Pitch AvgVelo TopVelo Balls Strikes SwingK
Fastball 96.4 98.3 5 13 11.1%
Slider 83.1 84.8 3 11 7.1%
Curveball 81.9 83.0 1 3 25.0%
Change Up 87.2 87.2 1 0 0.0%

Jeff Hoffman

Following Antone, Hoffman also tossed 3.0 shutout innings without a walk against the Rockies. He struck out four batters while giving up three hits on the day. Acquired from Colorado over the winter in the Robert Stephenson trade, Hoffman showed off against his former teammates.

Pitch AvgVelo TopVelo Balls Strikes SwingK
Fastball 96.1 97.6 4 17 4.8%
Slider 83.4 84.1 3 2 20.0%
Curveball 79.9 81.0 4 3 14.3%
Change Up 88.0 88.8 2 3 20.0%

Héctor Pérez

There was one pitcher on the day who struggled, and it happened to be Héctor Pérez. He allowed four runs in the 7th inning of the game, allowing four hits and a walk while picking up a strikeout. He struggled throwing strikes with his fastball. His slider found the zone often, but five of the seven he threw for strikes were put in play, three went for hits, and one was a home run.

Pitch AvgVelo TopVelo Balls Strikes SwingK
Fastball 95.3 96.7 13 7 5.0%
Slider 88.5 89.5 1 7 0.0%

Cam Bedrosian

This spring has seen Cam Bedrosian make two appearances for the Reds. He’s faced seven batters. None of them have put the ball in play against him. On Monday he walked one batter and struck out the other three that he faced, adding to the first outing in which he struck out all three hitters that he saw.

Pitch AvgVelo TopVelo Balls Strikes SwingK
Fastball 91.4 92.5 4 8 25.0%
Slider 79.0 81.6 2 4 16.7%
Splitter 83.3 84.0 1 2 33.3%

Jesse Biddle

The final pitcher of the day, Biddle followed what most of his teammate did and didn’t allow a run as he tossed a perfect 9th inning with a strikeout to keep his ERA at 0.00 on the spring.

Pitch AvgVelo TopVelo Balls Strikes SwingK
Fastball 93.3 94.1 3 8 9.1%
Slider 83.2 84.3 4 5 11.1%
Curveball 77.7 78.8 2 0 0.0%


12 Responses

  1. Matt O'Neal

    I really like Sal, but if I were him, I’d be sweating my 26 man (and since no options, 40 man) roster spot. Bedrosian seems ready to take it.

  2. west larry

    On, albeit, limited data, I thought Antone, Hoffmam and Bodrosian all looked impressive. I wish that all of the spring game locals provide this information. Thanks for assembling and providing this data Doug.

  3. CFD3000

    Such a small sample size – Antone for example had only four swing and miss pitches out of just 37 pitches, and only 5 of those 37 weren’t a slider or fastball. So those rates are not very useful. But what I did see that I really like was command. Only 10 balls in 37 pitches. If he has two plus breaking balls and a fastball in the high 90’s and pounds the strike zone? Sign him up to start every fifth game. I’m really encouraged based on his two outings so far. Early days of course but what more would you want?

  4. Tomn

    No surprise with Antone – none at all. Glad to see he’s continuing the way he pitched last year. I knew little about Hoffman but he’s looking good. 3 nice innings. Bedrosian and Biddle. Great! Bullpen is looking better and better. Still early for Perez and everyone actually. Does he have options? Hope so. THink he can contribute if he can get his stuff under control.

  5. MK

    Hoffman and Antone look pretty close with Tejay having a slight edge. I want to know how that electronic eye can differentiate a slider and a curve. The break can be similar.

    • Doug Gray

      I know how the old, old system did so. I imagine the new system does something similar, too – but I haven’t been able to get my hands on the raw data to see, either. But it’s a bunch of mathy/science stuff about how the ball moves without regard to the arm action itself (which can cause things like sweeping action, or an appearance of more “12-6” break if it’s coming from a high 3/4 arm angle versus a lower one).

  6. Stock

    Antone – FB Velocity is up about 1 MPH from last year. This is more significant than it seems. More importantly he seems to have figured out how to command the fastball. Last year he added 3 MPH in velocity but could it cost him the command he had on it in the minors. 72% of his FB were strikes. Also as CFD pointed out 72% of his pitches overall were strikes. Very promising.

    Hoffman – When the Reds traded for him last winter I was hoping it was because they saw added velocity with Hoffman and not because they upgraded on the minor league end of the equation. Hoffman was throwing his FB 96MPH yesterday vs. 94 MPH last year in 1 inning stints as a RP. Additionally, the breaking stuff will fare much better outside of the thin Colorado air. He may be a steal.

    Hector Perez – He could not get his FB over the plate. I think he just bought himself a ticket to Louisville.

    Bedrosian – I was hoping his FB velocity had improved but it has not so no credit to Boddy. His pitch selection has changed (very small sample size) so maybe DJ has had some input on pitch selection. Per Fangraphs, Bedrosian threw his Split Finger FB 2 times last year. This game he threw it 3 times. I can’t help but believe he is the leader in the clubhouse for saves right now.

    Biddle – As you would expect in ST his FB velocity is down (which is another reason I am excited that Antone and Hoffman are throwing harder this ST than last year during the season). Biddle lack of control will lead him to Louisville.

  7. BK

    Excellent article. Antone looked good last year and appears to be on a good trajectory. It’s still early, but Hoffman looks very promising. This is going to be a different year as teams look distribute workload among pitchers following 2020’s shortened season. My suggestion is to share most of the innings workload among eight pitchers:

    – 5 starters: Gray, Castillo, Mahle, Miley and Hoffman (plan for 5 inning starts)

    – 3 bridge relievers: Antone, Lorenzen, and Sims (plan for up to 3 innings pitching every 3rd day). This methodology would result in each of these pitchers logging innings close to the starters–it’s a modified piggyback system. Each has thrived in multi-inning relief roles. Miley and Hoffman haven’t, so I would keep them in roles where they are more comfortable. Having Lorenzen on a schedule allows for use of his other talents on his non-pitching days.

    – 3 high-leverage relievers: Garrett, Doolittle and Bedrosion. They close games, take us into extra innings, and come in for shorter, but more frequent stints to complete the innings for the starters or bridge relievers as needed. Usage would be up to 1 inning, and up to 2 days in a row.

    – 2 low-leverage relievers: Ramirez would fill one spot. The other spot would likely be manned by pitchers with options as they would probably rotate to Louisville if a fresh arm was needed in Cincinnati. Maybe Sal Romano gets the first shot in this role since he’s out of options and has the ability to go multiple innings as well. These two spots would pitch more sporadically. Hence, the need to rotate arms after the pitching staff has a particularly demanding day.

    – DeLeon and C. Perez have also looked promising. I’d have them at AAA starting and ready to fill a hole in the rotation/pitch in a double-header.

    • Stock

      I would love to see your approach but it won’t happen. The egos of Castillo and Gray would not allow for it.

      De Leon is so much better than Ramirez and Doolittle.
      I think Finnegan makes the team.
      If the best players make the team then Cionel Perez does so as well.

      I could see De Leon and Perez being optioned as a means to protect management’s ego of trading for Ramirez and signing the Doolittle. Prepare for Doolittle to have a 6+ ERA if he is on the team.

      If I make the decisions then I would start: Castillo, Gray, Miley, Antone and either Hoffman or Miley.

      Bullpen would be Lorenzen, Sims, Garrett, De Leon, Finnegan, Bedrosian, the loser of Miley/Hoffman and Ramirez. I would use the option remaining with Perez so we have someone when injuries happen.

      I love your piggback idea but would limit it to Antone, Mahle and the loser of the Miley/Hoffman battle. I would use Lorenzen , Sims and De Leon.

      • MBS

        This is the set up that I am favoring. Castillo and Gray, I’d try to get 5+ out of because I think their arms are the best prepared. The rest would be 3 – 5 inning piggybackers.

        Mahle, Miley Lorenzen, Antone, Hoffman, De Leon

        HL: Garrett, Sims, Doolittle
        ML: Ramirez, C. Perez, Bedrosian

        Those counting it’s a 14 man pitching staff, with a 12 position players. This way we should keep our arms fresh going into the Post Season! Let’s say you had Miley and Lorenzen paired up, and had Miley start, one time he might go 3 innings and Lorenzen comes in with 5, then the next time reverse it to keep the innings off the arms. Plus you’d still have a 6 man traditional bullpen to pick up the 8th and 9th in the close games.

  8. docproc

    I was at yesterday’s game and the eyeball test in the stands matched the data here. Antone and Hoffman had the Rockies eating out of their hands. With heaters around 97 and off-speed pitches at 81, the hitters were guessing all afternoon. Love that differential.

  9. Redsfan4life

    Off Topic But I just saw former Reds reliever Rheal Cormier passed away at age 53 from cancer. Far too young.