If you didn’t stay up last night to watch the Cincinnati Reds win over the San Francisco Giants, it’s understandable. The game was on the west coast and ended around 12:40am in Cincinnati. That’s a tough ask for many fans. But if you did get a chance to watch the game you saw Wade Miley and Tejay Antone dominate the Giants lineup for 8.2 innings between the two of them (Lucas Sims came on for the final out of the game to pick up his first career save).
While Miley probably deserves an article of his own – maybe we’ll get into that before his next start – Tejay Antone just sticks out like a sore thumb when it comes to the stuff of a multi-inning reliever. Historically that role goes to a guy who is a swing starter with mediocre stuff that is just trying to fill some innings. That description couldn’t be any further from Tejay Antone if it were on Pluto.
Antone entered the game in the 6th inning with a 3-0 lead thanks to home runs by Jesse Winker and Joey Votto, and five shutout frames from Miley. From there the right-handed reliever (at least for now) threw 3.2 hitless innings with a walk and five strikeouts. He was sitting 95-98 on the night, dipping to 94 a few times.
Tejay Antone, Sinkers and K Struts. ? pic.twitter.com/einjdrqYCm
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 13, 2021
There has been a progression for Tejay Antone this season. No, not in his stuff – which is absolutely disgusting – but in his pitch count and work load. Antone entered the spring with the hopes of getting a spot in the rotation. He was throwing well until a hamstring injury took him out of action for about a week and set him back. Unable to be ready for the season in time as a starter, he moved into the bullpen. In his first outing he threw 21 pitches in one inning of work. The next time out he threw 32 pitches in 2.0 innings. Last night saw him throw 60 pitches over 3.2 innings. With Michael Lorenzen still quite a bit away from returning to the mound, are the Reds building up Antone to join the rotation (something he wants to do)? Or is he simply going to stay in this long relief role and he was and is being built up to handle 3-4 innings at times during the season? We’re all going to have to find out together, but it’ll be fun to watch in either scenario because that guy is all kinds of fun to watch on the mound.
The Legend of Joey Moppo
This morning we all woke up to a piece at The Athletic by C. Trent Rosecrans, Rustin Dodd, and Jayson Jenks about Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto titled: Joey Votto is playing chess, and the rest of us are playing checkers: Reds first baseman may be the most interesting man in baseball.
It’s a long title. But it’s also missing the most important part of the story in the title. Multiple former teammates talked about how much Joey Votto loves to mop and how they tried to convince him to start an instagram account called Joey Moppo with videos of him mopping his floor. Apparently he sends these kinds of videos to his current and former teammates.
The entire piece is fascinating and gives just another insight into Joey Votto that paints him as just a different kind of dude. Go give it a read (subscription to The Athletic required).
Jonathan India on the Jim Day Podcast
There are some pretty good Reds podcasts out there – including Redleg Nation Radio hosted by our own Chad Dotson – but a close runner up to the most dangerous podcast in the world (TM) is The Jim Day Podcast. With his job he has access to both past and current Reds players. This week he sat down to talk with rookie second baseman Jonathan India. If you’ve got a spare 33 minutes this week, go give it a listen. You can find it at this link, or at just about any place where you accumulate your podcasts.