The Cincinnati Reds won the first of two series against Cleveland over the weekend, taking the first two games of the three game series. That helped them remain in 1st place of the National League Central as they moved to 9-6 through the first two-and-a-half weeks of the season. There were a few things that we learned over the weekend about the Reds, both on and off of the field.
Shogo Akiyama is running once again
On Sunday prior to the game we saw outfielder Shogo Akiyama on the field running the bases and doing some running-related drills. If you tuned into the game on Bally Sports Ohio you got a chance to see it. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer had a birds-eye view from Great American Ballpark, too.
With a few trainers watching, Shogo Akiyama was sprinting around the bases at GABP today.
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) April 18, 2021
Manager David Bell noted over the weekend that he was hopeful that Shogo Akiyama could be in games with the alternate site team by the upcoming weekend.
Michael Lorenzen gets a PRP injection in his shoulder
In a set of roster moves we saw Michael Lorenzen head to the 60-day injured list due to his shoulder injury that’s kept him out since the middle of spring training. Earlier in the week he got a PRP injection with the hopes that it’ll get him to where he needs to be.
He had a bit of a set back with his rehab during a bullpen session.
“I was feeling great,” said Lorenzen. “The day before I was scheduled for a bullpen, I was felt the best I had felt. Then I went to throw the bullpen the next day and I didn’t feel great – the only day I didn’t feel great. So I threw a pen probably like 50% effort just to get the feel for the mound and still couldn’t even finish it. I figured it was probably just a bad day, body didn’t recover well – just give it the night and tomorrow, feel better. They want to get another MRI and I figured Kremchek would just say it was getting better and we just need to take a little more time, and he said it’s gotten worse somehow. So we had to do a PRP and do something that takes more time with it and be more cautious with it. That was a major surprise to me and a major blow to me, just mentally and everything, but just got to keep pushing forward.”
The right-hander is looking at the situation in a positive light right now. He still plans to return to the team in the role as a starter. With so many unknowns in how starting pitchers will be able to handle their workloads after last season, he believes this could potentially be beneficial for both himself and for the team in the long run of a season.
“I think it’ll be a good boost. That’s kind of where my mind is, and where’ I’m staying positive. There won’t be any need to hold me back, and I’ll just able to go and go, and go through October even and have nothing hold me back because sadly enough I didn’t start the first two months. I’ll be able to finish strong.”
With the move to the 60-day injured list, Michael Lorenzen won’t be eligible to return to the Cincinnati Reds roster until the 61st day of the regular season at the earliest. That would be May 31st.
Sometimes it IS better to be lucky than good
On Saturday afternoon the Reds had some good luck go their way. In the bottom of the 9th inning an error on a routine ground ball to first base that would have ended the game went under the glove of Josh Naylor. It led to the game-tying run that sent the game into extra-innings. Sean Doolittle kept Cleveland off the board and opened up the possibility for Cincinnati to win the game with a single run. And that’s exactly what happened in the bottom of the 10th on Tyler Stephenson’s single to the warning track in right field.
While the error opened up another opportunity for the Reds, they had to keep fighting to make something happen. The old saying that it’s better to be lucky than good has something to it, but you’ve still got to be good in some cases in order to help take advantage of that extra bit of luck that went your way.
This offense has a chance to be very good
We saw in the first week of the season that the Reds could put together some ballgames with big run totals. On Friday night it was more of the same. Trailing 1-0 entering the bottom of the 3rd inning the Reds put together a 7-run inning to put the game away (they won 10-3).
When the team is healthy the only weak spot in the lineup is the pitchers spot. It’s a deep lineup from top to bottom, and right now the bench/platoon guys are playing quite well, too. They probably won’t score the 983 runs that they are on pace for this season – which would shatter the team record for most runs scored in a season (the 1999 Reds have the modern record at 865, but the team scored 883-936 runs in several seasons in the late 1800’s) – but the early returns show an offense that can do some real damage and could be one of the stronger offenses the team has seen in quite a while.
Wade Miley wasn’t going to keep a 0.00 ERA forever
Entering the game on Sunday Wade Miley had not given up an earned run through two starts. That wasn’t going to last forever, and Sunday was the day that saw it come to an end. He would give up four runs – all coming on two homers allowed – on the day. As a pitcher who doesn’t miss a ton of bats, Miley’s success in-part hinges on his ability to keep the ball in the yard.
Converting some into believers
Over at MLB dot com they released their week two power rankings and the Cincinnati Reds found their way all the way up to the #4 spot in baseball. The 9-6 start has been impressive, particularly from an offensive standpoint. Cincinnati leads baseball in runs scored with 91 and is second in team OPS at .808. Only the Dodgers team OPS is higher – .811 – and only the Dodgers have also scored at least 90 runs, but they’ve scored their 90 runs over a span of 16 games.