It’s spring training for everyone and that includes the editor who handles the headlines here. That person is me. And hey, we’re just having fun with this one today because there wasn’t a whole lot of fun on the day for the Cincinnati Reds in a blowout loss to the Texas Rangers.
|Texas Rangers (2-2)
|Cincinnati Reds (1-2)
|W: Perez L: Greene
|Box Score | Game Thread|
The game was a blowout and the Reds only scored a few runs, but there were some good performances at the plate. Will Benson went 2-2 with a stolen base – his third of the spring so far – and hit another ball that would have been great to have had Hawkeye data for because it was an absolute laser. Speaking of lasers, Christian Encarnacion-Strand also went 2-2 and one of his hits was a laser off of the wall in right field that went for a double. The Reds #7 prospect got the start at first base on the day and made an impression. Noelvi Marte was the only other starter on the day who picked up a hit, going 1-2. Richie Martin, Alejo Lopez, Austin Romine, and Michael Siani all picked up a hit coming off of the bench.
Hunter Greene got the start and he was charged with two runs in 1.1 innings with a walk and two strikeouts. Kevin Herget would throw 1.1 shutout innings out of the bullpen., Alex Young and Casey Legumina each tossed a shutout inning with a strikeout.
On the non-highlight side it was Connor Overton and prospect Lyon Richardson who combined to allow 10 earned runs in 1.2 innings to the Rangers.
The official time of the game was 2:59. 26 hits in the game and four errors – all by the Rangers – will make a game a bit longer, regardless of a pitch clock.
Nick Lodolo will take the mound for the Cincinnati Reds as they hit the road to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05pm ET. The game will be on MLB Network as well as MLB.tv.
Great headline!!! 😀
LOL. Yep. Same reaction here.
That was a 4 hour game last year. Gone this year are the pitcher standing on the mound thinking for 2 minutes every pitch. Batter adjusting his batting gloves every pitch and his jock strap.
The best thing about shorter games, it’s over for the reds quicker.
I really wonder what Sean Casey would have done if he had to play under a pitch clock.
I like the idea that he would have kept his routine but just sped it up, so after every pitch it would look like he was doing some kind of bizarro Macarena before stepping back into the box.
That’s a great image to chuckle at?
How about Jay Bruce?
Blown save followed by blowout. Get used to it.
It’s not like I don’t have any practice. 😉
I mean you are probably correct, however game 3 of spring training and saves or runs or anything doesn’t count.
Yep. We get to see some glimpses of stuff, but nothing at this point is truly predictive of the rest of the year. And winning ST doesn’t mean squat as you noted.
Lol. It’s February.
But I do get it.
If they can come out of the gate at a .500 clip, it could be a fun year to follow.
Rooting for Will Benson to make the team.
I remember Jim Bowden telling his guys to always scout the first round picks. Even if the Reds had no chance of drafting them. His view was that they would become tarnished at some point along the way and when they did, the Reds could target them in trades.
Not sure if that is what the Reds did when they acquired Will Benson from Cleveland, but he sure looks like he can play.
Greene gave up some singles in his first start, but it didn’t seem like he was getting hit particularly hard.
And outside of that, a pair of pitchers who will be nowhere near a MLB roster on opening day (Overton & Richardson) got shelled. Which is rather inconsequential.
At the plate, Benson seems to be showing that his sudden emergence in the minors last year was not a fluke, but something clicking ‘on’ for him.
The ‘regulars’ (Myers, India, Stephenson) all went 0-for 6, but it’s still the first week of camp, and they aren’t striking out. Also, we never know if guys are working on particular things for the upcoming season. So, I’d think they get a pass for a little while.
A couple of players have looked good thus far. Others have not. I was hoping for more from Barrero, the revamped swing, etc. Greene with another pitch. It’s early and you want to see a lot of players, but I was really hoping some of them would come out of the gate strong, like India, Stephenson, and Barrero. Alas, thus far, no.
So far only a few guys have been able to show something at the plate: Benson, McClain, Encarnacion-Strand, Friedl and Marte. Waiting for India, Stephenson and Myers to wake up.
I can get behind a lineup of
1 – India – 2B
2 – Fraley – DH
3 – Stephenson – C
4 – Votto – 1B
5 – Myers – RF
6 – Benson – CF
7 – Steer – 3B
8 – Friedl – LF
9 – Barrero/Newman/McLain – SS
Myers likely to be the only one traded since the rest (except Votto) are under control for a good bit longer. If/When he is it could be time for CES/Elly debuts
Besides lasers Benson can run. Looking forward to the speed that’s coming up. EDLC, Benson, Siani, and McLain can swipe some bags.
Have to get on a bag first, though, yes?
Benson had a 400+ OBP in the minors last year, and his OBP over the last three seasons is something like 385.
Benson’s huge MiLB OBP in 2022 featured a BB rate of just under 19%. That doesn’t seem sustainable in MLB where the league average BB rate hovers around 10%. By way of comparison, Votto’s MLB career BB% is 15.7; and, he has matched or bettered Benson’s 2022 AAA BB% only twice by my quick eye check.
Benson has a chance to be a good or even outstanding MLB player. What he does with the 5-10% fewer PAs which end up as walks at MLB versus AAA will probably go a long way toward defining which.
Was at the game today and was impressed with Benson at the plate and in the field. Hope he gets a serious shot.
Encarnacion-Strand had a good day at the plate, too. Other than that…well, I had a great Italian sausage and a couple of good IPAs.
Were you the guy in the background today yelling about cold beers ? Sadak and Welsh got a good laugh.
Nope, but I heard him. 🙂
Marte had a hard hit ball again as well. He’s off to a really nice start
He certainly has a very smooth swing. Reminds me of Geno, but without the uppercut.
Probably won’t have to worry about him leading the league in strikeouts too
Good for you!
As for the oxymoron that is “good IPA” … to each his own. I’ll stick with lagers 😀
I figured someone might call me out on that. 🙂
Not able to watch the game but did see final inning. Never seen Lyon Richardson but immediately intrigued seeing his big strong athletic frame. I see why the Reds drafted him but thats also why baseball has become an nfl combine too. DJ has his work cut out
Richardson has (I think) only pitched up to High A ball. He might have great stuff (at 22) but still not ready for Prime Time.
Overton looked pretty bad. But everybody gets a Mulligan this early in Spring Training.
Joe Nuxhall used to say that at sometime during Spring Training, pitchers arms were just “dead”, meaning fatigue, lousy velocity, etc.
Hopefully (usually), they would get over that before starting the season started. Don’t know where Overton fits in here. Maybe his velocity is just off at this time.
Starting the season started.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. 🙂
I can’t believe I wrote something that nonsensical.
Dead arm doesn’t usually kick-in until halfway through exhibition schedule.
Richardson was never great at Dayton and I saw him alot. To his benefit he hasn’t been on a competitive mound for a while.
One other observation: I saw a bunch of batted balls go for hits that would have been swallowed up by the shift last year. Alas, most of those hits were by Rangers players–but it was still good to shots up the middle and to the right side turn into singles rather than outs.
“Reds lose by 11 in a nail biter against the Rangers”
Hope we don’t have a lot of these “nail biter” games this year but I’m afraid we just might.
Interesting that Lopez has appeared as a replacement in all three games so far (2-5 with a BB).
I really hope he gets a legit shot. He is steady and can get on base. We need more of that.
Could well be that the Reds are trying to build Lopez’s value as a sweetener in a trade for a backend rotation starter or better bullpen arm than they now have.
He could be a valuable bench piece for a fringe playoff contender; but, with the Reds, he would take playing time from guys who need to be vetted for their future value to the Reds organization.
i just get the idea listening to folks talking about Votto is that he won’t attempt to play until he feels he is 100% even if 85% helps the team. It will probably be similar to a few years ago when he missed a half season with a meniscus tear surgery when others come back from same thing, less than completely 100% but healed, in three weeks.
Romine looked good behind the plate today. Encarnacion (no Strand on back of uniform) looked very good at plate but has some work to do defensively. McGarry struggled with glove as well.
There’s a good post.
Getting into the mind of Joey Votto and calling him a slacker because he isn’t healing on your timetable.
Or of “the folks” you’re listening to.
He probably would have a similar opinion about the cynicism of your post.
Likely he wouldn’t be so nice about it.
Wouldn’t blame him.
I think it would be fun if you were able to raise that kind of a question to Votto face to face.
And Votto has played hurt, too. Making stuff up sso you can criticize him for it?
To anothers point. How long did he play with that bad shoulder? All of last year? Cmon, the guy is a hard worker and team player. Joey has also had to put up with all of the rebuilds and never getting close to a league championship all the while giving a 100% effort. . Give me a break.
Harry I did not call him a slacker. I said he won’t play until he is 100% and many perfectionists are the same way. If they can’t be perfect they don’t do it.
I have talked to Joe before and wouldn’t have a problem telling him what I seeand he would not have had an issue with it,while he would probably discuss it with me, although when I knew him he wouldn’t yell fire if his shoes were a-blaze.
There are multiple grades of meniscus tears.
Lonzo Ball of the Chicago bulls will miss 2 years because of a torn meniscus. Who knows what degree Joey had. It very well may be that he came back quickly from the most severe of the tears. You have no idea.
IF (big “if”) Benson has actually figured something out and is good enough for the MLB now, then that will have huge implications going forward. The Reds would have finally found a bonafide CF for the first time since Billy Hamilton. I know they keep trying to shoehorn Senzel into the role, but even after 3 years, he still looks extremely awkward out there.
Benson has elite speed and had a stellar OBP the last 3 years in the minors (something like .385), although last season was also the first time he showed an ability to hit for any kind of average. But when he does make contact, he also shows some decent pop, with 17HR, 20 doubles and 3 triples. If his OBP can translate to MLB, he’s got the speed and power to be a useful contributor. He also seems to play excellent defense, with a .979 fielding % in all OF positions in the minors.
If Benson can hack it in MLB, what this does is end any talk of moving Barrero, EDLC, Marte et. al. to CF. It would also finally allow them to end the Senzel experiment there and turn Senzel into a kind of super-sub who can play almost anywhere if asked. It also would be the first piece of solving the outfield puzzle for at least the next 5 seasons, as Benson is entering his Age 25 season, and gives the Reds one less hole to fill going forward.
The Reds still have to figure out a 3B, SS, and 1B of the future, as well as LF and RF. This has to be the season of sorting. But if Benson has such a good spring that it would be impossible not to bring him north, and he continues to perform in the MLB, that would be one position already sorted to go with 2B and C.
It would be huge.
Live the enthusiasm but I think it’s “pump the brakes” time on Will benson. He’s having a good start to spring but doubt Cleveland would have given up on him so easily if he was going to slash this at the mlb level. Cleveland knows their players.
But if they were wrong then kudos to reds for getting him. Flexibility will be the key. Will myers probably at first base much of the year so benson likely in right field much of the time and still need someone in center. Friedl?, barerro? We shall see. Either way, younger faster and hopefully better defensively than we have been since year 2010.
Right, that’s why in my very sentence I said “if” and noted it was a “very big “if”.
Also, Benson’s bat would not play in RF, and it would not utilize his speed.
He played the vast majority of his games in the minors at CF. Why would you move him off his best position? Stick him in CF, make Senzel a super-sub (again, IF he’s really ready for MLB).
Really like Will Benson, but in the minors he played RF 291 G, LF 117 G, and CF 84 G.
I am all in on Benson. I think worst case scenario he is a strong side platoon with on OBP exceeding .350 and an OPS exceeding .800.
Additionally there is a post on fangraphs speaking to the 2025 Reds that many may want to read.
Legumina’s fastball really jumps on the hitters…..kinda like Diaz. He could be a nice surprise.
Compared to spring training last year, the depth and available options are like night and day. It doesn’t feel like wishful thinking to imagine getting 2-3 WAR from 7 of the starting 8 spots with some normal maturation and smart platooning….not huge ceilings overall but certainly very high floors everywhere. The potential 5+ WAR guys are our big 3 starters and Stephenson. I really hope Bell (for once) instills a sense of urgency to starting the year off fast. Playing the position guys 5 innings out of the gate is a good start. The April schedule is pretty tough–if they can hold their own it would be a huge confidence boost for the team and a shot in the arm for the fan base.
Benson made a really nice sliding catch in the gap yesterday. And didn’t come up injured. That already puts him ahead of Senzel. 🙂
I haven’t got to see him play the field yet, how are Benson’s jumps and routes? If those are solid, and we know he’s got the wheels, maybe he can stick in CF for the Reds.
Would like to see Benson stay in CF with Myers in RF. Senzel in LF. India at 2B, Steer 3B, Stephenson 1b, Barrera SS Catcher and DH a platoon.
the first 3 games have been a microcosm of last year. one game we barely win, the next game we are competitive but have a meltdown in the bullpen or defensive blunder to blow the game, 3rd game we get blown out. for all the excitement that still equals a .333 winning percentage
Well, they have to get us fans prepared for what’s ahead too 😉