The Cincinnati Reds played two games today and there was a lot of offense in both of them, but the offense was going off for the Royals and the Athletics, too. The end result saw Cincinnati settle for a split on the day.

Royals vs Reds

Final R H E
Kansas City Royals (8-1) 12 14 0
Cincinnati Reds (3-4-1)
6 11 2
W: Castillo L: Sims
Box Score | Game Thread

The Highlights

The home runs were flying early. MJ Melendez led off the game with a no-doubter off of Connor Overton, and later in the inning the Royals added a second run. But in the bottom of the 1st it was Cincinnati’s turn. Wil Myers picked up a 1-out single and scored on a Curt Casali homer that tied the game up.

Things went a little better in the 2nd inning for Overton, but an error on a dropped fly ball led to an unearned run that put the Royals back on top. In the bottom of the inning Henry Ramos helped make up for his error by crushing a double and coming around to score when Kevin Newman followed up with an RBI single to tie the game up. The Royals added another run in the 3rd off of Overton after a leadoff double was followed up by an RBI single.

When the bottom of the 3rd began the Royals brought former Reds closer out of the bullpen, calling on Aroldis Chapman. After striking out Jason Vosler, Elly De La Cruz tripled into right field.

Nick Solak plated De La Cruz when he followed up with a single. Solak moved up to second base on a passed ball and scored on a Henry Ramos single that gave the Reds a 5-4 lead.

After throwing a perfect 4th inning with two strikeouts, Levi Stoudt gave up the tying run in the 5th after giving up back-to-back singles and followed with a wild pitch. In the bottom of the inning Elly De La Cruz untied the game with a long home run to right field.

Silvino Bracho came on for the 6th inning and worked around a walk for a hitless frame. Lucas Sims ran into some trouble in the 7th, giving up a double to the leadoff batter, hitting a batter with one out, and then giving up a long 3-run home run to Tucker Bradley with two outs that put the Royals ahead 8-6. Kansas City added two more runs in the 8th on a 2-run homer by CJ Alexander off of Alexis Diaz, making it a 10-6 game heading to the bottom of the 8th.

Ricky Karcher took over in the 9th and gave up a single to the leadoff hitter then walked the next batter he faced. After a lineout there was a double steal and the throw went down to second and got away from the second baseman, leading to a run. A single would come later in the inning to bring in another run and make it 12-6. The Reds didn’t get anything in the bottom of the 9th, falling to the Royals who are now an impressive 8-1 on the spring.

Reds vs Athletics

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (3-4-1) 10 16 1
Oakland Athletics (2-5-1) 9 12 0
W: Kuhnel L: Acton SV: Sanmartin
Box Score | Game Thread

The Highlights

Just like in the earlier game, the opposition got a home run in the 1st inning. Conner Capel took an 85 MPH slider from Hunter Greene and put it into the pool area just beyond the wall in right center. Greene hit the next batter, and after getting ahead 0-2 on Seth Brown he gave up an RBI double that made it 2-0. Two wild pitches that bookended a fly out brought another run in and it was 3-0 rather quickly.

The Reds had Hunter Greene’s back in the top of the 2nd inning. Spencer Steer and Jose Barrero both doubled, with the latter one plating Steer to make it a 3-1 game. Then Christian Encarnacion-Strand hit a baseball 448 feet to tie the game up at 3-3 as his incredible start to the spring continued.

In the 4th inning that same crew helped give Cincinnati the lead. Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand both singled, then Stuart Fairchild followed up with a single of his own to make it 4-3. Steer wasn’t finished. In the 6th inning he clobbered a solo home run to dead center to make it a 5-3 game.

The Reds weren’t finished in the inning as Jose Barrero walked and later scored on a Jake Fraley single that doubled up the A’s. Stuart Fairchild, who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning, scored on the next play as a wild pitch brought him across the plate to make it 7-3. A Tyler Stephenson single would make it 8-3.

Oakland got things going in the 6th inning against Tayon Guerrero. The first four batters he faced reached base, with the last of those four being a 3-run double off of the bat of Jordan Diaz that made it 8-6. Guerrero got out of the inning from there. The next inning it was Ian Gibaut’s turn to take some lump. After recording outs against the first two batters of the inning he gave up a single and then a walk before Kevin Cron hit a go-ahead 3-run homer. The A’s almost added to their lead in the top of the 9th, but Tyler Soderstrom was thrown out at the plate as he tried for an inside-the-park-home run. That play may have been challenged had it been the regular season.

Cincinnati trailed 9-8 heading into the 9th. Matt McLain wasn’t ready to let the game end without drama as he doubled with one out to represent the tying run. That worked out well as he would indeed score the tying run on a Nick Plummer single later in the inning. Nick Martini followed up with an RBI triple to put the Reds on top 10-9. Reiver Sanmartin entered for the bottom of the 9th to try and hold the 1-run lead. The lefty picked up a strikeout, a ground out, and another strikeout to seal the victory.

Sunday’s Games

The Reds are playing a set of games on Sunday. They’ll hit the road to take on the Los Angeles Angels in Arizona at 3:10pm ET with Luis Cessa getting the start. Out in Las Vegas they’ll take on the Oakland Athletics at 4:05pm ET and Nick Lodolo will be on the mound.

36 Responses

  1. Tom Mitsoff

    You don’t want any of these top prospects on the major league team unless they are going to play regularly, but there is a scenario where CES might fit. If Votto is not ready for the first few weeks of the season, CES could essentially fill his spot as a first baseman and DH. If he continues to hit as he has so far, it would be tough to keep him off the team if Votto is not ready to go.

    • SteveAreno

      CES has been impressive, but I’d like to see him tear it up in Louisville for a couple months before being in Cincy.

    • MK

      There is room for both with the DH. Votto has not been even an average defender the last few years, DH might be his spot.

      • 2020ball

        The bench is Casali, Maile, Newman/Barrero depending on who is starting that day, then whichever OF you like out of Benson, Fairchild, and Senzel, etc. etc., ant then you can then choose to carry a 1B like CES or use Myers as a 1B and carry another OF or Utility guy. One of these guys I mentioned is your DH on days Stephenson isnt.

        Early in the season you could maybe carry 12 pitchers and that opens up another spot, but I doubt this team does that based on their history.

      • 2020ball

        and thats assuming Votto is injured still, so he pushes Myers back to RF when he is healthy.

      • Melvin

        If CES continues to hit like this then there had very well be a place for him to play somewhere every day. Maybe even David Bell would have a hard time not putting him in the lineup. I’ll ask again. Can he play LF? By the looks of him he might be a natural there and as we well know we are overstocked with infielders. I don’t know about RF yet but in my view from what I’ve seen the future very well could be CES in LF and EDLC in CF.

      • 2020ball

        I just want him to keep playing everyday, right now the Reds 3 catcher thing is blocking him if Votto is healthy. I’m more inclined to think the team will use Myers there while Votto is out and keep two OF for the bench, but maybe he hits his way onto the team. I’m not just going to cement him as a starter in LF until he actually plays the OF some. I’m not against maybe a day a week until he has more experience there. If anything I’m starting CES at 3rd and playing Steer at different positions throughout the week.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. Playing every day is the key. However if he keeps hitting real well then I wouldn’t mind him learning to play LF “on the fly”. 🙂 It’s not like it’s going to cost us first place out there.

    • Optimist

      The dread “service time calculation” will likely prevent CES from an opening day spot on the 26-man roster. I don’t mind him getting another 100-150 AAA ABs, but if he rakes there he better be the first Mid-to-late May callup. OTOH, if Joey is out for a bit of April, and Benson or Myers has a spell on the injured list, then CES is the obvious 1b-DH candidate.

      It looks like it will be CES and Elly as the initial callups, with McLain close behind. Hope to see all 3 in MLB before July.

  2. Bdh

    Bold prediction that I don’t personally think is that bold

    Jake Fraley and TJ Friedl both hit .265 or better

    If Bell gives them enough at bats

    Fraley goes for 25 HR + 15 stolen bases
    Friedl goes for 15 HR with 20+ stolen bases

    • MBS

      I hope you’re right about those #’s, and I do think Fraley will get the AB’s if healthy. Friedl might not get the AB’s. A lot will have to do with where Myers plays most of the time. If that’s 1B / DH then maybe Friedl gets the AB’s.

      • Bdh

        I’m very confident Fraley can hit those numbers

        Friedl hit 16 HR and stole 17 bases in 136 combined games for AAA-MLB last year. Most of the power numbers came after he was sent down in June and changed something in his swing.

  3. VaRedsFan

    I think you spelled 548 feet wrong above for the CES homer.

  4. LDS

    Benavides won his game. Bell didn’t. EDLC, just turned 21, and drilled one off Chapman. That’s got to be good for the confidence. Definitely some good performances today. Still not enthusiastic about the OF selection nor the pitching, but maybe there’s hope for the future.

    • 2020ball

      The OF is a bunch of fringy guys with flaws. At least no one is blocking anyone and it makes for a decent bench. The OF defense might not look all that great this year unless they keep a true CF like Siani.

      • LDS

        True. He’s young enough to become a better hitter. But, realistically, except for Aquino, I don’t remember any defensive standouts in a Reds OF for a while. Certainly, Winker, Senzel, Castellanos, and the rest had defensive weaknesses. Fraley will hit RH’ers, Friedl possibly. Fairchild, who has the best L/R splits probably gets sent down. Senzel? Trade him if you can or start him in Louisville.

      • 2020ball

        I’d consider Senzel in AAA as more of an injury rehab. He’s redundant on the team if he’s an OF only, he’s not that much better defensively than the other CF options. Id prefer he learned 3B and play more 2B and then all he needs to do is learn to hit lefties and he’s a useful bench player.

      • LDS

        But, I assume you wouldn’t start him ahead of Steer at this point.

      • MK

        Fraley and Myers are both solid. Fraley, now that he has had on opportunity with Reds might really come into his own.

      • 2020ball

        No I wouldnt start him ahead of Steer unless Steer struggles and Senzel finally starts showing something at the plate.

    • greenmtred

      I hadn’t realized that these were hockey games and that the managers were the goalies. Now I have to rethink everything.

  5. MBS

    CES, and McLain are having springs so far. Very exciting. EDLC, Steer, and Barrero getting some offense going. It’s been a very exciting but short spring so far.

    • LDS

      3-4-1 through 8. A third of ST schedule over after tomorrow. Barrero has shown excellent defense (time for Bell to move him to the OF) and a little hitting today. Steer looking promising. I’d rather see McClain and CES come east with the team than Pinder, Newman, et. al. Let EDLC start in Louisville. Wish the pitching looked as good . Or the OF.

      • MBS

        “come east with the team” I haven’t been to a spring training game since the moved out west. I miss the trips down to Sarasota for some baseball.

        I think we’re going to see these guys sooner than most had been thinking. I know I didn’t want India to come up when he did, but I was wrong about that, hopefully we get a nice surprise or two at the end of this spring.

      • 2020ball

        I’m worried the most about the teams defense. McClain potentially helps that if they keep him.

      • LDS

        Yeah @MBS, the Reds in West, going back to my youth, never made sense either. But, it is what it is. Haven’t been to a Reds game for a while and this year won’t break that streak. Old & cheap, I guess.

      • MBS

        @2020, I’m with you about McLain, we’ve got some good pieces to fit into the next Reds team. It’s going to be interesting to see where all of the SS’s play on the field. Barrero is really the 1st person who needs to claim or advocate his position, then the rest should fall into place.

  6. MK

    Since the prospect depth of the organization is middle infield might it be time to see the value of India on the trade market? Maybe package he and Senzel for an outstanding outfielder. Either that or see if India can play the outfield.

    • MBS

      Arizona is still deep in OF. Carroll, Thomas, McCarthy, Lewis, Gurriel Jr, Smith.

      I’d trade Marte for McCarthy if we could. It’s pretty even on the trade calculator, and pulls from each teams depth.

      That would get us another quality MLB bat. Stephenson, Myers, India, Fraley, and McCarthy makes 5 with the possibility of Votto if healthy to make 6. Then you got the unproven youth of Steer, Benson, and I’m keeping the door open for Barrero. Not to mention the unarrived EDLC, CES, McLain, etc… That could be a fun team to watch.

      • 2020ball

        I think they’d want more than just Marte.

      • MBS

        Maybe, but if so, I don’t think it would be another major piece, just a lottery ticket. Marte is still a top prospect, McCarthy was never, but he did put together a nice season, but shows little power. He’s got a nice floor, but not the ceiling Marte has. He’s also the 3rd or 4th on the depth chart. Marte is a good get.

    • Billybill

      I must be the only one who thinks India could be the leader of the next competitive team we have. Someone needs to step up. Votto was never a good leader. It was right there for him to grab ahold of but he never stepped up. We will have no veterans to keep things in line and that’s been a weekness for a long time. Who was the last leader? Scott rolen?

  7. DaveCT

    Henry Ramos is an interesting guy. In youth sports growing up in Puerto Rico, he mostly played soccer and tennis. But it only took him four seasons to reach AA out of high school in the Red Sox org, where he broke his kneecap. Afterward, it looks like he bounced around AA/AAA. He’s now 30, and 6’2″ 220, and still considered athletic. Wonder if we’ve found a platoon guy to pair with Fraley and/or Friedl.

  8. GreatRedLegsFan

    At sometime during this season Reds are going to have to free the paths to the bigs for Encarnacion-Strand, McClain, De La Cruz and Marte. Votto is on his way out, but for India, Barrero and Steer they have to look for other alternatives.

  9. old-school

    Yesterday was a good day for Reds fans and Nick Krall’s pipeline of young players.

    Watching EDLC sprint around the bases for a triple against chapman followed by a bomb – great optics

    Pete Alonso hitting a moon shot as his strong spring continues.

    Barrero with a great play at SS and giving respectable at bats followed by Steers 3-3 with a 2 iron to CF

    More of this.