The Cincinnati Reds got back to the .500 mark on the spring by crushing three home runs and pitching well in a 6-1 victory of the Colorado Rockies on Monday night in Goodyear.

Final R H E
Colorado Rockies (4-6) 1 8 0
Cincinnati Reds (5-5-1) 6 10 0
W: Anderson L: Feltner
Box Score | Game Thread

The Highlights

Chase Anderson struck out the side while working around a 2-out single in the 1st inning. Cincinnati threatened in the bottom of the inning, with Jose Barrero picking up a single and saw Curt Casali and Nick Solak draw walks to load the bases, but the Reds couldn’t cash in on that opportunity. The next inning saw Anderson pick up two more strikeouts while working around a single and a walk to keep the game scoreless.

In the bottom of the 2nd the Reds offense went to work as Christian Encarnacion-Strand remained how, picking up an infield single to lead off the inning. Richie Martin followed up with an infield single of his own, but Encarnacion-Strand was thrown out trying to reach third on the play. That proved to be costly as Allan Cerda crushed a 2-run home run three pitches later.

Will Benson followed up Cerda’s home run with a single and then he would come around to score on a triple by Jose Barrero and extend the lead to 3-0.

When the 3rd inning began there was a new pitcher on the mound for Cincinnati and Kevin Herget picked up where Chase Anderson left off and tossed a shutout inning. But in the top of the 4th he gave up a 2-out double that was followed up by a single that put the Rockies on the board and cut the Reds lead to 3-1.

That run was replaced quickly in the bottom of the 4th inning when Christian Encarnacion-Strand crushed a ball to right field that he initially believed was a triple before getting up out of his slide at the bag to be notified that the ball cleared the fence before coming back onto the field. The home run was his third of the spring.

Leading off the next inning it was time for Jason Vosler to get his contributions in as he took the 4th pitch of the inning and homered to make it a 5-1 ballgame. Matt McLain walked to lead off the 6th inning, stole second base, moved to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on a Will Benson single to make it 6-1. McLain’s walk gave him seven on the spring and he’s got just two strikeouts as his torrid start continues.

That would be the last time the Reds offense put runs up on the board. The bullpen got their job done, too. Derek Law threw 1.1 shutout innings with three strikeouts. Alex Young kept his ERA pristine on the spring with 1.2 perfect innings that also included three strikeouts. Daniel Duarte tossed a shutout 8th inning with a strikeout. Jared Solomon came into the game in the 9th trying to hold onto a 6-1 lead. After giving up a leadoff double he locked things down and got the Rockies out in order from there.

Will Benson finished the day 3-4 with a steal and is now hitting .538. Jose Barrero’s two hits on the day raised his average to .333 this spring. Allan Cerda went 1-2 with a homer and a walk, and he’s now hitting .429 on the spring. The pitching staff combined for 15 strikeouts and just one walk on the night.

Tuesday’s Game

The Reds will be back at Goodyear Ballpark tomorrow for an afternoon contest against the San Francisco Giants. Graham Ashcraft will get the start with first pitch set for 3:05pm ET.

43 Responses

  1. Bdh

    He was mocked when he was resigned but I really think bringing Anderson back was a smart move. His best years were with DJ in Milwaukee and 5 of his 7 starts last year went well in Cincinnati. I hope the players that make the rotation out of the gate pitch well enough to stay there all season but realistically some other arms are going to have to pitch some and if a handful of starts fall to Anderson as the 8th-9th option then I’m completely fine with it.

    Also I think the reds are going to put together a pretty decent bullpen still

    1 of Cessa/Weaver

    When they return from IL


    Other arms in AAA


    I’m not 100% sure I wouldn’t take the Louisville bats potential bullpen this year over what Cincinnati ran out there at times between 2016-2018

  2. MBS

    CES is making being reasonable, very difficult. Barrero is waking up, and Benson has been what I’ve hoped for so far. Even with out the W/L record this could be a fun year watching the development, and arrivals of a lot of talented players.

    • 2020ball

      They finally have some decent youth arriving, versus past years where theyve only had fringy guys like Lopez. Will be a more interesting year to watch for sure I might tune in more often.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        Do Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft, Alexis Diaz, Jonathan India, and Tyler Stephenson not exist?

  3. Melvin

    Lots of positive things this game with Benson, Barrero, and McLain, etc. The star of the game though once again is CES.

  4. Tom Reeves

    I have two hopes for this year.

    1) that the young talent this club has takes a massive leap forward in individual development as well as building a team culture

    2) that Votto gets hot enough to raise his career BA to .300 so he can finish his career .300/.400+/.500+. Maybe with the lack of shifts he can do it.

    • MK

      Hopefully another benefit of CES’s ST is it will help heal Joe a little faster.

      • oklared

        Like he needs that to motivate him, come on.

    • Michael

      Sadly I think Votto’s .297 is to far away from 300 for him to get back over that line.

      If Votto were to get hotter than the surface of the sun it would be interesting to see what the reds do in the offseason with buyout or dont buy out.

      • Tom Diesman

        Assuming Votto misses April/May and plays the remainder of the season and gets 400 PA walking about 14%. He’d have to go 120 for 344 which is a .349 BA to raise his career mark to .300.

  5. BK

    Young players have looked great across the board…CES, ELDC, Steer, McLain, Barrero, Benson, Friedl, and Fraley have all looked great. Lots of time left, but it’s great to see players rise to the challenge.

    • TR

      I’m impressed by the intensity of this ST which, imo, was often missing in past years. It’s nice to see some optimism return to the Red’s fanbase,

  6. MK

    Since CES has dropped the Strand on his uniform we can feel comfortable dropping it from posts?

    • SteveAreno

      Absolutely NOT. That was a request of the seamstress.

      • AMDG

        Those letters cost money. Castellini doesn’t want to pay for extra letters, if he doesn’t have to.

      • Mark Moore

        Throwback to the days of Paul Householder and his uniform saying “USEHOLD” 😀

      • Melvin

        Maybe Big Bob & Son will request using CES like most of us do….to save money. 😉

  7. Frankie Tomatoes

    This game like some others sure would have been fun to watch. Tough to believe that there are so few games broadcast from spring training when you can watch community college baseball games online.

    • SteveAreno

      Because, The Owner doesn’t like those expenses and is trying to maximize returns, not interest or wins.

  8. Rcsodak

    Hate to say it, but temper is needed. They’re still in ST. Pitchers arent getting scouting reports, etc
    But I do love what I’m seeing vs previous years of BA’s below the Mendoza line across the team

  9. redfanorbust

    I knew this would be, if nothing else an interesting ST this year. It has not disappointed so far.
    Most interesting of all will be who stays and who gets cut for the start of the year. The first month of the regular season will be important for the Reds, not because they have little more than a punching fighters chance of staying in the race but it is important for them to prove last years start is behind them and they are growing and improving. Confidence is a big factor in young players development. A fact I am sure is not lost on David Bell and his staff. IMO this will be the biggest challenge of Bell’s career.

    • VegasRed

      Bell’s entire managing career has been nothing but challenging, and the challenges are winning by a wide margin.

      Bell stunk as a minor league mgr also.

      I don’t know how some fans can see Bell as a legitimate major league manager give his record, watching him and also realizing that he has his position apparently only because his dad is in the owner’s ear every day.

      Oh, and it helps that the owner is clueless about baseball.

      Maybe Bell’s job isn’t so challenging after all!

      • Harry Stoner

        Agree wholeheartedly with you as to whether Bell is up to the task at hand.

        Count me among those who don’t believe he is.

        There’s still some time ahead for the Young Turks who are hitting well now to come down to earth or continue their exciting start.

        If it’s the latter then we’ll see if Bell chooses to support them or drift into his comfort zone of mediocrity with Vosler, Kojak, Pinder, Reynolds, Strickland.

        I’m not holding out very much hope for him.

      • greenmtred

        How do you evaluate his minor league managing career? Winning percentage? That, as always and at any level, depends greatly upon the players at his disposal. I also expect that, in the minors, winning is, if not an afterthought, not as important as player development.

      • G-man

        When fans complain about David Bell as a manager, I often think of this quote from our beloved Sparky Anderson:

        Baseball is a simple game. If you have good players and if you keep them in the right frame of mind then the manager is a success. – Sparky Anderson

        Unfortunately, ownership hasn’t given Bell many good players during his tenure.

  10. RedsGettingBetter

    Are Chase Anderson entering in the rotation spots race?
    I think Tyler Stephenson needs playing time because he obviously has no shape since got injured from mid-season. The staff should take advantage of this ST games so he could be ready to the opening day.
    Nice surprises in this ST as Benson, CES, McLain, Ramos are performing very good…In the other side are Ben Lively, Alan Busenitz , Tyron Guerrero, Chad Pinder, Nick Solak, they are not showing much so far.

    • MK

      Better question might be did he take the lead in winning the spot? Dunn is out, Overton has been poor so far, Weaver has been poor but I still believe he will get a spot, with Williamson and Stoudt holding there own.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        Cessa has been solid so far although many people think he should be back to the BP… Williamson’s last outing gave high hopes on him for taking one rotation spot so should not be ruled out yet… I ‘d send Stoudt to AAA to pitch for a while and serve as backup in case of injuries arise on major team God forbid.

  11. AMDG

    Granted, it’s just Spring Training, and batters won’t be facing many minor league pitchers once the season begins.

    But it’s still nice seeing these younger guys come out and show some ability with the bat. Especially the 24 year old’s, Benson and Barrero, who, to date, had struggled to make much of an impact at the MLB level with the bat.

    It’s encouraging to see they aren’t struggling and don’t look over matched.

  12. Tom Mitsoff

    Some of you may have heard Jeff Brantley commenting on how hot CES is on one of the recent radio broadcasts. He mentioned how well CES is hitting fastballs, adding that he hasn’t faced too many actual big-league pitchers yet. That is a very reasonable critique. I would imagine the final 10 days of training camp, that will change. It will give management the chance to see the skills of these hitters against pitchers who have superior stuff and location.

    I’m also very anxious to see how Will Benson does during that time period. I’m still trying to figure out why Cleveland was willing to trade him.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Much respect to the Cowboy and it’s fair to question if he can do it against the best in the league, but CES isn’t just feasting on fastballs. His moonshot on Saturday was a curveball….the broken bat 2 strike single was an offspeed pitch…..we see CES hitting to all fields because his plate coverage is very good and he’s not pull happy. To me, that skillset will translate when he starts to face elite pitching.

    • David

      I am not inside the head of the General Manager of the Cleveland “Guardians” (the statues on the bridge), but I think that they looked at their 40 man, and were afraid to just lose Benson, and saw that (in their opinion and rating) he was behind the curve for his age and time in the minors. Move him up or move him out. But again, it’s just Spring Training, after all.
      Recall that the Indians of 2007 decided that a young guy named Brandon Phillips would not accept a move from SS to 2nd base and kind of let him go for a song. That actually worked out pretty good for the Reds. Brandon did play some 2nd base for the Reds for a few years, as I recall. 🙂

    • BK

      The Reds gave up a decent prospect for Benson (Justin Boyd, 2022 2nd round pick). Kudos to the Red’s front office for proactively leveraging the roster crunch at Cleveland to obtain a quality player.

    • MBS

      Benson became disposable due to an abundance of talent and lack of time. We are likely to face this with our SS’s in the near future. If they end up trading away Marte, or McLain etc… it doesn’t mean we didn’t like them, we only have so many roster spots that can be filled by a SS.

      I am very anxious to see how Benson and Barrero do to start the year.

  13. SultanofSwaff

    If this team is to do anything this year, you can’t undersell how important Benson and Barrero will be in that effort. If they can have sustained success the path forward for this franchise becomes bright in a hurry. If you’re 2 pieces closer to completing the puzzle suddenly you can entertain the notion of leveraging prospects to add finishing pieces to the big club and open that competitive window. To some it may seem premature and overly optimistic, but if this team enters May around .500 and knowing more talent is at the doorstep, the front office is going to have to reset expectations. Not saying it’s going to happen, but it wouldn’t surprise me either. I’m still a believer in Barrero. Hamate injuries are no joke….it’s only fair to give him a pass for last year. Yonder Alonso, Gallo, Stanton, Benintendi….they’ve all dealt with this same injury and returned to form.

    • Melvin

      If this team somehow got off to a hot start and was in first place by the all star game I doubt Big Bob & Son would spend any money. Nice thought though. It would be fun to watch regardless.

  14. Stock

    My viewpoint of ST is different than what many are posting on here. Although, I think it is great that CES has an OPS of 1.846 it is not a priority for me this spring.

    The Reds have 2 or 3 proven ML hitters in Stephenson, India and possibly Fraley (many may feel he has yet to prove himself yet). I am ignoring Votto and Myers because they are not in the long term plans for the Reds.

    I came into this spring focused on three players (Steer, Barrero and Benson (and Fraley for some)). I feel Fraley is at least a very strong player for the strong side platoon. He can mash RHP. Going into ST I felt Benson would be an everyday player or at worst a strong side platoon. I am hopeful of Steer and was skeptical of Barrero making it as an every day player.

    Thus far in ST nothing has changed my opinion on Fraley and Benson. I think they play every day a RHP takes the mound and I have no problems giving them time vs. LHP. I am encouraged on the early returns on Steer but still skeptical on Barrero. Friedl has also opened my eyes this spring.

    What does this mean for 2024 and beyond? This is the important question. I think the Reds have 4 – 6 everyday players for 2024 – 2026. That means the Reds would only need everyday players from the system to develop in 2024 to have a quality offense in 2024.

    Prospects who I think could be everyday players in 2024 include Siani, McLain, EDLC and CES.

    I would be comfortable with the following lineup in 2024

    C: Stephenson
    1B: CES
    2B: Mclain
    3B: India
    SS: EDLC
    OF/DH: Steer, Benson, Fraley, Friedl, Siani
    Utility: Barrero

    Even better is that this group of 11 will be followed up by the following 14 players: Marte, Arroyo, Vellojin, Hendrick, Allen, Collier and the rest of the Daytona 9.

    The 2026 offense looks very promising.

    • Stock

      You could also add Cerda and McGarry to this list of 14 players.

  15. Votto4life

    If Barrero and Benson can established themselves as major league hitters, the Reds will be cooking with gas.

  16. Chris

    I’m not sure I understand all the excitement about Benson. This kid has hit over .250 just once in the minors. Lifetime minor league average of .222. Yes, he has a pretty good obp and some pop, but I’m just not seeing all the excitement, other than a nice spring so far which is always meaningless. Benson was a 1st round draft pick. Certainly not what you would want to see out of a 1st round pick so far.