The Cincinnati Reds wrapped up their time in Arizona by splitting a set of split squad games on Sunday. The Reds fell 3-2 to the Cleveland Guardians in Goodyear, but came out on top of the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on the road.
Guardians 3 – Reds 2
|Cincinnati Reds (14-14-1)||2||8||0|
|Cleveland Guardians (12-14-2)||3||4||0|
|W: Stephan L: Eveld SV: Abney
|Box Score | Game Thread|
The Reds got on the board first when Jake Fraley and Wil Myers had back-to-back doubles in the top of the 3rd inning. Cleveland got that run back in the bottom of the inning when Amed Rosario homered off of Nick Lodolo. In the next inning the Guardians would take a lead when Johnathan Rodriguez hit a 2-run homer off of Tommy Eveld that put Cleveland up 3-2.
Neither team would score again until the top of the 9th. Austin Callahan walked, moved up to second on a single by Noelvi Marte, and then he’d score on a 2-out single by Michael Siani to make it a 1-run game. The game would come to an end on the next play as Rece Hinds grounded into a force out.
Alexis Diaz and Ryan Nutof each tossed a shutout inning of relief. Lyon Richardson threw 2.0 shutout innings. Jake Fraley went 2-2 with a double, steal, and a run scored. He finishes the spring with a .320/.382/.600 line that included five steals.
Reds 7 – Rockies 5
|Cincinnati Reds (15-14-2)||7||12||0|
|Colorado Rockies (11-18)||5||5||2|
|W: Law L: Freeland SV: Garcia
|Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati started out the second inning with two singles and a hit batter, loading the bases with no outs. Daniel Vellojin grounded out, but drove in a run on the play to put the Reds up 1-0. That was all that they could muster in the inning.
Two innings later they would get back to work. Jason Vosler led off with a double and scored when the Rockies made two different throwing errors on the same play. Daniel Vellojin picked up an RBI single to follow, making it 3-0. Back-to-back singles by Kevin Newman and TJ Friedl extended the lead to 4-0. The Rockies would get all three of those runs back in the bottom of the inning when Elehuris Montero crushed a 3-run homer off of Fernandez Cruz.
Both team’s bats went quit until the 8th inning. In the top of the inning the Reds loaded the bases with no outs on a walk, single, and a hit batter. Cincinnati then scored two runs on wild pitches before TJ Hopkins came through with a 1-out RBI single that extended the lead to 7-3. In the bottom of the inning the Rockies got two of those runs back on an RBI triple and a sacrifice fly, cutting the lead to 7-5.
After Cincinnati went quietly in the top of the 9th Pedro Garcia took the mound. He worked around a walk as he picked up the save with Allan Cerda making a diving catch against Mike Moustakas to end the game.
Derek Law, Buck Farmer, Ian Gibaut, Joel Kuhnel, Bennett Sousa, and Randy Wynne all also threw a shutout inning during the game. Jason Vosler and TJ Friedl each picked up two hits on the day. Alex McGarry went 1-1 with a walk.
The split of Sunday’s games left the Reds with a final record of 15-14-1 this spring. It is their second year in a row with a winning record in spring training after six consecutive years without one.
What’s Next for the Reds
Sunday was the final day of games for Cincinnati in spring training. The Reds are packing up and heading back to Cincinnati. Tomorrow they will play an intrasquad scrimmage game of sorts at Great American Ball Park, and will have another one on Wednesday as they get ready for Opening Day on Thursday.
My roster to start the year would be:
Starters: Greene, Lodolo, Aschraft, Cessa and Overton*
* watching the waiver/DFA wire for an opportunity to upgrade the fifth spot.
Relievers: Diaz, Farmer, Cruz, Gibaut, Kuhnel, Sanmartin, Sousa, and either Law or Young.
Catchers: Stephenson, Casali, and Maile
Infielders: Votto, India, Barrero, Steer, Newman and Vosler
Outfielders: Myers, Fraley, Friedl, and Benson
Dunn and Antone go to the 60-day IL to open 40-man roster spots for Vosler and either Young or Law.
After opening day, I would place Votto in the 10-day IL and recall Fairchild. He pretty much prepped everyone that he’s not ready to play right now, but I believe it would be in the franchise’s best interest to have him start on opening day, even if he doesn’t play the full game. Ramos has had a wonderful ST, but both Fairchild and Vosler have better ML track records which have been garnered in bench roles.
Most of this looks spot on – 2 possible exceptions.
1 – Young is in the pen instead of Kuhnel, or perhaps Sousa.
2 – They don’t need a 5th starter until April 13, so it may be a wait and see who’s available then, but, yes, there’s a likely pickup in the next few days – so the * becomes, Overton/Anderson/Weaver/newcomer/Hoffman?
They will need a fifth starter on either the 4th or 5th of April and another on five days later.
The 2 Friday off days give them flexibility – either a bullpen game or a 1-time callup, and they can reset the 5 man rotation from the 13th on. Or, go with 3 days rest and pitch counts for a while.
If the top 3 can get 6 ip the first two weeks, they won’t burn the bullpen, which is the larger concern over the whole season.
Outhit the competition 20-9 today!
All the arms likely to make the bullpen looked good today. Cruz being the one exception but it was the first runs he gave up this spring.
I bet by the end of the year the reds will have one of Pedro Garcia or Ryan Nutof throwing high leverage situations and I say this as in a positive way. I really think they’ll be able to put together a respectable bullpen this year especially when healthy
It dawned on my, the Reds didn’t televise the last few games. And no WLW radio team today either. Maybe those guys all packed it up for Cincinnati early.
Despite all of Winter’s doom and gloom, ST was a surprisingly positive and generally fun experience watching the Young Turks.
Sure, there’s some serious holes left unfilled but things are looking much better than October 2022.
If folks stay healthy there should be considerably more enjoyable Reds’ baseball this season.
I wonder if Bryan Shaw could become available from the White Sox. I saw that Hoffman didn’t make the Twins…I wonder if he thinks if he opts out of his minor league deal, a team like the Reds might pick him up for a few innings early.
On to real baseball. Health will be the biggest factor this year. Not much depth especially in pitching. One of the most positive things that came out of ST:
.311/.380/.556 – Great Defense
Hopefully, the Reds announce the final roster tomorrow. I suspect that the players have already been told so they can plan moves etc. They want JV for the opener for attendance but he’s been pretty direct that he’s not ready. So, I guess there’s only 3-4 positions to publicly finalize and maybe a surprise in the offing. And a few 40 to IL moves which will give fans more insight into how severe some injuries are. Hopefully, there won’t be any surprises there. And speaking of surprises, Moustakas made the Rockies roster – what’s the over/under on the number of games played before he hits the IL again?
The Moose is on the Loose! Hide the women & children & the First Aid kit!
Moose looked thinned down, to his credit. Hope he goes on to a productive season.
LDS, pretty sure opening day will be a sellout with or without JV.
@Mike, yes they should sell out, but as of 5 minutes ago, tickets were still available, including some good ones.
Overton has not impressed, so watching the transaction pages. Not a long term fix but Julio Teheran is available. Need a starter that won’t destroy the bullpen on a weekly basis.
He has got to be better than either one of Overton or Cessa.
I wonder if the 13 man in the pen is going to be another starter. With Cessa not stretched out, and Overton not looking good a Anderson, or Lively type could be the last man in the pen.
MLBTR reports Derek Law will head to Cincy with the team. Will require a 40-man move as well.
The Reds pitching is absolutely razor thin. They are an injury or two from being worse off than last year.
I saw that the Reds do not have to officially set their 26 man roster until Thursday morning. They surely must be looking for waiver claim awards and/ or trades to bolster the pitching.
Has there been a similar announcement about Young? He’s another NRI. Or, as Jim comments, perhaps he’s in competition with a TBD waiver/released P. Young had a very good spring, and unless the analytics are concerning, seems to be more valuable than Law – more like Hoffman, has starting experience, could go for several innings if needed.
Not that I’ve seen. The Reds could end up with 4+ NRI making the opening day roster. Lots of churn ahead.
@BK, They have 2 more 40-man “freebies” by moving Antone and Dunn to the 60 day IL.
Regardless of how they are presenting Weaver’s status at the moment, forearm soreness most often ends up as an elbow issue with a PRP injection or TJ surgery down the road.
Then there are Sims and Santillan, both with back issues. Sims worked 5 innings at MLB level early in ST and clearly wasn’t ready for prime time. Santillan did not pitch at all in an MLB level spring game (1 or 2 minor league appearances as best as I can find).
Among the 3 of Weaver Santillan and Sims, all are starting the season on the IL. Odds are there are probably 2 safe 60 day moves among them that wouldn’t cost the Reds more than a week or 2 of MLB time if any. But which guys?