The Cincinnati Reds didn’t quite have things go their way on Saturday afternoon against the Colorado Rockies despite several good performances from individual players on the day.

Game Recap: Rockies 10 – Reds 4

Cincinnati got an early lead thanks to a home run in the first inning. They held a 1-0 lead until the third, but the Rockies then ran away with the game as they pounded out 10 runs over the rest of the game and put things out of reach.

The Highlights

It didn’t take long for a true highlight from this one. Elly De La Cruz was the second batter of the game and he took the third pitch of his at-bat and hit it 470 feet to put the Reds up 1-0.

Hunter Greene tossed shutout innings in both the first and second, but the Rockies got things going in the third when Greene hit Hunter Goodman to begin the frame. JAcob Stallings then tripled off of the wall in center to tie the game up. A sacrifice fly followed as Colorado took the lead. Greene threw his new pitches quite a bit during his three innings. Of his 46 pitches he threw 10 splitters and four curveballs.

In the first inning, Noelvi Marte got his first at-bat of the spring and he lined out at 109 MPH. When he came back to the plate in the fourth he picked up his first hit on a 102 MPH grounder up the middle that made it’s way into center.

Things didn’t go the way that Lucas Sims would have liked them to in the bottom of the fourth, but he could have gotten out of things with far less damage than what took place if not for an error. Sims walked the first two batters he saw before getting a ground out. Brenton Doyle then hit another grounder, but this one went under the glove of Elly De La Cruz and was ruled an error. A strikeout followed and would have been the final out of the inning had the error not occurred. Sims would then hit Jacob Stallings to load the bases before Ezequiel Tovar hit a grand slam to make it 7-1. Only one of the five runs in the inning would be earned.

Nick Martinez took over for the Reds in the bottom of the fifth. He gave up a double and an RBI single to begin the inning before a line out was followed up by back-to-back strikeouts to end the frame. The right-handed pitcher followed up with a perfect sixth inning.

In the top of the seventh Cincinnati picked up a run after Stuart Fairchild led off with a single and then scored when Tony Kemp tripled off of the wall in right center to make it an 8-2 ballgame.

They would tack on more in the next inning. P.J. Higgins walked and took second on a wild pitch to begin the inning. He then scored on a single by prospect Francisco Urbaez. Mike Ford followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Hector Rodriguez then picked up an RBI on a fielders choice to make it 8-4.

Colorado went to work in their half of the inning. Julian Aguiar took over on the mound for Cincinnati and the Rockies greeted him with back-to-back doubles to begin the inning, extending their lead to 9-4. Another run would come across on a wild pitch with two outs to put Colorado up by six. The Reds went quietly in the top of the ninth inning and fell to 4-3-1 on the spring with a 10-4 loss.

Elly De La Cruz went 1-1 with two walks and a home run that may not have landed yet. Nick Martinez struck out five batters and was charged with an unearned run in his 3.0 innings of work.

You can see the box score for the game here.

Sunday’s Game

The Reds are on the road again on Sunday afternoon. Frankie Montas will take the mound against the Kansas City Royals. There is no television broadcast for the game. You can listen on the radio by tuning the dial to 700 WLW. First pitch is set for 3:05pm ET.

70 Responses

  1. Old-school

    Williamson gave a up a 2 run homer tinkering with his slider yesterday. Some pitchers are working on things so it’s Ok for Greene and Williamson and others to test drive their splitters or curves or sliders now. It does seem that Barrero is way behind Fairchild for the 26th man slot. It would seem he has lost all value as a contributor or as a tradeable commodity. Reds messed that one up.

    Good to see Martinez and Montas having strong springs so far. See what Frankie has tomorrow.

    • AllTheHype

      Not sure how they messed Barrero up. He’s had plenty of opportunities in AAA and MLB and his bat has just not shown up at either level consistently. He’s just one disappointment among all those top prospects, which is a great thing, not a bad one.

      Not anything the Reds did wrong, imo. Win with some prospects, lose with others. Reds have had more winners than losers though.

      • DaveCT

        The one factor I think did not help was promoting him with no time above Hi-A ball. And he also sat quite a bit that season. Any number of 30 year old AAAA infielders could have been utilized instead.

        I’d also say he does have ML value as a versatile and talented defender at short and CF with power, even with a below average hit tool.

        But, as if often the case, ‘slider away.’ It happens.

      • Melvin

        He struckout looking today on a 3-2 pitch that Gameday said was a ball and flied out the other time. At least he’s not striking out a lot so far. Small steps I guess.

      • Mauired

        Strangely you would think with McLain, India, Dunn, and Marte all out Barrero would get some playing time especially with him out of options. But in typical Bell fashion which has been going on for 4 years it’s spotty. Just seven at bats including and was benched for three days of six days. Two of his three games only two plate appearances. Not sure how he’s supposed to “earn” a spot if he barely sees the field.

      • Mauired

        The one thing I have been encouraged by for Barrero (tiny sample) and Elly are the walks. Obviously that is the big flaw for both players. Barrero has two walks in seven plate appearances so far and one was in a very tough long ab against Luis Castillo.

      • AllTheHype

        @Dave, Reds promoted him out of need in 2020, and yeah perhaps he wasn’t ready at that time, but he rectified that with a splendid ’21 year. So he was back on track after ’21 and overall was handed the starting SS job at points in 3 different seasons. He had more than enough opportunities to prove himself and failed each time. He’s just a bust. It happens. Reds did nothing wrong overall.

      • Mauired

        He played in 24 games in 2020 and 21 in 2021. So he definitely wasn’t given the starting job in the last 3 years. In 2022, he was most likely playing with one arm because he was terrible at every level after his surgery. Last year not good but two months doesn’t seem like a lot especially if that was his final chance.

      • AllTheHype

        @Maui, ’20 thru ’23 he started 119 games for the Reds and played in 104 games at SS, with a ML OPS+ of 34. That’s dreadful. But it’s also a significant amount of exposure and opportunity.

        A case could be made that he warrants more opportunities, but a MiL OPS of .764 doesn’t exactly make that case. He’s never consistently exhibited a hit tool, nor power. He’s a defensive first player, but even his defensive tool is just average.

        He just doesn’t have much value left, with little evidence that he could reasonably become the player the Reds thought he was.

      • DaveCT

        Hype, as I said before, a AAAA guy like Matt Reynolds could have filled the team need in 2020. They are a dime a dozen.

        Second, Barrero has only appeared in 119 games over parts of four ML seasons. That is not the playing time of a starter. On the contrary, that is is the playing time of a bench player. So, it’s simply untrue Barrero was given the latitude and opportunity to work his way into being a starter, regardless of the reason. The closest was at the beginning of last season before he was supplanted.

        Further, his defense at short was rated as above average, and likely still is. Note, Arroyo’s defense on arrival to the Reds system was considered to be similar to Barrero’s.

        I don’t deny whatsoever he has not hit at the ML level. However, in four seasons at the ML level, Barrero had appeared in 139 games total, for only 447 plate total appearances. These are broken down into 68, 56, 174 and 149 plate appearances, hardly more than a very brief auction.

        Again, I do not dispute his poor hitting. But it’s just not true he’s had a real opportunity to seize the job over time or even seasons that others have recieveed, ie Acquino.

      • Mauired

        That’s an average of 29 games a year in his four years! Yeah tons of exposure. In his last two healthy years he slugged .539 (2021) and .540 (2023). That’s pretty good power.

      • AllTheHype

        @Dave,
        Barrero’s MiLB profile is of someone with a questionable, certainly inconsistent, hit tool which you also agree.

        And given that MiLB profile, I would argue Barrero has had plenty of opportunity with 119 starts and 400+ PAs in MLB. Now had he demonstrated any sort of progression in MLB, or flashes of a hit tool, anything, maybe he buys himself more time. But he didn’t, at all. And not only did he NOT demonstrate any sort of hit tool ability in MLB, he also did not translate ANY of his power tool to MLB either.

        We can argue about the proper amount of time in MLB to demonstrate ability to perform. I feel it’s relative to your MiLB profile. And that’s why I feel he’s had his chance, and nothing. Time to move on, and I suspect that’s exactly what the Reds do at the end of this month.

      • DaveCT

        Hype, there is a connection between MiLB scouting, projections and performance, and the quality of a ML opportunity. I don’t know if anyone has a clue how to quantify or qualify it, however. For that reason, I just revert to my post above, which shows a pattern by the organization of inconsistency in playing time and thus opportunity for Barrero. Being consigned to a bench role with inconsistent starts and plate appearances is just not conducive to hitting development. Players need both practice and game experience to develop, especially at the MLB level, where the speed of the game and the pitching is ungodly. There’s no replacement for that. All of that said, I agree that some players just don’t have key abilities no matter what. Slider away, right? Good, quality discussion. Thanks. RLN may owe us a beer..

      • greenmtred

        MLB teams don’t rely exclusively on how a young player performs in games to evaluate him. It’s possible that the apparent mystery of Barrero’s playing time is explained by this.

    • AllTheHype

      And if you’re referring to maybe trading him earlier, how were they to know he would flame out after 2021 when he still had an abundance of trade value? In 2022 his value started declining dramatically.

      Same goes with all the yutes on the roster this year. Surely a couple will flame out. Which ones? And those with hindsight will say we should have traded so and so. Need a crystal ball.

      • Tom Reeves

        The guy ran into the one problem that’s just really hard to crack – major league breaking balls. It makes him an amazing AAAA player. He has every tool but one but the one he’s missing is fatal. You don’t find that out until you face MLB pitching.

  2. LDS

    Two straight sloppy games? At least, it’s early in ST.

  3. Mark Moore

    3 in a row with no TV??? But where else are we gonna go?

    • Andrew Brewer

      At Bat on MLBTV.com has the radio broadcast, and no blackouts either. Just go to the Games tab and then click on the headphones. It will probably cost you another 30 bucks to get At Bat. They archive those broadcasts too.

      • Kevin Patrick

        I will also say that the radio broadcasts are on siriusxm. That is how I’ve been listening for a while.

  4. Tom Reeves

    Love the simplified EDLC swing. Watch out!

  5. Reddawgs2012

    It’s obviously super early and I’m not giving up on anyone. But Tyler Stephenson seems like the exact same player he was last season, behind the plate and with the bat.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      0-12 w/1 BB & 1 SO so far…

    • Jeremiah

      I would have traded Stephenson maybe to try and get a Veteran starting Catcher. I still think he has potential, but it seems maybe his injuries or concussions affected him. It’s concerning to me that I’ve read he’s not great behind the plate too…but then again Tucker Barnhart apparently was great but the Reds stunk for the most part pitching while he was here, so hard to tell sometimes is it the Pitchers, Catcher, both etc.

      But, it’s spring training too so maybe that 0-12 doesn’t mean much.

      • Grover

        At this point it means 0 just like De La Cruz’s hot start

    • Jason Franklin

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Maile becomes the primary catcher if Tyler S. keeps this up. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they go with someone else as the number 2 (defensive) backup because Stephenson seems lost at the plate. Keeping my fingers crossed he gets it back (his swing). I would have assumed his collar bone would be completely healed by now.

      • Jeremiah

        I suppose Maile hitting 9th wouldn’t be a big issue offensively but that’d be a bit of a letdown I think for the Reds if Maile becomes the #1. I wonder how he’d do with 300 at bats or so in a season

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    The MLB website gameday shows only fastballs and sliders from Greene but he threw several splitters and few curveballs according to Doug.
    Second straight game surrending 10 or more runs after the first six games with no more than 6 given up.
    Martínez was solid again it is promising.
    EDLC performing very good offensively today.

  7. Mark Moore

    Thanks for the post with the various video angles. It did look like he pounded that ball. It mAy or MaY noT HavE HaD a faMILy 😀

  8. DaveCT

    On the mound, Nick Martinez, 38 pitches, 28 strikes, over three innings with 5 K’s.

  9. Tony C.

    There was a lot of talke about Hunter Greene and his new pitches in the offseason.
    The biggest difference between him this year and last is that now he throws 5 pitches he can’t command instead of 3. Until his fastball command improves he’ll never be great. The Reds need him to be great if they want to be great and right now he’s not great.

    • Jeremiah

      Or the other guys need to be great such as Ashcraft. If Greene is like a #4 type of Pitcher who stays healthy and pitches 180 innings or so that would be helpful. They just need healthy guys that are decent I think, and you hope one of them at least becomes an Ace. I think Montas could be really good, but it’s all about the health with the Reds it seems.

      • Tony C.

        Other guys do have to step up for sure and the organization has to stop treating Greene like a sacred cow. They gifted him the opening day start and a contract extension last year and he earned neither IMO. It’s still early in spring training but it will be interesting to see who they tab as the opening day starter. Of course Greene is still in the running but let him earn it this time around.

      • Stock

        I disagree Tony C. You don’t earn opening day SP in preseason. You earn it from the prior season(s).

        Last year Greene did earn it. He was dominant when he returned from the DL in August of 2022.

        Who earned the 2024 opening day start last year?

        Not Lodolo nor Ashcraft. Not Montas. Abbott struggled down the streach. That leaves Williamson and Greene. I go with Greene.

    • DaveCT

      Two starts and five innings, while purposely working on new pitches needed in his repertoire, and he’s garnishing defeatism already? And bc he’s a high draft pick with a sizable bonus, Green is a sacred cow and was gifted his contract and the opening day start?

      • Indy Red Man

        Well both have gas that goes up up and away

      • Old Big Ed

        I agree. Spring training is Major League baseball without the stress or adrenaline, in either dugout. A spring training game is a rehearsal.

        Some are getting after Stephenson, too. If there is one group for which spring training is hard work, it is the catching corps. Stephenson and Maile have to catch bullpens for every pitcher who figures to have some MLB time this season. In games, their job is to concentrate on pitchers and give them feedback. They can worry about dialing in their bats later in spring.

        Spring training is a lot of fun to go to, but you have to take the games with a grain of salt. You can certainly learn some things — for example, that Edwin Arroyo is the real McCoy — but a player’s looking particularly bad or good in one game generally tells us nothing about what to expect when the lights come on.

    • Tony C.

      If a pitcher has a proven track record of excellence then preaseason means very little. When you have a collection of young, unproven arms as was the case last year you certainly can earn the opening day nod in preaseason. The Reds named Hunter very early in camp last year which I thought was unecessary.

      To answer your question Stock, who has earned it this year? Nobody and that’s the point. In my mind Greene, Ashcraft, Abbott and Montas are all still in the running but there’s no need to name one prematurely as they did last year. Let’s see how it plays out.

  10. Melvin

    “Elly De La Cruz went 1-1 with two walks and a home run that may not have landed yet.”

    They’re tracking it on radar. 😉

  11. Mauired

    If this guy takes his walks is it crazy to say he could be a 50/100 hitter?

  12. MK

    If Kelly had come out of the box the way he went first to third he would have had a homer.

  13. Frankie Tomatoes

    Last year Elly walked a lot in Louisville after a slow start. If he can walk more this season he can be a super star.

  14. Indy Red Man

    Jose Barrero. Never have I seen so little talked about so much. Its like they spent the week leading up to the Super Bowl talking about the long snapper. Or the caddies at the Masters. Can we please move on? I had a Jeff Keppinger man crush for a minute, but he actually looked like a hitter for a few months. Ditto for Josh VanMeter but I wasn’t still going on and on 2-3 years later. The guy isn’t that great. Maybe he’ll be figure it out and become Miggy Cairo and put some coins in his pocket, but it just doesn’t matter

    • DaveCT

      Barrero was the number 12, 11, 6, 1, and 1 prospect in the system (BA, though subscription is required). He was a very significant international signing. His career is not a throwaway like Keppinger or whoever. Like Senzel, should he fail to develop with the Reds as a contributor, he will be seen as failure in player development. So there’s that.

      • Mauired

        I believe he got 5 million back in 2017 to sign. Basically 1st round pick money. Hunter Greene as the second pick in the draft got 7 that same year. It was a significant investment of time and resources. You would think he would at least get a full year in the bigs not a two month run to see if he can improve. Look at Senzel. Guy was on the Reds for 5 years to prove himself.

      • Mauired

        Interestingly, Bubba Thompson was also a 1st round pick and got half of what Barrero received to sign.

    • Old-school

      You did like you some Josh van Meter, for sure, lol.

      And let’s not forget RLN Hall of famer Max Shrock!

      Heck, I thought Jesse Winker would win a batting title. What do I know?

      • greenmtred

        Jesse was a flame, very briefly bright, then dimmed. Not many of us saw that coming.

      • Mauired

        Jesse was a multiple all star and batting title(s) contender if his body didn’t fall apart. But hey you could say that about a lot of players.

      • Melvin

        “Heck, I thought Jesse Winker would win a batting title. What do I know?”

        Rarely does someone fall so far so quickly. I was for trading him but I didn’t anticipate what’s happening now.

  15. LDS

    Rather brutal tweet from Bill James Online regarding EDLC. If he isn’t a whole lot more productive than Juan Samuel, then the Reds really need to look at their drafting and development system.

    —————————————————–
    Bill James Online
    @billjamesonline
    ·
    For what it is worth, I think it is long odds. He was BAD last year, media wrote him up like he was great. That’s a bad combination. The media rewards bad on-field habits. He could be good, but the odds are he will be Juan Samuel II.

    • Optimist

      TBF Juan Samuel has a fine career – 3 time AS, etc.. Some of the comments to BJames go into greater detail, but, yes, his point is to expect disappointment. Could it happen, sure; will it, we’ll see.

      Don’t know that the “drafting and development system” will have much to do with it. If he has a Juan Samuel-like career, that’s an amazing success considering how he was found and developed. Now, about recent #1 picks and high $$$ international signings . . .

      • LDS

        Stats have Samuel marginally above league average. Regardless, I think the Bill James issue is that the analytics movement has usurped James’ luster. The Bill James Abstracts back in the 70s were probably his hey day. Now he’s like many of us, old and less consequential to the “real world”.

      • Optimist

        A 16 year career seems a bit better than “marginally above league average”. I’m all for analytics, but this is a case where the gross numbers have a lot of weight.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      Bill James has gotten more and more bitter and extreme over the last decade. Do not understand what happened. Maybe he was always that way but before social media the public who did not get to interact with him was unaware.

      In a twist of fate or maybe a coincidence Juan Samuel was a coach with the Dayton Dragons when Elly was there.

      • greenmtred

        James is only three years younger than I am. Old and bitter. EDLC is very young with a very wide spectrum of possibilities but unquestioned raw talent. His willingness to modify his batting approach I take as a very hopeful sign. As for what he becomes? Have to wait and see.

      • MK

        Hoped he would become the Dragons Manager or at least stay in the organization but I understand he had some major family issues at home that caused him to walk away. Too bad he couldn’t continue.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        I did not know that was why Samuel left. Thanks for the information. Hope everything is ok.

  16. Amarillo

    Elly has already done things in the Majors that I have never seen before. Yes, he’ll need to learn how to lay off the outside breaking ball. But he’s 21, and if he learns plate patience then he’s a Hall of Famer. He’s shown willingness to be coached and put in the work. Not sure why anyone would compare him to Wily Mo Peña. Their tools aren’t comparable.p

  17. doofus

    “…went under the glove of Elly de la Cruz…” I thought someone would have picked up on this statement. Since no one did, I will. I t is difficult for EDLC to unfold that tower to get down on ground balls. I saw it enough LY to see that it should be a concern. Easy grounders should be fielded cleanly by good SS’s.

    1, 2, 3…

    • Indy Red Man

      Thought that from day 1 with Elly. From what I saw….McLain is vastly better at SS. Shortstops aren’t 6’5 and catchers aren’t 175 lbs like Freidl. Maybe I’m just old? Love Elly at 3B with the length and arm…think how many doubles he could prevent. Or RF with that arm! Nobody is throwing anyone out at home or 3B from 5 steps in front of the warning track in most parks, but GABP? Puig made a difference out there and so could Elly! I just don’t see SS as the premium spot with his abilities.

      Hitting wise…they need to relax. Tall hitters always look bad at times and often for long stretches. Look at how bad Bellinger would look at times. They’re just more that can go wrong, but he’s not going to be Juan Samuel. Goodness gracious.

      • Old-school

        Elly had a play at 3b last year where he crossed over into foul ground and threw 99 mph across the infield for the out. It was amazing

        Hes only 22 though. Lots of young SS make errors at that age

        I hear the Reds have a 20 yo gifted SS who makes every play and is moving up quickly in the minors . See how it plays out in 2024

        McLain if healthy could be a GG 2b silver slugger for a decade

      • DaveCT

        Doug did a review of Reds’ short stop defense last year and Elly rated best. His range combined with his height give him an, ahem, ‘large’ advantage over the 5’8″ McLain, meaning he’ll get to balls hit beyond and over Matt. Further, Elly’s arm at short is an absolute weapon — dude threw a 99 mph strike across the plate from the cutoff to save a run. Yes, it’d be a weapon from the OF, but it’d be underutilized compared to short. I concede McLain was perhaps more polished last season. But McLain’s arm strength reportedly wears down if he’s counted on to play much short. At 22, Elly’s miscues should continue to improve and are likely to be eclipsed by his advantages. Derek Jeter famously made 51 errors at Lo-A at age 19 and 22 in his first full season at age 22. I’ve opposed the notion of moving Elly to the OF from moment one based on not moving your best (most talented) player off his best position, as opposed to moving lesser players off their positions in deference to your best player. It really just defies logic. Should Elly play himself off of short, point, set, match. But after 69 games at short in the ML’s, with 13 errors, and on March 2nd in spring training, it’s really just moot.

      • Mauired

        I like Elly as short. Incredible range and arm. Only flaw I see his with his size he sometimes has trouble quickly transferring and throwing on quick ground balls which could be problematic which it leads to a lot of errors. I hope I’m wrong. But if short doesn’t work out, I can see him as the one of the best center fielders. His speed, range, athleticism, arm, and length would be legendary out there. Could lead the league in home run robberies and assists would lead to many gold gloves. My only problem is where does TJ go? Because his most valuable position is clearly CF.

      • DaveCT

        Maui, my other concern would be diving for balls and shoulder injuries, as well as the outfield fence. Shoulder injuries for hitters can be devastating. Collisions with fences the same. A grounder off the shins, not so much.

        A move to the OF might clear space for McLain, Marte, Arroyo, CES, Jorge, Stewart, Collier, et al, but, conversely, it might clog the OF for Friedl, Benson, Steer, Fraley to some degree, Dunn, Hinds, Hurtubise, HRod, etc., with fewer openings.

        Good problem to have, I suppose. However, the reset is always to keep your best player at his best position. The rest is secondary palace intrigue.

    • Melvin

      I’ve always thought that him being 6’5″ would eventually wear on his back. After seeing Arroyo play SS I’m more confident that ever that CF is the natural position for EDLC and where he should be playing in my view. I believe he’d love playing out there anyway.