The Cincinnati Reds played two games today. It was the second time this spring that they played a set of split squad games. Just like the previous one, the Reds split the two games as they beat the San Diego Padres on the road, but dropped the home game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Game Recap: Reds 6 – Padres 2

Cincinnati took a 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning and they used three home runs to help build their lead from there. Strong pitching throughout the day held up and gave the Reds a split of the day, winning this one to even out a loss against Milwaukee.

The Highlights

It didn’t take long for the Reds to get the offense rolling. Elly De La Cruz worked a 1-out walk and then scored when Tyler Stephenson unloaded for a 2-run homer. It was his second hit, and second home run of the spring.

The Padres got one of those runs back against Graham Ashcraft in the bottom of the inning. Xander Bogaerts led off with a double, moved over to third base on a ground out, and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Fernando Tatis Jr.

In the top of the 3rd inning it was once again Elly De La Cruz getting things started. This time he lined a single into right field before stealing second base. He was attempting to steal third base when Christian Encarnacion-Strand took a fastball up in the zone and hit it 400+ feet and over the wall just to the right of the batters eye for a 2-run homer to give Cincinnati a 4-1 lead.

San Diego got a run back in the bottom of the 3rd after a 2-out walk from Xander Bogaerts extended the inning. That gave Jake Cronenworth the chance to do some damage and he did just that, doubling in Bogaerts to make it 4-2.

Cincinnati got back to a 3-run lead when Stuart Fairchild unloaded on a ball to lead off the inning, hitting a long home run high up off of the batters eye. Jose Barrero followed up with a double, but he was thrown out at the plate when Sal Stewart lined a single into center.

The Reds played add on in the top of the 5th and once again Elly De La Cruz was at the center of the action. He led off the inning with a walk, then proceeded to steal second and third before scoring on a ball fielded on the infield grass by the third baseman as Cincinnati extended their lead to 6-2.

Carson Spiers, who took over for Graham Ashcraft to begin the 4th inning, threw 4.0 shutout innings and he struck out five batters. The right-hander has now struck out 11 batters with just one walk in 8.2 innings where he’s allowed two earned runs.

Zach Maxwell came out of the bullpen for the 8th inning and he struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect inning of work. Lefty Jacob Heatherly took the mound for the bottom of the 9th and worked a 1-2-3 inning to seal the win.

Elly De La Cruz went 1-1 with three steals, two walks, and three runs scored. Jose Barrero went 1-2 with a walk and a double. Blake Dunn, the Reds Player of the Year on the farm system in 2023, walks and stole a base in his only plate appearance. Dunn missed the first week of games but is now 4-for-6 with two walks – good for a 1.583 OPS so far.

You can see the box score for the game here.

Game Recap: Brewers 2 – Reds 0

In a low scoring contest, the Brewers scored early and never looked back as Cincinnati managed just five hits as the Milwaukee pitching staff shut the Reds out on the day.

The Highlights

Milwaukee got an infield single from top prospect Jackson Chourio to start the game. He would score from first on a 2-out double off of the bat of Christian Arroyo to put the Brewers on top 1-0.

That would be the only run that Brandon Williamson would allow. He fired three consecutive shutout innings after that, giving up four hits in 4.0 innings, walking no one, and striking out four batters. The lefty has now thrown 9.0 innings this spring and hasn’t walked anyone.

Brent Suter took over in the top of the 5th inning for the Reds. He’d give up a run after a 1-out double by Chris Roller and a 2-out single by Andruw Monasterio that plated Roller. Suter returned for the 6th inning and tossed a shutout frame. Lucas Sims, Justin Bruihl, and Brooks Kriske all threw a shutout inning in relief to follow. Unfortunately the Brewers bullpen did the same thing and helped Milwaukee hold on for a 2-0 win.

Jake Fraley went 2-2 with a double.

You can see the box score for the game here.

Thursday’s Game

The Reds will host the Cubs on Thursday night. Hunter Greene will get the start and the game will be available on MLB Network. If you want to listen on the radio it’s 700 WLW that will be carrying this one. First pitch is set for 8:05pm ET.

21 Responses

  1. Jason Franklin

    Way to early prediction, but does Kemp make the team? Or Martini?

    And how about the improved eye of one De La Cruz missle? I know it is way too early to be prediting anything, but Kemp seems like a waste of space at this point and Martini may be better suited as a AAAA player in Louisville.

    And does anyone know if Ashcraft was doing a good job of keeping the ball in the dirt today?

    • tim

      neither kemp, martini or harrison will make the team. its fairchild’s spot to lose. if he falters, i would guess harrison gets the final nod – though he hasn’t looked good so far.

    • Stock

      Kemp will not make the team unless 2-4 injuries to position players happen in the next 3 weeks.. 10 balls in play today. 3 were GB.

    • greenmtred

      It seemed to me that Ashcraft was not keeping the ball down much. Still pretty effective.

    • Hotto4Votto

      If anyone makes the bench out of ST that is not one of India, Maile, Fairchild (assuming 10 guys rotate through 9 spots) then I think it’s got to be Barrero. The Reds would have to DFA him and likely try to trade him for whatever they can get back if he doesn’t make the OD roster. Barrero at 25 years old still has more upside than any minor league FA the Reds brought in. This spring he’s showing solid plate discipline with 4 walks in 14 PA and he’s hitting for power when he does hit. The Reds had him in RF, potentially transitioning him into a utility role. His combination of speed/power/defense should play well in that role especially if he can get on base at a decent clip.

      If everyone’s healthy, he’ll be a roster casualty because Fairchild and India are better options. If not, then I think the Reds owe it to themselves to see if the guy who’s found AAA success can finally start putting it together at the ML level.

  2. DaveCT

    Spiers effective and facing the middle of the Padre’s border today was a good thing. K’d taxis and mach ado back to back on two very different pitches. I’ve always appreciated the high pitch ability guys.

  3. John J

    Carson Spiers as your #8-9 depth guy is crazy to me. We are okay with injuries hopefully this year.

    Elly if he can really learn to carry a 350+ on OBP he can be an elite player with that speed. Walks are automatic doubles almost.

    I am giving fairchild the nod, if any OF gets hurt Im giving the nod to Hurt or Harrison.

    I think its unlikely. Lodolo I am assuming might be in the opening rotation but if NOT!

    1. Greene
    2. Abbott
    3. Ashcraft
    4. Williamson
    5. Montas

    6. Phillips, 7. Martinez, 8. Spiers 9. Lyon

    Love this Depth. Glad I put some money on the reds to make the playoffs, win Div, and a small amount on a WS win. ($10 can’t hurt lol)

  4. CFD3000

    Loving the early results for Spiers and Williamson. I know it’s spring training and some of the hitters are not MLB quality, but one walk and zero walks respectively is encouraging for two guys fairly far down the depth chart.

    Also, Doug you’re a beast. Thanks as always for the timely and informative content over and over and over.

    • DaveCT

      If you can, watch Spiers pitch this year down at AAA. He really competes. Fun to watch.

  5. Rednat

    I don’t know if this is an official stat or not but I am always interested in the ratio of
    runs/times on base. Billy Hamilton scored in the high 40% range of the times he was on base. I don’t believe he ever passed 50%. In comparison Votto was in the 25-35%( this by the way is the one thing that, imo, may keep him out of Cooperstown. Yes he got on base a lot but it took a lot but it took a lot of labor to drive him home).

    But if You look at EDLC. Last year he surpassed 50% and so far in spring training he has got to be close to 75% so far. that is a huge weapon to have. The homeruns will come but his 1st, 2nd and 3rd objective should be to try to get on base no matter what.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      I do not think the stat you are citing is as valuable as you may think. It probably has some value to it but it is similar to runs batted in. Who hits behind you matters a lot. Having Joey Votto hit behind you is going to lead to you scoring a lot more runs than if you have Chris Heisey hitting behind you. Speed helps because of the stolen bases and just the ability to get an extra base when someone does hit the ball while you are on base so the stat is not without some use. Having an MVP hitting behind you matters a whole lot more.

      I am with you on Elly. Get on base no matter what. That is the toughest part of the battle.

      • greenmtred

        This not in any way a knock on EDLC, but I’m fairly certain that a deeper dive into the stats would show that the part of the season when he amassed that gaudy 75% scoring stat coincided with the time when pretty much the whole team was on fire. Elly suffered a slump after that point and wasn’t on base much, and the rest of the team cooled off, too, but that particular stat is only reflective of what happened when he was on base. No argument that he’s more of a threat on the bases than Joey was (or almost anybody else, for that matter), but I find it fun to consider what would happen if the vintage Joey Votto were batting behind him.

    • Stock

      I see where you are coming from. The fun starts when EDLC gets on base. He seems to make things happen. But there are so many other things to consider. Who is hitting behind you? Is there someone on base in front of you? I understand you idea that Joey Votto should be dinged because he “clogged” the bases when in comparison to Billy Hamilton. But Joey Votto would have scored a lot more runs if Joey Votto were hitting behind him.

  6. Redsvol

    Elly could score 200 runs this year. Need to keep him healthy and rested though.

    Very impressed with Carson Spiers. We may have something there.

    Blake Dunn could be as disruptive on the bases as Friedl and EDLC. Wouldn’t that be nice to plug in in July.

    Fairchild has not taken anything for granted this spring. Got to hand it to him as he clearly wants to be on this team come April.

    I’ve been very surprised to see the starters- both pitching and position players – going so long this early in spring. Clearly the team is told to be ready opening day. Usually starters throw a couple innings then go to bullpen to continue to work. And offensive players usually long gone after 2 at bats. This is a different camp.

    • Amarillo

      Elly scoring 200 Runs would be impressive. The all-time single season Runs record was Billy Hamilton who scored 198 Runs in 1894. Pete Rose’s highest was 130 Runs.

      I am strongly in favor of Elly breaking an all-time record haha.

  7. SultanofSwaff

    Stephenson’s two homers this spring look different than his past dingers. He seems to be tapping into that pull side power that we’ve been waiting on for a while. Good sign imo.

    As for CES, I love this guy’s plate coverage and how short to the ball he is (like Matt McClain). I’d put the over/under on homers at 34. He popped 13 in 240 plate appearances as a rookie, so with normal progression it seems probable.

    • David

      I think CES will be the guy hitting the most HR (and RBI’s!) for the Reds this season, barring an injury. He may hit 30 (or more), but with most guys that hit for power, that sort of thing is streaky. He may hit 10 one month, and two the next.