The Cincinnati Reds got back into the win column on Saturday in what is technically their final home game of spring training. But more importantly, everyone stayed healthy on Saturday in their win over the Colorado Rockies.

Game Recap: Reds 6 – Rockies 2

The Cincinnati Reds took an early lead on Saturday afternoon. Frankie Montas five off five strong innings and the offense played add on to their lead while hitting four home runs before the bullpen came on and shut the Rockies down over the final four innings.

The Highlights

The 1st inning was not a defensive showcase for the Cincinnati Reds. Tyler Stephenson had a pop up bounce off of his glove, but Frankie Montas got a fly out on the next pitch so that one didn’t really do much to harm the team. But the next batter hit a fly ball to right field that Jake Fraley went back on at first before coming in – and when he came in he then misplayed the ball for a second time and had the ball go by him in what resulted in a triple on a ball that should have been caught rather easily. Montas rebounded with back-to-back strikeouts to strand the runner.

When the bottom of the 2nd inning began the Reds got on the board on the third pitch of the inning as Jake Fraley unloaded on a baseball for a solo homer to the right field stands.

Cincinnati would add on after singles from Jeimer Candelario, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and newcomer Santiago Espinal came later in the inning to make it 2-0. Two innings later the Reds would tack on another run when Jeimer Candelario hit his first homer of the spring.

In the top of the 5th the Rockies broke through against starter Frankie Montas. After a leadoff single, Alan Trejo hit a 2-run homer to cut the Reds lead to 3-2. Those would be the only runs he would allow in his 5.0 innings on the day, and he picked up six strikeouts on the afternoon.

Cincinnati would get both of those runs back in the bottom of the inning. After Will Benson drew a 1-out walk, Elly De La Cruz hit an opposite field home run to make it 5-2. Spencer Steer then followed up a solo home run of his own to extend the lead by another run.

That would be the end of the scoring on the day. Tony Santillan, Justin Wilson, Lucas Sims, and Alexis Diaz each covered an inning of shutout baseball from there to close the game down and seal the win for Cincinnati.

Jeimer Canderlario finished the day 3-3. Christian Encarnacion-Strand went 2-2 with two walks. Tony Santillan struck out three batters in the 6th inning to give him 13 of them in his 7.0 innings without an earned run this spring.

You can see the box score for this game here.

Sunday’s Games

The Reds will close out spring training on Sunday afternoon against the Cleveland Guardians at 4:05pm ET. The game will be on Bally Sports Ohio. 700 WLW will have the radio coverage of the game.

52 Responses

  1. AllTheHype

    Starting to look like they can win some games!

  2. Harry Stoner

    Defense miscues aside, that game was a breath of fresh air after a grim spring.

  3. VaRedsFan

    A laundry list of contributors today….both hitting and pitching.
    Those are the best games.

  4. Jason Franklin

    The team will really have to lean into the starters a bit more until the third of their lineup comes back from injuries. Any update on McLain?

    • Doug Gray

      Unless I missed it while making dinner today, there’s been no update on McLain at this point.

      • Jim Walker

        I thought I saw somewhere his meeting with the LA ortho guy is Monday.j

      • JayTheRed

        @Jim On the broadcast of the game they talked to Krall and he said that McLain is getting that 2nd opinion on Monday

  5. Tampa Red

    Reds win, LDS hardest hit lol

    Man, this website is only tolerable after a win. And it’s only spring training lmao.

    • Harry Stoner

      Don’t doubt the man!

      I’m sure he’s working hard to come up with something negative to post.

      Stephenson / Fraley would be the easy targets, but we can be sure he’ll put in the hard work to come up with something deeper.

      In our current national ‘Culture of Complaint’, RLN is blessed with one of the best.

    • LDS

      It’s a spring training game – about time they win one.As for being hardest hit? Not really, I’ve downgraded the Reds significantly in my attention priorities. Extending Bell and the lousy off season signings tell me they aren’t serious about winning. Maybe they’ll get lucky this year, but I won’t be betting on it. So while I’ll still be around, I won’t be here the whole game too frequently. They are still projected no better than 3rd in the division. That’s not worthy of focused attention.

      • Stock

        With the injury to McLain and the suspension of Marte the signing of Candelario is looking really smart right now.

      • LDS

        Currently, the Reds have gone 27 years without a post season victory. Losing doesn’t entertain me in the least, regardless of how much potential the young guys have or how “exciting” their game play is. The Reds had abundant payroll space and FA opportunities that were less than a $20m AAV. They chose to buy lottery tickets. That’s not a strategy. That’s wishful thinking, no different than when we go into a gas station and buy a ticket for the Powerball. Sure, we could win, but it’s extremely unlikely. Same with the Reds.

    • MK

      I am an old person and I think it is a younger generation type communication but I have a hard time picking up on all the acronyms. I have CES and EDLC (these are long names so it makes some sense) but I have no clue about LDS. We could move the letters around for my generation and we know what LSD is

      • LDS

        I’m LDS. I too am an old person who still believes in accomplishment and success. Apparently, that’s been driven out of most Reds fans. Consequently, many here are critical of my views and simply embrace the mediocrity that is the Reds and stare through rose colored glasses.

      • greenmtred

        That’s one way–your way–your interpreting it. I think that many of us view Reds baseball as entertainment, recognize the financial constraints, real or imposed, that the front office has to work with, and have some excitement and optimism about the potential of the young players and the team’s departure from past semi-rebuilds. You exhibit the hallmarks of someone who forms a conclusion and then fits all subsequent events to your conclusion’s support. It doesn’t seem as though you could enjoy baseball and being a Reds’ fan this way, but maybe you do. I hope so.

      • DaveCT

        Far, far back in the day, when I was running for exercise, my best friend taught me a fitness technique using the same letters — long, slow distance.

  6. Jeremiah

    Good to see Fraley go deep! I think he’s going to have a big year if he stays healthy. De La Cruz going opposite field, very nice as well.

  7. David

    I think the two big positives on the day were that Frank Montas pitched 5 pretty good innings in his last Spring Training start.
    I think the other one was that Candelario had some hits today, so maybe he is actually warming up for the regular season.

    I am NOT worried about EDLC, CES, Steer, India, Stephenson or Fraley.
    I am a little concerned about Benson, in that he may regress to some of his old hitting habits.

    Benson played CF, not much mention of how he did.
    I think Fairchild is the better CF between the two, and Bubba Thompson probably better than Benson as a CF too.
    Will be interesting to see how Bell lines up the team when the season opens.

    • DaveCT

      I thought Benson looked fine in CF. I don’t think he was really tested but he can glide around out there. He won’t be as quick as TJ, but I think his speed works well if he can get good breaks.

      • VaRedsFan

        Benson’s reads off the bad are not good, so I think this why he’s getting so many reps in Spring at CF. He’ll be the primary guy in CF vs. righties, so we’ll ride or die with him until TJ returns.

      • Jim Walker

        Agree about Benson’s reads and also he takes poor routes on balls he has to move significantly laterally and back on.

      • DaveCT

        I wonder if Benson is the type of OF who might do better in CF where there is more room to operate in, rather than the confinement of a corner?

    • JON

      Not worried about EDLC? He is still striking out a ton.

      • greenmtred

        A lot of hitters do, especially power hitters. He’s young and is working with a new approach at the plate, so maybe he’ll cut down on the K’s as time goes by. But yes, I’m worried about him and all of the 2nd year players: the Reds are banking on them and success is not a given.

      • JayTheRed

        He had one bad at bat during the game. where he whiffed badly. They say he is doing overall better on the broadcast of the game.

  8. SR

    Krall said update on McLain due tomorrow, I believe,while he was interviewed during broadcast today.

    • Jason Franklin

      Let’s hope for the best and not a capsular injury in his shoulder.

  9. Old-school

    I think the irony with the injuries to Friedl and McLain and the suspension to Marte, is despite the off-season narrative of rotations galore and depth and moving pieces and a Bellapalooza with the daily lineups…..the reds may actually have defined roles and regular lineups mostly and they’ve really not had that before.

    India is going to be the regular second base to start. Elly is the everyday SS. Candy is at third base and CES at first. Fraley ‘s gonna play CO and DH some against righties, Stephenson and Maile are set at C. Espinal will back up Elly once a week at SS and India twice a week or so at 2b. Steer may float around a bit but Id be in favor of just letting him learn LF and hit 3rd every day. Fairchild is your starting CF against lefties and a good extra OF piece every day late in games. Benson is going to play a lot of CF and get his opportunities. Martini is gonna DH against righties and give depth in CO and 1b.

    The injuries and Marte ‘s blunder has really given some clarity to what needs to happen for the REds to win, postionally.

    India and Stephenson need to play like their rookie seasons
    Candelario needs to hit and be that extra base hitting machine in the middle of the lineup
    Elly and CES and Benson need to grab their regular opportunities and run with it from the start.
    Steer needs to follow up his excellent rookie season and establish himself as a fixture in the lineup for year. The bench guys of Fairchild, Martini, and Espinal need to fill their roles when they get starting opportunities.

    From a positional sense, it will be interesting to see which players take advantage of their opportunity of increased playing time the first 2 months of the season.

    • AllTheHype

      Yeah its not all doom and gloom on offense as some make it out to be. The offseason roster construction has put us in the best situation imaginable at the present, given the injuries.

      Krall is *lucky again. He’s gotten *lucky with each move he’s made in the last 2 years. What a *lucky guy,

    • LarkinPhillips

      Also of note, if any of the “bench pieces” falter greatly out of the gate there is some depth at the AAA level that should be able fill in as well, particularly in the OF and on the mound.

      • VaRedsFan

        For some positions it is. But…they suddenly got very thin at SS, if Elly doesn’t succeed or if he gets hurt.

    • Optimist

      Agree with most, especially the concluding paragraph. Will be very interesting watching Martini, Fairchild and the last 2 guys in the bullpen, and contrasting that with last season. I expect Fairchild to improve on his performance last year, and Martini to be better than Myers/Vosler/Newman/who-did-I-miss? Whoever you pick at the back of the pen should be better than the struggles to begin last year, and the depth should avoid the fade down the stretch.

      They may even be able to take another short term injury if Friedl returns in June. At that point they’ll know if any of Dunn/Hinds/Hurtubise can be a productive MLBer.

      Need to shed the .260 OBP/5.50 ERA types asap.

    • VaRedsFan

      @OS…I’m on board with everything you said.
      There’s a lot of “needs” embedded there, but that’s what it takes to advance to the next level.

      One of the biggest needs is the starting pitching to stay healthy. (Who doesn’t right?)

    • MBS

      Every time I did one of these in the pre injury time, I had starters going 7/9 or 126 G’s on average. I agree that that is different now, We are not looking for opportunities for guys like Marte, Friedl, Steer, etc.. to get their AB’s.

      The biggest criticism I got when I put these up in the past is people saying player X has to play more than 7/9 for 126 games. I’ve countered he will if he’s healthy. So now we’re looking at what would be the result of an injured teams. More playing time goes to the healthy remaining starters, and the reserve roles are diminished because the reserve players are no longer of the same ilk as Marte, Friedl, McLain, etc.

      Martini 6/9 India 3/9
      Stephenson 6/9 Maile 3/9
      CES 8/9 Stephenson 1/9
      ======================
      India 5/9 Espinal 4/9
      Candelario 8/9 Espinal 1/9
      EDLC 8/9 Espinal 1/9
      ======================
      Fraley 7/9 Fairchild 2/9
      Benson 7/9 Thompson 2/9
      Steer 8/9 Fairchild 1/9

      There’s not much you can do to increase Fraley, or Benson’s playing time, since Bell will platoon them out vs LHP. They do tend to get an AB or 2 in those games once the starter is chased.

  10. Indy Red Man

    That HR swing by Elly will really work in Gabp. Very Votto like there!
    I guess we’re missing Gibaut too? This is crazy? Football teams don’t have this many injuries, but I’m still ready to go!

    • VaRedsFan

      Opposite field power is beautiful. It means he’s getting his arms extended and staying behind the ball and on balance.

    • Old-school

      Sign me up.
      Im ready

      Is it too much to ask one of these years the Reds start out hot? Is 5-2, 11-6, 17-10 too much to ask once in a blue moon???

      We got any Jack “tuna boat” Armstrong-esque first halfs any where in the SP?

      An Eric Davis 1987 May?

      A Scooter Gennett 2018 outta nowhere freak show in GABP?
      A guy can hope!

      • Jim Walker

        I’m guessing but I suspect most teams that come out of the chute hitting and pitching up to speed are that way because whether by design or happenstance, last week to 10 days of ST they have played the games almost like they would play regular season games.

        Think about the other end of the season and how teams that have had to scratch and claw their way into the postseason often blow through higher rated teams that were on cruise control waiting for the playoffs to start, same concept.

  11. Redsvol

    Nice to see Espinal play and get a hit. I was afraid we had acquired an injured player. Espinal is making 2.7$M this year so that was no small ask of Krall to ownership.

    I think yesterday’s game highlights one of the potential weaknesses of the opening day roster. With Friedl, McLain, marte and potentially Arroyo later in the year, we’ve gone from an above average defense to a below average one. This will put extra pressure on the pitching staff till those guys come back. Hopefully they are up for it.

    • LarkinPhillips

      This is my biggest concern. Almost every single position we are below average defensively. Stephenson, India, benson/Fairchild up the middle is not a way to build a team. Elly is still somewhat unproven at SS too IMO at least.

    • JayTheRed

      The thing I like most about the Krall interview during the broadcast was when he said they are not just looking to compete. To him he said that is just a negative way of thinking, or not truly trying to win. Krall said they are trying to win and in order to do that there needs to be quality players playing each game.

  12. Jim Walker

    For what it is worth, CES is leading the Reds in total bases this spring with 31 in 41AB (BB don’t count for TB thus AB instead of PA)

    Maile is 2nd with 27 (30AB)

    Rounding out the top 5:
    Fairchild is 25 (35AB)
    Steer at 22 (43AB) and EDLC also 22 (44AB)

    Other notables:
    Benson has 17TB (26AB) but has 10BB
    EDLC has 7BB in addition to his 22 TB.
    Fraley 11TB (32AB) plus 4 BB
    India 14B (23AB)
    And the departed Mike Ford had 24TB(33AB)

    • Jim Walker

      And yep, the total bases divided by AB should yield the slugging %, once again underlining that a BB is better than an out but a single is better than a BB 😉

    • JayTheRed

      Anyone else think Malie should be more than just a backup catcher. Maybe they should be splitting time more. The only reason to have Stephanson be the starter is if he can be more productive now that he is farther away from his injuries.

      Plus, Mallie seems to call a better game overall I feel like.

      • Jim Walker

        After today there are no Reds games till opening day. This debate could probably last till then (and beyond) 😉

      • Jim Walker

        I’ll get things rolling by pointing out that the Reds have Austin Wynns, a great glove/ no hit catcher at AAA, and could use the 26th roster spot for him to deploy Stephenson as a DH (I am now ducking to avoid the flying virtual shoes headed my way) 😉 😉

      • MBS

        I like Maile a lot, but spring is spring. Some guys look like Babe Ruth in spring, but like themselves in the regular season.

        I do prefer Maile behind the plate over Stephenson, but if TS’s bat is back, then he’s a big advantage in a batting order. Stephenson was a 4 hole hitter pre injury. There are only a few teams with catchers who can do that.

      • Mauired

        During an in game interview yesterday Krall stated they are trying to fill the final roster spot with an external option. When asked if they were looking for an outfielder, Krall responded yes an outfielder but one that could also play infield. Sounds like he wants Barrero back. Lol

      • Melvin

        “Sounds like he wants Barrero back. Lol”

        Someone like Barrero wouldn’t play a lot (at least shouldn’t) and as a 26th man would be perfect for emergencies. Doing terrible right now though but what difference would it make for emergencies?

  13. Pharmer85

    Maile by far the better defensive catcher. Saw him throw out 3 guys at second Thursday night vs Mariners. Teams run at will vs Stephenson