There was a sinking feeling throughout Cincinnati as the Reds bullpen appeared to be on their way to blowing another game, just three games into the season, but things turned around with a quickness in the bottom of the 9th inning. Down to their last strike, the Reds extended the game and then got back-to-back home runs to complete a 3-run inning to pick up a comeback win and take the opening series of the year.

Final R H E
Washington Nationals (1-2) 5 9 0
Cincinnati Reds (2-1)
6 14 0
W: Sims (1-0) L: Finnegan (0-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

There’s wasn’t a lot going on for either offense through the first two innings as Jake Irvin and Nick Martinez were in control on the mound. But the Nationals broke through in the top of the 3rd inning when CJ Abrams clobbered a 429-foot solo home run to put Washington in front 1-0.

In the bottom of the 3rd the Reds tried to get a little bit of something going with back-to-back walks to begin the inning. Those two walks were followed up by two ground outs to the right side, but the latter one resulted in an RBI for Jonathan India that tied the game up. Will Benson then followed up with an RBI double that put Cincinnati up 2-1.

The next inning saw the club add to their lead, but a mistake may have cost them a run. Jake Fraley would pick up a 1-out single, but he attempted to steal second and was easily thrown out by the pitcher at second base. Elly De La Cruz tripled two pitches later. Spencer Steer then came through with an RBI single to plate De La Cruz and make it 3-1.

Washington stormed back in the top of the 5th inning with three singles from Luis Garcia Jr., Trey Lipscomb, and Lane Thomas that led to two runs and a tie ballgame. The Nationals would take the lead in the top of the 7th when Buck Farmer gave up a leadoff home run to Lipscomb that grazed the glove of a leaping Will Benson in right-center several feet above the wall.

Tejay Antone took over for Cincinnati in the 8th inning and Washington took advantage of that as they went double, walk, walk to begin the inning. Antone was then replaced before recording an out. Fernando Cruz struck out the first batter he faced, but a sacrifice fly followed that saw the Nationals extend their lead to two runs.

Lucas Sims fired off a perfect top of the 9th inning to keep the Reds within striking distance. Nick Martini and Luke Maile both hit the ball hard, but both lined out to start the inning. Jonathan India then battled for 10 pitches before he lined a double into the left field corner to bring Will Benson to the plate and he took the first pitch he saw and crushed a game-tying home run. The fireworks were barely finished before Christian Encarnacion-Strand lined a walk-off home run into the stands in left, giving Cincinnati a win on the day and a series victory as they moved to 2-1 on the season.

Key Moment of the Game

It’s tough to pick just one, so we’re going to pick three. Jonathan India battling to keep the game alive in a 10-pitch at-bat that resulted in a double with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. Then Will Benson and Christian Encarnacion-Strand hitting back-to-back home runs to end the game.

Notes Worth Noting

Nick Lodolo allowed a run in five innings while striking out eight batters on his rehab start today with Louisville. We’ve got more details and some video highlights from the game here.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Philadelphia Phillies

Monday April 1st, 6:40pm ET

Andrew Abbott vs Christopher Sanchez

114 Responses

  1. Grover

    Lodolo at 5 innings already? If he recovers normally bring him up for his next start

  2. Klugo

    Gave one away yesterday and responded by stealing one today. I like when things work themselves out like that. They don’t always do. You’re not going to win them all against major leaguers. Contenders are hopeful to win 2 out of 3. Just keep winning series and we’ll be all right.
    Good to see Sims bounce back nicely today.

    • greenmtred

      I take back everything I’ve said about Sims.

  3. Grover

    Great start for Benson, definitely had the feel of a loss after the first 2 batters had hard luck line outs. One negative is Elly swinging for a 6 run homer with 1 out and a runner at 3rd, not sure I am seeing a new approach

    • Mauired

      Yeah he does seem way too aggressive. I thought his time with Soto this off-season was going to help him become a better hitter. He’s overly aggressive early in the count and then passive with two strikes. Should be the other way around.

    • Melvin

      “One negative is Elly swinging for a 6 run homer with 1 out and a runner at 3rd,”

      Yeah. I was thinking the same thing. Accountability has to be emphasized. Players need to be thinking, “My number one priority is to get that run in any way I can”.

  4. GreatRedLegsFan

    It’s worth to mention Cruz’ outing with bases loaded and no outs, yet only one inherited runner to score thus keeping the team in the game.

  5. LDS

    Back to back in the bottom of the ninth is certainly dramatic. A win’s a win, all the same.

  6. Oldtimer

    Reds rally and Boilers to Final Four. Imma gonna have a beer somewhere.

    • LDS

      First time in 44 years. Final four is going to be tough.

      • Oldtimer

        NIT in 1974. WBB NCAA in 1999. Our turn in 2024 with MBB.

      • LDS

        Last Final Four appearance was Joe Barry Carroll’s senior year in 1980. I met him briefly when they were wining and dining him during recruiting. Kind of a quiet kid from Denver at that point. Hopefully, they beat NC State next week.

    • Kevin Patrick

      So pumped about Edey! …and Benson!

  7. RedlegScott

    Looking forward to getting Moll, Gibaut, and Young back. Some redemption for Sims after yesterday. Farmer and Antone?
    Get comeback, Reds!

    • Doc4uk

      Moll and Gibaut and possibly Young will be added to the pen in the next few weeks as All on rehab in Louisville Lodolo as well. So three or four pitchers will need to be sent down so all of this is sort of a tryout. Suspect Farmer, Antone, and maybe Diaz will spend time in Louisville with Martinez going to the pen as well. Abbott must perform or he too will be sent down..

  8. Jeff morris

    Great Great win by the Reds today! My concerns are A Diaz. If you did not have a good spring, what makes D Bell think he will suddenly “snap” his fingers and everything will change in an instant in the regular season. They need to work with Diaz at Louisville or work in the bullpen, but Do Not come into any games, unless the Reds are really ahead or really behind. Put him in low leverage situations. If Reds want to compete for the playoffs, EVERY GAME COUNTS! That means you cannot takes chances like in yesterdays game. Find another closer and work with Diaz on the side!

      • Mauired

        Sure. Why not. Despite his weird Instagram account, I would still rather have Chapman and his 320 saves in bullpen than Pagan for the extra 2 million.

      • Melvin

        ” I would still rather have Chapman and his 320 saves in bullpen than Pagan for the extra 2 million.”

        I’m with ya there. So far so good this year. No runs, hits, or walks in two innings with three Ks for Chapman.

    • Ted Alfred

      100%.

      Diaz has clearly shown that he is in no way currently capable of handling high leverage situations. Since the all-star break last year, spring training 2024 and now in game #2 he has been a far below average reliever…to say nothing as a closer. Unfortunately I have no faith that David Bell will not put him right back out there next time in the closer’s role. He should have seen enough by now to not throw away any more games this year until either his physical/mental issues are addressed… because wins early in the season matter. It’s the difference between building confidence as a team h4adimg into a tough May schedule or digging a hole and losing your mojo.

      I will be really impressed by Bell if he puts the team first and doesn’t allow Diaz the opportunity to blow more wins in the closers role before changing his role in the bullpen or sending him down to get right.

    • Casey39

      Diaz was terrible the last month of 2023 and terrible this spring. Looks like he has lost a couple ticks….

      Is he hiding an injury? Looks like it.

      He is not our best RP right now. A closer is a closer, but I dont need to see him right now with a game on the line.

    • ChrisInVenice

      There’s not a manager in baseball who would have started the season with anyone but Diaz in the closer role.

      • Jeffrey A Yocum

        Agreed. He’s a proven ML closer. The job is definitely his to lose & you don’t lose it 3 games into a season. If & when he blows 2 or 3 more saves within a couple weeks, then you think about it. I was hoping it was just a case of not being able to get amped up for ST games & non-save situations, but clearly there’s more to it. Yes, he was overused last year, which supposedly led to fatigue & poor results, but “tired arm” syndrome doesn’t carry over from last season. When right, Diaz goes right after hitters with strike 1 & strike 2. He’s unable or unwilling to do that since august of last year. Unless he suddenly returns to that guy, I’m getting the distinct feeling he’s heading for an IL visit. Something’s not right, physically , mechanically or mentally.

      • Brian

        I agree this is what managers would do. He’s “proven” but he’s also demonstrably not the same pitcher he was in the first half of last year. his velocity is way down and he’s getting hammered. We KNOW what’s going to happen–Diaz will get pounded for another 6 weeks and then get his elbow looked at and probably pack it in for the season. I don’t know why we need to turn a handful of wins into losses to figure that out.

  9. Optimist

    The good news is obvious. Some less obvious good news is Antone only got to face the minimum 3. The bad news is Farmer got to face 7, and Diaz got to face 6 yesterday. Need to tighten up those tolerances, and expand the Suter multi-inning role to others as they perform.

    • greenmtred

      There’s a limit to how much yanking of pitchers you can do, though, as well as the very real need to give guys a chance to work out of jams.

      • Optimist

        If multi inning relief can get to the 8th inning, they can yank as needed, as well as use “final out/Loogy” guys for late inning moves.

        Incapable of doing so last season, but they have the talent to do so this season.

      • greenmtred

        That’s the conundrum, though: a guy pitching multiple innings in relief is almost certainly not available for the following game. Also, I wonder whether only some relief pitchers are suited to multiple innings of work: it’s often high-intensity pitching and these guys are not always converted starters.

    • Ted Alfred

      Antone shocked me in a bad way. I haven’t seen him pitch since he was fantastic before the injury during the 2021 season. Maybe he just had a really bad day… obviously his control was way off, but his stuff didn’t look anything like what I remember either.

      • greenmtred

        He looked better in his few appearances last season, but he has certainly changed.

      • Jeffrey A Yocum

        Yea, velocity way down & no command whatsoever. After his 2nd TJS maybe he was kind of “wigged out” by letting it fly in a for real ML game. Clearly, if this is what he has left, he won’t be around for long.

      • greenmtred

        Antone appeared in 5 games last season, pitching 5.2 innings. 7 strikeouts, 1.59 ERA, 0.88 WHIP. If my memory serves–which it still does from time to time–he was not the pitcher we remember, but was effective in limited action. Spin and location, not velocity. Yesterday was disappointing, but I wouldn’t write him off.

  10. JB WV

    Man do I feel better after yesterday. Down 2 runs with one strike left but India had other thoughts. What an ab, and then Mr. Benson just keeps on keeping’ on, followed by the first hit of the year for CES to win it. I’m with oldtimer, and it tastes mighty good.

  11. RedsMonk65

    Amazing walk-off win when all seemed lost. Our fortunes turn on a couple swings of the bat. Especially impressed by India and Benson. Steer is just plain solid. Fraley looking good. CES has gotten off to a slow start but came alive when it really mattered. Hitting looks good thus far for the most part. Still concerned about the bullpen, the outfield defense, and some of Bell’s head-scratchers, but all in all, well done — go Reds!

  12. JB

    I would say Bell needs another week or two to figure what he has in the bullpen. Who to trust late and who to use last. Diaz worries me. I would be ok if it was only spring training but he wasn’t good last fall either. It’s definitely a concern and how long will Bell go before he makes the move. Let’s just hope Diaz can turn it around against the Phil’s.

  13. Eddiek957

    Good teams win close games. No quit in those kids. Good win

  14. RedsMonk65

    Hey Mark Moore — what’s for dinner? Anything celebratory? 😉

    • Mark Moore

      We’re in Savannah with DD#1. Dinner at an Italian place downtown (very good) where we sat at the bar and watched NC State take out the Dookies.

      We had dessert first (different place) and sat next to a guy in a Reds shirt. I was wearing my traditional red/black hat and my City Connect shirt. We talked about the win for a little bit.

      • RedsMonk65

        Yum! Yum! (Though, I must admit it doesn’t sound quite as enticing as your home-down, grilled offerings!)

        Go Reds!

  15. Matt WI

    Notes worth noting- Winker was one TOUGH out this series. Good for him.

    • RedsMonk65

      Yes, wish him well. Good hitter. But hope he falls short against the Good Guys, obviously.

  16. Indy Red Man

    Richardson can get it up there at 98-99 mph. I’d consider using him as a reliever and see what happens. They’re going to need help

    • Mauired

      Haven’t given up on him in the rotation. Phillips on the other hand does look like a future power arm in the pen. As well as that kid, Zulueta, Krall just picked up on opening day from Toronto. Apparently he throws 100 and in his first appearance with the Bats. 3 up 3 k’d

    • DaveCT

      Santillan should be the first one up, IMO. He’s dealing.

      • Mauired

        Bullpen already looks tired and in need of an overhaul. Good news is they have plenty of young power arms ready in AAA. Santillan, Phillips, Richardson, Zulueta. And Maxwell could be a second half call up. I still don’t understand why they resigned Farmer. He will probably have to be designated for assignment by mid May.

  17. Melvin

    Watched most of the game but wasn’t able to comment. At the end of the game I was thinking to myself that a fast start this year wasn’t looking too good. Then the miracle happened. Great AB by India and then two HRs in a row. Two runs down and down to our last strike and then three runs to win it in the bottom of the ninth. Wow. Cool. 🙂

    • Jim Walker

      It left me wondering when Vince McMahon replaced Manfred as MLB commish?!? 😉

  18. DaveCT

    What is interesting is the ‘bring up Hurtubise’ chants already.

    Which LH batter are you sitting? Benson? Fraley? Martini? Candelario? Elly? And Friedl when he returns?

    • MBS

      We have 3 LHB’s, 2 SH, and 8 RHB’s. That being said I agree it’s way too early to bring up Hurtubise, or Dunn, or Hinds.

      Thompson has proven valuable already as a PR. Fairchild isn’t my favorite player, but he’s a suitable stand in until the trio of terrific triple outfielders are ready to go.

    • Casey39

      Candy. Still dont understand why we signed him. He was DFA’d by a bad Tigers team

  19. Old-school

    One of the craziest 24 hours I can remember as a Reds fan. I shut it down last night and didnt comment for awhile out of frustration and disappointment

    I will say jon india is my guy and spencer steer is my guy and will benson is now my guy

    Fun to root for those guys

    Bullpen is a mess and they need to fix that now

    • MBS

      Benson is definitely my guy, his energy is contagious. The only knock against Benson for me is that he has been platooned for. I was so glad to see him start yesterday vs a LHP, and I hope Bell continues to give him those opportunities. If he prove that he’s not overmatched vs LHP, he’ll be at another level of player.

      I’m still not convinced that the 2 hole is the right spot for him, but the early returns are great. I think he’s more of a middle of the order bat, 4, or 5.

    • Rednat

      I would agree. Saturdays game was one of the weirdest games I’ve ever attended. Today was just a great comeback.

    • TR

      As the old Quaker saying goes, sometimes the best thing said is what is not said.

    • Justin T

      Ive always thought India is the kinda guy championship teams always seem to have. I started to wonder if I was the only one to think that.

      • greenmtred

        Not the only one, Justin. I worry about his durability because he plays so hard wears himself to a frazzle, but I’ve been a fan of his from the get-go.

  20. Andrew Brewer

    On Good Friday, the Reds played like the season was lost, they died out there.
    On Easter Sunday, the Reds were resurrected and a miracle occurred in the Bottom of the ninth with two outs: Double, homerun, homerun.

    I am still stunned.

      • LDS

        @IRM, Judas jokes on Easter? Really? Today was a lucky game – a bit short of a miracle but lucky all the same.

      • RedsMonk65

        Horrible analogies, Andrew and Indy

  21. Roger Garrett

    I said it in the game thread and will repeat myself cause that’s what old guys do.Must have power arms in the pen in today’s game.Nothing against what we have now but they are the same guy throwing mid to low 90″s with nothing else except a slider outside of Cruz with his split finger.Its just different when you can bring in guys that hit 98/99 for 15 to 20 pitches and the more of these guys you have the better.I trust Krall cause he has them down on the farm and sooner or later they will be up.

    • greenmtred

      You’re right about the prevalence of power arms, Roger, but I will point out that it was a power arm that India, Benson and CES just demolished, and Suter–not a power arm–looks effective. More than one way to skin a cat.

      • Roger Garrett

        Finnegan was at 96 with one pitch at 97 but got beat by Benson and CES on splits at 88 and 90 but yes you are right it can happen even against power arms.I just like guys that throw hard and say here it is beat me and sometimes it happens and you tip your hat and move on.Suter was a great pick up for sure.

  22. Mark Moore

    Was watching on my phone as the MLB widget on DD#1’s tv didn’t work right. All was lost until it wasn’t. What a way for CES to get his first knock of the season. And India’s extended AB set it all up.

    We’ll see how much ball gets played in Philly. Weather forecast isn’t too kind there.

  23. MK

    With his tools and if he continues to improve Benson could become a Dave Parker type player.

    • TR

      I see Benson as an every game outfielder, if possible, with good all around skills who is a consistent hitter.

      • old-school

        hes batting 9th in RF against the lefty tonight.

    • Justin T

      Great comparison. His stance
      Is even a little similar how they have arms out with the bat held high. Seems like a great kid too. He may end up being the crown jewel find for Krall.

  24. Tom Reeves

    The toughness of this David Bell team is amazing! Bash all you want for in-game tactics. There simply no denying he has this team playing as a team, supporting each other and playing resilient baseball.

    He has to get the bullpen sorted and Diaz might be a serious issue. The defense miscues hurt big time on Saturday. But the team hung in there today and battled to the end. India absolutely set the tone the 9th and Benson and CES got it done.

    This is what we saw last year and I’m happy to see that grit has translated to this year. This team will need it.

    Imagine as if this message board was as resilient as the Reds?

  25. Rednat

    I agree with your first 3 paragraphs. I disagree with your last statement. The fact that there any commenters at all on this site shoe’s a lot of resilience.

    The team has been so bad for so long it is only natural to be negative. Imagine if this were NY or Philly. There would literally be no one on this site if their teams were as bad as the reds have been.

    • Justin T

      For there to be commenters at all shows resilience, I agree. Constant complaining about complaining is a waste of time, the Reds haven’t won a playoff series in nearly 30 years. At least on this site commenters are willing to explain their points. But at the end of the day we all wanna root for a winner.

      • wkuchad

        How does it work with complaining about complaining about complaining?

      • greenmtred

        We do all want to root for a winner and I guess that it doesn’t matter how many complainings we add to or subtract from the equation.

  26. Rednat

    I listened to the post game show on 700 wlw today
    Two callers in a row mentioned Hunter Greene be sent to the bullpen to close. After some thought, may not be such a bad idea

    • Doug Gray

      Counterpoint: It’s a terrible idea.

      • wkuchad

        Money doesn’t matter in the decision IMO – it’s all about the potential and skill set. Keep him in the rotation!

  27. Indy Red Man

    More likely it’s the loser of Martinez, Lodolo, and Abbott. Lodolo’s control might be his ticket to the pen. Didn’t see his pitch count yesterday? I think Martinez could be a Boxberger type in the pen. Ramp it up to 94-95 with good off speed.
    No matter how you slice it though we’re way short of elite high leverage guys. A bunch of 3.60ish 6th-7th inning guys

    • Indy Red Man

      And Diaz might be praying for 3.60

  28. AMDG

    Any time Diaz doesn’t pitch, the Reds have a chance to win 🙂

    Since July 22 of last season, Diaz has a 6.57 ERA with a WHIP near 2, and a paltry 1.15 K/BB ratio.

    Also, his % of strikes looking & strikes swinging are both down about 30% from where they were in the first part of 2023.

    Clearly, he’s been missing with his pitches for a while, and hitters are taking advantage of it.

    So far in 2023 (including spring training) he’s shown he’s still plagued with the same problems he faced in the second half of 2023.

    For a team who was likely one competent closer away from making the playoffs in 2023, it’s got to be frustrating for the players to see Bell continuing to give away victories by rolling out the same guy who consistently can’t get guys out.

    • David

      Well, Alexis Diaz has only made one appearance this year in the regular season, I think. And he was not good.

      He was given chances in Spring Training to get himself sorted out. Didn’t look good there, either. I don’t know what Derrick Johnson is thinking about this, or David Bell. They didn’t text me their thoughts about this. 😉
      So the Reds, in reality, are short an arm in the BP, unless they use Diaz to “mop up” in a game they are being blown out of.
      I don’t see him getting better just sitting in the BP, or pitching just occassionally.

  29. Doc4uk

    Diaz should be sent down to work on his control when Lodolo is brought up. Martinez to BP

    • Pete

      Stuff wise Hunter Green would make more sense. If Hunter continues to struggle with his pitch count and Diaz does in the closer role, the Reds may have an in-house solution to the problem. Just saying……. No matter what you do you cannot fit a square peg in round hole.

      • MK

        I remember back in the 70’s if Clay Carroll started to struggle Sparky would let him start a game or two. He said the reasoning was it allowed Clay to work on everything in a less stressful way but still under game conditions. It is an old school way but might be worth a try.

      • Pete

        I guess what I’m getting at is if Hunter struggles to make it through five innings, we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. With his high velocity and limited repertoire, he is built to be a closer actually.

        Not ready to give up on him as a starter but I also realize there is another option on the table if it doesn’t work out.

      • David

        Not too impressed with TJ Antone, or Buck Farmer, either.

        And no, I don’t see the Reds giving up on their prize first round draft choice, and making Hunter Greene a closer, from a starter. Although….it would be intriguing.

        It’s “early”, so let’s all not jump off the bridge together, but some of these problems were evident in Spring Training, but were “glossed over” by the Reds’ TOP MEN.
        Tony Santillan, not on the 40 man (came back to the Reds under a Minor League contract), could be put on the 40 man, and then onto the active roster (26 man). He did look pretty good in Spring Training.

  30. Hunt4RedsOct

    I am no pitching coach, but it seemed to me Diaz is dropping his arm angle. This could be causing the drop in velo and his slider becoming flat and more hittable. If I remember correctly he would do it last year from time to time to mess up the batter, seems he’s living or rather dying there now.

    • greenmtred

      Larkin said pretty much the same thing. He’s not a pitching coach, either, but to hit as well as he did you have to know a good deal about pitching. The question is why: is it possible that DJ hasn’t noticed this? It’s possible but not likely. Is it possible that it’s intentional in order to accomplish some goal? Possible, I suppose, but vanishingly unlikely. Is it possible that his shoulder is bothering him and forcing him to drop his arm? Since that’s happening to me, it must be the answer (written in jest).

      • old-school

        @ GMR, crazy weekend, entertaining and when all was said and done a successful series win. I looked at Baseball Savant stats on Diaz. He throws 2 pitches- a 4 seam FB and a slider. He isnt throwing his 4 seam FB with the same velocity. In 2022, he averaged almost 96 mph. As late as June/July 2023 he was throwing his 4 seam FB onaverage 94.9 mph .It dropped to 94.1 and 94.2 by August and September. The inning he pitched on Saturday, he threw 4 straight 4 seam FB’s for a 4 pitch walk to Abrams. 95 mph,93 mph,93.5 mph, 94.1 mph

        He then threw 5 straight sliders to Thomas and Winker. Of his remaining 6 FB in the inning, he only broke 94 mph once. His avg FB velo in his first outing of the year was 93.7 mph

        A tick down of 2 mph on the velocity and poor command( he also hit Ruiz in addition to the 4 pitch walk to Abrams) is a bad recipe for a closer. I hope I am wrong, but I think his lost velocity is a trend and contributing to his performance since late 2023.

      • Pete

        O-S. During b
        Bell’s tenure, the Reds really struggle mightily in April. I’m wondering if it is due in part to a willingness to make adjustments early on. Something is going on there though to be beyond coincidence. You can look it up it happens every season.

      • old-school

        @ ATH
        Thanks. A picture is worth a thousand words.

      • AllTheHype

        To your point though, there is a bad trend going on there and it doesn’t look like a temporary downturn, unfortunately. This will be a good test to see how the Bell & DJ handle it.

      • greenmtred

        I agree, OS: it’s very concerning. I do remember one game (memory again) late in the season after a number of less-than-optimal appearances, when he regained velocity and drop on his slider. Does anyone else remember this? It didn’t last. If this isn’t an injury, you’d think that it’s correctable.

  31. Roger Garrett

    Diaz and his loss of velocity late last year I kinda of thought it was of how often he was used and it was his first year as a closer.Kinda of uncharted waters for him.However he still as old school said is down a tick or two and that does make a difference.Now maybe he can get it back up to where it was and we all hope so but he is going in the wrong direction as we start the year.We all remember how just nasty he was last year and it was because of the 96 heater and the nasty 86 slider both of which a hitter had to respect and of course his control.His control issues maybe the bigger issue but his loss of velocity does play in to his struggles IMO

  32. Redhaze

    Is it too early to switch Diaz for Cruz?

  33. wkuchad

    Benson back in the lineup against a lefty tonight. I’m all for continuing this based on our current 26-man roster.

    Benson has a chance to prove himself against lefties before we get a Friedl back.

    • Mauired

      So far a 3.000 ops against lefties. That’s pretty good.

    • AllTheHype

      Absolutely. Let him play and build on last year. Let’s find out if he has a ceiling. It might be higher than we are all expecting.

  34. LDS

    Stephenson out yet again. That’s 2 out of 4 games not starting. Maile had a good spring and has a HR so far this season. But he’s not the 1st string catcher and we should be seeing more of Stephenson. Just keep repeating, it’s early, it’s early. It’s early until it’s not. Like last year, and the year before.

    • Mauired

      Maile might be the personal catcher for Greene and Abbott.

      Vlad Gutierrez just designated for assignment after one game with Marlins. 4 innings of long relief. 4ks. But 2 walks and 3 hits. 3 of the 5 runners scored. I do wonder how hard he is throwing post TJ surgery and in relief.

      • AllTheHype

        Out of curiosity I looked at the box. He was sitting 93-94.

      • Optimist

        Saw the news on VladGut, and don’t know the exact status and whether he’d get that far thru the claims process, but it could be an interesting MiLB contract acquisition. There’s talent there, and value in long relief.

        Not worth a 40-man spot. I expect he’ll either get traded, claimed, or remain in the Marlins system.

      • Mauired

        Reds apparently didn’t even offer him a minor league deal since it took the whole off-season for him to get that from Marlins. If he’s throwing 93-94 out of pen, he can really help Reds much.

    • AllTheHype

      You’re trying to find a problem where this is not one.

      • wkuchad

        Great comment – I may steal this one
        🙂

      • LDS

        Not a problem? Yeah, it’s worked so well these last few years. Maile didn’t suddenly become Johnny Bench at 33.

    • Jim Walker

      Just be glad the Reds picked up Espinal instead of bringing up a third catcher (good glove no hit) so they could use Maile behind the plate and TS to DH. 😉

      Still, I would not bet too much against the Reds having catcher controversy brewing along the lines of an old fashion football QB controversy.

  35. Mauired

    Phillies offense seems to be struggling so far. Outside of Stott, Realmuto, and Marsh, the numbers are pretty low. Harper especially. He has a .250 ops. Let’s hope the bats don’t come alive until Reds get out of town.