On Friday night I was up in Dayton to take in the Dragons game. A few tings came out from that trip. First, I learned that Nick Travieso was skipped in the rotation the last time around, not because of the rain out on his normally scheduled day, but because of a small issue he was having with his arm. He seemed fine on Friday night as he fired six shutout innings and picked up velocity as the game went along.

I talked with a scout briefly about both Amir Garrett. He thought that Garrett would work well out of the bullpen where he thinks just letting him go out there and let it rip would work very well for him. He had seen Garrett pitch the night before, though it turns out that Garrett was dealing with what sounded like the flu leading up to his start.

Junior Arias rolled his ankle trying to steal third last week and while he was initially listed as day-to-day, it turns out he does have a broken bone in there and will miss time. A big bummer for him as he was off to a great start and while it was early in the year, in limited viewing, he looked better at the plate in terms of his approach.

Yorman Rodriguez was hitting .200 going into Friday night. Fast forward to today and he is hitting .316 after going 9-12 over the weekend. It’s funny how a few good games can really alter a statline this early in the season.

Jesse Winker made the Baseball America Hot Sheet last week for his hitting. Ben Lively was surprisingly not found on the list despite dominating twice in the week. Both were addressed in the Chat on Friday though.

Darryl (NY): Is Ben Lively for real? 23K's to 0 walks is amazing at any level above Highschool. Thanks
Ben Badler: It’s looking that way. The Reds have had success finding guys who’ve had atypical mechanics that scare away other teams, but they’re able to repeat their deliveries and throw strikes. It’s not like he’s a soft tosser, either—it’s consistently low-90s with a lot of life and up to 95. He could be a steal.

John (Baltimore): Projection for Jesse Winker in pros??
Ben Badler: Above-average everyday LF. Potential .300 hitter with lots of walks, 20-25 HR (maybe a tick more some years), then gives back a lot of it in the field.

In an ill-timed article, MLB.com writer/scout Bernie Pleskoff posted about Robert Stephenson having star potential on Friday, the day after he walked seven batters in 4.1 innings for Pensacola. Of course, that outing doesn’t have much to do with his potential, it’s just that the article, certainly written in advance, just came out at the wrong time given how the start the night before had gone.

Stephenson has a very powerful arm, having the capability of hitting the high 90s consistently, while generally sitting at 94-98 mph. He can also hit triple digits. However, the higher Stephenson goes on the velocity scale, the flatter his pitches become. Movement, or lack thereof, tends to diminish my overall evaluation of his fastball. Stephenson tends to favor a rising four-seamer that can get in the eyes of the hitter and become a very tempting pitch. But it also equates to a number of swings and misses

Plenty more from the article worth reading, so go give it a perusal.