The Cincinnati Reds have been playing spring training games for a week, and while the sample size for everyone is 13 at-bats or less, or 5.0 innings or less, we can look at who has been impressive in their small sample size of work and who has had some struggles.
Phillip Ervin is crushing the baseball. The outfielder is 7-11 (.636) with two home runs, a stolen base and four runs scored. He’s not going to make the team as a non-roster invitee with three weeks of experience in Double-A, but it’s nice to see him destroying the ball.
Jose Peraza is out to a slower start at the plate, but he did get things going offensively yesterday with two hits and two steals. What has been on the good side of the ledger for the infielder has been the time he’s spent at shortstop. With Zack Cozart still out, the Reds have been getting a look at the 21-year-old at the position and so far things have seemingly gone quite well. He’s made two noteworthy plays at the position already.
Most of the outfielders vying for a roster spot are also hitting well. Jake Cave has been spending a lot of time in center field and is hitting .417 with two walks. Scott Schebler is hitting .308 with two doubles, a walk, a home run and two stolen bases. He’s also seen some limited action in center field. Adam Duvall had a big game yesterday to boost his average to .462 and he’s now slugging .923 after a double and a triple in the game.
For the most part, the pitching has been quite good with a few exceptions. Cody Reed has allowed one run in 5.0 innings of work with no walks and three strikeouts over two games. Robert Stephenson has tossed 4.0 shutout frames with a walk and four strikeouts (including his “B game” start on Monday). Layne Somsen has thrown 3.0 shutout frames out of the bullpen with three strikeouts.
In the not-at-all-minor-leaguers section, Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez are on a different planet right now. Votto is hitting .556 and Suarez is hitting .625. Suarez has five hits and four of them have gone for extra bases.
It’s incredibly early and the stats don’t really mean much in spring training to begin with, but they certainly don’t mean anything a week into the games. But the stats only tell part of the story.
Yorman Rodriguez is 2-10 at the plate with three strikeouts and a walk. As noted, right now that doesn’t mean a whole bunch. It’s been what’s happened in the field that’s been the issue for Rodriguez thus far. He made an error on a ball the other day when he misplayed it off of the wall and gave up an extra base on the play, resulting in a run coming across the plate. Yesterday he wasn’t charged with an error, but he completely lost track of a fly ball that he should have caught. It’s early, but he’s fighting for a roster spot, and realistically a chance to remain in the organization as he’s out of options.
Billy Hamilton and Devin Mesoraco. Hamilton has seen very limited action as he returns from shoulder surgery that he had in September. He wasn’t playing the field yet as his shoulder wasn’t 100% on throws, but now he has been taken out of the lineup as a designated hitter as well because his shoulder began to have discomfort while swinging. The Reds are saying it’s just normal discomfort in the recovery, but at this point you have to start wondering if he’s going to be recovered in time to start the season.
Mesoraco hasn’t played in a game yet, though he has caught some bullpens of the various pitchers. He’s probably a week out from playing still, which would give him just over two weeks of game time to be ready for the regular season.