The Cincinnati Reds took the field today against the San Francisco Giants to open up spring training. Not that spring training means too much, much less the stats from it, but that isn’t going to stop us from talking about it. The team lost on a 3-run walk-off homer. That’s of no consequence other than Kevin Shackelford probably feels pretty crappy right now.

Let’s talk about some of the good things. Perhaps the best thing comes from Rookie Davis. While he didn’t shine in that box score, allowing a run on four hits in 2.0 innings with two strikeouts, something important came out during the game. This is from Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer:

This, if true (not that Zach is lying, but assuming the information he got was good information), is huge. When Rookie Davis came over from the Yankees, he was a 92-95 MPH guy who had good minor league numbers. Last season he watched his stuff and numbers, specifically his strikeout rate, plummet. A part of that reason was because the right hander saw his velocity dip to 90-91 MPH. We know that Davis battled multiple minor injuries throughout the season. They weren’t enough to cost him time on the mound, but they certainly led to a drop off in his stuff and velocity.

The fact that it’s February 24th and he’s already throwing 93-95 MPH is a very good sign. The odds that he’s already peaking with his velocity for 2017 are incredibly slim. We know that pitchers ramp up their velocity throughout the spring and even into the early part of the summer. While that’s not true for every pitcher, it’s true for most of them.

Sal Romano followed Davis on the mound and he looked quite good. He did walk two batters in two innings, but he also struck out four Giants hitters. Barrett Astin struck out two batters in a shutout frame and Alejandro Chacin needed a handful of pitchers for a perfect inning.

At the plate no one had more than one hit. Aristides Aquino singled in a run and had a strikeout. Stuart Turner had a pinch hit single and walked in his other plate appearance. Blake Trahan also added a single. Patrick Kivlehan drove in two runs. Tony Renda showed off his speed with a triple to center field and he got there easily.

The game tomorrow, which will be started by Amir Garrett, will be on MLB.tv if you are a subscriber. Be sure to tune in if that’s the case. Otherwise, listen on the radio if you’re in the Cincinnati area.

7 Responses

  1. Simon Cowell

    Nothing negative for me to see here nope nothing all. In spring training games I’m just happy to not hear of an injury.
    If Rookie Davis really has ticked up in velocity it will give the Reds another solid potential starter or middle reliever. I am not sure what the Reds are expecting from this young man but the news from this initial work out sounds quite good

  2. MikeinSoCal

    Doug, with the Herrera shoulder issue it seems less likely that Cozart will be traded. But if he were to be traded, Peraza goes to short. So who do you see going to second if Herrera is not ready?

    • Matthew O'Neal

      For starters, I think if it’s an out of contention year like most predict you have to trade Cozy if a good deal arises. That said,I could see it going a few ways:.
      1) Peraza stays at second, You add Vincej to the roster in place of Cozart and give him trial by fire.
      2) If one of the bench players is going good, let them play (Alcantara, Renda, Irabarren, whoever else it could be) and put Peraza at SS
      3) Keep Peraza at 2B, slide Suarez over, bring in Duvall to 3b, and free an OF spot. (this isn’t likely)
      4) Make Billy Hamilton a SS again (okay, this is least likely!)

    • Bill

      I think I would give the playing time to Alcantara at 2B and slide Peraza to SS. As of now, I would bring up Irribarren as the utility infielder.

    • RFM

      Yeah, I don’t think Herrera’s situation has much to do with the desire to move Peraza to Cozart’s position of SS. It’s still the long term plan, even with part of the immediate pressure gone.

      Alcantara deserves a chance. Maybe Blandino, at some point, if he gets off to a strong start in AAA. Then, yeah, potentially-replacement-ish-level options like Iribarren and Renda and Dixon can keep the spot warm.

  3. MK

    The radio guys really spoke negatively about Ervin and 2017 being a make or break year for him. Sounded like Chacin really had his breaking ball working, more so than fast ball. Pre-game Price comments sounded like he really was not that happy that Herrera was going to WBC. Hopefully the shoulder is just an excuse for getting out of it rather than severe problem.

    • RFM

      Marty looks at old school stats like batting average and RBIs to evaluate a player? Never! What Ervin does best – get on base – is something Marty totally writes off, so I’m not surprised he was negative. Ervin can potentially help a team in a lot of ways, but not the ways Marty cares about. But, he turns 25 this year.

      Marty also gave a brief lecture on pronouncing Alcantara’s name. I forget what he said exactly – it was hours ago – but something about how Bryan Price (or someone else?) was saying it wrong, but he was smarter and knew better. The ending is pronounced like Tra rather than Tara, with the one A being silent.