Monday afternoon in Goodyear saw the A-ball teams stay at home and take on the Texas Rangers squads from the same level. It was a big day for third baseman Leandro Santana. The recently turned 21-year-old had a breakout season of sorts in Billings during the 2017 season. In 67 games for the Mustangs he hit .280/.347/.455 with a team best 11 home runs. The power was on display for Santana against the Rangers. He smacked a triple in his first at-bat that I saw from him on the day. He followed it up with an absolute moonshot home run the next time he came to the plate. You can see them both in the video below.

Nick Howard is back on the mound

To say that things have been a struggle for Nick Howard since joining the Cincinnati Reds organization would be putting it lightly. The 2014 1st round draft pick went through what many would call a case of the yips. He struggled mightily to throw strikes in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons, walking 81 batters in 58.0 innings. That, however, wasn’t the end of things. Howard also suffered an arm injury during the 2016 campaign and had shoulder surgery. When he returned to the mound in instructional league last fall, he reportedly was impressive and was one of the MVP’s for the Reds organization.

On Monday he threw two innings, and I was able to see one of them. I didn’t catch any radar readings from the outing, though from reports I heard from his time in instructional league he was in the low 90’s during the fall. If he’s pitching again in Goodyear (his day could fall when his team is on the road), I’ll be sure to check out his velocity and report back. What I did see, though, was a Nick Howard that knew where the baseball was going. He threw strikes and the stuff looked good.