Brandon Finnegan had not pitched in a game since March 15th in spring training. He struggled mightily for the Reds during his time in Goodyear, and was optioned to the minors on March 26th. Two days later he was designated for assignment and cleared waivers. When he was outrighted to the minors he was assigned to the Billings Mustangs.
He didn’t show up anywhere in the first half. When the Mustangs season was set to begin, the Reds moved his roster spot to “extended spring training”, where he was listed on the injured list for six weeks before being sent to join the Chattanooga Lookouts on Thursday. Last night he got into a game for for the first time since the spring. And he looked good, too.
With the Lookouts trailing 11-7 Brandon Finnegan took the mound for the bottom of the 6th inning. The first pitch he threw went to the backstop. Then the left-handed pitcher got three straight swinging strikes on fastballs to record his first out. He would strike out the next batter in the inning, too – getting a 4th swinging strike of the inning on a fastball. The third batter of the inning did single up the middle on a line drive, but the final batter of the inning grounded out to end the inning.
There were no reports on his velocity. And he only threw 15 pitches in total, 10 of which were strikes. Mostly fastballs, but he threw three breaking balls in the inning. He looked good. The velocity does matter, and without that we do have an incomplete picture – the drop off in velocity for Brandon Finnegan over the last 5 years is part of the reason he struggled. But from a “how did it look?” perspective, it looked good. Four swinging strikes on a fastball in a game is usually a solid game for a starter. Finnegan got that in one inning.
Aristides Aquino with another moonshot
Another day, another homer for Aristides Aquino. The Triple-A Louisville Bats have a battle on their hands for the franchise record for their single season home run record. Brian O’Grady entered the day with the record at 26. He set the record in *checks notes* 2019. Yes, he has already set the franchise record for home runs while the season is still in July. That Major League Baseball is certainly doing some things, huh? In the last two days it’s been Aquino’s turn to make his run at the record and he’s hit two different 430+ foot homers to bring his season total even with O’Grady at 26 home runs.
On Thursday night he homered deep to center field for a 437-foot home run. Last night he went a tad further, crushing one 440 feet to left-center and maybe breaking some dudes hand who thought it would be a good idea to try and catch it with his bare hands. When a guy nicknamed The Punisher hits a ball towards you, don’t try to catch it unless you have a glove and plan on using it. Even then, maybe think twice.
Chad Tromp out to a good start with Louisville
Last night wasn’t just the Aristides Aquino show. Chad Tromp, who has only been with the Bats for a little over a week as he’s come back from shoulder surgery last year, continued to crush the ball for Louisville. He too hit a long home run, measuring in at 428 feet. It was his third home run in six games with the Bats.
Chad Tromp spent three weeks rehabbing with the Arizona League Reds, hitting .271/.410/.500 in 16 games there. In the six games since joining Louisville he’s hit .333/.375/.933 with three home runs accounting for 60% of his hits thus far.