Cincinnati Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino had a bit of a contract dispute with his Dominican Winter League team that delayed his 2019 debut. But last night finally saw the record breaking slugger put on his Licey jersey in a game for the first time in 2019. Unfortunately his debut saw him go hitless with an 0-5 effort.
While Aristides Aquino might be the biggest name playing winter league baseball, he’s certainly not the only Cincinnati Reds player out there. For the most part, it’s been a tough winter league season for the Reds hitters that are playing. Blake Trahan and Jose Siri have the most at-bats among players in the organization and are both hitting under .200. But not all is lost. Alejo Lopez is just getting started in the Mexican Winter League and the switch hitter is out to a .278 average through five games. In Puerto Rico the league has just gotten started in the last two weeks. Brian Rey and Edward Guzman seem to be the only participants from the organization so far. Rey had gotten into a few games, while Guzman played in two games, but only made one trip to the plate.
Most of the success from the organization in winter league baseball, though, has come on the mound. Vladimir Gutierrez has thrown the most innings, by far, with 28.0 innings thrown in the Dominican Republic. His ERA is 3.21 and he’s struck out 20 batters in that span. Jesus Reyes is the only other active pitcher from the Reds in the league. Pitching out of the bullpen he’s posted a 1.72 ERA in 15.2 innings pitched.
In Mexico, Cincinnati has a trio of pitchers finding success. Relievers Carlos Machorro and Adrian Rodriguez have thrown 13.1 and 11.0 innings each. Machorro has posted a 2.70 ERA with 13 strikeouts in his 13.1 innings. Rodriguez has as many walks as he does strikeouts in his 11.0 innings, but he’s posted a 3.27 ERA despite that. The big surprise has been 18-year-old Misael Lopez. He had limited action until his most recent outing. That’s then the left-hander started, and allowed one hit over 4.0 innings with eight strikeouts. He’s yet to allow a run, and has given up just two hits with no walks and 12 strikeouts in his 9.0 total innings. I’ll have more of a full report on him soon.