The Cincinnati Reds extended spring training invites to two players on Wednesday afternoon. But first they had to re-sign Derek Dietrich, which happened early on Wednesday as the two sides agreed to a minor league deal for the 2020 season. As a part of that deal he got an invitation to spring training. The Reds also invited shortstop Blake Trahan to big league spring training on Wednesday.

Derek Dietrich had one of the biggest split-seasons you’re ever going to see with his 2019 season. After the game on June 2nd, Dietrich was hitting .269/.373/.700 with three doubles, a triple, and 17 home runs. That distribution of home runs to doubles and triples in his first 56 games of the year is crazy enough, but that wasn’t the craziest distribution he had on the season.

There were 57 more games for Derek Dietrich in the season beginning on June 6th. He hit .099/.283/.207 in those games with just two home runs in 153 plate appearances. But here’s where the absolute craziest stat you’ll probably see today comes: He was hit by 17 pitches in that span and recorded just 12 total hits. Between July 20th and the end of the season he recorded one hit – a double on August 25th – in 48 plate appearances. That’s an .026 batting average for those of you who wanted to keep track at home.

In what seems like it was the “cool thing” to do for Cincinnati Reds players in 2019, Derek Dietrich injured his shoulder during the season, and with a few days remaining in the season he had surgery to have it cleaned up. Shoulder problems certainly can help explain at least a part of whatever it was that happened in the post-June 2nd period of the season for Dietrich.

It’s tough to see exactly where he fits in with the 2020 Reds, who are going to be squeezed for roster spots as it is. But injuries certainly happen, and that can open up spots. And it’s not like there’s no chance that Dietrich just goes nuts in March and puts up big numbers and forces the Reds hand. If he’s healthy and he’s hitting, we’ve all seen the kind of hitter he can be. And given that he can play multiple spots on the field, he certainly could bring value to the bench. It will be a bit of an uphill battle, but it’s similar to the one he faced last spring when he was a non-roster invite to spring training and made the team. Of course, he was coming off of a better season in 2018 than he had in 2019, too.

Blake Trahan gets a spring invite

With position players set to report to spring training in Goodyear on Sunday, the Reds wanted to get a look at infielder Blake Trahan. He spent September of 2018 with Cincinnati, going 3-14 in limited action at the plate – but he did make it into 11 games during the final month of the season that year.

In 2019 things didn’t go well at the plate for the shortstop. In Triple-A Louisville he hit just .226/.279/.319 in 101 games played. His walk rate declined and his strikeout rate went up from his time in Triple-A the previous year. After the regular season was over he spent the winter playing for Licey in the Dominican Winter League. In 33 games for the Tigres he hit .176/.235/.187 with 21 strikeouts and just four walks in 101 plate appearances.

While the bat for Blake Trahan was poor during 2019, his glove was not. A strong defender at shortstop, he made just three errors in 73 games played there for the Louisville Bats in 2019. With Freddy Galvis as the only true shortstop on the 40-man roster, the Reds may want to get a look at Trahan just in case they need more of a long-term fill in option if something were to happen to Galvis that require more than a Kyle Farmer/Alex Blandino fill in at the position.

Minor Leaguers in MLB The Show 20

The days of having to painstakingly create minor league players and rosters in MLB The Show are over. That’s both good and bad, depending on where you fall. As someone who simply wants to play the video game with real minor leaguers, it’s great. But it also appears that unlike the Major Leaguers who get paid for their likeness through the MLBPA licensing for the game, the minor league players who are in the game do not get a penny. And that sucks.

7 Responses

  1. KyWilson1

    How do you see the new 3 batter rule affecting the Reds bullpen? I actually like the move, never been a fan of a pitcher coming in to face one batter and then a switch. Seems like it will add a ton of value to a pitchers that can handle 2-3 inning stretches.

  2. James Phillips

    I know Dietrich probably is below average as a hitter, but he’s an MVP caliber personality and I’m happy to see him back even if it’s only for Spring training.

  3. BK

    The Reds have kept Schebler on the 40-man and added Payton (Rule 5) and Jankowski. Rumors linked them to Brock Holt, too. Now they’ve brought DD back on a minor league deal. Looks like the Reds are trying to find a LH bench piece. Something to watch as spring training unfolds.

  4. Oldtimer

    MLB rated the most underrated players at each position. Freddy Galvis got nod at SS:

    (Clipped from MLB,com)
    SS: Freddy Galvis, Reds
    I’m going to be honest and tell you that filling this spot without breaking any of the above rules was a real struggle. And admittedly, Freddy Galvis doesn’t bring much consistency with the bat (though he did hit 23 homers and 28 doubles last year).

    But Galvis is among the most durable players in MLB, ranking sixth in games played (780) dating back to 2015. And the recently unveiled Statcast metric Infield Outs Above Average sheds new light on just how good he is at this pivotal position. He has been +12 on the OAA scale each of the past two seasons — giving him the exact same tally in that span as Francisco Lindor. So while Reds fans have been pining for a Lindor trade all winter, they can take comfort in knowing they have as dependable a defender on their hands (especially important on a team with defensive question marks elsewhere). Now, all Galvis has to do is crank out 80 extra-base hits like Lindor, and Cincinnati will have the total package!