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.