Tuesday night the Cincinnati Reds will face off against the Los Angeles Angels at 8:05pm ET. The game will be on MLB Network (and 700 WLW AM in the greater Cincinnati area for you radio listeners). It’s the first game of the spring that the Reds will play on television – they’ll also be on MLB Network on Wednesday night taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers at 8:05pm ET. For the “prospect hounds” the Reds will be running out a dream cast of pitchers. Hunter Greene is the probable starter and he’s going to be followed by plenty of other prospects.
While the order may not be quite as typed up in the game notes, these are the other pitchers that are scheduled to throw on Tuesday night against the Angels:
- Nick Lodolo (LHP)
- Riley O’Brien (RHP)
- Reiver Sanmartin (LHP)
- Héctor Pérez (RHP)
- Edgar Garcia (RHP)
- Jesse Biddle (LHP)
- Lyon Richardson (RHP)
- Graham Ashcraft (RHP)
The game is currently listed as “TBD Innings”. Games until March 13th are 7-inning games, but if both managers agree to it, they can be 8 or 9-inning games. That decision will need to be made by 5pm ET on Monday, but we probably won’t find out until Tuesday. Either way, there are some good prospect names on that list that will be available to throw on Tuesday night. The length of the game may determine if we see everyone or not, with Richardson and Ashcraft likely being the guys on the “might not get to pitch” list if the game isn’t lengthened beyond the 7-inning mark.
Hunter Greene, of course, is the top prospect in the Cincinnati organization. The right-handed pitcher and #2 overall pick in the 2017 draft is looking at his first “game” action since July of 2018. That was when he initially injured his elbow and chose to try to rehab the injury. Things had been going well, but in the final week of March of 2019 he had a setback and chose to undergo Tommy John surgery in early April and missed the entire season. In 2020 he returned to the mound in spring training, but things then shut down and he didn’t get back on the field again in an official capacity until July when “second spring training” was about to end and he joined the Reds alternate site roster as a part of their 60-man player pool. While there were simulated games and game-like environments at Prasco Park, it’s not quite the same as an actual game environment against players from another organization. He’ll finally get to see that again on Tuesday night for the first time in 2.5 years.
Nick Lodolo was the organization’s first round pick in 2019 and he had a short, but dominant showing between Billings and Dayton following the draft where he walked no one and struck out 30 batters in 18.1 innings. Like Greene, he didn’t pitch in any official games in 2020, but did spend his year at the alternate site as a part of the Reds 60-man player pool. Lodolo, the second ranked prospect in the organization, is not in big league camp – just like Greene – but is a part of “early minor league camp” that features 18 players. While it’s not impossible, their not technically being in big league camp makes it unlikely that either is going to make a true run at making the team out of spring training.
Everyone on the list of pitchers that are available tomorrow pitched in some capacity in the last year in some type of competitive environment, though – be it at the alternate sites, in the big leagues, or in winter ball this offseason. Well, everyone except Graham Ashcraft. My latest for Baseball America centers around Ashcraft, so I’m not going to spoil it much – but the 6th rounder from the 2019 draft has big league stuff and since he last threw in a game for the now defunct Greeneville Reds, he’s added a little velocity and a new secondary offering to his arsenal. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see that in action on Tuesday night.