The Cincinnati Reds scored 14 runs on Wednesday afternoon in Goodyear and only came away with a tie against the Oakland Athletics. There was plenty of bad pitching, but there was some good hitting, too. And some of that good hitting came from Reds #7 prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand.

Acquired from the Minnesota Twins at the trade deadline last summer in the deal that sent Tyler Mahler to the American League Central, Encarnacion-Strand was known for his big time power. The 23-year-old is coming off of a minor league season in 2022 where he hit 32 home runs between his three stops in the minor leagues between High-A Cedar Rapids, Double-A Wichita, and Double-A Chattanooga.

In the 8th inning the corner infielder, who was playing first base on the day, came up with the bases loaded and Cincinnati trailing 10-4. Not long after that it was 10-8 because Encarnacion-Strand crushed a grand slam to bring the Reds into striking distance.

Hitting a grand slam is going to be the highlight of almost any inning, but the Reds and Encarnacion-Strand weren’t done. He’s come back to the plate later in the inning as Cincinnati batted around and then some. This time he settled for an RBI single, giving him five runs batted in for the frame. That run extended the lead for the home team to four runs, putting them up 14-10 and capping off a 10-run inning.

Jay Allen II gets in on the action

As you’d imagine in a game that saw 28 runs scored over a 9-inning game, there were plenty of offensive displays. Jay Allen II got the opportunity to come over to Goodyear Ballpark on Wednesday from minor league camp and he took full advantage. The 20-year-old picked up two hits off of the bench, including a double.

Allan Cerda has a big game

Unfortunately there was no video broadcast of the game on Wednesday, and it seems that the social media crew didn’t have their camera rolling for Allan Cerda’s home run in the 7th. The outfielder homered, walked twice, and he scored two runs.

16 Responses

  1. Bdh

    Love CES. Can’t believe the reds got Steer, CES, and a high strikeout lefty in Hajjar for Mahle.

    I think by 2025 he’s the everyday guy at 1B but unpopular opinion here maybe is that I see the reds keeping Votto for the 2024 season to split time between 1B/DH with CES.

    If Votto has any type of a bounce back season (talking – .240-.250/.335-.350/.425-.450 with 20-25 HR) this year then he’ll easily be worth the 13million dollar difference in the team option for next year and they can market a send off season for a hall of fame player

    • Ryan

      Speaking of Hajjar, any sightings so far this spring(Doug or anyone). Believe a shoulder injury ended his season last year, just hoping he made it back.

      • MK

        My concern for Hajjar is his injury was reported as an impingement which is the same as Bryce Bonnin who they now say’ his career is in jeopardy.

      • Doug Gray

        Impingement isn’t good to have, but Bonnin’s case is a lot different than just about any other case I’ve heard of before.

    • 2020ball

      I still dont see the Reds picking up that option. That doesnt mean they couldn’t bring him back still for cheaper.

  2. MK

    Looks like Encarnacion is doing his best to beat out Steer.

  3. SultanofSwaff

    That’s some top shelf bat speed from Jay Allen. Great athlete. I’m a big believer in this guy.

    • MuddyCleats

      Agree, that’s what I’ve noticed so far is a concentrated effort by Reds to add some athleticism. They’ve done that in ST. Now can one or more of them make the team and be a productive Pro? The addition of more speed and power adds different dimension to this team and certainly makes things a little more exciting and interesting going forward.

  4. DW

    CES’s build reminds me of Pete Alonso. He seems to be the man for first base after Votto. McGarry has potential to be that as well, but CES looks to have a higher ceiling.

    • MBS

      Going into 22 we had zero viable replacements for 1B, but now e have two. 23 will inform us better on these 2, hopefully both make it, and find their best spot.

      • MuddyCleats

        Dittos, maybe McGarry at 1B and CES as DH. CES’s build makes me think of Edgar Martinez. Like Edgar, CES displays a quite confidence stepping into the box and has very good power w/ a controlled swing.

      • DaveCT

        Muddy Cleats, I’ve also thought CES profiles as an Edwin Encarnacion comp. He just seems like he can mash.

  5. Old Big Ed

    I like CES. However, he hit his GS off a 6’8″, 200-pound pitcher named Jorge Juan, who has never pitched above High A ball. Juan has good strikeout rates in limited MiLB competition, but is likely at least 2 years from MLB, if he ever makes it. CES, then, hit a homer off a guy two levels below him.

    It is a good example of why you have to take Spring Training performances with a grain of salt, especially in the late innings of a March 1 game, when the A+ pitchers are in the game.

    Hitting a homer is never bad, and CES is to be commended for getting a good pitch to hit, and hitting it with authority.

  6. RedBB

    In today’s world where video cameras are everywhere it sucks that there aren’t even proper videos of the highlights yet we can find ample videos of bears pushing ring doorbells

    • Doug Gray

      It’s incredible that you can stream plenty of high school baseball games, but somehow we can’t even set up a 1 or 2 camera set up for Major League Baseball spring training games. It’s depressing.

  7. tom Turner

    The DH position would allow CES at bats to be ready for next year. Like to see Jay have some success, hope that gives him some confidence at whatever level they decide to put him.