While the Arizona Fall League has had Cincinnati Reds pitching prospects playing in it since the start – it’s a shorter league and the focus is more on player development than winning games – that hasn’t been the case in the other winter leagues.
There still hasn’t been a Reds pitcher to show up in the Dominican Winter League, but we have seen four guys show up between the Mexican and Venezuelan Winter Leagues. 19-year-old Edwin Cervantes has now pitched in five games for Guasave in Mexico. In a league where the average hitter is 29-years-old, Cervantes has had some struggles in his outings. The left-handed pitcher played in his first year as a professional this past season as an 18-year-old in the Dominican Summer League. To say that it’s a jump in competition level from one league to the other would be an understatement. He’s walked four batters with just one strikeout in 3.0 innings and has allowed two earned runs.
Down in Venezuela three pitchers have shown up and gotten into games, and they’ve all been on the same team. Frainger Aranguren, Manuel Cachutt, and Eduardo Salazar have been with Caribes.
Manuel Cachutt made his debut three nights ago and has pitched 1.2 shutout innings in each of his two outings. He’s walked two batters and struck out three thus far. Frainger Aranguren made his debut a few days earlier than that, showing up in the October 25th game where he tossed a hitless inning with a walk and a strikeout. He last pitched on October 28th when he threw 0.2 shutout innings. Eduardo Salazar, who made his big league debut in 2023, has thrown in one game – tossing 0.2 shutout innings on Halloween night.
Heading back to the Dominican Winter League, but away from the pitching side of things, three nights ago Hector Rodriguez was replaced early in the game for Escogido. While you can live stream the games via MLBtv, you can’t rewind them and there’s no archive of the game so you can’t go back and try to see what happened. He missed the game on Tuesday night, but was reportedly available off of the bench according to the team. Rodriguez was back in the lineup on Wednesday night and went 1-5 with a run scored.
Rodriguez has been the most active Reds player thus far in all of the non-AFL winter leagues. He’s played in 11 games with Escogido (there have only been 12 games played) and is hitting .356/.383/.511 so far.
Jose Barrero has played in eight games for the Estrellas. Things haven’t gone well when it comes to the hitting aspect of things. He’s 4-21 (.190) with one extra-base hit – a double. What has been interesting, though, is that he’s walked eight times and struck out just three times in 31 plate appearances. Obviously you want to see more hits, and more power with those hits, but his big weakness over the last few seasons has been his inability to control the strikezone which has led to a low number of walks and a higher than you’d like to see (especially with the walk numbers) number of strikeouts. Small sample size alert goes here, for sure, but it’s worth keeping an eye on as he gets more playing time as the season continues.