Tyler Callihan didn’t start on Saturday afternoon in Goodyear but he certainly put his stamp on the first spring training game of the year. He got his first at-bat of the day in the 6th inning with a runner on third base. The outcome wasn’t the best, but it was a good one as he picked up an RBI with a groundout to make it a 2-0 game. Two innings later, though, he made sure to put an exclamation point on the game as he crushed a long 2-run home run to make it 4-0.

He would drive in three of the four runs that Cincinnati had on the day. Not a bad debut this spring for Callihan, who went unselected in the Rule 5 draft this offseason after seeing time with both Dayton and Chattanooga in 2023.

Edwin Arroyo flashes the defense

The first chance for Edwin Arroyo on the day didn’t go well. He had to charge a chopper on the grass and his throw got by the first baseman. The runner didn’t advance, so no-harm, no-foul on that one.

He made up for any potential memories a little bit later with a sliding stop, spin and pop up followed by an accurate throw. You can watch the play below. At the plate he went 0-1 with a walk.

Carson Spiers impresses

It wasn’t just hitting and defense from the prospects that stood out. Carson Spiers got the start for the Reds and he picked up four strikeouts over 2.0 innings to set the tone for the rest of the game as six pitchers followed him to complete the shutout win. Spiers was mixing and matching all of his pitches, and his locations. He had strikeouts with his fastball and offspeed stuff.

What to look for on Sunday afternoon

The lineups aren’t out for the game on Sunday yet, but we do know who is expected to pitch in the game. Julian Aguiar, Stevie Branche, and Evan Kravetz are among the pitchers listed as probables for the day.

Julian Aguiar is coming off of a season where he was named as the Reds minor league pitcher of the year. He went 8-5 with a 2.95 ERA in 125.0 innings. Between his stops in Dayton and Chattanooga he struck out 138 batters with just 37 walks. If he gets into the game as expected, it will be his big league spring training debut.

Stevie Branche spent his season with Chattanooga last year. He pitched in 31 games and posted a 4.79 ERA. Across his 41.1 innings he allowed 28 hits and just two home runs. But he did battle consistency with the strikezone, walking 33 batters and hitting seven more. Branche did rack up 60 strikeouts during the season, though.

For Branche his season was kind of a tale of two halves. In April and May he pitched well. He had just eight walks and he struck out 34 in 19.2 innings and posted a 3.20 ERA. But he missed the final week of May, all of June, and the first week of July was spent rehabbing in Arizona before he returned on July 7th. From that point on he posted a 6.23 ERA and had 25 walks and four hit batters in 21.2 innings.

Evan Kravetz was very good in the first half with Chattanooga. He struggled out of the gate after missing much of April, giving up three runs in his first outing. But from that point forward he dominated for the Lookouts, giving up just five runs in 28.0 innings (1.61 ERA). That got him promoted to Triple-A. His first four outings with the Bats went poorly as he allowed nine runs in 8.2 innings. He rebounded for a bit, but then gave up 10 earned runs in his final four outings to balloon his ERA up to 6.75 in 19 games for Louisville.

4 Responses

  1. MBS

    Callihan has a 55 hit, it would be huge if he starts living up to that.

    • MK

      MBS, the verb should probably be had rather than has. While he was in Dayton his physical demeanor on the field was I’m good because they say I am. Hopefully some time with the big leaguers gets him on the right track.

      • DaveCT

        Callihan has turned himself from a bat first infielder without a real position into a pretty decent 2B. Being the type of player who has generally been able to roll out of bed and hit, maybe he can turn his batting shortcomings around, too.