In 2023 the Cincinnati Reds had two first round picks and they used both of them on college starting pitchers. After selecting Rhett Lowder 7th overall the team picked Louisiana State University’s Ty Floyd 38th overall. Neither pitched following the draft. Lowder began the 2024 season in Dayton and has since moved up to join Double-A Chattanooga where he’s made three starts.

Floyd, though, still hasn’t pitched. And he’s not going to pitch this season. An elbow injury sidelined him in spring training and now a second injury will cost him the year. The right-handed starter underwent shoulder surgery and will miss the 2024 season. The current expectation is that he could be ready to get back on the mound in spring training of 2025.

Alex Blandino and the knuckleball

One of the more fun and interesting things we learned about this offseason was that Alex Blandino, who reached the big leagues with the Reds for parts of three seasons between 2018 and 2021, was coming back to the organization as a 31-year-old to give pitching a try.

The infielder pitched in five games at the big league level and would occasionally throw a knuckleball during those outings. After playing with Nicaragua in the World Baseball Classic in the spring of 2023, Blandino didn’t play anywhere. But he signed with Cincinnati back in November with the plan to see if he could become a knuckleballer as a professional.

He’s still with the organization, though he has not pitched in a game yet. He’s in Arizona and is still working on being a pitcher.

Sheng-En Lin at the hot corner

When the Cincinnati Reds signed Sheng-En Lin last year they weren’t entirely sure where he was going to play in the field. While some teams believed he was better suited for the mound, the Reds wanted to see him as a position player – they just weren’t sure which spot was the best fit. In limited time on the field after signing in 2023 he played center field and shortstop.

This year the 18-year-old from Taiwan has played 10 games with the Arizona Complex League Reds and nine of those games have been in the field. And he’s only played third base.

“We wanted to keep him on the infield this year, where as last year we exposed him a little bit to the outfield as well,” Reds senior director of player development Jeremy Ferrell said. “It’s all been a learning process, really on both sides as we got to know him and as he gets to know us as an organization and the culture here. We’re very pleased with the progress he’s making and how he’s settling in there in Arizona.”

The sample size is small – just nine games – but so far, so good. Sheng-En Lin has not made an error yet in his 14 chances at third base.

And it’s also worth mentioning that he’s having a strong start to the year at the plate, too. Again, the sample size here is small, but he’s hitting .361/.500/.528 with two doubles, two triples, four steals (and has not been caught). He’s also walked as often as he’s struck out – 11 times – in his 48 plate appearances.

6 Responses

  1. RED THUNDER

    Louisville got a new player today! Draft = rolling the dice, hope for a speedy recovery for Ty Floyd.

  2. DaveCT

    Bummer about Ty Floyd, more so with shoulder surgery.

    Our third round pick, Hunter Hollan, has also been injured all season snd is on the 60-day. He snuck into the BA top 30 as a sleeper with improving stuff.

    Ninth round pick, Logan Van Treeck, is another on the 60-day, too.

  3. Melvin

    “Alex Blandino and the knuckleball”

    That would be cool to see.

    • Greg

      It’s a fun and interesting story. Keep us posted on Alex’s progress!

  4. DW

    I think 3B is the last place I want to see Lin, out of the possible positions. Obviously, he is athletic. And the organization already has plenty of 3B prospects…Stewart, Collier, and the plethora of middle infielders that could slide over to third. Not to mention Marte, EDLC, CES.

    • Mauired

      Totally. Reds front office 3rd base obsession continues. They love piling up at that position.

      Adam Serwinowaski
      Cam Collier
      Ricardo Cabrera
      Sheng En Lin
      Sammy Stafura
      Alfredo Duno

      That’s a really nice group of teenage talent Reds have right now.