About Me

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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Arismendy Alcantara Has Key Hit In Reds Walk Off Win






The Reds won a slugfest on Friday from the Milwaukee Brewers when Arismendy Alcantara solidified his chance to win a roster spot.

The Reds went into the ninth leading 9-8 but young Jake Ehret couldn’t throw strikes and the Brewers scored three times to take an 11-10 lead into the bottom of the inning.

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Two Reds’ minor leaguers, T.J. Friedl and Reydel Medina singled to open the Reds’ ninth. With two outs Shed Long walked.  Alcantara hit the ball over the centerfielders head to end the game with the Reds taking the 12-11 verdict.

The Reds pummeled Brewers’ starter Tommy Milone in the first inning. Zack Cozart hit his third home run of the spring, the first of his three hits.  Devin Mesoraco hit a hard single. Eugenio Suarez followed with a single hit just as hard.  Adam Duvall walked.  Scott Schebler drove in two runs with a single.  Patrick Kivlehan hit a sacrifice fly.

In five days, the Reds will be ending the Arizona segment of spring training. They play Cleveland at noon on Wednesday. 

Manager Bryan Price hopes to have the Reds’ starting rotation and the bullpen chosen by the time the Reds play the Louisville Bats on Friday March 31 in Louisville.  On Saturday the play a team consisting of  and 20-somethings from the Dayton Dragons.

The choices will be difficult and will involve meetings with the Front Office.

On Friday the Reds outlasted the Brewers 12-11.

Roster Decisions

Only the starting eight is solid with the exception of Devin Mesoraco, who may not be ready by Opening Day.  Leaving a choice between Rob Brantly and Stuart Turner to hold a place for Mesoraco until he builds his workload.

Price has to decide in the next couple of days whether he wants to put seven pitchers in the bullpen with a five-man bench. Or eight pitchers in the bullpen and seven in the bullpen and five in the bullpen and a four-man bench.

“We are kind of frozen on the front end of the season.  After the day off on April 4, we play 12 straight,” Price said. “I don’t think it would be unusual to see an eight man bullpen and a four-man bench. I feel a lot better typically having that fifth bench player, especially when an extra catcher and an important utility player.”

Although the decision is not final, Arismendy Alcantara is at the top of Price’s mind.  The 25-year old is out of options and provides versatility.

“He is a switch hitter.  He is a guy I wouldn’t want to burn early in the game as a pinch hitter,” Price said. “He can play so many different positions  He can do a lot of things later in the game to help us. He has speed. That group of components would serve us well. I’d like to see this kid play a full season in the big leagues. He has some untapped potential.  However, he has to learn how to be a contributor as a bench player. For young guys used to playing every day at Triple A, its a challenge. I don’t think at 25 he’s that’s cornered himself as only being a bench player. He could someday be a regular.”

Alcantara hit a walk off bases loaded double to give the Reds the win over Milwaukee.

Desmond Jennings had a setback in his quest to win a job as an extra outfielder. He has been bothered a few days with stiffness in his right hip flexor.  Ryan Raburn and Patrick Kivlehan are also in the running for outfield spots.  Tony Renda and Hernan Iribarren have played the infield and corner outfield.

“Jennings was better recently,” Price said. “He got off to a slow start. He started to turn it on. He has been putting the ball in play with authority. He’s been playing a nice outfield, not just in center but he’s played in both corners as well and done a nice job. He has a lot to offer if he ends up making the team.”

Raburn has an out in his contract if he doesn’t make the Reds’ roster by the 28th.

“If Raburn makes the team, you hav a late inning big at bat type guy,” Price said.  “Kivlehan’s had a great camp. He has great athleticism. In both the infield and outfield corners. He’s got that nice component of hitting for power. He runs the bases instinctively. He throws well and cut down on strikeouts.”

Kivlehan is hitting .381 with two home runs and six RBI.  He has struck out six times in 42 at bats.

Raburn is hitting .207 with a team leading three home runs and five RBI.

Jenning is hitting .208 with a home run and eight RBI.

Romano Rocked

Sal Romano had his first bad outing against the Milwaukee   He came into the game with 15 1/3, allowing two earned runs for a 1.17 ERA.

That took and upward swing on Friday.

Romano pitched 4 2/3 innings. allowing seven runs, five earned, on nine hits. He issued no walks and struck out six.

Romano started the game with three stikeouts in the first inning. Jesus Aguilar hit the first of his four singles.  Manny Pina hit a ground ball to shortstop.  Cozart turnded to second to start a double play but the ball got away from secondbaseman Brandon Dixon.  That opened the floodgates.  A triple, two doubles and a single followed and the Brewers had a five run second.  Romano threw two scoreless innings, then Aguilar singled again and Pina hit a home run that ended Romano’s day.

“I gave up the leadoff hit in the second inning. I made the pitch to get the double play but not all plays are made,” Romano said. “I need to do my job and get the next guy out. I fell behind a lot of hitters today. A fastball is going to get hit no matter how hard it is if you don’t locate it.  I wasn’t able to get the first pitch curve ball over the way I have been lately.”

The spring has been good for Romano overall.

“I thought Sal had really good stuff,” Price said. “I thought the combination the fastball was elevated a little bit and the ability  to throw the breaking ball for a reliable strike were the biggest components to his struggle.  If you stay out her long enough and make enough starts, you’re going to have a game or innings like that. He maintained his composure. I’m looking at more than the linescore. He competed throughout. Everyone gets beat up every now and again but how you deal with it. He fought to stay in the game.”

“By the time his spot comes around again, we’ll have a better idea who is going to be in the rotation, who is going to be in the bullpen and who will be in the minor leagues,” Price said. “Sal has had a wonderful spring for a guy who came into camp as a real longshot.  He is a guy we are talking about making the team. This (outing) doesn’t change that.”

Schebler walked with two out in the third. A single by Kivlehan and doubles by Sebastian Elizalde and Brandon Dixon doubled to score three runs.

Dixon hit a two run double in the fifth, driving home Kivlehan and Elizarde.

Aguilar;s single and Trent Clark’s triple off Drew Storen was canceled by Nick Senzel’s RBI double.

Notes: Zack Cozart had three hits, including his third home run...Kivlehan had two hits...Nick Senzel, the Reds’ first pick in last year’s draft hit an RBI double in his first Cactus League at bat.












Jesse Winker Optioned To Louisville






The Reds optioned OF Jesse Winker to Triple A Louisville.

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Winker, the 49th player selected in the 2012 draft, had a good spring after a slow start.

The 23-year old hit .273 in 22 games with one home run and five RBI.  Winker was blocked by Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler.  He needs to play every day. His defense has improved while he was in the Major League campJe

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bronson Arroyo Helps Come Back Cause





The White Sox won the game against the Reds, 4-2

Bronson Arroyo pitched the planned four innings and felt good after the outing.  Results are less important than to be pain free in his elbow and shoulder.

“I felt really crisp the first three innings,” Arroyo said. “The fourth inning I got a little bit tired. I’m getting in shape. It felt like a regular spring game where I’m getting built up. Today has proven that my body can handle whatever we throw at it. It just a matter of getting in shape. I’m feeling no discomfort, tightness or anything in my shoulder and elbow. It’s all forearm just getting the ball over the plate.”

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Arroyo allowed two runs on a home run by Nicky Delmonico in his last inning.  He allowed three doubles but one was a blooper by Peter Bourjos that he hustled into a two-base hit. Arroyo walked one and struck out two

The 40-year old veteran isn’t taking any chances. He does not want to get hit with the ball back up the middle, like Tim Adleman has three times in his last four outings.

“I pitched in the whole game, except one curveball to Todd Frazier,” Arroyo said. “I didn’t want to get hit with a line drive. I only pitched to one side of the plate which makes you feel like your back is against the wall because they’ve seen all your pitches inside. They were jamming themselves and hitting weak ground balls. I feel at this point getting the work in is more important than results.  Most times when they hit the ball back through the middle it is an outside pitch that they are waiting on longer. I’m not on a guaranteed contract. If I get hit, like I did in 2013 and I thought I broke my hand, my career would be over.”

The Reds couldn’t solve White Sox starter Jose Quintana. The lefty allowed two hits in seven innings. A single by Jose Peraza and a double by Beau Amaral.

The Reds got back in the game against Zack Burdi in the eighth.  When the minor leaguers took over.  The normal second tier are either in minor league camp getting ready for their season or being saved for Saturday and Sunday when the Reds have split-squad games.

Hernan Iribarren, who is in the running for a bench spot, walked.  Minor leaguer Eric Jagielo singled.  After Josh VanMeter struck out. Stuart Turner walked to load the bases.  The Reds’ second pick in the draft last year, Singled home Iribarren and Jagielo..

Blake Astin pitched a scoreless inning.

Delmonico drove in his third run of the game with a double off Blake Wood that scored Todd Frazier from first base.

Matt Davidson got one of the Reds’ 8th inning runs back with a single off Wandy Peralta that scored Jose Abreu.

The final score wasn’t important.  The Reds are hoping that Arroyo can stabilize the starting rotation.
“Bronson looked like regular Bronson. It’s hard to tell that this is the guy that missed so much time with elbow and shoulder surgery,” Price said. “It warms my heart. I’ll be terribly honest with you. It makes me feel a lot better for him to be in the big leagues this year.”

The other roster choices are becoming clearer for Price but the organization will have input.

“It is getting clearer for me but it is going to be more than my opinion on what the best mixture of players is,” Price said.  “It never hurts to see these kids make a nice play defensively or make a difference in a small way.  It is the ability to go first to third. It’s a dirt read (a pitched ball in the dirt that a base runner has to decide whether to risk advancing or not),  It’s hitting the cut off man with a deep throw from the outfield. It may come down to a memory of something these guys competing for a spot did right. It’s that close. It really is.  It is going to be a challenge it really will be.”

Desmond Jennings has a hip abductor. Jennings is trying to win a bench job.

“We’ll look at him tomorrow,” Price said. “I’d much rather have him play through the finish line healthy instead of trying to gimp in at 80 percent.”

Reds Roster Changes





The Reds optioned OF Phillip Ervin and OF/1B Christian Walker to the minor leagues. 




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The team also reassigned RHP Alejandro Chacin, RHP Evan Mitchell, C Chad Wallach, C Shawn Zarraga, and SS Zach Vincej to minor league camp.



The Reds have 41 players remaining, 21 pitchers, 4 catchers, 5 infielders and 10 outfielders.

Scott Feldman Handles World Champs







Rain cut the Reds game with the Cubs short at a sold out Goodyear Ballpark but Scott Feldman was able to complete his longest spring outing.

Feldman the Reds’ Opening Day starter made his fourth Cactus League start Wednesday night. 
His last outing was a minor league game Friday against the Chicago White Sox  Triple A Charlotte team in which he pitched four innings.

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Feldman, the former Cub, pitched five complete innings before rain ended the game in the bottom of the fifth.  He allowed two runs on three hits and three walks. Feldman struck out three.

The Reds scored four runs in the fourth off Cubs starter,  Ryan Williams.  Joey Votto singled in front of Adam Duvall’s second home run of the spring. A double by Hernan Iribarren drove in Eugenio Suarez, who walked and Patrick Kivlehan, who singled.  Feldman gave himself a five-run lead with a single to score Iribarren.

"As pitchers we try our best, but obviously we haven't really mastered the craft of hitting,” said Feldman, who homered off Bronson Arroyo in his only game at Great American Ball Park to date on May 24, 2013 as a member of the Cubs.. “I just try to work on it as much as we can in Spring Training so you can at least put the bat on the ball and hope something lucky happens when you're up there."

Middletown graduate Kyle Scharber beat the Reds’ shift with a bunt single to lead off the game. Devin Mesoraco caught Schwarber stealing two pitches later. 

Feldman allowed four other base runners until the fifth,  Two walks to University of Cincinnati graduate Ian Happ and Kris Bryant.  Jason Heyward reached on a throwing error by Iribarren.  Matt Szczur singled to lead off the fifth  Schwarber hit his third home run of the spring to put the Cubs on the board.

"Felt good about it,” Feldman said. “Hopefully get those walks to a minimum next time out before the season. Felt like command could always be better at this time of the year, but I was able to for the most part battle through some command issues and get back into some counts, threw some changeups, threw all my pitches tonight and got my pitch count up there so should be ready to go."

A strong wind kicked up during the Cubs fifth.  After Mesoraco singled rain sent 11,553 fans to the concourse unaware that the game had been called.  They were crowded on the tiny concourse unable to move when the announcement came the game was called off.

Reds’ starters have allowed three runs in the last 14 2/3 innings, including the two allowed by Feldman on Wednesday.




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Reds Roster Cuts






The Reds optioned OF Phillip Ervin and OF/1B Christian Walker to the minor leagues. 

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The team also reassigned RHP Alejandro Chacin, RHP Evan Mitchell, C Chad Wallach, C Shawn Zarraga, and SS Zach Vincej to minor league camp.

The Reds have 41 players remaining, 21 pitchers, 4 catchers, 5 infielders and 10 outfielders.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cody Reed Plays Devil's Advocate But Angels Rally







Shoddy defense spoiled an outstanding outing by Cody Reed in a 0-1 loss.

The Reds were clinging to a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh.  Evan Mitchell was the ultimate victim.  Ryan Raburn hit a fourth inning solo home run off former Reds’ pitcher J.C. Ramirez.  It was Raburn’s team leading third home run of the spring.

Mitchell walked C.T. Cron  to open the seventh.  He got Luis Valbuena to bounce into an around the horn 5-4-3 double play.  By the time the Reds got the third out five runs scored.

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Danny Espinosa singled. Mitchell walked Jefry Marte.  Ben Revere reached on a throwing error by secondbaseman Tony Renda.  Espinosa scored and Marte went to third.  Revere took off for second.  Catcher Tucker Barnhart threw to second.  Revere retreated to first but firstbaseman Chad Wallach dropped the throw as Marte scored.  Tony Sanchez walked.  Revere and Sanchez scored on Nolan Fontana’s double.  Kole Calhoun’s single scored pinch runner Matt Williams.

Alejandro Chacin relieved Mitchell and walked Cliff Pennington but got Cron to fly out.


Cody Reed had by far his best outing of the spring with 5 2/3 shutout innings, allowing just a single to Ben Revere.  He walked two and struck out five, including his last batter Kole Calhoun. Reed was relieved by Evan Mitchell with two outs and the bases empty, when he reached his pitch count limit.  Mitchell struck out Mike Trout but Reed wanted him.

“When Price walked out there, I think I threw too many pitches to get the second out, I said, you’re not going to let me get this guy out,” Reed said. “He said, no I want Mitchell to get it. I said awe. I wanted to get him (Trout) out. Who doesn’t want to?”

“He wanted to stay in but he reached his pitch count,” Bryan Price said. “We want to stair step his pitches.  He was outstanding today.”

One of the seven pitchers with a chance at three open spots in the starting rotation, Reed has allowed four runs in his last 12 1/3 innings for a 2.84 ERA.

“I had two walks that might have been the worst part of it. There were a lot of lefties in that lineup (four). I had a little bit of an advantage,” Reed said. “The hit I gave up was to the lefty. Overall I felt pretty good.”

The competition for the rotation is getting more intense by the day.

“I’m right there with them,” Reed said. “I’m going to go for it too. If I keep doing that, I’ll put myself in a good position.”

The Angels added on in the eighth and ninth against Tony Cingrani, who gave up his first runs in Cactus League play with three in the eighth. He had five scoreless Cactus League appearances.

Eric Young Jr. capped the scoring in the ninth with a home run off Louis Coleman.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Scott Feldman To Get The Ball On Opening Day







Scott Feldman pitched out of the bullpen last year at Houston by twist, turns and quirks of fate he will be an Opening Day starter in Cincinnati this year.

Feldman will get the ball for Opening Day at Great American Ball Park.  It will be his third Opening Day start in his second appearance ever at Great American Ball Park.

Feldman started on Opening Day for Texas in 2010 against Toronto.  The Reds hope that is a omen because that team went on to be American League Champion.  He started Opening Day for Houston against the New York Yankess in 2014. That team lost 92 games.

“It’s pretty cool,” Feldman said.  “I know the about the history of Cincinnati, being like the capitol of Opening Day.”
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When Feldman signed with the Reds it was unknown what role he would take on the Reds’ pitching staff but manager Bryan Price early on named him as one of his three starters in the rotation.  One of them, Anthony DeSclafani, was the most likely to start on Opening Day but he was shut down for a month with elbow problems and will start the season on the disabled list.  Homer Bailey the most tenured Reds’ starter had surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow in early February. Bailey won’t be able to pitch in a game until at least June 1.

That brought the choice down to Brandon Finnegan and Feldman, the only two known to be in the Reds’ rotation to date.

“You can’te really predict the future. You have to stay ready for everything,” Feldman said. “It’s just an honor to get the ball on Opening Day.  You want to get off to a good start and build on it for the rest of the season.”

‘I think Scott has the experience and the way he commands the strike zone, makes him the best candidate,” Price said.  “My interpretation of Scott throughout spring training is exactly the guy we were looking for and we targeted, a veteran guy with a presence. He has a savvy that will serve us well.  Part of the decision is the fact that we don’t  have Homer or DeSclafani ready to go.  That being said, I couldn’t be happier to have Scott Feldman to be able to go to in this exact situation.”

Feldman has pitched one game at Great American Ball Park.  He was the starter for the Chicago Cubs on May24, 2013 and took a loss. He pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs, including home runs to Joey Votto and Ryan Hanigan.  He also hit a home run off Bronson Arroyo.

Later that season he was traded to Baltimore for Jake Arrieta.



Sunday, March 19, 2017

Reds Rattle Fences To Punish Padres







The Reds used the home run ball to down the San Diego Padres, 9-4, on Sunday.

Scott Schebler and Jesse Winker  hit their first home runs of the spring  Patrick Kivlehan hit his second to keep pace with his teammates grinding it out for the open bench jobs for the Reds.

Garrett Goes Five

Amir Garrett was the first Reds’ pitcher to complete five innings but he had to rally to do it.

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Garrett  allowed eight hits, including Hunter Renfroe’s two-run home run in the first inning.  Garrett gave up a run in the third but settled in to finish with three scoreless innings.

Garrett walked one and struck out one.

‘I felt really good about the outing,” Garrett said. “I didn’t have all my best stuff today. I was able to limit the damage as much as I could to help my team stay in the game. I was pounding the zone really well, getting a lot of ground balls. I limited the damage as much as I could. I felt I could pitch another one but it’s spring training and get stretched out slowly.

Garrett made some good plays in the field.  With runners on first and third, he fielded a bunt, checked the runner and made the play at first.  Travis Jankowski hit a sacrifice fly to score the runner but the play was solid.

“It was a mixed bag. He didn’t have quite the same stuff but he had the competitiveness. We’re evaluating that too,” Bryan Price said. “He got into a second and third and he kept pumping strikes. He didn’t walk anyone. He ends up utilizing his defense. The next thing you know we make a couple of good plays and the next thing you know he gets out of the inning without giving up a run.  That’s a sign of maturity.”

Stephenson Follows With Four

Robert Stephenson is starting to string good outings together.  He followed his housemate with a spring-long four inning finish against the Padres on Sunday.

Stephenson allowed three hits and a walk.  The only run off him was a home run by Hector Sanchez.  He struck out five.

“With Robert it’s finding the best way to utilize his stuff,” Price said.  “He’s developed that split as an out pitch. We want to make sure that he doesn’t rely on that split so he can’t find an out with a well located fastball or breaking ball.”


Bailey’s Weight Loss Causes Wait

Homer Bailey started a throwing program.  Bailey had bone chips removed on February 2 and is currently on the 60-day disabled list which will keep him out until at least Jun 1.

“He got sick. He caught the stomach bug and lost some weight,” Bryan Price said. “That cost him a couple of days.  He’s back to the throwing program.”

Iglesias Sore

Raisel Iglasias had a little stiffness in his elbow.  He was scheduled to pitch in a minor league game but the Reds’ decided against it.

“It is not a major concern,” Bryan Price said.  “From a practical standpoint there was no reason to send him down.  We decided to scrap it.”

Schebler Starting To Swing

Scott Schebler started slowly (2-for-17) .117 in his first seven games this spring but has begun to hit the ball with authority.  In his last six appearances, he is hitting .500 (8-for-16), including a three-run home run off San Diego’s Andre Rienzo. He also bunted for a base hit.

“It is just a matter of getting his at bats and trusting things are going to happen in a good way,” Price said.  “He gets a but base hit. He absolutely smokes a ball they turn into a double play. Then he hits the home run which was a difference maker.”

Winker Wows

Winker has a history of hand injuries that have kept him from showing his natural power. The last in 2015 was the result of an auto accident.

This spring after a subpar start in which he faced a steady diet of left-handed pitching, the 23-year old first round pick in the 2012 draft is getting his swing together.

The left-handed hitter was 1-for-7 early in spring but in his last 12 games, Winker is hitting .416 that included his first home run,



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Reds Tie Rangers In Bizzare Game Arroyo's Face Is Fine After He Was Hit By A Throw





The Reds got a run in the ninth inning to tie the Texas Rangers’ split squad, 3-3..

Bronson Arroyo gave up a two-run home run to Joey Gallo before he had to leave the game when Devin Mesoraoco hit him in the jaw, neck area with an attempt to throw out Drew Robinson stealing.

Arroyo left the game with concern from the medical staff but he is fine and expects to make his next start to stretch out for a job in the Reds’ starting rotation.

“It was a stinger like a good left hook but you can’t leave a game during the regular season like that. You just can’t,” Arroyo said.

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His plea to at least finish the second inning was ignored by Reds’ trainer Steve Bauman.

Arroyo took a bus to the Reds’ complex, a mile down the road and threw long toss.

Arroyo got 39 pitches in 1 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk.  He struck out two.

The Reds scored unearned run off Texas starter Yu Darvish in the second  

Ryan Raburn walked and went to second when Zack Cozart was hit by a pitch.  He scored when Hernan Iribarren reached on a throwing error by secondbaseman, Andy Ibanez.

Texas got an unearned run against Sal Romano who had another fine start in his quest to start the season in the Reds’ rotation.

Ibanez singled.  He stole second and catcher Stuart Turner who relieved Mesoraco, threw the ball into centerfield.  Ibanez reached third and scored on a single by Carlos Gomez.

Romano finished with 4 2/3 innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits.  He struck out three in his impressive outing.

“Romano was outstanding. He did a super job,” Bryan Price said. “He attacked the zone with three pitches. He worked ahead. He was quick to the plate. He made a nice fielding play, the whole thing. It was just another in a string of good, crisp, professional looking, Major League looking outings.”

Mesoraco got his first hit with a long double in the third inning.

“He got his two at bats. He’s really just working back to getting behind the plate again,” Price said. “He hasn’t  had a lot of time back there in two years. It’s about the rigors of his position. I’m not worried about how many at bats he gets.  Even though I know he needs his share but its the time to get back ther acclimated, to get all the movements and coordination back. That’s probably the thing that will come last here.”

The Reds tied the game in the ninth on a pair of throwing errors.

Shortstop Jason Martinson threw a ground ball away that was hit by Arismendy Alcantara.  Pitcher Wesley Wright threw wild on Philip Ervin’s ground ball to the thirdbase side of the mound.  Alcantara scored on the mishap.  Wright pitcked Ervin off to end the ninth and the game. 

They do not play extra innings in spring training unless a pitcher needs and inning or someone needs an extra at bat.


Bronson Arroyo Hit With Catchers Throw In Cactus Leaves Game





Bronson Arroyo was struck in the face with a thrown ball by Reds’ catcher Devin Mesoraco.

Mesoraco was attempting to throw Drew Robinson of the Texas Rangers out at secondbase on a steal attempt when the ball struck Arroyo in the jaw and neck area.

Arroyo was on his feet, talking to Reds’ trainer Steve Bauman for several minutes before he was removed from the game.  Arroyo was examined in the Goodyear Ballpark clubhouse by a doctor in centerfield and taken by bus to the Reds’ complex a mile from the stadium.

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Arroyo, 40, is attempting to make a comeback with the Reds after missing 2 1/2 years with elbow and shoulder injuries.  He pitched 1 2/3 innings in his second Cactus League start when the incident occurred..

The 40-year old threw 20 long tosses at the complex.

“We had two strikes on the nine-hole hitter,” Arroyo said.  “I threw a sweeping breaking ball so it took him outside the box.  I heard the delayed steal and he was going to throw from his knees. But some reason I thought that I was totally clear of him. It looked like he was going to be throwing at a totally different angle. It almost looked like Devin totally changed his mind on the direction he wanted to throw the ball at the last minute. I didn’t see where the ball was going. I felt like something strange had happened.  I turned my head sideways and it hit me, half jaw, half neck.”

Arroyo was pacing behind the pitchers mound and walked to short centerfield.

‘It was a pretty good stinger but one of those things you have to walk off,” Arroyo said.  “It was like somebody gave you a good left hook. I was feeling fine after about five minutes. I was begging Steve to leave me in the game but spring training they weren’t going to go for it.”

All Arroyo was concerned with was his pitch count.

“The pitch count was the main thing but I already had 39 pitches and I wasn’t even out of the second inning.  I didn’t get cut super short.  If I had to finish the inning it was still burning but if that’s the regular season, you can’t come out of the game for that. You just can’t.”

“Steve o hasn’t been the head trainer long and I know these days the liability on guys, they want to be real careful on you,” Arroyo said.  “Everything else was good. I was getting a little tired just because you’re rapid firing a little bit. I had a bunch of 0-2 counts that I pushed to 3-2, the guys weren’t nibbling much. I’m hopeful to go four innings next time and keep grinding.” 




Reds Reserves Ambush Indians To Even Goodyear Ohio Cup






The Reds had every starter in the lineup against the Indians except for Zack Cozart in their 7-3 loss to Corey Kluber.  That includes the potential Opening Day starter Brandon Finnegan. 

The Reds second tier shock troops ambushed Josh Martin for five runs in the seventh after Kluber left the game.

Patrick Kivlehan doubled to start the seventh.  Ryan Raburn singled Kivlehan to third.  Chad Wallach doubled to score two runs.  Sebastian Elizarde batting for reliever Wandy Peralta, who pitched two scoreless innings. doubled Wallach home.  Desmond Jennings tripled over leftfielder Richie Shaffer’s head. Hernan Iribarren hit a sacrifice fly to left to cap the scoring.

All of them plus Arismendy Alcatara, who started at shortstop in Cozart’s spot, are battling to earn a job on the Reds’ bench.

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Alcantara contributed a single in the second inning but was stranded.

“They all play well that second tier,” Bryan Price said. “The five run inning six balls hit on the screws. That’s what we’ve been getting a jump start from them.  That’s the way to make an impression. It’s a way to stay in the competition to make the club.”

The choice for the Reds starter boils down to either Scott Feldman or Finnegan.

Both pitched on Friday.

Feldman pitched in a minor league game for Triple A Louisville against the Chicago White Sox Triple A team from Charlotte.

Feldman pitched four plus innings. He left with the bases loaded, relieved by Lisalverto Bonilla, who is scheduled to start the season in Louisville.

Feldman line was four innings pitched, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out four.. Feldman threw 76 pitches.

“I liked what I saw,” said manager Bryan Price, who watched from the observation tower at the minor league cloverleaf of fields.  ‘I could watch Luis Castillo.” Castillo was sent to minor league camp on Wednesday. 

“We have to use minor league games as a vehicle to get ready for the season. We have so many players in camp,” Price said.  “We have multiple guys we are trying to get stretched out to remain in the competition as starter.”

Although the pitchers in the minor leagues are pitching against minor leaguers, they can’t take them for granted.

“You’ll get embarrassed in those minor league games, if you don’t take them seriously,” Price said.  “We want our players to go down there and treat it as a solid work day.  Scott did that for sure.”

Feldman is a veteran who knows what he has to do to get ready.

“They have to go down there and understand what your goals are, what you need to achieve. You need to have enough ego that you don’t want to be embarrassed,” Price said. “They are young guys but they are still very talented.  Some younger guys might feel it is a step down for them and not appreciate the competition.  Anybody can beat you on any given day.” 

Finnegan pitched against the Cleveland Indians in the night game.  The Indians are a split squad because they have two exhibition games in San Antonio against the Texas Rangers the next two nights.

Still Finnegan faced Cleveland ace Corey Kluber and a lineup with Yan Gomes and former Red Edwin Encarnacion, established stars.  Veteran Austin Jackson and top Indian prospects, Bradly Zimmer, Yandy Diaz and Giovanny Urshella.

The Indians used the designated hitter, since they are listed as the home team but the Reds manager wants his starting pitchers to start facing pitching in games.

The Reds got to Kluber for two runs in the first.

Billy Hamilton walked, then swiped sccond and thirdbase.  Joey Votto walked.Eugenio Suarez singled to drive in Hamilton on a hit and run.  Votto made it to third easily.

Scott Schebler doubled but Suarez was thrown out at home.

Finnegan gave up a leadoff single to Austin Jackson. Yan Gomes’ double scored Jackson. With two outs Yandy Diaz singled to plate Gomes.

Finnegan pitched four innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks.  He struck out five.  It was Finnegan’s longest outing to date.

All was quiet until the bottom of the fourth.  Richie Shaffer opened the inning with a double.  Finnegan got the next two hitters but Jackson’s single scored Shaffer. 

“Finnegan was ok. He wasn’t great. He wasn’t real sharp with anything.  He gets hurt when he gets behind in the count,” Bryan Price said. “The more he worked ahead, the more efficient his game went. The ability to get the early count fastball on the plate, getting ahead, the importance for him is particularly big. He doesn’t pitch backward, using his off speed pitch behind in the count as much as some others do. We hope to see improved command as we move forward. I’m sure it will get better.”

Wandy Peralta and Barrett Astin pitched two scoreless innings.  Lucas Luetge pitched a scoreless ninth.

“They were prenominal, really attacking,” Price said. “It is what we need. We will have a group of guys that make this club and a group of guys that don’t.  Those that don’t will have to be our first line of defense. I don’t know if Wandy or Barrett will make the club but I will tell you, they both have moments that are exciting and they give me confidence if they were pitching on our big league staff.”


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Reds Rally By Shock Troops Secure Win






The Reds shock troops did it again.  They pulled out a Cactus League game in come from behind fashion, 8-7 with a three-run eighth inning that canceled the Padres own three-run eighth.

The Reds led 5-4 heading into the eighth.

A two-run home run by Zack Cozart complimented a run scored using Billy ball.

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Billy Hamilton lined the first of his three hits to centerfield against Padres starter Clayton Richard.  Without a stolen base through the first 20 Cactus League games, Hamilton took off on Richard’s first move.  Richard went to first with the throw and Hamilton beat firstbaseman Jamie Romak’s throw easily.  Joey Votto singled to drive Hamilton home.

The run cut a 2-1 lead by San Diego in half.  Cory Spangenberg doubled off Reds’ starter Cody Reed.  Hunter Renfroe hit a Reed change up onto the berm in leftfield.

“The home run was a change up down. Here I am working on it again,” Reed said. “Even Mes (Mesoraco)  comes up and says, you have to throw it if you want to pitch all year, this year. That
s what a did. He took advantage. I threw my slider for strikes and got a lot of swings and misses. I was upset with myself giving up the double in the fourth. I missed my spot. If I get him out I could have finished the inning.”

Mesoraco was making his second Cactus League start, batting leadoff to get an extra at bat. He was 0-2 but caught two innings.

‘I feel fine,” Mesoraco said after he left the game after catching three innings of Reed’s 3 1/3 inning effort.

Allen Cordoba walked leading off the third inning off Reed.  Mesoraco threw wild to first on a pick off attempt. Cordoba went to third when Travis Jankowski grounded to Votto with Reed covering.  Reed was on the verge of escaping but Spangenberg hit a slow roller the Votto tried to flip with his glove in one motion.  Spangenberg was safe and the run scored. 

Reed pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing three runs two earned on four hits, including a two-run home run by Hunter Renfroe and one walk.  He struck out six.

“It wasn’t bad,” Bryan Price said. “He was around the plate.  He gave up the double and two-run homer with two outs. Try to look at the body of work. He threw some very, very good sliders today. He threw some fastballs inside to the right-hand hitters and a couple of good change ups. There are a couple of pitches he’d like to take back in that first inning but overall it was good.”

Scott Schebler singled and Cozart homered off Richard in the fourth.  Turner tripled off old friend Carlos Fisher later in the fourth.  Hamiliton’s third hit brought Turner home.

Blake Wood pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Tony Cingrani pitched a scorless inning.

Hector Sanchez hit a home run off Drew Storen, who had two scoreless outings entering the sixth.
The Reds took the lead in the bottom of the sixth.

Christian Bethancourt, listed as a catcher but is being given a chance to pitch for the Padres,

Jose Peraza and Turner singled.  Bethancourt threw a pitch in the dirt that allowed runners to move up.  Arismendy Alcantara’s sacrifice fly scored Peraza but the throw behind Turner got the Padres out of the inning.

Michael Lorenzen couldn’t hold the lead.

Rafael Ortega and Tony Cruz singled to open the inning. Edwin Moreno hit a three-run home run.

But cue the shock troops.

Zach Vincej homered off Jose Torres.

Sebastian Elezalde fresh from Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic walked against Kevin Quackenbush.  Turner drew a walk one out later. Alcantara hit into a force play but shortstop Cordoba allowed Elizalde to score and Alcantara to reach secondbase.  Christian Walker’s triple gave the Reds the lead back.

Lorenzen held this lead thanks to two nice defensive plays by thirdbaseman Tony Renda who ended the game with a barehanded scoop and throw of Cruz’ slow roller to end the game.





Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Reds Rally Falls Short Tim Adleman Bounces Back, Robert Stephenson Going Right Direction




It was the tale of two outings for the Reds against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday

One bad inning spelled doom for the Reds in a 6-5 loss although they nearly tied the game on a lineout by Zach Vincej with runners on first and third in the ninth.

Tim Adleman was hit with a line drive by Jed Lowrie on his right shoulder on Thursday against Oakland.  He talked to reporters wearing an ice compress.  Adleman took his regular turn against the Dodgers on Tuesday. 

The big right-hander has a good chance to win one of the three open spots in the rotation after Scott Feldman and Brandon Finnegan.

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Adleman pitched three scoreless innings but gave up a walk to Yasiel Puig and a home run to Yasmani Grandal to start the fourth.  Adleman left after 3 1/3 innings with the bases loaded.  The Dodgers scored two runs after he left the game on a fielder’s choice and a throwing error by Joey Votto.

Adleman was charged with five earned runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out two. This time he was hit on the foot by Scott Van Slyke, one of the hits Adleman surrendered.

Van Slyke’s infield single and Darnell Sweeney’s walk loaded the bases. Pinch hitter Wille Calhoun hit a ground ball to Joey Votto at first.  Votto’s throw home sailed over Tucker Barnhart’s head and two runs scored.  Adleman was charged with a fifth run when Logan Forsythe doubled off Evan Mitchell.

“It was the tale of two outings,” Adleman said.  “I hate to go out on that note but there is still a lot of positives from the first three innings. I’ll forget about the last one and be ready for the next opportunity.’

Adleman had no ill effects from the shoulder that was hit last outing.  The ball Van Slyke hit caught him on the outside of the foot.

“It wasn’t hit all that hared.  It will probably be another bruise,’ Adleman said. “It is becoming a trend now, balls being hit right at me.  This one was more frustrating because I think it would have been a double play if I fielded it or just let it go. I’m pretty confident Cozie or Jose would have fielded it.”

Adleman is just trying to take advantage of each opportunity.

“The other guys are pitching pretty well and with the exception of a few hitters in my last outing, I feel like I’m throwing pretty well.  All I can do is take advantage of every opportunity.”

The Reds scored first earlier in the fourth.  Patrick Kivlehan walked and went to second on a bad pickoff throw by Dodgers’ starter Rich Hill.  Zack Cozart singled to score Kivlehan.  Jose Peraza singled home a run in the fifth off Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers closer. 

Desmond Jennings walked.  Dilson Herrera singled him to third.  Peraza’s single to center made it 6-2.

Raisel Iglesias escaped a one-out bases loaded jam when Kivlehan turned in a 5-3 double play.

Louis Coleman, who made 61 appearances for the Dodgers last year, made his first appearances. Coleman was hampered in camp with a shoulder ailment but turned in a scoreless inning.

Robert Stephenson pitched two scoreless innings to improve his chances of winning one of the open starters jobs.

“He threw primarily fastballs, well located, ahead in the count,” Price said.  ‘He had that split change he used for a finish pitch for a couple of punch outs. He was very, very aggressive and on the plate. That’s going to be the key to his success.  Even when he was behind he threw some good location fastballs and that’s a step in the right directions for one of our young pitchers.”

The Reds’ shock troops got them back into the game.

Chad Wallach walked in the eighth.  He was on first with two outs when Aristides Aquino doubled.  Gabriel Guerrero singled to make the score 6-4.

In the ninth Phillip Ervin walked with two outs.  Wallach drew his second walk in as many at bats.  Brandon Dixon improved his batting average to .286 with a run scoring single to center.  Vincej hit the ball on the screws but former Red Tyler Holt picked it off the grass to end the game.

DeSclafani Shut Down






Reds’ starter Anthony DeSclafani’s MRI in Cincinnati revealed a sprained right ulnar collateral ligament, general manager Dick Williams announced Monday afternoon.

The 26-year old right-hander will be shut down for as much as four weeks.

“It will certainly impact his ability to start the season on the active roster,” Williams said. “I anticipate him opening the season on the disabled list. We will be working with him when he returns to Arizona to get a treatment plan in place.”

DeSclafani along with Scott Feldman and Brandon Finnegan were named to the Reds’ starting rotation.  Homer Bailey had bone chips removed on February 8th, leaving two open spots in the Reds’ starting rotation.

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DeSclafani missed the start of the season last year with a strained left oblique but returned to post a 9-5 record in 20 starts.

The Reds are exploring options on the waiver wire and free agent market but could also decide to fill the void with the young pitchers in camp.

“We have to digest the alternatives and see what’s out there,” Williams said. “We’re still very committed to seeing what we have here in camp. These guys have really done a great job with the opportunity that’s been given to them. That whole group of young pitchers continue to perform.  The did again today.”

Amir Garrett pitched four hitless innings in the Reds’ 3-1 win over Oakland. Jimmy Herget, Nick Rout, Kevin Schackelford, and Jackson Stephens pitched a scoreless inning each. Keury Mella gave up a ninth inning home run to Chris Parmelee.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Amir Garrett Impressive Over A's






The Reds pitching in the aftermath of the news about Anthony DeSclafani’s sprained right UCL offered hope with a 3-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Monday afternoon.

Amir Garrett was the first pitcher to complete four innings and was so efficient that he went to the bullpen to throw 15 more.

“My command was really good today,” Garrett said. “In my bullpens I’ve been working everything down. I was able to pound the zone and not miss by much where I wanted to go. My breaking ball and change was working really well to keep the hitters off balance.”

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Garrett and his house mates, Sal Romano, Robert Stephenson, and Cody Reed sense an opportunity to win big league jobs this spring.


“It’s unfortunate for a teammate to hear the news,” Garrett said. “We’re just trying to step up and fill the role as much as we can. I think it will be a domino effect from here on out. We’re going to try to capitalize on each others performance from the day before.’

Garrett’s performance came after allowing five unearned runs caused by his own error but he rebounded nicely.

“He had a nice approach, attacked and had a three pitch mix,” Bryan Price said. “It was a springboard outing especially after his last game where he got hurt by the big inning after making a physical error.  To bounce back against a team that knocked the absolute dog stuffing out of us the last time.  They knocked the crud out of us last time and he came in against a team that was swinging the bat well and had four beautiful innings.”

The A’s beat the dog stuffing crud out of the Reds last Thursday, 12-5.


Jimmy Herget, Nick Rout, Kevin Schackelford, and Jackson Stephens pitched a scoreless inning each. Keury Mella gave up a ninth inning home run to Chris Parmelee.

“It was a well pitched game all around,’ Price said. “To have the news we had about Anthony DeSclafani and in the aftermath have the young pitchers step up is a good thing,” Price said.  “Somebody has to win those jobs.”

The Reds got just enough offense to win. 

The Reds got singles from Jesse Winker, Ryan Raburn and Rob Brantly off A’s starter Kendall Graveman to take a lead.

Brandon Dixon hit a two-run home run in the fourth.

Winker is 9-15 in his last eight games.  Dixon’s home run was his second of the spring.

Amir Garrett Impressive For Reds




The Reds pitching in the aftermath of the news about Anthony DeSclafani’s sprained right UCL offered hope with a 3-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Monday afternoon.

Amir Garrett was the first pitcher to complete four innings and was so efficient that he went to the bullpen to throw 15 more.

“My command was really good today,” Garrett said. “In my bullpens I’ve been working everything down. I was able to pound the zone and not miss by much where I wanted to go. My breaking ball and change was working really well to keep the hitters off balance.”

Garrett and his house mates, Sal Romano, Robert Stephenson, and Cody Reed sense an opportunity to win big league jobs this spring.

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“It’s unfortunate for a teammate to hear the news,” Garrett said. “We’re just trying to step up and fill the role as much as we can. I think it will be a domino effect from here on out. We’re going to try to capitalize on each others performance from the day before.’

Garrett’s performance came after allowing five unearned runs caused by his own error but he rebounded nicely.

“He had a nice approach, attacked and had a three pitch mix,” Bryan Price said. “It was a springboard outing especially after his last game where he got hurt by the big inning after making a physical error.  To bounce back against a team that knocked the absolute dog stuffing out of us the last time.  They knocked the crud out of us last time and he came in against a team that was swinging the bat well and had four beautiful innings.”

The A’s beat the dog stuffing crud out of the Reds last Thursday, 12-5.

Jimmy Herget, Nick Rout, Kevin Schackelford, and Jackson Stephens pitched a scoreless inning each. Keury Mella gave up a ninth inning home run to Chris Parmelee.

“It was a well pitched game all around,’ Price said. “To have the news we had about Anthony DeSclafani and in the aftermath have the young pitchers step up is a good thing,” Price said.  “Somebody has to win those jobs.”

The Reds got just enough offense to win. 

The Reds got singles from Jesse Winker, Ryan Raburn and Rob Brantly off A’s starter Kendall Graveman to take a lead.

Brandon Dixon hit a two-run home run in the fourth.

Winker is 9-15 in his last eight games.  Dixon’s home run was his second of the spring.



Anthony DeSclafani To Start Season On The DL







Reds’ starter Anthony DeSclafani’s MRI in Cincinnati revealed a sprained right ulnar collateral ligament, general manager Dick Williams announced Monday afternoon.

The 26-year old right-hander will be shut down for as much as four weeks.

“It will certainly impact his ability to start the season on the active roster,” Williams said. “I anticipate him opening the season on the disabled list. We will be working with him when he returns to Arizona to get a treatment plan in place.”
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DeSclafani along with Scott Feldman and Brandon Finnegan were named to the Reds’ starting rotation.  Homer Bailey had bone chips removed on February 8th, leaving two open spots in the Reds’ starting rotation.

DeSclafani missed the start of the season last year with a strained left oblique but returned to post a 9-5 record in 20 starts.

The Reds are exploring options on the waiver wire and free agent market but could also decide to fill the void with the young pitchers in camp.

“We have to digest the alternatives and see what’s out there,” Williams said. “We’re still very committed to seeing what we have here in camp. These guys have really done a great job with the opportunity that’s been given to them. That whole group of young pitchers continue to perform.  The did again today.”

Amir Garrett pitched four hitless innings in the Reds’ 3-1 win over Oakland. Jimmy Herget, Nick Rout, Kevin Schackelford, and Jackson Stephens pitched a scoreless inning each. Keury Mella gave up a ninth inning home run to Chris Parmelee.