Arroyo in a groundball-a-thon

Here is the deal from Salt River Fields, after a Reds 4-3 win over the Rockies on Monday…

*Bronson Arroyo looked pretty good as he pitched 5 2/3 innings with 1 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 1 K. First batter Dexter Fowler hit a 1-2 pitch for a leadoff homer in the first inning but most everything else was kept on the ground. There were 11 groundballs that resulted in 13 outs, including double plays in the third and fourth innings.

“This spring has had a lot of groundballs,” Arroyo said. “A lot of guys are real quick in spring. They’re feeling strong. They want to get a lot of at-bats. They’re feeling a little antsy at the plate. They want to hit the ball in play hard. It’s a little indicative of them hit the ball off the end of their bat. That’s why I’m getting a lot of groundballs.

“I felt good tonight – it was a night game, it felt like a regular game today. I knew I was going to get deep in the ballgame and I was going to hit and all that. It was nice. Fowler starts me off with a bomb-bomb and everything else went smooth from there.”

*In the third inning, Arroyo tattooed a ball all the way to center field warning track. Fowler could not make the catch as the ball skipped off of the wall for a double.

“He (Fowler) didn’t know I’ve been hitting in the cage with that Johnny Bench knuckle-shuffle, man,” Arroyo joked. “I’m telling you, I switched it up. I might start driving the ball 300 [feet] off the tee too.”

*In the top of the sixth, the Rockies did the right side shift on Jay Bruce — something I honestly don’t recall that happening too often in past seasons. Well, Bruce certainly beat the shift. On a 3-2 pitch from LHP Christian Friedrich, he absolutely crushed a solo home run that landed well beyond the right field fence and towards the very back of the grassy hill. Bruce has three homers this spring.

*J.J. Hoover replaced Arroyo and struck out all four batters faced. Hoover, who is fighting for one of the final bullpen spots, has struck out seven in a row over his last two outings.

*In the top of the eighth, Billy Hamilton hit a line drive to the gap in right-center field. Even though right fielder Tyler Colvin did a fine job to cut off the ball from going to the fence, Hamilton briskly made it to third base with a head-first slide and easily had a triple. Had Colvin hesitated or had a slight misstep, Hamilton might have had an inside-the-park homer.

*The Reds announced Monday that 1,500 tickets to the April 1 Opening Day game vs. the Angels will go on sale at 9 a.m. ET on Saturday. The tickets are only available at the Great American Ball Park box office window, and are limited to 1,000 view level seats at $32 each and 500 standing room only at $20 each. There is a limit of four tickets per person.

*Finally, here is a video that’s called A Day in the Life: Sam LeCure. Shot in the early days of camp with the Reds reliever, it gives you some idea about the work pitchers do as they perform all of their drills and other actvities. I’m just impressed he was able to pitch in the bullpen with a wireless mic attached to a belt behind his back.


Are there any videos of Hamilton this spring? I want to see some of this speed in action!

Mark, I’m just curious about the race for roster spots and who you’d consider favorites. I like what I’m hearing about Hoover, and wondered about whether he makes it, and the rest of the bullpen.

It’s really tough to predict because the Chapman issue puts everything on hold. Hoover could be the victim of a numbers issue because he has options left and a number of guys in the bullpen do not. Despite his nice spring, I can’t put Hoover into the “favorites” category to make the roster. I think he is quite deserving however.

I second Ryan’s question. I see Hoover as our future closer, potentially as soon as next year.

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