There was a ton of stuff to come out of Sunday’s 7-5 Reds loss to the Cardinals in 11 innings. I got to most of it, but not all, on Reds.com.
Here is some other things you probably want to know:
Manager Bryan Price had Tony Cingrani bunting in the seventh, but not because he wanted him to pitch the eighth. Cingrani struck out, failing to move runners before the rally was saved by Todd Frazier’s game-tying two run single.
“He was not but we were not going to bunt with one of our regular position players that we had on the bench,” Price said. We didn’t have our typical bench. “We had Negron on base and we were in a situation there where I would have been were asking Mesoraco, Byrd or Dominguez to bunt and burn a guy right there. Cingrani is a good bunter. He wasn’t today. … I felt like he was the best guy in that situation to lay down a bunt and he runs well. He just didn’t get the job done.”
On letting Kevin Gregg face all the Cardinals lefty hitters in the 11th:
Price: “You guys have seen how much we’ve utilized our bullpen to this point. They were on their last pitcher. We, unfortunately don’t have a guy like Villanueva that can throw five or six or seven innings of relief. We have a bunch of one or two inning guys currently in our bullpen. And that bit us in this situation. We couldn’t match up situationally in that game. There was a guy down there that we weren’t going to pitch today. We knew that. The other part is that Kevin Gregg has historically gotten a lot of left-handed hitters out. The only guy in that lineup that has really good numbers off him is Holliday. I didn’t think it was a mistake.”
Catcher Brayan Pena is ok after hurting his left shoulder trying to slide headfirst into first base.
“I jammed it a little bit,” Pena said. “I shouldn’t slide. What am I doing? That’s what happens when you’re not Billy Hamilton, you don’t know what to do. I just try to get on base because I was trying to hustle down and I need to work on my sliding. Hopefully I’ll be OK, tomorrow will be big for me because it depends on how I wake up. I was very excited when the doctor gave me the news that it wasn’t anything major or serious.”
Raisel Iglesias debuts for the Reds on Sunday, and appears in the Major Leagues without playing in the Minors first.
The old note with all the players that skipped the Minors only applied to DRAFTED players…. but this part is true: Iglesias will be the eighth Reds player to ever go straight to the Majors. Below are the other seven:
Year Player Previous Team
2010 MIKE LEAKE, P Arizona State
1957 Bobby Henrich, SS High School
1957 Jay Hook, P Northwestern
1957 Don Pavletich, C High School
1955 Al Silvera, OF USC
1953 Bob G. Miller, P High School
1944 Joe Nuxhall, P High School
For the first time this season on Sunday, the everyday eight were not together in the Reds lineup. Brayan Pena started at catcher while Brennan Boesch starts in left field. For the first time since 1989, the Reds had used the same eight position players in the starting lineup for the first five games of a season.
With Pena, the start comes on a Sunday after five games in a row for Devin Mesoraco and with fellow Cuban Raisel Iglesias making his Major League debut.
“I think they both coincide well,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “After last year when we had so much opportunity for the bench guys to play to this year where we really do have a fairly set lineup, I still have to find ways to keep these guys fresh and productive. I’m going to need the bench guys to start periodically to stay intact with their swing, so they can give us reliable pinch-hit at-bats. That’s a hard thing to do, especially to come off the bench and cold and hit off a setup man or closer when you haven’t had more than one at-bat for a game two or three weeks at a time.
“I’ll try to get all these guys a start here…in the next few days.”
With Boesch, Price didn’t feel the team was losing anything defensively. He can play all three outfield spots well.
“As does [Skip] Schumaker, as does [Kristopher] Negron,” Price added. “We really don’t feel like we’re taking a step back defensively with any of those guys in the outfield.”
First pitch @ 1:10 pm ET
First pitch… 7:10 pm
12:35 p.m. ET first pitch
As I wrote on Tuesday during the off day, the bridge from starting pitcher to closer was rickety in the eighth inning when Kevin Gregg debuted with a rough outing that included the game-tying two-run homer by Andrew McCutchen.
On Wednesday, manager Bryan Price was asked if Gregg would be his guy again in the eighth going forward.
“He may be. He may not be,” Price replied. “It just depends on who I have healthy and who is down there. He’s a guy who is experienced as a closer, a setup man and a starter. He’s a guy who has been a lot tighter situations than that over the course of his career. As I’ve told you, the bullpen will be ever evolving. These guys will cut out their roles based on how they perform.”
The bullpen is a high scrutiny area after last season’s struggles and second-highest ERA in the NL (4.11). Price didn’t have a backup option warming up to start the eighth on Monday.
“Once the eighth inning becomes a situational inning, it becomes a challenge,” Price said. “We went into that game anticipating him pitching the eighth inning. It didn’t go as well as we had anticipated. The eighth inning isn’t really a matchup inning. We really had hoped that it would be a clean inning and it wasn’t, so I had to make some adjustments there.”
When asked about Jumbo Diaz and Tony Cingrani, Price noted both could be in the late-inning mix.
“Yeah, came in and got the strikeout, and that was big. He’s another guy that doesn’t have the major league experience that Kevin has. He certainly has the power arm and I think he may be a guy that’s comfortable in some of those late inning situations.”
On what Cingrani can do:
“Any number of things. He’s stretched out and has a history as a starter, so he could throw some middle length innings and he could come in and be a left-handed guy out of the bullpen later in the game. He’s a guy who hasn’t historically gotten hit a lot. Last year we didn’t get anything out of it, because it was a tough year for Tony, he never had the same stuff he had in Opening Day. He spent a good portion of the year on the DL, and I don’t want to say it was a wasted year, but it was a year without a great deal of growth and I think pitching out of the bullpen plays to his natural aggressiveness. Again, if he throws well, he could find himself in a lot of those late-game opportunities.”
First pitch at 7:10 p.m. ET
Here is your Opening Day roster for Triple-A Louisville.