Brayan Pena has caught most of Johnny Cueto’s starts this season but not his last two, including Tuesday vs. the Brewers. Pena was also not at first base and out of the starting lineup altogether for the fourth time in five games.
Once again on Tuesday, Todd Frazier played first base while Kristopher Negron played third base.
Brayan’s had a terrific year for us; he’s done way more than we ever expected as far as playing first,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He’s played a lot, he’s played more than he ever has played at this level. I may periodically play him at first and pinch hit and stuff like that, but I’m giving some other guys a chance to play right now.”
Although the backup catcher, Pena started 43 games at first base this season — a gigantic leap considering he played only parts of four games there his entire career. While he wouldn’t be considered a Gold Glove talent in the field, he really has done a nice job filling in for Joey Votto. He made just one error and has also turned in a more than a few nice defensive stops this season.
Here is one of his finer stops:
Reds outfield prospect and September callup Yorman Rodriguez was given his third start of the month and his first one in left field on Sunday vs. the Cardinals.
Rodriguez has played only five games entering the night, but has impressed manager Bryan Price in that short amount of time.
“I think he’s performed well in his limited opportunities,” Price said. “I’m excited to see him out there and see him play. He’s really impressed me with his approach. Even if you’re out there for batting practice, he has that middle-of-the-diamond to right-center approach. For a guy who has enough power to think he’s a home run hitter, at this point in his development he could be a pull approach guy and he’s not. I’m kind of anxious to see a little bit more of it before the season is out.”
Rodriguez, 22, was signed on his 16th birthday out of Venezuela in 2008 for a then-record bonus of $2.5 million. He has five-tool ability and the potential of offering the Reds some things that don’t currently have — especially offensively.
“We think he can,” Price said. “He’s getting the opportunity to show the Major League staff what he can do at the Major League level. We’ve seen him in Spring Training once. Kind of like the showcase of Billy Hamilton last year in September, he didn’t play a lot but when he played, he impressed. I think it made us all feel better going into this season that he was ready to come up here and challenge for that spot in center field.
“I don’t know that Yorman is quite to the same place developmentally because he hasn’t played any Triple-A yet but this is a great opportunity for him to kind of give us an idea of what he offers at this point in time of his development. He does provide us with a guy that we’re all organizationally we are very excited about being an impact player for us in the near future.”
Reds are 10-20 all-time on Sunday Night Baseball and 2-5 vs. STL in those games.
Reds pitcher Mat Latos, who missed his last two starts with a bone bruise in his right elbow, played catch from a short distance the final two days in Chicago, still does not have a target date to return to the mound this season. However, a return before the season ends has not been ruled out.
“We’re hoping that there will be a chance to get him on the mound one more time before the season is over,” Reds manager Bryan Price said on Friday. “But right now, that’s just optimism. We haven’t gotten to the point where we can say ‘yeah, he’s ready to throw a bullpen and if he gets through that ok, he’ll pitch on this date.’ We’re not there yet. I hope we get there but if we don’t, we’ll go with the five guys we have.”
To me, there really appears to be one more window in the final week of the season for Latos to get back into the rotation — on Wednesday or Thursday vs. the Brewers. That’s when both Daniel Corcino and David Holmberg are scheduled to start next, respectively. I don’t envision Price taking a final start away from Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake or Alfredo Simon before the season ends on Sept. 28.
The final road series of the season…
According to a tweet from Class A Daytona, the team has signed a four-year affiliation agreement with the Reds. The high-A team will replace Bakersfield in the Reds system after four seasons.
No official word has come from the Reds as of yet.
Daytona was known as the Cubs and was their previous affiliate. Obviously, there will be a new team name coming soon.
This a reminder that Sunday’s game at St. Louis will be broadcast on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball at 8:05 p.m. ET. It originally was scheduled to begin at 2:15 p.m. ET
And the Reds announced that the Saturday Sept. 27 home game vs. the Pirates has been changed to 1:05 p.m. ET to accommodate a FOX Sports 1 broadcast. It originally was scheduled for 4:10 p.m.
Here is a tidbit: While being swept by the Cubs, the Reds scored one run total for a three-game series for the first time since June 18-20 at Seattle. Those were 1-0, 5-1, 1-0 losses to the Mariners.
I’m not working this series. Back on Friday from St. Louis.