While the headline above might likely raise a eyebrow or two, the grand experiment to try and put Aroldis Chapman in the Reds rotation again isn’t happening. Chapman is slated to start on Saturday vs. a Cubs split-squad club though.
Manager Bryan Price explains the decision to start with his closer.
“We have [Mike] Leake scheduled to pitch tomorrow in a Minor League game, so we’ll get our relief pitchers out of the way first,” Price said. “Then, I’m sure we’ll have some Minor Leaguers come up to pitch, to make up for the innings we’re not going to get from Leaker.”
Facing Minor League batters for the second time in spring on Friday, Reds pitcher Homer Bailey worked three innings in a Triple-A game.
Bailey allowed one earned run and three hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Of his 41 pitches, 25 were strikes.
In a Double-A game, Johnny Cueto pitched five innings with two earned runs and five hits, no walks, four strikeouts and one wild pitch. He threw 60 pitches/47 strikes.
More on Reds.com/MLB.com later.
Also today: Homer Bailey is starting in a Triple-A game and Johnny Cueto is starting a Double-A game and will throw to Tucker Barnhart. Both games are vs. Dodgers Minor Leaguers.
The Reds traded Minor League corner infielder Neftali Soto to the White Sox on Monday in exchange for cash considerations.
Although he batted .302/.350/.406 last season for Triple-A Louisville, Soto wasn’t able to take advantage of big league call-ups in both 2013 and ’14. In five stints for Cincinnati over those seasons, he batted .071 (3-for-42) with one RBI.
Soto, 26, was viewed a rising prospect in the Reds system a couple of years ago who was blocked by Joey Votto at first base. He was tried at different positions, including third base and catcher but never found a home anywhere defensively.
It was telling that the Reds did not make Soto a September call-up last season. On Oct. 28, he sent outright to Louisville and off of the 40-man roster. Declared a six-year free agent, he signed a Minor League deal with the club in December and was invited to big league camp at Spring Training.
In four spring games, Soto was 2-for-7 and he was part of the Reds’ first wave of camp cuts on March 10.
Press release from MLB Network about Monday night’s game:
The Cincinnati Reds at Texas Rangers Spring Training game tonight will be available on MLB Network in the Cincinnati television market live at 9:00 p.m. ET. MLB Network’s Spring Training games schedule, which features more than 200 games and live baseball every day through Saturday, April 4, can be viewed here: http://atmlb.com/17STpA4.
In a Triple-A game on Sunday, Homer Bailey threw two scoreless innings with 29 pitches/20 strikes. He allowed one hit and a walk with two strikeouts.
Overall, there were no issues.
“My elbow felt great,” said Bailey, who had September surgery to repair a torn flexor mass tendon. “We started with two innings. We’ll just kind of go from there.”
Bailey will pitch next on Friday vs. the Brewers in a big league game.
I’ll have much more soon on Reds.com/MLB.com.
In all seven of his games this spring, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has batted second. In six of his 11 games, second baseman Brandon Phillips has batted third. In four of their games together, Votto has batted second with Phillips behind him in the third spot. (It will be five after Sunday’s game)
“I can’t commit to that at this point in time,” Price replied Sunday when asked if these would be the regular season lineup spots for Votto and Phillips. “You know, I’m just moving guys around a bit. Joey has stayed in the second hole. Brandon has been second, third and I think I’ve hit him fourth. Right now it’s moving pieces and coming to some conclusion as to what’s our best order is to start the season.”
In the 923 games he’s started over his career, Votto has batted third in 757 of them and second in only 31. Phillips has batted in multiple spots over his career but has been vocal over the years about his desire to bat third.
I don’t get too concerned about lineup construction in general, but seeing Votto bat second seems to work for me. I’d have batted Devin Mesoraco or Todd Frazier third and projected before Spring Training to have Phillips in the seventh spot. But based on what we’ve seen thus far, it’s doesn’t seem likely.
I will have more from Price on this later today on Reds.com/MLB.com.