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Cincinnati Reds Thread - The novelty of spring training is gone


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Luis Castillo, Homer Bailey, and Amir Garrett all looked real string throwing today.  If the Reds can get a little bit of health, they will surprise some people this year.   I think they could end up over .500 if the rotation isn't anihillated by injury like last year.

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Supposedly Amir Garrett was sitting 95-97 with his fastball.  His velo was down last year with his hip issue he tried to play through, looks like that might be fully healthy now.  If this is the new normal, it could be a game changer for Garrett.  As long as his arm holds up.

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Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle, and Amir Garrett have all looked strong so far in spring training games.  Romano might be in the lead for that 5th starter spot.  Mahle likely starts in AAA regardless for service time issues, but i'll be shocked if he doesn't end the year in the Reds rotation.

Brandon Finnegan goes today in return from injury last year.  He might have to fight off some of the young talent if he doesn't want to get relegated to the bullpen (where he'd be a huge help, but starters are more valuable than relievers).

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Disco has an oblique injury (again, same type of injury cost him about half of 2016), and Finnegan left his start over the weekend with a "knot" in his back.  Finnegan says he is fine, but odds are Disco won't be ready for opening day.  That leaves 2, and possibly 3 rotation spots open if Finnegan has any other setbacks.  Right now the rotation situation looks like this:

Guaranteed spots if healthy:
Homer Bailey (contract/veteranynes)
Luis Castillo (BAMF)

Beyond that Finnegan is highly likely as long as he has no other setbacks.  I'd have to put the pecking order for the last 2-3 spots like such:

Sal Romano (absolutely dominant 4 IP his last outing, 1 H, 0 BB, 7 K, 30 pitches)
Amir Garrett (Has looked very good and his velo is back to where it was pre-hip injury if not a tick higher
Robert Stephenson (Had a rough first start which was his first action of the spring, looked good over his last 2 starts)
Michael Lorenzen (Very up and down, highly doubtful he escapes the bullpen)
Tyler Mahle (Has been very good this spring, but will start in AAA for service time shenanigans)

Now with 2 early off days, odds are they don't use the 5th starter until about game 11 or so, so opening day the rotation is likely:

Luis Castillo
Homer Bailey
Brandon Finnegan
Sal Romano

and then when that 5th pitcher is needed, I think they bring up Amir Garrett.  Bob Steve could still catch him (was very good the last 8 starts last year, sub 2.5 ERA in that stretch), but he needs to have a flawless last few spring performances to pass Garrett.

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9 hours ago, Beck Bristow said:

I've got Stephenson over Garrett. Bob responded down the stretch last year and looked ready to contribute. As long as he does not fall apart, I'd start him in Cincinnati. I am expecting Finnegan to be the  5th starter and get some rest to start the season.

I can see that.  Stephenson may have the best combination of pitches on the staff, he just has to get the control in hand.  He's shown flashes of it in the past.  His profile screams of a guy who is going to put it together a little later and then dominate a la what Jake Arrieta did.  If he does, a staff anchored by Castillo and Stephenson with solid pieces like Romano and Mahle behind them could be a dynamite pitching staff.  Not to mention the other high upside guys like Garrett, Gutierrez, Santillan, and Hunter Greene that are in the pipeline.  That'd be rotation stability (barring injury) through 2023.

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Hunter Greene made his first spring training start.

2 IP
0 R
0 H
1 BB
4 K
32 pitches
20 strikes

Fastballl say 98-99, topped out at 101
Slider was 85-87 with good bite
Curveball was solid at 78-80

The strike rate was a little lower than you'd like, but not terrible.  The slider was generating a lot of buzz.  That he gets that kind of velo with such a smooth delivery is amazing.  He also looks like he has added muscle since this time last year.  He looks imposing out on the mound.

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4 minutes ago, Beck Bristow said:

Extended Suarez today. Makes me happy.

7 year, $66 million extension with a team option for an 8th year at $15 million.  I'm absolutely thrilled at this extension.   Even if we go through 2025, he'll still only be 33.  We have him for all his prime years and aren't on the hook for multiple decline years.  His improvement in plate discipline and defense at 3B last year were really good indicators that his value is going to hold up.  I expect he hits higher than .260 as well.  Hit .260/.367/.461 last year, I could see him posting a .280/.380/.500 line over the next few years with plus defense at 3B.

Geno, along with Tucker Barnhart are my favorite Reds right now, so I'm pumped to see them both here the next 4 years at the minimum.

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  • THE DUKE changed the title to Cincinnati Reds Thread - The novelty of spring training is gone

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