What a week it's been for our beloved Redlegs. We've seen pitchers get hurt, pitchers get sent down, and there seem to be new faces everywhere in the Reds minor leagues as well. Let's recap where we stand right now, look at who's hot and who's not, and recap the weekend's games.
Starting with Louisville, we have a pitching staff that's full of new faces. With Tom Cochran and Chad Reineke getting the call to help out on the injury-ravaged major league squad, this rotation is being anchored by Edinson Volquez and Scott Carroll for the time being. The next two rotation spots are being taken up by local boy Matt Klinker and Brandon Hynick, who was recently acquired from the White Sox. Reineke has taken the last spot, but will be in Cincinnati soon, so the Bats will get their pick of Daryl Thompson, Steven Jackson (recently acquired from LA), and Chris Mobley (recently acquired from Texas). Nick Christiani also joins the Bats after putting up a 1.75 ERA in 25.1 innings in Carolina.
Carolina's a little less hectic, but it's worth noting that Clayton Shunick deservedly joins the team after putting up a 1.67 ERA in Bakersfield (which is very difficult to do), and Tim Gustafson, who we plucked out of the Braves organization as a former 9th round pick out of Georgia Tech. Eric Campbell also joins the Mudcats after putting up a 1.121 OPS in Bakersfield. It'll be really interesting to see how he does going from the bandbox in Bakersfield to a more neutral run-environment in AA. The only new face in Dayton is Drew Poulk, who put up good numbers in the AZL last year (.300/.333/.422).
Let's look at our fresh and stale prospects at this week's market.
Dorn was here a few weeks ago, and finds himself back here because he's just gotten better since then. On the year, he's hitting .313/.357/.514 and is hitting .436 in his last 10 games with a 1.234 OPS in that span, and has a hit in 11 straight games.
Speaking of Louisville outfielders, Hermida's been hitting hot too. His OPS on the year is up to .980. Who would have thought coming into this season that we'd be short on pitching and have a surplus of outfielders?
The best pitcher you've never heard of in the Reds system has been Josh Smith so far this year. He's started 10 games for Dayton and has a 1.78 ERA in 55 2/3 innings. He's given up 2 homers on the season and has struck out 72 hitters and given up only 11 walks. He needs to be in Bakersfield soon.
You know what, I'm in an optimistic mood after the win last night. Let's look at more fresh prospects!
Hank-Rod took a little while to get going this year, but he's been gangbusters lately. He's hitting .340 on the year, and has a .475/.523/.675 line in his last 10 games. He's proven himself and should be trying his shot at AA soon.
Remember this guy? Soto's quietly putting together a nice season in Carolina, with a .323/.362/.615 line so far. He got a late start to the year, but will hopefully keep going.
I'll be honest, I'm a little surprised Boxy hasn't been in the conversation to help out in the big leagues so far this year. In Carolina, he's sporting a 1.50 ERA in 24 innings and has struck out 40 and only walked 10. Righties are hitting only .068 against him. I'd love to see him help out at a higher level soon.
On to the weekend's games...
- Louisville split their long weekend 2-2. On Friday, they lost 6-4 to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, despite collecting 14 hits. Jeremy Hermida was 3-for-4. Chad Reineke (who will start tonight for the Reds) started and pitched 2 shutout innings. He's 5-2 on the season in 9 starts and has a 2.52 ERA in AAA so far. Justin Lehr and Joseph Krebs combined to give up 6 runs in 5 innings, and Jerry Gil pitched the last 2 and gave up no hits. They were able to bounce back on Saturday, winning 4-3 after surrendering the lead in the 8th inning. Edinson Volquez started and pitched 7 2/3 innings (and threw 109 pitches). Daniel Dorn went 2-for-4 with a homer, his 5th of the year. They lost the rubber match on Sunday, dropping 8-4. Brandon Hynick started and went 6 innings and gave up 4 runs, striking out 6. Aroldis Chapman came in and gave up 4 runs in 1 2/3 innings with 3 strikeouts and 2 walks. From all accounts, his velocity was as good as we've seen (between 98-102 on his fastball), so it's tough to tell what the cause of his ineffectiveness would be. Hermida was 4-for-4 in this one and Dorn hit his 6th homer of the year. The Bats beat Syracuse on Monday 9-4 on a strong offensive night. Yonder Alonso and Chris Valaika had 3 hits each, and Corky Miller went 2-for-4 with his first homer of the year. Matt Klinker had a good start, going 6 2/3 innings and giving up 1 run with 4 strikeouts and no walks. Up next: Bats take on Syracuse tonight at 6:35, starting pitcher to be announced.
- Carolina took 3 of 4 out of their weekend. They lost on Friday to Birmingham 12-1, where Kyle McCulloch gave up 7 runs in 6 innings. Donnie Joseph was once again not good, surrendering 4 more runs in only 1 2/3 innings. The Mudcats were able to bounce back on Saturday, winning 7-3. Neftali Soto, Quintin Berry, and James Skelton all had 2 hits each. James Avery pitched 6 innings and gave up 2 runs, and Nick Christiani and Brad Boxberger combined for 3 no-hit innings to close it out. The bats came out in a big way on Sunday, as they won 14-5, with Miguel Rojas being the big performer. Rojas was 3-for-5 with 5 RBI, and Cody Puckett hit his 8th homer of the year. Tim Gustafson started and gave up 2 runs in 3 innings, and Travis Webb struck out 6 in 3 shutout relief innings to earn the win. Pedro Villarreal made the jump from Bakersfield to start Monday's game, and delivered as the Mudcats blanked Jacksonville 8-0. Villarreal pitched 6 shutout innings, and struck out 5 while walking 2. Up next: The Mudcats take on Jacksonville at 7:05, with Daryl Thompson listed as the starter, even though he's on Louisville's roster right now. Hm.
- Bakersfield lost 3 of their 4. They lost 9-8 against San Jose on Friday. Henry Rodriguez went 4-for-5 in this one, and J.C. Sulbaran pitched 6 innings and gave up 5 runs while striking out 7. They lost again on Saturday, a 8-2 defeat in a game where Lance Janke pitched and also gave up 5 runs in 6 innings. Alex Buchholz went 2-for-3 with a homer. They were able to eke out a walk-off win on Sunday, winning 8-7against Visalia. Tim Crabbe had a tough start, giving up 6 runs and getting pulled in the 4th inning. Tzu-Kai Chiu stepped up and pitched 3 2/3 solid relief innings, only giving up 1 run, and Andrew Bowman pitched 2 innings to get the win. Didi Gregorius (remember him?) led off and went 2-for-4, and A.J. Means hit his 2nd homer of the year. Brodie Greene was 2-for-3, including the walk-off single in the 9th. They weren't as lucky on Monday, as they fell 9-7. Gregorius had 3 hits in this one, and Henry Rodriguez, Chris Richburg, and Mark Fleury all homered for the Blaze. Unfortunately, the pitching. Mark Serrano gave up 4 runs in 5 innings, and Tyree Hayes gave up 5 unearned runs in one inning to put the game out of reach. Up next: The Blaze take on Visalia at 10:30. starter is to be announced.
- Dayton also dropped 3 of 4 of their weekend games. They beat South Bend 6-1 on Friday. Josh Smith had another stellar outing, pitching 6 shutout innings with 5 strikeouts. They lost 3-0 on Saturday in a makeup game for a rainout, which meant that Daniel Corcino pitched a 6 inning complete game. He gave up 3 runs and struck out 8. Unfortunately, the Dragons could only muster up 3 hits. The offense only improved to 4 hits on Monday's first doubleheader game, as they lost 4-1. Daniel Tuttle started and gave up 3 runs in 5 innings. In the second game, they lost 5-4. Billy Hamilton and Dominic D'Anna had two hits and drove in 2 runs each. Pat Doyle got the start and pitched 4 innings, giving up 3 runs (2 earned). Up next: Tanner Robles takes the mound as the Dragons take on Beloit at 7.