The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
We likely won't see Cody Reed make a start for the big league version of the Cincinnati Reds for a few months, but he once again flashed the kind of brilliance his left arm possesses in his start against the Cleveland Indians on Thursday. Red threw 4.1 innings without allowing an earned run, struck out 6, and yielded just a trio of hits, and since these games don't matter - and neither does this recap, for that matter - we'll just casually ignore that he walked 4 and committed an error of his own that helped lead to 2 unearned runs.
Still, he caps a solid Cactus League campaign with a tidy 2.87 ERA in a league unforgiving to most pitchers, and he'll head to Louisville to hopefully keep climbing those top prospect rankings rapidly. Have a trophy for the road, Cody.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who went 1 for 2 with a walk (drink!); Billy Hamilton, who smacked an RBI single; Eugenio Suarez, who had a single and a stolen base; and Ross Ohlendorf, who tossed a scoreless 8th inning with a K and a nifty pickoff at 1B.
- The Reds got on the board first in this one, pushing across a run in the Top of the 2nd. Devin Mesoraco was hit by a pitch with 1-out, and he scored two batters later after back to back singles up the middle from Jake Cave and Billy Hamilton. Reds led, 1-0.
- Cleveland struck back in the Bottom of the 3rd, however, jumping in front for the first time. Jason Kipnis took a leadoff walk, one that haunted after a later walk to Mike Napoli and an error at 3B by Eugenio Suarez. Jose Ramirez - who came in to pinch run for Kipnis - scored on said error, Napoli moved up to 3B, and Napoli then scored with Yan Gomes batting when Devin Mesoraco let a passed ball get by him. Reds trailed, 2-1.
- The inability for the pitcher to throw a pitch successfully to the catcher cost the Reds another run in the Bottom of the 7th. Jose Ramirez smacked a double off Keyvius Sampson before being replaced by pinch-runner Todd Hankins, and Hankins then moved to 3B on a productive groundout. Tony Cingrani then took over on the mound for Sampson, but catcher Ramon Cabrera couldn't corral one of his breaking balls, and Hankins motored home on yet another passed ball. Reds trailed, 3-1.
- From that point on, both pitching staffs remained effective - largely against backup lineups - and the scoring went kaput. Reds lost, 3-1.
The Reds realizing they're heading back to Cincinnati without Cave-n:
- Before the start of this one, Bryan Price made a series of comments that gave insight into both the projected lineup and projected roster for Opening Day. As for the lineup, seeing Zack Cozart leadoff with Hamilton hitting 9th today wasn't by accident, as it's something that appears to be what the team will feature at the outset of the regular season.
- As for the Opening Day roster, the OF logjam may be at least temporarily alleviated, as it appears that Yorman Rodriguez has a balky hamstring that may land him on the 15-day DL to start the season. Given that he's out of options, it would buy the team some time to let the rest of the crowd thin out before having to make a final call on Rodriguez.
- Speaking of that OF crowd thinning: the Reds placed Jake Cave on waivers, essentially making clear that Jose Peraza and Jordan Pacheco will make the Opening Day roster.
- While Cody Reed pitched in this one, Brandon Finnegan did work in the Reds' minor league game. His final line: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 86 pitches. Get the Reds pitching out of Cactus League Dingerville ASAP, please.
- Thus endeth the Reds' Cactus League season. They'll travel back to the Midwest later today, have an off-day on Friday, and tangle with the Pittsburgh Pirates in Indianapolis on Saturday in one final exhibition tune-up.