The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
We learned over the weekend that Devin Mesoraco won’t be ready to join the Opening Day roster for the Cincinnati Reds since he’s simply not yet in game shape, which means Rule 5 Draft selection Stuart Turner has a phenomenal chance of making the team on day one.
Despite having never played above AA - and despite facing off against San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner on Monday - Turner continued his impressive spring, thumping a long dinger on a day when virtually nobody else on the Reds’ roster did much at all.
With Tucker Barnhart set to carry the bulk of the early duties once the regular season begins, the stuff we’ve seen from Turner so far this season does now seem to provide at least a little promise for the team’s overall catching depth despite what the back of the baseball cards 100% suggest. It’s admittedly a crossed-fingers approach to the start of the year for Cincinnati, but when you look at how the pitching rotation has been undressed of late, the catching situation suddenly looks rosy in comparison.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Sebastian Elizalde, who had a pair of hits off Bumgarner (one a double); Michael Lorenzen, who tossed a pair of scoreless innings (despite not striking out a batter); and Eric Jagielo, who reminded us he still exists with a single after entering the game late.
Cody Reed entered Monday's start against the Giants with a tidy 3.24 ERA in his 5 Cactus League apperances to date. Let's just say that went up.
I'd bullet point how things went awry, but that's the kind of lengthy essay that's better reserved for Cincinnati doing the damage, a long plane flight, or a lazy afternoon on the beach. Reed's day ended after 3.2 IP, in which he allowed 10 runs (all earned) on 10 hits and 4 walks, and he failed to strike out anyone in the process. Just to add insult to injury, he took a combacker off his glove/arm/side, and while he stayed in the game afterwards, it'll probably leave more than just his ego sore when he wakes up tomorrow.
That Cactus League ERA of his? It's now a 7.08.
Reds lost, 14-2.
- The Reds cut ties with Ryan Raburn this morning, in part due to the team's belief that they'll need at least an 8 man bullpen to help support what looks to be a woeful starting pitching staff at the moment. In other words, while the extremity of today's rough outing is surely not going to happen every single day, it's the kind of start that the Reds have built-in worries about that are tangibly impacting their roster construction.
- Unfortunately for Raburn, that meant a short bench for position players and a dire need for positional flexibility on defense, something he can't quite provide at age 35.
- With just two days left before the team exits Arizona for their final exhibition games before the regular season begins, the Reds will return to Goodyear to host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday. Opening Day Starter Scott Feldman (TM) will toe the rubber for Cincinnati in his final tuneup, while LA will send Alex Wood to the mound. First pitch is set for 4:05 PM ET.