Late last night, the Cincinnati Reds downed the Texas Rangers 6-3 in their first night game of Cactus League play, and given the start time, lack of TV feed, and the general performance of the Reds over the last four seasons, not too many of us bothered to notice. One player who did his best to make sure our interest should re-engage, however, was Anthony DeSclafani, who missed all of 2017 with an elbow issue that further cemented in most of our minds that the Reds were fighting their way through some form of awful, awful curse.
Disco allowed a leadoff single in the Top of the 1st, backed it with a walk...and proceeded to breeze through the rest of his evening. He retired eight of his final nine batters, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon notes, and flashed the kind of impressive out-making ability that he showed in his 130 ERA+ season in 2016. That’s exactly what the Reds need from him to help dig the rotation out of the dregs, and it was the perfect bounce-back performance given how he got a bit knocked around his previous time out.
Eugenio Suarez belted a pair of dingers, for the record. Of course he did - it was a home game.
In other news, The Athletic’s Eno Sarris identified six National League pitchers that may well be poised for a breakout 2018, and a pair of talented young Cincinnati hurlers made the list.
Talking about Disco being vital to the team’s rotation and seeing Sarris notice a pair of young arms in the Cincinnati system that could breakout and knowing that none of those three is Luis Castillo is a promising, promising development. There’s a wealth of talent at the Reds’ disposal pitching-wise at the moment, and Castillo sure looks like the best bet to continually take steps towards greatness. The Enquirer’s John Fay took a closer look at Castillo’s chances of being the next Cincinnati ace, including a trip back through the aces of yore - or lack thereof - in the history of the franchise.
Jay Jaffe has a Tampa Bay Rays-centric article up at FanGraphs regarding their history of Tommy John surgeries, and while it’s inspired by the recent cases of Brent Honeywell and Jose De Leon, it includes a graph that shows the number of TJs since 2010 broken down by organization. As it turns out, only the New York Mets have had a greater numbe/r of pitchers undergo the surgery than the Reds have since 2010, which is a rather alarming thing to process. It’s a reference point today specifically since word broke last night that Joe Mantiply, who was in Cincinnati camp as a non-roster invitee, underwent Tommy John surgery of his own yesterday.
Finally, the Reds made another big round of cuts from camp on Friday, highlighted by Ariel Hernandez being optioned to AAA Louisville. Joining him in being optioned were Jose Lopez, Keury Mella, Jesus Reyes, Shed Long, Aristides Aquino, and Jose Siri. All were ‘optioned to AAA Louisville,’ as the team announced, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll now all start the year there, as instead that’s just the procedural announcement. Odds are Long and Siri both will start at a lower level than that somewhere. It’s also worth noting that all seven players cut from camp are rostered players, meaning none of the non-roster invitees (Ben Revere, Kyle Crockett, etc.) have yet had their chances of making the team ended (Mantiply aside, of course).