On the second day of spring, the Reds were downed by a score of 12-3 in the middle game of their opening three-game set against their interstate rival, the Cleveland Indians.
Even less Major League talent was on display in this one as after the fifth inning, each teams lineups consisted of players that are slated to be playing at the lower throngs of each clubs Minor League system. It may not have been exhilarating, especially considering the lopsided score, but getting familiar with the new faces that will be occupying both Louisville and Pensacola was a nice way to spend the afternoon.
Thankfully, Bryan Price kept his carousel-like lineup changes to a minimum, simply substituting for the previous position, unlike yesterday.
Offensive side of the diamond:
With only three runs tacked up on the scoreboard, there was certainly a lack of offensive contribution on the afternoon. In fact, Indians catcher Jake Lowery put up four runs with just one swing of the bat in the top of the fifth after he crushed a grand slam to right center field.
To start off the day, Billy Hamilton worked a full count for the second consecutive afternoon in his opening at-bat. Eventually, he laced a looping line drive into left field for a hit, and after baiting shortstop Mike Aviles into a throw, Hamilton found his way over to third once the ball was thrown off target and landed in the stands. In more ways than just steals, he is continuing to influence the game.
After Chris Nelson yanked a double to left center field in the bottom of the second, Zack Cozart responded by pounding a poorly located fastball from Corey Kluber to the wall in left field, scoring two runs and putting the Reds ahead 2-0.
Pitching side of the diamond:
The lone member of the projected Opening Day roster to take to the hill was the likely Opening Day starter himself, Johnny Cueto.
Pitching around a one out double off the bat of Mike Aviles in the first, and two walks in the second frame, Cueto managed two scoreless innings, finishing with two strikeouts as well. He reported no shoulder/arm pain after featuring his patented “Luis Tiant” style of pitching, which is always a positive when it comes to Cueto and his much-maligned golden right arm.
After the hero of San Pedro de Macoris left the mound, the floodgates opened.
David Holmberg, the young left-hander who was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the deal that saw Ryan Hanigan go to the Tampa Bay Rays, served up a Ruthian-like blow to Elliot Johnson of all people, batting ninth in the order and battling for his Major League life. Watching the young Holmberg for the first time, it is easy to see that he has confidence in his off-speed pitches, especially his curveball, which he was very accurate with. Working with Corky Miller this season down at Louisville should be a big plus for Holmberg, who should be seeing some consistent Major League starts by next season.
Following him was super prospect turned sour, Daniel Corcino. After a dreadful season at Louisville in 2013, Corcino is looking to rebound and prove to Reds brass that his comparisons to Johnny Cueto were not for naught.
In what was a typical Corcino outing; he faced six batters, rendering a RBI double that nearly went out of the park, three walks, two strikeouts, and a blistering fastball. Unfortunately for him, Ismael Guillon came on to close out the Indians rally, but was greeted with a Grand Slam from Jake Lowery to force in all the runs Corcino had left out on the basepaths.
One final thing of note was Henry Rodriguez’s brutal defensive display down at third base. He misplayed one ball completely, allowing it to bounce right past his backhanded attempt, which was credited for an error, and that was after he was eaten up by a ground ball earlier in the game that should have been ruled an error. Rodriguez has always been the man with no position, but if he hopes to crack the 25-man roster as a third baseman, he best start making routine plays out of his multiple errors on this day.
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For the third consecutive day, the Reds and Indians will lock heads at 3:05 PM down at Goodyear Ballpark, but unfortunately, the television cameras will not be in attendance. Have no fear though, we will still provide you with the results and outcome of the game, just with fewer details since of course, our eyes cannot be everywhere.