My last post covered Five Exciting Position Players. Today’s post will be covering Five Exciting Pitchers. As with the last post, these players are in no particular order.
Justin Lehr, RHSP – Justin is a veteran guy who has 77 big league appearances under his belt. Lehr started just seven games for the Bats last year before having Tommy John surgery on May 28, 2010, ending his season. Lehr may start the season on the minor league DL until his arm is completely ready to go. But if Lehr can regain his form from the 2009 season, the possibilities are endless for the career journeyman. That season, first with Lehigh Valley then with the Bats, Lehr went 13-3 with a stellar 3.31 ERA and was named the International League’s Most Valuable Pitcher. If he can do that, Lehr should be the Bats’ #1 starter and have the inside track to a call up from Cincinnati should opportunity arise.
Daryl Thompson, RHSP – In 2008, Thompson went 8-4 with a 2.70 ERA (5-0 2.76 in Louisville) and was named the organization’s Pitcher of the Year. Thompson then struggled with injuries in 2009, making just nine appearances and three stints on the DL. In 2010 Thompson began his comeback posting a 3.48 ERA in 15 total appearances with the AZL Reds and Carolina Mudcats. Thompson should start the season with the Bats and will be a key component of the Bats’ run at a fourth straight division crown.
Jose Arredondo, RHRP – Jose spent two full seasons with the Anaheim Angels in 2008-09 posting 12-5 record with a 3.48 ERA and 89 holds in 95 total appearances in those two seasons. Arredondo was then released by the Angels in December ’09 after learning he would have Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2010 season. Arredondo then signed with the Reds in January ’10 and was hoping to make the big league club this spring. Unfortunately, Arredondo will begin the 2011 season on the DL. This means one good thing for Bats fans: rehab appearances by a proven big league guy. The Reds are hoping Arredondo can return to his 2008 form (10-2 1.62 ERA in 52 games with the Angels) and help an already stellar bullpen.
Jerry Gil, RHRP – After Tommy John surgery, Jerry made the transition from outfielder to relief pitcher in 2008. Last year, Gil posted a 5-6 record with a 4.81 ERA in 47 games between Carolina and Louisville. Gil earned an invite to spring training camp and has impressed. In five appearances this spring, Jerry has not allowed a run and has four holds to his record. Gil is hoping to spend all of the 2011 season with the Bats as he looks to carry on the momentum he’s built in the spring.
Donnie Joseph, LHRP – Donnie has yet to make it Louisville, but he will. After just two seasons in the Reds’ organization, Joseph earned an invite to spring training and was named the Minor League Pitcher of the Year for 2010. In his two seasons Joseph has gone 7-8 with a 2.40 ERA and 28 saves in 81 games. If Joseph does not start the 2011 season with the Bats, he is sure to be here before the All Star Break. And when Joseph does get here, you better get out and see him because he will not be in the minors much longer; especially if he keeps up the pace he’s at.
These are just five of the many great pitching prospects in the Reds organization that Bats fans will see this season. Other guys that could easily have made this list include Bradley Boxberger, Jordan Hotchkiss, Jeremy Horst, Tom Cochran, and Matt Klinker among others. The Bats have a great chance to win a fourth straight West Division crown, thanks to these exciting players.
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