Reds Winter League Seasons Heating Up

The Arizona Fall League keeps rolling on while the Dominican, Mexican and Venezuelan leagues have started. There are a ton of things to get to, as Reds prospects and players are all around playing in winter leagues this year. First, we’ll update the Arizona Fall League:

After starting the season red hot, the Phoenix Desert Dogs have gone ice cold, losing eight straight, and are now 3-8 on the year, tied with Mesa for the worst record in the league. However, this is not necessarily bad news for Reds fans:

Donnie Joseph – While he hasn’t exactly been stellar, he hasn’t been terrible. Joseph has a pair of scoreless outings under his belt, but also a pair of 2-run outings. Joseph is 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in 4 games and 5.2 IP. He’s given up four runs on 10 hits in that time walking three and striking out five.

Travis Webb – Webb is suffering the wrath of fall leagues on starting pitchers. If you’re a starting pitcher by trade in a fall league, you rarely pitch, and when you do, you’re not going to go more than four innings—if you make it that far. So far, that’s been the case for Webb who has pitched (and started) just two games since the AFL started on October 4th. Travis has given up two runs on three hits in each of those two games, totaling a 6.75 ERA in 5.1 IP, striking out six, walking three.

Nick Christiani – Other than his outing yesterday, Christiani has been great. Yesterday, after a one out walk, Christiani induced a ground ball for what should’ve been an inning ending double play. A throwing error allowed the runner to reach third. Two pitches later, Nick threw a “wild pitch” (the pitch was in the dirt and should’ve been blocked) and the run scored putting Christiani on the losing end of an 8-7 game without giving up a hit or earned run. There is silver lining here, though: Christiani still boasts a 0.00 ERA and has given up just 1 hit in 4.1 IP while striking out six and walking just one. That totals a WHIP of 0.46.

Bradley Boxberger – Boxy gave up his first earned run of the fall on October 14, an outing which lasted 2.1 innings. Other than that one run, Boxberger has been perfect, giving up just one hit in his first three games. Boxberger has struck out 11 and walked just 3 in a total of 5.2 IP over 4 games, by far the best of Reds pitching in Arizona through the first two weeks.

Cody Puckett – So far, no good for Cody. He has just 4 hits (26 ABs) in seven games. Two of those hits are home runs. He has struck out 9 times and walked just 4. His OBP is a not-so-good .267 and his SLG is an abysmal .385.

Brodie Greene – as opposed to Puckett, Greene has 8 hits (23 ABs) in five games so far. He has a homer with 4 RBI. His OBP is .375 and his SLG is .478. Hopefully Puckett can catch up to Greene offensively and both can carry it over into spring training.

Yasmani Grandal – Grandal has not played for ten days, and has played in just two games. I have searched everywhere trying to figure out why and have come up with nothing. In his two games (last game on October 7), Grandal is 2-7 with a double, and an RBI. If I ever get word on why he’s not playing, I’ll pass it along.

The Reds organization has one player playing for Algodoneros de Guasave in the Mexican League this year. That player is:

James Avery – Avery has pitched in three games, going 4.1 innings, giving up four hits, one earned run, striking out three and walking one. Avery started 26 of the 27 games he appeared in for Double-A Carolina this season, going 6-12 with a 4.70 ERA. Hopefully his hot start to the fall will spell good things for him.

There are a number of players from the Reds organization listed on rosters in the Venezuelan League. Please keep in mind, these rosters are gigantic, so there’s no guarantee these players will even play, but for purposes of you knowing where Reds players are, here’s a list and what they’ve done (if anything) up to this point.

Aguido Gonzalez – Caribes – makes sense that the Venezuelan native is playing in his home country this fall. Gonzalez gave up two hits in his only outing on October 14, lasting two-thirds of an inning, striking out two and walking one.

Carlos Fisher – Caribes – Fisher, who spent time in both Triple-A Louisville and Cincinnati this season, has pitched 1.1 innings of hitless ball, striking out one and walking none.

Carlos Mendez – Caribes – Mendez spent most of the 2011 season in A-Advanced Bakersfield. He hit .270 with 2 HR, 13 doubles, 1 triple, and 28 RBI for the Blaze. He has yet to see action with Caribes.

Doug Salinas – Navegantes – Salinas spent the entire 2011 season in Bakersfield where he went 5-2 with 14 saves in 47 games with a 4.47 ERA, giving up just 46 hits in 50.1 IP while striking out 55 and walking just 19. Salinas pitched 2 innings in his Venezuelan debut, giving up a run on two hits, striking out one, and walking two.

Ruben Medina – Tiburones – Medina gave up 19 runs (15 earned) in just 19.2 IP between Bakersfield and Carolina in the regular season. He hasn’t pitched since May 18 (not sure why, I’d speculate injury). Hopefully he can turn his fortunes around in the fall.

Miguel Rojas – Tiburones – In five games for Tiburones, Rojas has torn the cover off the ball going 7-15 with one double, one triple, and two RBI. That adds up to a .467 AVG and a .667 SLG. His double and triple came as part of a 4-5 day October 15. Miguel has yet to strike out as well.

Louisville Bats manager Rick Sweet is managing Estrellas de Oriente of the Dominican League this year. On board with him are four Bats players:

Tom Cochran – Cochran started October 14 and gave up four runs (all earned) on six hits in 3 IP. He struck out three and walked none.

Jerry Gil – My Bats Pitcher of the Year, Gil threw two innings on October 15, giving up one hit—a home run—striking out four and walking none.
Jeremy Horst – Horst saw some time with the Reds this year and posted a 2.93 ERA in his time with the Redlegs. On the 15th, Horst gave up a run on two hits in an inning of work.

Denis Phipps – Phipps hit .346 in 122 games between Carolina and Louisville in the regular season. Phipps went hitless on the 14th but did come through on the 15th with a 2-4 day including a run scored. Phipps, who is playing in his home country, is sure to see plenty of time for Sweet this fall/winter.

There is also one Reds third baseman who is playing for Tigres del Licey of the Dominican League:

Juan Francisco – Juan has started the fall off just as hot as he ended the regular season. In three games he is 6-13 (.462 AVG) with a double and an RBI. Five of Francisco’s hits have come off of righties (5-8). Hopefully Juan is also honing his defensive skills during the offseason as well.