Most Impressive Players Thus Far in Cincinnati Reds’ Camp


The Cincinnati Reds have played a week of spring training games and even though it’s early, some guys have been impressive to start the spring schedule. While spring training games tend to be downplayed for the star players, they are critical for the players who don’t have a given spot on the roster, but want to be in Cincinnati on April 6. So, which of the “bubble” players have impressed in the first week of spring games for the Reds?

The player who has probably left the biggest impression on Reds management has been 23-year-old right-hander Michael Lorenzen. In four innings, he’s given up only three hits and a walk while striking out three. Bryan Price told the Cincinnati media Tuesday he’s not ruling out Lorenzen making the big league club out of spring training. Lorenzen was a competitive lottery selection (selected 38th) in 2013 and was a starter for AA-Pensacola last year. If he doesn’t make the cut, he will almost certainly go to Louisville to start the season.

Veteran pitcher Jason Marquis is competing for the fifth starting spot and has pitched well in his first two games. He’s struck out six and walked two, while not allowing a hit or a run. In my opinion, the last starting spot will come down to him or Anthony DeSclafani, and through two starts, Marquis looks to have the edge.

Keyvius Sampson, another player vying for a bullpen spot, has also started strong. In five innings pitched, he’s given up two hits, a walk and struck out three. He’s another one the Reds could seriously consider if he continues to pitch well.

As for position players, Brennan Boesch is trying to become the 24th or 25th man on the roster. Although his last couple seasons with the Angels and Yankees haven’t gone well, he’s proven early he could be that fourth outfielder/bench player for the Reds, going 5-for-11 with two home runs and five RBI.

Irving Falu, a career minor league player with very limited major league appearances, has gone 5-for-7 with one double, one RBI, one walk, two SBs and four runs scored in the six games he’s played. Falu probably won’t make the team in April, but he can prove to the Reds that he should be a guy they send to Louisville with the hope of getting called up in the middle of the season.

University of Louisville product Chris Dominguez is 5-for-13 so far this spring, with two doubles, two RBI, two runs scored and three strikeouts. He has struggled on the defensive side though, already committing two errors and having only 17 put outs in 27 total chances. Knowing the value that the Reds put on defense, Dominguez would have to seriously impress them with his offensive numbers.

Eugenio Suarez is 3-for-9 with one run scored, one double and an RBI. Many fans are calling for him to be the everyday shortstop right out of the gate, but given that he’s still young (23 years old) and has limited at-bats in the majors, I understand why Price is sticking with Cozart as his shortstop right now. If Suarez is as good as people say he is, he’ll get playing time soon enough.

If I had to guess, I’d say Boesch and Suarez make the 25-man roster. Boesch has shown early that he has some pop in his bat, something the Reds are sorely lacking on their bench after trading Chris Heisey. He also plays a position in which the Reds don’t have many options. Suarez already has some major league experience, and will be a useful middle infield replacement. Because of his veteran experience, Marquis has a solid chance to be the fifth starter. As for the bullpen, I think the Reds will be more selective as to who makes the roster, given their performance last year.

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