Observations from Cincinnati Reds’ First Spring Loss to Giants

Mar 1, 2016; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez (7) hits a double against the Cleveland Indians during the first inning at Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2016; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez (7) hits a double against the Cleveland Indians during the first inning at Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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The dream is over. The Cincinnati Reds’ hopes at an undefeated spring-training season came crashing down on Friday afternoon in a 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants in Goodyear, Arizona. Most of the regulars got the day off, giving us more opportunities to see some of the young prospects in camp. Here are some observations from the game:

Suarez continues red-hot start

There hasn’t been a more impressive player early on in spring training than the Reds’ new third baseman, Eugenio Suarez. The Venezuelan got his team on the board early with a solo home run in the first inning and reached base in his only other plate appearance after being hit by a pitch. He has been retired only twice in seven trips to the plate in three games and notched four hits, all for extra bases. There’s not much point in reading into spring games — let alone a mere four spring games — but Suarez has shown he may be ready to take his game up another level in his third big-league campaign.

Impressive debut for Lorenzen

Coming into his sophomore season, Michael Lorenzen has made it his mission to be more pitch efficient and display better control. His first spring outing looked to be a step in the right direction in unleashing his potential. The 24-year-old started the game and tossed two perfect innings, inducing four ground-ball outs and a pair of strikeouts. Lorenzen’s starts later this month will something to keep an eye on, as he’ll be asked to throw deeper into games and show that he has improved his command.

More bullpen competitors see action

A trio of candidates for the Reds bullpen saw action in this one, including Chris O’Grady and two non-roster invites, J.C. Ramirez and Dayan Diaz. Each threw a scoreless inning. O’Grady, a Rule 5 selection from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, has now retired all six batters he’s faced this spring and looks to be an early favorite to land a bullpen spot. This was the first action of the spring for Ramirez and Diaz.

Next: Billy Hamilton facing CF competition for first time

Rodriguez struggling early on

Most of the competitors for the Reds’ left field job have performed well through the first four games. Yorman Rodriguez, on the other hand, has struggled to find his footing. He’s gone hitless with a walk through six plate appearances and committed a crucial fielding error on Friday, leading to an unearned run for pitcher Tim Melville. It’s early, so Rodriguez has plenty of time to get on track, but in such a make-or-break spring for the 23-year-old (he’s out of options and will be exposed to waivers if he doesn’t make the 25-man roster), he needs to perform well.