Observations from the Reds’ 4-2 win over Kansas City

Despite a one-run deficit after the top half of the first frame, starter Brandon Finnegan dazzled over the next three innings as the Cincinnati Reds grabbed a 4-2 win over Kansas City.

Here are a few takeaways from Cincinnati’s second win this week:

Finnegan fires four fine frames

Brandon Finnegan — last season’s most prominent returning piece in the trade that sent Johnny Cueto to Kansas City — settled down in his third start of the spring after allowing a first-inning RBI-single. He fanned four in 4 1/3 innings, again walked none (he has allowed just one walk in 10 spring innings) and continues to give little reason for the Reds to give him more Triple-A time. With his primary competition for the No. 5-spot in the rotation, 24-year-old Jon Moscot, struggling with an 8.31 ERA across 8 2/3 innings, Finnegan should find his way into the opening day rotation. His 10:1 innings pitched-to walk ratio is the most encouraging sign for Finnegan as he, in 55 career MLB innings, has walked 22 batters.  

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Duvall leading left field race

After I wrote a piece just two days ago detailing how Scott Schebler and Jose Peraza could be full-time starters for the Reds by the end of the season, Adam Duvall appears to be pleading his case for the left field gig over Schebler.

With his average now at an even .300 following his 2-for-3 performance in Tuesday’s game, Duvall has a 31-point lead over Schebler in batting average. His seven RBI, including another one in a first-inning RBI-single, leads Cincinnati in the category this spring.

Just a .268 career hitter in the minor leagues and a .204 hitter in the MLB, Duvall spring average is an encouraging sign and could prompt Bryan Price to give his the starting nod. He has just one HR in 30 spring at-bats, but a career pace of swatting a home run every 18th at-bat gives the Reds little to worry about in that department. Of course, the Reds still have 16 games to go, but Duvall has propelled himself into the lead for the left field job on Tuesday — despite starting at third base — if he wasn’t there already.

Hamilton returns to action

Bothered by shoulder soreness following offseason shoulder surgery, Billy Hamilton returned to lineup after a two-week hiatus. Limited to a DH role, Hamilton, as he has worked on this spring, laid down a bunt single in the first inning. And with his speed, if Hamilton can develop reliable bunting skills, he could still prove to be the dynamic leadoff hitter that the Reds have been hoping he could be. Hamilton then took second on a sacrifice fly to right field, swiped third on a passed ball and then scored on Duvall’s first-inning RBI single.

While it’s nice to see Hamilton back in the lineup, his next step will be to play the grass, and with only limited time left in the spring, that could force Hamilton to the disabled list to start the year.


  • Jose Peraza and Scott Schebler combined to go 0-for-6, struck out three times and left a combined 10 men on base. Despite a .922 OPS for Schebler, his average has dropped to .269.
  • Blake Trahan, a third-round college-draftee in 2015, went 2-for-2 on Tuesday and raised his spring average to .462. An advanced college player known for his contact hitting and reliable defense, he could give the Reds an emergency middle-infield option later in the year.
  • Joey Votto continues to do Joey Votto-things, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a run on Tuesday raising his spring average to .429. The Reds may be rebuilding, but he’s not a bad cornerstone to build around.
  • The Reds have yet to win back-to-back games this spring, but that could change on Wednesday when they take on the Diamondbacks as Jon Moscot looks to combat Finnegan’s strong performance with one of his own.