Cincinnati Reds begin off-season by adding more speed

Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Reds’ first move in preparation of 2017 was to add more speed at the expense of power.

Before the dust had settled behind home plate at Great American Ballpark, the Cincinnati Reds had begun to prepare themselves for 2017.  Their first move was to waive Patrick Kivlehan to clear room for speedster Arismendy Alcantara.  If this is any indication of the way the organization is moving, things will be fast and loose in Cincinnati in 2017.

Back in 2014 Alcantara was the Chicago Cubs’ version of Jose Peraza.  He played 70 games in the big leagues covering for injured veterans.  Alcantara also split time between center field and second base, while in Chicago.  He also played center, second and short in the minors.

Alcantara wasn’t the base stealer or the offensive threat that Peraza is, however.  Alcantara only batted .205 with 10 home runs and 8 steals in 2014.  This season Peraza batted .324 with 21 steals and 3 home runs.  Peraza has better overall numbers, if he lacks a certain amount of power.

Alcantara is a switch-hitter who could come in handy.  Beyond his 2014 year, Alcantara has continued to  be a steady offensive threat.  This season he batted .278 with 12 home runs and 32 steals in 104 games while in the minors this year for Chicago and the Oakland Athletics.

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Patrick Kivlehan was let go before he had a chance to show his talent after joining the Reds’ organization late.

Just last year, Kivlehan was one of the Seattle Mariners’ top five prospects heading into the off-season.  In 2015 Kivlehan hit 22 home runs in Tacoma.  His defensive experience comes at the corners.  He has experience in right, left, at first and at third.

This season Kivlehan played for five organizations.  He started off the year with Seattle before being traded to the Texas Rangers. The Rangers then sent him back to the Mariners in a separate deal.  At the start of August he was claimed off of waivers by San Diego.

Then the Reds claimed him from the Padries before designating him for assignment to make room for Alcantara.

Kivlehan was 0 for 5 for the Reds this year, after going 4 for 16 for the Padres.  This may not seem like a great season, but he also had his minor league games.  In three different minor league stops this season, Kivlehan had 12 home runs in the Pacific Coast League.

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Beyond the obvious, keeping Alcantara over Kivlehan sends a message to the team.  The Reds’ decision makers currently value speed over power.  Too bad they couldn’t keep both.  The Reds could use the talent.