Cincinnati Reds watch as Bronson Arroyo takes his first step towards making the team

Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY Sports

Bronson Arroyo threw to minor leaguers that are not going to make the Cincinnati Reds opening day roster.

The Cincinnati Reds let Bronson Arroyo pitch batting practice to Aristides Aquino, Brandon Dixon, and Gabriel Guerrero.  None of the three batters have much of a chance to make the team following the signing of Desmond Jennings and Ryan Raburn.  Arroyo is in a better position than those batters.

Aquino won the Reds’ minor leaguer of the year award for position players in 2016.  He is a true slugging right fielder who was second in the Florida State League with 23 home runs for Daytona.  He was also second on the Tortugas in both hits and doubles, while also ending up fourth in steals.

Guerrero is the nephew of Vladimir Guerrero and had bounced around a bit in his professional career.  In 2014, when Guerrero played in the All-Star Futures Game, he was the number six ranked prospect for the Seattle Mariners.  In 2015 Guerrero played for both the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks organizations, getting traded mid-season in the Mark Trumbo deal.

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Dixon is the player that is most hurt by the signing of Raburn, as he was training at the corner infield positions during the Arizona Fall League.  His chance of making the roster after the Brandon Phillips deal went from little to none, barring an unusual series of events.  Dixon’s notoriety comes from being the third player that the Reds got in the Todd Frazier deal.

This is an important first step for Bronson Arroyo as he tries to make the Cincinnati Reds’ opening day rotation.

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Who he threw to is only important because they are players that can hit a slow fastball far.  That is what Arroyo wanted.  He wanted to make sure that he could center the ball on the plate before he started to try other pitches.

Arroyo was the Phillips of the Reds’ rotation the last time he was here.  He made 32 or more starts for eight straight years with the Reds.  He also pitched at least 199 innings and won 9 games every year.  That would have made him the number two starter on last year’s team.

The move to Arizona was bad for both the Reds and Arroyo.  The team fell apart in the second half of 2014.

That can be attributed to the loss of  the leadership of Arroyo and catcher Ryan Hanigan.

Arroyo ended up injured in Arizona.  It makes you wonder whether Arroyo had something wrong when he left Cincinnati or not.  Now both Arroyo and the Reds want this to reunion work.

Next: It's time for the Reds to step rebuilding

The Reds want someone to block Tim Aldeman from making the starting rotation to start the season.  More than that, Arroyo wants to pitch.  Facing minor leaguers with power is just the first step.