Reds News: Hunter Greene's splitter, Tyler Stephenson hit by pitch, TJ Friedl's rehab

Where are all the naysayers today?
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds evened the series with the Texas Rangers on Saturday in Arlington, and will go for another series victory with Andrew Abbott taking the hill for David Bell's ball club on Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Field.

The Reds won Saturday's game by a final score of 8-4, and while Will Benson and Jonathan India both put up some big stats, it was Hunter Greene's dominant performance that helped lead the Redlegs to a win on the road.

Greene has been the subject of constant criticism this season. Whether it's due to his status as a former first-round draft pick, the six-year contract extension he signed last spring, or his hot-and-cold performances since arriving in the big leagues, Greene has been a punching bag of sorts for some fans throughout Reds Country.

Reds News: Hunter Greene stuck with just two pitches during Saturday's game vs the Rangers

The critiques of Greene are wide-ranging, but the most constant cliché that some Reds fans want to attach to the right-hander is that he's a thrower, not a pitcher. This criticism has come from those who claim that Greene lacks a third offering. But on Saturday, the flamethrower showed that he doesn't need a third pitch in order to be dominant.

According to Baseball Savant, Greene threw just one pitch that wasn't either a fastball or a slider. Greene was removed after throwing 98 pitches, and only one of those was the split-finger fastball he's been working on this season.

Greene talked about trusting his pitches and attacking the zone. During the postgame press conference, Greene said, "A lot of the times I'm beating myself." That's a fair and accurate evaluation. Greene has elite stuff, and if he can figure out how to use what he does best to get hitters out consistently, the sky is limit for the Reds' hurler who's still just 24 years old.

Reds News: Tyler Stephenson exits after being hit by pitch

Catcher Tyler Stephenson started Saturday's nationally televised game against the Rangers, but Luke Maile finished it. That wasn't due to any performance issues, but rather a precautionary move on the part of the coaching staff.

Stephenson was hit on the hand by a pitch in the top of the seventh inning. The backstop was replaced behind the dish by Maile, but Bell said after the game that Stephenson escaped serious injury. That's a relief, especially considering how well Stephenson's been swinging the bat of late. It still wouldn't be surprising to see Maile catching Abbott for the series finale on Sunday.

Reds News: TJ Friedl set to begin rehab assignment soon

TJ Friedl has resumed baseball activities and could be back on the field very soon. Bell said that Friedl could go on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville as soon as this week. The Louisville Bats will be on the road in Minnesota as they face the St. Paul Saints starting on Tuesday.

The Reds have been without Friedl since the season began, as the centerfielder suffered a fractured wrist during spring training. Bell has struggled to find a solid option atop the Reds' batting order without Friedl in the mix, but once the outfielder is fully healthy and returns to Cincinnati, it's a good bet that he'll be leading off.

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