Friday Leftovers: Latos, Reds’ Quotes with the Most, and Vintage Cingrani
Mat Latos had one job when he took the hill for yesterday’s rehab appearance, and it wasn’t winning the game.
Runs and hits were secondary to the starter’s main objective, one that Latos feels to have completed. “The body of the knee feels good, the elbow feels good,” Latos told reporters yesterday night. The Reds are keeping a close eye on the 26-year-old after two offseason surgeries, including a procedure last October to remove four bone chips. “That was the main concern, the elbow,” he continued.
On the start:
My ego is a little bruised, but it is what it is. No, I feel great.
… I was throwing strikes. I got hit around and hit around hard, but regardless, the control was there. It’s just a matter of finishing the hitters. Making that pitch when I needed to.
On missed time:
[Rehab in Cincinnati] really wasn’t hard, though. I had a couple rehab practices I had to go through. I’d say spring training was the worst six weeks because I wasn’t able to actually get out with the guys and just hang out at batting practice.
On Kris Bryant, who homered in the first:
[The Smokies have] Kris Bryant, number one pick. That’s what the guy is supposed to do. Guys like that…that’s what they’re up there to do.
They’re looking for a pitch in the zone and they are going to drive it. And it doesn’t help that I threw it right down the middle.
And now, it’s time for…Name! That! Red!
Between a rained-out exhibition and a pair of rehabbing Reds, plenty of top-tier players saw Pensacola Bayfront Stadium for the first time. It’s certainly a magical moment, looking out at the water as a light breeze peels off the bay. The team had plenty of praise, but how well can you match a quote to the name of its respective speaker? Try your hand at Name That Red:
1. “I felt like I was at home again because this is where it all started, really. I felt great coming back here.”
2. “I played in Chattanooga, and I loved that ballpark. … I’ve never played here, but I’ve heard really, really fantastic things.”
3. “Didn’t get to play at the beautiful @BlueWahoosBBall field but did meet lots of amazing fans! Thanks #Pensacola!!! #SALUTE”
4. “The fans here are awesome. The support is great. They love having a team here. When the Wahoos play, the games are sold out. It’s fun for them to see us play.”
5. “They said some really un-minor league things about being here, and you can see that just in the clubhouse. It seems like the fans really have a passion for baseball.”
A. Joey Votto B. Billy Hamilton C. Brandon Phillips D. Tony Cingrani E. Jay Bruce
Blast from the Past: Mark Mallory’s first pitch
Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory served eight years in office and brought sweeping reforms to the city. None swept as far as this Opening Day pitch in 2007.
Claiming to have trained with the University of Cincinnati, his offering was anything but rehearsed. The pitch missed the mark by a good thirty feet, finishing more towards first base than home plate. He even drew an ejection from the umpire before the Reds took the field.
A pitch worthy of an ejection? Really? Come on, man!
Big League Wahoos
Tucker Barnhart, CIN: The scene was surreal, at least in context. Mat Latos and Devin Mesoraco, both starters for the Reds, pitched rehab stints in Pensacola; meanwhile in Cincinnati, Barnhart caught Bell as he had so many times last season. The two-year Wahoo made his debut yesterday, 0-for-4 at the plate but successful behind it. He zapped Jon Jay at third base during the fourth inning, the first of many for the defensive wizard.
Trevor Bell, CIN: The road back to the major leagues has been a difficult one for Bell, who made his Reds debut yesterday. In his first big-league game since September 27, 2011, the former Blue Wahoos closer faced three batters before exiting without an out. Bell pitched a tad better than the box score, missing a few close calls around the edges but nonetheless granting two walks. After a Matt Holliday single was upheld by review, Bell departed; he was charged with three earned runs.
Tony Cingrani, CIN: Fans knew in 2012 that the fiery southpaw was going places. From his fifteen-strikeout gem on June 27 to the .192 average to which he held Southern League hitters, Cingrani’s star power was evident during his brief time as a Wahoo. Just two years later, he finds himself second in the Reds’ starting rotation, and he made the season’s first start count. Opposite Cardinals’ phenom Michael Wacha, Cingrani dealt seven shutout innings and allowed just four hitters to reach. Competitive to the end, he promptly picked off Mat Adams after issuing a walk. It was Cingrani’s nineteenth straight start in which he allowed five hits or fewer, the longest big-league streak in the last century.
Billy Hamilton, CIN: The speedster has started all three games for the Reds in center field, but the bat has not yet come around. Hamilton is 0-for-12 with six strikeouts and a walk; he did not attempt a steal. To his credit, the rotation he’s facing is one of the best in the game.
Curtis Partch, CIN: The former Wahoos reliever protected a tight 7-6 losing margin to perfection, tossing two perfect innings and striking out one.
>> PNJ.com’s Bill Vilona: Latos yields early runs, pleased with effort
>> AL.com: Opening Night photo gallery
>> Skydiver injured during Chattanooga Lookouts’ opening ceremony
>> Rosters: Louisville, Pensacola, Bakersfield, Dayton
>> MiLB.com’s Southern League preview
>> MLB Pipeline: Top Reds prospects bring plenty of promise
Name That Red Answers
5. Votto again (we just can’t get enough)