UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while watching former Cincinnati Reds No. 1 draft pick Mike Leake (remember him?) pitch four scoreless innings for the St. Louis Cardinals, giving up one hit, no walks and striking out six. There is no doubt that last thing the Reds wanted to see was Leake signing with the powerful division-rival Cardinals, who always seem to reload the right way every year.
And speaking of pitchers, as expected, the outcome of Michael Lorenz’s skipped start for the Cincinnati Reds appears more serious than the Reds projected.
Lorenzen, a top candidate for the starting rotation and for sure a spot in the bullpen if he isn’t needed in the rotation, will undergo an MRI on his right elbow.
And what manager Bryan Price told writers Monday before the Reds took a 10-2 beating from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Tempe, AZ., sounds foreboding.
“Lorenzen is not great,” Price said at his pre-game briefing. “We’re going to have an MRI done to verify that there is no structural damage. Then we’ll re-assess the rehab. He will not be pitching as scheduled.”
Lorenzen rested three days after he was unable to make a scheduled start but he felt discomfort when he tried to play catch Sunday.
ON THE OTHER side of the ledger, right hander Raisel Iglesias made his first start of the spring Monday, only one inning. He gave up hits to the first two batters he faced and gave up a run before a double play bailed him out of the trouble.
The 26-year-old Cuban encountered a weak shoulder late last season and the Reds shut him down for the rest of the season to rest it. But when he came to camp he immediately felt discomfort and was held back until Monday.
It was not a good day for closer candidate Jumbo Diaz, either. The Angels had a jumbo inning against him. Diaz replaced Tim Melville in the fifth inning and quickly gave up a run-scoring hit.
Then the Angels added four more hits and three more runs against Diaz, whose earned run average leaped to 9.00.
THE REDS ARE NOW 6-8-1 this spring and in five of those losses they’ve given up nine or more runs — 9, 16, 11, 9 and 10.
When the Reds obtained Jose Peraza from the Los Angeles Dodgers this winter the plan was to make him the team’s second baseman. But Brandon Phillips, hitting .182 this spring, tossed tar into the mix when he refused a trade to the Washington Nationals that would have made room for Peraza. Now the Reds are trying to find another spot for him, see how many positions he can play. He started in center field Monday and acquitted himself OK. He batted leadoff and was 2 for 3, scoring a run in the first inning after leading the game with a single, stealing his fourth base and scoring on Eugenio Suarez’s double. Peraza is hitting .435, just begging for the Reds to find him a spot in the lineup.
Third baseman Suarez also had a hit and is batting .375. Joey Votto went 0 for 3, but his average is at .368. There still has been no game sightings of catcher Devin Mesoraco and his backup, Tucker Barnhart, is hitting .167.
And whatever happened to Billy Hamilton? He can’t like what he is seeing from Peraza, a legitimate leadoff hitter. Peraza so far has played second base, shortstop and center field. How about a tryout in left field?