by Matt Wilkes

Observations from the Reds’ Sunday workout

Following a short workout on July 4, the Reds were back at Great American Ball Park for a full-squad workout on Sunday. I was able to watch a good portion of it, and here were some of the notes I took:

    • I saw Tyler Mahle on the field working out for the first time today. I also spotted Justin Shafer, whom we didn’t notice on Friday. I may have missed it, but it doesn’t seem that Anthony DeSclafani nor Pedro Strop has made an appearance yet. (UPDATE: DeSclafani can be seen jogging in an Instagram post from Sunday, so he is in camp.)
  • Luis Castillo and Michael Lorenzen threw live batting practice, each facing a few batters before switching out. This was likely to simulate “innings.” They faced some tough competition in Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winker, and Phillip Ervin.
  • The pitchers were clearly ahead of the hitters in this live BP session, which isn’t particularly surprising. It’s much easier for pitchers to find a place to throw during their time off than it is for hitters to find live pitching to face.
  • None of the hitters made particularly hard contact. Castillo was working on his slider heavily in spring training, and used it a few times today. It didn’t look all that sharp yet as he hung it a few times. He did fan Votto on a nasty changeup.
  • Lorenzen was basically unhittable. He faced six batters and struck out five of them. Ervin was the only hitter to put the ball in play against Lorenzen. The right-hander’s fastball looked as lively as ever as he continually blew it by hitters, including Votto and Akiyama for strike three. He also threw some sharp curveballs.
  • Mike Moustakas was working out with David Bell, taking fly balls in right field. I’m not reading much into this. Earlier in the workout, Votto was seen practicing infield pop-ups. Very likely that Moustakas was just doing the same work but it just happened to be in the outfield. With the Reds’ surplus of outfielders, there’s no need for Moustakas to get work there.
  • Nick Castellanos hit some absolute bombs in batting practice. Joe Danneman of Fox 19 tweeted that one ball landed in the riverboat deck in center field.
  • Jesse Winker mashed a few homers of his own. He ended batting practice with a no-doubt home run to right field and did the Ken Griffey Jr. bat drop and strut toward first base as he exited the cage.

Matt Wilkes got hooked on Reds baseball after attending his first game in Cinergy Field at 6 years old, and he hasn’t looked back. As a kid, he was often found imitating his favorite players — Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns — in the backyard. When he finally went inside, he was leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 or keeping stats for whatever game was on TV. He started writing about baseball in 2014 and has become fascinated by analytics and all the new data in the game. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in Columbus. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.

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R Smith
R Smith
6 months ago

Lorenzen was throwing I’m guessing a 2 seam fastball that was tailing to lefty hitters with unreal movement, yet then pounded the inside corner too and threw off-speed to Winker to get ahead in the count. He looked in post season form and ready to be the most complete pitcher in the bullpen.
This OF with Senzel/ Castellanos/Shogo/ and Winker really looks complete.

6 months ago

Your observation about Castillo’s slider is interesting. It actually drives me crazy when Castillo throws a slider. Castillo has an outstanding fastball and change. If a starting pitcher has two truly outstanding pitches and can locate both pitches well I do not understand why he needs to throw a third pitch. I admit to never having even pitched in high school so I obviously do not know as much as a major league pitching coach. That said, I would rather Castillo just concentrate on good location of the fastball and change rather than spending time on the slider. I would like to see an analytics “proof” that a starting pitcher needs at least three pitches.

I am a huge Lorenzen fan and I cannot wait to see him pitch this season.