With Spring Training well underway and several Rebels trying out (or firmly cemented) with big league teams, I figured it’d be good to update how they’re doing.
—LHP Matt Maloney: 2G, 15.43 ERA. In 2.1 innings, Maloney has walked three and struck out four. He is currently fighting for the fifth spot in the Reds rotation.
Here is a little blurb from the blog of Reds beat writer John Fay on Maloney’s first outting of the spring, in which he pitched 1.2 scoreless innings. Here is all the blog entries on Maloney thus far — including some talk regarding the Reds’ No. 5 spot. Apparently Justin Lehr is the favorite, but Aroldis Chapman is definitely a wild card after all the money the Reds threw at him in the off-season. Others considered to be in the running are former Arizona State ace Mike Leake, Travis Wood, Micah Owings, Kip Wells and Mike Lincoln.
—SS Zach Cozart: Cozart is expected to start the year in AAA with the Louisville Bats, but has gotten a little playing time early in spring training. He appears to be their shortstop of the future, with recent signee Orlando Cabrera more of a place holder and an immediate veteran on a young team. Cozart has walked once in two plate appearances.
Baseball America has both Maloney and Cozart in the Reds’ Top 10. Maloney is listed as having the system’s best control, and Cozart is listed as being the team’s SS of the future (2013 lineup, for what it’s worth..).
Apparently Dusty Baker gave Cozart some love whne he was actually asked about another Reds infielder. Interesting comments.
St. Louis Cardinals
—RHP Lance Lynn: In his spring training debut, the former Rebels ace pitched three scoreless innings for the St. Louis Cardinals against the New York Mets. In the game, Lynn was the only Cardinals pitcher to not allow a run. He also struck out three and did not allow a walk nor a hit. Lynn climbed through the Cardinals’ system in 2009, finishing the year with the AAA Memphis Redbirds, the Pacific Coast League Champions. Lynn is currently ranked as the Cardinals’ third-best prospect by Baseball America. He is also listed as the 2013′s No. 5 starter.
—LF Seth Smith: Ole Miss’ former All-American and Hillcrest Christian standout has been tearing the cover off the ball early in spring training. In four games, Smith is hittng .583 with three doubles, one home run, six RBIs and three runs scored. Smith singled, doubled and homered against the Arizona Diamondbacks in his first three at-bats of the spring, not too bad for a guy who is looking to earn more playingtime and fend off the likes of top prospect Carlos Gonzalez (who is hitting .417 in 12 ABs). With slugger Brad Hawpe and speedster Dexter Fowler in right and center respectively, it looks like Smith’s best chance to start will be in left field. Last season, Smith hit .293 with 15 home runs and 55 RBIs in 335 at-bats. He’s a short video on Smith’s “Season Forecast.“ If Smith keeps playing like he has, it’ll be hard to keep him out of the lineup.
—LF Chris Coghlan: Coghlan hasn’t exploded this spring, only hitting .200 in 15 at-bats. He has also struck out three times and walked once in five games. He has spent most of his early playing time batting out of the leadoff spot.
You can follow Coghlan on Twitter (@Cogz4Christ).
—INF Matt Tolbert: Tolbert has had a slow spring with the Minnesota Twins, hitting .000 in four games (eight ABs). He has walked once, struck out once and has one RBI while playing for a reserve infielder role with the Twins. (March 10, 2010)