Early Grades for All of Cincinnati Reds’ Offseason Acquisitions

With April over and the Cincinnati Reds‘ record at 11-11, there’s a tiny sample size worthy of attention. Not that any player’s April is indicative of what to expect, but it’s interesting to see how the offseason acquisitions are contributing and if their contributions are living up to expectations.

It’s not pretty, but it’s not the whole story—not even half of it. Still, the games in April count just as much as the ones in September, and the following is a list of all of the Reds’ offseason acquisitions and how they’re doing so far.

 

Marlon Byrd, OF

Despite a few flashes of the raw power Walt Jocketty was expecting to add to the middle of this lineup, Marlon Byrd has largely struggled. He’s slashing .169/.188/.273 and has eight RBI, two home runs and two doubles.

Byrd’s struck out a team-high 25 times, though in fairness, he shares the lead with Jay Bruce. There isn’t another Red on the team with 20 strikeouts.

One reason for Byrd’s early struggles? He swings at nearly everything. Byrd has an O-Swing percentage of 46.6, the highest of his career. Nearly half of the pitches Byrd is swinging at are out of the strike zone. His current line is a reflection of why Joey Votto’s approach is always more desirable.

Byrd just needs to slow it down. He’s swinging at 63.9 percent of the pitches he sees—again, the highest of his career. Expect better if and when he finally slows it down, but for now, wolf.

Early Grade: D- 

 

Brennan Boesch, OF

It’s hard grading a guy who has just 16 at-bats on the season, but that’s life as a pinch hitter. Brennan Boesch is slashing a poor .188/.235/.250 with one double. And there’s just not a lot to assess beyond that. Sixteen at-bats is a sneeze.

Boesch has demonstrated pretty solid plate discipline, swinging at just 37.1 percent of balls outside of the strike zone. His BABIP is .273, so good things happen when Boesch puts the ball in play. It’s just too small of a sample size to digest and interpret.

However, this is the role we knew he’d have. The question is how Boesch hasn’t gotten any starts over Byrd yet. Tough luck.

Early Grade: D


Anthony DeSclafani, SP

So far, it’s been a pleasure to watch this kid work. In four starts, Anthony DeSclafani is 2-1 with a 1.04 ERA and a ridiculous 0.77 WHIP. The 25-year-old has 22 strikeouts compared to just six walks.

He’s yet to face a potent offense, or at least one that’s been potent in April. He’s faced the Chicago Cubs twice, who boast a lot of big names but are just No. 8 in National League offense. The Pittsburgh Pirates are No. 9 in the NL.

Still, he’s been instrumental in the Reds escaping April at .500. And now that Homer Bailey’s injured, DeSclafani‘s role will ascend to No. 3 status. How he responds to the unexpected elevation in role and expectation will be fun to watch.

Early Grade: B+

Burke Badenhop, RP

Now that we’ve gotten to the bullpen, it’s going to get ugly. At the very least, a D- lets you slip through the cracks and advance. But this bullpen—currently MLB‘s worst era at 5.86—has really hurt the Reds early.

Badenhop shares some of that blame. He’s appeared in nine games and has seven innings pitched. He boasts a raunchy 15.43 ERA, has surrendered 16 hits (in seven innings) and has only four strikeouts.

Batters love Badenhop; they’re hitting .457 off him. He’s just not getting it done.

Early Grade: F

 

Kevin Gregg, RP

April was a turbulent introduction to Cincinnati for Kevin Gregg, who is easily the most polarizing Red at the moment. The 36-year-old’s start has been nothing but brutal. The highlights of his April are two holds. Here are the negatives: 0-2, 9.00 ERA, eight earned runs off nine hits in eight innings and three memorable home runs.

It’s just been awful. Gregg has really struggled, despite recording nine strikeouts. That’s impressive, sure, but the damage he’s caused has been tangible.

Early Grade: F

 

Raisel Iglesias, SP/RP

Raisel Iglesias has been in Triple-A since his decent performance against the St. Louis Cardinals. His 5.40 ERA in five innings comes from surrendering three runs. He was one inning short of a quality start but received a no-decision for his effort in a game the Reds eventually lost.

He’s been hit around a bit in Triple-A. In 9.2 innings pitched, he’s given up 11 hits and four earned runs. But he’s started both games he’s appeared in, and it’s likely he’ll get put into a bullpen capacity for the Reds.

Early Grade: C

 

Advanced stats courtesy of FanGraphs, while traditional stats and league rankings courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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