Meet Amir Garrett's alter ego, 'AG'

September 6th, 2020

Reds relief pitcher is a friendly fellow who has a generally calm demeanor. But on the mound, the intense lefty gets fired up and shows his emotions when he records big outs in the late innings.

According to Garrett, that vocal pitcher is some other guy. Garrett refers to him as “AG.”

“I'm Amir right now, [but] that guy on the mound? That's a crazy guy,” Garrett said. “That guy's a psychopath. AG is crazy, I'm telling you. That guy is something else. But the energy he brings? I feel like the team picks up on it. And you know, I feel like that helps the team in key moments and stuff like that, you know, that's what we need."

During Saturday’s 6-2 Reds win over the Pirates, “AG” was summoned from the bullpen in the sixth inning to replace Michael Lorenzen with the bases loaded. He went to a quick 0-2 count on lefty hitter Adam Frazier before reaching a full count. Frazier struck out on a slider that dove hard.

“I knew I had him when I had him 0-2. I'm not going to lie: I had him,” Garrett said. “It didn't matter if I got to 3-2 or whatever, I knew I had him. I knew he was up there guessing. I could tell. Getting him out with bases loaded -- Michael pitched well, I had to go in there and get that out for my guy. I had to.”

Garrett has retired the first batter faced in all 14 appearances this season and stranded all four of his inherited runners. He has a 2.08 ERA.

“The first guy's always an important guy for you, you can't put him on, because you're going to have to work that much harder after that,” Garrett said. “I feel for me, once you put that first batter away, it's a sense of relief. I'm able to go get the next two guys.”

Garrett retired the side in order in the seventh inning with two strikeouts. In many of his outings, he celebrates his achievements in full view on the mound.

“Well, first of all, I don't care about if anybody gets their feelings hurt. We're grown men here,” Garrett said. “That's just me being competitive. When they talk to me, they can ask me, but I can't really speak for AG. You've got to ask him in the heat of the moment, and I don't think that'd be a good idea. All this stuff circles back around, right? So if I get them, they're going to get me. I'm going to get them -- like, who cares? It's part of the game.”

Opponents might not appreciate Garrett’s demonstrative way, but his teammates love it.

“Whatever gets him going, man,” utility player Kyle Farmer said. “He was barking on the mound last night. It was just, ‘Yeah, good for him.’ If he punches a ticket, I guess you can bark. I may growl at him next time.”

Farmer wants to play all nine spots
During Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader vs. the Pirates, which ended in a 4-3 Reds loss, Farmer entered in the seventh inning as the left fielder. Prior to that, there was no record of him appearing in the outfield as a professional.

“You won't find anything, not even in tee-ball,” Farmer said Saturday. “I was hoping to make a sweet play. I was hoping for a foul ball in the stands, [to] leap over and grab it. I was a little nervous going out there, but once I got out there, it's just baseball. You know, catch the ball, throw the ball. That's the easiest thing for me to do is just let my athleticism take over.”

Farmer, who started at shortstop on Sunday, has appeared at every infield position, has been the catcher and even pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the Reds over the 2019-20 seasons.

“I'm trying to stay in this game a long time. And the more positions I can play, hopefully I can stick around even longer,” Farmer said. “I am a yes man instead of a no man, so whatever they need, I'll do it.

“Maybe [against] the next lefty starter coming up, I can start in left field. Who knows? But I’m trying to play all nine in my career. I want to see if that can happen. Not in one game. I mean, that would be sweet. But hopefully, I just have center and right to take over now.”

Senzel not being rushed
Center fielder Nick Senzel, who has not played since Aug. 14 and is on the injured list, has continued to work out at Prasco Park. It’s possible Senzel could join the club for the next road-trip stops in Chicago or St. Louis.

“It’s still a build-up process for Nick. It takes time to be able to jump into this part of the season,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We have to make sure his body is completely built up. If not, you can really expose a player to an injury. We’ve seen it a lot this year already. We have to do what’s best for Nick and encourage him to give us the proper feedback so that we can work together and get him back at the right time.”