Notes: Goodwin settles in; Reds vs. machine

September 2nd, 2020

CINCINNATI -- Before he was acquired by the Reds from the Angels on Monday, outfielder did not know many of his new teammates or much about the club. But Goodwin definitely knew he liked playing at Great American Ball Park.

Including the double in his debut during a rough 16-2 Reds loss vs. the Cardinals on Tuesday, Goodwin entered Wednesday with a .928 OPS at GABP. It’s also where he hit the first grand slam of his career -- Opening Day on March 31, 2018, for the Nationals.

“I've got a lot of good memories in this ballpark,” said Goodwin, who was acquired at the Trade Deadline for Minor League pitcher Packy Naughton. “They’ve all been on the opposite side, but at this point, it’s a great time to turn that around and bring something to the home team.”

Goodwin was traded to the Royals from Washington ahead of the 2018 Trade Deadline and was then claimed off waivers by the Angels just ahead of Opening Day last season. The left-handed hitter flourished in Southern California with a career-high 17 home runs and 47 RBIs.

Before Monday’s trade, Goodwin was feeling good at the plate, batting .242 with a .793 OPS, four homers and 17 RBIs.

“I think for one, I got a lot more opportunities last year,” Goodwin said. “I think that was the biggest thing: seeing some consistent playing time, getting some consistent ABs, kind of going home and knowing that my name would be in the lineup the next day. I think it just kind of carried over that confidence. Some of the things I did last year, I think it all kind of carried over to this year. I’m hoping to try to build off of it and continue to get better as I go.”

When the struggling Angels brought up outfield prospect Jo Adell, Goodwin became expendable. But he wasn’t thinking a deal to be moved was imminent.

“It’s kind of hard to play that game with ownership and know kind of what they’re thinking and where their heads are at,” Goodwin said. “It was more so about me just kind of trying to perform. I ended up moving over to left [field] when [Adell] came, and just giving him a fresh start there in right, so it was honestly just staying consistent and doing the same things I had done up to that point. When I found out [about] Cincinnati, honestly, I was pretty excited. It kind of came as a surprise, most definitely, but it was a good one. It was a good surprise.”

Against the Cardinals on Wednesday, manager David Bell put Goodwin in center field and moved to left field. Left field will be a more likely spot for Goodwin when center fielder returns from the injured list.

“I’m more familiar with Shogo now than I am with Brian, although I’ve seen Brian play a lot. Shogo has been outstanding in left field,” Bell said. “We know he’s obviously a very good center fielder as well. Brian, speaking with him, kind of looking at some of his past history, he’s really comfortable in center field. I think it sounds like he’s played there his whole life.”

Facing the machine
Over the past week to 10 days, and in response to the offense sputtering much of this season, the Reds have altered some of the hitters’ pregame routines. Part of that has included having hitters face the pitching machine that throws curveballs.

“We did some of it early on in the camps, but we’ve kind of picked it back up, where we’re using the curveball, breaking-ball machine, using the velocity machines, mixing them up on the field with an arm in between,” Bell said. “Just anything. I like how [hitting coach] Alan Zinter described it -- kind of ‘spark the senses.’”

Catcher , who is 5-for-8 over his past three games, has seen some payoff.

“We’re getting a little bit more detailed into our scouting reports and things we look at on the bench,” Casali said. “At the end of the day, it just goes back to competing in the box. Nobody wants to hear it, but I feel like we are still competing in the box. It’s still a lot of line drives that are getting caught, and it’s still things like that that just keep kind of snowballing into not getting any offensive momentum. It sucks to keep saying that over and over, and nobody wants to hear that -- including us.”