Latos pitched five innings and allowed three runs (two of them earned) on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts. He has struggled throughout his starts in the first few innings of spring training this year, but today sat down the first six of seven batters he faced in the first two innings.
Latos told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon,
“It’s just being comfortable in the first inning. It’s Spring Training all over again — you get anxious, nervous and excited all at once. Today I just tried to settle down and throw the baseball, hit my spots and locations. Everything worked really good today. My curveball felt really good coming out of my hand, and my changeup was something I’ve been working on.”
Latos is going to be counted on heavily this year again the for the Reds. He has the stuff to be an ace of any other staff in the NL, it’s just the fact he’s behind Johnny Cueto. Having problems in the first few innings was his problem last season, but once he got through it he became a warrior on the mound.
The biggest thing Latos will have to control in order to be considered one of the best pitchers in the NL is his temper. If things aren’t going right for him, Latos has a tendency to throw a fit on the mound and get all out of whack. Hopefully this spring training he has worked on that as well. If he can control his emotions on the mound and settle down in the first few innings, there is no doubt in my mind Latos will be a 15-game winner for the Reds this season.
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