New role suits Horst just fine
Former reliever gives Dragons a solid five innings in blowout of West Michigan.
By Marc Katz
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
DAYTON — Ever since he joined the Reds organization last summer, Jeremy Horst has been a relief pitcher.
He was in one game with the Gulf Coast League Reds last year, and in 16 with Billings, Mont., another rookie team.
He was a relief pitcher for 25 games this season, too, until five days ago when the Dragons needed a spot starter and tapped Horst on his strong left shoulder.
It might be tough to get him out of a starting assignment now.
Monday night, July 7, Horst went five innings, allowing two hits and a run while striking out seven as the Dragons beat West Michigan 9-1 at Fifth Third Field.
Brandon Menchaca and Justin Reed hit homers (Reed had three RBIs) and first baseman Logan Parker had the Whitecaps scampering all over the field as he cracked a double and triple.
It was Horst, though, who set the tone despite giving up a two-out homer in the first.
"We had two seven-inning games (last week) and needed a spot starter," Horst said. "I came out and threw well. It's just another role I had to fill. I like being on the mound, period."
In his start at Great Lakes in the second game of a doubleheader July 3, Horst went four innings, striking out five without allowing a run. Now, in his two starts, he has 12 strikeouts and one run allowed in nine innings.
"It's a different mentality," Horst said. "When you give up a hit in relief in a late inning, you have to bear down. Starting, you realize hits are going to come."
Dragons manager Donnie Scott is happy with what he has seen of Horst.
"I kind of felt he could do this," Scott said. "It's nice he has been getting the opportunity."
Wright State baseball coach Rob Cooper has been hired by the Reds to pitch some batting practice for the Dragons. Cooper threw Sunday and Monday and, when the schedule permits, will work the rest of the season at home. ... With Horst now in the rotation, Josh Ravin comes out, at least for one start.