NOTE: The game is being broadcast for free at

Let’s welcome Shin-Soo Choo back to the lineup today. The Reds’ lead-off hitter had been held out of a few games due to a sore quadricep muscle. Choo will hit in the DH slot, but not play in the OF. Ryan Hanigan remains sidelined with a sore oblique. Devin Mesoraco continued his solid spring at the plate with a double yesterday.

Johnny Cueto takes the mound today vs. the Diamondbacks for his second start of the season. Mark Sheldon reports that following Cueto will be Sean Marshall, Manny Parra, Jonathan Broxton and Clay Hensley. You can also read Sheldon’s report on Homer Bailey’s deadly performance yesterday. The Lion Killer struck out five over two innings. Per Sheldon:

“I would have liked to have more first-pitch strikes,” Bailey said. “A couple of them missed by a little bit. Overall, it was pretty good. [Cain’s] hit was a slider up a little bit. It was still a good pitch. Probably at 1-1, you want to make a little better pitch than that.”

The game takes place at 3:10 EST at the new Salt River Fields in Scotsdale. It’s supposedly the nicest of all the Cactus League stadiums. Being a road game, several of the regulars (JoeyMVP, Jay Bruce etc.). Here’s the lineup per Mark Sheldon:

Choo DH
Cozart 6
Soto 3
Ludwick 7
Heisey 9
Hannahan 5
Phipps 8
Olivo 2
Izturis 4

Cueto 1

UPDATE: Turns out that Shin-Soo Choo didn’t DH today. Kirk Gibson didn’t want to use a DH, so even though Dusty Baker did, Gibson as the home team manager gets the final say. Apparently it led to “testy exchange” and Dusty Baker refusing to shake Kirk Gibson’s hand. Reporting by Aaron Gleeman at NBC Sports.


Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 24 Comments

  1. So far this spring Clay Hensley has been surprisingly effective. I wonder how long he can keep that up. I’m also curious how Manny Parra pitches today.

    Soto and Heisey instead of Votto and Bruce, surely nobody will even notice that they’re gone.

    • The 1st cuts from the major league camp are coming soon. The 2 leading candidates for the IF utility roster spots have not done anything to jeopardize their roster spots:

      Donald=> .333/.455/.444/.899
      Hanahan=> .333/.444/.400/.844

      Henry has had a really good camp to this point, but his two E’s today didn’t do him any good in making the jump and landing one of the available spots on the 25 man roster coming out of ST:

      Rodriguez=> .500/.529/.625/1.154

      I can see keeping one of these two on the AAA roster as insurance, but please don’t bring them to GABP after ST:

      Burriss=> .304/.304/.348/.652

      I wonder how long Hensley can keep that up. I’m also curious how Manny Parra pitches today.

      I was really hoping Parra would surprise me and he still may, but I’m thinking today’s performance might be more the norm. He could still break camp on the 25 man roster even if he’s not one of the 12 best available relievers. I hope not, but I just have this feeling he doesn’t have to earn the roster spot, just not lose the roster spot.

      Hensley made a free fall back down to earth today too.

  2. Zack Cozart goes deep. Reds 1-0.

  3. I don’t care what Cueto tells me – he is coming out!

  4. It looks like the lineup was redesigned without Choo and/or the DH. Cesar Izturis is leading off instead of hitting 9th.

  5. Free? Won’t let me!

  6. Kirk Gibson is probably just bitter that his team traded Trevor Bauer for Didi Gregorius.

  7. Shin-Shoo Choo wasn’t in the lineup because the DBacks wanted Brandon McCarthy to hit. McCarthy went 0 for 1 at the plate. That was worth it.

  8. Miguel Olivo is 0 for 2 today to low his spring batting average to .133. So far it sure doesn’t seem like he’s done much to win himself a job. If he keeps that up I think most of the questions about the catcher will be pretty well settled without any controversial intervention by Dusty.

  9. What is wrong with Kirk Gibson? It’s a spring training game! If he allows the DH, then McCarthy can still hit, but Dusty gets to use Choo. What the…

  10. Dusty wouldn’t shake his hand? Grow up. Geeze

  11. Gotta side with Gibson on this one. Poor sportsmanship shown by our skipper today. He should know the rules about the home team getting to decide, and both managers had legit reasons for their desires, but its Gibson’s call.

    @BenL: Even though the games don’t count, Gibson probably would have gotten some flak from his media/team for giving the Reds the DH if he didn’t plan to use his DH slot in the typical fashion.

  12. @Shchi Cossack: You’re right, Hannahan and Donald have both surprised me offensively and done nothing to put their spots in jeopardy. For that matter, same story with Devin Mesoraco – catcher, which many of us expected to be a battle between Mesoraco (.364 average) vs Olivo (.133 average) sure hasn’t been one yet.

    I don’t think you have to be worried about Izturis and Burriss playing for the Reds at the same time as they’re both middle infielders competing for the same spot. I’m not sure if Izturis has any sort of opt-out clause for his contract but I think he can probably find a better job elsewhere after he gets cut.

    You think a roster spot is Manny Parra’s to lose? I disagree, I think they signed him as a contingency plan in case certain guys – particularly Marshall and Arredondo or long relievers LeCure and Simon – got hurt. On the other hand I’m not convinced that they’ll go with the ‘best available’ guys, particularly Hoover.

    Before opening day I think Parra will be traded or designated for assignment and claimed off waivers by a team looking for a veteran, a lefty, and/or a long reliever.

    I’m wondering who’ll be in the first group of cuts. In my opinion Curtis Partch should be the first to go. Then Pedro Villreal and Josh Ravin. Amongst the hitters catchers Tucker Barnhart and Nevin Ashley sure haven’t done much. I’m curious how long they’ll keep Ryan LaMarre (2 for 16) and Denis Phipps (3 for 15) in camp. Also other guys who have done reasonably well but who have no chance to make the team… like Donald Lutz, Neftali Soto, and Yorman Rodriguez… I wonder how long they’ll stick in big league camp.

  13. Sorry if this has been posted elsewhere, but I stumbled upon a great interview between Jonah Keri and Buster Olney on a variety of issues. Starting at 9:14, talk turns to the Reds. They both have great things to say about Votto, Price, Chapman, and Hanigan. One particular thing they said that I hadn’t heard before is that the Rays have tried repeatedly to trade for Chapman but have been turned away every time. Really great stuff to hear.

    Reds stuff starts at 9:14

  14. @90reds: Great find, intriguing video. I like where Olney says “if you were to poll people in uniform (on the Reds about converting Chapman) it would be 90% of people saying ‘are you out of your mind switching him?'”. I guess it’s not just me, it’s not just Dusty, LeCure, Arroyo, and Hanigan either. Buster Olney sure doesn’t feel like the team supports the possible conversion.

    Buster Olney seems to love the Reds.

    When he refers to the Tampa Bay Rays ‘repeatedly trying to trade’ for a player Olney is referring to Ryan Hanigan, not Chapman. I mean… I’m sure they wanted Chapman too…

  15. Yeah sorry, I meant Hanigan. It was interesting because I never heard his name come up, so the Reds must have shut those down almost immediately. If any team would want Hanigan, I’m not surprised its the Rays

  16. That is a killer video article. I’m pretty psyched for the season. NL is going to be really interesting this year, lots of clubs look to be good and it should be very competitive.

  17. @90reds: Walt Jocketty doesn’t show his hand or comment on rumors. A team calling the Reds about a player is a news story I’d only expect to leak only from the other team’s side… if at all. That’s just the way Jocketty runs the front office.

  18. Corky had a better chance than Olivo to make the major league team. The only way Olivo makes the major league club is because he speaks Spanish, for Cueto and Chapman. As far as that would go, I don’t think you take a player just because they speak Spanish. That’s an interpreter, not a player.

    Baker not shaking the Gibson’s hand? Boy, Dusty, grow up. You should have learned with TLR, Dusty. Even if McCarthy could have still DH’ed, DH’ing is the home team’s call. If he wants to see his pitchers (not only McCarthy) hit, so be it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for an NL team to see in spring training. Gibson could have been more “allowing” here, yes. But, to make this a testy exchange over this in ST, this is childish. You only showed that the other manager can get into your head.

  19. You can only control what your team does, Baker, not what the other team does.

  20. Bo Diaz.

  21. @redsfanman:
    The Reds were wanting David Price in any deal with the Rays. Not James Shields as many believed. That all fell through and WJ gets Latos from SD instead. And Price goes on to win the AL Cy Young award. Strange how things all work out.

  22. I really liked the Votto segment of the video above. Very interesting.

    Plus, and I know we covered this ad nauseum this winter, but I also COMPLETELY agree with Buster regarding how to deal with the PED era. Anyone busted after 2006 should be banned from holding records and inclusion in the Hall in my opinion. Before that, not so much. The story about Canseco made it real.

  23. @steveschoen: From another perspective Dusty was standing up for his player, Shin-Shoo Choo, who wanted to hit, but who was kept out of the game by Gibson. Dusty had already posted a lineup with a DH and was forced to change at the last minute, and I don’t blame him for being annoyed.

    I don’t think Corky Miller ever had much of a chance of making the team – anyway, I could be wrong but I assume Corky Miller speaks Spanish by now… I learned in school, Dusty learned sometime. The veteran experience and bat gave Dioner Navarro an advantage over Miller in 2012 and would give a boost to Olivo (14 homeruns in 2012) in 2013.

    I think Corky Miller will be really valuable to the Louisville Bats, working with young pitchers like Tony Cingrani, Daniel Corcino, and Kyle Lotzkar. I think that – working with pitching prospects – is his primary role with the Reds, while Olivo is an option (albeit bad) for the MLB roster. Eventually Corky will retire and shift his career into coaching, but I doubt we’ll see him in the majors again as a catcher.

    @WVRedlegs: Where’d you hear that, about the Reds trying to acquire David Price and not wanting James Shields? I don’t blame them – I think Shields is overrated – but I don’t believe Price has been available while Shields was long rumored to be a trade candidate (and of course he was traded this winter). I wonder what David Price would have required in a trade.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


2013 Reds


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