2013 Reds

Reds (Latos) vs. Dodgers tonight at 10:05 ET

After a day off, the Reds play the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight in Goodyear. WLW will broadcast the game, which starts at 10:05 ET.

JoeyMVP (.522 OBP) returns after playing for Team Canada in the WBC. The Reds’ first baseman had this to say about his experience (per John Fay): “It was good to be challenged physically — play 18 straight innings, longer games, getting all the at-bats in. I think it was good. It reminded me that I’ve a good bit to go. Thankfully, I got to test the waters. Now, I’ll get back to work and get ready for April 1.”

Other than the missing Brandon Phillips, who is still playing in the tournament, tonight’s is your Opening Day starting eight.

New lead-off hitter Shin-Soo Choo (who, ahem, PLAYS FOR THE REDS) is 8 for 19, has two walks and leads the Reds with seven runs scored. A .476 OBP will do. Here’s a brief interview where Choo discusses, among other things, playing CF for the first time in his major league career. It also shows a few of his past highlights including, of course, hitting a home run off a Reds’ pitcher.

At the opposite end of the successful-spring spectrum, catcher Miguel Olivo is 2 for 17 (.158 OBP).

Here’s Dusty Baker’s lineup:

  1. Shin-Soo Choo 8 
  2. Zack Cozart 6
  3. Joey Votto 3 
  4. Ryan Ludwick 7
  5. Jay Bruce 9 
  6. Todd Frazier 5 
  7. Ryan Hanigan 2 
  8. Emmanuel Burriss 4 
  9. Miguel Olivo DH 

Mat Latos takes the mound for the Reds tonight in his second start of the year. The 25-year-old, who has a tattoo of  Stewie and Brian from The Family Guy on his calf, threw two innings in his first appearance of 2013. He’ll face part of the Dodgers’ starting lineup, including Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier,

In other cartoon news, JoeyMVP (well, his voice) will make a guest appearance on The Cleveland Show this Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on Fox.

John Fay reports the Reds first cuts of Spring Training: Optioned to Louisville LHP Tony Cingrani and RHP Daniel Corcino; optioned to Pensacola RHP Kyle Lotzkar and RHP Josh Ravin; optioned to Bakersfield RHP Carlos Contreras and OF Yorman Rodriguez; optioned to Dayton LHP Ismael Guillon; reassigned to minor league camp RHP Nick Christiani, RHP Chad Rogers, C Nevin Ashley, IF Kristopher Negron and OF Ryan LaMarre.

On Thursday, I’m going to post on the Reds financial situation and future payroll, and the implications for fighting the big money stacks in New York and Los Angeles. It’s based on my 2,000-word article “Modern Moneyball” in the Redleg Annual. If you haven’t already, spend the $4 and read it so you’ll be caught up on the discussion.

25 thoughts on “Reds (Latos) vs. Dodgers tonight at 10:05 ET

  1. BP put down a really nice sac bunt in the bottom of the 5th of #WBC. Hope thats a skill we see out of him a lot more this season.

  2. When talking about Reds and their failure last season to score with RISP. I recall a conversation about how we’re just not seeing other teams and how they fail to do the same.

    Was interesting for me watching USA fail to score with 5 RISP opportunities tonight.

    -2 Batters failed with bases loaded in the bottom of 5th.
    -3 Batters S/O with men on 1st & 2nd in bottom of 6th

    Though clearly this could just be early pre-season type play and that everyone just isn’t reved up yet.

  3. Another homer for Shin-Soo Choo (who PLAYS FOR THE REDS) and a walk for JoeyMVP. Four strong innings for Latos, who struck out six and walked none. Latos struck Matt Kemp out twice.

  4. Brennaman and Brantley are talking about how Emannuel Burriss has great value to the Reds because of his ability to steal bases. Burriss had five SB last year for the Giants and was caught stealing three times. Jason Donald stole four bases last year with zero CS.

    • @Steve Mancuso:

      Brennaman and Brantley are talking about how Emannuel Burriss has great value to the Reds because of his ability to steal bases. Burriss had five SB last year for the Giants and was caught stealing three times. Jason Donald stole four bases last year with zero CS.

      Steve, John Fay is hinting that Burriss is really in the hunt for that utility spot, I don’t see how Donald doesn’t make the team. Thoughts?

      • As reported by Doug Miller at MLB.com

        Baker said that some of the positional battles remain too close to call. He mentioned the backup-infielder job being contested by Jason Donald, Emmanuel Burriss and Cesar Izturis and the backup-catcher job, which is likely down to Devin Mesoraco and veteran Miguel Olivo. “It’s a real tough decision,” Baker said.

        This is an absolutely scary quote.

        Meso is hitting .471/.526/.941/1.467 with 2 HR & 2 SO in 19 PA. Olivo is hitting .105/.143/.263/.406 with 1 HR & 9 SO in 21 PA. Meso has also been a monster behind the plate. I could understand hedging before making a decision because there is still 2 weeks left in ST, but a ‘tough decision’?

        • @Bill Lack:
          @Shchi Cossack:
          Dusty is a players manager and trash talking the players isn’t a good way to do that. I think at this point Jason Donald and Devin Mesoraco are sure things to make the team, but if Dusty doesn’t want to be publicly demeaning towards the other guys (Miguel Olivo is out of consideration because he’s been TERRIBLE!), fine with me. There’s still another two weeks for somebody to get hurt to force somebody like Izturis/Burriss or Olivo to make the team.

          I think the toughest part of the decision is that it involves people, people who Dusty will have to sit down and talk to. I’m not sure if Izturis or Olivo have opt-out clauses but if they do I think Dusty will be the guy who tries to compel them to stick around in AAA.

          • @redsfanman: Personally, I’d not be very concerned if Olivo and Izturis don’t stick around in AAA. At any time a team can pick up a player of Izturis’ “ability”, that’s for sure.

            Baker always has the ability not to say anything at all about it. Why not just say “no comment” about this sort of question? As long as Mesoraco and Donald make it, I don’t really care what he says, but his words are always at least a small cause for concern.

            As for Burriss, it figures that the Reds’ announcers love his speed. Burriss is an awful baseball player. It is very hard to, for a player with speed, to have only 16 extra base hits in 800 career plate appearances.

          • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Cesar Izturis is a former Gold Glove winner (2004) and a former All Star (2005). The Reds have started seasons with slick-fielding light hitting shortstops like Paul Janish and Juan Castro. Other seasons with veteran shortstops like Edgar Renteria and Wilson Valdez. I think this 33 year old Cesar Izturis could have given a bunch of those guys some good competition. As I said, in my opinion it’s a sign of how far the Reds have come if they don’t have a job for Izturis.

            @Hank Aarons Teammate: I hope Olivo and Izturis stick around in Louisville as a veteran presence on an otherwise young roster. Corky Miller has negligible MLB experience compared to them. I’m not sure how much faith I have in Nevin Ashley as Louisville’s backup catcher or if the Louisville Bats even have a better option for shortstop – I don’t think they do.

            I think Dusty sees a need to get fans interested in the spring competition for roster spots and “no comment” isn’t the way to do that. The backup catcher and backup shortstop roles were supposed to be exciting, and I don’t blame him for portraying them as more interesting than they are. Part of the reason the Reds gave for bringing in Miguel Olivo was to push and challenge Devin Mesoraco with a serious rival for his job – even though Mesoraco has drastically outperformed Olivo I think it makes sense to keep up the pretense of competition as long as possible.

            As for Burriss, I have no objection to him being released after spring training.

            I don’t think Dusty or Jocketty’s words are usually cause for concerns. Usually all they offer under any circumstance is support for their players, spun in a way to get fans interested. They are public figures who, to some extent, talk like salesmen or politicians.

            Nice conversation today HAT, I enjoyed this.

      • @Bill Lack: It’s probably Baker just being respectful to the veterans. In the end, Jocketty makes these calls. Burriss is trying to sell himself the best he can (bunts and steals) but I doubt that’ll get it done. Donald has an edge in that he’s on the 40-man roster and, more importantly, he has experience playing positions other than SS. Unless the performances change a lot or someone gets hurt, I expect Donald will win the spot and the Reds will release Burriss or Izturis or both.

  5. I wonder how closely, if at all, the Cardinals are watching the Reds’ battle among infielders. Would Izturis be better than whoever they have now to replace Furcal?

    At any rate, nice job by LeSam to pitch out of trouble with 2Ks and a grounder.

    Lutz with an RBI double!!

    • It was interesting to see that the Reds finally made some roster moves.

      Another great game for Devin Mesoraco, yay, and another bad day for Miguel Olivo.

      @Brian Van Hook: Personally I think Izturis, who has no shot of making the Reds, would be better than any of the remaining Cardinals shortstops. Pete Kozma seems to be the frontrunner for the job after hitting .232 with a .292 OBP in AAA last year. Izturis hit for a higher average than that last year in MLB and has a career average of .255. I get the impression Izturis is still a good fielder. I think it’s a compliment to the Reds and sign of how they’ve improved if they don’t give Izturis a job.

      I think the Cardinals will end up working out a trade for Elvis Andrus sometime this season, when the Rangers are ready to make room for Jurickson Profar. The Cardinals have the prospects to trade if they want to do it.

      • @redsfanman: Izturis hasn’t broken a .277 OBP in the last 4 years. He’s 33 years old. The only thing this shows, assuming they keep Donald, is that the Reds are not completely insane.

      • @redsfanman: I agree about Andrus. I would be very surprised if he didn’t end up with the Cards sometime this year… I’m not sure I agree that Izturis is probably a better option then anyone the Cards currently have for their void at SS. Unlike Cedeno, he’s still a plus defender but he can’t hit a lick. He isn’t even likely to hit for his career averages.

        • @LWBlogger: I think the Cardinals are leaning towards starting the slick fielding Pete Kozma over Cedeno, which, in my opinion, says something about how they feel about Cedeno defensively. Any of the internal options they come up with are probably going to be light-hitting bottom of the order hitters… which is what Izturis is.

  6. Another nice day from Mesoraco. It is so good to see this. The Reds really needed him to step up this spring. Like I said last week about Meso, he has turned from a boy into a man now. Not the young prospect. Very happy for Meso.

  7. I think Mesoraco is a player who has what it takes to handle adversity and make the necessary adjustments. He did it in the minor leagues after the 2009 season. He worked his tail off in the offseason and figured out how to become a successful professional player. It sounds like he took that same approach this offseason after performing below expecatations at the MLB level last year. I’m optimistic that he’ll bounce back nicely this year.

  8. Is anyone else troubled by the fact that Joey Votto is still far from 100%? He seems to recover slower than almost any player I can remember. That, or his injuries are consistently under-reported by the club.

    • @Chris Garber: I’m not sure that’s how it is. This was Votto’s first significant injury really. At this point, the issue is probably more mental than physical. Having suffered a couple nasty knee injuries, I can tell you how hard it is to learn to trust that surgically repaired knee. The doctors and trainers are likely telling him that it’s fine but he’s going to have to keep testing it before he actually believes that it’s fine. As this is his first significant injury, it is likely to take him even more time. Also, that knee may never FEEL 100%. Once they are repaired they can be close to normal but they never seem to feel exactly the same as they do pre-injury. That’s also something that Votto may be coping with. While the knee may be 100% structurally sound and may be at full strength, it still may feel different.

    • Is anyone else troubled by the fact that Joey Votto is still far from 100%?He seems to recover slower than almost any player I can remember.That, or his injuries are consistently under-reported by the club.

      I’m not, I think you’re misinterpreting what he said. He said in his recent interview that the WBC showed that he was far from ready for the season, but I think he was referring to his spring training preparations rather than his injuries/knee. I thought he was implying that he needs to work hard in the next two weeks to be prepared to face MLB pitching by opening day, not that his knee is giving him lingering problems.

  9. One other note about last night’s game, for those who didn’t hear it late at night. Mesoraco came up with the bases loaded and two out and had a really good at-bat. According to Brantley, Meso was able to hold off swinging at a tough pitch that wasn’t a strike, then got a better pitch to hit and the result was a bases-loaded double. Brantley and Marty were really praising him for the type of at-bat, not just the result.

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