If you can pull away from March Madness, watch your favorite baseball team on national television this afternoon. The Reds play the Texas Rangers for the second day in a row, this time at the Rangers’ spring training facility, Surprise Stadium. The game will be televised on the MLB-Network and WLW has the radio broadcast. 

You’ll have a chance to watch the Reds’ new leadoff hitter, Shin-Soo Choo and a few other regulars. Jay Bruce and Super Todd Frazier are starting, along with Ryan Hanigan. Devin Mesoraco is the designated hitter. Two players involved in the competition for the final position player spot are also starting — Emmanuel Burriss and César Izturis, with the latter playing shortstop. Maybe you’ll be able to form your own opinion if Izturis is still a “slick-fielding shortstop.”

You can also see Donald Lutz play. The 6-foot-3, 240-pounder who the Reds signed out of Regensburg, Germany, starts at first base and bats fifth. Lutz has already been assigned to the minor league team but has been impressive this spring. Lutz hit .256 with 22 home runs and 66 RBIs in 103 games between Class A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola last season. He also played games this offseason in the Arizona Fall League and in Australia. “I like big Lutz. He’s very talented,” Dusty Baker said a few days ago. “He’s very raw, but he’s getting refined in a hurry. He hasn’t played as much ball as the other guys. He’s coming fast. I like what I see. I like his speed for a big man. He works hard in the outfield during batting practice.”

The lineup:

  1. Choo 8
  2. Burriss 4
  3. Bruce 9
  4. Frazier 5
  5. Lutz 3
  6. Heisey 7
  7. Izturis 6
  8. Hanigan 2
  9. Mesoraco DH

Bronson Arroyo pitches for the Reds today. It’s his fourth start of the spring. Jose Arredondo, J.J. Hoover and Logan Ondrusek are also on the trip. 

Mark Sheldon has an item on Mat Latos about his negative X-ray. Latos hopes to not miss his last spring training start.

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! 32 Comments

  1. That was the 1st seriously misplayed ball to CF I have seen by Choo and also misplayed on the backup by Heisey, resulting in a 3B hit to the wall and a SF to score a run. The ball could have been caught for an out and a proper backup holds the runner at 2B.

  2. The Yankees and Rays have to quit playing sometime, right? So mlb channel can go to the Reds game?

  3. It’s nice to see Mesoraco get some extra at bats as the DH. Weird to bat him 9th after burriss/izturis. Dusty has picked up some odd quirks through the years.

  4. I really like Choo’s swing. Having him and Votto in the same lineup is going to be a pleasure to watch.

  5. Mark Sheldon reporting Reds 3b coach Mark Berry has been diagnosed with cancer.

  6. That’s 2 starting pitchers down to a batted ball in 2 days. After coming through last season completely clean, I’m starting to get a bad feeling about how vulnerable our starting pithcing is if one of the startes goes down.

  7. Arroyo has just left the game after taking a line drive to the wrist/hand area of his right arm.

  8. I hope Arroyo is ok!

  9. This is nothing short of divine retribution against Dusty Baker from the Baseball Gods. He throws a tantrum, gets Chapman to be the closer which means the Reds only have 5 viable starters. Then the last two days two starting pitchers have been driven from the game by being hit with a baseball. Coincidence?

    But on a more serious note… why is it that every time the Reds are on national television, he puts in the B-Team lineup? It seems like he does it every single time. Does he have some aversion to playing all the good players while a majority of the country is watching?

  10. Yikes. That hit Arroyo on the hand/wrist. He wouldn’t let the trainer look at it. Big risk of something broken. Hold your breath.

  11. Various reports that Arroyo has been taken for X-rays on his hand.

  12. OUCH!!! The report from the game was that Dusty had a bad reaction to the news regarding Arroyo, but nothing official yet. It looked like the ball hit directly off the back of his pitching hand or wrist.

  13. Better call up Galarraga since we have no arms in the bullpen who have been stretched out to start a game.


  14. Good outing by Arredondo. Looks like he’s ready for opening day.

  15. If Arroyo has to miss any time at all, the obvious answer is putting Chapman in the rotation. There’s not even any doubt about it. Otherwise, you’re looking at Leake and Cingrani as two of the starters. If it’s just one or two starts, you could maybe get by with that. But if Arroyo is out for a month or more, the Reds simply have to move Chapman to the rotation.

  16. Hopefully a lesson was learned with Homer about rushing a young pitcher to the major leagues before he is ready. Leave Cingrani at AAA and bring him up when he is ready and only when he is ready.

  17. Meso is playing like a man with something to prove.

  18. From Sheldon: Arroyo drilled on right hand. X rays negative. Should be OK. More soon #reds

  19. If necessary (and Chapman isn’t the guy), I think Cingrani should be the guy that gets the nod. Zero time in AAA makes me nervous but his peripherals are so good.

    Homer was 2 years younger than Cingrani and never played college ball. I just don’t think their situations are comparable.

    That said, won’t be surprised to see the Reds throw a retread veteran out there.

  20. According to Fay: The ball hit outside of Arroyo’s pitching hand on the knuckles. “I don’t use those fingers too much.”

  21. Ondrusek is not looking good today ….

  22. this has been a really painful game to watch … someone give me a positive highlight to hold on to!!

  23. Ondrusek should not make this team. He’s never really pitched well for the Reds over a sustained period of time. His FIP last year was 5.44, so his ERA was just flat lucky. He walks almost as many batters as he strikes out. It would be a joke if he makes the team and Hoover doesn’t.

    • @Steve Mancuso:

      Ondrusek should not make this team.

      Yeah, the 2 year contract was another questionable bullpen expediture.

      • @Shchi Cossack: To be precise, it wasn’t a questionable expenditure, it was just a flat out stupid expenditure. I don’t care what they paid him, the fact that he’s around and Baker likes him means that he’ll pitch.

    • @Steve Mancuso: FIP sounds like black magic. We’ll have none of that.

    • @Steve Mancuso:
      I think we could take Logan. If anyone remembers, it wasn’t only Chapman who had a scoreless inning streak going at the start of last season. Logan had one going, also. Where I believe Logan has been hurting is from overuse. Baker has been using him at an 70-80 game per season pitcher. That is probably simply too much for Logan. Baker saw how good Logan was his rookie season, so he pressed him for even more to the point of tiring him out, then has him sitting to end the season.

      With Baker, when the Reds have a lead, I have noticed that Baker has a regular rotation of relievers he goes to. Last season until Broxton got there, when the Reds had the last after 6, it was Logan, Marshall, and Chapman; when losing, it seemed to be Lecure, Hoover, and Simon)(With Broxton, it was Marshall, Broxton, and Chapman.) The thing wrong is, if the Reds get a lead after 6 for several straight games, that rotation gets strained. But, Baker continues to go to them. I remember looking at one time last season midseason, Baker had 4 pitchers on track for 70+ games (one for 80+). Of the other 3, only one was on pace for more than 50 games. The other two, less than 40 games pace. Baker definitely needs to spread his relievers out a lot better. I know the end of the season results don’t show it. That’s what I specified; I looked at the numbers midseason.

      Now, I do believe there is going to be some sort of trade going on. For, I can’t believe we are going to send down to Louisville this many good relievers, or even lose them (what was it, through waivers or something?) without anything.

  24. Wow, two bullets dodged in two days. Can we just cancel the rest of ST and move directly to opening day?

  25. I just read Arroyo’s recount of the injury play in Sheldon’s Blog. That was a really scary play.

  26. After the Chapman decision debacle, there is no way – none – that he would get a place in the rotation if a SP went down. It would be seen as admission of a screw-up and would rob Dustbag of his “closer security blanket”. No, if a starter is needed for one or two starts, I would guess Sudden Sam LeCure or maybe even Simon (if he makes the team). If it’s longer than that I can see them turning to Cingrani or Galarraga.

  27. I strongly disagree with the opinion that the Reds wouldn’t put Chapman in the rotation if they lost a starter to a significant injury at the end of spring training.

Comments are closed.

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.


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