Take one last pre-season look at a big chunk of the starting lineup tonight, as the Reds play the D-Backs at 9:40 p.m. ET at Chase Field. The game is one of the “Free Games of the Day” on MLB.com.
The batting order is your Opening Day lineup except that Devin Mesoraco is catching Bronson Arroyo.
The veteran starting pitcher was last seen leaving the mound after being struck by a ball on his pitching hand. Luckily it hit fingers that he “doesn’t use much anyhow” (Arroyo really said that).
Both Justin Verlander and Buster Posey signed mega-extensions today, like the one that JoeyMVP signed with the Reds. Dave Cameron at FanGraphs has a long column where he explains how to think about these deals. It’s what I described as Real Moneyball – with the influx of revenues into baseball, long-term blockbuster deals were going to become commonplace and affordable. Signing home-grown players well before they reach free agency — Vottonomics — which was the case with both Verlander and Posey, gives teams a fighting chance to compete with the big money stack clubs (although the Tigers and Giants are not small-budget by any means).
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.