The cold stove of our discontent is about to end. Made glorious by the sons of Great American Ball Park.

The Cincinnati Reds, under new manager Bryan Price, play the Cleveland Indians in a baseball game and they will keep score. The game is Wednesday, at 3:05 p.m. (Eastern) at Goodyear Park and will be broadcast on WLW radio. Even better, you can watch it on tape delay at 5 p.m. on the MLBN. The same two teams play at the same time on Thursday, broadcast in realtime on WSAI radio and on tape delay at 5 p.m. by MLBN.

Your opening game (spring training) starter? C. Trent Rosecrans tweets it’ll be Alfredo Simon.

Can’t wait. What are you most eager to see this spring?

Spring training game schedule

Spring training radio broadcast schedule

Spring training TV broadcast schedule

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! 60 Comments

  1. In no particular order, excited to see if there’s noticeable improvement of the following:

    Hamilton’s bat.
    Meso’s bat and backstopping.
    Cingrani’s supposed new and improved slider.

    Excited to see if there’s improvement and consistency stemming from injuries of:

    Ludwick’s bat.
    Phillip’s bat.

    Not worried nor expect much difference from the following:

    The rest of the 2014 Reds. It would be nice if Cozart & Frazier improved but I don’t expect much. Bruce & Votto are solidly entrenched in their skill sets. The rest of the pitching staff is solid.

    So glad baseball is back!

  2. I like that Bryan Price is looking to get more out of Alfredo Simon. He threw 88 innings last year, which is the way all of our relievers should be used. By getting 2 innings out of LeCure and Chapman every other time they pitch, we can increase their contributions to the team. Chapman should be at 90 innings this year like Simon was last year.

    Simon having thrown 87 last year could easily throw 130-140 this year, having been a starter previously.

    Trade Mike Leake to Seattle for Franklin and we will need someone from the pen to step up. I posted about this a few weeks ago. It is one way to improve the team from strength.

    Simon can go full bore until the All Star Break and see what you got knowing that you have Stephenson and the projects down below.

    Now that Homer is locked up, they can afford to trade Leake. Franklin can play a number of positions and has options left. He would also save about 6 million versus Leake (I think)

  3. Also of interest: is supposidly not blacking out Spring Training games this year, so if you subscribe to that service; you should be able to view the Redlegs during spring training.

  4. Is the Old Cossack reading the radio broadcast schedule correctly…every spring training game (excluding B games) will be broadcast live on WLW or WSAI?

    Does anyone know if the radio broadcasts will be available via the internet feed?

    Will Hamilton be able to get on base qat a major league average clip?

    Will Mesoraco seize the starting catcher opportunity and regular playing time to fulfill the potential he demonstrated coming up through the minors?

    Will Phillips make the adjustment at the plate to produce in the #2 hole?

  5. What am I most eager to see in ST? Maybe just how Price is different from Dusty in certain situations. Lineup, pitching changes, rotations, etc. Managerial stuff vs. what happens on the field because what happens between the lines in ST completely changes once the season starts. Okay, how does Hamilton look. That’s what I’ll be watching.

  6. So, Price decides to stretch somebody from the bullpen as a potential starter; and, his choice is Simon. Clearly, since the choice was not Chapman, Dusty Baker must still be calling the shots from afar 🙂

    • @OhioJim: Have you ever thought that maybe Dusty was listening to Price?

      • @OhioJim: Have you ever thought that maybe Dusty was listening to Price?

        Personally, sure. It seemed to me that Price ran the pitching pretty much as his own show. Just pointing out tongue very much in cheek what 100 folks would have said here had Dusty still been around; yet nobody seemed to ??? Price at all.

  7. Listening to Fay last night, he prefaced his comments with the lack of game situation making the approach between Price and Dusty hard to see so far.

    He then went on to talk about situational hitting exercises (which the Reds had never done), Price’s promise to be more aggressive on the base paths (Cozart had 30 steals in a minor league season and didn’t even attempt one last year), his plan to use his catchers for their offensive skill sets and not pitching rotation, etc.

    It sounds like the look and feel of this spring is already quite different from the past few seasons!

    I want to see Billy at the plate a lot this spring.

  8. The Old Cossack just finished listening to the latest (I know, a little slow to the line) McAlister/Votto podcast. This is another good listen, but Votto talking about leadership and referencing a very recent team discussion by Bryan Price regarding leadership really struck home.

    Sheldon was describing the emphasis on situational hitting and how hitting coach Don Long has instituted a points system to reward players for doing the right thing in a certain situation.

    “We’ve spent some time working on our two-strike approach, running at third less than two outs, infield in, infield back. Just some really good situational opportunities that when you do it on the field, it gives you a lot better feedback than if you’re doing it in the cage.”

    “It’s a competition for points,” Price said. “Everybody at the end of the day wants to know where they stand in their points accumulation.”

    Maybe it’s the natural spring anticipation, but the early rumblings from spring training seem different this season and the message being delivered by Bryan Price seems to be finding a receptive audience.

    “It’s been just the continuity with the players and the coaching staff,” Price said. “I really think we’ve got a really good bunch of people here. The players are completely focused in on what we’re doing. We’ve had really good, fluid workouts. There has been no loss of energy. There is some intensity to the drills we’re doing. There’s been a good really rapport, considering that it’s mostly a new coaching staff. The guys have kind of bought in to the message and our areas of focus.”

    The Reds hit the field in 24 hours with Simon taking the hill. It’s FINALLY time to start playing ball, and none too soon based on the recent rumblings and tirades among the Nation.

  9. Here’s a major difference between Price and Baker—divisional games actually MEAN something….

    Bryan Price–“We have some history with St. Louis, who we play in six out of the first nine games. I think setting the rotation to line ourselves up to match up the best we can with an in-our-division opponent is important.”

  10. Lineup for tomorrow posted:


    Now, I don’t want to make too much out of the very first spring lineup card, but that sure looks an awful lot like what most of us would expect the Opening Day lineup to be – with one difference. Really we still HAVE to bat the catcher 8th? Aside from finally getting over batting Votto and Bruce together, it doesn’t seem like we should expect many more wrinkles in Price’s lineup construction.

    • @eric nyc: Eric, can look at it this way, he is second clean up…

      He may have the best approach at the plate of those last 4 hitters, can walk and be sacrificed.

      That may be the best way for teams to slow down Billy, allow Meso to reach base

      • @reaganspad: Eh…I guess. I doubt that’s the thinking. Mesoraco is a power hitter. There really isn’t a lot of logic in batting him behind Cozart. My hope is that he’s being put there until he shows what he can do on an every day level and that he might creep up the lineup by Opening Day. In a perfect world, I ‘d hope he’d end up being a good #5 hitter if Ludwick shows he really is done. Boy, we really are putting all of our eggs in the Ludwick/Hamilton basket this year, aren’t we…Both of those guys have the potential to be absolute disasters and we have absolutely NO contingency plan for either. Unless you count Chris Heisey, which I don’t.

        • @eric nyc: Yes, I agree eric, but I do not think this is as much about Meso as it is about Frazier and Cozart.

          BP (i guess he is the other BP) said that he wants to see them run. Hard to do with a real eval with the pitcher hitting

    • @eric nyc:

      Really we still HAVE to bat the catcher 8th?

      WOW ❗ That honeymoon was short-lived. I’m not reading anything negative into Bryan’s lineup construction based on the first spring training game. He has already stated emphatically that Votto will hit in the #3 hole unless he needs to move for the team’s benefit. The bottom of the lineup is problematic based on 2013 performances, but 2014 is a new season. Sheldon has quote Bryan…

      “There is a lot more room with Zack as an offensive player,” Price said. “He’s been working his tail off to access it. I’m optimistic that this will be a tremendous year for him all the way around.”

      The Votto/Bruce back-to-back in the 1st game is ultra encouraging. I don’t think Bryan has set anything in stone regarding his lineup construction. I think he intends to see how players react to the new management style and expectations during spring training before making any decisions. I can see a possible senario where Phillips ends up hitting in the #8 hole, or really any of the position players except Votto and Bruce.

      • @Shchi Cossack: I am in full panic mode!!!!!!

        No i

      • @Shchi Cossack: Seriously this site is getting impossible to use on an iphone.

        Clearly I am not panicking based on this lineup card. I qualified my statement accordingly. But I don’t see what about this lineup would make you think Price is taking a radical departure from Dustys team. BP won’t end up 8th. We all know that. The deviation might happen at the bottom of the order, but Hamilton will have to have a DISASTROUS spring to get bumped out of the lead off spot and I don’t see much else changing before April.

        • @eric nyc:

          I don’t see what about this lineup would make you think Price is taking a radical departure from Dustys team.

          I believe Hamilton needs to start the season in AAA, but there are no other roster options now available for CF & leadoff, so I don’t see any other choice but to give him a shot and see how things work out during spring training. Cozart is hitting 7th. Last season, I think it took Dusty 4 months to move Cozart out of the top of the lineup. Over the final 54 games, Cozart slashed .293/.325/.410 so I don’t see any problem with him hitting 7th. I am a strong advocate for trading Phillips with the belief that he is regressing offensively and defensively, but he did slash .296/.347/.481 prior to his injury last season, so hitting him #2 and giving him a chance to prove he has more left in the tank seems logical. I think we both agree the Votto/Bruce hitting back to back is the most desirable option for both and certainly the antithesis of Dusty’s lineup construction. Ludwick is a BIG question mark and concern, but Bryan has to find out what to expect or not expect from Ludwick and better to hit Ludwick 5th and find out earlier rather than later. Frazier slashed .234/.314/.407 compared to Mesoraco at .238/.287/.362 so until Mesoraco proves (and I think he will prove it quickly) that he can hit major league pitching the way he hit minor league pitching, I see the #8 hole as appropriate for Mesoraco.

          Spring training is about getting ready for the season and finding out what to expect from the players so a manager can put them in the best situations to contribute. You may very well be correct in categorizing Bryan’s lineup construction as more of Dusty’s nonsense, but I prefer to hold off on that assessment for another 4 weeks. My biggest concerns for 2014 are not the lineup construction, but rather the roster construction.

          • @Shchi Cossack: Hey I’m just bored with the offseason and this is the first lineup card I’ve gotten a chance to complain about.

            We’re on the same page. I think most people here are. My biggest concern is that we seem to have banked the entire season on both Hamilton and Ludwick being not just productive, but very productive. And both of those guys could be utterly useless all season. To mitigate that, I’d rather our guys who might slug a bit better could be clustered in the middle of the order and so I hop Mes gets bumped up from 8th. Overall, though, I’m just not optimistic about this season. I think we could finish under .500 pretty easily.

        • @eric nyc: Dusty has had a long, successful career as a major league manager. I’m not sure why, wishful thinking aside, you’d expect Price to make a radical departure from his lineup. How radical can it realistically be? Pitcher leads off? As the Cossack has, with his usual and expected wisdom, pointed out, Mes is a question mark, as are Cozart (I think he may have a good year, but I digress…), Frazier, Ludwick, Hamilton, and BP. Actually Bruce and Votto, too, to some degree. It’s the first game of Spring; let’s wait until some of the questions are provisionally answered before we panic about lineups.

          • @greenmtred: I don’t know how successful I would call it. 20 years of .540 baseball and a grand total of 1 pennant and 0 WS victories. 7 playoff appearances in 20 years with 4 divisional series losses, one wild card loss. He also had 3 losing and 3 winning seasons with the Reds, 2 winning seasons and 2 losing seasons with the Cubs, and only 5 division titles in 20 years. More than half of his seasons with better than his career average of .540 winning percentage was with the Giants and Bonds. Now consider the fact that he had 10 years of Barry Bonds in his roiding prime, where he had 3 MVPs and OPS in the 1.006 to 1.381 range and still only won one pennant.

            His teams are 19-26 in the postseason, including the Cubs collapsing at home and failing to go to the WS after being up 3-2 games and at home, the Reds getting shut out not once, but TWICE in a 0-3 sweep in the Divisional Series, and the Reds blowing three straight games at home after having a 2-0 lead in the divisional series.

            It was certainly a long career. I don’t know how successful you could honestly call it though. I’d call it very mediocre to poor.

          • @ToddAlmighty: What he said.

          • @ToddAlmighty: Given that the won-loss percentage of all teams combined during the 144 year history of mlb is at or near .500, I’d say that .540 is undeniably above average and arguably successful.

    • @eric nyc: I actually like this line up a lot. I read Price wants to play more small ball this year stealing more bases with Cozart and even some with Fraizer what is great for the team. Cozart is not a good enough hitter to bat in the #2 hole, however hitting 7th will give him the opportunity to move bases for Mesoraco to hit in. If they switch Cozart and Mesoraco that would take that strategy away because you don’t still with the pitcher up. I didn’t mind Baker, but I didn’t like his managing style. So for I like what I’ve read about Price.

    • @eric nyc: In all fairness though, I would only have moved Mes up one spot here. I’d have him 7th and Cozart 8th. It will be interesting to see if Hamilton can really lead off. ZiPS projects his OBP at .319 and I think that’s pretty optimistic.

      • @LWBlogger: I would be THRILLED with .319 from Hamilton. He would seriously come very close to equalling Choo’s run production at that clip and with his defensive upgrade would make it almost a total wash. I don’t see many people projecting him getting on base at that rate, though. I see more people projecting him spending some time in Louisville before the summer’s over.

  11. I wonder if Nick Travieso and a low prospect (still in the Reds top 15, though), could get Nick Franklin. I predicted what it would take to land him already, but that was with the assumption that the Reds would trade one of Winker/Ervin. The Mets supposedly want pitching (which doesn’t make sense to me, because something like 7 of their top ten prospects are pitchers), which means the Reds have some of what they want. I just don’t know if Jocketty would be willing to give up the players it would take to land him.

  12. I will admit that I held Baker’s style in such disdain, that I am probably predisposed to like any departure. So, Price could run out seven minor league pitchers in a line up as long as Votto and Bruce are hitting consecutively and it would make me very happy!

    I’m thrilled to hear about the emphasis on baserunning and situational hitting – two areas that this club can make huge improvements over last year.

    In the end, I think that where Mes bats will have a ton to do with how Ludwick bounces back. If we get the 2012 Ludwick then I have no issue with Mes batting 8th. However, if we get the 2013 Ludwick then I don’t think it will be too long before the line up gets a little shake up.

    • @Kyle Farmer:

      I held Baker’s style in such disdain, that I am probably predisposed to like any departure.

      And if you haven’t heard the latest, Dusty is complaining that the Reds failures over the past few seasons were everyone’s fault but his own…poor Dusty. 😥

      • @Shchi Cossack: To quote Lucas Davenport: “That’s water under the rug.” I try to never dispute what the Cossack says, and can’t avoid beating dead horses, and can’t get the Dusty quotes to come up. But I will just say: regardless of what Dusty did or did not do last year, the players themselves were partially responsible as well, I’m convinced. There is a scientific explanation (social scientific, which may not be the same thing) for why new leaders improve results, temporarily. I’m glad that we’ll soon have actual games to discuss.

      • @Shchi Cossack: I’m shocked he would do this. Oh wait, nevermind, I am not shocked at all!

  13. Will there be a game thread this afternoon? I can’t remember from last year if that happens.

  14. IMO, Votto should be batting second and Mez should be either 5th or 6th.

  15. Why can’t it be 3pm already? I don’t even care if it’s Soto, Hispanic .215 hitting backup SS #9, Pena, Henry Rodriguez, and Corcino starting. I just can’t wait for baseball to finally be back. Real baseball is what we all need.

  16. Big day looming for Bryan Price and his coaching staff. First pitch in just over 3 hours now. Mesoraco (certainly) and Hamilton (probably) looking a starting positions on the big club. Ludwick looking to rebound and prove his worth after the serious shoulder injury virtually cancelled his 2013 season. You think there might be some butterflies fluttering around the clubhouse in Goodyear? Joey and Jay (the hitters not the pitcher!) may be looking at absolutely dual monster seasons with serious statements waiting to be made on the field. C’mon already…let’s play ball!!!

  17. Just for the record: I hate the Cardinals, and the Cubs are stupid……NOW I’m ready for baseball.

  18. sorry eric, you must have been having problems when you posted this because it came out like this and I am sure that is not what you intended:

    “Overall, though, I’m just not optimistic about this season. I think we could finish under .500 pretty easily.”

    Obviously a misprint.

    This is a 98 win Team with Hamilton starting for Stubbs and Cingrani for Arroyo, Mesoraco for Hannigan.

    The facts are that we had a ton of injuries last year and apathy at the helm, and still won 90 games

    • @reaganspad: I am still wondering where you’re getting how Hamilton is going to be a huge improvement over Stubbs. Hamilton may have an OBP around the same as Stubbs and with literally zero power. He also doesn’t have anywhere near Stubbs’ arm. By most accounts he is an exceptional CF but many said that about Stubbs as well. I have only seen him play in CF once in person and once on TV. I don’t really know how good he is yet. Sure, he may be better than Stubbs but it isn’t a given. His OPS is probably going to be considerably lower in fact so he’ll have to make it up by being a superior CF and with his base-running, which figures to be better than Stubbs’ but by how much?

      One can say that the 2012 team was really a 93-win team based on run-differential. There is also the fact that we don’t know if Cingrani can pitch Arroyo’s 200 innings. I’d be very surprised if he did. So who gets those other innings? Chances are they won’t be as good as Arroyo or Cingrani.

      I like Mes over Hanigan but I wonder if the pitchers will. Hanigan’s receiving skills are going to be missed some.

      I am rather optimistic about this team. More optimistic than most; both on this blog and in the mainstream media. I see them winning 88-93 games. If Cueto can give them 30 starts, that will be a HUGE gain. I just don’t see some of the things as “givins” that you seem so very sure of.

      • @LWBlogger: More important than if Cingrani can pitch Arroyo’s 200.. who in AAA can potentially pitch Cingrani’s 100 if need be? I think that’ll be a big thing. With how weak this team’s batting is projecting out to be this year, and so much of their success relying on their pitchers now, the health and depth of the starting pitching is more important than ever.

        It’s unlikely all 5 starters will make all their starts for the entire year. Luckily last year the Reds had a guy step up and post a sub-3.00 ERA starting. If some similar situation happens and the next guy up posts a 4.50 or so, how many less wins does that equate to?

        Though I do hope all 5 stay healthy and throw 180-200 innings each, and finish 1-5 in the Cy Young votes. I just don’t know if the next guy up can fill in like Cingrani did last year.

        • @ToddAlmighty: Thanks Todd and LW.

          First to Todd’s question. I think that Stephenson will be knocking by the all star break and more than able to pitch a spot start or stay up full time. If not I see 5 names who will be interesting to see how they do. Our fill in starts last year went beyond Cingrani, and the ERA for those starts was not good.

          I really like Simon being stretched out from his 88 innings last year. The guy is a warrior.

          As far as Hamilton and Stubbs, I will say that I was sad the day that Stubbs was traded, in fact I wish we could have gotten him back for this year. I think he will explode in Denver.
          I see Hamilton easily doubling the amount of stolen bases from Stubbs. He won’t have the power that Stubbs had but will prove to be much more disruptive even if they have similar OBP

  19. Spring is in the air (except for the bitter -10 windchill here, but, whatever)and I have the optimism for a wire-to-wire season.

  20. 51 minutes, but who’s counting? 🙂

  21. What… the heck… IHeartRadio just game-blocked me? I heard Marty and then it was like “Hahaha, nooooope. Tricked you.”

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.


2014 Reds