Homer Bailey held the L.A. Dodgers hitless and scoreless through three innings last night and reflected (Mark Sheldon) on his outing:

“I got through three innings, that was kind of important,” Bailey said. “I was trying to build up the endurance and stuff. I was working on a couple of breaking balls. Overall, it wasn’t too bad. I really didn’t go too deep in many counts. They were pretty aggressive out there.”

Bailey talked about his approach (John Fay) to pitch selection for the game.

“You’re trying to build up so you can get 100 pitches and get ready for the season,” he said. “We’re going to play these guys, so it’s not like we’re going to attack them like we would in the season. I tried to work on a few things, but I still tried to get ahead in the count.”

Mat Latos threw off of a mound (Sheldon) for the first time since his knee surgery.

“Everything feels fantastic,” Latos said. “I expected a little bit of soreness while I was throwing, or to feel it once or twice. I didn’t feel anything while I was throwing. My mechanics were a little off. The ball was up, but that’s to be expected. I’m almost three weeks late.”

Finally, the Reds’ Hall of Fame and Museum is hosting a day-long event on Saturday, March 15. It includes a three-hour afternoon session with fantasy baseball experts from Baseball Headquarters, with Ron Shandler headlining the event. If you take your fantasy baseball seriously and are anxiously awaiting the start of the Reds’ season, this looks like a great opportunity to spend time at Great American Ball Park, the Hall of Fame and Museum and interacting with smart people.

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! 14 Comments

  1. I recorded the game yesterday, but haven’t watched it.

    As things stand now, the roster is coming together pretty easily. If the season started today I would have the following bench players:
    21.) Pena (2)
    22.) Schumaker (4/7)
    23.) Bernadina (7/8/9)
    24.) Heisey (7/8/9)
    25.) Soto (3/5)

    I believe that is the best bench the Reds have had in 20 years. But notice there is no coverage as backup for SS. That is a little disconcerting.

    • @TC: You may very well be correct regarding the 25 man roster makeup. The issue regarding an emergency SS would come down to Frazier, Phillips or Hamilton. None of those three options is perfect, but an emergency would only require coverage for 1 or 2 games. If Santiago opts out of his minor league contract, I’m comfortable with Kris Negron as a SS option if Cozart goes down with an injury. At least more comfortable than carrying a glove-only utility IF on the 25 man roster. Soto has options available and could find himself on the Cincinnati-Louisville shuttle if Cozart goes on the DL. If Hannahan comes back and Soto or Bernadina are not performing, Hannahan probably would be the choice to fill in at SS.

  2. –Homer looked free and easy last night, not as mechanical as he can sometimes appear.
    –Votto looks sluggish, off to his usual slow start. No worries.
    –As Ludwick can attest, Billy Hamilton could play center and left field at the same time.
    –I like what I’m seeing from Pena. Our catching should be vastly improved.
    –Schumaker leaves a lot to be desired as a defender.

  3. Since this is a bit of a catch-all post, I’ll ask this here:

    Has anybody heard about the Reds TV schedule on FS Ohio? Last year it was released on Feb. 14!

    I guess they were a little bit delayed by the late release of the national/regional FOX/FS1 schedule. But if anybody has heard anything about this, please let me know.

    • @renbutler: I looked a bit and couldn’t find anything. It’s usually pretty easy to locate on the Reds site, so my guess is you’re right and they are just later releasing it this year, for whatever reason.

    • @Steve Mancuso: @renbutler: They released it January 22nd at the blog that will remain unnamed at Redlegnation. It’s still there.

      • @TC: Wait, what? FSN and the Reds web site don’t have any listing for the Reds market.

        Or was this a joke I didn’t get?

  4. I’m not shocked or disappointed with Francis’ performance last night. I think the minor league contract for Francis was a stretch at best. He was a good flyer in 2012, but Francis has sufficienty proven that he can’t get it done at the major league level. I would much rather open the starting pitching roster at AAA for the up and coming prospects who are ready or near ready for AAA. Simon looks like a lock as the first option as a 6th starter. If a 7th starter is needed, let’s find out who is capable at AAA rather than counting on a failed retread just because he had some major league experience. The bullpen could also see some shakeup and new arms if another team comes looking for some experienced, proven bullpen help. There are some arms ready to help at the major league level with little to nothing left to prove at AAA.

    • @Shchi Cossack: I think it all depends on how Latos and Leake progress. I think Leake will get back on track in time to start the season. With Latos, I don’t believe he’ll be ready til mid April. The choice probably boils down to Holmberg or Simon for 2 starts, yes? Thoughts:
      –Simon is great as a releiver, pretty bad as a starter in his career.
      –Homberg is an unknown to the league. Could he sneak in a couple good starts before there’s a ‘book’ on him?
      –3 of the first 4 series are vs. the Cardinals and Rays. Who matches up better, lefty or righty?
      –If Marshall isn’t ready, don’t you need Simon in the bullpen?

      • @Sultan of Swaff: Simon was bad starting AND relieving in Baltimore. WJ picked him up off the trash heap and he’s been nothing but productive (Bryan Price factor?) in Cincinnati, but has never started a single game in Cincinnati. They would also only NEED a 5th starter one time against the Mets on 4/5 through the first six series and wouldn’t need a 5th starter again until the secong Bucos series (4/21-4/24) in Pittsburgh, unless Bryan decides to keep a 5 man starting rotation intact rather than going every 5th day with a regular starter by skipping a starter (Simon). I’m still getting used to the idea of trusting the Cincinnati manager to make such decisions intelligently.

        If Latos is not ready to start on opening day and goes on the 15 day DL, then Ondrusek will probably make the 25 man roster with Simon shifting to the starting rotation. If Latos does not go on the DL, then Ondrusek is probably the odd reliever out of the 25 man roster and would make the roster if Marshall goes on the DL. If Marshall AND Latos start the season on the DL, yes, another reliever besides Ondrusek would be necessary.

        Partch and Christiani would be available from the 40 man roster, but my personal preference would be to make a roster move to add Jose Diaz to the 40 man roster and bring him to Cincinnati as the 7th man out of the bullpen.

        I have a great deal of confidence in Bryan’s ability to manage a bullpen and starting rotation through difficult stretches without over-extending anyone (i.e. Hoover in April 2013).

  5. I am very encouraged by the positive news on Latos. It may be a little spring training propoganda speaking, but I get the feeling with Mat he’s a straight shooter for the most part on these kind of issues. Get the ball down, Mat.

  6. Thinking of our opening as the backup 3rd baseman, it looks like Juan Francisco is out of options and might get released by the Brew Crew. The guy strikes out a ton, but he hits RHP pretty well, to the tune of .776 OPS over his career (Frazier .696 vs. RHP). He might be a good pickup to spell SuperTodd from time to time.

    –Apparently Arroyo has a bulging disk in his back. You have to wonder if this is something the D-back docs should’ve looked more closely at since he had some back trouble w/ the Reds.

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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.


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