Anthony DeSclafani and the rest of the Reds’ arms were brilliant, striking out 14 Rangers en route to Cincinnati’s third shutout of the spring.

Final R H E
 Texas Rangers (8-11) 0 6 1
 Cincinnati Reds (10-9) 5 10 1
W: A. DeSclafani (1-0) L: R. Detwiler (0-1)

Box Score

Pitching: DeSclafani started and enjoyed his best outing of the spring, logging six innings and striking out nine. The right-hander scattered four hits and walked three. Disco escaped bases-loaded jams in the fourth and sixth innings, and did have a trio of two-out walks. … Aroldis Chapman followed with a one-inning appearance, breaking a string of four straight two-inning stints. … Manny Parra and Jumbo Diaz chalked up zeroes in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

Hitting: Brayan Pena started the scoring in what would be a four-run second inning with a single to plate Jay Bruce. Ivan De Jesus Jr. tallied a ground-rule double to bring in Pena. Singles by Brandon Phillips and Zack Cozart pushed across the next two runs. The inning began with a Ranger error. … Brennan Boesch’s sacrifice fly plated Pena in the sixth. … The Reds finished with 10 hits, four walks and were 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position. … Skip Schumaker had two hits and a walk.

The rest: Ross Detwiler started for the Rangers and went four innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits. The lefty struck out four. … Jamey Wright relieved Detwiler and struggled, allowing a run and three walks in an inning and two-thirds pitched. … Mitch Moreland was the top Texas hitter, enjoying a 3-for-4 night at the dish. … Former Red Adam “Pete” Rosales was 0-for-2 for the Rangers.

Other news and notes:

Cueto returns: Johnny Cueto, who was in the Dominican Republic dealing with a family matter, was expected back with the Reds on Wednesday.

Badenhop’s spot is safe: Despite an ERA of 24.30 this spring, Burke “Verbal” Badenhop is not going to lose his spot in the bullpen.

DeJesus Jr. impressing this spring: The 27-year-old non-roster invite is showing off his bat and versatility in the infield.

Bailey, Leake to make next starts in minor-league tilts: The Reds taking this strategy with Bailey to backdate his anticipated stint on the disabled list. As for Leake, the club “wants more control” over his next turn on the mound.

Spring training game and broadcast schedule

Today’s schedule: The Reds will be the visiting team against their roommates at Goodyear, the Cleveland Indians. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. (EST). Michael Lorenzen nets his first start of the spring for Cincinnati, and is slated to be followed by Paul Maholm, J.J. Hoover and Nate Adcock. Joey Votto is expected to be in the lineup. The game can be heard on 1360-AM and will be televised live on Fox Sports Ohio.

30 Responses

  1. preach

    The offense was still troubled. That second inning explosion really shouldn’t have happened as the pitcher had to record what amounted to 5 outs.

  2. vegastypo

    Yeah, that error was on a grounder by Bruce right into the shift, but the second baseman had to go his right a bit, and then airmailed the throw. Then some crazy bounces that went the Reds’ way.

    P.S. — Isn’t Rosales due to be traded back to the A’s any day now?

    As bad as Badenhop has pitched, if his bullpen spot is safe, I wonder how close to the edge Hoover is. Today could be interesting.

    • redmountain

      Who do you think should be in the bullpen? Just curious.

      • George Mirones

        Red; I have been thinking about this question; Who don’t I want to see coming out the gate. Hoover, Marshall, Parra, and maybe LeCure and Diaz. Hoover it seems to be too inconsistent, Marshall (who knows what’s left), Parra is a one batter lefty, LeCure is a soft tosser, Diaz maybe a one shot wonder. If the last three make a bad pitch it will be off the wall in right-center. If Hoover makes a mistake up in the zone it becomes a souvenir.
        Just some thoughts

      • WVRedlegs

        I found Fay’s and CTrent’s revised Opening Day roster projections yesterday for the bullpen a little curious. One didn’t have Jumbo but had Lorenzen in. The other had Jumbo in and Lorenzen out. But the other six relievers they agreed on. They seem to think that Kevin Gregg has nailed down the 8th inning role, but I’ve heard barely a peep about him this spring. Along with Cingrani. Neither had Hoover, nor Maholm.
        They had Chapman, Gregg, Cingrani, LeCure, Parra, Badenhop, and then the varying on the 7th.
        That is a very veteran bullpen, quite the opposite of early last year.

  3. Tom Reed

    Of the four innings I saw, DeSclafani looked good by staying ahead in the count.

  4. WVRedlegs

    Has Walt gone nuts? Two trades in one day.
    Trades Devin to the Phillies.

    No. Not Mesoraco. A double-A infielder named Devin Lohman. And he gets a minor league 1B from Houston.

      • WVRedlegs

        And its not even April Fools Day. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    • Tom Diesman

      He’s probably been trying to get Johnson since last July. Way to stick with it Walt.

      • WVRedlegs

        I didn’t know anything about Johnson. Not a great hitter, but he certainly knows what a BB is. A great OBP in his AAA years. At 35 years old, he isn’t even an ex-Cardinal. Are you sure Walt wanted him?

      • Tom Diesman

        My comment was basically a dig at Walt. Who forced Price to play Pena (.253/.291/.353/.645) at 1B last season after Votto went down in July, rather than fetching him a guy like Johnson, ( MLB career .236/.337/.409/.745 hitter in 1604 PA, and AAA career .281/.401/.509/.909 in 4008 PA) who pretty much fall off trees like overripe apples. 🙂

      • lwblogger2

        @Tom – Yeah, that really got to me last year. There are a lot of very marginal offensive 1B who still were actual 1B and still superior offensively to Pena, available for little or nothing. Their bats don’t play enough to be regular 1B in MLB but they are the exact type of player that would have still been an upgrade for the Reds when Votto went down.

  5. Matt WI

    Frazier and Mes have each homered in their first at-bats today. I could get used to that!

    • WVRedlegs

      Now is the time to start getting into that groove. That certainly is good news. One or the other should be batting 3rd. The other 5th sandwiching Bruce at 4th.

    • Matt WI

      In other news, Votto manages to screw up getting walked and collected a 2RBI single with two outs. That’s why it’s spring training, so they can work our kinks like this.

      • jdx19

        As long as it doesn’t carry over to the season, I’m ok with it.

      • WVRedlegs

        That will probably result in a lockerroom monkey court fine, screwing up like that.

  6. jdx19

    How low would you guys realistically consider batting Jay Bruce against lefties? I decided to look at all starters’ RHP/LHP splits just for fun, and Bruce really shouldn’t be in the middle of the order against lefties.

    What about something like this? (OPS in parenthesis)

    RHP
    Hamilton (.641)
    Frazier (.765)
    Votto (.978)
    Bruce (.819)
    Byrd (.745)
    Mesoraco (.709)
    Phillips (.721)
    Cozart (.631)

    LHP
    Hamilton (.668)
    Votto (.888)
    Frazier (.806)
    Mesoraco (.872)
    Byrd (.800)
    Phillips (.805)
    Bruce (.723)
    Cozart (.693)

    Mesoraco and Phillips, for their careers, actually have the biggest differential in performance between LHP and RHP, so obviously Meso 4th and Phillips needs to be higher htan 7th, I’d say. Since Bruce has been so abysmally bad in his career against lefties, why not bat him 7th? His OPS against them is lower than everyone not named Billy or Zack.

    I like Votto in the #2 hole, but realistically I like him better in the #3 hole against righties with a gauidy .978 career OPS. If indeed his power is back this year, I want some of those homers to have a higher chance of men-on-base. Against lefties, stacking his OBP at #2, followed by Frazier, Meso, Byrd, Phillips, all with career OPS above .800 against lefties seems pretty optimal.

    All of these, of course, assume Billy will bat #1 if he is healthy and Cozart will bat #8 when he’s in the lineup.

    What say you, RLN!?

    • ohiojimw

      Negron got on base twice tonight without even putting the ball in play and (I believe) scored both times (scored once for sure). Hamilton also looked better.

      But my point is, lead man type of stuff just seems to keep happening involving Negron. If Hamilton struggles in the lead off spot it is going to be hard not to at least have a look at Negron there.

      If this happens Cozart is my pick for odd man out because I think there would be less, if even any, defensive drop off with Negron at SS than with him at CF.

      • jdx19

        I get your point, but I don’t think the Reds do. Billy is the leadoff hitter until he’s like .220/.260/.300 in late May or something, I bet.

        And I think they’d go back to BP leading off before Negron sniffed that spot. He’s an interesting guy, but as I’ve said before, 150 PAs last year and ST this year do not equate to him being pretty mediocre in AAA. And I think that weights the most heavily on the Reds’ minds.

        But yeah, the post was about Jay Bruce versus lefties and here we are rabbit-hole’ing! 😉

      • charlottencredsfan

        Jim

        Kris’ line:
        3 ABS
        3 Rs
        1 H
        2 HBPs
        1 K

        Sounds like me and you are carrying the flag on this one. In the shorter term, I’d like to see KN be a super-sub where he starts 4 or 7 games minimum at different positions. Sooner or later there will be an injury or another starter will meltdown – he’ll get a full-time shot.

        Billy is closing up his lefthanded stance more and more, this should lead to less front foot movement. All leading to more & more line drives.

        I realize that KN is a bit of a question mark because of pedigree but also know that his approach at the plate is a winner. It’s a calculation, rather than a certainty, but I’d guess KN will be much superior to ZC that it will warrant a change at SS.

        If Billy continues his progression and KN is for real, I like this as the eventual 2015 lineup: Hamilton, Negron, Votto, Frazier, Bruce, Mes, Todd, Winker, BP unless BP can be moved. You could swap Todd & Mes but with Mes only starting 5 of 7 games, the lineup I suggest offers more continuity.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Hum, Frazier hitting 4th not “Todd” in 7th hole. Love that TF! Just don’t let Negron let on the bench when the season starts.

    • lwblogger2

      I like playing the platoon splits like that. It does get hitters out of their normal routines but the shuffling you’ve done isn’t exactly drastic and LHP only start about 20% of the time. I like it. The Reds won’t do it, but I like it.

      • preacherj

        Your comment touches on something that I’ve considered a lot over the years: When you shuffle lineups, does it, or should it, change player routines? I would think that the lineup is made based upon the players natural tendencies. Once you enter the batter’s box, does your spot in the order matter or should you just do what you’ve always done to get to the show? Is a routine seriously disrupted or one’s approach seriously altered if you are hitting second one day and sixth the next based on matchups? IM (uneducated) O: I would think that a lot of time that is spent on these issues is mental and to appease some superstitions and stroke egos. Maybe in reality that affects AB’s more than I give it credit.

      • jdx19

        It’s tough to say. I would speculate that it varies by player. Some couldn’t care less and others might be a bit out-of-sorts until they grew accustomed to the switches. Joe Maddon, of former TB fame, is one of the big proponentes of switching his lineups almost nightly based on the pitcher his team will face. It will be interesting to see if he’ll continue that trend in CHI.

        Since we know, mathematically, that lineup construction isnt’ a huge deal, it might even be better to not stir the pot, but sometimes (like in Mesoraco’s case against LHP) you need to make sure you put your best hitter in a spot to succeed. If Price doesn’t make sure Meso gets his rest against righties and is batting 4th against lefties, I’ll count that as dereliction of duty!

      • lwblogger2

        Like JDX19 said, in my experience it varies by player. Some guys will try to adjust their approach based on where they are hitting. Some guys, it is more to do about game situation than where they are hitting in the lineup. Some guys it’s just a comfort thing to always know you’re hitting behind “Joe” (It’s National Joe Day apparently). Some guys have a game-plan against a particular pitcher that isn’t going to change no matter what. Some guys have a general plan that they don’t change much. I was part of the last group. My approach didn’t change based on many circumstances. I just wasn’t a good enough hitter really to adjust my approach based on lineups or situations. I’m willing to bet, that MLB players are in the other groups, that they all make adjustments based on some sort of situation.

        The short answer is, I would think most MLB players are going to be fine hitting just about anywhere in the lineup. These guys are pros and where they are hitting probably isn’t going to matter much. Maybe hitting in the lower slots could be considered a slap in the face to some players but I think that’s probably the exception to the rule.

  7. ohiojimw

    If Marquis, Maholm, Boesch, and Dominguez all make the 25 roster, it is going to be Armageddon in the lower ranges of the 40 man to make room for all of them. And that’s not even considering that Lorensen who is not yet on the 40, still might be in the mix for the opening day MLB roster.

    The only “freebie” spot I’ve heard mentioned is that Marshall will go to the 60 day DL which will open 1 slot on the 40 man.

    It certainly looks like there are going to be some shocking outrights and/or trades for lower prospects unless something changes before opening day.

    • vegastypo

      Hoover pitched a scoreless inning on Thursday, it appears, but I’ve been wondering whether his spot was in jeopardy. If it’s a matter of who is least likely to be lost when a player is put on waivers before he can be sent down, I’d say Villarreal. Magill, maybe?

      I also wonder whether Maholm has some language in his contract that he can opt out if he’s not a starting pitcher. If he’s unhappy being in the bullpen, as he apparently said he would be a few weeks ago, that situation might resolve itself.

      • lwblogger2

        I’m pretty sure Maholm would have an opt-out clause yes. I also agree that Villareal and Magill would probably clear waivers.