Fresh off their victory over the stupid Cubs in Mesa, the Reds return to Goodyear to take on the Colorado Rockies. The game starts at 3:05 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on radio only, on WLW-700.

Here’s the starting lineup that will face …

  1. Jake Cave CF
  2. Ivan De Jesus 2B
  3. Eugenio Suarez 3B
  4. Brandon Allen 1B
  5. Adam Duvall DH
  6. Yorman Rodriguez RF
  7. Tyler Holt LF
  8. Ramon Cabrera C
  9. Carlton Daal SS

Jon Moscot will start on the mound for the Reds.

Lineup Thoughts

Jake Cave returns to the leadoff spot for the second day in a row. He’s clearly getting a long, hard look in that role. Several of the others in the competition for outfield roster spots — Adam Duvall, Yorman Rodriguez and Tyler Holt — get starts.

Ivan De Jesus is demonstrating his versatility, starting at 2B. In just the first week, he’s played third, short and second. If Adam Duvall can cover first base, that creates the possibility that the Reds could go with six outfielders (including Duvall) coming out of spring training.

Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Ivan De Jesus / Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Not so fast about first base, says Brandon Allen, who is starting today. Allen is a 30-year-old left handed bat. He’s been in the Mets minor league system the past two years. He hasn’t played in a major league game since 2012 with the Tampa Bay Rays. Last season with the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas, Allen hit .273/.350/.478 with 16 home runs. The Reds signed Allen to a minor league contract on December 1.

Joey Votto on Leadership

News and Reading

Gary Schatz (Dayton Daily News) has new information on the Reds plans for Raisel Iglesias, who has been on a cautious track so far this spring:

Iglesias, who started later in spring due to the shoulder fatigue he experienced last September, will face hitters in live batting practice and pitch in games in the middle of the month. “He will have five starts to get ready for the season,” Price said. “He wouldn’t have to make his first start of the season until April 10.”

April 10 is the sixth game of the season, Sunday at home against the Pirates.

Reminder: Our scouting report on Iglesias the day he signed with the Reds.  Wes Jenkins suggested Iglesias as a bandwagon candidate.

C. Trent Rosecrans (Cincinnati Enquirer) reports on Donald Lutz and his return:

Donald Lutz hadn’t thrown a ball in a competitive game since undergoing Tommy John surgery last April, so of course the ball found him early in Saturday’s “B” Game against the White Sox. Lutz, 27, started the “B” game at the Reds’ Spring Training Complex in Goodyear in left field. Chicago’s first hitter of the game hit a triple to left-center, and Lutz got to the ball first and had to throw it in. “I was really excited,” Lutz said with a smile after the Reds’ 4-3 victory in five innings in that game.

Nick Cafardo (Boston Globe) offers the latest bump to the rumors connecting the Reds and Orioles in a trade regarding Jay Bruce:

There’s still a possibility Bruce winds up in Baltimore as the Orioles try to plug last-minute holes. They are considering Austin Jackson, but Bruce because of his power might be a much better fit. The Orioles don’t believe Mark Trumbo can play right field every day and really needs to be a full-time DH, so it behooves the Orioles to get a good all-around player to play right.

Reminder: The case for not trading Jay Bruce right now.

Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Jay Bruce / Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago) suggests Bruce might be a good fit for the White Sox, and talks to former Bruce teammates Todd Frazier and Dioner Navarro about it:

Former teammates Navarro and Frazier like what Bruce brings to the field. “Great teammate and great guy,” Navarro said of Bruce. “He is one of those guys that is going to go out there everyday and give you his best.If we get him he would be a huge plus for us.” Added Frazier, a teammate of four years: “He was a great teammate for me.”

If the Reds move Bruce for pennies on the dollar instead of waiting for the trade deadline, it’s going to be discouraging.

Reminder: Grant Freking on Bruce rebuilding his trade value.

Mark Sheldon (MLB.com) has a post on Joey Votto and Jay Bruce working on bunting in strategic situations. Votto bunted unsuccessfully against the Cubs yesterday:

“He [Votto] and Jay [Bruce] have spent a lot of time working on their bunting,” Reds manager Bryan Price said after the game. “They’re trying to take advantage when the situation dictates, leading off an inning down by a couple of runs or something to get something started, taking advantage of the shift and try to get on base.”

Daryl Van Schouwen (Chicago Sun Times) talked to former Reds third baseman Todd Frazier about a possible long-term contract with his new club:

“If the atmosphere is like this, this is where I want to play for the rest of my life,” Frazier told the Sun-Times Saturday morning. “It’s awesome, it’s a great time. The guys have been nothing but great to me and I’m here to help as much as I can. When they welcome you as they’ve welcomed me I want to return the favor.”

Reminder: Chad Dotson’s tribute to Frazier.

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! 27 Comments

  1. The article linked to by “rumors connecting the Reds and Orioles” listed the teams with the most prospects in Baseball America’s top 100 by team. The Reds were tied for 2nd with several other teams at 6 prospects. The Orioles were tied for last with 0. It doesn’t look promising for the Reds to get much of a return for Bruce if they trade with the O’s.

    Some good news in the list is the Cardinals only have 1 player in the top 100 prospects.

  2. No good news about Hamilton’s situation (unless one considers it good news that the Reds are being forced to take long looks at other folks in CF).

    Here it the closing quote Price gave C.Trent about Hamilton from a long paragraph, none of it of a very positive: “We don’t know how long it’s going to take before he {Hamilton} feels good enough to play again.”

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2016/03/06/reds-tucker-barnhart-gaining-confidence-right-handed-hitting/81405250/

    Price actually tried to start out on an upbeat note by saying he wasn’t concerned at this time about the opening day availability of Meso, Cozart, or Hamilton; but it went downhill from there where Cozart ( “He’s still got to go out there and play and he’s got to respond well to playing on a regular basis before we can know that for sure”. ) and more particularly Hamilton are concerned.

  3. No point in dealing Bruce now for nothing? Its not like he’s at the end like Byrd or something? Lets see if he can do some damage around the trade deadline and maybe we can some value back or keep him? He’d be fine as a 6th hitter in the lineup…they get thru the big dogs and then make a mistake to him. I just want to see if Mesoraco can be what he was in 2014? Its nice to see Irvin hit well….maybe he’s the leadoff hitter of the future? Moscot isn’t going to cut it? Is Sampson still on the Reds? I thought he had good stuff if he could iron it out.

    • Sampson will get a shot in the pen. He’s still with the club and has pitched in ST action.

  4. Donald Lutz has played since his surgery, he played in the Australian baseball league, over the winter. He actually played in their, World Series, it was televised on the MLB network and the game I watched he hit a grand slam.

  5. I just read that Devin is having some groin trouble directly from the therapy from the surgery. He stated , “The doctor kind of said this was something that would probably happen once I got back into it.” If the doctor thought that this would probably happen, why didn’t he look to take care of it during the therapy as well. I mean, no one could ever tell that treatment on the groin during this time would have prevented the groin tenderness now. However, no one could ever say it wouldn’t have, either. And, if the doctor is saying it would probably happen, I would think they could do something about it prior to injury. It’s like you’re going 90 mph and the police officer tells you that you will probably get into an accident by doing this. You would probably look to slow down to prevent being in that accident.

    What is the deal with this training/medical staff?

    • Hamilton’s shoulder still isn’t good, either. I’m still interested in taking bets that Homer won’t be in a major league game till the 2nd half of the season, possibly not back to “himself” until next season.

      • Remind me of your medical credentials again? The reports coming out of Goodyear are that Homer could have pitched Opening Day if necessary and that they are taking it slowly with him instead. They expect him to pitch in early to mid May. Do you have any specific information or basis for thinking otherwise?

        You’re lucky that the internet makes your offer to bet on the date of his first start meaningless, which I suspect you figure.

        • And, you are the one who spouts to keep things positive and professional towards other posters on here, Steve M? Seriously?!!!

          • Nothing negative. Just asking for the basis of your claims. Do you have any evidence that the Reds have been worse at handling injuries than other clubs? Otherwise, it’s just confirmation bias. Few of us here – including me – are medical experts. So I base my opinions on my research and what experts are saying. Just asking what you were basing your outlying opinion on.

        • But, then, of course, you have no clue about my medical credentials, do you? You obviously don’t have much since all you are spouting is the talking points from the Reds staff.

          Oh, I know what the medical reports say about Homer. I know exactly what they expect. And, with that, it could still be a matter of definition/perspective. For instance, they “expect him to pitch in early to mid May”. Is that simply tossing batting practice pitching, or is that actually pitching in a major league game at full strength, or some level in between that? There’s a whole range of pitching in between there, Steve M. Please be specific.

          Again, I specify, in my opinion, I may still consider taking bets that we won’t see Homer in a major league game until the second half of the season, probably not “to his level”, aka 100%, until after the AS break if not till next season. Why? I would be there would still be some sort of “something missed” in the surgical or recovery processes, with this medical/training staff. That’s seemed to be their recent history. They either miss it before or miss it afterwards.

          • That’s why I asked about your medical credentials. Do tell. I’m not just spouting talking points from the Reds. I’ve done quite a bit of research on Tommy John surgery recovery protocols and timelines and can see how that is matching up with Bailey’s progression. I said early May back in September when I wrote the series of articles on TJS, not based on Reds talking points, but on what I’d learned from other examples.

            Expect him to “pitch in mid-May,” based on what they have said, means starting a major league game. I’ve been specific, so have the Reds.

            You said you would bet that he wouldn’t make any starts until after the All Star Game. We’ll see whether you’re right about that or not.

        • Oh, yes, quite a bit. Where you proceeded to write the names of the ones who came back successfully from TJS but failed to mention any of the ones who didn’t come back successfully from TJS. Ones like Kerry Wood, Scott Williamson, Pat Hentgen, B.J. Ryan, Darren Dreifort, Mike Hampton, as well as countless others. Oh, I know, since someone else knows of all of these, since you didn’t mention them, then their lack of success must have been from something else like lack of mechanics in the first place, or lack of speed in the first place, or something else. It couldn’t have been TJS, because all pitchers “that you mention” come back from TJS just fine. All pitchers that others mentions that don’t come back from TJS just fine all have something else wrong with them because you say so.

          Poor professionalism, Steve M.

    • If you read closer, it says the doctors felt this would be a normal tenderness when Devin finally got back to a full speed workout, all day with pitchers and batting. When exactly before spring training did you want him to do that? It doesn’t do anyone a service when you selectively quote an article without expressing the full context.

    • No medical staff has magical abilities. When you are recovering from surgery, you gradually reintroduce normal activities and expect minor setbacks. Therapy and exercise alone can’t entirely duplicate what a major league player does in game situations. I understand your concern and frustration, Steve, but I doubt that anything unusual is going on. Recovery from surgery doesn’t always follow a predictable path.

      • Perhaps what we have here is an illustration of the difference between, being “physically 100%” and being capable of functioning as a professional athlete at the highest level of a sport. Let us hope that this is the case and that the Reds org understood this difference all along.

        However, I find it disconcerting that a couple of these guys (of the three position players) seemed to think, based on late off season quotes, that they were ready to come into camp and experience a “normal” spring training; and obviously with all three this is not turning out to be the case.

        The latest quote I’ve seen from Cozart was to the effect that spring training is “too long” anyway and that come time he will go out and get his reps in and be ready. Hamilton in a similar vein was last heard making some statement about there only “so many” throws in an arm and he was saving his for when they counted (he said this explaining his abortive attempt to get some ABs by DHing while waiting for his shoulder to come around. And now we know, per the manager, that shoulder couldn’t even withstand hitting; and, the player is shut down indefinitely except for conditioning. It makes a person wonder if the training staff and players were properly prepared for the task that stood before them.

        • The thing is, it always seems to be something. We all saw Votto come back; he took quite a while to actually be back. Bruce played with his knee injury. We didn’t see Marshall the last 2 years of his contract. Same with Masset and Burton. Even Latos was calling them out last season.

          Some are talking about “this one instance”. It isn’t “simply this one instance”, by far anything but one instance. Too many times, at least for me, players are returning from injuries with the injuries still lingering. Yes, I do accept the players do have some input. But, I would think the doctors and trainers would definitely have some input as well. And, it could simply be how the medical/training department is run. As in, do they entirely leave it up the player to decide when to come back? Or, do they take that input from the players as one factor into making their decision into releasing the player for activity? Something like that we simply don’t know anything about. But, one thing does seem to be clear to me, what they are doing isn’t working very well.

          I can take injuries with anything. I believe we have too many come back from the injuries and they still aren’t quite right, whether because something was missed in surgery, or something was missed in the therapy, or something. Somewhere in that process where we “shut them down” to keep from going invasive all the way to the actual surgery (too much downtime for me that has seemingly still resulted in the surgery and, thus, additional time missed), then also from the surgery to the actual time they are back at 100% (complications from the surgery or the therapy causing more or less tightness in this or that muscle and thus more downtime).

        • Why do you think that recovery from an injury–particularly one that required surgery, and particularly for a pro athlete–follows a completely predictable timeline? A player resumes throwing and, perhaps, experiences some discomfort and has to modify his resumption of that activity. I’m recovering from surgery, and the doctor told me to start reintroducing normal activities, but to be prepared to back off and ice, elevate and rest if pain or swelling occurred. Meaning that it might or might not, and we wouldn’t (couldn’t) know until I tried. As Steve M. points out, unless you’ve done the research and know for a fact that the Reds have far more trouble with injuries and recovery from same than other teams, you are, in effect, blaming the medical staff for the way life is.

        • GREENMTRED, I’m guessing your comments are directed mainly to SteveS because I wasn’t questioning your premise that recovery is not a straight line process. I was trying to say that maybe the Reds and/ or the players involved were not prepared for that fact and the way events are unfolding. Pretty much what we heard all along from the team and players was that they should be “ready” for spring training and clearly they are not in any normal sort of sense.

        • Again, “just this instance” I can understand. Sure, I can understand Devin having some “after surgery” issues. Hey, that’s no problem. It’s a one-time thing.

          It just seems that many of our players who go under the knife, it seems like to me they all have common “after surgery” issues that keep them out even longer. This was expected with Devin’s recovery? It seems like to me if it was expected, then something should be able to have been done to have prevented it in the first place. It would be like Devin playing catcher and knowing he’s going to get a batted ball in the throat. He’s not going to simply take it in the throat. He’s going to look to protect himself, to keep it from hitting his throat, to keep the injury from happening. This is simple common sense of training. No athlete I’ve ever had in 30 years of coaching, if I suspected that something could go wrong with their recovery, I always looked to treat to prevent that as well, not just let it happen, explaining it off as “that’s the norm”.

        • Yes, OhioJim, I was responding to Steve S. No quibble with your comment, but an observation that, perhaps, the cause of our angst is the lack of transparency. We shouldn’t be surprised that we aren’t being kept completely and candidly informed, but we seem to expect that we will be. Add the uncertain nature of injury recovery, and you have the makings of a good conspiracy theory.

  6. I would be shocked if Homer is back to 100% and performing on a high level on a consistant basis this season, I would be happy if by seasons end he has 10-15 starts in him with decent results I will be happy, I don’t expect to see him back to top tier form consistently till the 2017 season.

    • I think it’s reasonable to expect him to not be at top form right away. But I think he’ll make his starts once he gets back – he may only miss a few. The record with TJS recovery is pretty good. But yes, we can’t expect a great year from him until next season. I do think he’ll be back into regular shape by later this year, though.

    • I agree. I do expect to see him in a major league game this season, just not at 100%. With his mentality, I could see him re-aggravating the injury, wanting to get back to 100% too quickly, regardless of what the doctors have him on, sidelining him even longer for next season.

      • Could you clarify what you mean by “with his mentality” and what do you base it on? Are there examples from earlier in his career where he rushed back too soon? If anything, the Reds and Homer have been overly cautious with his arm in the past two years. I just don’t see any basis at all for your contrarian pessimism.

        • Frankly, Steve, you’re not worth my time any longer responding to. I have conversations with mature adults.

        • Seriously, someone who thinks that a player is a good batter just because they have good bat speed, that person isn’t worth my time for an interesting baseball conversation, Steve M.

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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