The Reds travel to Scottsdale to play the San Francisco Giants tonight (9 p.m. ET). The game will be broadcast on the national MLB cable network as well as, the online stream, and WLW-700. Use this post as a real-live game thread.

Tonight’s lineup:

  1. Jake Cave CF
  2. Eugenio Suarez 3B
  3. Jesse Winker RF
  4. Brandon Phillips 2B
  5. Scott Schebler LF
  6. Ivan De Jesus SS
  7. Brandon Allen 1B
  8. Phillip Ervin DH
  9. Ramon Cabrera C

For the second time in less than a week, Anthony DeSclafani will face off with Madison Bumgarner.

Lineup Thoughts

Jake Cave back in the leadoff spot and center field. Two of the infield starters are in the lineup, Brandon Phillips and Eugenio Suarez. Jesse Winker and Scott Schebler, two players competing for the left field slot get starting opportunities. Phillip Ervin, who had a good first week, is the designated hitter.

Reds fans got a glimpse of what the front office saw in Jose Peraza that made the infielder a target for an off-season trade. Peraza was the headliner in the Todd Frazier trade with the White Sox. Yesterday, Peraza had a double, single, stole a base, scored a run and made a nice play in the field. On the other hand, we’re still waiting for his first walk.

Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Jose Peraza / Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Video: Adam Duvall and the Battle for Left Field

News and Reading

• Charlie Wilmoth (MLB Trade Rumors) wrote an extensive analysis of the Reds off-season:

The problem is that the position players now slated to join the Reds’ once-mighty lineup — Schebler, Adam Duvall, Peraza — appear to have limited upside. Schebler had two very good years in the minors in 2013 and 2014 but had a pedestrian 2015 at Triple-A; he looks like he’ll have enough power to stick in the big leagues, but he might be a little stretched as a regular. Duvall could have 30-homer power, but with plenty of strikeouts and a low batting average, and he’s already 27. And Peraza possesses obvious tools but is very hard to get a read on — he has plenty of baserunning and defensive ability, but his complete lack of power figures to hold him back offensively.

• The Orioles signed Pedro Alvarez last night. That means Mark Trumbo will play right field for Baltimore. Presumably that will eliminate the Orioles’ interest in Jay Bruce for now.

Good. Bruce can rebuild his trade value and the Reds can shop him at the deadline if they want to. The Alvarez signing may also signal the end to the Reds off-season moves, albeit indirectly.

• Justin Merry has assembled a composite ranking of Reds prospects based on six independent ratings:

Not surprisingly, Robert Stephenson (who makes me nervous) and Jesse Winker (who I want to love) remain at the top of the leaderboard.  Newcomer Cody Reed clocks in at #3, which is a nice showing for a guy who only starting to raise eyebrows when he was arguably the big prize in last summer’s Johnny Cueto trade.

• Mark Sheldon ( reports on Cody Reed and his first start for the Reds yesterday:

Not mentioned in the pitching line were three Angels broken bats, with two of them coming on hits. Daniel Nava cracked his bat on a leadoff single to left field in the second inning and Nick Buss busted his bat on a blooped single to center field in the third. “I came to the dugout and Tucker [Barnhart, the catcher] laughs at me and said, ‘If those are the hits you give up, it’s perfectly fine,'” Reed said. “It was a good atmosphere out there. I felt good. My fastball was working. I got ahead.”


Cody Reed / Photo: Cincinnati Reds

• Zach Buchanan (Cincinnati Enquirer) talked to Robert Stephenson about his start yesterday in the B game and his first-pitch curve balls:

Stephenson allowed only one ball to leave the infield. He also displayed a get-over curveball which he threw on the first pitch to a couple batters. One resulted in a strike, one in a ball. “I’m trying to work on throwing first-pitch curveballs for strikes, just because you fool hitters a little bit and steal strike one there,” Stephenson said.

• Doug Gray (Reds Minor Leagues) offers his thoughts about the first week of spring training, both the good and bad:

Yorman Rodriguez is 2-10 at the plate with three strikeouts and a walk. As noted, right now that doesn’t mean a whole bunch. It’s been what’s happened in the field that’s been the issue for Rodriguez thus far. He made an error on a ball the other day when he misplayed it off of the wall and gave up an extra base on the play, resulting in a run coming across the plate. Yesterday he wasn’t charged with an error, but he completely lost track of a fly ball that he should have caught. It’s early, but he’s fighting for a roster spot, and realistically a chance to remain in the organization as he’s out of options.

Doug would be the first to say that one week isn’t much on which to base an opinion. But it’s what we have to talk about right now.

• Sports Illustrated with a feel good story about the Yankees signing a special young fan to a one-day contract so he could take batting practice with the team:

Landis Sims, of Elizabeth, Ind., was born without hands and legs below his knees, but that doesn’t stop him from playing baseball. He uses Derek Jeter-themed prosthetic legs to run and a soccer shin guard in his glove to make it easier to throw. His main position is second base but he also pitches. Landis signed his contract in the clubhouse and got to hang out with the players.

• C. Trent Rosecrans (Cincinnati Enquirer) has a great story about Tim Adelman, Reds 28-year-old minor league pitcher and his thinking about life without professional baseball:

Being in big league camp with the Reds is as big of a chance as Adleman’s had — a far cry from the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and long bus rides of the independent leagues. “It’s a tremendous feeling, as big of a step in the right direction as I’ve made in my entire career,” Adleman said. “But as far as playing in the big leagues, there’s obviously still a ways to go. I’m really grateful for the opportunity and happy to be here, but now’s the time to make the most of it.”

50 Responses

  1. Shchi Cossack

    I sure like the look of Winker in the #3 hole, rather than the #8 hole. I still don’t want to see him on the 25-man roster…yet, but after the dominating finish (.357/.471/.591 after August 1st) to last season, Winker may be ready for inclusion in the discussion of the minor league prospect elites.

    • Patrick Jeter

      I don’t think any of the prospect rankers will ever see Winker as elite because he doesn’t have insane power (for his position) or insane speed. Seems like that’s all they care about.

      Winker may have the best hit tool in the minors (which is by far the most important tool) and get ranked behind guys that strike out a ton and can’t walk because those guys hit the ball far in batting practice (and in games, sometimes). I’m looking at you, Joey Gallo. Give me Winker over Gallo any day.

      • greenmtred

        Pete Rose had little power. Baggage aside, are there any current prospects that any sane team would rather have?

  2. Patrick Jeter

    Game thread gooooo!

    I was watching Winker’s swing the other day and he reminded me of Tino Martinez. Anyone else have any comps? That’s my new thing… 😉

    • CaliforniaRed

      It’s a sweet looking swing. I was thinking Alex Gordon. I like Cave’s nice, easy stroke, too. He’s made consistent contact, hits it where it’s pitched.

      • CaliforniaRed

        …And first inning Cave and Winker do their thing. I like it!~

    • lwblogger2

      Haven’t seen him enough but if he has a Tino Martinez swing, that will do.

  3. Patrick Jeter

    Jake Cave against MadBum should be one of the most lopsided matchups possible.

    Cave has maintained a .587 OPS against lefties over the last 3 seasons (all levels combined). For comparison, Billy Hamilton has maintained a .652 OPS against lefties the last 3 seasons and a .622 OPS against righties (including both since he switch hits).

  4. preacherj

    Im at work and just have the radio, but i am amped for a game thread

  5. wyoRedsfan

    can’t believe Peraza doesn’t have a walk yet. He’s been up more than ten times. Geez!

    • Patrick Jeter

      If we give Peraza a healthy 6% walk rate and 10 PAs, there’s a 46.1% chance that he’d have walked at least once by now!

      • Tom Diesman

        You are kind sir! A 6% walk rate for Peraza is really really healthy for him.

    • greenmtred

      Are they throwing him strikes or balls? Walks are dependent.

  6. vegastypo

    When Marty asked Price if Billy Hamilton was close to returning, Price said he wouldn’t use the word ‘close.’ Still has inflammation.

    That would appear to lengthen the audition time Cave, etc.

    • ohiojimw

      Surgically repaired shoulders will be surgically repaired shoulders. Let’s just hope Moscot’s non throwing side shoulder injury/ repair behaves itself.

      If I was in a truly dark mood I might point out that elbows and knees are both hinge joints and the state of the surgical science seems to be similarly well refined for both of them while shoulders and hips are ball joints and…… (that’s as far as I’ll take it).

  7. BigRedMike

    Nice start. Winker up the middle. Bomb by Schebler

  8. Shchi Cossack

    The 3 LH hitters batting #1, #3 & #5 burn Bumgarner in the 1st inning for 3 runs.

  9. Patrick Jeter

    Announcers said Bumgarner was throwing no harder than 83 or so in that first inning. Reds sure capitalized.

    • redslam

      I thought I heard them say right after that that the radar gun wasn’t working properly and they were going to stop giving out velocities until fixed… Bumgarner was throwing fine. Either way, it is ST so pitchers are mostly just stretching out and throwing strikes (if they can).

      • Patrick Jeter

        Ahh, I must have missed that! Thanks!

  10. preacherj

    Marty is going through the top 15 cliches heard in spring training.

    • lwblogger2

      🙂 Those are always good. Was one “He’s in the best shape of his life”?

  11. preacherj

    13. “Things have a way of working themselves out:”

    — quit asking me about the 7th spot in the bullpen.

  12. preacherj

    14. ” he got his work in”

    — something said when you have nothing else positive to say about the pitchers performance after he got hammered.

  13. preacherj

    Good inning for disco after throwing a lot of pitches in the first

  14. Patrick Jeter

    Interesting juxtaposition of plays just now… two IF pop-ups. Suarez catches his 1-handed. Remember he dropped one last year doing that. Next play, BP catches with 2-hands. BP has gold gloves.

    Coaches need to get on Suarez about that. Even dropping 1 pop-up per season is too many.

  15. Patrick Jeter

    Disco getting hit pretty hard this inning.

  16. preacherj

    10. General soreness

    –an injury that a club would rather not disclose

  17. preacherj

    Sanchez is in Marquis mid season form

    • vegastypo

      Ha. Marty said he doesn’t see any way Sanchez makes the team, based on the way he has pitched so far. That didn’t seem to matter as Badenhop stunk up Arizona all spring long last year. (yeah, I know, different contract status, but bad(enhope) is bad.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Badenhop was a good pitcher for several years in a row directly prior to last year.

        There was really no way he wasn’t making the team. Didn’t turn out as expected, but it was a fine decision, I think.

  18. preacherj

    Dare I say, He is a marquis player

  19. preacherj

    At least it doesn’t look like we will be displaying any spring training fools gold for him

  20. preacherj

    The score seems much more a 49er/Bengals game.

  21. preacherj

    2. The pitcher is learning another pitch

    –explains why ERA suddenly skyrockets

  22. preacherj

    And number one, submitted without further comment:

    1. Im in the best shape of my life

  23. preacherj

    “And up #83 Rider Jones.”

    Thats where we are, and im still listening.

  24. GreatRedlegsFan

    Any news on cuts? Since Bruce looks to stay, at least until the summer, and Hamilton looks to start in the DL or AAA, it seems the other four outfield spots will go to Duvall, Cave, Schebler & Holt. The infield is locked with Votto/BP/Cozart/Suarez plus DeJesus/Peraza. Catchers Meso & Barnhart.

    • DHud

      Based on everything the organization has put out, it’s highly unlikely Peraza takes a bench position. If he’s not getting ABs in the big leagues he’ll be in Louisville playing every day

    • Daytonian

      Holt is not likely to stick. The Reds are more likely to stay with YRod for this last roster spot rather than lose the kid forever, Holt starts the season in AAA.

  25. IndyRedMan

    Schebler/Duvall should be interesting! Winkler and Irvin might not be too far away either? This team should def score more runs if Mesoraco can catch on a semi-regular basis? The only thing I fear is a Majewski type bullpen but as long as they don’t have the Kenny Powers mullet to go with it then my flatscreen is safe!!

  26. IndyRedMan

    Comic relief……Gary Majewski as a Red……78 innings with 134 hits allowed a 7.73 era:)

  27. WVRedlegs

    Good news on Iglesias.
    “RHP Rafael Iglesias threw a 20-pitch simulated game Tuesday and will repeat that Friday before likely making his spring debut on Monday.”
    Cueto makes his SF debut today. Too bad it couldn’t have been yesterday.
    Lorenzen starts today vs. Texas and looks to build on his two scoreless innings in his last outing.

    • WVRedlegs

      I got that about Iglesias from a Giants feed. Apparently they don’t know the difference between “Rafael” and “Raisel”.