The Reds head on the road to play the Colorado Rockies. The only broadcast is online radio streaming at MLB.com. The game starts at 3:10 p.m. ET. Here is the lineup:

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

Starting on the mound for the Reds is Brandon Finnegan.

Lineup Thoughts

Way too early speculation: Looking like the leadoff hitter on Opening Day will be the center fielder. That will make Dusty Baker smile. Eugenio Suarez will hit second, followed by Joey Votto, Devin Mesoraco, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips and Zack Cozart. Possibility that BP might leadoff if Hamilton isn’t ready.

Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Joey Votto is Perfect / Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Jordan Pacheco plays first base today. The Reds like his versatility, particularly that he can catch. That would allay the “what if the catcher gets hurt” concerns and allow Price to use Tucker Barnhart to pinch hit. Watch for the Reds to give Pacheco (30) every opportunity to make the club. Rebuilding!

Brandon Finnegan makes his third appearance, second start of the spring. In three innings he has two strikeouts and no walks.

News and Reading

• According to C. Trent Rosecrans (Cincinnati Enquirer), Raisel Iglesias is scheduled to throw a bullpen session tomorrow and will make his first start of spring training on Monday. Hal McCoy reports that Devin Mesoraco may make his first start the middle of next week. McCoy says Michael Lorenzen’s start was pushed back because of “inflammation of his right shoulder” while everyone else is saying it was the pitcher’s elbow.

• Mark Sheldon has a detailed update on Mesoraco and his progress. The main downside of the catcher not being able to play so far is that he hasn’t worked on taking balls in the outfield.

One thing that will not happen is Mesoraco getting some time to work out in left field. The thought was he could take fly balls and have a fallback position this season for days when he needed a breaking from catching.

“To get him up to speed to be able to play by Opening Day, I think he’s going to have to focus almost completely on the catching stuff,” Price said. “I think the outfield option is something that we will have to look at should there become something we need to be concerned about from a physical standpoint. I don’t have any reason to change my mind on my expectations that he’s going to play and be able to catch.

Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Devin Mesoraco and Anthony DeSclafani / Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

• Per Rosecrans, Robert Stephenson, Rookie Davis, Sal Romano and Layne Somsen will pitch on Friday against the Cubs in Mesa. A sell-out crowd is expected:

While pitching in front of a full house at Sloan Field – where Cubs fans have been setting attendance records this spring – wasn’t part of Price’s thinking when splitting the teams for Friday’s two games, it is a happy byproduct.

“Pitching against the Giants in Scottsdale and Cubs in Mesa, 12,000-15,000 per venue right on top of you, it isn’t the worst thing in the world for a young guy who is probably going to be tasting some big league time if he performs well,” Price said

Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Layne Somsen / Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

• Not Reds related, but a compelling long-read about Bryce Harper in ESPN the Magazine, written by Tim Keown.

Harper wants to elevate his sport’s profile through his play, through his fashion, through the charisma of his personality, maybe even through the fascination with the size of the first free agent contract ($400 million? $500 million?) that he’ll sign shortly after his 26th birthday. Is this a prodigy’s natural urge to innovate or a sign of youthful hubris?

“Endorsements, fashion — it’s something baseball doesn’t see,” he says. “In soccer, it’s Beckham or Ronaldo. In basketball, it’s Curry and LeBron. In football, it’s Cam. Football and basketball have such good fashion.”

 

26 Responses

  1. DHud

    Harper is trying to breath some life into the game.

    As a millennial I have few peers who are die-hard baseball fans. Like Harper or not, there isn’t a lot of connection and excitement in the game with younger generations.

    MLB is already trying to spice up the game with ideas such as faster pace of play

    • Patrick Jeter

      I think you hit the nail on the head. Baseball is not exciting for today’s youth. I think Harper is a good ambassador for the game, in this regard.

  2. IndyRedMan

    Suarez in the 2 hole is ok with me! I think he’ll be our best non-Votto hitter for the time being. Looking at the box score from yesterday….I saw Stubby is now with the Rangers. Believe it or not Drew Stubbs has a .350 lifetime (804 ops) vs lefties. Hamilton is always iffy with his small frame and its not like we have a ton of other leadoff possibilities? I get so sick of hearing how they’re working w/Hamilton’s bunting because HE CANT HIT so 1B/3B don’t have to fear catching a liner off the ankle (or forehead) and they’re right on top of him! Stubbs could platoon w/Schebler at leadoff. We’re also trying guys like Duvall in the outfield that could need a defensive replacement. I’m sure he’d be cheap and could be a more than decent stopgap if used properly.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Tyler Holt has a .402 OBP against lefties the last 3 years spread across AA/AAA/MLB. No need to go out of camp for that platoon! 😉

      • Shchi Cossack

        Can’t wait for your post on platoons…

      • Patrick Jeter

        Actually just finished writing it. Slow day at work today. All my bosses are in full-day meetings so no drive-by taskers.

      • IndyRedMan

        Yeah but Tyler Holt hit 3 bombs against the Cubs and make Geddy Lee from Rush cry from the front row….lol. I must’ve watched that game 50x. Votto got tossed in the 1st inning and we score 17 or whatever it was? Even Corky put one out on Waveland Ave!!

  3. ohiojimw

    It seems to me that the Reds are destined to start the season with a 3rd catcher on the MLB roster. I really hope it is Cabrera because he is both a better catcher and better hitter than Pacheco.

    • lwblogger2

      He makes more sense to me than Pacheco does. I know it’s great to have guys that can play all over but Pacheco isn’t particularly good (by MLB standards) anywhere and he doesn’t hit that well. No idea why the Reds love him so much.

      • Steve Mancuso

        It’s because he can catch. Then the manager can use the back-up catcher as a pinch hitter. Who-hoo. Such a Reds reason for carrying a player on the bench. Alternatively, they could just, you know, put a player on the bench who can hit outright so the back-up catcher doesn’t become the best pinch hitter.

      • lwblogger2

        What? That’s just crazy-talk! A guy on the bench who can hit?! Huh? 😉

  4. Shchi Cossack

    Finnegan needs to throw to 1B as well as he pitches!!!

  5. Shchi Cossack

    Finnegan is all over the place with his pitches, 47 pitches through 2 innings.

    • ohiojimw

      Like Eric Milton always used to tell us…. he’s just getting his work in. 😉

      • Shchi Cossack

        And that he did…pulled after 4.2 innings and 59 pitches.

  6. Shchi Cossack

    I know the Reds want to figure out a way to put Pacheco on the 25-man roster, but what a waste. The Reds need to just move on from the notion.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Agreed If anyone over 27 makes the roster, it’ll be a dang shame.

      • lwblogger2

        You mean of the non-roster invitee guys?

  7. Shchi Cossack

    Jumbo just destroyed Garneau with a 2-strike slider. More of that please…

  8. ohiojimw

    There has been a major TOOTBLAN even considering its spring training. With runners breaking on the pitch from 1B and 2B, a Royals batter lined out routinely to middle depth LF. The guy running off 2B was doubled off before he even was aware he was at risk. The guy off 1B was late to see the catch coming and tripled off by 10 feet or so.

  9. Shchi Cossack

    WOOHOO!!! Two of the Old Cossack’s favorite players who have never done anything at the major league level…yet…pulled out the game in the 9th. The Big Lutz doubled with a man on and one out with Mejias-Brean following immediately with a 2-run single and scored on a 2-out double. Clutch hitting by the Big Lutz and Mejias-Brean.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Then in the bottom of the 9th, Stephen Johnson (obtained in the Byrd trade) did his level best to give the game away by walking the bases loaded with one out, but fotunately the Rox had Ynoa and Murphy at the plate rather than the Big Lutz and Mejias-Brean

    • ohiojimw

      glad for Big Lutz. my gameday died during the Wallach AB and by the time I realized it and got switched to the audio the dust had cleared and I was left wondering on the details.

  10. Shchi Cossack

    Spring training is well under way. Pitchers have been stretched out to 3 innings and the rosters will soon start dwindling as players get extended playing time.

    Under the category of ‘Geesh, you’ve had nine games already!’

    .154/.214/.231 for Peraza w/ 1-2B, 1-BB & 1-SO in 14 PA
    .231/.286/.231 for Y-Rod w/ 1-BB & 3-SO in 14 PA
    .231/.286/.231 for De Jesus w/ 2-SO in 14 PA
    .214/.333/.286 for Phillips w/ 1-2B, 2-BB & 1-SO in 18 PA
    .267/.267/.400 for Bruce w/ 2-2B & 4-SO in 15 PA

    Under the category ‘Geesh, can we please just start the season already!’

    .467/.500/.867 for Suarez w/ 3-2B, 1-HR & 4-SO in 16 PA
    .455/.563/.727 for Votto w/ 1-HR, 4-BB & 3-SO in 16 PA
    .368/.400/.789 for Schebler w/ 2-2B, 2-HR, 1-BB & 3-SO in 20 PA
    .375/.375/.750 for Duvall w/ 1-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR & 1-SO in 16 PA
    .273/.333/.636 for Barnhart w/ 1-2B, 1-HR, 1-BB & 2-SO in 12 PA
    .375/.444/.438 for Holt w/ 1-2B, 2-BB & 1-SO in 18 PA
    .333/.368/.389 for Cave w/ 1-2B, 1-BB & 4-SO in 20 PA

    • WVRedlegs

      The next 2 1/2 weeks are going to be fun to watch and see how it all shakes out. The pitching too.