2016 Spring Training

Saturday lineup, news and reading

The Reds host the Seattle Mariners in Goodyear today. The game will be broadcast on WLW-700 radio at 9:05 p.m. ET.

Because it’s a night game, the lineup won’t be out for a few more hours. Will update this post when it becomes available.

  1. Jose Peraza SS
  2. Alex Blandino 2B
  3. Joey Votto 1B
  4. Adam Duvall LF
  5. Jay Bruce RF
  6. Yorman Rodriguez DH
  7. Eric Jagielo 3B
  8. Phillip Ervin CF
  9. Tucker Barnhart C

Lineup Thoughts

We do know that lefty Cody Reed will make another start for the Reds. Also expected to pitch are Chris O’Grady, Carlos Contreras, Caleb Cotham, Ryan Mattheus and Blake Wood. Cotham, who came to the Reds in the Chapman trade, gave up five hits and four runs in his appearance on Wednesday. Most people think he has a good chance of making the Opening Day roster, but not with performances like that.

Cody Reed

Facing a good chunk of the Cubs Opening Day lineup, Robert Stephenson turned in a solid start yesterday, in front of a big crowd in Mesa. The 23-year-old struck out three, including Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward, and walked none over three innings (box score). Layne Somson pitched another shutout inning out of the bullpen. He’s made four appearances and yet to give up a run. He’s struck out three and walked three over four innings.

Reminder: Grant Freking’s bullpen projection.

News and Reading

Reds general manager Dick Williams says the Reds won’t trade Joey Votto as part of rebuild-reboot.

“Joey’s the cornerstone of our lineup right now, and [he] will be in the future,” Williams said. “I think the contract we have him signed to is very reasonable for a small-market team, making that kind of commitment. The way salaries have gone, it looks like a very reasonable and fair contract.

“He’s just such an important piece of the lineup, so I can’t imagine not having him there to build around. That’s my goal. I wouldn’t say ‘never,’ but having Joey in the middle of the lineup is pretty special.”

Williams is right about Votto’s contract. By the time Joey Votto starts making $25 million/year (he earns $20 million this year), teams in the free market will be paying that much for 2.5 WAR. Votto was a 7.4 fWAR player last year. The going rate for one WAR in the open market this offseason was $8 million. So Votto’s season was worth about $60 million last year. He was paid $14 million.

Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/Enquirer

GM Dick Williams / Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/Enquirer

Our friend Justin Merry has an interesting breakdown for projections of the Reds young players – prospects and major league – based on their age.

Scott Schebler was acquired in the Todd Frazier trade.  He just arrived in the big leagues last season, but it’s worth remembering that he is the same ages as both Billy Hamilton and Tucker Barnart.  Schebler does grade out as having a better bat than either of those two, primarily due to his substantial power.  But while Schebler players corner outfield, as has some questions about his defense, Hamilton and Barnhart are considered plus (if not elite) defenders at a premier defensive position.  As a result, Hamilton and Barnhart are both projected as providing value, while Schebler projects as a replacement player.  Seems about right.

Mark Sheldon (MLB.com) has Zack Cozart’s reaction to playing in his first game yesterday.

Cozart had the unfortunate circumstances of his injury on his mind when he had to touch first base on his single.

“I’m not going to say I wasn’t thinking about hitting the base on the base hit, but I wasn’t thinking about it as much,” Cozart said. “I will tell you that when [Scott] Schebler hit the line drive next and I had to run, I definitely did not think about having to hit second. I was running hard, hit second and was feeling good.”

Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/Enquirer

Zack Cozart / Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/Enquirer

Pete Rose to be inducted in Hall of Fame!

Former baseball player Pete Rose’s bobblehead is being inducted into Milwaukee’s National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. The organization said Friday that Rose’s bobblehead will be its first inductee. Co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar says Rose was picked for the inaugural induction ceremony after an online poll. A ceremony is being held April 23 at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee.

Probably not the HOF Pete had in mind.

PeteRoseRookieBobble

Veteran writer Hal McCoy (Dayton Daily News) expressed a strong opinion on the Reds second base situation when he was asked about dat:

Q: What do you see the Reds doing with Brandon Phillips and Jose Peraza? — JAY, Englewood.

A: They acquired Peraza from the Dodgers to play second base, believing Phillips would accept a trade to rejoin Dusty Baker in Washington. Phillips threw them a devastating curveball by refusing the trade. If I managed the Reds, and thank the baseball gods that I don’t, I’d put Phillips on the bench and play Peraza, part of the team’s future. Phillips, though, is one of the few fan attractions left so he’ll probably play and Peraza will be on the bench and play backup roles.

Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Jose Peraza / Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Reminder: Nick Carrington on how we’ll remember BP.

Reds adding a rooftop patio area to Great American Ball Park.

The Cincinnati Reds have created a new social gathering space in the left-field corner of Great American Ball Park. The Cincinnati Bell Fioptics District Rooftop, the name of the new destination, is a rooftop patio situated behind the left-field stands in the upper deck. The patio contains tables and chairs, drink rails and televisions to accommodate about 380 fans. Single-game tickets cost $15 and include general admission to sit in seats among three sections of outfield seats. There is a limited view to the field from the rooftop patio. One free drink comes with the ticket cost, whether it’s a beer, soda or bottled water.

A cynic might conclude the Reds are providing fans alternatives, in this case drinking, over watching baseball.

20 thoughts on “Saturday lineup, news and reading

  1. I’m pretty skeptical of Steamer’s projections of Schebler and Jagielo. Schebler at 0.0 WAR seems a bit harsh, and projecting Jagielo as an above-average MLB player (2.5 WAR) seems pretty off.

    If Schebler is in a platoon situation and has a majority of PA against righties, I’d bet he’s at least a league-average hitter. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, though!

    • It would be interesting to know where the negative defensive wrap on Schebler comes from. From what we’ve seen so far he covers ground and catches balls. Is the issue all about his supposedly weak arm?

      • Yeah, he’s limited to LF pretty much due to a weak arm. That said, it isn’t Johnny Damon or Juan Pierre weak. From what I heard about his routes, they could use some work as well but reads/routes are often coach-able. He also has speed to get to the spot he needs to get to. I’m not sure he’s going to be as bad of a defender as some folks are thinking he’ll be. Of course maybe he’ll be Byrd bad. I haven’t seen him enough to have a good idea.

    • I don’t pay attention to the projections until the said player plays a season in the majors. If memory serves me right Robinson Cano wasn’t known as a top notch hitter coming up to the Yankees. Let’s see what he does his first year before they crown him below average.

        • Arizona monster Paul Goldsmidt was never a top 100 prospect. Bruce was the top prospect in all baseball in 2004, while Votto was in the 40s. I believe that is about as much as that means.

    • This doesn’t relate directly to this article, but I heard an interesting thing yesterday (“Only a Game” on NPR): Home runs last year were up by over 17%, while contact and fly ball rates didn’t change much. A mathmatician (from Princeton, maybe?) pronounced there to be a 0% probability that such a thing could occur. It struck me at the time that I know a bunch of people who could probably do some telling analysis of this tidbit–anybody interested? The conclusion on the show was that the balls themselves were the most likely cause, though one can’t rule out a new and mysterious PED that doesn’t show up in testing. Neither seemed like a very satisfying answer, though my unhappiness with them has no bearing on their accuracy.

      • The easiest explanation would be the the Princeton guy said “0” when he meant “almost 0.” Sometimes rare stuff happens!

        Also, pull rates would affect the home runs. If pull rates were up league-wide, all of a sudden 380ft fly outs to center become home runs. Lots of factors to balance.

        • Good point about the pull rates, although, still, why the evidently dramatic increase? The Princeton guy may have meant that such an increase couldn’t be random variation, but would have required a cause. our thought occurred to me, too, though: it can’t be “0” because it happened.

  2. Can the Pete Rose bobblehead be banned for consideration to the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame?

  3. Say what you will about the organization, but they have done a fine job of keeping prices reasonable for the fans.

    Unfortunately, it now seems like a neccesity..

    • Did you hear what the Brewers are doing? For $49.95, you can go to any or all of the April home games with the exception of Opening Day. That means you can go to like 13 home games in April for roughly $50. I’m not sure what the seats are like but even the worst seats in that park aren’t awful… Get them in the ballpark and maybe they buy beer, hotdogs, and souvenirs? I thought it was good marketing on their part.

  4. Speaking of Votto: In my opinion, WAR is no longer an adequate statistic for measuring his value to the organization, unless you somehow begin taking money away for each WAR. The Reds are actually better off with less wins.

    Votto also offers value in that fans like him and he can lead youngsters. Sadly, stats don’t capture these qualities (yet).

  5. The Reds have some bullpen guys trying to pitch their way out of the MLB picture. Tonite it was Contreras’ turn (again). Let’s hope the powers to be are taking proper notice.

    • Contreras has yet to show me anything. I’m thinking the Reds’ brass may be thinking the same thing. He’s definitely had his chances.

  6. Nice to see Peraza accumulating some knocks…maybe. On Friday, Peraza went 3-4 w/ 1-HR & 1-SO, then on Saturday, Peraza went 3-3 w/ 1-SB.

    If Peraza’s success in spring training results in him playing a part-time role on the 25-man roster, that might not be a good thing. If Peraza’s success in spring training and his ability to play solid defense (if not superior defense) at SS makes the Reds consider him the SS for the future and heir apparent for Cozart, then that may be a good thing.

    I like the idea of a solid defensive 3B spraying doubles aroung the field. I like the idea of 6 seasons with a solid defensive DP combo playing together in the infield and contributing solid offensive production.

    Let Peraza and Blandino play the middle IF at Louisville in 2016 to work out any remaining issues and provide two major-league ready stalwarts going forward and bring them up together in 2017. Could Ervin be as close as one year from being major league ready? Could the Reds find an OF combination from among the 5 OF candidates in spring training this season to fill one OF spot going forward? The 2017 season could be the beginning of a serious run for the Reds.

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