The Reds play the Seattle Mariners again, this time on the road in Peoria. The game starts at 4:10 p.m. ET. The radio broadcast is on WLW-700 and streamed online at MLB.tv.

Here’s the lineup:

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

Anthony DeSclafani starts for the Reds.

Lineup Thoughts

(I’m in the middle of my fantasy auction, so you’ll have to provide the lineup deep thoughts in the comments section.)

News and Reading

Mark Sheldon (MLB.com) on Alex Blandino and his future playing second base for the Reds.

Reds prospect Alex Blandino was a third baseman at Stanford, moved to shortstop after being selected 29th overall in the first round of the 2014 Draft and is now targeted to play second base in the upcoming season. How optimistic are people about Blandino’s ability to handle second base? He played only 12 games there in 2015 and a handful more in the Arizona Fall League, but was ranked in January as the fifth-best second baseman in the Minors by MLBPipeline.com.

Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/Enquirer

Alex Blandino / Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/Enquirer

C. Trent Rosecrans on Cody Reed’s impressive start yesterday.

LHP Cody Reed dominated the Mariners in his three innings. Making his third spring appearance and second start, Reed retired the first eight batters he faced before giving up an infield single that nearly took his glove off to his ninth batter. He retired the next batter and left the game after three innings. He gave up just one hit and struck out four.

“I felt good, but in the bullpen I felt kind of off,” Reed said. “I was cutting across my body and I tried to slow down and when I finally got out there, it all just kind of came together for me.”

Sheldon with more good news on Homer Bailey’s progress.

Bailey, who was limited to two starts last season before he needed right elbow surgery last May, has been setback free. He will begin the season on the disabled list and likely won’t be ready for a regular-season game until sometime this May.

“We’ve stayed on course,” Price said. “He hasn’t missed anything. He’s thrown fastballs, sliders and splits right now efficiently. He certainly doesn’t look at all like a rehab pitcher at this point in time.”

Homer.Pitching

Rosecrans with a longish read on Ivan De Jesus Jr. and his pedigree as a major leaguer.

Even at 12, De Jesus was like he is now — quiet, unassuming, but completely aware. He’s aware of what’s being said around him and more importantly what’s being done around him. De Jesus calls himself “old school,” not because of what he says or does, but sometimes more often because of what he doesn’t say or do. Like any other workplace, there’s a set of expectations for newcomers, rules that can be difficult to fully understand. The best way is by observation, and that’s what De Jesus did then and does now. De Jesus is just 28 and he has less service time to his name than youngsters like Billy Hamilton or Tony Cingrani. But even at 28, he seems older, more mature, a veteran who quietly commands respect.

Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Ivan De Jesus / Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

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! 52 Comments

  1. Any news on Mesoraco?

    • I saw a Tweet earlier today which indicated Meso hoped to see some game action no later than this Thursday. No indication if that was behind the plate or just as a DH.

      • Thanks, Jim. I hope I’m just being paranoid, but wondering if he’s going to be healthy enough to catch.

        • It might be just slightly paranoid to wonder if Meso will be able to catch again; but no so much paranoid to wonder when and how much. He is by all accounts the 1st MLB level catcher to go down the road with this surgery; thus there is no track record. Reports are hockey goalies have come back from it; and, I believe there was a minor league guy who caught considerably after the surgery; but, there has not been any one who had the surgery and subsequently was an “everyday” catcher at the MLB level.

          To be clear, it is not that there is any record of someone having the surgery and subsequently not being able to catch every day at the MLB level; the situation simply hasn’t arisen previously.

          Barring re-injury, I think Meso will be able to catch a substantial amount before the season ends. However, for 2016, I don’t expect him to be an everyday catcher if that means 5-6 complete games a week, week in week out. Hopefully he might make that mark in 2017

          I would not be at all shocked if he eventually abandoned catching to be a DH/ corner OF/1B for whatever team that might turn out to be since as I understood his situation, the “injury” was exacerbation of chronic deterioration of the ball joint; and, while they cleaned out the problem, in many cases the deterioration starts anew.

  2. Seeing today’s game in Peoria. Between this lineup and last night’s, I’ll have seen most (if not all) of the uninjured opening day starters. Reed is a stud. Looking forward to Disco Fever today!

  3. I saw were Rant sports ranked all 30 MLB managers. Price was #30. Not surprised really.

    • Was Dusty Baker on the list?

      • Don’t know…clicked on it and saw Price listed at #30. I didn’t go any further. I would suspect that Dusty is somewhere near the middle of the pack.

    • When the Yankees hired Joe Torre in 1996 he had a losing record and the move was widely ridiculed. He suddenly became smart when he had Jeter, Williams, Rivera etc. No one was debating Bruce Bochey’s HOF credentials when he managed the Padres.

      Bryan Price wins about 108 games with the 1975 Reds. Sparky Anderson loses about 98 games with the 2015 Reds.

      Managers generally don’t matter

      • spot on Chuck!!! The players make the manger.

        • The best teams will prevail over 162 but Dusty could mess up a team in the playoffs as fast as anyone. Leaving Latos in to meltdown vs SF and give up the granny to Posey could be exhibit A. Anyone with half a brain could see him melting down 2-3 hitters earlier!

      • I am sure you are correct with that comment in context but I have seen too many bunt the runner over by Price to say he doesn’t matter. To some extent last year but more so the season before I found myself watching the game and getting a headache…………from SMH at his bonehead moves.

  4. Just checked in on the game. Cozart cranked a 2-run HR in the 3rd and finished his day 1-2 w/ 1-SO. That’s 1-2 in both games since he took the field along with a HR. Not a bad start after the hoorendous knee injury to end his season in 2015.

    Cave has also chipped in with a HR.

  5. It’s going to be tough to watch Hamilton struggling while Cave sits on the bench once the season starts …

    • Not just Cave, but Holt also. Hamilton has had 2 full seasons to prove he can hgit major league pitching and has proven that he can NOT hit major league pitching. The same may be true for Holt and Cave, but they at least deserve the chance that was bestowed on Hamilton with less of a minor league track record.

      Going into today’s game Holt and Cave had an OBP of .429 & .391 and an OPS of .817 & .772, respectively. Yes, watching Hamilton continue to struggle will be difficult and depressing without seeing Holt and Cave provided even a fraction of the chance Hamilton has already received.

      • I suppose I focus more on Cave because he’s a Rule V guy. They couldn’t even send him down to let him play regularly without first offering him back to the Yankees.

    • Hamilton batting 8th or 9th is fine for this season, lead off not so much. Do not bat him lead off just because he is fast and plays CF

  6. Just said on the radio broadcast that Hamilton and Mesoraco are on track to see action later this week …

  7. It might just be me, but DeSclafani’s breaking pitches look like they are breaking more than last season. Looked very sharp from my point of view today.

    • That would be good news, Patrick because as I understand it Arizona weather conditions make it difficult for curveballs.

  8. Also from the radio broadcast, Iglesias to pitch tomorrow, and Lamb hopes to be ready for game action in late April.

  9. Good ballgame today. Disco gave of 2 runs iun 4 innings, but it was a solid spring outing. Villareal was effective in 2 innings of relief, w/ 0 runs allowed, 2-SO & 1-BB. The 3 OF candidates (Cave, Schebler & Holt) who played all made ioffensive contributions, but Schebler did have a defensive miscue in LF.

    Phillips continued his spring fasting going 0-3. Phillips and Y-Rod really need to step it up over the next couple weeks. Phillips certainly has more rope than Y-Rod, but if his struggles carry through to the season, he may find the rope tightening.

    • Maybe the Reds should put him on the bench, like the Dodgers are going to do with Crawford.

    • YRod has no rope IMO.
      Phillips will be fine once the light turns green as he has shown time and time again.

    • Does BP usually have a really slow spring? I seem to recall that he does, but don’t know.

  10. With all the QO penalties and compensations now settled, the draft order for the June 2016 draft has been set. The Reds have 4 picks in the first 100 overall as follows, Two in the first round (#2/#35, comp balance), #43, 2nd round; #79 3rd round. Plus they have #108, 4th round to give them 5 in the top 110.

    http://m.mlb.com/draft/2016/order

    • If form holds true, the will draft a pitcher, catcher, pitcher, ect. 😉

  11. My man, Cody Reed, is settling in. As I’ve been saying all winter, he is going to make it rough on Bryan Price and the front office when roster trimming time comes.

  12. If Jake Cave does not make the team, I see a very disappointing year ahead. It would mean that the leadership really does not have a clue as to winning games.

    • Agree that how they handle Cave, Hamilton, Holt and the CF position will tell alot about the “reboot” mindset.

      Will they seize Hamilton’s slow rehab as an opportunity or choke on it as a problem? The opportunity is to leave Hamilton (on DL) at extended spring training then eventually get him 3 weeks of ABs at AAA on formal rehab while in the meanwhile getting a good look at Cave and Holt in regular season MLB action. The problem response would be to rush Hamilton back.

      At the least I hope they keep Cave and platoon he and Hamilton at the start of the season. Holt has an option; so, they could do this without losing him.

  13. Ken Rosenthal with Jocketty’s view of the Reds “reboot” and current state. Sounds to me like WJ is either trying to support the marketing dept.’s efforts to sell tickets or is in deep denial…..

    http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/cincinnati-reds-looking-to-remain-competitive-while-they-remake-their-roster-031316

    • WJ said the Reds will be looking to add talent as other teams pare their rosters to get down to 25 men for opening day. Hopefully any late additions, will be young guys caught in “numbers games” by option situations and not veterans failing to make MLB rosters.

      • I thought the Reds would look at the O’s RHRP Andrew Triggs when he was released last week after the O’s signed Pedro Alvarez. Triggs should be MLB ready sometime in 2016. Sinkerball pitcher with a great GB rate, a very low BB/9 and an almost non-existant HR/9. He dominated at AA last year. That very low BB/9 rate would be a welcome addition to the Reds bullpen.

        • Meant to add, the A’s picked him up off of waivers yesterday. That means the Reds passed on him.

        • Are you certain the Reds had a shot at him? I was thinking a player still had to clear league waivers before teams the other league had a shot.

        • Yes, you are right. I don’t know why I was thinking the Reds had the second chance to get him, but he had to go thru AL teams first. My mistake. Thanks for the correction.
          The A’s had the first chance in the AL and jumped all over that.

      • The Reds roster/camp invitees is full of future ‘numbers games’ guys. I guess he means that they have the luxury of flexibility unlike most other teams with legitimate, proven active rosters?

        • Cave/ YRod are in a numbers game situation right now. The other OF suspects all have an option remaining. I suspect they both make the 25 man; but in YRod’s case the Reds may risk waiving him for outright after opening day when everybody else has their roster set.

  14. Not good news. From Jim Day on Twitter (@JimdayTV)

    Michael Lorenzen still felt soreness while throwing on side yesterday, will have MRI

    Uh, that’s the 2nd MRI in under 10 days, right?

  15. Ruh roh, Rhaggy.
    Jim Day reports, “Michael Lorenzen still felt soreness while throwing on side yesterday, will have MRI.”
    I don’t like the sounds of this.

  16. Peraza gets his first start in CF today. Iglesias get his first start of spring.
    The top 6 in the lineup today could be the opening day order. Peraza, Suarez, Votto, BP, Bruce, Duvall. Duvall is DH today though, DeJesus SS, YorRod LF, Barnhart C.

  17. Reds “cuts”. Nothing unexpected or earth shaking. 40 men guys optioned; guys not on 40 man “reassigned” to minor league camp. paper work and per diem management. They can still appear in MLB spring games (and get paid the MLB per diem) on an as needed basis

    http://ramsey.mlblogs.com/2016/03/14/todays-reds-transactions-4/

  18. Lorenzen and Lamb are my fav 2 young pitchers? Plus Mesoraco is extremely iffy? I may be checking out early this year? I’m assuming a lot of the other exciting young prospects like Winkler, Stephenson, etc. won’t make the team. This team should score but the pen is going to be horrible and will be hard to watch if everyone was healthy. Jeez??

    • In the Rosenthal article I linked above, WJ specifically said he was looking to find bullpen help in the roster fallout as teams trimmed down to the opening day 25 man limit. Winker was NOT one of the guys optioned today; but, Price said he was still a ways from being ready to play again which reduces his chances of sticking. Rookie Davis was optioned and today which increases the likelihood of Stephenson or Reed making the MLB team. There is a lot riding on Iglesias’ debut today in regards to how the rotation will fill out.

  19. A lot of OF’s are hitting pretty good so far this ST.

    I read this in the Reds news link on Facebook:

    On a couple of occasions this spring, the Reds didn’t just have a regular session of batting practice on one of their practice fields. For one thing, the hitters involved wore helmets — which the team doesn’t normally do. And instead of a coach grooving pitches from about 50 feet, it was coach and former Reds pitcher Mario Soto dishing heat from about 40 feet behind a screen and providing the younger generation a glimpse of what he might have been like to face in 1983.

    “Mario was throwing gas,” Reds shortstop Zack Cozart said. “It was probably like facing [Aroldis] Chapman.”

    Each hitter in the cage was given two tough pitches from Soto and a specific situation to execute with a runner on base.

    It could be runner on third base, with the infield in. The hitter needs to get the ball up in the air. Or a runner on second base with no outs who needs to at least be advanced with a ball to the right side. And whatever is coming from the pitcher won’t likely be easy to hit.

    When I mentioned that the Reds need to train situational hitting, many said it couldn’t be trained. They simply didn’t know how to do it or didn’t care about it. Now, I just hope it works out. As well as, I don’t want them to just get up there looking to swing but have an eye, also. Be ready to take the pitches outside the zone.

  20. Managers are spark-plugs on talented and sometimes mediocre teams. First manager that comes to mind is Sparky Anderson. His initial season, 1970, he took a woeful pitching staff, minor league shortstops, first baseman playing third and platooning left-fielders and won 70 of the first 100 games.

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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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2016 Spring Training