The Reds are the home team in a green-bedecked clash against Cleveland today at Goodyear Ballpark. The game starts at 4:05 p.m. The only broadcast will be audio at MLB.com. Here is the lineup:
- Brandon Phillips DH
- Devin Mesoraco C
- Joey Votto 1B
- Jay Bruce RF
- Eugenio Suarez 3B
- Scott Schebler LF
- Zack Cozart SS
- Ivan De Jesus 2B
- Jake Cave CF
Robert Stephenson is starting for the Reds.
Devin Mesoraco — Devin Mesoraco!! — gets his first start of spring training. Even better: Devin Mesoraco C
Reminder: Breaking the bad news on Mesoraco’s hip last April.
Interesting lineup. Closest to the Opening Day batting order we’ve seen so far. Mesoraco second and Suarez fifth will probably flip around eventually. Maybe Mesoraco is batting second to get an extra plate appearance. The Reds are facing a RHP (Danny Salazar) which may explain Votto and Bruce back-to-back. Also that’s why Schebler is in LF, he’s that half the platoon. Jake Cave in CF batting in the Billy Hamilton Has To Bat Last spot.
If Billy Hamilton doesn’t make it back for Opening Day, Brandon Phillips might lead off instead of whoever the stand-in is for Hamilton.
Cody Reed pitched two clean innings with three strikeouts in the B game this morning (box score).
News and Reading
• The Reds just announced the signing of Alfredo Simon to a major league contract. Yes, a veteran pitcher can help eat up innings in the early part of the season. I suppose there’s even a chance Simon might pitch well enough in the first couple months to be worth something at the trade deadline, but I kind of doubt it. Teams had passed on him so far. Signing a better pitcher (Tim Lincecum?) to a one-year deal would have increased the chance of a trade chip. The Reds have the payroll space to do that. And I guess we can scratch the idea the Reds dispatched Simon last year in part because of the domestic violence allegations. You know, baseball is taking a tough line on that now. Seriously.
But rebuild-reboot-recycle. Go with what’s familiar. The Reds Way.
• WIN2483 is the latest t-shirt/riddle craze. It’s part of Don Long’s message to the hitters. And it’s a secret. If we told you, we’d have to make you watch the Reds bad plate discipline for another year. (Zach Buchanan, Cincinnati Enquirer)
“I wanted to have the meaning, but do it in kind of an abstract way so they’d really have to think to come up with the answer,” he said. “Then it’s cemented even more in their mind, potentially. Any time you’re really forced to think your way through something, it’s going to make more sense to you. You have a chance to hold on to it better.”
I know this story has apparently captured the imagination of the press and Twitter and whatever. But it sure seems like something you’d do for a Little League team, not for people getting paid hundred of thousands or millions of dollars to hit baseballs well.
Here’s my t-shirt suggestion: WATCH #19
• Jim Callis (MLB.com) has a good article on the strength of the Reds farm system and reasons to believe it will get even better.
The Reds’ system could get much stronger in the next year. At $19.1 million, they have more combined bonus pool money for the Draft and international market than any team in the game. There also could be more veterans-for-prospects deals after they nearly dealt Bruce and Brandon Phillips during the offseason.
“What’s really exciting is that this shouldn’t be a long process,” Graupe said. “We have a nice base already and this year we have the No. 2 pick in the Draft, the highest Draft bonus pool and the second-highest international bonus pool. We should be able to add more talent. We have to regroup but we don’t have to take a major step back.”
• Callis also has five questions with Rookie Davis, the headliner of the four players the Reds received in the Aroldis Chapman trade with the Yankees.
Davis: I was sitting in an auto shop getting steps put on my truck. My parents had given them to me for Christmas and it was Dec. 28. I got a call on my cell from an unknown number and it was [Yankees GM] Brian Cashman. He talked to me for a couple minutes and then told me, “I just traded you to the Cincinnati Reds.” I was like, “What?!?” It was hectic for the first 24 hours. A lot of friends were texting and calling. Once I was able to get over that, I was able to buy into what we’re doing here. People should be excited about what’s going on with the Reds. I’ve been here for a month and a half, and I fit right in. There’s a sense of being part of something bigger than yourself. It drives you. I’m fighting with a group of guys who want to win the World Series. It’s fun.
WAY more of that, please.
Reminder: Our optimistic scouting report on Rookie Davis
• From the Terrible, Awful News department, former Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo has suffered a career-ending type of shoulder injury. (ESPN)
Washington Nationals pitcher Bronson Arroyo told MASN on Thursday that his rotator cuff is “significantly torn.” He said the injury is not a torn labrum, as had been reported on Wednesday. Arroyo told MASN that he is waiting for a comparison to his previous MRI, but “it’s not looking real good.” Arroyo will not have surgery. “It’s either rehab or retire,” he told MASN.
Obviously, everyone wishes Arroyo the best.
Reminder: John Ring’s farewell to Bronson.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati 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. Contemporary Reds thrills: witnessing Jay Bruce’s 2010 homer and Homer Bailey’s 2013 no-hitter in person. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 280 characters about the Reds is Redleg Nation, although you can follow his tweets @spmancuso.