The first place Cincinnati Reds (1-1) will go for a series win to kick off the 2017 season this afternoon against the Philadelphia Phillies (1-1) at 12:35. The Reds won 2-0 last night, courtesy of a brilliant start by Brandon Finnegan. The Reds will turn to Rookie Davis today, who is making his MLB debut.

Starting Pitchers

The following stats are 2017 ZiPS projections

Reds #17 prospect Rookie Davis (according to MLB Pipleline) will make his MLB debut this afternoon for the Reds. Our good friend Doug Gray wrote about what to expect from Davis last week. I encourage you to read the entire piece, which also highlights his background.

Rookie Davis didn’t seem to enter the public conversation for the rotation early on in the spring. Part of that was probably due to the fact that his 2016 season left plenty of question marks on his resume. He also only had a small amount of time in Louisville and he didn’t do well there. There were early signs though that 2017 Rookie Davis was a different guy than 2016 Rookie Davis. In his first start he was throwing 93-95 MPH, which is a range he would rarely touch in 2016.

It wasn’t just the increased velocity though. Rookie Davis also added a slider to his arsenal. The early reports on it have been outstanding. When it comes to the numbers that he put up, they stacked up well with the others that were contending for a spot in the rotation. In 15.2 innings he posted a 4.02 ERA with three walks and 17 strikeouts. He did what Bryan Price loves to see and that’s pound the strikezone.

This is where things get tough. Rookie Davis has never truly been a top end starting pitching prospect. Prior to 2016 he had shown good fastball velocity, control of the strikezone and posted good numbers. Scouts however would note that his secondary stuff was average and that he lacked that out pitch at the next level. At the minor league level we never saw that secondary offering show up. This spring, as noted above, the newly developed slider may very well be that pitch. It certainly was in the spring, but the sample size was very small, too.

Rookie Davis is now throwing a 4-seam, 2-seam, change up, slider and curveball. The fastball velocity we touched on, but the slider and change up were both in the 86-88 MPH range and his curveball works in the low 80’s. He’s got enough offerings to keep hitters guessing, and he’s been a strike thrower for his entire career. If he can continue to throw strikes in the Major Leagues he will probably be solid at worst. If his slider truly has given him that out pitch it could be real interesting to see exactly how good he could become as a guy who could both miss bats and keep a low walk rate.

Clay Buchholz has quite a bit more experience than Davis, but he will be making his Phillies debut today. Buchholz had pitched his entire 10-year MLB career in Boston with the Red Sox before being traded to the Phillies in December. He is far removed from the player who finished 6th in the AL Cy Young voting in 2010. Buchholz is expected to be an average starter in 2016.

This will be the first time Clay Buchholz has ever pitched against the Cincinnati Reds. Buchholz had a 6.65 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in 21.2 IP this spring.

Starting Lineups

Phillies Reds
1. Cesar Hernandez (2B)
2. Daniel Nava (LF)
3. Odubel Herrera (CF)
4. Maikel Franco (3B)
5. Michael Saunders (RF)
6. Andrew Knapp (C)
7. Brock Stassi (1B)
8. Freddy Galvis (SS)
9. Clay Buchholz (P)
1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Zack Cozart (SS)
8. Stuart Turner (C)
9. Rookie Davis (P)

News and Notes


It will be exciting to see what Rookie Davis has today. I don’t think anyone expects Davis to be a mainstay in this rotation for the entire season, but there is a lot to like about him. He has excellent command for a young pitcher. It would also be really nice to see the Reds head off to St. Louis with a series win to start the year. The Reds offense is due for a big game. Go Reds!

158 Responses

  1. Patrick Jeter

    A game thread up at 9:00am local!! What a day! 🙂 I can’t follow the game, so i expect lots of posts here, RLN!

  2. Kyle Farmer

    Bad News – Day game

    Good News – IT did a major security update over Christmas break and FoxSportsGo is no longer blocked!


  3. renbutler

    A very stiff, gusty wind will be blowing out today. Keep the ball down, Rookie.

  4. WVRedlegs

    Clay Buchholz pitching for the Phils today. Wind blowing out. A day of feast for the Reds hitters hopefully.

  5. Kyle Farmer

    Looks like attendance could be measured in the hundreds. Always feel bad for the folks selling concessions on days like this.

  6. Preach

    The good thing about working weekends is that sometimes I can get a day game through the week. Go Reds

  7. Preach

    6’5″ 260lbs. That’s a big kid. Great start with the strike out.

  8. Preach

    That was a no doubter right off the back. Drats

  9. seat101

    What is the pattern for the Reds uniforms? Home? Day? Away? Night? Sunday? And or any combination there of?

    • Kyle Farmer

      Whites at home.
      Red Alternates for day games.
      Grays on the road.

      Plus the other special ones such at the camo tops.

      • seat101

        Thank you. My 14-year-old likes the new camo hat. And I myself don’t have an opinion. But we’re going to the game the day they give them away.

        Better Hamilton single up the middle.

  10. Kyle Farmer

    Tougher to hit or tougher to pitch on a bitter day like this?

  11. Ethan L

    The linguist in me is coming out. I’m so glad Thom has amended his pronunciation of Alcantara’s last name. It’s al-can-TA-ra not al-CAN-ta-ra. It was bothering me so badly, but I heard him just say it correctly.

  12. Preach

    Is Billy serious when he shows the bunt, or just willing to give up the strike?

    • magi210

      Interesting. Gamecast showed it as single to deep center, which made me wonder if Billy was going for 2.

  13. Shchi Cossack

    Glad to see Turner get the start today behind the dish. I hope the kid gets more playing time than one start a week. He certainly won’t get any PH opportunities as the backup catcher, so starts will probably be his only playing time.

    Mesoraco was sent out on a rehab assignment to start the minor league season, so he should be back on the 25-man roster within no less than 3 weeks. I doubt the Reds keep Turner on the 25-man roster once Mesoraco returns, but I really wish they would at least give the kid a chance to earn a shot to stay abd would really hate to see the Reds just send the rule 5 draftee back without even giving him a chance.

  14. Kyle Farmer

    Why does Billy put on different gloves to run the bases? Never understood that.

    • Mike Adams

      Regular batting gloves when batting, and protective gloves when running the bases. The baserunning gloves are intended to protect his fingers when reaching for a potential stolen base. Last year the running gloves were sort of like mittens.

  15. Preach

    “Peraza first pitch swinging….” rinse, repeat

  16. vegastypo

    Geez, Peraza, can’t you take a pitch or two, give Hamilton a chance to steal??? First-pitch popout.

  17. james garrett

    I hope he starts to understand the situation a little better because you just can’t swing at every thing with Billy on first base

  18. Sliotar

    Peraza pop-out, swinging on the first pitch. Maybe we should have a RLN pool on his season-ending total of (lack of) walks.

    • Sliotar

      Everyone is thinking and posting the same way, three games into the season. Not good, Jose.

  19. Patrick Jeter

    This Peraza thing is 100% on Price and his lineup construction. Batting Peraza behind Hamilton is folly.

  20. james garrett

    I agree with you Patrick but the whole team for the first two games and now the first inning of game 3 is just hacking at everything.We have to do better on this or it will be a long season.

  21. vegastypo

    Rookie might have gotten a break on a called third strike on the Philly batter to begin the second.

  22. vegastypo

    Rookie strikes out the pitcher to end the third after going to a 3-2 count. And the last pitch might have been outside, glad the batter swung.

  23. CP

    I for one won’t be surprised if Peraza ends up with more walks than Hamilton.

  24. seat101

    I really dislike these in game interviews. I tuned in to watch a baseball game

    The sound is off until it’s over. But often, I change the channel, and if there something interesting on-I forget to go back to the game.

    Changing the channel now.

  25. james garrett

    Last time on this subject for me today.Turner has an 8 pitch at bat while the first 3 guys saw 5 total with Scott and Cozart swinging and making an out on the first pitch.That’s 3 of the first 6 outs coming on the first pitch.Please take a pitch or two.

    • vegastypo

      Point taken, but I didn’t mind Cozart as much in that plate appearance. He wanted a pitch to drive to bring in that run, and he got his pitch.

  26. magi210

    Nava’s getting a fastball in the ear next at bat.

  27. Preach

    Herrera with some heads up base running. I’m a little surprised that doesn’t happen more often.

    • Sliotar

      Like it.

      Gallows humor, wit and sarcasm are always appreciated in these game threads by me.

  28. Sliotar

    Pitch hit for Rookie. He’s due up first, already at 70 pitches, and that lack of covering home plate is a sign he’s feeling the roughing out or just overwhelmed.

    Get that bullpen and bench some work, anyway.

  29. Preach

    Over 70 pitches in on a day like this…..time to pinch hit.

    • vegastypo

      Would be a good opportunity for Reed/Stephenson long man to come in, look for three or four innings and keep from blowing out the whole bullpen.

    • Preach

      So why then would Billy show bunt there? Pitcher on second. Just swing away and take your chances.

  30. Sliotar

    LOL. Another Lorenzen in the making with the bat?

  31. Preach

    Another promising inning down the tubes. Almost hit into 3 double plays that inning.

  32. vegastypo

    unbelievable. Another hard-hit ball ends in an unconventional DP. Inning over.

  33. Kyle Farmer

    Now is when Scott Feldman should be pitching.

  34. Preach

    “Talk about the rabbit and the hare…” Thom, just……stop.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Lol. What does that even mean?

  35. sultanofswaff

    Impressive outing by Peralta. Most importantly, no walks!

  36. Preach

    Duvall looks like he’s ready to weld something

  37. Preach

    Suarez with another knock. Now let’s get this guy this inning.

  38. Old-school

    Suarez and Schebler giving good at bats. Dumb question….Do you re-evaluate the shortstop question for the next good reds team? Cozart is solid player and isn’t old.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Problem is that he’ll likely want a multi-year deal at market value. I don’t think he makes sense given those parameters IF we have someone to take over SS.

  39. Preach

    Good base running there on the sac fly. Like being able to bring up Scooter here.

  40. Sliotar

    That would have been interesting if Cozart got called out at 2nd. Run might not have counted. Would have been a real TOOTBLAN.

    • Sliotar

      What am I thinking? There was only one out.

  41. Kyle Farmer

    Scooter in shirtsleeves. The legend grows!

  42. Sliotar

    Feldman is who he is, but at least there is the possibility of flipping him. 6Ks in 4.2 innings on Opening Day.

    Buchholz looks done. At no point in that last half-inning did I think he was going to strike out any batter, no matter how much he needed one.

  43. Kyle Farmer

    Lead off walks drive me absolutely crazy from bullpen guys.

  44. Steve Mancuso

    Make a donation during the game, get a personal shout out in the comments section.

  45. Steve Mancuso

    When Cody Reed gets confidence, he’s going to be a tough pitcher.

  46. Old-school

    This is why young pitchers need mlb experience…Reed has brilliant stuff but lacks command and perhaps confidence….Great comeback.

  47. Kyle Farmer

    Tough to continually pitch around lead off walks. Geesh. He may be great when he becomes confident but going to have to throw strikes to get confident.

    • Kyle Farmer

      I guess if he keeps that up, he can just keep right on walking the lead off hitter!

    • magi210

      Looks like that’s exactly where Reed wants them. False sense of security and all.

  48. Preach

    I hate when the Stupids play the Whineys. I am always so conflicted when their scores appear on the banner screen. Unfortunately they both can’t lose

  49. Preach

    TOOTBLAN by the Phils, but good job by Turner walking directly toward the runner to make him commit. I know that’s little league teaching, but too many times guys at this level trust their arms instead of making the smart play

  50. big5ed

    Reed faced 7 hitters, walked 4 of them, but only stranded 1 runner.

    Let’s hope this was just a nerves thing that he will get over.

    • Big56dog

      Pretty rare a pitcher gets 3 batters out and gets credit for 2 IP

  51. seat101

    Brian Pryce is a genius. Let’s give him another three-year contract

  52. Patrick Jeter


    • Patrick Jeter

      And he just put Cody Reed in line for the W!!! Four walks and all!

      • Big56dog

        he walked more batters than got out over 2 innings, gotta love the W

  53. Kyle Farmer

    Gotta love that imaginative use of the 25 man roster!

  54. Patrick Jeter

    Now that Lorenzen has been used as a PH, is he eligible to come in and pitch later in the game? Or no?

    • Ryan

      No. Cingrani just replaced him in the lineup.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Right, I meant “later in the game,” like after he’d theoretically go out and warm up. I’m guessing no, but am not 100% sure.

      • vegastypo

        No, once he pinch hits, if he doesn’t stay in the game at that point, he’s done.

      • Ryan

        Pretty sure that he would have had to be actively playing in the field in the next half inning. Maybe Price should have put him in LF?

      • Patrick Jeter

        Oh, that would have been fun!

  55. Ryan

    Oh that has to be a first. Two outs and a reliever is up to bat, pinch hit a reliever with another reliever and they hit a dinger.

  56. Big56dog

    So Lorenzen cannot pitch today, Can Iglesias? Really should have let Finnegan go for 1 more inning last night, or someone should have thrown 2 innings.

    • big5ed

      The 3 infield hits late last night forced a lot of extra pitches and pretty well consigned Lorenzen and Iglesias to the pitching bench today.

      • vegastypo

        My trust factor in Cingrani is not high, but we need to see what he can go, I guess.

      • Big56dog

        Would think that would be the case, Then Storen, hopefully get a ton of insurance runs and it will not matter

      • Big56dog

        Kind of dumb not to leave Cingrani in (if Iglesias not available) only has Astin and Stephensen available if Storen has meltdown and this game goes extra- I guess that is what you get with a 9 man bullpen

      • The Duke

        Eh, Stephenson can go 3-4 if needed.

  57. Old-school

    Nice use of scooter and lorenzen early to create good matchup

  58. Big56dog

    Is gameday accurate shows pitch 2 in 3 to Hernandez on top of each other and one is a strike and one is a ball

  59. Preach

    Peraza will find a way to get a hit no matter how ugly his day is.

  60. IndyRedMan

    How bout my boy Lorenzen!! Question for you rules experts….could he DH in an AL park and then come in and pitch? Personally I would get him as many at-bats as possible. Say he throws 25 pitches one day and Votto needs a day off then play him at 1B. He was an outfield too but you don’t want hammy injuries or crashing into a wall, etc.

    • vegastypo

      If he comes in to pitch, the team would lose its DH for the rest of that game. If he leaves the game, the pitcher’s spot would remain in the batting order.

    • Big56dog

      I think if DH player takes the field, pitcher bats in place of replaced player, he would still bat in DH spot but as a P, one he exits as pitcher then the reliever who replaced him bats in his spot

  61. Preach

    Duvall!!!!!!! 5-11 so far this season

  62. Ryan

    This team has a 100% more fun factor this year.

    • The Duke

      Playing the Phillies helps. They are going to be bad this year and I think a lot of their young talent and prospects are over rated. Except Franco, he’s a beast.

      • Preach

        Herrera looks like another Rickie Weeks for us.

    • Big56dog

      I was pretty excited after the first 6 games last year, then the bullpen took over, hopefully this will not be the case this year

      • The Duke

        Bullpen this year is light years ahead of last year. My preseason prediction was we finish the year with a top 10 bullpen.

      • Ryan

        Agree with you, but the bullpen should help.

  63. IndyRedMan

    Great to see Duvall carrying over that last week of spring training!! He’s for real….quiet those doubters up! Winker can move someone else out of the lineup!

      • IndyRedMan

        Yeah the advantage Duvall has over Schebler is his short swing! Schebler prob has more bat speed and can hit the ball a mile but he’s got a long hack and guys like that are usually super streaky!

      • Patrick Jeter

        Schebler also has way better plate discipline than Duvall, so he’s less likely to be streaky, actually.

        Length of swing has nothing to do with “streakiness.”

    • The Duke

      Duvall is more than capable of playing RF. He’s got a big arm.

  64. Preach

    “Like fighter pilots in the military.” as opposed to the fighter pilots the retail stores so frequently employ.

  65. The Duke

    Wood was nasty that inning. Best I’ve ever seen him.

  66. vegastypo

    Cozart caught in no-man’s land on what otherwise would have been a single to load the bases. Instead, two outs.

  67. Preach

    Reds win!!!!! Great effort by the pen this series.

  68. vegastypo

    Storen got a gift for strike three on that second strikeout.

    And now…., This one belongs to the Reds!

  69. Jdubz226

    Only three games in but I would have to say the bullpen looks much improved. Loved the Lorenzen PH HR. Hope we see more of that!!

  70. vegastypo

    off topic, but I switched over to the Cards/Cubs, and a Cubs batter swung and missed at a pitch for strike three, but the ball went in the dirt. Molina frantically tried to find it, couldn’t, and the runner reached first base. Where was the ball? Stuck to the outside of Molina’s chest protector at about his bellybutton level. Hilarious. Not sure HOW the ball could have gotten stuck there.

  71. TR

    A good way to start the season with a series win.

  72. DavidTurner49

    Great to see Lorenzen’s homer. Good day for the bullpen except Reed. Was he wild in Spr training too? And what’s the take away with Rookie?

  73. zip

    Rookie reminds me a lot of last nights starter for the Phillies, Eickhoff, good stuff but very dinger prone. Quality stuff but if he gets the ball down has tremendous upside. Understand he’s a rookie but would like to see him get ahead early in counts.

  74. Minoring In Baseball

    This was a fun game to be at. Despite the weather, which wasn’t that bad, the game was great, and we were able to pretty much move around and sit where ever we wanted.