Why hello Nation, Reds baseball is back! The Reds began their quest to the 2018 World Series championship with a resounding 6-4 Catcus League beatdown of the Cleveland Indians.  Tucker Barnhart lead the Reds with a two-run bomb in his first plate appearance of the spring.  The Reds had Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle, Jackson Sephens, Kevin Shackleford, Keury Mella, and Jimmy Herget make their spring debuts on the mound today.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (1-0) 6 7 0
Cleveland Indians (0-1) 4 7 0
W: Romano (1-0) L: Otero (0-1) S: Herget (1)
Box Score | Game Thread


Tucker Barnhart hit a two-run bomb to rightfield in the first inning. Barnhart didn’t hit a single home run in 35 at-bats last spring, so obviously this means he is due for a monster 2018.

Brandon Dixon hit a no-doubter bomb in the 6th inning.  Dixon has some nice power, as he hit 16 home runs in 124 games at AAA in 2017 with a .783 OPS. He could be a guy to keep an eye on as the season goes along to possibly crack the Reds bench should they have injuries, poor performances, or make a trade. Dixon has played every position except SS and C in the minors.

Tayler Mahle pitched two solid innings: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 B, 2 K.


Billy Hamilton is still batting leadoff. I have been pretty darn supportive of Bryan Price to this point, but if he has Hamilton batting leadoff on Opening Day 2018, he should be fired on the spot.

Jose Siri had to leave the game after crashing into the wall in CF. Siri of course set the Midwest League record with a 39 game hit streak with the Dayton Dragons last year.

Not so random thoughts…….

It’s the first day of spring training, but right off the bat you see a clear battle for the 5th rotation spot between Tyler Mahle and Sal Romano among others. Mahle won the battle today pitching two scoreless innings, while Romano allowed a home run.

Up Next: 

Rockies at Reds
Saturday, 3:05 PM
TV: None; Radio: 700 WLW
Michael Lorenzen vs Yency Almonte

Next TV game: Sunday at 3:05 PM on FSN-Ohio


All photos are used courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer and Sam Greene, and are used by permission. 

24 Responses

  1. David

    Yeah, Billy Hamilton batting lead-off again. Who could imagine that? Well, Bryan Price for one.

    It’s early. Let’s not condemn anyone just yet. Young guys looked kinda good. Especially Shackleford and Herget.

  2. Ethan L

    If that lineup was any indication of the OD lineup, I am alarmed more about the absence of WInker than I am about BH at leadoff. If Winker doesn’t start from day one, the Reds will be making a gross and indefensible mistake. Furthermore, that lineup today is pretty anemic. I don’t have high hopes for it.

    • Sliotar


      Today’s lineup did reek of “75 wins or so”, barring a miraclous breakout by the starting pitching.

      While not re-signing him seemed a prudent move because of age, that 5 WAR Cozart provided last season is a lot of production for the returning guys to additionally make up in 2018, or Winker/Senzel to off-set in rookie seasons.

  3. Sliotar

    Like the intro, Nick. To use an old phrase, growing up in a family full of shady card players,

    “You can’t win them all if you don’t win the first one.”

    Regarding 5th SP slot “battle”….this really is taking Small Sample Size to a new level.

    Was driving for work, listening to pre-game, and Price stated that the SP “competition” would not be fair. Basically, too many arms and not enough time for everyone to get a fair shake.

    The 5th slot may very well already be settled in Price’s mind. If so, I hope he and Williams have figured out how to massage the egos of all those who have talked about being a starter, but won’t be, at least on Opening Day.

  4. Carl Sayre

    I have seen countless comments about an OF platoon that should get Winker 500 plus PA’ s keep Duvall from a second half swoon and give the Reds an excellent shot of having BH as a late inning PR or defensive replacement! These all in addition to these players facing favorable splits at the plate! I know they can’t manage by “sports radio” but these fans and contributors have a much better grip than the FO for the Reds! Hey Price try reading the Nation you might save your job! Lol

    • David

      They didn’t sign Billy to the present contract so he could be a late inning defensive replacement and a pinch runner. He will start most games in centerfield, unless he gets hurt or is hitting abysmally bad. And likely lead off. Bob Castelini has spoken. Billy is great!

      And again, barring injuries or a Spring Training trade of Schebler or Duvall (Billy is untouchable!), I would be surprised if Winker gets 300 AB’s. 500 AB’s?

      With this team. and this management?

      • Shchi Cossack

        There is probably a lot of truth to your premise. Because of the way the Reds oranization is run by hiring and promoting family members and employees with existing or prior relationships rather than seeking the most qualified candidates, their primary motivation is probably keeping BC happy even without a strict mandate from BC. Price knows his job is on the line and the only safety net he has is held by BC. DW knows that no other organization in MLB would provide him with the unearned opportunity he has with the Reds and BC also holds his safety net.

      • Jeff Reed

        The Reds offense needs Votto and Winker regularly in the lineup for their on-base ability, but as many of my fellow bloggers and I have noted over and over, that’s probably not going to be the reality. Unless there is a change in management, I think Winker will eventually be included in a trade and the Reds can concentrate on the home run instead of OBP.

  5. sezwhom

    BP as Manager = BH leading off. I believe it was etched on the tablet Moses dropped.

    • Carl Sayre

      I think the stone tablet was dropped on BP head!

  6. Eddiek957

    They had the dh today and no winkler fire price now

    • Chad Dotson

      Agree. The Fonz should be in the lineup every day.

    • David

      Well, Dilson Herrera was the original DH. I think that’s ok. He needs to prove he belongs on the Big Club.

  7. Shchi Cossack

    The Good:

    The cuaght stealing by Turner was a beaut! That guy can play an outstanding catcher. Speaking of outstanding catchers, if Hudson can ever find even a slight hitting stroke to get him to the show, he may very well be the best defensive catcher in the league. That catch he made down the 3B line at the dugout, way down the 3B line, where he called off the 3B wandering in to make the play was absolutely sick. No catcher makes that play.

    Every pitcher except Mella got their scheduled work and pitched well. Every HR hit today, except Dixon’s, rode the wind out. The ball was lifted so high off the bat, it may have been caught at SS had the wind not been blowing out at near gale force causing the ball to hit the outer wall of the stadium by the time it returned from near orbit.

    Brandon Dixon did not ‘hit a no-doubter bomb’ in the 6th inning. That was a rocket from the launching bad at home plate and there was serious doubt of that ball coming down before it reached exit velocity and left the atmosphere.

    Eugenio Suarez hit in the #2 hole with Votto in the #3 hole. That could be an exceptionally effective dou at the top ofr the lineup.

    The Bad:

    The ground ball ‘hit’ to 2B in the 3rd was an absolute muff by Scooter and should have been an error. If Scooter hits anything close to last season, we’ll just have to live with the errors. Unfortunately, if Scooter doesn’t hit anything close to last season, I think we’ll still have to live with the errors with Price managing. Every other option for 2B will be a rookie surplanting a veteran and we all know how that works out with Price.

    The exchange at 2B on the following double play that bailed Mahle out of a two-on, no-out jam was also pretty shaky on a very routine play.

    And the Ugly:

    Billy Hamilton had a weak fly ball ball out to very shallow CF and a very weak bunt out that barely reached the infield grass around home plate. This is the same problem Hamilton has ehibited durng the previous 4 years and 2180 PA, yet there he was leading off again while Winker made no appearance at all.

  8. Eddiek957

    I wonder how many American League teams bat their dh ninth

    • Shchi Cossack

      By game plan, the hitters were only going to get 2 PA nd that’s exactly ow many every hitter received before they were pulled. Herrera is a touchy situation. He’s apparently not 100% recovered from his surgery so he’s on restricted activity. Herrera is also out of options and must be added to the 25-man roster, DFA’s or placed on the DL prior to opening day so the Reds need to find out if he can play and if he can be effective when he plays. If he’s DHing, I don’t think it matters where he hits as long as he hits.

      Herrera’s also competing for a utility IF role on the 25-man roster with Blandino, Dixon and Sweeney. Unfortunately I believe that competition also includes Gosselin and Pennington but it shouldn’t. All 6 of the utility IF candidates received 2 PA today.

      • old-school

        It sounded from Price that Herrera was just being given some cautionary recovery days to DH- but will be starting at 2b today and getting reps at third, too. I’d like to see him lead the team in at bats in ST.

        The Reds invested a lot in Phil Ervin( first round pick) and Herrera( Jay Bruce trade) They both have major league potential. I hope both make the 25 man roster, with Herrera pushing Gennett for the starters job at 2b, and Ervin being the back up CF and spot starter and late inning bench option.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Ervin should have a good shot at making the team as a utility OF. Price seems to be so fixated on his 4-man OF rotation that he’s concerned that he won’t be able to carry a 5th OF. Quite frankly, that’s just bunk. One has nothing to do with the other.

        The way I understand Herrera’s situation, he’s on a restricted activity protocol requiring rest and recovery for his shoulder after exerting the shoulder so he can play defense, just not regularly right now. Something like alternating between defense and DH. The arrangement appears to be precautionary and is being evaluated for full participation.

  9. Mike Adams

    What is with the total pitch counts for both teams? Around 65? Were both teams just swinging at the first or second pitch because of spring training, or were they practicing “speeding up the game”?
    If those pitch counts are correct, then Billy flew out on the first pitch and bunted on the first pitch. I wish he would at least practice taking a pitch in spring training. Also noticed it was the usual suspects who took some pitches before swinging (Joey for one).

    • Scooter Rolen

      I think that MLB only keeps minimal strike-ball stats during ST, so if Votto strikes out after a long 10-pitch ab it shows it as 3 strikes. Whatever is the least number of pitches, for example a ball in play usually shows only 1 pitch.

      That’s how it seemed to work last ST at least, maybe that’s the problem.

      • Mike Adams

        Okay, thanks for the explanation.

  10. greenmtred

    I know that we’ve waited for months for the games to begin, and I also know that most of us already know–or believe we know–how the season will go, but I’m reading an awful lot of conclusions based upon one inconsequential spring training game. Practicing for the regular season?

    • Shchi Cossack

      After six loooooooooooooong months, is there such a thing as an inconsequential game? The Old Cossack feels fabulous with the return of baseball. The little Cossacks got extra hugs and lots of extra attention yesterday. Mrs. Cossack got an unexpected dinner invitation and lots of attention from the Old Cossack. The rain continues and everything is right with the Old Cossacks world now.

      • greenmtred

        No inconsequential games in the sense you mean, Cossack. No argument on that. A little extra spring in the step, a slightly less jaded view of the world.