Fresh off yesterday’s domination of Cleveland, the undefeated Cincinnati Reds play the Colorado Rockies today at Goodyear Ballpark at 3:05 p.m. ET. Radio broadcast on WLW.

Bryan Price’s Game Two lineup:

  1. Billy Hamilton DH
  2. Dilson Herrera 2B
  3. Jesse Winker LF
  4. Devin Mesoraco C
  5. Phillip Ervin CF
  6. Patrick Kivlehan 1B
  7. Phil Gosselin SS
  8. Aristedes Aquino RF
  9. Cliff Pennington 3B

The starting pitcher is Michael Lorenzen.

If you’re starting to get discouraged about Bryan Price batting Billy Hamilton leadoff again in 2018, I feel your pain. It appears Price is willing to allow a few plate appearances in spring training to matter more than Hamilton’s anemic 1650 career PA batting leadoff. It’s nuts to use spring training at bats to make that kind of decision in the face of so much contrary evidence.

It’s early. It’s even early to say “it’s early.”

But Price hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt on this issue.

The Reds will play split squad games tomorrow. Homer Bailey will start against Cleveland and Luis Castillo will start against the White Sox. Anthony DeSclafani will start on Tuesday.

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! 44 Comments

  1. At least Jessie is starting today.

    • I noticed someone referred to him as the Fonz over at Red Reporter, or maybe it was here I can’t remember… but its funny then I see people calling him Winkler instead of Winker (i.e. Henry Winkler played the Fonz on Happy Days).

      • I think that was actually Chad. The Old Cossack completely whiffed on the reference when I read the comment. I was trying to find some physical resenblance between Winker and the Fonz character. Thanks for getting me pulled out of my stratospheric oblivion.

  2. Well, Price seems committed to platooning and he has said that while Billy will likely lead-off to begin with, he (Price) will look at match-ups to see who leads of and he (Billy) will have to produce. Of course, I guess we have heard that before.

  3. Interesting that Gosselin plays short with Pennington at 2B. These guys are vying for the same roster spot and Gosselin delivered two hits and a SB yesterday. If he can play shortstop with any skill he might have the edge as he is def. a better hitter than Pennington who is a gloveman first and foremost. I’d rather have the offense for a bench player so I am rooting for the Goose.

    • The Reds need a SS available in case of an extended injury to Peraza, but he doesn’t need to be on the 25-man roster. I’m with you completely on a bat-first utility player on the 25-man roster as a backup. Someone just needs to be able to cover SS defensively on a short-term need basis. I think there are other and better options available than Pennington for a utility IF on the 25-man roster. Of course, Pennington may also have an opt out in his contract if he’s not on the 25-man roster as ST winds up.

      • I been saying this for years. Keep the bat first Utility guy. You can always find a glove first guy to stick in AAA in case your starter goes down.

  4. Hey I am gonna throw this out there and see if anyone is interested.. basically i live in Vegas, but I want to go watch the Reds this summer… so I am thinking of renting a place for maybe 6 months but I am gonna need roommates who are cool and into the Reds so we can watch games on tv and go to games. I will look for a place in Covington or Newport, KY as my experience is that is the best location to commute to games from, although I have done it from the Cincinnati side too, but not as nice an experience (near UC). So hit me up if interested.

    • Or if anyone has a room for rent near the ballpark please let me know… I am in my 40s, laid back, straight male, with a kid in college.

  5. Pennington and Herrera are both listed at 2b. I hope it’s Herrera, I’ve never seen him play in the field.

  6. The Reds signed Oliver Perez? We’re still shopping at MLB’s version of the 99 Cents Store. Why does it get so hard to get excited about this team?

    • Perez might actually make a pretty decent LOOGY for the bullpen to augment Peralta who is more of a high-leverage reliever than a LOOGY.

      I would prefer to see Reed and Garrett starting in AAA than pitching out of Price’s bullpen. Of course that’s assuming that neither make the 25-man roster as a starter.

    • No risk signing. As Cossack said I would rather see Garrett and Reed in AAA vs. being in Reds pen.

  7. No… I don’t think Hamilton should be leading off. That said, I want him to get as many bats in the spring as possible to get him ready for the year. I think he should get the bulk of time in center not because he may or may not be the long term answer in the outfield… but because he WILL be solid up the middle for a pitching staff that quite frankly is too young to deal with defensive miscues. I want the pitching staff to be relaxed so we can see who is actually good on the mound. I want the best fielding team possible most of the time. And if Hamilton is the best fielder, then I want him to at least be passable at the plate and ready to go on opening day. Now if Price bats him first opening day?… Well… not quite as defensible is it…

  8. At this stage, lineups mean nothing… The first two weeks are simply to get players reps. bats.timing.mechanics.

    That’s why you see veteran relief pitchers pitch an inning and leave in the fourth or the mass exodus of veterans leaving the facility yesterday after the 5 th inning.

    Until players get 2-3 weeks under the belts….it doesn’t matter. It’s silly to me they even play games 5 days after reporting.

    Now….by mid/ late March ….that’s another story.

  9. Cheers for no off day after Game 1, like with the regular season.

    Aquino starting in RF.

    I had to look it up. He appeared in 15 games last ST (29 ABs). Never would have guessed that many.

    I guess everyone ends up getting some looks once all the split squad games start kicking in.

  10. Nice to see Herrera starting at 2B today. This is obviously a very important ST for Herrera to justify a spot on the 25-man roster and hopefully a 2B platoon with Scooter.

  11. With the Perez signing as a Loogy ….is the 5 spot the only remaining questions barring injury or the unexpected?



    Position players:


    • He may be a long shot, but I’m not writing off Lorenzen as a starter this season. Pennington probably has the 2nd utility IF spot locked up, but I hope not. I do think that Ervin should have the only available OF spot along with the 4-man OF rotation. Of course, the health of Herrera’s shoulder may also have something to say about his availability for the 25-man roster and Blandino’s chance of landing a utility IF role.

      You are correct, there’s not a lot of available spots on the 25-man roster this ST.

  12. Oliver Perez’s Stats (

    2017: 50 Games – 4.64 ERA; 3.82 FIP; 33 IP; 3.25 SO/W; 10.6 K/9
    2016: 64 Games – 4.95 ERA; 4.17 FIP; 40 IP; 2.30 SO/W; 10.4 K/9

    Will turn 37 in August, played for 15 Seasons (Career 4.46 ERA and 4.60 FIP). Played for Nats the last two seasons.

    • Doesn’t look good at first glance, but 2017 FIP isn’t too bad. Seems to have a consistent strikeout rate and had better control last season. Agree he appears to be a LOOGY based on games/innings ratio.

      Don’t think he is a lock to make team by any stretch, but if it insures that Reed or Garrett start somewhere (CIN or AAA) it could be a good thing.

      • While Perez has experienced a wide variance in overall effectiveness throughout his major-league career, his reputation against left-handed hitters is solid. He’s faced them a total of 1,541 times and held them to just a .228/.318/.365 batting line. That skill has still managed to hold up as he’s aged, as evidenced by the .227/.301/.364 batting line of his lefty opponents in 2017.

  13. Maybe I heard him wrong – did Marty just say that baseball people say that if Billy can’t hit in the leadoff spot, he has no value? To me it seems like his hitting flaws are, if anything, magnified in the leadoff position.

    • That would seem a bit harsh, the guy can play defense and be disruptive on the basepaths when he does get on. His value as an everyday player isn’t high in my estimation, unless he’s playing on a contender with really good hitters at pretty much every other position.

  14. Here’s another trade possibility, Billy Hamilton to an A.L. club as a designated hitter.

    • I don’t think there is much of a market for a DH that can’t hit buy has gold glove caliber defense

      • I’ll get accustomed to the fact that Billy will be leading off this season as long as Price is the manager.

  15. Any way to listen to game without mlbtv?

  16. I am not in range of WLW

  17. No walks for cody

  18. Not a good day against the Rockies with Billy leading off as the DH. Winker came through with a hit and BB in two AB’s. Not the best game for Reed and Hernandez.

  19. Can someone help out the Old Cossack? How did Lorenzen get charged with an earned run if he recorded the 1st two outs in the 2nd inning, then after the 3rd batter reached safely, the 4th batter reached on a throwing error which would have been a 3rd out in the inning?

    • Scorers need spring training too

    • I think the scoring takes into account that the throwing error happened in the same play as the wild pitch. Then, the 5th batter of the inning hit a single so the run would have scored anyways. If he would have retired the 5th batter it would have been an unearned run.

      I’m no book-keeping master, but I’ve been trying to make sense of it as well and that’s the best I could come up with.

      • That’s exactly it. The single turned that run into an earned run.

      • JT is right. I asked John Faye about it, and he was told the single made the run earned. However, this is a good example of why stats like SIERA, FIP, and xFIP are better indicators of pitching performance than ERA.

        If Barnhardt (a superior catcher) is in the game, he likely blocks the strikeout pitch and completes the inning. No runs scored. If Billy Hamilton is in CF instead of Philip Ervin, the softly hit single that made the run earned is an out and the inning is over. The two hits were bloops in the right place. It happens.

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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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