The Reds are the home team vs. Cleveland today at Goodyear Ballpark. The game begins at 3:05 p.m. ET. You can catch the TV broadcast (!) on FSO and radio is WSAI-1360. Here is Bryan Price’s lineup:
Billy Hamilton CFBen Revere CF
- Jesse Winker LF
- Eugenio Suarez 3B
- Scooter Gennett 2B
- Scott Schebler RF
- Adam Duvall DH
- Devin Mesoraco C
- Brandon Dixon 1B
- Jose Peraza SS
Brandon Finnegan starts today, his first of the spring against opponents from another organization. Finnegan previously appeared in an intra-squad scrimmage. He’s basically one start behind the others, a precaution due to his injuries last year.
Acquired in the 2015 deadline trade for Johnny Cueto, Finnegan made 31 starts for the Reds in 2016. His ERA snuck in under 4 (3.98) but other tell-tale measures were higher: 5.19 FIP, 4.87 xFIP, 4.92 SIERA. Those latter numbers indicated his strikeout, walk and ground ball fundamentals weren’t great. Finnegan did have a stretch of three terrific games in August 2016. But other than that, he pitched below average, including four starts in September.
Finnegan began 2017 with a spectacular 1-hitter against the Phillies over 7 innings. He walked one, struck out nine and had a ground ball rate of nearly 70 percent. He then made two ill-fated April starts, pitching a combined 3 innings. Finnegan was placed on the 10-day DL with a strain to his left trap muscle. Bryan Price said the injury wasn’t serious and expected Finnegan back in a few weeks. Finnegan remained out until June 29, when he made it through 3 innings against the Cardinals before reinjuring his pitching shoulder. A few days after that, luckless Finnegan had an accident on his boat that tore his right labrum, requiring surgery and ending his 2017 season.
Brandon Finnegan, who turns 25 next month, is now looking to regain his spot in the starting rotation. Price said at the start of spring training he considers Finnegan in a second tier of rotation candidates, between the sure thing group of Luis Castillo, Homer Bailey and Anthony DeSclafani, and a third crew of younger pitchers competing for the fifth slot. Watch Finnegan’s walk-rate this spring.
Other than Finnegan, it’s a bullpen day in Goodyear: Raisel Iglesias, Kevin Shackelford, Zack Weiss, Barrett Astin, Jimmy Herget and Oliver Perez.
The other Brandon, Brandon Dixon is playing 1B. Dixon was the third player (after Peraza and Schebler) the Reds received in the Todd Frazier trade with the White Sox and Dodgers. He’s in competition for a utility spot and already played first, third, right field and left field this spring. Dixon has also hit 3 home runs. He spent last year at AAA-Louisville where he batted .264/.327/.457, with 16 homers, playing mostly 3B and some 1B. He also played a decent amount of 2B early in his career with the Dodgers.
Billy Hamilton was a scratch with a left index finger injury. Yes, it’s a meaningless spring training game. But nothing better epitomizes Reds lineup making of the last 10 years (in so many, many ways) than subbing Ben Revere for Hamilton. It’s pure, distilled Dusty Baker and Bryan Price.
INF backups: Phil Gosselin (UVA), Patrick Kivlehan and Cliff Pennington
OF backups: Phillip Ervin, Ben Revere and Mason Williams
Michael Lorenzen is scheduled to pitch in a B game against the Texas Rangers at 1:45 p.m. ET. “Just get a chance to really lock in on his delivery and cluster some good pitches,” said Price. (Adam Baum, Enquirer)
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.