Game Thread

( blink … blink … ) Winker-Senzel-Votto

The Reds travel to Tempe Diablo Stadium to play the LA Angels. Game time is 4:10 p.m. ET. Radio broadcast is WSAI-1360. For the third day in a row, the Reds will be shown live on the MLB Network.

Here is Bryan Price’s lineup:

  1. Jesse Winker RF
  2. Nick Senzel 3B
  3. Joey Votto 1B
  4. Adam Duvall DH
  5. Mason Williams LF
  6. Devin Mesoraco C
  7. Jose Peraza SS
  8. Billy Hamilton CF
  9. Cliff Pennington 2B

Homer Bailey makes the start, his fourth of the season. Amir Garrett is also scheduled to pitch, as is Cody Reed, Barrett Astin, Austin Brice and Jackson Stephens. They’ll face the Angels’ starting lineup, including Mike Trout, Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton, Albert Pujols, Shohei Ohtani and their new 3B, Zack Cozart.

Backup IF include: Alex Blandino, Brandon Dixon, Phil Gosselin, Patrick Kivlehan and Darnell Sweeney. Backup OF include: Sebastian Elizalde, Phillip Ervin and Rosell Herrera.


After yesterday’s disappointing revelation of Anthony DeSclafani’s injury and the depressing onslaught of articles about someone new old teaching Billy Hamilton to bunt more, Reds fans were desperate for an encouraging sign today.

A small sign of hope.

Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel and Joey Votto.

That’ll do. Take a second, or minute, and let those names soak in. Three of the team’s best hitters at the top of the lineup. A novel concept.

I doubt providing a glimmer of hope was the precise motivation for Winker-Senzel-Votto today. I wouldn’t mind if it was. And, at least for me, it works.

78 thoughts on “( blink … blink … ) Winker-Senzel-Votto

  1. I don’t know if what I am about to say will break community guidelines for explicit content: that is a sexy combination at the top of the lineup! I would love for that to present on OD!!! Maybe there’s hope for BP!

  2. Votto will go 3 for 3 today to ‘small-sample-size’ Price into doing it (Winker-Senzel-Votto) more often.

  3. Are you sure this isn’t a desert mirage, Steve? Maybe they should schedule this game to be played in “Surprise,” Arizona?

    I’ll definitely be tuning in (or trying to) to the MLB Network to have a look!

  4. Q. – Don’t Senzel and Mahle HAVE to stay in L’Ville until mid-April due to the extra service year rules? IOW, no need for them on Opening day. Does this affect anyone else – or have they all blown bye their 1st year of service time? What’s the search for determining this – number of games played in 1st year of callup > 140?

    • Mahle would have to stay longer than that because of his service time last year, but I think the Reds would prefer that he be down there for a bit if they can make it happen.

    • Baseball-Reference has one on each player’s player page. FWIW,
      Senzel = has no ML time.
      Mahle= Service Time (01/2018): 0.036 = 36 days on the ML roster.
      Sal Romano = Service Time (01/2018): 0.081 = 81 days on ML roster.
      Amir Garrett = Service Time (01/2018): 0.099 = 99 days on the ML roster.
      Robert Stephenson = Service Time (01/2018): 0.167 = 167 days on ML roster, almost 1 full season.

      • Thanks WV, this is very helpful to understand our kids in the rotation.

        Given this, let’s say that they end up the spring even:

        Romano and Stephenson were top notch for the second half of 2017 against all major league hitting.

        1) Stephenson based on service clock and all other factors being even is the top starter for 2018. He competed in the second half of 2017 verses ML Bats, is healthy and there is nothing to be gained from a service clock standpoint.

        2) Romano. He competed in 2017 versus ML hitters, is healthy and pitching well. Will leave some service clock on the table.

        Garrett and Mahle had much less experience versus ML hitters in 2017, and they both have service clock issues. Easy for them to start at AAA and dominate, be healthy, control clock and be ready for when the ML rotation needs a starter. These guys have also been pitching later in Spring games meaning that they may be missing many of the ML hitters in the spring.

        their time will come, and the organization should benefit for getting them for as many years as possible

      • Nice post. We actually got an extra minor league option on Garrett approved by MLB before the year, due to his basketball time. I’m counting on Mahle opening in AAA, backed by Senzel at SS and Blandino at 2B. That said, Peraza might have the hottest seat in the league, considering how well the Paul DeJong experiment (minor league 3B moving to SS for rookie year) worked out for the Cardinals.

    • With Senzel needing time in AAA to adapt to SS and gain AAA experience, he will almost certainly remain in AAA until mid-June before any promotion consideration.

      With Mahle having accumulated 36 days, he will probably remain in AAA for at least six weeks+ before any promotion consideration.

      No one else really has anything close to a service time consideration.

  5. Price must have picked the batting order out of a hat.Seeing Billy in the eight hole would never have happened any other way unless it was divine intervention.

  6. Obviously they will score 3 runs in the first inning today with this lineup, but if they don’t, it will probably, somehow, still be Billy’s fault

    • With 8 pitchers still competing for starting positions, there are simply not enough options available every 5th game. Someone has to pick up starting innings later in the game.

  7. I blinked, looked then went and put eye drops in, looked and said no this can’t be right. I went and looked at the calendar, and no it wasn’t April Fool’s Day, not even St Patrick’s Day yet, so no blarney. Could Price have finally woken from his sleep or is this just his way of messing with our minds. That all most looks like a real major league line up.

  8. Winker/Senzel/Joey sounds promising!! Personally I’d like to see Phillip Ervin leadoff vs lefties. He smashed a double yesterday and is having a decent spring. It seems like he’s fell back in the pecking order (Revere?) for some reason though? I don’t get it?

    Price could work it out if he wanted to? Scherzer held righties to .136 last year. Duvall sits. Schebler/Winker play the corners. Billy bats 9th. Scooter/Billy sit vs lefties. Schebler gets some time in CF vs righties. Its not that difficult.

      • Yes, he is better (but not great) in center than Shebler, but his bat is way behind Shebler’s. He may be a good person to platoon out there, but it would be great if he would develop a bit more. Ervin has not established a track record in the high minors to say that he will be a solid major leaguer, so he could use more time in AAA to learn to hit right handers (the slider, according to Doug Gray) to give himself a strong shot at being a starter in the majors.

        • Agreed – I think a Reds team aiming to win it all platoons him against lefties. I think this team is looking to next year and beyond and you’re right – he’s in AAA to play every day and become a starter down the road.

  9. Has something happened to Phil Gosselin? I haven’t seen his name in a lineup in several days. I was liking him more for a bench spot than Cliff Pennington. Many have suggested that Pennington is the one who will make the 25 man roster. I think Gosselin is a better fit. Gosselin seems to have a better track record and more versatility.

    • Blandino is hitting and draws some walks…been plugging away in the organization and paying his dues, so yeah Pennington is a lock.

      • Good to know. I haven’t seen any box scores of late and hadn’t read Gosselin’s name in any recaps. Maybe that means he isn’t getting many hits recently.

  10. Because small spring training samples matter very much, scoring some runs and winning this game would be HUGE. The question is: If BH gets 3 hits today, does it mean he stays at 8 because it works so well for him, or does it mean he’s definitely ready to be the leadoff hitter for the rest of the year? What if Winker gets 3 hits today and BH gets 2? Hard to guess how Price might respond to that.

  11. Well there is the line-up of dreams here at the Nation. I still think the Reds would be better suited with Votto leading off and drop Winker and Senzel a spot.

  12. Call me crazy, but Senzel is probably our best defensive SS and 3B RIGHT NOW. A couple really athletic plays……….one to show off the arm and another to show off his ability to charge a slow roller.

    • This Angels lineup is just playing with Homer today. HR, 2B, BB, lots of hits and a wild pitch for good measure.

  13. Mesoraco also picks up a BB. That’s the only thing Mesoraco hasn’t been doing this spring (sss), but that BB gets him up to his career norm so his OBP bumps up accordingly.

    • Winker moves Hamilton to 3B with a fly to RF. Could Price have stuimbled onto something with Winker leading off and Hamilton hitting at the bottom of the lineup? It’s a brilliant move!

      • Oh my…Senzel singles to drive in Hamilton and Duvall drives in Pennington after a BB by Votto. Having real hitters at the top of the lineup seems to work. Price should try this again some time.

  14. Whew! That’s some spring training looking defense there by the ole Redlegs. Hope this doesn’t carry forward to the regular season.

  15. With Votto (1st), Gennett (2nd), & Winker (rf) ; Reds defense leaves a lot to be desired on the right side.

  16. In my opinion, Winker should be the regular leftfielder with Duvall/Schebler in right and Hamilton/Ervin in center.

    • Votto dropped a pop foul along the 1st base line in short right field a couple innings ago. Two years ago BP easily catches that with Jay Bruce beside him.Today Pennington 20ft. away, Winker 35 ft. away. Jesse has the makings of a fine DH.

  17. John Lamb will be a good loogy for many years if he can keep his head straight. The big slow curve in the 60s is tough on lefties. I kind of liked him.

  18. Goldilocks lookin’ good. Little time between pitches; throwing strikes. I dare say he’d be in competition for 2nd lefty in Reds BP(if he was still a Red).

    • He couldn’t consistently repeat that when he was here. And when he’s off, he throws batting practice.

  19. Blandino with an RBI single. There is no reason to keep Pennington over him? Garrett and Reed were giving up some shots to the outfield but atleast they were throwing strikes and got some quick innings.

    • I wouldn’t mind Blandino getting more time (part of the season, anyway) in AAA to keep working at multiple positions and proving that last year’s progress can be built on. If he can do that, his value rises significantly (for the Reds or even in trade).

  20. Nice innings by Garrett and Reed with a good inning. I hope we get to see Garrett start a game and go 4 innings soon.

  21. I’m especially encouraged by Reed. He started off ST pretty rough but his last two or three appearances have been strong. 2IP, 1H 3K today. Nice to see. I was a fan of his when he first came up and would like to see him be a big time Reds contributor.

    • He looked good today! I don’t see any radar guns in spring training, but he was bringing it! His fb is so straight and his control is over all the place. Personally, I don’t think he’s a starter. I’d go Mitch WIlliams Part 2 and just go fire 98-99 for an inning.

  22. Four of the six hits Homer gave up today were bloops or ground balls. That’s not struggling. Two hard hits in four innings is solid work. Struggling is walking three batters in four innings or giving up a bunch of hard-hit balls.

    • Blake Wood looked exactly as I remembered him….not very good. Thank goodness, not our problem anymore.

  23. The N.Y. Yankees have DFA’d OF Jake Cave. The Reds had him in the Rule 5 draft and had to return him to N.Y. He had a good year last year. Maybe the Reds should make another run at him. A very good back up for Hamilton. Much better and younger than Revere.

  24. And the Dilson Herrera issue has been resolved…

    C. Trent Rosecrans@ctrent

    Sources: #Reds Dilson Herrera has cleared waivers and will be outrighted off the team’s 40-man roster. He will likely stay in big-League camp for time being to get more at-bats

  25. Now that Dilson Herrera has been removed from the 25-man roster equation, the situation for the few posittions still open for competition becomes more open. There are now definitely 1 OF and 2 IF utility positions available with an open (hopefully) competition heating up.

    There are now 37 players on the Reds 40-man roster, so the Reds have the benefit of flexibility as the waiver wire heats up going into the final cuts as rosters are finalized.

    Brandon Dixon – age 26 – RH
    .321/.345/.679/1.023 (ST)
    .264/.327/.457/.783 (2017/AAA)

    Alex Blandino – age 25 – RH
    .350/.409/.400/.809 (ST)
    .270/.390/.444/.834 (2017/AAA)

    Rosell Herrera – age 25 – SH
    .190/.217/.571/.789 (ST)
    .278/.351/.394/.745 (2017/AAA in PCL)

    Phillip Ervin – 26 – RH
    .250/.333/.375/.708 (ST)
    .256/.328/.380/.709 (2017/AAA)

    Mason Williams – age 26 – LH
    .259/.286/.407/.693 (ST)
    .263/.309/.318/.627 (2017/AAA)

    Ben Revere – age 30 – LH
    .231/.283/.385/.670 (ST)
    .275/.308/.344/.652 (2017/MLB)

    Phil Gosselin – age 29 – RH
    .240/.269/.280/.549 (ST)
    .266/.304/.336/.640 (2017/AAA)

    Cliff Pennington – age 34 – SH
    .182/.280/.182/.462 (ST)
    .253/.306/.330/.635 (2017/MLB)

    Patrick Kivlehan – age 28 – RH
    .136/.269/.182/.451 (ST)
    .208/.304/.399/.703 (2017/MLB)

    Darnell Sweeney – age 27 – SH
    .045/.222/.091/.313 (ST)
    .281/.355/.420/.775 (2017/AAA)

    • I do not see a roll on the 25-man roster for Pennington, Gosselin or Revere.

      I don’t see how Blandino and Dixon fail to make the 25-man roster.

      That leaves just one utility OF spot open between Ervin, Herrera and Williams.

      Blandino provides a platoon partner for Scotter at 2B to give him ample playing time along with a utility and PH role. After the season Blandino had at AAA last year, he needs playing regular time.

      I think Ervin, Herrera and Williams all have ceilings as MLB utility OF, so limiting their playing time as strictly utility players should not have a negative impact on their development.

      • I do see a role that Revere, Pennington, & Gosselin play on the 25 man (&40 man) rosters. Gumming up the works so the Reds are unable to pick up a player or 2 off the waiver wire in 2 weeks, playing mediocre baseball for a couple months, & being released by ASB. We’ve seen this movie before.

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