The Reds travel to Salt River Fields to play the Arizona Diamondbacks. The game starts at 4:10 p.m. ET. Radio is WLW-700. The video broadcast is on the MLB Network and Fox Sports Ohio. Here is Bryan Price’s starting lineup:
- Ben Revere CF
- Jesse Winker LF
- Joey Votto 1B
- Scooter Gennett DH
- Eugenio Suarez 3B
- Scott Schebler RF
- Jose Peraza SS
- Tucker Barnhart C
- Alex Blandino 2B
Robert Stephenson gets the start. Other pitchers available include Jimmy Herget, Kevin Shackelford, Kevin Quackenbush, Tanner Rainey, Jackson Stephens, Zack Weiss and Vance Worley.
Bench INF of note: Nick Senzel, Cliff Pennington, Brandon Dixon, Phil Gosselin and Patrick Kivlehan. Backup OF: Phillip Ervin, Rosell Herrera and Mason Williams
Lineup Notes Fast CF gets the most PA. Winker, playing LF with Adam Duvall getting a day off, is also at the top of the order. Scooter Gennett is the DH while Alex Blandino gets a look at 2B. Otherwise it’s the Reds starting position players.
Injury Proves Helpful Dilson Herrera is out of options. That means the Reds can’t send him to the minor leagues without passing him through waivers where any team could claim him. It looked like their options were limited to putting Herrera on the Opening Day roster or stashing him on the DL, where he wouldn’t be able to play.
Instead, the club cleverly ran him through waivers and Herrera cleared yesterday. The lack of interest by other teams was surely related to Herrera’s nagging shoulder injury and that the receiving club would be faced with the same no-good options as the Reds. A somewhat risky move by the club paid off. If Herrera had been claimed, the Reds would have traded 1.5 years of Jay Bruce for nothing. Herrera can rehab and play in AAA all year, until his call-up is merited.
Rotation Competition Heats Up Even with injuries to pitchers Anthony DeSclafani (oblique strain) and Brandon Finnegan (bicep strain), the Reds still have a significant battle going for the Opening Day starting rotation. We’ve talked before about the uneven competition faced by pitchers in spring training. By now, starters go at least 4 innings and maybe 5. That means pitchers who enter the game after that don’t face many, if any, major league hitters, so it’s hard to judge how well they’re doing.
The Reds are moving Sal Romano and Homer Bailey to minor league games on Friday and Saturday. Luis Castillo flew to New York where his wife is delivering their first child. That clears a wide-open path to give the next tier of pitchers a good look. Price is in no hurry to make final decisions on his rotation, nor should he be. John Fay reported on Price’s thinking.
Stephenson is starting today. Tyler Mahle will start tomorrow. Michael Lorenzen on Friday. Cody Reed starts Saturday. Amir Garrett goes on Sunday. One advantage of this set-up is that it makes the situation as plain as can be. On the other hand, you hate to see Opening Day rosters determined by one or two starts. Given the circumstances, that’s where things are.
Finnegan Status According to John Fay, Brandon Finnegan was cleared to play catch today. Bryan Price still holds out the possibility that Finnegan could start the year on the active roster. Finnegan could be the fifth starter with a skipped turn due to first-week off-days.
Framing Stephenson’s Start Nick Carrington has this right. Again, don’t evaluate the start by runs/hits allowed as much as walks, strikeouts, ground balls and how hard they hit Stephenson.
Huge start for Bob Steve today. After his outing, we will either say he is trending in the right direction or that he has struggled in 3 of his 4 Spring appearances. Big difference in a tight competition.
— Nick Carrington (@ncarrington14) March 14, 2018
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.