The Reds host a San Francisco Giants split squad today at 4:05 p.m. Eastern time. It’s the 40th anniversary of a unique tradition started by the team:

Unfortunately, no television today. You can listen to an audio webcast on Reds.com and MLB.com. Today’s Reds lineup:

Today is a big, big start for Cody Reed. He can keep his hopes alive for a spot on the major league pitching staff, or even in the starting rotation, with a lights-out performance. If he struggles with control and command, it’s probably off to Louisville again.

Reed has a legitimate chance to stick as a lefty reliever, thanks to this development this morning:

Former Cleveland Indian Crockett was acquired with the intent of competing for a lefthanded reliever spot, but he didn’t do well. Veteran Oliver Perez, signed at the outset of camp, hasn’t gotten anyone out. If Manager Bryan Price is going to have a bullpen lefty other than Wandy Peralta available, it would seemingly be Reed or nobody at this point.

Other pitchers listed as possible today include Perez (Coincidence? Perhaps not), Peralta, Austin Brice, David Hernandez, Kevin Quackenbush, Tanner Rainey and Zach Weiss.

Nice to see Winker batting leadoff and Schebler in center field today. Many at Redleg Nation hope this will be the way Price will stack the lineup when Billy Hamilton does not play. We’ll echo the suggestion of many others here at Redleg Nation that Hamilton should not be in the starting lineup against lefthanders, since his righthanded batting is clearly worse than when he hits from the left side. (Today’s scheduled Giants starter, Chris Stratton, is a righthander.)

12 days until Opening Day!

There are still many decisions to be made in the next dozen days, with 45 players still in camp. The 40-man roster sits at 37, and could be reduced even further if Anthony DeSclafani goes on the 60-day disabled list. If that move is made retroactively, that would make him eligible around mid-May. There is still time to claim players off the waiver wire, as well as add some of the players currently in camp as non-roster players and on minor league deals. As we have learned with Dan Straily and Scooter Gennett, General Manager Dick Williams can find some true gems out there as training camp winds down.

This story published today shows the caliber of player a team like the Dodgers might expose to waivers. There will be names we don’t expect to see.

Tom Mitsoff is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Ohio. He lived a teenage life atypical of most his age by prioritizing following the Reds. At one point in the 1970s and early 1980s, Tom kept complete scorecards on more than 1,000 consecutive Reds games. Now that adult life has forced him to move on from his beloved Southwest Ohio, he follows the Reds daily through MLB.TV and other online media sources, including Redleg Nation.

Join the conversation! 61 Comments

  1. Interesting that Turner was cut. That makes two players who were with the Reds all of last season who won’t break camp with the team this year. Love that Blandino continues to get a look. Rooting for Reed.

    • Turner was never in the Reds plans for 2018, unless as an injury replacement for Mesoraco or Barnhart. I just hope he can develop some offensive capability at AAA this season, even just a little.

      The Old Cossack echos the love for Blandino getting an extended look during ST. He’s the only middle IF remaining who is capable of plattooning effectively with Scooter at 2B and not platooning Scooter at 2B would be a gross act of malfeasance.

      There is no reason to avoid placing Disco on the 60-day DL when a 40-man roster spot is needed. The waiver wire could have some gems available over the next couple of weeks, maybe a LHP or two for the bullpen? I really hope the Reds do not utilize the 40-man roster for adding Gosselin, Pennington or Revere.

      • The Reds don’t like platoons based on handedness. It’s annoying. Scooter will be out there against both LHP and RHP. Funny because he’s never really hit LHP much at all. The big grand-slam last year that he hit off a tough LHP, right after I said he’s never hit lefties, was pretty awesome though.

    • Turner was only on the roster because he was a rule 5 pick and would have been returned to the Twins if he was not on the roster

  2. Big start today for Reed. Big start for Garrett tomorrow.
    Once the season is under way, I don’t think there will be many lineup issues.
    TA couple of players on other teams worth watching the next week and a half will be Cleveland LHP Ryan Merritt. Out of options and not a lock for Indians bullpen. A lot of starts in the minors. Not a hard thrower. He had some success on Cleveland’s World Series run.
    The other is past uber prospect Nick Franklin, an INF with a little OF time. He is with the Brewers on a minor league contract. He will have to be added to a crowded Brewers 40 man roster. But he is having a great spring so far. Brewers have several vying for a backup INF spot.

  3. Cody is missing bats through his first 2 innings.

    c

  4. I hope Reed continues to have a good game. Earn another start or two, and crack the rotation. I think it’ll be him, Finnegan, or Garrett starting the 5th starter’s game. Or, the Reds might send Mahle to AAA and 2 of the above are on the opening day roster. Because if Mahle is as good as he’s showing and has shown, why not leave him down for 6-7 weeks and have him locked up for 2024?

  5. Looks like Reed got the benefit of some timely defense in the 3rd with 3 consecutive hits, including a double, without giving up a run. Tip o’ the cap to Jesse Winker throwing out the runner trying to stretch a double into a triple and Mesoraco with the putout at 2B on the runner trying to stretch a single into a double. I hope we can get some replays somewhere, especially Mesoraco’s put out at 2B!

  6. Reed not so fortunate in the 4th with solo dingers to Posey and Slater.

  7. Giving up two home runs on 0-2 pitches won’t help Reed’s cause.

  8. The Marlins have acquired third baseman Eric Jagielo from the Reds in exchange for cash considerations. That leaves Rookie Davis as the only player still with the Reds from the Aroldis Chapman deal.

    • The worst part of the trade was that the Yankees turned Chapman into one of the top prospects in the game trading him to the Cubs

      • And I think we all saw that coming as soon as BC forced the Reds to unload Chapman.

        • Yep, still can’t forgive them for that panic trade. Possibly their best chip and they fumbled. Circumstances at the time notwithstanding, there were no indications that Chapman was going to miss significant time. They took so damn long to trade Frazier, Cueto, etc. and then they go and dump Chapman overnight. It’s no wonder we’re looking at 2019 at best before they have a shot to get back into contention.

          • That wasn’t a panic trade. The Cincinnati insular corporate community and CEO scorecards and Fortune 500 crowd mandated to Bob to get rid of him immediately or else. The corporate sponsorships and donations to the Reds community fund and RBI program were and are contingent on a lot of nonbaseball things. The Reds corporate sponsors and CEO ‘s tell Big Bob what to do.

          • That may be. But the scenario you just described is the definition of a panic trade when looking at it from the Reds ownership standpoint. They should have stayed the course but they didn’t.

          • I thought they received a reasonable return in the Cueto trade, but probably could have done much better if they would have pulled the rtrigger earlier. They totally whiffed by failing to trade Frazier when the iron was hot and the Chapman trade was nothing more than a travesty. Those were almost certainly the responsibility of the owner vying for short-term public opinion rather than long-term value. Add the bumbling front office’s failure to trade Cozart at the trade deadline with a solid offer on the table while the front office bungled the Bruce trade at the same trade deadlin and ended up with nothing but damaged goods and there’s a lot of top prospects left off the Reds prospect lists for the next half dozen seasons.

      • Yeah…I’m gonna keep reveling in the Suarez for Simon into an extension news. This one hurt then and just keeps getting worse. Please no one mention that Chapman should’ve been starting and won a few playoff games…grr nevermind!

        • Btw, Cossack, was that a typo or are you secretly a HOFer in MLB The Show, gaming it up with the right trigger? 🙂

        • Perhaps Chapman should have been given a longer look as a starter. Not the same as saying he should have been starting. He wouldn’t have been throwing 102 in the 6th inning, and would have had to work hard on the command of the slider and change.

  9. Schebler gives the Reds a 4-2 lead on bases loaded 2 rbi single. Winker rbi single. Gosselin rbi single.

  10. Apparently Reed didn’t walk anyone in 4 innings. Giving up 2 homers isn’t great but I think it’s an encouraging outing for him. Fifth spot is Garrett’s to lose anyway, in my view. I’d like to see Reed pitch well enough to either be in the BP or start in Louisville. I think today is a step in the right direction.

    Btw, really nice to see Winker, scheb, message and blandino all make positive contributions. Scheb doesn’t want to set this year!

  11. I meant “Mes” above. Not message.

  12. Schebler’s run in Spring Training brings me back to the age old question of whether ST stats really matter…and…is Bryan Price committed to setting up this team for the contention window, or trying to win to save his job?

    If the stats do matter and the Reds are truly focused on using this season to set things up for 2019 and beyond…Duvall, Schebler and Winker start Opening Day, and Hamilton sits.

    I have no problem playing on DraftKings or making the occasional baseball-related wager, but no chance I would bet on Price sitting Hamilton (or Duvall) extensively for the long-term good of the Reds.

    • I am not confident this “rotation” is actually going to happen. I think it will be Duvall, Hamilton, Schebler as the everyday lineup. Duvall has shown he needs ore off days so there is hope that Winker can get some of those starts and also the any days off Schebler gets. What will have the biggest influence will probably be injuries. Hamilton’s style of defense often leads to injuries and chances are someone else in the outfield is injured at some point. This will where Winker will get a real chance to start

  13. Quackenbush an inning with 3 K’s.
    Hernandez 1 inning no runs.
    Wandy Peralta not good. 2 runs on 3 hits. He might not have a bullpen spot anymore. He has been brutal.

    • You have to wonder about Quackenbush — no runs allowed so far all spring. I have no idea about his stuff, velocity, etc. It would be difficult to cut a veteran who pitched this well all spring if it continues.

      • Speaking of video games…I hope he makes it just so I can think of Nintendo’s Duck Hunt every time he steps on the hill.

      • Seat101 was asking about him the other day. The line looks good. Spring Training is the caveat. I haven’t seen him pitch though and haven’t heard any first-hand accounts from someone who has this spring. His name hasn’t been mentioned much but like I told Seat101, it may be hard to leave him off the 25-man.

  14. Rainey closes out a 5-4 win with an inning and 3 K’s. Really like this guy.

  15. Some interesting bullpen decisions coming down the pike soon. Both Peraza and Lorenzen struggled mightly during the 2nd half last season and neither has aquitted themself very well during ST. Could either or both find themselves with a trip to AAA entering the season while the Reds give some other arms a chance to prove what they can do at the MLB level? Certainly their ST performance wouldn’t justify sucha move, but that combined with their 2nd half performance last season might.

  16. If Price leaves Winker on the bench for 3 or 4 days out of 7, there may be a riot, or worse, a boycott.

    • If you listened to the audio of today’s game, both Marty and Brantley were very critical of Winker’s play in left field. There was a game last year when Marty commented that if Winker was going to be an everyday player, it would have to be in left — apparently because of his inability to play acceptable defense in right. I think we all hope Winker can make a difference, but I sure hope he can play an acceptable outfield defense. You can’t have him out there on a regular basis if he can’t.

      • I wonder if b and b are told to support the party line? He hasn’t looked awful to me in the OF, though his range may be lacking.

      • Virtually every scouting report that mentions his defense has said he is capable of LF only, I don’t read too much into it. Unless his power really starts developing, his value is capped more than people want to admit. He could end up being less valuable than a Duvall type, despite the OBP gap

      • Clearly baseball is in a new era of unprecedented speed, defense and pitching.

        Never seen an organizational hit job like this…trashing its best young hitter in a decade.

        Be done with it. Trade Winker. You will get a haul. Paul Daugherty- Marty’s best bud argued to trade Joey Votto for Erik Bedard a decade ago…look it up. Here we go again.

        Where will Adam Duvall be in 5 years?
        Where will Billy Hamilton be in 5 years?
        Where will Jesse Winker be in 5 years

        One of the 3 will still be playing and one of the top hitters in baseball.

        • Yeah, it’s weird. Not sure what the issue is with the Winker hate. He’s no gold glover but he’s a capable RF or LF and his bat will certainly play. It’s amazing how much people have overlooked just how unproductive the Reds outfielders have been overall these past couple of seasons.

          Does he have the power of Schebler or Duvall? No. But it actually doesn’t matter because he’ll make better contact and be more productive anyway. Even though we can all agree that he has less range then any of the current outfielders, he’s no oaf and can play at least average defense in one of the corner positions.

          We’ve seen the peak of Hamilton and Duvall at least. Schebler we’re still deciding. They’re nice players but neither BH or Duvall is going to get better. Winker is 24 and has skill and time on his side. Why not give him a shot? It’s not like the Reds would be sacrificing much.

        • Add to it that SS/2B/OF (x3) all field something like 20-25% fewer balls these days (sorry, forget where i read that recently, i think the Athletic about DeJong and Senzel moving to SS) and D is less important than ever. Lots of Ks and the balls that get squared up go out more often. In Great American Small Park, OF D is nice but overrated. Add to it that most of our staff’s issues with “pitching well” involve walks, not being easily hittable, and who cares if a potential .290/.380/.450 (conservatively) guy is a mediocre fielder. Beats Dunn!

          • The article I remember deemphasizing the value of CF defense in particular was an analysis in Fangraphs from maybe a year ago?

      • The thing that bothers me the most is that you can be an every day player with a 120+ wRC+, which is likely what Winker puts up annually.

        You don’t even need to be “slightly below average.” You can be “solidly below average” and still be a fine every day player.

        And nothing I’ve seen indicates that Winker is worse than “solidly below average.”

        Fielding just doesn’t have the impact that hitting does. Last year, the best fielder (Andrelton Simmons) (averaging UZR and DRS) was worth about 25 runs above average. The best hitter (Mr. Votto) was worth 64 runs above average on offense.

        Going back year over year, the ratio is always about the same. Offense is about 150% more important than defense to run differential.

        • I’ve long suspected that offense should be weighted 1.5 – 2 times over defense, but that’s the first time I’ve seen numbers backing it.

          • We can always count on Patrick to provide numerical context to our awareness.

        • I wonder how many world chanpions have been poor defensively?

          • Probably none were bottom 2 or 3 teams defensively. That said, many have had below average defenders at 1 to 3 spots, with some having brutal defense at one spot.

  17. The Old Cossack missed the announcement that Kivlehan was cut already.

    • I did not hear this either. This must increase the probability that Revere makes the team. Not good.

      • You got that right. But we could almost see this coming when they signed Revere to a minor league contract. No disrespect meant to Revere but Kivlehan is more versatile and useful to the Reds bench.

        • Revere will be revered by the booth for his lifetime .284 average. Too bad he has no power and doesn’t walk much…662 OPS lifetime.

          (Sorry for that pun…)

          • Ha, yes I can’t wait to tune in this season to hear Marty talk that up as Revere hits leadoff. Hopefully they’ll let Winker be the first PH off the bench but only if his statistical history against pitcher X shows that he was at least 1 for 2.

          • You know that both he and Pennington will make the opening day 25-man, right?

          • At least Pennington is solid at SS. Revere isn’t even really much of a defender in CF anymore. Likely better than Schebler these days but probably no better than average defensively. He’s also never possessed a particularly good arm but now it’s a noodle. It isn’t quite Juan Pierre or Johnny Damon bad but it’s pretty bad.

  18. I thought kivlehan was a nice bench player

  19. I know that ST performance have virtually no predictive value, but there are some performaces through the first 16 games that make opening day very encouraging. Just 9 games remaining in ST before opening day!

    …OBP…..ISO…..OPS
    . 0.543 . 0.355 . 1.414 Scott Schebler
    . 0.423 . 0.462 . 1.333 Tucker Barnhart
    . 0.400 . 0.229 . 1.079 Jesse Winker
    . 0.342 . 0.333 . 0.948 Eugenio Suarez
    . 0.368 . 0.273 . 0.944 Adam Duvall
    . 0.394 . 0.186 . 0.912 Devin Mesoraco

    That’s 5 of the 8 starters plus the backup catcher.

    …OBP…..ISO…..OPS
    . 0.368 . 0.278 . 0.980 Brandon Dixon (non-40)
    . 0.400 . 0.036 . 0.793 Alex Blandino
    . 0.353 . 0.031 . 0.717 Phil Gosselin (non-40)
    . 0.214 . 0.358 . 0.714 Rosell Herrera (non-40)
    . 0.273 . 0.121 . 0.688 Mason Williams (non-40)
    . 0.324 . 0.097 . 0.678 Phillip Ervin
    . 0.323 . 0.000 . 0.545 Cliff Pennington (non-40)
    . 0.200 . 0.105 . 0.463 Ben Revere (non-40)

    Those are the 8 players competing for 3 utility roles. Based on their ST performances and historical performance at AAA or MLB and position flexibility, Blandino and Dixon should have 2 of the available utility roles locked up. Based on ST performance and historical performance at AAA or MLB, Revere and Pennington should be cut and eliminated from consideration. Based on the need for an addition LH bat off the bench and the ability to play CF, Mason Williams may have the edge for the final utility role.

    …OBP…..ISO…..OPS
    . 0.345 . 0.116 . 0.729 Scooter Gennett
    . 0.275 . 0.105 . 0.643 Jose Peraza
    . 0.356 . 0.000 . 0.512 Joey Votto
    . 0.297 . 0.000 . 0.431 Billy Hamilton

    Those are the 3 remaining starters with 1 of the OF rotation. Joey Votto will take care of business as usual. Jose Peraza will have 3 months to demonstrate he can lock down the SS position, offensively and defensively. Scooter Gennett should split and absolute platoon with Alex Blandino at 2B, at least for 3 months. Tucker Barnhart should split an absolute platoon with Devin Mesoraco at C.

    That OF rotation is problematic at best. I guess the best option would be for Hamilton to start in CF against RHP and Schebler to start in CF against LHP. Winker and Schebler divide time in RF against RHP. Duvall start in LF against LHP with Duvall and Winker dividing time in LF against RHP. That puts Hamilton and Winker in the lineup together against RHP and both out of the lineup against LHP, so neither Hamilton nor Winker would be in the lineup to lead off against LHP. Geez I hate to trust Price with managing that OF rotation, no matter how it is set up.

    The Reds should be very diligent about working the waiver wire to come up with a possible LH option to play CF and a LH option to pitch from the bullpen.

    • Only issue is that this is a rebuild, still. Blandino may be playing daily at 2B in AAA, working with Senzel on the double plays. I’d say next year, or maybe by summer, you’re dead on.

      • Why? Do they see Blandino as a regular? I don’t. He could platoon with Scooter plus he can play a little SS and Peraza is shaky. In reality…I’m sure they’ll go Skip “True Grit” Schumaker on us and force Pennington and Revere onto the Opening day roster. Probably Oliver Perez too. I’m just glad we didn’t sign Bartolo Colon or Simon again. DW and company are like the pickers on the History Channel that are addicted to looking thru junk to find that one treasure. I’ve always despised it!! Just play your young guys and be done with it.

        • I’m doubting Perez makes it but I think you’re probably right about everything else. If the Reds think Blandino is a starting 2B then I can see justification in playing him in AAA every day. Like you however, I don’t really see him as an every day player. I see a utility guy. If the Reds think he’s a utility guy, they should go ahead and get him started in that role at MLB.

      • Dave, I’m not willing to concede the 2018 season to a rebuild yet, despite the apparent long odds of success. I’ll believe the pitching will become a strenght of the team until proven otherwise and the offense will produce a lot of runs with sound management until proven otherwise. It’s the nature of spring. Blandino may very well turn out to be a MLB starting 2B after he reestablished his career potential last season in AA AND AAA. He’s still only 25 year old and knocking on the door.

        IF(!) Blandino will not serve in a strict platoon with Scooter and spell Peraza at SS and serve as a primary RH pinch hitter off the bench, the Reds SHOULD option him to AAA for regular playing time, but Blandino provides the best option (good defense and good offense) to platoon with Scooter at 2B and provide the Reds the best opportunity to win. Blandino might actually turn out to be a platoon partner with Winker in the leadoff position of the lineup, causing Price’s head to simply implode.

      • Unless Scooter continues to mash against RHP like he has during his career and is willing to accept a platoon role (and salary) based on a platoon role, his time with the Reds will soon end and the IF landscape will undergo a metamorphosis in 2-3 seasons. A boatload of SS prospects are on the horizon and Shed Long is charging toward 2B at GABP. Senzel may be playing SS, may be playing 2B or may be playing in the OF at GABP. Blandino could be a factor at 2B also.

        If Blandino proves to be a starting caliber 2B at the MLB level, I don’t see him becoming an all star caliber starting 2B at the major league level, so I have no problem giving him a shot now and seeing what he can do at the major league level.

    • There is no way that neither Revere nor Pennington make the roster. It’s likely both make it.

  20. I just read that Dodgers link. It reiterates a point made by me and others before: we do not have a logjam of outfielders. The Dodgers have a logjam.

    We have the barely acceptable amount of depth a successful organization should have.

    Here’s hoping dick is reaching out to the Dodgers and attempting to acquire pieces even before they hit waivers.

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About Tom Mitsoff

Tom Mitsoff is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Ohio. He lived a teenage life atypical of most his age by prioritizing following the Reds. At one point in the 1970s and early 1980s, Tom kept complete scorecards on more than 1,000 consecutive Reds games. Now that adult life has forced him to move on from his beloved Southwest Ohio, he follows the Reds daily through MLB.TV and other online media sources, including Redleg Nation.

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2018 Reds, 2018 Spring Training, Game Thread

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