The Reds play the Cubs at Goodyear Ballpark tonight. The game starts at 9:05 p.m. ET. Radio broadcast on WLW. No television. Here’s Bryan Price’s lineup, facing Cubs LH starter Jon Lester:

  1. Phillip Ervin CF
  2. Phil Gosselin 3B
  3. Joey Votto 1B
  4. Devin Mesoraco C
  5. Scooter Gennett DH
  6. Jose Peraza SS
  7. Jesse Winker RF
  8. Rosell Herrera LF
  9. Cliff Pennington 2B

Robert Stephenson pitches for the Reds, followed by a combination of David Hernandez, Jared Hughes, Kevin Shackelford, Oliver Perez and Tanner Rainey. Alex Blandino, Brandon Dixon and Nick Senzel are backup IF. Sebastian Elizalde, Ben Revere and Mason Williams are backup OF.

Photo: Jim Young, USA Today Sports

Scooter Back Scooter Gennett makes his first appearance since Wednesday. He’s been held out due to “sore right shoulder.” The home team determines whether the DH is used and Price chose to do that tonight so that Scooter could get a few swings.

Leadoff Battle Here are the latest numbers on the alleged competition to lead off.

  • Hamilton: .121/.275/.121 – 10K, 7 BB in 40 PA – no extra-base hits
  • Winker: .400/.450/.629 – 2K, 3BB in 38 PA – 5 doubles, 1 homer

I know who I’d give the most plate appearances. Jesse Winker has earned it. It’s not just the hit skill and the on-base skill, it’s power, too. Even if Hamilton could scratch together a .320 OBP, it would still be largely hollow. Bat him lower ahead of singles hitters where stealing second would have the most effect.

Meanwhile, here’s how Ben Revere is doing this spring:

  • Revere: .150/.190/.250 with 3K and 1BB in 21 PA

Hot Spring Usual spring training caveats apply, but here are noteworthy guys swinging it:

  • Schebler: .515/.553/.939 – 8K, 3BB, 3HR, 5 doubles
  • Mesoraco: .333/.394/.519 – 4K, 3BB, HR, 2 doubles
  • Blandino: .387/.394/.519 – 4K, 2BB

C. Trent Rosecrans had an informative post about Blandino a few days ago.

A first-round pick out of Stanford in 2014, the 25-year-old Blandino is having a standout spring this season. “I don’t know what’s going to happen with the rest of camp or the beginning of the season, but I’m ready for whatever the Reds have in store for me,” Blandino said.

Nick Carrington had this suggestion for Bryan Price regarding Blandino this morning:

Homer to Open Confirming baseless speculation on March 2, Homer Bailey has the inside track to pitch on Opening Day, according to John Fay. It would be a first for the 31-year-old. Bailey threw 87 pitches in a minor-league game Saturday. He worked 6 innings with 1BB and 9Ks. The Reds drafted Bailey in 2004 at the age of 18. Here’s how several of us answered the question back in October of who would pitch on Opening Day.

49 Responses

  1. Patrick Jeter

    Jose Peraza batting 6th and Jesse Winker batting 7th.

    I wonder how many times we’ll see Peraza in front of Winker when they are both in the bottom half of the lineup.

    You’d think the answer would be “zero.”

    • Steve Mancuso

      Price’s brain: Left-handed pitcher

      • doofus

        Price is not capable of thinking outside the box. I’m sorry, but he’s got to be one of the dumbest managers of all time. Winker should get some PA’s against a LH pitcher….IT’S A SPRING TRAINING GAME!!!!

      • KDJ

        The center fielder must bat first. Must. Must. That is how it is done. The CF bats first.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Might be because they’re facing a lefty in Lester.

      • lwblogger2

        Yes, that’s what Steve said above… I’m wondering however if Winker was a better matchup against Lester than Peraza? If Winker does have an offensive flaw, it’s that he hasn’t hit lefties very well in his MiLB career.

      • lwblogger2

        Looks like Peraza had a nice day at the plate last night. He struggled on the bases and in the field though.

      • DRE

        Good players hit no matter what side the pitcher is throwing

  2. lwblogger2

    Stephenson is throwing a change-up in that shot.

  3. Chris Miller

    I love the “alleged” sarcasm. If it were me at this point, BH would be the 4th outfielder, who is used much Juan Castro was used. Bring him in defensively as often as it makes sense to do so. Winker is going to be much better than many think he is.

    • David

      Bob Castellini doesn’t think that the Great Billy Hamilton with his new contract should be a “4th outfielder”.
      If it were my team, he would have been traded after the 2017 season, for ….whatever. I am tired of the Billy Hamilton show.
      Billy is a really nice guy, and plays a very good centerfield. But I doubt he will be an important part of a Reds team that can contend for a division championship. There is just not enough OPS in his bat.

  4. WVRedlegs

    One nice thing about Dixon is all his spring He’s have come when he has come off the bench except maybe one. That sure displays an ability to be able to handle the difficult pinch hitting duties.
    Blamdino has several hits coming off the bench too this spring. The Reds can have some pop off the bench with Dixon, Mespraco, 1 of the 4 OF rotation, and even Ervin has shown a little pop.
    I don’t think there is room for Pennington and Revere.

    • lwblogger2

      You know they’ll likely both be there (Pennington and Revere) and I’d be completely floored if neither are on the 25-man on opening day… I like what I’ve seen of Dixon in the box-scores and a couple ABs I’ve seen this spring. I do not like what I’ve seen from him at other times. He has a long swing and it seems like he needs to get started early to get to the balls. Well located fastballs and decent off-speed pitches are going to get him out. He looks like a classic “mistake hitter” to me. Ervin on the other hand is a guy I really like. I don’t see a starter but I do see a really nice 4th OF there.

  5. doofus

    Blandino should make the 25-man out of ST. I would have experimented with him in CF this spring. With his on-base ability, if he could be a credible CFer we might have something, but alas we have a manager that is incapable of thinking out of the box. Look at what Dave Roberts did with Chris Taylor last year.

    • lwblogger2

      I don’t think the wheels are there. Schebler has better speed and he’s only marginal because his reads and routes aren’t the best. I wouldn’t think Blandino’s reads would be any better as he’s never really been out there.

  6. VaRedsFan

    Senzel has been assigned to the minor league camp

    • WVRedlegs

      It happened. The question now is how long does he stay down, 2 weeks or 2 months?

    • Shchi Cossack

      I get the impression that Senzel is pretty well grounded as a person and player. This ST certainly didn’t hurt in that regard as his first exposure to some MLB competition. Some time at AAA to work on his craft will be a good thing for him now. There is absolutely no reason to rush him to the show before he has proven ready for the jump.

      • VaRedsFan

        John Fay said he needs 3 weeks to gain a year of control. If Peraza is struggling, bring him up

      • Shchi Cossack

        It’s not about service time and it’s not about Jose Peraza. It’s about Nick Senzel. Senzel has not had a single PA in AAA and only a half season in AA. In ST, facing the best pitchers he’s ever faced, Senzel put up a .633 OPS in 29 PA.

        Everyone, including the Old Cossack, expects Senzel to perform at a very high level but let’s wait until he has proven he’s ready before we rush him to the show. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with giving Senzel 2-3 months at AAA to see how he adjusts. That’s not even mentioning his defensive adjustment. Give the kid a chance to adapt and get comfortable. There’s just no reason to rush him along and 2-3 months at AAA will only help his adjustment to the show once he is promoted.

      • Jack

        Totally agree. Let’s just hope they play him at Shortstop in AAA. This is the Reds you know. Will not be surprised if they have him playing third. Face Palm here.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Already reported that Senzel will play 2B at AAA.

  7. kmartin

    Certainties in life: 1) death, 2) taxes, 3) the center fielder leads off.

  8. JR

    Nothing personal but having Revere in Camp is a joke. Took away playing time from our young guys, our future and our re-build. Love what Dixon and Blandino have done this spring. Wish we had an open-minded manager.

    • BigRedMike

      The Revere signing really is confusing considering they already have Ervin. Not sure what Revere brings that is equal to or even better than Ervin.

      • jay johnson

        he bats left handed.The only one of the “so called”possible position players to make the 25 man.
        Get him outta here.

  9. VaRedsFan

    Bob Steve right into the fire. 2 hits and a walk leading off the game

    • VaRedsFan

      followed by a strikeout, hit and escaped with a double play. No Bryant or Rizzo in the lineup. Stay clean for the next 3 innings, and turn this into a positive outing

      • Colorado Red

        But now have give up 2 runs in less then 2 innings.

  10. Travis R Martin

    I think the positive outing train has left the station.

    • VaRedsFan

      Yup…single, HBP… then a hit by Lester. Lucky to get a line out for another DP.

  11. Shchi Cossack

    The first time through the lineup and the Reds had 3 baserunners: Ervin (single), Gennett (single and Winker (walk). Winker just gets on base, over and over and over and…

    Stephenson with 5-H, 2-BB, 1-WP, 1-HBP and 1-Balk in 3 innings of play. His ticket to AAA has been punched.

  12. Seat101

    Tonight’s game reminds me of Dusty Baker’s teams when half the players weren’t there mentally.

  13. Seat101

    Not every day. But two or Three times a month wasn’t uncommon

  14. Aaron Bradley

    Don’t look now, but two hits for scooter including a double against a tough lefty.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Another hit by Mesoraco and a hit by Peraza to drive in Mesoraco and Gennett. Then Peraza gets caught stealing, geesh!

      • VaRedsFan

        How can you not steal on Lester? Both him and Ervin have CS’s

      • Aaron Bradley

        Nice to see Peraza come thru in the clutch. The stealing will probably take more time to master. Lester is notoriously bad at holding runners so he should have gotten a good jump, but then again the lefty is facing you so easier said than done.

  15. Broseph

    Tracker was showing Shackleford getting squeezed on the strike zone against Schwarber. All four pitches same spot on bottom of zone called balls. Is tracker off, or are Cubs getting Cub treatment?

  16. VaRedsFan

    Reds pen this spring has been mostly bad, when the non SP’s pitch

  17. Chad Dotson

    Looks like I’m going to go to bed while listening to the Reds broadcast. Reminds me of being a kid and falling asleep with Marty and Joe on the west coast broadcasts.

    I simply cannot wait for the season to begin.

    • Darrin

      I remember doing the same thing, ah memories

    • Tservo

      Man, right in the feels. So many times I’d fall asleep listening to Marty and Joe on my little clock radio (before they nerfed 700 WLW’s output and it was still clear in Toledo). Best nights was when I had a breeze coming in the windows and my dad would come in and lie down on my floor and listen along with me.

      • lwblogger2

        Great story… Great name too Tom Servo!

      • Satchmo

        For me, it was laying down in the back of my dad’s old pickup truck listening to 700 through the open back glass. We lived in a holler in eastern Kentucky, so the best place to pick up the game was in the truck. I still remember that lady winning a new car when her named was pulled in a contest and Eric Davis hit a grand slam. Best times of my life.

    • Redsfan4life

      Maybe it was because I was half asleep by the 3rd inn. or so, but it always sounded as if there were 50 million people in Dodger stadium. At least it sounded that way on the radio.

  18. Bill

    Sorry, but I remember listening to Waite Hoyt. On away games hearing the ticker in the background & Waite reading it off sounding like he was at the game.