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:
- Phillip Ervin CF
- Phil Gosselin 3B
- Joey Votto 1B
- Devin Mesoraco C
- Scooter Gennett DH
- Jose Peraza SS
- Jesse Winker RF
- Rosell Herrera LF
- 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.
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:
I'd love to see the Reds keep Alex Blandino on the roster and start him at 2B against left handers. He's got some starting potential and could begin adjusting to MLB pitching while providing defensive flexibility at multiple infield positions.
— Nick Carrington (@ncarrington14) March 19, 2018
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.
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.