Trevor Bauer will get his first start of the spring and match up against rodeo’s biggest star Mason Saunders of the Arizona D’Backs. First pitch is scheduled for 3:10pm ET at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

Cincinnati Reds (1-3) Starting Lineup

  1. Shogo Akiyama – CF
  2. Aristides Aquino – DH
  3. Curt Casali – C
  4. Scott Schebler – LF
  5. Kyle Farmer – SS
  6. Derek Dietrich – 1B
  7. Matt Davidson – 3B
  8. Stuart Fairchild – RF
  9. Alfredo Rodriguez – 2B
  10. Trevor Bauer – RHP

These guys are expected to pitch in relief today: Pedro Strop, Tyler Thornburg, Sal Romano, Matt Bowman, Joel Kuhnel, David Carpenter, Brooks Raley, and R.J. Alaniz.

Reserve players on today’s roster:

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Arizona D’Backs (2-2) Starting Lineup

  1. Jon Jay – CF
  2. Ketel Marte – 2B
  3. Kole Calhoun – RF
  4. Kevin Cron – 1B
  5. Jake Lamb – 3B
  6. Nick Ahmed – SS
  7. Stephen Vogt – C
  8. Tim Locastro – LF
  9. Seth Beer – DH
  10. Madison Bumgarner – LHP

Where to watch/listen/follow the game

The game will be live on the Reds on Radio Network. In the greater Cincinnati area the game will be available on 700 WLW AM. There will be no televised version of the game.

Reds links and news

Sonny Gray pitched yesterday for the Reds. After his outing he spoke with the media, noting he feels “really good” right now. We’ve got the full interview posted here if you happened to miss it.

Joel Sherman of the New York Posts is reporting that Major League Baseball plans to crack down on pitchers that are caught using foreign substances on the baseball this upcoming season. That’s going to be interesting to see if it means that they are looking for it more often rather than simply punishing those who are overly obvious in doing it with longer suspensions and or fines.

Joe Posnanski has been counting down Baseball’s Top 100 Players of all-time at The Athletic. Yesterday saw Johnny Bench come in at the #30 spot on the list. He joins the list with some other Reds, including Pete Rose (#60), Ken Griffey Jr.(#48), Tom Seaver (#41), and Christy Mathewson (#36 – he played one game with the Reds and I’m counting it).

The Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants announced last week that they would be helping out their minor league baseball players this season by giving them pay raises across the board, with the Giants going even further than that by also giving them housing allowances at most levels. This morning at RedsMinorLeagues.com I wrote about what it is that the Reds are, and aren’t doing in 2020, and what they spend their money on in the farm system – including where they try to help out the minor leaguers with regards to making things a little easier. But I also spoke about how the organization can do more.

Final: Reds 8 – D’Backs 0

It was the Tyler Stephenson show on Thursday, but the pitching was strong, too.

The Highlights

Cincinnati Reds #3 prospect Tyler Stephenson came on at catcher to replace Curt Casali and went 2-2 with a walk, double, home run, and four runs batted in to steal the show for the Reds on Thursday. His home run went 415 feet. He’s now 3-7 on the spring with two doubles and a homer. That’s how you start out a spring.

Both Derek Dietrich and Alex Blandino added home runs as well, with Blandino’s being a 2-run shot. Dietrich’s homer was 113 MPH off of the bat and came off of fellow lefty Madison Bumgarner.

On the mound we saw Trevor Bauer make his first appearance of the spring. He tossed 2.0 perfect innings with two strikeouts. Relievers Tyler Thornburg, Sal Romano, Matt Bowman, Joel Kuhnel, Brooks Raley, David Carpenter, and R.J. Alaniz all fired off shutout innings of relief with a combined seven strikeouts and just one walk. You can see the entire box score for the game right here.

52 Responses

  1. B-town fan

    Kinda of surprised that Johnny Bench considered the best player of all time at his position would only come in at #30 on that list.

    • RojoBenjy

      As long as JB is the highest ranked catcher on the list, the list will retain a modicum of integrity.

  2. Jeff Greer

    Can Schebler play first base as a backup to Votto?

    • RojoBenjy

      Sure if he holds real still and stays in the foul line—oh, you mean field the position?

  3. Seat101

    I am really excited about this lineup. How soon do the minor-league camps open?

    • Doug Gray

      Minor league games don’t start for 2.5 more weeks.

    • earmbrister

      Seat, is it Casali in the 3 hole, or Davidson in the 7 spot that has you excited?

  4. RedsFan11

    Got my OD SRO ticket today.. March 27th cant come sooner!

    • Mike Adams

      Posnanski is counting down the list.
      He only got to number 30 yesterday so I would speculate that Joe will be coming up in the top 29.
      If not, why should we listen to this guy!?

  5. TBD

    JB & MA
    Yea, Little Joe got to be in the top 30. Probably 25 – 30 range (pure speculation).

    • Doug Gray

      I’d also expect to see Frank Robinson in there.

  6. Grand Salami

    Bauer looked (sounded) good. Romano too although he got hit a little in the 4th.

  7. MBS

    Does anyone know who’s the better fielder, Payton, or Jankowski? If the 5th OF is a LHB Payton would provide some pop off the bench.

    • Doug Gray

      Reports suggest Jankowski’s the better defender. But I doubt anyone would argue he’s remotely close to being the better hitter of the two.

      • MBS

        Castellanos, Winker, Shogo are obvious locks out of spring barring injury. Senzel is a question mark in 2 ways 1, will he be ready, and will he play 2B if Suarez isn’t healthy. There is a good chance 1 of those 2 scenarios will come into play. If so Aquino should be a lock as the 4th. If I’m Dicky W, I’d break camp with Payton as my 5th.

  8. Indy Red Man

    Why don’t they just cut Schebler loose already? Give him some time in another camp. He’s got zero chance to make this team.

    • RojoBenjy

      The narrative here is split 50/50.

      Some say, “But he was injured. He may turn into something special now.”

      The others are like you and me.

      We agree to remain friends with all in spite of it.

      I will leave with this—the Schebler “he was injured” sounds a lot like the Peraza, “but he’s so young!” Not great apologetic arguments for either.

      • Doug Gray

        The difference is Scott Schebler hit 30 bombs in the Major Leagues when healthy and could play center field.

        Jose Peraza was a guy who you just hoped for.

  9. CI3J

    I’m glad they are giving Payton a long, serious look. He’s always put up good rate stats in the minors with a very nice OBP (.368), but last year his power took a serious step forward. He’s also 28, so he’s right on the cusp of his prime years. It’s kind of surprising he was available in the Rule 5 draft. I guess maybe people don’t like him because he’s a bit undersized (he’s listed as 5’8″), but I personally don’t care. If he can keep hitting like he did last year, he’s got a spot on this team.

    • B-town fan

      I don’t know all of the Rule 5 draft rules but could the Reds make a trade for Payton so they don’t have to keep him on the 26 man roster the whole season but not loose him and use him for depth?

      • BK

        It’s not quite as simple as just working out a trade with the A’s to keep him. Essentially, he must come off the 40-man roster (i.e., pass through waivers unclaimed by any other team) before a trade with his former team can occur. If he’s traded without clearing waivers, the Rule 5 draft stipulations follow him to his next team.

      • BK

        Thanks for the clarification; I had read that section differently.

  10. Old-school

    Trevor Bauer was a Cy young leader in 2018 until a freak injury in August. He was dominant. If he returns to 2018 form and Gray and Castillo pitch to their potential, that’s a formidable top 3.

    The Yankees lost Severino for the year and Paxton is out months. They must miss Gray now. If Sonny Gray pitches Opening day and no rain outs, he would be in line to start the finale at Yankee stadium in mid April.

    Votto in Toronto and Gray pitching again at Yankee stadium will be must see TV.

    • TBD

      Old-school
      They don’t miss the Gray they had in NY.
      and more importantly, Gray doesn’t miss the Yankees.

      • JB

        Maybe the Yankees would miss Sonny Gray if they would have let him throw his curve ball instead of demanding he throw his slider more. Maybe that’s why Larry Rothchild lost his job as Yankee Pitching Coach after last year.

  11. AirborneJayJay

    Nice pitching today. Reds up 4-0 in middle of the 7th over the Dbacks is a good day.

  12. Old-school

    Tyler Stephenson and Jose Garcia are having a strong start after having strong years. Get Senzel and Hunter Greene healthy , Nick Lodolo warmed up, Jonathan India hitting and the Reds 25 and under prospects are just fine.

    • MBS

      It would be nice to see both guys accelerate their progress in 2020. It could make them both outside chances for the 2021 roster. Greene has no chance for 2021, but Lodolo could also be an outside chance guy for 2021.

      • Optimist

        2021? I expect we see Stephenson later this year, given the position and injury depth needed. As for Garcia, if he starts hot in AA, and gets the mid-season move to the Bats, he could very well be one of the two Sept. call ups. Unless they flop, I’d expect both to be given every chance to make the 2021 roster.

      • MBS

        I like it, living true to your name. I hope you’re right!

  13. TBD

    just watched Derek Dietrich’s Home Run in the video above.

    I didn’t know the Reds had the Blimp at spring training games.

    • Amarillo

      MBS, Stephenson will see time in the majors this year. He is on the 40-man, currently 4th on the depth chart. The Reds used 5 catchers last year. At some point they will have to go to Stephenson, especially since he is a top prospect. Might already be 3rd on the depth chart depending how serious they are about Farmer playing Short.

      Garcia is probably not super likely to see time in the majors this year, however, Shortstop is by far our weakest position by depth and quality. He’ll be in AA. Castillo was called up from AA skipping AAA. There is a reasonable chance they go to him. Only players ahead of him are Galvis, Farmer, Blandino.

      • Amarillo

        Ahh, my bad this was responded to the wrong post.

  14. Gaffer

    Christy Matheson was a Red BEFoRE (but only in the minors) he was traded to the giants for a washed up looser pitcher. He later was traded back to the reds to manage and he also played in one game.

    • Rick in Va

      If I remember correctly, the “washed up loser” he was traded for was Amos Rusie, the “Hoosier Thunderbolt,” who is in the Hall of Fame. Great pitcher at the very end of his career. He pitched only 2 or 3 games for the Reds before retiring. Surely one of the worst trades of all time. I think I have also read that the trade was not entirely on the up and up (maybe the Reds’ owner was in the process of buying the Giants?).

      • Rick in Va

        Fascinating. Thanks Doug, I am always learning things on this site.

  15. JayTheRed

    Impressive game overall. Liked that none of the relievers gave up a run. Bauer seemed to be in pretty good control for his first start of the spring.

    I also officially jump on the Garcia Bandwagon. Guy seems like he has a lot of potential. Would be nice if he was ready next season.

    Also just wanted to comment on Schebler. I have major doubts about him. I too am rooting for Payton to make the team.

  16. CFD3000

    Amazing to think that there might have been 29 men better at baseball than Johnny Bench. Some of them are pitchers of course so that muddies the waters a little, but if you were starting a franchise and could take any player in his prime it’s hard for me to imagine JB still available in the 30th slot. Best player ever at the hardest position. That’s really good.

    Nice to see Bauer off to a strong start. If he’s #1 or even #2 quality this year and Castillo, Gray and Disco are healthy the Reds will win a lot of ballgames.

    • Doug Gray

      If you were starting a franchise, he’d go before 30 because you have to have a catcher. But I think you can reasonably make the argument that he’s the 30th best player of all time.

      • CFD3000

        I actually agree on both counts Doug. I’d pick him before 30 because catcher is such an important position. Same reason I’d pick Barry Larkin before 100. But 30th best all time does feel right-ish. I was really pointing out that a) he was really good, and that b) those next 29 guys must have been amazing to be even better. And of course, they were. Ruth and Williams and Frank Robinson. Gibson and Johnson and Young. And that Trout guy is pretty good too.

        And one of the great things about baseball is these difficult and at least partially subjective but wonderful comparisons. If I say Bench was the 25th best player ever you can’t prove I’m wrong. If someone else ranks him 40th, I can disagree but they might be right. Great stuff.

  17. AirborneJayJay

    Was that home run by Blandino yesterday a Blandinger or a Dino Dinger??