March 23: Blue Jays-Reds

Here’s today’s lineup:

Norris Hopper CF
Chris Dickerson LF
Joey Votto 1B
Adam Rosales 3B
Jay Bruce RF
Jeff Keppinger 2B
Alex Gonzalez SS
Ryan Hanigan C
Edinson Volquez P

The Blue Jays will be using a DH in the game. Pretty sure that’s not fair, but what are you going to do?

A couple of notes…

  • Willy Taveras was originally slated to start in center today, but was scratched because of a sore leg. Nothing really to worry about. Evidently, he was playing catch with Johnny Cueto yesterday and got hit with one of Cueto’s throws, leading Dusty Baker to say: “You can see why he’s hard to hit; he’s hard to catch.”
  • Edwin Encarnacion has been dealing with a sore shoulder, so he’s not in the lineup today. “We have to get him right for the season to start, but we have to get him at-bats,” Baker said. He’s picked up just 27 at-bats all spring
  • All the World Baseball Classic participants are now back in camp. Jerry Hairston Jr.  had been done a while, but as has been documented, got really sick, and just got back to camp yesterday. Ramon Hernandez and Ramon Ramirez are back from Team Venezuela (Look for my story on Hernandez later on Reds.com). Look for these guys to start getting into game action on Wednesday. Ramirez threw only 5 1/3 innings during the Classic, leading Baker to say, “Ramirez is a little bit behind. We have to get him streched out.”
  • Nick Masset was told today that he’s back in the bullpen. Unofficially, the No. 5 starter competition has been between Homer Bailey and Micah Owings, but Masset was still officially in the mix. The right-hander has compiled a 6.59 ERA in 13 2/3 IP this spring. He had one terrific outing againt the Pirates in his second appearance, but had allowed 10 earned runs in his other four outings spanning 10 2/3 IP.
  • Brandon Phillips  wasn’t in camp again today, still recovering from the flu-like bug that sent him home on Saturday. The Reds are erring on the side of caution with those who have gotten sick to try to avoid an epidemic. Norris Hopper is finally back and in the lineup today. “Even if hes’ not sick, we want him to come in and then go back home,” Baker said. “He looked terrible. He had a temperature. He has to leave, then. This is what you don’t want. You don’t want that plague walking through here. Not this time, too close to the opener.”
  • The Reds will be announcing some cuts after the game. “It’s a tough day. I hate these days,” Baker said.   It used to be customary for cuts to be made in the morning, but Baker makes them at the end of the day. “There’s no good time to do it,” he said. “Some of the guys that are going to get cut, you don’t know who’s here to watch them. That’s how I feel about it. Personally, I’d rather let them play. They might even do well that day.” Yonder Alonso and Chris Valaika had big games the day they got sent to Minor League camp.

 That’s it for me for this morning. Enjoy your day everybody.  — Jonathan Mayo

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