Two lineups

Reds lineup vs Indians

Phillips 4
Janish 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Ludwick 7
Stubbs 8
Mesoraco 2
Hanigan DH

Cueto 1

The game is at 3:05 pm ET and is televised on FS Ohio/MLB.TV

There is also a ‘B’ game vs the Mariners this morning. It is not on TV or radio and the outcome/stats do not count towards spring totals.

Gregorius 4
Cozart 6
Jones 7
Phipps 8
Soto 3
Lutz 9
Rodriguez 5
Esposito 2
Corcino RHP


It was great to listen to the two games over the weekend. Everything sounds so positive. Even Marty B sounded positive! Mark, how many pitchers will Dusty bring north? That will determine how many bench spots there are open. If Ludwick/Heisey, Hanningan/Mesoraco, and Cairo are locks to make the team, that’s 11 position players, with Frazier, Janish, Alvarez, Harris and Francisco fighting for the last two or is it three spots. Care to handicap that race?

It will be interesting to see what Baker’s answer might be at this early juncture, but I would bet it will be 12 arms coming east after Spring Training. In addition to the reasons provided by Sheldon below, I think you absolutely require the extra arm in April because few, if any starters will be giving you the innings you might expect from them later in the year. In fact, for most teams, it really is no longer an extra arm. I’m too lazy to go back and ferret out the numbers, but I’d be willing to bet the Reds carried 12 a year ago 90 or 95% of the 2011 season.

With all that said, it means five bench players, and I would think the competition isn’t really all that keen. Barring injury or some spring surprises, Francisco and Valdez (it is) complete the 25-man roster.

And man, Mark, you are up early today!

Up early every day…fact of life out here. As for the pitcher count, I’m predicting 12. I know they won’t need the 5th starter right away (likely Bailey) but they can’t send him down and it would burn an option to send someone else out. So if Bailey is skipped, he can be bullpen insurance for a week. It’s worth asking the manager in a little bit though.

What time is the B Game?

Denny – I can match you for laziness. Is Francisco the lefthanded power off the bench (that is, is he lefthanded – I’m too l to look it up). And what happens to Janish? Does he have trade value? Or is it Janish instead of Cairo? This team used to have too many outfielders. Now, they won’t really open the season with only Ludwick as a backup, right? (Valdez is an inf, correct? Again, too l to research it). How does the bench this year compare with the last couple of years? Who’s the backup at first? If it’s Cairo, that let’s Janish out. And when will Frazier find a place to play? Enquiring minds … and all that rot.

This attempt at answers are from memory so take it with the proverbial ‘grain of salt’: Francisco is most certainly left-handed, and with unnatural power, and, assuming health, is almost certainly Rolen’s back-up. He provides a badly-needed lefty bat off the bench when not starting, many of us detected noticeable defensive improvement a year ago, and, probably most crucial, he is out of options. So, unless Walt swings yet another unexpected trade, Juan is on the club.

I think Janish is likely starting the season at AAA. I still like him a lot overall and will always be a big supporter of his glove, but the truth is that management would not have traded for Valdez and committed themselves to his contract while planning to ship him out. And I think he is also without options. Cairo, I feel, is close to untouchable because of his versatility, his clutch bat, and his veteran leadership. Remember, at the nadir last year, he was the only one, reportedly, to have stepped up to launch withering criticism at the play of the team. Not that it had much impact then!

There suddenly is, indeed, an organizational shortage of outfielders even after the acquisition of Ludwick. Valdez does not play the outfield, though Harris can, though I fail to see a route for him onto the roster at this point.

I think Cairo is a more-than-adequate back-up at first. Did a great job there in 2010 when Votto was out dealing with psychological obstacles. Finally, I’m not as high on Frazier as some seem to be. I don’t think he starts the season with the big club.

My guess would be that the reserves are a bit weaker than the previous two years due to the lack of versatility, the outfield shortage, and the lack of any lefty bats should Francisco’s calf injury persist…

Thanks, Denny, for the memories, so to speak. I went over to the San Diego MLB blog, written by a fellow named Cory Brock. I wanted to see how the fans were taking to Alonzo and Grandal et al. Brock’s a hard working guy who provides as much info as Mark, and the blog is terrific, but there are no comments! Maybe 1 a day and sometimes that’s a pingback. I guess it’s a reflection on the fans’ state of mind or lack of passion or something. If I were a Padres’ fan, I think I’d be kind of fired up, wouldn’t I? Next stop, the Pirates’ blog. They lost their correspondent to the Cardinals, and there big off-season acquisition to injury and their early season schedule is reported to be brutal, so we’ll see how the fans are doing there. Then maybe see if there’s any (deluded) hope in Chi-town. And maybe get some work done in between.

Sounds like an interesting tour of numerous National League sites! I don’t do similar tours much, occasionally to the Cardinal site because, as I think I’ve explained here before always to the consternation of many Reds’ fans, the Cardinals are my second team. I lived in San Diego for a little while in the Nineties when the Padres were mostly decent, occasionally great, but I didn’t get to the ballpark all that often. Not much beyond when the Reds or Cards were visiting. The problem is, especially when somewhat younger and healthier then, there is just too much to do on the water, or up in the mountains, or out onto the desert to think of the park as a natural option. Curiously, 78 degrees and sunny almost every day attracts you to other pasttimes more readily. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that the human sights there are pretty spectacular as well as the ocean, nearby mountains, and surrounding desert.

Wish they all could be California girls. Well, I’m hoping all the Reds are big successes in SD, and that the fans (or fan) appreciate the Reds for sending them our treasures. Meanwhile, according to the announcers over the weekend, the Reds are far from bereft of surefire major league prospects in their farm system. Gregorius (sp?), Phipps, Soto and Barnhart (sp?) are all headed to the HOF, to hear Marty, Thom and the Cowboy talk about them. So that’ good. Okay, off to Pittsburgh and Cubs-land.

I don’t follow the minors as closely as some, but my impression is that there still exists a good deal of talent and depth even after all the off-season moves. But not much in the way of outfielders, but this Phipps guy may be the exception! I’ve been hearing about him now for the better part of a year and, apparently, he made a spectacular centerfield catch the other day in one of the first spring contests, if it wasn’t just part of the broadcasters early campaign tactics for the HOF!

Okay, I’ve gotten very little done to today, but learned a little about the Reds’ opponents in division. Quote from a fan comment in Pittsburgh: “We need some kind of Karma… we’ve been living in ignominy” Those fans were sky high the first half of last year – pretty down now. Dale Sveum has organized a 64-man (players and coaches) bunting tournament. They’re down to the sweet-16, Plan to finish it March 15. Sounds like fun. I didn’t recognize the names of anyone mentioned playing 1st. There is a lot of fan angst regarding Soriano in LF. Over at the Cardinals, their outfield is apparently going to be Carlos Beltran, Lance Berkman, Allen Craig and Jon Jay. I am feeling better and better about the Reds! Ok, done for the day.

Are fans allowed to watch the “B” games? (I assume they are free.)

B games are free and usually held on a practice field, not the main stadium.

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