No word on Opening Day starter

Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto had a decent night on Friday vs. the Ranger as he pitched five innings and allowed one earned run and five hits with no walks and five strikeouts. All but one of his four starts have been strong.

Cueto has started the last two Opening Days for the Reds but remains in the dark if he will get another one on March 31 vs. the Cardinals.

“I don’t know. I want to. I’ll wait for Bryan [Price],” Cueto said.

It would seem that Cueto or Homer Bailey are the best two options for the Reds. Cueto, because he’s been the team’s ace and has done it before. Bailey though did just sign a six-year, $105 million contract. He previously said he doesn’t care if he gets the Opening Day assignment. Mat Latos just faced hitters in live BP today and is still not a lock to be ready for the season. Price said that Latos could be the fifth starter for scheduling reasons as it would give him more time to get ready.

Price, who said the decision on Opening Day was coming soon, raved about Cueto’s effort vs. Texas.

“He was terrific,” Price said. “He had a lot more sinker-cutter combinations and some good four-seam fastballs. He brought a couple of two-seam fastballs back in on the left-handed hitter for called strikes. I thought his velocity was as good as I’ve seen it in I can’t tell you how long. I don’t know what the readings were on it but it looked real crisp. He was in control of his delivery and it was very, very impressive.”

Cueto was happy with his outing but continues to fine tune his delivery.

“My main goal during this time is keep the ball down and stay closed so I don’t land toward first base. I’m trying to stay straight to the plate,” Cueto said.

Other items:

*That was a pretty quick evening for a Spring Training game. It lasted a crisp two hours, 13 minutes. Full coverage of the 2-1 Reds win over Texas is on reds.com and MLB.com.

*Billy Hamilton reached in the first inning again, drawing a walk from Rangers starter Tanner Scheppers. Not a shock — Hamilton bolted on the next pitch to Brandon Phillips and stole second base. He went to third base on a wild pitch to Joey Votto.

“That guy can fly. Wow. That was impressive,” Scheppers said.

*Nice moment from the Reds before the game when Shin-Soo Choo was presented with his 2013 team MVP award trophy. As Choo received his hardware near home plate, all of the Reds gathered outside the dugout and showed their appreciation.

*Large turnout at Goodyear Ballpark with an announced crowd of 8,015 fans — a new Reds record at the facility. First pitch temperature was 79 degrees.

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