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Voting is open now at MLB.com to select the final player for each league’s 34-man roster via Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until 4 p.m. ET on Friday.
Johnny Cueto of the Reds is competing for votes against pitcher Carlos Martinez (Cardinals), pitcher Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), pitcher Jeurys Familia (Mets) and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies).
Reds teammates Todd Frazier and Brayan Pena are among those stumping for Cueto. Full story here: http://atmlb.com/1IHOosZ
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**Reds optioned RHP Josh Smith to Double-A Pensacola and recalled OF Yorman Rodriguez from Triple-A Louisville. Thursday’s starting pitcher vs. Miami is currently “TBA”
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If you’ve noticed that catcher Tucker Barnhart has been starting more games than usual in the past couple of weeks, your mind isn’t playing tricks on you.
Barnhart started Sunday vs. the Brewers as he usually does for Mike Leake but he’s not been just a once a week backup. In the last 12 games, including Sunday, Barnhart has started six of them — and two of the last three. When the season started, of course, Devin Mesoraco had hoped to catch 140 games with Brayan Pena getting the rest of the chances. That plan went out the window when Mesoraco hurt his hip and is now out for the season.
Pena had gotten most of the starts since April, but manager Bryan Price is doing a more hybrid platoon these days.
“In part, he’s swung the bat well but Brayan has swung the bat well also,” Price said on Sunday morning. “I think he’s earned the right to play and to kind of split time with Brayan. I think you’ll see every five days, it will be three-and-two. That three one time might be three starts for Pena and two for Tucker and then flip it around. It will probably look that way for the rest year – go back and forth for three out of every five.”
Barnhart entered the day batting .276/.326/.414. He’s 12-for-29 (.414) over his last eight games and had a career-high four hits on Monday vs. the Twins.
***In other lineup news, Jason Bourgeois got the start in center field in place of Billy Hamilton and Ivan De Jesus Jr. started at shortstop in place of Eugenio Suarez as the Reds try to salvage one game of the series vs. the Brewers.
“I don’t think Billy needs a blow. I just think Jason needs to play,” Price said. “He should get more than an at-bat to keep him sharp. He went down for a full rehab in Arizona and Triple-A. If I let too much time go by where he doesn’t get multiple at-bats in a game, he might lose the feel for his swing.”
Price on De Jesus:
“He had a nice ballgame yesterday,” he said. “He’s the kind of guy that can kind of play all over. But with Marlon [Byrd] back. There won’t be as much opportunity to play left field. I’ve got to get [Skip Schumaker] in there every now and again to keep him fresh. Really, the spot is shortstop and maybe every now and again, give Frazier or Brandon a day off. He had a nice game yesterday. Maybe, it’s try to run with the hot hand a little bit. He’s given us good at-bats ever since he got here.”
Reds top prospect and RHP Robert Stephenson has been promoted and will start Friday night for Triple-A Louisville.
Also, Reds LHP Tony Cingrani will begin a rehab assignment.
Cingrani is expected to start the resumption of Thursday night’s suspended game against Columbus, set to resume at 5 p.m. Stephenson is expected to start the regularly scheduled game to begin 30 minutes after the completion of Thursday’s
Stephenson, 22, went 4-7 with a 3.68 ERA in 14 starts while averaging 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings at Double-A Pensacola to start the season. He posted a 2.53 ERA in five June starts.