The Reds will play their first game of the spring this afternoon at 3pm (and it will be on MLB Network at 5pm on tape delay – which brings me to a tough decision as to how to handle following the game) against the Indians. The starting lineup, via Better off Red: Billy Hamilton, CF | Brandon Phillips, 2B | Joey Votto, 1B | Jay Bruce, RF | Ryan Ludwick, LF | Todd Frazier, 3B | Zack Cozart, SS | Devin Mesoraco, C | Brayan Pena, DH | Alfredo Simon, P.

Of course being a spring training game, particularly one in the early part of the spring, there will be substitutes coming in throughout the game. We also have the first wave of replacements already on the lineup card. Here are those guys: Skip Schumaker, CF | Kristopher Negron, 2B | Neftali Soto, 1B | Chris Heisey, RF | Donald Lutz, LF | Chris Nelson, 3B | Ramon Santiago, SS | Tucker Barnhart, C | Roger Bernadina, DH.

Here is the list of other players that will be there and available for the game. Jack Hannahan, Rossmel Perez (I am assuming it is him, though he is listed as a switch hitter on the lineup card and he is listed as a lefty on the actual roster page), Henry Rodriguez, Jason Bourgeois, Corky Miller, Max Ramirez, Argenis Diaz, Rey Navarro, Juan Duran, Ryan LaMarre, Yorman Rodriguez, Lee Hyde, Chad Rogers, Tim Crabbe, Curtis Partch, Pedro Beato and Trevor Bell.

I imagine that the starting lineup, minus Alfredo Simon and Brayan Pena, is exactly what Bryan Price is looking to run with during the season on most days. There are plenty of prospects on the roster for the game tomorrow and we will get first looks as Reds at Skip Schumaker, Chris Nelson, Ramon Santiago and Roger Bernadina. There are also some first time Reds on the squad for tomorrow that we could also be seeing for the first time if they make it into the game.

Other news and notes

Jason Parks released the Baseball Prospectus Farm System Rankings this morning. The Cincinnati Reds come in at #16 where he has this to say about the State of the Farm:

The top tier of the farm is flashy with loud tools and high projections, and the middle contains a healthy amount of solid-average types with realistic major-league futures.

If you have missed the evening posts this week, I have been rolling out short videos to introduce the minor league guys as they head to spring training with some information on each guy. You can check them out here.

Dusty Baker doesn’t think that the Reds gave him enough help during his tenure to win. While I can understand his point about 2013 with all of the injuries piling up, in his tenure with the Reds he was given an MVP, four all-star caliber players were traded for (Latos, Choo, Marshall and Broxton) and he had one of the best pitching staffs in baseball for several years at the end of his run as manager. Oh, he also had guys like Bruce and Phillips who were pretty good in their own rights. What do you guys think about what he said?

JJ Cooper talked about prospects that just missed out on the Baseball America Top 100 list in yesterdays mailbag column. Jesse Winker and Phillip Ervin were both on the short list of players who just missed.

Chris St. John of Beyond the Box Score accumulated a bunch of Top 100 lists, both regular and fantasy related lists, and came up with an overall cumulative top prospects list for both versions. Robert Stephenson, Billy Hamilton, Phillip Ervin and Jesse Winker all made an appearance. Robert Stephenson comes in at #18 and #16 (fantasy), Billy Hamilton is ranked 53rd and 32nd (fantasy), Phillip Ervin finds himself at #91 and #89 (fantasy) and Jesse Winker rounds out the Reds on the list at #142 and #102 (fantasy).

15 Responses

  1. jim t

    Doug, I agree with Dusty to some extent. The reds could have improved there chances by obtaining a middle of the order RH hittting LF. Doesn’t take a genious to figure out when Gomes or Ludwick put up solid numbers in that spot we walked away with the division. Letting Byrd fall to the Pirates while waiting on Ludwick to recover from a shoulder injury was incredibly mismanaged. Did Dusty have good players you bet but many teams make that one move that puts them over the top. Walt did that with the Cardinals many times. Edmounds,Mcgwire,Rolen and others. I understand rescourses are different but if you want to win sometimes you have to stretch the envelope.

    • Doug Gray

      Even if we play that game, that is only one season. Dusty was here for more than one season and he had plenty of talent to work with.

      • jim t

        Doug another year he was a passed ball and a error by Rolen from possibly advancing to the series
        .
        Another year we weren’t beating the Phillies and they’re rotation.

      • Doug Gray

        The Phillies lost in the next round, so it isn’t like they were unbeatable that year. The Reds were up 2-0 on the Giants and lost three in a row at home. Dusty had plenty of chances and plenty of talent on his teams, but he is passing the blame to the front office IMO.

      • jim t

        Doug, we weren’t good enough to beat the Phils. Should have beat the Giants. Your point of Dusty not blaming management I can except. He should keep his mouth shut. Walt also needs to step up his performance.

      • MK

        I am not sure I can blame the Reds. I dislike the Small Market term, but economics was the factor. I believe most teams have the resources to place a competitive starting line-up on the field. Not saying they do put that lineup out there, but they have the resources. The difference is in the secondary players. A team like the Yankees or Red Sox is that they can afford to go almost two deep with quality players. Reds can’t do that and rather than blame the Reds Dusty should blame the environment he chose to work in or the unbalanced economic structure of MLB.

    • Alan Horn

      Money likely was the problem. We had a lot of salaries that went for naught. Ludwick,
      Marshal and Broxton(around 20 million dollars).

  2. Norwood Nate

    So he had players good enough to record the best record in the NL (12) but then those players weren’t good enough to get out of the first round? Right….

    • MK

      But Nate it is about money. The difference between ’12 &’13? Ludwick, Marshall, Hanigan, Broxton, Cueto and to a smaller degree Phillips injured with the only premium upgrades Choo and Half season of Votto with no resources to cover the injuries. Not Jocketty’s fault.

  3. IndyRedsFan

    Typical Dusty. No accountability. Always looking to blame someone/something else.

  4. KyWilson1

    If he could write a lineup card he would’ve won more and we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The players he batted 1-2 in front of Votto for most of his tenure was a crime. He also allowed the players, ie Phillips, to much freedom with what they could say and do. I never liked him as manager just based off his philosophies. And starting Cueto last year in the playoff game was a joke. I do believe the Reds should have tried to find another middle of the order bat, but a great fielding team with a great rotation/bullpen, a top 10 MLB player+Bruce-Phillips, seems like he got more then enough help to me.

  5. Greb

    I have to say I was a anti Dusty guy and hated the way he handled day to day things like line ups and pitching staffs. After listening to the interview I have to agree with him about no help at Deadline time and not a lot of help in off season. To me Walt gave him some pieces but not enough and Dusty wasn’t creative enough to be able to make due with what he had or never seem to get the most out of each one of his players. I think this organization and Walt especially need to be have a more saber matrix thinking because they do have limited resources. Think if all the money they have wasted in the bullpen and Ludwick which is just stupid for teams like the Reds.