The first cuts have been made down in Sarasota. None of these are particularly surprising:

The seven players sent out included the organization’s last three first-round Draft picks. First baseman Yonder Alonso (2008) was optioned to Double-A Carolina, while catcher Devin Mesoraco (2007) and outfielder Drew Stubbs (2006) were re-assigned to the Minor League camp.

Also going to the Minor League camp was the 2008 Minor League Player of the Year, shortstop Chris Valaika; shortstop Todd Frazier; and catchers Humberto Cota and Chris Denove. The Reds have 56 players left in camp and must pare the roster down to 25 players before heading to Cincinnati. …

Alonso batted .250 (2-for-8) in six games and hit his first home run of the spring, a long drive to center field, in Monday’s 8-4 win over the Phillies. He impressed the coaching staff, and it wouldn’t be out of the question for him to return during the 2009 season, although 2010 seems more likely.

“He’s got the makings, big-time — he works very hard,” Baker said.

Valaika, who batted .313 (5-for-16), hit a grand slam to left field in the same game.

“You hate to send them out when they did something so spectacular,” Baker said. “I was hoping Stubbs would hit one out. I’d rather have them go out on a high note. It was decided before the game even started.”

Stubbs, who will start the season at Triple-A Louisville, batted .100 (1-for-10) in eight games. Frazier, a supplemental first-round pick in 2007, batted .200 (3-for-15) in seven games.

Lots of tough decisions to make for the Reds later this spring, but most of these guys are guys we’ll be seeing again very soon in Cincinnati.

Meanwhile, if you have the YES network, watch the Reds and Yanks tonight. It’s HAVOC, live and in HD!