Well, that was an ugly introduction to the Cactus League, huh? Is it too early to give up hope for 2010?*

Mike Lincoln got the start, and it wasn’t pretty. Lincoln says he expected to get six straight batters out to begin the game. Personally, I expected pretty much what we saw: 7 hits, 4 earned runs, only 1.1 innings.

Frankly, it was the same Mike Lincoln we’ve come to know and dread. He seems like a good guy, and he’s giving it everything he’s got…but at 34, after all the injuries, he just doesn’t have much. Hope I’m wrong and he contributes to the bullpen this season.

Another entrant in the race for the open fifth spot in the starting rotation, Justin Lehr, didn’t acquit himself very well either: 2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H.

Lefty Matt Maloney, on the other hand, came in during the second inning, mopped up the mess that was left by Lincoln, then pitched a nice third inning. Maloney struck out two and walked one. I think Maloney had the advantage for that last spot in the rotation — notwithstanding the chance that the Reds decide to hand it to Aroldis Chapman, which could happen — before today, and he certainly didn’t hurt his case.

The Reds take on NL Central rival Milwaukee the Indians again tomorrow. Tonight, we’re just happy that these games don’t count.

*Yes, I’m kidding.

15 Responses

  1. APBDRED

    Hi Chad,
    I think we play the Indians again tomorrow and the Brewers on Sunday…

  2. The Mad Hatter

    From looking at the boxscore I would say other than Maloney the only other position to do anything was catcher. I didn’t get a chance to watch the game or the replay but then again it doesn’t look like it was too enjoyable from a Reds perspective.

  3. nick in va

    Is Maloney’s nickname really the “Big Pickle?”

    Lincoln got hammered. Marty commented in the first inning that his stuff didn’t look that bad. I guess Marty isn’t quite in mid-season form yet either.

  4. nllspc

    Lincoln is only a candidate for the #5 spot because he asked to be. He just doesn’t have enough of an arsenal of pitches to be a legit starter.

    Lincoln – They said in the broadcast that Lincoln was approached by Jocketty and asked if he wanted to compete for the fifth spot.

    –Janish’s too cool for school routine is starting to bug me.Between his roll over and die comments after the Cabrera signing to his nonchalant approach at the plate, I just don’t get the sense he has much fight in him.

    Really don’t see how you’re getting this impression. Maybe I haven’t heard all his comments concerning the Reds acquiring Cabrera. The comments I heard were during Redsfest(maybe). After being given the expectation that he was going to realize his dream of being a starting MLB SS, it just sounded like he was really disappointed that the Reds felt they needed to look elsewhere. I also didn’t see anything different in his approach at the plate from last season, aesthetically. Not sure I ever seen what I’d consider a “nonchalant approach at the plate,” maybe from a pitcher I guess.

    –Rolen NEEDS to hit in the 2 hole.His ability to hit the other way will be invaluable there.

    Cabrera has a pretty good OBP (minus 2009) and he sprays the ball pretty well if I’m reading the stats correctly. He’s certainly is more mobile on the base pads than Rolen (13 vs 5 SB). Rolen does have a little more pop than Cabrera, so I’d rather have him 5th than 2nd. I think this is the most Dusty proof group of players by far we’ve had. As I far as batting order changes that NEED to happen, I don’t really see any. Considering what we’ve dealt with in past, I’m ready to give Dusty a break with this line-up.

  5. nllspc

    Don’t know where to find what the average OBP for 2009 would be, but going by a moneyball reference, .350 is the avg OBP. So yeah, I shouldn’t have said that about Cabrera.

    @BJ Ruble: Thats almost what you have to do if you put Rolen at 2. I’m just not ready to put Bruce at 4 or 5 yet.

  6. hoosierdad

    I don’t understand Jocketty approaching Lincoln about a starting spot. He’ll be 35 in April and has a career 5.22 ERA. I can’t believe it’s to showcase him. He just doesn’t have it in the tank anymore. Was a bad signing with a bad contract.

  7. The Mad Hatter

    @BJ Ruble:

    Ok, so the 23 year old Jay Bruce, who was the minor league player of the year as a 20 year old has to pick it up this year against lefties to not be considered a platoon-type player? The fact that he was a 22 year old, in his second season under the watchful eye and tutelage of such famed hitting gurus as Dusty Baker and Brook Jacoby I think says maybe we might want to be a little bit more patient than relegating him to platoon duty.

  8. The Mad Hatter

    Just a little tidbit but the most similar batters to Jay Bruce through the age of 22 according to Baseball-Reference:

    Barry Bonds
    Wily Mo Pena

    Not too big of gap there. Here’s hoping he picks it up versus lefties this year.

  9. nllspc

    @Bill Lack: lol I’m not the one who said that, but I’ll pick up the baton. This might not be the case for BJ Ruble, but I think some people (including me) have a little shell shock from the year after year defense of EE, “Hes only 23, he’s only 24, he’s only 25.” The light never did come on while he was here. It was the same player with the same glaring flaws every season, no growth.

  10. TC

    5th Spot Power Rankings (according to TC):

    1.) Maloney (Last week #2)
    2.) Chapman (Last week #3)
    3.) Lehr (Last week #1)
    4.) Owings (Last week #5)
    5.) Leake (Last week #6)
    6.) Licoln (Last week #4)
    7.) Wood (Last week #7)

    But that’s just my opinion.

  11. TC

    @BJ Ruble: I based my ranking on how I think their chances are to make the rotation at this point. We are very close other than you’ve moved Wood from 7 to number 3. I suspect your ranking is how everything will pan out. Wood was impressive, but I need to see much more. Right now, though, he’s the man on the outside looking in.