The Reds travel to the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick to play the Colorado Rockies tonight. The game starts at 10:10 p.m. ET and is broadcast on WLW. Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is a partnership of the Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The 11,000-seat ballpark, plus 12 practice fields and office buildings is the first MLB spring training facility built on Native American land in the U.S. It’s one of the Cactus League facilities I haven’t seen. It’s new and state-of-the-art by all accounts. 

Brandon Phillips has returned to the club after playing for the U.S. team in the World Baseball Classic. He isn’t in the lineup tonight. A few veterans generally get to skip away games. Phillips, JoeyMVP and Shin-Soo Choo have tonight off. Mark Sheldon has the Reds’ starting lineup:

  1. Heisey 8
  2. Izturis 4
  3. Lutz 3
  4. Ludwick 7
  5. Bruce 9
  6. Frazier 5
  7. Cozart 6
  8. Hanigan 2
  9. Arroyo 1

Bronson Arroyo makes his third start this spring. He’s thrown a total of six innings in games so far. According to C. Trent Rosecrans, other pitchers on the trip include Hoover, Hensley, Hayes, Galarraga, McMyne and Pinckard.

Ryan Ludwick is batting fourth. If you’re a Ludwick fan, or enjoy reporting on sports agents, MLB Trade Rumors has a lengthy interview with the Reds’ left fielder about his choice of representation. In one answer, he describes various injuries he’s had: “I’ve had a lot of injuries as well, some people don’t know about.  I have an eight inch titanium rod in my hip, a six inch titanium rod in my ulna, I’ve had two knee surgeries, I’ve had a GI bleed which is a pretty bad ulcer where I had like five holes in my stomach from all the anti-inflammatories I was taking trying to get better from all the surgeries.” Ludwick must be a fun guy at TSA check-ins. 

As per tradition, the Reds will sell 1,500 tickets for Opening Day at the GABP box office, at 9 a.m. this Saturday. 1,000 View Level ($32) and 500 Standing Room Only ($20) will be available. Limit of four tickets per person. “Opening Day has many traditions, including fans being able to buy tickets at the box office for this first game of the season,” said Reds COO Phil Castellini, Chief Operating Officer of the Cincinnati Reds. According to the Reds press release, last year’s tickets sold out in under one hour.  

Speaking of Opening Day, the parade will be shorter this year, with the number of entries being reduced from 240 to 200. Neil Luken, Chairman of the parade, says he thinks a shorter parade will be friendlier to both the participants and watchers. Cliff Radel reports in the Cincinnati Enquirer. George Foster is the Grand Marshall this year.