The Reds take on the Cubs in a three-game series. Read Greg’s excellent series preview about the Cubs and pitching match-ups.

Alfredo Simon makes his third start of the year filling in for Mat Latos.

Sean Marshall returns to the Reds roster after completing his rehab assignment. He’s with the team in Chicago. No reporting on an official roster move yet.

Here’s today’s lineup – pretty much manager Bryan Price’s standard lineup facing a right-handed pitcher.

1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
3. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
5. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
6. Ryan Ludwick (R) LF
7. Devin Mesoraco (R) C
8. Zack Cozart (R) SS
9. Alfredo Simon (R) P

179 Responses

  1. PhoenixPhil

    I have a bad feeling about Simon, but I’ve had that feeling his last two starts. So never-mind me. Love the guy.

  2. Shchi Cossack

    This lineup will probably continue as Bryan’s standard until Mesoraco absolutely forces a change. Meso’s time is coming and I don’t think he will have too long to wait.

    • jdx19

      While I tend to agree, I think it might be a bit more likely that Frazier/Ludwick turning stone cold will force the move rather than Meso being hot. That, of course, will probably be wrong if Meso continues to hit like he has for another 2 weeks.

  3. jdx19

    Who is the injury delay for? Seems like that is info Gameday ought to convey!

  4. Ryan Lykins (@ryan_lykins)

    Times like these I wish the Reds had a couple high prospect middle infielders waiting in the wings. Regardless of whether Phillips is actually hurting whatsoever it would make one feel more comfortable in case of something terrible happening.

  5. jdx19

    There were 12 swings on Samardzija’s fastball or cut fastball that inning. None of them were put into play. Must have good action today.

    Silver lining: He threw a lot of pitches that inning!

    • charlottencredsfan

      Well we know one thing, he won’t pull himself. Price is going to have to do that. Philips would play with a broken leg if you let him.

    • Sparky

      At least till happy hour……Welcome to the blog my son. Go Reds!

  6. Sparky

    Bruce just delaying the inevitable.

  7. jdx19

    Billy continues to pad his near league-leading FB%.

  8. jdx19

    I think the low pitch count that inning might have made it a shoe-in for Samardzija to at least make it 6 innings.

  9. mikemartz

    lower back or rib injury from 1’st inning swing

  10. mikemartz

    looking back to last year, I hope they keep Brandon out until he is 100% so he doesn’t struggle at the plate like he did with the wrist injury

    • Kurt Frost

      What’s he going to bitch about next year if he sits out?

  11. jas428

    what is the Ludwick batting practice talk about? just joined coverage…thanks.

  12. redleg75

    Alfredo. Better than you’d think.

  13. mikemartz

    even though he ended up getting a single after he injury himself you could tell he wasn’t swinging with authority.

    • redleg75

      and blacked out if you live in reds country. yay!

  14. redleg75

    Attention all who play daily fantasy leagues– the reds are going up against a number one or two starter, so they won’t hit anything,

  15. ToddAlmighty

    If Alfredo keeps this up, I really think he’ll find himself traded once Latos comes back. He’d be worth more as a starting pitcher with a year and a half of club control in a trade than a relief pitcher.

    Could be a piece of a trade to bring in a good bat. Maybe the Marlins might finally let Stanton out of their clutches.

  16. sergeant2

    I read on mlb.com that Chapman has been cleared to participate in pitchers fielding practice, and to throw live batting live batting practice. The Cuban Missile is slowly being rearmed.

  17. charlottencredsfan

    Mesoraco making this game look very easy to play.

  18. preacherj

    Greetings. Still at work so I just have RLN and Gamecast today. Stupid Cubs.

    • preacherj

      Yeah, that Meso sure can swipe those bases.

  19. ToddAlmighty

    Hamilton is starting to slowly creep up there into Mendoza range.

  20. preacherj

    Gamecast had every pitch except the last very, very close. Could have gone either way.

  21. charlottencredsfan

    Trying to draw a throwing error from the catcher. Not a bad idea, just didn’t bite.

  22. preacherj

    Now batting third, Ramon Santiago.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Not the ideal situation.

    • Matt WI

      Yeah… that poses issues. May have been worth taking the hit on a double switch.

  23. ToddAlmighty

    Yeaaaaah… that’ll happen with Ramon Santiago bats third.

    • ToddAlmighty

      Almost feel like I would have double switched Heisey in LF batting third and Santiago a 2B batting whatever Ludwick is.

  24. Eric NYC

    BP out with an injured back…That’s the kind of news that terrifies me. That can sideline a guy indefinitely and sap their power for an entire season. Really hope it’s nothing serious.

    • PhoenixPhil

      I heard something about back spasms on Reds tv.

  25. Spittin' Seeds

    I bet there haven’t been many doubles hit shallower than Billy’s.

  26. Matt WI

    Walking to get to the pitcher. Work that NL ball.

  27. redleg75

    Lucky that didn’t go out, right down the middle

  28. preacherj

    I know that Simon gave up a double to Castillo, but according to Gamecast, all his pitches were very borderline and thrown in Castillo’s ‘blue spot’, not the red one. That seems a very positive thing. How’s this ump looking?

    • redleg75

      The double was the heart of the plate.

  29. redleg75

    BBBBBBBBBBRRRRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

    • Matt WI

      Flag— stretching his name out is only appropriate for HR’s or game winning hits!

  30. preacherj

    Todd, you really needed to get Jay to third.

  31. Matt WI

    When Devin Mesaraco wakes up, the sun asks permission to rise.

  32. Eric the Red

    George Grande always has some weird pronunciations–like “Cin-granny”–but he’s outdoing himself today by pronouncing “Castillo” as “Castro” consistently 🙂

  33. preacherj

    Did anyone see the BlueJay “highlights” from last night. If you think we have some bullpen issues, check out these 8th inning stats: 6 runs on 1 hit. How is that, you ask? 8 walks and three wild pitches. Sarge doesn’t have a large enough defib for that.

  34. jas428

    why not leave the bag to save run? oh well good for Reds.

  35. sergeant2

    Turned out great for the Reds, but Cozart certainly tried to continue his rally killing ways.

    • Pete Rose

      Couldn’t agree more – NL needs to have a designated hitter – and leave any starting player out of the line-up (just saying that a number of the Reds pitchers actually hit better than Cozart).

  36. Eric NYC

    Cozart should send the Stupid Cubs a thank you card for that one. Sheesh.

  37. Matt WI

    Catcher’s interference and then a throwing error on what should have been an inning ending double play. The Cubs remind us all we can do worse than be Reds fans with all the frustration we’ve had with Reds mistakes.

    • preacherj

      It seems like I’ve heard more interference calls already this season than I did all of last year. Sheesh.

  38. jdx19

    And in other news, RBIs are still dumb! Cozart picks up one since a double play can’t be assumed!

  39. Matt WI

    Wow, balls 2 and 3 both looked like good inside, low strikes on Gameday. Like, not even borderline.

  40. Eric NYC

    Alfredo Simon’s ERA is now at 0.90. If Mat Latos came back tomorrow, you could still make an argument for Simon for Reds MVP this year.

    • Pete Rose

      Here’s for keeping Simon in the starting rotation and making Homer a long reliever, at least for the time being.

  41. mikemartz

    At least Zach is hitting the ball, albeit he has been hitting where they are instead of where they “aint”

    • Sparky

      He just doesn’t seem to have a plan at the plate. Swings way too often way too early.

  42. preacherj

    Lake struck out on Simon’s 85th pitch.

  43. Matt WI

    Bullpen getting warmed up… good call, Mr. Price.

    • preacherj

      I was wondering. Gamecast has the last AB listed as those balls were REALLY balls and the strikes were right down the pipe. He’s not throwing as tight as earlier. All I have is Gamecast, but it doesn’t look pretty.

      • Eric NYC

        There was a pitch in Mesoraco’s AB in the top of the 6th that was called a ball and Gameday had it dead in the center of the strike zone.

      • Matt WI

        Yup, I think that horse has been ridden far enough. Bravo to Simon yet again.

  44. Eric NYC

    According to Gameday this ump is calling a REALLY weird strike zone…For both pitchers.

    • Sparky

      I’m watching and I don’t really see anything too extreme. He’s calling a good game.

  45. Ethan

    Simon’s looking a little sloppy. I would call for a PH in the top half. The question is who will Price elect to use from the pen?

    • Matt WI

      LeCure was warming up, according to the radio.

  46. Matt WI

    Hey, Marty has good things to say about a defensive shift! Sounds like they played it just right there.

  47. Eric NYC

    Assuming that’s it for Simon, another RIDICULOUS start. I can’t believe we picked this guy up off the trash heap. He could be a SERIOUS trade chip if Latos gets healthy.

    • Eric NYC

      Leaving this game with a 0.86 ERA. Did anyone on the planet expect that out of Simon when they heard Latos was hurt?

    • ToddAlmighty

      Yeah, I honestly think Simon is pitching himself into a trade. If Latos comes back healthy, I could see Simon being a part of a trade to get a bat. He’d be worth more that way than as a bullpen pitcher for the Reds.

  48. jdx19

    If Santiago becomes the de facto starter if Phillips has to sit, do you guys think the best lineup is to just shift everyone up a spot (other than 1-2) and bat Santiago 8th?

    This, of course, ignores the fact that many of us would like to see Frazier/Ludwick/Meso in a slightly different order, perhaps.

  49. Matt V

    I absolutely love Mesoraco not just for how he’s hitting lately, but for all the little things he does too. Sliding hard to break up that double play and score 2 runs was huge. I love his passion and fire too. I saw a replay the other day of a single he hit, and you could tell he was fired up. He could be that leader we keep talking about wanting on this team.

    • Pete Rose

      Mez is definitely + when it comes to baseball smarts. Dusty should have played him a lot more last year then he did – guess he wasn’t ‘veteran’ enough for old Dust Bag (RIP).

  50. jdx19

    Samardzija out there. Guess the Cubbies have zero confidence in the ‘pen!

    • preacherj

      I sure wish they still had Marmol. He was always good for an OBP bump.

  51. jdx19

    Looks like Votto’s heat-streak is taking a day off. We’ll get ’em tomorrow!

  52. jdx19

    On a scale of 1-10, how surprised are folks that Billy is yet to beat out a ground ball for a hit? I’ve watched just about every game, and I can’t recall one yet. He had a bunt that Yadier Molina fielded for a hit. But I can’t recall a single grounder where we’re thinking, “Man! No one else beats out that ground ball!”

    • Sparky

      Had on up the middle that didn’t generate a throw. He has way too many pop ups. Hopefully they will be able to coach that out of him.

  53. Matt WI

    Whew…. glad Rizzo isn’t due up this inning. After the leather it sounds like he just flashed, he’d be due for a HR on the other side.

  54. Eric NYC

    Not sure about sending Simon back out there…

    • Matt WI

      Agreed. Take the effort and give it to Sam.

  55. Ryan Lykins (@ryan_lykins)

    This isnt shocking at all per twitter:
    @LanceMcAlister: #Reds averaging 3.75 pitches seen per PA. Bottom 3: Billy 3.33, Heisey 2.90, Cozart 2.84.
    Top 3: Votto 4.60, Bruce 4.10, Frazier 3.89.

    • ToddAlmighty

      Bruce being #2 is a nice surprise. He’s been willing to take a lot more walks and foul pitches off more often this year it seems. Like that 10 pitch AB he had earlier.

      Maybe being a student of the Joey Votto School of Hitting is continuing to pay off?

      • Sparky

        When Bruce struggles he seems to foul off or miss good pitches. He has to drive not pop up the out side strike. He will but its always forever is seems for him to make the adjustment.

  56. Matt WI

    I vote Sam induces a GIDP on Valbuena

  57. Pete Rose

    Sammy …. glad he was finally found ‘buried’ in the bullpen.

  58. Pete Rose

    Glad to see Santiago get in front of that ball.

  59. Eric NYC

    So much for Simon’s ERA. They really should be more protective of his numbers – He really could be valuable come trading time.

      • Ethan

        Speaking of stats, he’s in order to pick-up the coveted win. We all know that the W is a true reflection of pitcher performance. Just ask Cueto!

    • Matt WI

      It (a trade) might be a risk worth taking depending on where things are with the Reds, but I don’t know that Simon isn’t just super valuable as back-up for the next pitcher who gets dinged up. Plus… Simon is riding a good one, but the regression monster is coming. I don’t know how many times he can get through opponents who see him repeatedly. But who knows.

      • ToddAlmighty

        That’s why you deal him before the regression monster. People see two sub-2.9 ERA seasons as a relief pitcher, and then three real good starts in the rotation this year. Find someone who believes in him and likes the fact he’s not a FA until 2016.

      • Matt WI

        But how many teams pull a trade like that before, say mid June? I think time is not on our side there…. especially given that the Reds don’t even know when Latos is coming.

      • ToddAlmighty

        True Matt.. if he can hold off for another half dozen starts or so, I think there might be interest by then. Don’t forget there’s like 500 people out this year already with TJ.

        That huge plague of TJ has created a lot of pitching holes for teams.

      • Sparky

        Lato’s is not coming back anytime soon, This is the same thing everyone on here wanted to to with Leake. How come when a guys get hot on the bump everyone wants to trade em.

  60. Pete Rose

    Glad to see that run was unearned – if Simon keeps this up – we will hopefully be seeing an awfully big bat heading Reds Nation way.

    • ToddAlmighty

      Hopefully packaged with some other people for Stanton who’s tearing it up… or if BP’s is going to take him out for any extended period of time, maybe dealt to Seattle for Franklin.

      • Pete Rose

        I agree, Giovani Stanton would look very good in LF for the Reds

      • Sparky

        Just when your ready to give up on Bruce he goes on a three week tear and puts up numbers. So at the end of the year he has good numbers, but unless you follow the Reds you don’t know just how many useless ab he has in a row. P.S. Were due for a 3 week tear!

  61. Eric NYC

    How is Ludwick hitting .274? Really seems like he’s struggled more.

    • Pete Rose

      Well, that takes care of the top of the 8th

  62. RedAlert

    Ludwick creeping that average right on up

    • Eric NYC

      Seems like everyone’s BABIP luck is on the upswing today.

  63. ToddAlmighty

    Loving this aggressive baserunning. Todd walks, steals second, advances to third on Ludwick’s single. Scores on a wild pitch.

  64. ToddAlmighty

    So I just realized that the Reds had 5 players in their lineup that are batting under .190 today. Hamilton/Santiago/Bruce/Cozart/Simon.

  65. RedAlert

    Cozart is absolutely putrid at the plate . Reds need to start developing someone at the shortstop position yesterday ( short of a trade )!!!!!

  66. RedAlert

    Matador defense from Cozart and Santiago

  67. RedAlert

    Don’t want to see Logan “long ball” anywhere close to this game

  68. jdx19

    B Ham has the lowest success rate on bunts among players who have at least 1 bunt for a hit (12.5%).

  69. jas428

    Tremendous plays on Hamilton today.

    • Pete Rose

      1 out of 10 times they will get Ham when he bunts it where it put it. Other 9 its a base hit – his double (for those who want to focus on his positives) was sweet.

  70. RiverCity Redleg

    Still can’t get that infield hit. Unbelievable.

    • jdx19

      Billy has laid down 8 bunts and been thrown out on 7 of them. Also, among the 9 players in the NL with 4 SB or more, he’s tied for the worst success rate.

      Pretty amazing. I think all the hype has actually taken away from his ability to use his speed since the entire opposing team is hypervigiliant when he’s around.

      • Pete Rose

        I think the Reds just won this afternoon and posters are being negative after the Reds have gone 5-3 in their past 8 games. One thing to get negative when the club’s losing (2-6 doesn’t sit well with a lot of fans) – quite another when they are starting to win consistently. Went out to the ‘Pirate’s’ Gazette and that town, after losing for over 20 years, is getting a little nasty as well.

  71. ToddAlmighty

    Five different people with a stolen base for the Reds today. When’s the last time THAT happened? I’ll admit, I really enjoy this aggressive base running over what they were doing last season.

    • Pete Rose

      Another fan glad that old Dusty has been put out to pasture – check.

  72. Eric NYC

    Sad to see Bruce starting the year on one of his cold streaks…So much for this being his MVP year.

    • ToddAlmighty

      It’ll warm up and he’ll warm up. Crazy that it’s 38 degrees there when it’s a beautiful 70 or so here.

      • Eric NYC

        I’m not worried about him – Like I said it’s just one of his cold streaks. He’ll have a month or two where he hits .400. But I keep waiting for that one year when he’s ALL hot streak and just runs away with an MVP.

      • Pete Rose

        there’s that ‘p’ word again – potential

      • Pete Rose

        The Reds just need to hold serve in April and then move onto the warmer months at which point they’ll hopefully get and stay hot (and some players off to less than stellar starts heat up) .

        Cool weather plays havoc with a lot of players, including as the MLB network just mentioned, players north of 30 (BP). Hope the warmer weather gets here and stays for a while.

      • Pete Rose

        Should be 65 tomorrow and 70 on Sunday in Chicago. Wait for it – fans, the warmer weather IS coming ….

    • Pete Rose

      Yup, the ump just wanted to get out of the cooler weather – however, would definitely have preferred seeing Jay being a little more aggressive especially as close as the pitch was – something has to get him going.

    • Pete Rose

      Here’s hoping the Reds are riding a 5 game winning streak into Squealersville on Monday (Pittsburgh for those unfamiliar with Pro football).

  73. Ethan

    This one belongs to the Reds!!! Go my favorite sports team go!!!