The Reds host the LA Angels’ second string today at Goodyear Ballpark at 3:05 p.m. ET. The only broadcast, once again, is radio on WSAI-1360. The Angels are playing two games today with split squads. The Reds won’t face Mike Trout or Albert Pujols or anyone you’ve ever heard of, except maybe SP Matt Shoemaker.
Heads up: Tomorrow, the Reds play at night (9 p.m. ET) in Scottsdale against the San Francisco Giants. The game will be broadcast on the national MLB cable network as well as MLB.tv, the online stream. We’ll post a for-real game thread.
- Jose Peraza SS
- Jordan Pacheco 3B
- Joey Votto 1B
- Brandon Phillips 2B
- Jay Bruce RF
- Adam Duvall LF
- Scott Schebler DH
- Tyler Holt CF
- Tucker Ã‚Â Barnhart C
Cody Reed gets his first start on the mound for the Reds.
If you’re keeping track of the pitchers who have started spring training games: Jon Moscot (2), Brandon Finnegan (1), Anthony DeSclafani (1), Michael Lorenzen (1), Robert Stephenson (1) and now Reed. Raisel Iglesias (who will face hitters tomorrow), John Lamb and Homer Bailey are past starters who are on slowed-down tracks. Stephenson is pitching in the B game this morning (game is over, here’s the box score)
The Reds try Jose Peraza in the leadoff spot. Peraza is still looking for his first hit or walk this spring. Says here today’s the day.
Outfield roulette on full display, with starts for Duvall, Schebler and Holt. Holt had two hits, two walks and a stolen base last week. He’s second on the team in walks, behind only, of course, Joey Votto, who had three.
Homer Bailey on Leadership and Experience
News and Reading
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Homer Bailey, who says he feels normal, threw a 40-pitch bullpen session on Saturday. Bryan Price has said Bailey could have been pushed to start on Opening Day if, you know, the Reds were competitive. But as is, the Reds are aiming for a early-to-mid May first appearance.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Starter or Closer? Hal McCoy (Dayton Daily News) on the days Michael Lorenzen spent living out an Otis Redding lyric and the choice the Reds have to make about the young pitcher:
Remember the momentous decision in involving starter or closer for Aroldis Chapman? The Reds have the same kind of decision to make with Lorenzen. When Lorenzen playedÃ‚Â college baseball at Cal State-Fullerton he was an outfielder. But if the game involved a save situation in the ninth inning Lorenzen was dispatched from center field to the mound to close the game.Ã‚Â After the Reds drafted him and signed him, they decided they liked his stuff enough to make him a starter. But last season they tried him in the bullpen and it was successful.Ã‚Â Now what? With Chapman traded the Reds are looking for a closer.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢Ã‚Â Jay Bruce is still on the roster (last we checked) and giving interviews. Zach Buchanan (Cincinnati Enquirer) has one from yesterday where the right fielder talks about tweaking his swing:
The idea for Bruce is to make his swing more linear and less rounded. When he cranked his hands up near his helmet, it forced his swing to take a longer path to the ball. Bruce felt like he was fouling off pitches he normally hit solidly. …Ã‚Â Bruce is confident the alteration will allow his bat head to stay in the strike zone longer, giving him more room for error when it comes to making contact. He hopes it returns his production to his 2011-13 levels, a span in which he made two All-Star teams, won two Silver Sluggers and twice finished 10th in National League MVP voting.
The White Sox, who had been suggested as a possible landing spot for Bruce, signed free agent Austin Ã‚Â Jackson yesterday, which likely eliminates Chicago as a possibility. The Baltimore Orioles remain the leading candidate to work out a trade with the Reds for Bruce.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Mark Sheldon (MLB.com) on Phillip Ervin, an outfielder who had a good first week in spring training. Ervin says he’s received valuable help from several veterans on the instructional staff:
“Watching Phillip Ervin, you see him out there and he looks like a big leaguer,” Price said. “He’s stolen a couple of bases. He’s made some nice defensive plays in the outfield. He’s shown some power. He’s driven some base hits to right field.”Ã‚Â Ervin has been working with Reds hitting coach Don Long, but also taking instruction from a pair of former Reds in Eric Davis and Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. They have shown him where he needs to make improvement.Ã‚Â “I’m not preparing myself correctly for an at-bat, just my setup and stuff, and mentally, too,” Ervin said.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ C. Trent Rosecrans (Cincinnati Enquirer) talked to switch-hitting Tucker Barnhart about the catcher’s growing confidence that he’ll reduce his platoon split. BarnhartÃ‚Â has carried a pronounced difference from the left and right side through a 6-year minor league, a gap that has continued into the majors: .158/.222/.158 (vs. LHP) compared to .259/.330/.347 (vs. RHP).
Hitting a home run is always a good feeling, but for Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart, hitting one right-handed, like he did on Saturday, Ã¢â‚¬Å“almost feels twice as goodÃ¢â‚¬Â as hitting one left-handed.Ã‚Â All four of BarnhartÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s career homers in the big leagues have come from the left side, and in his two years in the big leagues, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hit .259 from the left side and .158 from the right side. Barnhart even considered giving up switch-hitting at one point, but has stuck with it.