The Cincinnati Reds will host the Detroit Tigers this evening at 6:10pm ET for the final exhibition game before Opening Day on Friday night at Great American Ballpark between the two teams. Just like the game on Tuesday, you can follow along at Reds.com, MLB.tv, and listen in the Cincinnati area on 700 WLW. Hopefully the weather plays nice – there’s a chance for some thunderstorms in the area as the evening progresses (Boo! Hiss!).

Detroit Tigers vs Cincinnati Reds Lineups

Detroit Tigers

Cincinnati Reds

1 Niko Goodrum – SS Phillip Ervin – LF
2 Jonathan Schoop – 2B Josh VanMeter – 1B
3 Miguel Cabrera – 1B Eugenio Suarez – 3B
4 C.J. Cron – 1B Nick Castellanos – RF
5 Jeimer Candelario – 3B Mike Moustakas – 2B
6 Christin Stewart – LF Matt Davidson – DH
7 Victor Reyes – RF Nick Senzel – CF
8 Grayson Greiner – C Curt Casali – C
9 JaCoby Jones – CF Freddy Galvis – SS
SP Michael Fulmer José De León

Josh VanMeter is in the lineup for Joey Votto, who is fine. David Bell mentioned earlier today in his meeting with the press that VanMeter was among a few guys who may enter the game today early on. Seems that he’s just going to get the start instead.

The Starting Pitchers

Cincinnati – José De León

The biggest thing with regards to José De León is that he’s got the best facial hair game on the team and that it’s not particularly close. I mean, seriously, LOOK AT THIS:

When it comes to the actual pitching side of things, well – let’s dive on in. The 27-year-old right-handed pitcher is still rookie eligible despite pitching in parts of three seasons in the Majors. He’s only thrown 23.2 innings in his big league career between 2016, 2017, and 2019. Last season he threw 4.0 innings for Tampa Bay, striking out seven batters with three walks and giving up just one earned run.

In 2019 most of his season was spent in Triple-A Durham with the Rays organization. He made 13 starts and four relief appearances for the Bulls, posting a 3.51 ERA in 51.1 innings with 27 walks and 73 strikeouts. It was his first season back on the mound after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2018. His velocity wasn’t quite all of the way back to where it once was, but he was reportedly throwing harder this spring than he has been in a while. Keep an eye on the radar readings tonight. He’ll also mix in a very good change up. In the past he’s also thrown both a slider in the low 80’s and a curveball in the mid-70’s.

Detroit – Michael Fulmer

The 2016 American League Rookie of the year and a 2017 American League All-Star, Michael Fulmer has a career ERA of 3.81 over three seasons in the big leagues. But the right-handed starter missed all of the 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last spring.

Before his injury, he averaged 96 MPH with his fastball, while mixing in a mid-to-upper 80’s slider, and an upper 80’s change up. Over the first two years of his career, all three pitches rated out as above-average according to Fangraphs Pitch Value metric, but in 2018 the change up was well below-average, and his fastball went from being an above-average offering to a below-average one.

Baseball News and Notes

Nick Senzel sheds weight, is faster, ready to go

Reds outfielder Nick Senzel wants to be the best center fielder in the league, and during the time since last year ended and now, he’s put in the work to try and do just that. Since baseball shut down in mid-March he’s lost 20 pounds, gotten faster, and worked on a lot of defensive things to try and get there.

Reds Nick Senzel: I want to be the best center fielder in the league

Wade Miley throwing at Prasco Park

Lefty Wade Miley is staying on target for his turn in the rotation. Manager David Bell said that he was going to throw at Prasco Park today.

Where will Toronto Play?

Canada isn’t going to let the Toronto Blue Jays play in Toronto. And now the state of Pennsylvania has said no to letting the Blue Jays share PNC Park, too, which had been the plan for the last few days that everyone had been working on. Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that they may have to be play on the road during the season.

Mookie Betts gets his contract

The Los Angeles Dodgers and outfielder Mookie Betts have reportedly agreed to a 12-year contract extension. Depending on who you ask, it’s worth somewhere around $350M-$380M over the span of the deal. Jeff Passan of ESPN had it at $380M over the 13 years of time with the Dodgers, which presumably includes his salary this year.

29 Responses

  1. steve

    Doug has Matt Davidson made the final 30 ?

    • ScreaminRat

      Did the Reds get faked out? Looks like they’re facing a righty with their vs. lefty lineup.

  2. RedNat

    I like that Nick has lost weight to gain speed. So many players try to gain weight to add power and i feel this adversely affects the game. I hope this will be a new. Baseball has plenty of lions and tigers ‘ it needs more cheetahs and leopards to add excitement!

  3. Melvin

    Senzel losing weight should be less stressful on his body and hopefully help keep injuries away. I like it.

    • MK

      How did that work for skinny Eric Davis?

      • Melvin

        ha. I doubt seriously he’s skinny like Eric Davis. Some body fat is good.

      • greenmtred

        My recollection is that Eric the Red’s injuries often–mostly–involved connective tissue. I don’t think body weight would have helped.

      • Melvin

        A certain amount of body weight is healthy if you’re going to make contact in any way, ground, wall, or whatever. If nothing else it acts as a buffer to the internal organs. lol Eric Davis had virtually no body fat to speak of. He was a racing machine.

  4. Doug Gray

    Josh VanMeter starting at 1st base. Late lineup change, but Votto’s fine. Just wanted to get VanMeter some action after not playing yesterday.

  5. Sliotar

    Reds pitcher needs nearly 30 pitches to complete the top half of the 1st inning, playing before plenty of empty seats.

    Feels like a 2018 season flashback.

    • Sliotar

      Reds offense gets to 2nd and 3rd, no outs.

      Zero runs scored.

      Really feeling like a 2018 season flashback tonight.

  6. B-town fan

    As for the Blue Jays, I doubt when the time comes that the Montreal Canadians and the Toronto Maple Leafs and the rest of Canadian based NHL teams get treated like that.

    • Doug Gray

      They are playing in a bubble, not constantly in and out of the country. Huge difference between what the Blue Jays and their opponents are doing versus what the NHL teams are doing.

    • Sliotar

      NHL opted for the “hub” set-up … Western Conference teams in Edmonton, East (including Toronto and Montreal) in Toronto. Big difference from MLB.

      According to Canadian media sports twitter, bringing the Florida MLB teams and the Atlanta Braves into Canada was a huge red flag the whole time.

  7. Redsfan4life

    Cowboy, said Raley has made the team. From what I just saw his stuff is not good.
    Guessing he will be one of the four cuts when rosters go to 26. Hope he only pitches in mop up duty.

    • Don

      I did not think he looked good in the games between the two Reds teams last weekend either.

      In this short season all the bullpen pieces have to be able to be successful 95% (1 poor outing our of 20 appearance) this year. More than that and the team will be out of the race quickly.

      • Old-school

        Cubs on MLB Network. Homer bailey in mid-season form for the Twins. Rizzo makes it 2-0 after 2 batters.

  8. vegastypo

    I wonder if Romano feels like he might be auditioning for teams like the Tigers.

  9. Mark Moore

    A little small ball … I like it.

  10. Mark Moore

    Cowboy said Bob Steve in the 9th.

  11. DocProc

    Anyone know if Thrall’s pronunciation of VANmeter (rather than VanMEter) is Josh’s preferred pronunciation?

  12. Tom Mitsoff

    Just watched Davidson’s homer on replay — a meatball fastball. The guy can absolutely not hit a breaking pitch. I would be very disappointed if he makes the 30-man roster. There is no reason for any major league pitcher to ever throw him anything other than a breaking pitch or offspeed pitch.

    • VaRedsFan

      I still wonder why the Reds pitchers throw Javier Baez fastballs….but they kept doing it

    • Melvin

      Hope you’re not too disappointed. He’ll be gone soon I bet. 🙂 I’d personally rather see Aquino in that role.

  13. Old-school

    Jon Heyman is reporting MLB abd players reengaged on expanded playoffs to reowk by tomorrow.

    16 teams instead of 10.

  14. Old-school

    He strikes out a ton and has no spot except DH against lefty pitchers. He will be gone by the round of 28 unless he pulls a Derek dietrich at DH. Aquino hit 48 HR last year and is far better in long term. . That said, Phil Ervin cleaned up on bad lefties and never faced power righties. 6-6 at Coors field against a lefty with a home ERA of 10. That’s a narrow niche for Davidson and Ervin – never play against righties plus bad defense.

  15. MK

    I was surprised to hear that Senzel was considered average defensively analytically.