The Cincinnati Reds begin Cactus League play tomorrow afternoon. They had previously announced that left-handed pitcher Brandon Williamson would start the opener against the Cleveland Guardians, but they had not announced anyone who would be starting beyond that. That changed this afternoon. On Sunday against San Francisco the Reds will send newcomer to the organization Luke Weaver to the mound for the start. Monday will have the team handing the ball over to Hunter Greene as he starts against the Texas Rangers.

Saturday vs. Cleveland

The game will be available to watch on Bally Sports Ohio and You can listen to it on 700 WLW. After Brandon Williamson exits the game the team is expected to get some relief from the following pitchers: Daniel Norris, Fernando Cruz, Daniel Duarte, Ricky Karcher, Derek Law, Reiver Sanmartin, Buck Farmer, and Lucas Sims.

Sunday vs. San Francisco

Sunday’s contest against the Giants will not be available to watch. You can listen in the greater Cincinnati area on 1360 WSAI. Once Luke Weaver exits the game the Reds are expected to turn the game over to the following relievers: Levi Stoudt, Tayron Guerrero, Joel Kuhnel, Alan Busenitz, Ben Lively, Alexis Diaz, Ian Gibaut, and Silvino Bracho.

Monday vs. Texas

Monday will see the Reds return to television on Bally Sports Ohio, and unlike Saturday’s game it will feature the Reds broadcast crew (Saturday will be the Cleveland broadcasters). When Hunter Greene completes his work the bullpen will take over and is expected to feature these pitchers out of the bullpen: Connor Overton, Luis Cessa, Lyon Richardson, Casey Legumina, Alex Young, and Kevin Herget. Perhaps we’ll get a look at the change up that Greene was working on during the offseason.

ZiPS likes the Reds Prospects

Dan Szymborski released the Top 100 prospects over at Fangraphs according to his ZiPS projections earlier today. The Reds have seven Top 100 prospects, and 11 on the top 200 (the players rated 101-200 aren’t shown in the article, but are referenced). Three players – Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte, and Matt McLain are inside the top 31 on the list.

Among the Top 100 prospect list only Cleveland (9) and Baltimore (8) have more prospects on the list than Cincinnati does. Among the Top 200 it’s just the Los Angeles Dodgers (16!) and the Orioles (12) with more prospects on the list than the Reds (11).

The Reds seem to be collecting shortstop prospects and that showed up in these rankings:

The Cincinnati Reds have accumulated a comical number of shortstop prospects. Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte, and (surprisingly) Matt McLain all make the top 15. Edwin Arroyo missed, but he ranks 58th overall, and yet another shortstop, 2021 third-rounder Jose Torres, finishes in the Top 200. Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, both higher-floor/lower-ceiling guys in ZiPS’ view, ought to feel a bit of urgency because someone here is inevitably going to join the fight for third base!

40 Responses

  1. old-school

    Id love to see Hunter Greene step up and be a true #1 and start a long string of Opening Day starts at GABP. Im predicting 2023 is his first Opening Day start and it wont be his last.

    • Melvin

      He probably will be this year and the next “few” years. The question is how long will the Reds keep him?

    • JayTheRed

      I feel like Lodolo has a shot though to be opening day starter due to his consistency.

      • MK

        Really like to see Lodolo between Greene and Ashcraft regularly so Ashcraft or Greene would be my choice for Game1 with Lodolo in Game 2. Ashcraft would probably be my choice as he seems to stay emotionally grounded.

  2. Optimist

    The ZiPS list is very interesting – slightly downgrades EDLC (hedging on the certainty perhaps?) and has Cerda in the top 100, and Torres in the top 200.

    Even with the qualifiers about the gradation of the rankings – 11 of 200 is impressive, and with no pitchers in the top 100, there’s the opportunity for someone to breakout and make the mid-season list.

  3. Klugo

    So, how do teams like the Dodgers and Indians have such strong farm systems while winning so much? All the while it takes tanking by Cincy to get there?

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      They are good at scouting. They are good at development. And the two sides work together in the sense that the scouts are looking for players who fit the development paths that their system is best at working with. Also it is the Guardians now.

      • doofus

        I will always know them as the Native Americans.

    • doofus

      I think the Dodgers and the Guardian insurance company truly know to develop players in their farm systems. The Reds, not so much.

    • DaveCT

      The Dodgers as well as teams like the Padres, NYY, Red Sox, Cubs seem to have traditionally cast a wide next for high priced international players, complemented by great (and likely expensive) scouting. I can’t comment on how that’s impacted by today’s rules governing signing the international kids. But it was a broad market for them to exploit, a they should if possible — same as the players taking the big bonuses.

  4. doofus

    I will always know them as the Native Americans.

  5. Frankie Tomatoes

    I am very surprised to see Allan Cerda on the list. He walks a lot and he can play good defense but it is just such a tough thing to buy into that a guy who hit under .200 last year in AA and hit under .220 in A last year is that caliber of a prospect. Doug did not have him in the Reds top 20.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I’m higher on Cerda than most of what I’ve seen posted about him either here or RML. So, I’m happy to see him stick around and also to get a little recognition still as a prospect. That said his profile is very boom or bust, and he has a K% that is currently unsustainable. (Though it did move in the right direction from 36%-30% as he moved up a level to AA).

      What I like about Cerda is that he gets on base at a well above average rate, has speed, can play all three OF spots, and when he makes contact he does damage. If he can get the K% around 25% he would be a very valuable player consider his other tools. That’s the big IF with him, and it’s a tall task as he continues to move up levels and sees better pitching. If not I think he still makes for a great 4th OF, bench type of guy that offers speed, power, defense.

  6. Votto4life

    How many of the top 100 Major Leaguers do the Reds have? I suspect none.

    • Votto4life

      100 major league players is basically 4 major league rosters.

      That would mean a total of 20 major league starting pitchers. Does Lodolo or Greene make the top 40? I would suggest no.

      It is also basically 28 relievers. Diaz is the only one to make the top 28.

      8 catchers – Stephenson is borderline but I hear he is now a 1B/DH now.

      Basically, the Reds have 1 of the top 100 Major League players.

      • Kevin H

        Yet the players playing in major league baseball are MLB players. Your not.

        The reds may not be good this year, however they are still the best of the best. Acting like they aren’t good is just not accurate. They again are the best of the best.

        Some on here act like it’s so simple playing in the big leagues.

      • Votto4life

        I am not a major league player. That’s a true statement.

      • MBS

        @kevin, I think he’s comparing MLB players vs MLB players. It’s not an insult to them, especially in the context of this article which references a ranking of the best MILB players. Baseball is easy, I am batting nearly .400BA, with 36 Bombs on MLB the show.

      • JB

        MBS- Can you play outfield? You would look good in right with those numbers.

  7. Jim Walker

    And here is the next domino in the regional sports networks’ collapse….

    Warner Brothers Discovery, DBA AT&T SportsNet in the Houston, Colorado, and Pittsburgh markets has advised teams they do NOT have funds to make rights payments within their RSN infrastructure; and, the parent company, WBD, will NOT bail the RSNs out.

    WBD is seeking to hand the rights back to the leagues (MLB in all 3 markets, NBA in Houston and Colorado and NHL in Pittsburgh). If the leagues do not take back the rights, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, i.e. liquidation of the RSNs to pay creditors is possible.

    • Mark Moore

      Sounds like it’s going to be a freefall. MLB is likely going to have to step up and close the gaps. I wonder what that means for blackout markets.

    • MBS

      I’ve been saying that baseball needs to make a national deal with a streaming service since before the last collective bargaining agreement. Now it seems as if that is its only viable option. Hopefully they’ve got a few preliminary talks with Apple, Netflix, etc… If they try to go fully independent, it’s going to be tough to get the number of subscribers on the MLB app in the short term.

      • Jim Walker

        Commissioner Manfred (eventually) wants a centralized solution through MLB.TV per quotes in The Athletic. The quotes infer that full local packages would be offered (i.e. end of the blackouts) through this solution. Here is the link for those who can get through the paywall:

        However, the commissioner also realizes the solution is going to necessarily include cable/ satellite distribution because there are significant areas of the country where sufficient broadband penetration to support direct streaming simply does not exist (St Louis/ KC markets are prime examples though I would suspect the Reds also have a number of market areas where direct streaming infrastructure would be an issue).

    • Votto4life

      It will be interesting to see what the financial impact will be for the teams. Does it mean teams without their own TV deals (e.g. Reds) receive more revenue or less? Will it mean MLB move to dividing up all TV Revenue across the board. I can’t imagine teams like the Yankees would agree to that.

      In addition to not being a major league player, I am also not a TV executive.

      @Jim Walker. Any idea what the financial ramifications might be for the Reds and other teams if Bally’s go under?

      • BK

        Reportedly, the Red’s contract is worth between $55M and $60M annually. Reportedly, they also have an equity stake in their RSN. It’s unclear how much the Reds will lose once Sinclair (Diamond) files for bankruptcy (a near certainty at this point).

        That said, the Reds would certainly lose money near-term. Companies can reorganize in Bankruptcy Court (Chapter 11) or liquidate (Chapter 7). The equity stake will almost certainly be lost in total under either option. I have no idea how much of their expected revenue will be lost this year. A portion of RSN revenue also goes into MLB’s revenue-sharing pot, so presumably, revenue-sharing proceeds will be negatively affected. Revenue-sharing contributions are based on a team’s three prior seasons, which will have a lingering effect for the next few years.

        Lastly, the problem is that the RSNs don’t collect enough revenue to justify their contracts. While Sinclair (Diamond) is heavily leveraged (and in a worse position than others because of that debt), I would expect future contracts will be less than they are now–at least for a while. Hope that answers your question.

      • Votto4life


        thank you so much for your detailed answer. The knowledge of the folks here on RLN never ceases to amaze me. Thanks again!

  8. Mark Moore

    When I read rankings of prospects now, I think about what Doug posted earlier this week. Those rankings are out of 5,000+ guys, so top 100 is a pretty elite group.

    • Harry Stoner

      I suppose so, but maybe 20% of those will turn out to be very good players.

      MLB baseball is a pretty exclusive game.

      Ask Shogo.

    • Optimist

      There’s a steep dropoff after the first 5-10 spots – not much difference from 30 to 100, or 50 to 150. Still, 11 of 200 is good, especially if Collier and a pitcher or two put up decent stats through June. They should have 13-14 of 200, and with luck and performance, Collier and a pitcher may get in the top 50. Given the state of the Reds, Phillips, Petty and Boyle can move quickly, let alone a surprise amongst the rest.

      • DaveCT

        It’s fun to look at the Top 200 draft prospects and contrast those to the Top 200 pro prospects a year or so later. I also like to check out our 1-10 draftees and whether they’re Top 200 or not, I usually feel ok with getting four Top 100 guys and four more in the Top 200. Usually a task deep into hot stove season.

  9. Old-school

    Sam greene photographer at enquirer has pics up

    Interesting to see old friend Dich Williams taking in spring training

    It was captioned as “part of the ownership group and former executive”

    Could Williams return as BC replacement as principal owner?

    • Jim Walker

      DW’s dad and uncle are listed along with Bob Castellini as “principal owners” in various Reds publications/ media guides Over the years there has been speculation that the combined Williams holdings in the Reds represent a larger share of voting equity than the Castellini holding.

      Short of buying the managing partner rights from the Castellini family, from what little is known about the Reds’ internal organizational structure, it “probably” would take 2/3 to 3/4 of the Reds’ voting equity to override or dissolve the managing partner arrangement.

      Given DW’s background in high finance before he signed on with the Reds, I wouldn’t bet against him should he decide to make a move for the managing partner rights to the Reds. My question would be whether he is sitting back waiting for the fullness of time to clear the path.

      • DataDumpster

        One of many possibilities. Sit back, watch the prospects, and see if a real starting 8 nucleus and pitching staff develops for the long term. After a disaster in 2022 of performance and development, most positions are unsettled. With the clearing of the major payroll obligations, no satisfactory future for Bob and Phil (and likely David Bell) from the fanbase, I would not be surprised to see Dick in and Bob out or an outright sale of the team.
        I just can’t fathom that the ownership would just keep pat with the setup they have and plead patience unless the team breaks out strongly to the upside. Unlikely.

      • Old-school

        At the very least, the optics of DW on a Reds baseball field in Goodyear in February watching the team first week of work outs are very good.

    • MBS

      I’d like to see DW’s aggressiveness on spending, coupled with Krall’s decision making. DW would also be the best face for the ownership group, Bob, Phil, and Krall are not the best public speakers.

      • BK

        The driver for spending with the Reds has been Bob Castellini. Until the last two years (and there is mounting evidence that external factors drove reduced spending over these last two years), he’s consistently put cash flow back into the team. The result has been the Reds typically have middle-of-the-pack payrolls. The downside is that they’ve lacked the flexibility to add payroll mid-season or to make significant commitments in the off-season–over the last decade, plus they’ve largely taken on mid-sized or smaller contracts.

        They will clearly need to spend more in the future. But they need to avoid spending every available dollar on depth pieces/average free agents each offseason. The financial “reset” we’re experiencing will posture them to do this. Hopefully, they will display better patience in free agent spending and avoid trading away prospects for short-term gain leaving the farm barren.

    • BK

      I would be a fan of DW taking over after BC. Phil C. has displayed an inability to represent the team professionally. It wouldn’t surprise me if the other MLB or Reds Owners blocked his ascension to Managing Partner/CEO.

    • Votto4life

      I would welcome Dick Williams as majority owner. He made, what turned out to be, a couple of bad signings, but I think he clearly was on the right track.

      Let’s face it, the current ownership is never going to sell to an out of town Steve Cohen type. I was hoping Cincinnati’s own billionaire, Vivek Ramaswamy would buy the Reds, but apparently he is running for President instead.

      So yeah I would be happy to have Dick Williams in the big chair.