Opening Day in Cincinnati is special. There’s a parade. There are way more fans downtown around the ballpark than the number of seats available in the ballpark. It’s truly a party and a celebration.

Not everything went well for the Reds on Opening Day, with the team falling to 0-1 with a 5-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. But not everything went poorly, either. Jonathan India looked good at the plate and he, Jake Fraley, and Spencer Steer all got on base three times. Relievers Alex Young and Derek Law came out of the bullpen and threw more than an inning and stranded a combined three inherited runners. And hey, if you’re a Castellini – you got a record crowd of 44,063 people to buy a ticket to the game.

But all of that happened yesterday. And one of the best things about Major League Baseball is that you get to play tomorrow. Except when you don’t. With all of the great things about Opening Day in Cincinnati, and how important and celebrated the day is, the Reds get a built in off day following the opener just in case there is a rain out and that way the team can do it all again the next day without causing any ticketing issues for fans and all of that.

If the Reds come out victorious on Opening Day, the off day to follow isn’t so much of a problem. The fan base is living off of that high of not having baseball for six months and then experiencing a positive outcome that they can sit on until the team takes the field again on Saturday. But when it’s a loss on Opening Day things don’t quite feel the same. You want to get back on the field and get that loss behind you. The fans want to try and forget about not having baseball for six months only to get it back and experience a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game that was sloppy on both sides, but saw the home team come up short of a come backs in the 9th.

The team gets back on the field tomorrow and Nick Lodolo faces off against the team that drafted him in the 1st round out of high school back in 2016. A new day. A new game. And hopefully a game that goes a bit better.

Notes around the nation

Triple-A begins

Update at 1:35pm – The game has been postponed. Doubleheader for the Bats tomorrow at 6:05pm ET.

While the Cincinnati Reds have today off, the Triple-A Louisville Bats season starts tonight. They will be on the road to begin the season, heading off to Nashville for a 3-game series. As I type this the roster for the Bats still has not been released. We do know that Joey Votto will be with Louisville on the trip and will begin his rehab assignment. He may not be the only one, either. Nick Senzel, Tony Santillan, Lucas Sims, and Luke Weaver all are on the injured list as well, but have been working their way back. If they aren’t with Louisville tonight, odds are that they’ll be joining the Bats for a rehab assignment soon. If you have then you should be able to watch the game as is included this year. The game is at 7:35pm ET if you are interested in checking it out.

One fun thing about Triple-A this year is that Hawkeye has been installed across both of the Triple-A leagues and we will be getting access to all of the Statcast data that we get in the big leagues for the Louisville Bats. The rest of the Reds farm teams won’t begin until next week. Dayton and Chattanooga begin on Thursday, while Daytona has to wait until Friday.

Hunter Greene still throws lasers

The game wasn’t a great one for Hunter Greene. He got squeezed a little bit by the umpire, David Bell probably pulled him a tad early, and unfortunately for Greene and the Reds it just wasn’t a good day for Fernando Cruz who came in to relieve him. But hey, it’s a long season and there can still be fun things to take from the outing. And Hunter Greene throwing more 100 MPH pitches than the rest of the league combined is a fun takeaway. Those 44 fastballs over 100 MPH don’t include two that took place during the at bat against Andrew McCutchen where it was initially shown that Greene hit 105.2 MPH. That pitch, along with another one, were removed from Statcast as it was believed to be a malfunction.

48 Responses

  1. RedBB

    Was thinking about subscribing to MiLB. Noticed its $3.99 a month vs $29. 99 a year. Why would anyone pick the year option as that seems like it would be more expensive?

    • Doug Gray

      That’s a good question.

      I would guess that for people like me – having access for a full year is important because I use it to go back and watch games for scouting and information purposes during the offseason. It’s great to have if and when trades are made and minor leaguers are acquired so I can go back and watch their games.

      But yeah, it doesn’t make a ton of sense if you’re not going to be doing things like I do. Unless I’m missing something.

      • RedBB

        Ya I dunno. I subscribed 2 years ago to watch Hunter Greene and Lodolo pitch. I went back and noticed I had a half off coupon so the yearly was only $20. Guess I will just go month to month for now unless I can find a promo code.

  2. MBS

    I subscribed to for 1 month, and it ends on the 6th this month. I wanted to watch spring training games, but I didn’t want to overcommit to a deal that would possible blackout regular season games, and that seems to be the case.

    Long story short I couldn’t figure out this morning how to watch the MILB games that comes with the subscription. Anyone figured that out? I’d like to watch the Bats tonight.

    • Jim Walker

      I just followed the instructions in the article Doug linked.
      Here is the context>I have the At Bat level at MLB which means I get MLB audio plus the MiLBTV. I have had a MiLB account for 2 years using the same email I use for MLB. I had previously canceled the auto renewal for MiLBTV on the MiLB site. My rights to watch MiLBTV should have expired at midnight Thursday (March30 into 31). My hardware is a Windows 11PC running Edge Browser. I watched MiLBTV regularly last season on this PC using Edge.

      >when I logged into MLB(.)com and went to the MLBTV home the Louisville Bats game was listed along with the MLB slate of games and was marked as postponed.

      >>I then linked my MLB account to MiLB using the link for this in the article Doug linked above. A screen came up which said my eligibility was being verified. In several seconds the full slate of AAA games came up just as it would have in the past when I logged directly into MILB and clicked on “WATCH” at the top of their home page.

      >>>I selected the only game shown as currently active (Salt Lake City vs Sacramento). The screen switched to a screen I recognized as the viewing screen with a spinning circle on a black background (i.e. content loading). However, after 30 seconds or so of the spinning circle, the game had not come up, so I closed the window.

      >>>>I switched to Chrome browser, logged directly into MiLB, and the same thing happened. I will try later when other games are up and post results if anything different happens.

      • Jim Walker

        Eureka! 4:37PM EDT 31 March Iron Pigs vs Mudhens video is playing for me on my PC via Edge.

        >checked my account info to confirm the link from MLB was in place then logged out, closed the browser and logged directly back into MiLB. Selected the game from the ribbon scoreboard on the MiLB page.

      • Jim Walker

        oops didn’t look closely enough, it IronPigs vs Red Wings not Mud Hens 😉

      • Doug Gray

        I was able to watch Syracuse vs whoever they were playing on the MLBtv App on my television by changing my “favorite team” to the Mets.

        That’s an option this year – whatever your “favorite team” is selected as, you will be able to choose from that organization’s affiliates each day to watch through the app as long as the game is available on MiLBtv.

      • Jim Walker

        Doug>> It looks like I am now good to go to MiLB games through MiLB(.)com just like when I was a direct subscriber.

      • Jedi Joey

        This is so amazing! I was pleasantly surprised to get the streaming with my MLB At Bat subscription this year. Best 20 bucks ever. Watching Columbus and Iowa now.

  3. kypodman

    “it just wasn’t a good day for Fernando Cruz”, that’s an understatement! Tell it like it is, “He was fricking awful!”. Also, as I stated in my comments on the game thread yesterday, he should not have been in there, Young should have been in with all the lefties in their lineup. This is on Bell for not having a righty and lefty warming up. High leverage situations occur through out the game and this was one of them and Bell fell short in game/bullpen management. When Keller started to fade for the Pirates, the TV showed the Pirates bullpen and THEY had a righty and lefty warming up. Bell lacks in forward thinking throughout games, SAD!

    • RedBB

      Yep Bell needs to go…I’m just tired of him. Might be one good thing if we continue to lose.

    • Doug Gray

      Cruz has reverse splits and lefties hit .154/.241/.192 against him last year in the big leagues, and they hit worse than that against him in Triple-A. Putting him in to face a lefty was in no way at all a “bad move”. It was a move that turned out bad. But there’s a big difference between the two things. You not knowing that and being angry about it….. SAD!

      • Doc

        It’s tough when facts get in the way of a good theory and rant!

  4. MK

    Does the fact that Cincinnati makes such a big deal about Opening Day end up hurting the team’s performance? I see young players who have made an opening day roster for the first time really struggle. If we look at Benson and Cruz’s performances yesterday have to wonder if nerves got them.

    • RedBB

      Benson 0-4 with 4 K’s is just one game but there were big red flags in Spring Training,. 0BB and 12K’s and an OPS barely over .700. Reds seemed intent on him starting to make the trade and themselves look good. When the dust settles it could end up being a very bad trade for us.

      • CI3J

        @RedBB I am baffled why Benson has suddenly lost the ability to take a walk. His OBP numbers in the minors were very good, now he’s turned into Billy Hamilton.

        I wonder is someone got in his ear and told him to “be more aggressive”, and this is the result?

      • Jim Walker

        A player can’t take walks if they throw him strikes. In Benson’s big 2022 season at AAA his BB rate was ~20% and his BABIP was .340 but with a 22% K rate. The BB rate and BABIP simultaneously were Barry Bonds (BB%) and Joey Votto (BABIP) territory respectively.

        MLB scouts probably took a look at these, decided Benson knew what a ball vs. a strike looked like, and decided to make him prove the .340 BABIP wasn’t a fluke.

    • redfanorbust

      Hey MK,
      I am sure that had a lot to do with it. Stevenson swinging on the first pitch with the bases loaded and no outs and grounding into a double play might have been nerves also. On side note I was sure Fairchild was safe at second from what I could tell from replay. Was is just me or was anyone else surprised by the reviewed out call?

      • Matt WI

        I’m with you. I thought it was close, but that his foot was for sure in before the tag. I thought so in live time, and then moreso in the replay.

      • BK

        He was safe on replay, not sure what NY saw that fell short of irrefutable evidence. I am a little concerned they rushed their decision.

      • Jim Walker

        My 1st impulse at full speed was safe but then I thought, well it could be my bias for the Reds and Fairchild coloring what I thought I saw.

        They showed one replay in super slow motion looking down from the high 1B camera area which appeared to show the 2B bag recoiling as Fairchild’s foot hit it; and, this was clearly (to my eye) before the tag.

        However, this view did NOT clearly show Fairchild’s foot in contact with the bag; and, there was the also appearance of a slight recoil in Fairchild’s foot in response to it hitting the bag. So I’m guessing since they couldn’t see Fairchild in contact with the bag before he was tagged, despite the inference of the base movement that he had gotten in, the call on the field stood.

        As Doug said Thursday afternoon, given the closeness of the play and the views from the available replays, that one was almost certain to stand as called (by the rules) regardless of what the gut feeling of the folks watching in NYC might have been.

      • Melvin

        From the camera angles we had to look at he was safe in my view. Of course NY may have had something different.

    • Doug Gray

      Benson? Maybe.

      Cruz? Doubt it. He was pitching in the WBC with way crazier crowds and probably feeling a lot more pressure.

    • CI3J

      I think there were definitely nerves involved. Some players seemed too hyped up and were over-executing, for a lack of better word.

      Let’s see how the team does when the spotlight isn’t on them.

      • TR

        A very nice crowd, in fact a GABP record at 44,063. Maybe this is an indicator the Reds might have more 20,000 plus crowds this season during the midweek.

    • LDS

      If Cruz was going to suffer “nerves”, it would have been last year when he finally got a shot at 32. At this point, I choose to chalk it up to just a bad game. I don’t fault Bell for going with Cruz. Usually, he’s too focused on handedness. Cruz’s walk rate, even in the MiLB, was a bit higher than ideal. I blame the 3-batter minimum rule for Cruz more than I do Bell. In fact, I thought his sticking with relievers more than an inning each was a good sign. Not that I’ve changed my opinion on Bell, just his pitcher usage here doesn’t warrant the same criticism as some of his other management decisions, e.g., PR’ing Fairchild. It’s the first game of the season and I’m not expecting as many wins this season as the average RLN writer on Doug’s team.

  5. Trevor

    Looks like Louisville/Nashville is postponed tonight; Saturday twin-bill starting at 6p.m

    Also, First Pitch is the MiLB app for watching minor-league games.

    • JB

      Thanks for the update Trevor. I was wondering what time tomorrow.

  6. Jay

    I had seat in left field bleachers and observed Will Benson pull a smartphone out of his pocket several times during the game. Is this normal?

    • Doug Gray

      Are you sure it was a phone and not the hitter cards that tell him where to play defensively for each hitter?

      • MBS

        That’s my bad, I was texting him during the game. It won’t happen again.

      • Jim Walker

        He was probably checking what commenters on RLN were saying about his performance. 😉

      • TR

        I get along with a flip phone. Could the hitter cards info now be on a small I-phone?

    • wkuchad

      Pulled out a phone while in the field? Zero chance of that.

  7. Rednat

    i am wondering what type of pressure there is to perform on our reds players this year? There did seem to be a nervous energy yesterday? maybe it was opening day but I am thinking that there would be at least some level of embarrassment for this team if they lose 100 games again. How would you like to be a player on a team that lost 100 games for 2 seasons in a row for the first time in franchise history? psychologically i think that could take a toll as the season progresses

    maybe tomorrow they will be more relaxed

    • Harry Stoner

      No nerves for Bell, who seemed in mid season form.

      Bell might be the only guy on the franchise who doesn’t have to worry about the consequences of losing 100 games for a second year in a row.

    • VaRedsFan

      Judging by the records of all of their minor league teams, they are kind used to it, so no pressure.

  8. old-school

    Bobby Nightengale has some injury updates. Seems like Votto might be closer than Senzel simply because Votto has had game reps. Senzel looks like weeks away to get his spring training reps in real games. Luke Weaver is going on paternity leave soon but arm is doing well. He could be back mid-april. Lucas Sims looks weeks away as well. The bad news is Santillan. He had a knee flare up and setback and mid april isnt there anymore as a timetable.Arm is ok

    A health Weaver Sims and Santillan would help this pitching staff.

    • Jeremiah

      It’s amazing that major league baseball players really can hit 101 102 mph pitches as long as they’re not moving a whole lot. I think hunter green can be an above average starter but his fastball doesn’t move a whole lot. I tend to think lodolo and Ashcraft will be better starters. But that should be a good thing if it becomes true because I think hunter green will be good but I’m not sure he’ll be great. I think the Reds should have signed a veteran someone like Wade Miley just so they have someone who has won major league games. But I tend to think they’ll do that next off season when they think they’ll be more ready to contend. Stevenson might be a little rusty I think he hadn’t played in a while right coming back from injury. I just hope for the Reds they can stay healthy. If I were the Reds I would either trade senzel or cut him I think they need to move on. I’d love to see votto finish well but I think sadly for him the Reds will probably be good as soon as he retires. It kind of seems like a Changing of the Guard, I think David Bell though needs to be part of that Changing of the Guard too. I have nothing against him but I don’t think he’s the best manager for this team going forward.

    • Jim Walker

      When Votto says he is ready, he will be up post haste with no doubt. However, with Senzel apparently “weeks” behind, a situation could develop where he has to play his way onto the team.

      IF (very big if) the team is playing well and the candidate(s) to be displaced by him are doing well and contributing consistently, Senzel may have to convince Krall, he would do at least as well.

  9. William

    I enjoyed watching Steer play yesterday. Greene will have better days. I enjoyed watching a close game. Have fun this season. Go Reds!

  10. LDS

    Solak to Seattle for cash. Mention cash and Bob sends Krall to collect. Though anything for Solak was probably a win.

    • Jim Walker

      Wonder if they managed to cover Justin Dunn’s 2023 salary on this deal? 😉

      • Harry Stoner

        I have a feeling we won’t be seeing any more of Dunn than we did of Kojak.