The Reds will play their first game of the spring this afternoon at 3pm (and it will be on MLB Network at 5pm on tape delay – which brings me to a tough decision as to how to handle following the game) against the Indians. The starting lineup, via Better off Red: Billy Hamilton, CF | Brandon Phillips, 2B | Joey Votto, 1B | Jay Bruce, RF | Ryan Ludwick, LF | Todd Frazier, 3B | Zack Cozart, SS | Devin Mesoraco, C | Brayan Pena, DH | Alfredo Simon, P.

Of course being a spring training game, particularly one in the early part of the spring, there will be substitutes coming in throughout the game. We also have the first wave of replacements already on the lineup card. Here are those guys: Skip Schumaker, CF | Kristopher Negron, 2B | Neftali Soto, 1B | Chris Heisey, RF | Donald Lutz, LF | Chris Nelson, 3B | Ramon Santiago, SS | Tucker Barnhart, C | Roger Bernadina, DH.

Here is the list of other players that will be there and available for the game. Jack Hannahan, Rossmel Perez (I am assuming it is him, though he is listed as a switch hitter on the lineup card and he is listed as a lefty on the actual roster page), Henry Rodriguez, Jason Bourgeois, Corky Miller, Max Ramirez, Argenis Diaz, Rey Navarro, Juan Duran, Ryan LaMarre, Yorman Rodriguez, Lee Hyde, Chad Rogers, Tim Crabbe, Curtis Partch, Pedro Beato and Trevor Bell.

I imagine that the starting lineup, minus Alfredo Simon and Brayan Pena, is exactly what Bryan Price is looking to run with during the season on most days. There are plenty of prospects on the roster for the game tomorrow and we will get first looks as Reds at Skip Schumaker, Chris Nelson, Ramon Santiago and Roger Bernadina. There are also some first time Reds on the squad for tomorrow that we could also be seeing for the first time if they make it into the game.

Other news and notes

Jason Parks released the Baseball Prospectus Farm System Rankings this morning. The Cincinnati Reds come in at #16 where he has this to say about the State of the Farm:

The top tier of the farm is flashy with loud tools and high projections, and the middle contains a healthy amount of solid-average types with realistic major-league futures.

If you have missed the evening posts this week, I have been rolling out short videos to introduce the minor league guys as they head to spring training with some information on each guy. You can check them out here.

Dusty Baker doesn’t think that the Reds gave him enough help during his tenure to win. While I can understand his point about 2013 with all of the injuries piling up, in his tenure with the Reds he was given an MVP, four all-star caliber players were traded for (Latos, Choo, Marshall and Broxton) and he had one of the best pitching staffs in baseball for several years at the end of his run as manager. Oh, he also had guys like Bruce and Phillips who were pretty good in their own rights. What do you guys think about what he said?

JJ Cooper talked about prospects that just missed out on the Baseball America Top 100 list in yesterdays mailbag column. Jesse Winker and Phillip Ervin were both on the short list of players who just missed.

Chris St. John of Beyond the Box Score accumulated a bunch of Top 100 lists, both regular and fantasy related lists, and came up with an overall cumulative top prospects list for both versions. Robert Stephenson, Billy Hamilton, Phillip Ervin and Jesse Winker all made an appearance. Robert Stephenson comes in at #18 and #16 (fantasy), Billy Hamilton is ranked 53rd and 32nd (fantasy), Phillip Ervin finds himself at #91 and #89 (fantasy) and Jesse Winker rounds out the Reds on the list at #142 and #102 (fantasy).

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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