The Cincinnati Reds are still undefeated in 2016 after a tie (A TIE?!) yesterday against the Cleveland Indians. Let’s take a look at the starting lineup for today:
- Jake Cave – CF
- Ivan De Jesus – SS
- Joey Votto – 1B
- Brandon Phillips – 2B
- Jay Bruce – RF
- Adam Duvall – LF
- Jordan Pacheco – DH
- Tucker Barnhart – C
- Alex Blandino – 3B
- Anthony DeSclafani – P
Anthony DeSclafani will get the start for the Reds and is lined up to start on opening day. Also scheduled to pitch in the game: Layne Somsen, Jonathan Sanchez, Stephen Johnson, JJ Hoover, Pedro Villarreal and Sal Romano. Other pitchers on the roster today include Dayan Diaz, Drew Hayes and Zack Weiss.
Minor league position players Ramon Cabrera, Joe Hudson, Chad Wallach, Brantley Bell, Calten Daal, Eric Jagielo, Gavin LaValley, Jose Peraza, Blake Trahan, Juan Duran, Phillip Ervin, Tyler Holt, Yorman Rodriguez, Scott Schebler, Kyle Waldrop and Jesse Winker will also be in uniform today.
What to watch for today
The Jake Cave show has been in full effect for the first two games of the spring. He’s looked good at the plate early on and he’s getting another start in center today. He wasn’t really tested defensively in either of the other two games. It would be nice to see him try to stretch his range in center to see what he’s got out there.
Alex Blandino was a third baseman in college, but he’s played shortstop and second base since he was drafted in June of 2014 for the Reds. With Brandon Phillips and Jose Peraza both ahead of him at second base, likely his best position, perhaps third base or even a super utility type of role could be in his future. A lot still has to be decided, not just by Blandino before any of that happens, but it will be interesting to see how he handles the position if he gets anything hit his way.
Eric Jagielo hasn’t gotten into a game yet, so perhaps today is the day in which he takes the field. The defense is the big question mark with him, but I’d like to see him swing the bat at this point more than see him take the field.
Jonathan Sanchez has a long history of struggling with his control. One game doesn’t change that, but I will be watching to see how he controls the strikezone. The same thing can be said for Stephen Johnson, who came over to the Reds from the Giants in the Marlon Byrd trade. Sal Romano will be coming out of the bullpen for the first time in his career (technically, he relieved Amir Garrett once this year when the game was delayed in the middle, then resumed the next day. Romano started the resumed game – but it’s technically a relief appearance). He’s was the hardest thrower in the system last season and that’s always fun to watch when guys are bringing the heat. Layne Somsen, if you are watching on MLB.tv, is going to show off his above-average curveball. Keep an eye out for it – it’s a good looking pitch.