Games out west against the Dodgers have taken on a new significance now that I know what Charlie Sheen was up to during the early '90s. Fortunately, this game will be held in Arizona, that safe haven of moral rectitude. The Reds and Dodgers are in primetime tonight, working on their night moves. Dusty says he wants to get his core starters some experience under the lights: "(I) want them to be under the lights because we only have one more under the lights until we start the season. Then you're under the lights 80 percent of the time."
This evening's lineup is very similar to what we might see on Opening Day, with the exception of a late withdrawal by Jay Bruce, who is apparently under the weather. He'll be replaced by Danny Dorn, who I find to be an increasingly tragic figure. Despite being a very promising platoon partner for Gomes, he has almost no chance of making the team, due in large part to defense that, at least in the estimation of the Reds' org, appears to be seen as sub-Gomes.
Travis Wood takes the hill tonight, to be followed by Cordero, Chapman, Maloney and LeCure. Pitchers are stretching out ever so slightly and also enjoying that extra 1/3 of a day's rest provided by the 9:05 start. With the exception of Volquez, Wood is the last remaining rotation candidate to make his first start. (Speaking of Volquez, his visa has been approved and he should be able to make at least 4 appearances over the remainder of the spring). JinAZ gave us a great run-down of Wood's pitching arsenal today. We'll see if he has any rust tonight. His exposure last season suggests a well-honed and diligent pitcher whose upstart status and lack of "electric stuff" often obscures his poise and extensive professional experience. Just read his resume, it's all there.