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Spring Game 4 Thread: Reds at Red Sox

MLB Florida and Arizona Spring Training - SB Nation



Cincinnati Reds @ Boston Red Sox

02/28/08 7:05 PM EDT

CINcinnati reds
Boston red sox
Drew Stubbs - CF Julio Lugo - SS
Jerry Hairston Jr. - SS Brad Wilkerson - CF
Joey Votto - 1B David Ortiz - DH
Edwin Encarnacion - 3B J.D. Drew - RF
Jay Bruce - RF Jason Bay - LF
Jonny Gomes - DH Jason Varitek - C
Jacque Jones - LF Chris Carter - 1B
Danny Richar - 2B Nick Green - 3B
Ramon Hernandez - C Gil Velazquez - 2B

Nick Masset toes the rubber for the Reds to start tonight's game.  Masset, as you know, is strangely competing for the 5th starter spot on a team packed with potential 5th starters.  He was a starter for most of his time in the minors, but has just 2 career starts in the Majors in 77 career games.  I know competition is supposedly a good thing, but on a team that already has Micah Owings, Homer Bailey, Ramon Ramirez, Daryl Thompson, and Matt Maloney, I still can't figure out why they are trying to use Masset - who has never had as much success as a starter as any of these guys - in the starting role.  I remain convinced that their plan is to use him in long relief out of the pen and this starter stuff is just to stretch him out.

The Red Sox will counter with phenom Clay Buchholz.  The 24-year old Buchholz was dominant in the minors, but struggled in 15 starts with the Sox last year, going just 2-9 with a 6.75 ERA.  I don't follow it, but I'm sure there are hundreds of articles in Red Sox nation saying that this is a make or break year for Buchholz.  I mean, if there are tens of them for Homer Bailey in Cincinnati, I can't imagine how Sox fans aren't blowing Buchholz out of proportion.

If you are interested in who made the trip tonight, here is the travel roster (PDF).  Interesting that Willy Taveras is making the trip, but Drew Stubbs is getting the start.  I'm looking forward to seeing what Stubbs can do, which is why I'm disappointed that I'll miss the first few innings tonight.  Stupid social life.

The game is on 700WLW tonight, so be sure to tune in.