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Cactus League Game 3 (split-squad): Reds @ Angels

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Cincinnati Reds
@ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 3:05 PM EST
Tempe Diablo Stadium

Johnny Cueto vs. Jered Weaver

Coverage:
TV: MLB Network; RADIO: None; WEB: MLB.tv, Gameday/Gameday Audio

Partly cloudy. Game time temperature around 70.


Today's split-squad game against the Angels will broadcast live on MLB Network and feature both 2010 MVP Joey Votto and 2010 Cy Young also-ran Jered Weaver, so that's the one that makes the marquee. Johnny Cueto, who will go on to finish off a sweep of the Brewers on April 3, has Philippe Valiquette, Logan Ondrusek, Scott Carroll and Jerry Gil lined up to pitch behind him.

But that's only half the story: real, live Reds players will also be squaring off at 3:05 EST against the Oakland A's at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mike Leake leads they way in the B-squad game against Gio Gonzalez, for which you'll get Gameday and like it. He'll be followed by Jordan Smith, Jared Burton, Carlos Fisher, Matt Klinker, Jeremy Horst and Donnie Joseph (not necessarily in that order). Jamie Ramsey, possibly others, will be tweeting from Phoenix also.

Starters and secondary players have been distributed pretty evenly among both squads. David Sappelt will be leading off against the Angels, which (if anything) might mean Dusty wants to see more of him. The diminutive outfielder is an early storyline in camp, getting off to a hot start after a torrid 2010. Despite his success, Sappelt doesn't have the power traditionally associated with left field - though he can hit in the gaps and leg out some triples. With only 115 PAs above AA, no room on the 40-man and competition from Chris Heisey and Jeremy Hermida for a bench-heavy 5th OF spot, Sappelt seems destined for Louisville. But he could find his way into the big leagues sometime this year.

A lot of bad stuff happened during yesterday's game, including shaky pitching performances from pretty much everyone and a 5:0 error to run-scored ratio. But this early in Spring training, the only thing that really concerns me is injuries - of which there were none. Second to that, perhaps, is bad pitching performances by MLB regulars. The pitchers are expected to be ahead of the hitters, while established pitchers are expected to be facing inferior competition. Struggles by Nick Masset, and Aroldis Chapman were a little bit off-putting. In the case of Chapman, his three walks in one inning - and only 7 strikes in 19 pitches - are worrisome  inasmuch as they are a continuation of his control problems from last season. Still, I'm willing to throw out most anything as Small Sample or Slow Start. 

Spring fun fact: Ryan Hanigan's history in the Reds' major league Spring camp stretches furthest back, as he logged one Spring Training AB back in 2003.

 

 LINEUPS @ ANGELS

Cincinnati Reds LOS ANGELES ANGELS
David Sappelt CF
Erick Aybar SS
Brandon Phillips 2B Bobby Abreu DH
Joey Votto 1B
Torrii Hunter RF
Jeremy Hermida RF
Vernon Wells LF
Fred Lewis LF Howie Kendrick 2B
Juan Francisco 3B Hank Conger C
Chris Heisey DH Mark Trumbo 1B
Ryan Hanigan C Brandon Wood 3B
Paul Janish SS
Peter Bourjos CF

 

 LINEUPS @ ATHLETICS

Cincinnati Reds OAKLAND ATHLETICS
Drew Stubbs CF
Coco Crisp CF
Edgar Renteria SS Daric Barton 1B
Jonny Gomes LF
Josh Willingham LF
Scott Rolen 3B
Connor Jackson RF
Jay Bruce RF
Chris Carter DH
Yonder Alonso 1B
Landon Powell C
Miguel Cairo DH
Andy LaRoche 2B
Chris Valaika 2B
Wes Timmons 3B
Corky MIller C
Eric Sogard SS