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Cactus League Game 8: Reds vs. Cubs

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Cincinnati Reds
vs. Chicago Cubs

Sunday, March 6, 2011, 3:05 PM EST
Goodyear Ballpark

Johnny Cueto vs. Todd Wellemeyer

TV: None; RADIO: 700 WLW (& affiliates); WEB: Gameday/Gameday Audio

Cloudy. Game time temperature around 75.

The bats have been quiet lately, which is not a surprising result during the first week of spring. No better time for an offensive outpouring than against the split-squad Cubs. The Dodgers have Dempster today, while the Reds get former-Cardinal-turned-Giant Todd Wellemeyer. Johnny Cueto makes his second start of the Spring. He went 3 innings in Game 3, giving up 2 ER but no walks. Dave Sappelt, meanwhile, is getting a surprising amount of early playing time. Could he have a better chance (greater than 5%) of making the team than expected?

There were some noteworthy revelations from Dusty reported by John Fay this morning. They include a plan to give Jay Bruce a look in the leadoff spot and the likelihood that Edgar Renteria is not going to be more than an emergency option at third base. While Janish v. Renteria is not a zero-sum game across multiple positions, it becomes more like one when they're both being strictly used at short.  And if Brandon Phillips is healthy, SS and PH opportunities appear to be Renteria's wheelhouse for 2011. Some of the total playing time Dusty intended to give Renteria at other positions could cut into to Janish's tentative "starter" status. 

Before any protest marches get planned, Renteria's presence atop today's lineup is probably little more than an attempt to get him a few more ABs. Dusty also mentioned this morning that Drew Stubbs would be the "primo guy" to have at leadoff. Unless Drew is Dusty's "connection" - or he was just peppering in some Spanish - I think this indicates that Stubb-Hub will get another chance to establish himself as table-setter this season. Given the options, Stubbs is as close to a consensus pick as it comes right now, though I'm guessing we'll see Renteria, Janish and Cairo in the #2 spot a few more times than we'd like.


Cincinnati Reds CHICAGO CUBS
Edgar Renteria 2B Blake DeWitt 2B
Paul Janish SS Starlin Castro SS
Fred Lewis LF Tyler Colvin DH
Juan Francisco 3B Alfonso Soriano LF
Yonder Alonso 1B Carlos Pena 1B
Chris Heisey RF Marquez Smith 3B
Ramon Hernandez C Brett Jackson CF
Dave Sappelt CF Koyie Hill C
Devin Mesoraco DH James Adduci RF