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Cactus League Game 9: Reds vs. Brewers

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Cincinnati Reds
vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Monday, March 7, 2011, 3:05 PM EST
Goodyear Ballpark

Homer Bailey vs. Yovani Gallardo

Coverage:
TV: FSO, FSN-HD, MLBN (Delay); RADIO: WTML 620; WEB: Gameday/Gameday Audio, MLB.TV

Mostly cloudy. Game time temperature around 70.


With only 23 days left until the regular season begins, today we get a preview of the Reds' Opening series match-up against the Brewers... in the unfortunate future where half the Brewers starting lineup were to be traded, injured or abducted by a cult of paramilitary anti-baseballites

This one is broadcasting in all mediums - from high definition TV to carrier pigeon. We'll be getting a mostly premium lineup from the Reds, both pitchers and position players alike. Mike Leake is set to throw three innings today following Homer Bailey and the cream of the bullpen - Chapman, Masset and Arredondo - are probables. As for the Brewers, well, all you need to know is that Yuniesky Betancourt will be batting third. And someone named Zelous is playing in Ryan Braun's spot. 

We've heard recently that Dusty is interested in trying Jay Bruce at leadoff. Apparently, he wasn't jerking out chains. While I'm guessing Bruce is probably Dusty's third pick at best, he's not a terrible option. Having Bruce atop the lineup would gives more PAs to a player who figures to be the team's second or third-best hitter this season - and one who's fully capable of getting on base at a .350 clip or greater. However, to the extent that speed matters in that spot, Bruce is far from the best option. He'd also be batting behind the the 8th and 9th spots, rather than unleashing his power to drive in Votto, Rolen and company. I don't think Bruce at #1 is much more than due diligence on Dusty's part, but I would like to see Fred Lewis, who was presumably the end result of the off-season leadoff manhunt, get some looks

Barry Larkin, who started 402 games and logged 1,807 plate appearances in the leadoff spot as a Red, is back in uniform as a guest instructor. It's all speculation, but Larkin could be inching ever closer to a formal role in the Reds front office. Another former Reds leadoffman, Chris Dickerson, will be over in the Brewers dugout.

 

Lineups

Cincinnati Reds MILWAUKEE BREWERS
Jay Bruce RF
Rickie Weeks 2B
Brandon Phillips 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Joey Votto 1B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Scott Rolen 3B
Erick Almonte 1B
Jonny Gomes LF
Jeremy Reed DH
Drew Stubbs CF
George Kottaras C
Miguel Cairo DH
Brandon Boggs RF
Ryan Hanigan C
Zelous Wheeler 3B
Paul Janish SS
Logan Schafer LF