Reds start season with spring baseball

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Johnny Cueto pitches in a game in 2015. Cueto was 20-9 and finished second in NL Cy Young Voting behind Clayton Kershaw. Fans expect Cueto to be the number one starter in the rotation. Photo by MCT

William Coleman, Staff Writer

All 30 MLB teams have arrived at the Cactus League in Arizona and the Grapefruit League in Florida for Spring Training baseball, and games are fast approaching. The Reds started out the new season with a game against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, Mar 3.

“I’m expecting a lot out of the Reds this season,” said sophomore Bradley Bolotin. “They have had the time to fix the roster and the coaching.”

The Reds first game against the Indians marked the first time that fans saw newly acquired outfielder and all-star, Marlon Byrd. Byrd is 37 years old and has played for seven MLB franchises since 2002. He has a career batting average of .278. The Reds defeated the Indians 10-0 and Byrd had an RBI single.

A concern for fans is that star first baseman Joey Votto was not listed as a starter against the Indians.  Votto was limited last year, only playing in 62 games due to a strain of his left quadriceps. He hit for a career low batting average of .255

“His injury hurt the team a lot, but even if we had Votto, it might not have made a difference because the rest of the team did not meet expectations,” said sophomore Ryan Wick.

Votto made his spring debut on Saturday, Mar. 7 against the Kansas City Royals. The Canadian first baseman went one for two with a single as the defending AL Champs beat the Reds.

The Reds play a total of 31 games during Spring Training against teams like the Oakland A’s, the Chicago Cubs and White Sox, defending World Series Champions San Francisco Giants, and the Milwaukee Brewers. The first game of the regular season will take place at Great American Ballpark against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Another notable event in downtown Cincinnati this year for baseball is the 86th All Star Game in July. The event consists of the Celebrity Game, the Futures Game, the Home Run Derby, and, of course, the 2015 All Star Game.

“I’m so excited that it’s finally in Cincinnati,“ said freshman David Tochterman. “I plan on going, but ticket numbers are very low in quantity and expensive in price.”

On Monday, Mar. 9, the Reds organization put up a twitter vending machine up in Fountain Square where fans can buys twitter codes. They can tweet these codes and receive All Star Games prizes like autographed items and tickets.