In an effort to promote the spread of baseball around the world, MLB and the MLBPA announced last summer that three series would be played in Monterrey, Mexico this year. The Mexico Series featured exhibition games between the Rockies and Diamondbacks in early March. This weekend, the first regular-season games will be played, as the Cardinals and Reds have traveled south to play a couple games at Estadio de Béisbol.
The first game will be on Saturday, and the first pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PM Central time. Tanner Roark will start for the Reds. Roark spent six seasons with the Nationals and made at least 30 starts in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Cincinnati added Roark in a trade this offseason to feed a starting rotation desperate for dependability. This will be Roark’s third start of the year, and he’ll look to build upon his last start. In Pittsburgh on 4/6, Roark held the Pirates to three runs in five innings.
Adam Wainwright will make the start for the Cardinals. Wainwright looked very sharp in his last start back on 4/7, leading St. Louis to a win over the Padres and start a strand of (as of this morning) five victories. Wainwright worked six innings of one-run ball and punched out nine batters. He’ll have to try to keep Joey Votto at bay; the Reds first baseman is 14-for-46 (.304) with four doubles and three home runs in his career against the 37-year-old.
Sunday’s game will start around 3:10 PM, and Anthony DeSclafani will go for the Reds. DeSclafani is in his fourth year with the Reds, and every appearance he has made with the club has been a start. DeSclafani had a 3.86 xFIP in 115 innings of work for the Reds last season after an oblique strain kept him sidelined until early June. Matt Carpenter has a 1.660 OPS with three long balls in 25 plate appearances against DeSclafani.
St. Louis will send Miles Mikolas to the mound. This will be the fourth start of the season for Mikolas, who turned in a quality start to defeat the Dodgers back on 4/8. Left-handed batters hit .283 in 200 2⁄3 innings facing Mikolas last season. So, the Reds may try to roll out a lefty-heavy lineup, highlighted by Votto with a supporting cast of Scott Schebler, Jesse Winker, and Derek Dietrich on Sunday.
So, to recap:
Saturday, 6:10 | Roark v Wainwright | FSMW, KMOX, CRN, WJIR
Sunday, 3:10 | DeSclafani v Mikolas | ESPN, FSMW, KMOX, CRN, WJIR
Notes around the league:
-Royals outfielder Billy Hamilton (yes, Hamilton is no longer with the Reds, ICYMI) attempted to make a game-saving catch against the Mariners on Thursday night. Hamilton came up short and twisted his left knee on the attempt. He was carted off the field, but tests on Thursday night showed only a mild sprain.
-The Braves locked up Ozzie Albies to a seven-year, $35 million contract extension that will keep the second baseman in Atlanta through the 2025 season. The contract also includes options for 2026 and 2027. Not too shabby for a 22-year-old with fewer than 1,000 plate appearances under his belt.
-Vladmir Guerrero Jr., the top prospect in the game, was brought up to Triple-A earlier this past week. After suffering an oblique strain in Spring Training and spending four games in Class-A Advanced, this is believed to be the final stop before the 20-year-old is called to play for the Blue Jays.