First lineup: Jose Iglesias, who the Reds signed as a free agent in the offseason, benefited from Gennett's injury by earning a start in the opener. He played shortstop, and Jose Peraza moved to second base.
“It wasn’t something I was happy about obviously,” Iglesias said. “Scooter’s a big part of our team. But I’m excited to get an opportunity to play, and I’m looking forward to playing in front of these great fans.”
Back again: Joey Votto made his 11th Opening Day start in a row. He was a rookie in 2008 and started in 2014 but missed the pregame introductions. He admitted Thursday he was asleep in the clubhouse but promised to be on the first-base line for the national anthem on this Opening Day.
Votto repeated what he said in spring training about his hopes for this team.
“We’re motivated, and we have have very high expectations,” Votto said. “I think we have a legitimate chance to meet those expectations.”
First impression: David Bell made his Reds managing debut Thursday, but the players have been working with him since spring training began in February, so they have a good idea what he will be like all season.
“He’s a pretty cool, calm and collected guy,” center fielder Scott Schebler said. “He really lets us play and lets us have freedom on the field, which is really cool. He almost embraces the mistakes. He uses those as teaching moments, which is great, instead of getting on you. I would just say he gives us the freedom to be ourselves, which is really cool.”
Looking ahead: Sonny Gray (11-9, 4.90 ERA last season) will make his Reds debut in the second game of the season, earning the start for a 2:10 p.m. Saturday game against the Pirates, who will start Trevor Williams (14-10, 3.11).
Tanner Roark (9-15, 4.34), another new Reds starter, will pitch the final game of the series at 1:10 p.m. Sunday. Joe Musgrove (6-9, 4.06) will start for the Pirates.