Reds notes: Bell impressed by fan turnout on rainy Kids Day

The Cincinnati Reds sign autographs as they walk the red carpet on Kids Day at Great American Ball Park on Saturday, March 30, 2019, in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
Caption
The Cincinnati Reds sign autographs as they walk the red carpet on Kids Day at Great American Ball Park on Saturday, March 30, 2019, in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

Reds, Pirates postponed and will play second game of season Sunday

The Cincinnati Reds walked the red carpet around the concourse at Great American Ball Park on Saturday, posing for photographs and signing autographs on Kids Day.

» PHOTOS: Kids Day | Opening Day ceremonies | Thursday’s game | Findlay Market Parade

It may turn out to be a good thing the 2:10 p.m. game was postponed after a 40-minute rain delay because a number of Reds spent a good deal of time on the red carpet and may need a recovery day. Yasiel Puig might have set a record for autographs signed at the annual event. Thousands of kids lined both sides of the carpet and got a good show, even though they didn’t get to see their favorite players on the field

“That was fun,” Reds manager David Bell said. “I couldn’t believe how many kids were here. That was quite a turnout on a rainy day.”

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Rotation update: Sonny Gray's first start as a Red moved back a day because of the postponement. He will start the final game of the series at 1:10 p.m. Sunday.

“Everything stays the same,” Bell said. “Everybody moves back a day.”

Tanner Roark will make his Reds debut at 6:40 p.m. Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Anthony DeSclafani will pitch Tuesday. Tyler Mahle will pitch Wednesday.

Rare postponement: This was the 16th weather-related postponement in the 17 seasons of Great American Ball Park. There were two last year in the first week.

“We were definitely trying to get it in up until the last minute,” Bell said. “We gave it every possible chance.”

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The game will be made up as part of a day/night doubleheader May 27. The first game will start at 1:10 p.m. The second game will start at 7:10 p.m.

Fans with tickets to Saturday’s game can use the same ticket for the 7:10 p.m. game May 27 with no exchange necessary. If fans need to exchange tickets for another game, they may be exchanged for any remaining 2019 regular-season home game, subject to availability. Some exclusions apply.

Fans with tickets that have no price printed on them may use their same tickets for the make-up game only on May 27 at 7:10 p.m. with no exchange necessary.

Second lineup: Matt Kemp would have made his Reds debut Saturday. He was batting fifth and playing left field as Jesse Winker, the Opening Day starter, moved to the bench.

“We need all these guys engaged,” Bell said. “We’re going to need everybody, especially here early on. I need to find ways to get everybody starts. When they don’t start, they’re probably going to get in the game, but I do know that’s different.

“I wouldn’t call it a platoon or anything like that. To me, it’s just trying to get everybody as much playing time as possible and trying to do it the best we can based on the matchups.”

Award update: The Reds announced Friday the Johnny Bench Award will be expanded. It has been presented to the top NCAA Division I catcher since 2000, and the award will now honor the top male NCAA baseball catcher, the top female NCAA softball catcher and the top baseball and softball catchers from high schools in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia. Ten catchers will win the award each year.

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