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Moscot to start Cactus League opener today on MLB.TV

First game vs. Indians slated for 3:05 p.m. ET
MLB.com @m_sheldon

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Following an offseason of getting ready and a couple of weeks' worth of workouts and drills, Reds players can take their preparation and put it to use in an actual game beginning today. It also intensifies the evaluation of several young players vying for a variety of open roster spots.

Cactus League play commences when the Reds play the Indians at their shared home of Goodyear Ballpark, with first pitch slated for 3:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV. The two teams will play each other the first three days of games.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Following an offseason of getting ready and a couple of weeks' worth of workouts and drills, Reds players can take their preparation and put it to use in an actual game beginning today. It also intensifies the evaluation of several young players vying for a variety of open roster spots.

Cactus League play commences when the Reds play the Indians at their shared home of Goodyear Ballpark, with first pitch slated for 3:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV. The two teams will play each other the first three days of games.

• Spring Training: Schedule | Tickets | More info

"A great competition right now for spots on the club," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "The work the guys have done here so far suggests they understand the opportunity and the importance in their performance this spring. It's been a good camp so far. I'm looking forward to getting on the field and letting them go."

It appears likely that Price will employ some of his regular position players today, such as Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. They will not include catcher Devin Mesoraco and shortstop Zack Cozart, who are coming off of surgeries last season. Mesoraco is trying bounce back from a left hip injury, while Cozart tore ligaments in his right knee.

Both players have had no setbacks in their rehabs or the early workouts, but they will be eased into games.

"I can't give you exact dates, but neither one of those guys will be in these early games against Cleveland, and maybe through the weekend," Price said. "That really isn't unexpected. It does give a kid like [catcher Ramon] Cabrera, who I like a lot, a chance to get front-and-center time. He's typically a guy that came in second last year. But he's a guy now that, until Devin comes back, will get a chance to start every other day."

Lineup for March 1 at CLE

Center fielder Billy Hamilton, who is coming back from arthroscopic right shoulder surgery performed in late September, will be out of the lineup as well.

"For no other reason than I want him to play in the second game," Price said. "We ask him to do a lot in the outfield, and he's still not to the point where he's like 100 percent, feels great every day. We've worked him hard. When he has a little bit of fatigue from throwing, maybe we'll give him a day off. [Tuesday] will be a good work day for him. We'll give him a day off from playing in the game and he will be ready to go on the second."

Reds rotation candidate Jon Moscot is scheduled to start the opener against Cleveland's Josh Tomlin. Left-handed candidate Brandon Finnegan also will see action for one inning.

"What better opportunity than to get into a game to prove what I can do, what we can all do. I'm looking forward to that," Moscot said.

Moscot will be pitching in a game for the first time since his 2015 season ended on June 15. In what was his third big league start, he separated his non-throwing left shoulder trying to make a tag and required surgery.

"It's exciting. It's the first time for me for a little while," Moscot said. "I'm ready to get going, being out there on the field with everybody and happy to be part of a team again."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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