Lots of these are exactly the same as last year. A few additions, at your suggestion, which I hope will make things more interesting throughout the season instead of just at the beginning and end. New categories have an asterisk.
Prize to be determined (which means I need to dig through my Reds stuff and see what's there, and maybe snag something from Opening Day, depending on how much of a zoo it is). I'll let you all know!
1. First to homer--BP 2. First to steal a base--Heisey 3. First to commit an error--BP 4. First to walk--Ludwick 5. First player to go on the DL--Ludwick6. First pitcher to five wins 7. First to 20 stolen bases 8. First to 50 RBI 9. Team W-L at All-Star Break
*10. Most RBI at ASB
*11. Highest BA at ASB
*12. Lowest ERA for SP at ASB
*13. Most K at ASB--pitcher
*14. First pitcher to 10 wins
*15. First to 100 K--pitcher
*16. First to 100 K--batter
17. Most K-pitcher 18. Most K-batter 19. Most GIDP 20. Most errors 21. Lowest ERA (SP)
*22. Lowest ERA (RP)
*23. Highest OBP (position player with at least 350 PA)
24. Most games played 25. Team W-L at end of season 26. Date of Ashland A-Team's first nervous breakdown of the season--April 1 27. Date of Gene's first regular-season typo--April 2 28. Date of first legitimate "What the Hell, Mark Berry?" moment (involving Berry and a runner, not our extended usage of the term) (may substitute Chris Speier if the two change roles as has been proposed--get well soon, Mr. Berry!)
*29. Date of Billy Hamilton's first major-league at-bat
*30. Number of regular-season stolen bases for Billy Hamilton (minors and majors)
So, this is karma wanting Chapman to start? Two starters hit by batted balls in as many days? Yikes. Glad it sounds like both Latos and Arroyo are fine.
Here are a few of the best pictures from my "real" camera. Sadly, my iPhone takes better ones (if it only had a decent zoom).
And finally, I'll be putting up the prediction thread very soon. Does anyone have suggestions? Are we okay with something very similar to last season's?
On the eve of heading to Arizona, I find myself excited, as usual, about many things. Also I find myself procrastinating, as usual, with a work project that has to be done before I leave. Anyway, here's at least a partial list of what I love about Goodyear:
1. Live baseball.
2. Sitting in the sun when it snowed in Ohio yesterday.
3. Debating players' performances and likelihood of making the roster over drinks.
4. Eavesdropping on whoever's in the practice field outfield from behind the back fence.
5. Watching the players goof around with each other during practice--love the camaraderie.
6. NYPD Pizza and Raul & Theresa's.
7. Having someone from the Big Red Machine and/or the 1990 WS team walk right by me at the minor league fields.
8. Watching Eric Davis and Billy Hatcher in the dugout.
Anyone have any additions?
Late addition, just because: maybe one of River Otter's distant cousins?
Spring training reports indicate there’s an intense competition between Ryan Hanigan, Devin Mesoraco, and Miguel Olivo for starting catcher. Just kidding. Hanigan has the starting position locked down for 2013. The only question seems to be how many games he’ll start.
Hanigan, who was signed in 2002 as an undrafted free agent after three years at Rollins College, has quietly established himself as one of the best catchers in the game. He doesn’t hit for much power, but makes up for it with his ability to get on base (.370 career OBP). Where Hanigan really shines is behind the plate. Here’s a quick rundown of why he’s so valuable to the Reds:
· .995 career fielding percentage.
· Does not tolerate crime on the basepaths: threw out 48% of base stealers in 2012 and has thrown out 40% for his career.
· Has a reputation for being one of the best pitch framers in the league.
· Led all catchers in 2012 in B-Ref’s Total Zone Runs (calculation based on catcher defense).
· Led all qualified catchers in 2012 with a 3.04 ERA. Reds’ pitchers’ ERA have historically been lower when Hanigan is behind the plate.
For those that may have missed it, here’s a good Fangraphs Q&A with Hanigan from last December: The Underrated Red. Buster Olney also has a terrific interview with Hanigan on his Baseball Tonight podcast from February 27, 2013 (available through iTunes). As these interviews show, Hanigan is a great student of the game. He does a fantastic job of both preparing his pitchers for each game and making in-game adjustments.
Hanigan’s current deal expires this year, although he has one more year of arbitration until he becomes a free agent in 2015. I suspect he’ll get a nice bump-up in pay from his current 3 year, $4 million deal. However, the length of any deal offered by the Reds may depend on what kind of season we see from young Devin Mesoraco.
The Battle for the Back-Up
Dusty Baker has intimated that he doesn’t believe Hanigan is big enough to be an everyday catcher. I think he may be selling Hanigan a little short, but getting regular rest should help extend Hanigan’s career. The bottom line is that the Reds back-up catcher could get 60 starts if Baker follows the same formula he used last year (Hanigan started 98 games in 2012).
Devin “Snacks” Mesoraco
In a perfect world Devin Mesoraco would be Hanigan’s back-up in 2013. Coming into the 2012 season, Snacks was the Reds’ top prospect. The Reds were so confident in Snacks that they traded away their other top catching prospect and former first round pick, Yasmani Grandal, to the Padres as part of the Mat Latos trade. Some believed the Reds may have traded the wrong catcher after Snacks put up a batting line of .212/.288/.352 in 2012 while Grandal hit .297/.394/.469 for the Padres. Of course, Grandal may be in for a rocky season in 2013 after his name appeared in the Tony Bosch Files.
Defensively, Snacks seemed fine. While he’s not yet in the same league as Hanigan behind the plate, he’s reported to have a strong work ethic and good leadership qualities. He has a strong arm and seems to learn from his mistakes. He’s also not afraid to stand up for his pitchers as the above photo shows (I should note that his run-in with the ump last August occurred post-concussion, so hopefully he’ll exercise better discretion in not crossing the line in the future).
Could this be year that Snacks puts it together offensively? This is a guy that some projected as a future middle of the order hitter for the Reds. Jay Jaffe at Sports Illustrated thinks we’ll see an improved batting line from Snacks this year. Here’s what he had to say as part of his Boom and Busts predictions for 2013:
A popular preseason pick for NL Rookie of the Year honors last spring, Mesoraco couldn’t play his way past incumbent Ryan Hanigan and wound up hitting just .212/.288/.352 in 184 PA, a sample size reduced by a late-season concussion that opened the door for the best 73-plate appearance stretch of Dioner Navarro’s career since 2008. Navarro is gone, and while the Reds have brought in Miguel Olivo via a minor league deal as a backup option, I expect the 25-year-old Mesoraco to recover some of his lost luster. After all, this is a player who has hit .282/.360/.505 in 788 PA at Double-A and Triple-A, and who ranked 16th on BA’s prospect list coming into last year. He may get an early-season refresher course at Triple-A to give him extra at-bats early while Olivo stinks up Cincinnati, but I suspect that in time, Mesoraco will help make the Reds’ catching tandem one of the majors’ best.
Small sample size alert, but through Tuesday’s games Devin is hitting .385/.385/.923 with two homers while Miguel Olivo is hitting .133/.176/.333 (Olivo did go 1 for 4 with a 3 run homer on Wednesday as part of the Reds’ demolition of Canada, which is not reflected in spring training statistics). Hopefully Snacks will continue to rake and will start the season in Cincinnati. As long as Snacks is getting 50 to 60 starts, my personal belief is that it’s better in both the short and long-term for him to spend the year with the Reds to learn from Hanigan. However, if the plan is for Hanigan to get 120 to 130 starts this year, then I think the Reds will send him back to Louisville. The Reds also are blessed with a pretty good teacher in Louisville in Corky Miller.
If Devin Mesoraco starts the year in Louisville, it will because the Reds decided to go with the veterany Miguel Olivo as Hanigan’s back-up. Olivo was signed to a minor league deal and is not on the 40 man roster, so Olivo will need to really impress in order to make the team. Although it’s still early, Olivo has struggled offensively so far.
The 34 year old journeyman was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Oakland in 1996. Although he has a good arm and has thrown out 34% of base stealers for his career, he’s also led the league four times in passed balls. Outside of one or two years, he’s also been a below average hitter. His career batting line is .241/.275/.418. Unfortunately, he’s been even worse the last two years, hitting .223/.248/.385 for the Mariners (of course, he probably fit right in with the rest of that Mariners lineup).
I suspect that Olivo was brought in to keep Mesoraco motivated. In the off chance that Olivo does make the team, Mark Sheldon noted that it could be because the Reds have decided to give Hanigan 120 to 130 starts this year. If Hanigan does get that many starts, then I would agree that Mesoraco should spend the year in Louisville to get more experience.
The man with a mustache cool enough to have its own Facebook account was re-signed by the Reds to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Although Corky is solid defensively, he’s never hit well enough to get more than 39 starts in a year for any MLB team. His career MLB batting line is .188/.270/.300. The odds of the soon to be 37 year old starting the year in Cincinnati are pretty slim; it would likely take injuries in spring training to at least two of the guys listed above. Instead, Corky and his mustache will be dispensing Crash Davis-like advice in Louisville again this year. The Louisville Bats have already made plans to give away an awesome Corky Miller bobblehead on Saturday, April 6. Those in the Louisville area should mark their calendars.
It would probably take a catcher apocalypse for Tucker Barnhart to see any playing time with Reds before September call-ups. Known for his defense, the 22 year old Barnhart received a Gold Glove from MILB in 2011. He was also named the best defensive catcher in the California League last year. He still needs to improve a bit offensively – he hit only .200/.262/.292 in 41 games after being called up to Pensacola last year – but he’s a solid prospect for the Reds.
What’s most exciting about 2013 is what’s making 2013 Spring Training a bit of a snooze fest. The fact that most of the positions are locked up and secure make conversations about position battles pointless. There are still some opportunities for some role players to play their way on to the roster this spring.
Joey Votto - Not much to say here. He’s looked pretty good so far this spring and as some here have said he could be in for a very good season. Votto’s run on doubles before the injury was amazing and I don’t see how that will be any different this season. With Choo and BP in front of Votto you have to hope that more guys will have to pitch to Votto. With more balls is in the zone Joey will only be more dangerous.
And here’s Brandon – I think the gold glove snub has put a bigger chip on BP’s shoulder. His huge desire to play in the WBC tells me he wants to show people how good he is. It has to be a help to BP to go into the season having a spot in the batting order locked up. In the past the uncertainty about where he would hit had to be an issue in his preparation. I expect a good year hitting in front of Votto and guys on in front of him.
Zack Cozart – I really love this guy's defense. Janish smanish. With the potential fire power in this line up we can afford to have a player like Cozart in the line up. I do have a gut feeling that he may struggle at the plate this season. His tendency to want to pull the ball will catch up to him. He will need to make some adjustments or we will see a .230 or .240 year. Even if he struggles he will still provide some pop from a normally light hitting position.
Todd Frazier – OK, so who doesn’t love this guy? I hope going into spring knowing he is the 3B helps him be more consistent. I’m concerned about the way he ended the year offensively and his D at third is still a bit suspect. He started getting moved around after Votto and Rolen got healthy so that may have affected him, maybe the league caught up to him or maybe he got a little worn down. As for the D, the stories are out there about how hard he worked on his footwork during the offseason. We’ll see…I’m cautiously optimistic.
Jack Hannahan – From all media accounts this guy is supposed to a great guy to be around. He may win 2013 Mr. Congeniality for the Reds but I hope he does much more. So far this spring we’ve seen him at 3B and 1B. He is supposed to have enough flexibility to play 2B and SS as well. His ability to play SS will be a key factor in shaping the roster. Right now he looks like the man to fill the monkey poop role except a slightly better bat and a much better glove.
Jason Donald – This guy has 415 games at SS in the minors and 73 in the bigs plus several games at 2B, 3B and some OF. He is very versatile and in my opinion has the best shot at being the second back up infielder. It’s early but he is lighting up the box score this spring too. He’s showed the ability to hit for average in the minors and showed some pop early on. Last year was a terrible season for Donald at the plate but it’s hopefully just an anomaly. Maybe a change of scenery will do him good. If Hannahan can’t handle SS this guy should fill that void. He is on the 40 man roster and out of options. That makes him the favorite unless his spring is just awful.
Henry Rodriguez – HROD has an uphill battle facing him. He isn’t much of a SS and he has options. I think this guy can hit anywhere and could have been a potential replacement for BP had we not extended him. I think it would benefit Henry to go back to AAA and work on his versatility and keep honing his defensive craft. He needs to be ready to be the first guy called up if there is an injury at 1st, 2nd or 3rd. He is just about ready but I think Walt and Dusty go experience over youth.
Cesar Izturis – This is the wild card. He is a true SS with a slick glove. Fortunately he has a couple obstacles in his way. He is not on the 40 and he is a terrible hitter. Unfortunately the poor hitter part hasn’t stopped Dusty in the past but to be fair in the past the other options were not plentiful. I hope Izturis ends up in AAA in the Paul Janish role last year. We don’t have a good option in AAA so he is a fit.
Thanks but no thanks:
Emmanuel Burriss – I’ll stay positive. He plays nice D and switch hits. I just can’t see him beating out Donald or Izturis. The winner of the Izturis/Burris battle will be the SS in Louisville. I think the other will be released to let him find another gig.
Neftali Soto – NOOOOOO…to make this team something will have to have gone horribly wrong. See you in Louisville Neftali.
Overall this is a pretty strong group. I hope Frazier can play consistent D at 3B and Cozart makes the necessary adjustments to be a solid contributor. It’s hard not to expect great things from this group.
On the side:
I was reading about new network TV pilots for next year. Then I thought about the cable shows I watch on Netflix and HBO. I just don’t watch network TV anymore. I’ve always consumed an unhealthy amount of TV and the DVR made that behavior even worse. Most network TV is just terrible and I’ve stopped picking up new shows and dumped several others. The current list is very short. I dvr The Office, Person of Interest, The Amazing Race(my guilty pleasure) and 60 Minutes. The Office ends this year so the list gets shorter. My wife DVRs Survivor(still) and my kids love Wipeout. Everything else is on FX, TNT, AMC or HBO. I know some of you never watch anything but are there any other who used to be hooked on this crap and have just walked away?
The 2012 Cincinnati Reds were lucky.
The above sentence is a fact. Or, at least, is widely held as a fact. And I don't just mean by detractors of the Reds or Cardinal fans; I mean by the general population of those that watch baseball. In 2012, the Cincinnati Reds had a dream season, with health the likes of which the league had rarely, if ever, seen before, and whose hottest stretch coincided with the injury to their best player. Add it up, and the Cincinnati Reds were lucky last season, so much so that it's simple common sense says that the team is goign to regress in 2013, so much so that with even an improved roster, the team should have heavy competition from a Cardinal team that will only be good if a fistful of rookies play like seasoned veterans.
With that said, though, while the above sentence is widely held as fact, is it true? Were the Reds blessed by the baseball gods in 2012, leading to a 97 win season and a Division Title? Upon much consideration and research (read: a perusal of the internet in order to find information that will match the position I already believe), my answer in two parts:
Part One: If the Reds Were Lucky, They Were Due for a Bit of Luck...
If the Reds were lucky last season, that means that being healthy is not a skill, and, therefore, there's nothing that anyone can do to avoid injuries. I can buy that. But since I do, then I'm also forced to admit this: going into last season, the Reds were among the most unlucky teams in all of baseball over the previous decade.
In this article over at Fangraphs, there are two charts citing time lost due to injury from 2002-2011. In them, we learn that,
- The Cincinnati Reds lost more games to the disabled list over the previous decade than every team in baseball except 4. In other words, the Reds were the 26th healthiest team in baseball, when you consider total games lost.
- The Cincinnati Reds had more total trips to the disabled list over the previous decade than every team in baseball except 1. In other words, the Reds were the 29th healthiest team in baseball, when you consider total trips to the DL.
That second list has more weight to me than the other. Obviously, with players like Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Larkin on the team for most of the last decade, it's obvious you'll have games missed. But two players can't account for all those trips to the DL (nearly 200 in total), and only one other team had more players go on the shelf than the Reds.
Why is this a significant fact? Because you can't say that the Reds were lucky last year without also noting that they were incredibly unlucky for the entire last 10 years. Which, to me, says this: if the Reds were lucky, good - that's one year we got back from the baseball gods. They owe us 9 more. And I don't remember anyone crying for us over the last ten years, which is odd, considering the amount of people wanting to disregard the Reds' season last year. Then again, maybe we weren't so lucky...
Part 2: ... But the Reds Weren't That Freaking Lucky Last Year!
Yes - the rotation held up quite nicely. Good. Great. Grand. You know what didn't, though? Perhaps the two most important areas of the team beyond that.
Take, for example, the middle of the order. As the season began, the Reds theoretical 3-4-5 in the order was Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Scott Rolen. Well, what the rotation had in health, the middle of the order had in injury.
Joey Votto missed 51 games due to injury.
Scott Rolen missed 70 games due to injury.
Brandon Phillips missed 15 games due to injury.
That's 136 total games - or, if you prefer, enough at bats to qualify for the batting title. That's pretty significant, I'd say, especially considering that in 2011, all three players made the All-Star team. And, of course, games missed is only part of the story. Joey Votto, when he returned, played at roughly 50% with, literally, zero power. Scott Rolen hasn't been 100% since 2006, I don't imagine, and as for Brandon Phillips, his calf injury was one that he tried to play through for most of the year. Of course, trying to play through it left him a shell of his former self - the injury first occurred in April, and as we played games on May 1, Brandon had an OBP of only .302. Yep - even when Brandon played, he was basically Drew Stubbs.
Then, there's the back of the bullpen. Remember how good the Reds' pen was? That's almost excusively because Aroldis Chapman was forced into action. If Ryan Madson or Nick Masset were healthy enough to throw even a single pitch last year, he probably would have started. And even then, if Bill Bray had been healthy enough to throw more than 8.2 batting practice innings, Chapman still may not have been the closer.
Put it together, and the verdict is this: if the Reds were lucky, they deserved a bit of luck, and in fact, they were not all that lucky anyway! Depending on your point of view, the 2012 Cincinnati Reds were, actually, extraordinarily UNLUCKY - and that's to say nothing about the playoff injury to Cueto or the games missed by Dusty.
Last year was a case of a great team doing great things, and to say that it was because of 'luck' is a slap in the face to what the team accomplished. So, let's not do that, and let's realize that this year could be even better. Maybe they'll be unlucky again; I don't know, I'm not a doctor. But I do know this - if and when the 2013 Reds win the division again, and when and if they go deep into the playoffs for the first time in twenty years, let's not call it luck. Let's call it waht it really is:
Several recent tweets have indicated that something that many of us dreamed of but thought impossible may actually happen. Joey Votto will not be a big question all summer as the clock would have ticked towards his free agent time. Since the Votto extension and the details have not been announced, the deal is still speculation, but today is April 2, not April 1, so I am more inclined to believe the rumors of its reality.
What does this do to the Reds this year, next year, and beyond?
2012 Reds Opening Day Roster
C Ryan HaniganC Devin Mesoraco
1B Joey Votto2B Brandon Phillips3B Scott RolenSS Zack CozartIF Miguel CairoIF Wilson Valdez
LF Ryan LudwickCF Drew StubbsRF Jay BruceOF Chris HeiseyLF/3B Todd Frazier
SP Johnny CuetoSP Mat LatosSP Bronson ArroyoSP Mike LeakeSP Homer Bailey
RP Sean MarshallRP Aroldis ChapmanRP Bill BrayRP Jose ArredondoRP Logan OndrusekRP Sam LeCure
and last, and probably least, Willie Harris
Last season we did the standard W-L prediction. Which was fine, but...standard. So this season, I thought we'd shake things up a little bit. I'm asking for everyone's predictions on a long list of items, some of which may happen in the first game, some will have to wait for year-end totals. And the winner gets a prize. But not just any prize...
That's right, a GIANT sweatshirt. (Okay, so I can't figure out how to resize this picture. Shut it.)
Without further ado, the prediction categories:
1. First to homer
2. First to steal a base
3. First to commit an error
4. First to walk
5. First player to go on the DL
6. First pitcher to five wins
7. First to 20 stolen bases
8. First to 50 RBI
9. Team W-L at All-Star Break
10. Most K-pitcher
11. Most K-batter
12. Most GIDP
13. Most errors
14. Lowest ERA (starter)
15. Most games played
16. Team W-L at end of season
17. Date of Ashland A-Team's first nervous breakdown of the season
18. Date of Gene's first regular-season typo
19. Date of first legitimate "What the Hell, Mark Berry?" moment (involving Berry and a runner, not our extended usage of the term)
20. Starting rotation, bullpen or AAA: where does Aroldis Chapman end the season?
If a tiebreaker is necessary, we'll use year-end W-L. Submit predictions until Opening Day gametime. Have at it!
The previous thread was getting unwieldy again, so I am opening a new one. As I mentioned in a post in the last thread, we need to get a signup thread going for the regular season threads. I am hoping we can get SDDennis to be our opening day starter (he earned it, based upon his prior years' performances ). Please take a look at the April schedule and see if you can take a series or a few games as yours to write starters for.
Once again I had very good trip to Goodyear, albeit strange at times--but I won’t get into that today. I wanted to point out the things that most stood out about the 2012 Reds from my short stay this year.
The Practice Facility--this is still my favorite part of the trip. No real moments this year like in years past with ED44 or DTrain. Davis hung around the cage and not the OF so no listening in. Two things you get from the morning workouts 1) who hangs out with who and 2) who works hard and who clowns around. It was very obvious Votto and Bruce are tight and Stubbs is in that crew as well. The Latin guys are one big clique and Latos and BP were a strange couple. As far and taking practice seriously it’s no surprise Rolen and Votto work their butts but Jose Arredondo did every drill and stretch with full effort. He took shagging BP seriously. He was the only Latin player to mix with both groups having some fun with Bruce, Votto, Frazier and Leake more than once. Sorry we don’t have any game time situations quotes this year.
There were some moments during the first 3 games where I wasn’t sure if I could say anyone impressed. After 5 full games and seeing lots of players since no cuts had been made, there were lots of guys who looked good and others who looked not so good but only a handful stood out.
1. Zack Cozart--Looked great in BP and played very well in the games we saw. His defense is so solid and he surprised everyone with a play up the middle that was as good as you’ll ever see. The kid adds so much offensively at SS as well. I hope he can maintain.
2. Aroldis Chapman--He looked very good. His velocity seemed down but his control was very good. His slider didn’t move as much as he’d like but it was effective. I did see a third pitch and whether it was a forkball, splitter or change it worked a couple times. If he can go to AAA and get used to the 6 plus inning thing and get that 3 pitch working consistently then we should see him before the All Star break.
3. Scott Rolen--He looked very healthy and was spraying the ball all over the field in BP. Dusty had him out of the line up a lot but I assume that will pick up. He looked to be free swinging in BP with no limitations.
4. Sean Marshall--looked to be getting sharp vs the Angels and he was nasty. He should fill the 2010 Rhodes role quite nicely.
5. Mat Latos--Really looked strong out there. Even when guys hit it hard he seemed to keep it on the ground. Very good for GABP. He wasn’t mean to the tool asking for batting gloves either. ED44 is way meaner.
6. Willie Harris-This dude may not make this team out of camp but I hope he stays with the organization. At some point we will need his LH bat off the bench. He hit the ball very well and played well at 2B, CF and LF. I think I take him over Cairo. A team with Harris, Frazier and Valdez is pretty versatile.
7. There were some young guys who stood out as well. Brackman, Phipps, Lutz and Gregorious all looked very good. We saw Brackman twice and he threw strikes and got people out. Phipps looks like a nice bench OF if needed.
Who Is a Concern?
I think we all know who will be on this list. It’s not time to panic with any of these guys but they did not look good.
1. Homer--Man, he was a mess. He was all over the place. He couldn’t locate anything and when he did he seemed to leave it up. I think he’ll be OK but that was tough to watch.
2. Bronson--Even though the time I saw him he looked effective, he will not get away with the 87 mph fastball all year. I heard he touched 90 which is a good sign. To the eye he looked to have most guys off balance except Travis Hafner who has to be on the juice. He’s a monster.
3. Devin Mesoraco--He really looks rattled offensively. He seemed to play very well behind the plate but he could not square up anything in the AB’s we saw. Even BP was not very good. He is really having trouble covering the outside part of the plate. ML pitchers should exploit this quickly. If it continues, the split will favor Hanigan, who looked very good at the plate.
4. Heisey/Ludwick--Both guys are getting out at an alarming rate but I will say that by the time we left both looked to be getting their act together. I don’t know how Dusty is going to manage this odd platoon, though. The spring performances are a concern but Dusty managing them is even a bigger concern for me.
There are all kinds of other positives and negatives but that could take pages. Most are things that I won’t get too excited about one way or another. Bruce did look thinner and healthier but also more comfortable. He seems to be taking a bigger role. His presence was much larger than I remember in years past. BP seems happy. Votto was looser with the fans. Kyle Lotzkar has very electric stuff. Francisco did look fat and he is lazy in workouts. Ondrusek looks fresh. I feel bad for Ron Mahay. He was forced to get more than 3 outs in both outings and doesn’t have the stuff to do it. We need to find a way to keep Jeff Francis. He looked very good in is outing.
This really has my juices flowing for the season. The only thing that sucks is that my next trip is a year away.