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?