The Fay thinks Chapman's sore back will end up being his ticket to the minors
It's probably the best thing for him, IMO. Most interesting though is that Fay thinks Travis Wood and Justin Lehr are now "co-favorites" for the 5th rotation spot, with Mike Leake just behind them. I'm really at a loss for words regarding the total lack of respect for Matt Maloney. If he doesn't begin the season in the Reds rotation, I really hope he is traded to a team where he can show what he's worth.
Chapmania, meet Chapprehension
Steve Mancuso at Seeing Reds was behind home plate when Aroldis Chapman came up lame on Monday and he got some great pics. After seeing these and reading the Game 2 post this morning, I'm getting really excited about the season coming up. Opening Day is less than 2 weeks away!
Joe Pawlikowski at FanGraphs looks at the current talent on the Reds roster
and he seems pretty impressed with what he sees: "The 2010 Reds could be an exciting team. They feature a number of young, promising players who, if they move closer to their potentials in 2010, could provide the team with a much needed boost. A number of quality veterans fill the lineup and rotation as well. The combination should have fans in Cincinnati excited. The NL Central could be theirs if a few things break that way."
The Perpetual Post previews the NL Central
Here's what Howard Megdal has to say about the Reds:
"It’s kind of hard to see why the Reds finished just 78-84 last year. The lineup includes the highly underrated Joey Votto, the terrific offensive and defensive second baseman Brandon Phillips, a young, impressive Jay Bruce in right, and… well, that’s why they finished 78-84. But all three of the aforementioned are back, and so is Jonny Gomes, with Orlando Cabrera and Scott Rolen, though shopworn, likely upgrades over Paul Janish and Adam Rosales in 2009 (59 and 64 OPS+, respectively). The bullpen is terrific, while the starters include Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo, who won’t likely surprise, and Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey, two young pitchers who just might. Add in the talented Aroldis Chapman, and 90 wins and an NL central title seems within reach."
Sheldon checks his inbox
"Is it really the right thing to leave Brandon Phillips in the four-hole in the lineup? Isn't he more of a No. 2 guy in reality? -- @BaronBoss, via Twitter
I get this question a lot, too. Phillips isn't the stereotypical cleanup hitter, but he's the best choice the Reds have. He can hit for power and drive in runs and can hit both righties and lefties. He had 98 RBIs last season and 94 RBIs and 30 homers in 2008. Dusty Baker also made a great point earlier in camp that hitting Phillips fourth ahead of Scott Rolen could mean better pitches for Rolen since Phillips has good speed. Phillips' style of hitting doesn't lend as well to the No. 2 spot, nor did the 21 double plays he grounded into last season."
BP isn't really suited to either the 2nd or 4th spot. The DPs make him a bad fit at #2, and contrary to what Sheldon says, he doesn't hit for power (career SLG of .430) or hit righties well enough (career .305 wOBA against) to hold down the clean-up spot. Don't get me wrong, BP is a helluva ballplayer, but that comes mostly from his fantastic defense. His bat is ok, but much better suited for lower in the order.
Dave Allen at FanGraphs says the Reds flyball rotation is really ill-suited for GABP
Aaron Harang and Micah Owings are extreme flyball pitchers, and Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto have above-average flyball rates. The Reds have done a good job by matching these guys with great defensive outfielders like Stubbs, Bruce, and Dickerson, but GABP gives up 12% more homers than average and these outfielders aren't THAT good.
MetsBlog is again banging the drum for a Reds pitcher
This time he's latched on to the already-debunked rumor that the Reds are interested in Gary Matthews Jr. I have an idea: let's trade Bronson Arroyo and Paul Janish for Jose Reyes, Matthews, and Carlos Beltran. Reyes and Beltran are injured! The Mets need a pitcher! It's win-win!