- Sheldon - Cueto encouraged by first start of spring
By the numbers, Johnny Cueto didn't have a great first start Saturday against Cleveland. That's to be expected after a winter of rest. Unlike last season, Cueto did not pitch winter ball (or in the WBC), which will hopefully pay dividends later this year. On Saturday, Cueto got hit but was also let down by his defense (an error by Votto led to two runs) and wasn't shy about using his off-speed stuff.
Cueto is also growing more confident in using his English: Cueto has taken a step forward that you won't notice on the mound or in a pitching line. A native of the Dominican Republic, the 24-year-old right-hander is starting to get more comfortable with speaking English when talking to reporters. At first, the Reds lined up Goodyear Police Sgt. Jimmy Rodriguez to interpret. After a few minutes, Cueto started answering some questions in English on his own. "That's improvement right there," Baker said. Bully for Cueto. I really like this guy.
- Youngsters Travis Wood and Mike Leake also got some action on Saturday. Baker was pleased with what he saw: "It was the first time I saw Wood in action and he threw it good," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Leake, he threw the ball equally as good as Wood. He moved it around, changed speeds. He's got an idea of what he's doing for such a young pitcher. Both of those young guys threw the ball good today." Leake pitched a perfect inning, K'ing one and coaxing two ground outs. Wood pitched two hitless innings, showcasing the diverse repertoire that led to his breakout 2009.
- Fay - Lincoln on his day
By all accounts, Lincoln didn't look nearly as sharp as any of the above-mentioned pitchers. He gave up four earned runs and seven hits in 1 1/3 innings, and it sounds like Cleveland made lots of good contact. Of course, it's tough to expect much from an old relief pitcher who hasn't pitched since last June and hadn't started since forever. But Lincoln is at least keeping his chin up: "Honestly, that’s how I think about it. Then I go each pitch," he said. "Each pitch, it wasn’t happening. I felt like I had a good approach. I’m not sure if I was a little quick."
Sunday’s game cancelled
Yesterday's game was called due to rain. There will be a split squad today. Carlos Fisher will start the "B" game at 9:30, while Arroyo will start in the "A" game at 1:05. I think it'd be loads of fun for Dusty to cheese off Arroyo and make him start a game at 9:30. But he's not, and that's why he's a player's manager.
- McCoy - Where oh where are the Reds' bats?
The focus of ST has been the pitching, which is good because the offense was conspicuously quiet in the first two games. I'm not terribly concerned about one weekend's worth of offense in ST, but it is a little troubling that the Reds struck out 18 times but only walked twice. As Hal describes it: They way they’ve swung the bats wouldn’t crush a scorpion or even daze a coyote.
- Selig: Reds deserve an All-Star Game
Bud Selig was in the neighborhood Saturday and paid a visit to Goodyear Ballpark. Selig told Fay that Cincinnati is under consideration to host a future all-star game. The next available one is 2014. The Reds hosting of the civil rights game has supposedly helped. Selig also discussed MLB's consideration of an HGH test, which is a hot issue after a British rugby player recently tested positive.
- Jon Heyman - Griffey is veteran presence
At the bottom of this SI piece, Jon Heyman notes that Griffey is "making a major effort to befriend Milton Bradley at Mariners camp." There's a lot of new talent with the M's this year, and the Angels look to be weaker after losing Lackey and Figgins. I can definitely get behind rooting for the M's to take the division in what will likely be Griffey's swan song.
- Speaking of Veteran presence, Cleveland HOFer Bob feller threw out the first pitch on Saturday.
omgreds.com - the Heavy Artillery
This is almost enough to make me start collecting baseball cards again. Love that it's an homage to the '61 card, though I have to wonder why Gus Bell rather than Frank Robinson was put in the middle.
- Diamond Hoggers: C. Trent Rosecrans interview
The guys at Diamond Hoggers interview Trent, discussing different Reds personalities from years past and the prospects for the team in 2010 and beyond. Trent also sings the praises of our Justin Inaz for providing sabremetric analysis to the Reds masses.
I thought the HOF discussion towards the end was the most interesting. Trent, who will get to vote in three or four years, says "yes" to McGwire, Clemens, and Bonds. But he's leaning "no" on Rafael Palmeiro because Palmeiro tested positive once the rules were in place. I agree with that. I don't think that a positive test should necessarily preclude enshrinement, but it's a valid consideration or tiebreaker. Trent obviously thinks hard about these issues and keeps an open mind, which is much more than you can say for most writers, IMO.
- USA Today - Arroyo will again limit his guitar playing
Bronson Arroyo's musical skills will go on hiatus again this year to prevent the recurrence of his carpal tunnel symptoms. Last season, he gave up the strumming rather than have surgery to fix the carpal tunnel syndrome. No word on whether he's also giving up the ol' crotch rocket. Tiger eyes! They're watching you!