So we waited all day yesterday for the axe to fall
only to see two heads roll. Carlos Fisher and Corky Miller were sent to the minors, which should come as no surprise. The big cuts will come today, perhaps even a decision on the 5th starter: "There are a few things we have to discuss first. We'll see," Baker told Sheldon. "There's a lot more to it than just being the fifth starter." CTrent thinks that tips the scales toward Travis Wood, because he has pro experience and a 40-man spot. Me, I'm not sure what to think about it. My 5th Starter Tournament Bracket is totally busted. I had Wood and Leake losing in the 1st round and Maloney in the Final Four. Shows what I know.
Johnny Cueto had kind of a rough day yesterday
and went to the clubhouse with a stiff back. "I feel good," Cueto said. "But when I threw in the bullpen, my back got tight." He's not worried about it though, so don't fret. He'll definitely be there for Game 2. Oh, and Joey Votto is hitting .EIGHT46 in his last 5 games. Dusty says he's not surprised. Jeez, tough crowd, eh?
Cincinnati Magazine has a great article about Hall o' Famer Hal
and his departure from the Dayton Daily News. It's really a terrific read. What a guy. HT to RLN
Kevin Baxter at the LA Times talked to Orlando Cabrera and Walt Jocketty about free agency
"Five years ago everybody wanted to be a free agent," said Cabrera, who got a four-year, $32-million free-agent deal from the Angels in 2005, when baseball operated in a different economic environment. "I was trying to compare it with the real estate market. Houses that would sell for $2 million five years ago, if you put them up for $500,000 [now], you don't get anything."
Matthew Carruth at FanGraphs brings up an interesting-but-nearly-irrelevant statistic
The advantage that NL pitchers get by facing other NL pitchers is a small but noticeable one. Last season Red Reporter Heart Throb Eric Milton led the league in padding his strikeout rate against opposing pitchers, racking up 30% of his total Ks against his opposite number. The whole thing is really about how guys like Joel Pinero will be affected by changing to the AL, but I thought the Milton thing was worth bringing up. You know, because the Reds paid him *WHUMP*.....
I awoke a few hours later in a daze, my face glued to the Reposter news desk with my own bloody drool. Not a word was said, but the message was clear.
Here's a nice piece on "Why I Love Baseball" from Geoff Young
These kinds of things always get me excited for Opening Day. "When asked why I love baseball, I usually shrug my shoulders and say, "I dunno, I just do." It's easier than spouting off ridiculous analogies and metaphors without ever really getting to the point. If you don't love baseball, you certainly won't love my explanation of why I do (and if you do love baseball, you don't need it), which is equally unbound by time constraints and seemingly pointless from the outside."
Craig Calcaterra at HardBallTalk likes the Reds to finish over .500
He's a personal favorite of mine. To wit:
"I really like a Jonny Gomes/Chris Dickerson platoon in left. Dickerson has an OBP-heavy career .845 OPS against righties. Gomes is a career .885 OPS hitter against lefties. These are the sorts of things that get me kinda excited but which make my wife and non-baseball fan friends scratch their heads."
"Dusty Baker is in his third season as Reds' manager. He's a lame duck too, and one which would probably require a lot of money to keep around. I don't hate Dusty Baker as much as a lot of web writers do, but I don't think he's the best guy to be leading this team either, so part of me hopes that the Reds improve enough to give the fans hope but not so much that the team feels obligated to bring Dusty back."
Jon Heyman writes his obligitory spring story on what teams could surprise us this year
And...wow...I think he's a little behind the times. His lead is the Rays (at least he didn't call them the Devil Rays). Seriously, only Jon Heyman could be surprised by a team who went to a World Series two seasons ago. Of course, the Reds are another team on his list:
"All the attention has gone to spring phenom Aroldis Chapman -- who's slated to begin the year in the minors despite having superior stuff -- but the Reds have more going for them than most would think. Their rotation is pretty solid (though Opening Day starter Aaron Harang has gotten knocked around this spring, with a 9-plus ERA) and their bullpen, which was third best in the NL, returns practically intact. Homer Bailey (who by all accounts has matured), Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs (.804 slugging this spring) and Joey Votto give the Reds one of the better group of 20-somethings in baseball, and if they can all overcome their own various questions, they could be pretty special."