Joey Votto loves Ted Williams' book "The Science of Hitting"
and is just an all-around terrific fella. I highly recommend this one, as P-Doc does a great job of capturing the nuance and sincerity of Votto's voice and demeanor. And this - "Williams’ manifesto is not unknown to other major leaguers. Dante Bichette, briefly a Red, swore by it, too. Votto could be the only player who totes it around. A few years ago, one of Williams’ daughters sent him a pristine copy, bearing the inscription, "You’re exactly the type of hitter Ted would have liked.""
Redleg Nation talks about the projections for Mat Latos this season
One canard making the rounds since the trade is that the Reds should be concerned about how Latos is going to handle the drastic change of moving from Petco to GABP. It really isn't anything to worry about, as his pitching profile suggests he can be successful pitching anywhere. He strikes out a ton of hitters, doesn't walk many, and has a perfectly normal GB/FB ratio. The numbers say he should be an ace, so all that's left to do is to go out and pitch.
Billy Bray, Foretopman
has tweaked his groin again. He missed the first two weeks of camp with the original injury, and now it looks like he's going to miss the beginning of the season because of it. Groins are finicky like that. Bray was one of the top situational lefties in the league last year, pitching in 79 games and completing fewer than 50 innings. He can get righties out too, but whatevs we won't get into that right now.
Bray's injury opens the door for another lefty to break camp with the Reds, likely one of Clay Zavada and Ron Mahay. Zavada has battled injuries, much like Bray, the last few years, but has always been a successful pitcher when healthy. Mahay is old and is looking to fill the Arthur Rhodes role for this vintage of Reds. I suppose there is also a slim chance the Reds choose to move Aroldis Chapman back to the 'pen, but I think Walt is really set on giving Chapman a legitimate go as a starter. So I guess we'll see. Hopefully Bray gets healthy soon.
Bronson Arroyo made his debut yesterday
He says he felt better for his first time out than he has in years, particularly after last year. "If I can throw the ball 90 mph, I feel good about what I can do out there," Arroyo said. "Last year, I was humping up for 86 a lot of times with everything I had. It was nice to be out there and feel healthier." My personal thanks to Mark Sheldon for editing out Bronson's uncontrollable snickering after saying "humping up".
andromache takes the news of Ryan Madson's minor elbow injury
and begins connecting the dots. There are three distinct time-space futures that can unfold now, and none of them are particularly appealing. In all of them, the Reds do not win the World Series. The outcomes range from bleak to apocalyptic, but all are hilarious.
FanGraphs has been running a positional power rankings series over the past few days
This particular link goes to the right field rankings, which have the Reds and Jay Bruce listed fourth behind the Blue Jays, the Diamondbacks, and the Marlins. You can click through see all the lists for all the positions, too. It's also worth mentioning that Votto earns the Reds the #1 ranking at first base.
It's contract extension season
and over the past week, a few good young CFs have inked lucrative deals. Cameron Maybin (who is known for loosing a number of footraces to our very own Cy Schourek) was locked down by the Padres and Andrew McCutchen with the Pirates. Both of these guys have a little more than two years of service time, which is the same as our CF Drew Stubbs.
It got me thinking about what it would take to lock up Stubbs long-term. I doubt the Reds are entertaining this possibility given the down year he had in '11, but perhaps it could be prudent to lock him up when his value is this low. It's obvious that the Reds believe in him, as even with a decent alternative in Chris Heisey on the roster there has been no talk at all of a position battle. Baker and Jocketty have said numerous times that they think Stubbs has superstar potential. But there are still real reasons to be concerned. They won't lock him up this spring, but if they were to do so, it'd probably take somewhere around the $25 mil that Maybin got.
David Schoenfield tries to find a job for Johnny Damon
The Reds are on his list of possible landing spots for the future
Hall of Famer Hall of Very Gooder Hall of Participationer. Here's the relevant bit: "Chris Heisey has some power -- 18 home runs in 279 at-bats -- but also posted a .309 OBP. Damon posted a .326 OBP in 2011 for Tampa Bay, but Heisey is the better left fielder. If Damon had been willing to serve as a part-time left fielder, he certainly would have made for a better role player than Ryan Ludwick."
I think this ship has long since sailed, but even if it were still a possibility I'm not sure I'd choose Damon over Ludwick. I'm not really excited about either one, but I think it's important that Ducky can at least play the OF on a regular basis. I don't know if Damon can do that anymore. Whatevs though, because the Reds made their choice.
In case you missed it
or just don't care about the NFL, yesterday the Indianapolis Colts released the franchise's best ever player Peyton Manning. Manning spent 14 years playing football good in the city known for its ice chips and white bread, and is now the swirling eye of the sport's biggest ever free agency. I know we have a goodly amount of crossover appeal here, as Indy is one of the Reds' biggest secondary media markets. So what do you guys think about it? It must be weird, huh?