"It comes to life!"
Most of the difficult calls will be on the pitching side. Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo, Mat Latos and Homer Bailey are set as starters. Aroldis Chapman, Jonathan Broxton, Sean Marshall, Jose Arredondo and Sam LeCure are locks as relievers. If the Reds go with 11 pitchers -- as they did in 2010 -- Tony Cingrani, J.J. Hoover, Logan Ondrusek, Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon would be going for two spots.
Hoover and Simon are the top two by RA9 and ERA if one throws out Cingrani due to his low innings total (4.1 at the major league level). However, Hoover has thrown only 28.2 innings for the major league club, so there are concerns surrounding his postseason qualifications as well. One would hope that Simon is a lock as he has posted excellent numbers and has the stamina to pitch several innings in a long relief appearance if needed. Ondrusek has been lackluster (3.59 ERA and 3.93 RA9 with poor peripherals). Leake has been the worst pitcher on the staff, but provides endurance and versatility. I think the Reds will take Simon, but I have no idea whether Leake or Hoover will occupy the final pitching spot. I would prefer Hoover as the Reds already have two capable long relievers in LeCure and Simon (provided he makes the postseason roster).
Fay also reports that "Miguel Cairo is the favorite to get the last spot." Folks, write your congressman, senators, and state representatives to tell them that you want Cairo left off the playoff roster. Anything is worth a shot at this point.
Dusty Baker is doing well.
It was short and oh so sweet because Baker was upbeat, enthusiastic and effervescent during my short visit.
He looked fit and trim and the smile on his face was as wide as the room. His handshake was bone-shattering, as it always is.
Despite his recent health issues, Dusty Baker is still a he-man.
Fay also updates us on Dusty's health. Get well soon, Dusty.
But the team fell about 8,000 fans short of the Great American Ball Park record for single-season attendance, set in its inaugural season of 2003.
Still, the final home attendance for 2012 is the Reds’ best since that first season at GABP. It’s their ninth-best attendance season in their history, dating back to 1869.
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The attendance gain puts more money in the Reds’ coffers to spend on the team. At an average ticket price of about $28.25, this year’s ticket sale boost should lift revenue by about $3.8 million.
That's $3.8 million of extra veteran leadership from the bench next season!
Ryan Ludwick could be back as early as this weekend. However, there is no reason to rush him back as the Reds have already clinched the NL Central. The Reds have plenty of backup options in Chris Heisey, Todd Frazier, and Xavier Paul.
Andromache provides us with another installment of an excellent series.