In this issue, we talk the legacy of Scott Rolen, Aroldis Chapman's druthers, and Miguel Cairo's new gig.
Fay does a damn fine job eulogizing Scott Rolen's career
Though of course, it could be premature. Even if it isn't, this is a terrific read. He saves the best for last: "I got everything I needed from him playing beside him," Joey Votto said. "I learned a tremendous amount. You can always learn, but the two or three years I had with him were not wasted. I tell you what: He changed my path as a player. He was a shining example of the kind of player I want to be. Simply because of how quiet he was and how respected he was throughout baseball." Uhh, there's something in eye. I (sniff) I'm gonna run to the bathroom for a minute.
Shin-Soo Choo is stretching his legs out in centerfield
After the Aroldis Chapman thang, this is probably the most important story of the spring for the Reds. For his part, he seems perfectly blasé about the whole thing, which is probably the right way to be.
Choo said: "I’ve talked to Jay Bruce, (Chris) Heisey and the coaches. I’ve worked in center field, and I’ll do the best I can. After that, the middle of spring training or the end, Dusty will make a decision."
I honestly cannot see the Reds judging him as completely unable to handle the position, so I don't think we have much to worry about. I mean, he's not old Ken Griffey Jr out there. Of course, he won't be Drew Stubbs either. But even in the unlikely event that Dusty absolutely won't play him out there, I think Jay Bruce can handle it just fine. Hell, I'd even be okay with Ryan Ludwick out there. As long as they all hit, this is going to be a boss outfield.
Gosh, Miguel Cairo is an upbeat dude
He recently signed on as a special assistant to Walt Jocketty. He has been roaming around camp, working with the players.
"It’s awesome," Cairo said. "When I was a player, I liked to watch and see different players. Anything you can do to help them. Things I learned from someone else I like to pass along. I’m having fun. It is nice."
He says he wants to be a manager someday, and as universally respected and liked as he is, he's hard to imagine that not happening. All he'd have to do is ask, and any GM in the league would just go all, "D'aawwwwww, of course" and tousle what hair he has left. At this point in the Reposter, we are obligated to say that Dusty Baker won't be around forever and Cairo could be his replacement.
Hall o' Famer Hal has some rare quotes from the man himself, Aroldis Chapman
"You take that at which you’ve been successful. I’ve been successful in the majors as a closer. I have not been successful as a starter. So I’d choose closing." Hal is quick to clarify that really all this means is that Chapman is going to do whatever the Reds tell him to do, without any shouting matches with coaches or disinterested sulking on the mound. "If I start, I’d like to throw as many innings as I can possibly do," he said. "Those are things controlled by the team. They called me in the off-season and told me I was getting back to be a starter and to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I’m preparing the same way this year as last year." Damn, this kid sounds so f'ing immature.
Rant Sports argues the Reds should make a long-term deal happen for Homer Bailey
Basically, the argument is that he could get better and pitching is expensive on the open market. Bronson Arroyo's deal is up after this season, so that money can be moved over to Homer.
Everything is wrong about this argument. First, Bronson is only making $6.5 mil this season, what with all of the deferred payments. Second, that money is basically already spent on raises for Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, and pretty much everyone else that is getting more expensive. Also, the deferments. Accounting isn't so easy, I guess. Also, while it is certainly possible that Homer could get better, it's probably just as likely that he could get worse. Player projections and risk management are both really difficult to figure though, so I'll go easy on the author here. But yeah, pitching is definitely 'spensive out there. So I'll give 'em that.
Brandon Phillips is psyched to play for the US in the WBC
He was a bat boy in the '96 Olympics, which I didn't know and is really cool. He's pretty excited to put on the real jersey this time. "It was amazing," Phillips said. "I said 'I'd like to do this one day.' Look at me now -- I get to do the same thing by playing on the WBC team. It was a dream come true when [Team USA manager] Joe Torre called and asked me to do it. I'm really looking forward to it."
I'm going to assume you've seen this already
But in case you haven't, woah buddy. "Tweet that, John," Jay Bruce said. "He’s back."
The Three-Way Chili blog has their top-20 prospect list
Few surprises really, though they do have Robert Stephenson behind both Cingrani and Corcino. They're also more bullish on Hank-Rod and Neftali Soto.
Jason Linden at RLN is not at all optimistic about Nick Masset
"I could be wrong about this, of course, but I don’t think we should consider Nick Masset to be a viable option any more. He’ll probably pitch in the majors again, but I doubt he’ll pitch very much or very well." It's true that Masset has not been healthy in over a full calendar year, and he won't even be ready to start the season. I'm not sure I would go as far as Jason does, but I'm certainly not counting on Masset to come back and throw rocks. Luckily, the Reds have a strong enough bullpen without him.