Harry Pavlidis examines Aroldis Chapman while Dusty Baker talks about the recovery from his stroke.
Baseball Prospectus' Harry Pavlidis released an updated pitcher card for the Reds' Cuban flamethrower. Pavlidis reminds us that no one knows how the lefty will handle the transition to the rotation. The PITCH f/x guru examined Chapman's changeup as a possible third pitch, but Pavlidis found that the Reds' ace reliever only threw a change on two occasions last season. One cannot be certain that either pitch was a true changeup, but the GIFs show the ball breaking away from a right-handed batter rather than coming in on the hitter as a slider would have. You be the judge.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle talked to the Reds' skipper about Cincinnati's disappointing loss in the National League Division Series. Baker spent the offseason rehabbing from his stroke and changed his diet in order to slim down. The loss still stings for Baker, but mainly because he feels bad for "the guys who have never won [a World Series]."
Steve Engbloom revisits Cincinnati's acquisition of Sean Marshall. Engbloom looks at the 2012 performances of Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt, and Ronald Torreyes to investigate what the Reds lost in the trade. Wood was a fringe big league starter. Sappelt found success in limited major league action, but he struggled throughout the season at AAA Iowa. Torreyes had a disappointing though not altogether wasted year in A ball.
Baseball America rolled out the publication's annual prospects ranking earlier this week. Four Cincinnati prospects made the top 100. Billy Hamilton led the way at number 20 with Robert Stephenson (56), Tony Cingrani (82), and Daniel Corcino (94) rounding out the Reds' appearances on the list. For comparison, Keith Law had the same four Cincinnati prospects on his top 100 list (Insider required), but he flipped Corcino and Cingrani.
John Fay reported earlier this week that Bronson Arroyo had been sick with the flu since pitchers and catchers arrived at camp earlier this month. However, Arroyo says he is feeling better as the team prepares for the first games of the spring. Arroyo said that he did not receive a flu shot. Wouldn't you think that major league teams would provide their players with flu shots? A week or so in bed with the flu could really hinder a player's offseason training regimen.
The Fantasy Fix gives us yet another breakdown of baseball's speediest player.
World War II veteran and lifelong Reds fan Jim Kocher died at the age of 91 this week. WKRC produced a nice segment on Kocher last season.
Aaron Gleeman puts it best: "Can we be done with Pete Rose now, please?"
I leave you with Ernie Harwell's traditional opening for spring training from Song of Solomon 2:11-12: "For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."