USA TODAY Sports
In this issue, we talk setting The Golem's role in stone, Hoover tries not to suck in spring, and Dusty compares Choo to Marvin Benard.
Jay Bruce pranked this gomer right in the freakin' face
Click through and watch the video. I think my favorite part is that Bruce is too nice a guy to even act like he's really upset about it all.
Devin Mesoraco has just nine PAs so far this spring
but he has already wanged two honkballs and driven in six runs. Blog Red Machine's Scott Kelly hopes this is a sign of things to come, as he argues that the Reds need The Golem to step up this season.
I'm not sure the situation is as dire as Kelly lets on. Ryan Hanigan seems to have the plate on lock down, so Mesoraco can reasonably expect only a few starts a week. He got 165 ABs last season, so one can project something like 200-250 if things stay static.
Of course, there is a debate over whether or not Mesoraco should start in AAA. Miguel Olivo is in camp and could serve as Hanigan's caddy as well as anyone else, really. I mean, we're talking about the back-up catcher here. Unless he is monumentally dreadful, it's difficult to envision a scenario in which he impacts the team's fortunes in any significant way. Mesoraco was pretty rough last year in that role, and I think the team did fine.
Starting in AAA could be good for Mesoraco, as he could play every day. But he has a career OPS of .832 at the level, so maybe he doesn't have much left to learn against lower-level pitching. And of course, we cannot discount the tutelage he can get at the big league level hanging out with Hanigan and the other big leaguers.
At the end of the day, I don't think the Reds can make a mistake here. There are enough positives on each side of this debate to justify whatever decision they end up making. And best of all, there are very few - if any - risks involved. These are the best kinds of debates to have in spring training.
Shin-Soo Choo and Ryan Hanigan are both dealing with minor bang-ups
Choo has a tight right quad while Hanigan is dealing with a sore oblique. "They're doing pretty good. I don't think they're ready," Reds manager Dusty Baker said Sunday. "If it was later in the spring, I think they'd be ready. They're disappointed not to play, especially Choo. I've got to do what I've got to do." Neither injury seems to be anything more than a mere botherance.
J.J. Hoover is looking to break camp with a spot in the big league bullpen
During the broadcast of yesterday's tilt with the Royals, Marty argued that only Jonathan Broxton and Sean Marshall are guaranteed spots out of spring, so the next five spots are up for grabs. Normally when a team has five open spots in their bullpen, things ain't lookin' so good. But with this 'pen, it just shows how extraordinarily deep it is.
After Broxton and Marshall, the Reds have Jose Arredondo, Logan Ondrusek, Hoover, Sam LeCure, Alfredo Simon, and Manny Parra on big league deals. Aroldis Chapman also seems likely to start the season in the 'pen as the plan appears to be to keep his arm fresh in April and May so he can start down the stretch. I also wouldn't be surprised if Tony Cingrani made the team.
So basically, the Reds have seven or eight good arms for five spots. If I were in charge, I think Ondrusek would be the odd man out. But Dusty seems to really like the big fella, so we'll see what happens. But yeah, if Logan Ondrusek is the eighth or ninth-best arm in your bullpen, I think you are doing okay.
Dusty seems really happy to finally have a real actual lead-off man
"It’s been a while since I’ve had a bona fide leadoff man," Baker said. "I’ve had guys who do well in that spot, but it’s been a while since I had guys like Kenny Lofton. I’ve been around Brett Butler, I had Marvin Benard in San Francisco. Those guys are harder to find than run producers." Moreover, I'm sure he's even happier to finally have the means to silence the "FARRR DUSTY HE CANT FILL OUT TEH LINUP" crowd. Though, who are we kidding, right?