Mark Sheldon checked in from Goodyear with a few updates to the injury circus. It appears that Devin Mesoraco is getting closer to being a go, but he's still got a few hurdles to jump through before being fully game ready. (Who am I kidding? You don't jump through hurdles, you jump over them. Hoops are for jumping through in the metaphorical world. Anyone have any coffee?) There are also quotes from Bryan Price that suggest that Mesoraco won't travel with the big league club to either Pensacola or Louisville, as they'd rather him stay in Arizona and get reps in the minor league games than in the exhibitions. Sheldon also notes that there's no guarantee that Alfredo Simon will actually crack the starting rotation during the first few games in April, which is a decision based largely on three factors. First, Simon has struggled a bit as he's been stretched out; second, the bullpen is a mess, and Simon's a proven quantity there; and third, Brett Marshall - who is on the 40 man roster - has looked good enough as a starter this Spring to possibly warrant a chance.
Sheldon also dropped some notes on the rehab starts of Homer Bailey and Mat Latos. Both banged-up starters appeared to show positive signs on the mound yesterday, as both reportedly sat in the mid 90s with their fastballs and maintained velocity throughout. John Fay noted on Twitter that Bailey came out of his start feeling good and that he's scheduled to pitch in the exhibition against Louisville, and that would leave him on schedule to make his first regular season start on April 3rd against the St. Louis Cardinals. Good good good good good.
If it feels like I've linked to nothing but Mark Sheldon and John Fay talking about injuries for the last week, it's because I've linked to nothing but Mark Sheldon and John Fay talking about injuries for the last week. Sheldon also asked Bryan Price if Billy Hamilton could fill in if there was an injury at shortstop, and...nope, not gonna fathom that. In fact, here's a picture of a dog and a kitten just to take our minds off things.
Back to injuries, though. Grant Brisbee noted the absurd situations of both the Atlanta Braves and, more recently, the Texas Rangers, and it's pretty remarkable the level of attrition seen by both franchises. He also includes a handy dandy chart that lists the cumulative projected WAR of injured players by team and - you guessed it - the Reds rank right near the top. Not included in the lists, however, are Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, or Jack Hannahan, so I'm going to assume that means that Zeus Brisbee has decreed that they're all healthy enough to not worry about. I'm not worried. I'm not worried. I'm not worried...
The Sporting News released their picks for each major MLB award, which is cool if you're into that sort of thing. Two things stand out: First, The Sporting News has gone full slideshow on their website, which makes me want to bitchslap a goldfish, and second, it's full of Cardinals, Dodgers, and Giants. Nevermind. Don't read that.
Here's a fun list. Sort it by ERA from best to worst and see what you think. Oh, but the donuts...
Finally, our good friend and former colleague, JinAZ, has been working overtime on his season preview of the Reds roster, and it's as excellent as you'd expect. I've just linked to his home page, but you won't have to look far to find the individual previews of the position players and starting pitchers. He'll have the bullpen preview dropping tomorrow and a wrap-up on Thursday, and I'd suggest you stop back by to check them out, too, lest you be missing out on some of the best Reds work on the interwebbos. Hi, Justin!