The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is usually the quietest time of the year for baseball. The Reds haven't made any really interesting news in quite a while, but Slyde gave me a quota to fill when he left and he said if I didn't do it, he'd never talk to me again. Of course, he said the same thing when I got him a Cubs mug as a joke in our RR Secret Santa this year, but then he was high-5ing me an hour later when we won the Wii bowling tournament. I'm not gonna take any chances though. Anyway, here's some baseball to talk about.
Sheldon asks 10 questions about the Reds for 2010
Here's a sample:
"3. Will Jay Bruce be better than last season? After a sophomore season in which he batted only .223, Bruce has to rebound for the Reds to have a chance to be taken seriously in the NL Central (see question No. 1). Set to turn 23 before Opening Day, the right fielder was prone to striking out by expanding his own strike zone and chasing. A two-month stay on the disabled list with a broken right wrist from July 12-Aug. 13 didn't help his development. But he came back and performed better when he batted .375 (12-for-32) with four homers over his final 12 games. Bruce said he made footwork adjustments in the batters' box, and it was clear he was taking more of the bad pitches."
Doug Gray takes a look at Todd Frazier's 2009 season
Frazier spent most of the season in AA, splitting time between LF and 2B before a promotion to AAA for their playoff run. I'm excited to see this kid. Be sure to vote in the Prospect Rankings.
Travis Wood was named MiLB's AA starter of the year
His giant leap forward is said to be due in large part to the addition of a cutter to his repertoire. I'm excited to see this kid. Be sure to vote in the Prospect Rankings.
Matt Snyder at FanHouse has New Year's resolutions for every team
Here's what he has for the Reds:
"The Reds should resolve to quit wasting resources. You can't whine about being a small market team and waste money on Willy Taveras and a closer (Francisco Cordero is good, but there's no reason to pay a closer so much unless you are a mega-market team). There's also no reason to trade for a washed up Scott Rolen (and then extend his contract). Oh, and Dusty Baker: please stop using starters in relief."
- That's pretty much it on the Reds front. Not only has the team been quiet due to the holidays, but most of the internet has been as well. No biggy though, we can take a look at what the rest of the NL Central has been up to:
The Cardinals look pretty close to re-signing Matt Holliday
Unfortunately for Holliday, there don't seem to be any other suitors out there for him. The deal will likely exceed $100 mil though. I wonder if the Cards will have the money for both Holliday and Pujols.
Dave Cameron at FanGraphs thinks the Marlon Byrd signing is a decent one for the Cubs
According to Cameron, Byrd is a solidly average player and the contract he signed pays him like one. Nothing wrong with that for the Cubs. Of course, I love watching the Cubs throw money at mediocrity. Especially mediocrity with a little bit of tread-wear trying to play a premium defensive position like Byrd.
Charlie at Bucs Dugout tells us what to expect from the 2010 Pirates
His first prediction is that "The Pirates will finish fifth in the NL Central, ahead of the Astros. They will not, however, finish anywhere near .500." Call me crazy, but I think the Pirates are better than that.