Dusty shed some light on his plans for Edgar Renteria
He sees Renteria mainly as a backup at SS. He likely won't see much time at 2B because Brandon Phillips will likely start 150+ games there if healthy, and he won't see much time at 3B because he doesn't feel totally comfortable there.
Also in this piece, Dusty discusses the lead-off situation a bit. "I’ve always said that is the hardest guy to find in baseball. Why do you think Rickey (Henderson) played til he was 43? You get one guy who can hit and can’t run. You get another guy who run and can’t hit. You have one guy who can run and hit a little bit but has a poor on-base percentage." Of course, Dusty also realizes it's not the most important question facing his team this spring: "We still led the league in runs last year."
The Reds thumped the Cubs yesterday
and Johnny Cueto pitched very well. The nouveau-riche hurler tossed three scoreless innings, chalking up his success mostly to his mental approach. "I was working harder last year because I knew it was my last year before I had to talk about money. You guys saw the results," Cueto said. "My mental approach is I'm thinking I haven't done anything yet. I'm thinking like I don't have a contract." I don't care what kind of mental gymnastics he has to do to keep his brain in the right place, I just want him to keep starting that reactor.
Dusty shared some of his thoughts on Chris Heisey
He likes that he works hard and plays good defense and all that, and he'll likely make the team as an extra outfielder. One thing Dusty says he needs to work on is hitting left-handed pitching. "We’ve got to help him get a theory on how to hit left-handers," Baker said. "He hits right-handers much better." Heisey struggled against lefties last season, hitting .169/.242/.303 in just 100 PAs. This is, of course, a very small sample size. I can't find his minor league splits anywhere, but I remember him crushing lefties in the minors. Does anyone know where to find that info?
'credsfan linked to this earlier this morning in the recap thread
but I figure it warrants a Reposter mention as well. AAA Louisville looks to be loaded with quality players to begin this season. In fact, I would wager that this roster could probably win nearly 70 games if it were a major league team. I think Dusty summed it nicely when he said, "It's like damn."
Red Reporter's own Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan have come out of retirement
(or is it more like Marty McSorley and Luc Longley?) to start a new Reds blog christened BaseCloggers. Their schtick is long-form, feature-style writing that revolves around a specific monthly theme. Bookmark it.
Red Hot Mama reminds us that our Reds have been improving for the last four years
They've won 72, 74, 78, and 91 games since '07. Credit where it's due - Bob, Walt, and Dusty have been running a pretty good show these past few years. If annual growth rates stay the same (and if baseball is anything like real estate, they definitely will forever), the Reds should win about 97 games this year. Hooray!
Matt Klinker is experiencing his first big league camp
"It'd be an honor to be in a big league camp anywhere, but with my hometown team, it's just icing on the cake," Klinker said. He went to Lakota West and grew up a Reds fan. He's also a Redleg Nation spotlight player and has been posting over there for as long as I can remember.
Q Who is making the most heads turn so far in camp and are there any big surprises? — John, Centerville
A When the team was in Sarasota it was always the Hooters girls in their orange shorts passing out coupons who turned the most heads. As for players, it is way too early to tell, although non-roster outfielder Dave Sappelt is unstitching baseballs right now. That always happens early in camp when pitchers are throwing mostly fastballs. In 1983, a Class A player named Jeff Jones hit about .500 during the spring and GM Dick Wagner insisted he make the team and start in right field, much to manager Russ Nixon’s chagrin. He started on Opening Day and hit .227 in his 16 games and never wore a major-league uniform again, which means I only played 16 fewer major-league games than Jones did.