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Stuff: Does it matter?

Not as long as these 9-run innings keep a-coming.


It's fun to complain. I do it all the time, partly because the internet makes it tantalizingly easy.

When it comes to the Reds, I probably do it all out of proportion with the complained-about thing. That's a pretty natural state for sports fans. I try to remember, though, that having a bunch of good players on the team is almost all of the battle.

With that in mind, should we complain about things like:

J.J. Hoover pitching a lot

We're only 7 games in - which is a clause you can probably slap onto any sentence written about baseball right now. If there's ever a situation to use a pitcher a lot, it's probably early in the season, with 25-year-old relief pitcher who used to be a starter and is best described as "sturdily built." Hoover threw over 100 innings in each of his minor league seasons from 2009-2011. Not only that, his velocity actually jumped up in his last outing.

Still, 5 appearances in 7 games and 117 pitches is a bit much, isn't it? Meanwhile, Sean Mashall and Manny Parra have combined for 3 innings and 41 pitches. Growth plates don't close until the mid-20s in some young men and stamina can be an issue - emotional and physical - especially in your first full season in the majors.

Dusty distributed the workload in the bullpen pretty well last year, so there's plenty of reason to believe his is an April anomaly.

Shin-soo Choo in center field

Choo just isn't a good center fielder. He might even be among the worst in the majors. I tried to make the argument before the season that, even if he was THE WORST, he'd still be a major upgrade to the team. That will remain true, especially if he hits better than expected.

But that doesn't mean he has to stay in center field with Ludwick out for at least half the season. Playing center field in some exhibition games in March does not suddenly make one a centerfielder. Nor suddenly unable to play corner outfield - let alone the easier corner.

Chris Heisey is a better fielder, with more center field experience and does not have ongoing lower back problems. There's no perspective I can think of that makes sense to leave Choo in CF, other than the desire not to let an early vote of no confidence mess with what Choo has going at the plate. And that's not insignificant.

The Reds can win the division with Choo in CF. But should they have to?

Joey Votto's power outage

This doesn't matter.