Mark Sheldon took a look at Phillip Ervin over at reds.com. Ervin, taken in the 1st round of last year's draft by the Cincinnati Reds, ripped his way through two levels in the minors in just a half season in 2013, and he's impressed the heck out of some folks along the way. Ervin's plate approach is one I wish more Reds prospects used, and he currently projects as the best for-average hitter the farm has right now. Yet another example of the value added to the franchise by Chris Buckley and his team of scouts, as Ervin seems like a steal at the end of the first round after many questioned how his performance at Samford University would translate to the big leagues.
Brandon Phillips was the best at something in baseball last year! Grant Brisbee, that funny funny keyboard key typer person, dropped dap on Dat Dude in his list of the best baseball GIFs of 2013, and he certainly should have. It's rather fitting that the face of the butt-face combo is a poor, poor, faceless member of the Houston Astros, but it least he had his moment in the...erm...spotlight, so to speak.
Mike Podhorzer took a glance (a fantasy glance, but a glance nonetheless) at the Reds own Homer Bailey. It appears that Mr. Pod has done quite a bit of research into the recent emergence of Bailey as an upper echelon, no-hitter-throwing, arrow-tattoo-having member of the pitching community, and while he tempers his expectations for any further improvement for Bailey in the coming seasons (which I wholeheartedly poo-poo), he does at least concede that the success he's had the last two seasons is something that should be sustainable. Or something. You read it and tell me.
HardBallTalk's Bill Baer pours an entire jar of salt on the sluggish Reds offseason. Did I say the New Year would breed new optimism? Yeesh. "...and they seem resigned to having a quiet off-season." Super yeesh. Bill's right, of course, and that's why we're all all sorts of perplexed and befuddled in these here parts. Being 28th out of 30 in any ranking of anything at any time in any space-time continuum is most assuredly a bad thing, but at least there's still a blink left before pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear. There's ample time left to ink a deal with Bronson Arroyo, Nelson Cruz, Wick Terrell, Stephen Drew...or...umm...or...well, at least one of those would be a good option. Crap.
But do the Reds really even need to make any more moves? FanGraphs certainly seems to think that the team, as currently constituted, would be more than capable of replicating the...oh, nevermind. They seem to think the team's going to kind of stink. Reading Mike Petriello's thoughts on the Reds' OF just made me cringe, squint, and check my watch as if there was somewhere else I needed to run off to, but there's nothing about it that I can truly disagree with. It's ingrained in my brain now like a broken Etch A Sketch, and it has warped me into thinking that the Reds should sign Grant Balfour, start Chris Heisey in LF next to Billy, and roll out the slickest fielding, sickest pitching team in baseball in 2014 just to troll the Brennamen into rants endless enough to make 'tHom consider copyrighting the phrase "Mercy." Winning games 2-1 is still winning games, and I think I'd rather do that than sign Nelson Cruz and cry over how ridiculous his contract is.