Sporting News baseball aficionado Jesse Spector has been paying attention to the misguided criticism of Joey Votto's #approach lately, so he penned (keyboarded?) a piece looking into a scenario where all the Reds best offensive player did was take walks. Shockingly - probably due to some voodoo math that Spector conjured up from some ragtag saber spreadsheet - if Votto did absolutely nothing but walk, he'd be a more productive player by roughly 19 million percent, give or take. Sarcasm aside, it has always baffled me that people tend to forget that baseball is the one major professional team sport in the Americas that doesn't play against a clock, and instead plays with a finite number of outs to be made. The more ways players and teams find ways to make things happen before they're recorded out 27 times, the better, and walking 100% of the time is a damn fine way to ensure that happens. But please, keep telling Votto that he should swing at more balls in the dirt. I won't laugh. I'll probably laugh.
Do yourself a solid and follow FOX 19's Joe Danneman's work today, since apparently he's had the chance to talk to usual nicest guy in the world Brayan Pena about what Mat Latos mentioned in his interview with Ken Rosenthal. Considering unhappy Pena sightings are more rare than factual 2-hour specials on the Discovery Channel, this may be interesting to follow. Or not, in which case you can direct your hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring training is nearly in full swing, and that means all sorts of goofy, funny new pictures of the Reds in shorts in warmer places than we are right now! Thanks to Kareem Elgazzar, The Enquirer has a whole gallery posted, and it's likely to stay populated with more and more as Goodyear gets hopping.
Over at Reds.com, Mark Sheldon had a chance to speak with mystery man Raisel Iglesias, who enters his first spring training with his sights set on a spot in the Reds' rotation. When I run through the various scenarios the Reds may enter in 2015, I never forget about Iglesias, but I always struggle with how to quantify him. There's no doubt that members of the Reds organization feel confident that he's got what it takes to be a quality big league starter, but the lack of innings on his arm, the time he's spent away from the game, and the cavalcade of scouts who project him as just a reliever mean I temper those expectations each time. I think he's talented enough and versatile enough to be an impact player for the Reds, but how soon and in what capacity are questions that just can't be answered until we see much, much more from Iglesias.
Also from Sheldon, minor league signee Jason Marquis has the openings in the rotation on his mind, too. Oh, boy.
Finally, here's to a very Happy Birthday and a better baseballing year to fireballing Reds prospect Robert Stephenson, who surely hopes his age 22 season goes a bit smoother than his age 21 season. Bob Steve's got everything needed to be a dominant big league starter aside from accuracy/precision/accuracy/precision/accuracy, but that's something that plenty of pitchers have perfected as they get more repetitions. Enjoy it, Bobbo, and spend your big day asking Johnny Cueto every question under the sun.