The St. Louis soon-to-be-Reds are in Cincinnati as we speak, where tonight they'll begin game one of a three game weekend series, and there's not much in the game of baseball these days that does more to get the sugars up. Just in case that needed any added emphasis, check out Viva El Birdos' take on how the 2015 rotations of each respective team have been assembled, with the focus on the GM's in charge of making those calls. Looking at the decision to keep Carlos Martinez in the big league rotation reveals a pretty fascinating tale as is, since the Cardinals had no qualms about elevating him to their bullpen despite success as a young starter in the minors. That's a path the Reds have opted against with the likes of Robert Stephenson, Michael Lorenzen, and Raisel Iglesias (for now), and it does appear to reveal a pretty concrete strategy on which Walt Jocketty stands firm. That it comes in contrast with the decision to keep Jason Marquis as a member of the Reds' 2015 rotation makes me want a strong drink or five.
For more on the Cards coming to town, check the Enquirer's preview. SPOILER ALERT: The Reds have had their butts handed to them by St. Louis early and often of late.
Speaking of the Enquirer, C. Trent Rosecrans took a look at the hot start on display from Billy Hamilton in 2015 and exactly what that may mean for the Reds' lineup. I'll freely admit that the biggest worry I had for this Reds season (aside from health, obviously) was whether Hamilton would be able to cut it as a legitimate leadoff hitter, and so far he's done a complete 180 from the rough start he got off to in 2014. There's no denying he's a game changer when his talents and skills are working, and a bounce-back year offensively from him would do wonders to help this team's offense take off.
The Minor League seasons began last night, and the Red Reporter Farmer's Only Bureau was all over it. While they'll be up into the wee hours of the morning covering each and every Reds affiliate this season (for their sanity, thank the dear lord High-A Bakersfield moved to Daytona and Eastern Time), here's another handy dandy resource to help follow the top 30 prospects in the Reds' system. Thanks, MLB Pipeline, and holy stacked Daytona roster, Batman.
Here's a nifty read from ESPN SweetSpot's David Schoenfield, who does his best Shinky impersonation while looking back to when the Cincinnati Reds became the Cincinnati Redlegs.
Finally, our thoughts are with the family, friends, and endless number of people inspired by Lauren Hill, who passed away Friday morning after fighting an inoperable form of brain cancer. The Mount St. Joseph freshman was just 19 years old, yet the amount of time and effort she put in to raising both awareness and money to help fight cancer was enough to make people four times her age wonder what they've been doing with their lives. Rest in peace, Lauren.