Position players officially reported to Goodyear, AZ on Thursday, marking the return of the Cincinnati Reds to The Land of the Endless Strip Mall for Spring Training. The World Baseball Classic will throw a minor wrench into the usual happenings for a bit. If anything, though, that gives us an extra week of baseball watching in February that otherwise would’ve been spent watching the sun set at 5 PM and trying to find something other than American Pickers on History Channel that's actually worth watching.
Instead, we get more things like Joey Votto interviews, which MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon has up for you to read and view. Votto, to his credit, acknowledges that he’s one of the few veterans left on this roster, but is looking forward to being one of the guys with this new group regardless. He seems fairly excited about the talented youth that GM Dick Williams has assembled, and if he manages to get off to a start in 2017 akin to how he’s finished each of the last two seasons, he could make a team of 3 year olds look amazing.
Speaking of Votto, The Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan noted that he’s now, at age 33, the second oldest Red on the 40 man roster. Maybe that’s the real reason they signed Scott Feldman this winter - to not make Joey feel so gawdang old all of a sudden.
The Enquirer’s beats have been doing a wonderful job relaying info early in camp, with both Buchanan and C. Trent Rosecrans getting great interviews and even interacting with fans via Facebook Live. Rosecrans caught up with Zack Cozart yesterday, for instance, to discuss how the veteran SS has operated amid so many trade rumors and so much roster turnover around him, and it’s a great read. Embedded within that interview: Cozart won’t be playing with the bulky knee brace he used last year, and feels fully confident that his once-shredded knee is 100%. (Take note, rival scouts, in case you’re still actively monitoring him for trade purposes!)
For you Fanborroyos out there, here’s some video and insight into Bronson’s first bullpen of the spring. He was caught by Devin Mesoraco, incidentally, which is great to see given how both have struggled to do anything baseball related sans pain or injury for most of the last two years.
Also from C. Trent: Desmond Jennings is the only current Spring Training invitee not in camp. He’ll report on Sunday, it appears, after being out dealing with family business.
In other news, our friends at Redleg Nation wondered that with random teams surprising in the standings at least once or twice every year - why not the Reds? That, right there, is the kind of optimism that makes me pay for MLB.tv and tune in every single night. I’m banking that Charlie Scrabbles has a philosophical recommendation that can temper the hell out of that, however.
The day you get tired of seeing this is the day you’re officially a cold, lifeless individual. I think I actually stare at it once or seventeen times a week.
Someone please tell Andrew McCutchen about MLBTradeRumors dot com.
Finally, it seems that in-market Reds fans will only get to watch 5 games of Spring Training action on FS-Ohio, which seems like a meager number. Fortunately, if you splurge for MLB.tv, you’ll be able to see them in action via opposition feeds a lot more than that, which is exactly how this baseball addict gets his fix.