The time has finally come for pitchers and catchers to report. That means baseball is here once again and that lull between football and baseball is almost over. I’m not sure how I made it through, tobe honest.
I thought the Caribbean Series would help, but other than seeing a few at-bats from Juan Francisco, it wasn’t that interesting to me. Actually, the defense was so painful to watch at times, that it really wasn’t that entertaining at all.
On the day of Tiger Woods’ press conference, baseball fans can take solace in the fact that they will be able to hide from the non-stop Turkish bazaar the media will undoubtedly have with this event in knowing that MLB Network will actually have something interesting to report.
For those of you who do not have MLB Network, let me know how Woods is doing because you’ll know about it whether you want to or not. Honestly though, I’ll know about it whether I want to or not (I don’t), so forgive my condescending tone.
Last season, I decided to take on a project of sorts and collect all the “Dusty-isms” throughout the year and compile them into one big post at the end of the season. Well, I only got through about a week before I was completely exhausted of it. Dusty can say a lot of pretty dumb things, as many of you well know.
This season, I thought about compiling a list of spring training quotes and promises. But keeping up with who’s going to steal 80 bases and who’s lost 15 lbs. is exhausting too. Besides, I think there’s a website dedicated to that already. I can’t seem to find it though.
Instead of a project, I’m just going to list what I’m looking forward to seeing the most in spring training 2010. Maybe before the season begins, I’ll revisit this post and see how things turned out and follow that up with a new set of questions to be answered by the All-Star break. Don’t hold me to it though.
1) Who doesn’t want to see Aroldis Chapman throw? He’s enough reason to buy a plane ticket to Phoenix right now. I’m anxious to see how he performs against Major League talent and how he is evaluated by the club.
I don’t see him winning a spot in the rotation right out, but I could see him in Cincinnati later in the year. There’s so much mystery surrounding this guy, which is exactly why everyone is so excited to see him pitch.
2) Who will win the fifth starting position? From the way things look right now, it will be Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Bailey, and (hopefully) some other guy not named Mike Lincoln. Carlos Fisher will be in camp, as well as Justin Lehr and Matt Maloney.
It will be interesting to see how the Reds handle Micah Owings after a sub-par season. Early on, he showed signs of brilliance but for the most part he was undependable. Maybe he’s the answer for left field.
3) I’m excited to learn more about the new ballpark. Everything that I’ve seen looks amazing and I’m wondering what the players’ reaction will be. I also want to see how playing ball in Arizona compares to playing in Florida. It will certainly be different sharing the Goodyear facility with Cleveland and I assume that will have it’s advantages.
What will be interesting to see is how many fans they will draw and how many of those fans will be from true Reds country. I doubt they’ll have half as many from this area as they did in Sarasota, and while that’s a problem for some people, it’s not a point of contention for me.
After the Reds announced that they were talking about moving operations to Arizona, a lot of fans were angry because they had invested in property in the Sarasota area. I have a hard time feeling sorry for someone who invests in vacation property based solely on the spring training location of a baseball team—especially in this day and age.
4) Danny Dorn should get some playing time early in the spring. It’s unfortunate he wasn’t invited last season because he might have gotten some better looks due to the World Baseball Classic. Nevertheless, I’m happy for him and I hope he performs well.
5) Who will start in left field? Laynce Nix? Chris Heisey? Todd Frazier? Perhaps they’ll sign Jonny Gomes. I assume all of the above will get adequate looks this spring. As the first few waves of cuts are made and the field begins to narrow, we’ll be able to make a more accurate guess on left field and the other positions.
6) Who plays center field? Drew Stubbs or Chris Dickerson? What happens to the one who doesn’t win the job? Will they put Dickerson in left and platoon him with Gomes (provided they sign Gomes)? I might be tempted to do that.
7) Will Joey Votto get some looks in left field and possibly open up speculation as to what their plans are for Yonder Alonso? Will anyone play a position other than where we’re accustomed to seeing them?
8) Will Aaron Miles become Dusty’s “super-sub” or will he be cut like he should? Who will round out the bench this year?
9) How will Orlando Cabrera do? This ranks low on my list of things to watch for because it really doesn’t matter what kind of spring he has because he will be the starting shortstop on Opening Day. How Cabrera performs is a better topic for things to look for during the regular season. Perhaps the relevant question is how does the Cabrera signing affect Paul Janish’s future with the Reds? Will he even make the team at all?
10) Who will be this years pleasant surprise? I doubt anyone thought Daniel Ray Herrera would do anything last spring. I honestly forgot about him in the midst of the Hamilton-Volquez trade.
11) Who will be this years not-so-pleasant surprise? If you recall, last season Darnell McDonald broke camp with the Reds while Jonny Gomes accepted his assignment to Louisville. I don’t think I have to say any more.
That’s my current top ten list of 11 things I’m looking forward to seeing in Spring Training. We should learn the answers to all of these and more over the coming weeks.
Anyway, baseball is back and I couldn’t be happier.
Cheers to the Reds and their 105-win season!