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Friday, March 02, 2007

Spring Training Games Begin

Sorry there hasn't been much activity around here this week--had a number of family issues come up. The pitching review should be out soon--analysis & graphs are pretty much done, just need to write it up. But I have some major projects to finish for work this weekend, so I'm not sure when I'll have time to get it done. Maybe tomorrow.

It's so nice to see spring training begin. I'm going to forgo purchasing MLB Audio this year, in part because I'm hoping for an XM Radio later this month as a birthday present. :) Unfortunately, this has meant that I missed the debut of the Marty and Thom show today. Furthermore, there was no gamecast available that I could find, so about all I can do now is read comments and look at box scores. ::sigh::

Just for fun, let's read too much into the first box score of spring training:
  • Granted, the wind was blowing out, and spring training performances don't mean all that much...but the Reds hitters looked ready to play some ball. 5 home runs, 9 runs scored? Fun.
  • Great to see Adam Dunn off to a good start this year. While everyone always talks about how they're in the best shape of their life in spring training, Dunn really does look like he's lost a lot of excess weight. That can only mean good things. It's great to see him taking conditioning more seriously--I hope that carries over into a strong offensive performance all year. If he can play passable defense, that's a bonus. :)
  • Josh Hamilton also seems to be doing well in these first few games (including his intrasquad performance yesterday--I count walks as successes, especially for someone who's been out of the game for so long).
    • Granted, Allan Simpson isn't someone with a long track record of success at the major league level, but it's great to see Hamilton having some early success.
    • Even a decent spring would probably guarantee him a spot on the roster as long as the Reds carry "only" 11 pitchers or (I can hope) 2 catchers. 11 pitchers seems more likely, especially if Majewski's arm doesn't get back into shape prior to the season opener.
  • Joey Votto also had a good day, going 0-1 with a walk and a run scored. I think that the fact that he struggled so badly in Sarasota in '05 means he absolutely should spend at least a half-season in AAA to help him with the adjustment to higher-level pitching, but I'm excited for him to arrive in Cincinnati...if nothing else, he should be a late-season call-up. PECOTA is ridiculous on him this year.
  • The only pitcher I'm going to mention is Paul Wilson, who struck out two today. I think Wilson is probably a long-shot to make the rotation out of spring training, but I can see him coming up and helping the team a month or two into the season if things go well for him. The fact that he can still strike a few guys out is encouraging.