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.