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Friday, February 13, 2009

Spring Training 2009

Happy Pitchers & Catchers Day!

Like last season, I've contributed to a spring training website, Spring Training '09. They have rosters, ticket information, news, photos, and articles on what to expect from each team this season. I wrote the piece on the Reds. Here's an excerpt:
Despite prognostications about Dusty Baker's proclivity to favor veterans over youngsters, I saw little evidence of this last season. Votto quickly earned his starting job (despite not owning it as he should have at the start of the season), Edwin Encarnacion never was threatened with playing time, and once Jay Bruce arrived mid-summer he was always a starter despite struggling badly at times. If a kid has talent, my experience is that Dusty will let him play. For that reason, I think that Homer Bailey may actually have a shot at the rotation despite how badly he's struggled and despite the experienced and still young Micah Owings seemingly having the advantage.

Dickerson may be the one exception, however, because his talent probably isn't all that remarkable. And so pitting him against players like Jerry Hairston or Jonny Gomes might mean that Dickerson could come out of the dust as a bench player. That might be his best use to a lot of clubs, but I'd like to see what he can do in at least a platoon role this year. At the minimum, he'll provide plus defense in a corner slot, walk at a good clip, and show a little bit of power. Whether he strikes out 200 times is another question...
Thanks to Brian Ward for once again inviting me to come on board with his project.