Not only is tomorrow Valentine’s Day and a day to celebrate with the ones you love, but tomorrow is also a day that makes me smile from ear to ear. Tomorrow pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training. This always gives me hope that maybe just maybe this is the year for my beloved Cincinnati Reds, maybe the youngsters will play like veterans, maybe our bullpen will not blow leads, and maybe just maybe the Reds can get back to the playoffs for the first time since 1995 when I was only 8.
The Reds to me seem like a team that will be under the radar all year long. 4 quality starting pitchers in Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Edison Volquez, and Johnny Cueto. Young starts in Joey Votto and Jay Bruce leaves me with a sense of hope for the year to come.
For the Reds to be competitors this year they needed to add a left handed pitcher, and a powerful right handed bat neither of which have happened. The addition of Willy Tavares is a questionable one at that as he brings speed and defense to the outfield, but no power whatsoever. His base stealing ability also might have been a flash in the pan last year as his career high 68 stolen bases were more than double his previous career high. His stolen bases might have gone way up last year, but he hit a career worse .251 and had an obp of only .308 which is the exact opposite of what is needed from a leadoff hitter.
Throughout the off season we heard GM Walt Jocketty talk about the need to trade for a right handed bat, but as we sit here the day before Spring Training begins nothing has happened. There were plenty that would have been available including Xavier Nady, Jermaine Dye, and Nick Swisher all with the right package could have been in a Reds uniform, but Jocketty never pulled the trigger and instead left a void in the Reds lineup.
No matter what happens this year nothing beats sitting at a Major League park on a perfect summer night watching America’s past time.
I will have another post tomorrow after the UK/Arkansas game breaking down what I saw. Until than have a great Friday night