First note: A lot going on, been to S.T. and back and have to say that even though Josh Hamilton is really turning heads, we should not get ahead of ourselves. It is still only March 14 and it is still less than 30 at-bats. He’s made the team–that’s good–but folks who expect him to step in and contribute like a regular expect far too much from him.
Second note–glad to see that Homer Bailey is going to get some more minor league time. No sense in rushing him. He’s going to be tremendous, but starting the clock on his service time makes little sense and he has some work to do before he is ready for prime time.
Third note: Has anyone else noticed how much the catchers have stunk this spring? Ay carumba!
Fourth note: Matt Belisle has emerged as a favorite for the fifth slot in the rotation–maybe–but Paul Wilson is also in the running and as the season wears on, there may be a revolving door in that slot. Still, Belisle has done everything the Reds could ask and he is probably better than $9 mil albatross Eric Milton to boot. To my mind, if Krivsky has to eat some money to unload Milton, that would still be a smart move. Given the offseason signings (Marquis and Meche most notably), someone will be interested in Milton.
Fifth note: This time last year, Edwin Encarnacion was the toast of spring training. I think 2007 is going to be his breakout season–lots of offense coming–hopefully from the 4 slot in the lineup.
Sixth note: Speaking of lineups, Alex Gonzalez better not ever be higher in the lineup than 8th. Perhaps some pitchers can outhit Gonzalez . . .
Seventh note: Adam Dunn looks refreshed and renewed. NL teams better watch out.
Eighth note: All we hear is how David Weathers is the closer, Mike Stanton may get some shots, and Dustin Hermanson is a candidate as well. I don’t see how there is room on the team for everyone involved, when you also count Rheal Cormier, Bill Bray, Todd Coffey, Gary Majewski and Kirk Saarloos. Here’s betting that Hermanson stays in extended spring training, that Majewski starts the year on the DL, and that Coffey and Bray outpitch Weathers, yet Weathers remains the ersatz closer anyway.
Ninth note: speaking of Kirk Saarloos, what are the Reds going to do with all of their fifth starters? Saarloos, Belisle, Wilson, and Livingston all looking at one slot on the team? Something has to give—hopefully the Reds can keep some of this depth.
Final note: less than three weeks away from the Opening Day celebrations in Cincinnati–no matter how the team is projected to perform, that is one of the best days of every year.