Let’s be honest, this was a better offseason than most I can remember. The players joining the team were highlighted by:
Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projects the Reds to finish top of the highly competitive NL Central, much to the chagrin of fans from the Cardinals, Cubs and Brewers.
So far, and I realise that there are still several weeks before Opening Day, the Reds have avoided any major injuries, like the one which will keep Yankees’ Luis Severino out for the season.
Spring training is only four games old. Well five it you include the bizarre first game which was called off due to rain in Goodyear. I don’t want any rain-delays when I head to Arizona for the final week of cactus league play.
Personally, I love the position/roster battles in spring training. It’s good to see Moustakas score three runs in the first four games, but I have no worries about him. He is a veteran hitter and will slide effortlessly into our lineup.
I’m more interested in the guys on the periphery. Seeing Phil Ervin hit the grand slam over the Rangers was impressive. He is out-of-options, so a good spring will either reinforce the Reds bench or make him a more valuable trade chip. I’m not saying I expect him to be traded, but neither Ervin or Scott Schebler can be sent down.Embed from Getty Images
The most eye-catching performance was from shortstop prospect Jose Garcia with a two-homer game against the Angels. The Reds youngest player in camp, who features in The Athletics’ Keith Law’s Top-100 prospects, has a great future ahead of him.
The mighty Barry Larkin said of him:
“I like his aptitude. He’s got a high baseball IQ. He’s got good anticipation. He’s got a great body for a shortstop. Length, strength, speed, quickness, agility. You can tell, there’s not much I don’t like.”
Shortstop is the area of the team where we are most susceptible. If Freddy Galvis pulls up with a hamstring tear in the first week of the regular season, Plan B does not look particularly encouraging.
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