Monday, February 11, 2013

20 questions facing the Reds heading into spring training


Monday was a glorious day for baseball-lovers across the United States and beyond. This is because Monday marked the commencement of spring training as pitchers and catchers migrated into big league camp.

All totaled, the Reds ended up with 29 pitchers and six catchers at the Goodyear complex on Monday. By Friday, the team is expected to have a total of 57 players once position players trickle in throughout the week. However, only 25 will end up on the Opening Day roster, and much of the roster is already set in stone.

As well as the regular season went in 2012, the ending was absolutely gut-wrenching. The Reds blew a 2-0 lead in the NLDS to allow the Giants to eliminate them from postseason play. Sure, San Francisco went on to win the whole darn thing, but it still doesn't ease the pain of last year's meltdown.

Nevertheless, it's time to put that experience behind us and look optimistically toward 2013. With that being said, here are some questions the team is facing entering the spring:

+ Will Scott Rolen ever make up his mind about retiring?

+ Will Todd Frazier be able to handle the everyday starting duties at third base?

+ Will Ryan Ludwick build upon his success in 2012? Or will his 2012 campaign prove to be a fluke?

+ How will Aroldis Chapman make the transition into the starting rotation? Will he eventually end up in the bullpen again?

+ Will Nick Masset ever throw another pitch for the Reds?

+ Can Shin-Soo Choo really play center field on a consistent basis?

+ Is Joey Votto fully recovered from knee surgery?

+ How will new Indians outfielder Drew Stubbs react to playing in the same spring training complex as his former team?

+ How many games will George Grande come out of retirement and broadcast this season?

+ Will Devin Mesoraco bust out in his sophomore season after recording a disappointing rookie year?

+ Will Homer Bailey throw another no-hitter? Will he continue to blossom into an ace-caliber pitcher?

+ How many players will the Reds send to the All-Star Game?

+ How many games will the Reds win in their pursuit of winning their third division crown in four years?

+ How much will a hot dog and/or a brew cost at Great American Ball Park this season?

+ When will we see Billy Hamilton in Cincinnati?

+ Will Johnny Cueto or Mat Latos finally give the Reds their first Cy Young Award winning pitcher in franchise history?

+ Does Sam LeCure plan on growing his mustache out again?

+ What is the approximate size of Jonathan Broxton's britches? How long are his sideburns?

+ Can the Reds win a playoff series for the first time since 1995?

+ WILL THE CINCINNATI REDS WIN THE WORLD SERIES?

Everyone of these questions will be answered at some point throughout the year. Let's hope that last one is a resounding "yes" once all is said and done.

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