Monday, February 25, 2013

Reds reading material for the early week


The Reds essentially got swept by the Indians this weekend after dropping all three games to their in-state rivals at Goodyear Ballpark. This has caused some fans to hit the panic button, while the more realistic fans take the losses for what they really are: meaningless. We will get a better idea of how this team really looks once late-March and early-April rolls around. But for now, the purpose of these spring games are to serve as auditions for the minor leaguers, and minor warmups for the big league guys.

Here are a few interesting reads to help reinvigorate the minority of Reds fans who have already lost their enthusiasm for the season:

+ Devin Mesoraco did not have a very good rookie season by any stretch of the imagination in 2012. He struggled at the plate, was suspended at one point, and failed to get on the field as much as he would have liked. But he sure made his presence felt in the team's first game of the spring by smashing a long homer.

+ What kind of role will Chris Heisey play in 2013? Kyle Newport of the Bleacher Report discusses.

+ New outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has his work cut out for him moving from right to center field this season. However, Choo told Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay over the weekend that he is getting more comfortable in his new position.

+ Speaking of Choo, the Reds seem to have landed a class act. The Korean native reportedly penned a thank you letter to Indians general manager Chris Antonetti after being traded to Cincinnati.

+ MLB.com's Mark Sheldon writes about the value of Sam LeCure's versatility, the high winds in Arizona, and how Baker is handling the pitching staff in these early spring exhibition games.

+ The Reds are set to become the latest MLB team to embrace the idea of dynamic ticket pricing. What the heck is dynamic ticket pricing, you ask? Check out the details here.

+ Former Reds slugger Adam Dunn is slated to make his acting debut this summer when he appears in a movie called Dallas Buyers Club alongside Matthew McConaughey.

+ Former Reds southpaw Dontrelle Willis is spending spring training this year with the division rival Cubs. However, he is currently serving as a mop-up player and the team has no plans to include him on the big league roster any time soon. It's a far cry from the 22-win season the 31-year-old recorded in 2005. I've met the guy before when the Reds were on a road trip to Colorado, and he was one of the nicer ballplayers I have ever met. Hopefully his career turns around soon.

+ The first round of the World Baseball Classic will begin on Saturday as Japan takes on Brazil in Pool A play. The United States won't play their first game until March 8, though. They will open up against Mexico before battling Italy and Canada in Pool D play. The two teams with the best round-robin record from each pool will advance to the second round.

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