Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday's Reds news and notes

@DatDudeBP is ready to represent the stars and stripes
The Redlegs took another one to the chin on Saturday afternoon, falling to the Chicago White Sox by a tally of 4-0. Dusty Baker's squad now boasts a record of 2-8 in spring training. Their eight losses is the most of any team in baseball.

On the flip side, the Kansas City Royals have yet to lose at all this preseason (8-0), which is weird because the Royals finished 18 games below .500 in 2012. So, who knows what these games are telling us? Empirical evidence suggests that they are telling us nothing more than which prospects are for real and which are not.

I'll leave you with this fun fact: The five National League playoff teams from 2012 combined to go 71-76 during preseason exhibition action last spring. Washington, who tallied the best record in MLB during the regular season, posted a 12-17 spring record, while Cincinnati, who boasted the second-best record during the regular season, went just 15-17. Keep that in mind, folks.

Enough about that. Here is a mixed bag of news and notes for you.

+ Cincy will try to snap a four-game losing skid Sunday as they host the undefeated Royals at Goodyear Ballpark. Homer Bailey is slated to make his second start of the spring.

+ Saturday marked the last day Brandon Phillips will be in Reds camp for awhile, as he is expected to join Team USA on Sunday in preparation for the World Baseball Classic.

+ Phillips' absence means more playing time for players such as Emmanuel Burriss, who is trying to make the team as a non-roster invite. Burriss talked with MLB.com's Mark Sheldon about his situation on Saturday and provided several quotes.

+ Billy Hamilton has struggled at the plate so far. He is just 2-for-13 with a team-high seven strikeouts. However, he does have three stolen bases.

+ There are 12 Reds pitchers who currently have a 0.00 ERA and have thrown at least one inning. Namely, Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton, Aroldis Chapman, and Mat Latos.

+ The team opened up single-game ticket sales Saturday morning for all games except Opening Day.

+ Here is a heart-warming story about how former Reds center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. helped a Kansas man cope with having items stolen from his extensive baseball collection. Griffey talked at length with the man and his son about a wide array of topics, including what Junior has been up to lately.

+ Nerd alert! Sports Illustrated released its fantasy baseball top 300 player rankings on Thursday. See which Reds made the grade and see whether or not Joey Votto cracked the top 10. Hint: Cincinnati placed a whopping total of 12 players on the list.

+ Are you curious to see how each team is performing so far? Here is a link to the current Cactus League and Grapefruit League standings.

+ The CBS Sports Eye on Baseball crew recently published a 2013 team preview on the Reds. They break down a variety of things including best and worst scenario, biggest strength, biggest weakness, and probable lineup, among others.

+ In case you missed it, former Chicago Cubs pitching phenom Mark Prior showed up to Goodyear on Friday. The Reds have reportedly signed the 32-year-old to a minor league contract (click here for our report). Prior was once considered to be a "can't miss" prospect before shoulder ailments essentially sidelined the right-hander. But does he have anything left in tank?

+ The World Baseball Classic got underway Friday as the Netherlands blanked the heavily-favored South Korea squad, 5-0. The Koreans finished second in the 2009 Classic.

+ We are now officially 28 days away from Opening Day.

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