Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday's Reds links from around the web

Happy Sunday, folks. Spring training has begun and brought with it plenty of fresh news and notes. So, let's not beat around the bush and get round down to it, shall we?

+ With Bronson Arroyo gone, Johnny Cueto is now the eldest member of the starting rotation at just 28-years-old. Cueto says he is embracing his new role and wants to become more of a leader this year. This includes trying to do more interviews in English.

+ New Reds skipper Bryan Price isn't ready to name an Opening Day starter just yet. However, he seems to be leaning toward Cueto, telling's Mark Sheldon, "I love Johnny at the top of our rotation."

+ Sheldon also shared a few other notes from Saturday. Namely, that Todd Frazier and Chris Nelson showed up to spring camp early this weekend ahead of the report date for position players. Meanwhile, Jack Hannahan has been in Arizona for about a month.

+ Word of Mat Latos' knee surgery on Friday was enough to strike fear into the hearts of many Reds fan. But it sounds like his recovery is going well and he should be back to throwing in no time. Latos talked to reporters on Saturday without the use of crutches and without a limp.

+ Neftali Soto, arguably the best power hitting prospect in Cincinnati's farm system, is planning on spending more time at catcher this spring in order to increase his value. Soto's primary positions are first base and third base. With Votto locked into first base through 2022, and with Todd Frazier penciled in as the starter at third, Soto's fastest way to the big leagues may be by catching.

+ David Miller of Rant Sports wrote a short spring training profile on right-handed pitching prospect Michael Lorenzen. Lorenzen was the team's compensatory pick last year (38th overall) and has immediately turned heads within the organization. Along with Robert Stephenson, Lorenzen appears to be on the fast track to the major leagues.

+ Are outsiders underestimating how good the Reds' rotation can be in 2014? I certainly think so and I made that clear in this post from Saturday.

+ I'm sure you have heard by now, but the Reds are cracking down on facial hair this season. While some may see the rule as an intrusion of personal preference, and others may see it as an appropriate grooming measure, the fact is that the rule is meant to be a sign of team unity, says Price.

+ Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated penned a spring training preview of the entire National League Central Division.

+ By my watch, we're now 43 days from Opening Day.

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