Guestblog: Reds Spring Training

It's been too long since Cincinnati Re-adventure has posted a guest blog, especially by our very own sports writer (and my brother) Bradley Garwood!

Originally uploaded by Better Off Red

This snap of warm weather has already made me forget about football. Or, maybe it was the atrocious Bengals season. Either way, it's time to phase out the black and orange for the red and white. And while I realize we're not done with hockey or soccer yet, it's time to start looking forward to the Reds recapturing of the National League Central.

Practice, practice, practice.

But I don't want to write about anything realistic, not today. Sports can be all about managing personalities, injuries and upsets. But I'd like to give the readers (and myself) just a few more days to bask in the glory of Spring Training. Trust me, it's hard to see the blessing in disguises that is a competitive roster now, but come the post-season, it'll be worth it.

Yeah, I said post-season.

And it's no secret that the Reds roster is very competitive. But that's what I wanted to talk a little bit about, what our Cincinnati Reds might look like this year. The pitching rotation has Cincinnati fans excited to watch, as a close battle for what's believed to be the only free space available will tighten. With Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez and Bronson Arroyo as near sure-things, Mike Leake, Homer Bailey and Travis Wood will all put their best feet forward.

Aroldis Chapman, Originally uploaded by
And it's hard to speculate who will make the cut, because if last year's performances indicate anything: it's that all of these pitchers have what it takes to be regular starters. And then we open the bullpen up to look at players like Bill Bray, Francisco Cordero, Nick Masset, Aroldis Chapman, and the towering giant that is Logan Ondrusek. And while they're all believed to have earned a starting spot, some names like Daniel Ray Herrera, Sam LeCure and new signee Dontrelle Willis pop up to take a shot at remaining space.

"competition breeds excellence"

Depth at catcher with Ramón Hernández, Ryan Hanigan and veteran Corky Miller (a personal favorite of mine) leave nothing to be desired. Some great batteries are going to come out of 2011. Hanigan especially, with his improved batting skills makes him a great asset.

I don't even have to add the heavy artillery we have in Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, the energy in Johnny Gomes and Drew Stubbs or the skill in Brandon Phillips and Scott Rolen to get you excited for how good this team is. We have a great manager in Dusty Baker, an amazing general manager in Walt Jocketty, and to top it off a fantastic stadium to take it all in. This might just be the year we have a home field advantage.

And finally, Paul Janish steps into the role of starter. I can't imaging anyone disagreeing with how hard he's worked, or how much he deserves the spot. Fielder Chris Heisey too, both have really proven that despite the fact you might not have a starting spot, you can still prove yourself as a valuable part of a team.

And if that's the attitude the whole team can carry into '11, then we'll make the playoffs with a much bigger bang than we did last year. God damn, it's a good year to be a Reds fan.


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