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TeamBoone
02-11-2006, 12:00 PM
02/10/2006 9:00 AM ET
Reds Spring Training quick hits
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

The Reds hope for a breakout second season from third baseman Edwin Encarnacion.

2005 record
73-89, fifth place in NL Central

Projected batting order
1. 2B Tony Womack
.249 BA, 0 HR, 15 RBI in 2005
2. SS Felipe Lopez
.291 BA, 23 HR, 85 RBI in 2005
3. CF Ken Griffey Jr.
.301 BA, 35 HR, 92 RBI in 2005
4. RF Austin Kearns
.240 BA, 18 HR, 67 RBI in 2005
5. 1B Adam Dunn
.247 BA, 40 HR, 101 RBI in 2005
6. RF Wily Mo Pena
.254 BA, 19 HR, 51 RBI in 2005
7. C Jason LaRue
.260 BA, 14 HR, 60 RBI in 2005
8. 3B Edwin Encarnacion
.232 BA, 9 HR, 31 RBI in 2005

Projected rotation
1. RHP Aaron Harang, 11-13, 3.83 ERA in 2005
2. LHP Dave Williams, 10-11, 4.41 in 2005
3. LHP Eric Milton, 8-15, 6.47 in 2005
4. LHP Brandon Claussen, 10-11, 4.21 in 2005
5. RHP Paul Wilson, 1-5, 7.77 in 2005

Projected bullpen
Closer: RHP David Weathers, 15 saves, 3.94 ERA in 2005
RH setup man: Todd Coffey, 4.50 ERA in 2005
LH setup man: Kent Mercker, 4.13 ERA in 2005

The new guys

Tony Womack: Acquired from the Yankees for two Minor Leaguers in December, the 36-year-old Womack was brought in for his speed. He will likely play a lot at second base, but manager Jerry Narron also plans to shift him around to shortstop and the outfield.

Dave Williams: Acquired from the Pirates in exchange for Sean Casey in December, Williams is the only new addition to the rotation. The lefty has a good reputation for his work ethic and his ability to keep the ball down should serve him well in Great American Ball Park

Chris Hammond: The lefty reliever is back where he began his big league career in 1990. Although he's with his fifth club in five seasons, the 40-year-old free agent signing gets lefties out and will be counted on in all mid-to-late inning situations by the Reds. He's also expected to complement Weathers and Mercker with more veteran bullpen leadership.

Rick White: A free agent signed Jan. 31, White will be fourth over-35 pitcher in the Cincinnati bullpen. He will likely get plenty of late-inning chances.

Prospects to watch

OF Chris Denorfia: The organization's Minor League Player of the Year will be making a push to stay on the roster as a fourth outfielder.

RHP Homer Bailey: The top pitching prospect in the Reds organization and a first-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Bailey will be in his first big-league camp as a non-roster player.

Returning from injury

Paul Wilson: The veteran starter had season-ending right shoulder surgery in June to repair a torn rotator cuff and frayed labrum. Wilson began a throwing program in mid-January and, if all goes well, could be ready to go by April.

On the rebound

LHP Eric Milton: It couldn't have gotten much worse last season for Milton, who set club records in home runs allowed (40) and ERA (6.47) while posting an 8-15 record in the first season of a three-year $25.5 million deal. Expect his competitive fire to burn for immediate improvement.

RF Austin Kearns: Kearns spent over a month at Triple-A Louisville in a demotion last summer but returned a better player, despite a .240 overall average. He comes in knowing he'll get to play every day, and is expected to be an asset both at the plate and in the field.

Long gone

1B Sean Casey: In a trade that irked many Reds fans, Casey went home to Pittsburgh in the Williams trade. Cincinnati will miss his clubhouse leadership and will have to hope Casey doesn't have his best games against his old team.

RHP Ramon Ortiz: More was hoped for when the Reds got Ortiz from the Angels last winter. But the right-hander struggled with a 5.36 ERA and surrendered 34 homers.

2005 hitting leaders (min. 200 at-bats)

Avg.: Sean Casey, .312
OBP: Adam Dunn, .387
SLG: Ken Griffey Jr., .576
Runs: Dunn, 107
RBIs: Dunn, 101
Hits: Felipe Lopez, 169
2B: Dunn, 35
3B: Lopez, 5
HR: Dunn, 40
SB: Ryan Freel, 36

2005 pitching leaders (min. 30 IP)

IP: Aaron Harang, 211 2/3
W: Harang, 11
L: Eric Milton, 15
Win %: Todd Coffey, 4-1, .800
S: David Weathers, 15
ERA: Kent Mercker, 3.65
K: Harang, 163
K/9: Ryan Wagner, 7.69
WHIP: Harang, 1.27

Triple play: Three questions that need answers

1. After a rough 2005, how will a similarly assembled Reds rotation fare this season?

Cincinnati will need another solid season from Harang, a big turnaround from Milton and hope that Wilson can return 100 percent from shoulder surgery to have any chance at being competitive in 2006. They must hope Williams can step up as a reliable starter in his first season with the Reds.

2. Who will play second base?

Womack, Freel and Rich Aurilia will all likely rotate at the position, according to Narron. It's possible that no definitive starter will emerge from the group.

3. Who will be the Reds closer?

The club is going into camp admittedly in a less than ideal situation. They don't have an established closer to fill that role. Experienced setup men Weathers and Mercker will likely split duties but Coffey, Wagner and others could emerge to compete for the job.

The bottom line
Barring any last-minute deals, the Reds will need to assemble their pitching staff from what they have within and identify an ace of the rotation. Despite being loaded with power hitters in its lineup, Cincinnati could lose a lot of 10-9 games if its staff doesn't step up and protect leads.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060209&content_id=1309057&vkey=spt2006news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

MLB.com POLL: (go to link above to vote)

Who should get the Opening Day start?
Aaron Harang
Dave Williams
Eric Milton
Brandon Claussen

creek14
02-11-2006, 12:17 PM
Good God, Tony W had an OBP of .276 last season. And he's projected to lead off. So much for setting the table for the big guns.

dougdirt
02-11-2006, 12:20 PM
Creek, lets pray that this projection is just that and ST will put someone else at 2B.

Shaggy Sanchez
02-11-2006, 12:23 PM
Sadly enough Narron said on sports of all sorts that he really liked the idea of having Womack in the leadoff spot because of his ability to make things happen.

TeamBoone
02-11-2006, 12:27 PM
What good is speed if the guy can't get on base?

Seems this batting order is about the same as what we saw last year. When will someone get it that Dunn should be moved up?

I guess they figure everyone in front of him will get on base and he can hit them all in. Unfortunately, at this spot in the order, he leads off innings a whole lot and often doesn't even get up in the first inning.

I know, I know... it's the lefty righty thing. I still think that theory is over rated.

TeamBoone
02-11-2006, 12:28 PM
Sadly enough Narron said on sports of all sorts that he really liked the idea of having Womack in the leadoff spot because of his ability to make things happen.

He qualified that though. He said if Freel is in the lineup, Womack would probably bat 8th.

Let's hope Womack doesn't play very often (once he proves himself to be not as good as others apparently think he is, that probably won't be a problem).

KronoRed
02-11-2006, 12:34 PM
Let's hope Womack doesn't play very often (once he proves himself to be not as good as others apparently think he is, that probably won't be a problem).
Sadly I have a hard time seeing old school Narron sitting both Womack and Aurilia.

GADawg
02-11-2006, 12:37 PM
I'm no big Womack fan by any means but in all fairness he didn't have too bad a season in '04 with the Cards. Granted that was a couple of years ago and he's no youngster but a year in NY is sometimes hard to quantify.

The Womack signing doesn't appear to be a stellar one by any means especially with the re-addition of Aurilla but as far as I can tell it's not hurting anything. A team like the Reds needs to take a few chances IMO and who knows what'll happen. The other alternative would've been to not sign these guys and let Bergolla play sparingly instead of playing everyday in the minors. Uh, we coulda also had to suffer through watching Machado and/or Olmedo flail away helplessly.

RFS62
02-11-2006, 12:39 PM
Sadly enough Narron said on sports of all sorts that he really liked the idea of having Womack in the leadoff spot because of his ability to make things happen.


Make things happen.

Perfect.

Make outs happen is what he does.

dougdirt
02-11-2006, 12:41 PM
Did he really say he likes the idea of Womack becuase he "makes things happen"? This is baseball, not football or basketball.

KronoRed
02-11-2006, 12:42 PM
Uh, we coulda also had to suffer through watching Machado and/or Olmedo flail away helplessly.
Rather that then watching Womack and Rich steal playing time from Freel and EE ;)

gitrdunn44
02-11-2006, 12:45 PM
If Womack is going to be the 2nd baseman this year, why not put him in the 8 slot and try Lopez at leadoff? It would still be better to stick Freel in there at 2nd though.

westofyou
02-11-2006, 01:09 PM
but in all fairness he didn't have too bad a season in '04 with the Cards

In all fairness that was the only year in his career that he was above average in any catagories. Not exactly a good sign for a 36 year old.

GADawg
02-11-2006, 01:43 PM
In all fairness that was the only year in his career that he was above average in any catagories. Not exactly a good sign for a 36 year old.

Ok so just trying to keep a positive attitude. It's a new year, spring training, hope springs eternal...and all that crap.

Cincy was one of the slowest(afoot)teams I ever remember seeing and I guess the previous regime was trying to address that somewhat. There are guys out there who can get on AND run but they do want to be paid.

Again, not a big Womack fan but I'm willing to give it a shot since he'll be wearing red.

creek14
02-11-2006, 02:06 PM
Sadly I have a hard time seeing old school Narron sitting both Womack and Aurilia.
Well of course he won't. They bring veteran leadership...they know how to win... :bang: :bang: :bang:

corkedbat
02-11-2006, 06:18 PM
Well of course he won't. They bring veteran leadership...they know how to win... :bang: :bang: :bang:

They're scrappy veterans - chock full of grit and savvy. :evil: