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OnBaseMachine
02-24-2007, 02:24 PM
Count Castellini among fans of Hamilton
BY JOHN FAY | JFAY@ENQUIRER.COM

SARASOTA, Fla. - Reds CEO Bob Castellini made his first visit to camp Friday.

Castellini had made a side trip to the complex in January when he was in Sarasota for Vern Ruhle's funeral service.

During the January visit, Castellini got an idea why the Reds' front office was so happy to be able to select Josh Hamilton in the Rule 5 Draft and why he was worth the $50,000 investment.

"He was hitting the ball in the lake," Castellini said. "It was 60 mph off Johnny Narron, but ..."

The lake in question is behind the Reds' batting cage, which is behind the fence in right field on Field 4. It's a 500-foot poke - at least.

"Then he was throwing the ball from the 401-foot mark to home plate. The guy has unbelievable talent," Castellini said.

The question is how Hamilton will do against major-league pitching for really the first time and after basically a three-year layoff from baseball because of drug suspensions and injuries.

It should be noted that Hamilton hit one out to left-center off Brian Shackelford during live batting practice.

But, back to Castellini. He was upbeat as usual.

"You feel the confidence," he said. "The team chemistry is good. They discovered last year that they could contend. The team exudes the feeling that they can do it."

11 PITCHERS: Reds manager Jerry Narron talked about the possibility of keeping only 11 pitchers.

He was talking up the club's plethora of versatile players.

"It helps a great deal, and to maybe even at some point help where we can go with 11 pitchers instead of 12," he said. "I know everybody thinks we're going to carry 12. It probably looks that way. If we can keep as many versatile guys as we can, we can carry 11 guys.

"You all write that, and there's going to be some nervous pitchers."

Having more versatile guys would seem to allow a team to carry more pitchers. But what Narron is saying is if you have versatile guys, you have more opportunities to use them.

The whole conversation started when Narron was talking about Jeff Conine's role.

"He'll play a lot of first base, the outfield, coming off the bench," Narron said. "He's a guy that you know you can bring in to pinch hit off a left-handed pitcher, and they bring in a right-hander, he's still going to give you a good at-bat. The numbers are going to show he's as good at hitting right-handers as left-handers."

Conine and Adam Dunn are the only outfielders that Narron said are limited as far as position - Conine can play right or left; Dunn will play exclusively in left.

Conine is Narron's type of player.

"He's a guy that I always admired and respected when I was on the other club with the way he went about his business," Narron said. "I don't know if he remembers, but I told him a few years ago that, as a baseball person, I appreciated the way he went about his business."

HOPPER OUT: Outfielder Norris Hopper will miss the next four days of workouts. He's going to New Jersey to attend the funeral of his maternal grandmother.

ON THREE CATCHERS: The Reds carried three catchers all of last season. Narron didn't sound committed to that when asked about Chad Moeller.

"He's got a chance to make the club," Narron said. "He gives us great depth. Every pitcher who's ever thrown to him likes throwing to him."

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070224/SPT04/702240375/1071

KoryMac5
02-24-2007, 04:30 PM
I feel this article clinches it for me Hamilton makes the team regardless of how he does in spring training. Hamilton>Moeller

vaticanplum
02-24-2007, 04:32 PM
It's a 500-foot poke - at least.

Hott.

Tom Servo
02-24-2007, 04:39 PM
Conine is Narron's type of player.
You don't say.

mth123
02-24-2007, 05:14 PM
I know that Hamilton is a real long shot and that he needs more time in the minors, but I am really starting to think that if the reds bring him north, he won't be a total waste of a roster spot that many of us (me included) assumed he would be. I like this pick-up and he could be a real help in a year or two.

I'd really like to see the Reds send some of its interchangeable parts (there are too many to keep anyway) and get the right to send him to the minors. I think he could be a real stud in 2009 or so and he, Bruce and Votto could be a real force (with EE and Dunn). But I want them to send him down so he can develop moreso than because I think he'd be a waste this year. He's a better bet than the McCrackens, Wises and Hollandsworths of the world have been. He's a better bet than 3 catchers. He's a better bet than many 25th guys around baseball.

I haven't liked many of the moves this year, but this could be a real good one IMO. He was a number 1 overall pick way back when for a reason.

Highlifeman21
02-24-2007, 06:08 PM
Hamilton > Norris Hopper

Even after a 3 year hiatus.

Marc D
02-24-2007, 08:01 PM
It should be noted that Hamilton hit one out to left-center off Brian Shackelford during live batting practice.


Good to see the pen is in mid season form. ;)

jmac
02-24-2007, 08:10 PM
Good to see the pen is in mid season form. ;)

:laugh:
Great one liner.

max venable
02-25-2007, 12:35 PM
I had Hamilton sign a MLB baseball for me at Spring Training about six years ago. Here's to him making it...or else that's a really nice baseball wasted. :thumbup:

Reds Nd2
02-25-2007, 01:22 PM
During the January visit, Castellini got an idea why the Reds' front office was so happy to be able to select Josh Hamilton in the Rule 5 Draft and why he was worth the $50,000 investment.
Umm... Mr. Fay, it was a $100,000 investment.

BRM
02-26-2007, 10:35 AM
Conine can play right or left

I'd say Conine can play a little 1B. His OF days are long behind him.

Redsland
02-26-2007, 10:56 AM
But John Fay says he's our fourth outfielder.

:runaway:

BRM
02-26-2007, 11:03 AM
But John Fay says he's our fourth outfielder.

:runaway:

That would mean Freel or Deno is not on the team. Can you imagine an OF of Dunn, Griffey and Conine? :eek:

Redsland
02-26-2007, 11:06 AM
Fay thinks Deno needs a big ST to make the team.

:all_cohol

BRM
02-26-2007, 11:17 AM
A backup outfield of Conine, Hamilton, and Hopper. I can't wait!!

KronoRed
02-26-2007, 02:56 PM
Fay thinks Deno needs a big ST to make the team.

:all_cohol

Based on his other claims that Homer should be the closer I think we should ecalre all of what Fay says to be bunk ;)