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OnBaseMachine
03-27-2008, 09:41 PM
Reds in no hurry to make final roster
Citing competition, team has 34 healthy players left in camp
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Reds players on the roster bubble awaiting news about their futures can only hurry up and wait.

The slow twist in the wind continued for many Thursday, as just one cut -- the reassignment of infielder Andy Green to Minor League camp after the game -- was announced. Cincinnati has 34 healthy players, plus two that are injured, remaining on its Spring Training roster. With two days left in camp, nine more have to go to reach the 25-man limit.

"We will have 25 when Opening Day starts," Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said. "It speaks to how good the competition has been in Spring Training. We've got some very close competition among non-roster players and in the bullpen and in the rotation."

Having this high a roster count this late in camp isn't usually a common occurrence. A couple of veteran Reds players are stunned the team isn't closer to its Opening Day roster.

Comparatively, Thursday's visiting Twins have 28 players in their camp but are believed to already know who their final 25 are. The Tigers are also at 28. But the Reds aren't alone in having a bloated roster. The Yankees entered the day with 41, the Dodgers had 40 and the Royals were with 36 healthy players.

When it comes to the Opening Day roster attention, Krivsky doesn't see the big deal.

"There's such a build up to it that is grossly, grossly overrated," Krivsky said. "It's going to change often during the course of a season. Everybody gets all excited about the Opening Day roster. It might change in a week. It might change in two days if somebody gets hurt. It's going to get settled eventually. I'm sure these [players] would like to know. At the appropriate time, they're going to be told."

At this point, the biggest mystery for the Reds is who will get the final left-handed spot in the bullpen. Mike Stanton is under contact for $3 million this season, plus a $500,000 buyout for his 2009 option. Coming off a rough 2007, Stanton has been decent (4.50 ERA, six innings pitched) but he's already cleared waivers. A trade or release is always a possibility.

Non-roster invite Kent Mercker (1-0, 2.57 ERA, seven innings pitched) has looked mostly good. So has Bill Bray, who didn't allow a run until his sixth appearance of the spring on Wednesday vs. Toronto.

Bray, who missed the first half of camp with shoulder soreness, gave up three earned runs and three hits in one-third of an inning against the Blue Jays. Manager Dusty Baker expressed concern that Bray has logged just 65 innings over the past three seasons. The 24-year-old also has Minor League options left.

"He has been doing well," Baker said. "The only drawback Bray might be is sometimes he's come up kind of hurt. There's still a question mark on his durability and availability. That's a big issue in the big leagues because we have a lot of games."

Now that catcher David Ross has returned from a back injury, Baker is also determining whether he's healthy enough to start the season. The manager must also decide whether he wants non-roster invite Paul Bako as a third catcher or to go with a different position player as the 25th man.

"That has to do with Ross' readiness," Baker said. "If he's ready, there's a possibility [of carrying three catchers]. If he's not ready, there won't be. Three catchers does kind of limit the things that you can do. I've had three catchers but then you're expecting one of your catchers [to] play another position."

While the Reds haven't carried this many players this late in recent memory, last-minute decisions are nothing new. Last year, reliever Dustin Hermanson went north with the club and struggled in the final exhibition game at Dayton, Ohio. Hermanson was cut the day before Opening Day.

In 2006, outfielder Chris Denorfia was sent to Triple-A early on only to be brought back in the final week of camp because of an injury. Infielder Andy Abad didn't learn he was chosen as the 25th man until after he got to Cincinnati.

"We're giving everybody as good of an opportunity as we can," Krivsky said. "Dusty is being diligent and making sure he sees everything he needs to see to make the best decision."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080327&content_id=2461862&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

WMR
03-27-2008, 09:43 PM
This is stupid. This will hurt the Reds.

UKFlounder
03-27-2008, 09:47 PM
This is stupid. This will hurt the Reds.

How?

OnBaseMachine
03-27-2008, 09:49 PM
Jim Brower is a bad pitcher and his 9.82 spring ERA proves that. Why hasn't he been cut yet? Are the Reds really dumb enough to carry him on the 25-man roster?

Kc61
03-27-2008, 09:52 PM
I don't think this has anything to do with close competition. Is Brower involved in close competition? Cabrera?

I think the Reds are trying to make trades and don't know who they will need on the roster until they have exhausted trade possibilities.

WMR
03-27-2008, 09:54 PM
How?

Someone had a great post on this a day or so ago... players need to be working on DP communication etc. etc. etc. Basically all the things that go on on the baseball field that need to be second-nature and can only come from game-type practice with those who you'll be doing the same things with once the games start to count.

WMR
03-27-2008, 09:55 PM
Even if they're trying to work trades, the amount they still have in camp is just ludicrous, IMO.

camisadelgolf
03-27-2008, 09:58 PM
The way I interpret it is that Brower is an emergency pitcher to prevent the pitchers going to Cincinnati from logging too many innings in the last few spring games.

lollipopcurve
03-27-2008, 10:02 PM
As noted in the article, there are teams with more players left than the Reds have. It'll work itself out, no big deal.

Falls City Beer
03-27-2008, 10:23 PM
I'm guessing virtually every decision has already been made--they just need a few more warm bodies around.

Reds Nd2
03-27-2008, 10:25 PM
Even if they're trying to work trades, the amount they still have in camp is just ludicrous, IMO.

Why?

fearofpopvol1
03-27-2008, 10:50 PM
Someone had a great post on this a day or so ago... players need to be working on DP communication etc. etc. etc. Basically all the things that go on on the baseball field that need to be second-nature and can only come from game-type practice with those who you'll be doing the same things with once the games start to count.

It was Jeff Brantley that made the comment and he's dead on. If anything, your giving long shots some major false hope.

Nugget
03-28-2008, 09:21 AM
Some of the stuff Brantley comes up with is absurd - the double play issues are really a red herring. The guys who are going to man the corners and middle infield are fairly well set to the extent that they have all played with each other before and its like well if BP ends up getting the day off from 2nd does that mean you send Alex and Jeff off to play a ST game to work on a double play combination - no the infielders work on those drills. Game practice is game practice - skills practice is skills practice.

The real issue is getting starters stretched out and getting guys to the fitness levels that they are meant to be. Bray by the sounds of Dusty may be starting in AAA for a month just for fitness and durability issues.

cumberlandreds
03-28-2008, 09:31 AM
Maybe they are waiting so these guys will have no choice but to accept an assignment to Louisville. Most MLB rosters are set now and these guys would, at least temporarily, be out of work. Just a thought.

IslandRed
03-28-2008, 09:43 AM
If anything, you're giving long shots some major false hope.

Well, that assumes the players aren't being told anything different from what the club is telling the media. I'd imagine they know under what set of circumstances they'll make the team, or won't.

BRM
03-28-2008, 02:45 PM
Saw this on C. Trent's blog. Sounds like the 25 man is pretty well set but Wayne is waiting to make any announcements.


"There's not much work to be done, everything is pretty well set -- at least in our minds," Krivsky said during Friday's game. "(Everyone else) may have questions, but we're pretty much set -- even two days ago we were. The players need to know first and then we'll make it official. There aren't that many decisions to make."

One of the few decisions left, Krivsky said, was the status of catcher David Ross. Ross started his third consecutive game on Friday after missing most of spring with back spasms.

"It's good to see him out there," Krivsky said. "But that's one decision left to make."

red-in-la
03-28-2008, 06:18 PM
Saw this on C. Trent's blog. Sounds like the 25 man is pretty well set but Wayne is waiting to make any announcements.

One of the few decisions left, Krivsky said, was the status of catcher David Ross. Ross started his third consecutive game on Friday after missing most of spring with back spasms.

"It's good to see him out there," Krivsky said. "But that's one decision left to make."



I hope the decision is to leave Bako off the roster......

OnBaseMachine
03-28-2008, 07:21 PM
Last spot in Reds' bullpen up for grabs
Options unclear with one-time front-runner Bray reassigned
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG -- One of the biggest mysteries still surrounding Spring Training is who will be the final reliever in the Reds' bullpen. With Friday's reassignment of southpaw Bill Bray to Triple-A Louisville, manager Dusty Baker said that the seventh and final slot is a decision the club is still mulling over.

The National League's worst bullpen in 2007, Reds relievers combined for a 5.10 ERA that was also fourth-worst in the Majors.

With the acquisition of closer Francisco Cordero, the team can slide David Weathers into a setup role, where it also has former starter Jeremy Affeldt.

Baker said Friday morning that he had told Jared Burton, Todd Coffey and Kent Mercker that they are on the team, leaving one relief spot still unspoken for. He also noted that decision could come as early as Saturday morning.

The leading candidates for the job haven't been nearly as clear cut.

Bray was thought to be a favorite until he was reassigned to Triple-A.

Mercker, a non-roster invitee, has already solidified a relief spot, amassing a 2.57 ERA with three strikeouts in seven innings.

Veteran Mike Stanton is under contract for $3 million this season, plus a $500,000 buyout for his 2009 option, and, after a dismal 2007 and a 4.50 ERA this spring, the Reds might look to trade or release him.

Baker did not rule out either possibility, and, as of Friday, Stanton was didn't have a secure spot on the 25-man Opening Day roster.

The leading in-house candidates for the final spot now appear to be righties Jim Brower and Mike Lincoln. Both non-roster invitees, Lincoln has a 5.73 ERA in 11 innings this spring, while Brower has a 9.82 ERA in 7 1/3 innings.

Still, Baker says Spring Training numbers don't concern him as much as a player's "baseball card," meaning his history in seasons past.

Despite a solid spring, Baker noted Bray's inexperience and susceptibility to injury as two of the main factors in sending the 24-year-old to the Minor Leagues.

Brower spent most of 2007 in the Minors, pitching 3 1/3 innings for the Yankees with a 13.50 ERA. He is a nine-year veteran with a career 33-32 record and a 4.67 ERA. Lincoln has six Major League seasons under his belt, but none since 2004.

Cordero, who started in Friday's game, said he is confident the Reds will make the right choice for the bullpen.

"Baker knows what to do," he said. "It's a really hard decision to make in terms of who to keep and who to take, because it's been nothing but fun" this spring.

Weathers said that regardless of who fills the last spot, the goal remains the same: to produce.

"If we don't get it done, we've got depth at Louisville," Weathers said. "It's all a matter of executing."

Weathers, who is entering his fourth season with the club, said that this has been the strongest Reds bullpen he has seen come out of Spring Training.

And the deliberation over the final decision speaks volumes toward the caliber of this year's competition.

Baker said he wished the 28-man roster could go into effect, but until that day, he is confident in the caliber of the Reds' reserves in Triple-A.

"You never have enough pitching, because you never know what will happen," he said. "You hope to start the season and end the season with what you have, but it never works out that way."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080328&content_id=2463582&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

reds44
03-28-2008, 07:25 PM
Lincoln or Brower over Bray? Really?

Hoosier Red
03-28-2008, 07:34 PM
I think because Lincoln and Brower are going to be counted on as the garbage men, they're a better option than Bray.

I'll be a little less inclined to believe this when they come in in the 7th inning of a 3-3 game of course.

RedsManRick
03-28-2008, 08:17 PM
A really inspired move would be to find somebody looking for relief help and trade Weathers. He's primed for his off-the-cliff season, should still carry a good deal of value, and I'm comfortable that somebody of the McBeth, Roenicke, Coffey, Burton, Viola, etc. crew who will otherwise be in AAA could match his output.

Aronchis
03-28-2008, 10:43 PM
The Reds roster will be unsettled through June most likely. Hopefully it works itself out by then.

*BaseClogger*
03-28-2008, 11:33 PM
A really inspired move would be to find somebody looking for relief help and trade Weathers. He's primed for his off-the-cliff season, should still carry a good deal of value, and I'm comfortable that somebody of the McBeth, Roenicke, Coffey, Burton, Viola, etc. crew who will otherwise be in AAA could match his output.

I wasn't around these parts last June. Why wasn't Weathers traded then?

camisadelgolf
03-29-2008, 04:32 AM
I wasn't around these parts last June. Why wasn't Weathers traded then?

I think the rumors are that it has something to do with Weathers being so under-paid (by today's standards).

KronoRed
03-29-2008, 02:30 PM
I wasn't around these parts last June. Why wasn't Weathers traded then?

We wern't "out of it"
;)