Richard Justice - Ludwick happy to be living the dream with Reds
"[Ludwick] wasn't a surprise because he'd done it before," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "If you've done it once, you can do it twice. The hardest thing is doing it the first time. He hadn't done it in a couple of years. Different ballparks psyched him out. He had a couple of down years."
After all the bouncing around, Ludwick felt like he'd found a home on many levels. He lobbied to stay with the Reds, and Jocketty signed him to a two-year, $15-million extension.
"I told Walt I'd take less money to stay here," Ludwick said. "I thank the Lord [that Jocketty] wanted me back."
This is from that Justice article OBM posted. I just wanted to point out how shocked I was seeing ANYBODY praise Brook Jacoby. Good for both of them.Quote:
Jocketty and the Reds got everything they could have hoped for, and then some. Thanks to plenty of help from Reds hitting coach Brook Jacoby, Ludwick rediscovered both his swing and his confidence and produced a 26-homer, 28-double, .877-OPS season.
"I think I just got back to hitting the ball the other way better," Ludwick said. "I think it was all mental. You see that big right-center gap in Petco [Park], and that's my best bolt. I just got so pull dominant. Me and Jacoby got together, and he looked at some film and said, `We've got to get you back grooving [the other] way.' He said, `I don't mind if you pull the ball, but we've got to have your approach to where you can hit the ball [the other] way.' We did it."
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Aroldis Chapman burst through the doors of the Cincinnati Reds’ clubhouse into a bright sunny Saturday afternoon. He had an ice pack on his left shoulder and his interpreter, Reds assistant athletic trainer Tomas Vera, by his side.
Chapman was squinting ever so slightly, but that might have been the product of a hazy future rather than a high desert sky.
"Chapman has the chance to be a top-flight starter," general manager Walt Jocketty said. "I always wanted to have a left-hander in the rotation."
Chapman threw mostly fastballs as a closer, mixing in an occasional slider. He has worked on his changeup in the offseason, knowing he'll need another pitch if he starts.
"He didn't throw the changeup too much, but it is better than his slider," Jocketty said. "He is a great athlete. You ought to see him hit. He is one of the fastest runners on the team.
Several articles posted on the Reds at ESPN today. Crasnick does like reporting on the Reds I'll give him that.Quote:
The general consensus is that Rolen wants to slide into retirement with a minimum of hoopla or emotion. But Jocketty wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Rolen would get the itch and decide he wants to play again.
"He told me he’s at a place right now where he’s really enjoying the time with his family and he wasn’t ready to make the commitment to come in," Jocketty said. “He apologized for dragging it out so long. I told him, 'We’re prepared either way. If you come in, great. If you don’t, we’ll make adjustments.' We’ll just have to see where we are at that point.'
Better than his slider? I cannot wait to see all these mystery pitches unveiled.Quote:
"He didn't throw the changeup too much, but it is better than his slider," Jocketty said. "He is a great athlete. You ought to see him hit. He is one of the fastest runners on the team."
• Three Venezuelan players who have been absent because of visa issues -- infielder Henry Rodriguez, outfielder Yorman Rodriguez, and lefty pitcher Ismael Guillon -- were expected to arrive in Arizona on Sunday.
• Among the pitchers who threw live batting practice on Sunday were J.J. Hoover, Tony Cingrani, Daniel Corcino, Clay Hensley, Pedro Villarreal and Armando Galarraga.
John Fay has video of Chapman's pitching session today.
Mark Sheldon - Hannahan already endears himself to teammates
Back at the ballpark, Hannahan is now grateful to be with his new team and a new set of teammates. In December, he signed a two-year, $4 million contract to be a left-handed bat off of the bench and a backup third baseman. The 33-year-old hit .244 with four home runs and 29 RBIs in 105 games last season.
"It's a team that's built to win," Hannahan said of the Reds. "They have all the tools a team needs to not only make it to the postseason, but get to a World Series. That was very attractive for me."
Mark Sheldon - Hamilton using spring to ease into outfield switch
"It's just a matter of playing the games," Davis said. "Learning how to play the hitters, learning which guys can drive the ball to center field, which guys can't and that just comes with game experience. His throwing is getting a lot better. At shortstop, everything was quick and short. In the outfield, you have longer throws and have to stretch it out a little more.
"The thing that separates Billy from a lot of people is he's a student of the game. He has so much pride that he doesn't like to embarrass himself. You can tell him something once, maybe twice, and it's like a recorder in his brain. He can turn around and implement what you told him to do very quickly. That's not the case with all youngsters
From Mark Sheldon:
Here is the list of Reds probable starters for the first several days. You’ll notice something different, especially the first few days:
Friday vs. CLE: Tony Cingrani
Saturday vs CLE: Alfredo Simon
Sunday vs. CLE: Sam LeCure
Monday vs. MIL: Armando Galarraga
Tuesday vs. SD: Homer Bailey
Weds. vs ARI: Johnny Cueto
Thurs split squad: Mike Leake and Aroldis Chapman
March 1 vs. KC: Mat Latos
March 2 vs. CWS: Bronson Arroyo
John Fay - Zack Cozart: 'Defense for me is first'
Cozart will be affected by the Choo trade. With Choo in the leadoff spot, Brandon Phillips is going to hit second. That means Cozart will be in the seventh spot. Cozart started 131 games last year. He was in the leadoff spot 101, batted second 27 times and was not in the No. 7 spot once.
"In the seventh hole, he's going to see more breaking balls, less fastballs," Baker said. "When he hit in front of Joey, there were times when they didn't want to throw him a fastball but did.