Going, going and long gone
By Hal McCoy | Monday, February 18, 2008, 08:54 AM
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A soupy fog and a few raindrops were around early Monday morning, but by the time the Cincinnati Reds were ready for Day 2 of spring training the sun was peeking through fluffy clouds.
Even without the fog, new manager Dusty Baker was still feeling his way around - off the field as well as on. Baker got lost Sunday trying to find his way back from the complex to his condominium on Siesta Key.
But Baker isn’t as lost as some of the names on a chart hanging in his office. The chart lists all the pitchers in camp just two springs ago when Wayne Krivsky took over as general manager in February, 2006.
“We keep that chart up there because it was the last one (former pitching coach) Vern Ruhle put together,” said Krivsky. Ruhle died of cancer last year.
There are 31 pitchers on that chart. Twenty-two are no longer in the organization, “And a lot of them are out of baseball,” said Krivsky.
“That’s a lot of turnover in two years,” said Baker as he looked at the chart. After a slight pause and a grin, Baker added, “Wayne came in and cleaned house. But it was needed, wasn’t it?”
Indeed, it was.
Of the projected starters just two years ago, only Aaron Harang is left. The others were: Brandon Claussen, Eric Milton, Dave Williams and undecided between Mike Gosling, Justin Germano and Elizardo Ramirez.
There are 33 pitchers in camp this spring and only three were in camp two years ago - Harang, Matt Belisle and Todd Coffey. Kent Mercker was there, too, but he left and came back again.
Even with 33 prospects and suspects in camp, Krivsky remains attentive toward adding a pitcher and said, “If there is one out there we can get, if the price is right…”
Kyle Lohse is out there, but the Reds had him last year and traded him. Josh Fogg and Jeff Weaver remained unsigned, too.
“For this time of year, that’s a lot of talent still out there,” said Krivsky. “I’ve never seen it quite like this.”
Baker, of course, would like as many pitching options as he can get, but he knows time marches on and said, “Everybody is looking for one (starting pitching). Even Boston, now that Curt Schilling is down. There are some guys out there unsigned, but if you bring a guy in right now you have guys in your camp who say, ‘Hey, they’re still bringing guys in. Are they dissatisfied with me?”