Originally Posted by REDREAD
I disagree. They've got to pick the guy they think will pitch better, regardless of age. Bray might be able to get better quality development time at AAA.
Another point to consider. At some point, the Reds might actually wise up and give Stanton the boot. At that point, it will be nice to have the extra depth that Mercker provides (Bray can slip into Stanton's slot). If Mercker doesn't make the opening day roster, he's probably gone from baseball. In constrast, Bray can be stashed.
In the grand scheme of things, I don't think picking Mercker over Bray is going to cost any games. Given that Bray is recovering from a shoulder injury, it might also be wise to send him to AAA to manage his workload. No sense in pushing him too hard as he's recovering (the Reds often make that mistake). Let's do what's best for him for the long term.
My thoughts exactly. It won't hurt to have Bray go to AAA, or even start the year on the DL. I don't put much stock in spring training appearances, good or bad - especially for pitchers during this dead arm period. No question Bray has had a good spring, but so has Mercker. Bray is also a couple weeks behind everyone else and hasn't hit his dead arm period yet. I'd rather he hit it at at AAA or extended spring training. By May 1st, Castellini will either be tired enough of Stanton's act to eat the contract, or Stanton may do well enough to flip in a trade.