Here is the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 2-9-10. Thom was the host tonight Thom said pitchers and catchers will report to Goodyear on the 18th and the position players will report on the 23rd. The first game will be on March 5 at 1:05 p.m. Mountain time against CLE. The game will be on radio and TV. Thom said there are some good deals on flights and stuff down there.
The first caller asked if Chapman might make the Opening Day roster. Thom said that unless Chapman makes the team out of ST, heíll start in AA, then go to AAA and hopefully make the Reds by mid-season. The caller wanted to know what the plans are for Hanigan and the LF position. He wondered if guys like Heisey and Frazier light it up during ST will they both make the Opening Day roster. Thom said LF will be one of the most interesting things to watch during ST. He said CF and LF are both up for grabs despite what Stubbs did. He said that the Reds now have depth now although the depth in CF isnít as much as they have in LF. (Sure, because they traded Willy T.) He said Dickerson is in the CF and LF mix but he gets hurt a lot. He said Gomesí situation is still up in the air and thereís Vlad. Heisey is in the mix and Francisco was the Dominicanís best player during the Carribbean Series.
The next caller asked if Thom agrees if Cabreraís a short term solution because people are criticizing the move as picking up another old guy. Thom said he doesnít mind old guys if they can play (Or if they have young bodies). He said heís all for a youth movement and saw what happened in AZ. He said he likes the way the Reds are doing it now and Walt sees the talent coming up. He says itís rare that young guys only will win a championship. And older guys need to be added to help the younger players out. The caller said they donít have anyone ready for SS except for Janish and he doesnít hit well. Thom said the Reds are hoping that they will have bonafide big league players in their system as SS be it Frazier or Cozart or someone else. He said Cabreraís a 2 year deal at the most and heís hopefully a placeholder until one of those guys or someone else is ready.
After commercial, the next caller asked if itís safe to say that the Reds are out of the running for Johnny Damon and who Thom thinks will be the fifth starter. Thom said that if he were a betting man it would be Maloney. He also mentioned Travis Wood and Justin Lehr. He said Walt was asked about it several times on the caravan and he always said that heís too expensive. Thom wondered if the price is $1-2M a year, itís possible but if heís still wanting $5M a year, he wonít be with the Reds. Thom thinks Damon would look good in LF and heís stunned that he didnít re-sign with the Yankees.
The next caller asked who was George Grandeís replacement. Thom said heís the one and Paul Keels will replace him on the radio and Welsh and Brantley will remain as the analysts. The caller asked if Brantley was the one who always talks about eating. (Haw!) Thom said he is.
The next caller thinks Jarrod Washburn would be a great fit here. Thom said he used to be a big fan of his but he hasnít been the same since heís went to SEA. He has to wonder what kind of stuff he has since heís been successful in the past and he doesnít have a job. He thinks Washburn is done.
The next caller asked about Harang and if he would be the Opening Day starter this year. Thom said it hasnít been decided yet but heís in favor of guys earning the start and Harang has earned it every year but right now heíd say Arroyo is his choice based on what he did last year. He also said managers also choose the Opening Day guy based on when they may pitch again. He said Harang is healthy and ready to go and no one will work harder or give more effort than Harang. However, this is a big year for Harang. He said he has to be the Harang of old and scoffs at the notion that you canít put pressure on these guys. He said they are paid to succeed. (Except for Willy T who was paid to fail).
The next caller wanted to know if there would be a real international World Series. Thom doesnít see it happening because he doesnít think TV or MLB are interested.
After commercial, the caller asked Thom if heís read ďThe MachineĒ and ďGame SixĒ Thom said he doesnít read a lot of sports books but Marty told him both are great books. He said Mark Frost - who authored ďGame SixĒ has become good friends with Marty. The caller asked which player during his time here has been the most underappreciated player. Thom said going back to the late 80s and early 90s, it was Eric Davis. He said heís far more appreciated her now than he was when he was here. (Ainít that the truth.)
The next caller asked about Travis Wood and wondered why we donít hear a lot about him rather than Kyle Drabek. Thom said that Drabekís a guy who has pitched for a successful organization with the Phils who have been contenders the last few years. Because of that, at the trading deadline, names like Drabekís always comes up in potential trades. He said in ST you will hear more about him and if he makes the team youíll hear even more about him.
The next caller asked how Thom got his job in broadcasting. Thom said he went to college, was a DJ there and did some play by play there and his last name got his foot in the door. The caller asked him if he liked Dickerson. Thom said heís a big supporter of his but he wishes he could stay healthy. He said heís always been in shape but he has had problems staying on the field.
After commercial, the next caller asked why the Reds didnít sign Sheffield for $400K last year. Thom said he didnít know. The caller also asked about Volquez. Thom said heís going well and Walt has said he hopes that heís rehabbing in the minors by late June or early July and if all goes well, back up with the Reds by August. The caller said that Bronson should be the Opening Day starter. Thom cited his stats and said he was the best pitcher in the NL from the 3rd week of June on. The caller said sometimes these guys have to learn how to play hurt and sometimes it comes down to how bad you want it. (Hereís to you, Mr. Clichť Guy) Thom said he thinks the Reds have a team of guys who play hurt a lot. He used Brandon as an example since he played with a broken bone in his hand and Bronson had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
The next caller asked about Chapman. Thom gave the same answer he gave the first caller and said Dayton manager and former Red Todd Benzinger wants him in Dayton (Clearly because they need the attendance boost). He said every minor league team would want him.
The next caller asked what Thom thought Bronsonís record would be this year. Thom said that the year before last everyone thought he had a horrible year. Last year he won 15 games and if you look at the numbers he pitched much better in 2007 than 2008. He said a lot of the time itís luck. He said maybe your bullpen blows the lead sometimes one year and the next year, they hold it.
After commercial, the next caller asked how he thinks the Reds will do this year. Thom said they will be right there with the pitching and the addition of Rolen and Cabrera. He thinks they have a chance for an outstanding year.
The next caller wanted to know how a baseball player like A-Rod can make $250M and a football player plays for the minimum. Thom thinks itís unfair to compare the two since A-Rod sells tickets. He thinks the salary structure in MLB is out of whack and baseball would like a salary cap. He said the MLBPA is the strongest union in America and that is why they are paid so well.
The next caller asked about Chapman and where he will start at. Thom gave him the same answer he gave the other callers.
The next caller asked if the Reds are still paying Willy T.ís salary and will that affect the player to be named later. Thom said the Reds are paying some of his contract (Uh, no they arenít). Thom said he doesnít follow the financial stuff very much and blathered on about when heís calling a game he doesnít think people want to hear about that with 2 on and 2 out in the 8th inning to win the game and he couldnít care how much he makes. He said Willy T. was officially released by OAK today and heíd look into the player to be named later.
Thus endeth the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 2-9-10. So let it be written. So let it be done.