Here is the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 3-9-10. Lance was the host again this week with Marty co-hosting by phone. Marty talked about the high winds and cold weather for the game and said both Bruceís and Haniganís HRs were windblown. Lance asked Marty what he thought of Chapman. Marty said he was as impressed as anyone else. He said a writer from the Chicago Tribune led his story with, ďI have seen the future of MLB and itís Aroldis Chapman.Ē Marty said what impressed him was that he didnít need to be told he was facing big league hitters. Marty said his composure on the mound was great and he was around the plate and the pitch he struck Ankiel out was unhittable. Marty said he spoke to Asst. GM Bob Miller yesterday and asked him if he saw the same things he saw. Miller told him he did and held his fingers about a quarter inch apart and said, ďHeís that close.Ē Marty said if he pitches as well as he did yesterday on a consistent basis, heís going to force the Reds to keep him when they go north (or is it northeast now?) Marty said this is just based on one performance and heíll pitch again Friday but he thinks the Reds secretly want to take him north with them because he will put butts in the seats. He said it was good for Chapman because it gave him confidence and the feeling like he belongs. Lance said that he talked to Jeff Brantley yesterday and Jeff said that it was almost too easy for him and heíd almost like to see him face some adversity to see how he deals with it. Marty agreed and said he will eventually face stronger lineups as the spring goes on and that will be a fairer test. Lance said that none of the other 5th starter candidates have the kind of stuff Chapman has. Marty said no one does but of the non-Cubans Maloney probably has the best shot at the 5th starter. Marty said options may be a factor too, particularly Mike Lincoln and his guaranteed major league contract. Marty said Lincoln better gear it up the next time out and if he doesnít improve, he could see the Reds letting him go since they are in no position to not bring the best 25 guys north. Lance said if they are serious about winning, they need a strong Harang who had a rough outing today. Lance asked if it was just because of the wind and ST. Marty said he hopes so because the Reds need strong performances out of Harang and Bruce in order to win. Marty said he wasnít affected by the wind and gave up some hard hit balls after he fell behind in the count and had to put the ball over the plate.
After commercial, the first caller said he read Fayís Brandon Phillips article and he thought it painted a bad picture of him and asked if Marty agreed with him. Marty said heís never been around a player who gets along with the fans as well as Brandon. Marty added that he does need to learn a thing or two in how to deal with the media and if he wants to be the player he thinks he can be thatís something he needs to work on.
The next caller asked what they thought of LF and if Homer will continue the progress he made last year. Marty said itís too early to tell in LF but right now itís Dickerson and Gomes. Marty said Homer has arrived and said he looked great in the B game the other day. He thinks heís turned the corner. Lance asked him about Dickerson not having any regrets about the comments he made about the CF spot. Marty said he admires someone who stands by his convictions but thinks that he doesnít have enough time in the majors as a player to pop off like that. He said he heard a couple of vets took him aside and told him that. He doesnít blame him for thinking they are handing CF to Stubbs even though Marty doesnít believe heís a shoo-in for the spot. He said Stubbs has to show he can make better contact and approach what he did the last 6 weeks of last season; otherwise Dickerson may be the CFer. Lance said the veteran stepping in to talk to Dickerson sounds like something Rolen would do. Marty agreed and said Cabrera has stepped up as a leader. Marty said there are no shortage of vets who will take a young player aside and advise him how to handle a certain situation.
After commercial, Lance asked Marty about Goodyear. Marty said it is true thereís not a lot around the ballpark but it has a lot of growth potential and there is a lot of stuff to do in the general vicinity. Marty said it isnít Sarasota but he doesnít have any complaints so far.
The next caller asked what the weakest area of the team. Marty said that the one thing he would say is a legitimate RBI guy in the middle of the lineup. He said perhaps a bullpen slot. He said the defense will be outstanding and perhaps the pitching will negate that RBI guy.
The next caller asked how the attention paid to Chapman affects Cueto and Homer. Marty said itís good that they donít get the attention Chapman does. He doesnít think anyone begrudges him his money and he seems like a nice guy. He thinks 2010 is a key year for Cueto and he needs to be more consistent in the strike zone and not fall apart when things go bad.
After commercial, the next caller asked if Harang will be replaced if he continues to pitch like he did last year. Marty said they wonít because they have a lot of money invested in him. He thinks itís premature to get excited about what happened today and if he continues to pitch poorly at the end of March then it is time to get worried. Lance said that Harang and Lincoln have raved about Bryan Price. He asked Marty if heís made a connection with this pitching staff. Marty said he thinks so and people from other organizations think he is great. Marty said he has great character and quit his pitching coach gig with ARIZ when they fired Bob Melvin. Marty said he speaks fluent Spanish and having Price is a major plus.
The next caller asked if the Reds might sign someone like Jermaine Dye for that LF spot. Marty said the Reds donít have $5M to sign a guy like him. Marty said he could probably still hit and could help the Reds but he isnít worth $5M to them.
The next caller asked if the Reds will convert Yonder to another position. Marty said that there was a story that they were thinking of converting him to catcher and he doesnít know where that came from (cough, Dusty, cough). And thereís no truth to that. He said that people say that 1st is the only place he can play. Marty said that everyone says he is a professional hitter and if he hits well in the minors, he is going to force the Reds hand.
After commercial, the next caller asked if Votto could turn into a player like Pujols if he learns more. Marty sad he doesnít think anyone can be a Pujols who he thinks is the best hitterís heís seen. He thinks Votto can be a star and heís very close. Marty said if he can stay on the field he can be a great hitter and itís a lot of fun to watch him.
The next caller asked if Steve Stewart has a job. Marty said heís a backup announcer to Denny Matthews in K.C. and he gets a lot of work since Matthews takes a lot of time off. He said he talked to Steve the other day and heís doing well and he loves K.C.
The next caller asked Marty if he had a chance to see Travis Wood pitch, Marty said he saw him and Mike Leake pitch against CLE the other day and they really stood out in a good way. Marty said this organization has tremendous pitching depth and itís the best heís seen in his time here. He said Wood and Leake will be very productive big league pitchers for the Reds in the next year or so.
Thus endeth the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 3-9-10. So let it be written. So let it be done.