What's cooking: Once Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Tony La Russa headed down the NL Central exit ramps, the Reds shifted into go-for-it mode, trading for Mat Latos and Sean Marshall, and signing Ryan Madson (oops!). At least they now have the next decade to watch Joey Votto work his MVP magic. Brandon Phillips has that walk-year motivation heating up in his oven. And Jay Bruce "looks like he's ready to come into his own," said one NL exec. You should get ready, though, for lots of reminders that this is the last season on Dusty Baker's contract. So this team's agenda is clear: Win or … uh-oh. Well, there's enough talent here to win. But …
Missing ingredients: Hard as I tried, I couldn't find a single scout in Arizona who liked what he saw from the Reds this spring. "A high-strikeout team with no closer," said one. Another said, "Their biggest issue isn't the loss of Madson. It will be lack of innings from their starting pitchers, and how much pressure that puts on their bullpen." But unfortunately, that isn't the only issue. Latos "isn't a No. 1 starter for me," said one scout. They'll run unknown quantities out there at short [Zack Cozart], catcher [Devin Mesoraco] and left field [Chris Heisey]. Scouts continually talked about how sloppily they played all spring. And if they get off to a raw start, Baker's lame-duck status will become a huge topic. So as talented as the Reds may be, "they've taken a step backward," said one scout.
This was from a peice from jayson stark of ESPN. I dont really care what other scouts think of our players because I think this years team is primed for a huge year, however it does seem odd that he says he couldnt find one good thing to say about the Reds this spring and one scout says they took a step back??? WHAT?? with all the talent we brought in??. I need to stop reading articles on ESPN. they just end up pissing me off half the time.