Another key date is here for baseball fans everywhere. Wednesday marks the day that the Cincinnati Reds position players must report to Goodyear, Arizona for the beginning or spring training. They arrive 5 days after pitchers and catchers report.
Wednesday marks position players first day in spring training, the club has its first game February 26th against the Cleveland Indians. Until then the Reds will sharpen their skills, reunite and try to gel again for the upcoming season. There are some position changes to talk about but the club will be very much the same as it was in 2013.
The biggest change comes from the departure of outfielder Shin Soo Choo who signed with the Texas Rangers in free agency. Replacing Choo in the outfield is the speeding phenom Billy Hamilton who will be a full time major leaguer in 2014. Hamilton has many questions surrounding his promotion, first question is will his plate appearances improve. He has the skills once on base but getting on base is the big question. Not to mention his defense, how great is it?
When it comes to the infield there are no questions going in. Joey Votto will be back at first, he has said this offseason that he worked on his swing in order to hit more. Brandon Phillips is back at second for the great 4-3 punch that is Phillips to Votto. Shortstop is once again occupied by Zach Cozart who has a lot to prove this year if he wants to have a future in Cincinnati, his back up Ramon Santiago while old will challenge Cozart. Then there is dad to be Todd Frazier, his defense is great, his baseball knowledge is wonderful but his bat lacks and that needs to improve to ensure Frazier doesn’t become a mediocre stalled out player. Finally at catcher Devin Mesoraco takes over for the departed Ryan Hanigan who the club traded to Tampa Bay.
For the most part we know what this offense is capable of and that is scary but with management changes and a new hitting coach things could potentially be different, lets hope.