Camp is around the corner
Good day all…
It’s less than a month until the Reds pitchers and catchers report to camp on Feb. 19 and all is almost set with the roster…almost.
The 40-man roster is at 39 players. That final spot would seem to be reserved for when Ryan Ludwick’s signing is formally announced. Barring a trade, or someone being punted from the roster, that means any additions would be via the Minor League contract. I could envision a few more of those coming.
I don’t think the Reds are done looking for that extra shortstop. It doesn’t mean it will happen though.
I’ve seen emails and comments wondering why guys like Willie Harris, or potentially Jeff Francis, are brought in on these Minor League deals with camp invites and what it means for the existing guys on the team. It’s about adding depth in case of inevitable injuries, and a low financial risk to see what happens or what the guy has left. But it also creates competition at some spots. Teams in general don’t want some of their players, especially the younger ones, to be too comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with guys having to prove themselves in camp. Unless you’re a Joey Votto or Brandon Phillips or similar, nothing should be guaranteed.
*I will be covering a couple of the Reds Caravan stops this week. It looks like I will be in Hamilton on Thursday and Columbus on Saturday. Hope to see or meet some of you there, although I doubt two cameo caravan appearances will earn me billing on one of Jamie Ramsey’s posters over on his nickel and dime blahhhg, “Better off Red.” (Big EPL game this Friday for you, Jamie…I heard it’s airing online.)
*Caravan is really like the reaching the final turn of the off-season with Spring Training very much in sight. I’ve already booked my flight to Arizona, my rental car and my lodgings were just locked down the other day.
*At some point early on in camp, I will revive last spring’s blog entry about where to eat and play while attending Spring Training. There was some nice feedback about it and I’d like to make it an annual thing. If you are a Phoenix native, or have frequented Reds camp the past two years, and have recommendations, please pass them along. Just avoid chains that can be found in Cincinnati, so that means no Chic-Fil-A, Five Guys, (although both are delicious), Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang’s, etc.
*Check out the story I wrote on Reds scoreboard operator Rich Linville, the club’s representative competing on MLB Network’s new “Baseball IQ” game show. I learned today that Rich’s first episode is slated to air on January 31 (next Tuesday) at 9 p.m. ET.