Day 2: The routine begins
Now that the Reds are past the report date, physicals and the first meeting before the workout could begin, it was more of a normal day of Spring Training on Saturday morning.
Click here to read today’s notebook. There are items on Mat Latos talking about his knee, J.J. Hoover on the beard policy and Jeff Francis.
Here are some extra items of note:
*Bryan Price is not ready to name an Opening Day starter as of yet.
“I have an idea of what I want to do,” Price said. “I’d like to make sure our guys are healthy. We know Mat has been banged up. Johnny has been the man and continues to be but we want to make sure he is healthy. Homer has turned his corner I think. Me personally, I love Johnny at the top of our rotation. There are other guys I would be happy with at the top as well.”
*Aroldis Chapman, Sam LeCure, J.J. Hoover, Chien-Ming Wang, Sean Marshall, Alfredo Simon, Manny Parra, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake were among the pitchers that threw in the bullpen today. I watched Chapman for a little while and nothing looked out of whack from my untrained eye.
*Todd Frazier and non-roster invite Chris Nelson were the latest position players to report early on Saturday.
*3B Jack Hannahan told me he has been in Arizona for about a month. He spends his off-seasons in his hometown of St. Paul, Minn., where temperatures were particularly brutal. While Cincinnati had below zero temperatures, it got down to between 30-40 below zero in the Twin Cities. Yeesh.
*Before the workout, several Reds players were watching the Team USA-Russia Olympic hockey game on the clubhouse televisions. The USA won in a shootout. Ryan LaMarre and Donald Lutz are both former hockey players. LaMarre, a Michigan native, even pointed out that American T.J. Oshie from the St. Louis Blues was from the Univ. of North Dakota. Oshie scored the goals in the shootout that gave the U.S.A. the win.
*My (hopefully) final word on the enforced facial hair policy: It’s really not a big deal. No players are complaining and the (faux) controversy seems to be coming entirely on social media. Just because players are being told to trim their beards, it doesn’t mean they are not being given instructions on hitting or pitching or philosophies on forming a winning club. It’s part of the attention to detail and preparation Price promised to instill when he took the job. It’s not even a new rule. It’s just an enforcement of a rule that already existed. And it’s not even harkening back to the days when no facial hair of any type was allowed. Corky Miller still has his mustache and J.J. Hoover still has a beard. Let’s move on.