Throughout the spring, we at MLB.com have been aiming to shoot more video of the interviews we do during Spring Training. Below are a few that I’ve done the past few days.
The return of games is here as the Reds and Indians met Tuesday.
Got a picture for proof.
First pitch temperature: 63 degrees.
As you saw in the previous blog post of Tuesday’s lineup, Joey Votto is not starting the Cactus League opener. There are no alarm bells to go off, however. Votto came to camp not in his usual baseball shape because he spent the winter rehabbing back from the distal strain of his left quadriceps that cost him much of last season.
Votto is very pleased with how his camp has gone to this point.
“I feel really good,” Votto said. “I was surprised at how good I feel this early. I’m trending towards starting to play in games, hopefully here in the not too distant future. I do feel like I need a little bit more time, but the time is not a bi-product of avoiding games or not being ready when I need to be ready. It’s just to make sure after taking what seems to be 10 months, eight months, or however long off from baseball that I play the game a little bit more to get ready and get the volume in and get the reps in.”
Votto has shown no real limitations to this point but hasn’t worked in some of the little things that happen during the workouts yet.
“Those little things, I’m starting to get to the point where those I will be able to join in on and be able to fully be a part of nearly everything with the team,” Votto said.
Reds lineup vs. Indians for Tuesday
It was cooler and rainy Saturday morning, wet enough that I wondered if there would be a full workout. But the rain moved on and everything was normal. The Reds did another live BP session with Tony Cingrani, Anthony DeSclafani, Raisel Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen, Daniel Corcino and more. Batting right-handed Billy Hamilton hit one over the fence vs. Cingrani and heard some hoots from teammates and smiled when he left the cage.
The other big thing today was the rundown drills. Minor leaguers were the runners and different situations were practiced.
As a reminder, all of the camp news, notes and features are on Reds.com and MLB.com.
Here are some pictures from Saturday:
Live batting practice was what was happening at Reds camp today. Rotation candidates Tony Cingrani, Anthony DeScalfani and Raisel Iglesias were among the pitchers who worked.
Joey Votto weighed in on the recent discussion about leadership, or the lack thereof, the Reds clubhouse. Actually, he called the beat writers over and had a passionate few minutes where he pushed back on the criticisms. While Mat Latos certainly brought the situation to the forefront the other day, Votto addressed the issue in more general terms.
Here is a snippet — with a story to come on MLB.com.
“The thing that upsets me the most is the people that are talking about leadership and talking about our clubhouse are not in our clubhouse,” Votto said. “They’re not consistently here to make any sort of comment on the clubhouse. These are guys that very rarely show their face in the clubhouse, are never on the bus, not in the hotel, certainly not on the field and these guys are constantly commenting on the importance of leadership with no sort of experience to be able to have that conversation. They don’t see the interactions. They don’t see the bench. They’re going to write and talk endlessly on something they have no information on. To me, I think that’s doing a disservice to this team. It’s doing a disservice to the front office, to the coaching staff and I think it’s highly, highly convenient because we lost last year to highlight something like that.
“I played with Scott [Rolen] – a wonderful, wonderful teammate. But Scott was one of the more quiet guys I ever played with. He led as an example. We don’t need that. We’ve got a group of guys that do not need to be led because we are that example. You don’t see any guys dog. Brandon’s become a wonderful leader on this team and a wonderful teammate. It’s been such a great experience playing with him and learning from him. He never gets any credit and he does little things nobody sees. The people who write and talk about it are not being very fair, I don’t think. I think it’s totally out of left field. I think, in my opinion, it’s just talk. We win this year, all of a sudden there’s going to be a leader on the team or a group of leaders, and so and so did this or so and so did that, we win and all of a sudden everything changes. We have one unhealthy year last year — not a good year, let’s not forget about that, we did not have a good year last year — we need this and we need that. Leadership is one of the things people have been pointing out. I don’t think it’s objective.”