Cincinnati RedsManager: Bryan Price
Stadium: Great American Ball Park
2008 Record: 74-88 (5th in NL Cent)
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-- Tim Kurkjian
HITTER TO WATCH:
Willy Taveras' two-year deal is something of an obstacle, but Drew Stubbs is at least as good defensively and will provide more with the stick if he gets the opportunity.
PITCHER TO WATCH:
Right-hander Daryl Thompson should end up getting some spot starts and doing some middle-relief work, although his balky shoulder could limit his availability.
-- Keith Law, Scouts Inc.
Is it time for the Reds' youth to shine? Will Joey Votto be mentioned among the National League's best first baseman? How about Jay Bruce? Is he one of the top right fielders in the NL? Register your vote.
Johnny Cueto was extremely unlucky last season, as demonstrated by his 13.9 home-runs-per-fly-ball percentage. Yet he had an impressive 8.17 strikeouts-per-nine-innings ratio as a rookie. Boosting that K rate would go a long way in helping him overcome his unfavorable home park.
The ballpark is a problem when it comes to pitchers' not working at peak performance, and judging by the spring returns, Francisco Cordero is clearly not. The one thing in his favor is that there are few reliable alternatives lurking to steal his job.
--Tristan H. Cockcroft
INJURY TO WATCH
Bronson Arroyo. When you hear the diagnosis of "carpal tunnel syndrome" it usually conjures up the image of an overworked software programmer whose hands are going numb from endless hours at the keyboard. But this injury is impacting the Reds in a different way. The electric shock-like pain in Arroyo's thumb and index finger is keeping him from writing, playing guitar and, most importantly for the Reds, pitching well. The plan, along with anti-inflammatories and intermittent rest, is for Arroyo to pitch through this, something he has done in the past. But the level of symptoms he is experiencing, on top of the fact that this is a chronic condition, makes it impossible to guarantee that Arroyo will be able to do so. Don't be surprised if he is forced to endure a stint on the DL early on.
-- Stephania Bell
PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS
No. 16 overall
No. 21 overall
No. 18 overall
No. 24 overall
No. 10 overall