The Reds have played 21 pre-season games so far this year, and they’ve won 11. Not bad, but not great either. We’re less then two weeks away from the “real” season, so what’s the real news that’s come out of these games that don’t quite count?
Ken Griffey, Jr. has yet to get into a spring game. While I’m less concerned with the Wily one’s flirtation with the Mendoza line, that sort of compounds the problem as they have one centerfielder who has yet to play, and another who’s struggling mightily at the plate.
It looks like the rotation is all but set. While Paul Wilson, Eric Milton, Ramon Ortiz, Aaron Harang, and Brandon Claussen won’t cause anyone to gape in awe, I’m hoping (hoping, hoping, hoping) they perform better then what we got out of our pitching last year. I’m not too optimistic because only Claussen (2.08 ERA, 13 IP) and Eric Milton (3.60 ERA, 15 IP) have pitched well so far this spring.
Offense shouldn’t be a problem, despite the centerfield problems discussed above. Austin Kearns continues to tear up the preseason (.364 BA/.545 SLG), and Adam Dunn hit his third homerun yesterday. Sean Casey has struggled (.194 BA), but you hope he and the Wily one will be able to work out their kinks before the season starts. Rob Stratton has been a pleasant surprise, and could possibly break camp with the team if Griffey isn’t ready.
At this point, if the Reds can put together a .500 April, I’d be pretty happy. I’m not optimistic about them getting off to a nice jump like they did last year, but hopefully they won’t be too far behind the Cards at this time next month.