From Mark Sheldon:
The good news…
The wrist has passed all of the tests, and there is nothing holding back Bruce in his workouts.
“It’s felt fine and like [the injury] never happened,” Bruce said. “I’ve had no pain; it’s nonexistent. For a little bit, when I came back, it was still tight, but it’s fine now.”
Glad to hear the wrist isn’t going to be an issue.
On his dealing with the adversity of last season:
“The adversity I dealt with last year was pretty serious,” said Bruce, who will turn 23 on April 3. “Everyone should deal with adversity, and I’m going to use it as a positive to come back this year and be the player that I know I can be.”
It was the first time Bruce experienced such a prolonged slump or dealt with a severe injury. After all, this was the top rated prospect in all of baseball in 2008, who debuted to huge fanfare in May of that season and delivered. He reached base in each of his first six plate appearances and collected 11 hits in his first 19 at-bats. Obviously, that pace was impossible to maintain, but Bruce was mostly solid the rest of the season as he became accustomed to the ups and downs of hitting in the big leagues.
Electing not to play winter ball and make up at-bats from the 57 games he missed last year, Bruce instead went home to Beaumont, Texas, and decompressed. Eventually, he resumed lifting weights, running, throwing and — beginning about a month ago — hitting.
His OPS+ last year was 100. That’s average…it’s not like he was a black hole. Do we want better? Sure, but he’ll be 23 around Opening Day and starting his 3rd year in the Bigs….give him a break.
Then there’s this…
Although manager Dusty Baker would not make guarantees at last season’s end, all indications are that Bruce is secure as the Reds’ regular right fielder. The club made no outfielder acquisitions that would threaten his role.
“Make no guarantees”? “Threaten his role”? WTF, over? Mark, what are you writing, brother?