– John Fay has a nice article on Dave Sappelt in today’s Enquirer; lots of it is covering how well he’s played this spring and how he’s still a long shot to make the club. But it also covers how he has to improve:
“There’s base running,” Baker said. “There’s throwing. There’s fielding. Things you don’t get other than by playing somewhere. Here’s not the place to learn if you’re going to play winning baseball.”
Sappelt is particularly aware that he has to improve as a base-runner. He was thrown out 18 times in 43 steal attempts.
“I think they know I can hit,” Sappelt said. “I think they want to see how consistent I can be on the base paths. I haven’t made a mistake yet in games. I think if keep that consistency, that confidence, I’ll be a real helper of this team.
“That’s the biggest issue.”
The Reds are giving Sappelt a lot of attention. Baker, Billy Hatcher, Eric Davis and Joe Morgan all have worked with him.
“We think he’s bright enough to learn,” Baker said. “He probably thinks we’re picking on him . . . We’re working with him. We’re trying to put him on an accelerated course. We see the ability is there.”
Hatcher, Davis, and Morgan…those are some pretty good instructors right there. Could Sappelt be the answer to our LF question? Could he be the answer sooner than next season?
– Hal McCoy wrote an article on FoxSportsOhio about the number of lefties that might make this team in the bullpen:
Aroldis Chapman, Dontrelle Willis, Billy Bray, Daniel Ray Herrera and Matt Maloney all are legitimate candidates. How many will make it? Depends.
“Naw, no set number,” Baker said. “You’d like two. Depends on who throws good.
The one sure bet is Chapman and Baker said, “Right-handers probably will hit him a little bit better than lefties, but neither should hit him real good, especially if we can come up with two or three different left-handers. You’d like to have one with a power arm (Chapman) and one with a good breaking ball (Willis, Herrera). Maloney and Bray both throw relatively hard with excellent breaking pitches.
“That way you can use them at different times against different kinds of hitters,” Baker added. “If we have that, we don’t have to save our left-handers for the optimum time, when they could have been in the game in the fourth or fifth inning when you need them then.”
“Dontrelle is throwing the ball great, Daniel Ray is throwing it good, Maloney is throwing the ball well Ã¢â‚¬â€ competition brings out the best or the worst in people. It is bringing out the best in quite a few of our people.”
John Fay has a short blurb basically saying the same thing (can’t find a link to it, sorry), but he says that he believes Dusty is leaning towards three left handers in the bullpen, if he has his way.
Chapman, Bray (who is out of options), and who?
I think if he continues to pitch as well as he has been, it’ll be Willis. I think either he or Maloney could fill the lefty role and also a long/swing reliever role also. I think Herrera is on the outside looking in.
What do you think?