Item #1: Mark Sheldon reports positive news about Homer Bailey’s progress.

Bailey, who is coming off of surgery to repair a torn flexor mass, said things are going well but that he is still a little behind from his usual schedule. “I haven’t gotten off the mound,” Bailey said. “Usually, l like to get off the mound a few times before I come. But I can catch back up real quick. It’s more getting used to the throwing everyday stuff.” Bailey noted that he has not had any setbacks to this point.

It sure would be nice to have the Homer Bailey back that pitched for the Reds from June on last year (ERA 2.66). Bailey’s season overall was mix of good and bad, but there were important positive indicators. His fastball velocity was up over 2013, his fly ball rate fell from 34 to 29 percent, and his swinging-strike rate was higher, despite nagging injuries all year.

Item #2: You’ll have plenty of opportunity to judge the Reds’ progress in Goodyear yourself. C. Trent Rosecrans reports the excellent news that several of the Reds games will be shown on TV – seven live and eight others on delay.

MLB Network will televise three Reds spring training games live, in addition to the four games televised by FoxSports Ohio. The Reds will also appear eight times on tape delayed games on MLB Network. FoxSports Ohio will air the team’s first two games on March 4 and 5 against the Indians. FoxSports Ohio will also televise games on March 5, 17 and 26 — all against Cleveland. MLB Network is picking up games against the Giants on March 20 and Rangers on March 23. Both of those games begin at 9 p.m. in Cincinnati. The Reds will end the spring with two exhibition games in Montreal against the Blue Jays, with MLB Network showing the second one on April 4 at 1 p.m.

Item #3: One bit of bad news. John Fay reports that relief pitcher Sean Marshall suffered a slight setback in his rehab from shoulder surgery last June. He has been rehabbing all offseason but felt soreness a couple weeks ago during a long toss session.

Marshall was moving along pretty well from his June 24 shoulder surgery. And then . . .“Two weeks ago, I was doing three sets of long-tossing from 120 feet, feeling pretty good. But I kind of had a little soreness in my shoulder. I got out here (to Arizona) Feb. 6. I had to slow down a bit. I’m not on the mound yet. Hopefully, I’ll resume pretty quick and finish that long-toss session of the rehab, then throw on some flat ground and be on the mound soon.”

Item #4: And Twitter has this message from Sam LeCure:



18 Responses


    Marshall is done. That trade and extension has not worked out well at all.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Too soon to say he’s done. Shoulders are complicated, as is shoulder surgery. Marshall finally had surgery in June and his rehab was going along fine for months. This incident didn’t sound that serious, but it certainly could be a bad sign. You just never know with shoulders.

      That’s why I’m astonished by the fact that they haven’t picked up another major league outfielder. They seem to be counting on Skip Schumaker, who had major shoulder surgery in September. Hasn’t the front office learned from the past two years – waiting for Ryan Ludwick, waiting for Jack Hannahan, waiting for Sean Marshall – that you can’t count on recovery from shoulder surgery.

      • zaglamir

        I wonder if the Dodgers would be willing to part Heisey. Now that he’s no longer a Red and I don’t feel the urge to constantly tear him down (sarcasm), I realize he’s an above-average replacement outfielder worth roughly 1 WAR/yr due to his excellent defence and grittiness. In the real world, that would be worth a 1 yr/$2.16M contract.

      • Steve Mancuso

        The other quality Heisey has is the ability to hit well coming off the bench. If Heisey were still on the Reds’ roster, he would be *far and away* the best bench hitter. I just don’t understand why they let him go over a $2 million hit on the payroll. And now (at best) they’ll troll the discard pile of OF to find a replacement they might have to pay more who will not be as good either at the plate or in the field.

      • earmbrister

        From my perspective it’s a cost vs benefit thing with Heisey. He’s making more and more and producing less and less.

        Career splits: .247/.299/.432
        2012 (375 PA): .265/.315/.401 0.4 oWAR at a salary of $ 495,000
        2013 (244 PA): .237/.279/.415 0.0 oWAR at a salary of $ 1,325,000
        2014 (299 PA): .222/.265/.378 0.1 oWAR at a salary of $ 1,760,000

        2015 Quite likely a 0 or negative oWAR at a salary of $ 2,160,000

        The 2015 Reds have above average fielding across the outfield, so Heisey’s dWAR is less important than if he was going to be used as a defensive replacement late in games. For a team that needs OBP, the last two years of .279 then .265 is borderline brutal.

        The 2012 Heisey at $ 495,000 was a bargain. Heisey at $ 2.2 Mil is replaceable. And it’s not apparent that the Reds are going to ” troll the discard pile of OF to find a replacement they might have to pay more”. It’s more likely that the Reds are going to man their 4th and 5th OF spots with whomever wins the job from a list of Jason Bourgeois, Brennan Boesch, Skip Schumaker, Donald Lutz, or Felix Perez. None of these guys are going to be making more than Heisey’s $ 2.2 Mil (except for Skip obviously) and it’s not unrealistic that the winners of this competition could bat better than .222/.265/.378, at a fraction of the cost.

    • Pooter

      I totally agree. If you read between the lines he’s still hurt. I just hope he doesn’t flirt with playing injured (or downplaying his injury) and have the team suffer as a result.

      • CP

        What do you mean “if you read between the lines?” He’s rehabbing and the article says he’s sore…

        Perhaps you should change it to “if you read the lines…”

      • Pooter

        That’s exactly my point. I’m not taking this at face value. I think they’re underplaying the extent of his injury. My interpretation (reading between the lines) is that the report is not divulging the full extent of the injury. I am skeptical, that is all. I think “sore” is code for a more serious issue than just soreness. At face value sure it seems like all is well.

      • User1022

        Given what we know about the Reds’ medical staff, I think Pooter makes a pretty valid point. Anytime there is a report from the Reds that a player is “feeling a little sore” or “is a little banged up” , I instinctively assume there is another shoe about to drop down the line regarding said player.

  2. unc reds fan

    And this is why pitchers are not worth long term big deals after they reach their 30’s…Good luck Cueto I wish you well wherever you land

  3. User1022

    Even if Marshall isn’t “done”, can we reasonably expect him to contribute much since he hasn’t really played competitive baseball for a long while? I understand he ca be pretty good when he’s healthy.

    But the last season he was completely healthy was 2012. He’s going to be 33 this season. I guess there is no harm in continuing to try to get him back, but I’m afraid at this point he would be nothing more than a very fragile, slightly above average reliever.

    • Steve Mancuso

      There’s quite a bit of space between completely healthy and done. There are a bunch of pitchers (including a handful of Cy Young winners) who have had labrum repair surgery and been awesome afterward. The Reds waited a long time with Marshall to choose surgery. The timeline of a June surgery was meant to accommodate a normal start for spring training. You’re right to bring up his age. On the other hand, he’s just a relief pitcher, so the demand on his shoulder is less. But yeah, you have to look at any contribution from Marshall as gravy. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  4. BigRedMike

    What will the Reds do with Chapman in 2016 contract wise? Sign another 1 year deal with his Arb 3 status?

  5. George Mirones

    MLB reported that the Dodger closer will not be able to pitch for 3 months due to injury.
    Ok now is the time for Walt to call and offer them some assistance with their problem.
    They can offer Chapman 10M without even trying and just think what they just might be willing to give up. They can have the “the Missile” on the mound and the “Rocket” in right field. LA is the perfect place.

  6. Frogger

    I used data from baseball reference to do some analysis on Reds lineups from 2010-2013. The numbers confirm what my eyes have seen while watching 90% of Reds games ever year. It is amazing that Votto has performed so well to date. I compared triple slash lines, as well as, ops for those players that started the most games each season at the 1,2,3, and 4 spots in the Red’s lineup. For example in 2011 Stubbs batted leadoff more than any other player, so I used his stat line. This was done to get the feel what an opposing pitcher most often faced when playing the Reds. It also tells us the best lineup the Reds manager during those seasons could put on the field. (Not a replacement level player)

    2010-Division Champs first playoff appearance in more than a decade.
    1) .275/.332/.430/.762
    2) .263/.303/.354/.657
    3) .324/.424/.600/1.024 RBI=113
    4) .285/.358/.497/.854
    2011-Missed Playoffs
    1) .243/.321/.364/.686
    2) .300/.353/.457/.810
    3) .309/.416/.531/.947 RBI=103
    4) .256/.341/.474/.814
    2012-Division Champs
    1) .246/.288/.399/.687
    2) .217/.277/.333/.610
    3) .337/.474/.567/1.041 RBI=74
    4) .281/.321/.429/.750
    2013-Wildcard Winner
    1) .285/.423/.462/.885
    2) .254/.284/.381/.665
    3) .305/.435/.491/.926 RBI=73
    4) .261/.310/.396/.706
    Reds Averages 2010-2013 Cardinal OPS Averages 2010-2013
    1) .262/.341/.413/.754 OPS-.230 below Votto 1) .718 -36 points below Reds
    2) .258/.304/.381/.685 OPS-299 below Votto 2) .805 +120 points over Reds
    3) .319/.437/.547/.984 3) .918 -66 points below Votto
    4) .270/.332/.449/.781 OPS-.203 below Votto 4) .885 +104 points over Reds

    During this four year period the Cardinals protected their most valuable hitter with a productive #2 and #4. The Reds #2 and #4 hitters averaged more than 100 points (decimals not used for simplication/affect) less in OPS than their Cardinal counterparts. If you were a major league pitcher who could throw the ball where you wanted to….who would you not give anything to hit in the Reds lineup….especially when someone is in scoring position? Votto led the league in walks and intentional walks for a reason. Teams with 1, 2, and 4 whole hitters who produce like this don’t win in October. A case can easily be made that Votto and the Red’s pitching staff is the only reason they were relevant. Hopefully he will get some much needed protection in 2015 with Mesoraco who had a 2014 OPS of .893. If this happens Votto will get more balls in the zone with more runners on base. That is a big step in the right direction for the Reds winning in 2015.

    • earmbrister

      Frogger —

      NIce work. Yeah, we’ve had more holes than hitters in most of those years. Things don’t always pan out the way they are planned, but this year there seems to be less questions up and down the lineup. I truly expect an above average offensive team, paired with an above average rotation (as opposed to a questionable offense paired with an excellent rotation). It should make for some fun baseball in Cincy. Let’s play some ball !!!

  7. jessecuster44

    Well said. I wouldn’t have anyone on the Reds quack medical staff treat me, let alone highly paid athletes.