Pitchers and catchers aren’t due to report until Thursday. Non-catcher position players aren’t due until Sunday. But that doesn’t mean some guys aren’t in Goodyear early. Jim Day, he of Fox Sports Ohio and The Jim Day Podcast (and Gym Day with Jim Day fame) arrived in Goodyear, Arizona today. And when he got there several position players were already on the field and taking swings.
Day, as a media member, knows how to use a cell phone to record and share some videos. And he graced all of us with the sounds of the bat cracking the baseball. Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto was up first.
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I certainly missed these sounds! And look who has arrived early, Mr Votto. #Reds #MLB #SpringTraining
Last season saw two different Joseph Daniel Votto’s. The first one was unlike one we had seen in the past with an exaggerated crouched stance that also saw him choking up on the bat quite a bit. Then a few weeks into the second half he decided that simply wasn’t working (he was hitting .262/.347/.402 through July) and changed things up. Votto went back to a stance similar to what he had gone with in the past – more upright, no choking up – and it resulted in more power (his walk rate also improved dramatically, and his strikeout rate dropped slightly), and a better overall line as he hit .259/.380/.435 in August and September. It would appear that, at least for now, he’s sticking with the latter version of his 2019 self when it comes to his mechanics.
But it wasn’t just Joey Votto who showed up early. Just outside of the case we can see outfielder Jesse Winker awaiting his turn to step into the box and get some swings in. Winker missed the final month-and-a-half of the 2019 season with a neck injury. Nick Senzel has basically been living in Goodyear this offseason as he’s been rehabbing his way back from shoulder surgery that ended his season in early September. It was nearly a month ago (January 13th) that he began throwing for the first time since he was operated on. Today he was at the plate and taking swings.
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Nick Senzel appears to be coming along nicely after shoulder surgery. #Reds #MLB #SpringTraining
The first thing that jumps out is that this swing is not the one that Senzel switched to later in the year that seemed to lead to a month long slump. At Redsfest he noted that he would be going back to his previous swing that he had been using for pretty much his entire life. The day he began the switch he was hitting .285/.345/.474. After the switch he hit just .181/.239/.305 in 115 plate appearances before the shoulder injury cut the rest of the year short.
Most likely non-roster player to make the Reds?
Over at RedsMinorLeagues.com this morning we took a look at which non-roster invites to spring training had the best chance to make the Cincinnati Reds out of spring training. Only two players seemed to make much sense, but both still seem to be longshots given the depth of the 40-man roster.
Nice to see some are eager to show up and get their work in as soon as possible. I’m looking forward to seeing Moose and Castellanos in camp and seeing how they mesh with everyone else.
Senzel’s swing looks good! Quick and looks pain-free. I still wonder if they don’t plan to trade him, and teams are just waiting to see if he’s really healthy or not before pulling the trigger.
I was going to make some comments on Votto and Senzel but those videos brought a smile to my face big enough to block the keyboard! baseball is back!
So glad for this! I can’t believe baseball is finally here!
Good to see those 3 arrived early. You could make a good argument that this season will be as good or bad as those 3 are. Very talented early birds!
I’m hoping that’s the case. Maybe they’ll get that SS upgrade.
Who’s the young version of Bronson Arroyo behind Votto?
Yes. In many ways, the MLB is becoming more like the NBA, and that is not by accident.
Don’t know if that is going to work out. I have my doubts.
Owners and GM’s, etc., seem to be much more cognizant of payroll, advanced metrics and other qualities which is where the NBA has been for at least the last 20 years.
The very wealthy teams can do things to manipulate payroll and manage talent, etc.
The poorer teams have less resources and may be doomed to be excluded from the playoffs unless they draft and develop exceptionally well.
Nice to see Votto there early… he saw the front office delivered on getting talent on the team and he needs to correct himself…
And some new ink for Senzel…
Super excited about our boys this year! Question for you guys. That one projection had the Reds tying 2 (or 3?) other teams at 85-77 for the final wildcard. What happens in that scenario? Surely they can’t have a whole round of playoffs just to finally get to the wildcard game?
Don’t they figure it out by comparing records in head-to-head play?
I hope Votto does not ever go back to that stance he had the 1st part of last year. He was never fluid or comfortable. The video above looks alot better and please Joey dont ever do that half check swing warm up swing. That has to be gone too. If you look on youtube seeing him face Cueto. He is more up right and hands higher andooks more fluid in the box. We need him to be joey from 2015-2016.
Spring is coming.
Good to see the team leaders are anxious to get started.
Looks like Senzel took advantage of the nerve blockers after surgery to have a many tattoos on his right arm or he is wearing a tattoo sleeve.
A great example by Joey in coming early.
The FO did their job so he is reciprocating. It’s the stuff good teams are made of, meeting each other’s level of effort, competition and production. Taking advantage of opportunities.