Day one of the Reds full squad workouts is in the books. In a lot of ways, it was a business as usual day as training camp goes. Unless you're Homer Bailey.
Six years at $105 million seems like a lot of money -- well, it is. But the bigger number than money is the number of years. Six years for a pitcher is a lot to commit. But apparently Bob Castellini is showing yet again, he's all in. Gotta' like that.
The fallout from Bailey's windfall may be how much money is left over for Mat Latos, who'll be due for a big day in a year. If Bailey got $105 million and six years, you can bet Latos will get better than that. His production is better than Bailey, if not as flashy. Latos doesn't have a no hitter on his resume. But which of the two would you rather have, if you had to make a choice? Maybe the Reds just made theirs.
I'll have more with Ryan Ludwick later in the week. But in a conversation with the Reds beat writers today, Ludwick said his return from shoulder surgery last August, when he had very limited power, might have been a blessing. Ludwick claims it made him a better hitter. We'll see shortly, when the spring games begin.
Had a nice visit with former Reds great Mario Soto, now a Reds special instructor. Most of it was about the lousy weather we've had in Cincinnati. Soto still looks like he could get a batter out, if he had to.
Joe Morgan is in camp, saw him today with Castellini. By the way, Castellini will speak with me tomorrow, on camera. I want to ask him if he's suddenly began printing money...
I'm talking to Joey Votto tomorrow as well. I need to ask him about his favorite sabermetric stat: weighted runs created plus. Bill James must be gushing.
Reliever Sean Marshall says his shoulder is fine. He tells me he's thrown at least five times so far in camp and has experienced no discomfort. He didn't have surgery to fix what kept him sidelined most of last season. Marshall used a series of shoulder strengthening exercises. If he's healthy a good bullpen gets better. If...
A representative from the Topps trading card company was in camp today and gave me a set of 2014 Reds cards. Mike Leake is shown batting, not throwing. Leake, who is one of the best hitting pitchers in the game told me "And they picked my worst year hitting to do that". His worst is better than most pitchers dream of.
And as the sun sets over the Estrella Mountains, so it goes.
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