GOODYEAR, Ariz. - It was just another routine day at Spring Training, but for those who like to watch the progression of training camp, it had special meaning.
The Reds had most of their top arms on display for the first time this spring. Johnny Cueto was out throwing in public, for the first time since an oblique problem forced him out of the playoffs. He was loose and fast. He spun and twisted like Luis Tiant again.
Homer Bailey, a few pounds heavier and a few million dollars richer also threw. As did Sean Marshall, who looks like he can roll out of bed and break off a nasty slider.
Aroldis Chapman spent several minutes throwing to hitters. During the time I watched, nobody hit a ball in fair territory. A couple of young players seemed intimidated. They don't see that kind of heat in the minor leagues.
We also saw Chapman spending some time after practice with representatives of Louisville Slugger, who were in camp to peddle their bats. Chapman hasn't needed a bat in the past because he was a closer. He has no plate appearances in his major league career. But if plans proceed for him to be a starter, he'll need a bat, and some batting practice as well.
(You can see my report on batting practice by clicking the attached video)
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