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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Master of the World

Bronson Arroyo painted a watercolor Thursday afternoon in a seven-hitting shutout (3 hits, 6 strikeouts) that looked ready for framing and hanging -- if it wasn’t only a spring training game.
But if the purpose of spring training is to get ready for the regular season, color him ready.
“Facing a team I’m not going face in the season, I could go after it like it’s the first game of the (regular) season, and just go 100 percent,” Arroyo said. “Against Houston the other day, there were some guys in there I didn’t want to show everything to.”
He said this is “by far the best I’ve ever felt in the spring. I feel like my body is where it needs to be, and all my stuff’s there and I feel strong.”
“Feeling strong is the main thing for me. I feel like I’ve got a little zip on the fastball to keep guys honest. I know I’m going to throw a decent amount of breaking balls.”
The Reds beat the Twins 5-1 before 6,521 fans at Ed Smith Stadium. Todd Coffey closed out the ninth inning, making it look easy, freezing third-hole hitter Delmon Young for a called third strike and finishing it with back-to-back groundouts.


19 Comments:

at 4:13 PM Blogger kgriz said...

Great outing by Arroyo. If Harang and Arroyo keep doing what they've been doing and we get Cueto/Volquez clicking...let's just say i'm looking forward to 2008 and beyond.

 
at 4:34 PM Blogger Scottyb said...

It is exciting to see Arroyo pitching as well as he is but it was also good to see Ross go 7 innings.

 
at 4:41 PM Blogger KingsPoint said...

Corey Patterson's OBP continues to drop like a rock towards his career Mendoza-like numbers. In the Baseball Dictionary under "poor leadoff hitter", the name Patterson should be listed. Under "stubborn, ignorant old Dodger", the name Baker should be listed.

Dusty Baker is a horrible manager. What are you going to do about it when he's Castellini's friend? Watch the suffering, I guess, as Patterson's outs follow the pitcher's outs, which follow Ross' outs. Whoever bats 6th and 7th for the REDS won't be scoring very many runs this year and won't be seeing any pitches to hit knowing the 3 easy outs are coming up next in Ross-Pitcher-Patterson. They'll put an end rallies and stop them before they begin with an out or two already on the board before Keppinger comes to the plate. Go away Corey Patterson. You don't belong in baseball and only have a job because of Baker's weird fascination with you. None of the other 29 teams would have anything to do with you, yet he bats leadoff in C-town. Great!

 
at 4:57 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

My mailman, (who is a great source of rumors in that he has more access to print material than anyone (former Military Inteligence) and don't think they don't read your mail) says that he read in some guys SI that it will be Kenji for Griffey.
This guys is seldom wrong, but never completely verified that he is right either... hate the cubs

 
at 5:37 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

We haven't played a regular season game yet, and according to your post kingspoint... we might as well just forfeit the season!

Is your subscription to the Optimists Club coming up for renewal anytime soon?

For God's sake, can we at least get through 1 month of the regular season before all of you chicken littles head for a ledge to jump off?

How asinine...

 
at 6:16 PM Blogger Brian said...

I expect big things from Arroyo this year, especially with a solid bullpen behind him and what should be better run support.

I predict 15 wins, 220 innings, 180 strikeouts, and 20 quality starts.

As to the Kenji for Griffey comment, I think that's a good possibility. I've heard the Reds plan on keeping Griffey until he hits 600, and moving him to Seattle for Kenji. They have Clement who is ready to be the everyday starter at catcher and have more than indicated they would like Junior back. I love Griff and think he's on track to do well this year, especially with Dusty managing. But the deal might be too good to pass up since Griff always has the chance of landing on the DL.

 
at 6:19 PM Blogger Aaron said...

You know what, Eddie Milner batted leadoff for the Redlegs in 1985 and they won 89 games. I think Eddie had a .259 average and his OBP must have been pretty dreadful.

If Patterson struggles, they will give Freel and Hopper their shots. Patterson has been pretty good. "dropping like a rock" -- uh you mean he isn't going to maintain his .400 average and .500obp that he started with? Boy that is shocking indeed. He has had a good spring anyway you slice it and its a tough call between him, Freel, and Hopp. Freel never stays healthy so is better suited as utility. Hopper failed to impress this spring but will still be the #4 outfielder and have some opportunities to work his way into the lineup.

get a grip, get a life, and stop the whining. Bruce will be a mid-season call up. Nothing is in stone. You act like Patterson is guaranteed 600ABs in the leadoff spot. Its not gonna happen. They are gonna platoon, and a lot of changes are gonna happen along the way.

 
at 7:34 PM Blogger R said...

Agree with KingsPoint, who is simply reiterating numbers that don't lie. Ross-Pitcher-Patterson will definitely kill a lot of rallys. Patterson has drawn 2 walks all spring. As the leadoff hitter, that's part of his job. He's just not a guy who's capable of discerning ball from strike in a split second. It's a skill.

 
at 7:40 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Got to tell you kingsp, I am really glad that Wayne had a weird fascination with Jeff Keppinger last year because I sure did not understand that move.

Keppinger after all, was no Brandon Phillips in reputation. He was a guy who hit 270 with a 320 OBP

Do you think they saw something in Keppinger????

I have always liked Patterson, and I hate the Cubs

 
at 8:08 PM Blogger Rusty and Jennifer said...

Dusty is not a horrible manager. Get a grip - it's not even the regular season yet. Boone was a goon Narron was a moron and now Dusty is horrible because he is taking a shot at a player who has incredible skills but has yet to blossom. Let's play the games and see how it goes. I will root with all of my heart for our new manager and our new CFer. Go Reds!

 
at 8:58 PM Blogger KingsPoint said...

jdeezman, when Patterson gets through one month with an OBP above .330, then you can talk. Until then, he is what he is, a player on the downside of a career that's been bad who wouldn't have a job among the other 29 teams.

Aaron, Hopper didn't need to impress this Spring. It's Spring Training, BFD. Hopper proved during the regular season what he can do last year and as a player on the upside of his career, he even has plenty of room for improvement. Patterson can only get worse (unless he takes steroids, which is very possible for a player in his position in his career where it's now do-or-die, and he tries to get one last guaranteed contract, and now he's got some fool like Baker giving him a chance at the detriment of the growth of Hopper and Bruce). Aaron, 100 AB's of Patterson is enough to ruin the season and leave them at a 20-30 mark at the end of May. By then it doesn't matter if Bruce is called up. The season is over.

Rusty and Jennifer, don't look at Baker's lips when he speaks. He convinced you that Patterson "has yet to blossom". Patterson is on the downside of his career. He's past his prime. If you want a player to start because you want to see him blossom, then give Hopper and Bruce the at-bats.

C'mon, people, make sense. Just don't swallow the Kool-Aid and whine about it when someone else doesn't see the world through your rose-colored glasses.

 
at 9:24 PM Blogger Aaron said...

Hopper and Patterson are the same age. Pattereson has zero and I mean zero power. Patterson has good power. In our park that difference will result in some RBIs which will offset the loss in runs scored. Hopper was a 29 yr old rookie that finally got a chance in the bigs and yes I liked watching him... but the season was down the tubes at that point. Can we assume when everything matters that he is gonna come out and play well? He needed to show something this spring to cement a job and he didn't do it. I hope he gets another shot at it, but until then I am guessing it will be open auditions until Bruce is ready -- and Bruce is not ready, especially not ready to bat leadoff where he hardly belongs.

 
at 1:19 AM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

True, Patterson does not have the makings of a lead off hitter except for the speed, but I have trouble understanding all the hate directed his way. He is still younge enough with great potential, though he has admittedly probably missed his window of opportunity. He could surprise and finally figure it out this year, in which case he'd be a bargain, if not, so what? Not much down side to giving him a shot.

 
at 1:38 AM Blogger Dave said...

Hey guys, Hopper is what, 32? 42? Oh yeah! He's older than Patterson, that's right! And he has ZERO power...that said, I like Hop, but he's not the answer, .330 avg. last year or not. Patterson, for those of you who have lived in the blogosphere and online but not caught any games, is a go-getter CF. I mean, smoke trail coming off him fast, with a good jump. He seriously shrinks the Dunn/Griffey gaps out there, and what all the OBP guys are forgetting - he makes the pitcher worry about him when Kep, Junior, and BP are taking their hacks. For those of you who haven't played above JV ball, this still makes a big difference. All for naught - Bailey is back by the end of May and Bruce arrives in July...

 
at 2:57 AM Blogger Southern IN Reds Fan said...

Aaron, great comment! I'm glad someone else took the time to realize that Hopper is not a 22-23 year old potential stud. He's pushing 30 and finally got a chance to show that he can do the little things to help a club win, but he is not the Reds answer to anchor the CF job.

I worked for the Bats in 06 and saw Hopper plenty of times in Louisville. He led the IL in AVG, but I consider him to be very similar to Chris Denorfia (and I don't think we are missing him too much with our OF depth). A scrappy player who makes contact, hits to all fields, and moves runners when needed. I like how Hopper filled in last year, but I completely agree that there are no guarntees that he can produce similar numbers this season. I'm sure every team in the league is greatly aware of his bunting ability, which may hurt Hopper's OBP and AVG.

Bruce may come up as the Reds CF, but he will spend his career at a corner OF spot. I don't think the Reds are in a hurry to bring a 20 year old to the majors when they know he will take over for Dunn (if he is traded or walks via FA) or Griffey (he's already expecting Bruce to take over in RF next season because of the cost of Griff's option for 2009), if they don't move one of them to 1B and trade Hatte/Votto. Bruce was only called up to Triple-A last season because of an injury on the Bats roster. I think the Reds have planned on Bruce starting this season at Louisville from the beginning.

 
at 3:47 AM Blogger KingsPoint said...

Aaron, the idea that Patterson thought he had Power was his biggest downfall. What "little" power he has left (unless he going to be taking steroids this year) is worthless to the team. The REDS are loaded with power in all the bats behind him. And with Baker wasting both Votto's and Dunn's high OBP by batting them down in the lineup where there isn't anybody left to hit them in, Baker's going to put a guy who struggles more than 98% of all starting players in the Majors to get on base in the leadoff spot in front of Junior, Phillips, and Dunn. The job for that person is one thing and one thing only...get on base. Pete Rose had no speed. Who cares? As long he gets on base with Phillips, Griffey and Dunn behind you, a .380 OBP player will score 110 times in a 620 at-bat season. Votto would be a better leadoff hitter.

Hopper is still on the upside. He's shown nothing but improvement each of the last 5 years. Patterson's shown only declining skills.

 
at 4:08 AM Blogger KingsPoint said...

Aaron,
Last year Hopper's OBP in 54 PA in May was .377, in 48 PA in July it was .340, in 79 PA in August it was .455, and in 90 PA in Sep/Oct it was .390. His only "bad" month was in 58 PA in June when it was .286, slightly less than Patterson's career OBP of .298. With Hopper, the great is the norm. With Patterson, the horrible is the norm.

Patterson's numbers last year for OBP and I'll include slugging because you think he has such great power. You call this power?

92 PA's in April .315/.350 yuck!
99 PA's in May .247/.264 poohey!
65 PA's in June .297/.367 yuck!
106 PA's in July .359/.510 found a nut
125 PA's in August .314/.412 yuck!
16 PA's in Sep .188/.375 yuck!

Unless Patterson took steroids, he'll reproduce what he's always done, and you'll be wondering what kind of an idiot Baker is for demanding this guy be put on the team and batting leadoff on a power-studded middle lineup behind him, while Dunn and Votto's walks waste away (and Baker tries to change Votto from a selective hitter to one that strikes out all the time.)

 
at 9:07 AM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

Okay...everyone here is acting like the lead off spot on the Reds is the "argument of the ages" here! Let's seriously look at it a bit further...

Both Hopper and Patterson are fast. That's the only thing those two have in common.

Now, let's weigh the differences...

Hopper is a better hit-for-average type of player, is mediocre defensively, and his OBP sucks because he doesn't draw walks.

Patterson is a better power hitter, can steal 30+ bases a season, is GREAT defensively, and his OBP sucks because he doesn't draw walks.

TO be perfectly honest, when comparing the two it's a no-brainer. Corey Patterson is the guy you want to go with. Both of the them are not "quality" lead off hitters, that's for sure. But, Patterson is the lesser of the two evils.

kingspoint needs to settle down and quit looking on the surface of things. Dusty Baker is a bad manager because he's playing the BEST person at the position at this given time? Get real, dude! This is the game of baseball, not recreational softball! Let's quit nitpicking every move this ball club makes and enjoy America's pastime: Baseball!

 
at 12:42 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Guys, when we got Phillips for nothing, he was a "Swing for the Fences" 5 tool guy.

How soon we forget. Patterson has tools. We just all hate the view of him in a Cubs uniform.

He will look good in Red

 
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