Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Random Opening Day Thoughts

A few quick hits on Opening Day:

**People are already killing Joey Votto for his approach, but am I the only one who thought he swung early and often yesterday? In fact, he saw 14 pitches and swung at 7 of them.

**Johnny Cueto looked great, but still uses the Tiant-twist. He'd better be right that the twist isn't causing his injuries, because we can't afford another oblique strain.

**Interesting to see the Reds using more defensive shifts, even if they didn't always work. I wonder who generates the data they use to determine how and when to shift.

**Billy Hamilton was abused by Wainwright. John Kruk was right, Wainwright had him "taking strikes and swinging at balls."

**Cozart is still tremendous on defense and something far less than tremendous on offense.

**Very heady play by Todd Frazier to steal 2nd base off of Wainwright and Molina without a throw. He's always been a high baseball IQ player.

**Interesting contrast in bullpen usage by Price and Matheny. Matheny played matchups in the 8th inning and may have illustrated the problem with batting Votto and Bruce back-to-back in the lineup, as they both faced Siegrist, while Ludwick and Frazier both got Carlos Martinez. It'll be interesting to see how Price's view on left/right matchups plays out over the course of the season in terms of both bullpen usage and lineup construction. As of now, he doesn't seem to care about L/R matchups on either side of the ball.

**I'm concerned about the catcher position, because Brayan Pena clearly isn't the answer and I'm not sure Devin Mesoraco is either.

**I'm still confused by our bench, but I guess injuries to Skip and Hannahan opened up jobs for unexpected guys.

**Trevor Rosenthal's 87 mph changeup with massive arm-side run is a nasty pitch.

**Brandon Phillips still seems heavier and slower.

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