The Reds this year in a position where most of the roles have been filled, and spring training is not being used as a time to make too many decisions. I’d say the biggest question left unanswered is Leake vs. Wood in the starting rotation, and I think most people have been leaning Wood for quite awhile now. (I’d be reasonably happy with either, though.)
So fans are left to ponder such momentous questions as “will Dontrelle Willis not suck?” and “who will the be our backup outfielders?” Now, we already know we have a solid starting three of Gomes/Stubbs/Bruce. Yesterday, John Fay reported that Dusty had all but said that Heisey had made the team as the fourth outfielder. Ã‚Â This isn’t that remarkable, as Heisey’s the only real candidate that can play centerfield. He also handled himself well as a rookie last year, and has had a pretty good spring, for whatever that’s worth. Ã‚Â This does put him above Sappelt, as Dusty told Fay, despite Sappelt’s awe-inducing spring, but at Sappelt should spend at least a good part of the season in Louisville where he can play every day.
Of course, either Lewis or Hermida will also probably be on the opening day roster, filling in Laynce Nix’s old role. Those two, although Lewis is four years older, have pretty similar bats. Neither should wow, but they’re both lefties, who quite honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing start for Gomes against RHP occasionally.
Lewis has the benefit of a better recent performance (2010 OPS: .745 vs. Hermida’s .619), but I’d take Hermida on his history and that he’s only 27, which should be approaching his physical peak. On the other hand, Lewis does have a running game, which Hermida essentially doesn’t, and I think we’d all like to see a late innings pinch runner who isn’t Bronson Arroyo. (No offense, Bronson, but we aren’t paying you that 13 million to run.)
In conclusion, if this entire post has seemed rather ambivalent, I suppose that’s because it is. Not that I’m not excited about what I think is going to be an excellent season for the Redlegs, I just don’t really care who it is we see for what I hope is a pretty limited role.