IT'S SPRING, OH THANK GOD IT'S SPRING. (Photo by me!)
It’s that time of year. Finally, finally, finally. Along with hope, happiness, sun, baseball, green grass, beauty, love, and all things good and holy in this world, the beginning of spring training always brings a certain kind of story. I love these stories, incidentally, and we have them in no small quantity this spring.
First, “the rebound”:
When something goes wrong, the first thing we want to hear next year is that things are going to be better. Thus, we’re all veeeeeerry happy to hear that Cozart feels much better after his season ending ACL surgery. Plus, John Fay also tells us that Bronson “My life would suck less without GABP” Arroyo thinks his velocity is back. Now, while it’s easy to say that Bronson had a rough season last year, it’s hard to say whether it was a velocity issue, a mono issue, a back-pain issue, or a being baseball old issue. Or maybe a little of each. Or maybe some of them caused each other. In any case, at this point, we know two things: it’s good that Arroyo’s saying his velocity is back, and he’s going to say that at the beginning of spring training no matter what.
Next, “the early bird”:
Baseball players get half the year “off”, to make a lot of money, so even though it’s probably only minorly relevant, we really love to see them show up for Spring Training before they need to. Although Bruce appears to be the big-news position player already in camp, Ryan Ludwick, Todd Frazier, Chris Heisey, Juan Francisco, Paul Janish and Wilson Valdez are also already in Goodyear, AZ. If anyone’s counting, these are the guys who are looking to claim a bigger share of playing time out the gate, or maybe just avoid being sent to Louisville for the season, by trying to prove their dedication to the higher ups, or just get a head start. Or, in most of these cases, not fall behind the competition. At least I know if I’m Paul Janish, I don’t want to show up to camp a millisecond past Cozart and Valdez.
Last (for now) “best shape of his life”:
Although that exact phrase has become so used it’s a bit passe, and rare in literal interviews, there’s still always a guy who has decided to get in shape instead of chilling on the couch and watching a lot of M*A*S*H reruns. This year, it’s Mr. Jay Bruce, who, as has been previously referenced on this blog, has decided to slim down and muscle up. And how. Bruce says he only lost about 15 pounds, but considering this guy is listed at 6’3″, I’m guessing that’s minus fat, and plus muscle mass: and he wasn’t exactly fat, fat to begin with. And Homer Bailey’s put on about the same amount of weight. This is apparently something the Reds have asked him to do before. Hopefully he’s looking a little more Batman-Christian-Bale and a little less El-Machinista-Christian Bale. I mean, something about his shoulder injury. Yeah, uhhhh, that’s the important thing.