Sept 15, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) looks on during batting practice before a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

Reds 5 at 5: Starting Rotation, Fantasy Numbers, More

For those that often “comment” on the fact the national media refuses to provide the Good Guys some much deserved attention, those days may not last much longer. Well, at least for the remainder of the preseason, that is. Over the past few weeks, chatter from those national types have oozed positives surrounding the Good Guys and their 2013 campaign.

1. Castrovince: Reds have baseball’s #6 starting rotation

In yesterday’s 5 at 5, I provided a link to an article MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince authored detailing the top 10 starting lineups. He had the Reds at #8. Today, he reveals his top 10 starting rotations and the Reds are ranked sixth. That is the highest of all NL Central teams. Actually, Cincinnati is the only NLC team he has listed.

Of course you can’t have a conversation about the Reds starters and not mention one Aroldis Chapman. Castrovince delivers this to us on that subject:

The big X-factor is Aroldis Chapman, making the transition from commanding closer to starting project. It’s a risky move by the Reds, and Chapman’s innings (and, therefore, his impact) will be limited. But if the conversion is successful, look out. It would take this already robust rotation to another level.

I don’t believe too many baseball folk would argue the Reds success last season should be largely attributed to the starting rotation. Even if the Chapman experiment goes awry, and even in reading Castrovince’s last sentence of this quote, Cincy still owns one of baseball’s best rotations.

2. Fantasy projections for the Reds

Along with the onset of spring training comes a plethora of sites and publications that contain fantasy projections for the upcoming season. Some have been out for weeks now. MLB.com has theirs availabe now, too. The link will take you to the Reds listing, but you can go to that same page and view every teams top projected players as well as the ranking of every player. Not just top 50 or top 100. Every player, #1 through #845. Take a guess (no peeking!) at who occupies those slots.

As far as the top 100, the Reds have a few: Joey Votto (#9, #2 1B), Brandon Phillips (#39, #4 2B), Shin-Soo Choo (#52, #20 OF), Jay Bruce (#53, #21 OF), Mat Latos (#59, #15 SP), Johnny Cueto (#67, #19 SP) and Aroldis Chapman (#96, #6 RP).

Personally, I am not a player (or owner either), but I know many who are. This might just be one other tool you can use.

While some of us have preached exercising patience with one Billy Hamilton, this list has Hamilton ranked as the Reds #16 player and #512 overall.

3. Another look at the 2013 Reds

We simply cannot read enough info and opinion about the Reds, right? I’m sure over the next seven weeks, a blue million outlooks for the Reds upcoming season will surface. Yes, BRM will be among those.

Well, Andy Behrens of Roto Arcade on Yahoo! Sports takes a crack at the Good Guys. What I like about how this is constructed is the Q&A Behrens does. He address Hamilton, Chapman, other Reds prospects and the projected starting lineup and rotation.

And one more thing. As part of teh Q&A, Behrens addresses the potential lingering concerns over Votto’s knee. Love this part of his answer…

So there’s no obvious reason for panic here. In Votto’s absence last season, Todd Frazier stepped up nicely. The 26-year-old hit a blistering .330/.393/.587 in the month of August, delivering 15 extra-base hits. Frazier finished his season with a .273 average and 19 homers in 422 at-bats, positioning himself as the team’s presumptive opening day third baseman for 2013. He offers double-digit power/speed potential at a low-risk price (ADP 205.7).

ToddFather getting some more national love, but calling Mr. Redlegs and Rosie terrifying?.

4. Brandon Webb retires

Former Arizona Diamondbacks ace, Ashland, Kentucky native and UK baseball star Brandon Webb called it a career which ended far too soon. Webb has dealt with a variety of issues surrounding his throwing shoulder, including a pair of surgeries. This winter, Webb had been working with Reds pitching coach Bryan Price. If one pitching coach could help Webb, surely it’s Price. Price was Webb’s pitching coach when Price was with Arizona.

Didn’t work that way. As MLB.com’s Mike Bauman tells us

I remember one morning in Surprise, Ariz., with Webb throwing a batting-practice session. His sinker was moving again, his velocity was increasing, his off-speed stuff was working.

This was Bauman upon observing Webb when he was in the Rangers camp in 2011. Bauman goes on to say that as the workload increased, Webb’s shoulder would not permit such. Same happened this past winter in working with Price.

It’s a shame though, as Webb’s short career was impressive. He was third in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2003. He won the NL Cy Young in ’06 and backed that up with consecutive 2nd place CY finishes in ’07 and ’08. He had five straight seasons of throwing more than 200 innings.

5. Reds Caravan scrapbook

No, we’re not plugging a product here.

If you were unable to attend any of the stops on the Reds Caravan, you’re in luck. The Reds have compiled an online scrapbook for everyone to enjoy.

I know I did.

Tags: Cincinnati Reds

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