Jun 7, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Mesoraco argues after being called out on a tipped ball during the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park. The Pirates defeated the Reds 5-4 in ten innings. (Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports)

Reds 5 at 5: Some 'Mosts'

Going a little bit back to the other “style” for today’s 5 at 5. Here’s a handful of Reds with the “most” for the 2013 season.

1. Most likely to breakout: Zack Cozart

While I stated yesterday there is an unknown attached to Cozart for 2013, I do believe if one Reds player is on the verge of having that breakout season, it is Cozart. If some of the lineup projections we have seen bear truth and Cozart is in the 7th spot, I think we are in store a good offensive season from him.

Cozart won’t have the pressure of batting in the top of the order and he should feel less pressure. That could loosen him up at the plate.

Feb 16, 2013; Goodyear, AZ, USA; LeCure poses for a photo during photo day at the Reds Spring Training Facility. (Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

2. Most overlooked: Sam LeCure

As John Fay put it the other day

If the Reds go with 12 pitchers, that leaves three spots. One will almost certainly go to Sam LeCure.

If you want to nitpick LeCure’s 2012 numbers, it would be the increase in walk rate (3.6 BB/9). Other than that, you would be hard pressed to find any other area where he didn’t improve. In 2012 Dusty used him in more high leveraged situations. Last season, LeCure arguably improved more than any other pitcher on the Reds staff when compared to 2011.

His performance in Game 1 of last year’s NLDS opened a few more eyes and rightfully so.

And in case you are wondering, yes, I am a LeCure fan so there may be a little bias here.

3. Most invaluable: Brandon Phillips

Notice: invaluable. Didn’t say most valuable. Could add most popular, too. But that isn’t the reason I feel BP is the most invaluable player on the Reds roster.

Bring up his age, the supposed regression, the GIDP’s all you want, but BP is the Reds motor. From some odd reason, I have always felt that this team feeds off his energy. Doesn’t matter if he has an 0-fer. Must be that magnetic personality, but it’s something that I cannot explain.

Lineup flexibility only adds to this. No Votto put BP third. No clear cleanup hitter, it was BP. Despite struggles at the beginning of last season, he started the season at the top of the lineup. He will help this team any way he can.

4. Most to prove: Devin Mesoraco

Sometimes we’re all guilty of expecting a player to at least match his numbers from the minors. Mes might be proof of that. After having a stellar 2011 in Louisville, Mesoraco made the team coming out of Goodyear…and a majority of us expected 2011 to kick in. It never did happen and Mes was even left off the postseason roster in favor of Dioner Navarro.

With the signing of Miguel Olivo (a minor league deal), it appears Mes may have to fend off a challenge yet again. Not only that, he has Ryan Hanigan ahead of him on the depth chart.

5. Most likely “odd man out”: J.J. Hoover

Again, the bullpen spots. Fay states there is most likely only one spot up for grabs in the bullpen, and Hoover and Logan Ondrusek in the battle for that final spot. Ondrusek now owns a multi-year deal and those tend to carry a little more clout.

Should Hoover not make the 25-man, he will go to Louisville and dominate as their closer like he did last season (30 G, 37 IP, 4-0, 1.22 ERA, 0.730 WHIP, 13 SV, 12 BB, 50 SO). And Hoover only allowed 1 HR in those 37 innings.

And Hoover’s MLB numbers from last year? Almost as impressive: 1-0, 2.05 ERA, 0.978 WHIP, 17 H, 2 HR, 13 BB, 31 SO in 30.2 IP.

Tags: Cincinnati Reds Spring Training

  • metalhead65

    so because hoover is not left handed he does not make the team? and the useless lefthander they signed in parra does? makes sense only to the reds.yeah all hoover does is strike guys out but they don’t have room for someone like that on the team. spare me the saber stats to prove your point I go by results and he got the job done last year.

    • http://blogredmachine.com/ Steve O’Red

      So walks, strikeouts, saves, innings pitched, wins, ERA are now “saber stats”? Those are all listed on the back of baseball cards. The only stat I listed that could be construed as a “saber stat” is WHIP.

      • metalhead65

        if you look on the back of their cards I would say Hoover deserves to make the team over Parra. again it makes no sense to me to keep a guy because he is left handed if he sucks.

        • http://blogredmachine.com/ Steve O’Red

          Because Fay says he thinks it’s down to those two doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee. But I do lean that direction myself. Most teams opt for that second lefty ‘pen arm (Dusty has said he would prefer three!) so they have options. Nature of the beast, I suppose.

          That said, I agree with you that Hoover should make this team. He’s done everything possible to deserve it. That’s why I was shocked Ondrusek got a multi-year deal. I felt Hoover outperformed him last year.

          And despite what his career numbers say, Parra was very effective when facing lefties last year. Yes, it was just last year.

          I think the Reds were looking for a cheap option and Hoover might now be the one to pay for that. It sucks, too.

  • http://twitter.com/JordanBarhorst Jordan Barhorst

    I’m a big fan of Ondrusek. Remember that hot streak he had going last year? I’m also a big fan of Hoover, but Ondrusek is my guy. I do believe Hoover will play a huge role in the future, but for now, it’s looking like Ondrusek will make the 25 man.

    If we didn’t need two catchers on the roster, I would say send Mes down to AAA to get his game perfected a bit and call him up a couple of weeks/months into the season. That would give the bullpen situation the opportunity to “work itself out”. I really wanted to like Mesoraco last season, but just couldn’t. My hopes were especially high for him, after hearing countless broadcasters and analysts call him a “future all-star”. Guess that’ll teach you to listen to us media folk ;)