2.26.2009

25-Man Roster Prediction

Players in bold are my blanket picks.

Starters
Aaron Harang
Edinson Volquez
Bronson Arroyo
Johnny Cueto
x-Micah Owings

Relievers
Francisco Cordero
Jared Burton
Bill Bray
Mike Lincoln
Arthur Rhodes
David Weathers

Catchers
Ramon Hernandez
x-Ryan Hanigan

Infielders
Joey Votto
Brandon Phillips
Alex Gonzalez
Edwin Encarnacion
Jeff Keppinger
x-Darryl Ward

Outfielders
Jay Bruce
Willy Taveras
Chris Dickerson
Jerry Hairston Jr.
x-Little Norris Hopper
x-Jonny Gomes

Micah Owings gets the nod above all the other 5th starter candidates, including Homer Bailey, for three reasons:
1. He has ample big league experience regardless of how craptastic his line is.
2. He is one of the best hitting pitchers in baseball, a la Zambrano, and will be used as a pinch hitter.
3. He is the only one of the three D-Backs that came over in the Dunn trade who has a legit shot at making the team this year. The Reds want to prove they got something from the deal other than cap space.

Ryan Hanigan, who has zero power, will be our backup catcher simply because there is no one else and because he had a cup of coffee at the end of last year and managed not to embarrass himself. Maybe down the road Ryan can help usher in a newer model of the Three-Headed Suck Monster.

This is where things get a little sticky. Because Jerry Hairston Jr. can platoon in the infield as well as the outfield, he and Jeff Keppinger will be the reserve infielders, both able to play third, short and second. Darryl Ward will take the final infield spot to backup Joey Votto at first and also provide a power bat and veteran pinch hitting option off the bench.

This leaves two reserve outfield spots for about ten players. Little Norris Hopper needs to be one of these players, as a backup to Taveras in center and a sacrificial lamb with speed off the bench. The other needs to have a big bat and must be willing to charge the mound when things get testy. Enter Jonny Gomes.







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