Reds hype now going national. Brand spankin' new article from Peter Gammons (subscription required) on the Reds' young talent:
Youth gives Reds hope in '08Think about where the Reds were two years ago in terms of pitching, and now they have Aaron Harang and his 32 wins and 434 strikeouts the last two years, as well as Bronson Arroyo. But one of the best storylines in western Florida has been the springs of Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez.
"We're at the point where we could have two of the better young power arms in baseball in Cueto and Volquez," says Dusty Baker. "Cueto is special -- three or four pitches, a real presence, great stuff. Volquez [acquired for Josh Hamilton] is really good, too. And in his last couple of outings, Homer Bailey has started throwing a lot better. By going out and getting [Francisco] Cordero, we've got the makings of a pretty good staff. With our offense, we can be dangerous."
Cincinnati has been the consensus sleeper in the NL Central behind favorites Chicago and Milwaukee. The Cubs are still trying to address center field and Brian Roberts issues. After losing Chris Capuano to Tommy John surgery, the Brewers' depth isn't what it appeared to be, and scouts say Eric Gagne has yet to throw as well as he did last season.
"At least now we have some depth in our rotation," says Reds GM Wayne Krivsky.
Baker has already struggled managing Patterson and his career .298 on-base percentage, but wants his defense between Junior Griffey and Adam Dunn. But Dusty sees Patterson maturing as a player."Corey seems to be better taking some pitches, trying to get on base, and he's starting to bunt and go the other way," says Baker. Hot prospect Jay Bruce isn't coming through that door for awhile, so maybe they got Patterson at the right time.
Krivsky was hired as GM right before spring training two years ago, but has done an outstanding, underappreciated job with scouting and development. If Cueto, Volquez and even Bailey -- who had fallen in the eyes of many baseball people -- all come on this season, the Reds will be in the best position they've enjoyed in years.