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Reds Team Report 4-1-10

INSIDE PITCH, Yahoo Sports

Reds Team Report 4-1-10

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Reds were one of the popular picks as a sleeper team among baseball experts. The team created a little buzz with what Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman(notes) did in camp.

Manager Dusty Baker began hearing good things about his club early in camp, and it continued.

“Every day, I hear,” Baker said.

Is that gratifying?

“Not yet,” Baker said. “It’ll be gratifying when you do it and (the players) believe it. They see our (25-man roster). That’s what you’ve got to look at.”

Opposing big-league teams won’t get to see Chapman right away, as the 22-year-old will open the season in the minors, general manager Walt Jocketty announced March 30.

The Reds have an infield with three Gold Glovers—second baseman Brandon Phillips(notes), shortstop Orlando Cabrera(notes) and third baseman Scott Rolen(notes). The outfield is young with a lot of speed in center (Drew Stubbs(notes) or Chris Dickerson(notes)) and right (Jay Bruce(notes)).

The good defense should help a team that is built around pitching. Veteran starters Aaron Harang(notes) and Bronson Arroyo(notes) are nice compliment to youngster Homer Bailey(notes) and Johnny Cueto(notes).

The bullpen, anchored by closer Francisco Cordero(notes), was third in the NL last year in ERA. Everyone is back.

The offense is the question. First baseman Joey Votto(notes) was third in the National League in on-base-plus-slugging percentage last year. Phillips drove in 98 runs.

The hope is having Rolen all year will help Votto and Phillips.

Late signee Jonny Gomes(notes) won the left field spot by leading the team in home runs during the spring through March 26.

But the Reds are going to need Bruce, Stubbs and Dickerson to come through as well.

(Complete Story)

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