One of the most rewarding aspects of spring training is reconnecting with former students of mine. Jennifer (Clark) and Aaron De Ross came in this year with their adorable children. They were able to take in a game and then we got to dinner afterward. Scott Hormann a 1986 grad and member of our 1985 state championship team now coaches Heritage High School in Littleton, Colorado. They were on their spring trip to Arizona and I was able to see them before their game with Desert Edge H.S. in Goodyear. I was able to connect with 6 other former students this year. How AWESOME is that. Very interesting how baseball keeps people together.Only 2 games left for spring training and the last one hardly counts as it will be mostly rookies who are staying in Arizona. Opening game is on Monday and the Reds have not yet announced their roster. The starting pitching is in total chaos. Injuries have caused an unusual amount of speculation. Reds manager Bryan Price finally announced that Raisel Iglesias will pitch the opener vs Philadelphia. The longest Iglesias has gone in a game this spring is two innings. Rookie Brandon Finnegan figures to start the opening night game on Wednesday. He has a 10.05 era and has given up 17 runs in just 14 innings. After that no one seems to know who will pitch except for Alfredo Simon, he just joined the team last week.
When coupled with a bullpen that is still in disarray, the opening month of the season could be DOGGONE sad for the good guys. Facing them is a schedule with the Cubs, Pirates, Cardinals and Mets in the first thirty days.On the brighter side is a starting eight that has really had an outstanding spring Joey Votto leads the Reds as almost all of their players are hitting over .300. Only Billy Hamilton is subpar at this point.The most impressive new player is Adam Duvall. We got Adam in the Mike Leake trade. Duvall is hitting .328 with 4 home runs and a whopping 17 rbi's. Of course, spring training stats are notorious for being misleading. Its entirely possible that the starting pitching will be great and the hitters terrible when the season starts next week. Yes- the sun is setting on the 2016 spring training in Arizona. YIB-G😎