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Position Battles!

This years' position battles will be raging and I am going to give some insight as to what the reds opening day roster will look like.

Catcher (2)

Starter- Ramon Hernandez - Ramon is a quiet leader of this team, He may not be the player he once was but he is good to get you 15-20 long balls and around 60 RBIs, I don't See much competition for the job so you can safely say it is his to lose

Backup- Ryan Hanigan - Ryan put up solid numbers last season, but I cannot see him taking the reigns from Ramon this season, he could possibly be used for trade bait at some point this year although he is getting older and he may have hit his plateau as a player last season, but he is a solid backup.

1st Base (1)

Starter - Joey Votto - Joey Votto Has enough talent to be the MVP of the league, a freak circumstance last season derailed any hopes of an MVP run, but this year Joey is back and he should easily hit .330, 25 Home Runs and 100 RBIs. You should nor underestimate his defensive prowess as well. He was sneaky good last season and he his faster than most expect from a first baseman

2nd Base (1)

Starter - Brandon Phillips - B-Phil will not have any competition for the job and there are only a handful of players in the league who share the same position are better than Brandon. He is dynamic on both sides of the ball, and he will continue his run as gold glove caliber at second. There has been some possible rumors as to Phillips being traded at some point this season, possibly to Atlanta for Jair Jurrjens was a recent rumor, but I cannot see anything transpiring.

Shortstop (2)

Starter - Chris Valaika - This is my upset special for a starting position on this team. I know Chris had an off year in the minors last season, a wrist injury was partially to blame, but this is a different year and this kid is amped to play in the big leagues. The reds may try to enhance this position in he off season now that Rolen Has decided to take a pay cut and allow Uncle Walt a little money to work with. I could possibly see the Reds going for Orlando Cabrera. If that does not happen, Valaika will win the job out of spring training.

Backup - Paul Janish - Paul is brilliant defensively, but he does not have a bat whatsoever. Plus, the guy is much better off the bench than starting. This is also to say if he makes the team out of spring training. Cincinnati may instead keep Adam Rosales or Juan Francisco instead so Mr. Janish may be bye-bye come April

3rd Base (1)

Starter - Scott Rolen - Scott is one of the most genuine leaders in the Majors, and probably the most outstanding defensive third baseman in the league. His hitting has dipped a bit in recent seasons but he will still get you an above average at-bat, and he is a major improvement over Edwin Encarnacion. There will not be competition at the position, but you could see Rosales or Francisco playing some throughout the season

Outfield (5)

Starters - Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs , Wladimir Balentien - Jay is the only lock to a starting position this coming season. Drew has the center field job as of today, but it is his to lose, the the left field position should have the best competition between, Balentien, Nix, Dickerson, Heisey, Frazier, and Gomes if he re-signs. I have to give the job to Balentien at the moment due to potential.

Bench - Wily Taveras, Chris Dickerson - Wily will battle Stubbs for the center field job, and if he does not produce this spring it could spell the end of his tenure in Cincinnati and possibly the Big Show. Walt would be willing to cut his losses with him. As for Chris Dickerson, he should easily be the backup corner outfielder and he could vie for a starting position. Injuries have been the downfall for his budding career but he is a speed demon and he does make some pretty spectacular catches in the outfield.

Starting Pitchers (5)

Bronson Arroyo, Aaron Harang, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Travis Wood

The First Four names are shoe-ins for the job, now the fifth starter will have a big challenge for a number of guys including Wood, Justin Lehr, Matt Maloney, and Micah Owings. I think Travis wood is Rookie of the Year caliber and will show that this spring. Lehr just does not have the stuff to start every fifth day, and Maloney needs some more mentoring in the minors. Micah is also a spot starter who probably will make a living as more of a pinch hitter than pitcher. Micah will make the team though, but Travis will win the job out of spring training, mark my words. Unless they go sign someone this off season. There has been a few rumors circulating as to The front office giving Kelvim Escobar a chance and possibly even a deal for Rich Hill.

Relievers - (7)

Micah Owings, Nick Massett, Jared Burton, Francisco Cordero, Arthur Rhodes, Carlos Fisher, Danny Ray Herrera

I think they will carry an extra man in the bullpen this season, Micah Owings. The only guy who should face a task of landing a job would be Fisher. There are two to three guys to challenge him with Logan Ondrusek, Justin Lehr, and possibly Sam LeCure. Carlos is a flamethrower though and I do see him as possibly Cocos' replacement in the next few years.

Utility Man (1)

This Should be Ryan Freel, not. I think this job goes to Drew Sutton. He is extremely flexible and he did come on at the end of the year last year and could very well have a Freel like effect on this team. Time will tell.

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