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Baseball season is here

April 11, 2013 - Andy Heintz
Even though the weather has rarely shown it to be true, it is spring and the start of the Major League Baseball season.

There has been plenty to talk about early on: Chris Davis' bat, the Red Sox resurgence and key injuries to some key pitchers on contending teams.

There also is plenty of panic button pressing and fans already predicting that their team will end up winning the World Series.

It is way too early to tell anything yet.

The Braves are 8-1 but playing the Cubs and Marlins in back-to-back series will lend itself to plenty of wins. The Blue Jays and Angels are both off to slow starts. And the Diamondbacks look like a contender in the National League West.

No one can predict if all of these trends will continue but fans of these teams are either really high or really low. We as fans can't help it.

My Cincinnati Reds took two of three from two playoff contenders at home and then lost two of three to their biggest division threat in St. Louis. The Cardinals whipped Cincinnati in St. Louis last year and the Reds still went on to win the division. The Reds are currently 5-4 but started 10-11 last year before, again, winning the division title.

Nothing is won in April. You can lose the season in April but you won't win.

That is why fans of the Blue Jays and Angels need not worry just yet. Things can turn around. The Braves are good. But let's see how they do against real ML competition. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

In a 162-game season, the contenders truly rise to the top and the pretenders fall back down the ladder.

Where will your team finish? Stay tuned. It's a long season.

Cincinnati Reds outlook

The Reds looked real strong in the first two series at home and then the offense vanished in St. Louis. Don't panic. It's early.

But Dusty Baker could re-work this lineup for the better.

Why on Earth does Chris Heisey have to bat in the No. 2 hole? And why is Todd Frazier buried in the sixth spot? If I was manager, this is what my everyday lineup card would look like:

1. Shin Soo Choo 2. Brandon Phillips 3. Joey Votto 4. Todd Frazier 5. Jay Bruce 6. Ryan Hanigan 7. Chris Heisey 8. Zack Cozart 9. Pitcher

Phillips is a natural No. 2 hitter and Frazier is too hot right now to not put him in the best possible RBI slot. I know when Ryan Ludwick comes back, that will change things in the eyes of Baker. But I still think you can keep everything the same in that scenario except putting Ludwick in Heisey's exact spot. I would then go Ludwick at 6 and Hanigan at 7.

Losing Sean Marshall stinks. He is one of our Big 3 in the bullpen that gets the Reds through the 7-8-9 innings without any issues.

When will the Reds pull the triggers on minor league studs Billy Hamilton or Tony Cingrani. They could use Hamilton's speed on the bases and help in CF. And Cingrani has thrown two straight gems on the mound. Cingrani wouldn't start for the big club but he may be a better bullpen option than a handful of guys in there now.


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