Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Daily Dish February 21st, 2002

The National League Central has some other interesting players facing rebound years and youngsters trying to prove that last year was no fluke.Ken Griffey, Junior has arrived in camp and as I have seen him do so often wants to talk about everything except what to expect from him or the Reds this season. After hitting so well with a torn hamstring the last two months of the year, The Reds have to be excited that he is ready to go this spring. If I was manager Bob Boone, I would give him one at bat per day and tell him I’d see him on opening day. Junior has nothing to prove in Florida and is the key to a dynamic young outfield for the Redlegs.

Austin Kearns is healthy again and should make the team along with power hitter Adam Dunn (he crushed the ball from July on in Cincy). Both outfielders played in the Reds minors together and the scary thing is that Kearns was considered the more pwerful of the two.

Barry Larkin is hoping he is healthy also. I’d give him most of March off. Neither Griffey nor Larkin need prep time and will be ready to go on opening day without much spring training if they are sound.

The Reds need pitching. Suffice it to say if Jimmy Haynes is in the mix, the bullpen better get ready.

Houston has built a solid pen, the prerequisite to success in baseball today. Billy Wagner is a solid closer. Octavio Dotel and Nelson Cruz throw rockets in eighth inning set up rolls. The problem will be finding a reliable lefty among C.J. Nitkowski or Chuck McELroy. I see trouble there.

The starters remind me of the A’s. Roy Oswalt is similar to Tim Hudson. Wade Miller, Shane Reynolds, and Dave Mlicki (he won the division for the Astros on the last day against the Cards) are solid pitchers who get the ball to the pen.

Young starter,Tim Redding gave up three homers to Sammy Sosa in one game last September and thought he could get the ball past Sammy each time the slugger came up. Get some humility, Tim, this league is tough. Lefty Carlos Hernandez is coming back from a slight rotator cuff injury. These two guys can make the difference if they are ready to pitch in the NL.

If Jimy williams uses the Astros pen like he did the Red Sox, they will be overworked by July. TJ Mathews, Hipolito Pichardo, and rehabbing Doug Brocail can be in the mix sometime during the year.

I wondered why former Red Pete Harnisch signed with Colorado then I read he was 5-1 lifetime in Coors with a 4.01 ERA. I wish him well. He is one tough pitcher.

The Pirates have Pokey Reese in the infield. They also picked up three decent pitchers from the White Sox for Todd Ritchie. Sean Lowe, Kip Wells and Josh Fogg, all could be part of the staff this season and could do very well.

I still think if A’s bench coach Ken Macha had gotten the managers job last December 2000, this team would be closer to .500. Macha knows the game cold and is very organized, two qualities that a manager needs.


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