* Johnny Bench could probably out hit the Reds bench by himself. Here is where we are as of opening day:
C Ryan Hanigan
IF Paul Janish
UTL Jerry Hairston, Jr.
OF Darnell McDonald
OF Laynce Nix
Hanigan seems like a decent back-up catcher, although he's inexperienced and doesn't have much pop. Janish is good with the glove at three positions, so I can see keeping him, especially until we know A-Gon is healthy. But what do the other guys add? Hairston and McDonald started opening day (apparently, Hairston is in the right-handed platoon role that Gomesy should have had) and provided neither pop, speed, nor good defense. I have to believe the only reason the Reds kept Hairston was because they signed him to a free agent contract. Taveras is apparently going to play every day, so why do we need McDonald? I don't get it.
Proof I'm right: the first pinch hitter of the season was none other than fifth starter Micah Owings. I agree that Owings should have pinch hit, as he was our best bet for a home run at that point. But he should not be our best bet for a home run off the bench. There has been a lot of talk about the Reds inability to score (after one game). This bench will not help.
* Counting four spring training games and opening day, we've seen the Reds starters give up a grand total of two runs, both solo home runs. That's very encouraging.
Mike Mussina, Hall of Famer
3 weeks ago