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A-Rey of Hope

February 25, 2008


today, I’d like to discuss the polarizing figure that is Anthony Reyes. iron bill has caused some fierce debates over at VEB and probably on other cardinal blogs and forums for the last couple of seasons.

when Reyes is mentioned, Dave Duncan and tony are usually automatically mentioned also; then the argument starts about how either tlr and dunc are right and that Anthony needs to throw the 2 seamer(sinker) if he ever going to be a successful major league pitcher. then, one would hear the other side of the story; how tlr and dunc have ruined reyes so far and destroyed his confidence by making him throw the sinker instead of the high riding 4 seamer and how he does not have the delivery mechanics to throw it down low for groundballs like dunc wants him too.

hopefully that talk has subsided because I think that ladunc have finally realized that the sinker mentality is not reyes’ thing. he is a slurve, changeup and fastball guy. the main problem with him was his really high pitch counts, no control of his fastball and no confidence in his sinker. the only pich that seemed to have been working most of the time was the changeup; which is supposed to be very good.

let me make this clear: I think that this spring is reyes’ last opportunity to crack this rotation. first of all, clement is down, so he Welllemeyer and Thompson will be competing for two rotation spots and not one (assuming that Mo will not sign some old guy to fill the spot). two, the organization is tired of this charade every spring training; is he going to live up to the hype or not?

the guy dominates AAA hitters whenever they send him down, there is nothing left for him to learn in the lower levels. also, he has to make the team as a starter or not at all because tony said that he does not see Anthony as a reliever. basically, this is his best shot to make the rotation and possibly his last.

so far, all is well. he worked out hard with skip and jimmy baseball this off season, got laser eye surgery to improve his vision and is having fun pitching again. he looked good the first time around in his first throwing session. he threw strikes and now he has control of all of his pitches and has the velocity on his fastball back(without losing command).

very encouraging signs I think. he recently had his 2nd throwing session in which he threw to live hitters. it was very successful. derrick goold thinks so too. its very early, but this is very good news. a Reyes that can live up even to part of the hype will be very good for this rotation; instead of laboring through 5 innings each start and barely making it out of the 1st or 2nd inning, maybe now he can go 6 or 7 innings with 3 or less runs scored on him. that would count as a quality start and that’s all anyone has asked of iron bill.

an improved and rejuvenated Reyes will help this ball club immensely; they really need as much help as they can get too.

“I feel like my old self again,” Reyes said, a mantra he has repeated with subtle variations throughout this spring. “I’m doing things I used to be comfortable doing.” Dave Duncan said, “I’m rooting for Anthony Reyes.”

those are some of the quotes that I got from Goold’s post on his blog, Bird Land. great site, check it out daily for the latest spring training news.

by the way, Reyes is going to make the first start of the spring on thursday, against the New York Mets. I wish Anthony the best of luck and really do hope he makes the rotation; I’ve been a fan of his from the beginning and I really would like to see him succeed in the big leagues.

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