David Kierzek Theresa C Davis Edward F Storer Ralph Rader DP&L to stick with planned closings Preventing tax season identity theft 4-H awards 11 local scholarships Peebles Elementary holds Spirit Week Humane Society to hold Radio Auction Local business partners find historical treasure in old bank building DP&L employees meet with union leadership GE-Peebles Test Operation joins the campaign about Distracted Driving North Adams Elementary recognizes February Students of the Month Senior Profile: Sydney Michael Stars will shine for the 34th annual C-103 All-Star Game NAHS Track/XC host Shamrock Shuffle 5K Associated Press names All-Southeast District Teams Senior Profile: Hannah Howard Nice to finally be a small part of March Madness The tractor has always been special Jimmy Nelson Kathryn Boldman James E Downs Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards

As usual, optimism abounds on 2017 Reds Caravan

Manning the East Tour of the 2017 Reds Caravan and making the stop in Maysville last Thursday were, from left, Jim Kelch, Jeff Brantley, Dick Williams, Chris Oney, Drew Storen, and Eric Davis.

Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –

Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Jim Kelch, right, interviews Reds Hall of Famer Eric Davis during the Reds Caravan stop last week in Maysville.

Though cold weather has finally found its way into our area, for one day last week thoughts turned to warm summer nights at the ballpark, enjoying a game of major league baseball.  The annual Cincinnati Reds Caravan made its way around the Tri-State and one of their stops was a Thursday morning visit to the downtown Conference Center in Maysville.
It was the East Tour of the Caravan that made the Maysville stop and the Reds contingent included: broadcasters Jim Kelch and Jeff Brantley, General Manager and President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams, pitcher Drew Storen, minor league catcher Chris Okey, Reds Hall of Famer Eric Davis; and mascot Rosie Red.
As always, optimism was the them of the morning though again this spring the Reds face many unanswered questions about various facets of their ball club.  The Caravan stop opened with a question and answer period, and one of the topic immediately brought up was the rumored return of pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2014.
“Bronson is one of the most players we’ve had in a long time,” said GM Williams.  “He has interest in trying to pitch again and if he is healthy and can come into camp, I think he would be a real asset to have around our young guys.  We have watched him pitch once and I think if he came back, he would come to our camp first.”
The Reds also recently bolstered their pitching staff with the signing of right hander Scott Feldman, who finished the 2016 season as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.  “We look at Scott as a guy who wants to start for us,” said Williams.  “He wants to start, he’s started in the past, but one of the valuable things about him is that he can start or pitch from the bullpen.  We have depth in pitching, but it is young pitching and we just have to wait and see which guys step up and take roles and Scott gives us some flexibility there.
It’s no secret that in 2016, the Reds bullpen was nothing short of a disaster for most of the season and another recent addition, the right hander Storen, who returns to the National League and was signed to help remedy that issue.
“I am definitely more familiar with the hitters and ballparks in this league,” said Storen.  “I am very excited to be with Cincinnati, growing up in this area and a Reds fan.  It’s kind of cool.”
When it comes to the pitching staff, Brantley is blunt and to the point in his opinion that some of the pitchers in the Reds organization should by this time be tired of pitching in the minor leagues.
“I think that the Reds have put together a tremendous amount of young arms,” said the Reds broadcaster.  “Sooner or later all of the talent, all of the development, all of the things that the Reds are putting forward to these young pitchers-there’s only so much the Reds can do.  They can only teach so much but sooner or later these guys who had an opportunity last year have to decide how badly they want to pitch in the major leagues.  The Reds want guys in the majors who want to be great.”
“We went into the offseason and we did have in mind the maturing of the pitching,” added Williams.  “We knew there were good guys out there but it takes a little time for the market to settle so we just bided our time.  We really wanted to find the right fit, the right people, the right deals, and the right guys to bring in.  We worked on a lot of deals but not everything came to fruition.  We were under the radar but now we are making some noise and we still have some things to do before we go to spring training.”
Another frequently bantered topic this offseason has been the status of second baseman Brandon Phillips and the Reds’ stockpile of talented middle infielders.
“We have guys who can play second and we have guys who can play short with Cozart, Brandon, Jose Peraza, and Dilson Herrera” said Williams.  “It will be a good problem to have if we have four guys healthy and playing well.  If that’s the problem, then we will have to allocate playing time and maybe some of the young guys will have to spend some time in AAA.  Middle infield is pretty important to your defense and if I am going to have too much depth somewhere, it might as well be there.”
Williams was asked point blank about what Reds fans could expect realistically in 2017.
“Winning baseball, improvement from last year, an exciting young group of players who will be hungry, and if we stay healthy we will have a lot better showing this year and we will surprise some people. I think we are going to start to make some noise in a very tough division, but I think we are on the upswing.”

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