Junior Fair BBQ again a big success Beulah B James Senior Profile: Josie Myers Lady Indians place second at Ohio Classic in Hillsboro MVCA dominates Greyhounds in 45-0 triumph For Lady Devils, SHAC streak goes to 55 matches 9/11: Sixteen years later Gertrude Gibson Defender Bowl coming Sept. 16 Joyce A Walker Virginia R Young Senior Profile: Abby Campton West Union hosts 2017 Dragon Run New gridiron history begins for Peebles Trout, fire, and blueberry fields forever Senior Profile: Baylee Justice Lady Devils win SHAC thriller at Eastern Brown From Blue Creek to the Beaneaters Tough loss for Greyhounds in season opener Turning tragedy into hope What we learn from failure Absolutely had to get the wrinkles out Frances S Kidder Leo Trotter 41st Bentonville Festival set to begin Sept. 8 Winchester celebrates its history during three-day street fair Cruisefest returning to streets of Peebles Blue Creek- a community in transition honors its history and heritage Cuteness Galore – Winchester Homecoming Festival Baby Show Ronnie L Day Cast your vote for the Adams County Fairgrounds Nelson E Atkinson Ryan L Colvin Richard Tackett William L Tadlock Penny Pollard Wendell Beasley West Union soccer drops pair at Mason County Lady Indians go down in straight sets Senior Profile: Michael Gill Senior Profile: Katie Sandlin Royals dominate in big win over North Adams Dragons continue County Cup domination Archaeology Day returns to Serpent Mound Hourglass Quilt Square is back up again Manchester family hosts International Guests History, farming, and family- the bedrock of Cherry Fork’s community Bus drivers, emergency responders prepare for coming school year Working up a real good sweat What’s behind the motive? Rondal R Bailey Jr Thelma J Yates She’s all grown up now Scott A Yeager Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins Volleyball, soccer previews coming this weekend Michael A Cheek

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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