1. No more Junior!
-Finally, finally, finally. The Ken Griffey Jr. era was an complete disaster for the Reds on many fronts and the team and the organization needed to move on from the injury prone superstar. 2009 will be the Reds first full season without Junior around, so look for the young guys to take charge.
2. Johnny Cueto
-At times in 2008, Cueto looked like the second coming of Pedro Martinez. However, he was still just a rookie and often times, pitched like one. His 4.81 ERA in 2008 is not indicative of the amazing stuff Cueto has and the limitless potential he has yet to reach. Reds fans should be very excited to see what kind of progress Cueto makes in 2009 because the Reds future could be very bright with Volquez and Cueto at their best.
3. The ascent of Jay Bruce
-This guy is the real deal. Not only does he have every baseball tool possible, but Bruce has a picture perfect swing that will make him one of the most feared hitters in baseball. Bruce is still young and somewhat raw, but once he masters pitch selection, watch out.
4. Is Wily Taveras the new Corey Patterson?
-This will be a big question for Reds fans. Manager Dusty Baker infamously stuck with Patterson in the leadoff spot far too often last season even though he was terrible and could not get on base. The solution? Sign Taveras, who is your classic no power, no OBP, tons of speed leadoff hitter. If he gets on first base, he's dangerous. But the problem is this: how often will Taveras get on base?
Taveras has produced before in his career, but he will need to produce a OBP of at least .330 for the Reds offense to roll this season. Then again, no matter what his OBP is, Baker will more than likely stick with him. Dusty makes me crazy!
5. Chicken Dance! (huh?)
-Need I say more....what a classic video. The mascot with the huge mustache is an absolute legend...why can't Mr. Met have a mustache?
Coming tomorrow: St. Louis Cardinals