It’s 2012 now and with the turning of the calendar page we Cincinnati fans also get to ring out the disappointment of last year and ring in the promise of a couple big splashes in the hot stove arena this year.
Mat “Matos” Latos certainly upgrades the starting rotation, and again we find ourselves in the enviable position of too many adequate starters for just five spots. We were in this enviable position last year, too, though, and this time around we’re wiser about the possible effects of injuries and age, and we won’t be so surprised when all of the candidates plus more find their way onto the mound before too long.
It’s the infield that worries me. Scott “Brings New Meaning to ‘Intangibles'” Rolen is slated to come back to the hot corner, which I’m super happy about, but it’s kinda hard to imagine he’s going to be durable for the whole season. Between him and Zach Cozart, Paul “My Bat’s Not that Bad, for Crying Out Loud” Janish is going to have a big backing-up job ahead of him. Fortunately, it shouldn’t be too expensive for the team to fortify the left side if they are, indeed, making a run for it this year.
And, to my mind, this is a heckuva year to make a run for it. The Cards are still regrouping after losing Pujols and LaRussa, Epstein hasn’t had a chance to undo all the damage in Chicago, and the Brewers won’t have Ryan Braun till almost June. Next season the dynamic changes, and being the last champion of the six-team NLC wouldn’t be too shabby a new year’s resolution.