Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
I kind of had a feeling this was coming. Bubba did not get any playing time in today's game, even though he was reportedly healthy enough to play. Tyrell Godwin got playing time, but not Bubba. I think they were just waiting to see if Griffey was going to be ready to play opening day.
I am far from an expert on the Byzantine rules of the business side of baseball, but I think, since Bubba has been outrighted once before (by the Yankees, last August), he cannot be sent to the minors again unless he agrees to it. He has 72 hours to decide. (He has already passed through waivers - not really a surprise at this point in the year.)
Bubba had a pretty good spring training (except for that injury). I think he did a decent job of showing what he can bring to a team - great defense, smart baserunning and speed on the basepaths, a nice mix of contact and power. This decision was based on factors he couldn't control. Namely, Josh Hamilton. As a Rule 5 pick with tremendous upside (not to mention a personal connection to Narron), he would probably have made the roster even if he was terrible. But he wasn't terrible - far from it. And the fact that he's also a lefty, like Bubba, pretty much sealed the deal. Narron said ten days ago that they weren't going to be carrying four lefty outfielders.
I'm not sure they'll be carrying an extra righty outfielder, either. My money is on catcher Chad Moeller getting the 25th roster spot, which means Hopper and Deno start the season in Louisville. But they have options, so the decision can wait. Bubba did say that he hoped if the Reds cut him, they would do it early, and I guess they've done that, to the best of their ability.
I don't know if Bubba will accept a minor league assignment or not. If he does go to Louisville, he probably has a good chance of being called up. The Reds outfield is rather injury-prone.
Bubba said he got a lot of offers during the off-season, but none were guaranteed contracts. He picked the Reds because they seemed the best fit. He signed in early November - before the Rule 5 draft. I wonder what other teams made him offers? He might have chosen differently if he'd known about Hamilton.
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