Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Reds ink Dominican pitcher to minor league contract

According to the team's official transactions page, the Reds have signed right-handed pitcher Elvin Ramirez to a minor league contract.

Ramirez, 26, struggled in 49 outings split between the Double-A and Triple-A affiliate of the Angels last season. He posted an ERA of 5.46 and an unsightly WHIP of 1.721 in 61 innings pitched.

The Dominican native fared much better in 2012, though, where he notched a 2.13 ERA in 55 innings of work spread over 41 appearances in the high minors.

Ramirez was originally signed by the Mets as an amateur free agent in 2004.

Via MLBTR (Photo Source: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports)

Video: Watch Reds prospect Donald Lutz hit for the cycle

Prospect Donald Lutz could not be stopped Monday night .

Seen in the video above is the German-born slugger ripping a triple against Double-A Jacksonville to record the third cycle of his career. After lining out in his first at-bat, Lutz doubled in the second inning and then again in the fourth. In the eighth, Lutz led off the inning with a solo home run over the right field wall. And then he would cap off the cycle by tripling later on in the frame.

All in all, Lutz finished 5-for-6 with four runs scored and two RBI en route to the Blue Wahoos whipping Jacksonville by a tally of 17-1.

The cycle marked the first in Pensacola's short franchise history. Lutz previously achieved the feat with the Rookie-level GCL Reds in 2008 and Single-A Dayton in 2011.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Reds move up five spots in latest batch of MLB power rankings

Based on the strength of winning five of their last seven games, the Reds moved up five spots in the latest batch of MLB Power Rankings presented by ESPN. They currently rank a modest 19th.

Cincinnati turned around its fortunes by winning both series it played this past week. This coming after the club dropped each of its first four series to open the season.

In case you are wondering, the red-hot Brewers claimed the top overall spot in the rankings, thanks in large part to going 13-3 in their last 16 contests. The Cardinals are nipping on Milwaukee's heels by ranking second in the dubious poll.

Despite sporting a worst record (8-11) and losing the series to the Reds last week, Pittsburgh somehow managed to rank six spots ahead of Bryan Price's team at 13th. Meanwhile, the only team keeping the lowly Cubs from dead last was the woeful Astros.

This week's voters were Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine, David Schoenfield of the SweetSpot Blog Network/ESPN.com and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Video: Watch Billy Hamilton beat out routine grounder to first base for a single

Most major league hitters who ground a ball to the first basemen are easy outs. However, most major league hitters are not Billy Hamilton.

Watch as the fleet-footed youngster legs out a relatively routine groundball to Cubs first basemen Anthony Rizzo in the third inning of Sunday's game at Wrigley Field.

Hamilton would use his speed shortly thereafter to record his seventh stolen base of 2014 as well. To say the 23-year-old is fast would be a huge understatement.

Still not convinced? How about this video of him scoring from third on a pop fly to second?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sean Marshall activated from disabled list

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Cincinnati's bullpen received another boost on Saturday when the club announced the activation of southpaw Sean Marshall from the disabled list.

The 31-year-old was previously out of service due to a strained left shoulder.

In 2013, injuries limited Marshall to just 16 appearances out of the 'pen, where he compiled a 1.98 ERA in 10.1 innings pitched. In 2012, Marshall stayed healthy and proved to be one of the most productive and reliable relievers in the league, tallying 73 appearances and a 2.51 ERA.

Curtis Partch, 27, was optioned to Triple-A Louisville in order to make room on the 25-man roster. The right-hander appeared in three games for the Reds this spring and did not yield a run.

Photo: @LouisvilleBats

Keith Olbermann calls Brandon Phillips 'world's worst person in sports'

Don't expect Keith Olbermann and Brandon Phillips to exchange Christmas cards this holiday season. Not after Olbermann ripped the Gold Glove second basemen on national television Friday night.

In case you missed it, Phillips was forced to leave Friday's game early due to back spasms and some may be led to believe that the injury was sparked by BP's playful and yet acrobatic photobomb beforehand.

Beginning around the 2:33 mark, Olbermann proceeds to lay into Phillips for wasting his energy on barehand flips and between the legs throws. Basically, he implies that Phillips does it all for show and most of it is completely unnecessary. Olbermann also alleges that Phillips' back ailment can be blamed on his aforementioned pre-game photobomb.

The whole segment seems entirely unfair and predictably flippant by Olbermann. Olbermann is a smart man, who has years of sports commentary experience, but this particular take on Phillips is not likely to win him any fans in the Cincinnati area.

Via ESPN 1530

Friday, April 18, 2014

Photo: Brandon Phillips acrobatically photobombs Cubs fans, leaves game early due to back spasms

View image on Twitter

Brandon Phillips is a man of the people. This much is true.

Before Friday's game in Chicago, Phillips was doing what he typically does, which is interacting with fans. At one point, Cubs fan and Team USA goalie Molly Schaus wanted to snap a photo with her buddies to remember the moment. As you can see, Phillips wanted to be included in the shot too, so he acrobatically leaped his way into the background of the photo. BP's photobombing game is strong, eh?

On a related note, Phillips exited Friday's game after the third inning due to back spasms. It's being reported that the injury was sustained during a swing he took in his first at-bat. But could this pre-game shenanigan be partly to blame?

Via Bleacher Report

Reasons why Reds should thrive in Chicago

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After playing 12 of their first 15 games against teams who made the postseason last year, the Reds get a reprieve this weekend when they play the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Here are several reasons why this weekend's series in the Windy City figures to be a successful one for Bryan Price's club.

+ The Reds have won 17 of 20 meetings at Wrigley Field since the beginning of the 2012 season. This includes winning 15 of the last 16 at the "Friendly Confines."

+ The combination of Joey Votto, Todd Frazier, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and Zack Cozart have combined to bash 10 home runs, 27 doubles, and 60 RBI in Cincy's last 20 games at Wrigley.

+ In 2013, the Reds went 14-5 overall versus Chicago in their 19 meetings.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

MLB Week 3 – What, Me Worry?

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

When I was a kid, I hated it when the Reds had an off day, now that I’m an old geezer, I think I enjoy a day off as much as the players.

The first eleven games of the 2014 season, Cincinnati scored a mere 28 runs. Since Sunday, the Reds have scored 30 runs. No need to worry, I think the offense has figured it out.

The late Joe Nuxhall frequently spoke of the oddities of baseball. You could watch the game for years and there will be something you’ve never seen before or may ever see again. Monday night’s Reds/Pirates game was a prime example. In the forty-five years I’ve watched Reds baseball, I’ve never witnessed a game like that. Sure, I’ve watched several back-to-back home runs, but never have I saw it done three times in one game, allowing the Reds opponent to take the lead each time.

Five random thoughts about the current state of the Reds

Well, Thursday marks an off day for the Reds and that leaves us all scrambling to try and fill the void of no baseball to watch. While the following paragraphs aren't exactly Reds baseball, they are filled with plenty of fodder about the current state of the team. From Cueto to Votto, here are five random thoughts I currently have about our beloved Redlegs. I hope you enjoy.

1) How good has Johnny Cueto been through four starts this season? Let's just say he's quickly making people forget about his horrid start against Pittsburgh in last year's Wild Card game. After hurling a complete game shutout against the Buccos on Wednesday, Cueto's numbers are just silly. In 30 innings, the right-hander owns a 0.80 WHIP, .151 BAA and a 1.50 ERA, which collectively is certainly impressive enough to start tossing his name around for premature Cy Young talk. Can he continue this pace all year long? It's not likely. But seeing Cueto get off to a great start is a good sign for Cincinnati's playoff hopes.