Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Walt Jocketty dubbed one of five general managers 'under pressure'


The proverbial seat isn't exactly piping hot for Reds general manager Walt Jocketty. But it's certainly not comfortable either.

In the midst of an injury-riddled season, in addition to being mired in a forgettable second half losing skid, Jocketty finds himself in a tough spot this week as the non-waiver trade deadline looms on Thursday. The Reds aren't out of the postseason hunt by any stretch of the imagination. But their odds of running down the likes of the Brewers, Cardinals and Pirates don't look good. So do the Reds buy, sell, or stand pat? Well, it's a decision Jocketty will have to make and fast, as the season isn't getting any younger.

At this point, most fans are likely still hoping Jocketty makes a move to help the Reds down the stretch run, while others are probably ready to throw up the white flag on 2014, choosing to build for 2015 and beyond instead. Whatever the case may be, ESPN Insider Jim Bowden recently tabbed Jocketty as one of five managers under the most pressure to make a deal at the deadline.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Reds place Jay Bruce on bereavement list


Jay Bruce will be out of Cincinnati's lineup for at least a few days after the Reds placed the outfielder on the bereavement list Tuesday. The precise reasoning for his placement on the list was not disclosed.

Right-handed pitcher Curtis Partch was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to take Bruce's spot on the active roster. Tuesday marks the fifth separate time Partch has been called up to the Reds this season. In five big league appearances in 2014, the 27-year-old has yielded two hits and seven walks, but no runs. In 30 appearances with Louisville, Partch has compiled a 5.45 ERA.

As for Bruce, the native Texan has been reeling nearly all season long (.215/.300/.379), but especially since the All-Star Break (3-for-32). Being on the bereavement list means Bruce could be away from the team for as few as three days or as many as seven.

Baseball aside, we wish Bruce the best as he addresses a personal matter.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Video: Watch Devin Mesoraco slug home run to upper deck



Devin Mesoraco is strong. Really strong.

This fact of life was put on full display Monday night as the Reds catcher absolutely crushed a pitch to the upper deck for his 17th bomb of the season.

Unfortunately, this run was the only one Cincinnati could push across in 15 innings, suffering a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Diamondbacks.

Reds take a tumble in latest batch of power rankings


On the heels of losing eight of nine, the Reds have experienced a steep drop in the latest batch of Major League Baseball Power Rankings, released by ESPN.com on Monday.

Cincinnati occupied the No. 17 slot in this week's rankings after previously occupying the No. 13 slot just one week before. Their four-spot tumble was tied for the biggest drop of any team in the league.

The second half losing skid has caused the Reds to lose considerable ground in the standings in a relatively short amount of time. And it has put front office management in a precarious spot as the July 31 trade deadline looms.

Do the Reds try to add some help in an effort to make a postseason push? Or do they try to capitalize on the needs of others and all but waive the white flag on the 2014 season? We will know the answer to these questions by Thursday afternoon.

Photo: Cincinnati.com (Via Facebook)

Report: Reds targeting outfielder Alex Rios for offensive help

Alex Rios Rangers 2013.jpg

Despite losing eight of their last nine, and falling six games back of first place, reports continue to suggest that the Reds are prepared to be buyers as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches.

With Cincinnati struggling mightily to produce runs, evidenced by the mere 16 they have plated since the All-Star Break, the club's top priority at the deadline is adding a run-producing bat. And one of the hitters the Reds are reportedly targeting is Texas Rangers outfielder Alex Rios.

According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, the Reds are among at least four teams interested in Rios. The Mariners, Giants and Yankees are other contending clubs reportedly interested in the veteran as well.

Rios, 33, is hitting a respectable .299/.328/.426 with 4 home runs and 43 RBI for the Rangers in 2014. In 11 big league seasons, Rios has posted a .280/.324/.442 line, which is not too shabby at all.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jim Bowden proposes trade to bring Marlon Byrd to Reds


You don't have to be a baseball expert to notice how badly the Reds need offensive help.

Entering Sunday, Cincinnati's depleted offense had mustered just 14 runs in eight games since the All-Star Break. With top hitters Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips expected to be out of the lineup for several more weeks, the need to add an extra bat has become critical if the Reds want keep pace in the postseason picture.

One of the names rumored to be connected to the Reds is Philadelphia's Marlon Byrd. And former general manager and current ESPN Insider Jim Bowden believes he has the perfect package the Reds could use to acquire Byrd via trade.

In his piece featuring proposed trades for each team in the National League Central, Bowden suggests GM Walt Jocketty should offer OF Donald Lutz and minor league RHP Jon Moscot to the Phillies in exchange for Byrd. Bowden points out that Byrd's power would play well in the cozy corridors of Great American Ball Park. However, one concern with Byrd is the fact that he's owed $8 million next season. Plus, he wouldn't be able to play anywhere else but the outfield either. With that being said, Byrd is definitely the premier power bat on the trade market and now team needs a boost to their offense than the Reds.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Video: Brandon Phillips helps make wish come true for young fan



Being sidelined with an injured left thumb isn't keeping Brandon Phillips from making a difference in the community.

On Friday, the Reds All-Star second basemen along with the Reds helped make a dream come true in partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as 13-year-old Brock Johnson of Winchester, Ohio got an opportunity to hang out with his hero for a day.

Over the course of the afternoon, B-Rock received some autographed swag, played catch on the field at Great American Ball Park with the Gold Glove defender, made the rounds in the clubhouse to meet the team, and was even asked to sign Phillips' t-shirt, which B-Rock happily obliged.

Although Friday was a happy day for Johnson, other days haven't been so easy. The teenager has been battling an autoimmune disease so rare that the condition doesn't even have a name. In August, B-Rock is set to undergo a bone marrow transplant and the family is asking for prayers up until then.

Here's some video of Brock's day with the Reds...

Photo: Witness ex-Red Dmitri Young's amazing weight transformation

View image on Twitter

Former Reds slugger Dmitri Young was on hand Friday night at Great American Ball Park to watch two of his former teams do battle on the diamond. And it would be no stretch to say that the 40-year-old has never looked better.

Check out this side-by-side photo posted by MLB Cut 4 showing the amazing weight transformation Young has made since the end of his playing days. According to Baseball Reference, Young tipped the scales at 300 pounds during his playing career. He's obviously much thinner in retirement.

Note the irony of "Da Meat Hook" sporting a bacon t-shirt on Friday while showing off his slimmer self.

Young spent four of his 13 MLB seasons in Cincinnati compiling a .304/.353/.488 line with 67 home runs and 296 RBI during that stretch.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Jayson Stark: Reds will be buyers at trade deadline


Buy or sell? This is a question many Reds fans have been pondering as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches. Especially after watching their team lose six straight games out of the All-Star Break.

One man who may have the answer to this question is ESPN.com senior MLB writer Jayson Stark. On Friday, Stark held an interactive chat session with fans welcoming questions about anything and everything MLB related. And a couple of the questions posed by readers were about the Reds.

Let's take a look at the transcript, shall we?

A couple of ex-Reds top list of 'five best-hitting pitchers'

Dontrelle Willis

In a bit of irony or coincidence, given Cincinnati's recent offensive woes, a pair of former Reds topped a dubious list highlighting the five best-hitting pitchers of the last 25 years.

The list, based on adjusted OPS and at least 200 at-bats, was whipped up by the fine folks at ESPN.com and features Micah Owings at No. 1 with Dontrelle Willis right behind him at No. 2. A fine case could be made for both that their offensive production outweighed their pitching production while playing for the Reds.

Owings suited up in the Queen City for two seasons from 2009-10. In 48 appearances, 19 of which were starts, the right-hander compiled a 10-14 record, unsightly 5.35 ERA and ghastly 1.588 WHIP. Offensively, Owings carried his own while with the Reds, amassing a .264/.280/.528 slash line with 4 home runs and 16 RBI in 72 at-bats.