Monday, October 31, 2011

Recapping Recent Roster Moves



Monday marked no shortage of news around the Cincinnati Reds organization as the team made a barrage of roster moves. Here is my best attempt in recapping what all transpired:

* The biggest news of the day was the club's decision to pick-up Brandon Phillips' option and to decline Francisco Cordero's for the 2012 season. Phillips is now set to make $12 million next year while Cordero will receive a $1 million buyout as stipulated by his contract. However, GM Walt Jocketty didn't dismiss the idea of offering long-term contracts for both players.

* Relievers Jared Burton and Daryl Thompson were removed from the 40-man roster as the two were outrighted to Triple-A. Both could be non-roster invites to Spring Training should they not find a team elsewhere.

* Starter Matt Maloney was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Twins. He made the announcement via Twitter with this tweet: "thanks for everything reds.....but i am now a Minnesota Twin!!! looking forward to a great new opportunity!!"

Travis Webb Talks AFL, Sliders, and More

Courtesy of WSU Cougars Communication and YouTube, here is an interview with Redlegs pitching prospect Travis Webb talking about how he's adjusting to life the Arizona Fall League, working on new pitches, and the mental aspect of moving to the higher levels of baseball throughout MLB. Below that is some video from Scout.com/Youtube of Travis Webb doing some throwing.



Arizona Fall League Weekly Recap 10/31/11

Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop

Since there were no scheduled games yesterday in the Arizona Fall League, that means once again it's time for the weekly recap of how the seven #Reds prospects are performing so far with the Phoenix Desert Dogs. The big news that was recently reported is that Yasmani Grandal injured a finger on his left hand that bothers him when he catches, and even more so when he hits, so that's the reason for his lack of playing time in the AFL. He could be shut down after evaluation from team doctors. The other news is that Aroldis Chapman has made two appearances thus far in the AFL, and is scheduled to make his last appearance today, before going to winter ball in Puerto Rico. This is last week's recap.

C Yasmani Grandal
3 G, .333 (4-12), 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
.385 OBP, .500 SLG, .885 OPS

SS Brodie Greene
12 G, .292 (14-48), 3 HR, 7 RBI, 8 R, 4 BB, 6 SO, 1 SB
.358 OBP, .521 SLG, .879 OPS

2B Cody Puckett
13 G, .167 (8-48), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R, 4 BB, 19 SO
.231 OBP, .354 SLG, .585 OPS

LHP Travis Webb
4 G, 4 GS, 9.0 IP, 1-0, 8.00 ERA, .368 BAA
14 H, 1 HR, 8 ER, 6 BB, 10 SO

LHP Donnie Joseph
8 G, 10.2 IP, 1-1, 3.38 ERA, .362 BAA
17 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 12 SO

RHP Brad Boxberger
6 G, 10.1 IP, 0-0, 3.48 ERA, .243 BAA
2 SV, 9 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 18 SO

RHP Nick Christiani
9 G, 10.1 IP, 0-1, 6.97 ERA, .273 BAA
12 H, 3 HR, 8 ER, 7 BB, 8 SO

LHP Aroldis Chapman
2 G, 2.2 IP, 0-0, 3.38 ERA, .143
1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO

Halloween Edition: Costume Ideas for Reds

All of us here at Redlegs Review thought we'd have a little fun this Halloween, so in order to do that we've come up with the following costume suggestions for several members of the Reds. Big props to @willpower36 for being the mastermind behind the brilliant idea.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

On this Day in Reds History: Two New Managers

October 30th, 1992 - Tony Perez is dubbed the team's new manager.
Perez

The hiring of Perez delighted many Reds fans. The former player had been a major cog in The Big Red Machine in the 70's, and many thought he would excel in his new role as manager.

As it turned out, Perez was fired after just 44 games -- going 20-24 over his short tenure. The Cuban native had been criticized for his inflexibility, for being too slow in making strategic moves during games, and because the club was making far too many mental errors.

He was replaced by Davey Johnson who would lead the squad until the end of the 1995 season.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Joseph, Desert Dogs Win

Phoenix scored in every inning except the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th as they routed Surprise 11-5 on Friday.

-Brodie Greene started at SS and went 1-4 with a double, a run scored, and a walk.

-Donnie Joseph (1-1) pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts to pick up the win.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop
Joseph's ERA is 3.38.

5 Reasons Why the Cardinals Winning the World Series Helps the Reds' Future


If you haven't already heard, the St. Louis Cardinals capped off an improbable postseason run by claiming their 11th World Championship in franchise history Friday night. While that may not be music to the ears of Cincinnati Reds fans, there are some positives to take away from the rival Redbirds winning it all.

5 Reasons Why the Cardinals Winning the World Series Helps the Reds' Future:

1)  The natural cycle of sports
-With the exception of just a handful of teams, success and failure in Major League Baseball tends to be very cyclical. Sixty percent (18/30) of teams have made at least one postseason appearance in the last four seasons, and that figure shoots up to 83% (25/30) when you go back to 2001. This means that only five franchises out of thirty have failed to reach the playoffs in the last decade (PIT, TOR, BAL, WSH, & KC). What does this statistic teach us? If you wait your turn eventually the ball will bounce your way every now and then.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Update on "Cuban Missile Crisis"

The 23-year old posted a 3.60 ERA in 50 IP last year

Perhaps the hottest topic for Reds fans this winter will be how Aroldis Chapman handles the transition from reliever to starter. One way he will try and successfully do so is through throwing in multiple offseason leagues. Last week provided a tuneup for the left-hander as he prepares for winter ball.

Here is a look at his statline from his two appearances in the Arizona Fall League:

3.38 ERA, 2.67 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

And the following is an excerpt written by Keith Law of ESPN Insider analyzing Chapman's first two outings:

Chapman Gives Up One in 2nd Game

The World Series wasn't the only game to be decided in 11 innings last night, as the Phoenix Desert Dogs lost to the Peoria Javelinas who scored two runs in the top of the 11th to win 7-5.

-Brodie Greene came in as a pinch runner in the 10th but did not score, nor play in the 11th.

-Aroldis Chapman saw his second action in the AFL, allowing a hit, an earned run, a walk and getting a strikeout in 1.2 innings. He also picked off a runner at first base. Rumor has it the Cuban Missile is scheduled to start the Desert Dogs' game on Monday against the Mesa Solar Sox.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop
Go Rangers!


Reds All-Time, All-Name Team


One of the perks of having the oldest franchise in professional sports is the long list of unusual names that have played for the team. Throughout it's 142-year history, Cincinnati has accumulated a who's-who of outrageous player names.

And for your viewing and reading pleasure, I've compiled a 25-man roster full of the best I could find. Caution: If you don't find some of the following names to be amusing, I seriously question (with the utmost respect) if you have any sense of humor at all.

Cincinnati Reds All-Time, All-Name Team

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Your Midweek Reds Links & Notes


* Former Red Scott Williamson auctioned off his World Series ring that he won as a member of the 2004 Boston Red Sox on Tuesday. The coveted piece of jewelry sold for $89,000. To read about the full story visit this link.

* Reds second basemen Brandon Phillips was selected to the 2011 Sporting News NL All-Star squad on Thursday. He is only the second Red to make the list since 2005, the other being Joey Votto in 2010. The 30-year old finished the year with a .300 average, 18 homers, 82 RBI and 38 doubles. He is also the leading candidate to win his third NL Gold Glove Award this offseason. For more on both the AL & NL All-Star rosters click here.

* Tim Dierkes of MLBtraderumors.com provides an excellent offseason outlook for Cincinnati in this post published on Wednesday night.

Greene Goes Deep as Dogs' Win

The Phoenix Desert Dogs overcame the Peoria Javelinas in the 10th inning Wednesday, winning the game by a score of 7-6.

-Brodie Greene started at second base and went 1-4 on the day, including a solo home run, and three runs scored. He also walked and struck out once each. Greene also stole a base (1) and was caught stealing another time.

-Cody Puckett just continues to struggle, as the third baseman went 0-5 on the day with three strikeouts.

-Travis Webb made the start and had another rough go at it allowing three earned runs and four hits over 1.2 innings. He also walked two and struck out two in the no-decision.

-Nick Christiani got back into a groove relieving Webb. Christiani threw 2.1 innings of hitless baseball in which he struck out one and walked one.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop
Webb is 1-0 with an 8.00 ERA.


Should the Reds Resign Francisco Cordero?

Cordero ranks 12th on the all-time saves list with 327.
That is second among active players, trailing only Mariano Rivera.

The Reds made a huge splash in free agency when they solidified their closer role with Francisco Cordero back in November of 2007. The team thought so highly of the right-hander that they were willing to sign him to the wealthiest contract ever given to a relief pitcher at the time (4yr/$46mil).

Now fast forward to nearly four years later and Cincinnati stands at a crossroad again. They possess an option to bring back the 3-time All-Star in 2012, but at a hefty price tag of $12 million. Should they decide not to exercise that option, Cordero will still be owed $1 million from a buyout clause -- and will then head to the free agent market.

So, what does GM Walt Jocketty and the franchise do with their 36-year old veteran? In my opinion, the timeless advice of "quitting while you're ahead" applies perfectly here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Louisville Slugger Museum to Honor Former Red

The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory will bestow its 2011 Living Legend Award to a former Red on Friday, Nov. 11th, and that Red is none other than catching great Johnny Bench. He will accept the award during a special ceremony that kicks off the museum's eight-annual auction.

Here is an excerpt from the official press release sent out by the museum:

Bench
“From slugging home runs to raising money for scholarships, Johnny Bench has been a hero throughout this region and for all of Major League Baseball” said Anne Jewell, Executive Director of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. “The Living Legend Award recognizes greatness both on and off the field and Johnny Bench has been a tremendous ambassador for America’s pastime throughout his life,” she said.

A native of Binger, Oklahoma, Bench broke into the major leagues in 1968 with the Cincinnati Reds and made an immediate impact, earning the National League Rookie of the Year Award. He played his entire 17-year career with the Reds and had one of the most successful careers in baseball history.

Bench was twice named the National League Most Valuable Player (1970, 72). Regarded as the best catcher of the 1970s, Bench was selected to 14 All-Star teams and won 10 Gold Glove Awards as a key member of Cincinnati’s famed “Big Red Machine”.

Bench helped lead Cincinnati to six division titles, four National League pennants and two World Series championships, earning the World Series MVP in 1976.

Reds in Other Winter Leagues

We've spent a lot of time focusing on the Arizona Fall League and how Reds' prospects are performing there, but there are of course other players within the Reds' organization honing their skills in the various fall and winter leagues around baseball. This is a summary of those players, as well as a Spanish lesson.

Aroldis Chapman - First off, we already know the Cuban Missile is gearing up for winter ball by throwing a few innings in the AFL. He threw a scoreless inning this past Monday for Phoenix, and is scheduled to pitch tomorrow the 27th, as well as this coming Monday the 31st. From there, he will go on to the Puerto Rican League which begins play on November 4th.

Juan Francisco (9 G, 12-37, .324/.390/.459, 1 HR, 6 RBI)
Francisco, that's fun to say...Fran-CIS-co...The near-future third baseman of the Reds is also getting some work done in the offseason. He is playing in the Dominican Winter League for Tigres del Licey. That's Spanish for Licey Tigers.

Denis Phipps (8 G, 7-27, .259/.394/.296, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
The young outfielder, who opened some eyes last season in Carolina and Louisville, is also playing in the DWL for Estrellas de Oriente (Eastern Star), who is being managed by Bats' manager Rick Sweet.

Tom Cochran (3 G, 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 1-1, 2.70 ERA, 4 BB, 15 SO)
Cochran, who made 12 starts for Louisville last year, is off to a good start. He allowed all four of his earned runs in three innings his first start and has been lights out since then, as as teammate of Phipps for Estrellas de Oriente.

Boxberger Back on Track for Lowly PHX

The Phoenix Desert Dogs went down 4-3 to the Salt River Rafters yesterday on a warm 88 degree, but partly cloudy day.

-Cody Puckett continued to struggle, as the right fielder went 0-3 with a strikeout to drop his average to a miserable .179.

-Brad Boxberger got back on track throwing one scoreless inning where he allowed a hit and struck out one.


Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop
Phoenix is 6-13 this season.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chapman Throws One Scoreless, Dogs Win

The Phoenix Desert Dogs beat the Salt River Rafters 4-1 yesterday in a game that saw Aroldis Chapman make his AFL debut, as he prepares for winter ball, and the transition back to becoming a starting pitcher.

-Brodie Greene was the DH and went 1-4 on the day. He was caught stealing second after his lone single.

-Aroldis Chapman did not start, but came in to pitch a scoreless 3rd inning, where he allowed one walk and struck out one. He faced three batters, getting one to fly out and one to strike out, while the one he walked was thrown out attempting to steal. He threw 16 pitches, half of them for strikes.

-Donnie Joseph allowed three hits over a solid 1.2 innings, where he did not give up any runs or walk any batters. 
Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop
Chapman will pitch again on October 27th.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Griffey Jr. Earns Prestigious Award



Former Red and future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. received the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award on Sunday -- which recognizes contributions and achievements of historical significance. Griffey accepted the honor from MLB Commissioner Bud Selig at a news conference before Game 4 of the World Series in Arlington.

The son of former Big Red Machine member Ken Griffey Sr., Junior left a lasting mark on the game both on and off the field. Known for his boyish personality, big smile, perfect swing and gracefulness on the diamond, "The Kid" served as the face of Major League Baseball for much of his 19-year career.

Personally, there was no athlete I enjoyed watching more growing up than him. Ken Griffey Jr. is, and will always remain, one of my favorite players of all-time. Kudos to him for not only being such a great ambassador for the sport, but being an outstanding role model as well.

For more on the story, check out this piece written by Chris Haft of MLB.com.

Arizona Fall League Weekly Recap 10/24/11

Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop

Since there were no scheduled games yesterday in the Arizona Fall League, that means once again it's time for the weekly recap of how the seven #Reds prospects are performing so far with the Phoenix Desert Dogs. This is just a look, so try not to get caught up in the numbers too much because the sample size is so small, especially for pitchers, that one bad game can really make them look bad, as was the case with Brad Boxberger and Nick Christiani this past week. They have both been pitching well, but had some rough outings lately that really inflated their numbers. This is last week's recap.

C Yasmani Grandal
3 G, .333 (4-12), 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
.385 OBP, .500 SLG, .885 OPS

SS Brodie Greene
8 G, .306 (11-36), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, 5 SO
.342 OBP, .500 SLG, .842 OPS

2B Cody Puckett
10 G, .194 (7-36), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R, 4 BB, 12 SO
.275 OBP, .444 SLG, .719 OPS

LHP Travis Webb
3 G, 3 GS, 7.1 IP, 1-0, 6.14 ERA, .333 BAA
10 H, 1 HR, 5 ER, 4 BB, 8 SO

LHP Donnie Joseph
6 G, 8.0 IP, 0-1, 4.50 ERA, .389 BAA
14 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 10 SO

RHP Brad Boxberger
6 G, 7.2 IP, 0-0, 4.70 ERA, .259 BAA
7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 13 SO

RHP Nick Christiani
7 G, 7.2 IP, 0-1, 3.52 ERA, .250 BAA
8 H, 1 HR, 3 ER, 5 BB, 7 SO

NL Most Valuable Player Picks


This post marks our eighth and final post in our series highlighting baseball's major postseason awards. Today we do our due diligence in breaking down the National League Most Valuable Player Award. Here are the candidates:

Ryan Braun - LF Milwaukee Brewers
2011 notable stats: .332/.397/.597, 33 HR, 111 RBI, 33 SB, 7.7 WAR
-Braun paced the league in SLG and OPS (.994), was second in average, runs scored, WAR and total bases (336), ranked fourth in RBI, and tied for fourth in doubles (38).

Prince Fielder - 1B Milwaukee Brewers
2011 notable stats: .299/.415/.566, 38 HR, 120 RBI, 5.2 WAR
-Played in all 162 games, led the majors in IBB (32), was second in the league in homers, RBI and OBP, and was third in runs created (135) and total bases (322).

Matt Kemp - CF Los Angeles Dodgers
2011 notable stats: .324/.399/.586, 39 HR, 126 RBI, 40 SB, 10.0 WAR
-Kemp led the majors in WAR and RBI, paced the league in homers, total bases (353), runs created (141) and runs scored (115), was second in hits (195), OPS (.986), stolen bases, IBB (24) and finished fourth in OBP.

Albert Pujols - 1B St. Louis Cardinals
2011 notable stats: .299/.366/.541, 37 HR, 99 RBI, 5.4 WAR
-"The Machine" was third in the league in homers, tied for third in runs scored (105), ranked fifth in total bases (313), and was seventh in RBI.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dogs Lose Again; Get Ready for Chapman

The Phoenix Desert Dogs lost again, dropping a 9-4 contest to the Scottsdale Scorpions.

-Cody Puckett played at 2B and went 1-5 with a double and a strikeout. He also committed his first error of the season.

-Nick Christiani had another rough outing, being charged with a blown save after giving up three runs, one earned, on two hits over an inning of work. He also walked two and gave up a home run, while striking out just one.

Don't forget that Aroldis Chapman is scheduled to pitch for the Desert Dogs tomorrow as they face the Salt River Rafters, with first pitch scheduled at 12:35 MST. It's unclear whether or not Chapman will throw that first pitch, but I assume he will and will go on to pitch a couple innings as he warms up for winter ball.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop
Christiani had an ERA of 3.52.

12 Reasons for Optimism in '12


Coming off a 2010 campaign which saw Cincinnati appear in their first postseason since '95, the stakes were high entering 2011. Anything less than a repeat of the division title would be considered by most around the organization as a disappointment -- and disappointment is exactly what defined the Redlegs this past season.

However, with great despair should come a renewed sense of optimism for 2012. The 2011 version of the Cincinnati Reds were marred by injuries, tough luck, and individual underachievement. These things have a tendency of evening-out over time -- which means the Reds should have plenty of built-up, good karma in their favor to use toward next year.

Aside from this hopeful assumption however, are several reasons why Reds fans should look to the future with great hope and promise -- in fact I counted twelve. So if you're ready for 'em, here they are. Twelve reasons for optimism in 2012 (and beyond):

12) Strong farm system
-Baseball America tabbed the Reds as having the the second-best minor league system in the National League before the '11 season, trailing only the Atlanta Braves. The club has a plethora of young talent knocking down the door for playing time, most notably top catching prospect Devin Mesoraco. So how did the other five teams in their division compare? Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Houston and Milwaukee came in 8th, 9th, 13th, 14th and 16th in the league, respectively. Ouch.

AL Most Valuable Player Picks


This marks the seventh post of our eight-part series highlighting baseball's postseason awards. Today we try our best in analyzing the top candidates for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.

Jose Bautista - RF Toronto Blue Jays
2011 notable stats: .302/.447/.608, 43 HR, 103 RBI, 1.056 OPS, 8.5 WAR
-"Joey Bats" paced the league in WAR, homers, walks (132), IBB (24), SLG and OPS, while finishing second in OBP and runs created (138.6).

Miguel Cabrera - 1B Detroit Tigers
2011 notable stats: .344/.448/.586, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 48 2B, 7.1 WAR
-Cabrera led the majors in average, OBP, and doubles, was second in the league in OPS and walks, and ranked fourth in wins above replacement (WAR).

Jacoby Ellsbury - CF Boston Red Sox
2011 notable stats: .321/.376/.552, 32 HR, 105 RBI, 39 SB, 7.2 WAR
-The 28-year old tied for third in the league in doubles (46), ranked fourth in stolen bases, was fifth in OPS and average, and did not commit a single error in 394 chances.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Greene, Puckett, Desert Dogs Lose

Phoenix was almost shut out, before scoring in the eighth inning in a 5-1 loss to the Mesa Solar Sox.

-Brodie Greene started at short and went 1-4 with a double and a strikeout.
-Cody Puckett had a nice game in RF, going 2-3 with a triple, the lone run scored, and a strikeout.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop
PHX is in last place in the AFL West at 5-11.


NL Manager of the Year Picks


This post marks the sixth of our eight-part series highlighting baseball's major postseason awards. Today we take a closer look at the deserving candidates, as well as our picks, for National League Manager of the Year.

Kirk Gibson - Arizona Diamondbacks
-Helped orchestrate the greatest turnaround in baseball this season by winning 29 more games than previous year. D'backs won NL West Division title with a 94-68 record while owning league's third-lowest payroll ($54 million).

Fredi Gonzalez - Atlanta Braves
-Guided team to 89-73 record and a second place finish in the NL East Division. Missed Wild Card berth by one game. Boasted a payroll of $87 million.

Tony La Russa - St. Louis Cardinals
-The 67-year old directed the Redbirds to a NL Wild Card berth with a 90-72 record. Did so with the 12th highest payroll in the majors at $99 million.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Aroldis Chapman to pitch in AFL


If you haven't heard yet, Aroldis Chapman will be competing for a spot in the starting rotation for the Reds next year. He's going to spend time in winter ball in order to build on his innings and pitch count. First, though he's going to get warmed up in the Arizona Fall League.

Chapman is scheduled to throw for the Phoenix Desert Dogs this Monday, October 24th, Thursday the 27th, and next Monday the 31st. I would think he will start each game, but wouldn't expect to see him throw more than two or three innings in any appearance, but hopefully he dominates the young hitters along the way.

Webb Wins, Greene Homers for PHX

After a seven run first inning, the Desert Dogs held on to beat the Peoria Javelinas, 10-9 last night.

-Brodie Greene had a nice game at 2B, going 2-5 with a two run shot in that first inning, finishing with two RBIs, a run scored and a walk.

-Travis Webb (1-0) picked up his first win of the AFL, pitching two innings of one earned run baseball. He allowed four hits, and one walk and also struck out two batters.

-Donnie Joseph pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball. He gave up two hits and two walks, but struck out three.

-Brad Boxberger had his worst outing of the 2011 AFL season. He gave up three earned runs on three hits in one inning of work, where he also walked one, before getting his only strikeout against the last batter to end the game.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop
Boxberger's ERA is now 4.70.


AL Manager of the Year Picks


This post marks the fifth in our eight-post installment highlighting baseball's major awards. Today we break down the candidates and give you our picks for American League Manager of the Year.

Joe Girardi - New York Yankees
-Guided his club to a league-best 97-65 record and a first place finish in the AL East Division. Benefited from the majors' largest payroll at nearly $200 million.

Jim Leyland - Detroit Tigers
-Led team to AL Central Divsion title with a 95-67 record. Improved win total by 14 over previous season. Boasted the majors' 10th highest payroll at $106 million.

Joe Maddon - Tampa Bay Rays
-Managed the Rays to an improbable Wild Card berth with a 91-71 record. Did so using a payroll that ranked last in the league at $42 million.

Mike Scioscia - Los Angeles Angels
-Directed squad to a 86-76 record and runner-up finish in the AL West Division. Ranked fourth among MLB in payroll at $139 million.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Your Midweek Reds Links & Notes



Greetings! I hope everyone is having a stellar week, but if not, here are some interesting Reds links to help brighten up your day!

- Former Red Scott Williamson is reportedly trying to sell his World Series ring that he won as a member of the Red Sox in 2004. WLWT.com has the full story.

- Reds farmhand Brad Boxberger continues to make his case for the team's closer role in 2012 according to this bleacherreport.com article.

- The Reds Urban Youth Academy gets underway for it's third year soon writes Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.

- Tom Groeschen of Cincinnati.com recently penned a brilliant and somewhat humorous piece regarding how Reds fans feel toward the Cardinals' World Series run. You can read the piece in it's entirety here

- Want to be a part of Redsfest 2011? The Reds are now looking for volunteers to help manage the early-December event. Read about the details here.

Reds Quiet in Desert Dogs' Loss

Last night, the Phoenix Desert Dogs were no-hit through four innings en route to a 6-3 loss to the Peoria Javelinas.

-Brodie Greene was the only Reds prospect in the game. He played 2B and simply went 0-4. He did leave two runners in scoring position on base with two outs.

Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop
Greene is hitting .296 in the AFL.


Five Best BA in World Series History


 Yahoo just recently posted a story about the players with the five best batting averages in a single World Series. I can honestly say I didn't know this, but number one on the list was none other than current first base coach for the Reds, Billy Hatcher. I had heard he played exceptionally well in the 1990 World Series, when the Reds swept the A's (and on this same day, October 20th!), but had no clue Hatcher hit .750 (9-12). The full story is here. This is the excerpt on Hatcher:


"The Cincinnati Reds won the 1990 World Series in stunning fashion. The Reds swept the Oakland Athletics behind strong pitching and strong hitting. Hatcher got nine hits in 12 official at-bats, good for a .750 average. He also drew a couple of walks. Hatcher was able to score six runs in the series to help his team pull of the win. This remains the single greatest batting average in World Series history."

NL Cy Young Award Picks


This post marks the fourth of our eight-part series highlighting baseball's major awards. Today we do our best in breaking down the ballot for the National League Cy Young Award. Here are the candidates:

Roy Halladay - SP Philadelphia Phillies
2011 notable stats: 19-6, 2.35 ERA, 233.7 IP, 1.04 WHIP, 7.4 WAR
-Halladay led the NL in complete games (8), finished second in ERA, innings pitched and quality starts (25), and tied for third in strikeouts (220).

Ian Kennedy - SP Arizona Diamondbacks
2011 notable stats: 21-4, 2.88 ERA, 222 IP, 1.09 WHIP, 5.5 WAR
-The 26-year old finished tied for the most wins in the NL, ranked fifth in BAA (.227) and tied for fifth in innings pitched.

Clayton Kershaw - SP Los Angeles Dodgers
2011 notable stats: 21-5, 2.28 ERA, 233.3 IP, 248 K, 6.9 WAR
-"The Claw" led the league in ERA, strikeouts, WHIP (0.98), and BAA (.207), tied for first in wins, tied for second with 25 quality starts, and was third in complete games (6).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reds' Minor League/MiLB.com All-Stars

C- Yasmani Grandal
1B - Neftal Soto
2B - Henry Rodruiguez
3B - David Vidal
SS - Billy Hamilton
OF - Jeremy Hermida
OF - Yonder Alonso
OF - Ryan LaMarre
DH - Devin Mesoraco
RH SP - Josh Smith
LH SP - Tony Cingrani
RP - Drew Hayes

The preceding list is the Reds' Organization All-Stars according to MiLB.com. It's is a great look at the best players at each position, regardless of age, prospect status or level, for the Reds' farm system in 2011. I suggest you to read the full article by Danny Wild on MiLB.com when you get a chance, as it gives deserving credit to the Reds' minor leaguers who had the best seasons. In the near future, we here at Redlegs Review plan to break down the depth chart, if you will, at each position from the Cincinnati Reds all the way down to the AZL Reds, just to give you a sense of what is waiting in the wings. Till then, here are my quick take-aways from the article by Wild.

Arizona Fall League Weekly Recap 10/19/2011


Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop

I've been on vacation and catching up at work so this is a little later than planned, but here is another update on how the seven Reds' prospects have performed so far. The hitting has picked up a little bit, and the pitching results are still a little bit mixed. Check out last week's AFL recap for comparison's sake.



C Yasmani Grandal
3 G, .333 (4-12), 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
.385 OBP, .500 SLG, .885 OPS

SS Brodie Greene
5 G, .348 (8-23), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
.375 OBP, .478 SLG, .853 OPS

2B Cody Puckett
8 G, .143 (4-28), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, 4 BB, 10 SO
.250 OBP, .357 SLG, .607 OPS

LHP Travis Webb
2 G, 2 GS, 5.1 IP, 0-0, 7.71 ERA, .300 BAA
6 H, 1 HR, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO

LHP Donnie Joseph
5 G, 6.2 IP, 0-1, 5.40 ERA, .400 BAA
12 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO

RHP Brad Boxberger
5 G, 6.2 IP, 0-0, 1.35 ERA, .182 BAA
4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 12 SO

RHP Nick Christiani
6 G, 6.2 IP, 0-1, 2.70 ERA, .231 BAA
6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO

Christiani's Scoreless Streak Ends

The Phoenix Desert Dogs lost a slugfest to the Scottsdale Scorpions, 11-10, in a game in which Bryce Harper was a triple short of the cycle.

-Nick Christiani had a rough outing pitching 2.1 innings in which he faced 13 batters and gave up two earned runs on five hits. He also allowed the two runners he inherited to score as well.

-Yasmani Grandal finally resurfaced in the AFL at DH and went 2-5, with a 2B, two RBIs, and two strikeouts.

Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop
Christiani's streak of five scoreless outings
ended and his ERA rose to 2.70.


AL Cy Young Award Picks


This post marks the third of our eight-part installment highlighting baseball's most prestigious awards. Today we take a closer look at the deserving candidates for the American League Cy Young Award.

C.C. Sabathia - SP New York Yankees
2011 notable stats: 19-8, 3.00 ERA, 237.3 IP, 230 K, 6.9 WAR
-The southpaw finished second in the league in strikeouts and wins and placed fourth in total innings pitched as the Yanks' ace.

James Shields - SP Tampa Bay Rays
2011 notable stats: 16-12, 2.82 ERA, 249.3 IP, 225 K, 6.1 WAR
-Shields led the majors in complete games (11), tied for the league lead in shutouts (4), finished second in innings pitched, and ranked third in ERA.

Jose Valverde - RP Detroit Tigers
2011 notable stats: 2.24 ERA, 75 G, 49/49 SV, 2.7 WAR
-The Dominican native tied for the league lead in saves, led the AL in appearances and set a new team single-season record in saves.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Greatest Signed Baseball Collection Ever


In our non-Reds, but baseball-related post of the week, check out this amazing video of the man who holds the Guinness Book of World Record for most balls signed by various players.

Dennis Schrader of Odessa, Florida shows off his massive autographed baseball collection - over 4,000 signed balls in all - in this video clip from the Associated Press.

I hope you enjoy.

NL Rookie of the Year Picks


This post marks the second part of our eight-part series highlighting baseball's major postseason awards. Today we take a look at some of the top candidates for National League Rookie of the Year, as well as our picks for the prestigious honor.

Josh Collmenter - SP Arizona Diamondbacks
2011 notable stats: 10-10, 3.38 ERA, 154.3 IP, 1.07 WHIP, 2.4 WAR
-The 25-year old finished second among all NL rookies in innings pitched and third in both games started and wins.

Danny Espinosa - 2B Washington Nationals
2011 notable stats: .236/.323/.414, 21 HR, 66 RBI, 17 SB, 2.8 WAR
-Espinosa finished tied for first in homers among all league rookies, was first in runs scored, was second in RBI and stolen basess, and third in doubles.

Freddie Freeman - 1B Atlanta Braves
2011 notable stats: .282/.346/.448, 21 HR, 76 RBI, 32 2B, 1.0 WAR
-Led all NL rookies in RBI and doubles, was second in runs scored, and finished the year ranked third in SLG and OPS.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Boxberger Saves It! PHX Finally Wins!

The Desert Dogs finally got back into the "W" column after eight straight "L's", defeating Scottsdale 7-4 on Monday.

-Cody Puckett pinch hit and played 3B, going 0-2 with a strikeout. He's hitting a putrid .143 in the Arizona Fall League, though he does have two HR and six RBI's on the season.

-Donnie Joseph gave up two hits, but pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.
-Brad Boxberger got back on track with a perfect inning in which he struck out one and picked up AFL save number two.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop
The Desert Dogs are now 4-8
on the 2011 AFL season.

Christiani, Desert Dogs Lose 8th Straight

The Phoenix Desert Dogs started the season 3-0, but haven't been able to win in their last eight chances since then, most recently losing 8-7 to the Salt River Rafters on Saturday night.

-Brodie Greene did his part, playing at 2B, by going 3-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. He also struck out once.
-Cody Puckett started at 3B, but was 0-5 with a strikeout.

-Nick Christiani (0-1) took the loss. Christiani got only one out, before his wild pitch allowed the winning run to score. He walked one batter who eventually advanced to third on a throwing error by the shortstop, and scored the walkoff run. Because of that, the run was unearned, so his ERA is still at 0.00.

Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop
The Desert Dogs are on an
eight game losing streak.


AL Rookie of the Year Picks


In our first post of an eight-part series highlighting baseball's major awards, here are the most deserving candidates for American League Rookie of the Year.

But first, MLB's official determination of rookie status is as follows:

"A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit (excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list)."

Jeremy Hellickson - SP Tampa Bay Rays
2011 notable stats: 13-10, 2.95 ERA, 189 IP, 1.153 WHIP, 4.2 WAR
-Made 29 starts, led all league starting pitchers in BABIP (.217), led all league rookies in innings pitched, was second in wins, and finished with the lowest ERA among all rookie starters.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Our Postseason Award Picks Schedule


Monday (10/17) will begin an eight-part, eight-day series of posts featuring our picks for baseball's major postseason awards. Here is a tentative schedule outlining our award schedule, as well as in parenthesis the date in which each award is to be officially announced by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA):

Monday, 10/17 - AL Rookie of the Year (11/14)
Tuesday, 10/18 - NL Rookie of the Year (11/14)
Wednesday, 10/19 - AL Cy Young (11/15)
Thursday, 10/20 - NL Cy Young (11/17)
Friday, 10/21 - AL Manager of the Year (11/16)
Saturday, 10/22 - NL Manager of the Year (11/16)
Sunday, 10/23 - AL Most Valuable Player (11/21)
Monday, 10/24 - NL Most Valuable Player (11/22)

And one important tidbit to remember in the outcome of the voting: Postseason performance is not considered as voters are required to submit their ballots before the playoffs begin. For more frequently asked questions concerning the award balloting, check out the BBWAA's website here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Playing Arizona Fall League Catch Up

October 13, 2011
Phoenix continued the losing streak as the Desert Dogs lost 6-2 to the Surprise Saguaros.

-Brodie Greene started at 2B and went 1-5 with a solo homer, but also had three strikeouts.
-Cody Puckett played in RF, going 1-4 with an RBI and a K, as the Reds' prospects accounted for both Desert Dogs' runs.
-Donnie Joseph had another rough outing allowing two earned runs on three hits. He also walked one and struck out one.
-Nick Christiani had another perfect outing, striking out two in an inning of work, keeping his AFL ERA at 0.00.

October 14, 2011
On Friday night, the Desert Dogs lost again as the Salt River Rafters beat them 7-5.

-Puckett again played RF and went 1-5 with three strikeouts. He did however hit a three-run shot in the third inning to finish with three RBIs on the night.
-Travis Webb was a little better in his second AFL start, giving up two earned over three innings. He allowed two hits and had three strikeouts.
-Brad Boxberger finally slipped up and allowed his first AFL run. It was an earned run allowed on three hits in 2.1 innings. He also walked one and struck out three. His ERA is still a meager 1.59.

Phoenix Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League Replica Cap - MLB.com Shop
Phoenix has lost seven in a row
going into Saturday night's game.


Saturday Evening Roundup: Heisey, Votto, Price & More



Hey guys, I hope the weekend is going well for everyone. Here are some Reds links I stumbled upon while surfing the web earlier today:

* The Reds denied the Oakland A's permission to talk with current pitching coach Bryan Price, according to Buster Olney via Twitter. Price's contract runs through the end of next season.

* A humorous piece written by Rob Daniels of ESPN entitled "All-Appetizer Team" included one former Red in Wingo Anderson. Anderson appeared in only 7 games in the majors -- all with the Reds and all coming during the 1910 season. You can view the rest of the dubious list here.

* Chris Heisey was bestowed the Young Alumnus Acheivement Award by his alma mater on Friday. Heisey attended Messiah College (PA) from 2004-06 before being drafted by Cincinnati in the 17th round of the 2006 MLB Draft. You can read the full story here.

On This Day in Reds History: No-Hit Wonder?



October 15th, 1892 - On the last day of the season, Redlegs pitcher Charles "Bumpus" Jones tosses the first no-hitter in franchise history with a 7-1 victory over Pittsburgh. Amazingly enough, it was also the major league debut for the Xenia, Ohio native.

The likelihood that Jones would become the first hurler in club history to achieve the rare feat was as improbable at the time as the Earth was to being flat.

The day before Bumpus made his start, he walked into the clubhouse pleading for an opportunity to prove himself as a big league pitcher. The 22-year old had (up unto that point) spent the entire year in the low minors. Manager Charlie Comiskey was so compelled by the boldness of the youngster that he decided to give him his chance on the following day. The rest is history.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bill Bray to Pitch for MLB All-Star Squad

Bray led the team with 79 appearances this past season
while posting a 2.98 ERA
The Major League Baseball Players Association released an All-Star roster on Friday that included at least one Red.

Left-handed specialist Bill Bray will join fellow Major League Baseball players in participating in the 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series in early-November.

The squad will travel to three different cities overseas to battle the Chinese Taipei national team from November 1-6.

Current San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy will also manage this club.

Additional players will be added to the roster over the next few weeks.

Keith Law Weighs in on Reds


Keith Law of ESPN Insider recently weighed in on a variety of MLB topics through his blog and via an online chat recently. Among them are two tidbits regarding the Redlegs.

Here the snippets in which Law mentions Cincinnati:

Regarding RHP Brad Boxberger who finished last year with Triple-A Louisville:

"I expect to see Cincinnati Reds right-hander Brad Boxberger in their big league pen in 2012; he was 90-94 with a hard curveball at 81-84. Right-handed hitters will have a hard time picking up the ball because he comes slightly across his body. I'd like to see even a show-me change-up just so left-handers, who hit him better than righties did this year but still didn't hit him well, don't take too much advantage of his delivery."

Regarding what to do with Votto & Alonso:

In an online chat with readers on Friday, Law stated that he would deal Yonder Alonso and "look to win" in the remaining two years that Joey Votto is under Reds' control.

Yahoo! Writer Takes Shot at '90 World Series Team

The 1990 Cincinnati Reds received some recognition from Andrew Mindzak of Yahoo! Sports on Thursday, however the recognition won't likely go over well with Reds country. He tabs the '90 squad as one of the five worst teams in history to ever win a World Series.

Here is an excerpt from the piece regarding the Redlegs:

"1990 Cincinnati Reds: This wasn't exactly the Big Red Machine. The Reds finished the year 91-71 and defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLCS before sweeping the heavily favored Oakland Athletics in the World Series. Sure, Billy Hatcher was a monster in the playoffs, but when you have Todd Benzinger at first, that can't be a good start."

While I'll consent that the '90 club wasn't the best Cincinnati team to have won a World Series, I wouldn't go as far as to saying they ranked among the five worst in MLB history.

What are your thoughts on his list?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Arroyo Eyeing Better Year in 2012

Arroyo posted a 9-12 record and a 5.07 ERA in
32 starts this season
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com wrote an excellent feature article regarding Bronson Arroyo's plans for this upcoming offseason. You can read that piece in it's entirety here.

However, if you find yourself curious but also crunched for time, here are the the key points from the lengthy article:

* The 34-year old plans to cut down on his non-baseball related activities such as sailing, golfing, traveling and performing in his band (with the exception of Redsfest in December). "I'm going to push all of those things completely to the side," said Arroyo.

* A couple of his new workout regimens will include: long-distance bike rides to help build leg strength without harming his back and swimming laps around a pool to stimulate all of his muscles.

* He stated that this was the first time since the end of the 2003 season that he wasn't satisfied with his performance and overall contribution to the team.