Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dallas Latos' #RedsDrinkingGame

Dallas Latos, wife of Reds' right-hander Mat Latos, took to the Twitterverse during Tuesday night's game versus the Pirates in hopes of developing some rules for a Reds drinking game.

MINOR details 5/30/12: Three (wins) is a magic number

3 times 9 is 27.
Syracuse 2 Louisville 1
-Brett Tomko (0-6) cannot catch a break. Despite lowering his ERA to 3.12, and tossing 6.2 innings of two-run baseball the Bats (17-37) still lost. Carlos Fisher added two scoreless frames.
-Tomko also went 1-2, providing his only run support with an RBI. 2B Cody Puckett recorded two hits and the only run.

Pensacola 7 Jackson 3

Cubs fan catches two homers in game

Move over, Caleb Lloyd. You may just have some new competition.

After going nearly my whole life without seeing someone snag two homers in a single game, I've now seen it done twice thanks to this Cubs fan in the video above. The lucky guy was on the receiving end of a home run hit by San Diego's Carlos Quentin as well as Darwin Barney's walk-off blast to cap off an impressive day at the yard.

And although the feat should be seen as nothing less than spectacular, I still got to believe catching two in the same inning (on back-to-back hitters) is still more impressive.

11th annual Subway Redlegs Run slated for this Saturday

Redlegs Run for Home 5K logo

Strap up your high-top sneakers, folks! Here's all the informationregarding this Saturday's Redlegs Run, courtesy of the Reds:

Register Now for the Subway® Redlegs Run
Saturday, June 2 – Great American Ball Park

CINCINNATI – Sign up now for the 11th annual Subway® Redlegs Run on Saturday, June 2, 2012. Runners, walkers and families have many options to participate:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pirates sink Reds' hopes for series victory

Things were pretty ugly with this guy on the bench.
Things didn’t go so well for the Reds (28-22) as they looked to take the series from Pittsburgh (25-25) at PNC Park on Wednesday evening as A.J. Burnett stifled the Redlegs and held on to a 2-1 victory. The break down after the break.

Aroldis Chapman's girlfriend tied up, robbed in Pittsburgh

It has been a rough couple
of weeks for the Cuban Missile
One of the only places that hasn't been eventful for Aroldis Chapman this season has been the basepaths, where he's given up just seven hits in 26 innings pitched this season. The latest incident surrounding the Cuban fire-baller happened in Pittsburgh, where the Reds are currently playing a three-game series. A report from out of Pittsburgh says that Chapman's girlfriend was tied up in her hotel room and robbed around 10:00pm Tuesday night.

According to the investigators, a man claiming to be part of the maintenance staff with the hotel entered the room, then tied up Chapman's girlfriend with cloth napkins when she refused to give him anything from the room. After tying her up, he then took several items from the room including jewelry, clothing, a computer, credit cards, and identification cards. She was not harmed in the process, though she was taken to a local hospital afterwards. This was just another unfortunate event for Chapman over the past few weeks.

MINOR details 5/29/12: Cingrani continues to impress

Cingrani is now 5-1 with a 1.11 ERA.
Syracuse 6 Louisville 2
-Jeff Francis (2-6) gave up four earned runs over 6.2 innings as the Bats (17-36) lost again. Carlos Fisher tossed a scoreless inning.
-SS Kris Negron had two hits, including a double. CF Joey Gathright was 3-5 with two RBI, and is hitting .412 in his short time with the Bats. 3B Willie Harris was 4-4 with a double.

Jackson 4 Pensacola 2

Projecting who the Reds will take with the 14th overall pick in the Draft

Diminutive Duke RHP Marcus Stroman is linked to the Reds
in at least two mock drafts

The first round of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft is set to get underway next Monday, June 4 at approximately 7:00pm ET. It will run through Wednesday, June 6 and will include 40 rounds instead of 50 like in year's past.

Former first round picks of the Reds that are currently on big league rosters include Mike Leake, Drew Stubbs, Devin Mesoraco, Jay Bruce and Homer Bailey (CIN), Yonder Alonso (SD), and Austin Kearns (MIA).

The Reds have the 14th overall selection at their disposal this year and here are some players the team is reportedly considering taking, according to these sources:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Redlegs Wreck Pirates 8-1

After a 8-1 win over the Pirates (24-25) on Tuesday, the Reds (28-21) moved to seven games over .500 (.571) and increased their lead in the NL Central by 1.5 games. Homer Bailey looked absolutely awesome, pitching a 4 hit, 1 run complete game on 103 pitches.

The Reds have won 17 of their last 27 games (.629) and are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now. Meanwhile, the Cardinals and Brewers have faltered in the month of May giving the Reds considerable momentum.

Here are the Good, the Bad and the Notables from Tuesday's game:

Todd Frazier saves man from choking

Rookie Todd Frazier is developing a reputation for doing the absolute amazing lately. First, the Reds' third basemen smacked this homer on Sunday by literally just tossing the bat at the ball and on Tuesday his marvelous hands were at work again. However, the difference this time around was that he didn't allow his paws to let go. beat writer Mark Sheldon has the full scoop on Frazier's heroic act:

Video: Brandon Phillips eats wacky food

If you didn't know it by now than you should know that All-Star second basemen Brandon Phillips is an original. Not only can he do things on the diamond that nobody else can do, he's not afraid to try some insane things off of it either.

Seen here is the Reds Gold Glover throwing down some unique food dishes with Andrew Zimmen, star of the Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods, in the team's recent road trip to New York. Personally, I'll stick to the ole' tried-and-true cuisine of hamburgers and fries, but more power to ya, Brandon! 

Reds top prospects update: Billy Hamilton, the fastest around

Seriously. He's fast.
Billy Hamilton has 52 stolen bases, while playing in 47 of Bakersfield's 50 games. By my not-all-that-scientific calculations, that puts him on pace to steal something like 144 bases in 131 games played, though he'll probably end up playing a few more games than that barring injury. Not that it needs any more perspective, but the Blaze play 140 games in the regular season. Hamilton stole 103 bases in 135 games last year for Dayton. That is all.

Here's this week's top prospects update. To see last week's update go here.

#2 SS Billy Hamilton (A Bakersfield Blaze)

MINOR details 5/28/12: Billy Hamilton steals three, drives in two in Blaze win

This guy is really fast.
Louisville 4 Syracuse 3
-Wirfin Obispo started and gave up all three earned runs in three innings for the Bats (17-35). Scott Carroll (2-3) picked up the win tossing three shutout innings. Nick Christiani threw 2.2 scoreless, while Jordan Smith got the save (5) by getting the final out of the game.
-CF Kris Negron went 2-3 with a solo home run (5) and two runs scored. LF Felix Perez had a double and an RBI. 3B Willie Harris collected a double and two RBI.

Jackson 5 Pensacola 0
-Tim Gustafson (2-2) was charged with five earned runs over 5.2 innings, though did strike out eight for the Blue Wahoos (24-27). Wilkin De La Rosa did not allow a run in his 2.1 innings of work.
-1B Yordanys Perez went 2-4. CF Ryan LaMarre and SS Didi Gregorius each had two hits and a walk.

Karabell: Votto's RBI chances are lacking

There's a reason why slugging first basemen Joey Votto is tied for 14th in the league in RBIs (29) and not among the top of the leaderboard instead--opportunities. The Reds offensive machine simply hasn't had the the number of chances that other players enjoy. fantasy writer Eric Karabell pointed this fact out in one of his recent columns. Here's an excerpt from that piece:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pirates cool off red-hot Reds behind strong outing by McDonald

Cincy couldn't figure out ole' McDonald on Monday

The NL Central-leading Reds (27-21) strolled into the Steel City on Monday as arguably the hottest team in all of baseball. However, you certainly wouldn't have thought that after watching the pesky Pirates (24-24) down them by a tally of 4-1 on a steamy affair at PNC Park.

Pittsburgh starter James McDonald (4-2) dazzled in eight innings of work to lift his lifetime record over Cincinnati to 5-1 while teammate Pedro Alvarez (2-4, 2 RS, 2 2B, RBI) provided the supporting offense.

Here's the good, the bad and the notables from the Memorial Day doozy at PNC:

Barry, Boomer discuss Sunday's win

MINOR details 5/27/12: Happy Memorial Day edition

Indianapolis 9 Louisville 4
-The Bats (16-35) wasted seven innings of one-run baseball from Chad Reineke. Carlos Fisher blew the save, allowing three earned runs in one inning. Travis Webb (2-3) took the loss allowing four earned runs without getting an out.
-1B Neftali Soto was 2-3 with a solo home run (6), an RBI, and two runs scored. LF Cody Puckett recorded a double and an RBI. SS Miguel Rojas also drove in a run.

Pensacola 7 Mississippi 5

Video: Give this guy a contract!

Here's another look at the fan who was lucky enough to catch not one, but TWO home run balls in the SAME inning...let alone the same game.  His name? Caleb Lloyd. His current occupation? He's a student athlete at nearby Thomas More College where the 20-year old plays a little futbol. But with hands like those I wouldn't be upset at all if the Reds inked him to a minor league deal.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Reds vs. Pirates series preview

The Reds look to keep things rollin’ as they leave the friendly confines of GABP and make the trip to Pittsburgh for the second time this month. They hope for similar results as when the Redlegs took two of three from the Buccos in their first visit to PNC Park. The pitching match-ups after the break….

Reds outslug the Rockies in a record-setting affair in Cincinnati

Votto rips one of nine homers hit
between the Reds and Rockies on Sunday
Sunday's affair between the Redlegs and Rockies featured a pitching matchup that pitted youth in 24-year old Mat Latos and experience in 49-year old Jamie Moyer. What transpired, however, is a record-breaking barrage of homers by the two clubs--nine in all to set a new all-time GABP record for most longballs drilled in a single game. And although the Rockies (17-29) may have slugged majority of those (5), they didn't out pace the red-hot Redlegs (27-20) where it mattered most as Cincy took the game (and the series), 7-5, on a blistering Sunday on the banks of the Ohio.

Here's the good, the bad and the notables from the homestand/series finale:

MINOR details 5/26/12: Split! Bats, Dragons win; Blue Wahoos, Blaze lose

Isn't today Sundae?
Louisville 5 Indianapolis 4
-The Bats (16-34) got seven innings of two-run baseball from Sean Gallagher (4-3). Travis Webb tossed a scoreless inning. Jordan Smith got the save (4), despite giving up two earned runs in the ninth.
-CF Joey Gathright had a hit, an RBI, and a stolen base. LF Felix Perez was 1-2, driving in and scoring a run. RF Danny Dorn was 2-3 with a run scored, and also stole a base.

Mississippi 7 Pensacola 3

25 Reds facts that will blow your mind

Baseball is a game full of numbers, statistics and other often dubious figures that help us measure the performance of a given player or team. And while they don't always tell the true story of what's going on, they're sure fun to research and toss around.

With that in mind, here are 25 Reds-related facts (14 good, 10 bad, & 1 notable) that'll likely knock your socks or stirrups off:

Hey, high fives all around!

Let the good times roll after the Reds rock Colorado on Saturday

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Reds Dominate Rockies 10-3

J.J Hoover picked up his first Major League win!

The Cincinnati Reds (26-20) extended their lead in the Central Division to 1.5 games as they put on an offensive show scoring 10 runs. Only 2 Reds position players failed to get a hit and score a run as the Rockies defense continued to struggle, and offered no help, behind starter Jeremy Guthrie. He gave up 6 runs over 5 innings. However, only 2 runs were earned. The bullpen also failed for the Rockies as they came in for 3 innings while giving up 4 more runs.

MINOR details 5/25/12: Reds organization gets swept from top to bottom

Sad baseball rears his gloomy head once again.
Indianapolis 4 Louisville 1
-Pedro Villarreall (2-1) gave up three earned runs, four total, over 5.1 innings in the loss for the Bats (15-34). Kanekoa Texeira threw 1.2 scoreless innings, while Josh Judy struck out two in a perfect inning of relief.
-LF-3B Willie Harris went 1-3 with an RBI and also stole a base. RF-LF Felix Perez added a double.

Mississippi 6 Pensacola 5

Video: Another look at Mesoraco's slam

Here's another look at Devin Mesoraco's first career grand slam from Thursday night. His 4-run jack helped propel the Reds to a 6-3 victory and 4-game sweep over the Braves and thus, launching them past the Cardinals for first place in the NL Central.

Thom Brennaman had the call. 

Who's hot, who's not for the Redlegs

Joey Votto is being well, Joey Votto.

The first-place Reds (25-20) have had a solid month of May so far (14-9)--aided by a recent string of six straight victories, of course. And you don't rip off a 6-game winning streak without some great individual production.

Here are those players who are currently on a hot streak themselves lately, followed by some that are "as cold as ice":

Saturday notebook: Web links and quotes

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone. I hope your 3-day celebration is filled with plenty of good food and great times. Here are some links from around the web, as well as some notable quotes from the week, to help kick-start your American bash:

- Now that Aroldis Chapman is racking up saves from the closer role he makes for a must-have player among fantasy owners, says ESPN fantasy baseball guru Eric Karabell.

- Speaking of Chapman, are the Reds better off with him closing rather than starting? This is the precise question asked by ESPN's Jayson Stark in this week's Rumblings & Grumblings.

- The latest edition of ESPN's MLB power rankings can be found here. And CBS Sports' latest batch can be found here.  And FOX Sports' here. Spoiler: The Reds rose in all polls.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Reds win streak comes to a close at the hand of Rockies

Cueto struggled against the Rockies Friday.

We all knew the Redlegs wouldn’t be able to run the table, and that inevitable end of the streak came on Friday night in a 6-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Now that the six-game winning streak is a thing of the past, let’s look at the good, bad and notable events from the first game of this series against the western visitors.

Video: Another look at Frazier's walkoff

Yep. It's still as awesome now as it was on Wednesday night. Let's keep the streak alive!

Makeup date rescheduled for August 18

The Reds' game rained out at Great American Ball Park on May 1st versus the Cubs has been rescheduled for 1:10pm ET on Saturday, August 18th as part of a day/night doubleheader.

The originally scheduled game will still begin at 7:10pm ET. Fans with tickets from the May 1st rainout game can use that same ticket at the gate for admission to the 1:10pm game with no exchange necessary.

Fans also can exchange their tickets dated May 1st for any other 2012 game, pending availability.

Stark: Is Chapman a starter or closer?

What would benefit the Reds and Aroldis Chapman the most? Chapman as a starter or Chapman as a reliever? It's been a controversial argument for a few years now amongst the GABP corridors. And now thanks to a 6-game winning streak and the incredible dominance being displayed by Chapman, the national media are chiming in with their two cents as well.

Jayson Stark of recently posed this very question in his latest edition of Rumblings & Grumblings. Here are a few key excerpts taken from that piece:

MINOR details 5/24/12: Blue Wahoos with only win among minor leaguers

Donnie Joseph once again locked down a win for Pensacola.
Indianapolis 2 Louisville 1 (15 innings)
-Jeff Francis threw seven innings of one-run baseball, but the Bats (15-33) lost. Four pitchers combined to throw six innings of shutout relief including Carlos Fisher (0.2), Travis Webb (0.1), Nick Christiani (2.0), and Scott Carroll (3.0). Jordan Smith (1-2) took the loss allowing the walk-off run after 1.1 innings.
-They had 11 total hits, but no one recorded an official RBI for the Bats. CF-SS Kris Negron was 2-6. RF Bill Rhinehart smacked a double. C Dioner Navarro was 2-5, with a double and scored the lone run.

Pensacola 4 Mississippi 2

Video: Joey Votto's SportsCenter promo

I thought you guys could use a chuckle on this Friday morning. Seen here is Joey Votto's promo for SportsCenter that first aired a year ago from this week.

Man, that Mr. Redlegs sure knows how to grow 'em...if you know what I mean.

Updated NL Central standings

A Reds win and a Cardinals loss on Thursday allowed the red-hot Reds to move into sole possession of first place--a position they haven't been in since Opening Day (April 5th).

Cincinnati looks to continue its hold on the division lead as they welcome the Colorado Rockies (16-27) to town for a 3-game set this weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reds vs. Rockies series preview

The Reds are riding high as winners of their last six games and having won six of seven against two of the better teams in baseball in the Yankees and Braves. Can they keep things going as the Rockies come to town? The pitching match-ups for the series after the break.

Mesoraco grand slam propels Reds to four-game sweep, sixth straight win

"Yeah? So What? I hit a grand slam."
A six-game winning streak and a four-game sweep of Atlanta was on the line as Cincinnati took the field Thursday evening. The Reds (25-19) put together another solid game to defeat the Braves (26-20) and moved into a tie for first place.

Homer Bailey went to the mound for the Redlegs, and produced his seventh quality start in nine starts this season. Devin Mesoraco provided the muscle, blasting his first career grand slam in the sixth inning to put the home team ahead for good. The final score was 6-3, putting the Reds in a deadlock with the Cardinals for first place in the Central.

Enjoy the good, the bad, and the notables from a great night at GABP:

Reds ink former MLBer Joey Gathright

The Reds purchased the contract of former MLB outfielder Joey Gathright from the Bridgeport Bluefish on Thursday, according to The Hour. Gathright has been assigned to Triple-A Louisville.

The 31-year old appeared in 23 games for the Bluefish this season, posting a .240 batting average with two homers, 13 RBI, 20 runs scored, and nine stolen bases.

Gathright has spent time with several MLB organizations throughtout his career including the Tampa Bay Rays (2004-06), Kansas City Royals (2006-08), Chicago Cubs (2009), Baltimore Orioles (2010), and Boston Red Sox (2009, 11). In 452 career MLB games, he boasts a .263 average with 178 runs scored , 81 stolen bases, and a .328 OBP spanning the better part of seven seasons.

Brandon Phillips is a magician with a glove

Todd Frazier's walk-off homer will be the play that many remember the most about Wednesday's thrilling 2-1 victory over Atlanta, but this gem by Phillips shouldn't go unnoticed either. It very well may have saved a run and perhaps even more.

Reds Billy Hamilton on the updated Keith Law Top 25 prospects list

Billy Hamilton made the list at #25.
ESPN Insider Keith Law has provided an update to his preseason Top 100 prospects rankings, giving us his list of the Top 25 current prospects. You have to be an ESPN Insider subscriber to read the entire article. It was a little troubling as I scrolled through the list and didn't see any Reds prospects on the list, but have no fear, the fastest player in baseball, Billy Hamilton of the Bakersfield Blaze just eeked his way on it at number 25.

Hamilton is currently hitting .320/.395/.477 with 1hr and 15rbi through 42 games at Bakersfield. He's also stolen 42 bases, while being caught 10 times and has scored 40 runs.

Here's what Law had to say about the speedster, who is the Reds top minor league prospect:

MINOR details 5/23/12: 16 hits not enough for Dragons

The Dragons suffered two blown saves in their loss.
 The Louisville Bats (15-32) were off on Wednesday. They travel to Indianapolis on Thursday for a 7:05pm start time.

Mississippi 5 Pensacola 2
-Tim Gustafson (2-1) gave up five earned runs on eight hits in five innings for the Blue Wahoos (22-24). Chris Manno struck out three in two scoreless innings, while Mark Serrano added a scoreless frame.
-Pensacola mustered just three hits, one each from SS Didi Gregorius and LF Yordanys Perez who also scored a run. 3B David Vidal had the other hit and drove in a run. 1B Stephen Hunt also recorded an RBI.

Reds anatomy: Putting together a lineup using sabermetrics, common sense

by: Mason Kibler
Staff Writer

Dusty Baker has been known to ‘switch it up’ more than just about any other manager in baseball. So far in 2012, things have stabilized a bit, and most guys seem to fall into one or two slots--in Dusty’s eyes.

Sabermetrics says a lot of things about how a lineup should be set--essentially having nothing to do with speed. The main concept is to get guys on base, then slug them in. Stealing bases, going first to third, or advancing on throws is irrelevant.

Tony LaRussa’s method of hitting the pitcher 8th has a lot of merit, as well. Leaving a spot open before the leadoff man allows for the #1 guy to come to the plate--and hopefully, get on base--without the bases clogged in front of him. The obvious disadvantage is the pitcher is statistically more likely to come to the plate with runners on base in the 8-hole than in the 9-hole--assuming the lineup includes players with lower averages at the bottom.

There are numerous philosophies on what makes a solid, run-productive lineup. Here’s my personal take on how, and why, the lineup should be set with the current set of 25 guys:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Frazier's bomb helps Reds walk-off to fifth straight win

"Party Rock is in the house tonight!"
The Redlegs entered Wednesday night riding a season-best 4-game winning streak. However, a shot at no. 5 and another series win lay before them as they took aim at the visting Braves.

And thanks to more outstanding pitching and a Todd Frazier solo blast in the ninth, the Reds (24-19) were able to lay claim to both. Frazier's fourth homer of the year lifted Cincinnati to a 2-1 victory over the Braves (26-19) and locked them in a temporary tie with the Cardinals for first-place in the division.

As always, here's your look at the good, the bad, and the notables from the affair:

Kruk: 'Reds are team to beat in Central'

Video (5/23/12): Let's talk Reds

Seen here is our very own @RedlegsMatt shooting the breeze regarding our beloved Redlegs.

Among the topics covered in this short clip include:

- Aroldis Chapman's arrest
- The closer role
- How well the starting rotation has been pitching
- Moving Ryan Hanigan to the 2-hole?

*Be sure to pay a visit and check out/subscribe to his stuff on YouTube, as well as fellow Redlegs Review'er @RedlegsWriter's.*

Cueto, Votto crack top five in quarter awards

With all teams currently having a little over 40 games under their belt, the Major League Baseball regular season is now about 25 percent complete. And the experts over at thought it'd be neat to give their picks for MLB's major awards after a quarter of the schedule.

Eight voters were asked to give their top five choices for AL/NL MVP and Cy Young, as well as their top three choices for NL/AL ROY and Manager of the Year.

Not surprisingly, a pair of Reds cracked the top five in two different categories. Here they are:

MINOR details 5/22/12: Lohman leads Blaze in offensive onslaught

Lohman did his best datdude impression, hitting two homers.
Lehigh Valley 2 Louisville 0
-After a 13-inning marathon last night, the Bats (15-32) woke up for a 10:35am start, and got shut out. It was another good start for the crafty veteran, Brett Tomko (0-5), though he took the loss allowing just one earned run over seven innings. Wirfin Obispo gave up an unearned run in his one inning of work.
-SS Miguel Rojas and LF Danny Dorn each had a double. 2B Cody Puckett was 2-3 with a double.

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (22-23) had an off day Tuesday. They'll return to action Wednesday, as they welcome the Mississippi Braves to town at 7:00pm.

Bakersfield 14 Visalia 6

Card of the day: Bronson Arroyo

What you see here is a 2000 Topps Bronson Arroyo rookie card (try saying that five times fast).

Fast forward nearly 12 whole years later and the right-hander is still hanging around the league. This is due in large part to his pinpoint accuracy and a massive sweeping curve. In 13 MLB seasons he's compiled 114 wins against 107 losses while posting a respectable 4.26 ERA. He's rebounded nicely thus far in '12 after experience a rocky campaign a year ago (9-12, 5.07 ERA, 1.367 WHIP, 46 HR allowed).

The 35-year old looks to continue his 2012 momentum as he battles the visiting Braves tonight. He'll be tossing out the first pitch at approximately 7:10pm ET.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Latos' quality start pushes Reds over Braves 4-3

@DatDudeBP drilled two round-trippers

The Reds (23-19) have taken their second game of a four game series against Atlanta, winning 4-3 over the Braves (26-18),  and thus knocking Atlanta from first place in the NL East. Latos improved to 3-2, pitching 7 innings of 5 hit 2 run baseball, giving up only 1 walk and racking up 8 strikeouts. Mat Latos got his worst pitching out of the way early, giving up a home run to the first batter he faced, Michael Borne. Logan Ondrusek and Aroldis Chapman also pitched a scoreless inning each.

Brandon Phillips led the offensive charge with a pair of homers and three runs batted in.

Here's a look at the good, the bad and the notables from Tuesday:

Reds top prospects update: Donnie Joseph can pitch a little

Billy Hamilton has cooled off a bit, but he still has 40 stolen bases and 37 runs in 41 games. Tony Cingrani and Donnie Joseph are throwing the baseball very well. Joseph looks like a guy who could see a little time in Cincinnati later this year, as he is looking nearly unhittable so far. Other than that there's not a whole lot about which to write home. An honorable mention is deserved for Blaze 1B Donald Lutz who isn't currently ranked among the Reds top 15 prospects, but leads them all with 12 home runs and 38 RBI.

Here's this week's top prospects update. To see last week's update go here.

#2 SS Billy Hamilton (A Bakersfield Blaze)

MINOR details 5/21/12: Blue Wahoos, Blaze, Dragons win; Bats lose in 13

Lutz had another huge game for Bakersfield.
Lehigh Valley 7 Louisville 6 (13 innings)
-Chad Reineke gave up six earned runs on eight hits in four innings for the Bats (15-31). An array of pitchers held the IronPigs scoreless over the next eight innings, including Scott Carroll (2.1), Carlos Fisher (0.2), Kanekoa Texeira (2.0), Nick Christiani (1.0), and Josh Judy (2.0). Travis Webb (2-2) only got one out before allowing the walk-off home run in the 13th.
-SS Kris Negron was 2-7, scoring two runs and hitting a solo home run (4). 1B-3B Neftali Soto had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI. LF Danny Dorn hit a three-run homer in the fifth for his sixth of the year. 3B Chris Valaika went 3-5 with a double, and a stolen base. The Bats don't get much rest as they are back at it Tuesday morning at 10:35am local time before a much needed day off Wednesday.

Pensacola 4 Jacksonville 1

Video: Reds fan grabs back-to-back home run balls!

Soccer players are known more for their feet than they are with their hands. But that may not be the case for Caleb Lloyd, a Reds fan and futboler at nearby Thomas More College, who pulled off a rare feat by catching back-to-back home runs during the fourth inning of Monday's win against the Braves.

The first ball came off the bat of winning pitcher Mike Leake. That one was barehanded by the gloveless college student.

Readers rank MLB's radio teams

The folks at recently came up with the idea of ranking the radio broadcast teams for all 30 MLB clubs. They did it by asking readers to rate the radio broadcast teams on a scale of 1-5 for charisma, analysis and then overall.

Here's how the Reds tandem of Marty Brennaman and Jeff Brantley stacked up against the others:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Chapman arrested for speeding, suspended license

One day removed from picking up his first save of the season, Reds southpaw Aroldis Chapman was arrested early Monday after being caught driving 93 MPH in Grove City (Ohio), reports

According to police, the 24-year old reliever was pulled over in his black 2010 Mercedes S63 on I-71 North near Interstate 270 around 1:00 AM Monday. He was subsequently arrested after the acting officer discovered that he was driving with a suspended Kentucky driver's license. The Cuban native received a citation for that, as well as speeding. He was released after posting an undisclosed bond.

Braves with a Minor Leake, Reds win battle of Mike's

Mike Leake is winless no more

On the heels of a successful road trip through Atlanta and New York, Cincinnati returned home to GABP on Monday to host Fredi Gonzalez's Braves. Mike Leake took the mound still in search of his first victory of the season, and found it thanks to a superb outing and plenty of support from his offense. The Reds (22-19) slugged four homers, including three in a row as part of a 3-run fourth, en route to a 4-1 victory over the NL-East leading Braves (26-20).

Here's the good, the bad and the long list of notables from Monday's melee:

Schoenfield: Moving Chapman to closer won't help Reds win more games

The Cuban Missile has been effective in every role
the Reds have given him in 2012
Dusty Baker's decision to oust Sean Marshall and insert Aroldis Chapman into the closer role has ignited a plethora of outside opinion -- and rightfully so. Chapman is one of the more intriguing players in the game today and any move of this magnitude is sure to cause a stir. And although the way to handle the left-hander is an on-going dilemma, it's a good dilemma nevertheless. At least he's excelling in every role given to him. However, will he help the squad win more games in his latest one?

Here's an excerpt of what's David Schoenfield had to say about the situation on his SweetSpot blog on Monday:

Reds vs. Braves series preview, take two

The Reds (21-19) and the Braves (26-16) will renew acquaintances for the second time in a week after splitting a brief, two-game set in Atlanta last week. The two squads will have a more traditional four-game meeting this time around, beginning with Monday's nationally televised game on ESPN. For all the info, please read on:

MINOR details 5/20/12: Soto brings the mustard as Bats win again

Soto had a big Bats blast.
Louisville 7 Lehigh Valley 3
-It was back-to-back wins for the Bats (15-30) as Pedro Villarreal (2-0) allowed just two earned runs in his 6.2 innings for the win. Jordan Smith got the save (3) tossing 1.1 scoreless innings.
-2B Willie Harris had two hits with a double and two RBI. 3B Chris Valaika added a double and an RBI as well. The big moment belonged to 1B Neftali Soto though, whose only hit was a sixth-inning grand slam (5) to blow the game wide open.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Aces wild! Cueto bests Sabathia, Yankees in series finale

Things didn't look good for Dusty Baker's club after dropping the series opener, 6-0, on Friday. But thanks to quality pitching and timely hitting the Reds (21-19) managed to roar back and take the series after edging the host Yankees (21-20), 5-2, on Sunday. Johnny Cueto outdueled fellow ace C.C. Sabathia to improve to 5-1 on the year, and helped secure the Reds a winning road trip (4-3).

The game also ends a run of two straight series' (five games) against teams from The Big Apple -- a feat that had never been done in MLB history until now.

Here's the good, the bad and the notables from Sunday's matinee at Yankee Stadium:

Video of speedy prospect Billy Hamilton

I found this video of Single-A Bakersfield shortstop Billy Hamilton on YouTube this morning and thought I'd share. The clip was shot and uploaded by @SoCalSteve9 before the Blaze's May 12th came against the Inland Empire 66ers (Single-A affiliate of LA Angels).

The speedster is shown fielding some grounders and taking batting practice (from both sides of the plate) in warm-ups, as well as picking up a couple of hits during the game. As you can easily see from the footage, the switch-hitting prospect is electrifying and many Reds fan can't wait to see him in Cincinnati one day.

MINOR details 5/19/12: Bats bats erupt in 9-2 win; Blaze need 16 innings

The Bats blasted three homers in their victory, Saturday night.
Louisville 9 Lehigh Valley 2
-The Bats (14-30) got six innings of one-run ball from Sean Gallagher (3-3) in the win. Carlos Fisher tossed a scoreless ninth inning.
-SS-CF Kris Negron went 3-6, including a three-run home run (3), two runs scored, and a stolen base. 3B Chris Valaika was 3-4, with a solo shot (3), and a pair of RBI and a pair of runs. RF Bill Rhinehart added two hits and an RBI. 1B Neftali Soto hit a fourth-inning two-run homer (4) and had three total ribbies. LF Danny Dorn collected two doubles and scored two runs.

Pensacola 6 Jacksonville 5