Friday, August 31, 2012

Todd Frazier named one of ten top prospects finally living up to potential

More ink for Reds rookie Todd Frazier as Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus recently tabbed him as one of ten top prospects finally living up to their potential. It's probably a stretch to say that anyone around the Reds organization ever became frustrated with his development, but here's what Lindbergh had to say about him nevertheless:

Frazier's greatest problem has been a lack of opportunity, not paltry production. With Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Scott Rolen arrayed around the Reds' infield, Frazier didn't get his first crack at the majors until last season, at age 25. He showed good power in 121 PA, but a low BABIP sapped his slash line. With both Rolen and Votto doing time on the DL this season, Frazier has seen more action at the infield corners, and he's made the most of it. His 2.3 WARP leads all rookie NL hitters, and Votto is the only Cincinnati player with a better batting line.

MINOR details 8/30/12: Walczak throws six scoreless in Blaze shutout win

Columbus 2 Louisville 0
Bats (51-89), Last place International League West, 34.0 GB
-Chad Reineke (L 5-11, 4.57) pitched 7.2 innings of two-run baseball.
-SS Didi Gregorius was 2-4, with a double.

Tennessee 4 Pensacola 2
Blue Wahoos (67-67, 33-32), 3rd place Southern League South, 2.5 GB

10 facts about the Astros series

The majors' best and worst will collide at Minute Maid Park this weekend when the Reds (80-52) pay a visit to the woeful Houston Astros (40-91). The tale of the tape couldn't be any different for the two teams during 2012.

Browse through the regular season schedule of the Astros and you will likely encounter a monumental amount of the letter "L". They have lost 13 of their last 16 games heading into the series and sport an anemic 7-38 record since the All-Star Break. They are the only team in the bigs to already be mathematically eliminated from postseason play. They currently sit a whopping 39.5 games back of the Reds in the NL Central standings.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati is coming off a 3-game sweep of the Diamondbacks on the road and currently enjoy the largest division lead of any team in baseball. They hold an edge of eight games over the second-place Cardinals and nine over the Pirates. Oh, and did I mention that Joey Votto is all set to return to the lineup on Saturday after missing nearly six weeks?

Here are 10 facts regarding the series against Houston:

Fan designs Reds-themed corn maze

First off, how cool is this? What you behold here is the beautiful work of Bill Irons, a 44-year old married father of four and a devoted Reds fan, who turned his massive 12-acre corn patch into a Cincinnati Reds-themed maze.

This marks the 13th consecutive year that the Lebanon, Ohio native has sculpted such a creative design into his patch of corn. Last year the theme was zoo animals and in 2007 it was a Bengals-themed maze.

“It’s not perfect,” Irons said. “But I’m happy with the way it turned out.”

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Video: Chapman featured on MLB Network

Aroldis Chapman was featured on MLB Network recently and it's easy to see why. The Cuban phenom has been absolutely dominant this season and figures to be right in the mix for National League Cy Young Award honors along with team,mate Johnny Cueto.
In 60 appearances, the southpaw has posted a 5-4 record, 1.27 ERA, 33 saves, 0.719 WHIP and a gaudy 7.06 K/BB ratio. His 15.9 SO/9 ratio is on pace to set the new all-time record for a reliever (min. 60 IP) in a single season and his 24 straight save conversions have already established a new franchise record.
The All-Star is simply having a marvelous individual campaign; so good in fact that it may be the best a reliever has ever had in the history of Major League Baseball. And that is saying something, folks. 

Updated World Series and Pennant Odds

Don't look now, but there remains only five more full weeks of the MLB regular season. Some teams have put themselves in great position for a potential playoff berth while others have been theoretically eliminated for quite a while now. Nonetheless, the postseason picture is beginning to take shape and that means a lot for the folks in Vegas.

Here's a quick look at the current odds to win the 2012 World Series, as well as the odds to win the National League and American League pennants, courtesy of Bovada:

MINOR details 8/29/12: Lots of Ks. No Ws. One Joey Votto

Columbus 4 Louisville 2
Bats (51-88), Last place International League West, 34.0 GB
-Pedro Villarreal (L 3-12, 4.61) gave up two earned runs in three innings.
-2B Didi Gregorius drove in two runs on two hits. CF Denis Phipps doubled twice and scored twice.

Blue Wahoos (67-66, 33-31), 3rd place Southern League South, 1.5 GB
Pensacola was off on Wednesday and return to action against the Tennessee Smokies on Thursday at 7:00pm as they begin their final series of the season.

Visalia 7 Bakersfield 1
Blaze (68-67, 27-38), 4th place California League North, 11.0 GB

Quotes from the D'backs series

The Reds became the first team in the majors to win 80 games this season when they downed Arizona, 6-2, on Wednesday. The win also secured a series sweep and gives the team huge momentum heading into their weekend series in Houston. But first the NL-Central leading club will enjoy a much-deserved and much-needed off day on Thursday.

Here are some notable quotes from the Diamondbacks series to hold you over until Friday:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A huge collection of Reds news and notes

There has been plenty of news and notes swirling around the first-place Reds this week. Here's my attempt at organizing the chaos into one, central location. Enjoy.

+ The hype surrounding Todd Frazier's NL Rookie of the Year bid seems to be growing. Jerry Crasnick of published a must-read feature piece on the New Jersey native earlier today. You can check that out by following this link. I highly recommend it.

+ If things go as planned, Joey Votto will be back in the Reds lineup on Saturday when the club takes on the Astros in Houston. He was 0-1 with a walk and a strikeout in a rehab assignment with Single-A Dayton on Tuesday night. He's scheduled to make a couple more before returning with the big club. Votto has been on the disabled list since July 16th with a left knee injury.

Hey Reds fans, Yadier Molina got crushed by Josh Harrison

The Reds are in first place while the second and third-place Cardinals and Pirates, respectively, are apparently trying to destroy each other, literally. Cincinnati native and current Pittsburgh Pirate Josh Harrison plowed over Yadier Molina at the plate last night. It was a clean hit, but he was out though. Enjoy.

MINOR details 8/28/12: Joey Votto rehabs with Dragons

Columbus 2 Louisville 0
Bats (51-87), Last place International League West, 33.0 GB
-Todd Redmond started and threw six shutout innings. Logan Ondrusek (L 0-1, 9.00) suffered the loss, allowing two earned runs in 1.1 innings.
-SS Didi Gregorius, 3B Henry Rodriguez, and 1B Neftali Soto each had a hit and that’s all that was doing for the Bats.

Blue Wahoos (67-66, 33-31), 3rd place Southern League South, 1.5 GB
Pensacola’s game last night was cancelled. They are off on Wednesday and return to action against the Tennessee Smokies on Thursday at 7:00pm as they begin their final series of the season.

Bakersfield 10 Visalia 6
Blaze (68-66, 27-37), 4th place California League North, 10.0 GB

Bowden: Call up Billy Hamilton

The month of September is just around the corner and you know what that means don't you? What I'm referring to isn't the beginning of pigskin season, nor the start of Autumn, but rather the time for MLB rosters to expand from 25-man rosters to 40.

The period marks an exciting time for fans of all clubs as contenders get a shot in the arm from up-and-comers while those out of playoff contention get to see what the future may hold. In his most recent column entitled "10 top prospects I would call up now", ESPN Insider Jim Bowden lists speedy Billy Hamilton as the no. 1 prospect he would call up. Here's what he had to say about the Reds farmhand:

Billy Hamilton, SS

Cueto Dominant Against D-Backs

The Cincinnati Reds (79-52) have now leaped over the Washington Nationals for the best record in the National League with their 5-2 victory over Arizona. Johnny Cueto took the ball for the Reds and was rather dominant in his race towards the Cy Young Award. Cueto definitely bolstered his chances coming a step closer to winning the prized award picking up his 17th victory of the season.

The guys started off rather quickly with the offense in a game where they had a shot to run their division lead back up to seven games. They did just that with their ace on the mound.

Let's take a look at how it all unfolded out in the hot desert with the good, the bad, and the notables:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happy birthday to Sweet Lou Piniella

The last man to lead Cincinnati to a World Series title is celebrating his 69th birthday today. That man is none other than retired MLB player and manager Lou Piniella.

In his first season as manager of the Reds in 1990, "Sweet Lou" led the club to a 91-71 regular season record and a sweep of the heavily-favored Oakland A's in the World Series. He would go on to manage the Reds for two more seasons before taking over the reins of the Seattle Mariners in 1993. He compiled a 255-231 record in his tenure as skipper in the Queen City.

He would then proceed to manage Seattle for 10 years, Tampa Bay for three, and the Chicago Cubs for four before calling it quits in 2010.

His 1,835 career managerial wins rank 14th on the all-time list.

MINOR details 8/27/12: Hamilton runs wild in extras as Blue Wahoos win

Bats (51-86), Last place International League West, 32.0 GB
Louisville was off on Monday. They welcome the Columbus Clippers to town on Tuesday at 7:05pm local time.

Pensacola 3 Mississippi 2
Blue Wahoos (67-66, 33-31), 3rd place Southern League South, 2.0 GB
-Mark Serrano started and went 5.2 innings, striking out five and giving up two earned runs. Curtis Partch (W 7-4, 4.97) tossed a scoreless inning to get the win. Chris Manno got a two-our save (2).
-SS Billy Hamilton finished 2-5, with two runs and four stolen bases (50, 154). RF Josh Fellhauer was 2-5, with a double and two RBI. PH Yordanys Perez drove in the go-ahead run with a sac fly in the 10th, after Hamilton stole second and third.

Bakersfield 7 Modesto 6
Blaze (67-66, 26-37), 4th place California League North, 10.0 GB

Arroyo leads Reds past Snakes, 3-2

The Reds (78-52) edged out the slumping Diamondbacks (64-65), 3-2, on Monday thanks to a do-it-all performance by Bronson Arroyo. The right-hander upped his season record to 11-7 after delivering a strong start, however his biggest contribution may have been his solo homer in the sixth, which was originally ruled a ground-rule double, but was reviewed and overturned, thus giving Cincy a 3-2 lead that they would hold on to for good.

The bullpen took care of the rest just like the Reds would have drew it up and they were able to send Arizona to their sixth defeat in their past eight games.

Here's a breakdown of the good, bad and notables from the desert:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs: What kind of players are they really?


by: Chase Fitzgerald
Staff Writer

I’ve seen a plethora (big word I know) of articles saying what kind of players Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs will be and what their potential is. Well, I think I speak on behalf of the entire Reds fan base by saying I’m getting sick and tired of them. Those takes are just getting old. I’ll admit I’ve been one of the many people to write articles about exactly that, but I’m here to set the record straight. I think we already know what these two players will be and here’s why:

Jay Bruce has been in the majors for 5 years. Each of those 5 years he hasn’t had a very high average. I think we need to get used to that. I will be shocked if he ever has a year where he hits over .290. I know that we expected him to have a high batting average but the harsh truth is he won’t. It seems like after 5 years in the majors you can see what type of player someone is. If he hasn’t had a high batting average by now, unless he wakes up someday and just miraculously figures everything out, he won’t ever. Now the power numbers are a different story.

MINOR details 8/26/12: Billy Hamilton reaches 150 steals in Blue Wahoos win

Louisville 4 Toledo 3
Bats (51-86), Last place International League West, 31.5 GB
-Tim Gustafson (W 5-5, 5.13) threw 6.2 innings of one-run baseball. Jordan Smith got his 13th save.
-CF Denis Phipps was 3-4, with a two-run home run (15), and two runs scored. SS Didi Gregorius added a two-run shot (6) of his own.

Pensacola 5 Mississippi 2 (Game 1)
-Tony Cingrani struck out six and gave up two earned runs in four innings. Justin Freeman pitched two scoreless innings for the save (16).
-SS Billy Hamilton was 1-3, with a run and a steal (46, 150). RF Josh Fellhauer and 2B Miguel Rojas each went 1-3, with an RBI, a run, and a walk. LF Bryson Smith and PH P.J. Phillips each drove in a run.

Mississippi 1 Pensacola 0 (Game 2)
Blue Wahoos (66-66, 32-31), 3rd place Southern League South, 2.0 GB

10 facts about the Diamondbacks series

After a brief 3-game homestand over the weekend, the Reds (77-52) hit the road for a 3-game tilt against the Arizona Diamonbacks (64-64) beginning Monday night.

Cincy continues to thrive in Joey Votto's (left knee) absence having gone 27-14 since he hit the disabled list on July 16th. They have also managed to build their division lead from one game to six during that span.

Meanwhile, the D'backs enter the week still very much alive for a potential playoff spot. They enter Monday seven games back in the NL West and 6.5 games off the pace in the NL Wild Card. However, Kirk Gibson's club has lost five of their last seven and are in desperate need of a winning series.

Here are 10 facts you need to know about the series at Chase Field:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Reds Still Hold Healthy Division Lead, Despite Crushing 8-2 Loss to Cardinals

Homer Bailey gave up 9 hits and 5 earned runs in today's crushing loss to the division Rival St. Louis Cardinals. Cincinnati pitching suffered all night, giving up 17 hits and 8 runs total, a deficit that was too much for the Reds to overcome.

Today's loss means St. Louis has taken 2 out of 3 from the Reds and have inched their way to 6 games back in the NL Central.

Video: Larkin's Greatest Moments (no. 1)

In celebration of Barry Larkin's Hall of Fame career, the Reds have been running a series of video clips featuring the 11 Greatest Moments of his 19-year run in the bigs. Here is what they believe to be no. 1. 

Phillips Shines, as Larkin's number is retired, in 8-2 Victory

The Cincinnati Reds honored Barry Larkin by retiring his Number 11. The Reds have been honoring Larkin all season and this was a final step. Larkin joins only 8 others Reds who have had their numbers retired. It's always nice to win on occasions such as this, both honoring former greats and facing perhaps your most heated rival. Brandon Phillips, who's childhood hero was Larkin, helped insure the victory for the Reds. As always, here is the good, bad, and notables.

The Good
- Mike Leake pitched a very strong game. He went 6.2 innings allowing only 2 runs. He allowed 10 hits but it's only the runs that count, right?
-J.J. Hoover pitched a perfect inning  with 3 strikeouts
-Brandon Phillips had 3 hits, 2 RBI, and scored 2 runs including his 14th home run.
-Jay Bruce hit his 27th home run and had 2 RBI and 2 runs
- Todd Frazier also had 2 runs and an RBI

The Bad
-Zack Cozart went 0-5 with a strike out
-Drew Stubbs had 4 strike outs on the night to record what's known as the "golden sombrero"

The Notables
- The official attendance was announced as 41,680. It was another sellout for the Reds who just keep adding to the record for most sellouts in a season at GABP. Saturday was no. 14.
-The Reds are 7 games ahead of the Cardinals in the division
-The Cardinals and Reds only meet up one more time during the regular season, over the final weekend in St. Louis
-The Reds are sending out Homer Bailey (10-8 4.11 ERA) against Adam Wainwright (12-10 3.65 ERA) in the series clincher

Ryan Ludwick one of five veterans driving playoff races

Where would the Reds be without Ryan Ludwick this season. He has carried more than his fair share of the load since Joey Votto went on the disabled list and is the clear favorite to win NL Comeback Player of the Year. Signed by the team as a free agent in late January, Ludwick has proved to be worth every bit of his $2.5 million salary this year...and then some.

Ben Lindbergh of ESPN Insider and Baseball Prospectus recently recognized Ludwick for his good play in this post entitled "Veterans driving the races". He features the 34-year old as one of five veterans who are making an impact for playoff contending clubs. Here's all of what he had to say about Ludwick:

Video: Dusty discusses Saturday's win

The Reds (77-51) won handily over the visiting Cardinals on Saturday. Here's skipper Dusty Baker talking about the performance of Mike Leake (6-8), the game, and the atmosphere surrounding Barry Larkin weekend in Cincinnati, among other things. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Reds honor hometown hero Barry Larkin

Cincinnati native Barry Larkin added yet another notch to his illustrious resume on Saturday when the Reds retired the no. 11 in his honor before their game against the Cardinals. Larkin wore the uniform number for all 19 seasons of his Major League career, all of which he spent with the Reds. He became only the ninth player in franchise history to have his number retired joining such Reds legends as Johnny Bench (5), Joey Morgan (8) and his childhood idol Dave Concepcion (13), among others.

Said Larkin during the pre-game ceremony: "We, the people of Cincinnati, we got it done, and we did it...I'm so proud and humbled to be sitting up there on the wall right next to my idol, Davey Concepcion, No. 13."

"Never to be worn again, becoming an icon signifying your achievements, your history and our history, this baseball town is proud to say you displayed our name across your chest," Reds CEO Bob Castellini said.

Checking in on 13 former Reds

Roster turnover in Major League Baseball is often a gradual yet consistent process. Players come and go from teams just as the wind blows through an open field. With that said, the Reds have had their fair share of departed players over the past few seasons, and I thought it would be interesting to see how some of them were doing with their new clubs.

I'm sure there's a couple of guys here who Reds fans would love to see still wearing the red "C", and also several who they must feel relieved that they no longer are *cough* Francisco Cordero *cough*.

So, without further ado here are updates on a baker's dozen of former Reds:

Yonder Alonso (San Diego Padres)
2012 stats: .272/.341/.388, 6 HR, 42 RBI, 32 2B, 38 RS
Notes: He leads all NL rookies in doubles and is hitting .292 with a .333 OBP since the All-Star Break.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cardinals use 6-run inning to upend first place Reds

St. Louis (69-56) scored six times in the top of the sixth to race past the Redlegs (76-51), 8-5, at Great American Ball Park on Friday. It marked the second straight game in which the Reds have blown a 3-run lead and subsequently lost.

Cincinnati's lead in the NL Central now stands at six.

Here's a recap of the good, bad and notables from the series opener:

MINOR details 8/23/12: Corcino turns in good outing in Blue Wahoos win

Indianapolis 6 Louisville 1
Bats (50-84), Last place International League West, 30.5 GB
-Todd Redmond (L 8-10, 3.45) struck out six, giving up two runs, one earned, in six innings. Bill Bray gave up two runs, one earned, in an inning. Logan Ondrusek allowed one earned in one inning of work.
-LF Willie Harris collected two doubles and a run scored. RF Felix Perez drove in the run.

Pensacola 6 Montgomery 0
Blue Wahoos (64-65, 30-30), 3rd place Southern League South, 4.0 GB

10 facts about the Cardinals series

Friday marks the return of the St. Louis Cardinals (68-56) to Great American Ball Park as they square off for a weekend clash against the NL Central-leading Reds (76-50).

The red-hot Reds enter the series 26 games over .500 and owners of the best record in MLB (30-11) since the All-Star Break. Meanwhile, the second-place Cardinals are coming off a sweep of the Astros and are hoping to gain some ground in the standings.

Will the Cardinals embark on another one of their miraculous late-season runs this weekend, or will Dusty Baker's team deliver a virtual knockout blow to the defending champs' division title hopes? We will know by Sunday evening.

Here are 10 facts about the series against the Redbirds:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Reds settle for a series split in Philly, lose 4-3 in 11

The Reds (76-50) had their sights on winning a series in Philadelphia on Thursday night, but were forced to settle with a split instead. John Mayberry Jr.'s bases-loaded, game-winning single in the bottom of the 11th off of Alfredo Simon (2-2) propelled the Phillies (58-67) to a walkoff victory, 4-3.

A pair of Cy Young hopefuls took to the mound in this one, however neither one had their best stuff. Johnny Cueto lasted only five innings allowing three walks and two runs while Cole Hamels labored through six frames and allowed three runs of his own. Each received a no-decision for their efforts -- a rarity for Cueto this season.

Here's a recap of the good, bad and notables from the series finale:

ESPN tabs Reds 15th in Future Rankings

Predicting the future can be tricky business.
The experts at ESPN try to anyway.

Back in February, the ESPN Insider trio of Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Buster Olney put their heads together to come up with Future Power Rankings for all 30 MLB teams. They rated the Reds 16th in that particular edition. Now the tandem has teamed up again to muster up some new rankings based on what has transpired from then until now. In this new in-season one, the Reds did well in moving up one spot to no. 15.

Here's what the talking heads had to say regarding the current NL Central leaders:

MINOR details 8/22/12: Blaze win behind D'Anna, Vicioso

Bats (50-83), Last place International League West, 29.5 GB
-Kanekoa Texeira started and gave up two runs, one earned, in 2.1 innings. Travis Webb (L 2-5, 4.70) allowed two earned runs in 1.2 innings for the loss.
-2B-LF Willie Harris was 2-5, with two solo home runs (3).

Blue Wahoos (63-65, 29-30), 3rd place Southern League South, 5.0 GB

Video: Phillie Phanatic dances with Vanilla Ice, Spice Girls look-alikes

Let me be the first to say that I for one am thoroughly enjoying watching this series in Philly. Not only have the Reds won two of the first three games and are on the verge of winning the series on Thursday, but there has been awesome entertainment on tap as well. And it's been provided entirely by one of the recognizable mascots in professional sports, The Phillie Phanatic.
In case you missed it, here was the scene on Monday night as the furry creature assisted in dispersing free hot dogs to some lucky fans. The Phanatic could also be seen breaking it down between innings with the Jabbawockeez, a world famous dance crew, at Citizens Bank Park on Monday.
But perhaps the greateast spectacle of the week was when the Phillies mascot joined a group of Spice Girls look-alikes in dancing to "Wannabe". Well played, Mr. Phanatic. Here's the video of that:

Schedule of events for Barry Larkin weekend in Cincinnati

Today kicks off a festive weekend around the Queen City as the Reds will honor the newest member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and hometown hero, Barry Larkin. The highlight of the weekend will come Saturday night at GABP when the team will officially retire the no. 11 in a pregame ceremony. He is set to become only the ninth player in franchise history to have his number retired joining the likes of Sparky Anderson (10), Johnny Bench (5), Dave Concepcion (13), Fred Hutchinson (1), Ted Kluszewski (18), Joe Morgan (8), Tony Perez (24) and Frank Robinson (20).

Here's the remaining schedule of events surrounding the momentous occasion:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

• Meet & Greet with Barry Larkin at the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum, 5 to 7 p.m.

– $11 for Reds Hall of Fame members; $16 for non-members

– Tickets at or (513) 765-7923

– Photos only, no autographs please

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Reds hold on for win over Philly, 3-2

A sure way to tell this is a special season – not even the Philadelphia curse can keep the Reds at bay. The Redlegs found a way to win in the City of Brotherly Love once again Wednesday night, holding on for a 3-2 victory.

Bronson Arroyo (10-7) was awesome on the hill, the Reds had just enough timely hitting and Aroldis Chapman held on in the ninth inning. For the complete breakdown, read on.

Stars aligning just right for the Reds

Even if the regular season ended today, the 2012 campaign has already been a special one for the Cincinnati Reds. They have electrified their fan base with a plethora of come-from-behind wins, walk-offs, defensive gems, fantastic pitching and all-around winning play on the diamond. They own the longest winning streak in baseball this year when they ripped off a string of 10 in a row back in July (prompting longtime broadcaster Marty Brennaman to shave his signature hair!) and have pieced together streaks of five or more wins on five different occasions. But best of all, they currently enjoy a comfortable lead atop the National League Central Division and appear to be a safe bet to make their second trip to the postseason in three years.

Reds uniforms ranked 69th by Uni Watch

This is the uni pic used from the Uni Watch list.

ESPN's Uni Watch squad is back at it, insisting on putting together a list of the best and worst uniforms in the four major pro sports. They decided the best thing to do was just to go ahead and rank every single team's most current uniforms from 1 to 122 and release a certain range every day starting from the worst (122) to the best (1). It would appear that today is the day of reckoning for the Cincinnati Reds and their threads. The Redlegs ranked as having the 69th best or worst uniforms in sports, depending on how you want to look at it. This would place them in the lower echelon of sports' garb. They were just ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers and just below the Tampa Bay Rays. It seems kind of ironic that the Reds are wearing 1991 throwback uniforms for this evening's game.

Here's what Uni Watch had to say about the Reds:

MINOR details 8/21/12: Billy Hamilton steals the steals record

-Billy Hamilton gets the top spot for this edition. Surely you’ve heard what happened last night. Hamilton needed two steals to tie, and three to break Vince Coleman’s record of 145. He did one better and stole four in the first game of a doubleheader to finish the night with 147, becoming the single season “King of Thieves.”  For the game, he was 1-2, with two walks and the four thefts. C Tucker Barnhart hit a game-tying, two-run home run (2) in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
-Unfortunately, the Blue Wahoos lost. Tony Cingrani took a perfect game into the sixth inning before giving up two earned runs on three hits through seven innings, while striking out seven. Justin Freeman (L 3-6, 2.82) gave up two earned runs in one innings to take the loss.

Blue Wahoos (63-64, 29-29), 3rd place Southern League South, 4.0 GB

Less drama makes for more wins in Cincinnati

by: Sara Spurr
Staff Writer

It was announced on Tuesday that Devin Mesoraco will serve a two-game suspension, one less than originally anticipated, for instigating a heated argument with the plate umpire on July 30th. I’m not one to draw additional attention to the club’s bad news, but in light of some other suspensions of late, I would like to use Mesoraco’s suspension to point out that this is the extent of baseball-related drama for the Reds this season. The Reds’ 7.5 game lead on Pittsburgh in the NL Central is the result of teamwork, skill and self-described determination, not scandals and suspensions.

As to not antagonize, I have refrained from noting the specific players (or managers!) and clubs involved in the following incidents. If you really want to know, tweet me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Video of Hamilton's record-breaking steal

It was only a matter of time before Billy Hamilton broke Vince Coleman's single-season stolen base record. That time came on Tuesday night. Congrats to Billy for re-writing the history books after swiping his 146th bag of the season. 

Billy Hamilton makes history

History was made on Tuesday night during a game between the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and Montgomery Biscuits in Florida. That's because Reds minor league prospect Billy Hamilton stole three bases to reach 146 for the season, (between Single-A Bakersfield and Pensacola) thus breaking Vince Coleman’s single-season stolen base record of 145, set in 1983.

Here's how he did it.

In the bottom of the first inning, Hamilton walked, advanced to second on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt and stole third base.

In the bottom of the third, Hamilton singled, stole second (to tie Coleman’s record) and stole third (to break the record).

Hamilton, 21, started the year at Bakersfield and stole 104 bases in 125 attempts in 82 games there. His three steals Tuesday pushed his total to 42 in 54 attempts at Pensacola. For the record, Hamilton still has 12 regular season games left with the Blue Wahoos before possibly being called up to the big club when the rosters expand in September.

Billy Hamilton nearing record as Reds top prospects play on

Will he be "Record Holder" Billy Hamilton after tonight?
Pensacola shortstop Billy Hamilton currently sits on 143 stolen bases. He only needs two to tie and three to break Vince Coleman's single season record of 145 steals, set in 1983 with Macon. It's really no longer a question of if or when, but how many bases Hamilton will steal. The Blue Wahoos have a doubleheader scheduled for tonight, so the record could very well fall this evening.

2011 first-rounder Robert Stephenson has hardly missed a beat since being promoted to Dayton, looking about as good as he did at Billings.

Ryan Wright is taking advantage of the hitter-friendly California League as he's already hit four home runs in 16 games with Bakersfield. He hit only five homers in 102 games at Dayton.

Tony Cingrani is still pretty nasty too.

Here's the top prospects update. To see the last one, go here.

#1 SS Billy Hamilton (AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos)

MINOR details 8/20/12: Dragons climb out of cellar with back-to-back wins

Bats (50-81), Last place International League West, 27.5 GB
-Chad Reineke (L 5-9, 4.70) surrendered eight earned runs in just three innings. Carlos Fisher tossed two scoreless.
-CF Denis Phipps cranked a solo home run (14).

Blue Wahoos (63-62, 29-27), 2nd place Southern League South, 2.0 GB
Pensacola and Montgomery were rained out. They will make it up as part of a doubleheader on Tuesday starting at 6:00pm local time.

Blaze (63-63, 22-34), 4th place California League North, 10.0 GB

Video: Phillie Phanatic busts a move

The Phillie Phanatic had plenty to dance about on Monday night as his team upended the visiting Reds quite handily, 12-5. To celebrate, he joined up with world-famous dance crew Jabbawockeez in between innings to bust a move or two of his own. Check it out in the short-video clip above.

For a person, errr thing of its size, the Phillies mascot sure is nimble. He's also pretty generous. When he wasn't breaking it down on the Citizens Bank Park field, he was tossing out free hot dogs during the game.

Cincinnati ranks 16th in 2012 attendance

Entering play on Monday, the Redlegs ranked 16th in Major League Baseball and 10th in the National League in average home attendance for 2012. Through 63 games at the friendly confines of Great American Ball Park, the franchise has pulled in an average crowd of 29,477 (1,857,062 overall). Coincidentally, they also ranked 16th and 10th in MLB and the NL, respectively, during last season with an average mark of 27,327.

Their current 2012 figure is a higher home average than the likes of Atlanta (29,477), Miami (29,129), Pittsburgh (26,778) and Houston (21,140), among other NL teams playing in larger markets (based on population). I'm sure winning has helped Cincinnati's cause a bit.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Reds receive no love in Philly, fall 12-5

It's pretty unusual to go this deep into the season without meeting another team within your league, but such was the case for the Reds (74-49) and Phillies (57-65) on Monday. And after the 12-5 whipping the Redlegs took at Citizens Bank Park, I'd say they would have been just fine with not seeing the Phils in 2012. The defeat marked their seventh straight against the club from The City of Brotherly Love.

Mike Leake (5-8) made the start for the visitors and was promptly treated to an offensive assault en route to his eighth loss of the year. Philadelphia's Roy Halladay (7-7) opposed and didn't exactly light up the pitching box score, but he pitched well enough to earn the victory for himself. Juan Pierre, a player rumored to be sought after by the Reds at the trade deadline, pounded out three hits, scored three runs, stole a pair (31) and drove in a run to pace the Phillies.

Here's a breakdown of the good, bad and notables on the affair:

Reds pegged second in ESPN power rankings

Can anyone cool off the Reds? released its weekly batch of MLB Power Rankings on Monday and the Reds (74-48) managed to move up one spot to no. 2. The Nationals (75-46), owners of the best record in the majors, occupied the top position for the second week in a row.

Cincy was able climb up the rankings on the strength of a 5-2 week against the likes of the Mets and Cubs at home. Their 27-10 record since the All-Star Break is tops in baseball during that span.

If they want to knock the Nats off the perch, they will have to take care of business in Philadelphia (four games) and back home against the Cardinals (three games) this week. The Nationals will host the Braves for a 3-game set before hitting the road to Philly for a 3-game series there as well. 

10 notes about the Phillies series

After a successful 5-2 homestand, the Reds (74-48) head north to a place where they have struggled in season's past, The City of Brotherly Love. It is there that will be welcomed to Citizens Bank Park by the fourth-place Phillies (56-65), who are turning in a very disappointing campaign. Picked by many to win the NL East in the preseason, the Fightin' Phils have not lived up to expectations in 2012, not in the least bit.

Entering Monday, they trailed the front-running Washington Nationals by a whopping 18.5 games and the Atlanta Braves by 10.5 games in the Wild Card. Simply put, Charlie Manuel's club is looking for anything to salvage what has been a lost season and they'll undoubtedly aim to slow down the red-hot Reds to accomplish that.

Here are 10 notes you need to know regarding the 4-game set:

MINOR details 8/19/12: Phipps shoulders the load for Bats

Bats (50-80), Last place International League West, 26.5 GB
-Sean Gallagher (W 10-9, 4.92) got the win, allowing five runs, four earned, in five innings. Bill Bray gave up three earned runs in 2/3 of an inning. J.J. Hoover picked up his 13th save.
-CF Denis Phipps went crazy, with a 3-3 game, including two home runs (13) and six RBI.

Blue Wahoos (63-62, 29-27), 2nd place Southern League South, 2.0 GB

Notable Reds quotes from the weekend

The Redlegs (74-48) took care of business over the weekend and managed to take three out of four against The Lovable Losers from Chicago. By doing so, they were able to stretch their division lead to 6.5 games -- the largest for any first place team in baseball.

Here are some notable quotes from the series:

Friday (Win, 7-3)

+ “In the years before, we’ve always had big slides, which takes the wind out of your sails. Since the All-Star Break, it hasn’t happened. It makes you feel like the ball is always rolling in your direction. If you lose one, you feel like you have a chance to come in the next day and win a series.” -Bronson Arroyo on the team's 27-9 record since July 6th

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Caption this photo of today's win

This was the scene after Ryan Hanigan helped the Reds to their National League-leading ninth walk-off victory of the season on Sunday. Don't be shy, let's hear your best captions for the photo.

Hanigan and Paul's Late Game Heroics Give Reds 5-4 victory over Cubs

Over 130,000 fans came to Great American for a four game, three day series against the Cubs, and the Reds capped it off with some ninth inning magic thanks to Xavier Paul and Ryan Hanigan.

Mat Latos pitched an amazing game, giving up only 6 hits in 8 innings, 4 runs (two earned) and striking out 6 and also getting an RBI single.

Meet and greet with Barry Larkin slated for August 23rd

From the Reds:

CINCINNATI — The Reds Hall of Fame welcomes Reds and National Baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin for an exclusive fan meet and greet on Thursday, Aug. 23.

The newest member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame will greet and take photographs with fans in the Reds Hall of Fame’s Great Teams Room from 5 to 7 p.m.

Mr. Larkin will not be signing autographs during the event.

Pricing for this unique opportunity to meet a true Reds legend is $11 for Reds Hall of Fame members and $16 for non-members.

Reds Split Day, Night Double-Header With Cubs

Johnny Cueto continues to impress
The Cincinnati Reds (73-48) played a rare double header on Saturday. The day started of strong with a 5-3 win behind another solid performance by Johnny Cueto but slipped up in the nightcap in a 9-7 loss. Despite the loss it was still a positive day on the diamond for Reds fans. It is encouraging to see the team doing so well despite some obstacles. The team continues to play without Joey Votto and Todd Redmond made a spot start for his first in the major leagues. However, With the split the Cincinnati Reds were still able to gain a 1/2 game over the rest of the Central Division, stretching there lead to 6.5 games. Here is a quick recap of both games.

Game 1
The Good 
-Johnny Cueto continues to dominate. He pitched 8 innings allowing only 3 hits and 2 runs while striking out 8. He know has 16 wins on the season matching the league high. Cueto is also a perfect 11-0 in day games and has given up 2 runs or less in 20 of his 24 starts
- Xavier Paul (1st of season), Todd Frasier (17) and Miguel Cairo (1) all hit home-runs.
-Aroldis Chapman picked up his 29th save of the season. He made it interesting by allowing a run but got the job done with 2 strikeouts

The Bad
-Brandon Phillips went 0-4
-Zach Cozart, Chris Heisey, and Jay Bruce struck out 2 times a piece.
-The team went 0-7 with RISP
-They also left 7 runners on base

The Notables 
-Johnny Cueto and and Todd Frazier are putting up impressive stats. Is it possible we could see a Cy Young or Rookie of the Year be awarded to them at the end of the year?
-Despite being a make-up game, the match up drew a rather large crowd. The paid attendance was announced at 28,754

A Q & A with Reds top pick Nick Travieso

With their first pick in the 2012 Amateur Draft (14th overall), the Reds tabbed RHP Nick Travieso out of Archbishop McCarthy High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Although previously committed to play his college ball at the University of Miami, the 18-year old inked a deal with the Reds less than two weeks later to officially begin his pro career with Cincinnati. Nick is currently a member of the AZL Reds.

Named as a Rawlings 1st Team All-American and the Gatorade Player of the Year for Florida after his senior season at Archbishop, the 18-year old boasts a fastball that hovers in the mid-90s range and has been clocked as high as 99 MPH earlier this year. He has many around the organization and baseball world alike buzzing about his potential, and he was gracious enough to sit down with us recently for the following Q & A session.

A huge thanks to the right-hander for fielding these questions like a champ:

RR: Take us through the time when you first learned you were drafted by the Reds. How did you find out? Who were you with? What was your initial reaction?

Video: Baker on game one victory

Dusty Baker breaks down the 5-3 victory over the Cubs in game one of the double dip on Saturday.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Video: Baker discusses Friday's win

Skipper Dusty Baker talks about the 7-3 victory over the Cubs on Friday.

A historic streak ends today for the Cincinnati Reds rotation

Latos has been a key cog in what has been a
versatile, durable and potent rotation

Today likely marks the end of a rather impressive on-going streak for the starting rotation of the Reds. Entering Saturday, Cincinnati had used only five starting pitchers (Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake) for all 119 of their games this season, a modern franchise record. As of Saturday morning, they were the only team in Major League Baseball this year to have used just five pitchers in their rotation.

Outside of divine intervention, that run will end later on today when Todd Redmond, just called up from Triple-A Louisville, makes his season debut and becomes the sixth starting pitcher used by Dusty Baker and the Reds this year. The move to insert Redmond into a starter's role is a necessity caused by the team's doubleheader. One of the games is a makeup date from a rainout back on May 1st.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Reds lay the Wood to Chicago, 7-3

Cincinnati (72-47) exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fourth en route to a convincing 7-3 victory over the visiting Cubs (46-71) on Friday. Bronson Arroyo improved his record to 9-7 after a gritty outing. Meanwhile, his former Reds teammate, Travis Wood, took the loss to drop his mark on the year to 4-9. 
All in all, it was just one more step in the direction the Reds want to go come October...the postseason.

Here is a breakdown of the good, bad and notables from "Elvis Night" at GABP: