Monday, April 30, 2012

Cincinnati + Attitude = Cincinnatitude

Jay Bruce named NL Player of the Week


Jay Bruce's huge week didn't go unnoticed as the slugger garnered National League Player of the Week honors for the period ending April 29th. The announcement was made on MLB Network earlier today.

Here's the snippet regarding Bruce from the press release:

MINOR details 4/29/2012: Minor Leaguers get swept on Sunday

Norfolk 7 Louisville 4
-Chad Reineke allowed two runs, none of them earned, over six innings for the Bats (9-15). Carlos Fisher (0-2) was charged with the loss giving up three earned runs in 2/3 of an inning. In Bill Bray's first rehab appearance with the Bats, he allowed two earned runs, including a home run, in one inning.
-RF Daryl Jones had a solo home run. 1B Neftali Soto went 3-4 with three doubles and two RBI. LF Felix Perez also added an RBI.

Jacksonville 4 Pensacola 0

Reds Week in Review 4/23 to 4/29

The Reds over the past week welcomed in the Giants for a three game series followed by the Astros for a three game series. It was a week that saw the team win both of the three game series' and was a week that saw the guys have a winning record overall during the week. Let's take a look at how the past week was for Dusty and the gang. 

Players of the Month (April)



The Reds wrapped up their slate for the month of April with a 6-5 win over the visting Astros on Sunday. The victory helped even up their overall record to 11-11, a respectable tally considering they started 4-8. And you don't win seven out of ten games without getting some good performances from your players. After careful consideration, we've identified one position player and one pitcher who went above and beyond the call of duty for the last four weeks.

Without further adieu, here are your Redlegs Review Players of the Month for April:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

This really happened, folks (Video)



It's hard enough to grab a home run ball, the odd's are stacked against you from the get-go. But try doing it while holding the precious cargo known as your daughter. That's exactly what this Reds fanatic attempted to do last Thursday when Jay Bruce deposited this ball over the outfield wall.

Not only did he fail to secure the catch (he held onto his daughter though, which is objective no. 1), but the Redlegs coughed up the lead, and the game as well, 6-5. However, he can rest easy knowing his little bundle of joy is safe, sound, and forever immortalized in this video clip. 

Reds Rally Late, Win Series




The Cincinnati Reds (11-11) and the Houston Astros (8-14) faced off at GABP Sunday afternoon in what was the rubber game of a three game series. Mat Latos, the hard throwing right-hander faced off against right-hander Jordan Lyles who was making his first start of the 2012 season for the Astros. It was a game that the Reds were obviously looking to take from the Astros, a team that they should beat.

MINOR details 4/28/2012: Blaze streak extinguished, but Bats and Dragons win

A 12th straight win was not to be for Bakersfield.
Louisville 9 Norfolk 2
-The Bats (9-14) got their second strong pitching performance and second win in a row, as Sean Gallagher (1-2) struck out eight over seven innings, allowing two earned runs. Kanekoa Texeira and Jordan Smith pitched the final two scoreless innings.
-3B Mike Costanzo had two hits including his third home run of the year, a solo shot in the second. C Corky Miller also had two hits and a two-run homer in the eighth. DH Neftali Soto had a double and three RBI. 2B Chris Valaika and RF Bill Rhinehart picked up an RBI each.

Jacksonville 5 Pensacola 2

Six historical facts about Reds you may not know


1) Originally named the "Red Stockings" upon their founding in 1882, the franchise was part of the American Association from 1882-89 before joining the National League in 1890. The AA was eventually dissolved shortly thereafter in 1891.

2) Charles Comiskey, a Baseball HOF inductee (Class of 1939), a key founder of the American League and former owner of the Chicago White Sox of which Comiskey Park (1910-1991) was named after him, served as a player/manager for the Reds during the 1892-94 seasons compiling a 202-206 record.

Reds minor leaguers who are 'blazing'

The switch-hitting Hamilton highlights a group of
minor leaguers who have been red-hot to begin the year

Life as a minor leaguer isn't always as grand as one might think. Whether it be playing in front of a sparse crowd, laboring through an 8-hour bus ride with torn-up seats, or just scraping by with their modest paychecks, the life of a minor league baseball player can be very trying. However, when it comes right down to it the only thing that really matters is their performance on the field.

Here's a look at some of the guys who've been red-hot as of late*:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cueto, Bruce Star as Reds Win 6-0

After our adventure with the Reds on Wednesday, Jimmi and I went back up to Great American Ballpark for today's game against the Houston Astros (8-13). We had 3 things on our mind.
1. Buying some VottO's Cereal
2. Getting one of the free Fleece Blankets given to the first 20,000 fans in attendance.
3. And of course seeing the Reds WIN!

Weekend links: Votto, Leake, Blaze



I hope everyone is having a stellar weekend as we inch closer to May. If the April showers have dampened your spirits, let us some re-lift them with some Reds-related links for the weekend:

* Joey Votto has struckout at a higher rate than usual this season. However, Matt Synder of CBSSports.com doesn't necessarily believe that's a bad thing. See his reasoning by following this link to his piece.

* Speaking of Votto, Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy offers a suggestion to those who are concerned about the slugger's slow start. LINK.

MINOR details 4/27/2012: 11 in a row for the Blaze!

Bakersfield's winning streak matches
the Hall of Famer's jersey number.
Louisville 2 Norfolk 1
-Jeff Francis (2-2) was dealing Friday night tossing eight innings of one-run baseball, while striking out nine for the Louisville Bats (8-14). Josh Judy got his first save with a scoreless ninth.
-3B Mike Costanzo was the offense, going 2-3 with a two-run home run in the fourth inning, scoring 1B Neftali Soto in the process.

Pensacola 8 Jacksonville 2

Olney: Chapman off to great start


Aroldis Chapman has been making mince meat of major league hitters this season. Through eight appearances the left-hander has yet to allow a run and has retired 20 of his 34 outs via punchout. He's the proud holder of a 2-0 record, a spotless 0.00 ERA, and a very tidy WHIP of 0.529. His success thus far in 2012 hasn't gone unnoticed.

ESPN.com's Buster Olney recently tabbed Chapman as one of ten MLB relievers off to great starts. Here's what the well-respected and well-informed Olney had to say regarding the 24-year old:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Reds spring a Leake, fall to 'Stros 6-4

Rodriguez improved his lifetime mark vs
Cincinnati to 8-9 on Friday

The Reds (9-11) welcomed the Houston Astros (8-12) to Great American Ball Park on Friday night and were subsequentally treated to a 6-4 defeat. Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez picked up the win to even his record on the year to 2-2. Mike Leake took the loss to drop his to 0-3.

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

Video: Aroldis Chapman snags comebacker



The Cuban Missile showed off more than his arm on Wednesday...he flashed some wicked leather as well.

Seen here is the left-hander exhibiting the quick-twitch reaction time of a rabbit when snagging this comebacker -- drawing the awe of every fan in attendance.

Our very own @RedlegsWriter was in the right place, at the right time, and with the right video equipment to get it all on film. Enjoy.

MINOR details 4/26/2012: Cingrani, Blaze run winning streak to 10 games

While Billy Hamilton has been burning up the base paths,
LHP Tony Cingrani has gone 2-1 with a 0.39 ERA.
The Louisville Bats (7-14) had a much needed off day on Thursday. They travel to take on the Norfolk Tides Friday at 7:15pm EST.

Pensacola 9 Jacksonville 3
-Starter Tim Gustafson allowed all three runs, two of them earned, in three innings pitched for the Blue Wahoos (10-12). Mark Serrano (2-0) struck out six over three scoreless innings to get the win. Clayton Tanner (2.0) and Wirfin Obispo (1.0) combined to allow no runs over he final three.
-3B Henry Rodriguez was 4-5 with an RBI and a run scored. 1B Joel Guzman went 4-5 with a double and three RBI. CF Ryan LaMarre, SS Didi Gregorius, 2B Brodie Greene, and PH P.J. Phillips each had an RBI.

Bakersfield 8 Stockton 1

Winning on Wednesday: Our experience as guests of the Reds


Wednesday marked a third consecutive victory for the Reds as they downed the San Francisco Giants 4-2 at home (read our recap of the action here). But the Redlegs weren't the only guys winning on Hump Day. Wednesday also marked a unique opportunity for four of us here at Redlegs Review, as we were lucky enough to serve as humble guests at the game, courtesy of our awesome host Lisa Braun (Reds Director of Digital Media & Consumer Clubs). What we took away from the whole experience won't soon be forgotten.

Here's my due diligence in providing a detailed recap of the night's happenings:

Three Reds to take part in E-Waste Recycling Drive


Three members of the Reds are doing their part in the worldwide initiative to "go green".

Here's the official press release regarding the event:

CINCINNATI (April 20, 2012) — PNC, the Cincinnati Reds and Players for the Planet are joining forces again with Global Environmental Services and many of Cincinnati’s leading corporations for the 3rd annual PNC/Players for the Planet E-Waste Recycling Drives on April 27, 28 and 29.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Reds vs. Astros - an astronomical series preview



The Reds will try to shake off the sting of not being able to close out a series sweep of San Francisco on Thursday. The good news is that despite Thursday’s loss, the Reds have won back-to-back series for the first time this year.

Cincinnati continues its home stand by welcoming in Houston (7-12) in the first meeting of the season between the soon-to-be ex-division foes. Surprisingly, the Astros are fresh off their first divisional series of the season, dropping two of three at Milwaukee.

Here’s a look at what to expect from this three-game set:

Reds three-game winning streak snapped as Giants avoid sweep

Bailey's start was wasted as the Reds lost in the ninth.
The Reds (9-10) and the Giants (10-9) were back at it Thursday afternoon, with Cincinnati looking to sweep San Francisco back to the west coast. Homer Bailey put together another quality start for the Redlegs, but the Giants rallied in the top of the ninth to beat the Reds by a score of 6-5. The team drops back below .500 again with the loss.

Let's look at the good, the bad and the notables from the deflating loss:

MINOR details 4/25/2012: Minor leaguers unable to collect a victory


It was not a happy day in the minors,
with three losses and a rainout.
Indianapolis 5 Louisville 1
-Brett Tomko (0-3) was perfect through four innings, before allowing two earned runs in his six innings for the Bats (7-14). He struck out eight. Scott Carroll gave up three earned in just 1/3 of an inning. Ron Mahay and Travis Webb pitched 1.2 scoreless innings.
-RF Danny Dorn had two hits, with a double. 1B Neftali Soto had a hit and scored the only run. 3B Mike Costanzo was 2-4, accounting for the RBI.

Jacksonville 6 Pensacola 5

Chapman continues to marvel

Chapman celebrates another scoreless inning of relief in Wednesday's
4-2 victory over the visiting Giants

Chapman's fastball tabbed as one of baseball's best


We've all heard the old age that "speed kills". It's a term/reference used all across the world of sports. You can't teach it, and most of the time you can't beat it either.

CBSSports.com recently put together a list of the top ten base stealers and flame throwers in MLB today. It should come as no surprise that Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman easily made the cut at no. 2, trailing only last year's AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Reds rally for third straight victory, beat Giants 4-2


Scott Rolen got the Reds rollin' to victory on Wednesday.

The Reds made it back-to-back at home and three wins in a row as they knocked off San Francisco in come-from-behind fashion, 4-2, at Great American Ballpark on Wednesday night. With the win the Reds move back to .500 at 9-9.

Pic of the day: Reds belittle Giants in series opener

The outfield trio of Ryan Ludwick, Drew Stubbs, and Jay Bruce
celebrate a 9-2 victory on Tuesday

The Chris Gruler debacle: Cole Hamels could have been a Red

Chris Gruler, the Reds 2002 first round pick, seen
here with the GM who drafted him, Jim Bowden

What if the Reds could go back to 2002 and reconsider using their first round pick on a high school pitcher named Chris Gruler? What if they could select a bona fide superstar instead? Well, thanks to Keith Law of ESPN.com we can at least dream about such a scenario.

Law recently had the brilliant idea to revisit the 2002 'Moneyball" Draft and redraft using the benefit of hindsight. The results of his mock draft are simply fascinating.

The Redlegs boasted the no. 3 overall selection that year, and the following is who Law projects they would draft if they had the chance to do it all over again today:

RR staffers to serve as humble, gracious guests at GABP tonight



Four members of the Redlegs Review staff will get the privilege of taking in tonight's game at GABP, courtesy of our host Lisa Braun (Reds Director of Digital Media & Consumer Clubs).

As part of the experience, @RedlegsWriter, @willpower36, @RedlegsMatt and myself will get the opportunity to watch the team take batting practice on the field, take a tour of the stadium, take a stroll through the Reds HOF & Museum, and take in the 7:10pm Reds-Giants game from the front row!

Be sure to tune in tonight as we'll be offering up occasional tweets during the action. We'll also be recapping our entire experience with pictures, descriptions and accounts of the night with a blog post in the coming days. Stay tuned and as always, Go Redlegs!

MINOR details 4/24/2012: Blaze win their ninth straight

Bakersfield is absolutely "blazin'."

Indianapolis 5 Louisville 3
-The Bats (7-13) lost after a rough outing from Andrew Brackman (1-3), who surrendered five earned runs in 5.2 innings. Carlos Fisher recovered from walking four in 1.1 innings to allow no runs, and Nick Christiani pitched a scoreless inning.
-2B Kris Negron had a hit, an RBI, and a stolen base. LF Felix Perez also had a hit and an RBI. RF Danny Dorn went 1-3 with a solo home run.

Montgomery 7 Pensacola 4

Hump Day reading material



Here we are at the halfway point of another week. If the merciless grind of Monday and Tuesday have wore you down already, not to fear. You now have at your viewing disposal a plethora of Reds-related reading material to recharge your proverbial battery. Read it and weep enjoy.

* Former Red Dontrelle Willis reportedly went AWOL over the weekend, this according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman on Monday. The southpaw left the Baltimore Orioles Triple-A team without telling anyone of his intentions or whereabouts. You can read the full story here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reds Crush Giants 9-2

Phillips drove in three on Tuesday including two here on
his second home run of the season

The Reds (8-9) and Giants (9-8) faced off in the first of a three game series, and first of a nine game home stand. And it was a great evening for the Redlegs.

Reds promote Hoover, place Bray on DL

Bray is headed toward the sidelines

Yet another Reds reliever has been bitten by the injury bug as the team placed LHP Bill Bray (groin) on the 15-day DL on Wednesday, retroactive to 4/19. He joins fellow relief pitchers Nick Masset (shoulder) and Ryan Madson (shoulder) on the list of ailing arms from the 'pen.

The 28-year old Bray has been clearly bothered by the condition all spring, as evidenced by his shaky start. In five appearances (2.2 IP) prior to today he's allowed five hits, four runs (all earned) and three walks -- uncharacterstic for a guy who sports a career 3.81 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.

MINOR details 4/23/2012: "Quality" pitching leads to minor league sweep


All four starting pitchers threw six innings in four wins.
Louisville 4 Indianapolis 2
-Chad Reineke (1-0) earned the win allowed no earned runs in six innings for the Bats (7-12). Nick Christiani and Ron Mahay each threw a scoreless inning.
-C Dioner Navarro had two hits, with a double and two RBI. SS Paul Janish went 2-3 with two doubles, a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored. The Bats also got an RBI from 2B Chris Valaika.
*There hasn't been any official announcement yet, but Twitter is blowing up with rumors that J.J. Hoover has been called up to Cincinnati. It has been neither confirmed nor denied as of 9:45am EST.

Pensacola 10 Montgomery 4

Series preview: Reds welcome Giants




The Reds, fresh off an off day Monday, welcome San Francisco to town for a three game set at GABP on Tuesday. While the Reds should be fresh, the Giants are coming off a doubleheader sweep over the Mets on Monday. The wins moved SF to 9-7 on the year, three games behind the Dodgers in the West. All the info goodness after the break....

Breaking down Votto's contract incentives


The Reds sent shockwaves throughout the baseball community when they extended Joey Votto's contract for an extra ten years, $225MM earlier this month -- keeping the All Star slugger in the Queen City through the conclusion of the 2023 season.

You may have already caught a glimpse of how his yearly salary breaks down per year, but what you may not have have seen are the incentives included his new deal as well. Here they are, according to Lance McCallister of ESPN 1530:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Reds Week in Review 4/16 to 4/22


The Reds had a better week than the previous week they had when they went 2-5 in the seven games they played. They played two division rivals both on the road when they faced off against the Cardinals for three games followed by the Cubs for three games. With that being said, let's take a look at the past week for Dusty and boys.

Billy Hamilton leading the way for Reds top prospects

Hamilton has a lot about which to smile.
Billy Hamilton of the Bakersfield Blaze is still tearing up the hitter-friendly California League. In the last seven games, he's doubled the amount of runs he scored in the first 10. He is good. He is really good. His teammate, Tony Cingrani has been impressive in his own right on the mound, sporting a 0.53 ERA. Didi Gregorius is hitting .391 at Pensacola, on 25 hits, and they're all singles. Donnie Joseph (Blue Wahoos) and J.J. Hoover (Bats) continue to be shut-down closers. To check last week's review, go here. Without further ado, here's this week's check-in on the Reds' top prospects:

#2 SS Billy Hamilton (A Bakersfield Blaze)

MINOR details 4/22/2012: Walk-off homer ends the bleeding for Louisville


Thunder over Louisville was Saturday, but Daryl Jones
wanted some more fireworks on Sunday.
Louisville 3 Indianapolis 2
-The Bats (6-12) put an end to a five game losing streak with one swing of a bat. Sean Gallagher gave up two earned runs over 5.1 innings. Scott Carroll and J.J. Hoover each threw 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball. Josh Judy (1-0) got the win, pitching a scoreless 1/3 of an inning.
-PH Daryl Jones smacked a pinch-hit, three-run, walk-off home run to win it for Louisville. CF Denis Phipps and 1B Neftali Soto each had one hit, putting them on base before the heroics of Jones.

Montgomery 7 Pensacola 3

Promotions for upcoming homestand

Kids Team Baseball Card Set


After going thirteen days without playing a game at GABP, the Reds will return home on Tuesday to kick-off a 9-game homestand with a series versus the Giants. They'll follow the 3-game series against San Francisco with a weekend series against the Astros and a trio of games versus the Cubs from May 1-3.

For those of you value-minded fans out there, here is a list of the upcoming promotions for the homestand:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Notable quotes from Sunday


The Reds escaped the Windy City with a 4-3 victory on Sunday -- winning the series and finishing the 10-game road trip with a modest mark of 4-6. While that may not be too impressive, it's not bad considering the fact that they lost five of the first six. Hopefully winning three of the last four will give them some momentum heading into the 9-game homestand.

Here are some notable quotes from yesterday:

Reds Win 4-3, Win Series


The Redlegs (7-9) and the Cubbies (4-12) faced off in a Sunday finale in what was the rubber game of a three game set. Dusty and the team had a rough road trip and certainly did not want it to end in a loss to the last place Cubs. Johnny Cueto, most definitely the Reds ace of the staff, was sent to the mound today facing RHP Randy Wells. The guys won a tight one by the final score of 4-3.

Let's take a look at the good, the bad, and the notables from the Sunday afternoon affair:

MINOR details 4/21/2012: Blaze continue hot streak with sixth straight win

The Blaze are on fire, pun intended.

Indianapolis 9 Louisville 1
-Jeff Francis (1-2) gave up four earned runs on six hits in five innings for the Bats (5-12). Jordan Smith threw a perfect inning with two strikeouts.
-RF Daryl Jones had the only RBI. LF Denis Phipps went 2-4. SS Paul Janish had a double, while C Corky Miller had the other hit, and scored the only run.

Montgomery 7 Penscola 1

Taking care of business in Chi-Town

ASG Ballot: Vote Reds



Balloting for the 2012 All-Star Game is now open. Fans have until 11:59 PM ET on June 28, 2012 to submit their votes (up to 25 times). Vote early and often...and vote Reds!

Here's a link to the official online ballot. 

Who's hot and who's not right now

Chapman is off to a strong start in 2012

During the course of a rigorous, 162-game schedule you'll find that all players experience hot streaks and slumps. It's just part of the game. So, what's the the key then? It's easier said than done, but it's to minimize the down times and maximize the good ones. That's what seperates the elite from the rest of the pack.

With that in mind, here are some Reds who are either lighting up the stat sheet or struggling just to get by right now:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Leake Struggles as Reds lose 6-1

Will a poor performance lead to Chapman in the rotation? 

After the uplifting win over the Cubs on Friday afternoon in which they scored 9 runs and provided some hope to a struggling offense, the Reds (6-9) managed only 1 run against the Chicago Cubs (4-11).  Mike Leake struggled giving up 5 runs in the first 2 innings and the Reds bats could not provide any run support. With the success of Aroldis Chapman, there will certainly be a debate over Chapman taking Leake's (or Bailey's) spot in the rotation. Here is the Good, Bad, and Notables from Friday's game.

Card of the day: Mike Leake


Leake is gunning for his first win of the season today versus the Cubs. He's 4-1 in seven career starts against them prior to Saturday.

MINOR details 4/20/2012: Blaze win behind Cingrani's arm, Hamilton's heroics

Billy Hamilton is freakishly good.
Toledo 2 Louisville 1
-Brett Tomko (0-2) allowed just two earned runs in 5.1 innings as the Bats (5-11) lost their fourth in a row. Josh Judy and Ron Mahay combined to throw the final 3.2 scoreless innings.
-SS Paul Janish went 3-4 with a double and a run scored. RF Felix Perez had two hits and the only RBI.

Pensacola 5 Montgomery 3

Bowden: Baker one of five managers 'feeling the heat'

What does the future hold for Baker in Cincinnati?
ESPN.com's Jim Bowden recently listed five managers who he believes is "feeling the heat" right now (link). And among the handful of big league skippers is our very own Dusty Baker.

Here's what the Reds former general manager had to say about the team's current manager:

Dusty Baker

Friday, April 20, 2012

Photos: Cubs fan runs out on field!


It's not easy being a fan of the Chicago Cubs. The team's history of losing is enough to drive a person insane. Need proof? Apparently this fan was so cold, so fed up and so courageous (okay, I'm being nice) that he thought his hometown Cubs could use his presence on the field on Friday.

His efforts fell in vain, unfortunately, as the Lovable Losers were sent to their sixth consecutive defeat as the Redlegs roughed 'em up 9-4.

Bailey, Stubbs help Reds topple the Cubs

Bailey helped the Reds franchise win its 10,000th game on Friday

Chicago, Illinois -- Cincinnati improved to 6-8 after knocking off the last place Cubs (3-11) by a score of 9-4 on Friday -- sending the Lovable Losers to their sixth straight defeat.

The Reds clearly had their fill of VottOs before the game as the club hung a 4-spot on the board right out of the gate. The inning featured four hits (all singles), two walks, and a pair of stolen bases -- giving Dusty Baker's bunch a quick 4-0 lead before Chicago ever had a chance to grab a bat.

MINOR details 4/19/2012: Four hits from Lutz lead the way for Bakersfield


Toledo 10 Louisville 4
-The Bats (5-10) lost their third in a row. Andrew Brackman (1-2) took the loss, walking five and giving up six hits over the first four innings, including five earned runs. J.J. Hoover struck out three over 1.1 innings, where two unearned runs scored. Carlos Fisher threw a scoreless 2/3 of an inning.
-CF Kris Negron had two hits, with a double and two runs scored. DH Denis Phipps hit a ninth-inning, two-run home run and finished with three RBI. 1B Neftali Soto knocked in one run. 3B Mike Costanzo is looking strong in Triple-A with two more hits tonight.

Jacksonville 4 Pensacola 3