Monday, December 31, 2012

Buster Olney: Reds feature one of the top rotations in baseball


Great pitching hasn't exactly been a staple for the Reds in years past. The franchise has been traditionally known for its offensive prowess rather than its ability to get batters out. But that perception may be shifting thanks to the latest developments in Cincinnati. The Redlegs have been relying on pitching and defense and ESPN's Buster Olney has taken notice.

In his latest ESPN Insider piece entitled "Top 10 Rotations in MLB", he dubs the Cincy's rotation as the 5th-best overall. Here is a snippet of what he had to say about Bryan Price's starting five:

5. Cincinnati Reds

The Reds finished fifth in the majors in rotation ERA last season, and their group of five was remarkably durable -- Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake started 161 of the team's 162 games. As if that wasn't enough, the Reds intend to shift the overpowering Aroldis Chapman into their rotation in 2013, to give them a needed left-handed presence. Cueto was a Cy Young candidate for most of the season, and Latos made an excellent transition from pitching his home games in massive Petco Park to the confined quarters in Cincinnati. Arroyo, who turns 36 in February, has had seven straight seasons of 199 or more innings. The Cincinnati bullpen should be pretty good, too.

A letter of thanks from the editor for a great 2012

This past year has been filled with tons of memorable moments, and it has been a pleasure to not only cover those, but share those moments with you as fellow Reds fans, as well!

I'm very eager to see what 2013 brings for our beloved Redlegs. Ownership and management has made a solid commitment to winning in Cincinnati, and because of it, has put the big league club in a position to contend for another playoff berth, and perhaps another world championship.

The Redlegs Review staff will be here in 2013 to offer coverage of the Reds every step of the way. We want you to continue being a part of the experience by bringing you the latest news and notes in addition to opinionated-columns, videos, and whatever other Reds-related posts we can muster up.

Thanks again for your loyalty and we look forward to sharing another season of Reds baseball with you! If you ever have any comments, suggestions, or questions, please don't hesitate to email us or send us a message via Twitter or Facebook. We love hearing your feedback.

-Jimmi Adair
Creator & Editor
Redlegs Review

New York Times Follow Up on Ryan Freel


by: Parker Perry @ParkerPerry_

The New York Times examined Ryan Freel thoroughly in their latest story on the former Cincinnati Red.

Mike Tierney, of the Times, spoke with Freel's ex-wife, looked deep into his injuries, and went through his entire career.


While his peers and fans praised Freel’s headfirst approach throughout an eight-year career in the major leagues, which he deemed necessary to compensate for being undersize and less talented, the person closest to him became tormented by it.
         “I cringed that that’s who he was — all-out, full throttle,” she said. “It was very hard to watch.
              New York Times ”


It is well worth the read. 

End of 2012 "what if" edition - Cincinnati Reds

Enjoy a big ol' mug of what if joe.
2012 was certainly a special and memorable year for Reds fans, especially those of my generation who were barely even in existence the last time the Reds won the World Series and obviously not much older in 1995. There were so many great moments, as well as some unpleasant moments that comprised the entire season. Unfortunately the season came to an untimely end due to some of those unpleasant moments, but it was still one to enjoy nonetheless.

I'm here to ask, "What if?"

There are so many things that can happen during the course of a 162+-game baseball season, but don't you ever wonder what might have been had some of those events had gone a little differently? Maybe not, but here are a few to ponder as we close the book on 2012 and look forward to 2013. Obviously we haven't invented time travel YET, so there's nothing that can be done about the past. Also, there's no way to predict if the season would have progressed any differently had certain events happened or not happened. It can still be a fun thing about which to think. *Disclaimer: They don't all have a positive outlook.

1) What if Johnny Cueto didn't get hurt in Game 1?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Boston writer: Reds boast second-best roster in baseball


The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo recently penned a great piece which he highlights the 10 most impressive major league rosters heading into 2013. The Washington Nationals top the list, and even the Kansas City Royals make an appearance at No. 10, but the Reds come in ranked No. 2 in Cafardo's rankings.

Here's an excerpt of what he had to say about the reigning NL Central champs:

2. Cincinnati Reds — There are five solid starting pitchers, and Aroldis Chapman has the potential to be as lights-out as a starter as he was a closer. The bullpen remains solid, though Jonathan Broxton takes over as the closer and must show consistency. With the addition of Shin-Soo Choo as leadoff hitter, the lineup is even better, with Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, Ryan Hanigan, and Zack Cozart.

Who would have thought that Cincinnati and Washington would boast, what many consider to be the most potent rosters, as recently as four years ago? Well, they apparently do and for good reason.

The 10 best Reds moments of 2012


Many events transpired in 2012 that made this year a good one for Reds fans. Not only did we all survive doomsday as the Mayans had predicted, but we also got to witness a plethora of memorable Reds moments too. We saw Aroldis Chapman emerge into arguably the most dominant closer in the game, a 97-win season, a home run hit with no hands by Todd Frazier, a bounceback season from Ryan Ludwick, and a countless number of priceless tweets from Dallas Latos, among other things. But not even those were able to top these following ones I'm about to unveil.

So without further adieu, I present to you the 10 best Reds moments of 2012...

10) Reds walk off on Bruce's blast (Aug. 14)

+ The game remains scoreless until Jay Bruce steps up to the plate with two men on in the bottom of the ninth. He then proceeds to wallop an opposite field homer to send the home team to a walk-off victory over the visiting Mets, 3-0. The long fly is Bruce's 23rd of the campaign and fourth career game-ending homer.

Mat Latos tosses seven shutout innings of 5-hit ball to help lower his ERA to 3.63. Ryan Hanigan, Ryan Ludwick, Zack Cozart and Bruce all record multi-hit games.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Shin-Soo Choo removed from South Korea's WBC roster


The World Baseball Classic is set to get underway next March, and while a few Reds will be participating, newcomer Shin-Soo Choo will apparently not.

South Korea dropped Choo from their WBC roster on Wednesday per Choo's request. The 30-year outfielder asked to leave the team so he could concentrate on preparing for the regular season with his new club.

Choo was acquired by the Reds on Dec. 11 via trade from the Cleveland Indians.

The Reds are hoping that the 8-year MLB veteran can provide a much-needed upgrade at the leadoff spot. Cincinnati struggled mightily getting production out of its leadoff hitters in 2012, ranking near the bottom of the league in several offensive categories including average and on-base percentage.

This day in Reds history: Reds try to bring Babe Ruth to town, fail


December 29, 1933 - Reds acting president Larry MacPhail tries to purchase the contract of Babe Ruth from the New York Yankees. MacPahil wanted to bring Ruth to Cincinnati as a player-manager, but Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert wouldn't release the Bambino from his contractual obligations.

Ruth played one more season with the Yankees and hit .288 with 22 homers in 125 games played. He was eventually sold to the Boston Braves on February, 26, 1935.

The Reds took another run at Ruth prior to the 1936 campaign, but he opted to stay retired instead.

Ruth is widely considered the greatest baseball player to ever lace 'em up. In 22 years in the league, 15 of which came with New York, Ruth tallied a ridiculous lifetime slash line of .342/.474/.690 with 714 homers, 2,213 RBI, 506 doubles, and a whopping 136 triples.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Some Reds links to power you through the weekend


Although there isn't much to report on in Reds-related news, there are some Reds-related links floating around the 'net. Here is a collection of the more notable ones:

+ ESPN's Jayson Stark rounded up some of the best "Strange But True" moments from the 2012 MLB season and stuffed them into one post. I'd highly recommend checking it out. His post includes a lot of good nuggets in there.

+ The club's addition of Shin-Soo Choo has finally solidified the leadoff spot. Might the Reds now have the best-looking lineup in the National League? The Bleacher Report's Tyler Duma seems to think so.

+ MLB.com beat writer Mark Sheldon highlights the five biggest storylines of the Reds season. Cincy's improbable surge once Joey Votto went down to injury is among them.

Mike Gonzalez signs with division rival


by: Parker Perry @ParkerPerry_

Reports surfaced before Christmas that lefty specialist Mike Gonzalez had just two teams bidding for his services.

Those reports were wrong.

The Milwaukee Brewers, an apparent hidden third team, has stolen Gonzalez away from both the Washington Nationals and the Cincinnati Reds.

It is unclear how much money he will be getting, but the deal is for just one year.

The Reds are not in desperate need of another bullpen arm, as they have many in house options that they can try. However, Gonzalez would have made a nice piece.

The curious case for Tony Perez


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

OCTOBER 21, 1976 – The Cincinnati Reds, behind Johnny Bench’s two home runs, finish off the New York Yankees for their second straight World Championship. During the post-game celebration, Reds President and GM Bob Howsam made a profound statement to the media. With the advent of free agency he did not know how he would have the ability to keep the Big Red Machine intact. Through my happiness I had no idea what he was talking about. I soon found out.

DECEMBER 16, 1976 – I had returned home from school, with Christmas Break days away and was looking forward to the weekend’s NFL playoff games. My beloved Minnesota Vikings were set to play Washington in the Divisional Round that Saturday. I was watching the 6 o’clock news when WSAZ sportscaster Bob Bowen broke the news that broke my heart. The Reds traded first baseman Tony Perez along with reliever Will McEnaney for pitchers Woody Fryman and Dale Murray. WHAT! HUH! WHO? I was stunned, to the point of tears. “Is this the end of the Big Red Machine? “I thought, “Nah, we’ll be alright.”

Sparky Anderson would later say on many occasions that Tony Perez was the heart and soul of the Big Red Machine. The 1977 and 1978 seasons saw the Reds finish second to the L.A. Dodgers in the N.L. West. In 1982 the Reds suffered their first 100-loss season in club history (61-101).That was followed by losing records in 1983 and 1984.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Reds to wear new batting practice caps


Major League Baseball is launching new batting practice hat designs for all of its 30 teams ahead of this upcoming season. Paul Lukas of Uni Watch recently offered a sneak peak and graded each one, including the Reds' new look. Here is a look at them, as well as a quick analysis by Lukas:


reds home.png

Following the ‘Kris Medlen Approach’ may be best idea for Chapman


By Scott Eddy
Staff Writer

New Year’s celebrations are just around the corner and with the turning of the calendar to 2013 comes the anticipation of a new baseball season. There’s little doubt that the 2013 season will be one of the most highly anticipated years in Reds history following a dramatic 2012 campaign and a roster loaded with talent.

Perhaps the most anticipated storyline of 2013 for Reds fans is the transition of Aroldis Chapman to the role of starter. While the decision to turn Chapman into a starter has been met with great expectations by many fans, it has also been met with trepidation by nearly as many who are concerned that Chapman may never be as effective as a starter as he has been in the closing role.

There are reasons to doubt the move – greatest among them the fact of how dominant Chapman was at the end of the bullpen. Throughout his brief time in the majors, Chapman has been a primarily one-pitch pitcher, throwing his fastball a whopping 88 percent of the time last year. And while his blistering velocity has been often unhittable in the bullpen, one pitch won’t result in much success through seven innings every five days against major league hitters. After all, there’s a reason Mariano Rivera never left the closer’s role.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Reds hoping Choo can provide upgrade at leadoff spot



by: Brendan Henderson
Staff Writer

On Dec. 11, the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds made a deal involving 3-teams and 9-players which sent OF Shin-Soo Choo (and $3.5M) to the Reds for OF Drew Stubbs and INF Did Gregorius.

Stubbs, the 8th overall pick for the Reds in the 2006 Amateur Draft, batted .241 with 59 homeruns and 178 RBI in 486 games as a Red. He had 110 stolen bases during that time, which is definitely a plus, but the main problem for Stubbs was his huge amount of strikeouts. He led MLB in strikeouts in 2011 with 205. He played great defense and ran the bases well, but what I think pushed the Reds over the top to get rid of him was his lack of being able to put the bat on the ball.

Shoo, the South Korean outfielder, signed with the Mariners as an Amateur Free Agent in 2000 and has played pretty well for the past seven years for the Mariners and the Indians. He has a good career batting average of .289 with 83 homeruns and 373 RBI. Shoo can also play some D. He had 14 assists as a right fielder in 2010, which led the AL. He also led the AL in Total Zone Runs as a RF in 2010 with 11. Shoo isn’t as fast as Stubbs but he does have 85 career stolen bases in 113 attempts. That’s a pretty good stolen base to caught stealing ratio, if you ask me.

How do the Reds stack up against the free spending Blue Jays?

vs.
 

by: Chase Fitzgerald
Staff Writer

Pretty much all of the media and Vegas doesn’t have the Reds as the No. 1-ranked team in the league despite fixing all of its holes and winning 97 games in spite of those holes last season. I really disagree with that, so I’m going to do a 5-part series comparing the Reds to each team I’ve seen ranked ahead of them.

Part 1: Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays, according to Vegas, are now the favorites to win the World Series with all the trades they have made this season. I have to disagree with that. Here’s why:

1B

Blue Jays: Adam Lind/Edwin Encarnacion

Reds: Joey Votto

Since the Reds do not have a DH, I put Encarnacion at first which is where he sometimes plays. It honestly doesn’t matter who is at first, Joey Votto, in my opinion, is the best hitter in all of baseball and I’d take him over either of these two. Encarnacion did have a breakout season, but Joey Votto hit .337 and was the only player with an OPS over one. Votto has now fully recovered from his knee injury and should now be the favorite to win the NL MVP. 1-0 Reds.

This day in Reds history: David Wells is traded to Baltimore


December 26, 1995 - The Reds deal southpaw David "Boomer" Wells to Baltimore less than five months after acquiring him at the trade deadline from Detroit. Cincinnati receives outfielder Curtis Goodwin and prospect Trovin Valdez in return. Needless to say, the Reds end up getting stuck with the short end of the stick.

Goodwin plays just two seasons with the Reds and never amounts to anything more than a part-time player. Valdez never makes it to the majors at all. Wells, however, goes on to win 160 more games after posting a 6-5 record and 3.59 ERA in his short stint in Cincinnati.

Wells helped the Reds capture the National League Central Division title and a berth in the NLCS after sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. The veteran pitcher had gained a solid track record of success before arriving in the Queen City. He broke into the majors in 1987 with the Toronto Blue Jays and later signed as a free agent with the Tigers. Cincinnati acquired him with the knowledge that he would probably be more of a rental player. He played out the last half of the season and the playoffs with the Reds before moving on to Baltimore for just one season.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A list of entrance music for all of the Reds


We all knew it was coming at some point. Major League Baseball has finally embraced the idea of "entrance music" and recently compiled the jams for every player on all 30 of its teams. You can view those lists by clicking here. For those of you who are just interested in what Reds players are walking out to, here you go. And yes, some of them got carried away and have multiple songs.

5 bold predictions for 2013 season





By: Chase Fitzgerald
Staff Writer

Every year all fans read all of these predictions about their team. Usually about 90% are completely wrong, but that’s what makes predictions so fun. That’s why I decided to make five bold predictions that probably won’t come true but hey, they’re all in good fun.

1. Homer Bailey will have a better season than Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman, and Mat Latos

This one I actually think has a pretty good chance to come true. This isn’t based off of Cueto, Chapman, and Latos having bad years, but more of Homer Bailey having a great one. I believe Homer has turned the corner and I have developed a small man-crush on him. After that no-hitter, he has just seemed like a completely different pitcher. I know some may reference his ERA of over 5 at Great American Ball Park last season but, I can tell you he had no problem there while allowing one hit over 7 innings in the playoffs against the soon to be World champs. I believe he will contend for a Cy Young Award this season while having an ERA of under 2.70 and over 200 strikeouts. Go bold or go home.

2. Ryan Ludwick doesn’t build off of 2012 success

I never said this list was going to be all positive. I usually try to stay optimistic and “expect good news” but, I have a funny feeling about this. I don’t think Ludwick will be able to get even close to the numbers he put up last season. He’s definitely the best option we have for left field, but don’t expect him to go out there and have an all-star type season. I think Bruce replaces him in the clean up role before June begins and Ludwick moves to the 5 spot.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Five Christmas gifts the Reds hope to receive in 2013


Merry Christmas, everyone! I trust that you all are enjoying this wonderful season by spending time with your respective loved ones. Since this is the time of year for giving and receiving, I thought it would be noteworthy to whip up a handful of "gifts" the Reds are hoping to receive in 2013. Here goes nothing...

1) Production out of the leadoff spot!
+ Cincinnati's No. 1 hitter was collectively woeful at getting on base last season. The team ranked dead last among MLB leadoff hitter production in many offensive categories including average and on-base percentage, of course. But general manager Walt Jocketty and the front office took a step to improve upon that by adding Shin-Soo Choo to the fold. While nothing is ever guaranteed, Choo and his .381 career OBP promises to be just what the Reds need at the top to spark their offense.

2) Aroldis Chapman makes seamless transition
+ The plan is to convert The Cuban Missile to a starter after serving the first three years of his Reds career primarily as a reliever (he began 2010 as a starter in Triple-A Louisville). This has folks concerned with whether or not he can effectively do it, how many innings he should be allowed to throw, how it will affect his velocity, and so on. Chapman and the team would like nothing less but to make this switch as easy as possible. I'm sure fans are hoping for a flawless switch as well.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Remembering the playing career of late Reds utilityman Ryan Freel


The Reds family was hit with some tragic news on Saturday night as it was learned that former utilityman Ryan Freel had died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The news was received with great sadness and surprise among Reds nation. However, he leaves behind a plethora of exciting moments and memories that brought joy to the fans who witnessed him play.

Freel played eight seasons (2001-09) in the Major Leagues with five different organizations, but the bulk of his playing career came as a member of the Redlegs (2003-08). The Jacksonville, Fla. native enjoyed a reputation among his peers and fans as being scrappy, hard-nosed, energetic and fun-loving. His all-out hustle and passionate style of play made him an endearing fan favorite around the city of Cincinnati.

Freel proved to be a valuable player to the franchise during his time spent in the Queen City. His versatility was second-to-none as he had the ability to play several defensive positions. Although center field was his primary home, he also locked down right field, third base, second base, and left field at times throughout his Reds career. In 544 career games a Red, the speedster recorded a slash line of .272/.357/.377 with 140 stolen bases, 294 runs scored, and 509 hits.

Bryan Price: Is he the best pitching coach in the major leagues?



David Schoenfield, who runs the SweetSpot blog over at ESPN.com, recently penned a great article featuring Reds pitching coach Bryan Price. Schoenfield gives an in-depth background on how Price ended up with Cincinnati as well as a synopsis of his successful track record. Schoenfield even goes as far as saying that Price would be the first guy he would call to run a pitching staff if he bought a Major League team. His supporting evidence certainly backs up his claim.

For example, he points out that the Reds had three of the top four pitchers in MLB who boasted the lowest on-base percentage versus a hitter leading off an inning: 1. Johnny Cueto (.234), 3. Homer Bailey (.236), 4. Bronson Arroyo (.244). Although it is one of those crazy detailed statistics that isn't used all of the time, the fact that Cincy had multiple guys at the top is still impressive.

Furthermore, the Reds sported the league's second-best team ERA in 2012 (3.34) and the best ERA among all MLB bullpens (2.65). Cincinnati also led the league in saves (56), ERC% (104), and ERA during day games (3.21).

Price has overseen the development of Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey throughout the past three season. Both of them have continued to blossom over that span. Mat Latos recorded a pretty solid season (14-4, 3.48 ERA, 185 K) in his first year under Price's guidance as well. Many believe this recent trend of success will bode well for Aroldis Chapman's transition to a starter.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ex-Red Ryan Freel commits suicide

 
A former Cincinnati Reds utility player is dead at age 36.

Ryan Freel, who played for the Cincinnati Reds from 2003-2008, committed suicide on Saturday according to a local Jacksonville media outlet.

Freel is best known for his hustle while on the ball field, and his reputation for being a good person. He was a fan favorite in the Queen City.

Freel played eight seasons in the big leagues where he batted .268 with 143 stolen bases and 306 runs scored. He also boasted a modest .364 on-base percentage. Six of those seasons were spent in a Reds uniform.

The news of his passing is certainly a shocking and saddening one.

More to come as reports start to surface.

Update: The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has determined that Freel's cause of death was the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He is survived by his wife, Christie, and three young daughters.

Reds sign 7-foot pitcher from Netherlands


Move over, Logan Ondrusek, you are no longer the tallest pitcher in the Cincinnati organization.

The Reds have reportedly signed 7-foot-1 right-hander Loek van Mil, according to Baseball America editor Matt Eddy.

The 28-year old native of the Netherlands finished the 2012 campaign pitching with the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

Mill split time in the minor leagues with both the Indians and Los Angeles Angels in 2012 where he combined to post a 3.20 ERA and 1.253 WHIP in 64.2 innings pitched (41g).

He spent 2006-2010 in the Minnesota Twins lower-level farm system.

Eddy's report appears to be confirmed by the transactions list on the club's official website.

Ryan Hanigan talks baseball



by: Parker Perry @ParkerPerry_

It's a few days old, but as genius of interview that you will read in this 2012-2013 off-season.

Ryan Hanigan spoke with Fan Graph writer/expert David Laurila on various topics that will have every Reds fan's undivided attention.

Hanigan recently addressed a number of subjects, including where he hits in the batting order, who has the nastiest stuff on the staff, and the challenges Aroldis Chapman will face as a starting pitcher.
 
Hanigan said that he would not mind hitting in the two hole if manager Dusty Baker allowed it (something that is extremly unlikely to happen). He goes on to talk about pitches with late movement, disguising  pitches and he details almost every pitcher on the Reds roster.

It is a rare, behind the scences look at the glue of the team. Ryan Hanigan, as Laurila coined, the underrated Red.

The Cincinnati Reds look to continue to spend



 (Red money, you get it?) 
by: Parker Perry @ParkerPerry_

The Cincinnati Reds are reported to be in discussions with Mike Gonzalez.

Which is fine. If the Reds feel that they have a void that can not be filled in house they should go out and fill it. In a year that Cincinnati is clearly going all out in search for a championship, it is essential that they leave no stone un-turned. It would be awful to have to trade a prospect to get a lefty specialist when they could have picked one up cheap in free agency.

But how cheap will Gonzalez come? Everyone knows that his agent, Scott Boras, is not going to mess around. He will demand the big bucks, especially if there are two teams phoning in.

At the end of the day, I would not be against this signing. However we have to remember that we are Cincinnati. Going out on a spending spree is fun--isn't it!?! But at some point the Reds are going to have to pay the piper. And I don't want to see this franchise collapse because they spent too much money on role players.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mike Gonzalez fielding bids from two teams



by: Parker Perry @ParkerPerry_

Left handed reliever Mike Gonzalez is down to two teams, according to Jim Bowden  [via MLB Trade Rumors]

The Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds are the finalist for the solid reliever whose agent is Scott Boras.

Gonzalez pitched for the Nationals last year. He posted a 3.03 ERA last season, but tailed off in September. Quite Frankly, he was a liability.

In June, Gonzalez was dominate. He posted a 1.93 ERA, only giving up two runs in a single game. But at the end of the day his stats suggest that he is a lefty specialist, and not a Sean Marshall/ Johnathan Broxton type middle reliever that will go out and get you an inning when you need it.

His talents have seen him travel far and wide in the major leagues. He has seen time with Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, Texas and Washington.

And now perhaps the Reds.

Lefty specialist anyone?

A Reds fan's Christmas wish list


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Notes from someone about to overdose on the song, "Grown-Up Christmas List"! First of all, Merry Christmas from my family to yours. May God’s riches blessings be upon you during 2013. As a Reds fan, I would like to share my wishes for the upcoming season…

1) With Cincinnati’s close proximity to Kentucky, Shin-Soo Choo, should change his name to Shin Shoo Chaw.

2) .285 average, 40-plus homers and 120 RBI for Jay Bruce.

3) 20-plus wins, sub-2.00 ERA, and a second-place finish for Johnny Cueto in Cy Young voting

4) Mat Latos wins the Cy Young award.

Brandon Phillips might just be the Santa Claus of baseball


Brandon Phillips may not hail from the North Pole, nor does he boast a sleigh, by the Cincinnati Reds second basemen sure is giving Santa Claus a run for his money this holiday season. The fan-friendly Phillips has been handing out holiday cheer through the use of Twitter.

On Wednesday, the 31-year old gave away $300 gift cards to Foot Locker to the first four followers who correctly answered the following question:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Retirement decision from Scott Rolen next expected until after Christmas


It appears Scott Rolen's retirement decision will not likely come until after Christmas, according to this nugget from John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“We’re going to let that rest until after the Christmas,” GM Walt Jocketty told Fay on Thursday.

Jocketty was originally quoted in saying that he expected the Reds to "know something in the next week to 10 days" regarding Rolen. That statement came on December 13 during a press conference introducing free agent signee Jack Hannahan.

Rolen played in 92 games last season and batted .245 with 8 HR and 39 RBI. Injuries have plagued the 37-year old for much of the past two years as he is played in just 48% of Cincinnati's regular season games over that span.

Rounding up some Reds links from around the wide world web



While many people are scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping right about now, we here at Redlegs Review are scrambling to come up with some relevant Reds material. Times are currently slow and uneventful around the MLB landscape, but that doesn't mean there isn't any chatter about baseball, and more specifically, the Reds.

I have scoured the vast virtual surface of the internet to round up some Reds-related things worthy of reading. Here is the outcome of my research:

+ Scott Rolen is currently in the midst of deciding whether or not he wants to retire. If he does decide to come back, what could the 37-year old bring to the Reds? This question was posed by Bleacher Report's Tyler Duma in a recent article.

Projecting the salaries of arbitration-eligible Reds players

Let's talk about money, shall we? Namely, how much cash the Reds are projected to shell out to their arbitration-eligible players for the 2013 season. But first, what exactly is salary arbitration and how does it work? Baseball Prospectus helps shed some light to those questions with a brief crash course:

In mid-January, each side to the dispute submits a salary figure to a panel of independent arbitrators. After a few hours of hearings, held in early February, the arbitrators pick one figure or the other. The arbitrator cannot "split the baby" and settle on a salary in the middle of the spread between the club's figure and the player's. One side leaves the arbitration a winner and the other a loser, heightening risk and encouraging negotiation and settlement.

By my count, Cincinnati has approximately seven arbitration-eligible players on their current roster. Here is a list of those players along with their projected 2013 salaries, courtesy of estimations produced by MLBTR:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Are the Reds interested in Freddy Garcia?


The Reds are already projected to have a pretty solid rotation in 2013, but might they be looking to add some depth?

According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Redlegs are among three teams to have allegedly checked in on veteran right-handed pitcher Freddy Garcia. The Minnesota Twins and Colorado Rockies are the other two teams.

The 36-year old has played for five different clubs during his 14-year MLB career, including the New York Yankees in 2012.

Garcia sports a record of 152-101 and an ERA of 4.15 in 359 career appearances. He posted a 7-6 mark and 5.20 ERA for the Pinstripes last season.

Moving Mike Leake to bullpen could be best for all


The plan to transition Cuban phenom Aroldis Chapman from reliever to starter is one widely welcomed by Reds fans. In fact, it is probably a move that is being secretly lauded by current Reds players as well. However, there may one guy in particular who isn't so thrilled by the team's decision. And that guy is right-hander Mike Leake.

This is because Chapman's new role likely puts Leake in a precarious position. The 25-year old has been a fixture in the Reds rotation since breaking into the big show at the beginning of the 2010 season. But he may soon find himself on the outside looking in, both figuratively and literally. With Chapman presumably taking Leake's spot in the rotation, Leake will begin the 2013 campaign watching games from the bullpen (barring injury).

Pitching in relief is something Leake hasn't had to deal with since his freshman year (2007) at Arizona State when he began the year as their closer. By midseason though, he was serving as the Sun Devils' starting ace. He has been rocking the high socks and starting games ever since.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Where do the Reds stand in the latest World Series odds?



Are you curious to know how the oddsmakers in Las Vegas view Cincinnati's (and others) World Series chances? Of course, you do and you are in luck! Below you will find an updated list of the current World Series odds for every MLB team, courtesy of BOVADA. The team at the top may or may not surprise you.

Heisey will play a big role in 2013



by: Parker Perry @ParkerPerry_

The Blog Red Machine posted an article Monday explaining that a Reds' outfielder has once again been put in a tough spot as the fourth outfielder in 2013.

It argued that Chris Heisey is on the baseball God's bad side, as he continues to be put on the back burner as a Cincinnati Red.

And though Heisey is definitely the fourth option in the upcoming year, he will surely see more playing time in 2013 than he has in any other year as a major leaguer--or at least he should.

Top 10 gift ideas for Reds fans


Believe it or not, Christmas Day is just one mere week away, folks. That means the holiday shopping rush/crunch is about to kick into full gear, but don't panic. Here's some holiday gift ideas you may want to consider, courtesy of the Reds:

1. Chapman Pick-6 Plan - Guarantee the Aroldis Chapman Bobblehead when you buy this six game ticket plan that includes the Saturday, May 11 vs. Brewers (Chapman bobblehead night) and YOU PICK ANY additional five regular season games. Save up to 33%: reds.com/tickets.

2. Reds Heads Kids Club - The Reds Heads Kids Club is the official fan club for Reds fans ages 14 and younger. The new 2013 kit includes a Reds Heads back pack, a Reds Heads jersey, a Reds hat, a felt pennant, plus voucher booklet for FREE Reds tickets and exclusive members only experiences. Membership is only $25. Purchase a Reds Heads Kids Club membership in time for the holidays at the Reds Front Office at Great American Ball Park. More information at: (513) 765-7314. Todd Frazier is the captain for the ‘13 season.

3. Reds Hall of Fame Legacy Brick - The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is offering fans the opportunity to build their own legacy at Great American Ball Park and support the museum’s statue projects by sponsoring a new personalized brick paver at the entrance to the museum: redsmuseum.org/bricks.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Q&A with Reds prospect Ryan Wright


Ryan Wright is a rising prospect in the Reds organization. MLB.com currently ranks him as the team's 9th-best prospect in the farm system. Cincinnati originally acquired Wright when they selected him in the fifth round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft.

The second basemen spent the bulk of the past season at Single-A Dayton where he appeared in 102 games and posted a .285/.343/.424 slash line with 50 RBI, 27 doubles, and 53 runs scored. He earned a promotion to Single-A Bakersfield for the last part of 2012 and proceeded to hit .271 (26-96) in 23 games for the Blaze.

Wright played collegiately at the University of Louisville where he earned multiple All-Big East honors in addition to All-American honors as well.

I recently had an opportunity to catch up with the 23-year old for a question and answer session. Here's the transcript from that exchange:

ESPN writer ranks Reds second


The Reds finished the 2012 regular season with the second-best record in baseball. That is pretty good in and of itself. Some would even argue that they have upgraded their roster since then through various free agent signings and a 3-team trade. Naturally, industry experts have taken notice and are placing the reigning National League Central champs in high regard for 2013 -- namely, ESPN writer David Schoenfield who has tabbed Dusty Baker's bunch as the second-best team at this point in the offseason.

Here is an excerpt from his post in which he ranks the top 10:

2. Cincinnati Reds (97-65, plus-81)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

On this day in Reds history: Deals that didn't pan out


December 16th hasn't been a real good day in a historical sense for the Redlegs. They have made several notable transactions on this day, most of which didn't pan out they way I'm sure they had hoped. Here's a brief synopsis of each of those aforementioned deals:

December 16, 1976 - The Reds trade Tony Perez and Will McEnaney to the Expos for Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray.

Reds fans still haven't forgotten this deal. The 34-year old Perez, the future Hall of Famer and unsung hero of the Big Red Machine, was traded to make room on for 25-year old Dan Driessen. Although Driessen nearly matched Tony's offensive stats in the period between 1977 and 1983, the leadership of Perez was sorely missed. Soft-spoken, unpretentious and always smiling, Perez was the voice of reason in the Reds clubhouse, frequently diffusing the tense situations that developed on a highly competitive ball club full of ego-driven stars. To make matters worse, the Reds received next to nothing from Montreal in return as Fryman and Murray were both gone from the Reds by the middle of the 1978 season.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Todd Frazier is now a married man

Courtesy of @JFraz14
One day, Todd Frazier will look back at 2012 and remember it as one of the most memorable years of his life.

In '12, the 26-year old busted onto the Major League scene out of virtually nowhere to finish third in National League Rookie of the Year voting. Along the way he managed to save a man from choking to death, belted a home run without using his hands, earned his first trip to the postseason, and recently capped it all off by getting married -- which may come as sad news to some single females around the city of Cincinnati. Nonetheless, it's been a really good calendar year for the former Little League World Series star.

On Friday, Frazier officially tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Jacquelyn Verdon, who attended Rutgers University as a student-athlete just as Todd did. The two are said to have grown up within 20 miles from each other in New Jersey.

Teammate Brandon Phillips and former MLBer Harold Reynolds were on hand to help celebrate the couple's special day.

Here's a couple of pictures that surfaced from the wedding on Twitter:

A Reds all-decade team for the 1990's


Since we're currently nestled in between that terrible period between last season and next, and since there isn't much else to write about that is Reds-related I've decided to put together a list of the best Reds players from the 1990's. I have compiled a full, 25-man roster in which I feel to be the best collection of Cincinnati players to wear the red and white during the years of 1990-1999. The criteria I used to make these selections were simple: A player was chosen for their amount of productivity with the team in addition to their length of service to the organization. Beside each player's name I've listed their years spent with the team, as well as their notable statistics/achievements they accumulated DURING those years as members of the Reds.

The 1990's brought us several great players, teams and moments during the era. We had the 1990 wire-to-wire season that brought the Redlegs the franchise's fifth World Series Championship, we had a great playoff run in 1995 before falling to eventual W.S. Champion Atlanta, we had the Nasty Boys, we had the '99 team that won 96 games but fell just short of making the postseason, and we had the privilege of watching a hometown hero and one of the greatest shortstop's to ever lace 'em up.

Without further adieu, here is the unveiling of that glorious roster:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Holidays from the Reds


 

Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, Mat Latos and others send their best holiday wishes to Reds Nation in this video clip. The guys certainly delivered a memorable season in 2012. Let's hope for more of the same and better in 2013!

Joey Votto bobblehead headlines 2013 promotional schedule for the Reds


One thing that attracts fans to the stadium more than anything else is winning. What's the second, you may ask? How about giveaways and promotions, because everyone enjoys free stuff and/or extra entertainment!

The Reds unveiled their 2013 Promotions and Giveaways schedule on Friday, and as always, there are some great dates planned ahead. Bobbleheads, blankets, and fireworks are just some of the things to look forward to when attending selected homes games this season.

Here is a rundown on some of the best:

Reds First Opponent Signs Former Red, Makes Biggest Move of Off-Season



by: Parker Perry @ParkerPerry_
Staff Writer 

The Cincinnati Reds first opponent of the 2013 season has completed the biggest signing of the 2012-2013 off-season.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim inked their rival's, the Texas Rangers, outfielder Josh Hamilton to a five year, $125 million contract.

Yes, that is $25 million a year.

Hamilton was traded by the Reds to the Rangers in 2008, they received Edison Volquez in the deal. Volquez went on to bomb out of Cincinnati, while Hamilton is now worth $25 million dollars a year.

Yes, that is $25 million a year.

This also means the Reds will be the first to face what Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is describing as one of the best trios to ever play.

Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Hamilton.

That is a very good combination. And a combination that the Reds will have to try to figure out to start their season off on the right foot.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Eight former Reds named one of the top 100 players of all-time


ESPN just finished running a series this week called the "Hall of 100" in which they attempted to accurately rank the top 100 players to ever play the game of baseball. The list was compiled without regard to scandals, conventional wisdom, or bias. The only thing they considered was the actual performance on the field. Refreshing, eh?

Here are the former Reds players who made the cut:

No. 74 SS Barry Larkin

Born and bred in Cincinnati, he played his entire career with the Reds. Won a World Series in 1990, batting .353 in Cincinnati's four-game sweep of Oakland. A 12-time All-Star, he finished his career with a .975 fielding percentage.

He collected 2,340 hits, scored 1,329 runs and had a .371 on-base percentage in 2,180 career games.

Reds Make Genius Moves; What Does This Mean for Billy Hamilton?


by: Parker Perry
Staff Writer 

Before giving my thoughts on everything the Reds have done in the last couple days, it was important for me to really think what the telos of the organization was.

I could come up with just one answer.

Every step they took was not to cut cost (as a lot of teams do), it was not to fill holes in the lineup with toothpaste (though I heard that actually works sometimes), and it was not "hope for the best".

The telos of these moves was to win, win now, and to recreate the winning tradition this franchise experienced back to its glory days.

And what a job they did.

Help the Reds commemorate history by buying legacy bricks!



The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is offering fans the opportunity to build their own legacy at Great American Ball Park and support the museum's statue projects by sponsoring a new personalized brick paver at the entrance to the museum.

The Legacy Brick Campaign includes a limited number bricks outside Great American Ball Park. Upon ordering, you can choose from the following locations:

+ At the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum entrance
+ Surrounding the Johnny Bench statue near the Hall's entrance
+ Surrounding the forthcoming Joe Morgan statue (to be dedicated in Sept. 2013 and location to be determined)

Proceeds from the Legacy Brick Campaign will support the Hall of Fame's efforts to preserve and promote Reds history and the creation of statues of Reds legends around the ballpark, beginning with Joe Morgan's which is scheduled for unveiling during the 2013 baseball season.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Recapping the crazy week of the Reds

This guy has been wheeling and dealing lately

It's been a busy, yet productive week for general manager Walt Jocketty and the Cincinnati Reds.

The team has wasted no time at all in addressing their offseason wish list. First, the club re-signed free agent closer Jonathan Broxton at the end of November. That move was made in an effort to allow the team to implement their ultimate plan of transitioning Aroldis Chapman from the bullpen into the starting rotation. Although it cleared up the dilemma with Chapman, there still remained one glaring need for the Reds: a leadoff man.

The rumor mill had been tossing and turning with possibilities ever since, but Jocketty put an end to the speculation on Tuesday after executing a blockbuster deal. In a 3-team trade that involved 9-players, Jocketty was able to reel in veteran outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, veteran infielder Jason Donald, and $3.5 million in cash from the Cleveland Indians. The Reds parted ways with enigmatic center fielder Drew Stubbs to Cleveland and slick-fielding prospect Didi Gregorius to Arizona.