Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Should Joey Votto bat second in the lineup?

Should Dusty Baker be penciling Joey Votto into the two hole rather than the third spot in the batting order on a daily basis? It's an intriguing question and one that ESPN.com's Keith Law recently explored by arguing in favor of sticking Cincinnati's best hitter second in the lineup.

Here's a snippet of how Law justified his argument...
The Reds are the best example this year of a team that is giving away offense by putting their worst hitter, Zack Cozart, ahead of their best hitter, Joey Votto, an example of archaic thinking that still persists within the game because that's how we've always done it.... 
....Traditionally, the No. 2 hitter is supposed to be a table-setter who can put the ball in play, drop a bunt, hit behind a runner, and so on. This is all hogwash, of course: The No. 2 hitter has the same basic job as all of the other guys in the lineup -- to get his posterior to first base any way he can....

Monday, April 29, 2013

Video: Highlights from Tony Cingrani's terrific start against Nationals

So, Tony Cingrani has been absolutely outstanding since being called up from Triple-A Louisville to replace injured starter Johnny Cueto in the rotation.

The latest evidence came Sunday afternoon in Washington D.C. when the southpaw whiffed 11 Nationals hitters en route to his second career win in just his third major league start.

Here's a video highlight of all 11 of those aforementioned strikeouts by Cingrani.

The former third round pick (2011) is making a really strong case for himself to remain in the rotation even when Cueto returns.

The Beach Boys to play after May 26 Reds-Cubs contest

From the Reds...

CINCINNATI (April 26, 2013) - The Beach Boys return to Cincinnati's riverfront to play a post-game concert after the Reds vs. Chicago Cubs game on Sunday, May 26, 2013 during Memorial Day weekend.

The Beach Boys will perform on the field at Great American Ball Park following the Reds vs. Cubs game that starts at 1:10 p.m.

The Beach Boys have performed more concerts than any major rock band in history and played after Reds games on July 21, 1985; May 20, 1989; August 10, 1990; May 4, 1991 and July 21, 2000 at Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field.

The concert is included in your game ticket and can be purchased now at:

Video: Nationals pitcher nearly gets hit by his own pitch!

The Reds did well to avoid being swept by the Washington Nationals Sunday by taking game four of the series, 5-2.

Rookie southpaw Tony Cingrani picked up his second career win in only his third career start while Aroldis Chapman notched his fifth save of the campaign. So, at least the Reds can head into Monday night with some sort of momentum against St. Louis.

But during the game on Sunday, an odd spectacle occurred when Nationals reliever Henry Rodriguez nearly got hit by the ball from his own pitch! The moment came in the top of the eighth inning after Rodriguez uncorked a wild one to Corky Miller.

As you can see, the ball gets past the catcher, ricochets off the backstop behind the plate, and then nearly strikes Rodriguez in the head as it flies back toward the pitcher's mound. No harm, no foul, but it's something I've never seen before and maybe you hadn't either.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Random observations from week four

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

The 2013 baseball season is well into its fourth week and here are my observations, sprinkled with a few random notes, from what has been a pretty good season thus far.

Good News! The Cincinnati Reds have won 12 of 16 at Great American Ballpark this season. The Reds are on pace to win 61 home games this year.

Bad News! After Thursday’s game at Washington, the Reds are on pace to lose 69 road games this year.

Is it too early to pick Tony Cingrani as the N.L. Cy Young Award winner?

Friday, April 26, 2013

25 of the most outrageous player names in Reds history

One of the perks of having the oldest franchise in professional sports is the long list of unusual names that have played for the team. Throughout it's 143-year history, the Cincinnati Reds have accumulated a who's-who of outrageous player names.

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

Cincinnati Reds All-Time, All-Name Team

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Reds in search of honorary bat girl

From the Reds...

Join Major League Baseball and the Cincinnati Reds in the fight against breast cancer.

Fans 18 years and older are encouraged to submit stories about how they, or someone they know, are "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" and why they would like to be an "Honorary Bat Girl" for the Reds at Great American Ball Park on Sunday, May 12, which is Mother's Day.

Fans can visit www.HonoraryBatGirl.com to share their story. The deadline for submissions is April 22.

The 2013 Honorary Bat Girl Contest is a Major League Baseball initiative designed to raise greater awareness and support for the breast cancer cause.

One winner representing each MLB team will be chosen by a panel of judges.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Reds pitchers have cost Cincinnati restaurant over $100,000 in free pizza

Free pizza has quickly become an expectation for Reds fans.

Cincinnati has only played 15 home games this season, but seven of them have resulted in Reds pitchers striking out at least 11 hitters. What happens when Reds pitchers fan 11 hitters or more in a home game? Well, LaRosa's Pizzeria gives away free pizza to anyone who can present a ticket stub from the game. And the local restaurant chain doesn't just hand out slices, either. No, they give fans eight-inch pizzas with any four toppings worth nearly $7.

So, how much has LaRosa's promotion cost them so far in 2013? How about more than $100,000. This is a lot of dough, folks. And this is not to mention the fact that Cincinnati's home attendance currently ranks 19th out of 30 teams (26,308). By comparison, the Los Angeles Dodgers currently lead the league in home attendance with 47,112, which would mean far more free pizza to give away on LaRosa's part if the Reds somehow managed to pack that many fans into Great American Ball Park, as well.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shin-Soo Choo named one of the most underrated players in baseball

Many believed the Reds made a risky move when they acquired Shin-Soo Choo from the Cleveland Indians this past offseason. In short, those folks felt weary about sticking Choo in a position he had rarely played before in his 9-year MLB career (center field). Well, let's see where those naysayers are now.

I know it's still early on in the season, but Choo has turned out to be every bit as good as advertised, and then some. Entering Tuesday's game against the Cubs, Choo was leading the league in on-base percentage (.521), hits (26), and hit by pitches (10). Additionally, he also owned six doubles, three home runs, and 17 runs scored. Oh, and let's not forget that he is holding his own defensively in center field. He won't win a Gold Glove award or anything, but he's doing just fine.

With that being said, the folks over at ESPN.com came up with an "All-Underrated Team" and Choo deservedly made the grade. Here's what they had to say about the Korean native.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Billy Hamilton named one of 'six players to become stars'

You don't need to be a fan of baseball to know who Reds top prospect Billy Hamilton is. Okay, that statement may be a bit of a stretch, but fans of America's favorite pastime should definitely be aware of who Hamilton is by now.

Ted Berg over at the USA TODAY certainly has and was impressed enough by the switch-hitting center field that he even included him in his latest piece entitle "Six guys set to become MLB stars."

Here is what Berg had to say about Hamilton...
With unprecedented speed on the basepaths, Hamilton became something of a folk hero in 2012 by stealing 155 bases across Single- and Double-A and setting a new record for stolen bases in a season. A shortstop until this winter, Hamilton’s still new to center field, but his quickness allows him to make up for bad reads.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

On the road with the Reds: Busch stadium

Whether you've dreamed about seeing the Reds beat the Cardinals in St. Louis firsthand or you hate the Cards so much you can't even imagine entering Busch stadium, here's the scoop on following the Reds to the Cardinals' ballpark this season. 

April 29 - May 01
August 26-28

RR Roundtable: The first act in The Tony Cingrani Experience and other mid-April musings

This week's most buzzed about Reds storyline was
easily the first start for Tony Cingrani.
Redlegs Review staffers reconvene this week for the RR Roundtable to discuss some of the hottest topics in the land of the Redlegs. It's been an eventful week, with the club snapping a five-game losing skid by responding with four straight wins, a continued nagging of the injury bug and the much anticipated debut of Tony Cingrani. This week we debate whether Cingrani has seen the last of minor league life, how worried we should or shouldn't be about Joey Votto and Jay Bruce's lack of early season power and we let our true feelings known about the WOO phenomenon at Great American Ballpark. Joining the roundtable this week is moderator Scott Eddy (@scotte97), Jimmi Adair (@Redlegs_Review), Sara Frey (@somegoodideas), Jon Davis (@I_Bleed_RedsRed) and Matt Bollmann. Let's get to it, shall we?

1) Tony Cingrani made his much anticipated first major league start on Thursday and didn’t disappoint, striking out eight in five innings to lead to a win over Miami. The eight punch outs were the most by any Red making their first start since the man Cingrani replaced, Johnny Cueto, in 2008. What’s the chances that Cingrani goes the way of Cueto and makes himself stick in the rotation and doesn’t go back to Louisville – even after Cueto returns?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

It's Brandon Phillips bobblehead day!

Brandon Phillips Bobblehead

Happy Saturday, folks!

Today, the Reds play host to the Marlins in game three of a four-game series. So far, each team has managed to emerge victorious in one game a piece. Miami essentially snapped a four-game winning streak by the Reds on Friday after sending the home squad to a narrow 2-1 defeat.

But today is a new day and a new day in which the first 30,000 fans through the Great American Ball Park gates receive a free Brandon Phillips bobblehead, courtesy of PNC Bank. Name me one person who doesn't like a free bobblehead and I will name you a liar. Bobbleheads are awesome, especially ones one don the likeness of an All-Star and Gold Glove second basemen.

The Reds will host five of these types of days throughout the season. The next bobblehead day will come on May 11 when the Reds welcome the Brewers. Like today, the first 30,000 fans receive a free bobblehead -- a bobblehead of Aroldis Chapman to be exact.

Friday, April 19, 2013

My thoughts on a terrible tragedy

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: The view expressed are solely those of the author and are not the opinion of Redlegs Review, its writers, owners, or the editorial staff. Redlegs Review does not endorse any religious affiliation or organization.

My sincere apologies to Mr. Adair and the wonderful staff here at Redlegs Review. In the four months I’ve been writing for this blog, arguably the best in baseball, you have given me ample leeway to write about anything concerning the Reds. I sometimes try to inject humor into my writings, as the Bible says in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart doeth good like medicine.” But given the events from this past Monday at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, and at West, Texas this morning, I feel that I must today write as an Assistant Pastor, not as a baseball blogger.

Yes, I was disappointed the Reds were swept last weekend at Pittsburgh. I was encouraged at the Reds first ever sweep of Philadelphia at Great American Ballpark. The way the team has played in the past four games, I seriously believe the Reds could sweep this ten game home stand, and head to the showdown at Washington sporting a 15 – 7 record, but Boston weighs heavily on my mind.

Video: Batboy Teddy Kremer embraces Todd Frazier after home run

Great American Ball Park was a happy place to be Thursday night if you were a fan of the Reds. Especially if you were honorary bat boy Teddy Kremer.

Kremer, who has Down syndrome, could be seen at various times throughout the game in the dugout cheering loudly and proudly for his beloved Reds while diligently handling the duties of his bat boy position, as well.

But Kremer really became excited when Todd Frazier blasted a 421-foot home run to straight away center field in the sixth inning. Watch as Kremer greets Frazier at the plate with a pair of high fives and a smile that would make even the coldest of souls turn warm. Moments later, the camera caught the two giving each other a huge celebratory hug, and then proceeded to follow Kremer who continue to relish in Cincinnati's offensive outburst.

“It was great how excited — that look,” Frazier said. “I started smiling even before I hit home plate because I knew it. They said he forgot to pick the bat up, so the umpire was yelling at him. It was such a great a great guy. You can’t get mad — even if you have a terrible day. How can you be mad when you’ve got a guy like that around?”

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Video: Watch Jay Bruce, Reds dispose of Phillies in nine minutes

It took all of nine minutes for the Reds (7-7) to upend the Phillies (6-8) in a suspended game on Tuesday.

On Monday, the two clubs played 8 1/2 innings of scoreless baseball before Mother Nature unleashed a torrential downpour over Cincinnati. The umpiring crew cleared the field and called for a delay, which eventually turned into rescheduling the conclusion of the game for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

When play resumed Tuesday, Philadelphia's Phillippe Aumont took the mound, and then Reds shortstop Zack Cozart led off the inning with a walk. Joey Votto then followed with another walk and Brandon Phillips reached base thanks to an error by Phillies center fielder Ben Revere.

This loaded the bases for Jay Bruce, who was 0-for-3 in the game entering the at-bat. But he came through in grand fashion by stroking the first pitch he saw into right field for a single. Cozart scored and the Reds won in walk-off style.

Aroldis Chapman earned the win despite not throwing a single pitch on Tuesday, but rather hurling a perfect inning of relief Monday night, instead.

Is Tony Cingrani ready for the big show?

When one door closes, another door opens.

Such is the case with Johnny Cueto and Tony Cingrani -- the latter of which figures to replace Cueto's spot in the rotation once the time comes.

On Monday, the Reds promoted RHP Justin Freeman from Triple-A Louisville to provide some help to a weary bullpen. However, Cingrani is expected to make Cueto's next scheduled start, which as of now is slated to be on Thursday against the Marlins. Cingrani could also make up to four starts before Cueto returns from the disabled list. And it begs the question, is the southpaw ready?

If you go by what he has done since being drafted, than you would have to believe he is ready.

Aside from the brief cup of coffee he received with the Reds in 2012 (3g, 5ip), Cingrani has been dominant throughout his minor league career. In 2011, after being drafted by Cincinnati in the third round of the amateur draft, Cingrani posted a 1.75 ERA in 13 starts for Billings. He displayed outstanding control (1.1 BB/9) and blew away hitters with his fastball and tantalizing curve (80 K in 51.1 IP).

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

ESPN writer questions Dusty Baker's late-game decision

Our beloved Redlegs put an end to their dreaded 5-game losing skid Monday night with a 4-2 win over the Phillies. But there was a point in the game when it appeared as if the Reds might be heading toward a sixth consecutive loss.

That moment came in the top of the eighth inning when Bronson Arroyo ran into trouble. Up until that point, Arroyo had hurled a gem, essentially blanking the Phils over the first seven frames. However, that all changed when Chase Utley smacked a 2-run home run to tie the game at two a piece.

Luckily, the Reds answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to take a 4-2 lead, but could this nerve-wracking situation have been avoided if Dusty Baker summoned closer Aroldis Chapman to face the left-handed hitting Utley?

ESPN's David Schoenfield seems to think so.

I will, however, call out Baker for leaving Arroyo in to face pinch-hitter Chase Utley with two outs and a man on. It's simple: You have one of the biggest weapons in the game in Chapman. USE HIM. LET THE MAN GET FOUR OUTS. Arroyo was having a fine game. Terrific, go out, tell him he pitched great, pat him on the butt and tell him to give you the ball. Arroyo can give up home runs (26 last year, 46 the year before). Utley can still hit 'em out of the park. Left-handed batters hit .108 against Chapman last year. They struck out in more than half their plate appearances. As Willie Stargell once said about Sandy Koufax, it's like trying to drink coffee with a fork.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Reds release statement on Boston Marathon tragedy

The Reds have released the following statement regarding the tragedy that occurred near the end of the Boston Marathon on Monday as it pertains to security at Great American Ball Park. 
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and friends affected by this afternoon’s events in Boston. While we won’t comment specifically on security procedures at Great American Ball Park, we can assure our fans that their safety always has been and always will be the number one priority of our staff and local law enforcement agencies. We encourage all of our employees and fans to continue to focus on their surroundings and to notify our security staff if they feel the need to do so.”
Monday night, the Reds, as well as others MLB teams, held a moment of silence in honor of the victims who were harmed by the senseless act of evil. The latest reports confirm 3 dead and 141 injured.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, the family, and the community.

Video: Ben Revere makes incredible, leaping catch to rob Todd Frazier

It's no secret that Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Ben Revere is really, really fast.

For those who may not buy into Revere's elite quickness yet, please watch the incredible catch he made during the second inning of Monday's game at Cincinnati.

The play began when Reds third basemen Todd Frazier smacked an 0-1 offering from Cliff Lee deep toward the outfield wall in center. It appeared as if the ball was going to sail over Revere's head and result in extra bases for Frazier. However, Revere kicked on the burners and timed his leap perfectly to make one of the better acrobatic catches you are likely to see this MLB season.

Reds base runner Jay Bruce certainly didn't believe Revere would end up catching the ball, because he was halfway to third base when the grab was made, and was unable to retreat back to first in time to avoid falling victim to an improbable double play.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Video: Watch Joey Votto go yard

Joey Votto did something on Sunday in which he hadn't done since June 24, 2012: he hit a home run.

The long drought came to an end in the ninth inning as Votto belted a bomb well over the center field wall at PNC Park. As you can see, it was a no doubter.

Votto missed nearly two months during the middle of last season as he recovered from a knee injury. He returned in late August, but failed to homer in any of the team's remaining games.

Unfortunately, his solo homer wasn't enough to help the Reds avoid being swept by the Pirates. The Buccos took the finale, 10-7, to send Cincinnati to their fifth straight defeat.

Beer here!

Why can't I buy the beer of Baseball Town in Baseball Town's ballpark?

Earlier today, NPR posted this story about Yankee Stadium falsely advertising a line-up of Coors beers as craft brews. I’m not surprised the Yankees were trying to charge $12 for a Blue Moon, but let’s move past that. 

The article also highlights stadiums that actually do feature local breweries. 

Many parks such as Comerica and Petco Park are adding local favorites to their list of beverages. Petco Park is hailed as the best park for beer selection, offering several varieties from five local breweries along with many other craft beers and typical selections. 

What about Great American Ballpark?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Johnny Cueto leaves game early due to injury

The injury bug continues to bite hard around baseball this week as Reds ace Johnny Cueto was forced to leave Saturday's game against the Pirates with an apparent injury to his throwing arm.

The injury seemed to have occurred in the fifth inning after Cueto delivered a strike out pitch to Pirates third basemen Pedro Alvarez. Cueto could be seen grimacing immediately following the pitch, and subsequently began stretching and rubbing the back of his arm, most likely his right triceps area.

The right-hander threw one more pitch before summoning a trainer, his teammates, and manager Dusty Baker to the mound for further investigation. Cueto attempted to stay in the game by delivering a warm-up throw to home plate, but felt enough discomfort to warrant giving the ball to Baker, and then headed for the clubhouse. 

It is unclear what the extent of the injury is at this moment in time.

RR Roundtable: Is now the time for Tony Cingrani?

Tony Cingrani has been outstanding in AAA so far. Is it time he join the Reds rotation?
Once more, RR staffers convene for a discussion of some of the week's hottest topics in Redlegs country. Joining the panel this time around are Scott Eddy (@scotte97) who also serves as moderator, Jimmi Adair (@Redlegs_Review), Dan Howard (@DaHermit16) and Jesse Welte (@RedlegsWriter). This week we ask just how concerned we should be about Sean Marshall, if Tony Cingrani is a better option than Mike Leake right now, if Aroldis Chapman is the game's best closer and we discuss some really sweet baseball promotions.

1) Sean Marshall finally landed on the DL this week suffering from that mysterious “shoulder fatigue.” This seems to be bringing back bad memories of previous Reds injuries that seemed minor, didn’t fade away and all of a sudden led to very bad results (Nick Masset, anyone?). How concerned are you that Marshall might be worse off than the team is letting on?

On the road with the Reds: Nationals Park

Pack your bags and hit the road for an away game this season!

The 2013 season will be different and at times, difficult, for me as I am now officially out of Reds country. This is the first year in nearly a decade in which I am not at the ballpark every homestand, either hawking beer and peanuts or slathering on sunblock and cheering from my season ticket seat from the bleachers.

Having been in New York for almost a year (yes, I held onto my season tickets through ‘12) and now packing up for a move to Philadelphia, I’m always encouraged to see Reds fans at away games, because those fans are like me, still sporting red no matter their proximity to Cincinnati. Even if you call GABP your second home, why not support our team on the road?

In the following weeks I’ll be featuring snapshots of other parks you’ll find the Reds playing in this season. Along with relevant information, I'll share memories and suggestions from us here at Redlegs Review. Feel free to add comments with your experiences at other parks.

Friday, April 12, 2013

MINOR details 4/11/2013: Bats win; Blaze still winless; rain beats Blue Wahoos, Dragons

This is Greg Reynolds.
Louisville 4 Toledo 1
Bats (5-3), 2nd International League South, 0.5 GB
-Greg Reynolds (1-0, 2.45) tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out one. Kevin Whelan picked up the save (1) by getting just the final out of the game after walking two and striking out one.
-CF Billy Hamilton went 0-5, with two strikeouts. RF Denis Phipps was 2-4, with a double, an RBI (4), and two runs scored. 1B Neftali Soto was also 2-4, picking up two doubles, two RBI (2), and a run. 3B Ray Chang also knocked in a run (1).

Blue Wahoos (3-3) T-2nd Southern League South, 1.0 GB
The game between the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and the Mobile BayBears was postponed due to inclement weather. Per their official site, "The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Friday night consisting of two seven-inning games, with the first contest beginning at 5:05 p.m. at Hank Aaron Stadium."

Do you suffer from OPS?

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

I know what your reaction will be - HUH? It’s not what you think; I’m referring to a condition known as Old Phart Syndrome (f - words look more important if they start with ph.) It’s a common condition not necessarily reserved for elderly people. O.P.S. can affect anyone, anywhere, any time. It strikes silently, without warning, regardless of profession. It seems baseball announcers are commonly stricken with the disease. Its symptoms include, but not limited to, the inability to deal with reality, or denying the fact thereof, constant ranting of seemingly insignificant topics, unusual displays of temper, and/or arrogantly bragging about your team, regardless of record. Another symptom of O.P.S. is incessant diarrhea of the mouth, along with constipation of the brain. People with serious cases of O.P.S. may suffer Cranial Rectum Inversion (C.R.I.).

Case in point, during the Reds ninth inning, nine run explosion at St. Louis this past Monday, Cardinals radio play by play announcer, to hide his identity from the figuratively billions of my blog readers, (and a fear of a libel lawsuit), we’ll just call him “Mike”. “Mike” came down with a mild case of Old Phart Syndrome. “Mike” boldly stated that Cincinnati never hit a ball hard in the inning, when reality clearly showed the opposite occurred. “Mike” never addressed the obvious; if St. Louis had relievers that could get someone out, the Reds wouldn’t have scored so many runs in the inning. On Wednesday’s Cardinals 10 – 0 beating of the Reds, “Mike” exuberantly proclaimed that St. Louis residents would be “dancing in the streets” at the end of the game. In my non – professional opinion, if a team’s fans are dancing in the streets after winning the ninth game of a 162 game season, they’ve got a lot more serious problems than O.P.S. Then again, St. Louis needs to celebrate in April; they may not be celebrating this October, unless the Missouri Tigers football team somehow manages to beat the Florida Gators on October 19.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Photo: Check out the amusing A.J. Burnett shirt the Pirates will be giving away to fans on Friday

Pirates fans who attend Friday night's home game against the Reds will be receiving quite a treat.

That's because the team is planning to giveaway a free t-shirt, which features starting pitcher A.J. Burnett striking an amusing pose, to every fan in attendance.

It looks as though the 36-year-old veteran could easily pass for a retro Vanilla Ice. Seriously, Burnett nails everything from the spiffy hair, the cool shades, and the double peace signs. In fact, one might even be led to believe that the two were brothers.

Upon further review, it looks like the Pirates have a free t-shirt giveaway once every month this season, and they call it "Free Shirt Friday." However, after scouring through the remaining promotional schedule, there isn't a shirt left that can even come close to the coolness factor of this one.

Burnett is aiming to pick up his first win of the season on Friday and will oppose Reds right-hander Mike Leake in an affair set to begin at 7:05 p.m.

Via Big League Stew

Thursday's mixed bag of news and notes

Well, Cincinnati's road trip to St. Louis didn't go so well. After taking game one of the series by scoring nine runs in the final inning, the Reds proceeded to get outscored, 15-1, over the next two games of the series.

I don't know what it is, but Busch Stadium has been a Bermuda Triangle of sorts for the Reds in the past decade. This last series did nothing to help erase that trend.

But as any baseball fan knows, there is always tomorrow, and tomorrow (Friday) begins a fresh series in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. A trio of games versus the Buccos may be exactly what Cincy needs to get back on track.

Until then, enjoy a mixed bag of news and notes...

Help Todd Frazier avenge Brandon Phillips

It's time for more web gems. Yesterday you saw a great defensive play by Brandon Phillips face off against an amazing leaping catch at the wall by Don Kelly of the Tigers. Kelly was able to overtake the 4-time reigning web gem through fan voting. Today however, Todd Frazier has shown up to avenge the loss by Phillips and reclaim glory for Cincinnati.

Frazier came up with his own nice diving grab and throw to get Yadier Molina out at first base in yesterday's game. After you watch the video evidence, you can make your verdict known by voting at the bottom right side of the page at this ESPN link.

MINOR details 4/10/2013: Ugly night on the farm as Blaze stay winless on the season

Sad baseball makes his return
Columbus 5 Louisville 0
Bats (4-3), T-2nd International League South, 1.0 GB
-Armando Galarraga (1-1, 2.53) made the start, going 5.2 innings while allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits and two walks, with five strikeouts. Mark Prior walked one in an otherwise scoreless 1.1 inning outing.
-CF Billy Hamilton finished 0-3 with a walk and committed a fielding error. 1B Mike Hessman doubled and three other Bats got a single.

Mobile 10 Pensacola 2
Blue Wahoos (3-3) T-2nd Southern League South, 1.0 GB
-It was a rough night for starter Josh Smith (0-2, 17.47). He gave up six runs, five earned, on six hits. He also walked two and struck out two in just two innings. Josh Ravin hurled 2.2 scoreless innings and Loek Van Mil added a scorless frame with two punchouts.
-CF Ryan LaMarre went 2-5. 2B Brodie Greene accounted for both runs with his only hit, blasting a two-run home run (1) in the fourth inning.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Reds place Sean Marshall on disabled list, recall Logan Ondrusek from Pensacola

It seems as though the shoulder fatigue southpaw Sean Marshall has been battling lately has finally become too much to bear.

On Wednesday, the Reds placed Marshall on the 15-day disabled list due to shoulder tendinitis.

The move was announced just prior to Cincinnati's series finale against the Cardinals.

Logan Ondrusek will take Marshall's spot on the roster after beginning the season in Double-A Pensacola. Ondrusek will be in uniform this afternoon for the matinee affair and is available to pitch.

Marshall has appeared in just one of the club's eight games in 2013. Dusty Baker was taking a cautious approach with Marshall to let his 30-year-old reliever rest, but Marshall's condition has apparently failed to get significantly better.

Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto ranked among baseball's elite

On Tuesday, Dayn Perry over at CBS Sports published a list of the top 10 hitters and the top 10 pitchers for the 2013 MLB season. And two Reds deservedly were included in the rankings.

Joey Votto took the No. 3 spot among hitters, while Johnny Cueto finally received some respect from a national columnist by coming at No. 6 among pitchers.

An important note to remember about this list is the Perry took only the 2013 season in consideration when compiling the rankings. There was no regard for past or future performance. Essentially, Perry aimed to rank who the best players at this moment in time are.

Here is what Perry had to say about each of them...

Was Don Kelly's web gem better than that of Brandon Phillips?

Detroit Tigers left fielder Don Kelly made an outstanding leaping grab at the wall, but was it better than the web gem Brandon Phillips gave us?

MINOR details 4/9/2013: Tony Cingrani masterful again in Bats win

Cingrani has totalled 21 strikeouts in 12.1 IP this season
Louisville 4 Columbus 0
Bats (4-2), T-1st International League South, --- GB
-Tony Cingrani (1-0, 0.00) had a real off night...if you compare it to his first outing. He threw 6.1 scoreless innings, allowing three hits while striking out seven. Justin Freeman struck out two over 1.2 scoreless frames. Clay Hensley had a strikeout in a scoreless inning of relief.
-CF Billy Hamilton was 0-3, with a walk and a strikeout. 3B Henry Rodriguez went 3-4, with two RBI. 1B Mike Hessman launched a two-run home run (5) into the seats in the 4th inning.

Blue Wahoos (3-2) T-1st Southern League South, --- GB
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos enjoyed their first off day of the season. They'll travel to Mobile to face the BayBears Wednesday night at 7:05 CT.

Who is Derrick Robinson and where did he come from?

On Tuesday, freshly promoted outfielder Derrick Robinson made his first big league start for the Reds. He proceeded to go 1-for-3 with two strikeouts and was replaced in the seventh inning by Chris Heisey as part of a double switch.

The 25-year-old was called up April 5 after Ryan Ludwick was placed on the disabled list, and after spending six seasons in the minors, Robinson is finally getting his chance to show what he can do at the major league level.

But his presence on the Reds roster may have some fans wondering where he came from. So, in an effort to learn more about the team's newest addition, I decided to do a little research on his track record.

Robinson's story for the purpose of this article began in 2005 when he was a junior at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School in Gainesville, Fla. As a junior, Robinson batted .359 with 48 steals, leading his team to the state regional quarterfinals. He was also named 2nd-team All-State. As a senior, he increased his average to .488, swiped 42 bags, and garnered 1st-team All-State accolades.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Schoenfield ranks Aroldis Chapman the second best closer in baseball

Chapman is rolling early in 2013
The baseball season is young, but there is still plenty of talk amongst "baseball people" about who the best teams and players in baseball are. David Schoenfield of ESPN.com put out his list, ranking Major League Baseball's current closers today and it's no surprise that the Reds Aroldis Chapman is very near to the top. In fact, he comes in at number two behind Atlanta's Craig Kilborn Kimbrel and just in front of the legendary Mariano Rivera.

Here's what Schoenfield had to say about Chapman:

Video: Watch the Reds score nine runs in one half of an inning

The Reds entered the top of the ninth inning against the Cardinals on Monday locked in a 4-4 tie. By the end of the half inning, they led by a score of 13-4.

How did this happen, you ask?

Well, I could tell you that the Reds scored nine runs after a walk, wild pitch, intentional walk, double, intentional walk, another walk, infield single, error, single, double, single, walk, and an infield single. Or I could just allow you to watch how the inning unfolded by viewing the video clip above.

All in all, Cincinnati plated nine runs off six hits, one error, and five walks.

The Reds go for an encore performance in game two of the series Tuesday night.

MINOR details 4/8/2013: Billy Hamilton is Billy Hamilton, but Bats lose

He's back at it.
Yes. It's the exciting return of MINOR details. Are you happy? Sure you are. Why am I five games late? I was busy thinking of buying a hat from each of the minor league teams. I don't know. I linked each of the previous games below each recap though. Enjoy.

Columbus 7 Louisville 2
Bats (3-2), T-1st International League South, --- GB
-Promising young prospect Daniel Corcino (0-1, 12.27) suffered the loss in his first start of the year, allowing five earned runs on five hits in 3.2 innings. He struck out five in the effort. Nick Christiani tossed 2.1 scoreless innings of relief, while Clay Hensley and Kevin Whelan added a perfect inning each.
-The offense was all about CF Billy Hamilton who was 4-5 with two RBI (2) and three stolen bases (6). 2B Ray Chang went 2-4 with a double and a run scored.

April 4th - Louisville 4 Toledo 3
April 5th - Louisville 6 Toledo 4
April 6th - Louisville 6 Toledo 4
April 7th - Toledo 4 Louisville 3

Tuesday's mixed bag of Reds news and notes

In case you missed it, the Reds put on an offensive show in the ninth inning yesterday. Cincinnati knocked around Cardinals closer Mitchell Boggs en route to plating a whopping nine runs in the ninth inning. The barrage of runs helped propel the Reds to a decisive 13-4 victory in front of a somber Busch Stadium crowd in St. Louis' home opener.

Jay Bruce smacked four hits (all singles), and Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Chris Heisey, and Shin-Soo Choo each had multi-hit games, as well. Mat Latos started the game and posted a decent outing (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER), but received a no decision. Sam LeCure pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the eighth to notch his first win of the season.

The two foes square off again Tuesday night beginning at 8:05 p.m. Until then, a mixed bag of Reds news and notes...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Reds fall in ESPN power rankings, Nationals stay at top spot?

Washington topped the rankings despite losing series in Cincinnati
There are many things in this world that just don't make a lot of sense. But ESPN's latest batch of MLB Power Rankings may now be the most nonsensical of them all.

On Sunday, the Reds defeated the Nationals, 6-3, to effectively take two out of three from the reigning National League East Division champions. Cincinnati's only loss of the three-game set came Saturday when it took the Nats 11 innings to squeak out a 7-5 win. This coming a day after the Reds absolutely hammered Washington, 15-0, behind a barrage of six home runs.

Despite the outcome, the Nats hung on to the top spot in the rankings, while the Reds slid one spot to number four. Wait, what?

Now to be fair, at the end of the first week, both teams boasted identical records at 4-2. However, that is extremely deceiving, because it fails to consider who each team played.

St. Louis writer proudly boasts Cardinals as having 'best fans in baseball'

A bitter division rivalry will be renewed Monday night as the Cardinals play host to the Reds at Busch Stadium. Adding to the luster of the game is the fact that it marks the home opener for Mike Matheny's crew.

Naturally, this presented St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Bernie Miklasz the opportunity to once again hail St. Louis as "The Best Baseball Town in America." I'm sure that doesn't exactly tickle the ears of fans in Reds Country, or nearly any other baseball city for that matter.

Here is an excerpt from that piece:
As we flock to Busch Stadium for the 2013 home opener, this is as good time as any to tell everyone that St. Louis is The Best Baseball Town in America.

In case you didn’t know it, we’ll be happy to repeat it. If you didn’t hear us say it the first 100,000 times, no problem. We’ll brag on it again.

And again. …

And again. …

Series notes against the Cardinals


As if opening the season against the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Nationals wasn't enough, the Reds now head to St. Louis for a trio of games against the rival Cardinals.

Dusty Baker's bunch is coming off back-to-back series victories over two teams expected to make legitimate runs at the World Series crown.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals are coming home for the first time after posting a 3-3 road trip through Arizona and San Francisco.

The series should shape up to be a good one.

Here is a look at the pitching probables...

MON (4:15) - RHP Mat Latos (0-0, 4.05) vs LHP Jaime Garcia (1-0, 1.59)
TUES (8:15) - RHP Bronson Arroyo (1-0, 4.50) vs RHP Lance Lynn (0-0, 9.00)
WED (1:45) - RHP Homer Bailey (1-0, 0.00) vs RHP Jake Westbrook (0-1, 0.00)

And here are some notables regarding the series...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Highlights and notables from Reds series win over Nationals

The Redlegs (4-2) took the rubber match of the series Sunday by turning away the Nationals (4-2), 6-3.

It was matchup pitting two aces against one another: Washington's Stephen Strasburg vs. Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto. Although the affair promised to be a pitcher's duel, it certainly didn't start out that way.

Strasburg surrendered three runs to the host Reds in the bottom of the first frame, while Cueto coughed up three runs in the top of the second, courtesy of a three-run homer by Nats catcher Kurt Suzuki.

However, in the end, it was Dusty Baker's crew who emerged victorious. They used a three-run sixth to cap off a successful homestand with back-to-back series wins, and over two really good ballclubs at that.

Here are some notables and highlights from the game...

RR Roundtable: What to do post-Ludwick and other week one thoughts

Is now the time for this man to wear these colors full-time?

The Redlegs Review roundtable returns for another edition and after weeks of blubbering about what might happen when the season began, we have real baseball to discuss this week! Joining the panel this time around are Jimmi Adair (@Redlegs_Review), Scott Eddy (@scotte97), Jesse Welte (@RedlegsWriter) and Jon Davis (@I_Bleed_RedsRed). The topics this week include what to do with the hole left from the injury suffered by Ryan Ludwick, if now is the right time for a Billy Hamilton sighting at GABP and if this is the year Johnny Cueto takes the proverbial next step into being considered a true “ace” outside of Cincinnati.

1) Some of the excitement of the new season and Opening Day evaporated with the injury to Ryan Ludwick. With Ludwick likely lost for at least half the season, do you think the Reds are best served with Chris Heisey every day in left field, or would you try calling up Billy Hamilton or perhaps look outside the organization for help?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Video: Reds fan catches home run ball while holding baby

The Nationals and Reds duked it out in game two of a series that may very well be a preview of the 2013 National League Championship Series.

In the top of the seventh, Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth smoked his second homer of the season by depositing the ball deep into the right field seats. His solo blast ultimately stretched Washington's lead to 5-1.

However, the real story here is the guy who managed to snag Werth's batted ball with his left hand, while holding what appears to be his baby in the other arm. That is an impressive feat to say the least.

There were some concerns around Cincinnati regarding outfield depth when Ryan Ludwick was placed on the disabled list this week. But this random fan might just be some extra insurance for the Reds in case they need another outfielder. Hey, he doesn't even require a glove!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Photo: Fan runs onto field during seventh inning of Reds-Nationals game

Friday night was an eventful one for fans at Great American Ball Park.

Not only did the hometown Reds pound the only undefeated team left in the majors by a score of 15-0, but in the seventh inning, the crowd was entertained by a man who ran onto the field of play.

The crazed fan, who may or may not have been under the influence of alcohol, sprinted onto the field and slid into second base during a pitching change by the Nationals. Then, the man tried to flee the scene of the crime by running into the outfield grass, but police eventually tackled and apprehended the perpetrator on the spot.

Hey, it looks like the guy put up a decent fight before being handcuffed, though.

Aside from that incident, all was well in Reds Nation on a brisk April evening.


Reds smash six home runs to send Nationals to first loss of season

The Washington Nationals rolled into Cincinnati on Friday as the last undefeated team in the majors. By late Friday night, they could no longer make that claim.

The Reds absolutely crushed the visiting Nats in every facet of the game at Great American Ball Park. The final score read 15-0 before the proverbial massacre finally ceased.

Here is a recap of some the notable highlights...

+ Cincinnati's offense pounded out 19 hits.

+ Zack Cozart and Todd Frazier crushed two home runs a piece.

Analysis of a (Nationals) beatdown

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

YEEEEAAAAHHH BABY!!! Dat’s what I’m talkin’ bout! Dat’s what “swag” looks like! In case you don’t know that’s what’s called takin’ a team to the woodshed, also known as a butt whuppin’. The Nationals are heading to their team hotel with some Big Red welts on their backsides! Hey all you so called experts, those stone tablets you etched the Nationals as World Champions on now have been beaten into powder. Six home runs, none by anyone named Votto or Bruce, 15 runs total, 19 hits, and the Reds team batting average jumps 86 points, from .155 to .241. Reds team ERA fell from 2.90 to 2.25, seven more strikeouts brings the total to 44 on the season, an average of 11 per game.

I know it’s still very early, but a game like this can turn a season around. I remember a similar beating a struggling 1975 Reds team administered on Tom Seaver and the New York Mets, the Reds then reeled off 86 wins during the final 119 games of that season en route to the World Championship. I remember May 6, 1995, the Reds, managed by Davey Johnson, started the season at 1 – 8, scored nine runs in their last two at bats to turn an 11 – 4 deficit into a 13 – 11 improbable victory. That comeback kick started the Reds who won 19 of the next 22 and rolled to a division championship.

Numbers Behind the Debate: Small Ball vs. Long Ball

It is an age-old debate, but we have an early answer.

When it comes to small ball vs. long ball, the correct thing to do is swing the bat.

Before Friday, teams that have had the biggest inning won every game, 37-0. With 46 game played so far, there have been nine games where no teams came up with a bigger inning than the other.

This is an incredible number. If a team was able to score three runs in an inning, they won the game 82% of the time---an outstanding 24-5 record! The only time a team lost after scoring three runs in an inning was after the other team did it also in the game. That means teams are 19-0 after scoring a big inning and preventing it.

Trying to string multiple scoring innings has been trouble for teams. Instead, going for the whopper has been far more effective.

If you are faced with a situation to go for it all or bunt a man over, it is a far better choice to go for the big inning.

Friday's mixed bag of Reds news and notes

Happy Friday, everyone! We have successfully navigated through the first half of the opening week of the 2013 season. The Reds did well to pick up a series victory over the mighty Angels Thursday afternoon, but they can't celebrate for too long because the Nationals are in town for a three-game set beginning Friday night at Great American Ball Park.

The series will feature two teams who boasted the best records in baseball a year ago. Additionally, the series will feature some of the game's biggest stars including Joey Votto, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, and Johnny Cueto, among others. It's sure to be a fun weekend at the park.

Until then, here is a mixed bag of Reds news and notes to power you through to the weekend:

Opening series notes and such

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Before I begin, I would like to ask all of you to please pray for the family of Eugene Crum, Mingo County W.V. Sheriff who was senselessly murdered April 3, 2013. In the three months Mr. Crum was in office there were literally hundreds of drug related arrests. During the 25 years I’ve lived in Mingo County, I have never seen such efficiency from the Sheriff’s office. He truly cared about cleaning up the drug problem in this area, and lost his life during the process at the hands of a cowardly man performing a cowardly act.

- Three games do not make a season, but two straight wins against arguably the best lineup in the American League was encouraging. The Reds offense was, for lack of a better word, offensive; especially on Opening Day, but I’ll take two wins out of three any day. Reds team batting average .155.

- The pitching was brilliant. Three games, 31 innings pitched, 37 strikeouts. Reds pitching kept Josh Hamilton and Red killer Albert Pujols in the ballpark. Team ERA 2.90 enough said!

- Shin-Soo Choo was well worth giving up Drew Stubbs for. He brings stability to the leadoff spot, something that the Reds needed for several years. I think Joe Blanton would love to have that first pitch to Choo back.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Video: Watch Aroldis Chapman record the final out of Thursday's win

The likelihood of winning the series over the Angels didn't look good after Cincinnati dropped Monday's opener in a heart-breaking, extra inning loss.

However, they bounced back to win in walk-off fashion Wednesday night, and edged out the Halos 5-4 Thursday afternoon to pull off the series victory.

The Reds offense was fueled in Thursday's game by three homers off the bats of Shin-Soo Choo, Chris Heisey, and Todd Frazier.

Meanwhile, Bronson Arroyo picked up his first win of the young season, while Aroldis Chapman nailed down his first save.

Here is a look at The Cuban Missile striking out former Red Josh Hamilton to put the finishing touches on a win.

First series of the season is a microcosm of Choo's game

Choo got dirty on Opening Day
Yeah I used the word "microcosm" and I'm pretty sure I used it in the right context. Anyways, the Reds just won 5-4 over the Angels and took the last two games of the series from them after dropping the Opening Day game. There were lots of good things on which to focus like the pitching and there were some bad things like Jay Bruce's struggles with runners on the bases, but today I'm mainly focusing on the newest addition to the Reds lineup, Shin-Soo Choo.

In short, Choo's performance in the opening series of the season was almost an exact snapshot of what we (or at least I) thought Choo was.

In the first game, against Angels ace Jered Weaver, Choo was pretty much the entirety of the offense. In 13 innings, the Reds managed just one run on three hits, with two of those hits belonging to Choo, who also scored that run on a wild pitch. He finished the game 2-for-5, with a double, the run scored, and a hit-by-pitch, while also striking out once.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Reds expected to be without Ryan Ludwick for at least three months

On Wednesday, Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick underwent successful surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right shoulder. That is the good news.

The bad news is that Ludwick is expected to miss at least three months, 13-14 weeks to be exact, as he waits for the injury to completely heal. This timetable would put the slugger back into action around the All-Star Break.

Ludwick sustained a dislocated shoulder while sliding into third base in Monday's season opening loss to the Angels. The 34-year-old exited the game and did not return. An MRI a day later revealed cartilage tear in the surrounding area.

The loss of Ludwick is undeniably a huge blow to the Reds offense. Cincinnati was expecting the veteran to hit clean-up and build off last season's success (.276/26/80), which is precisely why they offered him a two-year, $15 million contract over the winter.