Sunday, June 30, 2013

Video: Mascot loses pants during race in Reds-Rangers game



The Reds may have lost, 3-2, to the Rangers Sunday afternoon. But it wasn't all bad, though.

The Texas Legends race produced a hilarious moment when a mascot dressed up as former Oilers running back Earl Campbell fell down and subsequently lost his pants in the process. Check out the video above and try not to at least crack a grin. It's impossible.

The spectacle was just about the only thing to smile about for Reds fans as their beloved team has now lost seven of their last nine games. Additionally, the red-hot Pirates continue to distance themselves in the standings, as well.

Video: Devin Mesoraco crushes game-winning home run in extras



On Saturday, the Reds needed a victory in the worst way possible against the Texas Rangers, after having gone all week without ending up on the smiling side of the scoreboard.

Well, thanks to a clutch home run by catcher Devin Mesoraco in extra innings, Cincinnati finally recorded an elusive win, 6-4, over the Rangers. However, the big knock almost didn't happen.

Watch as Mesoraco is originally tasked by manager Dusty Baker to bunt, but fails after fouling off a pitch to bring the count to 1-1. This is when Baker decides to let the youngster swing away and it paid dividends, as Mesoraco launched a high drive over the left field wall on the very next pitch.

It marked the fourth home run of the season for Mesoraco.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Video: Watch Jay Bruce make sensational leaping catch


Let's face it, folks. There wasn't much to cheer about from a Reds perspective during Friday night's 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Texas Rangers.

However, this catch made by Jay Bruce to end the bottom of the first inning sure was a dandy.

Watch as the Gold Glove outfielder ranges a long way to his left to make a sensational leaping catch at the wall. As you can see, that ball was about two more feet to the left from being a potential home run.

Nice play by Bruce.

Reds lose Johnny Cueto again to injury


Reds ace Johnny Cueto was forced to exit his start against the Rangers on Friday after throwing just 29 pitches due to an apparent lateral muscle injury.

The right-hander was pulled from the game after grimacing in pain on his final pitch attempt with no outs in the bottom of the second inning. Manager Dusty Baker quickly rushed to the mound and replaced Cueto with southpaw Tony Cingrani.

Cincinnati fans have become all too accustomed to watching the injury-prone Cueto limp off the field lately.

Cueto has already been on the disabled list twice this year with a strain of the his right lateral muscle. Additionally, he was forced out of the playoffs last year after suffering a strained right oblique in the NLDS against the Giants. The oblique troubled him this year while he was on the disabled list from April 15 to May 20.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Photo: Strengths and weaknesses of the Reds


So, the Major League Baseball trade deadline is getting closer, which means teams are having to look in the proverbial mirror and identify areas of need.

Thankfully, the folks at ESPN have come up with an interactive way for fans to look at their team's strengths and weaknesses without doing any work at all!

The image you see above is a screenshot taken of Cincinnati's situation. For those who many not be able to decipher it, the Reds are apparently weak at the positions of catcher, shortstop, and left field.

Will the Reds front office try and add another piece to address the issues? Or will they stand pat with what they got?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

News and notes from week 13



by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

On April 28th someone asked me my thoughts on the Pittsburgh Pirates being in first place. At the writing of this post, they’re tied for first with the St. Louis Cardinals. I said let’s see where they’re at on September 28 – the last day of the season. I’m still sticking to that statement.

I will say this much about the Bucs, Clint Hurdle should be considered for Manager of the Year.

Add the Texas Rangers to my list of the St. Louis Cardinals weaknesses from last week.

That was an impressive feat this past Sunday when Nik Wallenda walked a tightrope across an area of the Grand Canyon. Halfway out, Wallenda went to one knee until the winds calmed down, and to dodge the home run ball returning to Earth one day after Jay Bruce hit it.

Former Houston Astros pitcher Larry Anderson once told a story about a blast he’d given up to the Phillies Mike Schmidt. Anderson said that his manager walked to the mound, looked toward the area the ball landed and said, “Any ball hit that far ought to have a stewardess and an in flight movie!”

Keith Law tabs two Reds as 'real All-Stars'

 

Believe it or not, the All-Star Game is less than three weeks away, which means fan voting for the star-studded event will be nearing a close soon.

The debate about which players deserve to play in the game will likely rage on well after the voting results have been released. It's just a matter of opinion, and fans being fans, I suppose.

But one baseball expert has already chosen his All-Star squads for the annual game. This expert is ESPN's Keith Law and he recently took the time to build lineups for both leagues in which he felt gave each team the best chance to win the game.

Two Reds appeared on his roster for the National League: 1B Joey Votto and LHP Aroldis Chapman. Law writes that he would start Votto at first base and bat him second in the order. On the other hand, Law likes Chapman to be the team's token reliever out of the bullpen.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Two Reds prospects selected to play in Futures Game


On Wednesday, Major League Baseball unveiled the names of the 50 players who will participate in the  15th annual Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game next month. Two of those prospects playing in the showcase affair will be from the Reds organization.

The first is outfielder Billy Hamilton who will be making his second consecutive appearance in the prestigious game. Hamilton is currently ranked as the No. 10 prospect on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospect list and will play for the United States Team.

Hamilton showed off his tremendous speed in last year's game by legging out a triple.

Through 73 games this season, Hamilton was batting .243 with 26 RBIs and 48 runs scored. He's drawn 24 walks, and the 22-year-old speedster had also stolen 48 bases in 56 attempts. Hamilton has been in the Reds organization since 2009 after being selected in the second round of the draft.

The second prospect to represent Cincinnati in the game is right-handed pitcher Carlos Contreras. The 22-year-old Dominican native will play for the World Team.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Send Reds to All-Star Game and score free pizza at the same time Thursday


From the Reds...

Fans and media are invited to attend the “Vote Reds” lunch on Thursday, June 27 from 11am to 2pm in the Champions Club at Great American Ball Park.

To support our Reds in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game balloting, we’re inviting fans to the ballpark on their lunch hour for All-Star voting and free pizza courtesy of LaRosa’s.

Fans are encouraged to bring their laptop, tablet or smart phone and vote up to 35 times per email address at www.reds.com/vote. (Voting ends July 4)

Brandon Phillips away from team due to private matter


The Reds will be without the services of All-Star second basemen Brandon Phillips for at least Tuesday's game in Oakland after it was announced that he was away from the team because of a personal matter.

Upon further review, it appears as though that personal matter has to do with impending fatherhood, as the transactions page on MLB.com currently lists Phillips on paternity leave.

Major League Baseball adopted the paternity list in 2011 and it allows players one to three days to be away from the team for the birth of a child. Teams are able to replace the player on the active roster while they are gone.

The Reds enjoyed an off day Monday and will have another on Thursday after partaking in a two-game series against the Athletics in between. So, it isn't out of the realm of possibility to believe that Phillips won't be back in the lineup until Friday's series opener in Texas.

The 31-year-old is hitting .265 with 11 home runs and 60 RBI in 2013.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Reds slip one spot in latest power rankings


On Monday, the baseball gurus at ESPN put their collective minds together and released their weekly batch of Major League Baseball Power Rankings.

After holding down the No. 3 overall spot in last week's edition, the Cincinnati Reds slipped one spot to No. 4 this time around, after posting a 3-4 record against the likes of the Pirates and the Diamondbacks. Falling one spot on the list isn't too bad when you consider the boys from the Queen City didn't exactly have a banner week on the diamond.

The Reds will hope to improve their position this upcoming week, however, it won't be easy as they face an odd two-game series in Oakland on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a three-game set against the Rangers in Texas over the weekend. They do receive two off days sprinkled throughout the course of the week, though. The Reds boast one on Monday and another on Thursday.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips continue to lead way in All-Star voting

Both Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto are in line to start the All-Star Game.

The possibility of having two Reds start for the National League team in the 2013 All-Star Game continues to look good after the latest voting totals were released by Major League Baseball on Sunday.

Both first basemen Joey Votto and second basemen Brandon Phillips continue to tally the most votes of any player at their respective positions. However, their lead has seemingly dwindled since the last couple of updates.

FIRST BASE
Joey Votto, Reds 2,677,813
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks 2,270,886
Allen Craig, Cardinals 1,801,138
Brandon Belt, Giants 1,323,511
Freddie Freeman, Braves 1,181,657

Video: Watch Jay Bruce hit longest home run of career



Jay Bruce has gained a reputation around the league for being one of the streakiest hitters in baseball. And right now he is currently in the midst of one of his epic hot streaks.

On Saturday, he smacked two long home runs in Cincinnati's defeat to Arizona, one of which can be seen in the video above. As you can see, Bruce's solo shot was a no doubter as soon as it left the bat, and wound up striking the bottom of the scoreboard in center field, nearly 475 feet away, before tumbling back onto the field. It marked the longest home run of Bruce's career and the third-longest in MLB this season.

Bruce also delivered a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to put the Reds ahead at the time 3-2. Unfortunately, the Diamondbacks rallied off Reds closer Aroldis Chapman in the home half of the inning to steal a win away from Dusty Baker's bunch.

Friday, June 21, 2013

News and notes from MLB Week 12


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

This week I’m going to start with a Useless Trivia Question; what 1960’s television icon is the son of a former Heavyweight Champion? The answer will be at the end of my article.

Last week I mentioned the 75th anniversary of the Reds Johnny Vander Meer consecutive no hitters, this Saturday, June 22, marks the 75th anniversary of the “Fight of the Century” between Joe Louis and German heavyweight Max Schmeling. With all the turbulence surrounding Nazi Germany and Eastern Europe in 1938, the hopes of America rested squarely on the shoulders of “The Brown Bomber”. Louis didn’t disappoint, knocking out his German opponent in less than two minutes. Schmeling would later admit that the best thing that ever happened in his life was losing that fight. As a postscript, Schmeling, who served in the German Air Force as a paratrooper during World War II, is credited for saving two Jewish children from the Nazi regime by hiding them in his apartment.

Test drive a vehicle for free Reds tickets


The pursuit of two Reds tickets couldn't come much easier on Friday. If you test drive a vehicle from Chevy, you score a pair of complimentary tickets to a future game. It's that simple.

Here are the details from the press release...
CINCINNATI (June 20, 2013) — Reds fans are invited to Great American Ball Park on Friday, June 21 for the annual Chevy Ride & Drive event from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All fans test driving a Chevrolet at the ballpark will receive two (2) complimentary tickets to one of the following games at GABP:

- Wednesday, Sept. 4 – Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals (7:10 pm)

- Monday, Sept. 23 – Reds vs. New York Mets (7:10pm)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Video: Jay Bruce robs Andrew McCutchen of a home run



Jay Bruce starred in more ways than just his bat Wednesday.

The Gold Glover proved his defensive worth in the seventh inning when Pirates star Andrew McCutchen lifted a ball high and deep toward the right field wall.

The lengthy flight of the ball allowed Bruce to smoothly retreat back to the warning track as he prepared to time his jump. As you can see, this isn't Bruce's first attempt at robbing a home run, and he times his jump perfectly to bring back a ball that looked as if it was heading for the stands.

Bruce's effort kept the score at 1-0 and eventually allowed him to smack a game-tying home run just two innings later.

Video: Watch Jay Bruce blast game-tying home run



Jay Bruce came through in a big way Wednesday night.

The Reds All-Star right fielder stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning against Pirates closer Jason Grilli and promptly delivered his 14th home run of the season.

The first-pitch blast couldn't have come at a better time as it effectively tied the game at one a piece. The clutch hit also snapped Grilli's perfect run at save conversions in 2013 at 25.

Cincinnati would wind up outlasting the Pirates in extra innings when Brandon Phillips delivered an RBI-single in the bottom of the 13th.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Only known ring from infamous 1919 World Series up for sale

(PHOTO: Lelands.com)

The only known championship ring from the 1919 World Series is currently up for auction. And it formerly belonged to Reds skipper Pat Moran.

Here is a brief description of the rare piece of jewelry:

Pat Moran's 1919 World Series Ring was presented to him as manager of the Cincinnati Reds team that "beat" the infamous Chicago Black Sox. This is the same oak leaf clustered design as other awards presented for World Series in the teens. However, most of these were pins and stickpins (Edd Roush, 1919). Rings such as this gem are rarest of all. In fact, the same style ring belonged to both Johnny Evers & Rabbit Maranville for their part in the 1914 Miracle Boston Braves' World Championship. Rings were considered effeminate in this era, hence the rarity. However it is fitting that the manager, the center of the team, would receive a ring.This beautiful piece of jewelry is engraved to P.J. Moran on the inside face and is stamped F.H.Co 14K, while the band is marked 10k.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

America has no faith in Mat Latos tonight


There is a poll question being posed to readers over on ESPN.com that essentially asks which pitcher they believe is more likely to suffer their first loss of the season.

Respondents have the choice to choose between Boston's Clay Bucholz, Arizona's Patrick Corbin, Detroit's Max Scherzer, and Cincinnati's Mat Latos. Surprisingly, nearly half the country expects Latos to see his unblemished record come to an end first.

It should be noted that Latos is the only one from that group pitching Tuesday night.

Bucholz, Corbin, and Scherzer aren't scheduled to pitch again until Saturday. So, maybe the folks are just playing the odds here.

Video: Tony Cingrani sports menacing game face

cingranisnarl

Reds rookie left-hander Tony Cingrani made his first relief appearance of the season a memorable one on Monday.

Cingrani entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning with one out and the Reds clinging to a narrow 2-1 lead against the Pirates.

He then buckled down to record the final two outs of the inning, but not before giving viewers at home a front row seat to the one of the most intense and menacing game faces you are ever likely to see.

Who wants a piece of this guy? Obviously, not the Pirates.

Via Cincinnati Enquirer

Monday, June 17, 2013

Reds move Cingrani to depleted bullpen


Southpaw Tony Cingrani is here to stay.

On Monday, the Reds announced plans to move the rookie to the bullpen to serve as another left-handed option in relief. Cingrani has made seven starts this season over the span of two different stints while filling in for an injured Johnny Cueto. He served as an emergency reserve on Sunday in case Cueto experienced any difficulty in his first start since coming off the disabled list. Fortunately, Cincinnati did not need him as Cueto and the Reds cruised to a 5-1 victory over Milwaukee.

Cingrani said he is happy the club opted to keep him around instead of sending him back down the road to Triple-A Louisville. Even if it means pitching in a different role.

Votto, Phillips continue to sit well in updated fan voting


The third batch of updated National League All-Star voting was released Sunday evening and two Reds continue to lead the way at their respective positions.

Joey Votto continues to sit atop at first base while teammate Brandon Phillips holds down the top spot for second base.

Shin-Soo Choo is the only other Red to appear in the voting leaderboard after ranking ninth among outfielders.

FIRST BASE
1. Joey Votto, Reds: 2,047,945
2. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks: 1,524,517
3. Allen Craig, Cardinals: 1,191,229
4. Brandon Belt, Giants: 997,066
5. Freddie Freeman, Braves: 924,937

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Reds to hold second annual racing night


For the second consecutive year, the Reds will hold a racing night at Great American Ball Park to get folks geared up for the upcoming NASCAR race at Kentucky Speedway. 
Here is the press release highlighting the details...
CINCINNATI (June 14, 2013) - Reds fans and racing enthusiasts should come to the ballpark on Monday, June 17 for an evening of excitement at the second annual Reds Racing Night presented by Kroger. 
NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick will throw a ceremonial first pitch and the Kroger Fan Zone will be packed with a collection of racing showcars, simulators and interactives.
Harvick is currently 5th in Sprint Cup Series with two wins this season, drives the #29 Budweiser NASCAR racecar for Richard Childress Racing and is scheduled to race in the Quaker State 400 at the Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, June 29.
Reds Racing Night schedule of events:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Video: Watch Jay Bruce launch walk-off home run



Jay Bruce entered Friday with four walk-off home runs in his career. The Reds All-Star right fielder had five by the night's end.

Bruce's solo blast in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted Cincinnati past the visiting Brewers, 4-3, and sparked a celebration at home plate. It marked the 11th homer of the season for Bruce and it sent over 35,000 fans at Great American Ball Park home happy.

"I told somebody earlier it never gets old," said Bruce. "I hit homers, but walk-offs are completely different. They're a little sweeter, especially this one because of yesterday."

The Reds are now 4-7 in extra-inning games in 2013.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Reds to hold mass wedding at Great American Ball Park


If you and your special someone have been thinking about tying the knot lately than I have just the time and place for you two to do so.

On Friday, August 2, the Reds are offering couples the chance to say "I do" in the first ever mass wedding at Great American Ball Park.

The couples will have the opportunity to exchange vows on the field before the Reds play host to the arch-rival Cardinals beginning at 7:10 p.m.

Those who choose to take part in the ceremony will get the chance to enjoy an exclusive reception in the luxurious Riverfront Club. The celebratory bash will include an upscale dinner and an open bar. Couples can also be accompanied to the reception by up to 10 of their closest family and friends.

Reds sign Zack Duke to minor league contract


The Reds have signed veteran left-handed pitcher Zach Duke to a minor league contract, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Duke, 30, was recently released by the Washington Nationals after tallying an 8.71 ERA in 12 appearances spanning 20.2 innings.

Duke was assigned to Triple-A Louisville and catcher Konrad Schmidt was released to make room on the roster.

Although Duke struggled in his stint with the Nationals this season, he boasted a respectable 15-5 record and 3.51 ERA in Triple-A last year.

The former highly-touted Pirates prospect was once considered one of the most promising southpaw starting pitchers in the game when he broke into the majors in 2005. He finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year voting in '05 after recording a 1.81 ERA and an 8-2 record as a 22-year-old.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Weekly batch of Reds news and notes


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Welcome to the readers of The Mountain Citizen, a weekly paper located in Inez, Ky. They are scheduled to print my posts beginning in late June. I want to thank The Mountain Citizen Editor Gary Ball and their Sports Editor Ron Hickman for this opportunity.

I guess the St. Louis Cardinals really are that good.

I can’t understand how the Reds can let St. Louis just come into Great American Ballpark and literally bully them into submission. I haven’t been this frustrated with the Reds since last year’s playoff meltdown. Friday’s 9 to 2 loss was hard to swallow, especially with the pitchers giving up 16 hits. Sunday’s bullpen meltdown allowing the Cards to score seven runs in the 10th inning was an embarrassment. What were the Reds trying to do on Sunday night? First, Joey Votto ran the bases like there were land mines laid in the base paths, getting thrown out with ease at third base to end the third inning. Second, shouldn’t someone have told Bronson Arroyo there were two outs in the inning when he popped out on a bunt attempt in the fourth? Third, of the final nine outs the Cardinals recorded in the game, six came via the strikeout. Talk about going down without a fight.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Video: Brandon Phillips flashes some serious leather against Cubs



In case you missed it, Brandon Phillips put his spectacular defensive skills on full display Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field. He didn't waste any time at all to do so, either.

Seen here is the three-time Gold Glove second basemen flashing some serious leather at the expense of Cubs leadoff hitter David DeJesus. Phillips essentially robbed DeJesus of a base hit when he ranged to his left and made a great diving snag on a ball that appeared to be heading into the outfield.

Phillips then bounced to his feet and threw out the runner just in the nick of time to record the out.

I don't care what anyone else says. Phillips is far and away the best defensive second basemen in Major League Baseball right now. Anyone who honestly thinks otherwise has obviously not seen Phillips play defense on a regular basis. The guy can simply pick it.

Video: Brandon Phillips playfully imitates Todd Frazier's batting stance



Brandon Phillips was in a playful mood Wednesday afternoon after Todd Frazier belted a go-ahead home run during the seventh inning.

Frazier's blast put the Reds in front, 2-1, at the time and proved to be the decisive blow as Cincinnati recorded its 12th straight victory at Wrigley Field.

Frazier was immediately greeted in the dugout by all of his teammates after ripping the solo blast and even received an imitation of his batting stance from Phillips during the celebration.

As you can see, Phillips was quite animated in his impersonation. But he was also pretty spot on, don't you think? Below is a look at Frazier's aforementioned solo homer.

Bowden calls Tony Cingrani 'best southpaw starter' in rookie class


Tony Cingrani has been nothing short of impressive in Johnny Cueto's absence this season.

The 23-year-old has compiled a 3-0 record and a 3.15 ERA in seven starts to go along with an immaculate 0.975 WHIP and a 4.60 K/BB in 2013. The former third rounder has been even more impressive in his six Triple-A starts, though, racking up a ridiculous 14.1 SO/9, in addition to a tidy 1.15 ERA and a spotless 3-0 mark.

Needless to say, the organization is very excited about the future of Cingrani. The Reds aren't the only ones, either.

Former general manager and current ESPN analyst Jim Bowden recently called Cingrani the "best left-handed starter" in his rookie class in a piece ranking the top 15 rookies in baseball.

Here is a snippet of what Bowden had to say about Cingrani:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Reds lead the way with seven players in top 10 division rankings



Who doesn't like a good top 10 list? Answer: Nobody.

Society is fascinated by them. The folks over at cbssports.com are well aware of this and that is precisely why they took the time to create a list for both the "top 10 hitters" and the "top 10 pitchers" in the National League Central Division.

Here is the criteria for the rankings:

"As for deciding who merits inclusion, we're focusing on players performing at least solidly in 2013 and have the track record and/or pedigree to suggest their 2013 numbers are sustainable or even headed upward. That is, these are good players playing well or soon to play well. What's unfolded in 2013 matters, but so does body of work and established expectations. If a player isn't here despite strong numbers in the current season, then you should assume all-powerful I have determined his performance to be somewhat fluke-ish. It is so because I said it is so. Such are the privileges of boundless authority."

Needless to say, the Reds had plenty of representation. Here is which Reds players made the grade.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Photo: Reds-Cubs play in heavy fog

View image on Twitter

Here is what it looked like to be in the press box at Wrigley Field Monday.

As you can see, or more likely not see, the Reds and Cubs labored through the foggiest conditions imaginable in the Windy City.

Seriously, it's like someone triggered a massive fog machine for the game.

Via Eye on Baseball

Reds reach a deal with first round pick


The Reds have inked their first round pick less than four days after tabbing him in the draft.

Here is the press release from the team:

CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Reds have signed No. 1 draft pick OF Phillip Ervin (5-10, 205) from Samford University in Homewood, Alabama. He was taken with the team’s first pick (27th overall) in Thursday’s 2013 first-year player draft. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ervin, 20, recently completed his junior year at Samford, where for the second straight season he was All-Southern Conference after hitting .337 with 11 HR, 40 RBI and 21 stolen bases. The sociology major was a pre-season All-American and his league’s pre-season Player of the Year.

Reds slip two spots in latest batch of power rankings


The last week hasn't been so good for Dusty Baker and the Reds and that is reflected in the latest batch of MLB Power Rankings unveiled by ESPN.com on Monday.

Cincinnati fell two spots to number five in this edition after posting a 2-4 record at home against the likes of the Rockies and Cardinals. Sunday's, 11-4, loss was extra painful as the bullpen melted down in extra innings in front of a national television audience. However, more important is the fact that the Reds squandered an opportunity to get within two games of the first-place Redbirds, but now find themselves four games back, instead.

Speaking of St. Louis, they held the top spot in the rankings for the second week in a row, while the Red Sox, Braves, and Athletics occupied spots 2-4, respectively.

The Redlegs will aim to get back on track this week as they battle the Cubs in Chicago for a four-game set before returning home to host the Brewers for a three-game weekend series.

[ESPN MLB Power Rankings]

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Keith Law breaks down Reds draft picks


The Reds farm system is about to be injected with a slew of new players as the franchise, and 29 others, wrapped up the 2013 First-Year Player Draft this weekend. Of course, not all of their draftees will wind up signing, but it is safe to assume that their top picks will. 

With that being said, baseball guru and ESPN's Keith Law took the time to evaluate the overall drafts of each National League club, including the Redlegs. Sadly, he doesn't seem too impressed with the work the reigning National League Central Division champs did.

Here is what he had to say about the Reds top draft picks:

I've generally liked the Reds' drafts the past few years, but they were more conservative in 2013 and their class doesn't offer the same potentially high return in my view. Phil Ervin (27) is a short, thickly built outfielder, in center now but destined for a corner, bearing an uphill swing and a lower half that will require a lot of maintenance to keep it in shape. I don't see him as an above-average regular and think it's most likely he's a fourth outfielder.

Video: Watch Joey Votto flip the ball behind his back to record out



Joey Votto pulled off a defensive gem during Saturday's 4-2 win over the rival Cardinals that even teammate and multiple Gold Glove winner Brandon Phillips could be proud of.

The play came in the top of the seventh inning when St. Louis hitter Matt Carpenter bounced a groundball down to Votto at first base.

Votto charged, scooped, and then proceeded to flip the ball behind his back to Mat Latos, who came charging over from his pitcher's spot to cover first base. Latos snagged the ball with his bare hand and stepped on the bag just in time to record the out.

That was a thing of beauty, folks.

Friday, June 7, 2013

A recent timeline of the heated Reds-Cardinals rivalry



Get your popcorn ready, folks. The Redlegs and Redbirds hook up for another 3-game set this weekend at Great American Ball Park and thus, renew arguably the most intense modern day rivalry in all of Major League Baseball. While it may be well known around the league that these two clubs don't like one another, it's often unclear to outsiders as to just why that is. If you're among those who don't know, have no fear, I shall get you caught up on the recent history of the Hatfield/McCoy-type feud in this very post!

Here's a brief overview of all the events in recent years that have led to the deep-seeded animosity that exists between the two franchises:

News and notes from week 10


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Whoops! My bad! I made huge mistake last week when I erroneously said the Pointer Sisters performed “We Are Family”, when it was actually Sister Sledge. Thanks to Gary Maloy of Jacksonville, Florida for pointing that out. And to think, I used to be a disc jockey!

I want to extend my condolences to the family of NFL legend Deacon Jones. As a child I remember watching Mr. Jones toward the end of his career. Mr. Jones was a towering, intimidating defensive force who revolutionized the way the game was played and is commonly credited with coining the phrase “Sacking the Quarterback.”

I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to the newest member of A.A.R.P.; my cousin Debbie Houser of Vale, North Carolina. (In case you don’t know, you have to be at least 50 to join A.A.R.P.) Don’t worry cuz; I’ll be there in October.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Reds select outfielder Phillip Ervin with first round pick


On Thursday, the Reds owned the 27th overall pick in the 2013 Amateur Draft and decided to use their first round selection on Samford University outfielder Phillip Ervin.

Ervin, 20, batted .337/.459/.597 with 11 home runs and 21 stolen bases in 2013 en route to being named SoCon Player of the Year. He also garnered preseason All-American honors. Baseball America ranked him as the third-best center fielder in the draft, calling him “one of the surest bets among college outfielders in the draft class.”

The Leroy, Ala. native has drawn comparisons to Washington Nationals center fielder Denard Span and Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen for his unique blend of speed and power. Scouts project Ervin as a potential "20-20" player (20 home runs, 20 stolen bases).

The right-hander decided to leave Samford early for the draft after his junior season.

Best first round draft picks in Reds franchise history


In honor of the draft taking place this week, I've compiled who I feel to be the best first round draft picks ever made by the Reds in franchise history. Here they are:


RHP Gary Nolan (1966)
- With the 13th pick in the '66 Draft, the Redlegs pegged Nolan from Oroville High School in Oroville, CA. He played a crucial role in the success of the Big Red Machine in the 1970s.
Career stats: 10 yrs, 110-70, 3.08 ERA, 1.145 WHIP, 45 CG

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Photos: Bengals take batting practice with Reds before Wednesday's game


Cincinnati's two professional sports teams were united on one field Wednesday afternoon when the Bengals paid a visit to Great American Ball Park to take batting practice with the Reds.

Seen in the photo above is none other than Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis taking his cuts in the batting cage. Judging by the amount of balls sitting behind him, Lewis provided plenty of air conditioning for onlookers due to a healthy dose of whiffs. Nonetheless, it was still neat to see what some of the NFL guys could do with a piece of lumber. 

Cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, quarterback Andy Dalton, and wide receiver A.J. Green were among the notable Bengals players on hand for the special occasion.

The always friendly Brandon Phillips appeared to be the unofficial host of the festivities as he made the rounds chatting it up with several members of the Bengals.

You can check out more photos from Wednesday by visiting the Reds on Facebook.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Reds auctioning off infamous ball from Aroldis Chapman-Nick Swisher fiasco

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On Memorial Day, things got heated when Aroldis Chapman uncorked a pair of 100 MPH wild pitches near the head of Indians slugger Nick Swisher. Naturally, Swisher took offense to the gesture, and the whole ordeal nearly incited a bench-clearing brawl as Cleveland players toed the edge of the dugout after the second pitch was thrown.

Now, it appears as though fans can literally have a piece of the moment by bidding on one of the balls that Chapman threw during that controversial ninth inning. This ball is the one Chapman threw on the first pitch of the at-bat and not the second one which almost caused a riot. However, it is still a neat piece of memorabilia if you are one of the folks who has deep pockets.

The current high bid as of Tuesday evening was $201.01. The auction ends Sunday, June 9.

Reds faring well in National League All-Star voting


On Tuesday, the first batch of National League All-Star voting was released by Major League Baseball, and needless to say, the Reds were well represented.

Both Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips currently lead the balloting at their respective positions while Shin-Soo Choo (5th), Todd Frazier (5th), and Jay Bruce (15th) are in the mix, as well.

Votto, Phillips, and Bruce have a combined seven trips to the Midsummer Classic between them. Meanwhile, Choo and Frazier are aiming for their first.

Here is a look at the complete tallies for each position...

Zack Cozart's Big Turnaround


by: Parker Perry 

Zack Cozart was expected to be the weak link in a stacked lineup heading into the 2013 baseball season.

Most felt that as long as his defense was stellar, they could afford to give up a bit of offense. This took place in April, where Cozart batted an underwhelming, frustrating .208. He was wailing, hitting in the incredibly important two hole, throughout the month. It was really hard to digest. 

But when the calender turned, so did Zack Cozart's season. 

Last month, the Tennessee native batted a more-than-respectable .276. In the first three days of this month he is hitting over .300. It has been virtually perfect timing. It was April that Shin-Soo Choo was on fire. But now that Choo has cooled off considerably, Cozart has filled the gap and getting himself on base for the power hitters.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Video: Joey Votto impersonates Tiger Woods during batting practice


Joey Votto took a page out of Tiger Woods' book Monday.

During batting practice, the Canadian native showed off his superior bat handling skills by juggling a baseball in tremendous fashion. He even incorporates the aid of his cap at one point in the video clip.

It wasn't too long before flame-throwing teammate Aroldis Chapman decided to venture on over to get a closer look to see what Votto was up to, though. Apparently, that caused Votto to break his focus. But it was still fun to watch while it lasted.

Votto's trick shot display was reminiscent of this old vintage shot of Woods using a sand wedge to juggle a golf ball. Both are pretty awesome.

Via MLB.com

Reds hold steady in latest power rankings


The Reds held steady at No. 3 in the latest batch of MLB Power Rankings unveiled Monday by ESPN.com. Cincinnati has now sat there for three weeks in a row.

Entering play on Monday, Dusty Baker's bunch is tied for the third-best record in baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates at 35-22, a team in which they nearly swept over the weekend if it hadn't been for a late-game meltdown by the bullpen. However, winning two out of three on the road against a division rival should never be considered a bad thing.

Naturally, the two teams ahead of the Reds, record-wise at least, the St. Louis Cardinals (37-19) and Texas Rangers (35-21), ranked first and second on the list, respectively.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Photo: Reds to wear patriotic hats on fourth of July

The Reds along with the other 29 teams in Major League Baseball will be donning patriotic hats this year for the Fourth of July.

New Era unveiled a peak at their "Stars and Stripes" caps via their Facebook fan page recently.

Seen above is the slick piece of uniform our beloved Redlegs will wear when taking the field at Great American Ball Park against the San Francisco Giants. Pretty good-looking, huh?

For those who want a hat to wear for themselves, they will be made available for sale on a limited time basis once the date gets closer, I'm sure.

God bless America! God bless freedom! And God bless baseball!

Via Cincinnati Enquirer

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ranking the least valuable players through two months of the MLB regular season


Yesterday, we brought you a list of the most valuable players through the first two months of the regular season. These rankings were assembled based exclusively off the Wins Above Replacement data found on Baseball Reference. You can take a look back on the end result by clicking here.

Today, I thought it would be fitting to present you with a collection of the least valuable players up onto this point in the season. These players have performed well under par so far in 2013 and look to turn things around sooner rather than later. However, as of now they currently own the dubious title of being some of the least valuable players in the entire league.