Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Five former players up for Reds Hall of Fame induction in 2014


A handful of former Cincinnati Reds make up the 2014 Reds Hall of Fame & Museum ballot.

The names of the players were unveiled Wednesday afternoon and include former relievers Jeff Brantley (who currently serves as a radio broadcaster), John Franco, and Danny Graves, along with hometown legend and center fielder Ken Griffey Jr., and outfielder Reggie Sanders.

Here is the press release from the Reds...

CINCINNATI (July 31, 2013) — The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum has announced that five former Reds players will appear on the Modern Player Ballot presented by Clark Schaefer Hackett for induction into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2014.

The Modern Player Candidates are:
• Jeff Brantley, P (1994 – 1997)
• John Franco, P (1984 – 1989)
• Danny Graves, P (1997 – 2005)
• Ken Griffey, Jr., OF (2000 – 2008)
• Reggie Sanders, OF (1991 – 1998)

Reds interested in Cubs reliever James Russell?


After Tuesday's 4-2 defeat at the hands of the San Diego Padres, the Reds have now lost five games in a row, and suddenly find themselves six games back of the division-leading Pittsburgh Pirates.

There is no denying that this club needs help moving forward. Many people have suggested that a right-handed bat is the biggest need at this point. But with Ryan Ludwick set to come back soon, and with the lack of legitimate options, the Reds may hold steady with what they have offensively, which could be a very scary thought given their angemic offensive output in the past week.

One move they might make, though, is to add another left-handed reliever to the bullpen. Sean Marshall, who has been battling shoulder soreness all season, suffered another setback last week, and is unlikely to return from the disabled list anytime soon. Thus, the need for another southpaw in the 'pen has become apparently obvious to go alongside Manny Parra and Aroldis Chapman.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Best move for Reds to make at deadline may be no move at all


July 31 is a magical day for Major League Baseball as teams scramble to try and find the right pieces to their roster puzzle ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline. Calls and text messages run wild as front office personnel entertain a flurry of possibilities before the clock strikes midnight on the ability to deal freely. There are buyers and there are sellers, untouchable prospects and big contract veterans, and everything in between.

For the Reds, this year presents an unusually difficult challenge. The picture remains quite hazy as to what the team should do. No, I'm not referring to whether the Reds are buyers or sellers, because they are definitely looking to buy at this point if anything, but rather whether they should make a deal at all. 

Yes, the needs for this club are pretty obvious at the moment. Namely, the Reds desperately need a right-handed run producer in the middle of the lineup to go along with the likes of Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, and Brandon Phillips. Additionally, the Reds could also use an offensive upgrade at shortstop, third base, and/or catcher, but any move addressing these areas would be very surprising. The inconsistency of the offense certainly doesn't help matters, either. The Reds have shown the ability to score runs at will at times, and have gone ice cold in others, so who knows which offense is more telling of reality.

San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has been rumored to be a possibility for the Reds, and so has Chicago White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, but it appears the asking price for them are much too high. Aside from the cost, general manager Walt Jocketty also has to weigh whether the addition of a player such as their caliber makes sense, considering current outfielder Ryan Ludwick is expected to be ready to play soon.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Photo: Aroldis Chapman enjoys cigar before Padres game


Reds closer Aroldis Chapman hasn't seen much action since the All-Star Break. In fact, the southpaw had appeared in just one of Cincinnati's eight games since the break entering Monday's game in San Diego.

Seen here is the Cuban native smoking a cigar before Monday's series opener against the Padres at PETCO Park. As you can see, he appears to be enjoying his music and stogie very much, and it has nothing to do with being stressed or overworked lately. 

However, the same probably can't be said for Reds fans, who haven't taken Chapman's low usage lightly. The talented hurler has thrown just 7.2 innings in July and part of the reason is because he has only received four save chances this month (all of which he has saved). 

This image of Chapman kicking back and relaxing probably won't help ease their worries, either.

Here is another shot of the enigmatic closer caught in the act just for good measure.

Reds hold steady in latest power rankings


The Reds held steady at No. 8 while division rival St. Louis continued its stranglehold on the top spot in the latest batch of MLB Power Rankings published by ESPN.com on Monday.

Cincinnati remained in the No. 8 position after posting a 4-4 mark against the likes of the Dodgers and the Giants on the road. However, the Reds enter San Diego, which is the last stop on their West Coast road trip, as losers of three straight after getting stifled by red-hot Los Angeles.

The Cardinals claimed the No. 1 overall slot for the third week in a row despite being swept by the Braves in Atlanta over the weekend. Their losses coupled with Cincinnati's three losses kept the difference between the two teams in the standings at five games.

Meanwhile, the pesky Pirates show no signs of fading away, as they moved up one spot in the rankings to No. 3 this week. Pittsburgh currently sits 1.5 games back of St. Louis for both first place and the best record in the league.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Video: Yasiel Puig sends Reds to bitter walk-off defeat



Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig sent the Reds packing on Sunday by delivering this walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th off reliever Curtis Partch.

Puig followed up the monumental swing with a triumphant bat flip as he raised his hands with joy. His trip around the bases concluded with a playful slide into home as his teammates mobbed him. Needless to say, the folks still left at Dodger Stadium went berserk when watching the ball sail into the left field seats.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati was dealt their third loss in a row to the surging Dodgers, and must now head to San Diego for the last stop on their 11-game road trip. They enter Monday with a record of 4-4 on the journey to the West Coast, which up until Los Angeles had treated them fairly well. 

The only bright spot in Sunday's 1-0 loss was the fact that Reds pitchers set a new franchise record for the most strikeouts in a single game by fanning 20. However, it wasn't enough as Cincy's offense sputtered yet again, leaving some to wonder if the team may still try and acquire a bat at the trade deadline.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Reds top pick Phillip Ervin performing very well in rookie ball


With their first pick in the 2013 Amateur Draft, the Reds opted to select Samford University outfielder Phillip Ervin, who has drawn comparisons from some scouts to Pirates five-tool center fielder Andrew McCutchen. Through 32 games in rookie ball, Ervin is certainly living up to the billing.

Ervin, 21, signed with Cincinnati quickly after being drafted and was subsequently sent west to play for Billings Mustangs. Entering play on Saturday, Ervin was batting .325/.411/.585 with seven home runs, nine doubles, 10 stolen bases, and 27 RBI for Cincy's rookie-level affiliate in the Pioneer League.

Ervin currently ranks tied for second in the league in homers, third in OPS (.997), tied for third in runs scored (25), fourth in stolen bases, tied for fourth in hits (40), and sixth in RBI. Now, is that not an impressive display of offensive balance or what?

The folks at MLB.com were so impressed with Ervin's potential that they ranked him as the fourth-best prospect in the club's farm system in their updated midseason rankings. Only Billy Hamilton and a pair of fellow first round picks (Nick Travieso and Robert Stephenson) ranked higher among Reds prospects than he did.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Reds land two players in top 20 of revised prospects rankings

 

On Friday, the fine folks at MLB.com decided to publish their midseason update on prospect rankings. The revision was necessary after teams pumped more talent into their farm systems with the addition of new players from the MLB Draft.

The two rankings that MLB.com has promoted the most includes the overall Top 100 Prospects list and the list of Top 20 Prospects for each club. The Reds didn't receive a whole lot of representation in the main rankings. However, the two prospects they did land in the rankings nestled in nicely on the fringe of the top 20.

Speedster Billy Hamilton came in at No. 19 while right-handed pitcher and 2011 first round pick Robert Stephenson came in at No. 20. Naturally, both players comprised the top two spots in the Top 20 Prospects rankings for the club.

Here is a snippet of what was said about the duo:

News and notes from week 17


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

(Yawn) I think I’ll ask Major League Baseball if West Coast teams could start their games at 4pm local time, that way I can get some sleep when the Reds play there. My wife says I get a little grumpy when sleep deprived.

Thank God there are no MLB teams in Hawaii or Alaska, yet.

Royal baby? BAH! I’m expecting my first grandchild in a couple of weeks, where’s the media frenzy surrounding this.

Memo to you Americans fascinated with British royalty; we declared our independence from England way back in 1776, and so in other words, it’s just another kid.

It’s worth repeating; this thumping of the Giants is nice and all that, but again WHY DIDN’T YOU DO THAT LAST OCTOBER!!!

Pete Rose has some advice for cheaters

Pete Rose, baseball's all-time hit king, has been banned from MLB since 1989 for betting on baseball as a manager with the Reds.

Despite being banned from the game for nearly a quarter of a century, Pete Rose continues to be an outspoken figure in the Major League Baseball world.

His latest comments come just days after the league decided to hand down a hefty suspension to Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun for his connection to the Biogenesis scandal. Rose, who was banned from baseball in 1989 after being found guilty of betting on games, has a message for all of those players who may be using performance-enhancing drugs like Braun.

"Come clean as quickly as you possibly can. I guess Braun thought he was going to get away with it when he got off the hook the first time. I wish I could go around to all the spring training camps and talk to the young players about what happened to me.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Shame on Braun. Shame on baseball. Shame on sports. Shame on us.

"I'm a dbag."
The shame on Braun is obvious. So it's been a few days since it was announced that Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers would be suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season, totaling up to 65 games, without pay. Unless you've been hiding in a cave out in the wilderness you know it's because he did in fact use performance-enhancing drugs and Major League Baseball apparently had a ton of evidence against him resulting from all of this Biogenesis mess. He finally admitted to it and basically cut a deal with MLB, resulting in his suspension.

Hooray! Victory, right? Not so much. Braun is a stain on baseball, sports, and mankind in general and he's not the only one; he's just the latest one. You may remember a few years ago when he tested positive, was suspended 50 games, and then won an appeal on a "handling technicality" which overturned his suspension. He then proceeded to verbally attack the collector and tried to make us all feel bad for making him a victim. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Shame on baseball for letting him off so easily. Sure he can't play for 65 games (not that the Brewers will miss him because they're awful this year) and he's going to lose about $3.4 million (if only he had a $105 million extension), but is that really punishment enough? Braun not only used PEDs, but he vehemently denied doing them to everyone's faces and was as arrogant as could be.

Mike Leake notches 10th win in uniquely odd fashion


Mike Leake improved his season record to a team-best 10-4 on Wednesday as the Reds turned away the Giants, 8-3, at AT&T Park. However, the manner in which Leake emerged victorious is somewhat unique.

Leake won the game in spite of allowing a whopping 12 hits in six innings of work. The 25-year-old became the first pitcher since Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco in 2011 to surrender that many hits yet yield only one run. The last Red to achieve the feat was Tom Hume all the back in 1978. Furthermore, the last time a starting pitcher did it to the Giants was San Diego's Bob Moose in 1972.

Obviously, Leake's performance required him to pitch out of trouble a lot during the contest. Of course, it helped that all of the hits the Giants got off him were singles.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Photo: Grounds crew draws crooked batter's box


The groundskeepers at AT&T Park weren't exactly on top of their game on Wednesday.

Take a close look at the above photo. Do you notice anything out of the ordinary? Well, if you said the batter's box looks extremely crooked, you are correct!

Apparently, the person(s) responsible for chalking up the batter's box left something to be desired in the finale of the Reds and Giants series. Oops!

Perhaps it was an attempt to slow down Cincinnati's potent offense? The Reds had produced 23 runs in the first three games of the series entering Wednesday night.

Reds sign 19-year-old Dominican pitcher to amateur deal


The Reds have tapped into the Dominican Republic once again by signing 19-year-old pitcher Luis Tejada to a $600,000 signing bonus. This is according to a report by Ben Badler of Baseball America.

Tejada had previously inked a deal with the Atlanta Braves for $125,000, but that contract fell through after Major League Baseball discovered the southpaw lied about his age, and subsequently declared him ineligible to sign for one year. Tejada then came forward with his real date of birth (12/23/93), which is one year older than he originally presented, and his penalty ended last month.

More on the signing from Baseball America:

MLB’s penalty has turned into Tejada’s gain. After throwing around 88-92 mph when he signed with the Braves, Tejada’s fastball velocity has since jumped up to the mid-90s in short stints. At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Tejada throws a breaking ball that morphs between a slider and a curveball, showing shorter, slider-like break at times while offering more depth at others. He also throws a changeup that’s still a work in progress and is erratic with his control, so his future may be in the bullpen.

Joey Votto and Dusty Baker sound off on Ryan Braun suspension


News of Ryan Braun's suspension has sparked a lot of conversation around the league with players and coaches expressing their opinion on the matter. This includes Reds skipper Dusty Baker and former MVP Joey Votto. Both sounded off in a recent column written by John Fay.

"You hate to see it happen," Baker said. "We thought it was over the last time this investigation came up. Perhaps, this is the end of it. Perhaps, we won't see it again. It's time to move ahead

Braun was hit with a 65-game suspension for his connection with performance-enhancing drugs. This comes over a year after the outfielder adamantly denied any accusations of using PEDs.

"It's a sad situation. It's at least come to an end for Ryan," said Baker.

Video: Giants fan gets taken down hard after running onto field



A pair of fans made their way onto the field during the second game of a doubleheader between the Reds and Giants at AT&T Field Tuesday night.

Another fan sitting in the front row on the first base side received an up-close view of all the action that took place when one of the intruders was brought down by security.

While the other fan was being tracked down near the infield, his friend was being restrained by receiving a knee to the back of the head and a face full of dirt.

Hey, that's what he gets for running onto the field, right?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Video: Derrick Robinson robs home run to preserve shutout



In case you missed it, Bronson Arroyo hurled a complete-game shutout Monday night against the San Francisco Giants, aided in part by a fantastic catch in center field by Derrick Robinson to put the finishing touches on an 11-0 victory.

The play came in the bottom of the ninth with two outs when Arroyo flipped a hanging breaking bal in the wheelhouse of Giants hitter Jeff Francoeur. Francoeur pounded the pitch to deep center field and it appeared as though the ball would clear the fence and put the Giants on the board.

But Robinson wasn't having any of that as he leaped up, pulled the ball back into play, and juggled it briefly before finally corralling the last out of the contest.

Robinson's catch effectively sealed Arroyo's 100th win as a Red and improved Cincinnati's record over San Francisco to 4-0 in 2013.

Monday, July 22, 2013

National writer rips Thom Brennaman over 'obsession' of stat


I believe it's fair to say that Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman has annoyed listeners and viewers from time to time. But one national writer was so annoyed by Brennaman during Saturday's telecast against the Pirates that he decided to write an entire piece dedicated to it.

CBS Sports writer Matt Snyder published an article on Monday which basically rips Brennaman, and anyone else, who insists on rambling about the importance of hitting with runners in scoring position with two outs. Apparently, Snyder became quite steamed when Brennaman kept stressing how poorly Joey Votto has hit this season in such situations. In fact, Snyder went as far as saying Brennaman was "obsessed" with it.

Here is a snippet from Synder's piece:

Mike Leake and Bronson Arroyo among 'luckiest' pitchers

 

Let's be honest, folks. There is a lot of luck involved with baseball.

ESPN Insider Scott Spratt apparently agrees with this previous statement, as well. And that's why he went through the effort of compiling a list with who he believed to be the "luckiest" pitchers in baseball this season.

Spratt's primary argument for these pitchers' luckiness involves the idea of runs saved by their defense. Apparently, some pitchers seem to get better defensive support than others. These pitchers include Mike Leake and Bronson Arroyo from the Reds.

Via ESPN:

Mike Leake and Bronson Arroyo, RHPs | Cincinnati Reds
Plus/minus runs saved by all fielders: 17 (Leake), 14 (Arroyo)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Video: Reds fan sports wild haircut



The Reds may have squandered a chance to complete a sweep over the Pirates on Sunday at Great American Ball Park. However, it wasn't all bad, though.

This guy was in attendance for the matinee, showing his support of the team by donning a color-coordinated haircut, and drawing the attention of the television broadcast.

He may not have led the Reds to victory, but you can't fault him for not trying.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Former first rounder Robert Stephenson shoots up top prospects list


The undisputed top pitching prospect in the Reds system continues to be 2011 first round pick Robert Stephenson.

The California native recently received a promotion to Advanced Single-A Bakersfield after going 5-3 with a 2.57 ERA in 14 starts with Single-A Dayton. The right-hander is starting to get many fans in Reds Country buzzing with excitement about his potential arrival in the big leagues.

One expert who is apparently impressed with Stephenson's development is ESPN Insider and prospect guru Keith Law. Law published an updated list of who he believed to be the top 50 prospects in baseball at the moment and Stephenson came in at No. 26. That position is up 22 spots from his preseason ranking of 48.

Here is what Mr. Law had to say about Stephenson:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Brandon Phillips rips front office over contract: 'It was a slap in my face'


Reds Gold Glove second basemen Brandon Phillips says he's still "hurt" and "scarred" over the way the club handled his contract extension in the beginning of last season.

Phillips made his feelings known in an in-depth interview with Cincinnati Magazine for their August cover story dubbing the fan-friendly veteran as "The Most Entertaining Player in Baseball."

The 32-year-old said he was going to "speak how I feel" in the interview and he certainly lived up to his promise.

Phillips inked a new six-year, $72.5 million deal in April 2012 that will likely carry him through the rest of his playing days and into retirement. The deal involved a lot of back-and-forth between the club and Phillips as the latter was once quoted in saying that he just "wanted to get paid what he was worth."

While the signing of Phillips was definitely celebrated around Cincinnati, the city was still celebrating the signing of another Red, Joey Votto, who the team had penned to a whopping 10-year, $225 million extension just one week before.

Here is what Phillips had to say on the matter:

National writer likes Reds to win it all


If the regular season ended today, the Reds would be eligible for postseason play, but they would be forced to play a one-game playoff on the road for the right to advance to the NLDS. Yes, such is the life for the No. 5 seed in the MLB playoffs nowadays.

But don't feel too bad for Dusty Baker's crew because they have at least one outsider in their corner. That person is CBS Sports national baseball writer Matt Snyder.

Snyder recently penned a whole post full of second-half predictions and I think Reds fan will really enjoy one of them. While most other writers are picking the Cardinals, Tigers, or Red Sox to reign supreme as World Series champions, Snyder has opted to cast his lot with the Reds.

Here's the proof:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Reds Mid-Term Report


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

That dark cloud hanging over my head is the gloom I feel after every National League loss in the All – Star game. It usually goes away when the Reds get started again!

That had to be the most boring All – Star game ever. The National League couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat. Andrew McCutchen should have tried to steal home in the fourth inning.

It was touching to see Yankees closer Mariano Rivera take the mound in the eighth inning. Love him or hate him, you’ve got to admit, he’s the greatest closer ever.

For what it’s worth, I admire A.L. skipper Jim Leyland for inserting Rivera in the eighth inning.

The former Mr. Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, did a pretty good job singing “God Bless America”. Neil Diamond hasn’t missed a beat (pun intended).

I’ve named this post the Mid Term Report, although we’re closer to the two-thirds mark than the halfway point. Here is my take on the 2013 season to date:

Two Reds affiliates named among most valuable minor league franchises

  


From top to bottom, the Cincinnati Reds organization has a strong and loyal contingent of fans. It starts with the Reds, of course, and trickles all the way down to the lowest level of the minors, the AZL Reds.

There are several affiliates sandwiched in between, including the Triple-A Louisville Bats, and the Single-A Dayton Dragons. Both squads annually rank among the leaders in attendance in their respective league and that is partly why Forbes recently tabbed them as two of the most valuable minor league franchises in baseball.

The Dragons claimed the No. 6 spot in the rankings while the Bats tied for No. 8.

Here is a snippet of what Forbes had to say about Dayton:

Video: Brandon Phillips mic'd up at Home Run Derby



In case you missed it, FOX Sports made the wise decision of giving Reds All-Star second basemen Brandon Phillips a microphone device during the Home Run Derby on Monday.

Watch and listen as the colorful Phillips provides us with an insider's look at the event.

It's fair to say it looks like @DatDudeBP had himself a good time.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Reds boast slight edge in remaining scheduling over Pirates and Cardinals


Only 67 games separate the Reds from the conclusion of the regular season. At 53-42, and a full 5 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the division, Cincinnati will need every advantage it can get going down the homestretch.

One of those advantages might just include strength of schedule. ESPN's Buster Olney recently ranked the remaining schedules for every contending team in baseball and the Reds fared quite favorably on his list, coming in at No. 12 out of 19 clubs.

According to Olney, only the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves have an easier schedule left to play among National League teams than do the Reds, with the Pittsburgh Pirates (No. 10), and Cardinals (No. 5) facing a much tougher road ahead.

Here is a breakdown on how the second half schedules of the Pirates, Cardinals, and Reds stack up against one another, courtesy of Olney.

Video: Brandon Phillips makes two nice defensive plays in ASG



Brandon Phillips didn't record a hit in his two at-bats in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, but he did notch a pair of nice defensive plays in the top of the fifth.

Both of those plays are highlighted in this video clip.

Try and block out the sound of color commentator Tim McCarver as you watch. I'm not sure if he adds any extra value to the footage other than just being a tad annoying.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tim McCarver says networks not allowed to show Pete Rose clips


It's no secret that Major League Baseball has placed a lifetime ban on all-time hit king and Cincinnati native Pete Rose. The league has pretty much ignored all of Rose's achievements since banning the Reds legend for betting on baseball.

In fact, Commissioner Bud Selig would probably like it if there were no traces of Rose's impact on the game available at all. So, it comes as no surprise to hear that longtime broadcaster Tim McCarver went on the Dan Patrick Show Monday and revealed that MLB allegedly restricts FOX and ESPN from airing any video footage of Rose's playing days.

Here is the audio to serve as proof:

Starting lineups for All-Star Game



The National League will try and make it four straight victories over the American League when the two sides duke it out in the annual edition of the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday.

The starting lineups for both leagues were announced Monday evening and revealed that Brandon Phillips will bat lead-off and play second base while teammate Joey Votto will hit third and play first base.

All of the action will take place at Citi Field with first pitch slated for just after 8:00 p.m.

National League 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Reds acquire minor league pitcher from Rockies for Armando Galarraga

Parker Frazier entered May 14 with a 1-1 record and 2.77 ERA in 26.0 innings spanning 11 appearances.

With the trade deadline looming just over two weeks away, the Reds and Rockies struck a deal on Monday that will reportedly send RHP Armando Galarraga to Colorado in exchange for minor league RHP Parker Frazier.

Here is the press release on the trade:

The Rockies announced today that they completed a trade with the Cincinnati Reds, acquiring RHP Armanda Galarraga in exchange for RHP Parker Frazier. Galarraga will report to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Galarraga, 31, has spent the entire season with Triple-A Louisville where he has gone 6-6 with a 2.98 ERA (84.2 ip, 28 er) over 16 starts. He has appeared in 100 career Major League games, 91 were starts, with Texas, Detroit, Arizona and Houston going 26-34 with a 4.78 ERA (542.0 ip, 288 er). In 2008 with Detroit, he went 13-7 with a 3.73 ERA (178.2 ip, 74 er) over 30 games/28 starts and finished fourth in the American League’s Rookie of the Year voting.

Brandon Phillips says Mike Trout is best player in baseball


A trio of Reds have made their way to New York City ahead of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game to played Tuesday night at Citi Field. One of those Reds is none other than Gold Glove second basemen Brandon Phillips.

The always outspoken and happy-go-lucky veteran had plenty to say at the National League's ASG press conference on Monday and even went as far as saying who he believed the best player in baseball was.

Some might be led to believe that Phillips would dub teammate and fellow ASG starter Joey Votto as the best of the best. After all, Phillips could do far worse than picking Votto, who continues to get on base at a blistering rate. However, Phillips opted to go with an Angel with his selection, a Los Angeles Angel to be exact: Mike Trout.

"If I had to pick one?" Phillips thought. "Mike Trout."

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Billy Hamilton scores a run as United States upends World in Futures Game


The United States doubled up the World, 4-2, in the MLB Futures Games on Sunday to increase their overall series lead to 9-6.

Diamondbacks prospect Matt Davidson was named the game's Most Valuable Player after clubbing a two-run homer that put the U.S. team ahead for good in the bottom of the fourth.

Two Reds prospects played a role in the outcome of the game: center fielder Billy Hamilton for the U.S. squad and right-handed pitcher Carlos Contreras for the World.

Hamilton, rated as the top prospect in the organization, got the start in center and batted lead off only to go 0-for-2 with a flyout and a groundout. He was replaced by Twins prospect Byron Buxton in the top of the fifth, however, re-entered the game in the bottom of the eight as a pinch-runner, eventually scoring a run.

Video: Julio Teheran reacts to Jay Bruce home run

teheranbruce

Sunday wasn't the best of days for Braves right-hander Julio Teheran.

Teheran went down as the losing pitcher in Cincinnati's, 8-4, win over Atlanta after allowing five runs in 5.1 innings of work. The rough outing essentially ballooned his ERA to 3.35 on the season.

Two of the earned runs Teheran surrendered came in the third inning when Jay Bruce tattooed his 19th home run into the Turner Field seats.

Teheran's reaction just about says it all.

Reds to play originally scheduled game for Cincinnati in San Francisco on July 23


The July 4 game between the Giants and Reds that was rained out at Great American Ball Park has been rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on July 23.

However, the catch is that the game will be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco, and not in the city it was originally planned for.

The peculiar arrangement was made necessary due to the fact that the Giants weren't scheduled to return to Cincinnati for any more games. Furthermore, the teams had only one common day off, August 29, but playing on that day would have required the players on both sides to break Collective Bargaining Agreement rules and play 34 straight days. A neutral-site game played at Coors Field was considered.

The only other viable option was to play the game the day after the regular season ends. However, league officials were weary that it could potentially interfere with playoff scheduling.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Photo: Aroldis Chapman threw 19 pitches over 100 MPH on Friday

Screen Shot 2013-07-13 at 12.32.38 PM

It had been two weeks since Aroldis Chapman entered a game with a save opportunity. But the Cuban fireballer made the most of his chance Friday by slamming the door on the Braves and nailing down a, 4-2, Reds victory at Turner Field.

Chapman's arm looked especially electric in his outing as 19 out of the 23 pitches he threw lit up the radar gun at triple digit readings. In fact, one of his fastballs even registered at 104 MPH. This is according to the velocity chart found on BrooksBaseball.net, which uses information from the Pitch F/X system in each stadium, not the in-stadium radar gun, which is often considered slightly inaccurate.

chapmanbrooks

Video: Highlights from Bronson Arroyo's stellar start versus Braves



The Reds needed a victory in the worst way possible Friday night and veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo did his part in delivering it.

The 35-year-old improved his record to 8-7 on the campaign after scattering just three hits and one earned run in seven dazzling innings of work.

Arroyo stifled Atlanta's depleted offense all night long and needed just 90 pitches (57 strikes) to turn in the quality start.

Sam LeCure and Aroldis Chapman followed Arroyo in relief and secured the much-needed win.

Friday, July 12, 2013

News and notes from MLB Week 15



by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

I think Chipper Jones is a wee bit upset with umpire Angel Hernandez; Jones tweeted Friday night, “I will not watch a game, any game, officiated by Angel Hernandez! His incompetence amazes me and I'm tired of MLB doing squat about it!” I’ve watched games umpired by Hernandez too and I think Chipper has a legitimate gripe.

Speaking of bad umpiring, the Reds/Rangers game on June 29th, I don’t know if home plate ump Mike DiMuro was having a bad day, or he’s just that inconsistent of the strike zone. Pitches called balls to Rangers hitters became strikes when the Reds batted, especially during Brandon Phillips at bat during the tenth inning.

Another point about umpiring; in Tuesday’s Reds/Brewers game, Derrick Robinson looked to be safe in his failed attempt at an inside the park home run. I’ll say this much about Robinson, I sure appreciate his hustle on the play.

Video: Homer Bailey fields questions from fans



Reds right-hander Homer Bailey is a popular man these days after being responsible for the league's last two no-hitters.

The Texas native joined MLB.com to take part in their "Chatting Cage" segment, which allowed fans to interact with the star as he fielded their questions.

The end result is a near 12-minute interview touching topics everywhere from his teammates' reactions toward his recent no-hitter to his striking resemblance to actor Christian Bale.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Yadier Molina once thought he would be a member of the Reds


Reds fans know Yadier Molina very well.

The St. Louis Cardinals All-Star catcher has been a thorn in the side of various Reds teams for years. He is also the target of loud boos every time he steps to the plate at Great American Ball Park. The hostile treatment undoubtedly stems from the incident in 2010 where he and Brandon Phillips got into it before sparking an infamous bench-clearing brawl.

But what if I told you that Cincinnati's public enemy No. 1 was almost a member of the Reds? It's true. According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, there was a time when Molina honestly believed he would join the Reds.

In the weeks leading up to the 2000 amateur draft, the Reds could already see the potential in a young catcher from Puerto Rico named Yadier Molina, so they decided to invite him to the Queen City for a series of workouts leading up to the draft, along with several other players they were targeting.

Molina accepted and made the long trek from his native country to attend, agreeing to show off his talent in front of scouts, executives, and a few Reds legends, including Johnny Bench.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Analysis suggests Homer Bailey has fifth-best 'stuff' in league


Homer Bailey has long been a household name for Reds fans everywhere since the organization drafted him seventh overall in the 2004 Amateur Draft. And one of the things scouts, coaches, and fellow players have always raved about the Texan is his "stuff." This is partly why he was considered one of the game's top pitching prospects before breaking into the big leagues in 2007 at the age of 21.

At age 27, Bailey continues to boast enormous potential, as evidenced by his most recent no-hit gem against the San Francisco Giants. But he has yet to find consistency in his start-to-start performance. Nonetheless, nobody has ever accused Bailey of not having what it takes to be an elite major league pitcher, especially when it comes to his arsenal of pitches.

On Wednesday, ESPN Insider Jared Cross echoed this sentiment, ranking Bailey fifth among his list of the "10 starting pitchers with the best stuff this season." Cross used PitchF/X data acquired from BrooksBaseball to build a model to project pitcher strikeout rates and ground ball rates based on the velocity and movement of their pitches, along with the frequency with which they throw each type of pitch.

Here is what he had to say about Bailey:

Video: Derrick Robinson mistakenly called out trying for inside-the-park home run



The Reds were shutout by Wily Peralta and the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday night.

However, upon further review, it appears as though Cincinnati should have been credited with at least one run in the game.

Check out this replay from the seventh inning when Derrick Robinson was called out at home plate after trying to record an inside-the-park home run. It definitely looks like Robinson snuck his hand over home plate just before being tagged.

But the home plate umpire obviously didn't see it or call it that way. So, the Reds were denied a run that very well should have counted.

This play pretty much sums up Cincy's luck as of late, though. They just aren't catching any breaks at all. Seriously, not one.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Reds get snubbed in CBS Sports' divisional All-Star team



In the spirit of the upcoming All-Star Game, the Eye on Baseball crew over at cbssports.com decided to put together a mini All-Star team for each of Major League Baseball's six divisions. On Tuesday, they turned their attention to the National League Central.

Obviously, only players who play for one of the division's five teams were eligible. So, one might be led to believe that the Reds would be represented well on the dubious roster. Well, not so much.

Surprisingly, only one Reds player made the cut, and that player was first basemen Joey Votto. Real 2013 All-Stars Aroldis Chapman and Brandon Phillips were not included. Mat Latos, Shin-Soo Choo, and Jay Bruce didn't earn a nod, either. What?

Joey Votto hosts terminally ill man at no-hitter two days before man passes away

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Reds All-Star first baseman Joey Votto hosted a terminally-ill Ohio man for Homer Bailey's no-hitter just two days before the man passed away.

Centerville, Ohio native Jeff Crews was diagnosed with Stage 4 Giloblastoma in June and was given just four-to-six weeks to live. Crews died on Thursday, but not before getting to spend the day at Great American Ball Park as a guest of Votto, and witnessing a no-hitter by Bailey, too.

Here is his amazing story as documented on the family's blog:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Video: Carlos Gomez robs Joey Votto of home run to end game


Joey Votto couldn't believe it at first. And neither could anyone else in Miller Park when Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez robbed a potential go-ahead home run to seal a 4-3 victory Monday night for Milwaukee.

The jaw-dropping play came with two outs, and one runner aboard, in the top of the ninth when Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez allowed a deep drive off the bat of Votto. The ball sent Gomez all the way to the edge of the center field wall before he jumped up and pulled the ball back to rip out the hearts of Reds fans everywhere.

Votto was so in disbelief at what he just saw that he emphatically asked the second base umpire to make Gomez reveal that he had indeed caught the baseball. Gomez flashed the evidence and the rest is history.

The catch is sure to be one seen over and over in the coming days and might even go down as one of the best grabs of the entire season.

Reds creep up one spot in latest power rankings


The folks over at ESPN.com released its weekly batch of Major League Baseball Power Rankings on Monday. Although the Boston Red Sox claimed the top spot, three teams from the National League Central Division sat among the top seven, including the Reds.

Cincinnati used the strength of a 4-2 homestand this past week to creep up one spot to No. 7 in the updated rankings. Meanwhile, the Pirates and Cardinals each fell one spot to second and third, respectively.

The Reds began last week on a high note by taking the first three games from the reigning World Series champion Giants before getting rained out on Thursday. However, they failed to carry over the positive momentum into the weekend series, dropping two out of three at home against the Mariners.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Video: Reds fans get engaged during game



The Reds may have wound up on the losing side of things Sunday afternoon to the Mariners. However, the day was a happy occasion for at least two Reds fans.

Seen here is a gentleman getting down on one knee and popping the question to his girlfriend in between innings at Great American Ball Park.

As you can see, she says yes, and the Reds television broadcast crew catches it all.

I wonder if the lovely couple would have any interest in partaking in the mass wedding to be held at GABP on August 2? They mine as well considering they got engaged at the stadium, as well.

Jay Bruce handling All-Star snub with class


On Saturday, Major League Baseball unveiled the rosters for the 2013 All-Star Game.

Three Reds players were selected to represent the National League squad, however, right fielder Jay Bruce was not one of them. Naturally, the Texas native said he was "disappointed" when learning he didn't make the cut. But he appears to be handling the snub with class, though.

“There’s a little disappointment there, but I’m not the first and I definitely won’t be the last guy left off an All-Star team. It happens every year to someone,” Bruce said. “It would do me no good to gripe and moan and complain. I’ve got a job to do and it’s one of those things. It’s baseball, it’s life. You definitely can’t discount the years that the guys named to the team are having and I’m definitely not going to let it become a ‘woe is me’ thing, I’m definitely happy for our guys that made it. I’m a grown man, a professional, I have a lot of years left to make more All-Star teams.”

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Joey Votto headlines three Reds heading to All-Star game


On Saturday, Major League Baseball announced the rosters for the 2013 All-Star Game to be played July 16 at Citi Field. As fate would have it, at least three Reds players made the cut.

The trio of Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Aroldis Chapman are heading to New York after they were selected to play for the National League squad. Votto and Phillips have both been named starters after winning the fan vote at their respective positions.

This marks the fourth career All-Star selection for Votto and the second straight season he has earned the start at first base via fan vote. The Canadian native leads the majors in on-base percentage (.433) and is hitting .323 with 15 home runs and 40 RBI.

Video: Watch Joey Votto launch mammoth home run



There is no denying that Joey Votto has some power.

The Canadian native put that power on full display Friday night when he belted a long home run to center field during the bottom of the sixth. The blast came off former Red Aaaron Harang and traveled an estimated 433 feet before landing miracuosly inside the batter's eye at Great American Ball Park.

Votto's 15th home run of the season wasn't enough, though, as the Reds dropped the series opener to Seattle, 4-2. Game two of the series takes place Saturday afternoon.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Baseball 'experts' predict which Reds players will be All Stars


The official unveiling of the rosters for the 2013 All-Star Game won't come until Saturday evening. However, that hasn't stopped a countless number of baseball experts from predicting which players they believe will be picked to represent their respective league.

With this in mind, here is a rundown on some of the notable "experts" who are tabbing Reds players as All-Stars, as well as others who are not.

Cliff Corcoran - Sports Illustrated

1B - Joey Votto (starter)
2B - Brandon Phillips (starter)

Jim Bowden - ESPN

1B - Joey Votto (reserve)
2B - Brandon Phillips (starter)
RF - Jay Bruce (starter)
RP - Aroldis Chapman (reserve)
SP - Mat Latos (reserve)

News and notes from MLB Week 14


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

"But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here."

- President Abraham Lincoln - Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863

Let us pause and reflect during this holiday weekend the sacrifices made by our soldiers who defend our freedoms on a daily basis. We thank you and may God bless you all.

This domination of the San Francisco Giants at home is nice and all that, but, WHY DIDN’T YOU DO THAT LAST OCTOBER!!!

Of all the pitchers in the Reds rotation, Homer Bailey would be the last one I’d pick to throw two no hitters. That’s not a slam toward him, but over the past few seasons, numerous times have Bronson Arroyo, Mat Latos, Johnny Cueto, and Mike Leake gotten close to a no hitter only to lose it in the late innings.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Homer Bailey's no-hitter means free Domino's pizza for thousands


Reds fans who attended Tuesday's no-hitter by Homer Bailey may not have scored free pizza from LaRosa's Pizzeria because the team failed to record at least 11 strikeouts. However, nationwide pizza chain Domino's is giving away some free dough, though.

As most are already aware, the Reds and LaRosa's have a season-long promotion that guarantees every fan with a ticket stub can receive free pizza at an area location when Reds pitcher strikeout 11 batters or more in a single game. This obviously didn't happen during Bailey's pitching outing as he came up short with just nine.

But as part of a promotion sponsored by Domino's, the first 10,000 MLB.TV subscribers to visit this link between now and 2:59 a.m. ET on Monday can score a free two-topping handmade medium pizza. Here are a couple of disclaimers: the deal is good for carryout only, supplies are limited, and the code must be redeemed within five days of Bailey's no-hit performance.

Video: Watch Shin-Soo Choo send Reds to walk-off victory



One day removed from watching Homer Bailey throw a no-hitter, the Reds followed it up with a walk-off win against the Giants on Wednesday.

Shin-Soo Choo was the man who came through in the clutch this time around. The Korean native smacked an 0-1 offering from San Francisco reliever Javier Lopez down the first base line to drive in Todd Frazier for the winning run. Final score: Cincinnati 3, San Francisco 2.

Dusty Baker's bunch goes for the four-game sweep Thursday afternoon.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Video: Brandon Phillips starts unusual double play



Brandon Phillips is known to be one of the slickest fielders in baseball. On Wednesday, he reminded us all of why this is true.

During the third inning, the three-time Gold Glove second basemen initiated one of the most unusual double plays you are likely to see this season when he let a pop-up hit by Giants hitter Hunter Pence fall to the ground.

Because of the infield fly rule, Pence was immediately called out, but that left the runner on first base, Buster Posey, hanging out to dry. Phillips threw on to shortstop Zack Cozart at second base, who waits for Posey and eventually applies the tag, completing the twin killing.

Naturally, San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy wanted an explanation from the umpires. He got one. The sly play by Phillips was ruled a double play.

How did Homer Bailey celebrate second career no-hitter?


Homer Bailey had plenty to celebrate Tuesday night after tossing his second career no-hitter.

One might even be led to believe that Bailey went out on the town afterward. However, the reality is that he celebrated modestly at home.

The native Texan said he called his family, listened to country music, and responded to more than 200 text messages late Tuesday following the historic pitching performance. It wasn't exactly the type of festivities most would have imagined given the circumstances. Perhaps the right-hander enjoyed himself a little more on Wednesday? Well, not so much.

On Wednesday, Bailey woke up early to tend to two horses that he stables locally.

Energy drink cans among countless items Reds authenticate after Homer Bailey's no-hitter


There is certainly no shortage of items to authenticate Homer Bailey's no-hitter against the Giants Tuesday night. If you don't believe me, please read on.

After the game, the Reds immediately got to work marking mementos with small hologram sticker, and indelible ink. A Major League Baseball authenticator was on hand to make sure the process went smoothly, as well.

Here the incredibly long list of things authenticated:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Video: Watch Homer Bailey record final out of no-hit gem


Gregor Blanco's groundout to Todd Frazier sealed the deal Tuesday.

Homer Bailey now owns two no-hitters in his career.

Bailey is the 31st pitcher in history to throw multiple no-hitters, with his first coming against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 28. He's the fourth active pitcher to have two no-hitters, joining Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay and Mark Buehrle. He's also the third Reds pitcher, joining Johnny Vander Meer and Jim Maloney, to notch multiple no-no's.

It marks the 16th time a Reds pitcher has accomplished the feat. Ironically, it also marks the 16th time the Giants have been on the wrong end of a no-hitter.

Video: Watch Joey Votto save Bailey's no-hit bid



If it wasn't for this heads up play by Joey Votto in the seventh inning, Homer Bailey would not have been credited with his second career no-hitter Tuesday night.

The fateful moment came with one out, Buster Posey at the plate, and Gregor Blanco leading off second base. This is when Posey bounced an 0-2 pitch from Bailey down to Votto at first. The ball pulled Votto far away from the bag, causing Bailey to have to scramble in order to beat Posey, but it looked like Posey was going to be safe by a big margin.

So, Votto wisely kept his options open and fired on to Todd Frazier at third base, who tagged out Blanco to record a fielder's choice. More importantly, however, it preserved the no-hitter.

Bailey certainly deserves a ton of credit for twirling a masterful gem. But Votto deserves huge props for this monumental defensive play, too.

Homer Bailey throws second no-hitter of career


Homer Bailey made history Tuesday night.

The right-hander tossed the first no-hitter of the 2013 major league season in Cincinnati's 3-0 victory against the Giants at Great American Ball Park.

Bailey stifled the San Francisco offense all evening long using a blazing fastball and tantalizing curveball. A seventh inning walk issued to Giants leadoff hitter Gregor Blanco proved to be his only miscue of the game. All in all, Bailey needed 109 pitches to twirl the masterpiece, striking out nine batters in the process.

"Going into the eighth and ninth I just said, `Why the hell not?' Here we go again," Bailey said.
Coincidentally, Bailey was also responsible for the last no-hitter in the majors leagues, as well. That fateful evening came last year on Sept. 28 in Pittsburgh. According to MLB Network, the last pitcher responsible for throwing MLB's last two no-hitters was Nolan Ryan on Sept. 28, 1974 and June 1, 1975.

Two Reds need late push to ensure starting spot in All-Star game


Two Reds players continue to lead the voting at their respective positions, however, both need one final push to ensure that they start for the National League squad in the All-Star Game.

Joey Votto is trying to earn his second straight start in the annual affair by way of fan vote. Meanwhile, teammate Brandon Phillips is vying to make his first ever star in the Midsummer Classic.

Here is a look at the voting totals released by MLB on Tuesday.

FIRST BASE
Joey Votto, Reds: 3,622,608
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks: 3,035,114
Allen Craig, Cardinals: 2,525,399
Brandon Belt, Giants: 1,804,152
Freddie Freeman, Braves: 1,494,604

Monday, July 1, 2013

Photo: Thunderstorm causes rainwater to flood into Reds dugout


In case you were wondering, this photo serves as a reason why the Giants-Reds game at Great American Ball Park was cut short Monday night.

A heavy band of rain swept through the Cincinnati area just after 9:00 p.m. local time and proceeded to dump an insane amount of water on the city.

As you can see, Cincinnati's beloved baseball stadium wasn't spared, either.

This shot was taken by Reds reliever and camera extraordinaire Manny Parra, which shows water pouring down the dugout steps and down into the walkway leading to the home clubhouse.

Yikes.

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