Saturday, August 31, 2013

Civil rights organization upset with way Reds handled Brandon Phillips tirade


Although Brandon Phillips and beat writer C. Trent Rosecrans have apparently made amends, one civil rights organization is still upset with Phillips, manager Dusty Baker, and the team over the incident, which involved Phillips unleashing a profanity-laced and personal verbal attack on Rosecrans before Wednesday's game.

The National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) is seeking a public apology from Phillips telling gossip media site TMZ, "[Brandon's] poor choice of words indicates that he may have missed the fact that verbal aggression and threats are bullying."

Aside from Phillips, the organization is also extremely steamed at Baker for "allowing his player to bully a reporter during this press conference. There are no innocent bystanders."

Additionally, NAAFA is especially angry at the Reds as a whole for failing to come forward and condemn the action by one of their players. "Putting on an anti-bullying face then allowing the blasting of a reporter's body-size is not acceptable," says NAAFA.

Freedom of Speech: Without Biast


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In case you slept through fifth grade Civics class, that’s the First Amendment of our Constitution. Since the confrontation a few days ago between Brandon Phillips and Reds beat writer C. Trent Rosecrans, I feel I should add my “two cents worth” with some more depth than the two lines I gave it in my last post.
Mr. Rosecrans has a job to do, write what he sees on the field without partiality, a job, I might add, he does well. The days of a sportswriter employed by the team went out many, many years ago. Some teams were owned by people who also owned newspapers, and those papers dispatched writers who, in essence, sugar coated the bad things the team did, while turning the players into god like characters. The team news you got came strictly from the newspapers.

Reds were reportedly interested in signing Edinson Volquez

There was a time in Cincinnati when many thought Edinson Volquez was going to be a star for years to come. This optimism was justified in 2008 when the right-hander posted a 17-6 record and 3.21 ERA while finishing fourth in Rookie of the Year voting.

However, that optimism slowly faded as Volquez could never repeat that kind of success as a Red, partly because of lingering injuries, and partly because of poor performance when healthy. In December 2011, the Reds decided enough was enough, and sent the Dominican native to San Diego in the trade that brought current ace Mat Latos to the Queen City.

In his first season as a Padre, Volquez posted a respectable 11-11 record and 4.14 ERA in 32 starts. It was enough to give the Padres hope that Volquez was finally going to return to the form he was in during the '08 campaign.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Billy Hamilton to be among several September call-ups


One of the most prolific base stealers in professional baseball will be wearing a Reds uniform when the team welcomes the Cardinals to town for a four-game series at Great American Ball Park on Monday.

That base stealer is none other than fleet-footed outfielder Billy Hamilton, who is expected to be one of many players promoted to the big club when rosters expand on Monday.

“I think it helps any young player who you think has a future as bright as he does to get up here and experience the speed of the game and what it takes to play up here,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “Any experience you can give him helps.”

Hamilton is widely regarded as the top prospect in the organization. However, the Mississippi native hasn't exactly performed like the top prospect this season.

Pete Rose and rest of 'Great Eight' to reunite for Joe Morgan weekend

BRM1

Circle your calendar for next weekend, folks. The key cogs from the Big Red Machine era are set to get together in Cincinnati to pay homage to Joe Morgan's statue dedication.

Here is a press release from the Reds...


The starting eight members of the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds World Series Championship teams will reunite Sept. 6 and 7 as part of Joe Morgan Weekend. This is the first time the “Great Eight” will appear together at Great American Ball Park.

Scheduled to appear are:

• Joe Morgan

Reds to offer fans one dollar hot dogs in celebration of attendance



What's better than watching a Reds game at Great American Ball Park?

Watching a Reds game at Great American Ball Park while enjoying a hot dog that you only paid one dollar for. That's what.

The Reds have announced they will hold a "Dollar Hot Dog Night" in celebration of record-setting fan support. The event will take place next Thursday (Sept. 5) during Cincinnati's series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals.

"We are thanking the fans for getting us to $2 million tickets sold faster than any year in the history of this ballpark with a dollar dog night," said Reds COO Phil Castellini. "If this support continues, we're on pace to break the ballpark attendance record set in 2003."

Joe Morgan launches revolutionary wine at Great American Ball Park


From the Reds...

Hall of Famer Joe Morgan has partnered with Steelhead Vineyards of Sonoma, CA to offer two wines in a revolutionary "wine for one" bottle and glass format.

And thanks to Morgan, fans can now enjoy the Chardonnay or Merlot while cheering on the Reds at Great American Ball Park.

The wines are served in a unique bottle and drinking vessel combination that was developed in New Zealand and features PET (plastic) bottle technology that preserves wine quality.

"I have a passion for good wine and during my Big Red Machine days I went to wine tastings on my off days," said Morgan. "The highlight of my wine career was making wine with an assist from Robert Mondavi. These super-premium wines are my contribution to an enhanced experience at Great American Ball Park."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

News and notes from MLB Week 22


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

With school beginning for most kids the next few days I’d like to start my post with a baseball math problem. Using the Pythagorean Theorem (c²=a²+b²), what is the distance from home plate to second base? Here’s a hint; it’s the same as the distance from first base to third base! For extra credit, is the pitching rubber in the geographical center of a baseball diamond?

Old Geezer Update; my week – old granddaughter, Arionna Nicole Howard, and her parents are doing fine. I never thought at 49 years old I’d be a rookie at anything, but this Grandpa stuff is soooo new to me!

On those rare occasions I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it (ha, ha!). Last week I mentioned that I thought Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt is the front runner for National League M.V.P. WRONG! That distinction goes to St. Louis’ Allen Craig.

I think everyone in the world knew that Craig was going to hit a grand slam on Monday night.

National writer claims Brandon Phillips isn't only Reds player to rip reporter for criticism


Whether you like the man or not, what Brandon Phillips did before Wednesday's game against the Cardinals is really hard to defend. The Gold Glove second basemen disrupted an interview in the clubhouse and used an expletive-filled, verbal attack on Cincinnati Enquirer beat writer C. Trent Rosecrans after the latter sent out a pair of tweets about Phillips' on-base percentage, which Phillips took offense to. Here is what was said by both parties if you haven't seen or heard already.

Naturally, the incident made national headlines within a matter of hours, and became the hottest discussion among Reds fans on social media. Some argued in defense of one of Cincinnati's most popular public figures while others voiced their support for a man who was just doing his job by presenting factual information.

As odd as the situation seems, I doubt it's the first time an athlete and a member of the media have nearly come to blows. The whole concept of covering a team as a "neutral" source is bound to cause problems at some point. Especially if some of the players on the team become sensitive to criticism.

Video: Chris Heisey muscles home run to upper deck



Chris Heisey put his power on full display Wednesday night by depositing a home run into the upper deck of Busch Stadium.

Heisey's ninth home run of the season came in the top of the ninth inning off St. Louis Cardinals reliever Fernando Salas and effectively gave the Reds a 10-0 lead.

It's not everyday you see a ball end up in "Big Mac" land.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Video: Brandon Phillips unleashes tirade toward beat writer


Emotions were running high in Cincinnati's clubhouse before Wednesday's series finale against the Cardinals, and understandably so. The Reds were in danger of getting swept in humiliating fashion to their division rivals, and more importantly, losing more ground in the pursuit of first place.

So, after Tuesday's 6-1 defeat to the hands of the Cardinals, All-Star second basemen Brandon Phillips approached manager Dusty Baker with an idea. Phillips expressed his desire to move to the No. 2 spot in the batting order in an effort to spark the slumping offense. As he has done many times before, Baker obliged.

Word of the decision eventually got around to Cincinnati Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans, who took to Twitter to discuss the matter, and subsequently sent out a series of tweets which seemingly criticized Phillips' on-base percentage.

Here are the tweets in question:

Jim Bowden: Call up Billy Hamilton


Simply put, the Reds need a spark right now to inject some life in an otherwise lifeless-looking team. After watching their last handful of games, four of which have resulted in tough defeats, it has become clearly evident that the Reds are in desperate need of an off day or at least some time to recharge their batteries for the final month of the season. 

In fairness, Cincinnati was dealt no favor in regards to scheduling. The Reds wrap up a stretch of 20 games in 20 days when they partake in the series finale with the Cardinals on Wednesday evening. They receive a much-needed off day on Thursday before heading to Colorado for a three-game slate against the Rockies at Coors Field.

Aside from Thursday's off day, the weary Reds may soon receive even more help, as the rosters around the league are set to expand to 40 players on Sunday. This means a slew of younger players are on their way to help revitalize a Reds club that is clearly tired, beaten, and bruised.

Bronson Arroyo says money only reason he would leave Reds in free agency


Look around the landscape of Major League Baseball and you would be extremely hard pressed to find any starting pitcher more reliable and durable than Reds right-handed veteran Bronson Arroyo.

The 36-year-old has been a model of consistency since joining the Reds prior to the 2006 season. In fact, no other National League pitcher has won more games or made more starts than Arroyo has since the beginning of the 2006 campaign.

Part of the reason for Arroyo's success lies in his ability to stay healthy. In 14 big league seasons, Arroyo has never missed a start and has never spent any time on the disabled list, a modern marvel in today's day in age where pitchers land on the DL multiple times in their careers.

Arroyo is on pace to start at least 32 games for the 10th consecutive season, reach 200 innings for the eighth time in nine years (he pitched 199 in 2011), and win 15 games for the fourth time in six years.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eight Reds prospects selected to play in Arizona Fall League


The end of August also means the end of the season for most minor league teams across the country. Such is the case for several of Cincinnati's minor league affiliates, too. And while some prospects will pack up their bags and head home for awhile, others will take their talents to the Arizona Fall League to work on improving their game.

Here are the Reds prospects who were selected to participate in the AFL:

RHP Chad Rogers (Louisville)
RHP Drew Hayes (Pensacola)
RHP Jamie Walczak (Pensacola)
RHP Michael Lorenzen (Pensacola)
C Tucker Barnhart (Pensacola)
INF Travis Mattair (Pensacola)
OF Yorman Rodriguez (Pensacola)
OF Ryan LaMarre (Pensacola)

A few notes...

Five mind blowing facts that suggest Cardinals own Reds


Any Reds fan who has followed the team on even a semi-casual basis over the past decade or so is fully aware of their constant struggle against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Reds have been victimized time and time again by the Cardinals' knack for timely hitting, excellent pitching, jaw-dropping defense, and overall tendency to defeat Cincinnati.

Monday night served as further evidence of Cincy's inability to get over the hump against the Redbirds as they suffered a crushing 8-6 defeat at Busch Stadium after holding a 4-0 lead. But it was nothing Reds fans hadn't witnessed from their club against the Cardinals before, though.

Here are five mind blowing facts that seem to support the theory that the Cardinals absolutely have Cincinnati's number when it comes to head-to-head meetings:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Reds release postseason ticket information

Postseason

There is a very good chance that the Reds could be playing in their third postseason in the last four years this fall. 

They entered play Monday night with a comfortable 7.0 game lead for the last National League Wild Card spot and trailed the Pirates/Cardinals for first place by just 2.5 games. Furthermore, their odds of making the postseason sat at a promising 99.1 percent entering their series in St. Louis.

So, it should come as no surprise that the team recently announced some information regarding how to purchase postseason tickets.

Here are the details:

Reds rank ninth in latest batch of league power rankings


Last week started off very well for Dusty Baker and the Reds as they took care of business against the Diamondbacks, the team currently trying to track down the Reds for the last Wild Card spot, by winning three out of four against Kirk Gibson's club. However, Cincinnati couldn't carry over that positive momentum to the weekend, dropping two out of three at Great American Ball Park against the lowly Brewers.

Luckily, the Cardinals and Pirates didn't exactly capitalize on the opportunity to distance themselves in the division standings, so the Reds remained just 2.5 games back of first place entering play on Monday. Due to a two-way tie at the top, they also remained 2.5 games back for the first Wild Card spot, too.

Anyways, given their performance over the past week, coupled with the performances of the other clubs in Major League Baseball, the Reds slipped one spot to No. 9 in this week's edition of ESPN Power Rankings.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Potential destinations for Bronson Arroyo, Shin-Soo Choo


If money had nothing to do with professional baseball, it would be a no-brainer for the Reds to keep veterans Shin-Soo Choo and Bronson Arroyo beyond this season. However, money has a lot to do with the makeup of professional baseball, and unfortunately Cincinnati isn't one of the teams who traditionally has a bunch of it.

With that being said, it's highly unlikely the Reds will be able to afford to keep Arroyo and Choo around. Arroyo is in the final season of a multi-year contract and Choo is set to hit the free agent market in the offseason, too. So, if the Reds don't ink the two this winter, it begs the question, who will?

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe may have some insight:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mat Latos' slider dubbed 'toughest pitch to hit home run off of'


Mat Latos has been far and away the most reliable starting pitcher for the Reds in 2013. In fact, the right-hander has been nothing short of great since joining Cincinnati prior to the 2012 campaign.

Since becoming a Red, the Florida native is an outstanding 27-8 with a tidy 3.24 ERA spanning 59 starts and 378 innings pitched. There have been several factors which have led to his success on the mound. And one of them undoubtedly includes his ability to throw a filthy slider.

On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal published an interesting piece about the 25-year-old's dominating slider. The WSJ went through the effort of crunching the numbers and concluded that there is no tougher pitch in Major League Baseball for a batter to hit a home run off of than Latos' slider.

The evidence is certainly there to back up their claim, too. Latos has whirled a total of 683 sliders toward the plate this year and none of them have yet to result in a home run. And it's not like Latos isn't throwing the pitch much. His slider accounts for 26.1 percent of his total pitches, which ranks second-most behind his fastball (58.9 percent), and accounts for more than half of his 166 strikeouts.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Jonathan Broxton out at least six months after elbow surgery

San Francisco Giants v Cincinnati Reds - Game Three

On Friday, Reds reliever Jonathan Broxton underwent successful elbow surgery to repair the torn flexor mass in his right forearm. 

The procedure was performed by Reds medical director Timothy Kremchek and the timetable for Broxton's return is estimated at six months.

This could very well mean that the right-hander may begin the 2014 season on the disabled list. However, the team is hoping Broxton will be fully healed and ready to go by spring training. 

“It could have been much more severe,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “If there was a silver lining, it wasn’t in the ligament or the joint. It could have been a lot worse.”

Broxton was injured and ineffective in the first season of a three-year, $21 million deal, throwing just 31 innings and recording a 4.11 ERA. And because the contract was structured to be cheaper this season he’s owed $7 million next season, $9 million in 2015, and $9 million or a $1 million buyout for 2016.

Broxton is earning a salary of $4 million this season.

Pete Rose: Ichiro will never surpass my career hit total


On Wednesday, New York Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki joined an elite club by notching his 4,000th career hit in professional baseball.

It is certainly no small feat to record that many hits over a career even if about one-third of them were amassed while playing in Japan.

In fact, Ichiro recorded 1,278 hits in Japan's top baseball league, with the other 2,722 coming while playing in Major League Baseball.

Could Ichiro ever catch up to baseball's all-time hit king Pete Rose? Rose doesn't think so and became somewhat dismissive when discussing the matter on Thursday.

"He's still 600 hits away from catching [teammate] Derek Jeter,'' Rose told USA TODAY Sports, "so how can he catch me?''

Thursday, August 22, 2013

MLB Week 21: The Stupidity of Humanity


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

I’d like to write about the Reds 69 – 52 won/loss record at game 121, the three-quarter mark of the season, and how the team’s record compares with other Reds teams from the past 44 seasons. I want to brag about my newborn granddaughter, Arianna Nicole, and my new role as Grandpa. I want to write about how I believe Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt is the front runner for National League M.V.P. I want to say how pleased I am about Cincinnati’s recent turnaround winning 12 of their last 16 through Thursday, but the events of the past couple of weeks are preventing me to write about the “Grand Old Game” and to turn my attention to what I’ve entitled “The Stupidity of Humanity.”

I was appalled at the news of a talented young man, Christopher Lane, senselessly murdered at the hands of three “bored” teenagers wanting something to do. Yeah, you read that right, three teenage boys who wanted to kill someone just for the sake of having something to do.

Jonathan Broxton's season is likely over


Jonathan Broxton and the Reds were dealt a disappointing setback on Thursday as it was announced that the right-hander was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a flexor mass strain in his pitching forearm. Furthermore, the injury will require a surgical procedure, which likely means Broxton has thrown his last pitch of the 2013 season.

The news had to be especially tough for Broxton to fathom as he had just returned from the disabled list less than two weeks ago on Aug. 9. The ailment is similar to the one that had previously caused him to miss two months of the season.

Broxton sustained the injury while pitching in the eighth inning of Wednesday's victory over the Diamondbacks. Broxton allowed a home run to Gerardo Parra, followed by a four-pitch walk to Wil Nieves, before skipper Dusty Baker, pitching coach Bryan Price, and trainer Paul Lessard went out to the mound to check on the big fellow. Their trip to see the reliever proved to be a troublesome one.

In a post-game interview, Broxton likened the pain to "a knife driving into his right forearm."

Cubs planning to take a run at Shin-Soo Choo this offseason?


It's safe to say that Shin-Soo Choo has been every bit as good as the Reds hoped he would be when they acquired him in a three-team deal from the Cleveland Indians in December.

Choo has provided stability at the leadoff spot, batting .281 with a .416 on-base percentage, to go along with 16 home runs, 28 doubles, 14 stolen bases, and 40 RBI, allthewhile playing respectable defense in center field. Only teammate Joey Votto sports a higher on-base percentage for a National League hitter this year.

Unfortunately, Cincinnati may not get to enjoy Choo's services for much longer, though. The South Korean native is set to become a free agent this offseason and all indications are that he and his agent Scott Boras will demand big money, much more than the medium market Reds can offer.

So, where does that leave Choo in 2014? According to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, the Cubs are an interested suitor for the left-handed hitting and throwing outfielder.

Citing "industry sources," Rooney wrote that the Cubs plan to make a serious run at Choo this winter. It's all part of Chicago's plan to compile a roster with more left-handed hitters and players with higher on-base percentages.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Johnny Cueto resumes throwing before expected


Injured ace Johnny Cueto can sense time is running out on a possible return to the mound this season.

On Wednesday, the Dominican native resumed throwing for the first time in nearly eight weeks, tossing approximately 40 pitches from 60 feet under the watchful eye of head trainer Paul Lessard.

“I feel good,” Cueto said. “I didn’t feel bad. I didn’t feel nothing. I wanted to throw. They said OK.”

Cueto wasn't originally scheduled to begin a throwing program until after undergoing an MRI on Friday.

“Tossing is a long ways from being in the game,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “But Johnny told me he felt pretty good. Before, he used to feel it when he was running and doing a lot of things unrelated to pitching.”

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tony Cingrani leaves start early with apparent lower back strain


Reds rookie southpaw Tony Cingrani was forced to exit Tuesday's start against the Diamondbacks in the top of the fourth inning with an apparent lower back strain.

Cingrani allowed one run on two hits and a walk before being lifted with two outs in favor of right-hander Alfredo Simon.

It is too early to determine if and how long the injury will keep the 24-year-old out of the rotation. However, if Cingrani is forced to miss a turn in the rotation, or worse, land on the 15-day disabled list, it would certainly be a big blow to the Reds.

Cincinnati is already making due without ace Johnny Cueto and it doesn't have many options for a replacement at Triple-A Louisville. Greg Reynolds, who was the second overall pick in the 2006 draft, is probably the best candidate to replace Cingrani if it comes to that. Reynolds is 12-3 with the Bats this season.

Video: Take another look at the terrific double play turned by the Reds on Monday



Aroldis Chapman may or may not have rewarded his infield with a nice post-game meal after Cincinnati's 5-3 victory over the Diamondbacks Monday night, but this play warranted it.

The combination of Zack Cozart, Brandon Phillips, and Joey Votto teamed up to turn arguably the best double play executed by the Reds all season long. The play came in the top of the ninth inning when Cozart made an aggressive play on a tricky groundball to shortstop. 

Rather than wait for an additional hop, and take an out at first, Cozart boldly charged and backhanded the ball before whipping it to Phillips at second base. With a runner bearing down hard, Phillips was able to jump and put enough juice on his throw to Votto at first to record a terrific 6-4-3 twin killing.

The great effort wiped the bases clean and put the Reds within one out of finishing the game. Chapman would eventually secure the last out to nail down another much-needed win.

Brandon Phillips named most mediocre hitter in baseball


There are very few fans around Cincinnati who would label Brandon Phillips as a mediocre player. The veteran is a three-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, Phillips has been more mediocre at the plate this season than any other player in baseball.

On Monday, the WSJ published an "All-Average" team for 2013, compiling a starting lineup based on batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage for every position on the field. Their ultimate goal was to find the most average hitter at each respective position based on those three statistics.

Phillips took the honor for second base with a modest slash line of .259/.308/.404. Despite being on pace to set a new career high in runs batted in, Phillips' current average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage is actually slightly lower than his career norms of .272/.321/.431. So, if this was a normal year for Phillips, he probably wouldn't have to endure the dubious title.

Reds rank 20th in dubious uniform rankings













Have you ever wondered how the various uniforms worn by the Reds compares to the other 29 Major League Baseball teams? Probably not. But in case you have, a recent post by Paul Lukas of Uni Watch is about to make you extremely happy.

Lukas, the man who admits to being obsessed with the aesthetics of sports, has embarked on a journey to rank all 122 uniforms worn by teams in North America's four major sports leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB). On Monday, Lukas kicked off the series by providing a ranking for MLB clubs. As fate would have it, Cincinnati didn't rate too highly in his opinion, coming in at No. 20 on the dubious list.

Here's what he had to say:

They'd rank higher if not for all the black trim, which feels sooooo 1990s. A more conventional number font would help, too, wrote Lukas.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Senate Majority Leader believes Pete Rose should be in Hall of Fame

pete-rose

There seems to be no middle ground when it comes to whether or not a baseball fan believes Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. Fans either adamantly say yes or forcefully argue no.

Count Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as one fan who believes baseball's all-time hit king belongs in Cooperstown.

In an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal, the Nevada senator defended his position by proclaiming that Rose has been "punished enough" and that he deserves to be bestowed the sport's highest honor.

"He bet when he was a manager of a team," Reid is quoted as saying about Rose. "Games were lost. All that stuff. But he's been punished enough. He is one of the great baseball players of all time. He didn't take drugs (PEDs) so yes, I think he should be in."

David Schoenfield says Reds 'team to beat' in division


For most of the season, the Reds have been playing third fiddle to the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals in the race to win the National League Central. However, thanks to winning 9 out of 12 games, coupled with Pittsburgh's recent losing trend, Cincinnati may actually be the team to beat in the division now. Well, at least according to ESPN.com's David Schoenfield.

Sunday night, Schoenfield decided to pen a piece about the three-way race between the Cards, Bucs, and Reds for the division title. Schoenfield called it the best division race in all of baseball and I for one would have to agree. After a careful breakdown of the three team's based on several categories, Schoenfield ultimately declared the Reds as the team to beat at this point.

Enough … make a pick already: The Reds have been the third wheel in this party all season, but they're finally on a good roll, winning nine of 12. This is the time of season when rotation depth plays a huge factor, as legs get tired and arms get sore. I like the way Cincy's five guys are throwing right now, and I like all the home games the Reds have on their schedule. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Johnny Cueto dealt another setback on road to recovery

Johnny Cueto hasn't pitched since this scene in Texas.

The Reds have been without the pitching services of ace Johnny Cueto since he left a start against the Texas Rangers on June 28. And it doesn't look like the team will have his services anytime in the near future, either.

An MRI conducted over the weekend revealed that the right-hander still needs time to heal from the right lateral muscle strain that has plagued him on and off again in 2013.

“They showed basically about 75 percent of the strain is healed,” athletic trainer Paul Lessard told Cincinnati.com. “He's going to continue to do the strengthening stuff for another week and then we'll re-scan him again and see if that 25 percent has closed up.”

Cueto has landed on the disabled list three times this season after succumbing to injury in the first game of last year's playoff series against the eventual World Series Champion Giants, as well. Naturally, this series of ailments has some around the organization very concerned.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Is Joey Votto a legitimate contender to win MVP honors?


Numbers don't lie. It's a phrase and philosophy most baseball fans have heard all of their lifetime. But there is one player in particular who has been making baseball pundits reconsider their definition of success on the diamond. He wears a Reds uniform, plays first base, and is arguably one of the best hitters in the modern game. His name is Joey Votto.

At first glance, Votto's power numbers don't exactly jump out at you. Entering Saturday, the Canadian native had 18 home runs, 25 doubles, and 57 RBI to his credit. His RBI total is less than half of the amount that reigning American League MVP and Triple Crown winner Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera has accumulated (115).

However, Votto's numbers are extremely deceiving, and the true baseball analysts know just how good Votto is at the plate. For example, the 29-year-old is on pace to lead the league in on-base percentage for the fourth season in a row. This is partly due to his willingness to take a walk. He currently leads the league with 92 of them in 2013. Although some may argue otherwise, Votto's keen eye at the plate, coupled with his .318 batting average makes him perhaps the toughest out in all of baseball. And in the grand scheme of things, isn't the ability for an offense to avoid making outs what it's all about? The fewer outs you make, the more likely you are to score, right?

Video: Watch Jonathan Lucroy stomp on hearts of Reds fans with walk-off blast



It's been said before that all good things must come to an end.

Such was the case Friday night at Miller Park, as Cincinnati's five-game winning streak was abruptly snapped, thanks in part to a two-run walk-off homer by Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy in the bottom of the ninth off Aroldis Chapman.

Down to his final strike, Lucroy buckled down and proceeded to launch a towering blast over the left field wall to propel the Brewers to a 7-6 victory.

It marked Chapman's (3-5) fifth blown save of the season.

"He hung a slider to him and he didn't miss," manager Dusty Baker said.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Photo: Reds have gained major ground in standings over last week


The Reds have gained considerable ground in both the National League Central Division standings and the National League Wild Card standings over the past week. This is because the Reds have gone 6-1 over that span while the Pirates and Cardinals have gone 2-4 and 3-3, respectively.

If you don't believe me, check out the way that both standings appeared just one week ago from today (Friday, August 9, 2013).

Video: Watch Tony Cingrani mow down Brewers en route to sixth victory



The Reds extended their winning streak to five Thursday with a 2-1 triumph over host Milwaukee at a big reason for that has to do with the stellar outing by rookie Tony Cingrani.

The southpaw improved to 6-2 on the campaign by twirling 6.1 innings of 4-hit and 1-run baseball. His only mistake came on a second inning pitch to Khris Davis that Milwaukee's left fielder belted over the wall for a solo home run. Outside of the that, Cingrani was dominant, fanning nine batters while walking only one.

It will be extremely interesting to see how the Reds decide to shuffle the rotation when and if ace Johnny Cueto returns from the disabled list. Because at this point it would be very difficult to pull Cingrani out of the starting five. No. 52 has provided a huge lift to his team in Cueto's absence.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

News and notes from MLB week 20


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

BREAKING NEWS…..By the time you read this, I’ll be a Grandpa!

Leading off; welcome back Ryan Ludwick, Ryan Hanigan, and Jonathan Broxton.

For a moment on Saturday night I thought I was watching a Little League regional tournament game. It was the Reds/Padres game.

Speaking of a comedy of errors; did Rajai Davis of the Toronto Blue Jays hit the first ever inside the infield home run on Wednesday night?

You know you’ve had a bad game when you have as many errors as hits.

Searching for answers regarding future Reds pitching


by: Izsak Rapp
Staff Writer

What's going to happen if Bronson Arroyo leaves next season? The obvious answer is Tony Cingrani. The southpaw has been absolutely lights out. Not many teams can drop a still developing player onto their big league club in place of their ace and not miss a beat. I don't know any other minor leaguers who would post a sub-3 ERA with around 10.5 K's/9 innings.

So Arroyo is covered, onward to the other guys. With Cingrani, we definitely have a suitable replacement, if not an upgrade. What about in 4 or 5 years when Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, and some of the older relievers are ready to retire or search for contracts elsewhere? Fear not my friends, we have some prospects who have the potential to be top-of-the-rotation guys. The keyword in that sentence is "prospects." For starters, lets make sure we're on the same page on what exactly, a prospect is. A prospect is a player in the minors who has the best chance to make it to the big league team. It doesn't mean they will be the next Joey Votto or Johnny Cueto. In order to be considered a prospect, a player must meet the criteria to be a rookie.

MLB.com's "Prospects" page states, "To be eligible for a list, a player must have rookie eligibility. To qualify for rookie status, a player must not have exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues, or accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the 25-player limit period, excluding time on the disabled list or in military service." That means players like Cingrani, and Derek Robinson are no longer prospects. Let's hope our remaining prospects can make the jump as well as Cingrani and Robinson.

Reds feasting on inferior foes this season, struggling against elite


Entering play on Thursday, the Reds had ripped off four wins in a row, and seven wins in their previous eight games, which has allowed them to pull within striking distance of the Pirates and Cardinals atop the National League Central Division standings.

In fact, Cincinnati sat only 3.5 games behind the first-place Pirates Thursday afternoon and just 0.5 game back of the Cardinals for the top Wild Card spot. With six weeks remaining in the regular season, there is still plenty of baseball left to be played, and plenty of opportunities for the Reds to claim their third division title in four years. But in order to do so, Dusty Baker and company will have to start producing victories against elite opponents.

Simply put, the Reds have been absolutely dominant against inferior competition in 2013. Entering the weekend series against Milwaukee, the Reds boasted a sparkling 48-22 record against teams currently sporting a losing record. This includes a 12-3 mark against the lowly Cubs, and a combined 15-1 record against the likes of San Francisco, Miami, and the Mets. As you can see, the Reds have certainly been beating the teams they are expected to beat this year.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Report: Reds ink 20-year-old outfielder from Cuba



The move by the Reds to sign Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman in January 2010 has proved to be a good one. Now, it appears as though the Reds are dipping into Cuba for baseball talent once again.

Baseball America reports that Cincinnati has inked 20-year-old outfielder Raydel Medina for $400,000. A source close to the deal says the signing is still awaiting approval from the league office, though.

Ben Badler was the first to break the story.

At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Medina runs above-average times in the 60-yard dash. He’s a lefthanded hitter with a quick bat and projectable power, although there are concerns among some scouts about his crudeness at the plate despite his performance at the World Championship. Given how little time is left in the 2013 season, Medina might not make his debut until next year, at which point he’ll probably start in one of the lower levels of the system, perhaps low Class A Dayton.

Dusty Baker doesn't expect Sean Marshall to return anytime soon


The Reds have enjoyed the return of three players from the disabled list over the past week in the personnel of Ryan Hanigan, Jonathan Broxton, and Ryan Ludwick. Each are expected to provide a huge boost to the team as we near the end of the regular season and the beginning of the playoffs.

One injured player the Reds shouldn't expect to return anytime soon is southpaw reliever Sean Marshall. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer caught up with manager Dusty Baker before Wednesday's game in Chicago and asked whether he expected to have Marshall back in the bullpen in the near future. Baker didn't seem too optimistic.

“I’m not expecting it,” Baker said. “If you expect things and they don’t happen, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re not expecting it and you get them back, you’re elated.”

Marshall has been sidelined since May 24 due to tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. According to Fay, he still needs to pass a strength test before resuming a throwing program. A test is expected to be done in the next few days.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Video: Highlights from Mat Latos' stifling start against Cubs



A day removed from a 13-inning game that taxed the bullpen, the Reds desperately needed a long outing out of their starting pitcher, and they got exactly what they needed thanks to Mat Latos.

Latos improved his 2013 record to 12-3 after scattering six hits and no runs over eight innings of work. The right-hander fanned nine, and did not walk a batter, with 68 of his 94 pitches going for strikes.

Brandon Phillips provided the only offense the Reds would need by blasting a two-run home run off former Red Travis Wood in the top of the seventh.

Aroldis Chapman slammed the door on the Cubs in dominant fashion by striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth. It marked the 28th save of the season for the Cuban.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Reds inch up one spot in newly-released power rankings


The Reds rode the strength of a 4-1 week to inch up one spot in ESPN's updated batch of Major League Baseball Power Rankings on Monday.

Cincinnati came in at No. 10 on the list, just two spots below the Cardinals, who fell three places from last week.

Meanwhile, the Pirates reign at the top was short lived, as the Buccos fell to the 3rd spot due mostly in part to losing three straight against the Rockies.

In other division notables, the Cubs moved up two spots to No. 23, while the Brewers stood steady at No. 27 for the fourth week in a row.

With seven weeks remaining in the regular season, here is an updated look at how both the National League Central Division standings look like, and the National League Wild Card:

Video: Watch Joey Votto lift Reds to walk-off victory



It may have taken 13 innings, but the Reds finally pulled out a win on Sunday thanks to a sacrifice fly by Joey Votto that plated Jack Hannahan, giving the team its second straight series win, and its fourth win in the past five games overall.

Offense didn't come easily for Cincinnati in the series finale against the San Diego Padres. The Reds finished the game with just five hits, three of which came from either pinch-hitters or the pitcher's spot.

Nevertheless, the Reds emerged victorious, capping off a 5-3 homestand before heading to Chicago on Monday for a three-game series against the Cubs.

Pittsburgh lost their game on Sunday, so the Reds moved to within five games of first place, while Arizona lost its game as well, pushing Cincy's lead in the Wild Card to 5.5 games.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Photo: A scouting report of Ken Griffey Jr. from 1987

Griffeyjrscouting-report_original

Former Red and Cincinnati native Ken Griffey Jr. was bestowed the honor of being inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame this weekend. And it's only a matter of time before Junior gains induction into both the Reds Hall of Fame and National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, as well.

Simply stated, "The Kid" was one of the smoothest and greatest players to ever grace the sport. The son of former Big Red Machine cog, Ken Griffey Sr., Junior took the game by storm from the very start of his professional career, electrifying fans with amazing catches and wowing fans with one of the sweetest swings of all-time.

All in all, it wasn't exactly rocket science to predict how great Junior was going to be. Nonetheless, scouts created scouting reports anyway. Here is a scouting report from 1987 dug up by Busted Coverage when Junior was just 17-year-old.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Reds to activate Ryan Ludwick on Monday


Monday can't come soon enough for the Reds.

The day will mark the glorious return of left fielder Ryan Ludwick as the team plans to activate him prior to its game in Chicago, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The 35-year-old has been on the disabled list since Opening Day after suffering a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The injury was sustained when Ludwick slid into third base against the Los Angeles Angels.

His return is certainly good news for an offense that desperately needs another run-producing bat in the lineup. In 2012, Ludwick produced 26 home runs and 80 RBI while maintaining a .275 average at the dish. When Joey Votto went down with a knee injury midway through last season, Ludwick was responsible for carrying the bulk of the offensive weight, and he definitely came through.

However, Ludwick stopped short of promising the same kind of production once he returns, admitting that he still needs time to get back into top form.

Video: Joey Votto talks about Friday's victory over Padres



Some rest and the activation of two players from the disabled list did the Reds well on Friday.

Fresh off its third off-day in a week, Cincinnati won its third game in a row by taking game one of the series against the San Diego Padres, 7-2, before 30,288 fans at Great American Ball Park.

One man who was instrumental in guiding the boys to victory was Joey Votto, who went 2-for-4, with two runs scored, two RBI, and a walk. Listen in on the video above to hear what the first basemen had to say about the win in a post-game interview on the field.

Also of note, Ryan Hanigan made the start at catcher after being activated prior to the game, and Jonathan Broxton closed the door in the ninth just two days after being pulled off the disabled list himself.

Bronson Arroyo pitched a gem to earn his 10th win of the campaign.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Help is on the way for Reds


by: Izsak Rapp
Staff Writer

With Jonathan Broxton's return, and other reinforcements on the horizon for the Reds, will it be enough to give it one last push for the first wild card seed or even for the National League Central Division crown? There is no way for sure to tell ,but there are a few things that you can be sure of.

We know what our pitching staff can do. With the current rotation, we know what to expect from the starters. Arroyo will continue to eat up innings, and Latos and Cingrani will continue to be the power pitchers that they are. I really can't say enough what Cingrani has done this season. Having a 6th man that is this dominate doesn't happen often. He could walk onto just about any rotation in the bigs and be an improvement. Bailey has been interesting. While his numbers don't show it, he has quietly had a solid season. As long as Leake can continue to work the same magic he has been preforming all season we will be in good shape. The crazy thing is the rotation can only get better when Cueto returns. He hasn't started throwing yet so his return is a big question mark right now.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

News and notes from MLB week 19


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Two off-days in one week seems like a second All -Star break. This will really help the Reds pitching staff.

A recent retiree told me that retirement is like having six Saturday’s and one Sunday each week.

Have I mentioned how much I hate losing to the St. Louis Cardinals?

Junior League update from last week; the Paintsville KY All – Star team advanced to the championship game of the Fort Wayne regionals with a thrilling 3 – 2 walk off win over Michigan. Unfortunately for the Kentucky state champs, Indiana eliminated Kentucky 6 – 3 to move on to the Junior League World Series in Taylor, Michigan. Congratulations to Ethan Osborne and his teammates for the outstanding showing in the tournament. We’re proud of you all! I must be getting old, I remember Ethan as a baby.

Video: Dayton Dragons fan makes outstanding diving catch



You may have already seen this incredible catch made by a Dayton Dragons fan Wednesday night, but if you haven't seen it, you definitely need to.

The incredible grab  as made possible after Dragons hurler Sal Romano surrendered a home run to Lake County's Jorge Martinez. As you can see, the ball sails well over the right field fence, and into the outstretched glove of one daring Dayton fan, but not before the brave soul goes slamming into the concrete wall. Fortunately, he appeared to be just fine afterward.

The only thing more impressive than the catch was the fact that the man immediately gave the souvenir to a kid sitting nearby in awe.

Now, that's what it's all about. Great job, sir.

A massive collection of off-day Reds notes


On Thursday, the Reds enjoyed an off-day for the third time in seven days, which left fans of baseball's oldest professional franchise searching for how to cope without a game to watch yet again.

Do not fear, folks. I have searched the worldwide web far and wide for some interesting notes and links for you all to mull over as we wait for Cincy's upcoming weekend series against the San Diego Padres.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

+ Reliever Jonathan Broxton was activated from the disabled list before Wednesday's game versus the Athletics. Broxton had previously been sidelined since June 15 due to a strained elbow.

+ Aside from Broxton, the Reds are hoping they can get two more players off the disabled list by the end of the week. Ryan Hanigan (wrist) is expected to be back in action sometime during the series against the Padres while Ryan Ludwick (shoulder) could be activated as soon as Sunday. Both players will be welcomed with open arms back to the clubhouse, I am sure.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Video: Watch Jay Bruce smash a two-run homer deep to right



For those of you who missed the Reds edge out the Athletics, 6-5, Wednesday afternoon because you were stuck at work, or for those who did and just want to watch the best parts over again, feast your eyes on this two-run homer launched by Jay Bruce.

Bruce tattooed an offering from Oakland's Bartolo Colon in the bottom of the third and deposited the pitch into the netting that hangs over the visiting bullpen for his 24th round-tripper of the season.

Bruce's longball on Wednesday moved him into a tie with Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown for the fourth-most home runs in the National League. Only three seperate the duo from the league leader, Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez, who has 27.

The 26-year-old Bruce also blasted a home run on Tuesday.

Video: Mat Latos dominates A's to earn 11th victory of season



The Reds were in need of a solid start by a starting pitcher after the Cardinals battered Cincy's pitching staff over the weekend. Fortunately, Mat Latos delivered one on Tuesday night.

The big right-hander limited the Oakland A's to no runs and four hits over 7.1 innings of work. He struck out three and walked three en route to improving his season record to 11-3.

He threw 108 pitches, 67 of them for strikes, and also slashed a single into right field in his third at-bat.

The 25-year-old is now 25-7 since being acquired prior to the 2012 campaign. That is pretty good, folks.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reds could have three injured players back by week's end


The cavalry is nearly here for the slumping Reds.

Cincinnati is set to get a huge shot in the arm by week's end as it expects to get back a trio of ailing players who have been on the disabled list, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Reliever Jonathan Broxton (elbow) is scheduled to come off the disabled list prior to Wednesday's matinee against the Athletics. Catcher Ryan Hanigan (left wrist) and left fielder Ryan Ludwick (right shoulder) are expected to be activated by the end of the week, too.

“Hanny’s close, Ludwick’s close,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “By week’s end, this could be a very good week. We’ve been operating with less than our team. The guys who taken their place have done a good job. But it’s time the big boys to come back.”

Reds receive recognition in Baseball America's 'best tools' post


Baseball America recently asked various major league managers to vote for the best players from each league based on a variety of categories. On Tuesday, the results of those votes were revealed, and a handful of Reds players received recognition.

Joey Votto took home the prize for "Best Strike-Zone Judgement," and finished runner-up to Giants catcher Buster Posey for "Best Hitter," and runner-up to Nationals first basemen Adam LaRoche for "Best Defensive 1B."

Brandon Phillips took the top spot for "Best Defensive 2B" by edging out Cubs second basemen Darwin Barney, who beat out Phillips for the Gold Glove Award a season ago.

The title of "Best Fastball" went to Aroldis Chapman, who also finished third in the "Best Reliever" category, behind Braves closer Craig Kimbrel and Pirates closer Jason Grilli.

Shin-Soo Choo made an appearance in the "Best Strike-Zone Judgement" by ranking third. The Korean native trails only Votto for the highest OBP in the National League (.416).

Monday, August 5, 2013

Time to put up or shut up for Reds


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

I’m writing this from the point of a passionate Reds fan who is deeply disturbed over the events of the past weekend, allow me to explain.

The definition of a coward is a person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things. What I saw this past weekend was baseball’s version of cowardice. The St. Louis Cardinals pillaged the village, causing mass mayhem in the process. Our heroes offered passive resistance with a meager win on Saturday. The Queen City may never recover. It’s a good thing this Reds team wasn’t around during World War II; we may be speaking German or Japanese right now.

Iconic Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman said it best on Friday night when he stated that St. Louis KNEW they could beat Cincinnati, the Reds hoped they could beat the Cardinals. Hoped they could beat the Cardinals???? Even the woeful 61 – 101 1982 Reds knew they could beat somebody.

Reds take a minor slide in updated power rankings


The Reds haven't been playing very good baseball recently and perhaps this is what led to them sliding three spots in the latest edition of MLB Power Rankings from ESPN.

Cincinnati ranked No. 11 this week after dropping two out of three in San Diego and getting absolutely pummeled by the rival Cardinals over the weekend. The offense has been stagnant, the starting pitching has been suspect, and there appears to be virtually no fight in Dusty Baker's bunch right now, who currently find themselves 6.5 games back of first place.

The team who is in first place, the Pirates, claimed the No. 2 overall spot in the rankings, while the other team ahead of the Reds in the National League Central standings, the Cardinals, dropped one spot to No. 5.

In other division-related news, the Cubs slipped two spots to No. 25, and the Brewers held steady for the third straight week at No. 27.

Mike Leake on Cardinals: 'They have our number for sure'


The Reds don't play on Monday and that is probably a good thing after Sunday's monumental beatdown at the hands of the rival Cardinals.

All in all, Reds pitching allowed 19 hits and 15 runs while the offense struggled to muster any kind of serious threat (outside of a two-run homer from Zack Cozart). The loss was every bit as brutal as it sounds and it effectively sent Cincinnati to its seventh loss in the past nine games.

Afterward, a few members of the team stuck around the clubhouse to try and make sense of what has been going wrong lately, including Sunday's losing pitcher Mike Leake (10-5).

"They got our number for sure," Leake said. "They play us tough. It's on us to try to figure them out because they got us figured out for the most part. But it's our job to figure them out a little bit better."

As good as Reds starting pitchers were on the West Coast road trip, they were equally bad at home this weekend, surrendering the most runs in a three-game series (31) since August 2010.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Reds minor league player arrested and charged with assaulting government official


Reds minor league pitcher Daniel Tuttle has found himself in trouble, again.

On Friday, Tuttle was arrested in Randolph County, N.C. and charged with four counts of assault on a government official, and one count each of second degree trespassing, assault on a government official inflicting serious injury, and attempting to break and enter.

The 22-year-old is currently being held in jail on $100,000 bond.

Aside from his personal life, Tuttle's professional career appears to be in disarray, too. In May, Major League Baseball suspended Tuttle for 100 games after a third violation of the league's drug abuse policy. Tuttle was previously suspended for 50 games due to a second violation in July 2011.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

An update on how 10 of the Reds' top prospects are performing in 2013


The turnover of Major League Baseball rosters is typically a slow and gradual effect that is relatively unnoticed by the casual fan. Players are either released, traded away, demoted, or retire, and are replaced by younger players who have worked their way up through the system.

Fortunately, the Reds appear to be in good shape for both the short-term and long-term future, as they boast several rising prospects who promise to fill the voids left behind by current stars and veterans. With that being said, here is a statistical update on how the organization's top 10 prospects (according to MLB.com) are performing in the minors this season. Enjoy.

*All stats are accrued through games ending before Aug. 2.*

Video: Brandon Phillips sits down with an interview for MLB Network



Brandon Phillips is arguably one of the best guys on the Reds to conduct an interview with. The Gold Glove second basemen is engaging, personable, and downright entertaining majority of the time, and he put his bubbly personality on full display during a recent interview with Sam Ryan for MLB Network.

In the short interview, Phillips discusses his teammates, his career accomplishments, and the comparisons he has drawn to former Reds second basemen Joe Morgan.

It's hard to believe Phillips is now in his eighth season with the Reds, making him the longest tenured player on the roster, outside of Bronson Arroyo. And Phillips continues to be one of the club's most productive and fan-friendly players on the squad.

Kudos to @DatDudeBP.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Reds hold mass wedding on the field before Cardinals game


Friday night will go down as a memorable one for numerous couples who decided to tie the proverbial knot on the field at Great American Ball Park before the Reds played host to the Cardinals.
The team announced an invitation for couples to be a part of "I Do on the Diamond" night at the stadium back in June. Naturally, many lovebirds quickly jumped on board with the idea. All in all, a total of 16 couples got married for the first time, while the other five couples simply renewed their vows.

Those who partook in the ceremony also got the chance to enjoy an exclusive reception in the team's luxurious Riverfront Club. The celebratory bash included an upscale dinner and an open bar. Couples were allowed to bring up to 10 guests with them to the reception, as well.

As alluring as that must have been to the couples, other onlooking fans didn't quite share their excitement. Here is just a few tweets from the momentous occasion.

Five under-the-radar Reds prospects who are turning heads this year


While Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Jay Bruce star on the field for the Reds today, the stars of tomorrow are currently fine tuning their skills in the farm system. Some of the more well-known prospects making their way through Cincinnati's system include speedster Billy Hamilton, outfielder Jesse Winker, and pitchers Robert Stephenson and Nick Travieso. Each of these players are considered among the top prospects in the organization and deservedly so. Each of these players were selected very high in the respective years of their draft and show great potential and promise for the future.

But what about all of those players who weren't drafted so highly? What about those players who aren't considered top prospects? Well, they are working hard in the minor leagues as well, and some of them might just be flying under-the-radar on their way to the big leagues.

Here is a handful of Reds minor league players who you probably haven't heard much about, but who are currently performing extremely well this season for their respective clubs.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

News and notes for week 18


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Off days aren’t just for baseball teams. I’m finally getting caught up on some serious sleep.

Winning five of eleven games on this annual dreaded West Coast road trip isn’t bad. I’d like to see next season’s West Coast swing scheduled in April.

Best wishes to the pride of Beauty, Ky., Ethan Osborne, who pitches for the Paintsville KY Junior League All-Stars. Ethan and his teammates will be representing Kentucky this weekend in the Junior League regional tournament in Fort Wayne, Ind. Winner goes to the Junior League World Series in Taylor Michigan beginning on August 11.

Useless Trivia; Angaleena Presley, of the country music group “Pistol Annies” is from Beauty, Ky.