Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday's Reds news and notes

The first week of the regular season has not been kind to the Reds. Rain, injuries, and close losses have marred the initial outlook of where this team can go, leaving some of the more fickle and fair-weather fans looking for a way to jump off the bandwagon. While the first five games have not been easy to stomach, there's still 157 games to go, so it's not time to slam the panic button just yet. However, given the tough April slate ahead (STL, PIT, TB, ATL), the Reds don't want to bury themselves in the first month of the campaign.

As Will Ferrell once said in the movie Old School, "We gotta keep our composure. We've come too far. There's too much to lose. We gotta...keep our composure!"

And now a Sunday edition of Reds news and notes:

+ One of the bright spots in Saturday's crushing loss to the Mets was the fact that rookie Tucker Barnhart picked up his first major league hit with a single to right field in the third. He added another single in the fifth inning just for good measure.

+ John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer says injuries have taken their toll already on Cincinnati. General manager Walt Jocketty agrees by saying he's seen "nothing like this" in all of his years of baseball. The Reds currently have eight players on the disabled list and another (Billy Hamilton) who is day-to-day with an injured middle finger.

+ Speaking of Hamilton, the 23-year-old admits he's been pressing at the plate, and that has not led to favorable results for a guy who's considered to be among the contenders for National League Rookie of the Year honors. Hamilton is 0-for-12 with six strikeouts to begin the year.

+ Here's video of new manager Bryan Price looking very dejected after Saturday's loss to the Mets. It's about as bummed as I've seen him look since taking the job. "Nothing worked," he said.

+ Devin Mesoraco and Jonathan Broxton could come off the disabled list by the time the Reds meet the Cardinals in St. Louis on Monday. Meanwhile, Mat Latos is scheduled to make a start for Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday. If all goes well, Latos could join the club for next weekend's series against the Rays or the following series against the Buccos. [John Fay]'s Jerry Crasnick writes about how the Pirates are hoping to revitalize the career of former Red Edinson Volquez. As Crasnick documents, Pittsburgh has a recent track record of righting the ship of pitchers. Remember, Volquez is a guy who won 17 games for the Reds in 2008 and was in Cy Young talks all season long back then.

+ Another former Red, Darnell McDonald, officially announced his retirement via Instagram late Saturday night. He was signed to a minor league deal by the Cubs earlier this year.

+ After Sunday's series finale in New York, the Reds head west for a three-game set against the Redbirds. They'll follow that series up with an off day on Thursday before returning home to host the Tampa Bay Rays in their first Interleague matchup of 2014.

+ I'll leave you with this, top prospect Robert Stephenson turned in a dazzling outing Saturday night to help the Double-A Blue Wahoos blank the Smokies. Stephenson's final line:

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