Monday, March 31, 2014

Study: Reds boast one of most affordable average ticket prices in baseball



There is no denying that the cost of attending a Major League Baseball game can be expensive. Not only do you have to splurge for the price of the ticket itself, but most fans also have to worry about expenses such as parking, food, drink and perhaps a souvenir or two.

With that being said, if you are going to attend a game, one could do far worse damage on their wallet than taking in a contest at Great American Ball Park. According to a new study conducted by Team Marketing, the Reds boast one of the most affordable average ticket prices in the league.

With an average ticket price of $22.03, only six MLB franchises offer a lower average cost than the Reds. Those franchises are Arizona, San Diego, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta.

Jim Bowden: Don't sleep on the Reds


Look around at the majority of baseball publications this time of the year and let me know what you see. Chances are that you will find the Cardinals being picked as runaway favorites to win the division. Furthermore, you may also notice that many prognosticators don't have the Reds making the postseason at all.

Listen, there are certainly plenty of questions and concerns with the current makeup of Cincinnati's roster. However, if healthy, there's no reason not to believe Bryan Price's club can be awfully good.

ESPN analyst and former Reds general manager Jim Bowden believes this and that's what led him to pen a piece warning outsiders not to sleep on the Reds. In the column, Bowden opines that the Reds are actually a better team now than they were a season ago. He justifies his position by saying Billy Hamilton is a defensive upgrade in center field and that Tony Cingrani has superior stuff to Bronson Arroyo.

What's new at Great American Ball Park this season?

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Ready or not, another year of Reds baseball at Great American Ball Park is upon us, starting today with the season opener against St. Louis. It's been a busy winter around the stadium as additions and improvements have been made to enhance fan experience. The following is a look at some of the more notable ones:

New Concessions

• The Reds Brewery District - The most noticeable ballpark feature new for the 2014 season is The Reds Brewery District, an 85-foot-long bar between sections 117 and 118 on the third base concourse. It will be home to 60 taps featuring 23 different craft beers plus Anheuser-Busch products Bud Light, Goose Island and Stella Artois. A dozen local craft beers will be served including selections from Christian Moerlein, MadTree, Blank Slate, 50 West, Rhinegeist, Mt. Carmel and Rivertown. New selections will be rotated in throughout the season.

• Moerlein Lager House Craft Beer concession stands - Two Moerlein Lager House craft beer concession stands are debuting, offering several of the local favorite's craft beers and 48 bottled beer selections. The Moerlein Lager House concession stands are located behind section 130 on the first base concourse and 113 on the third base concourse.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Reds opening day roster is complete


The 2014 25-man Opening Day roster for the Reds is complete. As expected, spring injuries really altered the way this list came out in comparison to preseason expectations. With that being said, there's bound to be some confusion, so here is a brief recap of what the Reds did in order to achieve this finalized roster:

+ Selected the contracts of non-roster spring training invites Trevor Bell, Roger Bernadina, and Ramon Santiago. Because these guys weren't on the 40-man roster, three spots had to be opened up. Two were opened by moving Jack Hannahan and Brett Marshall to the 60-day disabled list.
+ Designated RHP Pedro Beato for assignment to open up one more spot on the 40-man roster.
+ Reassigned Cory Miller, Jumbo Diaz, Jeff Francis, Jason Bourgeois, and Kristopher Negron to Triple-A Louisville.
+ Placed Aroldis Chapman, Mat Latos, Sean Marshall, Devin Mesoraco, Jonathan Broxton, and Skip Schumaker on 15-day disabled list.

And now a look at the Opening Day roster (courtesy of Better Off Red):

Everything you need to know about Reds opening day roster

                                         

There hasn't been a season in recent memory that the roster was more uncertain entering Opening Day than this one for the Reds. Injuries have made the roster shuffle absolutely maddening for new manager Bryan Price and crew. But the beginning of the regular season isn't going to wait and it's forced Cincinnati to make some tough decisions.

Following the exhibition game in Louisville on Saturday, the picture started to become much clearer as far as the Opening Day roster is concerned. Here's what we know at this point.

Roger Bernadina, Neftali Soto, Trevor Bell  and Tucker Barnhart were each named to the Opening Day roster by Price immediately following Saturday's game, according to the official Twitter account of the Triple-A Louisville Bats. Shortstop Ramon Santiago was named to the 25-man roster earlier this week.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Chris Nelson asks for release from Reds

It appears Chris Nelson will not be in the mix with the Reds this season after opting out of his contract and asking for his release, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

The 28-year-old was hoping to nab a spot on the Opening Day roster after accepting an invitation to spring training as a non-roster player. Unfortunately, that plan didn't come to fruition.

Nelson batted a respectable .317/.348/.463 with one home run and seven runs batted in this preseason in 41 at-bats. However, manager Bryan Price and the rest of the powers that be didn't see Nelson as worthy of one of the 25 spots on the roster.

It's back to the drawing board for Nelson after having spent the 2013 season with three different clubs (LAA, COL, NYY).

Via MLBTR.com 

Jim Bowden: Jay Bruce will earn National League MVP honors


Former Reds general manager Jim Bowden often receives a lot of criticism from fans about his thoughts and opinions on the game. In my opinion, his willingness to constantly divulge his two cents simply makes for good baseball banter. His "seven bold predictions for 2014" piece from Saturday serves as the latest evidence.

In the piece, as the name may allude to, Bowden gives seven daring predictions for the upcoming regular season. The most notable one as far as Cincinnati is concerned is No. 6. Simply put, the ESPN analyst believes Jay Bruce is in for a monster season.

6. Jay Bruce wins NL MVP

Top 10 opening day games in Reds history


There's nothing quite like Opening Day in Cincinnati. The pageantry, the tradition, the promise that only a new season can bring; it all adds up to one of the most anticipated days of the year for the Queen City. The city has been lucky enough to celebrate many of them since baseball's first professional team was established in 1869. And in honor of yet another one, I thought it'd be neat to take a look back at some of the more memorable ones in franchise history:

March 31st, 2011 – Reds 7, Brewers 6-Milwaukee becomes the first team in 42 years to open the season with back-to-back homers. However, it isn’t enough to ensure them a victory. Capped by Ramon Hernandez’s walk-off 3-run homer (his fourth hit of the day), the Reds rally to score four runs in the bottom of the ninth to send the GABP crowd home happy. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first Opening Day walk-off homer in history in which the team was trailing by at least two runs at the time of the homer.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Audio: Joey Votto's most recent radio interview


In case you missed it, Joey Votto went on the radio with Lance McAlister earlier this week for his final interview of spring training.

It was conducted while Votto was navigating his way through Phoenix traffic following Cincinnati's game against the White Sox.

During the interview, which begins around the 16-minute mark, the Reds first basemen discusses his struggles at the plate this spring, signing autographs in public, whether the team is good enough to win the division, and the effect Billy Hamilton's speed has on him as a spectator.

Brandon Phillips adds input for cool feature in 'MLB: The Show'

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With four Gold Glove Awards to his credit, Brandon Phillips knows a thing or two about defense.

The flashy second basemen recently met up with a developer for the video game franchise known as MLB: The Show and added a defensive suggestion for future makings of the game.

“There needs to be a button to make bare-handed attempts,” says Phillips. “It should be called the ‘Showtime’ button or something like that, where you can not only pick up the ball barehanded, but you can attempt other trademark moves like flipping the ball between your legs or behind your back for a double play. Anything highlight-worthy would be on this button. It would be like baseball’s version of the freestyle button.”

Four Reds receive nods on 'Baseball Tonight' top 100 rankings list

The ESPN "Baseball Tonight" crew has been ranking, shuffling, and prognosticating like crazy over the past couple of weeks. On Thursday, their look into the proverbial crystal ball concluded when they unveiled a list of their top 100 players in baseball.

Here is a look at which Reds players made the rankings (the number in parenthesis represents their ranking from 2013):

No. 6 - Joey Votto (No. 9)
No. 48 - Aroldis Chapman (No. 46)
No. 62 - Jay Bruce (No. 55)
No. 79 - Mat Latos (No. 73)

For those of you keeping score at home, Cincinnati put a total of four players on the dubious list. The Nationals led the National League with eight players and the Cardinals and Dodgers weren't too far behind with seven a piece.

Meanwhile, the Cubs and Astros failed to produce one player in the rankings. I don't think this fact is a shock to anyone though.

Video: Live a day in the life of Mike Leake, look inside Todd Frazier's temporary home



Ever wonder what it would be like to live the life of a major league player in spring training? Well, now you can thanks to this video produced by the Reds of pitcher Mike Leake.

You see, the Reds followed Leake around in Goodyear, Arizona recently and the end result is a video capsule highlighting the right-hander's average day.

Apparently, No. 44 is quite the jokester. Pretty entertaining guy, eh?

From the 7:30 point on, the video turns its attention to the spring training home of Todd Frazier. Watch as the Reds third basemen gives us a peak around the residence as only he could.

The last part of the video gives us a glimpse on how new skipper Bryan Price goes about his day managing the club. I've got to say, he looks more than capable.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

CBS Sports baseball writers don't think too highly of Reds


One would be a fool to not admit that there are some question marks surrounding this Reds club entering the 2014 regular season.

The manager who previously led Cincinnati to postseason appearances in three of the last four years is gone. The best leadoff hitter in the game last season is gone. And one of the anchors of the pitching staff has made his home elsewhere as well.

Now, that's not to say the Reds haven't made strides to replace those missing parts. New skipper Bryan Price figures to be more than capable of doing the job. If Tony Cingrani can pitch anywhere near the level he did in his rookie campaign, the Reds will be just fine in the area. And if Billy Hamilton can reach base better than 4 out of every 10 times atop the batting order, look out.

Fearless forecasts for MLB 2014


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

(Editor’s Note: Dan has been diagnosed with Eczema, causing a minor skin rash and has been given steroids for his condition. We have asked MLB to not suspend Dan for the use of performance enhancing drugs while typing this article. To our Redlegs Review readers, if any of his predictions seem completely off the wall please remember, it’s the steroids talking.)

Now that we’re only hours away from the start of the 2014 baseball season I thought I’d blow the dust off my crystal ball and give my predictions for the new season. Hopefully they’re better than last seasons!

Beginning in the American League East is there anyone that even comes close to the Boston Red Sox? Sure the Yankees spent more money this past offseason even luring Jacoby Ellsbury from the defending World Champs to the “Evil Empire”. New York has improved their team but I don’t think it will be enough. Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon is a genius and should have his team competing with the Sox for the top spot in the division. The future may be now for Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles, while I believe the Toronto Blue Jays will wallow in last place for the second year in a row.

Forbes: Reds 20th-most valuable franchise in baseball


The premier business magazine in America has spoken and it declares the Cincinnati Reds as the 20th-most valuable franchise in Major League Baseball.

So, how much is baseball's oldest professional franchise worth? According to Forbes, the Reds boast an estimated value of $600 million, which believe it or not is actually well below the MLB average of $811 million.

Here's how Forbes justified their calculations:

Forbes team values are enterprise values (debt plus equity) and include completed television deals that begin in the future, but exclude the equity interests in other assets the team may own, such as regional sports networks or concession businesses. Revenues and operating income figures include all revenue and expenses for each team and its stadium where applicable.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ramon Santiago tabbed for opening day roster


While the 25-man roster has yet to be officially announced, one player who definitely knows he'll be suiting up for the Reds on Opening Day is 34-year-old veteran Ramon Santiago. On Wednesday, the non-roster invite was informed of the club's decision to include him on its roster.

"They gave me the news. I'm very happy," Santiago told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. "I'm looking forward now to help somehow. I will try to do my best to help the team win some ballgames."

Santiago gives the club a bonafide shortstop to backup Zack Cozart. However, what he doesn't give the Reds is a ton of offense. He entered Wednesday hitting just .225 (9-40) in spring training. His career average in 12 big league seasons is not too far off from that at .243. Still, Santiago is eager to contribute in any way that he can.

Report: Reds boast largest payroll in division


Regardless of how the 2014 season plays out for the Reds, no one can fault ownership for not heavily investing in the team.

According to a report by the Associated Press, Cincinnati's estimated team payroll of $112.39 million ranks as the largest among all National Central Division clubs, and 12th-highest of all teams in Major League Baseball.

The rival Cardinals aren't too far behind at $111 million though. Meanwhile, the Brewers ($103.8M), the Cubs ($89M), and the Pirates ($78.1) rank 16th, 23rd, and 27th, respectively.

The cash-happy Dodgers topped the list with a payroll of $235 million. Thus, ending a 15-year streak by the Yankees as the largest spenders in baseball.

Via Deadspin

ESPN predicts the Reds will miss out on playoffs


In 2014, the Reds are gunning to make their fourth trip to the postseason in the last five years. As always, it won't be easy and new manager Bryan Price definitely has his work cut out for him. However, many outsiders still believe the Reds will get to the promised land again.

One entity that doesn't believe Cincinnati will return to the postseason is ESPN. In their recently published MLB Forecast post, Jim Caple, David Schoenfield and Christina Kahrl took a stab at prognosticating the seasons of every squad in the National League. As you can see from the illustration provided above, the pair chose the Reds to finish in third place with a record of 84-78, missing out on making the playoffs by just one game. According to ESPN, the Pirates and Braves will earn Wild Card berths while the Nationals, Cardinals, and Dodgers will win their respective division.

Via ESPN

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pete Rose's house up for sale for $2.15 million

Play Ball - Pete Rose Home!

The 4,700-square foot Los Angeles-area mansion Pete Rose bought in 1999 is now up for sale at a cool price tag of $2.15 million. And it comes with a ton of bells and whistles.

Rose currently resides in the Sin City and presumably felt the time was right to put the lush Sherman Oaks home on the market.

Here's an excerpt of the listing from Rodeo Realty:

Do you have what it takes to conquer the Reds' new bacon challenge?

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The Reds face many challenges in their bid to reach the postseason for the fourth time in five seasons. Aside from weathering a flurry of spring training injuries, Cincinnati will have to contend with the division favorite Cardinals, a scrappy Pirates bunch, improved Cubs and Brewers squads and replace the voids left behind by free agents Bronson Arroyo and Shin-Soo Choo.

Fortunately, Reds fans won't have to bear the burden of such daunting tasks. But what fans can do, however, is partake in The Bacon Challenge at Great American Ball Park, which is not for the faint of heart nor for the folks who scoff at the idea of crazy amounts of culinary goodness in one setting.

Here are the details of this aforementioned challenge:

Reds set to sell gourmet waffles during games

Taste of Belgium

Move over, hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, cotton candy, and peanuts. There is a new item on the Cincinnati Reds' list of concession offerings and it's Belgian waffles.

That's right. Beginning next week, fans who desire to sink their fork (and teeth) into a warm waffle will have the chance to do so thanks to the Cincinnati-based company Taste of Belgium.

The Official Waffle of the Cincinnati Reds will be available from a concession stand down the first base line. The menu options include a plain waffle for $5, a waffle with chocolate and whipped cream or strawberries and cream for $7, their signature waffle and chicken for $10, and Belgian frites for $7, which are similar to the food item we know as French fries.

Started in 2007 by Belgium native Jean-Francois Fletchet, The Taste of Belgium currently features five locations spread across Ohio and northern Kentucky.

Via Cincinnati Enquirer (Photo Credit: Taste of Belgium)

Where does 'Baseball Tonight' rank Joey Votto among first basemen?


Over the last week, the ESPN "Baseball Tonight" crew has been cranking out top 10 rankings at each position on a day-by-day basis. On Tuesday, the time had come to unveil the rankings for first basemen.

To no surprise, Joey Votto ranked favorably on the list, but just how high did he finish? How about second behind only Detroit's Miguel Cabrera.

This ranking is a notch below where Votto ranked on this same list in 2013. That was mainly due to the fact that the "Baseball Tonight" crew categorized Cabrera as a third basemen though (Prince Fielder played first base for the Tigers).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Aroldis Chapman tagged as second-best closer by 'Baseball Tonight'

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For the second consecutive year, the ESPN Baseball Tonight crew has tagged Aroldis Chapman as the second-best closer in baseball, trailing only Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves.

The top five list, which was unveiled Monday, can be seen here.

To compile the top 100, more than 40 ESPN experts were polled in February, starting with a list of more than 350 players. Using a 0-to-100 scale, they evaluated the players based only on how well they will perform in 2014. Players expected to miss 2014 with an injury were not included. 

Of course, Chapman is expected to miss at least a little time this season due to injury. He was on the wrong end of a line drive to the face in a spring training game last week and is expected to be out until May while he recovers.

Video: Aroldis Chapman visits clubhouse, speaks with reporters



Sunday marked the first day Aroldis Chapman spoke with the media since being hit in the face with a line drive off the bat of Salvador Perez last Wednesday.

All things considered, the Cuban native seemed to be doing well and was in good spirits. According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, the club wasn't aware he was visiting the clubhouse until about 15 minutes before he arrived. But Chapman's teammates were certainly happy to see him when he popped in.

“It was great to see him. He was in good spirits,” manager Bryan Price said. “He’s been through a lot, quite a bit beyond the incident itself.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Report: Reds looking to fill temporary closer role with J.J. Putz?


With Aroldis Chapman out of action until at least the middle of May, coupled with the slowly rehabilitating arms of Jonathan Broxton and Sean Marshall, the Reds could very well be looking for an outside solution to temporarily serve as the team's closer.

While the club does have internal candidates to fill the void, namely J.J. Hoover, Sam LeCure, Broxton and Marshall, a report by Jon Morosi of FOX Sports suggests the Reds could be "keeping an eye" on Arizona Diamondbacks reliever J.J. Putz.

Putz is a veteran right-hander with plenty of experience at closing. The 37-year-old is a former All-Star and has racked up 32 or more saves in four different big league seasons. Furthermore, Putz is in the last year of a four-year deal that pays him $7 million in 2014, so finances wouldn't be too much of an obstacle. Price also knows Putz well from their time together in Seattle where Price served as pitching coach.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Video: Another look at Roger Bernadina's three-run jack



So, Roger Bernadina has proven to be a good late offseason addition thus far.

The 29-year-old signed a minor league deal with the Reds in late January and has been nothing short of superb in spring training. At the time of this writing, the Curacao native was batting .441 with three home runs and ten RBI. More importantly, his on-base percentage was hovering around the .600 mark.

Seen here is Bernadina tagging a three-run bomb against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.

His solid play and the injury to Skip Schumaker has made him a strong candidate to make Cincinnati's Opening Day roster. Originally signed with the intent to provide some depth behind Billy Hamilton, Bernadina could force his way into the lineup if he continues to hit like this.

Of course, Chris Heisey and Ryan Ludwick have a thing or two to say about that.

Saturday's gigantic mixed bag of Reds news and notes



+ First off, a big congratulations is in order for Todd Frazier and his wife Jacquelyn as the married couple welcomed their first child on Thursday. Here's a shot of the two preparing for delivery before Blake Brian Frazier was born shortly thereafter. The little guy weighed in at 10 pounds and 7 ounces.

+ One of the biggest news items from Saturday was the announcement of Skip Schumaker's injury. The scrappy veteran is expected to miss a month of action after dislocating his shoulder trying to make a diving play in Friday night's game.

+ On Friday, Mike Axisa of CBS Sports penned a 2014 team preview of the Reds. In a nutshell, Axisa believes the Reds can contend for a Wild Card berth, but says the possibility of a division crown is "unlikely." Axisa also opined that the Reds have "a very defined window of contention," adding that he wishes the club would have down more in the offseason to improve the roster.

Skip Schumaker out a month after dislocating shoulder


The injuries keep piling up for Bryan Price's club with Skip Schumaker being the latest to succumb to the walking wounded list, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

On Saturday, it was announced that the veteran is expected to miss about a month of action after dislocating his left shoulder. The injury was sustained in Friday's game when Schumaker tried to make a diving play in the outfield.

"My glove stuck," he said. "My body kept going forward and it popped out. (Trainer Paul Lessard) came out and popped it back in."

Audio: Joey Votto chats it up in radio interview, again



After going consecutive weeks of appearing on the radio with Lance McAlister, Joey Votto hit a bit of a drought recently with the onset of spring training. But the drought ended Friday night when the All-Star first basemen was gracious enough to share his time with the Cincinnati sports radio host, again.

Apparently, Votto conducted the interview while driving home after Cincinnati's 9-3 win over the Royals.

Some of the topics covered include Votto's impression of Billy Hamilton, meeting Bob Knight and Tony LaRussa, his lackluster defensive season in 2013, reaction to Aroldis Chapman's injury, and much more.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Photo: Aroldis Chapman's post-surgery photo is crazy

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Aroldis Chapman took to his Instagram account on Friday to share a hard-to-believe photo of what his head looks like post-surgery.

On Wednesday, you will recall that Chapman was on the wrong end of a screaming line drive hit by Salvador Perez, forcing Chapman to be carried off the field in a stretcher. He was quickly transported to a nearby a hospital to receive further evaluation.

On Thursday, the southpaw had surgery to repair the broken bone around his left eye and nose. The procedure involved the installation of a permanent metal plate, screws, and apparently lots of staples.

The photo above serves as evidence of the aftermath.

Reds picked to finish second by ESPN


The March 31 edition of ESPN The Magazine features Major League Baseball previews galore. This is appropriate considering how close we are to Opening Day at this point.

Within the glossy pages lies a preview of the National League Central Division. Not surprisingly, the Cardinals are picked by ESPN to finish atop the league standings, with a record of 91-71. However, not too far behind them are Bryan Price's Reds, who ESPN predicts will go 85-77 and finish in second place.

The four-letter network factored in a variety of variables aside from roster talent including ego, diversity, and demographics. Cincinnati boasted 84 wins before these latter factors were mixed in with the equation. Basically, it was determined that Cincy's team chemistry would add one total win to their overall record. That might not sound impressive at all. But consider this: Every other team in the division saw their overall win total decrease because of team chemistry as opposed to increasing like the Reds. Yes, even the Cardinals, who began at 93 wins before chemistry variables were inputted.

One important thing to note is that this preview was done before the scary injury occurred to Aroldis Chapman. So, that could knock down the projected win total by one or two. 

Countdown to opening day and other stuff


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

I, like most Cincinnati fans was holding my breath on Wednesday evening after hearing the news that closer Aroldis Chapman got hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City’s Salvador Perez. Early reports are saying that Chapman suffered some facial fractures which is good news compared to what could have happened. Chapman is expected to be out from six to eight weeks, but that’s really unimportant.

I listened to a replay of the incident and Marty Brennaman seemed close to tears while describing what happened. The usually jovial Jeff Brantley was rendered speechless. In the forty five plus years I’ve followed Reds baseball I’ve never heard a stadium that quiet. I think it’s time that Major League Baseball lowers the amount of Spring Training games teams play and develop a better way to protect pitchers. To the person who tweeted this was karma for Chapman throwing at Cleveland’s Nick Swisher last season; please allow me to say that you are an absolute idiot.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Aroldis Chapman to miss 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery


The good news for Aroldis Chapman is that last night's line drive he took to the face could have resulted in much worse. But the bad news is that the Reds closer will have to miss 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair the damage.

According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Chapman was set to undergo surgery Thursday afternoon to shore up fractures above his left eye and nose. In order to accomplish this, Chapman will have a plate inserted into his head, which will be forever permanent.

Dr. Timothy Kremchek expects Chapman to make a healthy recovery and "absolutely" expects the hurler to be able to pitch again this season. Thankfully, Chapman suffered no brain damage nor did he ever lose consciousness.

In fact, after being transported to the hospital, teammates say Chapman was in relatively good spirits considering the circumstances. Reds catcher Brayan Pena said Chapman was even telling jokes.

The Cuban native could begin throwing off flat ground in as soon as 2-3 weeks.

Scary video surfaces of Aroldis Chapman getting struck in face by line drive



One of the scariest baseball injuries you are likely to see came Wednesday night in Surprise when Aroldis Chapman was on the wrong end of a screaming line drive hit by Royals catcher Salvador Perez.

The ball jumped off Perez's bat so quickly Chapman didn't even have time to finish his follow through. The impact of the baseball striking Chapman's face was more than enough to send the Reds closer writhing to the ground in agony.

A stretcher had to be toted in to haul Chapman off the field. After some brief discussion between both managers, the umpires decided to call the game prematurely in the sixth inning, out of utmost respect to Chapman and the other players.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Aroldis Chapman leaves field on stretcher after taking line drive to face


A scary moment unfolded on the field Wednesday night when Aroldis Chapman had to be taken off the field with a stretcher after getting hit in the face with a line drive. The line drive was batted by Royals catcher Salvador Perez.

C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer chronicled the whole experience and noted how serious the situation appeared to be.

The game was immediately called after the umpires got together and deemed the best solution was to prematurely end it in the bottom of the sixth.

No word yet on the severity of Chapman's condition. More to come.

Update (11:35 PM): Rosecrans is reporting that Chapman suffered a laceration and a contusion above his left eye. However, the southpaw never lost consciousness.

Jay Bruce pegged seventh-best among right fielders

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The "Baseball Tonight" crew has been cranking out top ten lists this week and Wednesday marked the day to reveal baseball's best right fielders.

After ranking fourth in these same rankings a year ago, Jay Bruce slid down three spots to seventh this time around. That was good enough to rank ahead of Carlos Beltran, Jayson Werth, and Hunter Pence, but just shy of finishing ahead of the likes of Jose Bautista and Yasiel Puig, among others.

To compile the top 100, more than 40 ESPN experts were polled in February, starting with a list of more than 350 players. Using a 0-to-100 scale, they evaluated the players based only on how well they will perform in 2014. So, there's that.

Last season, the 26-year-old Bruce slashed .262/.329/.478 with 30 home runs and a career-high 109 RBI. We can expect more of the same from the two-time Silver Slugger in 2014.

How do you feel about Bruce being ranked seventh overall?

On this date in Reds history: Lockout ends and championship season ensues


The 1990 Wire-to-Wire Reds will be a team that fans always remember. But there was a time at the beginning of the year when it looked like the Reds might not play baseball at all.

Negotiations over a new labor agreement between players and owners stalled for months leading up to the 1990 season before eventually spilling over into the commencement of spring training. A basic deal was finally struck between the two parties on this date exactly 24 years ago after a 32-day lockout. The rest is indeed history as Cincinnati went on to claim its fifth championship in franchise history with a convincing sweep over the Oakland A's in the World Series.

This excerpt comes courtesy of Redleg Journal:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Photo: Todd Frazier plays baseball better than he parks

Judging by this photo, Todd Frazier is much better at playing baseball than he is at parking his vehicle in tight spaces.

The evidence comes courtesy of Frazier's teammate Kris Negron as the latter snapped a quick photo in an Arizona Cracker Barrel parking lot.

The vehicle Frazier boxes in on the right is none other than fellow teammate Devin Mesoraco. All kidding aside, the move was probably intentional and just a good natured ribbing.

This is how you build good team chemistry, guys.

Via @KNegs17

Reds looking to reacquire Didi Gregorius?

It's been less than a year and a half since the Reds sent promising shortstop Didi Gregorius to Arizona as part of a three-team trade that included Shin-Soo Choo. But might the club already have an interest in bringing the slick-fielding defender back?

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, it certainly doesn't seem like it's out of the realm of possibility. Heyman targeted Gregorius as a player who could potentially be traded in the near future. And the veteran baseball writer listed the Reds among organizations who might be in need of some middle infield help.

With recent reports suggesting that Chris Owings has won the shortstop battle for Arizona over Gregorius, it makes the latter relatively expendable, which is good news for teams such as the Reds who are currently lacking organizational depth at shortstop. However, Owings' name has also been thrown around in the rumor mill as a possible trade candidate in recent days, so it remains to be seen what transpires.

Video: Brandon Phillips awarded stolen base thanks to instant replay



The Reds were able to use the newly implemented replay system to their advantage Monday afternoon when getting an out overturned to a stolen base.

The review was sparked when Brandon Phillips attempted to steal third base in the bottom of the fifth against the Indians. As the video above shows, Phillips was able to slide in safely on a bang-bang play, but was called out initially on the field.

Bryan Price challenged the call with the umpires and an official review eventually resulted in the crew overturning the call to a stolen base for Phillips.

The Reds won the game in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Video: Steve Selsky lifts Reds to walk-off win



Not many Reds fans probably knew who Steve Selsky was entering Monday's spring training game. In fact, some may still have a clue who he is. But the youngster made his presence felt with a walk-off double against the Indians.

Watch as the 24-year-old rips a two-bagger down the third base line to plate a pair of runs and propel the Reds to their fifth straight victory of the spring.

In 2013, Selsky split time between Single-A and Double-A where he slashed .297/.388/.497 in 423 at-bats. The University of Arizona product also smashed 13 home runs and 80 ribbies.

A 33rd round draft pick by the Reds in 2011, Selsky has already defied the odds by hanging around the professional ranks this long, so maybe he'll be a name we'll want to keep in mind as a few more years passes. Again, it's a longshot, but you just never know.

'Baseball Tonight' includes Brandon Phillips among baseball's top second basemen


ESPN's "Baseball Tonight" crew is counting down the top ten players at each position until capping off the series on March 27 by revealing the overall top 25.

More than 40 ESPN experts were polled in order to compile the rankings. On Monday, they unveiled their top ten list of second basemen. Reds Gold Glove wizard Brandon Phillips came in at No. 7.

 It should be noted that the No. 7 ranking he received by BBTN is three spots lower than he received in 2013. Aging second basemen Chase UtleyIan Kinsler and Aaron Hill also saw their stock drop in the dubious poll, but none more than Phillips.

The 33-year-old was snubbed a few months ago when MLB Network did not list him among the game's top players at his position. Naturally, the exclusion of Phillips sparked an outcry from Reds fans on social media, and perhaps provided greater motivation for the longtime Cincinnati fixture to prove critics wrong.

Former Reds southpaw Bill Bray announces retirement from baseball

Former Reds left-handed reliever Bill Bray has decided to retire from professional baseball amid continuing injury to his throwing shoulder.

The 30-year-old made the announcement in a series of tweets on his Twitter account late Sunday night.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday's Reds news and notes


+ Saturday saw the Reds put on an impressive offensive display as Bryan Price's crew scored a whopping 16 runs in a win over the Brewers. It marked the most runs the team has scored in a spring training game since also plating 16 against the Yankees in March 2002.

+ Chris Heisey smacked his MLB-leading fifth home run of the spring in the rout. He's certainly making a strong push for more playing time (You can view video of his blast right here). Roger Bernadina, Chris Nelson, and Neftali Soto also went deep in the onslaught in Arizona.

+ Homer Bailey was scratched for his scheduled start on Saturday after experiencing a strain in his right groin. No worries though. The injury isn't serious and isn't expected to cause him to miss more time than Saturday's start.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Video: Watch Chris Heisey smash his fifth home run of the spring



Chris Heisey has been flat out knocking the cover off the ball this spring.

The 29-year-old entered Saturday tied for the major league lead in home runs on the spring with four. By the end of the first inning against the Brewers, Heisey had five home runs and sole possession of first place atop the home run leaderboard.

Heisey's been doing more than just slugging long drives though. His .412 batting average in 34 at-bats pays evidence of that.

Ryan Ludwick is currently penciled in as the everyday starter in left field. But it's going to be hard for Bryan Price to keep Heisey's bat out of the lineup if he continues to swing like this.

Reds set new attendance record at Goodyear Ballpark

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A crowd of 8,015 was on hand to watch the Reds notch a 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday. That figure was enough to set a new club-attendance record at Goodyear Ballpark.

The stadium, which houses both the Reds and Indians, has a listed capacity of approximately 10,311 and is hosting its sixth spring training after opening in 2009.

The game itself lasted just two hours and 13 minutes.

Before the game, former Red and current Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was presented with his 2013 team MVP trophy. Reds players stood outside the dugout and applauded to show their appreciation as Choo received his hardware near home plate.

Photo: St. Louis fan gets Cardinals logo shaved into back of head

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It's safe to assume this individual is a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.

The fan has made this known by taking the measure of getting the Cardinals logo shaved into the back of his head. Some careful colorful has been added as well to punctuate the illustration.

All in all, here's some ammo for Reds fans to use against the Redbirds this season, as if Reds Country didn't already have enough reasons to dislike their perennial division rivals to the west.

Via @MDean09