I had to take a drink after I read this one
MLB FanHouse says Homer Bailey might just have turned the corner. It's a pretty standard piece, until they start explaining how he's done it:
Bailey credits two people for his improvement. Over the winter, he worked with University of Texas pitching coach Skip Johnson and figured out a mechanical flaw. (Bailey would have attended Texas had he not signed with the Reds.) "He noticed in one bullpen," Bailey said. "I came back for the second one and it was a noticeable difference. It was like, this is unbelievable." Bailey said he learned to "stand tall" and keep his weight back longer in his delivery, allowing him to be more consistent with his release point and his command. Then, this year at Triple-A Louisville, Bailey learned the split-finger pitch from teammate Justin Lehr, giving him a third pitch he could use in place of a changeup. "I never could throw a changeup...so it was like, to hell with it. I kind of tinkered with a split a few years ago and the organization didn't want me throwing it."
Hall o' Famer Hal identifies 5 factors that he thinks are going to frame the Reds second half
The tough schedule ahead (Milwaukee, LA, and the Cubs before the month ends), Joey Votto needs to play, the rotation needs to bring it together, the anemic offense needs to take some Flintstones, and the bullpen needs to stay on top of it.
Sky Kalkman at BtB came up with the coolest thing I've seen in a while
a spreadsheet calculator to estimate a player's true trade value. I've only got to play with it a little bit so far, but it is really, really cool.
Dave Cameron at FanGraphs has been counting down the players with the most trade value
you can read here for an explanation. Yesterday he looked at #30-#26, and our very own Jay Bruce shows up at #26. Here's what he had to say about The Boss:
"Don’t overreact to the .202 BABIP that has sunk his performance this year - he’s a 22-year-old monster power bat with defensive value as an outfielder. There’s legitimately best-player-in-baseball upside here if Bruce reaches his full potential, and he’s already a solid player. The Reds have a cornerstone foundation piece, as long as they don’t break him while trying to improve his batting average."
This was mentioned in the comments yesterday
but Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips are going to make sandwiches at Subway on Saturday from noon to 1. The Subway they will be gracing is at 6491 Bridgetown Road. They wont be signing autographs, but you can still go down and get a cold cut combo and give 'em a pat on the back.