Dusty Baker is an undercover agent for Bristol-Myers Squibb
I believe he is working for the pharmaceutical giant to induce massive heart attacks in the greater Cincinnati area so they can boost sales of their anti-blood clot drug Plavix. Exhibit A:
"We’re not really sure if we’re going to start him again – which we are already strong there – or do we need him in the bullpen? You know, the bullpen was new to him last year. That’s why we kind of [inaudible] so to speak in that role, tried not to overpitch him, not too many innings. But I see him personally probably being somewhere in the back end of the bullpen. Because it’s hard to find a guy that can get righties and lefties out equally and that gas he has and you haven’t even seen his breaking ball and his changeup yet so his potential is unbelievable. So probably somewhere in the back end of the bullpen."
We are through the looking glass here, people. The initial shock of hearing such a monstrous idea may still be ringing in your ears, but take comfort in remembering that Walt, the man in charge, has stated numerous times his desire for The Cubandolero to continue gunning down banditos in the rotation.
Knowing this, it's really difficult to explain what Dusty is doing here. I find it very difficult to believe that Dusty would be so willfully ignorant as to suggest Chappy would be better off in the bullpen, and to openly defy his boss in the process. Is this perhaps a way of telling us that "nothing is set in stone" or "all options are still on the table"? Such non-answers are rarely so concrete as this one though. The only plausible explanation I can come up with is that Dusty has a vested interest in the success of heart attack drugs. It's like I'm Jim Garrison here.
The last shovelful of dirt has been tossed on this Reds season
Those of you who were (un)lucky enough to get Reds playoffs tickets should see your refunds hit your credit cards soon. 'Tis better to have loved and lost, I guess.
The Fay closes out his _______ Question series by looking at the rotation
He sees the Reds picking up Bronson Arroyo's option, locking up one of the 5 spots. Johnny Cueto is a no-brainer too, so the last 3 spots come down to Edinson Volquez, Travis Wood, Homer Bailey, Mike Leake, and Aroldis Chapman. He lists them in order of likelihood.
I agree with this assessment. Volquez is still working his way back from surgery so you have to give him the benefit of the doubt. He'll also earn $$ in arbitration so it would be tough to send him to the minors or the bullpen. Homer is out of options so it's either the rotation or the bullpen for him, and I think he's earned his shot in the rotation. Chapman has started 12 professional baseball games in the United States so he's pretty easily ruled out. He'll start in L'ville again.
So the last spot comes down the Wood and Leake (heh heh) again. I'd go with Wood, but I guess I can't complain either way. There may be some temptation to trade from this depth, but I'm pretty strongly against that. Just as There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect, I also believe There Is No Such Thing As Pitching Depth.
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance has voted Joey Votto the winner of the Stan Musial Award
which from what I can tell is like winning a BAFTA or a Latin Grammy. The one everyone cares about will be announced after the World Series.
Doug Gray sums up Todd Frazier's season thusly:
"Overall it was a disappointing season for Frazier as his overall line was just .258/.333/.448 with 45 walks and 127 strikeouts. The rate at which he walked and struck out were the lowest and highest he has ever posted in the minor leagues since being drafted." He was on top of the RR prospect rankings last offseason, as well as the BA rankings. He had a terrific August/September with a combined OBP above .400, but he was pretty embarrassing up until that point. Here's hoping it was only a bump in the road.
Baseball Prospectus mentions the exploits of Henry Rodriguez in the VWL
Kid had 54 XBH this season and he's not slowing down in his native Venezuela. Last year's DWL MVP Juan Francisco commenced the defense of his title by going 3 for his first 5.
Carson Cistulli at FanGraphs has sorted through Dan Szymborski's Minor League Equivilents
If you are unfamiliar with MLEs, it's basically a way of divining hypothetical Major League production from minor league numbers. Showing up on the list is Red Reporter favorite Danny Dorn. Here's what Cistulli has to say about him:
"Is a "poor defensive player," per our man Marc Hulet. As of August 20th of last year had .197/.239/.394 career mark against southpaws in his career, but .293/.358/.475 against right-handers. Slashed .313/.420/.562 against righties in 2010, only .259/.306/.483 against lefties. Small sample, small sample, small sample. Blocked at the ML-level by Joey Votto who, in addition to being a better hitter than Dorn, is also way more Italian."
I still think Dorn can be a very good left-handed bat at the Major League level, but only as the better half of a platoon. If the Reds go cheap this winter in LF, a tandem of Gomes and Dorn could handle the job adequately, I would guess. Also showing up on this list is former Reds farmhand Justin Turner, who was traded along with Brandon Waring and Ryan Freel for Ramon Hernandez and burned it up for the Mets' AAA team this past season. Daryl Thompson shows up on the pitcher list, just aching to move to the bullpen. Literally.
Red Reposter NEWS FROM HELL
Reports are that as the White Sox wrangled to lock down their always-entertaining manager Ozzie Guillen this summer, the Marlins inquired on his availability. Trading managers is not unprecedented of course, Lou Pinella was traded to the Rays for Randy Winn earlier this decade. The bombshell is that the Marlins were talking about sending top prospect Mike Stanton to make the deal happen. The Marlins were talking about sending top prospect Mike Stanton to make the deal happen. THE MARLINS WERE TALKING ABOUT SENDING TOP PROSPECT MIKE STANTON TO MAKE THE DEAL HAPPEN. Oh. Em. Gee. If the Marlins are that desperate for a player's manager then maybe we can send them Dusty. Pick up the phone, Walt!
UPDATE: It looks like the Marlins never discussed such an absurd idea. The White Sox were just sitting around playing "Wouldn't it be cool if..."