- Fay - Is Dickerson passing Stubbs?
Earlier this month Dickerson mouthed off to the press about not getting the chance to compete for the CF job. But Fay writes that his ST performance since then has spoken much louder. Dusty Baker's pleased with how Dickerson has reacted to the controversy: "That’s how you do it: You play your way into it. You don’t talk your way into it." Mark Sheldon adds that Stubbs needs to get going soon. Dusty says that that he's not worried but "[Stubbs] needs to get going here pretty soon.... I'd like to see him make some more contact because he's struck out a lot, and try a couple of bunts." RL Nation sums up my thoughts - basing the decision on a couple dozen exhibition games is silly.
- Stubbs responded yesterday with a double and a triple. Trent notes that in going 2 for 3, Stubbs, who describes himself as a slow starter, raised his average from .100 to .174. If he keeps that up, he'll almost be hitting .400 in three days! "I told you give me time," Stubbs said with a laugh. Stubbs, Jay Bruce, and other bats led the Reds to a 13-7 win over Arizona. Johnny Cueto pitched out of jams, inducing a couple of DPs in allowing two runs (earned, but caused by Drew Stubbs losing a double in the sun) in 3 2/3. Phillipe Valiquette hit two batters in giving up three runs in an inning. I'm guessing he's one of the Reds that will be cut this week.
- Today the Reds have a split squad, and Stubbs and Dickerson will lead off and play center in the two games. Some Cuban prospect will be starting his first game in the afternoon against Milwaukee. The other squad will play Cleveland in the evening. All proceeds from the evening game will go to the local YMCA.
- SI Vault 5.25.87 - These Are Red Letter Days
Speaking of CF, I was fooling around in the SI Vault and found this 1987 Ralph Wiley article on Eric Davis. Davis was coming off a great '86 season but really burst on the national scene in '87, starting in the All-Star game and winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. Pete Rose gushes about Davis throughout the article. "It's like having an atomic bomb sitting next to you in the dugout," Rose says at one point, presumably in a positive way. Davis, a quiet and proud player, didn't necessarily seek the limelight but wanted to make an impression: "I don't want to be famous. I want to be secure. I don't want the world. I just want a piece of it. I want people to remember Eric Davis." Mission accomplished.
- Sheldon - Cabrera brings vocal leadership to Reds
Scott Rolen is typically portrayed as the quiet leader-by-example type, but Orlando Cabrera is apparently a different type of leader. Sayeth Dusty: "He's a leader that doesn't mind leading.... He's vocal. He believes he's a winner and he believes he can help us win. He believes where he goes, winning follows." Cabrera's certainly vocal. After starting off sluggishly for the A's last year, he said of his performance: "I suck. For real."
Also, I had no idea that Orlando was Jolbert's brother.
- CNATI - Francisco to get a shot in LF
Trent reported that in yesterday's game the Reds started Juan Francisco in LF. END's hot start has made him impossible to ignore, though Dusty is well aware of Francisco's weakness: "I want to get him in there, we've still got to work on him because he's extremely aggressive," Baker said. "We've got to work on his pitch selection a little bit. They're starting to go out of the zone on him and he'll start to get a reputation and that's what they'll do. I'm very confident he'll make the adjustment." That message didn't seem to resonate yesterday, when END saw only three pitches in three PAs. Per Sheldon, Juan is "really comfortable" in the OF from growing up in the DR. Wherever he plays, hopefully Francisco will continue his power rampage. I was at Saturday's game in Mesa against the Cubs, and Juan's second HR went over center field in no time at all. It was one of those really cool moments where you could hear the crowd gasp.
- Fisher hurting
Fay reports that RHP Carlos Fisher is out with a sore right elbow. No MRI scheduled yet. The Reds will rest Fisher a few days, but if that doesn't work, it's the ol' pokin' stick.
- Steve at Seeing Reds is taking in all the action down in Goodyear
and posting his observations. He also has a load of fantastic pics, so go check it out.
- MLBTradeRumors.com - Execs Name Best, Worst Moves Of The Offseason
The Reds signing of Aroldis Chapman checks in as one of the best free agent signings of the winter, according to an MLBTR survey of "several MLB executives." The survey might have more meaning if we knew what counted as an exec and how many were surveyed, but it's still great to hear that the industry considers the Chapman deal a big positive. The other good FA signings: Felipe Lopez, Adrian Beltre, Adam LaRoche, Chone Figgins, and Hideki Matsui.
- Quick! What's the celsius-fahrenheit conversion?
Ask Johnny Bench! OMG Reds, via Deadspin, links this somewhat odd interview aboot everything from today's young catchers to the BRM versus the '09 Yankees. Johnny might want to start worrying about passing his next driving test.
- The Times Daily (Florence, AL) - End of the line for David Weathers?
David Weathers wouldn't mind joining a contending team if the situation is right, even if that's not until June or July. But if this is it, he has no regrets. "There's nothing I can do to ever be at the level of competition that I was in when I was wearing a major league uniform," he said. "I was at the top of my profession, and there's not a whole lot of softball leagues that can fill that void. The big league lifestyle? I'm not going to miss it." (HT to BBTF).
- BtB - HOF Careers Stopped by Injury
Jeff Zimmerman shows us a WAR graph for several players who have had their careers impaired by injuries. Our own Scott Rolen is one of the better showers. Even with injuries, he has a legit argument for the Hall of Fame. A 6 WAR season this year would certainly help matters. :) (Thanks, JinAZ)
- FanGraphs - FANS say Reds have 15% chance at the playoffs
Which sounds about right. The projected standings are based on the FANS player projections. St. Louis is the easy division favorite, with a 63% chance of taking the Central. The big surprises to me are the Dodgers, who have only an 18% chance at the West (considerably lower than Colorado or Arizona), and the Phillies, who "trail" the Braves 56% to 23% for winning the East.
- Baseball Musings - The draft and race
The aftershocks of Torri Hunter's comments continue. Here, David Pinto links to a Pittsburgh paper's article about the draft and black (i.e., african-american) participation in baseball. Both agree that the draft has decreased black participation in baseball, but Pinto disagrees that a worldwide draft is the solution. I'm not sure he's right. A worldwide draft decreases the teams' incentives to run international academies. That should leave more resources to develop domestic talent. In any event, to me class is more important than race in all of this. For several years baseball has become a more suburban, affluent sport. It's going to be very difficult to stop that tide. As different groups gravitate towards that demographic, you'll see more baseball participation from them.
- Baseball Prospectus | Squawking Baseball - At Bat 2010
This review, which looks only at the iPhone version of the new At Bat 2010 app, concludes that "most of what you'll find are only slight upgrades to the previous edition." We've had this conversation recently, but what do people think about At Bat on the iPhone versus the Droid or other non-iPhones? And how solid is the audio feed on both?