Red Reporter Comfortably Numb(er): .310/.394/.554 (Daniel Dorn's lifetime minor league line against right-handed pitching)
CNATI wonders aloud about the Harang Situation
Baker zigged last when asked what was to become of Aaron Harang after another shellacking: "I don't know, I just got beat to death. I haven't had time to think about it." I'll go ahead and feel you on that, Dusty, except I guess I've had entirely too much time to think about it. CNATI lists four pitchers in AAA that could be considered for a call-up sometime in the near future: Wood, LeCure, Maloney and Chapman. It seems likely that Ondrusek will be sent down sometime soon, so he could be replaced with Maloney, given that he's already being considered for a bullpen role. Harang could be skipped next time through the rotation also, but if he lays another egg, Maloney could slide in for some spot starts and Harang could be Zamabranoed. You know us, we're Harangheads 'til the end, so I'd like to see him get a couple more chances to get back on track. It's not like October hangs in the balance.
Joe Morgan is still not fired
Generalissimo Francisco Franco? Still dead. If anything, Joe's less fired, having taken on another job as special assistant with the Reds. Fay reports that Morgan's "biggest role will be helping the Reds promote participation by African Americans in the game." Say what you will about his contributions to baseball discourse, we should applaud efforts the Reds have made lately toward outreach. A city with the history of racial tension and insensitivity like Cincinnati benefits from RBI and events like the Civil Rights Game, though hopefully these efforts go beyond the symbolic. Joe's also going to do some guest broadcasting, but according to Fay's tweet, this will not affect his arrangement with ESPN. And he's building a Honda dealership in the area. With Toyota's recent struggles, maybe this a shrewd move. Joe for GM! That is to say, buy a GM dealership
That august publication, Baseball Prospectus, takes a look at the Volquez suspension
Will Carroll provides a pretty thorough account, casting aspersions on Volquez's official statement, though by no means calling it implausible. He suspects the drug was Chlomid, an anti-estrogen drug that can help block side effects of steroids, though the drug could be used for fertility purposes and whether it was or not should be apparent in the levels of the drug detected by the test.
One potentially damning piece of circumstantial evidence is the fact that Volquez was on pace for one of the quickest recoveries from Tommy John surgery, though again Mr. Carroll provides a nuanced analysis: It's well known that steroids can help a pitcher recover, both from fatigue and injury. It's less clear that any sort of Clomid-type drug could have similar effects. Again, these drugs can be used in combination with steroids, as it is suspected in the case of Manny Ramirez. Given the timing of the test at the start of spring training, it is well within the realm of possibility that a player could have done a cycle or two of steroids during the offseason, hoping that he would avoid the random testing, and then use Clomid or hCG to "kick start" their normal testosterone production as they came off cycle. Cutting it so close to a known testing date is dangerous and stupid (as if using the drugs weren't dangerous and stupid enough) but certainly possible. It makes it difficult to accept Volquez's excuse at face value, absent more corroborating evidence.
Pedro Viola is an Oriole
The word "Oriole" looks weird in the singular. He wasn't great in AAA last year, but he did post a 10+ K/9 rate. While losing Viola has little perceptible effect on the organization, the Reds should not be in the habit of dumping bullpen depth to add players like Miguel Cairo to the 40-man.
Chapman Day is tonight
Aroldis goes for the bats tonight at 7pm in Indianapolis. Free your mind from the drag of Today's Reds by thinking of that magically delicious future a 100 MPH fastball brings. I'm not advocating drug use, but maybe I should?
Bryan Price, presumably, has been advising the pitching staff in some capacity
I haven't been at all impressed with Price's results so far, but it's also impossible to know what extent he's responsible for the early struggles. He had this to say about the staff: "We’re not overpowering as a starting rotation. You need to be aggressive to our strength and really a lot of that is pitching down in the strike zone to put the ball in play early." It's certainly true that the Reds staff doesn't put out a lot of high heat - and their success likely lies in generating ground balls - but it's just a little bit quixotic to have a pitching strategy that prescribes having the other team hit the ball more. Danny Ray Herrera and Mike Leake seem to be the models of success in terms of under-powering arms: commanding a wide range of pitches and painting the edges on good hitters.
Do you want to submit to a vetted, virtual queue of questions for Chris Dickerson at 2pm ET?
Chris is hitting the Earth Day press circuit to promote his non-profit and will be live chatting on the Reds site today. I know some of you aren't big Dickerson boosters, but he does seem to be one of the more accessible, socially-engaged players on the Reds.
OMGReds looks back ruefully at Reds pitchers with terrible Aprils
I'm not sure why we're inviting more self-torture into our lives, but this does seem to be a pattern
Headline for Red Hot Mama's "Daily Brief" on the heels of a 14-6 loss to the Dodgers: "Reds suck at football too"