Many have already written elegies for the once-mighty Harang, so I won't do it again here
Edinson Volquez pitched well (better than Harang) in his "rehab" start down in Dayton yesterday, striking out 10 in 6.1 innings. Harang labored to get through 2.1 against the Rockies in what is most likely the last start of his Reds' career. Walt and Dusty would be stupid not to sub in Volquez (or LeCure or Maloney or anyone else, really) for Harang the next time through the rotation. Aaron Harang has been one of my favorite Reds these very dark past 5 years, anchoring a piss poor staff of rotation mates and courageously leading them to 70-win seasons. He is but a shell of his former self now. Watching him yesterday, alls I could think of was Jake "The Snake" Roberts in the documentary Beyond the Mat. I think what I want more than anything else now is to see him one last time, in the World Series, as he takes the mound in an emergency situation. He pitches an incredible 5 shut out innings, clinching game 6 and the Ring. I know I'm being ridiculous, and this will only happen in my dreams. Still, Moses deserves better.
Hey, do you remember when everyone wanted Francisco Cordero to go climb a tree?
Baller's been throwin' rocks recently, tossing 10 straight innings without giving up a run. Better still, in his last 8 games he hasn't given up a walk. Reds fans have been bristly to their mercurial closer this season, as walks have haunted him like a Scooby Doo villain haunts a rundown skating rink or covered bridge. The bullpen is looking quite strong for the stretch run. They should be able to hold a good lead, especially one of 6 games.
Jay Bruce will take batting practice tomorrow
and if all goes well, he could be back in the lineup as early as Wednesday. He's been throwing and running and jumping and catching and dancing, but he has yet to hit. Once he shows he can do that without pain, he'll be cleared to play again. As for Laynce Nix, he has yet to run on his ankle. It doesn't seem like he's all that far from doing that though, so he should be back pretty soon too. You have to hope one of these guys gets healthy quick, because I'll be damned if they play any more with just 3 OFers. What is that all about? I mean, come on! Am I right?
That beloved legend, that hero of Reds fans across the globe, that savior of the season
Aaahhhhh, I'm just kidding. Nobody really liked Jim Edmonds, did they? Mercifully, it appears he most likely will not don a Reds jersey ever again. His strained oblique is apparently much worse than originally believed and it doesn't look like he'll be healthy before the season ends. This should open up a spot on the roster for a much more deserving (and much less annoying) player, such as Danny Dorn, David Sappelt, or Wladimir Balentien. Balentien is the more rounded player, as he plays good defense in the OF corners and has hit the snot out of the ball this season in AAA. Dorn though is strictly a platoon player, as he's smashed the hell out of right-handed pitching throughout his entire minor league career. He also plays the OF corners, but not as well as Wladdy. Sappelt is a speedy CF who has torn the minors to shreds this season, winning the AA Southern League MVP. Now that it seems more likely that Edmonds will be culled, look for one of these guys to take his place.
Have you missed Mike Leake as much as I have?
Don't worry, because he should be back pretty soon, as long as everything goes as planned. Leake was shut down a few weeks ago due to fatigue, but he will start long-tossing and working himself back into pitching shape. The ass end of the rotation has been smelling just so of late, and a resurgent Leake could be exactly what this team needs to push them over the finish line. Word is he'll long toss for a week and then work back onto the mound. If things go well, he could be back in the game for the last few weeks of the season.
In news from the Bizzarro World
Dan O'Brien and Wayne Krivsky were on hand to watch the Reds sweep the Brewers last week. Fay makes no attempt to hide his admiration for the two erstwhile Reds GMs, as he credits their work building the farm system for the terrific team we see on the field today. I get the sense that Reds fans are pretty ambivalent about DanO and SweaterBritches, but it's hard to refute the results. Also in this article, Fay talks with current executive Bill Bavasi, who had some admiration of his own for farm hand Yorman Rodriguez. Dig this: "When I was in Billings, he (Yorman) turned 18," Bavasi said. "He's played most of the year at 17. You put him at Moeller High and you wouldn't have heard of Bryce Harper."
That cute little boy from down the street Kenny Rosenthal has some interesting stuff in his latest
"Uh-oh", was all the scouts were saying at Aroldis Chapman's debut. I can totally dig on that shit. Also, The Reds and Dusty Baker have talked a bit more about a contract extension. Apparently the money is a sticking point, as Baker's $3.5 mil salary makes it difficult to justify a raise.
Redleg Nation asks "Is there one guy on another team that just gets under your skin?"
Before you all fall out of your chairs shouting out "CHRIS CARPENTER CHRIS CARPENTER OMFG CHRIS WLB CARPENTER!!!", Chad already mentioned him. Any others? Personally, I get all irrational in my hatred of Derek Jeter, Jonathan Papelbon, and Aramis Ramirez. Those guys are jerks.
MLBTraderumors has an informative run down of the Bronson Arroyo sitch
He is compared to other 2nd-tier free agent starters Kevin Millwood, Ted Lilly, Javier Vazquez, and Dave Bush. They are very confident that Arroyo will get a multi-year deal if he hits the FA market, projecting a two year deal for $20 mil. He should also hit his IP mark to up his club option from $11 mil next year to $13 mil since he's been such a horse. This isn't a slam-dunk easy decision either way, so it will be interesting to see how the Reds handle it. Personally, I think they should pick up the option, but I wouldn't be angry if they didn't as long as they spend the savings wisely.
Q: Seeing Jay Bruce take a shaving cream pie to the face during his post-game interview got me to wondering what was the best clubhouse prank you ever saw? — Frank, Milford.
A: The pie in the face routine is getting old, almost a cliché. Everybody does it and I can’t understand why players aren’t looking for it. It is as boring as The Wave. I’ve seen tons of pranks, but one of the best was when Scott Brown came to the majors armed with nothing with a fastball. When he saw other pitchers throwing curveballs he wondered how he could do that. So they sent him to a sporting goods store to ask for a box of curveballs. He actually went, and the players called the store to let them in on the gag. They sold a dozen balls, and when he used them and they didn’t curve he went back to the store demanding his money back.
Chris Carpenter, for all his (many, many) faults
understands that Joey Votto is a mensch. "He doesn’t have any holes," Carpenter said. "You’ve got to mix it up and try to be one step ahead of him. If not, you’re going to get beat – unless he hits it at somebody. He’s a tough out, and it s a fun challenge to go against him, no doubt about it." Yes, he is all of those things and more. He also volunteers at the local SPCA and makes his own stationary out of dryer lint. /dreamy sigh