A not-at-all-fun fact fron Mark Sheldon's latest, which asks the question we've all been muttering to ourselves as we lay awake at night: "Are you worried?": The Reds have a 16-30 record against the six remaining real NL contenders - the Cardinals (6-12), Braves (2-3), Rockies (2-4), Phillies (2-5), Padres (1-2) and Giants (3-4). What does this mean? None of these individual records look too unsightly, except that one against the Cardinals. Aside from being the upstart team with some fundamental holes in the roster, the Reds also seem to have something of an inferiority complex. Good teams cause them to press, which can snowball into team-wide flailing. That, and everyone's injured apparently, including our pride.
Bruce reports back on his BP session
"It was fine" is how a taciturn teenager describes a day at school. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Bruce wouldn't commit to a date of return. While Friday had been the tentative goal, that seems optimistic. Meanwhile, there's little sign of improvement with Laynce Nix, who is eligible to return from the DL Friday. Fay foresees staggering along with thee right-handed outfielders, but I really wish they wouldn't. There seems to be a willingness by the club to take too much for granted in a sport with a long history of epic collapses, injuries and other sundry weirdness. Things that don't last: leads of eight games or seven runs, six healthy outfielders, pitching surpluses. I don't expect the Reds to find an outfielder on the black market and spirit him out to Denver for this afternoon's game, but Bruce seems about 50/50, or worse, to return with the Reds at home this weekend. If he does, he likely won't be 100%. Oh, I've been screaming this in an empty cell. Well, never mind then.
This twitter sentence (is there a name for these?) from Fay sez that Dusty's extension offer is for multiple years
It's not hard to understand why the Reds want to retain the first manager to oversee a playoff contender in a decade, but anyone who's followed the team closely this year - or Dusty's managing career - should have reservations about the kind of tactical and personnel decisions Dusty makes in games that matter. Considering the man in full though, and the various peccadilloes of other MLB-managers, does it really get a lot better than Dusty?
Devin Mesoraco was a finalist for Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year
Redleg Nation brings us the details. Jeremy Hellickson ultimately pulled down the award, but Devin's name was tossed around among the final three by Baseball America fundits. The organization's catching depth has exploded, seemingly overnight. It's more than just a prospect bias to say there's a lot of talent in the pipeline at premium positions.
Hall o' Famer Hal joins the chorus of cooler heads calling for a general cooling out period
But here's some more bad news as a salvo: "Shortstop Orlando Cabrera’s side is acting up again and it is obvious Brandon Phillips is still suffering after effects from his hand injury. Chris Valaika replaced Phillips in mid-game Wednesday." Just skip to the end and delight in the story about how Hal hit a home run in spring training.
MLBTradeRumors takes a look at Jonny Gomes' 2011 option
The team has an option on Gomes for $1.75MM, which is a bargain price for a guy who OPSed .879 in '09. Even as a 4th/5th outfielder, this seems like a good deal, especially with bonus fan and clubhouse appeal. But Jonny cannot be the solution to start in left field. His platoon splits are too stark and his defense too unreliable. I'd hate to see him unhappily moldering on the bench. So maybe if you love something set it free?