The deadline to submit arbitration numbers is Tuesday
and Jocketty says there hasn't been much progress with any of the Reds' four remaining cases (Joey Votto, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, and Bill Bray). He's pretty confident that deals will get worked out without the help of the arbiter, but you never know.
If I were to guess, I'd say Votto and Volquez are the toughest cases. Cueto and Bray are the kinds of players that have multiple similar comparable players (I've been trying for about 15 minutes to find a better way to phrase that), so their cases should be pretty cut-and-dry. Votto and Volquez though are unique. Votto is coming off an MVP season, and their aren't many guys who have done that. Volquez had a great year in '08, but then got hurt. There just isn't as much track record there to work with. If any Red is going to arbitration this winter, it's gonna be either Votto or Volquez. In the morass of a boring off-season, these are the things with which we can entertain ourselves.
Fred Lewis is "very excited" to get to play for Dusty Baker and the Reds
Fab 1-5 Freddie says he grew up idolizing Ken Griffey Jr and always thought Cincinnati would be a great team to play for. It seems like Cincy was always his #1 choice this off-season. I guess all that talk about Dusty being the kind of presence that could draw big-time free agents is finally paying off. I gotta say, I swear I heard the wind whisper "Taveras" after reading this quote: "You can look for me to steal a lot more bases," said Lewis, who had a career-high 21 steals in 2008. "I'm working a lot on my speed. I'm doing drills in the sand to make me faster. I'm improving with age. Every year, I find something to work on. I'm capable of stealing 30-plus bases every year. I really want 30 or more this year."
Doug Gray wrote up a piece for Minor League Ball
comparing Devin Mesoraco with fellow catching prospect Yasmani Grandal. He gives the edge to Mesoraco, as he has more power potential and better defense, but Grandal likely has better plate discipline. Here's his summation: "I would rate Mesoraco out as a clearly better prospect, but that isn’t a slight on Grandal, as Mesoraco is just more advanced at this point while having a slight edge in tools nearly across the board. The Reds look to be in good shape in the future with both of these guys in their system."
The Fay is all excited about his new issue of Baseball America
with Aroldis Chapman featured on the cover. He also passes along the kind of statistic that hurts my eyeballs just to look at: from 2000-2007, the Reds got 98 starts from homegrown pitchers. Last year they got 102.
A small village in the Dominican heaved a collective sigh of relief
as they realized that the monster was not indeed invincible, as the legends had taught them. Juan Francisco fouled a pitch off his knee in the DWL and was hospitalized when it became infected. Jocketty says it's "nothing serious", so the townspeople should not rest just yet. The Destroyer of Children will be terrorizing them again soon enough.
Former Red and current Hall of Famer Frank Robinson was hospitalized
after experiencing dizziness and rapid heartbeat. He's serving as the senior veep of baseball operations in the commissioner's office and fell ill during a meeting with owners and GMs. It's hard to believe, but Frankie is 75. He's an old 75 though, so it's probably time to trade him.
He was released late yesterday and all seems fine though. The doctors said he was "a little dry." I dunno, but that sounds like a fake diagnosis. Like something Cliff Huxtable would tell Claire so he could get back to eating four pounds of pastrami and a case of cream sodas.