We recently focused a Farmer's Market on potential roster moves and who might get called up, but after the recent disastrous and frustrating stretch of baseball, combined with Edinson Volquez's boneheaded and short-sighted comments yesterday along with Jonny Gomes utter implosion, at least one roster move seems likely today, if not more. So once again we take a look at who has made a good case to be called up as well as who seemingly missed an opportunity. And since this is such a pressing matter, you get bonus fresh and stale prospects!
UPDATE: Recent twitter rumors indicate that Matt Maloney is going to be called up. This indicates to me that Volquez is going to see some minors time and Sam LeCure is going to be slotted in to the rotation. Color me unimpressed. I didn't include him at all in this list, but if I had he definitely would've been stale. He gave up 13 ER in 14 innings over his last 2 starts, and was pretty terrible in Cincinnati this year too. Hopefully this is a very short term thing.
The Good: Reineke has been a very consistent and consistently good starter this year in Louisville. In 8 starts and 1 extended relief appearance he has thrown 51.2 IP with a 2.61 ERA. Also, he happened to pitch yesterday, and turned in a gem (see below) so Volquez's spot would fall on Reineke's normal day as well. The Bad: He's been good mostly through smoke and mirrors (27 Ks, 16 BB), which highlights his marginal stuff. There's a reason he's a 29 year old with only 23 career IP in the majors. I'd say this is a longshot.
The Good: Since being sent back to Louisville, Fisher has pitched well, giving up 2 ER in 9.1 IP of relief. He's already on the 40 man, and if the team decides to insert LeCure into the rotation, Fisher would be the logical choice as a long man. The Bad: You kind of know what you're getting with him, which is: Meh. Still, for a front office that seems to make safe decisions whenever possible, I'd say this is the most likely scenario.
I'll go on record as saying I don't think there's any way Jonny Gomes gets a DFA, DL, or any other move that takes him off of the active roster. There's just too much clubhouse baggage associated with that move, and as I said above, this organization seems to consistently make the safe, "by the book" moves, and removing Gomes doesn't qualify. HOWEVER. If they decide a shakeup is necessary, left field is the most obvious choice. I'll put it out there that I think they are just as likely to remove Fred Lewis as Gomes, but if they remove Gomes, Todd Frazier is the obvious choice. He has hit .324/.381/.595 in his last 10 games, and his OPS on the year is up to .945. Even better, he's mashing both lefties (1.012 OPS) and righties (.907 OPS). He plays a decent to good LF and 3B, and is even a passable 1B.
If they decide for some crazy reason to let Fred Lewis go instead (I mean, think about it: He makes less than Gomes, isn't nearly the clubhouse presence Gomes is, doesn't have the history with the club or players, doesn't play amazing defense, and hasn't exactly torn it up thus far), I think you could see Alonso called up. He too has done everything he can to force the club's hand: 1.018 OPS in his last 10 games, .925 OPS on the year, he's walking almost as much as he's striking out, the power is emerging, and he's even handling lefties well (.833 OPS). If they decide to hand the starting gig to Chris Heisey, Alonso would make a great LH power bat off the bench, occasional starter in LF, and occasional starter at 1B to give Joey a break. For some reason, this seems more likely to me.
This is a double whammy of bad timing for D-Train. After coming reasonably close to making the club out of spring training, and then starting the year very impressively in Louisville, Willis has gotten hit around a bit in his last 4 starts, then literally got hit Saturday, taking a line drive to the leg and knocking him out of his start after just 2 innings. I would've liked to have seen him get a chance in the Reds bullpen, but I'd say the odds of that happening any time soon are very slim.
One could make the argument that he was better than both LeCure and Volquez in his time in the Cincinnati rotation. Still, even ignoring his rough 1st start in AAA, does anyone think the Reds want to call him back up at this point? I feel like between the Macy's incident and his complete inability to adjust to the bullpen, Leake has a just slightly greater than zero chance of getting called up. I guess we'll see.
This is actually wildly unfair to Hermida, who has hit a ton since going back to AAA. He's OPSing .964 in his last 10 games and his total line for the year is extremely impressive. But that's in AAA. For some reason I think that the club will give more credence to his abysmal .111/.111/.278 line in his short time in Cincinnati. Unfair, perhaps, but would you really rather see Hermida than Alonso?
The other obvious area for improvement is at the SS position. (It was painful watching Jose Reyes tear up the Yankees on Saturday night. I don't care if he's a bigger a**hole than Chris Carpenter. I want him on my team). Cozart has actually improved a lot of late (.931 OPS in his last 10) but his line on the year is still not impressive enough to force Walt to make a change (.732 OPS). I'm afraid it's going to take an injury to Janteria to give Cozart his chance. Or, Walt could trade for Reyes and we could end this discussion once and for all.
- Louisville won on Friday, 9-8. Daniel Ray Herrera struck out 2 in 1.2 IP of relief. But this one was all about the hitting. Zack Cozart doubled and walked, Yonder Alonso was 2-5 with a double, Juan Francisco was 2-4 with 2 doubles, and Todd Frazier was 2-4 with his 10th homer of the year. On Saturday the team lost 8-6. Dontrelle Willis was mediocre before getting hit with a line drive and exiting early. Kris Negron, Juan Francisco, and Todd Frazier each had 2 hits. Frazier's included his 11th homer. Sunday the Bats won an uncharacteristically low scoring game, 2-1. Chad Reineke lasted 8 innings, giving up just the 1 run while striking out 7. Zack Cozart homered, his 3rd. Up Next: Mike Leake hopes for a better result, starting at 7:15.
- Carolina won on Friday, 5-4. Justin Lehr, Nick Christiani, and Brad Boxberger each threw a shutout inning of relief. Boxy included 2 strikeouts. Quintin Berry was the offensive star, going 4-4 with 2 doubles and a walk. On Saturday they lost 5-1. Daryl Thompson had perhaps his best start of the year, going 7 IP and allowing just 2 runs on 6 hits. He struck out 6 and walked none. Unfortunately, Donnie Joseph continued to struggle, giving up 2 runs in 1 inning of work. In a typical Mudcat performance, no hitter had more than 1 hit, and there were only 2 extra base hits. They finished the weekend by winning 4-1. Miguel Rojas was 2-5, and Neftali Soto had 2 doubles. Nick Christiani and Brad Boxberger each threw a shutout inning. Boxy had 2 more strikeouts, bringing his season total to 35 in 20.2 IP, or a rate of 15.2/9. Crazy. Up Next: Someone will start at 7:15.
- Bakersfield won 7-6 on Friday. Pedro Villareal was solid, lasting 7 innings and giving up 2 runs (1 ER) on 6 hits. Mace Thurman threw 2 shutout innings of relief to earn the win. Brodie Greene, Josh Fellhauer, and Carlos Mendez each had 2 hits. Fellhauer and Alex Buchholz each homered. On Saturday the team lost 5-4 in 11 innings. Henry Rodriguez was 3-4 with a walk and his 5th homer and Josh Fellhauer was 2-5. The team won on Sunday, 5-4. JC Sulbaran had his second straight good start. He lasted 7 innings, giving up 3 runs and striking out 5. Six different players had multiple hits, and Chris Richburg was 4-5. Up Next: Lance Janke gets the start at 10:05.
- Dayton lost 9-5 on Friday. Dominic D'Anna, David Vidal, Jaren Matthews, and Tucker Barnhart each had 2 hits. Billy Hamilton was 1-3 with 2 walks and a stolen base. They played an 11 inning game Saturday, winning 4-2. Josh Smith was absolutely dominant, giving up 2 runs in 7.1 IP but striking out 13. Dominic D'Anna won the game with a 2 run walk off homer in the 11th. Sunday they won 3-2. Yorman Rodriguez was 2-4 with a walk, and Donald Lutz was 2-4. Up Next: Daniel Corcino tries to continue his great start to the season. Game starts at 7:00.