I won't even comment on this
I just don't know where to start. Apparently after three games, Dusty Baker has seen enough of Yonder Alonso in left field to conclude that he can't hack it. I just...I won't even comment on this.
Q During the off-season is it in the Reds’ best interests to deal Yonder Alonso — or maybe Joey Votto? — Scott, Miamisburg
A They both play first base, and there is only one first base, so something has to give. So far, Alonso has shown he knows which end of the bat has the most hits. But they can’t relegate him to utility duty for two more years while Votto is here. One must go, and believe it or not, keeping Alonso and trading Votto might be best. Votto only signed a three-year deal and is eligible for free agency after his contract expires. He’ll be unaffordable to the Reds, and Alonso will be much cheaper, and maybe (a big maybe) as productive as Votto. For sure, though, one must go.
I'm not sure what to think about the amount of play this "Trade Votto" discussion is getting. That's not to say I'm completely against it (I'm not), but rather that I'm really surprised that so many, especially people like Hal, are so open to it. I guess I'm so used to being on the vanguard that I'm taken aback when it turns out I'm more mainstream than I thought (/condescending smirk).
But more to the point, I'm just wholly unconvinced that the Reds can strike a fair deal if they decide to trade Joey Votto. According to FanGraphs , Joey is the 7th most valuable player in baseball today. There just aren't many players out there that are better than him, or even as good as he is. There is a reason that players like him are never traded. Teams know that they cannot get a fair deal, whether in prospects or in major leaguers. Again, I'm not philosophically against it, but pragmatically I just don't see how it is possible.
I'd trade him for Justin Upton.
Video - Ken Rosenthal sports ridiculous bow tie; doesn't think a Votto-Bautista trade makes any sense
for Toronto. And he's got a point - Bautista is under team control for another three years after Votto's deal is done, and at a pretty good rate.
Just to make sure
Joey Votto was asked if he would consider moving to left field to accommodate Yonder Alonso. He's been asked this many times before, and has answered the same way every time. "I think I’m a pretty good first baseman," Votto said. "And I think one the best attributes as a team is infield defense. We have four very good — and obviously at second and third — great defenders."
It's certainly not unprecedented for an MVP-caliber player to switch positions (Pete Rose, Robin Yount, and Alex Rodriguez come to mind), but respect for and comfort of the player are taken very seriously in baseball. And that's not a bad thing. If Joey was willing to try it, it might be worth checking out. But this is ultimately a non-story.
Scott Rolen is feeling better after his shoulder surgery
The question is whether or not he will return to play some baseball this season. "I have aspirations of returning this year and they have aspirations of me returning this year," he said. "It is less than a week from surgery and I still have to strengthen it, but we are going to rehab it correctly and see where we are and play some more baseball. When we get to that point, we'll make a decision."
I have a feeling that in a month or so when this debate becomes a bit more meaningful, the Reds will be 12 games out and realize that it doesn't make sense for him to play a week and a half of meaningless baseball. We'll see you in spring training, Scotty.
Seth Smith hit two dingers off of Homer Bailey
and the Rockies scored five runs off of him in the three paltry innings he threw last night. It's worth mentioning that the rain delay is the official reason he didn't go deeper into the game, but he was getting hit around pretty hard in the short time he was in there. Time is running out for Homer Bailey. He is out of minor league options, so he can't be sent down to AAA again without being exposed to waivers. He is only 25, so he's still relatively young, but certainly the hope was that he would have it figured out by now. Perhaps he never will. Or perhaps the shoulder injuries this year have had a greater effect on him than he and the Reds are letting on.
Either way, his position in the Reds rotation is a tenuous one at best. Maybe he would perform better out of the 'pen, or with a change of scenery, or after an off-season's worth of healing time. It doesn't so much matter now that the season is all but over, and the Reds can keep running him out there every 5th day in the hopes that he can straighten things out. But the Homer Bailey as Reds' Ace of the Future story will probably remain unwritten.
Dennis Janson at the KY Post fires a sharp criticism Dusty Baker's way
Baker made the decision to go with a sick Johnny Cueto on Saturday and the consequences were universally negative. Cueto didn't make it out of the 4th inning and the already beleaguered bullpen was taxed yet again. There are many reasons why this years' team will not make the playoffs, "but like the pitchers he has so often let dig too deep a hole from which to extricate themselves, Dusty Baker's inexplicable player decisions have cast the 2011 Reds too far down the shaft for them to finish any better than third," according to Janson.
The bullpen is gassed
"Fatigue is setting in on everybody," Baker said. "It’s not called the Dog Days of August for nothing. You’ve got to battle through fatigue and be in better shape than the opposition. We need some deeper games from our starters." Those short games from starters in April and May are bearing fruit, and a bitter one it is.
Trade Rumors passes along a few Reds-related bits
Kevin Youkilis, Cincinnati native, UC alum, and current Boston Red Sock, says he would love to play for the Reds someday. It'll probably happen eventually, but really only if/when Youk isn't the MVP-caliber player he is now. Still, it'd be kinda cool.
Also, the scuttlebutt is that Reds' top pick Robert Stephenson is leaning towards going to Uni Washington instead of signing with the Reds. It's impossible to know whether or not this kind of thing is a negotiating ploy on his part or a sincere expression, but the deadline to sign draft picks is next week. I guess we'll know then.
ESPN Sweet Spot ranks the best teams in the National League over the past however many years
Schoenfield stacks up the '75 Reds against the '86 Mets, the '04 Cardinals, the '98 Braves, and this year's Phillies to see which team was the best. The Cardinals and Braves did not win the World Series, but they won more than 105 games, which is particularly dominant. He ranks them position-by-position and the Original Big Red Machine crosses the line last. This whole thing must have been stupid to begin with.