He's going to have to get even more creative than his 16-pitch repetoir. And that includes distracting hitters with fake Zeppelin sightings.
- Phillips' ‘No homeboy hookup’ line made the rounds yesterday
A lot of players plead some variation on "I just want to be paid what I'm worth" (BP also said this), so it's nothing monumental. But with reports saying that Reds were tentatively working on an extension beyond the option, I'm not sure why Brandon is aggrieved here - assuming that was even the tone of his remarks. And putting off talk of option/extension until the end of a career year favors him anyway. Brandon says he'd like to remain in Red because "this is where I want to be. I feel like this is my city." Which is great - it's not easy to cultivate players who have star power, are supremely fan-friendly, good at baseball AND truly seem to like playing in Cincinnati, despite last decade's ineptitude. But staying with the Reds past '12 will probably require some kind of discount, overt or not, over what he would be able to get in the big markets.
- It was apparently news to Phillips that Jocketty, a fellow baseball professional in similar contract limbo, planned to pick up his option
But Jocketty confirmed the certainty of Phillips being a Red in 2012 to John Fay
Jocko sez: "He'll be with us... We've had some talks with his agent (about an extension)." As Fay reminds us, there's no impending deadline to get a deal done. BP will be under contract as soon as the option is exercised. Bronson's extension last year wasn't finished until early December, though in no way should that be a template. Probably best to avoid December altogether.
Rob Neyer asks, "Is Homer-Prone Bronson Arroyo Toast?"
The timing of the article was ironic, given Arroyo's complete game victory in which he surrendered not only no home runs but no regular runs either. But it's still a valid question as to whether Arroyo's historic season has spelled a permanent drop off. The Astros game was cold comfort, considering he was facing a 100-loss team i n a cool, damp late September getaway game. Neyer predicts the seasons of sub-3.00 ERAs are over for Bronson, which is probably a reasonable prediction, though he lists Jamie Moyer as a counterexample to the Jose Limas. Bronson's history suggests he's capable of longevity and adjustment. If he regains strength to up his velocity and improve his fine muscle movement - or whatever will to keep him from slowballing it up in the zone, I think his HR totals will come down. That would likely get his ERA into reasonable territory, assuming he doesn't start getting hit harder on all balls in play next year. But the Reds just have to proceed as though he's yet another 4/5 starter in their pile.
C-ing Red tallies up the casualties, sticking to the three Ds of late season losing teams: "Damaged, Demoralized….Distracted"
There's an interesting rumination of swinging in 3-0 counts too. Unfortunately, it's in the context of the Reds finding new ways to lose close games.
Reds Minor Leagues challenges its readers to scout Billy Hamilton
With video tracking a series of the Mr. 100's at bats with the Dragons. He fidgets a lot with his bat as a timing mechanism when he hits, not unlike Brandon Phillips. So I guess I noticed that. Now I have to say what it means? I guess it means he's nervous? And he should get some of those posters with pictures of Mountains and a word like "STRONG" underneath it? I've never seen a rule that said you can't steal first base. So he should at least try that once.
John Sickels presents Five Moneyball-Style Prospects for 2012 over at Minor League Ball
Let's talk residuals for that movie about Kole Calhoun, Matt Carpenter, Mike Fiers, Juan Oramas and everybody's favorite, Clint Robinson.
- Lance Berkman, extended
Cross him off your list. Actually, just throw that list away.