Leake lands on Verducci's List
For the third year in a row, a Red makes the dreaded Verducci List and is now doomed to an injury-riddled season. Meh. I think Mike Leake is a different story from Homer Bailey and Travis Wood. For one, he just barely passed the 30-inning increase threshold required to make the list. Second, the Reds closely monitored Leake’s pitch count in 2011, capping him at 114 pitches and letting him go over 100 in just eight starts. Third, Leake does not have a violent throwing motion or otherwise display poor mechanics. Still, you never know with young pitchers. The Reds could certainly use 180 quality innings from Leake to shore up the middle of the rotation.
Peering into the Mat Latos crystal ball
The SweetSpot Blog compiles a list of similar 23 year-old pitchers, and then looks at how they did the next four seasons. Of the 18 comps, there's an array of below-average (Jeremy Bonderman) to the divine (Pedro). But who are the most relevant comps? Like Latos, Andy Benes stood 6-foot-6 and threw hard. He also came up with the Padres. Benes remained a solid pitcher (155 wins) but never took his game to the next level. So Reds fans can perhaps hope for the CC Sabathia career path. Through age 23, Sabathia had already pitched four seasons in the big leagues, with a 4.12 ERA. He improved his strikeout and walk rates at age 24, improved even more at age 25 and won a Cy Young Award at age 26.
Marty and Thom to broadcast "multiple" games together next year
Aww! The father-son pair will work together in the radio booth for three or four series. No word yet on whether George Grande, Sean Casey, and some of the other part-timers will return in 2012.
10 things you've already forgotten about Sean Marshall
The Enquirer brings the arcania you've been craving on the Reds' new lefty fireman. Like fellow southpaw Bill Bray, Marshall went to college in Virginia, at VCU. Unlike Bray, he leads his school's alums in major league Wins (with 32). But he's well behind the Reds' all-time Wins leader for a graduate from a Virginia college: Eppa Rixey (Virginia, '12) tallied 266 Wins en route to the Hall of Fame.
The Trade of all Trades - 40 years later
The Reds fleeced Houston on Nov. 29, 1971, obtaining the final quarter of the Great 8 as well as a valuable pitcher. Who did Houston get? Lee May and 2B/LFJimmy Stewart, who sounds as polite as his name suggests. Stewart on leaving the Reds: "Our two kids, 5 and 7 years old, they were doing great in school and really liked it here, and I loved playing for the Reds. Loved everything about 'em. Loved the way they ran things, right on down to the no facial hair. First class. Yes sir, I hated leaving the Reds." Stewart later came back to Cincinnati - as a scout. Erardi notes that it was Stewart "who wrote the famous scouting report on Oakland before the World Series that convinced Reds manager Lou Piniella that the Reds would upset the A's."
- YO! NL Central raps
You can probably tell by my current cultural reference that I'm "down" with the hip hop scene. So are the baseball teams in the National League's Central Division, including the Reds by virtue of their team color and long-time (informal) association with the Bloods. NotGraphs rightfully questions why The Game wears (and raps about) a Reds hat when he also sports a Dodgers face tattoo. The Crips, you see, are the Bloods' chief rival. What's up with that, Mr. Game?!
- Jonathan Mayo ranks Billy Quix as the 4th best SS prospect
Good to see Billy Hamilton crack an elite list like this. Although not everyone here will stay at Shortstop, it's an impressive group because so many great players start out at Short. Mayo notes that Hamilton has "worked on being a switch-hitter and has the chance to be a dynamic leadoff hitter if he can learn better plate discipline and get on base at a better clip, which he started to do in the second half of 2011. Hamilton has more than enough range for shortstop, but it remains to be seen if he'll stay there long term or need to move to second or the outfield down the line." If you can't get enough prospect talk, MLB.com will announce it's Top 100 list on Wednesday evening on the MLBN at 10:00.
- Redleg Nation sits down with Tucker Barnhart
Why should you vote for Tucker in the next CPR? Tune in to find out!
- Junya, as a comic book
Linked by Rob Neyer last week, this is a highly entertaining account of a Ken Griffey Jr. comic book from his early Mariners days. Poor Pete Rose Jr. He comes off like a real jerk!
- El Beeperino and Sweet Lou
Only the latter is not who you think. Did BP really say "no glove, no love" at the end? A worthy message, but probably not the public service announcement the fine people at Wilson Sporting Goods had in mind.