Thearon W. Henderson
Jay Bruce won a Silver Slugger Award, and the Reds might be shopping a shortstop.
The Beaumont Bomber slashed .252/.327/.514 (119 wRC+) over 633 plate appearances. Those numbers are not dazzling, but Bruce put up some very nice counting stats that likely helped him win the award. He smacked 34 round-trippers, drove in 99 runs, and scored another 89 runs of his own. Bruce amassed only 10 rBat, behind many outfielders who did not receive a Silver Slugger Award. Giancarlo Stanton, Melky Cabrera, Matt Holliday, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carlos Quentin, Carlos Beltran, Justin Ruggiano, Angel Pagan, Bryce Harper, Corey Hart, Ryan Ludwick, and Alfonso Soriano all primarily played the outfield and led Bruce in rBat by 5 runs or more. All of the preceding players except Pagan and Soriano also posted higher wRC+ figures than Bruce as well. (The other two outfield winners, Andrew McCutchen and Ryan Braun, performed well by all of the above measures.) I will let you be the judge of the quality of the award selection.
Bruce is the first Reds outfielder to win the award since Eric "the Red" Davis won the award in 1989. You can see all of the winners from both leagues here.
The Reds currently have two talented, cheap, team-controlled shortstops at or near the Major League level in Zack Cozart and Didi Gregorius. With several other teams needing a shortstop, some general managers have talked to Walt Jocketty about the possibility of a trade. FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Oakland A's could be the best fit as Oakland has plenty of relievers and outfielders to offer the Reds. Other matches include the Minnesota Twins, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Tampa Bay Rays.
Personally, I am hesitant to deal either Gregorius or Cozart. If the Reds were to trade one of them away, Cincinnati would go from having three highly regarded shortstops to one in the span of a couple of months (with Billy Hamilton's move to centerfield). Of course if the price is right, I am willing to trade anyone away. However, the Reds have struggled to find shortstops and useful utility infielders in recent years. Finally there is a chance to have an average or better shortstop and a solid bench player capable of playing the infield. I believe that there is real value in keeping both Cozart and Gregorius unless Walt has his eye on another backup shortstop. What do you all think? What kind of return would it take to give up Cozart or Gregorius?
Speaking of Billy Hamilton . . . Jeff Moore believes that Cincinnati's top prospect needs another year of seasoning in the minor leagues. The article is a response to Richard Justice's piece at MLB.com from last weekend that advocated a quick call-up of Hamilton. Chief among Moore's concerns is the fact that Hamilton is incredibly raw in centerfield. In fact, Moore thinks that Hamilton's defense might cost the Reds so many more runs than Drew Stubbs that Stubbs should remain Cincinnati's number one option in 2013. Moore also cautions us against comparing Hamilton to super-prospects Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. I know that many of us realize the improbability of Hamilton becoming a player of that caliber, but our subconscious Reds fandom can let our expectations run wild against our better judgment.
The Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Awards honor players, fans, management, and more in a variety of categories. Cincinnati has nine finalists including Ryan Hanigan, Sean Marshall, and Walt Jocketty.
Lefty Sean Marshall, who had a 2.51 ERA in 73 games, is up for an award in the best setup man category.
Catcher Ryan Hanigan, who established several offensive career highs while leading the Majors in catcher's ERA at 3.05 with 11 shutouts caught, is part of the best defensive player category. Aroldis Chapman, who became a closer on May 20 and saved 38 games in often dominant fashion, is part of the breakout pitcher group. Infielder Todd Frazier, who hit 19 homers and filled in well for both Joey Votto and Scott Rolen, is among those in the top rookie category.
In the best pitching performance division, Homer Bailey is a nominee for his Sept. 28 no-hitter at Pittsburgh.
Finally, we have a pair of articles from SB Nation's fantasy website that look at the fantasy impact of the Reds next season.