Reds drop rubber game to Tigers
The occasionally fallible Reds bullpen coughed up a game they should won last night. The Reds led 6-2 in the seventh - with two outs - when Jose Arredondo, Sean Marshall, Logan Ondrusek, and even Aroldis Chapman collectively gave Detroit the lead and win. The Pirates won, so they're now tied with Cincinnati atop the Central. Dusty: "That one hurts big time."
Did Jose Valverde throw a spitter last night?
Dallas Latos unretired from Twitter last week and drops these videos. In case the MLBAM police take down the videos, Hardball Talk captured some stills. Love this line from Craig Calcaterra: "If it was a spitball, can anyone tell me why Valverde would even bother with Angel Hernandez behind the plate calling everything within a mile of the dish a strike?"
Reds' antipathy to the DL manifests again with Stubbs
Drew Stubbs hasn't played since he tweaked his oblique last Tuesday. He did some running this weekend, but isn't 100%. Dusty admits they're trying to avoid the DL for Stubbs, saying "his 80 percent is better than most guys’ 100." I'm a big Stubbs' defender, but no. A guy who relies on his speed as much as Texarkana Slim needs to be 100% to be an effective player.
- Stubbs is already set to miss "at least several more days," which puts his return around the 10-day mark from his injury. Is it really worth shorthanding the roster for that long in the hopes of getting Stubbs back a few days earlier? Especially when Chris Heisey is a more than capable fill-in? Unfortunately, the minor league depth doesn't make this an easy choice for the organization. This is where a David Sappelt or a (healthy) Denis Phipps would be handy to have around.
Reds nearing agreement with first-round pick
Nick Travieso, the Florida HS pitcher picked by the Reds with the 14th selection in last week's draft, is reportedly close to signing with Cincinnati. The recommended bonus slot for the 14th pick is $2.375 million.
The Kris Negron call-up story
A few weeks after 28 year-old Mike Costanzo made his major league debut, the Reds called up 26 year-old Kris Negron to bolster the team's infield depth. On his drive from L'ville to Cincy: "I made sure I drove the speed limit. It was probably the most cautious driving I’ve ever done. I wanted to make sure I made it up here safely." Like Costanzo, Negron was born in the Northeast (New Jersey), but he then moved to Japan for five years before spending his formative baseball years in California.
Bray started a rehab assignment on Saturday
Bill Bray's been on the DL since April with groin and back injuries. He's already tried to come back once, but like a lot of folks, he didn't take well to rehab the first time. Baker: "I want him to get well now vs. being worried about what he's going to do when he gets here. We want the Billy Bray that we know." Brantley added, "Oh Billy, Billy, Billy. Billy." Bray threw one inning on Saturday, K'ing one and walking one.
- Nick Masset is further behind but making progress. He's started long-tossing, and will throw live BP before starting his own rehab assignment.
Votto > Hobbs
A lot of talk lately on Votto's hot streak and where he ranks among today's elite hitters. Here, the SweetSpot compares our favourite Canadian to Josh Hamilton. For health reasons alone, I'd take Votto. But there are other differences between the two as well: That's what Votto does better than any hitter in the game right now: wait, wait, wait ... boom. While Hamilton is hyper-aggressive at the plate -- no regular has swung at a higher percentage of pitches outside the zone than Hamilton this season -- Votto makes pitchers throw strikes. While Hamilton has swung at 46.6 percent of the pitches he has seen that were outside the zone, Votto has swung at just 21.1 percent.
- THT: Why Pete Rose is better than Hamlet
After Ball Four was published, Pete Rose taunted pitcher and author Jim Bouton by shouting "F--- you, Shakespeare!" from the dugout during a Spring Training game. Perhaps Pete's disdain of The Bard of Avon derived from his self-awareness that he would one day make a better tragic figure then any of Shakespeare's famous protagonists. This author makes the case of Hustle over Hamlet: We still have the itch to look up to someone higher than ourselves, but we're skeptical of kings and princes in that regard. We identify better with people who made their own success, however low they began, out of their own good traits. People who are red-blooded, not blue-blooded. People like Pete Rose. The audience is meant to identify with the tragic figure to bring the lessons of the work home, to deliver the fear and pity the playwright means you to feel through the character's travails. Rose succeeded in that: there were times when it seemed a whole country identified with him. That his fatal flaw ended up being the quality so many of us wanted to emulate makes the lesson far more potent. When you get a few minutes, check out the whole article.
- All-Star voting update
With Pujols and Fielder in the lesser league, Joey Votto's justifiably running away with the 1B vote. Phillips is in second, looking up at Dan Uggla. 'mache takes a closer look at the NL ballot, and where our boys stand in the leaderboards. You can vote here.
- Card show tonight to benefit family of Borbon
Homer Bailey and George Foster will be signing memorabilia at Cincy Card Show's Pedro Borbon Memorial Sale. Starts at 6:00 at Moeller.
- Arroyo's rockability paces staff
You may have heard that the Red Hot Chilli Peppers took batting practice with the team last week before a show in Cincinnati (video at the link). Their Reds connection? Bronson Arroyo, of course. He jammed with guitarist Josh Klinghoffer "back in the day." Arroyo asked Klinghoffer when Adam Dunn learned to drum.
- Arroyo's durability paces staff
The Reds haven't yet resorted to a sixth starting pitcher. It's the deepest into the season they've done so since 1992. Due credit goes to the training staff, but perhaps the example set by Bronson Arroyo plays some role. Let's ask him: "Consciously or subconsciously, they’ve seen what I’ve done over the years. I’m such a routine freak. I listen to the same music in the weight room. Stupid things: Like carrying the same phone for the last seven years that everyone thinks is ridiculous. Those things can bleed off onto people." I don't really buy that Homer Bailey hasn't missed a start this year because of Arroyo's example, but I'll gladly take Bronson's swagger if it accompanies more Retrroyo.