"Hmmm, I think I need a haircut. But man, I really don't like getting my haircut. I mean, I know it's irrational and everything, but they are wielding a really sharp instrument right near my brain. It wouldn't take much for them to jam the scissors right into my temple. Ehhh, maybe I'll just let it grow out like I did in college. But that's just avoiding the inevitable. I guess I could tell them not to use scissors and just go with the clippers, but that's really only a marginal improvement. They could buzz my ear right off with those things. And who knows how that would effect my batting average with runners in scoring position." Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
Just a quick bit o' reposter today, as the off day yesterday didn't give us much to talk about and we got some pretty cool stuff coming up for you here this afternoon. Onward...
Jay Jaffe at SI takes a look at how injuries have impacted the National League
As you might expect, the Reds have been more fortunate than average in terms of time lost. They rank 24th in in all of baseball in that regard. The Pirates have done well for themselves too, ranking 27th. Here's Jaffe's quip regarding the Redlegs: "While the Reds stand a good chance of making the playoffs, their hopes for advancing depend upon a strong return from Votto, who’s hitting .342/.465/.604, good enough for the top three in all three categories, including first in OBP. Remove his stats from the Reds’ totals and the team is hitting just .244/.302/.405."
Robert Stephenson has made an impressive debut in his first pro season
The whole thing is a good read, but here are some interesting quotes. First, here's Bobby Steve-o himself: "I mostly rely on the fastball to get ahead," Stephenson said. "I try to back them on fastballs, and if I get ahead in the count, I go to offspeed. [The changeup] is something I just started throwing in the past year. I got a really good feel for it when I was in Billings, then I kind of lost feel for it, so I haven't been throwing it quite as much recently." He's consistently worked in the mid-90s with his fastball so far, and topped out at 101.
Here's Jeff Graupe, the assistant director of player development: "Amazingly, for a guy like Robert -- who has the velocity he has -- there isn't a ton of effort in his delivery," Graupe said. "So while we are monitoring his innings and his pitches at this point, he'll be able to grow at a healthy rate over the next couple years to a point where I think he's physically strong and durable enough to where he'll take a pretty big workload." This kid looks really, really good so far. But let us all remember the axiom of TINSTAAPP.
The Fayplacement wonders about the Reds fate until Joey Votto returns
Obviously they've done well without him, but the law of averages has a way of doing what it do. BeeP: "We’re a team," Phillips said. "Right now we’re really feeling ourselves. We got a swag going, and we’re just showing everybody that we’re more than just one person. (Aroldis) Chapman’s out there throwing the ball, he’s closing the games out. (Ryan) Ludwick’s swinging the bat good. (Todd) Frazier’s swinging the bat good. Everybody’s been playing great defense."
FanGraphs stole our idea
and wrote up a bit about how Aroldis Chapman (and Craig Kimbrel, but he can go suck an egg) stack up against the league's starters in the Cy Young conversation. It doesn't really break any new ground, but the WAR leaderboard got my sugars all up.
Jamie Ramsey channels the Elias Sports Bureau
and relays this fun fact: Cueto's eight shutout innings against the Cubs on Sunday marked the sixth time this season that he pitched six or more innings without giving up a run. Only Jered Weaver has done it more often. Johnny Johnny Johnny Cakes, y'all.