His ERA has ballooned to 4.73 for the season and he is clearly #5 in the rotation. Many, many teams wish they had Mike Leake as their 5th-best starter, but that doesn't change how disappointing it is.
In better news, Jay Bruce is causing violent atmospheric activity in the south Atlantic. He has cranked a victrola in five of the last six games. "I’d like to hope it’s indicative to the experience I am gaining and the comfort I have up here," Bruce said. "I’m really trusting my ability and letting the game come to me and not trying to force things. That’s one of the hardest things for me to do – relax, take what they give you and let the opportunities present themselves and better capitalize on them."
With Joey Votto back in the lineup
Dusty finally has his ideal batting order in place. Brandon Phillips is back in the lead off spot, in which he hit in all of four games to begin the season. Votto is 3rd and Bruce is 5th, with Ryan Ludwick stepping into the cleanup spot. I think it's important to remember that this is the way Dusty wanted it all along, until injuries (BP, Rolen, Votto) and ineffectiveness (Ludwick, Rolen) forced him to reevaluate. But now that everyone is healthy and performing at (or even above) expected levels, this suddenly looks like well-ordered and imposing lineup.
Votto spoke about finally getting back on the field
He got a long standing ovation when he stepped into the batter's box in the bottom of the 1st inning. "I was very humbled by it, very appreciative to get support like that," he said. "It was unexpected." Yeah dude. It is really, really goood to see you back.
As for how he felt, he - of course - waxed philosophical: "I had 50 games or seven weeks. I don’t know how long I was out for, but I had all that energy and fire inside of me," he said. "I wanted to get out there. I didn’t really have a problem with giving away at-bats (before). With the time off, I realized that you don’t know what’s going to happen next. That’s reason enough not to take anything for granted and go after it."
David Schoenfield writes up a retrospective on the "most exciting player in baseball"
He goes all the way back to 1976 and names the most exciting player from each season. This is a fun and interesting exercise, so I encourage you to click through and read it. The Reds represent in 1977 and '87. He picks Mike Trout for this year, which is difficult to argue with. The kid has been...wow. But he doesn't even mention Aroldis Chapman, who is certainly the most exciting pitcher this year.
Sheldon has the unabridged list of shortstops that have played opposite Brandon Phillips during his Reds tenure
Didi Gregorius makes 23. Remember when they should have moved Felipe Lopez over the 2B and slotted BP at SS?
Doug at Reds Minor Leagues has a good scouting report of Ismael Guillon
He's a 20-year-old lefty who was a mildly interesting young arm a few years ago, but crashed and burned in the Pioneer League last summer. He went back this summer and his performance has piqued curiosities again. Doug saw him on August 29th in Dayton, as he earned a late-season promotion. He is probably one of the better pitching prospects the Reds have right now, so it's a name worth keeping in your back pocket.
Todd Frazier was one of the big reasons why the Reds did so well during Joey Votto's extended convalescence, and he earned NL Rookie of the Month honors for his efforts. "It’s great," Frazier said. "I didn’t even know there was an award for it, honestly. I thought they just did player of the month. I saw (Mike) Trout won it. It’s a nice honor. Keep working hard. Hard work pays off." The NL Rookie of the Month Award is basically Cheerios.
Aroldis Chapman won the Major League Delivery Man of the Month again
That makes two straight months for the big fella. He's, like, really good and stuff. He gets my vote for Most Exciting Player in Baseball, too.
Brandon McCarthy got wanged big time in the noggin with an Erick Aybar line drive
Dude's okay though. He went to the hospital as a precaution, but it doesn't seem like any major damage happened. The video isn't all fun to watch at first, but then he's okay and it's like whew.
[UPDATE] - McCarthy is not okay. It turns out that he suffered a fractured skull and a brain hemorrhage and needed emergency surgery. He seems to be recovering, but my goodness.
Red Reposter NEWS FROM HELL
Some jack hole went all jack hole at the Marlins game and jacked a ball from a little girl. The look on the girl's face is priceless. It ended well though, as the girl got a few balls and was even on television. The dude will presumably see the clip and his heart will collapse from embarrassment.