Awards season is upon us, and both Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce are Gold Glove finalists at their respective positions. Mark Sheldon from Reds.com outlines how Major League Baseball has taken some serious strides to overhaul the way they hand out their premier defensive awards, and this year they've partnered with SABR to include some calculated metrics into their decision making, which is cool. As with most things baseball related, it's generally a pretty good idea to match what the numbers say with what you've seen when making decisions, and it appears MLB has finally figured that out (to an extent); now, if only they hadn't decided to have a "reveal" show on ESPN2 to announce everything in a slow, painstaking, John Kruk-filled hour.
John Fay from the Cincinnati Enquirer has a solid profile of Bryan Price and his lifetime of baseball journeys. If you are the type of person that thinks that every decision made by a person is in some way a reflection upon past experiences, you'll want to memorize this article as a reference point for the upcoming baseball seasons. Fay and Price do a great job tracing the new manager's path through baseball, and life, and what getting the job with the Reds means to him. A great read from our buddy with the green hat.
There's still baseball stateside that won't make you roll your eyes! The Arizona Fall League has been motoring along for a few weeks now, and some of the best prospects in baseball have been working to improve their games against each other under the watchful eyes of coaches, scouts, and front office personnel. The best of the best will be on display this Saturday in the Fall Stars Game (formerly the Rising Stars Game), and the Reds will be represented by...Chad Rogers, and Chad Rogers only. Sharkbait has, to his credit, been a very, very effective performer in an otherwise offense-dominant league and has a clean 0.00 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, and 9 Ks to his credit over 7.2 IP so far, so he's certainly earned a spot on the roster. Despite Yorman Rodriguez's hot start to the AFL, he's reverted back to the same issues that have plagued him everywhere he's played since being signed out of Venezuela for funky buttloads of money: chasing balls out of the zone, striking out, striking out, and striking out. Our Rod, through 51 AB, still holds a non-full-cringe-inducing line of .275/.296/.431 with a couple of HR, but he's also struck out 15 times in 12 games while walking only twice. More of the same? More of the same.
More important news from the AFL, however, revolves around Reds' prospect Michael Lorenzen. Lorenzen, you may remember, was snapped up in the compensation round of the 2013 draft out of the powerhouse Cal State Fullerton program as a two way player with upside both offensively and on the mound. Initially, it seemed as if he'd be given the chance to pursue advancement down both avenues in the minor leagues, but he's been used exclusively as a pitcher since the moment he cracked a minor league roster. Now, it appears that not only will he not be given a shot with a bat, he'll be transitioned from having been exclusively a reliever to being a starting pitcher. While I know that Lorenzen has all the arm talent you could ask for and that the Reds' scouts and executives know more about this game than I do about a keyboard, it's still a bit disheartening to hear that a guy reportedly as talented offensively as Lorenzen won't be given a shot to show his meddle in that role. Given the overall dearth of hitting prospects currently in the Reds' system, I thought it behooved the Reds to at least see what they had in him; now, we may never know, which seems to be a theme with this organization (see: Chapman, Aroldis). Best of luck though, of course, and I hope he turns into another success story.