Yes, as Jeff Seidel reports, the Reds' left-handed setup man, Sean Marshall, looks to return to action after re-joining the big league club yesterday. Marshall has only appeared in one game for Cincinnati this season. His outing on April 7th against the Nationals resulted in no runs in one inning of work. Marshall struck out one batter in his appearance, but he didn't look like his normal self as he was pitching through discomfort in his shoulder. In order to make room for Marshall on the 25-man roster, the Reds need to send a player back down to the minors. I think Manny Parra is the odd man out. Parra and Logan Ondrusek are both fringe-y relievers, but Ondrusek has a better track record with the club this season as well as some successful seasons in the past with the Reds.
In other injury news, Ryan Hanigan should resume baseball activities soon as he recovers from injuries to his oblique and right thumb. Hanigan hasn't appeared in a game since Friday the 19th. Hopefully, the Reds will wait until Hanigan is 100% before re-activating him. He has struggled mightily at the plate so far this season, slashing .079/.182/.079 (-42 wRC+, woof). I know that the Reds can't afford to rely on Corky Miller for too long, but Devin Mesoraco is playing pretty good baseball right now. As long as Mesoraco is productive and rested, I see no reason to rush Hanigan back to action.
Zeldink investigates the effect of injuries around the National League Central. It certainly feels as if the Reds have had more than their fair share of injuries thus far. Though as it turns out, Cincinnati hasn't been that unfortunate this season. Both the Cubs and the Brewers have more players on the disabled list than do the Reds. Even the Cardinals, the Central division's healthiest team, have three players on the disabled list. That includes Chris Carpenter who is out for the season and Rafael Furcal who is out until September at the earliest.
The only injury that's really caused the Reds problems so far was the trouble with Sean Marshall's shoulder. Otherwise, Tony Cingrani has filled in quite well for Johnny Cueto, and Devin Mesoraco is holding his own starting in the place of Ryan Hanigan. Chris Heisey has struggled as the everyday left fielder, but Xavier Paul continues to be productive and the Reds are still averaging five runs per game, good for third in the National League. Finally, I'm not sure very many people were counting on Nick Masset to help this team too much.
Yet another writer chimes in with a resounding "no" to this silly question. Lee Trocinski compares Joey Votto's swing rate to baseball's other big hitters. Trocinski finds that Votto swings at pitches in the strike zone with greater frequency than Prince Fielder, Buster Posey, and Mike Trout. Would you worry about any of these four guys at the plate? No, and neither would Trocinski:
None of those guys get criticized for not swinging enough, though those are the only pitches that hitters should be swinging at. I don't think anyone would argue, possibly aside from the pitcher hitting behind you with two outs, that hitters should chase pitches out of the zone to put in play. As the #3 hitter, Votto does not need to worry about that.
Chad Dotson stands up for the right to "woo" at a baseball game.
Other notes from around baseball:
This is unrelated to the video, but does anyone else have trouble discerning between the voices of Darling and Keith Hernandez? Whenver I have heard the two call Mets games together, I think they sound remarkably alike.
Colin Wyers breaks down yesterday's conversation between Hawk Harrelson, Bryan Kenny, and Harold Reynolds on MLB Now. The video clip is pretty much what you would expect from Hawk, as he complains at length about sabermetrics while boasting about his refusal to learn about modern baseball analysis. Harrelson believes that "The Will to Win", or "TWTW' as he repeatedly calls it, is the most important skill a player possesses. "TWTW" has already become a meme of sorts on Twitter among the sabermetric crowd. The video is entertaining in that Kids Say the Darndest Things way. Wyers' commentary is very good as he explains how the evolution of sabermetrics is unequivocally good.
Who knows when I will get a chance to post the following again, so I will include it here while I'm on the subject of Hawk Harrelson.
His popularity was due to his off-the-field manner. He was baseball's crown prince of the Mod Set, one of the new phenomena of the times, and had an immense following, mostly of teen-age girls who would squeal and scream when in his presence.
He wore his hair long in the style of the Beatles, and dressed in the new fashion. His wardrobe was both exquisite and spectacular. He estimated he had 50 or 60 suits, 30 or 40 pairs of shoes, and 'hundreds of shirts and sweaters - I never counted.' His shirts and sweaters bore, at breast level, his insignia 'The Hawk'. In the opening paragraph of his autobiography, published in mid-season, Harrelson admitted that when he looked at himself in the mirror, he was pleased with what he saw, and would say, 'You handsome sonofagun, don't you ever die.'...
...one becomes aware that the reporters seldom mentioned his batting average, but inevitably described what he wore. Historians may wish to know that his costumes usually included multi-colored bell-bottom slacks, white cowboy boots, white belt with big brass buckle, turtleneck sweaters, and sometimes an oversized Ascot tie. Beautiful, he was!...
...Harrelson joined the Indians on April 23, and was greeted at Cleveland's Hopkins Airport by 400 of his new fans, despite a driving rain, and near freezing weather. Magnificent in his russet-checked Edwardian suit, he emerged from his plane to the roar from the Mod fans who spilled out of the terminal building shouting "We love The Hawk!" A voluptuous model presented him with a bouquet of flowers, and then a kiss. In response, The Hawk took off his orange-tinted glasses and held two fingers aloft, flashing the V-sign for Victory and Peace.
That is Jerome Holtzman's description of Hawk from the 1970 Sporting News Official Baseball Guide. I tip my hat to vortex of dissipation over at Baseball Think Factory for exposing this gem to the Internet.