Joe Lemire from Sports Illustrated seems to have seen the same Johnny Cueto we saw yesterday. Cueto didn't scrap his Tiant-turn, his velocity was still where it was supposed to be (93 mph average on his fastball while touching 96 at times), and he was both rusty and effective. Yep, that's exactly what I saw, and it's about what I expected for a pitcher coming off a 5 week absence who was considering re-working his mechanics. Lemire goes on to heap praise on Cueto's previous performances and gives him the kind of national dap he deserves.
Paul Daugherty is wrong, in public, in writing, on purpose, for all of us to see, again, again, one more time. Doc claims that Brandon Phillips is "his team's best player now, and was last season." He said that. Honestly, it's not the claim of BP being the best player on the Reds over the last 200 or so games that has me stabbing spoons in my eyeballs; it's his reasoning. What about Choo, you ask? "S. Choo has gotten most of the love this spring, and he has deserved a decent bit of it. But not as much as BP. Choo benefits from his newness, and the fact he filled a lineup spot that had been a vast wasteland for years," says Doc. So Choo loses points for replacing a part of the lineup that's been awful with league leading performance...yet the fact that Brandon Phillips' .788 OPS in 2013 is replacing Ryan Ludwick's .877 OPS from 2012 means he's the team's best player. Right. Got it. I'd mention Joey Votto, but it seems trying to explain Joey Votto to Doc would be akin to speaking in Latin to a person with no ears and, well, ain't nobody got time for that.
Ryan Vogelsong fractured a bone in his hand last night and will hit the shelf for awhile. Remember when the Giants had a rotation so good you could plug your headphones into it and jam on repeat all night? Well, now Vogelsong (who has been bad) is out, Lincecum can't throw a ball 90 mph (and is a free agent after this season), Barry Zito is in the last year of his contract (and is still Barry Zitoing to the tune of an 86 ERA+), and Matt Cain has a 5.43 ERA and is on pace to allow 50+ HRs this season. Madison Bumgarner and his 109 ERA+ is now the only starter having any success on the staff that's allowed the 2nd most runs in the whole National League. Once again, folks: there's no such thing as too much starting pitching. We should probably trade Cueto for Pablo Sandoval already.
Mike Axisa uses all sorts of Joels and Luckhaupts to break down who best rivals Miguel Cabrera as the 'best hitter in baseball.' It's weird. If you just go to CBS Sports' MLB page, the title under the link says "Braun best of Miggy's rivals for best hitter," but if you then read the article, Axisa never makes the claim that Braun is the best rival to Cabrera, and he rounds up his breakdown by saying that the Reds' own Joey Votto is "the closest thing there is to Cabrera right now, that all-around hitter who excels at everything at the plate." I'm confused.
Dayn Perry takes a look at some of the paces set by top players today, and our own Brandon Phillips shows up. It appears that BP is on pace for 18 sac flies this year, and that would put him just one shy of the all-time mark of 19 set by Gil Hodges in 1954. Nevermind what I said earlier. BP is the team MVP.