Ryan Hanigan is banged up. Devin Mesoraco is banged up. Xavier Paul is banged up, too. Such is life for a team that's been at it non-stop since late February. As the Reds head into the All-Star break at the end of the week, there will be several members of the squad that will be glad they're not being asked to participate in the festivities in New York. There's nothing in this that suggests there will be a DL stint for either of the Reds' catchers, but you'd have to think it's a possibility given Hanigan's inability to hit and Mesoraco's struggles with squatting for 9 innings. Ideally, they'd like to get to the break and not have to make a move since the opponents the Reds face out of the gate in the 2nd half are damn tough, but we'll have to wait and see. Also included in Mark Sheldon's piece is an update on Mark Berry. Get well soon, Coach!
Since it's All-Star season, FanGraphs' Jeff Sullivan took a look at the best non-All-Star seasons in history. The All-Star game is every bit a political game as much as a meritocracy, and there's a long history of snubs for reasons ranging from vindictive managers to being forced to put Cubs on the roster. Factor in that lots of players have so-so first halves and follow them up with stellar closes to the season, and you'll end up with an odd list of great seasons where a player didn't make the cut. Jose Rijo's 1993 season comes to mind, as he finished 5th in Cy Young voting after tossing 257.1 innings of 2.48 ERA ball while leading the NL in K/9 and Ks...but didn't make the All-Star game.
Hall of Famer Hal McCoy weighed in on the state of the Reds in his latest blog post. Hal can be curmudgeonly, he can bristle, and he can write some things that makes me wonder if we even watch the same team play; this post, however, does none of that, since I unfortunately agree with most everything he wrote. I'll clarify by saying that I'm in no way calling for cleaning house and massive turnover; rather, I'm simply stating that much of the team is hurt and/or not playing as well as they need to be for this team to go places. I think many (Frazier, specifically) can turn things around, but it's going to have to happen soon.
This is the Reds schedule to open the 2nd half of the season. An opening series against the Pirates, 10 on the road on the West coast, followed by 5 against the Cardinals and A's...that's a damn tough way to pick things back up. It's seeing that that makes losses like Sunday's and last night's that much harder to swallow.
Hey! I talked about that on The Afternoon Drive on 1450 AM The Sports Buzz! I was back on the radio in Louisville yesterday, and Trevor Kelsey and I did what we normally do: talk a bit of Reds baseball and a lot about other random stuff. There's some insight in there somewhere, though, so check it out. Tune in just before the 54 minute mark to catch us yappin'.
The Reds didn't sign Jeff Francoeur! No analysis needed. Just breathe a sigh of relief.