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Red Reposter - 4/17/09

  • In case you missed it yesterday, the Reds received IF Drew Sutton in the deal with the Astros for Jeff Keppinger.  Jocketty said, "Sutton was the guy all along."
  • Billy Bray is struggling again with injuries.  This time it's his elbow.  This really sucks.  I really think Bray has closer-type potential, but only when he's pitching.  The guy just cannot stay healthy.  He'll be re-examined in 10 days. 
  • Hall o' Famer Hal likes it in Houston.  Hopefully the Reds are as comfortable there as he is.
  • The rotation hasn't looked as good as some hoped so far, but personally I'm not worried.  Volquez is the only one who has realistically fallen short of expectations so far, and we are still only 8 games into the season.  I still believe this rotation is one of the best top-to-bottom in the league. 
  • Good ol' John Fay gives us a rundown of the team after the first week or so of games.  A few highlights:

Center fielder Willy Taveras has looked very good. His on-base percentage is .462, and it’s pretty clear he bothers the pitcher every time he gets on...Left fielder Chris Dickerson hasn’t played that much because of all the left-handers the Reds have faced, but he’s off to a good start: .286/.450/.571. So maybe his stats last year weren’t a fluke...Pitcher Aaron Harang appears to be Aaron Harang again. You can argue that he’s more important to the team’s fortunes than anyone on the roster. Anytime your Opening Day starter goes 6-17 – as Harang did last year – it’s not going to be a good year...Catcher Ramon Hernandez and shortstop Alex Gonzalez have to hit for the offense to be consistently good. The seventh, eighth and ninth spots have been last year’s Paul Bako-Corey Patterson-pitcher black hole. Wednesday was a good sign. Hernandez went 2-for-3, and Gonzalez hit an RBI double.

I have to bang the drum again for Taveras.  Dude has done everything we had hoped he would do from the lead-off spot.  He is taking walks, hitting the ball well, being responsible on the basepaths, and playing good CF defense.  Of course it's early, and some may want to (justifiably) liken it to the start Corey Patterson had last year, but to me this feels different.  I dont know.  Just a hunch.

  • Ken Rosenthal passes on an anonymous opinion that the Reds are not hustling:

A scout and an executive volunteered in separate conversations Wednesday that the Reds are not playing hard — an odd development, considering that manager Dusty Baker is known for getting the most out of players. The scout said that first baseman Joey Votto and right fielder Jay Bruce were the only Reds consistently running hard to first base.

I've watched most of the games so far, and I can attest to the inaccuracy of this assertion.  In fact, I would say the exact opposite is true.

  • Buster Olney says Geoff Jenkins still wants to play, and I think Jocketty should be all up ons this thing.  Laynce Nix has done fine so far, but I would be much more confident in our bench with Jenkins being the primary left-handed pinch hitter.
  • Ted Keith at SI has the Reds ranked 23rd in his weekly power rankings.
  • In "Injuries That Kinda Affect the Reds That Were Reported in the FanShots Section" news, Xavier Nady and Chris Carpenter are on the shelf.  Nady, if you remember, was rumored this winter to be one of those right-handed LF bat the Reds were looking at, and Carpenter had a lot of Cardinals' fans hopes resting on his shoulders.  Nady looks to be done for the year, and Carp will likely miss a few months.