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Red Reposter - thinking about 2010

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Fay: Jocketty on CF, SS and more
As posted by Dave from Louisville, Jocketty candidly discussed the 2010 roster with Fay over the weekend.  I like what he said. Stubbs and Janish will probably be Opening Day starters, and Walt describes Ramon Hernandez's option as "pretty big" while complimenting the performance of Hanigan and the reserves. There is, of course, talk about quest for a "quality RBI man," but Walt has shown good sense here in the past, turning down the Bailey-for-Dye swap before this season. I must have caught my spring optimism earlier than normal, because I think a lineup of Votto, Phillips, Janish, Rolen, Hanigan, Gomes/Dickerson, Stubbs, and Bruce has a good chance to be average or better in 2010.

Rotation update
Cueto's recovering from a flu-like malady (never understood the distinction between having the flu and "flu-like symptoms") and should start on Tuesday against the Pirates' Zach Duke. Homer and Bronson will follow, Lehr and Maloney will be skipped.  Lehr told Dick Pole that he needs rest because he's made about 41 starts this year between winter ball and the regular season. A little surprised to hear that from a guy who's position with the team is tenuous.

Baker frustrated by season of adversity
After a bit on injuries is an unenlightening discussion of team defense:  Baker has been pleased with the improvements the club has made, in particularly on defense, although it doesn't always reflect in the numbers.  The Reds currently rank 10th in the National League in fielding percentage.  "It doesn't tell the whole story," Baker said. "We're about in the middle of the pack. I like that we're near the top in double plays. If you can turn them and not hit into them, you've got a great chance."  As JinAZ wrote here, the Reds' defense has been very good this year and a huge improvement over prior seasons.  Sometimes I wonder if Dusty and I have been watching the same games. 

Bailey: '100 pitch limit is (crap)'
You'll have to visit Trent's article to see what Homer would have plugged in the parentheses. Word choice aside, Homer has a point about the arbitrary nature of modern pitch count management. I think he and most starting pitchers are capable of regularly exceeding 100 pitches.  It's just a question of how you build up their strength and stamina without creating an undue risk of injury or pushing a pitcher beyond the point of effectiveness. To his credit and contrary to his prior reputation, Baker has mostly done a good job ensuring that his younger starters stay on a conservative pitch count schedule and seems to stretch them only when they're mowing down inferior lineups, which is the right time to build stamina.

60 Seconds with Cincinnati Reds outfielder Chris Dickerson
If you're not aware of Chris Dickerson's environmental efforts, check this out.  Personally, I would've asked him what it felt like to see Taveras' name at the top of the lineup for most of the summer.

The corpse of Ken Griffey Jr. carries Mariners over Yankees
Junya has put up a feeble 215/322/394 line this season for the Mariners and turns 40 this winter. I haven't heard either way, but I have a hard time believing the Mariners would want him back next year at any price. If this is his last month of pro ball, at least he got to take down the Yankees one more time, hitting a HR and driving in 4 runs yesterday to close out the season series between the teams. Griffey supposedly has held a grudge against NYY since his childhood because Steinbrenner kicked him out of the clubhouse when his dad was a Yankee. True or not, Griffey has a .976 career OPS against New York (third best mark against an AL team, not including Seattle) and will of course be remembered for destroying them in the 1995 playoffs.  

Giants teen Villalona suspected of murder
Giants top prospect Angel Villalona has been detained in connection to a murder that occurred in the Dominican Republic on Saturday night, according to a report by the Associated Press.Potentially a huge setback for the Giants. Villalona, along with Pablo Sandoval and catcher Buster Posey, looked to form a very solid trio of young hitters. At least Ugueth Urbina waited until his career was finished.

Cubs suspend Milton Bradley for the rest of the season
Bradley, scratched from Saturday's lineup with a sore left knee, was quoted as saying "you understand why they haven't won in 100 years here."  Roasted! You may recall other articles from this season where Bradley calls out Cubs fans as racist. Needless to say, this hasn't been a happy marriage.  I was going to make a crack about going after a "quality RBI man," but Bradley's career high is only 77.  Makes sense given his long history of injuries and suspensions.