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Red Reposter - Trent talks to the Godfather

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  • Trent interviews Bill James
    The above link is part 1, this is part 2.  They're great reads. Regardless of what you think about stats, Bill James knows a helluva lot about baseball (and he's actually not as staty as you might think; read his comments about clubhouse chemistry).  Among many other things, James talks about the increasing number of stat analysts in MLB front offices:  CTR: It seems every team has [a stats guy] now. BJ: The difference - some teams have somebody because everyone has somebody. Some people have people because they want to know what they think.  It would be interesting to know to where the Reds fall on that spectrum.
  • Arroyo, Chapman pitching today against Colorado
    FSN Ohio is broadcasting today's 4:05 game against the Rockies.  If all goes to plan the pitching will be handled by Bronson Arroyo (five innings) and Aroldis Chapman (four innings).  No word on who'll pitch if Badroyo shows up.

  • Lehr continues his bid for the 5th spot
    The Reds got solid pitching performances yesterday in two split-squad games.  Against the Cubs, Justin Lehr allowed one run in four innings, scattering 5 hits, striking out 1 and not walking anybody.  With Lincoln out of the picture, Chapman's contract and talk of Matt Maloney going to the bullpen, could wee see King Lehr in the rotation in April?  The Reds also beat the A's 4-3, with Johnny Cueto and Jared Burton pitching effectively.  Cueto struck out four and walked three in giving up one run in four innings.  Burton struck out two and walked one in two innings, allowing two runs (one earned).
  • CNATI - Reds youngsters struggle against the Giants
    On Saturday, the Reds lost a 6-0 snoozer that was broadcasted on the MLB Network.  Travis Wood started and gave up a couple of home runs in the first inning but settled down afterwards.  Mike Leake also got hit around in the fifth, giving up his first runs of the spring.  But Dusty let him get out of his jam and liked what he saw from the two youngsters: "That's why we left Leake out there, a couple of more batters than we wanted to, but we wanted to see how they'd handle adversity, they both handled it pretty good," Baker said. "Their body language was good, you couldn't tell if they were winning or losing, that translates a lot to the opposition. It tells them they're battlers."

  • Volquez throwing off the mound
    Edinson Volquez battled his own adversity this weekend, throwing off the mound for the first time since his August 2009 TJ surgery.  Per Fay, Volquez threw 30 pitches at about 50 percent on Sunday. "It was good," he said. "No pain. I’m happy with everything so far."  The safe bet remains to not count on anything from Volquez in 2010, but a couple of months from him at the end of the year could be a boost to the rotation if the Reds find themselves contending.
  • McCoy - Fossas: Been there and done that
    Hal talks to Tony Fossas, the Dayton pitching coach and a special instructor and interpreter for Aroldis Chapman this spring.  Fossas leaves ST today after Chapman pitches to begin working with the Dragons' guys.  Of course, Fossas has been highly impressed with Chapman.  I thought his comments about Chapman's control were interesting:  "They though he would have control problems, but he hasn’t," said Fossas. "Even the pitches that are not strikes are close. He doesn’t throw pitches way out of the zone, way high or way wide. And I’ve noticed, too, that the spring training strike zone is very tight."
  • names Reds' All-Decade team
    The selection committee was Rob Butcher (media relations director), Jamie Ramsey and Larry Herms (Butcher's assistants), Rick Stowe (clubhouse/equipment manager) and Chris Welsh. All five were in the Reds employ for the entire 2000-2009 decade. They picked the same starting as eight and the first four starting pitchers as we did.  The team opted for Paul Wilson instead of RR's Johnny Cueto for the fifth spot, which I can see. 
  • Da Meat Hook trades in jersey for suit
    Dmitri Young was just named vice president and senior adviser of baseball operations of the Oakland County Cruisers, an indy league team in the greater Detroit area. Young will be a jack-of-all-trades for the Cruisers, having a part in scouting, management, and broadcasting. HT to RL Nation.
  • NYT Interview with Davey Johnson
    Like most guys formerly associated with the Reds, Davey Johnson gets his paycheck from the Nationals, where he serves as a senior adviser. The 67 year-old Johnson said he's not interested in managing again.  Apparently his mid-season firing from the Mets in 1990 was more painful than being let go by the Reds after 1995. 
  • THT - Ten things I didn’t know about starting rotations
    By ERA+ the 2003 Reds rotation ranked as one of the six worst of all time, with a 74 ERA+. This was the year that Ryan Dempster pitched hurt, Danny Graves started, and Jimmy Haynes pitched like himself.  It was also the year Bob Boone got canned.  Good times!
  • Mauer, Twins agree to 8-year, $184M extension
    The extension, which includes a full no-trade clause, begins in 2011 and takes Joe Mauer through his age-35 season. As great as he is there's some considerable risk here for the Twins, more so than a standard long-term deal. There's a higher injury risk for catchers relative to other position players for a variety of reasons, like exposure to collisions at the plate or foul tips off the mask. Catchers also suffer from wear and tear from all the squatting, which may be more pronounced for someone as tall as the 6'5" Mauer. If Minnesota decides (or is forced) to move Mauer to a different position early in the deal, they'll have to pick somewhere other than 1B because Justin Mourneau is signed through 2013.  Overall, the number of years doesn't surprise me but I did think a hometown discount while Mauer's still a year away from FA would put the average annual value at 20M rather than 23.