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Red Reposter - that sweet smell of pickles is coming from Matt Maloney's bedroom

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Fay - New guest instructors  
At the bottom of Fay's blog post yesterday, he notes that Dusty Baker has brought Tony Phillips and Ellis Burks into camp as guest instructors.  Phillips is helping the young infielders, while Burks is presumably working with the outfielders.   Dusty played with Phillips in Oakland in the mid-1980s and managed Burks in the late 1990s with the Giants.  Phillips, incidentally, is an old sabre-fave partially due to his ridiculously high 14.5% career walk rate over 18 seasons.  Baker does not state whether the two will remain as permanent coaches.  

Baseball Musings - Dusty Making Sense
Musings links to the above Fay post, where Dusty sings the praises of Enerio Del Rosario. Rosario throws a hard sinker that Dusty claims is ideal for inducing double play groundballs.  Musings then ranks relievers by DPs per opportunity for all relievers since 1974 with at least 100 such opportunities.  Former Reds David Weathers and John Franco come in at around 12%, towards the top of the list.

Chapman to see intrasquad action Thursday!
Unfortunately, the game is not open to the public.  The Reds stated that Chapman will pitch one inning.  Aaron Harang, Homer Bailey, Enerio Del Rosario, Jordan Smith, Logan Ondrusek, Alexander Smith, Philippe Valiquette, and Pedro Viola are also scheduled to pitch.

CNATI - Maloney at ease in big leagues
Matt Maloney's brief late season success with the Reds last year came despite a blister on his left middle finger.  Which turned out to be a good thing for young Matt's development:  With the blister, Maloney couldn't throw his cutter and his curveball was subpar. "My curveball was just really slow. I couldn't really get the extension on it and finish it," Maloney said. "It helped me figure out to throw a two-seamer and a sinker, because I couldn't put my pressure on the middle finger and I had to put the pressure on my index finger and it helped me get sink on the ball." Now he has those pitches to go along with his cutter and the curveball is back to where he wants it.

There's also a story about spilled pickle juice in the Maloney's bedroom.  Which I'll let you read for yourself or let your imagination run wild.

Diamond Hoggers - A Grande comeback?
When FSN announced their Reds broadcast schedule, they also threw this in:   As previously announced, Thom Brennaman will serve as the play by play voice for the majority of Reds game telecasts this season. Cincinnati native and longtime broadcaster Paul Keels will be the play-by-play announcer for the remainder of the Reds schedule. Both broadcasters will team with color analysts Chris Welsh and Jeff Brantley. George Grande will also return to his play-by-play announcing role in September on a limited basis.

Diamond Hoggers isn't crazy about Grande, but what I'm disappointed in is the lack of Jim Kelch, the voice of the Louisville Bats. I thought he did a fine job in spot duty with the Reds last year. Did Paul Keels do any games last year?

BPro - Reds Team Health Reports
The entire article is subscription only, but I don't agree with what I saw in the publicly available portion.  The author falls back on the tired Dusty stereotypes in talking about Homer Bailey (and Cueto and Volquez), the Reds' "big risk":  [D]espite not having a history of injuries (other than a bothersome groin), [a] number of things go into this ranking, including his age, increase in workload, and his mechanics. Bailey was recently named in Tom Verducci's "10 for '10: Young aces most at risk of Verducci Effect." The 23-year old finished 40th in baseball in Pitcher Abuse Points with 27780 in only 20 major-league starts. Bailey's innings jumped from 147 2/3 innings pitched in 2008 to 203 innings in 2009. He was one of the game's top pitchers in his final nine starts of 2009, and the Reds leaned on him heavily during those starts. The La Grange, Texas native averaged 112 pitches per start during that time, furthering the thought that Baker likes to ride his top horses.  

Bailey also never topped 120 pitches in averaging 112 per start, which I've never seen considered abusive.  The issue with his mechanics is also not discussed.

Dewayne Wise still hanging on 
Dewayne Wise continues to bounce around the league, but at least he's got a good story from his perfect game-saving catch last year.  Apparently he also has a painting in his living room commemerating the catch given to him by Mark Buehrle.  This year Wise is in the Phillies' spring training camp and will likely start the year in AAA. 

NYT - Catching up with Chad Moeller
Chad Moeller is with the Orioles this year, playing Yoda to Matt Wieters' Skywalker.  Moeller recalls some of his more memorable battery mates, including Aaron Harang:  Six-foot-seven, very big. He throws an invisible fastball: a lot of them are right down the middle, and they don’t hit it. First game I caught for him, we went into the eighth inning, he just gave up his second hit and the guy was on third. And then he tripped going to the plate, caught his spikes and realized he was going to be called for a balk, so he flipped the ball over. But the delay had taken too long, and that was the only run he gave up. The manager told me I was going to catch him every time after that, and I never caught him again. It was really strange.  Moeller is talking about this game, on May 15, 2007.  Harang threw rocks for nine innings and the Reds beat the Padres 2-1 in 12 after a Ken Griffey homerun.  Moeller is wrong about never catching Harang again, however.  He started Harang's next start on May 20, when Harang gave up five runs in five innings against Cleveland.  You can never trust a Moeller man.