Red Reposter Nombre de Plume: .308/.400/.423 Jeff Keppinger's slash line so far this season. He never brought us no pheasant like that. He's been mostly splitting time with Kaz Matsui at 2B for the Astros, but if Kaz struggles any more Keppy could take over full-time. The Reds are in Houston this week for a three-fer Tuesday through Thursday.
Golly, Dusty is a nice fella
He apologized to the beat writers and other media folks for not talking to them after Saturday's...unpleasantness. "It was a much-needed meeting," pitcher Homer Bailey said. "We knew it was coming. Maybe there’s a lot of excuses, but at the end of the day everybody needs to kind of look inside themselves and go out and play the game." Baker said as far as he remembers it was the first time in his managerial career that he refused post-game interviews. If I were Dusty, I would be pissed too. I don't doubt for a second that he is working his ass off. I may disagree with his methods, but I can't doubt his effort. His job is pretty clearly on the line here.
Jonny Gomes says it's up the players to turn this boat around
"It starts with yourself...We see how much passion [manager] Dusty [Baker] and the coaches have for us. But we're the ones in the uniforms between the lines. They want to see us succeed...That (the mental mistakes) is the easiest thing to fix," Gomes said. "We've got defense, offense and pitching. When one aspect is not doing well, we have to pick them up. We're not doing that right now."
Dusty says he wants the team to cut out all the strikeouts
He gave Chris Dickerson a good ol' shakedown after he struck out looking 3 times on Friday. "You have no chance if you don't swing...If you put the ball in play, anything can happen." Baker said. C-Dick says he was trying to be more selective, but Dusty says that's BS. Nobody likes to see a guy strike out looking, but it's one of those things that are not as bad as they look. I really hope Dickerson has the gumption to resist Dusty's terrible advice. His patience at the plate is his best asset.
Dusty started Paul Janish at SS on Saturday because Orlando Cabrera was kinda banged up
Dusty says he understands Janish's frustration with his position on the team: "(Janish) worked extremely hard toward the job possibly being his," Baker said. "He’s gotten his hands stronger. It’s about staying ready when you get a chance. You may not like the situation, but it beats the alternative."
Will Carroll at Baseball Prospectus watched Aroldis Chapman's start in Indy last week
It appears to me to be a very objective and very positive review. If ever we needed a pick-me-up after a rough weekend, it is now. And this is it.
Steve Adams at MLBTR asks when the Reds are gonna bring up Aroldis Chapman
I'm kinda surprised this is coming up so early. But I guess it was only a matter of time what with the way our starters have been pitching and all. While Aaron Harang has been struggling and Bronson Arroyo has been both Goodroyo and Badroyo, sometimes in the same inning, I don't see either of them being traded anytime soon. And honestly I don't think they've been quite bad enough to be cut loose. As Adams says, Homer is out of options, so he's not going anywhere. Cueto and Leake have been the best guys going so far, so that's not gonna work either. And of course, there is also the little fact that Chappy has walked 10 guys in 15 innings. He's not ready yet, and likely won't be for at least a few months. I think he could be very successful even with a walk rate around 4 per 9, but he still has a ways to go to get to that point.
Toward the bottom here, Hall o' Famer Hal tells us Johnny Cueto was pushed back last week because of soreness in his side
Baker said it wasn't anything too serious, but since Arroyo was ready to go it made sense to make the switch. It doesn't seem to be anything worth worrying about, but it bears mentioning.
My favorite part of the week: Ask Hal
Q The Reds have a history of not developing pitchers, so why will it be different with guys like Aroldis Chapman, Travis Wood and Mike Leake? — Rick, Springboro
A Because for way too long the Reds were not good at drafting talented pitchers. You can’t develop what isn’t there to develop, like an old camera without film. The Reds have modernized. Their prospects are all digitalized.
This part made me laugh, as I believe Geki said the same thing yesterday in justin's well-written and insightful FanPost on Harang:
Q Do you think Aaron Harang’s decline and the beginning of the steroid-testing era is a coincidence? The timing seems to work out. — Jeff, Fort Wright, Ky.
A Have you checked out his body? The guy is 6-7 and 260 pounds. His body shows zero signs of steroids — no muscle definition. In fact, a couple of years ago he lost 15 pounds. Maybe he needs to ingest more cake, pie and ice cream and regain that weight.
Joe Posnanski is again dishing out wholesome nuggets of level-headed wisdom
This time he's weighing in on the Alex-Rod - Dallas Braden tiff. He says Alex-Rod is much like Duke; you can say just about anything hateful about them you want and it's almost always universally accepted. Definitely a good read.
Roy Oswalt's family home was destroyed by the tornadoes that blew through the south
There were at least 10 confirmed dead in the storm, but luckily for Roy his family is ok. He is taking time away from the team to go home and be with his family. "He just wants to make sure everything is all right," Astros GM Ed Wade told the Associated Press on Saturday. "I told him to do whatever he needed to do. They lived in the house for over 40 years. He's got a ranch that's about 30 minutes away (in Kosciusko) that his parents can stay at, but 40 years worth of keepsakes and things like that, I'm sure it's really tough on his family."
It looks like he is planning to be back in Houston for his next scheduled start on Thursday, bu I really think he should make sure his family is good and safe before making any rash decisions like that. I really think it is best for him to take as much time as it takes and not to try to rush back. Seriously though, I know I speak for all of us when I wish Roy and the whole Oswalt family the best of luck and my deepest sympathies.