Red Reposter's Don't Count Your Chickens sponsored by KFC's Double Down sandwich: taste the unhungry side of KFC - 20. Number of strikeouts Joey Votto has so far this season, good for 2nd on the team behind Drew Stubbs' 21. For all the grief Stubbs gets for his Ks, Votto is right on his heels. 'Course, Votto is also sporting an impressive .389 wOBA, compared to Stubbs' anemic .255. Just shows to go ya that strikeouts aren't really important as long as you are producing.
Little Kenny Rosenthal says Dusty asked the Reds about a contract extension
The Reds weren't exactly excited by the prospect. I would bet we'll know by June whether Dusty will be a Red or not next season. If they keep playing sub-.500 ball like this though I'm sure the decision will be an easy one. Thanks to 'credsfan for the FanShot.
Red Hot Mama is beginning a 5-part series on what makes a good manager
since we may be looking for a new one sometime in the near future. The first requirement is "Open-Mindedness". "I think a good manager should be open-minded about evaluating performance and deciding courses of action. A person who stubbornly insists that "his gut" or "his stats" or "his tarot cards" is the only source of information worth paying attention to is limiting himself unnecessarily. Beware of managers who try to assess talent based entirely on facial structure, as well as those who have never looked up from the spreadsheet long enough to notice the player’s face."
This road trip looks to be an important one (when was the last time this team went on a meaningless road trip?)
"We just need to go and have a kick-butt road trip," Baker said. "That's what we'd like to have. We could really make up some ground. Houston is playing good. They're always tough in their ballpark. St. Louis is tough in their park. We've just got to win, one at a time". I don't know about you, but I'm kinda surprised this team is 8-11. It feels a lot worse than that, doesn't it? Aaron Harang will be on the mound tonight and I have a feeling the rope is tightening around his neck. He has to pitch well or else.
Pitching coach Bryan Price says Harang and Arroyo need to clean it up
"At this point it’s unfair to ask Leake or Bailey or Cueto to take on the responsibility that really falls more on Aaron and Bronson, and that’s to lead us and keep us in games and pitch innings," Price said. "They both have a track record of doing so." The rotation is ranked 29th in ERA heading into today's Titanic Struggle, with Harang at 8.31 and Arroyo at 7.43.
Greg Billing at the DDN says the baserunning mistakes are unacceptable
Dusty said he didn't mind the two mistakes on Sunday because they won the game in the end, but Billing says "Yeah, the win was needed. But having two more potential runs taken off the base paths — especially when the same team committed three mental blunders the game before — isn’t exactly acceptable. At least not at this level." I know it's easy to get frustrated when losing teams make such obvious mistakes, but really the base running errors are not what is keeping this team down. The lack of pitching and hitting is what we should be concerning ourselves with. And frankly, I find it hard to believe that it can continue as it has. They are due for a change in luck.
John Perrotto at BP says the Reds have disappointed so far, as they were a trendy sleeper pick in the offseason
"I really believe we have the talent to be in the race this year," says right fielder Jay Bruce. "The biggest thing with our team is that we don't have a lot of guys who have won before. The few veteran guys who have won are doing their best to teach us, but it's hard to know how to win until you've done it. That's what we're struggling with right now. We're trying to figure it out."
Cliff Corcoran says Albert Pujols must be licking his chops after hearing about the new Ryan Howard deal
"If Howard's deal has any impact on Pujols, it's as a reminder that Pujols exists somewhere well north of his counterpart in Philadelphia. The ludicrous Pujols-for-Howard trade rumor this past offseason helped throw the gap between the two players into sharp relief. While Howard has hit .278/.379/.589 over the past four seasons, Pujols batted .333/.427/.628 over the past nine, which is to say his entire career. In his worst season (his .314/.394/.561 performance as a 22-year-old sophomore in 2002) Pujols was every bit as good as Howard has been in his four-year peak seasons. Pujols is also a better fielder, a better baserunner, two months younger than Howard, and in his first nine seasons struck out 195 times fewer than Howard has in his previous four. If Howard is worth $125 million over five years, Pujols could easily be baseball's second $200 million player. Ultimately, the big question is not how much Pujols is worth, but whether or not there is a team in baseball that can afford him."
Satchel Price at BtB looks at the best minor-league rotations
and Louisville's Aroldis Chapman, Travis Wood, Matt Maloney, Sam LeCure, and Justin Lehr are one of two AAA rotations profiled. "Well, there's not much to say about Chapman. He's mowing down Triple-A hitters, out to make the current draft system look downright silly when the Reds end up getting a bargain for giving $30M to an amateur player. Wood and Maloney are solid young lefties that are essentially MLB-ready. Both grade out as No. 4 or No. 5 starters, but we all know those are still very valuable. LeCure and Lehr aren't much more than long relief guys at the major league level, but they make up the back of end of a very good Triple-A rotation."