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Red Reposter - Mike Leake, A Portrait of the Pitcher as a Young Man

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Red Reposter's Magic Number brought to you by Hansen's Hypno Coins.  If you can find a sturdier hypno coin, you buy it.  - .431 -  The collective on-base percentage of Reds catchers.  We all know how well Hanigan has been hitting, but Clutch Man Monie is walking at more than a 17% rate.  He's not hitting for much power, but as long as he isn't making outs I'll be happy.

  • Mike Leake is some kid, eh?
    When asked about what it was like facing a team for the second time, he said "In college I faced some of the teams more than once, for three years I faced the same guys. It comes down to making your pitch. They can have a book on you, but as long as you're mixing it up and hitting your spots, it's tough to hit."

    When asked about pitching 5 perfect innings he quipped "I was thinking perfect game until I walked the guy. I was actually thinking of Tom Browning how he threw his, but that went away pretty fast." I'm sure if he played for some other team I would read this and think he's a cocky little SOB, but he's a Red. And that means I read this and want to give him a high five.

  • Ryan Hanigan is hitting very well to begin the year
    His wOBA is a Mauerish .489. Dusty says he looks stronger, which is pretty obvious since he is out-slugging his last-year-self by over 300 points. "My swing feels good," Hanigan said. "I got a little more rhythm in my swing. My hands are working, and they’re loose. Having that rhythm allows the bat head to release pretty good for me." Dusty says keeping him fresh is paramount to sustained success, so he and Ramon Hernandez are splitting time more equally (Hernandez has 70 PAs, Hanigan 53). I'm all for keeping them fresh, but I can't help but get excited when Hanigan has already accumulated more than 1 WAR in his limited playing time. He was worth 1.1 WAR all of last season (Ramon was worth 0.3 last season).

  • Dusty has been working with Drew Stubbs on the graceful art of bunting since Spring Training
    and apparently he has yet to get the hang of it. "He hasn't picked up the knack yet. He sure can run. If he just tops it, it's a hit. We've been working and working and working." You know, I wonder what could have been had Dusty been working with Stubbs on something important like hitting. Maybe he wouldn't be slumping somethin' fierce if he were getting legitimate instruction on making contact and pitch selection instead of something so stupid as bunting. I know, I know. Bunting is important (kind of) and of course I'm sure Jacoby and Dusty are working tirelessly on his hitting. But damn, this story really rubbed me the wrong way.

  • This is a great piece from Sunday's Enquirer on Mike Leake
    Bronson Arroyo details the first time he met him: "I didn't know his name," Arroyo said. "I didn't know he was a first-round pick. I didn't know nothing about him. There's always a bunch of guys walking around that I've never seen before. But I told somebody I think that kid is going to have a pretty good big-league career just from the way he walked around. He just walks around with a nice, quiet confidence underneath. He knows he can get the job done."

  • Maybe these guys are listening to Dusty after all
    So far, they are the second best team in the majors at doing "the little things". Even if Stubbs hasn't picked up the bunting yet, the rest of the team has been pretty good at performing in clutch situations. Maybe Dusty is right to keep playing Clutch Man Monie over Ryan Hanigan after all...

  • Dusty says he's being really patient with Drew Stubbs because he knows the potential is there
    He said he pulled some stats for some historical comps for Stubbs. Awesome, right? Dusty is using B-Ref! He's evolving! "Baker pointed out that Mark McGwire batted .201 in 1991, his sixth big league season. There was a sheet on Ozzie Smith, who batted .211, .230 and .222 over his second through fourth seasons. Reds great Dave Concepcion batted .205 in his sophomore season and .209 his third year. "In today's world, they would not have been patient about that," Baker said. "Mike Schmidt hit .196 in 132 games [in 1973, his second season]." Batting average, huh? I don't think Dusty went to Baseball-Reference.

  • Ask Hal
    Q Dusty Baker’s contract expires at the end of this season and there are indications that Lou Piniella’s stay in Chicago might be coming to an end. Any scenario in which Piniella manages he Reds in 2011? — Andrew, Muncie, Ind.
    A Piniella was CEO Bob Castellini’s first choice before he hired Baker. Sweet Lou didn’t like what he saw in Cincinnati and ended up in Chicago. How’s that worked out for him? My feeling is that Castellini’s next choice won’t be a high-priced guy with star power. And Piniella has indicated to friends that when his days in Chicago are over, so are his days in a manager’s office.

    Q I’m doing a report on how train travel in the early 20th century influenced baseball players. Know anything about it? — Dbeem, Dayton
    A So you think I rode shotgun on a Wells Fargo stagecoach with Harry Wright in 1869? I’m old, but I didn’t travel by train with teams. I’ve heard about it, though, and the only thing that stuck with me is that they ate a lot more, drank a lot more, slept a lot more and lost a lot of money in poker games.

    Very funny, jerks. So which one of you is "Dbeem from Dayton"?

  • Here's a follow-up on the piece Justin talked about in the Sabermetric Saturday Reposter
    Erik Manning looks at the pitchers with the fewest and most meltdowns over the past few years. Our Francisco Cordero is one of the best at avoiding the meltdowns, but our David Weathers was one of the most prolific at crafting a meltdown. I could have a heart attack and die of not surprise.

  • Brian Kollars of the DDN, freshly graduated from the Paul Daugherty School of Journalism for Guys who Can't Writes Sports All Good,
    says it might be time to call on Aroldis Chapman. Personally, I would love to see Chapman brought up to the big leagues. Not because I think he's ready or even because he couldn't do any worse than what we already have. I want Chapman in Cincy because I can't take any more of these idiots banging on about it.