Topping the charts this week on the Red Reposter Hot Hot Caliente Countdown is this longing elegy to the Reds offense. It's Missing from that too-hip-to-be-attractive English duo Everything but the Girl. We miss you guys, like the deserts miss the rain. Or is it "Devil's Masquerade"? "Devil's Masked Parade"? Either way, they are gone and it suuuuuucks. - 6 - In their last 6 losses the Reds have totaled only 6 runs. They have faced four of the finest starters in the league in that stretch in Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee, and Felix Hernandez, but they've also been stymied by such character actors as Hiroki Kuroda and Ryan Rowland-Smith.
Dusty says the team absolutely needs to bounce back tonight and beat the A's
"We’ve got no choice," Baker said. "It would have been a good one to get today with St. Louis winning. But we’ll win tomorrow and be one back because they’re off." So this is what we have been reduced to, celebrating when the Cardinals have a day off. Woof.
Scott Rolen's Day Off Math with Dusty Baker
Rolen started Sunday's afternoon game, which has been a rare occurrence this season. Dusty has been careful to keep the old man fresh. "It all depends on how he feels, how many consecutive games we have coming up," manager Dusty Baker said. "We're facing a lefty [Ryan Rowland-Smith] today. He'll probably get Wednesday off. I don't want to give him Sunday and Wednesday off. We're off Thursday, so that will give him two days off." If only we could give Orlando Cabrera two days off...forever!
They call him "Hall o' Famer" Hal for a reason
Here's his take on the weekend: "It was almost excusable when they were shut out, 1-0, Friday by Cliff Lee. And it was almost excusable when they lost Saturday, 5-1, by Felix Hernandez. Those are two top-shelf, top-quality, top-of-the-heap pitchers. But Ryan Roland-Smith? He was 0-6 going into Sunday’s game and the Reds figured to knock the hyphen out of his last name."
Good news everyone!
Ryan Hanigan did some pregame bullpen catching on Sunday. He's been hitting for a while, but this was his first time donning the Tools of Ignorance since breaking his thumb. "It's going to be sore but it's close to tolerable," Hanigan said on Sunday. "It gets a little better every day. We're just trying to keep it from getting blown up now. I'm pretty optimistic I've turned the corner. We'll see how it feels today from catching." I'm not going to pretend that he is the savior of this offense, but it would be great to have him back. If I had to guess, I'd say he'll be back by the Fourth of July.
The Fay is worried that this Reds team is repeating the missteps of years past
Specifically, the '04 team that went on an 0-7 skid after an interleague trip out west. We are definitely in the trough right now, but I think this team is different from those teams of the past. Those teams floundered because once the offense started to sputter, they didn't have the pitching and defense to steady the ship. It's funny, because going into this season the offense was the #1 worry. I figured the pitching was good and the defense was great, but then they came out and started leading the league in hitting. This is probably just a market correction, because I don't believe for a minute that this offense is the best in the league. But while they may not bounce back this week, I'm confident that they are not going away so easily. As long as we avoid big injuries, we will be watching meaningful baseball in August and September.
Hall o' Famer Hal sez Edinson Volquez could be back in mid-July
Q If all goes well for Edinson Volquez and he has no setbacks, when is the soonest we might see him back? — P-Dub, Independence
A He has made two starts in Class A and he is supposed to make two starts in Class AA and two starts in Class AAA. Didn’t he make that advancement already in his career? This, though, is different. He is on rehab. If all goes well (does it ever?) he could be back by mid-July. The Reds are thinking they might ease him back in with some bullpen work, where they need help the most.
I love the idea of putting Volquez in the 'pen. The lighter work load would be much better on his recovering arm (and make no mistake, he will be recovering for still more months even though he may be back to pitching), and I think his already electric stuff would really play up out of the bullpen.
Dusty Baker speaks of Daniel Ray Herrera's height like it's a debilitating and embarrassing congenital defect
Asked about DRH's scoreless performance on Saturday: "He needs it and we need it," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "This guy, he's fighting. That's all he knows. Imagine if you're 5-6. His whole life has been a fight. If anybody knows how to fight to keep what he already has fought to get, it would be him."
Yasmani Grandal's Miami Hurricanes were eliminated from the NCAA tournament
so he's now open to sign a deal with the Reds and begin his pro career. But Walt and the Reds aren't pressuring him. Yonder Alonso and Mike Leake didn't sign until the deadline in mid-August so I would expect nothing else from Grandal. Personally, I'd like to see him get some pro ABs this summer, but I guess the Reds don't think it is as important.
McPaper (ba da ba ba journalism!) asked players what they thought of instant replay
Our middle infield had this to say:
"We need to make the game different from other sports. On close plays, the umpires should get together and talk about it instead of leaving the field to look at a computer. I think you just have to live with your mistakes." -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips.
"I think they should do it for important games, maybe the playoffs." -- Reds shortstop Orlando Cabrera.