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Red Reposter - The Cavalry Mounts Up

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I'm RijoSaboCaseyWKRP and you're not. And now the fake journalism...

Chapman will pitch in relief of Edinson Volquez today
Probably not worth reading much into this, other than the fact that Volquez is on the fast track to rejoin the team next month. Today is Chapman's customary day to pitch, but he's taking a backseat to Volquez in his rehab start. There's still a possibility that Chapman could join the bullpen in relief late in the season, but there haven't been any rumblings of it happening in the very near future, nor plans for a sustained trial as reliever in AAA. Time will tell.

Ryan Hanigan is ready to rehab
They tried to make him go and he said yes yes yes. RyHan caught Cueto's bullpen session the other day - which I assume gave Paul Janish one less chore to do as equipment manager/intern - and everything went swimmingly. Fay projects a short rehab. Hernandez continues his mini offensive revival apace, while Corky has lent his experience and recent timely hitting, but Hanigan's return should be a much-needed lift for the club.

Reds have a plan to limit Leake's innings
Why it's a trade secret, I'm not exactly sure. 175 IP seems to be the upper limit, based on Leake's innings last year with Arizona State. With Wood, Volquez, (hopefully) Bailey and possibly Chapman as options downstream, I cautiously submit that the Reds are in good shape for now.

Toronto Blue Jays designate Encarnacion for assignment
Another plot twist in the saga of the Scott Rolen deal. I'll admit that some of my opposition to the Rolen deal was the fact that the younger Edwin, who I felt still had unrealized potential, was being swapped for the elder and injury-prone Rolen. So far, it's been Encarnacion that's been injury-bitten, while Rolen appears to have tapped into his talent reserves. Let me just add, deadly serious, that the Reds should welcome back EdE on a minor league deal - or possibly even MLB minimum as a bench player. He may still be raw about being traded and I'm sure he's looking for something in at least a periodic starting position, but he could be that right-handed, popping bench bat the team needs. Just an out-of-the-boxer.

FanGraphs looks at Jay Bruce's improvement vs. lefties
It may be time to dust off your "Jay Bruce is the Second Coming" t-shirts and windbreakers. And something worth remembering when we foolishly rush to judgment:

We know that splits, especially of the platoon variety, can display plenty of noise to go with the signal, especially in small samples. This effect can be amplified for young players who are still getting used to the rigors of a full baseball season. Bruce showed in 2007 that maybe hitting lefties wouldn’t be a problem. He faced a lefty 30 percent of the time that year and posted a .919 OPS, against a .992 vs. righties. That was, of course, a pretty small sample itself, just 177 PA, but it also showed that his splits from 05 and 06 weren’t necessarily indicative of his skill.

Rolen still in the running for a fan vote All Star selection
He's in fifth place at his position - along with BP and Votto - but Rolen is the only candidate with a real mathematical chance to make it. It's become a hotbed topic here lately as to who from the Reds roster deserves to make the All Star Game and who will be selected, whether by fan vote or manager's and player's selection. On merit alone, Votto, Rolen and Phillips should be locks. Leake and Gomes may have written themselves out with some recent struggles. On the topic of Arthur Rhodes, I think the man deserves it for the mere fact that he has a microscopic ERA and that this may be his last chance to attend the Mid-Summer Classic as an honored guest. Objectively, he probably hasn't pitched enough innings and or been used in enough of the highest leverage situations to make the cut.

Red Hot Mama issues a loving thought poem to Jonny Gomes
Some highlights, offered without remark (other than an enthusiastic "second"):

What I love about Jonny Gomes is the eagerness he brings to the game and to life. The intensity in his gaze hints at a man uncontent to drift through life like common mortals, intent instead to live every moment to its fullest. It also hints at a man who might be capable of the kind of frenzy displayed by Danny Bateman in The Replacements. "Get me the base, Jonny!" "I GOT THE BASE."

What I love about Jonny Gomes is his twitchy helmet adjustments as he goes to the plate. One wonders if maybe the haircut has caused the helmet not to fit quite right.

What I love about Jonny Gomes is doing a Google image search on his name. Try it. It’s awesome.

Is this a true fun fact or his Hal yanking our chains? (Either way, it rules)
Bronson Arroyo is named after Charles Bronson, Arroyo’s mother’s favorite movie actor, a tough-guy actor who starred in Mr. Majestyk. (Editor's note: AND DEATHWISH I-V!!!!!)

Marty & Joe Field in Fairfield, OH will be christened on June 28
Anything Marty & Joe co-branded has my unequivocal approval.

Morgan, Baker say Stephen Strasburg should wait his All-Star turn
When Joe and Dusty "team up" for an opinion, the blogosphere reaches for it's caps lock key. But I happen to agree with this one. Strasburg has been electric, but you can't go handing out All Star invites to early June call-ups. I also can't imagine the Nats getting more than three bids at maximum, which would mean Strasburg would leapfrog Livan Hernandez or Josh Willlingham.

FanGraphs takes a critical look at Selig's crusade against long games
They conclude that expanding the strike zone is the only way to tighten things up. I think there's probably a way to have umpires limit stop downs between pitches, as in the constant preening and stepping out of the box by some players, but this seems a clear-eyed assessment. Widening the strike zone, of course, would create less scoring, so this is a double-edged sword for MLB.