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Red Reposter - Head West

Red Reposter is proud to support your local dinosaur catcher.  - 2006 -  That bitter season.  It's difficult to look ahead to this upcoming west coast road trip and not think of 2006.  On August 24 that season the Reds embarked on a 10 game jaunt out west tied for the NL Central lead.  When they returned to Cincinnati on September 4, they were 6 games back.  That disastrous road trip was pretty much the end of the line for that intriguing-yet-fatally-flawed team.  Fortunately, this year's vintage is much stronger than that one in a number of ways.  To be specific, we now have more than 3 pitchers who can be reasonably relied upon to get an out.  Let's hope that's enough to avoid a similar fate.

  • So the Reds have a ton of good pitchers now, huh?
    Homer Bailey was throwing rocks yesterday, shooting six shutout innings in his first start in over two months. So they keep saying "it's a good problem to have", but it's still a problem that needs solving. I count Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake, Travis Wood, Homer Bailey, and Aaron Harang as having legitimate claims to rotation spots. I think Harang's claim is the most tenuous, so I think we'll see him in the bullpen down the stretch. That leaves one more name to cut.

    Homer threw in the bullpen down in AAA, so I think the Reds are leaning on him going to the 'pen too. With all the extra off days he's had lately, Leake is on pace to finish the year near his innings cap if he remains in the rotation. Thing is though, he hasn't been all that good over the past two months or so. His ERA since June 10 is 5.60. He's averaging fewer than 6 innings a start in that stretch too. I think it's pretty safe to assume that Leake will be going to the bullpen for the post-season, but perhaps he could head there sooner than that in favor Bailey's fresher arm? Of course, this is totally disregarding the issue of who these starters are going to supplant in the bullpen. That's a whole nuther conversation entirely.

  • Orlando Cabrera served as a ball boy in yesterday afternoon's game
    The rest of the team ridiculed him, saying it was "ball boys", not "ball men". Cabrera was defiant though, that is, until he ran into Monica Seles and cost her a shot at the US Open title.

  • Joey Votto got tossed from the game yesterday in the 1st inning because the umpire was a bitch
    According to him anyway, that's how it went.

  • Chris Heisey took some grounders at 2B yesterday morning before the game
    "It's in case of emergency," Heisey said. "I've played shortstop my whole life, and then in college, the second half of my junior year was spent at shortstop. I would not say I'm comfortable in the infield, but I don't feel like a stranger. I trust my hand-eye coordination and reflexes enough to at least knock the ball down and throw it across the infield." With 6 outfielders on the roster and only 1 backup infielder, it's good to know he could cover it in a pinch. Then again, they could just not keep 6 outfielders. I thought we were past this roster redundancy stuff. Laynce Nix I'm looking right at you.

  • Top draft pick Yasmani "not as good as Devin Mesoraco" Grandal took a physical on Saturday
    Walt says it was just so it was out of the way and wouldn't have to be done last-minute, but it looks like a good sign to me. I don't think either side would agree to a physical if either one wasn't confident in a deal. Jocketty was mum on the idea of Grandal getting a big league deal. "I don't want to comment on that yet. Not until everything is done." If you ask me, I'd say he doesn't get a big league deal. He's a very polished bat and more big league-ready compared to most kids out of the draft, but he's still a catcher. I think it will take him a good while to get used to pro ball and I'd hate to see his options limited because he was on the 40-man prematurely. The deadline is tonight at 11:59, so we shall know very soon.

  • While Dusty was exiled from the dugout the past two games
    he was spinnin' a lot of Van Morrison. Suck on that, Jackson Browne!

    At the end of this post is a very good story about Jonny Gomes and Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez. Gomes said, "He was my first manager and is the best manager I ever had." Rodriguez coached at Class A Princeton in the Rays organization when Gomes was drafted. It's definitely worth the read.

  • Roster moves
    The Reds sent Juan Francisco down to AAA in order to make room for Homer Bailey's triumphant return from the DL. Francisco was understanding of the decision, but that didn't stop him from tearing a few toilets out of the clubhouse stink lodge.

  • Francisco Cordero wants to make it difficult as possible for you to dislike him
    by being as realistic and self-effacing as possible.
    "I have to stop walking people," Cordero said. "I've got to do that or it's going to be like that every time. I see how upset the fans are with me. I understand that. Every time I walk someone, that guy comes in to score. It's not like I'm giving up a lot of base hits. It's walks. I really don't know what to say about that. It's not my style. It's not me. I've never been like that my whole career. I have to keep working and try to be better every time out." You know, no matter how aware he is of his struggles or determined he is to get better, it doesn't change how tense his 9th innings are. Dude's gotta clean it up. Now.

  • Ask Hal
    Q Is Brandon Phillips a cancer in the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse or what? — Dave, Miamisburg/Centerville/Beavercreek

    A With your assessments, the Reds need to hire a team oncologist. You called Barry Larkin a cancer. You called Ken Griffey Jr. a cancer. You called Adam Dunn a cancer. Now Phillips — who isn’t even intestinal flu in the clubhouse. Since when does expressing your First Amendment rights make you a cancer?

    Q If the Reds are to make the playoffs they need some more power arms, like Homer Bailey in place of Mike Leake and Aaron Harang when he is ready. Bronson Arroyo as No. 1 in the playoffs means the Reds have no chance. — Mike, Houston

    A Compared to Leake, yes, Bailey and Harang throw hard, but they are not ‘power’ pitchers. The only Reds ‘power’ pitcher is Aroldis Chapman and he is being bullpen-broken. Is Cliff Lee a power pitcher? Was Greg Maddux a power pitcher? Power isn’t everything and I’m comfortable with Arroyo starting Game 1 of the playoffs — just to see the Reds in the playoffs.

  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post is a very good sports writer, being both erudite and objective
    To wit: "Let's get this straight: (Chris) Carpenter is a brilliant pitcher. He could have won the Cy Young Award last season. Probably would have, had teammate Adam Wainwright not split the vote. Carpenter, at 13-4 with a 2.95 ERA, could just as easily win this year, though Wainwright is the current favorite. His intensity ranks somewhere between the Ravens' Ray Lewis and the CIA's Jason Bourne. That is admirable. Who wouldn't want a teammate that takes his craft that seriously? The problem isn't the ERA, it's the IQ. He knows everything about everything. Dare I say it — he's become the next Curt Schilling." He then recounts the numerous times Carp has proven himself to be a whiny bitch. I think this is enough red meat for the Reposter for the whole week.