NL Central Standings
It has been a very long time since the Reds were in 1st place in August. I figured you would all appreciate this. Breathe it in.
The big news of the night last night was Orlando Cabrera's injury
"It doesn’t look good," manager Dusty Baker said. "It’s a side. Those are bad. It’s his left side, which is his lead side. That makes it worse." Cabrera will almost certainly go on the DL, as he's in Cincinnati this morning to be checked out. It seems like Paul Janish will take over at SS in his stead, with one of the Reds young infielders in AAA stepping in to the reserve role.
Drew Sutton has been up for a cuppa already this season, and has played SS in a pinch, but his bat is cold and he really shouldn't be playing SS. Chris Valaika was a SS until last season, but he's been playing 2B in L'ville. Zack Cozart is the starting SS in L'ville and is likely the best overall option out of the bunch, but the Reds may not want to bring him up to sit the bench behind Janish and he is not on the 40-man. I think the Reds may wait until getting word on Cabrera, because if it's not major and he's only out for a few weeks I would think they go with Valaika. If Lando's gonna be out well into September or later though they may want to bring up the hot prospect Cozart and have him start.
I think the most distressing thing is that this oblique strain is the exact same injury that has sequestered Mike Lincoln in the bowels of oblivion for such a long time. Lincoln certainly isn't as important to the team as Lando is (and some will argue Lando isn't much important either) but now is not the time to lose anyone to injury.
Chris Heisey has started the past 2 days in CF
and it looks like he might get an even longer look-see than that. "He’s been playing," Baker Baker said. "That’s two days in a row. He can run them down — not quite like Stubbs, which is a big part of our defense. But we’re in a performance game. We’ve been spotting him against certain kind of pitchers that I thought he was most conducive to having success against. He’s learning." The way Stubbs has been playing it looks more and more like he might be sent to Louisville in favor of Dickerson. Did anyone else notice that Heisey has gotten only 89 ABs since being called up at the end of April??
Hold on to your butts
As you probably know, Joey Votto took the night off last night because of a sore wrist. "It's been bothering him for about three days now and if you don't take care of it, it's only going to get worse, especially after every time you check swing," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's a sprain and hopefully right now he's day-to-day. ... The doctor looked at him yesterday said it's a sprain of the wrist. Sometimes, you know, that wrist is something that you take for granted until you sprain it. Your wrist and your fingers, you don't even think about it as far as a hitter's concerned. That's a very, very important part of their hitting. As a guy who's hurt both of them, I know they're important."
It sounds like the Reds are just being cautious with him, but that's kinda the same thing they said when Votto was out for a week with the neck and Rolen was out for 10 days with the hamstring. Hopefully this is just a few days at most, but the history with these things has me worried. Luckily, the Reds have the Pirates and Cubs for the next 5, but they head to St. Louis after that. Votto's gotta be ready for that.
The Fay speculates that Chris Dickerson could be brought up this week in place of Drew Stubbs
Dickerson's rehab assignment is up Thursday, so the Reds will have to make a move with him. Both players have options, so either one can be sent to AAA. Fay says he's surprised that Stubbs hasn't been demoted already, but I think that's a bit impetuous. I really like how much faith Walt and the brass have in their young players. That being said, I don't think I would be against Stubbs taking a month or so in AAA to straighten himself out. The bigger question is how Dusty would handle the outfield playing time.
Russ Springer grew up watching the Big Red Machine
so when teams came calling this season there were only two teams he really considered. The Reds weren't even close to the best offer, but he wanted to be a Red. Remember how one of the reasons the Reds signed Dusty Baker was because he could attract high-profile free agents? It's working! Give him an extension!
Grimey at Blog Red Machine compares Travis Wood to Stephen Strasburg
Strasburg has been the hype of the Milky Way since coming up in June, but Woody ain't too bad himself. Here's what Grimey says:
"Strasburg is 5-2 and has pitched 54 innings. His ERA stands at 2.32. And, he has struck out 75 hitters. He has 15 walks. His WHIP stands at a stellar 1.067. Those are some outstanding numbers for a rookie. And, he was probably on pace to be the rookie of the year until his shoulder ailment occurred. So, now let’s check out the Reds’ Travis Freakin Wood’s numbers so far this season. His record stands at 2-1 and he has pitched 45 innings. So, he has 9 fewer innings than Strasburg. Wood has 37 strikeouts which is 38 or so less than Strasburg. Travis isn’t a power or strikeout pitcher. Wood has walked 11 hitters and his WHIP so far this year is 0.880. Wow!!! That is a pitcher that is dominating. And, last but not least Travis Wood’s ERA is 2.42."
So while Strasburg is blowing 100mph fireballs by hitters, Wood is just getting outs. I certainly don't think (and I don't think Grimey does either) that Wood is as good a pitcher as Strasburg is, but it is pretty great to see another young Reds pitcher succeeding at the MLB level.
MLB Trade Rumors goes over the waiver trade candidates for August
Here's what they say about the Reds: "Reds closer Francisco Cordero will probably clear waivers, though he's unlikely to change teams. I view Bronson Arroyo as a similar case. The Reds could use the depth Aaron Harang will provide when he returns from the disabled list from back spasms, though the chance to shed the remainder of his contract would be appealing. Reliever Mike Lincoln is on the disabled list for an oblique strain; he'll clear waivers for sure."
Sporting News power rankings have the Reds at #10 this week
Behind only the Padres, Giants, and Braves in the NL. Apparently, Walt Jocketty is Gene Hackman: "After the Reds—who are fighting for their first playoff berth since 1995—stood pat on deadline day, it kinda felt like GM Walt Jocketty pulling out his Hoosiers speech … y'know, "I would hope you would support who we are, not who we are not. … This is your team.""
OMGReds has some glamour "Schotts" of the Marge Schott bobblehead
You can get the bobble head with the price of admission to the Reds HoF and Museum. I don't know why I was surprised they put her in a track suit.