Hump Day Meta Index for the mid-week of 4/11/11:
13 Team-leading number of walks Jonny Gomes has drawn, in 44 PAs
2 Number of stolen bases by Gomes, tied for team lead. New leadoff hitter?
10.5 K/9 rate for Sam LeCure through 2 starts, eclipsing Edinson Volquez for first among starters. I know it's early, but LeCure has been convincing. Padres batters only put 11 balls in play last night and only one was judged a line drive by whoever does that.
36.2% Rate of pitches in the zone thrown to Votto through 4/12/11, lowest in the majors.
251 Games won by Dusty Baker as Reds manager.
0 Number of earned runs given up to date by Aroldis Chapman, Logan Ondrusek and Bill Bray.
8,623 Average draw by Louisville Bats, through five home games. The Marlins didn't report a paid attendance under 10,000 in 2010, but I wonder how the actual number of bodies in the seats would compare.
Mark Sheldon delivers some nuggets in the wake of last night's after-midnight victory
LeCure gets some well-earned praise from Baker... Homer Bailey threw 37 pitches in a game at Goodyear. So he's somewhere between Start 1 and Start 2 of Spring Training.... In reference to Chapman's appearance last night, we witness the first instance of the phrase "only topped out at 98 mph" in the English language. And, Masset is having early-season struggles again. "Great velocity, poor location," sez Dusty, before ominously asserting that they'll "have to do something" about it.
Joey Votto may somehow be getting better at baseball
A terrifying prospect for any non-Reds team, though potentially confounding for anyone hoping he'll be extended beyond 2013. His three-year deal may indeed end up looking like a bargain, as Votto said he hoped would be the case in his post-contract Votto Vow. As mentioned above, Joey's seeing the lowest percentage of strikes in the majors so far this season. Rather than chase bad pitches, Votto has become more selective over the small sample, putting himself in good counts and punishing fastballs in the zone. In the process of picking increasingly prime cuts, he's struck out only four times.
All of which leads FanGraphs' Dave Cameron to conclude:
Good luck, National League managers – I have no idea how you’re supposed to get this guy out.
Please start building that Grotto!
Redleg Nation Radio drops Podcast #62, an interview with Tucker Barnhart
Why they didn't title this "Interview with the Banhart" is beyond me. But go give a listen. Tucker hails from Greater Reds Country - Brownsburg, IN - and is now catching for the Dayton Dragons.
The Bats Signal has a post up on Danny Dorn
So that I can continue to believe in a just Universe, can someone please employ this man at the major league level? He'd make a really nice platoon partner to a good home.