Scott Rolen is back travelling with the team
He took batting practice and some infield yesterday. There is still no speculation on when he will return to the lineup. Chris Valaika singled and doubled last night, so there's that.
Paul Janish's sprained ankle is feeling better
and he says he's ready to return to game action. He's hoping to play in this series against his hometown Astros. "It's been a couple of days, but it feels a lot better right now. I feel if I had to play, I could, and I told them that. But right now we're erring on the side of caution. I'm hoping I get on the field in the next couple of days while we're in Houston."
The Reds were among a number of teams to bid on Cuban CF Leonys Martin
He signed with the Rangers last week for around $15 mil. Personally, I think they overpaid a bit. One scout says he profiles as an extra outfielder. That's probably a conservative estimate, but it still probably does not instill a ton of enthusiasm into the Rangers' fanbase.
Three truths and a lie: Jay Bruce
Bruce's native Beaumont, Texas, has had more success producing professional baseball players than it has pro baseball teams. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson also is a native. But the Class AA Beaumont Golden Gators (1983-86) and independent Beaumont Bullfrogs (1994) didn't last long.
Being from Beaumont isn't the only thing Bruce and Robinson have in common. Last year, Bruce joined Robinson and Adam Dunn as the only players in Reds history to hit at least 60 home runs in their first three big-league seasons.
Bruce's father, Joe, is a master plumber.
Jay Bruce is so smart, they hooked him up to a big computer to try to teach it some things, but he had so much knowlege, it overloaded, and then it got really hot and caught on fire.
Larry Granillo at Baseball Prospectus has compiled a compendium of baseball's mascots
While you are furrowing your brows in attempt to understand why, I'll fold my arms and tell you that you just don't get it. Here's his blurb on the Reds' stable of dancing distractions:
"Mr. Red - Not to be confused with Mr. Redlegs. Cincinnati's first mascot began his career sometime before the 1981 strike (when an ad was placed in his name looking for work). Mr. Red is another of the Mr. Met-style mascots, though his empty eyes make him the worst looking in my opinion. He was discontinued by Marge Schott sometime in the late 1980s, but came back to the club in 1997. He was retired once again in 2007, when he was replaced by Mr. Redlegs.
Gapper - A monster-style mascot introduced when the team moved into Great American Ballpark in 2003. Gapper is red with a blue nose and hands.
Mr. Redlegs - The "retro" replacement for the dull Mr. Red. Another Mr. Met-style mascot, Mr. Redlegs wears an old-style uniform, a pillbox hat, and a 1920s mustache. He has been working Reds games since 2007.
Rosie Red - Because the Reds didn't have enough mascots, Rosie Red debuted in 2008. A feminine version of Mr. Redlegs, Rosie has black hair, bright red lips, a 1970s-era ballcap, and a skirt. We may be about three years from Rosie and Mr. Redlegs having little tiny Reds-babies on the riverboat deck in centerfield. It will be aired during a special live broadcast of "Modern Family"."
Matthew Pouliot has updates on last year's 1st round draft picks
He counts Yasmani Grandal among those who should be in line for a promotion first, as he is a polished college product who most figured would start in AA anyway. Grandal is hitting .278/.421/.546 in a shade under 100 ABs so far in Bakersfield. That ISOd number is gettin' my sugars all up.
Ol' Leatherpants sees the Red Sox catching situation
and starts thinking about athletic young outfielders. He then shakes his head, slaps himself, and gets back to the Red Sox catching situation. Jarrod Saltalamacchia isn't doing well and Jason Varitek is old as hell.
If they were so inclined, the Reds and Red Sox could match up on a deal here. Bowden lists Yasmani Grandal, Devin Mesoraco, and Ramon Hernandez as catchers in the Reds stable who could be made available. I don't think the Reds should be thinking about moving Grandal or Mesoraco, and I don't think the Reds are thinking about that. Catchers are the second-rarest commodity in the big leagues, after lefties who throw 100+ miles per hour (boo ya). Having two good, young catching prospects is something very few, if any, other teams can boast.
Now, Ramon Hernandez is another matter. Clutch Man Monie is on a one-year deal worth only $3 mil, so I can foresee a possible future where he is playing well enough to draw trade interest and Devin Mesoraco is playing well enough for the Reds to feel comfortable shopping Hernandez. I think the more likely possibility is that the Reds stick with Hernandez and Hanigan all year, let Hernandez go as a free agent, collect the draft pick, and let Meso take his place next season.
Q: How do you rate the between-the-legs throw Brandon Phillips made last week — a defensive play or a huge hot dog move? — John, Springboro
A: On a scale of 1 to 10, a 12. It was the only way he could get the runner because he didn’t have time to stop, set and throw. Believe it or not, he practices that play. That might be the best play by a second baseman I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen, uh, millions. As for being a hot dog, Phillips smiles and says, "Just splash the mustard on me."
Q: With the Reds catching in such good hands over the next few years, has there been any discussion about trying Devin Mesoraco at third base or left field? — Stan, Glider, Ore.
A: Like pitching, you can never have enough catching. It’s like searching for a diamond in a bucket of pebbles. Although the Reds have a plethora of catching talent, GM Walt Jocketty is not interested in tinkering with it because it is such a valuable and perishable commodity. If any position needs fixing, he’ll fix it with talent already familiar with the position.
Hardball Talk Power Rankings have the Reds at #10
with the caveat that the returns of Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto could propel them further up the rankings.