Scott Rolen is a bit sore, but you won't see that in his stat line
Since coming off the DL on Friday, he's hitting .471/.471/.706. That's good. "I haven't played for a while, so you go out there and run around, and you're going to feel sore, but that's to be expected," Rolen said. "You just try and stay on top of that so you can stay on the field." Also of importance, Scott Rolen's Reds are 4-0 over that stretch. Coincidence? Nuh uh.
It appears that "release point issues" is the scientific term for "can't throw a strike-itis"
Edinson Volquez says "My mechanics are normal, it's just my release point...Sometimes, I put pressure on my release finger, and it comes out low and away. We're working to keep my finger on top of the ball." He better fix this tonight, because much like Chapman, if he keeps it up I think he could come down with a touch of "shoulder inflammation".
Three truths and a lie: Travis Wood
At 5 feet 11, Travis Wood is among four active National League starting pitchers who are under 6 feet tall. But he's not the shortest pitcher in the Reds' rotation - the 5-10 Johnny Cueto is the NL's shortest starting pitcher.
In 2002, Wood, then 15, pitched a no-hitter in the Babe Ruth World Series. He is one of 17 pitchers (ages 13-15) to throw a no-hitter in the tournament's 58-year history.
Wood's 1998 record "Devil Without a Cause" went 11 times platinum.
Wood is one of six active big-league starting left-handed pitchers who strictly bats right-handed. Of that group - Chicago Cubs' Doug Davis, Houston's Wandy Rodriguez, San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner, Toronto's Ricky Romero and Oakland's Gio Gonzalez - Wood is the only player to hit a home run in the majors.
Atta boy, Dusty, thinkin' outta the box!
With Chapman out, Dusty says the lefty specialist role will be filled by Jose Arredondo, who, if early reports are to be believed, throws with his right hand. "He did that in the American League which is full of good left-handed hitters," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Hopefully, he can come through in that role."
Whither Bill Bray? He'll be used as a lefty set-up man, similar to what professional bad ass Arthur Rhodes did last season. For their careers, they have both done well against lefties. Arredondo has shown a pretty stark reverse-platoon, giving up a .526 OPS against lefties and a .737 against righties. Bray's platoon split is more traditional and less stark, giving up a .653 against lefties and .769 against righties.
It's good to see Dusty breaking convention on this one, as at least he's showing he's capable of progressive thinking. But in this case, I think Arredondo is the better candidate for the high-leverage fireman position with Bray employed as the lefty specialist. Either way though, the Reds have a number of good arms in the 'pen capable of shutting down any and all hitters if necessary. And that is awesome.
Chad at RLN sees Aroldis Chapman's shelving as an opportunity
"My fervent hope is that Chapman’s next pitch will be the first pitch of a Louisville Bats game in a couple of weeks." Personally, I think this would be a net-positive development. I don't think it's very realistic, though. The Reds have said over and over that Chapman is a reliever for this year and I'm certain that a minor setback in control is not going to change that. What will probably happen is that he will go on a rehab assignment after a few days off and spend the maximum number of days pitching in Louisville to get himself straightened out. Remember in '07 when they put Josh Hamilton on the DL for gastroenteritis just so they could send him to the minors to get him some work? This is that.
Bad luck, thy name is Dontrelle
Willis was likely going to be the one to replace Aroldis Chapman when he went on the DL, but he tweaked a groin the other day and the Reds decided to go with Jordan Smith instead. The injury isn't enough to put him on the DL, but it was enough for him to miss an opportunity. I wouldn't worry about it if I were him though, as his 2.63 ERA will likely earn him a shot in the bigs sometime this season.
The issue of a mandatory slotting system in the Rule IV draft is going to be a major topic of discussion for the next CBA
The argument for the slotting system claims that small-market teams that habitually pick at the top of the draft (Pirates, Royals) are unable to spend the requisite money on the best talent because they demand too much. Rick Porcello fell all the way to #27 in the '07 draft because of his signing bonus demands. The Pirates rather infamously drafted Bryan Bullington with the top pick in 2002 instead of BJ Upton, primarily because Bullington was willing to sign for significantly less money. The hard slotting system, it's defenders say, will remedy this inequity by doing away with these "signability issues".
Pete Toms at Biz of Baseball takes exception to this argument, though. He claims that small-market teams have wised up to the value of the draft in recent years. The Reds are a great example of this. Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Billy Hamilton were all over-slot signings and are all top five prospects in the Reds system. "In recent years, many small revenue franchises have outspent large revenue franchises in the draft, rightfully concluding that this approach yields better results than investing in veteran free agent players."
To me, this sounds like the same argument for/against a salary cap. Sure, the Yankees can afford to spend $50 mil on Derek Jeter's shadow and the Reds can't, but uhhh...dude...scoreboard. The Reds have a better record than the Yanks right now. Smart teams win in baseball, not rich teams. The Mets stink, the Mariners are no good, and the Cubs are still f**king that chicken. Meanwhile, the Indians, Reds, and Rays are all division leaders. Baseball does not have a inequality problem.