It should be a really good series in Cleveland this weekend
Although the Reds did give up their 1st place standing in the NLC, the SI Power Rankings have them 2nd in baseball behind the Indians. "The Reds' play has been blistering over the past fortnight, as they won 11 of 13 before losing to the Pirates Wednesday night. Their runs scored per game has increased a tick from 5.2 to 5.3, but it's their runs allowed that has more dramatically changed, falling from 4.8 to 3.6. The strikeout rate of Cincinnati's pitchers has dipped from 7.9 to 7.2 as have opponents' averages, from .262 to .223, suggesting that improved defense has played a role."
Ramon Hernandez has been absolutely crushing it
He's 17 for his last 40 and has a 1.026 OPS so far this season. Most importantly, he's feeling healthy. "My knee has been feeling well," said Hernandez, who had left knee surgery in 2009 and spent time on the disabled list in 2010 with inflammation in the same knee. "My body has been feeling very, very well. Krause has been working with me a lot in the weight room on a daily basis and we make sure we keep the body as strong as we can." Getting regular rest has done wonders for the Monie Man, as his best-among-NL-catchers-with-70-or-more-PAs .420 wOBA indicates. At this rate he won't start the All-Star Game, but if he is left off the team it would be a tragedy.
Dusty sez Joey Votto is "hobbling a little bit"
but is unspecific as to the nature or severity of it. It doesn't seem to be at all serious, so I wonder why it would even be reported. So I guess the news is that Joey Votto is fine.
Another bit to get you ready for the I-71 Series this weekend
Assy Cabrera did his very best Brandon Phillips impression last night, and I gotta say, dude pulled it off.
In the past two days
three of the top four NL MVP candidates have gone down with injuries. Ryan Braun hurt his shoulder on a swing on Wednesday night and couldn't finish the game on Thursday. He's not expected to be out long, or even to go on the DL, but any game the Brewers play without him is a good game for the Reds.
Both Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday sat out Thursday's game
with a sore wrist and a sore quad, respectively. Just like Braun, they are not expected to be out very long, and Holliday is even expected to play tonight. Berkman may take a little while though, as he is wearing a brace until the soreness subsides. He likely won't go on the DL, but again, any game the Cards play without these guys is a good game for the Reds.
Blog Red Machine takes a stab at putting together the perfect Reds lineup
and it looks an awful lot like what Dusty is running out there. The biggest difference is the absence of Jonny Gomes, but it's looking more and more like Dusty is leaning that way himself.
Mike Leake gave up a grand slam in his minor league debut
I know it's easy to be down on the guy right now, but let's not forget that he is just 23 years old. I hope he gets everything straightened out.
Bradley Woodrum at FanGraphs thinks the NL Central could see big changes in the coming years
The Astros are now under new ownership and GM Ed Wade could be kicked to the curb. The scuttlebutt is that they have their eyes on Houston native and certified baseball wunderkind genius Andrew Friedman, who orchestrated the rise of the Rays.
The Cubs are in a similar situation with their GM Jim Hendry, who was falsely rumored to have been fired last week. This dovetails nicely with a conversation that was had here the other day regarding the impact of payroll on team success. The Cubs and Astros play in the 3rd and 4th biggest markets in baseball and are more than capable of supporting $100+ mil payrolls. The reason they have barren farm systems and prohibitive contracts (see: Lee, Carlos and Soriano, Alfonso) is because both teams have been under terrible management for a long time. Both teams have the financial potential to be the Red Sox and Yankees of the Midwest, reaching the playoffs year after year, if only they had the foresight to hire the kinds of brains that are necessary for such a transformation. Lucky for us, the Reds have a big head-start on them.
Red Retweeter!!! (after the jomp)
However, Maloney did reach the 400 career strikeouts mark, further building on the Louisville record he already owns. Nothing says AAAA pitcher like owning a book full of records in AAA.
Reds get: 6 vs Indians, 3 Yankees, 3 Rays, 3 Orioles, 3 Jays....Cards get 6 vs Royals, 3 Orioles, 3 Rays, 3 Jays. I don't like Interleague play to begin with, so let's throw another log on that fire. It seems like a small and negligible difference, but those six games against the Indians and Royals could end up being the difference in a tight NL Central race at the end of the year. Of course, the Reds should just go out and win all 18 of these games and then I won't worry about it.
RT @Agent520: @Jamieblog oh whats a skyrosa? i want one without even knowing!//Skyline cheese coney wrapped in a piece of LaRosa's pizza. Yuck city.
Really wish the #Reds had an extra lefty or two to put in the lineup tonight. Morton's splits are like Vanilla Ice - to the extreme. Sigh, if only we still had Adam Dunn...
Thinking it's about time to bring the blog back. This is a positive development. In gathering clips for the Reposter, I normally try to get as many links as I can from other Reds bloggers. The whole purpose of the enterprise is to gather as many disparate voices as possible to get as many perspectives as possible on the Reds. But in recent times I've noticed a real paucity of indy Reds bloggers out there. The majority of Reposters are filled with news passed along from the Enquirer or Reds.com. That's not a bad thing, but I think it's better when we have more voices and more perspectives and more opinions. Welcome back, OMG!
Chris Sabo's Goggles:
Yes, I laugh every time a catcher frantically looks for a fouled-off ball that's right in front of him. Simple minds... #Reds #Pirates