Jay Bruce hit his dozenth home run of the month last night
He, of course, was nothing but diplomatic in his explanation: "I’ve been making better decisions, which is one of the big things," Bruce said. "It’s cliché and all that, but it’s the truth. Swing at pitches you want to swing at and don’t swing at the pitches they’re trying to get you to chase, and you’re going to have a lot easier time up there." HardBallTalk points out that Bruce is swinging at the same number of pitches in and out of the zone as last year, but this year when he swings, he's making more and better contact. Go get 'em, Jay.
Chad Reineke is the next winner of the "Reds Pitcher of the Day" sweepstakes
He'll start tonight against Zack Greinke and the Brewers. His 2.52 ERA looks good in Louisville, and hopefully that can translate to Cincinnati. Go get 'em, Chad.
Blog Red Machine highlights the good deeds of Travis Wood in the month of May
Wood pitched his 5th quality start for the month yesterday, which is a nice improvement over his April. Since beginning the month with an ugly 6.82 ERA, he's been able to cut it by nearly two runs. Keep it up, Woody. His quiet consistency has been one of the few bright spots for the rotation this month. Go get 'em, Travis.
Homer Bailey says he's feeling pretty well, considering
He went on the DL on Saturday with a sprained shoulder. "I can do everything but throw, apparently," Bailey said. "It just depends on what they tell me to do, honestly." Here's hoping Ol' Hoss can saddle up again and that right soon. Go get 'em, Hoss.
Aroldis Chapman's situation is quite puzzling
He was in the Reds' clubhouse yesterday and is now eligible to come off the DL. But it seems the Reds don't plan to do that just yet. "We'll let you know in a few days," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We can't tell you everything. We have a pretty good idea. We want to make sure everything is OK." Also, this from Bryan Price: "His second outing, he threw a lot of strikes but got hit. Yesterday, he had a great first inning and a poor second inning. We want him sharp. That's the second part of this rehab stint. One was to get healthy and two was to throw the ball the way he's capable of throwing." It seems to me that he isn't quite sharp yet. And if that is the case, then he needs to remain in Louisville until he is.
OMGReds points out that Brandon Phillips is sporting some corking new wristbands
They have a screen cap of them, but it's tough to make out. The most likely conclusion is that the caricature is of himself, which only makes sense considering the owner. But it's fun to hazard guesses as to who else it could be? Is BeeP lampooning his manager's propensity for wearing wristbands by wearing a set with Dusty's picture on them?
Q I’m not a doom-and-gloom guy, but how safe is Dusty Baker’s job, because so much is expected of the Reds this year and it appears he is getting more agitated over lineup questions? — John, Springboro A His job is about as safe as it was when the Reds swept the St. Louis Cardinals and won 10 of 12. As soon as a team hits a rough spot, everybody says the manager must go. I didn’t hear Cardinals fans calling for Tony La Russa’s managerial death when his team started slowly. Are Cardinals fans more knowledgeable about the game? The Reds are on their most difficult and challenging road trip of the year. Good teams bounce back from adversity and they’ve done it before under Baker.
Rob Neyer has put together a wish list for each contender
and while the list could best be described as "obvious", that makes it no less true:
"The Reds trail only the Cardinals in scoring, despite Paul Janish's terrible hitting stats. And Janish is a fine defensive shortstop, which makes it more difficult to justify a change there. The bullpen lacks a truly outstanding reliever -- remember when Aroldis Chapman was going to be that guy -- but Dusty Baker's gotten good work out of the material at hand. The problem's been the rotation, with a 4.96 ERA that ranks 15th in the league. Which seems odd, considering the rotation looked like something of a strength entering the season, with (theoretically) six or seven viable candidates for the five available slots. With Edinson Volquez demoted and both Sam LeCure and Homer Bailey disabled, the Reds are suddenly scrambling for a starting pitcher, with Tuesday's game against the Brewers still assigned (at this writing) to someone named "Undecided"."
Remember in Atlanta on Sunday night when Paul Janish was called out at home?
That bad call most likely cost the Reds the game. Unfortunately, the same thing happened in Detroit yesterday. A bad fan interference ruling unduly gave the Tigers the winning run in the 8th inning, getting Twins' manager Ron Gardenhire all lather up and consequently sent to the showers. The Replay Drum is an old reliable for starting baseball conversation, right up there with the DH Drum and the Steroids Drum. But unlike the other two, the replay sitch actually costs teams real actual games.