Well, I meant to schedule this for Monday morning, but somehow while saving a draft I prematurely posted. It happens to the best of us, I'm told.
Reds split series with San Francisco; head to LA
The Reds couldn't generate much offense against the control-challenged Jonathan Sanchez, and nothing against the Giants' bullpen. The ESPN curse continues. But at least new draftee Robert Stephenson got to meet the Reds, stopping by the clubhouse before yesterday's game. "I got to meet Jay Bruce, Scott Rolen, Joey Votto, Edgar Renteria, a lot of the players. Stephenson’s first impression of the Reds? "They can hit."
Reds to don '44 road jerseys on Wednesday
The Reds now head to LA to finish up the West coast trip. On "Throwback Day" this Wednesday, the teams will wear WWII era unis. OMGreds: As for the Reds duds, we're excited to see them on the field. While the 1944 road uniform is fairly conservative in design, they'll look solid. They lack the pizzaz that, say, a 1978 Padres uniform might bring to the diamond, and are certainly not as exciting as the previous two "Throwback Days" opponents - the Braves and the Cubs. The blue cap with red bill should really make the look, though.
C-ing Red - If I write a blog post about situational hitting, is that guy from Jersey Shore going to show up?
Sure seems like the Reds stranded a bunch yesterday, but I agree with the larger point here: It’s hard to argue that our real problem as a team is not driving runs in, when we’re second in the NL in runs scored. Thankfully, bb-ref has a baserunners-scored percentage – Cincinnati is also second in the league (second to the Cardinals, the number one NL offense), with 15% of "baserunners scoring on the batter’s play", but only trailing by a few tenths of a percentage. In general, there is not a lot of variation between the top and bottom teams – ranging only from 13%-15%, but the top offenses in the league all have the best BRS%, while the worst offenses have the worst BRS%s.
- Aroldis Chapman is with Zebulon, and pitched for the third time yesterday. He threw two innings, walking two and K'ing three. He didn't allow a hit or a run. He'll make at least one more appearance for the Mudcats.
- Homer Bailey began his shoulder rehab with Louisville on Saturday. In three innings, he allowed one walk and three Ks, but four hits and three earned runs. He's expected to make two more starts for the Bats. Baker: "That’s good for his first time out. He’s not going to go down there and shut ‘em out all the time."
- Sam LeCure also pitched for Louisville on Saturday, throwing one perfect inning. Baker: "He's throwing the ball good. Us giving him that time is beneficial to him and us. He'll come back smoking and ready, hopefully. He's throwing strikes. He's not feeling anything. That means his delivery's intact."
Bleacher Report - Should the Reds Try to Get Mark Buehrle?
And ... it's rumor season. BR's proposal: Pitch-to-contact ironman Mark Buehrle for a Pu pu platter of spare parts - Logan Ondrusek, Paul Janish, Juan Francisco, maybe Jordan Smith. It's an unimpressive return, but then again Buehrle isn't that great anymore. His ERA since 2010 is just a little better than average, with his strikeout rate dropping below five per nine innings. He's also not cheap. He's making $14M this year and has a $15M option that vests with a trade. Still, he keps it in the park and is a consistent 7-per-start kind of guy. I'd take him on my team. But are the White Sox really going to waive the White Flag again? Doubtful.
Brewers sweep St. Louis, take division lead
Prince Fielder hit a 440-foot, two-run HR in the sixth to put the Brewers on top of the Cardinals, both in the game and by a half-game in the standings. Milwaukee now leads the division for the first time since 2009. St. Louis had held first since May 19.
SweetSpot - BP wins the early Gold Glove
Metric consensus: 1. Dustin Pedroia; 2. Ian Kinsler; 3. Mark Ellis.
Phillips undoubtedly leads in spectacular plays, and he and Paul Janish form a slick double-play duo. The metrics don’t agree on Phillips: UZR rates him fourth overall and has rated him as an excellent defender in the past; Baseball-Reference’s Total Zone rates Phillips below average for 2011 and throughout his career. I like what I see, but he could be a classic example of a guy who excels in Web Gems.
Overrated: Orlando Cabrera. Guess what? Most 36-year-olds have lost a step or two, and while the former shortstop got a lot praise early in the year, the metrics seem to agree that his range is lacking.
Realignment a comin'?
Structural changes to the game will be increasingly thrown around as the year-end expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement approaches. Buster Olney reported online and in last night's broadcast that MLB and the Union are seriously considering switching one NL team to the inferior league to create an even 15-15 split. This would mean that either one team is off every day or that there's an interleague contest every day. Neither of those is desireable, IMO.
RedsOctober - Burger Battles
A Reds blog discussing burgers, you say? Unlike RR's focus on local eateries, Reds October took weighed the pros and cons of two national chains - In 'n Out and Five Guys. In the next day's thread, they selected Five Guys as the champion.
The Blog Jog is in the books
RHM has some pics. In the ensuing fun run, more than 4,300 runners and walkers participated, generating over $150,000 for the Reds Community Fund.
Casey's Clubhouse broke ground last week on a new field in Sean's hometown
The custom-designed, rubberized field in Upper St. Clair, Pa. will allow children of all abilities to play baseball, and should be ready by next year. The Pirates partnered with Casey's Clubhouse. Owner Bob Nutting attended the groundbreaking ceremony.
On Friday, some of the Giants unveiled personally designed jerseys
Yeesh. The "Players Choice Signature Series" jerseys and T-shirts show why it's a bad idea to give players the choice in designing their own apparel. Pablo Sandova's jersey cleverly features a panda on the front, snacking on what looks like a bamboo shoot wrapped in bacon. Okay, not really.