The Fay calls last night's victory the "best win of the year"
Personally, I have to say yes. It was extremely satisfying to see the Reds win on the strength of home runs from Votto and Bruce and to see Mike Leake avoid the big inning and keep it close. I mentioned in the game thread last night that with the team at .500 and the calendar turned over to June, it was a new beginning to the season. I can't think of a better way to start.
Congratulations are in order for Francisco Cordero
Coco collected his 300 career save last night, making him only the 22nd pitcher in the history to reach that milestone. I think counting stats are largely arbitrary (if still aesthetically appealing) and the save completely arbitrary, but it's still a laudable achievement for the big fella. Atta boy, Coco.
In a move hearkening back to more Krivskian times
the Reds are being incredibly vague in regards to the plan for Aroldis Chapman. He was eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday, so the Reds brought him back from his rehab trip in Louisville. But they didn't reinstate him, citing...well, they didn't really give us a reason. When asked yesterday to comment on the situation, Dusty said, "His health is good. He's a lot better. We just have to get things right mentally and emotionally." Then, when asked if he would be reinstated on Friday, Dusty glibly remarked, "We'll see." So...I guess we'll see.
Scott Rolen got the day off yesterday
"He looked like he needed it," Baker said. "He played a lot on the road trip. He's much better after days off." With the off day today, Scottie should be well-rested for the weekend series against the Dodgers. We're only two months into the season, so the sample size is still small, but it's looking more and more like Rolen's days as top 3B are over. His line so far this season is a puny .244/.299/.382, and he hasn't hit a home run in almost two months. The shoulder is clearly bothering him enough to affect his swing, though he claims otherwise: "I'm OK. I'm not getting the barrel where it needs to be," Rolen said. "I've got to get that cleaned up and get the ball in the middle of the field." Now, I'm not yet ready to bury the guy and speculate on how to replace him, but I think it's time to put him on watch. If he's still getting on base only 30% of the time come the end of July, then something should probably be done about it.
FanGraphs speculates on the players who might be made available this summer
and the teams who are the best fits to go after them. In his piece on center fielders, Chris Cwik lists Matt Kemp as the top target and the Reds as his top destination. Basically, the Dodgers are in serious trouble and will be shedding payroll like some payroll-shedding guy very soon. Kemp makes around $7 mil this season and would be an absolute dream in LF in Cincinnati, as was detailed numerous times this past off-season.
Doc thinks it's time to get Drew Stubbs out of the lead off spot
Here it goes:
"It was good that D. Baker flipped Bruce and Rolen last night, and it did result in one run. But the ‘Pick said it was not permanent, and was due more to the Brewers’ lack of lefties in the ‘pen. I’m sure the manager knows that Bruce and Votto clobber lefties, so breaking them up with a right-handed bat is not necessary. Meantime, Rolen is a warrior, but his production screams 7-hole. That’s why you take Stubbs and his small knowledge of the strike zone, and put him in a place where his bat can do some damage. To the other guys, I mean. Stubbs has K’d a league-leading 70 times in 229 ABs. That’s Dunner territory. Unacceptable for a leadoff hitter. The Man is on record as saying who hits leadoff isnt that big a deal. But who hits 6th is, especially with this team’s current inability to produce key hits. Who leads off? Anyone who makes better contact and whose OBP is better than Stubbs’ current .328. Heisey? Phillips (.355)… way out of the box thinking says sprinkle in Hanigan (.345) who has K’d 13 times in 104 ABs."
Though I disagree with his premise (high strike out totals are best in the lead-off spot, when the hitter has the fewest runners on base), the conclusion is defensible. Brandon Phillips and Chris Heisey have better OBPs and are thus better suited to the top of the lineup, and I've been a driver of the "top o' the order, t' Hanigan" bandwagon for a while now.
Redleg Nation is polling for Reds Player of the Month
Hint: He's also most likely the NL Player of the Month.
This was pointed out by jsl413 in the FanShots
but it merits frontpage mention as well. Jason Linden at THT tweaks Jay Bruce's career numbers thus far to create an alternate universe where his '09 BABIP wasn't insanely low and his '10 power production wasn't affected by his broken wrist. It certainly makes his overall career look much more satisfying of the prophecy and much more likely that his scorching August, September, and May are close to his true talent level.
Teddy Roosevelt won his very first Prez Race at Nats Park
but was later DQ'd for cheating via Segway. Last month when I met 3 Fast and Cy Schourek for a Clippers/Bats tilt, we bore witness to the Sugardale Hot Dog Race that is run at every Clippers home game and discussed the relative merits of the various mascot races around the league. I defended the Prez Race as the best, mostly because the giant cartoon caricatures of the dead presidents make me laugh every single time. The Milwaukee Sausage Race started the trend, but the Prez Race perfected it.
Good news from St. Louis:
Kyle McClellan and Matt Holliday have been placed on the disabled list with a hip flexor strain and a quad strain, respectively. Both players have been key to the early success of the Cards, as McClellan has posted a 4.01 xFIP and Holliday a .423 wOBA. The Reds are four games back as of today, and this should be a good opportunity to make up a few of those.