All of a sudden, the Reds have too many good left fielders
Using the DH for the past week has given ample opportunity for Jonny Gomes, Chris Heisey, and Fred Lewis to get hot. In fact, Gomes has pushed his numbers up into the "respectable" range, as his wRC+ is all the way up to 117 (Heisey is at 112 and Lewis is at 91). But with the weekend series at home against the Indians the Reds will not have the luxury of a DH again until the World Series. So who should get the bulk of the starts in LF now? Fay sums it up thusly: "All three have made cases for themselves: Gomes is hitting .350 with four home runs and 14 RBI in his last 22 plate appearances. Lewis is 10-for-23 (.435) with four RBI in his past 10 games. Heisey is hitting .280 in his past five games and is the best defender of the three."
If history is any guide then we can assume Jonny Gomes is the starter going forward. Dusty continued to run him out there when he was under the Mendoza line and he's likely to do the same now that he has awakened. If you ask me though, and I know none of you did and Dusty certainly didn't, I still go with Heisey.
For those of us who were quietly hoping the Reds would solve the "Shortstop Question" with the acquisition of JJ Hardy
your hopes have taken something of a hit. The Orioles have begun contract extension talks with Hardy, who is only signed through the end of this season. Talks are not yet serious, but the potential for a deal is there. It's still possible that a deal cannot be the reached, in which case the Orioles will likely look to move him for prospects, but that possibility just became a little less possible.
John Sickels at Minor League Ball spotlights Dave Sappelt as his Prospect of the Day
It's nothing we haven't heard before from our Farmer's Only Dept, but it's still nice to see him getting some broader attention.
The Platoon Advantage just finished an impressive and interesting undertaking
They orchestrated a theoretical Expansion Draft, stocking the rosters of the newest Major League franchises the Brooklyn Hipsters and the Portland Webfoots (wtf). They asked their brethren in the ESPN SweetSpot Network of blogs to provide lists of protected players for the draft (you can see how Redleg Nation put together the Reds list here) and off they went, following the rules of previous expansion drafts. In this theoretical exercise, the Reds lost Mike Leake, Sam LeCure, and Juan Francisco all to the Portland team. It's obviously only for shits and giggles, but it nevertheless was an entertaining and informative read. Check it out.
For those of you who think Baseball was better before the Tampa Bay Rays
before Interleague Play, before the All-Star Game "counted", you will be treated to a game called by legends Bob Costas and Al Michaels on MLB Network on July 8th. It will be the first time the pair has called a game together since 1995. And oh yeah, the Mets are playing the Giants. But that doesn't really matter.
The Cardinals got rid of Ryan Franklin
and he probably whined like a little bitch. You have to hand it to GM John Mozeliak though, as it is certainly no easy task to dump a well-paid and well-respected veteran like that. "We can speculate all we want but the fact is the game is based on performance. That was not there any longer," Mozeliak said. "He was part of a lot of success in this organization. I think it started to frustrate him not to have that success any longer."
Viva El Birdos acknowledges the occasion with a rumination on the existential hell that is closerdom
"But there's something Faustian about the moment you begin accumulating saves. You're trading, for that number and that position and that recognition, the chance to leave your team on a high note. You're guaranteeing that at some point the hometown fans will hate you."
Red Reposter NEWS FROM HELL
The Women's World Cup got underway this week in Germany and the Americans kicked off with a win over a young and scrappy North Korean side. The NK coach was none too pleased, but was quick to come to the defense of his losers, making what is quite possibly the greatest excuse for losing since my friend faked getting stung by a bee and going into anaphylactic shock when I beat him in a foot race to the monkey bars in 5th grade.
"When we stayed in Pyongyang during training our players were hit by lightning, and more than five of them were hospitalised," said coach Kim. "Some stayed in hospital and then came to Germany later than the rest of us. The goalkeeper and the four defenders were most affected, and some midfielders as well. The physicians said the players were not capable of participating in the tournament. But World Cup football is the most important and significant event for a footballer, so they don't want to think about anything but football. The fact that they played could be called abnormal, the result of very strong will."