Call to the Pen: Mat Latos: Reds’ Secret Weapon
The torrid starts of Joey Votto and Shin-Soo Choo have overshadowed some other players' performance thus far. Mat Latos has been the anchor of Cincinnati's outstanding rotation so far as he was the staff's de facto ace while Johnny Cueto was out with an injury. Latos sports a 5-0 record with a 3.01 ERA and 3.34 FIP in 71.2 innings. As Wick mentioned on 1450 The Sports Buzz on Wednesday, Latos shook off his April struggles this year. April has historically been Latos' worst month by ERA, but the big right-hander posted a Cy Young-quality 1.83 ERA in the first month of this season.
The Real McCoy: Why won’t the Cardinals go away?
Hal McCoy ponders St. Louis' continued success in the face of setbacks. The Cardinals employ a strategy similar to the Yankees where both teams always have enough options that if several players fail, then a few will still produce. If the team enters the season with Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso, and Pete Kozma on the active roster with Kolten Wong and Ryan Jackson stashed in AAA, then hopefully one of them will have a good season, even if it's a fluke. Howard Megdal actually wrote about the Yankees' current fistful of lottery tickets yesterday.
Rosecrans: Blog Above Replacement 5.30.13
C. Trent Rosecrans looks at the various interleague rivalry match-ups involving the teams of the NL Central. He is correct that interleague play gives teams with weak rivals an advantage over clubs with strong competitors. However, as long as the sport has wild card spots, then unfair schedules will be an aspect of the game. The only solution is to have every team play every other team the same number of times, and that's not going to happen.
FOXSports.com: Broadcaster stands by Chapman dig
Cleveland broadcaster Tom Hamilton is known for his passion for the Indians, which makes him popular among listeners. However, his fervor led to controversy when he criticized Aroldis Chapman for throwing inside against Cleveland in Monday's game. Hamilton called the incident, "bush league", and expressed a desire to see a Nick Swisher rocket a line drive at Chapman's head. I guess hot headedness runs in AL Central broadcasters.
Red Hot Mama: The mean streets of the NLC
Like Hal McCoy, Amanda can't believe that the Cardinals keep winning despite losing Chris Carpenter and starting Pete Kozma at shortstop. In addition, the Pirates look to be contenders again and hope to avoid yet another late season collapse. The Cubs are playing pretty good baseball right now, too, but Chicago's best case scenario is playing the pesky spoiler rather than making a legitimate run at the division crown. Milwaukee is the only team in the division with a Pythagorean record below .500. The NL Central might be the best division in baseball.
Around the league:
ESPN.com: Travis Wood hits grand slam off Jake Peavy, pitches Cubs past Sox
I know I'm not supposed to pull for the Cubs ever, but I'm enjoying Travis Wood's early success with Chicago.
CBSSports.com: Royals demote hitting coaches, hire George Brett as replacement
Just a day after Royals hitting coach Jack Maloof publicly questioned the value of hitting home runs, Kansas City sent Maloof and fellow hitting coach Andre David to work with the team's minor league clubs.
And then there's this: OMGReds: The Cincinnati Wooo.