Oh, hey trade deadline
I didn't see you coming. Wednesday is the non-waiver trade deadline, and it doesn't look like the Reds will be making any moves. Walt Jocketty sees the biggest need as a right-handed bat, so he's willing to sit and wait for Ryan Ludwick to come back. "If we do acquire a right-handed bat, what do we do with Ludwick when he gets back?" Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "If there is somebody available that can definitely help the club, we'll certainly take a look. To this point, we haven't had any conversations with a club that indicated that."
This is right on. I think there is an animal instinct as a fan to see your team do something - anything - at the deadline. Action proves desire. But honestly, this team has no glaring needs that cannot be filled internally. Ludwick should be back in a few weeks, so the one position where they could potentially want an upgrade is set. The bullpen has been slicin' up eyeballs, and they have Jonathan Broxton and Sean Marshall coming back over the next few weeks, too. The rotation is one of the best in baseball, and the ace should be back in a month or so. Despite the brow-furrowing and belly-slapping and teeth-licking from the petulant, fickle vulgars, this team is set as well as any other team for a run at the World Series. This should be a fun stretch run.
Broxton and Hanigan faced each other for rehab work
Broxton threw 20 pitches to test his sore elby and Hanigan faced live pitching for the first time since going down with a sore wrist. No timetables are set for either fella at this point, but I'mma say mid-August.
Tony Cingrani and the bullpen set the Reds' record for most strikeouts in a game
They punched out the Dodgers 20 times, which is also the most ever for a Dodger lineup. The Reds still lost, but I think it's helpful to keep it all in perspective. This team is really, really good, and they have as good a shot as any team to tear up the pea patch in the postseason. Just gotta get there first.
Some neat stuff here
Hyun-Jin Ryu and Shin-Soo Choo faced off for the first time in their careers on Saturday. They are two of the best South Korean ballplayers in history, and they both recognized the weight of the moment.
Also, Dusty talks a bit about Jay Bruce's successes against left-handed pitching.
"I think it's helped him being around Joey Votto, and seeing how Joey hits lefties," Baker said. "Most guys, I think, have trouble with lefties because they don't see them (enough). I mean, it's hard enough to find a right-handed batting practice pitcher that can throw strikes - and it's almost impossible to find a lefty to do it. But we've got two of them - Mark Berry and Ronnie Ortegon. And we always travel with one, so I think that helps a lot ... That's something that Barry Bonds always did in San Francisco," added Baker, who watched Bonds homer 125 times against lefties during the 10 seasons he managed baseball's career home run leader. "We always had a left-hander throwing to Barry in batting practice. So I took a page out of Barry's book, and I'd like to give Barry credit for that."
John Sickels is running through his pre-season prospect lists
and catches up with the Reds' farmhands. It's like Hamlet, y'all: some good things are happening, some bad things are happening, but it is hard to tell which is which.
Billy Hamilton has struggled in AAA, but Sickels cautions not to jump on the reverse bandwagon. He calls Robert Stephenson an "elite prospect" and is very impressed with what Tony Cingrani is doing. Daniel Corcino and Henry Rodriguez are the big stinkers this year, as both have their britches around their ankles in AAA. He loves Phillip Ervin too, and he says Ervin and Stephenson will top the list for next year. This seems a bit controversial to me, as I'm not sure I'd put Ervin above Hamilton just yet. I've given it a good think this morning, but I just can't decide. What do you think?