Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports brings us the story of how the Reds landed Cuban defector Raisel Iglesias last year. According to Rosenthal, part of the reason the Reds were willing to pay more for Iglesias than other teams was because they saw him as a starter while other teams viewed him as a bullpen piece, a strategy the Reds are sticking to so far. The article also paints Iglesias as mature, poised, and determined to be the best pitcher he can be. It includes quotes about Iglesias from Walt Jocketty, Brayan Pena and Jay Bruce, but, strangely, no significant quotes from Iglesias himself.
Jocketty gave an interview to MLB Network Radio a few days ago, and the subject of the team’s negotiations with Johnny Cueto came up. Jocketty indicated that the negotiations were still ongoing, but declined to put any odds on how likely they were to reach a deal. Cueto’s representation had previously set an Opening Day deadline for negotiations, and that deadline is rapidly approaching. But as much as I hate to say it, does anybody really think it would be a good idea for the Reds, given all their current givens, to lock up Cueto at the cost he’s likely to demand?
Speaking of Reds pitching, Mike Petriello of Fangraphs analyzed the decision to move Tony Cingrani from the rotation to the bullpen. Petriello looks at Cingrani’s peripherals and comes to the conclusion that the bullpen will be the best place for his particular set of skills. I have to say I agree with him.
Jonathan Judge at Hardball Times has tweaked FIP and created a stat he’s calling Contextual FIP (cFIP) that he claims is more predictive than FIP and superior in a few other ways as well. I’m not of a statistical enough bent to know how successful he is in defending these claims, but I thought it was interesting to note that several Reds are among the examples he uses to demonstrate the effectiveness of his new stat. Unsurprisingly, cFIP considers Aroldis Chapman among the elite, and Paul Maholm among the awful. Disappointingly, cFIP also rates Cueto merely "Above Average," meaning it’s yet another advanced stat that fails to fully capture what the Reds ace brings to the mound start after start.
As we get set to start the season that marks the 25th anniversary of the Reds last World Series title, Joel M. Beall of the Cincinnati Enquirer compiled a list of 25 things you might not know about the 1990 Reds. Being old enough to remember that team, I knew most of these (but certainly not all), but it was still a fun trip down memory lane.
And speaking of the 1990 Reds, Doug Miller of MLB.com caught up with Hall of Famer Barry Larkin to discuss Larkin’s role as a guest instructor at Reds Minor League camp. It’s good to see Larkin’s relationship with the Reds is still strong.
With basketball dominating the sports world this weekend, Jamie Ramsay put together a hypothetical basketball team made up of players in Reds camp, and included some great quotes from the players assessing each other’s potential basketball skills. My personal favorite was Brandon Phillips saying that Todd Frazier "could be the white Dennis Rodman." Interesting mental image there.
And finally, if your bracket is already busted and you’re looking for something to read to fill these last few weeks until real baseball finally starts up, allow me to recommend the 2015 Redleg Annual.. I can honestly say that my contribution to the Annual is my favorite piece of Reds writing I’ve ever produced. But you’ll have to cough up the five bucks to read it.