The Enquirer's John Fay has a pile of good stuff to parse through in his latest notebook, the first of which is that Todd Frazier is closing in on a starting spot in the upcoming All Star Game. The Cincinnati Reds of late June are still every bit as in 4th place as the Cincinnati Reds of late May, but unlike a month ago, the All Star festivities aren't just days away from being finalized at GABP, so perhaps there's a bit of local excitement that has fueled Frazier's ballot push. There's no doubt Todd and his 25 dingers are deserving, and while the continual focus on the ASG while the team on the field has sputtered is a bit of a running joke, there's no denying that Frazier appreciates the support and the chance to start (as he well should). If you haven't voted already, you can do that for Todd and the rest of the Reds here.\
The latter third of Fay's notebook has some positive updates on some young Reds pitchers, too, as it appears Raisel Iglesias will make a rehab start today (Tuesday) and Tony Cingrani threw a bullpen session yesterday. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the team's handling of Cingrani, and while it's obvious that he's had some shoulder issues that may have caused the Reds to do some preventative meddling, it still feels like this is the second consecutive season where he's been a forgotten man. Those, of course, come immediately on the heels of leading the entire NL in K/9 among pitchers who threw at least 100 innings in 2013 and in the wake of his MLB record streak of allowing no more than 5 hits in 22 consecutive starts. Cingrani turns 26 next week and still has a wealth of talent in his left arm, but it's been frustrating to watch he and the Reds not be on the same page enough to see him blossom regardless of role.
Billy Hamilton swiped 4 bags in last night's win against the Minnesota Twins, and that's got him on pace to rip 86 on the season. As Robert Bondy noted at MLB.com, Billy's been working with JNMHSotG trophy-winner Don Long about keeping balls on the ground when hitting in order to maximize his speed's ability to get him on base, and the best of that was on display Monday evening. Unfortunately, if Joey Votto's favorite stat is one you also have faith in (wRC+), there hasn't been a qualified hitter in baseball whose wRC+ has been worse than Billy Hamilton's 59 over the last calendar year. Billy has hit just .222/.273/.303 in that time, with his SLG also being the lowest of the 128 qualified hitters in that group. Them steals & defense, though.
Aroldis Chapman threw a pitch 103.9 mph last night. Pfff.
Rob Neyer broke down some of the newer (newish?) terms we see lobbed around in baseball circles these days, specifically detailing their origins.
Doug Gray noticed that Jonathon Crawford - the former Detroit Tigers 1st round draftee who joined Eugenio Suarez as the return in the Alfredo Simon trade - made his 2015 debut on Monday. He's with the AZL Reds and likely coming back from an injury setback, as Gray noted, but has the kind of arm that you'd expect to see moving through the system quickly once he's healthy. It's good to see that whatever it was that was ailing him isn't something that needs an entire year to heal.
Finally, even notorious Johnny Cueto underappreciater Dave Cameron thinks Todd Frazier should start the All Star Game for the NL. Know how that happens? You click here, and you vote 35 times.