Last night we learned that Cincinnati Reds ace Johnny Cueto did not make the National League All Star team as configured by San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy. However, Cueto is among the five finalists to make the team via one last round of fan voting, and he needs your help to make the squad. Look, the All Star Game is kinda sorta an exhibition blended with a cup of salt and a dash of real baseball, but all signs point to Cueto being on a different team in less than a month, and each and every chance fans get to see him don a Reds uniform is one most all of us will appreciate, so take the time to cast a few votes here at this fancy schmany mlb.com site. Cueto's up against some stiff competition (how Clayton Kershaw isn't already on the team is beyond me), so every last one counts.
Cueto, of course, will take the mound for the Reds later today against Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals. No pitching talent in that one. Nooope.
In other news, Baseball America released their mid-season Top 50 prospects list, and Reds farmhand (and newly promoted Louisville Bat) Robert Stephenson checked in at number 36. That means that despite the run of excellence Bob displayed prior to his AAA call-up, BA chose to drop him from the 23 spot he occupied in the 2015 pre-season list. Hrmmm. Also of note is the absence entirely of Jesse Winker, who checked in at number 47 before the season began. Winker struggled to display the kind of power at the start of the season that he's flashed in years past, but he still boasts an excellent .372 OBP on the season and has hit .313/.414/.453 in the last 35 games played (of 71 played overall). Apparently a half of a half-season of struggling was enough for BA to drop a 21 AA OBP machine off their list, but I'm not necessarily so worried.
This is pretty hilarious and intriguing: FanGraphs' Jeff Sullivan is crowd sourcing opinions on each team's front office. I'll be quite interested to find out how many fanbases rate their favorite team's braintrust as average or worse, especially since I think a large portion of fans that frequent FanGraphs think they know how to run teams themselves. How do you grade Walt Jocketty & Co.?
Over at the Mothership, Grizzly Grant Brisbee took on the task of determining which side - the NL All Stars or the AL All Stars - has a lineup that's more desirable both now and going forward. He's funny. READ.
At SI.com, Jay Jaffe broke down the NL's teams into Buyers and Sellers and - guess what - he has the Reds as a Seller (while conceding that they've got a rather large number of attractive pieces). That seems to be the universal sentiment around the game: the Reds have a pile of good players but simply aren't very good. Maybe I should've listed this link and paragraph prior to dropping in the poll about front offices...
Finally, C. Trent Rosecrans mentioned over the weekend that Tony Cingrani may not be completely out of the starting pitching equation for the Reds going forward, and if that's the case, that's dang large news. Cingrani threw 35 pitches over 2 IP on Saturday in his first rehab start since being sidelined with a sore shoulder, and it appears the Reds want to be patient enough with him to let him stretch out in Louisville in order to be a starting candidate towards the tail end of the season. I wonder if that bodes well for him again being considered for the rotation beyond this season, too, since adding Tony back to that fold for 2016 along with Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen, Raisel Iglesias, Homer Bailey, Robert Stephenson, and Jon Moscot actually looks like a healthy amount of talent and depth.