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Cincinnati Reds links - Jesse Winker and his tale of two seasons

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If you're into prospects and the future of the Cincinnati Reds, Doug Gray and his are a must read.  Doug recently got back from a trip through Florida to see both the Daytona Tortugas and Pensacola Blue Wahoos do their thing, and today for our friends at Redleg Nation he dropped an interview with Pensacola's Jesse Winker about his mid-season turnaround.  The Reds' top position prospect spoke about the tweaks in his swing that he had to make after struggling out of the gate in 2015, and how - hopefully, at least - he'll be better in the long run for having dealt with them.  There's also video of him cranking AA meatballs all over the yard, one of which is an impressive opposite-field blast that, as Doug noted, started his five game stretch of homering every day.

The New York Times recently ran a photo-illustrated piece on the history the Cincinnati Reds have had with baseball in Cuba, and it's worth a click-through.  It's a story that dates back 100 years and has provided ample success stories, from the likes of Armando Marsans and Dolf Luque to Tony Perez, and lately with the trio of Aroldis Chapman, Raisel Iglesias, and Brayan Pena.  There are cool, old-timey photos in this, too, so click dangit.

John Sickels checked in on a trio of LHPs taken in the 2014 MLB Draft to highlight how they'd progressed in the year-plus that they've been professionals, and 10th round Reds draftee Seth Varner was one of them.  Seth's exhibited remarkable strike zone command across three levels since being selected out of Miami (OH), posting a rather absured 7.95 career K/BB (that's been buttressed by an even more ridiculous 10.73 mark in 2015), but as John noted, seeing how his soft-ish stuff adapts to AA and above will tell the tale of whether he'll have a chance to make it as a starter in the big leagues.  It's really a LHP Renaissance in the Cincinnati system, isn't it?  John Lamb, Tony Cingrani, Cody Reed, Brandon Finnegan, Amir Garrett, Varner, David Holmberg, and Ty Boyles have all flashed at least a bit of talent so far in the 2015 season.

Over at The Enquirer, C. Trent Rosecrans looks at Joey Votto's magnificent 2015 season in the context of the rest of his already magnificent career with the Reds.  The gist:  the Cincinnati 1B isn't just having a great season, he may well be having the single best season of his career, his 2010 NL MVP vintage included.  His pants game is way, way more valuable now than in 2010, at least.

The Reds will welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to GABP for a three game series that begins Tuesday night, and while Cincinnati finally busted the doors down on their losing streak, the Dodgers have been mired in mediocrity since the All Star break themselves.  Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times had this look into what's been going on in the uber-talented, high-priced Dodger clubhouse, and it'll be interesting to see whether the Reds' rookie pile is just what the LA offense needs to get back on track.  Of course, it may just be that the Dodgers have been dealing with the exact same issues as the Reds, which is that they've got a ton of former Reds and Reds draftees playing for them.  Each of Justin Turner, Mat Latos, and Yasmani Grandal will be in GABP for this trip, while the Dodgers have also had Josh Ravin, Chris Heisey, Daniel Corcino, Ronald Torreyes, and Ryan Dennick in their organization at times in 2015.

Finally, it looks as if the Reds' baseball fortunes will finally start to see improvement again after two seasons of disappointment and malaise.  That's right, Walt Jocketty's technologically advanced communication system is finally catching on with the rest of the world, which means the roster will be stock-piled again in no time.