Despite the fact that the 2015 Cincinnati Reds will go down in the history books as a past-prime, disheveled, and dismantled version of the team that won NL Central titles in 2010 and 2012, Joey Votto's season won't soon be forgotten. Owen Wilson has had a watchful eye on Votto's on-base exploits, and over at FanGraphs/FoxSports he put together a wonderful look at the Cincinnati 1B's season in the context of playing on a woeful last-place team. Finding positivity for Reds fans is tough these days, but it's undeniable that watching Votto's mastery of the strike zone and opposing pitching has been worth tuning in to see on a day to day basis. Wilson's article shows that we're not the only one's watching, and that's a bit of a delight, too. Just don't read the comments section.
Yesterday saw Raisel Iglesias get rocked for the first time in weeks, and he exited after a poor 3rd inning for his shortest outing in quite some time. In fact, the 3 IP was his lowest in a start since May 24th, when he also lasted just 3 IP in his first start after having come out of the bullpen in his previous two outings. His abrupt removal (after just 61 pitches) prompted some to wonder whether he'd tweaked something while fielding a short grounder and throwing to 1B, but if that was the case, Bryan Price and Iglesias himself certainly dodged revealing anything when MLB.com's Mark Sheldon caught up with them after the loss. Hopefully that's the case, and Tuesday can merely be chalked up to a rookie having one of those bad rookie days.
Less rosy on the injury front is the status of Kristopher Negron, who left yesterday's game with what's been diagnosed as a partially separated left shoulder. He'd actually been brought on to replace Adam Duvall in LF, since Duvall had been beaned on the knee by Francisco Liriano and forced to exit. Fortunately, Duvall's just dealing with a big ol' bruise and should be back in a day or two, but it sure sounds like Negron - who injured himself making a fully stretched diving catch - may be on the shelf for longer.
Most of the MiLB seasons are done after Labor Day weekend, but a few Reds affiliates made their playoffs and get to keep on keepin' on for a few more games. The Daytona Tortugas are one of those, and on Tuesday they downed the Clearwater Threshers in their playoff opener. Amir Garrett was downright filthy, striking out a career-high 12 batters while allowing just one hit and no walks in his 7 IP, the kind of performance that earned him the Florida State League Co-Pitcher of the Year award and a spot on most mid-season Top 100 prospect lists. Garrett's stats from yesterday aren't factored in to his yearly stats - which featured a stellar 2.44 ERA and .230 average allowed - but had they been, he'd absolutely have fit right in on Baseball America's Minor League All-Star team. In fact, you could make the case that he belonged on at least the 2nd team even without Tuesday's dominant start.
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos and Billings Mustangs are the other two Reds affiliates that made their respective playoffs, and both have their playoff openers tonight. Pensacola will take on the Biloxi Shuckers in a Best of 5 series, with Game 1 in Biloxi. Meanwhile, Billings - who won the Pioneer League playoffs just last year - squeaked in to defend their title after winning the final four games of the season. They'll begin their title defense tonight against Missoula.
Finally, Redleg Nation's Grant Freking had a chance to interview former Red Chris Heisey, and it's well worth reading through their discussions on a variety of topics. Check it!