FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal spoke with Cincinnati Reds
GM OG OMG President of Baseball Operations Walt Jocketty yesterday in the wake of the firing of pitching coach Mark Riggins, and the conversation led to a number of interesting nuggets about the direction of the franchise. Jocketty pretty firmly stated that manager Bryan Price isn't in danger of losing his job at the moment, something that I'm sure a good portion of you will still be angry about. The reasoning behind that decision, though, is rooted in pretty firm soil.
The returns of Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen, and Raisel Iglesias have finally given Price a bit of predictable structure in the pitching staff, and the impending returns of Homer Bailey and Robert Stephenson should go a long way to augment that. Giving the team a shot to show what it's capable of with those arms on display is something the front office has truly wanted to see all season long, and how that ship is captained with Price at the helm has been equally as prioritized. So, we'll all get to watch how that develops - and it's not like the team has any pressing interest in paying two managers to be 25 games under .500, anyway.
Rosenthal also named the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers as teams that have interest in adding trade rumor front man Jay Bruce, something that Jon Heyman only partially echoed in his roundup at Today's Knuckleball. Heyman did concur that the Nationals and Dusty Baker do appear to be a decent fit for Bruce, but regarding the Dodgers he had this to say:
They are awaiting the return of Joc Pederson and especially Andre Ethier, and don’t seem too anxious to add an outfielder.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement that the Reds will have a chance to pilfer the prospect coffers in LA, which is unfortunate given how deep their system currently is.
Speaking of Bruce, Redleg Nation took a thorough look at his 9 years with the Reds to date, operating (like most of us) that this will be the last month we get to watch him in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. As Steve Mancuso mentioned, there's only one GABP homestand between the All Star break and the July 31st trade deadline. Damn, that was a tough two sentences to type through.
The Hardball Times took a look back at the 1994 season, in large part because the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between MLB and MLBPA expires on December 1st of this year. You can read through the "how things might've played out" scenario the author spells out, or you can just say out loud that he's wrong, since the 1994 World Series - should it have been played - would've been undoubtedly won by the Reds. That '94 squad was one of the deepest, most entertaining, and most talented I've seen in my lifetime, and truly was a damn shame they never had a chance to show it in the postseason.
Finally, Baseball Prospectus released their mid-season Top 50 prospects list, and it's confusing. Very confusing. It's not that the list itself or the concept of ranking talent is confusing, it's just that the parameters in place include enough qualifiers that it's hard to really glean too much information from it. For what its worth, Amir Garrett is the only current Reds prospect who makes the cut (at #37), but that's not necessarily a complete indictment of the talent in the franchise's farm system. For one, no recent international signings (a la Alfredo Rodriguez, not that he'd have made the list anyway) or recent draftees (like #2 overall pick Nick Senzel) were eligible for the list, which cuts out tons of guys who are equally as talented as those on the list. Secondly, 21 year old Lucas Giolito - who has made just one career big league start - is no longer eligible for this list, while 19 year old Julio Urias - who has made eight big league starts - is eligible (and ranks #3). So before you freak out, know that Cody Reed and Jose Peraza weren't eligible to be included here in the first place.