Monthly Archives: March 2010

March 31, 2010

SI looks at whether salaries cause WAR

Sports Illustrated’s 2010 MLB preview (on newsstands now!) features a piece by Joe Lemire called “War Stories,” which lists the players with the highest 2009 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) at each position for each of several salary ranges.

The Reds have a few members that make the list, including two (two??) first basemen:

  • < $1M - Joey Votto at 1B with a WAR of 4.5. What a steal!
  • $2M-$3M – Ramon Hernandez at 1B with a WAR of 0.4. Someone smells overpaid.
  • $5M-$7.5M – Brandon Phillips at 2B with a WAR of 3.2. I think he can bring that up.

Lots of other NLCers on the list as well (the Cardinal reps become more prevalent as the price goes up), so pick up a copy to check it out.

March 31, 2010

ST Game 27: Reds 8, A’s 3

W: Leake (1-0) L: Braden (0-1)


The Cincinnati Reds (10-15-2) stopped their losing streak, thanks to another great pitching performance by Mike Leake.

Leake continues to battle against Travis Wood for that 5th starter spot, and it’s going down to the wire. Against the Oakland A’s (11-15-3), Leake went 6 innings, 1 more than originally scheduled. He allowed 2 runs, both of them earned, and struck out 2. Thanks to the miracle of the B-team exploding on offense, Leake even picked up the win.

On the offensive side, it was a miracle that any runs were scored, let alone 8. Most of the primary players were making the trip to Las Vegas to play the Dodgers, Drew Stubbs, Scott Rolen, and Ramon Hernandez as the regular starters. However, Stubbs and Rolen were all that were needed, with both driving in 3 runs. For Stubbs, one of those was a solo homer, his 5th of Spring Training.

After Leake left, Aroldis Chapman took the mound. (Incidentally, anybody else not really down with him being called the “Cuban Missile” on the radio broadcast? Surely there’s a better nickname out there. Of course, all I can think of is Aroldis “Cane Sugar” Chapman, so what do I know.) Chapman pitched well, allowing 1 run over 2 innings. More importantly, he struck out 3. He did walk 3, which is the most in an outing all spring. Hopefully, he’ll get to work on that in the minors.

Micah Owings pitched the 9th inning, but did not bat.

March 31, 2010

The Daily Brief: Closer to Making Real Decisions

Last Game
Aaron Harang made his final start and wasn’t very good as the Reds lost to the Padres 7-5. Joey Votto continued his excellent batting, though, with 1 hit and 2 walks.

Next Games
The Reds play their final split-squad game of the Spring Training season, two games that will help decide whether Mike Leake or Travis Wood wins the 5th starter’s spot. In the afternoon, Leake starts against the A’s at 4:05pm EDT. He will be relieved by Aroldis Chapman and Micah Owings.

In the evening, the Reds will travel to Las Vegas where Wood will start against the Dodgers. Justin Lehr, Logan Ondrusek, and Kip Wells are also scheduled to pitch. Gametime is 10:05pm EDT, and this game will be broadcast by Fox Sports Ohio. Also, the Reds are expected to make several cuts after the game.

Chapmania Put to Rest. For Now
The Reds 5th starter will be a young, inexperienced rookie, but it won’t be Aroldis Chapman. Walt Jocketty indicated yesterday that Chapman’s injury has taken him out of the running. The next Chapman thing to speculate about? Which Reds minor league team will he be assigned to?

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
The St. Louis Cardinals named Chris Carpenter as the Opening Day starter against the Reds. Carpenter is obviously hoping this isn’t his only start, like last year.

March 30, 2010

ST Game 26: Padres 7, Reds 5

W: Latos (3-0) L: Harang (1-3) S: Gregerson (2)


Aaron Harang made his last start before Opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds (9-16-2). And he was bad. Again.

Harang has been good for the Reds, and he’s one of the few players I’ve considered purchasing a jersey of, but he is not ending Spring Training in good shape. Against the San Diego Padres (17-10), Harang lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing 5 runs, 4 earned. He did strike out 6, which is good, but those 5 hits and 2 walks kinda negate that, not to mention the throwing error.

The Reds actually scored some runs behind Harang, but the hole was too deep. Ryan Hanigan drove in a run, as did Paul Janish on an automatic double.

The game was an ugly one, with both teams committing 3 errors. In addition to Harang’s error, Drew Sutton misplayed two balls.

With this loss, the Reds have now dropped 6 in a row.

March 30, 2010

The Daily Brief: Losing to the Cubs Never Feels Good

Last Game
The Cincinnati Reds pushed their losing streak to 5, losing 8-1 to the Chicago Cubs. The Reds used nothing but relievers, and may be able to eliminate some thanks to poor performances from Carlos Fisher, Kip Wells, and Matt Maloney. The offense was punch-less, continuing a theme from last year, although Joey Votto picked up a couple hits.

Next Game
The San Diego Padres travel to Goodyear to face Aaron Harang and the Reds at 4:05pm EDT. The game, as all remaining Spring Training games, will be broadcast on the Reds radio network. Jared Burton, Arthur Rhodes, and Daniel Ray Herrera are scheduled to relieve Harang.

Sickels on Cueto
Prospect rater and writer-extraordinaire John Sickels focused on young Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (via Shawn’s Fanhuddle Reds’ blog). Sickels finds some decent comparable pitchers to Cueto, and says that if Cueto can stay healthy and further develop his secondary pitches, then he “has a very good chance to be a very solid major league starter” and “a small chance to be a genuine superstar.” After all these years of crappy Reds pitching, either option sound good to me.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
Jonny Gomes is tied for the Cactus League home run lead with 5.