Monthly Archives: March 2010

March 26, 2010

Gammons Infected with Chapmania

Chapman about to throw. FastNoted baseball columnist Peter Gammons, now working for the MLB network, put his feet firmly on the Chapman bandwagon.

Chapman will learn to recover from not having his best stuff, or having a stiff back, or getting hit around. It’s all part of the process, and if he learns as [advisor Tony] Fossas believes he will, then Chapman could be a major contributor to the Reds in the second half of the season. Which will be no small matter.

Gammons touches on how difficult it has to be to be Aroldis Chapman. He’s fled from his home communist country for one with an entirely different culture. He doesn’t speak the language that the majority of the people do, and the pressure placed on him to perform is unbelievable. (Although I think the pressure he faced when pitching for the Cuban team may have been about the same.)

Chapman is facing all this change and stress, and he’s only 22.

Gammons then moves on to how the Cincinnati Reds are a popular pick for a surprise, sleeper team.

If there is a sleeper team in Arizona, it is Cincinnati. Opposing managers, scouts and players alike think that the Reds can make a run in the National League Central.

“There’s a very good feeling here,” says Scott Rolen, whose health is an important factor. “There’s a lot of talent here, the atmosphere is good, there’s a blend of youth and experience and there’s a very positive vibe. We can be pretty good.”

I remember when the Milwaukee Brewers received that honor for a few years in a row. I’m optimistic that Cincy will have more staying power. With the tremendous depth in starting pitching, beyond just Chapman, the future really is starting to look bright.

March 26, 2010

The Daily Brief: Will the Reds Get Wood or Take Leake?

Last Game
Aaron Harang had such a bad start that everyone will shrug and say, “It’s only Spring Training.” He allowed 7 runs in 2 2/3 innings in leading the Reds to a defeat at the hands of the Rockies.

Next Game
Mike Leake will start against Seattle today at 4:05pm EDT. He will be followed by Kip Wells and Travis Wood. All remaining Spring Training games are on the radio, so tune in to see if Joey Votto gets a hit.

The Search for a Year of Innuendo-laden Headlines
Remember how much fun it was when the Yankees activated Wang? You’re not the only one. The Reds want a piece of that lucrative snicker-worthy headline business, or at least Reds beat writer John Fay thinks so. He’s checked the calendar and the schedule and is predicting the Reds will choose either Travis Wood or Mike Leake as their 5th starter.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
Drew Stubbs has a 7-game hitting streak, which includes an inside-the-park home run.

March 25, 2010

ST Game 21: Reds 6, Rockies 10

W: Jimenez (2-0) L: Harang (1-2)


Aaron Harang started for the Cincinnati Reds (9-10-2) and had a worse day than the Roman Catholic church. Okay, maybe not that bad.

It was ugly out there, though. Harang was originally scheduled to go for 6 innings in the continuing Spring Training quest to increase his durability. Instead, he lasted 2 2/3 and allowed 7 runs. Ouch.

The Reds lost, of course. But the offense did show life again. Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix both homered as they continue to fight to make the team. And although Joey Votto didn’t get a hit, he did walk in a run when the bases were loaded. Votto had two walks on the day, so maybe his judgment of pitches is close to being ready for opening day.

March 25, 2010

Bailey Shows Them His “Pitch” Face

Maybe the straining lets him Stretch Armstrong his throwing arm.
Why does Homer Bailey always look like a constipated older woman when he pitches?

March 25, 2010

The Daily Brief: Offense May Still Be Issue

Last Game
After the tape-delayed shutout fiasco against the Giants on Sunday, the Reds had some redeeming to do. And redeem themselves they did, drubbing the Giants 10-3. Jared Burton got the vulture win after blowing a save opportunity.

Next Game
Aaron Harang is the scheduled starter in a road game against the Colorado Rockies at 4:05pm EDT. He will be followed by Justin Lehr, Nick Masset, and a passel of minor leaguers with no chance of making the team this year.

The Reds Offensive Middle
The team did score 10 runs yesterday, but it was still not thanks to the heart of the lineup. The low averages and punchless production from Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips is getting some notice, but I have a feeling that both will come around. Of course, it should be no surprise that the team has trouble scoring runs. They were about the worst at that last year. Any slump from those in the middle could make for some long stretches.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
Although certainly not to the apocalyptic Eric Milton levels, the Reds have a fly-ball happy starting rotation. In a “park that inflates home run rates by 12%”, that may not be the best accumulation of pitchers.