Monthly Archives: November 2011

November 11, 2011

Johnny Cueto Wins’s Reds’ Pitcher of the Year

In a similar award to the one received by Joey Votto’s, awarded Johnny Cueto as the Cincinnati Reds’ Pitcher of the Year.

This might have been hard to believe at the beginning of the year, given that Cueto missed the first month of the season with shoulder inflammation. But he really was the Reds’ best pitcher, and missed winning the National League’s ERA title by just 6 innings.

Instead, Cueto settled for a 9-5 record with a 2.31 ERA in 156 innings. He pitched three of the Reds’ four complete games (Bronson Arroyo had the other), and his 1.090 WHIP was best in their starting rotation.

“Hopefully, next year, he can be a 200-innings guy,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s a good feeling when you have Johnny Cueto every fifth day. The team feels confident. I can manage a little differently the day before knowing he’s going to go deep in games and I probably won’t use my bullpen. That’s huge.”

Congratulations, Mr. Cueto. I’d love to see you put up 200 inning at a level close to what you did in 2010.

November 10, 2011

Aroldis Chapman’s Off-season

At the beginning of October, the Cincinnati Reds announced they would be using this off-season to convert Aroldis Chapman to a starter.

Originally, the plan was to have Chapman build up arm-strength in Goodyear, AZ before sending him to Puerto Rico for winter baseball. After two appearances in the Arizona Fall League, that plan has changed.

“We’ve decided against sending him to Puerto Rico,” GM Walt Jocketty said. “He’s on a strength-and-conditioning program in Arizona. He’ll go to Florida after that and continue to work out.”

Of course, the immediate concern is that Chapman is injured, but Jocketty denied that. Instead, the Reds simply decided the risk of winter ball was too high for the reward. “Unlike the [Arizona Fall League], Winter Ball is not a controlled situation and it is very competitive.”

Given Chapman’s tender status, I can’t argue with being more cautious. It’s only November. There should be plenty of time to get in shape to start by next season.

November 9, 2011

RedsFest 2012 Announced

The baseball season is over and we’re well into November which can mean only one Cincinnati Reds-related piece of news: RedsFest. Oh, and tickets go on sale today.

Take it away, press release!

Tickets for FOX Sports Ohio Redsfest presented by PNC will go on sale Wed., Nov. 9, available at, by phone at (513) 381-REDS, at the Great American Ball Park box office and at Ticketmaster Outlets including select Kroger stores.

The annual fan festival will be held at the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati on Friday, Dec. 2 from 4 to 10:30 pm and Saturday, Dec. 3 from 11 am to 6:30 pm. One-day tickets are $17 for adults and $7 for kids 12 and younger. Two-day tickets are $25 for adults and $12 for kids.

With paid admission, all fans will receive one free View Level ticket to any Monday-Wednesday game in April 2012 at Great American Ball Park. Also, the first 10,000 fans each day will receive a free drawstring backpack and Reds knit gloves.

Redsfest features more than 200,000 square feet of activities, including autograph and photo booths with current and former Reds players, interactive games for fans of all ages, hard-to-find memorabilia and much more. New this year, the aisles on the floor of Redsfest will be significantly wider and additional seating has been added in the concession areas.

“Redsfest continues to be best fan fest across all of Major League Baseball,” said Bob Castellini, Reds President and Chief Executive Officer. “There is no better way for fans of all ages to get up close and personal with all their favorite current and former Reds players and broadcasters.”

More than 50 current and former Reds players and coaches are expected to attend including Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, Yonder Alonso, Dusty Baker and many more.

Redsfest Autograph Opportunities for 2011
Over 100 player autograph sessions and player photograph sessions are free of charge with a Redsfest general admission ticket. Specific times for player appearances will be announced 30 minutes prior to the autograph and photo sessions on the info screens on the Redsfest floor and on the Reds official Twitter page at:

New for 2011: Autograph Opportunity Sweepstakes and Elite Pass Auctions
Passes to six of the autograph sessions featuring some of the Reds biggest names will be available to fans on Players scheduled to appear in these autograph sessions are:
— Friday: Jay Bruce, Aroldis Chapman and Scott Rolen
— Saturday: Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and Brandon Phillips

Fans interested in attending one of the these autograph sessions have two options only on
• Autograph Opportunity Sweepstakes
— Fans can register on through Nov. 16 to be selected for one of the free autograph sessions.
— Two hundred names will be selected at random for each of these six autograph sessions, for a total of 1,200 lucky winners. Winners will receive their special pass in the mail prior to Redsfest.
• Elite Pass Auctions
— Fans can guarantee spots in these autograph sessions by bidding on Elite Passes that are being auctioned on
— Twenty-five (25) passes are being auctioned off for each day of the event and winning bidders will receive passes to all three exclusive sessions on either Friday or Saturday. Fans can place bids on Elite Pass auctions on from now through Nov. 21. The 25 winners for each day will receive their special pass in the mail prior to Redsfest.

Redsfest Main Stage: The main stage will feature popular activities such as kids-only press conferences involving players, Cincinnati’s Got Talent contest and the Reds Hot Stove Report with President of Baseball Operations and GM Walt Jocketty and Manager Dusty Baker. All current and former players in attendance will be introduced live on the Main Stage on Friday at 5:30 pm. A special tribute to former Reds owner Carl Lindner is also planned for the Main Stage on Friday night.

Mr. Red is Back! Ceremonies unveiling the new “Mr. Red” mascot will be Friday with teammates Gapper, Mr. Redlegs and Rosie Red.

Cincinnati’s Got Talent: Singers, dancers, magicians, comedians and performers of all ages are invited to showcase their talents in the inaugural Cincinnati’s Got Talent competition. Open auditions are Nov. 19 and 20 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The semifinals and finals will be held at Dec. 2 and 3 at Redsfest. The grand prize winner will take home $1,000 and the runner-up will win $500. For more information, please visit

Live Auctions: New in the Game Used Merchandise area will be live auctions for game used jerseys, bats, balls, bases and autographed memorabilia from Reds player and coaches. Examples of auction items are a Joey Votto game used jersey and a “Jay Bruce Feel The Game” package that includes a Bruce game used jersey, bat and pants. The live auctions will begin at 4pm on Saturday.

The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum will have an expanded presence at Redsfest, including a display featuring the ’75, ’76 and ’90 World Series trophies, Reds artifacts, Reds trivia and more. Redsfest is a great opportunity to purchase a 2012 Reds Museum membership.

The annual Reds Community Fund Celebrity Poker Tournament takes place on Saturday, Dec. 3. Registration and side games begin at 3:30 pm with the tournament starting at 5 pm. Sign-up today at or call (513) 765-7240.

The 2012 Reds Heads Kids Club membership will be for sale at Redsfest. The $25 Reds Heads merchandise kit makes a great holiday gift for children ages 14 and younger, which includes vouchers for free Reds tickets and exclusive club gear. A special Reds Heads gift will be included in memberships purchased at Redsfest, while supplies last.

Proceeds from Redsfest benefit the baseball-themed outreach programs of the Reds Community Fund.

You can find all the information about RedsFest here.

November 8, 2011

Votto Named Reds Performer of the Year

Reds Performer of the Year? Try Universe's Performer of the YearI saw mention of this story come through on Facebook today in between meetings:

Another big season has earned first baseman Joey Votto the Reds’ Performer of the Year Award, as selected by

Of course, I thought it was a league-level award at the time I read it. Once I realized that chose one of these award recipients for every team, I thought they ought to make a special exception in Votto’s case and change the name to the “Well, Duh” award. Consider:

Votto, the reigning National League MVP, batted .309 with 29 home runs and 103 RBIs in his second straight All-Star season. He led the NL with 110 walks, 40 doubles and a .416 on-base percentage, and set career highs for games played (161) and plate appearances (719).

A couple more years like that, and it’ll get even more incredible that this team can’t win. At least Votto will have a nice resume and presence on Congratulations to Votto.

November 7, 2011

Phillips Adds Some Silver to His Gold Collection

I missed this last week, but the day after Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips won his third Gold Glove, Phillips received his first Silver Slugger.

Phillips definitely deserved the award, as he was by far the most valuable offensive second basemen in the National League in 2011. He wracked up a Wins Above Replacement value of 6. The next closest was Philadelphia Phillies’ second basemen Chase Utley at 3.9. That’s 6 games the Reds won because of Phillips’ presence. (When you add in first baseman Joey Votto’s WAR of almost 7, you can tell the right side of the infield was certainly pulling its weight.)

It was the best offensive season from Phillips in his career. Most of the major stats were above his career averages.

  • Batting Average: .300 (.272 career)
  • On-Base Percentage: .353 (.322 career)
  • Slugging: .457 (.434 career)

His home runs did not reach their peak of 30, which he got in 2007 when I think he hit cleanup for much of the year. He was never very suited for that position, and I hope that his new-found on-base percentage is more than just an aberration in a contract year. I’d love to see Phillips keep that up for the Reds. Getting on base 35% of the time is a better number than any Reds lead-off hitter I can remember for the last ever.

That it did happen for a year in which Phillips was seeking either a new contract or an extension does give me pause; however, that’s something to worry about next year. For now, we should enjoy Phillips getting his well-deserved recognition.