Monthly Archives: March 2012

March 25, 2012

Cincinnati Reds trim roster to 33

Valaika working out his autographing musclesThe Reds broke the hearts of another eight up-and-comers this morning as they continued the brutal march to a 25-man roster that actually includes only 25 men.

From the story on

Right-handed reliever Andrew Brackman, infielder Chris Valaika and outfielder Denis Phipps were optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Right-handed relievers Carlos Fisher and Kanekoa Texeira, and left-handed relievers Ron Mahay, Clay Zavada and Clayton Tanner were reassigned to Minor League camp.

No surprises here, really. They’re just keeping these guys in cold storage until a spot opens up. Eight more guys to go before the big day in Cincinnati next week.

March 24, 2012

Madson tears elbow ligament and is out for the year

Apparently, while in the process of punching Reds fans in the gut, closer Ryan Madson tore his elbow ligament.

Following an examination in Cincinnati Saturday morning, the club said that Madson’s elbow ligament had torn off of the bone. He will need season-ending Tommy John surgery.

“Off of the bone”? Eww. The only time that’s a description that can be used favorably is when referring to slow-roasted barbecue. And this definitely has nothing to do with that.

This hurts. This hurts a lot.

General manager Walt Jocketty tried to be positive about it.

“We told the team and said to stay positive. We have good alternatives we can turn to. Others clubs have done it in the past. I did it in St. Louis. When Izzy went down, Wainwright stepped in and we won the World Series. Madson got the job because Lidge got hurt [with the Phillies]. Is it the ideal thing? No. But you have to stay positive.”

That will be easier said than done. Now the team will have to determine how to shuffle bullpen roles, with Sean Marshall the leading contender to take over closing duties. We’ll have to stay tuned to see how this affects Aroldis Chapman’s conversion to starting.

No matter what, though, this is will be a hard blow to overcome.

March 24, 2012

Ryan Madson punches Reds fans in the gut

The only proper response to a Cincinnati Reds fan upon hearing this news is of the four-letter variety.

Yes, Ryan Madson, who has yet to appear in a Spring Training game due to a sore elbow, had a setback.

Closer Ryan Madson flew to Cincinnati to be evaluated by medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek. The examination will take place [Saturday].

Madson, who’s been dealing with a sore elbow all spring, had a setback on Thursday. With Opening Day 12 days away, it’s unlikely that Madson will be ready by then — no matter how minor the setback.


There’s now way of looking at this as positive. The Reds’ shiny new closer will not be ready on Opening Day, and there’s now the possibility that he won’t be available this whole year.

I’m hoping for something that he can recover from quickly, but right now, I’m not too confident.

March 23, 2012

$13 gets you a Reds LEGO man with more articulated joints than Ken Griffey Jr

If you saw the sweet Astros LEGO man I used a picture of in a post a couple days ago and thought to yourself, “I wish they had a Cincinnati Reds LEGO man,” well, have I got news for you.

Looks more like Joey Votto than that bobblehead does

I think my favorite part is how his nose looks like an unbent staple.

March 22, 2012

Hal McCoy learned 5 things at Reds’ Spring Training

Dayton Daily News reporter Hal McCoy recently returned from Arizona and Cincinnati Reds’ Spring Training. This was his 40th one, so he’s certainly seen enough to know that the results don’t matter.

You see, spring training games will fool you every time. Outcomes are unimportant because pitchers are working on different things, hitters are working on different things, the manager tries different things he’d never try in a game and he uses lineups he’d never use and batting orders he’d never use and players who might never see a major-league game, ever, get playing time.

That sounds good, since the Reds aren’t exactly winning a lot of games so far this year. But saying it’s “experimentation time” still leaves you wanting more. What insight has all of that experience watching baseball given McCoy?

He lists five things he saw and learned. I’ve quoted parts of a couple of them.

The health of Scott Rolen. He is his old self after missing most of last season and undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. […] Barring a calamity like a mishap sliding or a collision at home plate, Rolen will start the season in better shape and health than he has been since he has been with the Reds.

Better than he was in 2010? Rolen put up MVP numbers in the first half of that year. If he has even half a year as good as that, the Reds’ offense will be in excellent shape.

Drew Stubbs is making more contact, striking out less, putting the ball in play. Prediction: He will strike out less than 150 times this year and he won’t lead the league in strikeouts.

People make too much out of Stubbs’ strikeouts. By that I mean that I don’t think there as damaging as a lot of people do. However, Stubbs made way too many outs last year. If he doesn’t improve this year, the Reds will need to find a new center fielder. But from McCoy’s observations, it sounds like Stubbs has greatly improved his plate approach.

The rest of McCoy’s observations are certainly worth your time, too.