Daily Archives: October 5, 2012

October 5, 2012

Cozart, Frazier following in footsteps of Votto, Bruce

Frazier at the plate

Cincinnati Enquirer reporter John Erardi has another nice article today, this one about the rookie duo of Zack Cozart and Todd Frazier on the 2012 team.

Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart have not only been one of the best combination of first-year players on any team this season, they qualify as the greatest pairing of Reds rookie position players since Bernie Carbo and Davey Concepcion in 1970.

Frazier and Cozart are, by the numbers, the highest impact rookie Reds position players to break in together since Kal Daniels and Paul O’Neill in 1987 and Chris Sabo and Jeff Treadway in 1988.

The case Erardi goes on to make is that when rookie duos like that come along in Reds’ history, good things follow, like the 1990 World Series.

Cozart throws to first.

For the nine straight losing years that the Reds saw throughout the 2000s, this influx of young, home-grown talent never arrived. But since Joey Votto and Jay Bruce arrived full-time in 2008, it has.
Votto and Bruce saw the team to the division win in 2010. Sure, the team exited the playoffs early, but that experience is invaluable. Now those two are returning to the playoffs with something to prove. And that experience and attitude is likely to rub off on Cozart and Frazier.

Losing begets losing, and winning begets winning. The prime examples of that can be found just looking within the Reds’ division. The Pittsburgh Pirates just completed their 20th losing season in a row, and the St. Louis Cardinals made the playoffs again, without Albert Pujols.

The Reds had been stuck in that losing cycle for so long. It’s very nice to see them coming out of it and having a good store of minor league talent ready to come up. When they do, they’re expected to contribute and win right away.

And since this time the offensive burden won’t rely solely on Votto and Bruce, maybe this team can advance further into the playoffs.

October 5, 2012

4 things to read before the Reds’ playoffs

With the Cincinnati Reds not scheduled to start their first round of post-season action until tomorrow night at 9:37, here’s a few things to check out to tide your lack of Reds baseball withdrawal.

1. Hanigan worked harder to get his job than you did
Ryan Hanigan signs autographs at Redsfest 2010John Erardi wrote a profile of Reds’ catcher Ryan Hanigan. After toiling through the minor leagues as an undrafted player for longer than most people would put up with, Hanigan made it to the majors as the Reds’ backup catcher for three years. This year, though, he’s been the primary catcher.

“I was pretty honest about my talent level,” he remembers. “I was always comparing myself to other guys. I came up (in minor leagues) with Russ Martin (Los Angeles Dodgers/New York Yankees catcher) and Brian McCann (Atlanta Braves catcher) and I felt like I could compete with them. I wasn’t happy just getting up here. I never felt like, ‘OK, maybe I can be a backup.’ I always wanted to keep working and establish myself … Eventually, some Reds (brass) began taking notice, but I had to earn that. I wasn’t given anything, that’s for sure.”

It’s one of the best pieces of sports journalism from Cincinnati about the Reds this year, so you should give it a read. Plus, there’s a bonus appearance by Reds broadcaster Jeff Brantley, who refers to Hanigan as “The Brain.” It takes one to know one, I guess.

2. Vegas thinks the Reds could win it all
The Las Vegas sports books released their playoff odds yesterday, and the Reds are on par with the Yankees and the Nationals.

Odds to win the 2012 World Series
Cincinnati Reds 5/1
New York Yankees 5/1
Washington Nationals 5/1

This is good news, in that Vegas seems like it has a good track record on these sorts of things.

The team with the worst odds to win it all? The St. Louis Cardinals at 15/1.

3. Bailey to start game 4, if necessary
After announcing the starters of the first 3 games against the Giants as Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo, and Mat Latos, manager Dusty Baker announced that if a fourth game is necessary, Homer Bailey would be his man.

Previously, Baker had been leaning towards a 3-man rotation. What changed?

“There’s not enough time off in between with the way they’ve got it planned,” Baker said. “Johnny will come back if there’s a Game 5.”

My preference would be for Bailey to never need to start, for the good reasons. A Reds sweep, even though it would mean only one game at home, would be awesome, and the first Reds’ post-season series victory I will have seen since 1990. I recall it being an enjoyable experience.

4. Three players left to cut
The Reds traveled to San Francisco with 28 players. That, of course, is three more than is allowed, meaning a final decision needs to be made.

Among players that could be on the roster bubble, for this round: relievers Logan Ondrusek, J.J. Hoover and Alfredo Simon and starter Mike Leake. If the club does not carry three catchers, Devin Mesoraco would likely be on the outside looking in.

Discussion in the RHM household has Mike Leake and Devin Mesoraco unlikely to make the cut for this first round. Dioner Navarro has out-played Mesoraco down the stretch, and in a best-of-5 series, there’s no need for a fifth starter.

The final roster announcement is likely to come after the final workout at San Francisco’s AT&T Park this afternoon.