December 5, 2013
More than a month after signing Brayan Pena to be the backup catcher for the Cincinnati Reds
in 2014, the Reds finally addressed their catching surplus and traded Ryan Hanigan
to the Tampa Rays.
The deal was a three-team deal that also involved the Arizona Diamondbacks. In return, the Reds received 22 year-old lefthander David Holmberg. The pitcher has some potential as a back-of-the-rotation starter, which is an area the Reds were very weak in last season.
This also signals to Devin Mesoraco that it’s time for him to step up.
“(Manager Bryan Price) and I talked about it a lot,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “We felt he was ready to take the next step. We still have a high regard for his talent. He’s matured as a catcher and offensively the last two years. We think he’s ready to be a frontline guy.”
I hope so, too. Mesoraco’s shown slow, but steady improvement, which is kind of expected from the catching position. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s up to the challenge.
As for the trade, it seems a good one. The Reds traded from a surplus and addressed a weakness. Holmberg isn’t an ace-level prospect, but the Reds don’t need that. Hanigan had one more year before reaching free agency. Basically, the Reds turned that year into several more years of a 4th or 5th starter. Very nicely done.
December 3, 2013
After a brief hiatus from all things related to the Cincinnati Reds–and can you blame a guy after the brutal ending to 2012 and the wasted 2013–I delved back into Reds news this week.
As is so often the case with the Reds under General Manager Walt Jocketty, nothing happens until it’s happened. No one saw the Mat Latos and Shin-S00 Choo trades coming. And just like both of those trades, there’s nothing of substance in any pending trade rumors.
However, a few minor things have happened while I was ignoring baseball. The Reds signed catcher Brayan Pena. What this means for Ryan Hanigan or Devin Mesoraco isn’t known, but it seems likely that Hanigan will be shopped around.
Also, Jocketty dipped into the ex-Cardinal bucket and signed Skip Schumaker to a $5 million, 2-year deal. Schumaker has versatility in the number of positions he can play badly, but assuming he’s used as a backup and not a starter, he could prove useful. I don’t see the need for 2 years of him, though.
And most recently, last night the Reds chose not to offer contracts to outfielders Xavier Paul and Derrick Robinson. Last night was the deadline when teams had to offer contracts to players on the 40-man roster without them. This doesn’t mean Paul and Robinson won’t be Reds in 2014, but it does mean they’re free agents and can sign anywhere. In particular, it might be worth bringing Robinson back. He was valuable in his playing time in 2013, and at 25, could have room to improve.
June 25, 2013
After almost two months recovering from a hamstring issue, Chris Heisey has been activated and is back in the lineup as the designated hitter against the Oakland A’s tonight.
Heisey had been playing games with the AAA Louisville Bats for the last week, going 4 for 20.
“I felt really good at the plate,” he said. “I didn’t have the results to show for it, but I hit some balls hard. I saw a lot of pitches. I worked a lot of deep counts, which is something I want to get better at up here. It was a good little practice for me.”
Donald Lutz was sent down to AA to make room for Heisey’s return.
Heisey will be back, but the Reds will be without star second baseman Brandon Phillips, who was placed on the paternity list. I didn’t know that was a thing, but it’s apparently been there since 2011, added at the same time as the concussion list.
Players can miss one to three games, and Phillips is expected to miss the two-game series against the A’s. Infielder Henry Rodriguez was called up from Louisville to take his place.
June 15, 2013
Zach Duke pitching for the Washington Nationals.
The Cincinnati Reds
signed former Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher Zach Duke today
Duke is expected to join the AAA Louisville Bats.
As far as the signing goes, I think the key part about it is that Duke is left handed. Currently, the only left-handed relievers in the Reds’ bullpen are Manny Parra and Aroldis Chapman. Chapman is the closer, and in MLB the way it is today, the closer pitches the 9th inning and the 9th inning only. As for Parra, his attempts to fill the role that injured reliever Sean Marshall had has failed spectacularly. His 7.50 is not getting it done.
I have to think that should Parra continue to struggle, we might see Duke. Duke has not done well in limited time with the Washington Nationals this year, but I sure can’t fault the Reds for searching for other options.
Hopefully, though, Marshall will return sooner than later. This team needs him putting up zeros in the late innings.
June 11, 2013
Before tonight’s game against the Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds called up Tony Cingrani to make a start in the place of disabled ace Johnny Cueto. Henry Rodriguez was sent down to Louisville to make room on the active roster.
But this may be just a single game appearance for Cingrani this time. During Cueto’s previous time on the disabled list, Cingrani made six starts and acquitted himself well. The Reds are expecting Cueto to be ready to go the next time his turn comes in the rotation.
“I felt really good,” Cueto said after the throwing session at Wrigley Field. “I feel ready now.”
This is good news. Of course, Cueto’s absence has not been felt strongly at all, thanks to Cingrani. I wonder, though, is there any chance of having Cingrani stay around to shore up the bullpen? The relievers need the help far more than the starters.