Daily Archives: March 10, 2011

March 10, 2011

Harang’s Rude Homecoming

Last Game
Aaron Harang started for the San Diego Padres against his former club, and I think he was nervous. Harang, who’d had a great spring so far, allowed 7 runs on 7 hits in 3 innings, including home runs to Ryan Hanigan and Chris Heisey. It was a rough outing for him. The Reds continued to score even after Harang left, as if to say, “It’s not just you. Everybody sucks today!” The final score was Reds 15, Padres 5.

Next Game
The Reds host the San Francisco Giants today. Bronson Arroyo will start and will be followed by Edinson Volquez, assuming Volquez makes it back with his work Visa. Game-time is 3:05pm EST.

Reds General Manager Words Versus Deeds
A couple guys formerly from RedReporter have started up their on blog called Base Cloggers with an emphasis on feature writing about the Reds. The most recent post examines Reds GMs starting with the guy from the 90s who assembled the last World Series team.

It takes quotes from the GMs describing their style and their goals and compares it with what they did and how they performed. For instance, Dan O’Brien is quoted as having talked about the slowness of improving the team.

“The analogy I use is it’s like turning an aircraft carrier around. You just don’t turn on a dime.”

He focused on drafting starting pitching, as he promised, picking up Homer Bailey, Travis Wood, and Sam LeCure. But he strayed from his strength and stated focus when he signed Cory Lidle and Eric Milton, which did not end well.

The article is an interesting read. Current GM Walt Jocketty definitely comes off looking good. Of course, it’s easy to look like the best when he’s the first one in a long string of GMs to have a winning team.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
This is the Reds second season in Goodyear. Last year, they went 12-16-3.

March 10, 2011

Dave Sappelt; Spring Training Wunderkind

This year’s winner of the dubious distinction of hottest Spring Training performer out of the gate falls to one Dave Sappelt. Through yesterday’s game, he’s batting .500 and getting on base 47% of the time. But then again, not only is it Spring Training, but he’s also had just 18 at-bats. It’s not the stuff of which legends are made.

It is, however, the stuff that gets people’s attention. Who is Dave Sappelt?

When I first looked up information on him for this little post, I had thought he was an older, journeyman outfielder who was still hanging on and hoping for one shot in the majors. What I found out is that he’s actually a 24-year old prospect.

Sappelt was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 9th round of the 2008 amateur draft. He’s worked his way through the Reds minor league system over the last three years, moving from Billings to Dayton to Sarasota to Lynchburg to Carolina to Louisville. And he’s hit everywhere along the way.

John Fay wrote about him yesterday.

Whenever Dusty Baker is asked about Dave Sappelt, he says: “We know he can hit, but there’s more to it than hitting.”

That “more” has been made clear to Sappelt, too. “I think they want to see how consistent I can be on the base paths. I haven’t made a mistake yet in games. I think if keep that consistency, that confidence, I’ll be a real helper of this team.”

Sappelt has had issues on the basepaths, getting thrown out 42% of the time he attempted to steal last year. That’s not good, but he’s young and has time to learn. He’s also realistic about his chances of making the team this year.

“For me personally, it wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t make it,” he said. “Right now, they have a nucleus of guys that are set to help this team win. I look at myself as guy who’s going to be ready in Triple-A. I’ll be ready to come up and help immediately. I’ll be a guy who can come in and spot start and pinch-hit.”

If he keeps hitting the way he has and learns some better base-running skills, he may do more than that.