July 31, 2012

Reds break winning streak big time

Last Game
You know the Reds don’t do anything half-way. So when it was time to break their 10-game winning streak, they left no doubt about it and lost to the Padres 11-5.

Next Game
Now that they’ve got that out of their system, the Reds can start another win streak. Homer Bailey (RHP, 9-6, 3.53 ERA) has been on a tear lately, but so has his opponent Jason Marquis (RHP, 4-5, 3.48 ERA). First pitch at Great American Ball Park at 7:10 p.m.

Mesoraco Could Face Suspension
Besides the blow-out, the other big story last night was Devin Mesoraco giving home plate umpire Chad Fairchild an earful and getting ejected from the game. Early in the rant, Fairchild walked into Mesoraco’s frantically gesticulating arm, and suddenly it’s a whole “you can’t touch the umpire” thing. If it had just ended there, maybe nothing would have come of it, but after that, Mesoraco sure seemed to be trying to touch the umpire in a strangling sort of way.

I’ve made no secret of my distaste for umpires. Not to say there aren’t good umpires out there, but the system lacks checks and balances and includes no apparent consequences when umpires mess up. It sets up the umpires like some sort of emperor, and a policy that says their flesh is too holy to be touched by mere mortals just reinforces that.

But the Divine Right of Umpires is not what’s top-of-mind for the Reds right now: if Mesoraco is suspended, they have only the one catcher. Even AAA is light on catchers, and neither of the two in Louisville are on the 40-man roster. So room would have to be made for someone to be called up. John Fay points out that the only active players who have options are Todd Frazier and Chris Heisey.

How the Reds proceed will probably depend on how long the suspension is. If it’s one game, maybe they don’t worry about it and just put Frazier in to catch if something happens to Ryan Hannigan. If it’s going to much more than that, it would be less of a waste to option a guy, since whoever gets options would have to stay in the minors for 10 days. There are still a few hours left: maybe the Reds could trade for a catcher.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
In 2002, Joey Votto played 7 games at catcher with the Sarasota Reds. He had 3 passed balls and caught 22% of stealing runners.

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