Before we see what’s happening around the net, I must mention that my daughter (7 years old) had her first softball game tonight. She went 3-4 in her debut. Daddy is proud.

–The Reds check in at #24 in Yahoo’s latest power rankings:

The Reds are like that deli you used to go to, where the sandwiches were OK, but you just fell out of the habit of going. There’s a new guy at third base (Rosales) and they’re winning as often as they lose, but few in Cincy believe it.

–OMG Reds, with some numbers of interest.

–Saulton has some off-day nonsense.

–Laynce Nix is making the most of his limited chances. I’m glad. I’m pulling for the guy.

–Justin is twittering. So are we! Jeff Brantley is, as well, but he thinks the team is called the “Red’s”. No apostrophe there, Cowboy.

Are Nix and Rosales the guys?

–Mark Sheldon asks a question:

“If you had said at the beginning of the season, ‘Would you be happy if the Reds were above .500 and in second place in the division at the end of April?'”

I’d bet you would say yes. And they should be based on some stats:

Cincinnati’s team batting average is .235, which is ranked 15th out of 16 National League teams. At one point, it was a Major League low .210. Their 78 runs scored in ranked 14th in the NL. Joey Votto, hitting .346 after playing in all 21 games, has been the lone constant in the lineup. Although tremendous effort was made to shore up defensively, the Reds’ 18 errors are third most in the league and their .977 fielding percentage is 14th.

–Go Sixers.

25 Responses

  1. Matt WI

    Congrats to your daughter. Anyway, si.com had the Reds at 14 in their power rankings today. I thought it was a touch high, but I’ll take it. The team is probably somewhere in the middle between si.com and yahoo huh? I think the si ranking is a nod to the pitching (starters and bullpen both) and the greatness that is Joey Votto.

  2. GRF

    Anyone else think the Phillips comments in the Sheldon post were a little weird? “Ever since you talked about me not hitting, the team has not been winning?” It may be the lack of hitting and not the talking that is the connection there Brandon.

    And congrats to your daughter!

  3. Y-City Jim

    The Yahoo quote is just bizarre. Remind me of something that The Sphinx from Mystery Men would say.

    When you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack.

  4. Mark in CC

    .750 B.A, not bad. Was the field a llittle damp?

    I think Dickerson will be hard pressed to get back into the line-up because Nix won’t allow it.

    I am not sure Dusty will give Rosales the same chance.

  5. Brett

    Can someone with more time than I have figure out what the team batting average would be if we subtract out Votto. And maybe team runs if we subtract out his runs created?

  6. Jose

    Haha I love Mystery Men!!!!
    “I’m umm mega angry man…”
    lol

    and brett! great idea!
    Someone without a life please help us out?

  7. pinson343

    The Yahoo power ranking is crap – having us below the Padres and the Pirates and way below the Brewers.
    (The Pirates might give us a hard time this weekend, but just the same.)
    Also, are the Cardinals THAT good ? I don’t think so.
    Even the Cubs might not be.

    SI, which has not liked the Reds in recent years, ranking us that high shows how much uncertainty there is about this club.

  8. pinson343

    Rosales and Nix have earned the chance. I’d like to see Dickerson remain on the roster, but not as a starter.
    As for EE, when he’s back, let him start most days, but make Rosales the super-utility guy who starts most games and plays all 4 infield positions.

    If Dickerson and EE had still been in the lineup, we would have lost against Hosuton something to zero in extra innings.
    Am I saying too much based on one game ? Yes, definitely, but it’s not really just that – I had more confidence when I saw they were in the lineup (had a feeling about Volquez too). Anyway, as long as they’re hot, it will be hard for Dusty to sit them, so let’s hope.

    Speaking of Volquez, what do people think of Bourne saying that EV’s stuff was unimpressive and “on an ordinary day we would have gotten to him.” After the way
    he and his teammates flailed away at EV, he ought to shut
    it.

  9. Arvil P

    I like the energy that Nix and Rosales brings to the club, along with what Votto, Bruce, Volquez, and Cueto have already brought. But here is a thought….the next time Micah Owings pitches why not bat him 8th and move Phillips to 9th….any thoughts

  10. Shane

    tremendous effort was made to shore up defensively
    when did this happen? somehow I missed it

    and when did good ol’ Dusty let numbers or someone being hot or cold impact his lineup decisions?

  11. John

    Careful, Shane. C. Trent will come over and lecture you about stereotyping. And how he likes things that are cool.

  12. Bill Lack

    I thought Volquez was especially impressive b/c the ump seemed to be squeezing the plate (both teams had pitchers that seemed unhappy with the ump at some point), at least in the second half of the game…and he still only walked one…his ball was really moving.

  13. GregD

    Team is batting .235 (157/669)
    Votto is batting .346 (28/81)
    Rest of team is batting .219

    “Starting 8” (I’ve included Hairston) is batting .229
    Starting 8 less Votto is batting .209

    Players with batting averages better than Votto (small sample caveats and all):
    Rosales
    Owings
    Hanigan
    Janish

    Players with batting averages greater than the starting 8 less Votto:
    Nix
    Cueto
    McDonald

    The only players with avg worse than any of the starting 8 less Votto are the three pitchers who have gone 0-for-32:
    Harang
    Arroyo
    Volquez

  14. GregD

    The other interesting thing I read on Lance McAlister’s blog – the 21-game mark last year is when Wayne Krivsky was fired.
    The team was 9-12 last year.

    They’ve gone 76-86 since Krivsky was let go.

    Is there that big of a diffence between 9-12 and 11-10?

  15. Steve Price

    1. Going with the “hot hand” in large doses typcially leads to failure. It’s succumbing to a small sample size mentality. I’m in no way saying that if I guy’s not hitting (say EE) that he doesn’t need a day or two off to gather himself, because he does. However, because Rosales is hot now doesn’t mean it will continue. That’s why jobs should be won over time and through skills (there’s the scout angle). If our scouts and coaches are really good they should be able to tell when skills are fading.

    2. Rosales is the same age as Encarnacion. Neither are now young. They’re all the same age as Dickerson. Rosales was always forecast as a bench player, as was Dickerson. I don’t remember anyone ever saying that Encarnacion was a future star, but a potential future starter. He was more or less a throw in in the Bell-Mateo deal. I think it’s more of how poor our team has been the last few years that many have overestimated Encarnacion’s value and are now disappointed.

    It’s kind of like the Dunn thing…we see glimpses of glory, and then we expect players to be Frank Robinson or Mike Schmidt (or for Reds’ sake, the Heine Groh of his time). When they’re not, we get angry. Dunn is a very good player, Encarnacion is an average player. The depth in our minor league system is third base. He is essentially a place holder at this time…

    3. “Energy” brought to a club is a short-term bonus. Different from what I said in “1” above, a shot of energy can be a good thing, but it does not warrant a permanent starting position. Managerial changes are typically used to make this happen….

  16. GregD

    Well said Steve. Rosales is holding EE’s spot until he comes back. And when EE comes back, he’ll have a year like he’s had most other seasons.

    I do think there’s potential for Rosales to take playing time away from Gonzalez when Edwin comes off the DL.

    The difference in the Nix/Dickerson situation is that Dickerson’s ceiling is a short-term stopgap, preferrably in CF. If Nix is showing some of his pre-injury prospect potential, they should see what they have with him.

  17. Fighting Fascism

    Projections, projections…

    Corey Patterson was projected to be a 5-tool stud. So much for projections. If Rosales hits he will be in the lineup. Dickerson is a guy that needs to play with high confidence. i don’t think he can do that trying to win back a job that was never really his in the first place. Probably needs another dose of Louisville. Bring him back after he goes on a long tear.

  18. Bill Lack

    I will honestly be surprised to see Rosales get much, if any, time at SS…they love Gonzalez (even the announcers tout his “outstanding defense” and it doesn’t seem that the organization trusts Rosales at SS.

  19. GregD

    I caught this bit on McCoy’s blog regarding Rosales before Wednesday’s game.

    Then there was Rosales, the guy called up from Louisville yesterday, where he was hitting .431, and installed at third base. This guy runs hard on every play, runs hard to first on a walk, runs hard to his position and probably runs to the bathroom even if it isn’t an emergency

    How bad did he want to play this game? Early in the afternoon a downpour flooded Great American Ball Park because the grounds crew had difficulty tugging the tarp onto the field. Shortstop and third base could have hosted the Olympics swimming and diving events.

    What did Rosales do? He was out there helping the grounds crew get the field ready. If the flight crew doesn’t show tomorrow for the trip to Pittsburgh expect Rosales to slide into the cockpit and transport his teammates.

  20. Chad Dotson

    Good story, except there were about ten or more players out there helping. It wasn’t just Rosales. They showed it on the TV broadcast…David Weathers, Danny Herrera, and others, all pulling the tarp.

    Everyone’s just trying to turn Rosales into a legend because he runs as hard as he can. I predicted it, but then, Cincinnati fans and, especially, media are SO predictable.

  21. GregD

    Thanks Brantley, er I mean, Chad! I didn’t catch the beginning of the game, so I’m left with McCoy version of events. I should have known better!!

  22. GregD

    Brantley was only a teammate of A-Rods during A-Rods first two months in Texas, but he had this interesting story, which includes the current Reds catcher, as part of a longer A-Rod focused interview on XM radio today:

    http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/watchdog/blog/2009/05/jeff_brantley_dismisses_arod_p.html

    Jeff Brantley: “I played with A-Rod during that time. I was at Texas. The old Randy Velarde trick. Randy Velarde would get on first base. Of course, Velarde played for the Oakland Athletics [in 1999 and 2000] so he knew everything (sign) that was given behind home plate. Of course, [Ramon] Hernandez was back there at the time and had a little problem of leaving that front knee open and Velarde would get out there just enough to where he could give the pitch to A-Rod. And bada-bing, bada-bang, two, three[-run home run], sometimes grand slam. It happened a lot. There was a week, and you’ll recall this, early in the season of 2001 where A-Rod kind of burst on to the scene where he hit, I think he was the ‘Player of the Week’ and had about nine or ten home runs right out of the chute. Everybody was just marveling at what he was able to do. He didn’t get the call on every pitch but he got most of them. He knew the pitch was coming.”

    FACT CHECK
    A-Rod hit 4 homeruns in a 3-game series vs. Oakland the first time the two teams faced off in 2001, 11 games into that season. They were A-Rod’s first 4 homeruns of that season. In 3 of the 4 homeruns, Velarde was on 1st base.

  23. GregD

    Digging a little further, none of the homeruns against Oakland were grand slams, and he didn’t have “9 or 10 homeruns right out of the chute.” He did play against Oakland 7 times in April (out of their 25 April games.)

    In those 7 games, he hit 6 homeruns. He only hit 1 other homerun in April, against Cleveland.

  24. per14

    Re: Ede

    1) Yeah, he’s really struggling and he’s been a disappointment.
    2) He turned 26 in January.
    3) The last three years, he’s given the team a .800 OPS.
    4) Look it up: that’s better than what a lot of teams get from their 3B.
    5) He hit 26 HRs last year with the likes of Bako, Keppinger, Patterson, et. al. batting behind him.

    In other words, I’m still optimistic he can have a solid, even above-average year.

  25. Steve Price

    About Corey Patterson and projections….

    I went back and looked up Baseball Prospectus from 2002-2004…apparently, the “scouts” thought he was a five-tool player. Baseball Prospectus was projecting him to be a Devon White, Steve Finley type player….if he learned to take a walk and showed plate discipline.

    That didn’t happen.