Does anyone else feel like the season is beginning anew with Joey Votto coming back tonight?

Here’s a roundup up some items from around the internets:

–Votto is going to meet with the media for the first time at 4 pm today. We’ll see what he says, if anything, about the whole situation surrounding his absence.

(P.S. It’s official. Votto is reinstated to the active roster, Wilkin Castillo is placed on the 15-day disabled list with a torn labrum (ouch; that’s a serious injury).)

–SS Alex Gonzalez had surgery. Here’s hoping that Gonzo makes a full recovery with as little pain as possible. Here’s also hoping that he takes his time coming back.

Over at Reds.com, Mark Sheldon has been answering questions from his inbox. Most seem to focus on the outfield situation.

–Justin has a WAR Q & A. I can understand nine words in that post now.

Via CTR, I see that Baseball America says that AA Carolina may have the best 1-2 punch in all of minor league baseball at the top of their rotation in Travis Wood and Zach Stewart. BA credits the development of a third pitch — Wood’s cutter and Stewart’s changeup — to the success of each pitcher. They’ve certainly been dominant this year, and I was very disappointed that I didn’t get to see either guy throw this weekend.

–As noted in today’s DOTF, rookie ball starts today. Doug has a preview of our favorite rookie league teams, the GCL Reds and the Billings Mustangs.

–If you didn’t listen to the latest podcast, you should. It includes one of the funniest Reds-related items in the history of RN. Heck, while you’re at it, go check out my pics and weekend report on the Carolina Mudcats.

28 Responses

  1. GregD

    I feel better about this lineup when they don’t have to field a DH. They’re adding Votto, but now need to play 9 hitters while facing 4 lefties in the next 6 games. Does that mean instead of seeing Dickerson & Nix, we get one of the backup infielders (Richar, Castillo, Rosales) as a DH?

    Here’s probably your best 9, regardless of handedness:
    Dickerson
    Hanigan
    VOTTO
    Phillips
    Gomes
    Nix
    Hairston
    Bruce
    Janish

    Give Votto some guys on base!

  2. GRF

    Richar, Castillo, Rosales. Ugh, that really does not establish a lot of confidence in the bench. How bad must Sutton be (or at least how bad do they think he is) if he is not cracking that group?

  3. GregD

    According to Lance’s blog, Votto is taking Castillo’s spot on the roster:

    Votto takes the roster spot vacated by C/IF/OF Wilkin Castillo, who went on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Sunday, with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Castillo suffered the season-ending injury on a head-first slide in the seventh inning of Sat’s game vs WSox.

    That also likely answers the 40-man roster question of who is removed (Castillo to 60-day DL) when Edwin comes off the 60-day DL.

  4. GregD

    IMO, the season begins anew if they can add one more bat, preferably at SS. Do it July 1. don’t wait until July 31. The team would be markedly better with a better offensive SS and Gonzalez on the bench instead of Janish.

    A lineup of

    Hanigan
    Votto
    Phillips
    acquisition
    Encarnacion
    Nix/Gomes
    Dickerson
    Bruce

    w/ a bench of
    Hernandez
    Gonzalez
    Hairston
    Gomes/Nix
    Taveras

    would certainly be enough to take this division with this team’s pitching.

  5. Glenn

    It looked like Castillo had hurt himself on that slide. I’m assuming a torn lambrum means that’s the end of his season. I hope for his sake that’s not it for his career.

    Great to have Joey back!

  6. Y-City Jim

    I loved the “here’s hoping he takes his time coming back” comment in reference to Gonzalez.

  7. Sultan of Swaff

    Vs. a lefty w/ the DH, I like this lineup:
    Hairston CF
    Hanigan C
    Votto 1B
    Phillips 2B (SS in a perfect world, but hey)
    Gomes LF
    Bruce RF
    Hernandez DH
    Rosales 3B
    Janish SS

  8. mike

    I didn’t realize Phillips was still hurting but read this today on BP

    Brandon Phillips (0 DXL)
    Alex Gonzalez (30 DXL)
    Phillips is playing through a hairline fracture in his right thumb. He aggravated it on Saturday night, but was back out on the field on Sunday. Is this a serious injury that he’s pushing through, or is it something he just needs to adjust to? That remains to be seen. Phillips told reporters that the injury “throbs” when he throws or bats, two things that he’s going to be expected to do in the course of playing, so this is an indication that this is more than just a comfort issue. The Reds’ middle-infield situation might be contributing here, with them not wanting to lose both starters as Gonzalez is headed for elbow surgery to have bone chips removed. Rich Aurilia came back from similar surgery in just 15 days a couple of years back, but the Reds are expecting Gonzalez to miss a month.

  9. RiverCity Redleg

    GRF, I was thinking the same thing about Sutton. I was really surprised that they brought up Richar instead of him, esp since Sutton was already on the 40 man roster. Plus, Sutton has been playing alot better in AAA and can play all four IF positions.

  10. RiverCity Redleg

    Tonight’s lineup is in:

    Reds lineup:

    Taveras 8
    Hairston 6
    Votto 3
    Phillips 4
    Gomes DH
    Hernandez 2
    Bruce 9
    Rosales 5
    Dickerson 7
    Owings 1

  11. daedalus

    for the first time in awhile, i’m excited to watch the reds tonight!

    (for any reds fans in DC, we’re getting together tomorrow to watch the game, 7pm at Momo’s on U Street. there are seven of us right now that i know of who are going.)

  12. GregD

    I think Hairston should be playing 3rd, and now is the time to give Janish some playing time. He should be starting at least half the time, right? He should be starting over Rosales.

    Figured Hanigan would be back on the bench. I wouldn’t put Hanigan and Hernandez in the same lineup because Hernandez doesn’t bat well enough to justify putting him in at DH or 1B.

    If this team has any problems vs. lhp, it’s not that they have too many lh batters…it’s that the rh batters they have aren’t good enough. They’re counting on Taveras, Hairston, Hernandez & Rosales to be the rh threat?

  13. mike

    in other good news EE has played 2 games and I think 2 games in a row which is very important. In other words he wasn’t too sore or hurting after his 1st game.

    1 for 5, a HR and 2 BB 1.229 OPS
    a couple more games and he could be ready. Even if we don’t see him until after the all-star game that’s only a couple weeks

    With Votto, EE and Dickerson starting in CF this offense will be a LOT, LOT better

  14. Y-City Jim

    Too bad the DH can’t be for Taveras rather than Owings. I’m not sure I like Owings’ bat being out of the line-up.

  15. Steve

    I assume we’ll be starting a thread on tonight’s lineup soon, but I can’t wait.

    Dusty has Taveras leading off and Dickerson batting ninth. That’s pretty crazy. Admittedly, Dickerson doesn’t hit LHP very well.

    Here’s what’s really crazy about that, though. Dickerson is a better CF than Taveras – he covers more ground, makes fewer errors and certainly has a much better arm. So in a lineup that includes both, why not play Dickerson in CF?

    Answer: because then Willy Taveras would be our DH – and he’s the FOURTH WORST HITTER IN ALL OF BASEBALL – and I guess that would create too much cognitive dissonance even for Dusty.

    Still, Dickerson is a better defensive CF.

    Also, Rosales is playing over Janish again. One could maybe, maybe make the case that Gonzalez is good defensively and might have a bigger bat than Janish. But no one can argue that Rosales is close to Janish defensively or hitting well enough to justify the loss in glove. What more has to happen for Janish to be able to play for a few days in a row to see if he can hit better this year, like he did in Spring Training?

  16. Dan

    We should let Owings hit and DH for Rosales! (I wish I were kidding!) 😉

  17. Dan

    Hey, get this… this is absolutely nuts…

    So far on the season, here’s what the 1st and 9th hitters in the Reds lineups have done…

    1st batter – .234/.279/.303 (OPS = .582)

    9th batter – .196/.261/.307 (OPS = .568)

    Absolutely unreal…

  18. Matt B.

    The problem with letting Owings DH is that once he’s out of the game, the Reds lose the DH spot and are at an almost automatic disadvantage in an AL ballpark. At least that’s probably Dusty’s thinking.

    I, too, though, would rather see Owings bat in the lineup. 2 quality at-bats from your pitcher and 2 anemic bats from bench players beats 3 or 4 anemic at-bats from someone like Rosales.

  19. Andy

    fay is twittering from Votto’s presser – he has had severe depression (requiring occassional hospitalization) and panic attacks since the death of his father last year and “sometimes felt like he was going to die.” wow, heavy stuff, and it seems like a very good sign that he’s comfortable opening up about it. fingers crossed for Joey V.

  20. GregD

    Taveras plays too shallow, gets bad jumps, and takes bad routes to the ball.

  21. Dan

    Wow, Andy, that’s sobering… Brave of Joey to open up to the world.

    I hope he’s ready and doing OK.

  22. Sultan of Swaff

    That’s some serious stuff. It takes a strong person to admit something like that, given the societal stigma and perceived weakness of people who suffer from these conditions. You gotta respect the guy even more.

  23. GRF

    Thoughts and prayers to Joey. Hope he has received and continues to receive all the help and support he needs.

  24. pinson343

    It’s remarkable that Joey V. has played as well as he has in 2009. Clinical depression that’s severe enough for hospitalization is a very serious illness.

  25. pinson343

    This is somewhat of a continuation of the “Thoughts on This” thread. At mlbtraderumors.com I read the comments about the Reds “dangling” Harang and Arroyo. The bloggers all wanted Harang on their team (“He’d look good in a Phillies uniform”) and wanted nothing to do with Arroyo. Some posted thorough statistical analyses over the last 4 years to make the point.

    There’s a strong consensus here too as to who the better pitcher is, but as has been said, you can’t judge a trade until you hear the specifics. At this moment I’m not inclined to trade either of them.

  26. pinson343

    Another fun item on mlbtraderumors.com is one that asked bloggers: What is the worst (for the team) contract in baseball. Julio Lugo won hands down, probably due to a lot of Red Sox bloggers.

    I learned that Cubs fans want to run Alfonso Soriano out of town. He’s such a sloppy, careless and selfish player, I’m not surprised. He has to be putting up monster numbers to be tolerated, and last I looked he was batting .219. Cubs fans are also disenchanted with Fukodome.

    Cubs fans believe Soriano has refused to bat lower in the order, but I can’t imagine Lou asking his permission.

    The only Red who appeared more than once on the “worst contract” list: Dusty Baker.

  27. pinson343

    A cheerful thing about reading the above posts was how much respect the Reds are getting from fans of other teams. They’re more bullish on the Reds than most of us are. They feel that the Reds have “weathered” (no pun intended) the storm and are in position to make a move in the NL Central. Yes they know we have a problem at SS.

    Most of all, they’re envious of our starting rotation and feel that if the Reds don’t come thru this year, they will in 2010.