Here are some updates and observations from down on the farm.

AAA Louisville Bats

The Reds claimed Jake Elmore off waivers from the A’s and assigned him to the Bats. Elmore is a 27 year old RH hitting 2B/SS and has seen some time at 3B and even a few games in the OF. He has a .223/.290/.298/.588 line in 209 PA over two seasons with AZ and HOU.  Elmore has posted a .290/.386/.392/.778 line over 2625 PA in the minors and his lowest OBP at any stop was a .362 in one of his two seasons in AA. He has very good plate discipline and doesn’t K often. Not a bad pickup for a MI to come off the bench.  He’s off to a nice .364/.417/.364/.780 start with the Bats in just 12 PA.  Bear in mind that Kris Negron, who is off to a hot start with the Reds, (.881 OPS in 39 AB), has a career minor league line of .246/.323/.360/.683 in 3710 PA.  Not sure how Elmore and Negron compare with the glove, but I’m anxious to see since it appears that Elmore’s bat will be much more productive.  Hopefully Elmore will get a September call up, if not before.  Ryan Rowland-Smith (4.20) and Elvin Ramirez (6.05) were both released.  Nick Christiani, who was designated for assignment to make room for Elmore on the 40 man roster, was sent outright to the Bats.  Scott Diamond (2.96) and Dylan Axelrod (2.60) are both off to great starts after 4 GS with the Bats.

AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

C Rossmel Perez (.342/.401/.475/.876) continues to tear it up at the plate.  OF Juan Duran (.238/.289/.443/.732) is besting the Southern League Average OPS of .717 due to his high SLG numbers.  His 15 HR lead the team by far.  Yorman Rodriguez (.252/.305/.352/.657), who is still just 21, continues to struggle.  Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that Daniel Corcino (4.29) and Robert Stephenson (4.29) would be tied for worst ERA on the Blue Wahoos starting staff?  They currently trail Michael Lorenzen (2.56), Jon Moscot (3.30), and Ben Lively (3.48).  They are also well behind the Southern League Average ERA of 3.85.  Stephenson’s walk rate of 4.9 BB/9, which is well above his career mark of 3.7, is somewhat troubling.

High A Bakersfield Blaze

The Reds released 24 year old C David Vidal (.260/.335/.407/.742).  Vidal was converted to catcher this year after advancing to as high as AA as a 3B.  Recently acquired 1B Harold Riggins (.219/.321/.356/.678), who was doing well at AA (.263/.351/.447/.798) before becoming a Red, continues to struggle.  Sebastian Elizalde (.285/.358/.481/.839) continues to swing a hot bat.  SP Daniel Wright (4.58) is right under the California League Average ERA of 4.62 and has 69 SO and 10 BB over 76.2 IP.

Low A Dayton Dragons

After 8 G and 38 PA, Alex Blandino, who was hitting .309/.412/.527/.939 at Billings, is sporting a very nice .242/.342/.455/.797 slash line with the Dragons thus far.  In the Phil Ervin watch, after a hot June (.870) and good July (.729), he’s off to a very slow start in August (.387).  Nick Travieso (3.39) and Amir Garrett (3.57) continue to pitch well and lead the pitching staff.

Rookie Billings Mustangs

RF Aristides Aquino (.992 OPS), 3B Taylor Sparks (.934), and CF Brian O’Grady (.875) are still leading the way at the plate.  Wyatt Strahan (3.70) is the stand out of the starting staff as he out paces the Pioneer league average ERA of 4.93

Rookie AZL Reds

3B Gavin LaValley (.896) and Hector Vargas (.798) continue to lead the team at the plate.  Conor Krauss (1.42) has 2 S out of the pen with 17 SO and 6 BB over 12.2 IP.