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AAAA Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds

Updated: 2017-06-27T13:23:29-04:00


On Bronson Arroyo, who has probably thrown his final pitch


The Cincinnati hurler’s pitching days are likely over. I’ve watched baseball through most all of my life. I was just wide-eyed enough in 1990 to dance around the living room like an idiot when Carney Lansford popped out to Todd Benzinger, a storm of a celebration that abated instantly the horror I’d felt earlier that day when Eric Davis lacerated his kidney. If ever there was a lull in my following of the game, it came during my college years, when games were no longer so easy to pick up on TV down in Nashville, and other existential questions such as “is 17 beers too many” and “can you ski jump off the roof of the garage and clear the creek” occupied a greater cavity of my brain. Of course, that the Cincinnati Reds had hit the early-aughts lull after the disappointing end to the 1999 season certainly contributed to that temporary abandonment, since tuning in to find where Aaron Boone would be traded became the one real story worth following. Boone ended up with the New York Yankees, of course. The Damn Yankees, the team bursting at the seams with money, the ones fresh off a handful of championships and sporting a star-studded cast that dwarfed anything the Reds could roll out, the injured Ken Griffey, Jr. especially included. If anything during that time, my loathing the Yankees’ excess and success took the reigns previously reserved for just enjoying the game itself, certainly a dark period in my ability to enjoy baseball in its best forms. So, like most of the rest of the baseball world, I took great interest in the 2004 postseason, especially when the Boston Red Sox - lovable losers in their own right to that point - began to emphatically put history on their shoulders and the kibosh on the Yankees in the ALCS, coming back from not just a 3 games to 0 deficit, but doing so after a 19-8 drubbing in Game 3. I was no Red Sox fan, but I salivated at watching every minute of the most potent, prestigious team in the game fall utterly and completely apart on the biggest of stages. And honestly, there was nothing more memorable from the Yankees’ epic collapse than when Alex Rodriguez, the quarter-billion dollar star and best player in the game, went full-on bush league in the throws of Game 6, slapping a ball out of the glove of a lanky, frisbee-tossing reliever in one of the biggest spots in the whole series. If hating the Yankees was easy, hating A-Rod was easier, and instead of launching a game tying 2-run homer in that 8th inning, he brought a personality to the bully/underdog drama that was already playing out on the team level. And that instantly meant that Bronson Arroyo, the cornrowed pitcher on the other side of the line, became a player I was damn sure going to pull for. When he came to the Reds a year later, he did so in similar style, bringing his slight frame and soft-tossing to Cincinnati in exchange for Wily Mo Pena, a player whose build and skill set couldn’t have been more diametrically opposed. So even if you’d been stuck in a Cincinnati-based bubble and ignored what Arroyo had done prior to coming to the Reds, your first impression of him was of a seemingly square peg in a round hole, a far cry from fireballing prospect Homer Bailey, the pitcher who was tasked by most of us at the time with kicking the franchise’s rotation woes to the curb. Arroyo, you’ll recall, became an immediate hit with the Reds, leading all of baseball in starts (35) and innings pitched (240.2) in his first season in Cincinnati, soft-tossing his way to a 6.8 bWAR season, his first (and only) All Star Game appearance, and even to some down ballot MVP votes. More importantly, however, he’d been the first real instance in some time that the Reds had actually found something, actually won a trade, actually brought a player from a big-time market to a team that hadn’t made the postseason in over a decade and shown that maybe, maybe the front office had the club back in the right direction after years of personnel turnover. * * * Here we are, some eleven years later, and one day removed from Arroyo[...]

Zack Cozart trade rumors: cross the Tampa Bay Rays off the list of suitors


The AL East squad added a shortstop, but not the Cincinnati star. The story goes that Zack Cozart is still a member of the Cincinnati Reds because there just simply hasn’t been a great market for shortstops of late. He was nearly moved to the Seattle Mariners at last year’s trade deadline before that deal fell through, reportedly because the Reds simply didn’t like the offer enough. Then, of course, the Mariners - the one real team with known interest in adding a shortstop - went out and didn’t just trade for Jean Segura, but lobbed a $70 million contract his way, too. Current 10-day DL stint aside, it seems the Reds’ decision to hold on to Cozart for a bit longer has been a wise one, as he currently leads NL shortstops in All Star voting while hitting .320/.404/.562 in his 255 plate appearances this year. Making just a hair over $5 million bucks in his final year of team control, the 31 year old has done seemingly everything to market himself as the go-to upgrade at one of the most important positions on the diamond, a luxury item that will obviously be on the trading block for the rebuilding, last-place Reds. What’s interesting at the moment, however, is that teams have already begun to address their middle infield woes. Just yesterday, the Tampa Bay Rays agreed to acquire a glove-first shortstop making just a hair under $5 million this season, one who comes with little team control and is currently sidelined on the 10-day DL. It wasn’t Cozart, however. It was former Miami Marlin Adeiny Hechavarria, the 28 year old who’s slated to be a free agent after the 2018 season whose 2017 OBP of .288 and SLG of .385 look eerily similar to the career OBP (.289) and SLG (.385) marks owned by Cozart prior to his breakout 2017 season. There’s no public acknowledgement that the Rays had any interest in adding Cozart, though they absorbed the entirety of Hechavarria’s salary for this season despite again operating on a payroll that ranks near the absolute bottom of the league. It may well be that the decision to add Hechavarria was specifically calculated since they could do so without shedding any prospects of value, as neither of the two players they sent to the Marlins ranked among their top 30 prospects, and the addition may well serve as a mere stopgap until the likes of Matt Duffy and Brad Miller - other middle infield options - return from injuries. In other words, adding Cozart at the price the Reds would demand might well have been urge overkill given their needs. Regardless, it’s the first real movement in the shortstop market this year, one that still appears to feature stalwarts or promising youth at the position on each of the teams currently in contention for postseason spots, once again an obstacle in the way of an otherwise obvious move for the churning of the rebuilding Reds. Injuries could still change that landscape, of course. The Baltimore Orioles are attempting to get by with JJ Hardy on the DL with a broken wrist, the likes of Ryan Flaherty (also on the DL) and Ruben Tejada (.182/.250/.242) failing so far to fill in for the veteran. Outside the box thinking could, too, such as if the Boston Red Sox chose to finally solve their terrible 3B performance by temporarily sliding Xander Bogaerts back over - he spent much of the 2014 season at the hot corner - and brought in Cozart for a 2017 run. Still, in the finite, 30 team MLB universe that becomes even smaller when you whittle it down to just the teams in contention while Cozart’s still under contract, a team adding a non-Cozart shortstop slims the market by a very meaningful suitor. That’s what happened yesterday, one more thing to force Dick Williams and the Cincinnati front office into more mental gymnastics to find a way to cash-in on Cozart for the rebuild’s sake while they still can. [...]

Farmers Only: Tyler Mahle Dominates His AAA Debut



He’s quite the special guy.

Louisville Bats 1, Norfolk Tide 3

Tyler “Master” Mahle is just so freaking awesome it’s awesome. In his first ever AAA start, Mahle, pitched 6 innings without giving up an earned run (3 runs were unearned). He allowed 4 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 9. The beat marches on. Alejandro “Joanie Loves” Chacin pitched 2 scoreless innings with a strikeout. Brandon “Liar Liar” Dixon “Fire” was 2 for 4 with a run scored.

Amir Garrett will be on the mound at 7:05 PM ET.

Pensacola Blue Wahoos 6, Chattanooga Lookouts 1

Austin “Hoss” Ross continues to shine. He pitched 6 innings and allowed only an earned run. He scattered 6 hits with 3 walks and 6 strikeouts. Ismael “Beef” Guillon pitched 2 strikeouts in a scoreless inning and Carlos Gonzalez pitched 2 scoreless. Josh “Put Change In The” VanMeter went 3 for 4 with a double, triple, 2 RBI, and a run scored. Gavin “I Shall Fear No Evil” LaValley hit a 3 run bomb, walked, and scored twice, and Nick “Senzational” Senzel was 1 for 4 with a double, walk, and 2 runs scored.

TheBatDracula pitches at 6:35 PM CT.

Daytona had the night off. They’ll play at 7:05 PM ET with Jesus Reyes on the mound.

Dayton Dragons 0, West Michigan Whitecaps 1 (F/11)

Tony “The Tiger” Santillan did pretty well for himself. He pitched 6 scoreless innings while allowing only 2 hits, 3 walks, and striking out 5. Jesse “John” Adams pitched 3 scoreless innings with 4 strikeouts, and even though Carlos “The Mask Of” Machorro did get saddled with the loss (the run was unearned) he struck out 3 in 1.1 innings. John “Say It Ain’t” Sansone was 2 for 4 and Michael “Belt Tree” Beltre hit a triple and walked.

Andrew Jordan takes the mound at 7:00 PM ET.

Billings Mustangs 2, Helena Brewers 4

Tyler “Crocodile” Mondile gave up only an earned run (4 runs total) over 5 innings. He allowed 6 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 5. Moises “Super” Nova pitched 3 scoreless innings with 2 strikeouts. Miles “City” Gordon was 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored, and Stuart “Little” Fairchild was 1 for 4 with 2 RBI.

Matt Blandino will be on the mound at 7:05 PM MT.

The AZL Reds didn’t play last night, but they’ll play sometime today. Probably when the sun is down because it’s hot, sweaty balls in Arizona.

Cardinals pound Reds 8-2 after Brandon Finnegan exits with injury


A once-promising day ended with losses on more than one front. The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game The top of the order for the Cincinnati Reds reached base six times against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, as Jose Peraza, Scooter Gennett, and Joey Votto combined for five hits and a walk. Unfortunately, that only resulted in a pair of runs scored, and when you loop that in with the same old story for these Reds - brutal pitching - you end up with Cincinnati again on the frowning side of the scoreboard. So, with that in mind, Wandy Peralta gets today’s honor, as he tossed a pair of perfect innings in relief, even taking over with the bases loaded and nobody out in the Bottom of the 6th and getting out of the jam unscathed - and needing just five pitches to do so. He’s struggled a bit after his rock solid start to the season, but today’s outing was much more in line with how he began the year. Congrats, Wandy. Key Plays Tommy Pham went full roadrunner to the Reds’ Wile E. Coyote in the Bottom of the 1st, beginning with the leadoff walk he coaxed off Brandon Finnegan. He then slow-played Patrick Kivlehan after a fly-out to CF, eventually tagging up and taking 2B after Kivlehan had softly thrown the ball back to the infield. Pham then stole 3B and later scored on a passed ball by Devin Mesoraco to complete the gift of a turn around the bases. Finnegan then walked Stephen Piscotty before serving up a 2-run blast to Jedd Gyorko, and the Reds trailed early, 3-0. The Reds got a run back when Adam Duvall brought in Scooter Gennett with a sac-fly in the Top of the 4th, but after Finnegan left injured in the Bottom of the 4th, Austin Brice gave that run back (and more). A Pham single scored Paul DeJong - who had earlier doubled - before Randal Grichuk launched a 2-run homer over the wall in CF to leave Cincinnati behind, 6-1. The Cardinals tacked on another pair of runs in the Bottom of the 6th off Brice, as Greg Garcia (hit by pitch) and Pham (single) scored on RBI singles by both Grichuk and Gyorko, respectively. Reds trailed, 8-1. Duvall sac-flied the Reds into another run in the Top of the 8th, scoring Scooter after he’d reached 1B on a fielder’s choice that netted Jose Peraza out at 2B and had motored to 3B on Votto’s double. That, however, wrapped the scoring on the day, and the Reds fell again, 8-2. Tony Graphanino src="" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width="450" style="border:1px solid black;">Source: FanGraphs Other Notes Finnegan exited immediately after wincing on the follow-through of a pitch with none out in the Bottom of the 4th. For a guy who obviously just fought through the rigors of rehab and a 60-day DL stint, he sure didn’t have the expression of a guy who thought whatever injury he’d just picked up was minor, either. Damn. Finnegan’s final totals from what may well be the final time we see him pitch for a while: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K on 58 pitches. If you get the impression that the hot start to the year we saw from Eugenio Suarez was ages ago, you’re not wrong. He entered Monday’s game having hit just .232/.333/.374 over his previous 55 games (222 PA), his season OPS dropping from a peak of 1.200 down to just .828. His 0 for 3 day today lowered that down to .819. Tim Adleman will be on the mound in GABP Tuesday for the first game of a series against the Milwaukee Brewers. Them beers will send Junior Guerra to the mound, and first pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET. Tunes. [...]

Brandon Finnegan leaves game with apparent injury



The Cincinnati starter looked to be in pain after a 4th inning pitch.

As the ink was still drying on Brandon Finnegan being activated from the 60-day DL prior to Monday’s start against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds lefty was already dealing with another injury issue. On his 58th pitch of the game, Finnegan appeared to wince in pain, and left the game immediately after being looked at by team trainers.

There was no initial word about the nature of Finnegan’s injury, but the look on his face as he left the mound sure seemed to indicate it wasn’t something of the “minor injury” variety, especially given that he’d just worked his way back through extensive rehab after having been sidelined since mid April. And if that’s the case, the excitement we had about the Reds getting a pitcher of his talent back to help their rotational woes may well need to get tossed back in a shoe box and shoved to the back corner of the attic.

Stay tuned for more great grand beautifully positive news about Cincinnati Reds pitching as it comes out.

Reds at Cardinals, Preview and Prediction Thread



April showers bring June make-up games.

Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals

4:15 PM ET

Brandon Finnegan vs. Michael Wacha

The Cincinnati Reds will continue their starting rotation overhaul today, as Brandon Finnegan returns to the mound fresh off the 60-day DL. With his shoulder issues now behind him, he’ll look to get back to striking fools out the way he was at the beginning of the year, when he K’d 14 in his 10 innings before hitting the shelf.

Finnegan was activated on Monday, with Lisalverto Bonilla being optioned to AAA Louisville to open the active roster spot. To free up room on the 40-man roster, Bronson Arroyo and his busted shoulder were transferred to the 60-day DL.

As this is a make-up game from a late April rainout, this will be the Reds’ lone game against the Cardinals this go-round. So, they’ll look to do a full series-worth of damage to Michael Wacha while they’ve got the chance.

Farmers Only Weekend Harvest: Jose Siri Dingers All Three Days


All of the sudden he has 9 on the year. Friday Louisville 2, Indianapolis 6 Robert “Treasure Island” Stephenson could have had a better game. He gave up 5 earned runs over 5.2 innings. He allowed 6 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeout, and 3 home runs. “Call Me” Ismael Guillon struck out 2 over 2 scoreless innings. Darnell “Mike” Sweeney went 2 for 4 with a solo dinger. Pensacola 1, Chattanooga 6 Keury “Hella” Mella has had better games. He pitched 5 innings of 5 run ball. He allowed 3 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Alex “Light Tower” Powers pitched a scoreless inning with 3 strikeouts, and Carlos “Cargo” Gonzalez with a strikeout over an inning. Gavin “LaDeep In” LaValley was 2 for 4 with a double and a solo wanger. Daytona 3, Clearwater 8 Johnny “Crawfish” Crawford got the start and was just plain bad. He gave up 7 earned runs over 3.1 innings on 6 hits, 4 walks, and 1 strikeout. Jake “Paulie” Paulson struck out 5 over 2.2 scoreless, and Zack Weiss pitched a scoreless inning. Daniel “Too” Sweet was 2 for 4, and Luis “MVP” Gonzalez was 2 for 4 with a double. Dayton 8, Lake County 3 Ty “Poppin’” Boyles was pretty dang outstanding Friday night. He did allow 2 earned runs (3 total) over 6 innings, but he also struck out 9 while allowing 5 hits and 1 walk. Carlos “Macho Man” Machorro struck out in 2 scoreless, and Lucas “Not Benintendi” Benenati with 2 strikeouts over a scoreless innings. Jose “Shut Up” Siri was 2 for 4 with a solo dinger and 2 runs scored, Taylor “TT” Trammell was 3 for 5 with a solo wanger, and Hector Vargas was 2 for 3 with a walk. Billings 8, Helena 5 Aaron “Cool Name” Quillen gave up 4 earned runs (5 total) over 5 innings. He allowed 9 hits, no walks, and struck out 3. Moises “Alou” Nova struck out 4 in scoreless innings of relief, and Tyler “Margaritaville” Buffett picked up the save while striking out 1 over his scoreless inning. Montrell “Williams” Marshall was 2 for 4 with a double, RBI, and a walk, Leandro “Carlos” Santana was 2 for 5 with a solo dinger, Mitch “Mystery” Trees hit a 2 run wanger, and Carlos “Big River” Rivero was 2 for 4 with a RBI, run scored, and a walk. Saturday Louisville 2, Indianapolis 4 (F/7) “Slippy” Sal Romano made some minor improvements in this one. He allowed 3 earned runs (4 total) over 6 innings with 8 hits, 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts. Jake “Puke Cannon” Buchanan pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Alex “Ain’t He Pretty” Blandino was 2 for 3 with 2 doubles. Tony Renda picked up the 2 RBI. Louisville 8, Indianapolis 4 (F/7) General Jackson Stephens put together a pretty good start. He pitched 5 innings and gave up 2 earned runs with 6 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts. Jimmy “Sherbet” Herget pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout. Hernan “The Barbarian” Iribarren was 2 for 3 with a double, run scored, RBI, and a walk, and Sebastian “Lizard People” Elizalde was 3 for 3 with 2 runs scored, a double, triple, and a RBI. Alex “The Great” Blandino was 2 for 3 with a RBI and a run scored, and Zach “Soft J” Vincey was 2 for 3 with a double, run scored, and a RBI. Pensacola 2, Chattanooga 3 Deck “Feck” McGuire was outstanding. He pitched 8 innings of shutout ball with 5 hits, no walks, and 6 strikeouts. Geoff Broussard gave up the 3 runs to blow it for the Wahoos. Josh “Man Eater” VanMeter was 2 for 5 with a run scored, Gabriel “Voice of God” Guerrero was 3 for 4 with a run scored, and Nick “Senzinnati” Senzel was 2 for 4. Gavin LaValley was responsible for driving in the 2 runs with a double. Daytona 1, Clearwater 2 Mark “Strong Arms” Armstrong pitched decent enough. He gave up 2 earned runs over 5 innings with 4 hits, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Austin “Big Brother” Orewiler struck out 2 over 1.2 scoreless innings[...]

Reds beat Nationals 6-2 behind big days from Scooter Gennett, Scott Feldman


Any win will do these days. The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game Scooter Gennett is hitting .308/.346/.592 with 11 dingers and 40 runs driven in. Scooter. Scooter Gennett. After Sunday’s 4 for 5 day, the infielder the Cincinnati Reds got for a song off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers owns the team lead in both batting average and slugging percentage, which are as comical as they are factual. In the grand scheme of savvy moves made by the Cincinnati front office in recent years, the seemingly innocuous addition of Gennett at the start of this year now appears to rank right up there with adding Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler, and Eugenio Suarez as under-the-radar pieces, sprinkled with the same sort of quack luck that the Dan Straily addition came with just last season. Scooter homered on Sunday against the Washington Nationals, dinked an RBI single into LF, scored twice, and was the single most impacting force on a day where the Reds needed some good vibes after losing 18-3 just a day before. That’s trophy worthy, of course, as much for Scooter as for the front office that claimed him in the first place. Honorable Mentions are due to: Scott Feldman, who allowed just 2 ER in 7 rock solid innings on the mound, striking out 5 against just 2 walks in his 119 pitch outing; Tucker Barnhart, who had another 2 hits (one being his 15th double of the season); Billy Hamilton, who doubled & scored while collecting 2 hits for the second straight game; and Raisel Iglesias, who sat down all 4 batters he faced. Key Plays The Reds put up a 5-spot in the Top of the 1st, opening the game with the first four batters reaching base. Hamilton doubled and scored a batter later on a bloop single by Gennett, and Scooter then scored on Votto’s single when Bryce Harper’s attempt to nail him at 3B bounced off his back and skipped away. Adam Duvall then coaxed a walk, back to back outs on grounders scored Votto, and after Jose Peraza reached on an infield single in the hole between 3B & SS, Barnhart drove in both runners with a double off Harper’s glove in RF to leave Cincinnati ahead, 5-0. Scootypuff went to one knee to crush a Roark off-speed pitch over the RF wall in the Top of the 2nd, a solo shot that put the Reds ahead, 6-0. Michael Taylor got the Nationals on the board in the Bottom of the 4th when he lifted a 2-run homer over the wall in left-center with Adam Lind on base, his third homer in the last two games. Reds led, 6-2. After that, the scoring completely dried up, and the combination of Feldman, Tony Cingrani, and Iglesias put a bow on the series-salvaging W. Reds won, 6-2. Tony Graphanino src="" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width="450" style="border:1px solid black;">Source: FanGraphs Other Notes Taylor’s 4th inning homer marked the 18th consecutive game in which Reds pitching has allowed a dinger. That’s a club record. The Reds will be en route to St. Louis on Sunday evening, since they’ll tangle with the Cardinals on Monday in a make-up game for the April 29th contest that was rained out. It’ll feature Brandon Finnegan in his return to the mound for the first time since hitting the 60-day DL with a shoulder issue back in April, and he’ll be opposed by Michael Wacha. First pitch is set for 4:15 PM ET. Since Finnegan will need a spot on the 25-man roster and the 40-man roster - both of which are currently full - there’ll be some roster shuffling prior to tomorrow’s first pitch. My best guess: Lisalverto Bonilla will be optioned back to Louisville after his lengthy outing from Saturday, and Bronson Arroyo will be moved from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL to open up a 40-man spot. Tunes. [...]