I’m taking a few days off. Will rejoin the fray from San Diego on Aug. 10.
Enjoy the week. And thanks.
The Reds made their second trade of the week by sending starting pitcher Mike Leake to the Giants.
Coming to Cincinnati will be two Minor Leaguers, including right-hander Keury Mella, ranked by MLB.com as San Francisco’s top prospect. Also acquired was corner infielder Adam Duvall.
Combined with the Johnny Cueto trade on Sunday, the Reds have traded two soon-to-be free agents and brought in five prospects — including four high prospect pitchers.
Mella, 21, is 5-3 with a 3.31 ERA in 16 starts this season for advanced Class A San Jose and was at Great American Ball Park earlier this month for the Sirius-XM All-Star Futures Game. In four seasons since being signed in 2011, he is 15-12 with a 3.01 ERA over 58 games (57 starts) with 282 strikeouts over 272 1/3 innings.
Ranked the No. 25 prospect in the Giants’ system, Duvall played 28 games in the big leagues for the Giants in 2014 and batted .192 with three home runs.
At Triple-A Sacramento this season, Duvall batted .279 with 26 homer, 79 RBIs and 25 doubles in 99 games. The 26-year-old, a Kentucky native, played for the Univ. of Louisville and was an 11th-round Draft pick of the Giants in 2010.
Since Spring Training ended, I’ve gotten the most questions — whether it was on Twitter, in person or wherever — about reliever Sam LeCure. And whatever is the second-most asked question isn’t even close to the LeCure volume of questions.
Lots of relievers have been called up this season ahead of LeCure, who was taken off of the 40-man roster when he was one of the final roster cuts in camp. He struggled at the end of last season and earlier this season with consistency issues and lowered velocity. His numbers for Triple-A Louisville haven’t been great — a 6.12 ERA in 35 appearances with 60 hits, 24 walks, 38 strikeouts and a 1.68 WHIP in 50 innings.
When manager Bryan Price was asked about LeCure on Thursday, he sounded encouraged about his progress.
“I think that I’d love to have Sam’s influence on our bullpen,” Price said. “He brings more then just his physical ability, but he brings a lot of character to the bullpen. He brings a leadership presence to the bullpen. I spoke him with a few weeks ago and just wanted to remind him that he doesn’t need to worry about his ERA, just needs to get to where he’s pitching more on a roll because as a reliever if you’re numbers get sideways on you it’s hard to pitch those numbers down. So it’s not a matter of numbers, it’s really a matter of just consistency of doing what he’s doing and he’s a lot closer now then he was at the beginning of the year.
“I do anticipate that at some time we will see Sam back here because I think we all want him to be throwing the way he’s capable of throwing and I think he’s a lot closer now then he was a couple of months ago.”
When asked about LeCure’s velocity, Price said it was creeping back upward.
“He’s a lot better then what it was in Spring Training,” Price said “And I think even more importantly then that everyone wants their maximum velocity, but more importantly than the the velocity is the fact that he’s starting to make the consistent types of pitches. Every now and again he’ll have a setback, he’ll have a tough outing but that happens anywhere. Stringing together the typical LeCure outings that we’ve seen here is going to get him back here.”
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As you may recall back on March 12 during Spring Training, actor/comedian Will Ferrell joined the Reds for a half-inning as their third baseman in a Cactus League game vs. the Diamondbacks.
It was for a project called “Ferrell Takes The Field,” an HBO special made by Funny Or Die in partnership with Major League Baseball. It was dedicated to helping the charity Cancer for College.
The comedy special follows Ferrell to five different Spring Training ballparks, where he played every position on the field for ten different teams in the same day.
Courtesy of HBO, here is the trailer:
First pitch at 8:15 p.m. ET
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To take the 25-man roster spot from Johnny Cueto, the Reds recalled catcher Kyle Skipworth from Double-A Pensacola on Monday. Also, OF/IF Chris Dominguez was designated for assignment to clear space after Sunday’s acquisitions from the Royals.
Skipworth was up with the Reds in April, but did not get into a game. You may have seen this already, but check out the video below from his ejection on Saturday while playing for the Blue Wahoos. It was only topped by the ejection of manager Pat Kelly.
The Reds will have to make another move on Thursday to fill Cueto’s rotation spot, and start vs. the Pirates.
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