Want, need your questions

I wanted to let you know that I’m planning the first edition of the “Inbox” (formerly the Mailbag) on Monday. It’s been almost six months since I’ve answered any reader mail so obviously I will need some questions. Many of you already ask questions of me in the blog and some of them are perfect for the Inbox.

Here’s what you can do: feel free to ask your questions in the comment section of this posting. Or, send me an e-mail at mark.sheldon@mlb.com. Put Inbox in the subject space. Either way, please include your first name, last initial, city and state with the question.

Inbox won’t be a weekly feature but it will pop up from time to time when warranted.

Also as an FYI — I will be off for the San Diego series. No reason, just wasn’t scheduled.

The Inbox is open. Please have at it.


What do you think the front office will do with Alonzo? At this point it is clear that Votto is the first baseman of the future. I can’t imagine trying to move him to left field. Could he be possible trade bait for Matt Holiday or a similar right handed power hitting left fielder?

Do you think that both Votto and bruce will out perform Dunn this season?

Would the Reds consider having 3 lefties in the bullpen? Both Rhodes and Herrera have been great so far, but what will happen when Bray gets healthy? Also, Pedro Viola looks like the REAL DEAL down in Louisville. 16 K’s in 14 innings with a microscopic ERA!

Now that we’re one fifth of the way through the season and we’ve seen just how good the pitching staff can be, what would you consider a fan’s reasonable expectations for this team?

Hey Mark,

What are the chances of seeing Drew Stubbs or Hopper up here anytime soon? I know that McDonald has struggled, and although he is a great story, we need a different pinch hitting option off of the bench. I realize that Dickerson is a lefty, but any chance he gets sent out too with his struggles at the plate? Thanks and let’s keep this train rolling!

Matt H.

When Gonzo and Encarnacion return, we’ll have to sit two guys who have been playing well (whether that be Nix, Hairston, Janish, or Rosales). How short a leash do you think will be on the returning starters? If they continue to struggle, will they sit for the guys with the hot hand?
Ryan S.
Saint Bernard

I know the Reds have taken a “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it” stance on Alonso, but wouldn’t now be the time to try him out at Third Base or Left Field. Votto has earned the First base job and doesn’t want to change. Why not experiment with Alonso while he is still in A ball?

Mike N
Louisville, KY

Following up on the McDonald situation…I understand that it’s not a simple matter of sending him down and calling someone else up. But, surely by now everyone realizes he’s overmatched at the ML level (still, one extra basehit)? I see the names listed above as possible options…but I can’t see how Gomes hasn’t earned his spot on this team. Jonny is doing his thing at AAA (slugging HRs and driving in runs) while McDonald continues to contribute absolutely nothing on the field. We’re not talking all-star level starters, we’re talking platoon/RH power off the bench….I don’t get it?
Ed E.
Eustis, FL

I second the Gomes question. I don’t see how McDonald is still here. He really has not made any significant contributions.Russhttp://wight4256.mlblogs.com

Even Norris Hopper could provide what you get with D-Mac, but with better defense.

out of all the cities to miss, you miss san diego. that is rough.

I agree with the questions about the quality minor league guys who could push for a starting job next year. What to do with Alonso (or Votto)? Then you have Bailey, Maloney, Francisco, Frazier, Stubbs to factor in too.

While I am focused on this year, with the trade deadline coming in ~2 months, who could/would get moved for (lets say) LF upgrade?

When a player gets a rest day, is it just the game they get a rest from or do they not take batting practice, not shag flies, not get to the park at the normal time? I’m thinking the six hours prior to the game is just as stressful as the game itself.

Pat M. Chandler, AZ.

The scoreboard in AZ showed the Reds player pictures one night with a riverboat in the background and another night with the Skyline Chili logo. How many different pictures do the Reds give other clubs and did Skyline pay for that advertising? Not that we can go to our local Krogers (Frys) and get a few cans.

Pat M. Chandler, AZ


With all the fuss about how well Micah Owings has played as a pinch hitter, is there any chance Dusty will consider moving him up in the lineup when he pitches? Also, what is the plan for a DH in the American League parks? Owings isn’t a viable DH candidate is he? My gut tells me his is a very good “hitting pitcher” who benefits from pitchers not really expecting much from other pitchers at the plate. I suspect that if his role were to expand, he’d become much less effective. Do you agree?


I agree to a point, Billy. Owings is more than a good hitting pitcher but I’m not ready to cast him as someone who’d hit if he had to do it every day.

I touched on this during a blog post last month. Check it out:


hey! mark. i thought pedro viola was going to be called up instead of ramon ramirez when the put nick massett on the DL? pedro viola is doing great down in AAA and ramon ramirez isn’t. this doesn’t make sense to me. can you shed some light no this.


How much longer is Dusty going to continue with the pointless Alex Gonzalez mancrush? You get the idea that if Gonzalez is still below the Mendoza line at the All-Star Break, Dusty would still be saying that A-Gone just needs another few games (read weeks) to get going. And what is the upside of a healthy, productive Gonzalez anyway? .240? It’s agonizing to watch.

Carlos Fisher has better stats than Ramirez. He’s ready for Majors!

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