And, we’re back…..

So…what did I miss?

In many ways, not much. In other ways…a whole lot.

*The Reds managed to improve their first-place lead over the Pirates to 4 1/2 games, despite losing five in a row and having a 3-4 road trip through Milwaukee and Chicago. (I’m sure no Reds fans or readers of this blog panicked at all during that span).

*This team is a remarkable 19-8 without Joey Votto when many were saying, including me, that just treading water at .500 during his absence would be a respectable feat. Now they’re really getting extra tested with the setback Votto had on Friday.

*How do people feel about the big picture with this team right now? From my point of view, it seems pretty optimistic. Can it be better? Sure, but the second-best record in baseball is nothing to sneeze at.

*Can we put Todd Frazier front and center in the NL Rookie of the Year race yet? He certainly deserves the consideration.

In 88 games, Frazier is hitting .280/.339/.528 with 14 homers and 48 RBIs. He’s played well at both first base and third base.

In 92 games, Bryce Harper is batting .249/.328/.406 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs.

Left-handed starter Wade Miley (12-8, 3.02) is having a nice season for Arizona and should be a contender, and Milwaukee right-handed starter Mike Fiers (6-4, 1.80) will be part of the conversation. Am I missing any other contenders that have a legit chance to win?

Frazier could stay in the lineup even longer as Votto remains out and Rolen battles with back trouble again. That wouldhelp his chances at ROY votes.

*How about this item on Aroldis Chapman? Chapman produced saves in each of his last 16 appearances, including three in a row vs. the Cubs, to break the single-season club record held by Jeff Shaw (Aug 25-Sept. 19, 1997). With a 1.26 ERA and 28 saves in 53 games, Chapman could enter NL Cy Young talk. But he’d have a hard time getting by his own teammate, Johnny Cueto, who is 15-6 with a 2.45 ERA in 24 starts. That race, overall, is much harder to handicap.

*It appears that my taking a vacation caused a mini controversy. Thanks for all the comments, positive and negative, while I was out. I will let them stand without responding. I will be glad to be back at the ballpark again on Tuesday and hope you are back with me.

19 Comments

Welcome back! Go reds!

Mark, glad your back, hope vacation re-energized your brain. We missed your 3 stars & comments with your insight.

Missed you, Mark!

Just to let you know…my comments were “tongue in cheek”…You don’t even resemble an “ice cream man”.

Actually, have you seen the Tosh.0 episode where he is the ice cream man? He actually looks like him a little bit.
Reds are fine, just keep winning series against these bottom feeders and the division will take care of itself.
Magic Number sits at 44 games to win the division.
Curt

welcome back. 2 questions…
who do you think makes the extra start this coming weekend… since no one has distinguished themselves at louisville… think they might give it to cingrani?
also… what happened to joey gathright. was hitting about 300 but saw he was released. thanks

Overall view of the team: I’m worried this team can’t win a small-ball game against good (e.g., playoff) starting pitching. Related question: have any other teams used just 5 starters for all their games? Unrelated comment: on one pitch Chapman threw this weekend, Hannigan rocked back as though he’d almost been knocked over. It may have been the same AB, but I noticed Soriano looking kind of hangdog – like he’d already given up against the Missile. Is he that intimidating?

Between playing 3B, 1B, and LF, hopefully Todd Frasier can continue to receive playing time when Votto and Rolen return. If he gets the AB’s, I think he will be right there in the end for ROY consideration. Two others to add to the ROY watch: Zach Cozart and Yonder Alonso.

You deserved the break, Mark. Now, don’t leave again till after the WS!

I fear I may have started the controversy and it had nothing to do with you Mark. I wrongfully assumed you were paid for this blogging position. I think that they should and up the “tempo” on all things Reds. Our beloved Reds have several things to be excited about this year. We are in first place….. look at our pitching we are stable for years in that area with strong arms waiting in the wings….. our bullpen depth has no equal in all of baseball.
Chapman had a rough patch what was it in June before then he was dominate as well just that one little bad streak for him and that was it. He just might finish the season with 150 strikeouts and and ERA under one. I say forget about about talk of making him a starter this guy is going to be a superstar with super wealth right where he is at.

Dale…it’s not a blogging position. I’m a beat reporter with stories regularly appearing on Reds.com and MLB.com. The blog is “bonus” coverage so to speak. While others fill in on MLB.com and cover the games, the blog is solely my own.

Glad you’re back Mark, missed you.

Regarding Chapman and starting: will the Reds have to shut him down after a set number of innings to protect his arm his first year of starting, as is common now with young pitchers generally? Also, is there any chance Madson’s with the team next year?

There obviously is a chance that Madson could come back, but I doubt it. You would think maybe he would come back to the Reds kind of as a favor for getting paid and not playing this year. But, he’s a Scott Boras guy, and that’s not how he works. He’ll get a three year deal somewhere for like 15-20 million, and the Reds aren’t going to pay for that.
Curt

I don’t if I agree completely. First off coming off of major surgery no one is going to sign him long term or pay top dollar. Secondly why not see what he has left with the Reds for another one year contract? After that he can go run to the Yankees or the Red Sox.

Madson has a mutual option for 2013 of $11M with a $2.5M buyout

Mark, I have been looking at Todd Frazier’s stats and I noticed that he is leading the team in triples (5), but only has 1 SB and has been caught stealing twice. Generally, one would think that a player hitting many triples would steal many bases, as speed is a key component in both categories. I realize that other factors are important as well (hits to the corners for more triples and base running “knowledge”, etc.). I know that his SB total will increase with more games, but Cairo, who has about half of Frazier’s AB, has three steals. Any thoughts on why why Frazier is not stealing more bases?

Looking at the AAA pitchers might give you a headache. Their team is in last place, 26.5 games behind. They only have 4 starters, all righties and none of them are on the 40 man roster…

Tim Gustafson 4.32 era
Sean Gallagher 4.58 era
Chad Reineke 4.22 era
Pedro Villarreal 4.81 era

Tony Cingrani meanwhile is spitting out batters at AA Pensacola like Andrew Whitworth spits out chicken wings. He is 5-3 with an era of 1.94 and he’s a lefty with mid to upper 90’s velocity.

I say bring him up to pitch game 2 on Sunday then ship him back. If the Reds don’t want to do that I suspect a trade might be in the making.

Welcome back Mark, hope you had a good vacation!

Simon is most likely going to get that start on Sunday in my opinion.

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