Monday odds and ends
Good Monday afternoon…I have a few links and stories for you to keep you plugged in to the Reds and other items.
*Reds bench coach Jay Bell did not land the D-backs manager job to replace Kirk Gibson. A’s bench coach Chip Hale has been formally named. Bell and Hale were among nine candidates interviewed by Arizona. While I’m sure Bell is disappointed, but this is good news for the Reds. Bell was impressive behind the scenes as manager Bryan Price’s bench coach — he seemed very organized, easy to relate with, good with the media and a guy who knows the game very well. I would not be shocked to see his name linked to future managerial openings down the road.
*MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo covered Nick Howard’s first start in the Arizona Fall League. Howard, Cincinnati’s first round Draft pick this year, could have been in the big leagues already as a reliever. But the club likes him as a starting pitcher and are developing him that way for now. If he doesn’t make it as a starter, he can always become a reliever.
*Turning Howard into a starter seems to continue a trend that the Reds have been executing in recent years. Tony Cingrani, Michael Lorenzen and even Cuban free agent Raciel Iglesias were also relievers that the organization has ID’s as potential starting pitchers. Lorenzen had a strong first year in the Minors starting while the jury is still out on Cingrani because of injuries and pitch selection. I would not be shocked to see him in the bullpen next season, especially if the current starting five remains intact come Spring Training.
*I haven’t watched every postseason at-bat and pitch but I’ve seen enough to know it’s been an incredible playoffs to this point. I’ve watched the late innings of every game in the ALDS and NLDS and both have been incredible. Kolten Wong’s homer for a Cardinals win probably saved St. Louis’ season and most certainly — Trevor Rosenthal after a poor showing in the top of the ninth. The Cardinals very well could have been headed to San Francisco trailing by a 2-0 margin. I really wonder if we’re destined for a redux of the 1985 I-70 World Series between the Cardinals and Royals.
*I wondered why Wong’s jersey was off so quickly after he touched home plate. I soon learned why — it was literally ripped off of his back.
*Wong was just one of four homegrown Cardinals to homer in Game 2. Oscar Taveras, Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams also went deep. Homegrown players seem to always come up big in recent years for St. Louis. There have been David Freese in 2011, Michael Wacha last season, Adam Wainwright going back to 2006-present and Carpenter this year as well. The Reds have a lot of homegrown players that helped them get to the postseason in 2010, 2012 and 2013 — like Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Homer Bailey, Todd Frazier, Johnny Cueto, etc. Devin Mesoraco has already taken the next step with a breakout season in 2014. The next wave is likely a year or more away from joining the current crew — guys like Jesse Winker, Robert Stephenson, Lorenzen and perhaps Howard.
**Correction: Wainwright was drafted by the Braves originally. Sorry for the mistake.