Votto ranked 11th by MLBN

From MLB Network:

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto ranked 11th on MLB Network’s Top 100 Players Right Now! program last night in the annual ranking of the best players in baseball. Votto, who ranked 32nd on last year’s list, finished one spot ahead of the Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve and one spot behind the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera.

In five episodes across three consecutive nights, MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger, Ron Darling and Bill Ripken counted down the top 100 players in Major League Baseball based on player performance over the past several seasons, with an emphasis on 2015.  This year’s ranking also weighted projected 2016 performance, taking into account players returning from injury and young players expected to break out, as well as base-running, defensive value and award finishes.

Top 100 Players Right Now!, 20-1:

  1. Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  2. Bryce Harper, RF, Washington Nationals
  3. Clayton Kershaw, P, Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates
  5. Josh Donaldson, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
  6. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks
  7. Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
  8. Manny Machado, 3B, Baltimore Orioles
  9. Jake Arrieta, P, Chicago Cubs
  10. Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers
  11. Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
  12. Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros
  13. Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros
  14. Giancarlo Stanton, RF, Miami Marlins
  15. Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle Mariners
  16. Zack Greinke, P, Arizona Diamondbacks
  17. David Price, P, Boston Red Sox
  18. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs
  19. Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs
  20. A.J. Pollock, CF, Arizona Diamondbacks


I concur that Votto is one of the best. It is hard with Jocketty in charge to put a great player on the field as he waits too long to bring up prospects, and then when he does he trades them.

These listings are nuts, Votto must be in the top 3.

Gotta produce…he hasnt and wont produce with this team…although he will continue to have a high OBP…by walking. Other top guys produce. Nothing against Votto, but thats the reality.

Votto walks onto the field and produces. You don’t recognize greatness when you see it.

If Joey Votto played for the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets even the Cardinals Votto would be #1, or in the top 3 of being the best.

Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S® 5, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Yep…but not the Reds.

My point was/is that he has to have a supporting cast; aint gonna happen with the Reds. Also, he is playing in GABP…if he isnt going to have fun with the numbers here, he wont ever have em. He is spectacular player…but not a producer with this team.
After 9 seasons: 192 HR/633 RBI = 21 HR per season/70 RBI per season
Averaging: .311/.423/.534/.957
Sadly, he is with a very weak offensive team.

BTW….he is not anywhere near his ridiculous salary contract…big mistake!
Sadly, not too sure what the Reds were thinking…this one of the worst contracts that I have ever seen…but there you go…
2016 32 Cincinnati Reds $20,000,000
2017 33 Cincinnati Reds $22,000,000
2018 34 Cincinnati Reds $25,000,000
2019 35 Cincinnati Reds $25,000,000
2020 36 Cincinnati Reds $25,000,000
2021 37 Cincinnati Reds $25,000,000
2022 38 Cincinnati Reds $25,000,000
2023 39 Cincinnati Reds $25,000,000
2024 40 Cincinnati Reds *$20,000,000
$20M Team Option, $7M Buyout

Quality is quality, doesn’t matter what team he is with. An A+ student at school is just that, an A+ student.

Where’s Dee Gordon?????

Wouldn’t it be nice if we found a “Dee Gordon” among our new young dudes. I love sitting behind home plate and watching Joey bat, one of the best hitters I have watched over the years.

MLB, MLBPA announce rule changes involving takeout slides, pace of play
By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
February 25, 2016

On Thursday, MLB and the MLBPA jointly announced two significant rule changes for 2016. Those rule changes involve takeout slides to break up double plays and visits to the mound.

When it comes to breaking up double plays at second base, the runner is still allowed to make contact with the pivot man, but he can do so legally only if the following four conditions are satisfied:

He begins his slide (i.e., makes contact with the ground) before reaching the base;
He is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot;
He is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide; and
He slides within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.
As well, the runner may not engage “in a ‘roll block,’ or intentionally initiates (or attempts to initiate) contact with the fielder by elevating and kicking his leg above the fielder’s knee or throwing his arm or his upper body.”

If the runner is deemed to have violated any of these conditions, then he and the batter will be called out for interference. Potential violations will be reviewable using instant replay, as will, for the first time, “neighborhood play” calls.

When it comes to pace-of-play improvements, the league has issued a new directive on mound visits and television commercial breaks. From the press release:

The pace of game program will expand this season to include timed 30-second visits to the pitcher’s mound by managers and pitching coaches. In addition, break timers will now mirror the time allotted to broadcasters between innings: 2:05 for locally televised games and 2:25 for nationally televised games, a reduction of 20 seconds each from the 2015 season, when the timers counted down from 2:25 for local games and from 2:45 for national games. The change aims to allow players to more closely match the resumption of play with the return of broadcasters from commercial breaks.
Thanks in part to new rules limiting when a batter can leave the batter’s box, average game times last season dropped under three hours. Consider the above a strong step in the same direction.

As for the new slide rules, it’s partly a response to a pair of high-profile injuries suffered in 2015.

Zach Buchanan, zbuchanan@enquirer.com
February 26, 2016

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – A side effect of the new rule change to eliminate takeout slides is that the neighborhood play at second will now be subject to instant replay review. The previous version of the rule allowed infielders to get credit for tagging the base if they were in the immediate vicinity to prevent them from being injured by a baserunner trying to break up a double play.

Players like Jung Ho Kang and Ruben Tejada were injured on takeout slides last season. But Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Cozart is not sure how much will actually be done for player safety if infielders are forced to stand on the bag, putting them in the way of even a legal slide.

“In theory you shouldn’t get crushed, but it can still happen and you’re going to have to be on guard,” Cozart said. “That’s why I don’t like it being reviewed. I liked the previous rule where if the throw took you away, you could review it. But if the throw’s right at you and it’s a good feed and everything, I don’t feel that should be reviewable.”

Reds manager Bryan Price sees more shades of gray. He admits that the rule seems to be solidifying what was essentially an umpire judgment call on the neighborhood play, although it now creates a similar judgment call when it comes to the intent of a sliding runner.

Reds beat writers C. Trent Rosecrans and Zach Buchanan discuss the latest news and notes from spring training. The Enquirer/Kareem Elgazzar

Price thinks there will be some bumps early on that will iron themselves out. That’s essentially what happened two seasons ago when Major League Baseball adopted a rule to cut down on collisions at home plate.

“We’re going to have to go through the rules, I think,” Price said. “And I think we’re going to have some issues with it initially like all these new rules changes and eventually the smoke will clear and we’ll get a real good understanding from players, managers and umpires.”

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com | @m_sheldon | 2:41 PM ET
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Reds have named their starting pitchers for the first stretch of Cactus League games, which will formally begin the competition for the three open spots in the rotation. It provided a hint about who might start on Opening Day.

Manager Bryan Price said Saturday that Jon Moscot would start on Tuesday vs. the Indians, with Brandon Finnegan to get an inning as well. Prospects Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed are scheduled to pitch on Wednesday vs. Cleveland. Game 3 vs. the Indians will feature Anthony DeSclafani, followed by Jonathan Sanchez. Michael Lorenzen and Tim Melville will work on Friday vs. the Giants, with Finnegan returning to start on March 5 vs. the Cubs.

“Once we get them set up, if you pitch a guy an inning or two innings, you can always bring them back on three days’ rest instead of four,” Price said. “We just didn’t want Finnegan to go all the way to the fifth to pitch in his first game.”
If there are no changes or setbacks, the rotation lines up as expected for DeSclafani to get the regular-season opener on April 4 vs. the Phillies. Price has not officially made the announcement, however.
Missing from the initial games is Raisel Iglesias, who is a little behind the others after an offseason shoulder conditioning program.
“He’s thrown great,” Price said. “He’s closer to the middle of the month, but he’ll have adequate time to be fully stretched out by the time we need him for his first start of the season.”

DeSclafani and Iglesias are viewed as the two rotation locks. If DeSclafani is at the top of the rotation, the delay in Iglesias’ spring debut would indicate he might be in the back end of the rotation.
“It’s probably reasonable to suggest that, yeah,” Price said.
Worth noting
• Through one round of live batting practice this week, Price has been quite impressed with the younger pitching prospects’ performances.
“A lot of good ones,” Price said. “Seeing Reed and [Nick] Travieso and Amir Garrett and watching those guys rock and fire. [Sal] Romano, it’s just a lot of big arms. Young, big, strong, hard-throwing, good feel for a breaking ball — prospects that are getting really close to being able to help us.”
• In light of the Academy Awards on Sunday, MLB.com asked Reds radio voice Marty Brennaman who would play him in a movie about his life.
“I can come up with two good ones, Pee Wee Herman or Don Knotts,” Brennaman replied. “Pee Wee Herman would be bouncing around like we all know he does — smiling, happy and screwing around with people. Then Don Knotts had the big Adam’s apple like I’ve got. He walked around with one bullet in his pocket. I walk around with one in my pocket, verbally. God rest his soul, although there are a lot of people that would like to see someone dead play me.”
Brennaman, incidentally, is a voter for the annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which was held last month. As a member of the SAG-AFTRA union, he has received screeners of every movie in consideration for awards the past three years and has watched most of them. His pick for best picture at the Oscars this year is “Spotlight.”

How many starters do you think we’ll use this season? I’m just wondering. We need around 900 innings from them I’m guessing. Disco looks like the only guy who has a shot at 200.

We should see pretty much everyone that can pitch starting this year. LOL There will be the normal injuries which means that more guys will see the mound. Plus, lots of unknowns with potential innings limits because of their youth. Like I have said before, should be an interesting year, excellent opportunity for this bunch, wonder what cream will rise to the top of the pitching staff.

This list is a joke. You cant tell me when looking at the past that these rookies should be in the top 20. This is a future list. Harper had one good year, how is that comparable. Votto is number 1 if not top 3. Complete joke of a list. When looking at careers Votto will look more favorably than all of them with all time greats. It is sad he does not get the recognition he deserves now.

I wish Jockettey could find a way to give Votto more of chance to win than this. I get the young pitching and not upset by that at all. But still believe if the Reds would have signed just one good OBP guy like Span it could have dramatically changed this team. They need one good OBP guy to put inform of Votto. Its amazing how the Reds don’t see that and will waste this guys good years until they do.

Reds Rule 5 picks Chris O’Grady and Jake Cave are eager to show what they can do in camp, as Mark Sheldon of MLB.com writes. It’s been nine years since the Reds last successfully carried a Rule 5 pick all season, Sheldon notes, when the club had a pair of excellent Rule 5 pickups in right-hander Jared Burton and outfielder Josh Hamilton. Cave, selected out of the Yankees organization, spoke to Sheldon about the importance of maximizing an opportunity with Cincinnati, as the Yankees have a fairly notable logjam in the outfield, whereas the Reds have a clearer path to at-bats. Manager Bryan Price spoke to Sheldon about each player’s chances, noting that video alone of O’Grady on the mound has impressed him, while Cave faces a challenge going from an everyday role in the minors to either a platoon situation or a reserve that would move all over the outfield.

Injured starting ptichers…(excerpt)…
Zach Buchanan, zbuchanan@enquirer.com February 28, 2016

Cincinnati’s three injured pitchers – Raisel Iglesias, John Lamb and Homer Bailey – are all progressing toward facing hitters, Price said.

Iglesias, who started his throwing program late in order to work on his shoulder flexibility, should throw a live bullpen session during the first week of March. Lamb, who is coming off back surgery, will follow about 10 days into the month, and Bailey and his reconstructed elbow should bring up the rear two weeks in.

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com | @m_sheldon | February 28th, 2016
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Right fielder Jay Bruce may not know how much time he has left with the Reds, but he’s not wasting it. Despite a near trade last week to the Blue Jays, and living with an uncertain future, Bruce has continued to go about his business in camp — which includes working on his hitting.

To go about that, Bruce participated in some sessions with Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, who is at Spring Training as an instructor. Larkin has been helping Bruce with a drill that could help him do a better job of hitting pitches on the outside part of the plate.

“It’s being more linear with your bat path than being rotational,” Bruce explained on Sunday. “I think it’s gone well. Obviously, we haven’t played any games yet. I like how it feels. What the drill helps is something I always work on. It’s just something else that can help.
“We talk all the time. We have an open line of communication. He’s someone who has always been very gracious and honest with me.”
Larkin’s work with Bruce has been done in concert with Reds hitting coach Don Long.
“Don is involved. That’s who all of this goes through,” Bruce said.
Bruce has had down years of hitting the past two seasons. In 2015, he batted .226/.294/.434, but he still had 26 homers and 87 RBIs.
Historically, Bruce has struggled with his pitch selection on the outer half of the plate. According to zone profiles by BrooksBaseball.net, when he chased outside the strike zone to the middle or lower half of the plate last season, he was 20-for-133 (.150). He had his highest swing-and-miss rate low and away, whiffing on 49 of 74 pitches or 66 percent of the time.
The drill Larkin suggested helped take Bruce’s hands to the ball instead of his body.
“I’m just a little quick with my front side,” Bruce said. “This helps with not being so quick with my front side and trusting your hands. It works on literally both sides of the field. It works on the left-center-field gap and it works on pulling the ball correctly, too. The best way to explain it is it works to clean up your bat path.”
Bruce appreciated having a Hall of Fame player like Larkin to help him improve.
“I’m all ears. He’s someone who has a lot of experience,” Bruce said. “I’m always open to listen to get information from anybody who is willing to give it.”

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