It’s official. Johnny Cueto has been traded Sunday to the Royals for three young left-handed pitchers. Cincinnati is getting Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed.
Cueto, 29, is 7-6 with a 2.62 ERA in 19 starts this season and will be a free agent following the season. The Royals will not be able to extend him a qualifying offer. In his eighth big league season — all with the Reds — Cueto has a 92-63 career mark with a 3.21 ERA.
Walt Jocketty holding press conference soon. Will have more on MLB.com/Reds.com.
**UPDATE** Here is a snippet from my story:
“I know it’s a good trade but I’m very sad,” Cueto said with Reds catcher Brayan Pena translating. “I’m very thankful to my teammates, my fans and my coaching staff. It’s a very emotional time for me. But I understand it’s part of the game. I’m just excited about my next step.”
With the Reds entering the day with a 43-52 record and way back in the National League Central and Wild Card races, the team has been looking to move pricey veteran players. Cueto, who will be a free agent after the season, is the first to go as the rebuilding process officially is underway.
“Obviously, this is a tough trade,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “Johnny has been part of the organization for a long time. We have great affection for him as pitcher and person. So it was difficult.
“We’re in a situation where this is the best thing for our franchise now. We got three left-handed pitchers — three quality left-handed pitchers — who we think very highly of. It was tough for Kansas City to give up all three.”
Full story here: http://atmlb.com/1LKqBuw
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Perhaps because strong season, or his thrilling Home Run Derby victory in the All-Star festivities at GABP, Todd Frazier is ranked among players for top jersey sales. The Reds 3B came in at No. 15, in his first time on the list.
The list is based on sales of Majestic jerseys from MLB.com/shop, the official online shop of Major League Baseball, between Opening Day 2015 and the 2015 All-Star Game.
Here is the top 20:
1. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants2. Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
3. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
4. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
6. Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants
7. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
8. Matt Harvey, New York Mets
9. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
10. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
11. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
12. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
13. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
14. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
15. Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
16. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
17. David Wright, New York Mets
18. Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels
19. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
20. Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
Joey Votto had a productive, but not overly blazing first half. He went through a funk in June and picked it up again in July before the All-Star break. Coming out of the break, Votto has been scorching the ball.
Including a 3-for-4 game with a home run in Wednesday’s 9-1 win in Game 1 of the doubleheader vs. the Cubs, Votto is 12-for-24 (.500) with two homers in the second half.
“Even his outs right now are hard line drives all over the field,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.
What’s been helping Votto lately?
“I’ve been working with [hitting coach] Don Long to make some adjustments to what was a flawed swing,” Votto said. “I’m still kind of working through it. I feel like I’m headed in the right direction. There are some subtle adjustments to make.”
How were the flaws found?
“The ball speaks for you,” Votto replied. “The way the ball comes off the bat, timing with the pitchers, the way you feel at the plate. That does plenty for you. Then after that, you go to the video or have discussions with the right people and work from there.
“The best thing you can do is stay on it at all times. You want to be comfortable and natural in the box. But at the same time, we play over six months. All of us have aches and pains or changes in our bodies or all of a sudden, something creeps in and a month later, you realize it became something you never wanted it to be. That’s the advantage of our era now. We get to watch video. We get to chat about it and see it from a bunch of different directions and make the adjustments and hopefully produce a consistent swing.”
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Game 2 of the doubleheader begins at 6:10 p.m. ET
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The Reds’ pitching staff entered Tuesday leading the Majors in walks with 310. (They were fifth last season). The staff allowed six walks in Monday’s win and issued 10 walks on Sunday vs. Cleveland. (Cueto had six).
Michael Lorezen lasted only five innings with 106 pitches on Monday in part because of walks. He walked pitcher Clayton Richard with two outs in the second inning. That cost him an additional 15 pitches to get out of the inning.
Manager Bryan Price discussed how it’s been an issue that’s being addressed, especially in side bullpen sessions. But the team also has several rookies, especially in the rotation.
“We’re getting a lot of guys that are coming to the big leagues and trying to establish themselves as credible Major League pitchers, Price said on Tuesday. “This is not the same team that we broke camp with that a lot more experienced guys with a lot more years of Major League service time.
“One thing so far this season has proven is you have to be able to command the strike zone in order to be successful at this level. What we’re finding are the guys that can and the guys that can’t or won’t. We’ll have to make the necessary adjustments. The one thing that I think is extremely important is that if we’re going to have more success, it’s going to start with the pitching.”
*Price gave Skip Schumaker a start in left field Tuesday and shifted Marlon Byrd to center field. Price said Byrd was excited for his second start there this season after he did it June 27.
“He’s up to the task,” Price said.
There was nothing wrong with center fielders Billy Hamilton or Jason Bourgeois.
“Skip has had one start this month. I want him in the game,” Price said. “I have the double header tomorrow. Everybody will start one of those two games. I just like the flow of the offense and wanted to make sure I got Skip I got a start. I’m sure he’ll start another game tomorrow so he’ll be able to put some back-to-back starts together and more than a pinch-hit at-bat. He’s been getting about a pinch-hit at-bat a game this month but he hasn’t been getting the starts. I have to find a way to get him in there and feeling comfortable at the plate.”