I guess the biggest news of course would be that Joey Votto is heading to the DL and that could cause a chain reaction throughout the system. Right now, it appears that pitcher Todd Redmond, who we just acquired last week in a trade for Paul Janish, will get the call. I expect that move to last only a day or two due to the Cueto blister (if it shows up, they will pull him early) combined with Alfredo Simon not being available today because of the Arroyo short outing last night.

With all of that said, where do the Reds go for a call up after that? Jay Bruce is the only left handed bat on the entire Reds team right now. Looking at Louisville, here are the left handed bats: Gregorius, Rodriguez (switch), Costanzo, Harris and newcomer Xavier Paul. I could see them calling up Xavier Paul after placing Negron on the 60 day DL and opening up a 40 man roster spot. He fills the need for an outfielder (I will assume that Frazier winds up in the infield while Votto is out, splitting time at first and third when Rolen needs off days with Cairo playing first on those days) and as a lefty. While he is new to the Bats, he has been in AAA all season and is hitting .322/.380/.524 with 18 doubles, a triple, 9 home runs, 20 walks and 46 strikeouts. He also has Major League experience and won’t be ‘stunted’ in his development as a 27 year old like Henry Rodriguez or Didi Gregorius could potentially be if they come up and sit on the bench as a pinch hitter twice a week.

Some of you recommended it earlier this month, so I have decided to add it. There is now going to be a ‘donate’ button available through the site. All money will go directly toward the site, either for the costs of running it or towards gas/hotel costs when I travel. If you want to help out, great. If you don’t, that is just fine as well.

The competitive balance draft is today and the Reds are one of the teams eligible to win an extra draft pick after the 2013 first round compensation portion of the draft. If you want more information, check out the link above.

Mark Hulet over at Fangraphs released his Midseason Top 50 prospects list. Billy Hamilton was the only Reds prospect to make the list and he came in at #37. Unfortunately, it is just a list so it is tough to say why each guy is ranked where they are.

Speaking of Billy Hamilton, he was talked about by Kevin Goldstein yesterday on his Monday Morning Ten Pack at Baseball Prospectus. He notes that scouts have seen some improvement from him at shortstop among a few other things.

Here is the schedule for the rest of the week:

  • Wednesday – Series Review: Henry Rodriguez
  • Thuersday – Team Progress Report
  • Friday – Dominican Summer League check in

45 Responses

  1. rgslone

    I too would be worried about rushing Rodriguez. It seems to me that he’s our best hitting prospect in regard to OBP skill set, and I certainly don’t want his development messed up or stunted. Also, he’s just coming off a hand injury (broken bone) so you would have to think that he needs time to fully regain his confidence and comfort level.

    On paper, it looks to me like Navarro would be one of the better options. He’s got plenty of MLB experience, he’s been hitting well – a particularly hopeful sign is he makes good contact – and he frees up Hanigan and Mes to be used as a bat more often.

  2. ron

    I saw someone else mention Navarro who is a switch hitter. Not sure they’d need another catcher though so Paul or H-Rod make the most sense. That means we’ll probably see Harris (facepalm)

    • rgslone

      ron, I’m looking at it from a hitting standpoint. I assume all the catchers can play 1B ok in a pinch. Plus, if Hanigan and Mes are two of our better hitting options, then a 3rd cather allows them to be used more freely for pinch hitting/1B (because we would still have a backup catcher).

      • ron

        Yeah I wasn’t referring to you when I said “someone else” … I saw it on a blog elsewhere. I agree with your reasoning and have no issue with Navarro being a bat off the bench. I saw he played 1B for two games last season so I guess he could be serviceable if called up. But, I think Dusty would plug Cairo in at 1B before going that route since that seems to be his tendency. He’ll ride a struggling vet well below the Mendoza line before he finally accepts defeat.

  3. Bill

    I like the idea of having Navarro come up to free up the bat of either Mes or Hanigan. Hanigan has proven he can handle MLB pitchers, and Mes has more potential than anyone that could help right away in the farm system. XPaul is the next best option, pending a trade.

    Time for the rest of the boys to step it up. Go Reds!

  4. Tim

    It would be really nice if Mesoraco could play at 1st to finally get him in the line up.

    • MK

      I don’t think he has played a game there professionally. Not as easy to pick up as it might seem, especially at the big league level. All you had to do is watch Sean Buckley at Dayton during the first half to see how tough the transition can be, and he was an infielder.

  5. sultan of swaff

    The assumption is that Rolen and Cairo will give you any kind of production at all. I have very little confidence that will happen, or that Rolen can even stay on the field while Votto is out. For those reasons, it has to be HRod, no?

    I also heartily endorse using Mez at 1B once a week and shifting Frazier to 3B. Anything to minimize the use of Rolen and Cairo.

    Doug, I’ll be donating for sure. Spend it on hookers and blow for all I care!!

    • Alan Horn

      I agree. HRod would be rushed, but there is almost no choice. Rolen had a great game Monday with the game winning hit, but like you, I have little confidence he can keep it up or stay on the field. We need help via a trade, but the price could be prohibitive.

  6. Krozley

    I hope it is not Navarro. No way I would give Dusty another reason to give less time to Mesoraco. Navarro has not had an OPS over .600 in the bigs the last 3 years and has never played anything but catcher (except for 2 games at Chattanooga last year). Mez has also never played anything but catcher, and even though I think at some point he should get some reps at 3B and 1B in the off-season, now is not the time. I would go with Paul as a lefty off the bench who can play all 3 OF slots and pray that Frazier, Rolen, and Cairo play well enough to stay within shouting distance of the Cardinals (not yet a believer in the Pirates) until Votto returns. Trading for a bat would be even better.

    • jim t

      Dusty will be giving Mez more time not less. Hanigan is starting to wear a little and Mez is looking more comfortable. By the way he has us in first place doing it his way. Actually we have become relevent in the pennant race regulary for the first time in years under his and walts leadership.

      • Bailey

        I’ll believe it when I see it. Clearly Hanigan is slowing down but with how the pitching staff is going right now I cannot see Dusty changing the catching rotation. Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future, I think the 60/40 split will continue

      • sagevic

        I would agree with your point that the picthing staff’s success would keep the cathing tandem the way it is (even though thatdrives Doug absolutely bonkers), but currently Hannigan has three consecutive starts and with the small number of days off we’re looking at this month I don’t think he can keep the catching rotation the way it is now. I doubt that Mes will catch Arroyo but I can see him catch Johnny or Mat.

      • Krozley

        I’m not sure how potentially having 3 catchers on the roster would enhance Mesoraco’s playing time, which was my point in not wanting Navarro.

  7. Krozley

    They have an open slot on the 40 man now anyway, so no move would be necessary if they bring up Paul. I’m guessing that was Carroll’s spot.

    I would only bring up HRod if he was going to get playing time (which he won’t with Dusty managing), so I would let him rake in Louisville.

    I also saw Dorn signed with the Tigers (minor league).

    • BaBull

      Good for Dorn! The Tigers have always been my 2nd favorite team. I hope he gets a chance that the Reds didn’t give him.

    • jim t

      Have you eve managed people before? I have for many years and I can tell you having a veteran instead of a unproven employee or player is most always the choice which produces the better results.While I like H-Rod’s progress throwing him into the mix with a few games in AAA is not a smart decision. Leave him in AAA where he can continue to develope.

      • Doug Gray

        Your profession isn’t professional sports. Age/experience means a whole lot less in pro sports compared to the real world.

      • jim t

        Lots of same principles especially when handling people. Sports are really about team building and working together to accomplish a goal. Using all your rescources. Onre of which is experience.Lots and lots of similarities. If you think experience in sports isn’t important I got a bridge to sell you.

    • sagevic

      You realize there are two rookies in the starting lineup virtually every game, right? You are forced to concede that point aren’t you?

      If Cairo had played as much as Frazier has and Valdez as much as Renteria did last year you might have an argument.

      I get that everyone hates Dusty. We hate his toothpick and his writbands and his “Clogging the bases” strategy. But somebody tell me which rookie in Cincinnati he’s let rot on the vine and which young picther for the Reds he’s ruined? I’m all ears.

      Losing Votto stinks. He’s the most indespenible player in baseball. But the anashtetic hasn’t even worn off from his surgery yet and we’ve already morphed this event into one more chance to dogpile on Dusty Baker.

      It boggles the mind….

      • Krozley

        Not sure what the beef is in what I said. I suggested NOT bringing up HRod as others have mentioned. My point is that HRod needs to play. If he was brought up, he wouldn’t play much as we all know Dusty would have Rolen and Cairo play ahead of him (whether you agree with that strategy or not). Thus, it doesn’t make sense to bring him up. Right now, I think we need to hope in Rolen, Cairo, and Frazier (as I also stated). I said nothing about hating Dusty, rookies rotting on the vine, or ruining young pitching.

      • sagevic

        Kroz

        You specifically said that HRod would not get sufficient playing time if he was called up. That is one of the two big criticisms of Baker that DON’T hold up (The other that he ruins young pitchers).

        If they called up Henry it would be to play him. If he isn’t ready to play everyday then they won’t do it. Guys like Costanzo and Negron were called up to be bench fillers.

        So if you think HRod wouldn’t get regular playing time then why are Cozart and Frazier getting it?

        You didn’t make a personal attack about Dusty’s idiosynchracies. That was a reference to the many, many others who have, both in other Reds’ blogs and to a lesser extent here.

      • Doug Gray

        Dusty has done better with pitchers than before. But to say he hadn’t done damage in the past is burying your head in the sand. Mark Prior, at age 22, averaged 121 pitches over the last 15 starts of the season. That is abuse. He was never the same after that and was never able to remain healthy from that point forward. Homer Bailey was ridden hard in 2009 at the end of the year because he was on a roll. He hasn’t made it a full healthy season since then. Aaron Harang debacle.

        Cozart is getting his time because there simply isn’t another option worthy of playing, at all. Not that he doesn’t deserve to be in the Majors, but what other option is there? Frazier has the second best OPS on the team and still can’t start every day for the likes of Scott Rolen and Chris Heisey to get some playing time.

      • BaBull

        I don’t hate Dusty. I have said it on this blog before that very same thing. When someone disagrees with him though, his apologists say we are haters. I have read it on Sheldons blog that if you disagree with Dusty you must be a racist, “you wouldn’t disagree with him if he was white” and other ridiculous statements. The tone of your comment on here, sagevic, doesn’t match the tone of others on here. If you are hearing/reading PERSONAL attacks on here then you are seeing things I don’t. Who on here has opined on toothpicks and wristbands in the negative? I have found that when one doesn’t like the debate they change the subject. Don’t be that guy, sagevic.

      • sagevic

        Bull,

        The debate, such as it was, was that calling up HROd is a bad idea not that he isn’t ready but that Dusty would put him third behind Rolen and Cairo. I refuted that becasue other rookies are getting regular playing time.

        I think Doug’s Blog is much more professional than other Reds’ boards out there, but it still happens here believe me.

        I wasn’t crying racism. I don’t think being an African American helps Dusty here, becasue he suited up for the other guys when he was a player. Being so off the wall is what drives teh fans crazy. Being an Afrcian American former opposing player who says and does off the wall things increases the agitation for many Reds fans, but that is a far cry from calling them racists. I’m not.

        While not today, the nickname ET (El Toothpick) has been brandished on this Message Board. So have references been made to “Clogging the bases” again and again.

        I get both complaints. Thhe paraphanalia looks like he’s always playing to the camera. So does wagging his finger at opposing players. A lot of Managers have that afliction.

        But not a lot of managers have been successful here. He has. I wish he wasn’t so wacky (just like my dad wished Sam Wyche wasn’t so nutty in his days as the Bengal coach) but he has won a division, is leading it again, and has managed a club that scored more runs than anyteam in the Laeague the last two seasons far beyond park affect, and now has the strongest pitching staff in the League, if not all of baseball currently, in th emost offensive friendly home park in the game.

        He’s not a top ten manager of all time. But he isn’t the bufoon he routinely gets painted to be.

        So I don’t think I changedthe subject. I fleshed out the context of what was really driving the discussion. That’s just the guy I am.

      • jim t

        Sagevic, I agree. You said it a lot better then I could or have. Thanks The most aggravating thing I read on the blogs is how Dusty is a idiot that never plays rookies and ruins pitchers. All spoken or written by people with no record op compare him to. Also they operate with 20/20 hindsight. When there theries are refuted they seem to disappear for awhile.

      • BaBull

        My point, sagevic, was that criticism of Dusty’s management style is NOT in and of itself a personal attack. I realize there are those that DO attack him personally but, I don’t see much of any of it on here – Doug wouldn’t allow it. I read posts on other sites and I just cringe. Dusty is a man and a very good one at that. Those that attack him, personally, says more about them than it does about Dusty. Racism is out there, sure, but not so much in the halls of power. Not in this day and age. Racism comes from the margins (both extremes) – those folks don’t have any influence on Dusty. Consider the source and let it roll off your back would be my advice to Dusty. Be the bigger man.

        There is one rookie who is a regular starter for this team – Cozart. He won the job in spring training. He hasn’t hit that well but, he hasn’t played himself out of the job. There is not another option. Frazier would not be playing much if Rolen and Votto hadn’t been hurt. Dusty has NO history, I believe, of playing a rookie player that is promoted mid-season – ESPECIALLY if he has a veteran that would have to sit. If Rolen is healthy, no matter his production or lack thereof, he IS going to play until he sits himself. That is Dusty’s history. Most fans are addressing those types of issues with Dusty. HRod, whether he is ready or not, isn’t going to play in front of him.

        To those who post on here and elsewhere: please refrain from personal attacks on Dusty and other posters. Don’t be that guy.

  8. Krozley

    The Marlins are apparently open to trading anyone. I wonder what it would take to get Logan Morrison. He could fill in for Votto and then move to left field. Wouldn’t be arbitration eligible next year (i.e. still cheap) and I know he and the Marlins have had some issues. It would probably take a lot though.

  9. MikeD

    JimT,
    Dusty doesn’t have the Reds in first place, talent does. In fact this team has underperformed relative to their talent. Hanigan provides nothing offensively to a team that needs production.

    I just donated $100.00 to Doug and his site. Like someone said, do whatever you like with it Doug. I fully want to support you and the hard work you put in. Now come on guys, lets support the effort Doug puts into it! Thank you Doug!

    • jim t

      MikeD, so you think leadership is overrated. Balancing 25 ego’s is a piece of cake. LOL

    • sagevic

      Mike, do you feel that the talent now is considerably better then it was in every season from 1996 to 2009, when we finished out of the post-season?

      Because I do think we have better picthing and way, way better defense. But I think the hitting was solid on a lot of those clubs. So either it really is about the pitching (which renders our obsession with the line-up rather moot) or the Reds did have enough talent to win, at least win more than they did, and still always came up just a bit short. Or some years, a lot short.

      I don’t think it’s a stretch that the last Manager to get us to the playoffs was Davey Johnson, and that he’s still managing and managing well. Or is it a great shock to me that the Managers who followed Davey have all hung up their skipper’s hats (Not counting Jack McKeon who simply isn’t as ageless as we’d all like to believe).

      Dusty isn’t perfect, and I hope he takes a job elsewhere next season, but the broken record about not playing rookies is tired, and this season at the very least, dead wrong.

  10. jim t

    MikeD, many on here advocate Hanigan as the 2 hole hitter because of his ability to get on base. He is hitting 277 from 8 hole to say he provides nothing is quite a overstatement.

    • Bailey

      I’m not claiming that Hanigan would not be an upgrade over the current 2 hole production but assuming he could maintain his OBP batting in front of someone other than the pitcher would be a mistake

      • jim t

        Bailey I see your point and I’ll add I’m not one advocating he hit second.But many have. He has done a nice job for us.

  11. jim t

    MikeD, we have a serious gap in our views if you think this team has underperformed. Lots of holes and losing Madson and Massett haven’t helped. Underperforming players such as Rolen,Stubbs,Bruce to some degree and no lefty on the bench. Not to mention the bench itself. You have to be kidding right.

  12. MikeD

    JimT

    With all due respect, that’s like the most overused statement. Dusty hasn’t proven that he’s handling egos any better than any other manager. He instead claims that he’s smarter than everyone and he should not be questioned. Sorry I don’t buy that. Hanigan is a nice backup catcher that would not get the same pitches he sees in the 8 hole. Mez has already shown that he’s more productive with more power and RBI’s in far less at bats. Using your own criteria he has proven that he should be playing every day. If this team had 7 hitter ahead of Hanigan producing they might be able to get away with a punch hitter in the 8th hole, but that’s far from the case. Heck they would be better off with Stubbs in the 8th hole and Mez batting 4th with Phillips leading off. I know, I know, Dusty would never do that because he’s a rookie. That’s poor thinking!

    I do appreciate your comments even if I don’t agree with some of them.

    V/R

    • jim t

      Bobby Valentine is one. I think Mez will one day be the everyday catcher. I think that day is rapidly approaching but early in the year he wasn’t ready handle the staff. He is improving. He is almost there in my opinion. If I was asked the same questions everyday by people who aren’t qualified to do my job I would same as him get a little annoyed. You may want to look at both sides of a situation.

      I also like your feedback.

    • sagevic

      Hannigan is not a back-up catcher based on production. On defense and OBP he’s easily on of the 30 best receivers in all of Baseball.

      And Mesaraco did catch three of the five starters to begin the year. When Latos had an historic meltdown Hannigan started catching him. I wouldn’t blame Mes for that, but that’s the way it went down.

      If Mes had hit like Frazier has hit, he’s start catching Latos again. He’s caught Johnny before, so if Latos wants Hanny to be his caddy I could see Devin take that spot.

      But mes didn’t start out like that. He’s hitting better now and that’s great. But he wasn’t better for much of the first half of the season than Hannigan was and his defense will probably be better than Ryan’s who is in the top 5 in all of baseball behind the Dish.

      I would let Mes play more. He’s got more upside. I think he got too much blame for the starters’ horrendous record with him catching the first two months of the season. But he was the one doing the catching while Latos and Leake stunk it up to begin the season. And Arroyo was hardly a world beater last year so Ryan wasn’t handed a much easier task.

      I really think this comes down to personality issues with Dusty. Nothing he could every do will make him palatable to his critics.

      Someone like Doug who comes from a very specific hardline Baseball philosophy (one that Dusty, like Joe Morgan, doesn’t subscribe to) is a purist who will never agree with Baker’s decisions or really many at all of most of Dusty’s peers in the Managing ranks.

      Terry Francona would be great. I hope he’s in Cincy next year. I’m not holding my breath. And for the record I scratch my head about Dusty’s statements too. But I have no personal animosity for him (or anyone else in baseball) and too much of the ciriticism he gets about handling players is based not on fact but on perception.

    • Doug Gray

      I haven’t looked at it in AA, which is the only place you are going to be able to get that from him at this point.

  13. Scott from upstate NY

    Any updates on Travieso? Will he make a start in the AZL this summer?

    • Doug Gray

      Someone had tweeted him about it two weeks ago and he said about 3 weeks or so, so I imagine sometime near the end of the month, if he was given the right information.

  14. MikeD

    Now you see Jim, there’s a good comment (question)! LOL