Minor League Game Review – 7/22/12 Doug Gray July 23, 2012 94 Comments 7/22 Game Review Louisville lost 9-3 in 12 innings. Box Score Denis Phipps went 3-6 with a HR (7) and 2 RBI. Didi Gregorius went 1-5 with a double and a walk. Willie Harris went 3-6. Chris Valaika went 3-5 with a solo HR (5). Cody Puckett went 2-4 with a double and a run. Tim Gustafson allowed a run in 5.2 innings with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. JJ Hoover allowed an unearned run in 1.2 innings with 3 strikeouts. Game notes Kanekoa Texeira and Josh Judy combined to allow 6 runs in the 12th inning. Denis Phipps is on fire, hitting .409/.480/.636 in his last 10 games. Pensacola won 1-0. Box Score Billy Hamilton went 3-4 with a double and a run. Josh Fellhauer went 1-4 with a double and an RBI. Ryan LaMarre went 2-4. Brodie Greene went 2-4. Wirfin Obispo threw 5 shutout innings with a walk and 6 strikeouts. Brian Pearl threw a shutout inning. Curtis Partch threw 2 perfect innings with 3 strikeouts. Game notes Great pitching all around as 5 pitchers combined to allow just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 12. Wirfin Obispo lowered his ERA in AA to 2.48. Curtis Partch lowered his ERA as a reliever in AA to 2.23. Billy Hamilton raised his line to .333/.455/.528 with Pensacola to go with 8 walks and 7 strikeouts. He was caught stealing and is now just 8 of 12 in AA steal attempts. The win moves the Blue Wahoos to 18-12 where they are tied for first place with Montgomery. Bakersfield won 10-3. Box Score Theo Bowe went 3-5 with a double, steal (50) and 3 runs. Travis Mattair went 3-5 with a HR (16), 3 RBI and 2 runs. Steve Selsky went 1-4 with a walk, HR (11) and 2 runs. Dominic D’Anna went 1-4 with a HR (3), walk and 2 RBI. Chris Berset went 2-5 with a HR (2) and 3 RBI. Tanner Robles allowed 2 runs in 5.2 innings with a walk and 6 strikeouts. Justice French threw 1.1 shutout innings. Andrew Brackman threw a perfect inning of relief wit a strikeout. Game notes Theo Bowe raised his line in Bakersfield to .345/.419/.435 and has 50 total steals this season. Steve Selsky has been with the Blaze for 31 games and has hit .333/.415/.642. Travis Mattair has 5 home runs in July, his most since April. Tanner Robles has a 1.93 ERA in 4 starts in A+. Dayton lost 6-2. Box Score Kyle Waldrop went 2-4 with a triple and a run. Yovan Gonzalez went 1-3 with a run. Junior Arias went 2-3 with a double. Jefry Sierra went 1-3. Lucas O’Rear threw 2.1 shutout innings with a walk and 3 strikeouts. Cole Green threw a perfect inning of relief with a strikeout. Game notes Radhames Quezada was scratched from the start with shoulder soreness. Game links Postgame article from DaytonDragons.com. Billings won 13-8. Box Score Gabriel Rosa went 2-6 with a run and 2 RBI. Jesse Winker went 1-3 with a walk and RBI. Beau Amaral went 1-1 with 2 RBI and 2 runs. Seth Mejias-Brean went 5-5 with a double, triple, walk, 2 runs and 3 RBI. Jeff Gelaluch went 4-6 with a HR (1) and 3 RBI. Taylor Wrenn went 4-6 with a double and 2 runs. Fray Sosa went 2-5 with a double, RBI, walk and 3 runs. Ismael Guillon allowed a run in 3.1 innings with 4 walks and 3 strikeouts. Alejandro Chacin threw 2 hitless innings with a walk and 3 strikeouts. Game notes Jesse Winker was replaced in the game following a pop up to shortstop. Seth Mejias-Brean raised his line to .420/.492/.680 in 14 games. Alejandro Chacin lowered his ERA to 2.38. AZL Reds won 6-4. Box Score Brent Peterson went 2-5 with a solo HR (1) and 2 runs. Avain Rachal went 2-5 with a run. Humberto Valor went 1-1. Jhimmy Lopez went 2-4 with a double, run and 2 RBI. Argenis Aldazoro went 2-4 with a double, RBI and a run. Elliot Hargreaves went 3-4 with a double and an RBI. Nick Travieso threw a perfect inning with a strikeout. Richard McCaffrey allowed an unearned run in 3 innings with 2 strikeouts. Chris Joyce (rehab) threw 2 shutout innings with 4 strikeouts. Game notes Tanner Rahier had to be helped off of the field after taking a ball to the head while in the field, but was on the field after the game with the team. Nick Travieso made his pro debut and worked a perfect inning to start the game. Avain Rachal raised his average to .338 on the season. Game preview Team 1st half 2nd half Time Probable Box Score Listen Live Watch Live Louisville 38-65 N/A 7:05pm Gallagher Here Here Here Pensacola 34-35 18-12 OFF OFF Here Here N/A Bakersfield 41-29 14-17 OFF OFF Here Here N/A Dayton 30-40 10-18 7:00pm Gerson Here Here Here Billings 18-15 N/A 9:05pm TBA Here Here N/A AZL Reds 6-18 N/A OFF OFF Here N/A N/A 94 Responses MikeD July 23, 2012 Seems like people are concerned with Billy H’s getting caught stealing or when he steals. It should not be acceptable from his coaches standpoint if he’s making poor decisions, however I have no problem with him at this point. He’s in minor leagues and he will learn, sometimes the hard way. I honestly only follow his stolen bases as a novelty, but pay far more attention to his overall hitting and fielding. In the end, the stolen bases will be there, but the other facets are what’s in question. I think the Reds have to be extremely pleased overall with the current team and the development of future Reds. With the General, Bill H and some strong arms at AA, they Reds can compete now and into the future. The owner has certainly made the difference in sending the message by signing his core players. Good to see the fans showing up and I hope that continues to get better! jim t July 23, 2012 MikeD, ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!! Larry August 25, 2012 My son and I saw Billy H. play SS for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (love that team name) earlier this month and he beat out a 20 foot dribbler, stole second, stole third and came home on the catcher’s overthrow to 3rd base. It was a 5-0 win and an exciting game to watch!! Terry M July 23, 2012 Doug Partch continues to impress. I have read where he can run his FB up to 97 What else does he throw and is it a good 2nd pitch ?? He has had only one bad appearance recently.. Doug Gray July 23, 2012 http://redsminorleagues.com/2012/05/21/quick-look-at-wirfin-obispo-and-curtis-partch/ Check that out. The Duke July 23, 2012 I understand taking it slow with Travieso, but only 1 inning? A perfect one at that, so he couldn’t have thrown that many pitches. I was expecting something like 3 IP, but they know what they’re doing. jim t July 23, 2012 Would anyone be disappointed if the only move Reds made at the deadline was a LH hitter for the bench? Foxred July 23, 2012 Yes. I would. This team needs a LH platoon starter at least for CF. We need a LH starting OF against RH for the playoffs or this team will get exploited against RHP in the playoffs. The Duke July 23, 2012 No, i’d rather stand pat than make a dumb move. If we could get Span without giving up any of Hamilton/Corcino/Cingrani i’d be pretty pleased. Stephenson can’t be traded yet, or else i’d include him in that group. To me, Stephenson is our most untouchable prospect once he becomes trade eligable. Alan Horn July 23, 2012 I agree. Other teams want to gut our farm system for someone like Willingham etc. We can’t afford to back the truck up with our top prospects like we did in the last two trades. Maybe, a few years down the road we can. The second concern is paying for them. In the event we do have the money, I would just wait and see who is available as a free agent. A free agent won’t cost us a boatload of players in return. There are limits to being all in(at least for the Reds). jim t July 23, 2012 Alan i certainly understand your point but i would have to ask the question is our goal to win a Championship or compete every year. Looking at the Teams right now. The big market clubs are not overwhelming favorites to win. Yankees,Angles,Red Sox Dodgers and Mets all have holes. They also seem at or near their spend threshold or don’t have the rescources to trade for a big piece. Texas is the team I fear if we make it that far. Having Cueto,Latos and Bailey could give us a big three for the playoff. We also have a shutdown Closer which is huge. Could getting that one bat put us over the top? WS Championships are very rare in our market. Also with all these pieces we have if we don’t trade them were do they fit with everyone we have signed longterm and are we sure they will ever even make it to the ML’s? If we can win NOW I’m all for it. Our core is signed longterm. lets truly be all in and get a hitter. The Duke July 23, 2012 The problem is of the guys that are available, are they really big time middle of the order hitters? Willingham? Upton? No one out there is a sure thing to even outproduce BP in the 4 slot. Quentin is resigned now, but even he had some big question marks. It’s not just always wanting to hold onto our guys for the future, it is also the lackluster market. jim t July 23, 2012 Duke, Agree with you. It has to be the right player. I think Unton is that player. Alan Horn July 23, 2012 Most of you are bigger on Upton than I am. Not the best attitude and his numbers have fallen off lately. I would be very hesitant to give up the rest of the farm for him. Scott from upstate NY July 23, 2012 Agreed re: Upton. In my opinion the “All in” mantra had more meaning before Votto and Phillips were extended. While the Reds are playing well at the moment, I still have concerns about their play against better caliber teams, and their dependence on the long ball. That being said I hate paying a premium for a temporary patch or the price it would take to get Upton. Greg July 23, 2012 What better caliber of teams have the Reds struggled against? Alan Horn July 23, 2012 I think the top hitter would probably greatly enhance our chances, I don’t agree with (1) That Upton is that player (2) We should sacrifice the rest of our farm system along with a chunk from the parent club to obtain him no matter who it is. Ludwick is hitting much better lately and Heisey has been ok also. If we could acquire someone like Laynce Nix(I think he has been hurt), I think we will be ok for this year at least. Essentially, you would be trading for the difference in Ludwick/Heisey/Nix or ? and whomever we acquire(Upton or ?). Scott from upstate NY July 23, 2012 I was thinking of the Nationals winning 5 of 7 games early in the season. More to the point I’m not ready to call the Reds a dominant team. MK July 23, 2012 World Championships are not only rare for the market, but the team only has 5 in its history (1 in the last 35 years). Any prospect in the organization that can bring a player to secure that is worth it. RobL July 23, 2012 I do agree that championships are rare, and opportunites should be seized. However, making a move secures nothing. The Giants last year needed hitting and they went out and got the best hitter available in Beltran. They immediately swan dived and didn’t even make the playoffs. Now they have no pennant to show for it and lost their top prospect. I think any player in the minors that has a future with the big team should be off limits right now, unless a long term player is brought back. I just don’t know if the Reds can add more payroll for the upcoming season or two. Add a lefty bat rental and only give up fringe prospects. Otherwise sit tight and roll with what got ya here. jim t July 23, 2012 Doug, Looks like Y-Rod is finding his swing. You think he may have been rushed a bit? In my opinion he is still a big part of the future of this team. He has all the tools. Was it more a head issue or a physical issue? The Duke July 23, 2012 I saw his at bats yesterday and he was hacking. Make me worry he. is just running into balls over the plate against weaker competition more than anything. To be fair he did foul a ball off his leg in his second at bat, so that may have been bothering him. Albeit in his last at bat, down 3, runners on the corners he chases a pitch low and away on the first pitch and gets just enough of it to send a weak flyball to RF to end the inning. It was not a pitch to drive on a 0-0 count, that’s for sure. The guy how I don’t know how he isn’t hitting better is Waldrop. This kid impresses me every time I see him, but he can’t seem to hit much over ,270. His swing looks way better than YRod’s, at least in my layman’s view. Doug Gray July 23, 2012 In hindsight, yes. His hitting .340 in Billings was probably one of the worst things that could have happened. Despite being young, he showed struggles with plate discipline. He went to Dayton and did more of the same, but his raw talent couldn’t make up for it as much. He is still showing some of those problems. While he isn’t as bad as Juan Francisco in that department, it is a concern that he can’t make the improvements needed there. ExactlyEsasky July 23, 2012 So, what’s the story on Winker? Seems like he’s been pulled mid-game several times. A bit of tough love from the coaching staff? On Hamilton, I think it’s good news for his long-term development that he’s getting thrown out a little more. You get the impression he has a kind of I’m-indestructible confidence, and I’m sure you need that to be a good basestealer, but you also need to read the pitcher / catcher / count / situation. Seems like he’s been so successful that he hasn’t had to learn that stuff yet; perhaps he will now. Doug Gray July 23, 2012 Don’t really know. I know at least once was for an injury. Tim July 23, 2012 I just read John Fay’s morning line that he always writes for Cincinnati.com and he says he heard from a Red’s insider that they were offered a straight-up Ondrusek-for-Victorino trade and the Reds turned down the deal. Wow if thats true! jim t July 23, 2012 Tim, young team controlled good arms are not what I would give up for a rental. If they would take Massett I would do it. Victorino is not setting world on fire this year. jim t July 23, 2012 Tim another thought is Victorino makes a little over 7 mil a year. Lots of money to pay for a guy hitting 253 and a 317 obp. Especially when you consider your opaying him 3.7 mil for remainder of the year for that production. and he walks after the year. A minor leaguer would be more in line unless they are willing to eat some salsry. Tim July 23, 2012 Victorino got MVP votes just last year and has a good track record and only 31. If he was tearing the cover off the ball the Phillies would want a lot more than just a middle reliever for him. Its a classic buy while the stock is low. Doug Gray July 23, 2012 Eh, Ondrusek is easily replaceable at this point. He is our worst bullpen arm. He doesn’t strike anyone out and he walks nearly as many as he strikes out. That is not a good recipe. Jimmer July 23, 2012 Agreed. With the way Simon has pitched he can easily be moved into Logan’s spot. Hoover was just as good when he was up earlier in the year. jim t July 23, 2012 Doug, Ondrusek was pitching lights out early in year. He was huge for this team. He may be a little worn out right now but he is a good arm. If i’m eating salary with a guy who is hitting 253 with a OBP of 317 they ain’t getting a arm as good as Ondrusek. You guys kill me. Here is a guy who if he didn’t do his job early in the year we may have been in more trouble then we were. Now he is easily replaceable by a bunch of guys who haven’t done it. you don’t tinker with one of the strongest positions on the team. I’m not saying we don’t go after Victorino but i’m not tinkering with the pen for a guy who may or may not be that much of a improvement in what we are running out there. Especialy when he can walk after the year and the salary is 3.5 until the end of the year. if I’m eating 3.5 in salary they ain’t getting Ondrusek. If he is so easily replaceable why would Philly want him? Doug Gray July 23, 2012 He has a good arm, but he is getting by on smoke and mirrors and has been for a while now. Over the last two seasons he has a walk rate of 4.3, which is Edinson Volquez type bad, and a strikeout rate of 6.1, which is below average. He is successful because he has a strong defense behind him and he has been able to keep the ball in the park. One of the last guys I want on the mound with the bases loaded is Ondrusek because he is likely to walk a guy or allow someone to put it in play. Those aren’t traits I look for in good relievers. The argument that someone is good because someone wants him is silly. A lot of poor players have jobs. I will take my chances with JJ Hoover over Ondrusek and I wouldn’t think twice about it. Better stuff, better control. Greg July 23, 2012 Hell Lecure has over taken him imo. jim t July 23, 2012 GREG, two different roles. Greg July 23, 2012 No Im saying he could fill that role and plus LeCure has been getting a few more late inning chances of late. jim t July 23, 2012 Greg, I like lecure but again I like pitching depth.Having lots of good young arms is not a problem it is a good thing. Victorino is a expensive player who can walk after this year. He isn’t even performing well this year. He can be had for less then Ondrusek. If I give up Ondrusek Philly better be paying some salary. jim t July 23, 2012 Doug, again not saying ondusek is irreplaceable. i’m saying we don’t give up his kind of talent to take on a guy who is making over 7mil a year and is hitting 253 opb 317 isn a walk year. Just because Hoover can or can’t replace him I don’t give good young arms away. Now if you want to package him in a bigger deal for Upton I’m on board. Doug Gray July 23, 2012 I guess we differ in what is a good young arm. Ondrusek is 27 years old, not exactly young. He also hasn’t exactly inspired much confidence over the last two seasons despite a strong ERA. The Duke July 23, 2012 Seems like the epitome of selling high on Ondrusek. Most every indicator says he’ll regress back towards the mean if his peripherals stay the same. Alan Horn July 23, 2012 I’m with you Jim. He gets the job done and is salary controlled for a while. I would do Masset also. Ondrusek also has a tendency so far to stay off the DL. Sultan of Swaff July 23, 2012 Wow. I would have made that trade and not thought twice about it. Still, I’m not sure that trade makes sense for the Phillies. I’m comfortable going into September and beyond with the addition of a LH platoon bat for LF and a new CF. The Victorino/Span/DeJesus options make too much sense not to do. Jim H. July 23, 2012 Totally agree on the trade. I like Victorino and think a move into playoff run would light a fire. Can’t believe that deal was actually offered nor do I think the Reds would have turned it down. Tim July 23, 2012 I think the Phillies want to dump Victorinos salary and they might view Ondrusek as a very good/possible closer of the future. Doug Gray July 23, 2012 If they view him as a closer, they are nuts. Walks a ton of guys. Doesn’t strike out anyone. Guys like that usually pitch in AAA or in the 5th inning. Greg July 23, 2012 Sounds like CoCo MK July 23, 2012 Sounds like Houston Street. The Duke July 23, 2012 And the Reds have a guy ready to fill that middle innings role in Hoover, or give Simon a little more responsibility and have Hoover eat innings when needed. IndyRedsFan July 23, 2012 If the Reds turned down the Ondrusek for Victorino deal…it wasn’t becasue they wanted to keep Ondrusek…it was because they didn’t want to pay Victorino’s salary. I could still see it happening if the Phils decide to pick up some/all of his remaining salary. zblakey July 23, 2012 With all this talk of trades as the deadline approaches, has anyone done any analysis on the Reds big off-season trades with the Cubs and Padres? Are the Reds better off (at this point) having made those deals? Have they had a big impact on the season? Sultan of Swaff July 23, 2012 I think it’s obvious the Padres won big (at least in the short term) in the Latos deal. Volquez/Grandal are giving them a lot value, and Yonder hasn’t been too bad either. Sort of expected thought, right? Sappelt has an OPS ~.660 at AAA. Wood has been pitching well as of late, but started poorly. I think we won that trade, if only because we locked up Marshall long term. Tony Cloninger July 23, 2012 Volquez would NEVER have pitched anywhere close to what he has in SD…if he was here in Cincy. And do not let the 1 hitter fool you….the guy is still barely pitching 5-6 innings and walking a ton of people. As you can see by what the Reds pitchers did in SF and especially SD…… you give just about anyone a big ballpark to play with and they can pitch better. Yonder is barely Sean Casey in that park. Grandal has yet to take a walk…but he is the one I was sad about leaving. Maybe Brox too. Jimmer July 23, 2012 Volquez’s complete game 1 hitter was pretty sweet the other night though it was aganist Houston. sagevic July 24, 2012 Good point baout Grandal Tony. His inability to walk at all would keep him in the 8 slot, neutralizing his power since no one would pitch to him with men on base and the pitcher behind him. His defense looked solid when the Reds were in SD but it was only four games. I’ll be interested to see where his numbers finish up this year. jim t July 23, 2012 Sultan, Wood has been terrible in his last two outings. I also think you have to factor in the parks they play in. while Latos hasn’t been especially sharp in all his games we have won most of his starts. While grandall has hit well I think in the end Mez will be the better catcher. I also think by the end of the year Latos will be a huge upgrade. Greg July 23, 2012 IMO in both of the trades I think it was a win win on both trades. I still would have liked to see the Reds keep both Volquez and Wood to see what they could have gotten for those 2 straight up, but they may have also been the deal breakers not sure. Time will tell if Torres makes any kind of impact at the major league level. We can’t get hung up on who did better because you also have to give up talent. I know everybody talks about San Diego winning that trade with Reds but look at their pitching staff and it is way below average and the Reds got that top of the rotation starter they were looking for. Now does it look like the Reds maybe should have gone after Gio Gonzalez instead, nobody knows if the A’s liked the package the Reds were offering, but so far I like that trade for the Reds. sagevic July 24, 2012 In terms of winning or losing trades, you really don’t want to do either. Obvously you don’t want to give up a good player for a poor one. But if you get a better player than you send over there can complications that hurt you in the long run. If the player has a physical issue that is causing his struggles youc an look like you were holding back information. If prospects stop developing as soon as they get to another system it makes your organization look overvalued. And if you just flat out crush the other guy in the deal you look ruthless and untrustworthy. All of that will lower the numbers of possible trading partners and that weakens your bargaining position. What you relaly want is a deal that works out for everyone. That isn’t always possible, but some GMs (mots notably Billy Beane) become so concerned with getting more value in return then what the give up in the deal, eventually teams stop taking their calls. Beane kept his job, but he’s lingered in mediocrity for a decade. jim t July 23, 2012 Zblakey, having Marshall and Latos has been huge. If we didn’t have Latos we would still have Volquez starting. While Latos hasn’t been as good as I had hoped to this point, in our park and on this staff he has had better numbers than I think Volqwuez could have put up. The old change of senery cliche. It was time for Volquez to move on.Grandall was stuck behind Mez. Alonzo behind Votto. Boxberger has a good arm but he wasn’t gong to help this year. Marshall has been huge. Especially considering all the injuries. Madson,Bray and Massett. Plus we signed him longterm. Wood has had a few good outings but has struggled in his last two. Sappelt and Torreys have stepped back. I think trades were a win for the Reds. Greg July 23, 2012 Has anybody heard the rumors on 700 WLW about Casey makiing a comeback? jim t July 23, 2012 That was I think started by mark Amazon,Tracy jones and his side kick. I call them the three stooges of talk radio. Actually they do have a purpose. Nothing makes me turn off the radio quicker and look for something to do around the house then those three coming on the air. WLW really needs a upgrade. Greg July 23, 2012 So probably not a lot of truth to that because I was floored when I heard Jones say he was either going to play for the Reds or the Pirates this year. Scott from upstate NY July 23, 2012 Not sure if anyone made it out to Cooperstown? I had a great time, even amongst the Cub fans. Had my picture taken with Charlie Hustle, and took video of Saturday evening’s parade of Hall of Famers. Didn’t know it at first until I heard behind me “Tom can I take a picture with you?” and there was Tom Browning. Earlier on a side street Eric Davis, Dave Parker and Lou Pinella were signing and chatting with Reds fans. I saw some great Cubs and Yankee hater type t-shirts that made me laugh. On Sunday I set up my lawn chair in the second row behind the tour bus designated red chairs at 10AM and endured the burning sun. It was a blast, and the time passed by as they showed video’s of the stories of Hall of Famers Spahn, Frank Robinson, Killebrew and a great interview of Jerry Seinfeld talking about “Who’s on First”. Sons and fathers tossed the baseball back and fourth in the space behind the seats. Johhny Bench did a humorous Harry Carey impersonation while donning a Cub uniform. Larkin’s daughter sang the national anthem, and Santo’s wife gave a moving speech, and Larkin told some humerous stories in his speech as I’m sure you all watched. Only thing I was dissapointed in was I couldn’t find a pub that had the Reds game on in town Saturday night, and I couldn’t stay Monday when Barry was scheduled to make himself available to the fans. Doug I promoted you and your website to the all the Reds fans I conversed with, I was hoping I would bump into someone that posts but I did not. It may be quite a while before the next Red is inducted so I made sure not to miss this one. Tim McCarver explained it best: “Miles of smiles”. Doug Gray July 23, 2012 While I am sure Griffey will be in rather soon, and as a Mariner, he spent a good chunk of his career as a Red. Scott from upstate NY July 23, 2012 True, but I don’t have the same respect for Griffey as I do for Larkin. Doug Gray July 23, 2012 Well that is a shame. RobL July 23, 2012 While Griffey may not have you’re favorite status, I have no idea why he wouldn’t have your respect. Larkin spent plenty of time on the DL in his career as well. The problem for Junior was his value was in power and his injuries sapped that power. Greg July 23, 2012 Do you think that Giffey wants anything to do with the Reds. I dont think he has a very high opionion of the organization or the fans after the way he was run out of town. I kind of think that he regrets ever forcing that trade. I loved him with the Reds it was just to bad that injuries took away his very gifted abilities and he also had a very cheap owner (who had no business owning a MLB team). Fans will never appreciate Griffey! Now if Griffey ever took PEDs then maybe he could have been the player we all thought he was going to be but he didnt and he did what all older ball players do and that is get old and watch their skills evaporate. BaBull July 23, 2012 Junior was born with all the ability in the world. He dazzled us while he was in Seattle and we were blinded to the fact that even though he was mega-talented he did not work on it – he was born with it. He was notoriously lazy and suffered numerous hammy injuries which are a direct byproduct of not working out. No, it seems he didn’t use PEDs. He earns my respect for staying away from them. Overall, I have more respect for the guy that isn’t born with a silver bat in his hand but works his ass off to get better and rise above his talent. Doug Gray July 23, 2012 Griffey was an incredibly hard worker. The idea that he was lazy is and was always one of the most ridiculous things ever. The guy had his body fall apart. He was the largest ever center fielder to play on astroturf for 10+ years. Is there any wonder his legs were shot by the time he was 31? BaBull July 23, 2012 You are the first person, Doug, that I have ever heard say that about Griffey. I have heard from insiders and read stories done by guys that had reason to know otherwise. I don’t have first-hand knowledge so I have relied on others who should know and I hope not have a reason to deceive. Doug Gray July 23, 2012 I too have talked to people with first hand knowledge who talked about how much time he spent before the game, before BP, down in the cage, working on his swing. Every day. BaBull July 24, 2012 Why then are there 2 distinct views on it? Working on his swing in the cage is one thing. Taking care of your body and putting in the leg work is something entirely different. Doug Gray July 24, 2012 How does one take care of their body to prevent what happened to him. Again, it should be noted that no one his size ever played center field for as long a period of time on astroturf. Ask players how much that stuff sucked and how much it wore you down. Then ask them how it was as a guy who was 215 at an up the middle position. Well, they probably can’t tell you because no one else that big played up the middle on astroturf, much less for 12 years. BaBull July 24, 2012 If his size and the turf weren’t compatible for the long-term (more than 12 yrs) in CF and his work ethic was as you say and better than otherwise reported, I would have liked to have seen him moved off the position earlier. If he could have stayed healthy (or healthier) all of the records would have been broken easily. He had (and probably still has) the sweetest swing I have ever seen. I am not anti-Griff. I wanted him to achieve those records. I was greatly disappointed with most of his years in C-nati as everyone else. It was a storybook setting. If, in fact, he was as hard of a worker as you say I am even more disappointed that his years here didn’t turn out well. I am also disappointed in my sources who led me to believe otherwise. Greg July 23, 2012 Does Phillips have any chance at the Hall. IMO he is the Ozzie Smith of 2B and very productive hitter. I would think Votto might have a chance if he keeps up the current pace he is on, but not sure he will be able to, if there is one guy that could do it would be him. Jay Bruce maybe if the light switch ever comes on. Sultan of Swaff July 23, 2012 Votto should be a shoo-in if he maintains for another 5-6 years and has a graceful decline. Phillips had a bit of a late start, so he would need to maintain a high level probably til the end of his contract. It’s a long shot IMO. Here’s where he compares: Player BP Whitaker Sandberg Biggio Alomar Runs 620 1386 1318 1814 1500 Hits 1186 2369 2386 3060 2700 OPS .783 .789 .795 .796 .814 Boy, Lou Whitaker is getting hosed, huh? Greg July 23, 2012 None of those guys besides Alomar could hold a candle to BPs defense. Still think he could win maybe the next 5-6 Gold Gloves and mabe get to around 2300-2400 hits. Sandberg so overated its not funny. You talk about a guy because he played in a big market got a lot more Pub than he should have gotten. I know that he was a big time power hitter for 2B but that was a limited number of years and even though he played good D his range was very limited and he would admit that himself. Whitaker and Trammel probably both getting hosed? MK July 23, 2012 Long way to go. Greg July 23, 2012 You are right it just goes to show how hard it is to make the HOF. Basically 4-5 in a genaration are selected, it by far is the best HOF of all major sports. sagevic July 24, 2012 I’m probably Brandon’s biggest fan on this board, but his career would have to completely transform for hinm to go into the Hall. Considering his age, that’s really not likely. I’d love to see a guy like Brandon go if he can play long enough to compile 300 HRs and 2000 Hits while playing oustanding defense then some purely offensive player who hits 500 HRs or 2500 Hits. Those numbers might get a 10 time Gold Glove winner in at SS. The problem is, Brandon is a long way away from 10 GGs. And not only is second base undervalued defensively, Brandon is not unanimously considered the best defender at his position. I think he is, but there are alot of people who feel he’s over-rated, and some of them have Hall votes. In the end I think he’ll be remembered as a very good player, but not a HOFer. Jim H. July 23, 2012 More Billy Hamilton love, this time SI: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/albert_chen/07/23/billy-hamilton-reds-stolen-base-record/index.html?eref=twitter_feed Sultan of Swaff July 23, 2012 Here’s the money quote that gets me excited: “He can swing the bat,” says Griffey. “If [the Reds] do decide to call him up, I know he can handle the job really well, and it’s not just pinch hitting and pinch running. He can play. Billy can handle the bat pretty good.” Greg July 23, 2012 It looks like the Braves are close to aquiring Dempster. Now that is the team in the National League that scares me especially with Dempster. joered July 23, 2012 Has anyone heard if Alex Gordon is availible? The Royals are out of it and Span, Victorino, and Pierre don’t do it for me. Could be a stretch but I think we have the peices to make a trade for him. Thoughts? jim t July 23, 2012 Yankees interested. Terry M July 23, 2012 Yanks trade for Ichiro…. mort July 23, 2012 Didn’t seem like a whole lot to give up for Ichiro. I wonder what would have been our comparable minor leaguers if we would have made that trade? The Duke July 23, 2012 Don’t we have enough sub .300 OBP outfielders? mort July 24, 2012 Just wondering what the equal value would be as far as market value for this trade. Randy in Chatt July 23, 2012 Gordon could play 3B and outfield!!!! Just saying. charliefunny July 23, 2012 Anyone know if Pigott is injured for Billings? He hasn’t played since Friday the 13th! (cue the twilight zone music) when he batted .324. Thanks Doug Gray July 23, 2012 I don’t recall seeing anything about it, but at this point you have to imagine it is something. The rookie level teams don’t need to use their DL too often because they have such a large roster limit. charliefunny July 24, 2012 I emailed the Mustangs so will post their reply. Doug Gray July 24, 2012 I have emailed them in the past and haven’t gotten much response. Had much better luck emailing the guys who cover the Mustangs at the Billings Gazette.