Every so often teams will have to take top prospects and demote them. It’s not something that they like to do, but it’s not unheard of. One of the most famous ones in the Reds organization was when Joey Votto was demoted to Billings in the second half during the 2003 season after hitting .231/.348/.287. He rebounded well, hitting .317/.452/.488 with Billings, and the rest is history. For Michael Siani, the 2018 4th round pick for the Reds, things had gotten out to a rough start in Dayton in 2019. On May 22nd he had played in 38 games and was hitting .168/.279/.252 with 9 steals, 18 walks, and 38 strikeouts in 166 plate appearances. It was looking like being sent back to Greeneville or perhaps Billings may be in the cards given his struggles.

On May 23rd he went 1-4 and Michael Siani hasn’t looked back since. And on Tuesday night he put together one of the biggest games of his career, going 4-4 with a  steal, a run scored, and he had an RBI. Over this stretch the center fielder has hit .403/.486/.565. He’s walked 7 times in that stretch and struck out just 11 times in 72 plate appearances. He’s also been outstanding on the bases, stealing 11 bags in 12 tries across this stretch.

Over this 17 game stretch he has raised his OPS on the year 157 points, going from .531 to .688 on the season. His walk rate has stayed similar. But he’s cut his strikeout rate from 23% to 15%. That’s a big part of where the improvements are coming from.

But there’s more to it than just making more contact. He’s also making better contact. His isolated power (SLG-AVG) up to May 22nd was just .084. It’s nearly doubled over the last 17 game stretch, sitting at .162. His BABIP has also made a big jump. At the end of the day on May 22nd it was just .214. Over the last 17 games it’s .469. That’s pushed his BABIP on the season to .296.

Changes for The Futures Game

Major League Baseball’s All-Star Weekend seems to have one thing that everyone agreed on: The Futures Game is awesome.

So what did they decide to do? Mess with it. The Futures Game will no longer be Team USA vs Team World. Instead it’s now going to be American League vs National League. The Futures Game used to be on in the afternoon. Now it will be on in the evening. The Futures Game used to be 9 innings. Now it will be 7 innings.

Shortening the game is beyond stupid. I don’t know what else to say about that. The Team USA vs Team World thing was fun. I enjoyed seeing that aspect of it from a player perspective with regards to the manager and coaches. That isn’t a big deal, though – just something I enjoyed.

What I do like, though, is the changing of the time of the game. It’s always been played on Sunday afternoon, directly up against nearly every game around Major League Baseball. As a “showcase” of future talent, it never made sense because most baseball fans are going to prefer watching their team than holding out hope that their teams 1 or 2 prospects are going to do something in that “Futures Game”. Now the game will be played at 7pm and if baseball fans want to watch baseball, this might be the only option they’ve got.

Injury Updates

Mariel Bautista, who has been out with a shoulder injury since May 23rd is now in Goodyear and will begin getting live at-bats as he works his way back according to Dayton broadcaster Tom Nichols during last nights game. While no timetable was given for his return, assuming there are no set backs, I’d guess he won’t be out much longer.

Jared Solomon, who started the game for Dayton on Monday and threw just 2.0 innings, was placed on the 7-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation. He’s only expected to miss one start.

Ryan Hendrix, who has missed more than a month with a right-elbow injury for Double-A Chattanooga is getting healthier and should be back soon. When he went on the injured list at the end of April he had yet to allow an earned run in 10.1 innings and he had 15 strikeouts on the year.

19 Responses

  1. Randy in Chatt

    Going to 7 innings for the FG is kinda stupid to me. Must be about limiting it down for pitchers sakes.

    Any injury updates on Big Bell: Ibandel Isabel?

    • MK

      They get a little boring late in the games. Maybe they are trying to improve viewership and get people to still be watching the celebrity softball game. TV dollars pay a lot of bills.

      Maybe the American League/ National League changes have a little political motivation by not segregating the U.S borns from the aliens. The whole immigration topic seems to be a lightening rod regardless of which side of the issue people are on.

  2. Slice

    Did Rylan Thomas get kidnapped by aliens? Any word on him?

  3. Cguy

    Reds pitching staff deserves a better fate than to be saddled with this “off again/ on again” offense.

  4. kyblu50

    So does being over the limit mean Rece Hinds and Eric Yang will not be signed?

  5. kevinz

    Hope Bautista comes back on a roll like Siani did when he missed time.

  6. Simon Cowell

    I like Siani. My concern is that he is going to be a streaky hitter. I love Joey Votto but for me, his weakness is the cold weather and or he is streaky. If Siani is going to be the heir to replace Joey V. then I would hope to see a more consistent approach along with equally consistent results.

    • Michael Smith

      @simon,

      Huh what are you talking about with Joey being streaky?

      KYblu the reds can go up to 5% over their total slot amount to sign guys.

      • Simon Cowell

        how dI’d Votto fair in April? I call that streaky or a slow starter or difficulty in cold weather whatever you want to call it its real

    • kevinz

      I am confused since when is Siani the Heir to Votto? I am jw since both play different Positions. One is athletic OF the other a 1st baseman.
      I can agree on Votto being Streaky. Slow starter until takes off. Hitting over 400 last 12 games. Now back has flared up. I hope he is Okay since was Heating up.

      • kevinz

        Thanks for some facts MS. I think the last few years i am talking about.
        He seemed to start slow then crush it after that the last 5-6 years.
        Earlier Part of his Career i thought he was more Consistent .
        I am not Hating all players usually a 1st half or 2nd half type Player.
        Whether be a hitter or a Pitcher.

    • Simon Cowell

      By heir, I mean that by the time he is MLB ready Joey V will be saying goodbye to the game. Not a literal replacement that is impossible to know and I won’t even speculate who a literal replacement would be.

      As far as streakiness goes let me clarify. Joey Votto has demonstrated a “missing his wallet” phase more than once. It would appear that occurs at least once or twice a year. It just so happens for the past two or three years he’s started off slow. Maybe it is cold weather that he doesn’t like and it throws him into a funk. I don’t know just basing my opinions. I am very truly terribly sorry that I have offended some by suggesting that Joey Votto started off slow this year. Not my intent. Just voicing my opinion. Is that still allowed? Or are all contrary opinions in need of ridicule or disdain? If so, kindly let me know and I’ll just cheer on other posts whether I agree or not.

      • Michael Smith

        @Simon

        I was legitimately asking because it’s the narrative on the guy but the data doesnt back it up. Having said that more recent history has been very slow starts so I get where the label came from.

      • kevinz

        Thanks Simon for clearing that up for me i took it wrong.

    • Gilbert Keith Chesterton

      It’s probably a bit too early to call a 19 year old hitter in the Midwest league as “streaky”.

      Over his past 45 games, his batting average has been:
      0.073 over 11 games
      0.177 over the next 17 games
      0.403 over the next 17 games

      That seems to be more of a warming trend, than a streaky trend.

      Seems to be a very young kid facing older hitters who is starting to figure things out and make good contact.

      From what i’ve seen from a few of his AB’s, he seemed to have a plan in the box, making solid contact to put it in play without trying to do to much with the wrong pitches. Also, he was getting on base with walks a good amount early in the year when his hits weren’t falling. So it just seems that he’s a skilled, young hitter who is taking that next step.

      Although i could be totally wrong…

  7. Michael Smith

    Backtracking a bit. I need to know what people mean when they say streaky . I picture Jay Bruce, killing everything for 2 weeks and then 2 weeks looking like me.