Games Played on 7/25/2012

Minor League Player of the Day: Didi Gregorius was 3-for-5 with two runs scored, including the walk-off homerun in the Louisville Bats win over Buffalo.

AAA
Louisville 5 – Buffalo 4

Down 4-0 in the bottom of the 8th inning, Didi Gregorius got the 4-run rally started with a 1-out single, later scoring the first Bats run of the game. In the bottom of the 9th inning, again with 1 out, Gregorius hit the game-winning, walk-off homerun. It was his 2nd homerun in as many days, and his 4th with Louisville in just 56 at-bats. Mike Costanzo was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.

Brett Tomko (3 runs, 4 hits, 3 bb, 2k) made his first start since May 30, only going 3 innings. Travis Webb struck out 5 batters in his 2.2 shutout innings. J.J. Hoover was credited with the win in his scoreless 9th inning of work.

AA
Huntsville 6 – Pensacola 2

Bryson Smith was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Billy Hamilton walked once in four plate appearances, stole second base and scored a run. Hamilton has reached base in all 13 games he’s played with Pensacola.

Kyle Lotzkar (4ip, 4r, 3er, 6h, 3bb, 5k, 3 HR allowed) continues to have a rough time since his callup to the AA level. Josh Ravin, Justin Freeman, and Chris Manno each pitched an inning to finish the game, combining to strike out 7 of the 10 batters they faced.

High A
Bakersfield 4 – San Jose 2

Niko Vasquez was 2-for-3 with a double, a runs scored and an RBI. Travis Mattair was 2-for-3 with an RBI

Josh Smith allowed just 2 runs on 3 hits, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts over 5 innings. Pat Doyle, Kyle McMyne, and Andrew Brackman each threw a scoreless inning. Brackman hasn’t issued a walk since July 6, and since converting to the Bakersfield bullpen has walked just 3 batters in 17.2 innings.

Low A
Great Lakes 9 – Dayton 7

Redleg Nation Spotlight Player, Sean Buckley was 1-for-3 with the 1 being a 3-run homerun. Juan Perez was 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.

Jacob Johnson allowed 7 runs, 4 earned, on 8 hits and no walks while striking out 6 over 5.2 innings.

Rookie
Billings 12 – Grand Junction 11 in 10 innings

Seth Mejias-Brean (.406/.473/.719) was 3-for-5 with a walk, a double, a homerun, a stolen base, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Beau Amaral was 3-for-5 with 3 doubles, a walk, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Robert Maddox hit the game winning homerun in the top of the 10th inning.

Jonathan Moscot made his 3rd start and gave up his first earned run as a professional. He worked 2 innings, allowing 3 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), no walks and 2 strikeouts.

AZL Reds 8 – AZL Rangers 3

Daniel Paula (.349/.391/.465) and Humberto Valor had two hits each. Jose Ortiz was 1-for-1 with two walks, a triple, two runs scored and two RBI.

Jose Guzman started the game, but was lifted after facing three batters, two walks and a strikeout. Mike Saunders was credited with the win for 3.2 scoreless innings where he struck out 3, allowed 2 hits, and issued 2 walks. Michael Salter pitched 2 scoreless innings, striking out 3.

33 Responses

  1. BloodyHo

    Didi has a hitting line for the year of .285/.343/.409 between AA & AAA with a line of .321/.339/607 in 14 games at AAA. He is hitting 40 points higher in AAA than AA but has the same OBP. This may be just an anomaly of the same sample size, but it could also be a factor of better, more consistent pitching at AAA resulting in more aggressive hitting and higher power numbers. Only time will tell, but with Didi’s defense, I find myself salivating at the prospect that might be unfolding.

  2. Bill Lack

    Read somewhere today that 2011 #1 pick Robert Stephenson has been promoted to Dayton, but nothing from the Reds or the Dragons. Not sure if its true or not.

  3. BloodyHo

    @Bill Lack: Wow, that would be a BIG move for the kid! It’s always nice to have that ‘#1 pick’ behind your name when it comes to being noticed and provided opprtunities. The Reds (and every other team for that matter) need as much quality pitching as they can get and Stephenson has certainly got off to a good start since the rookie season began.

  4. TC

    I’m starting to think the brass knew what they were doing when they shipped out so much of the names we knew in the farm system. The system is certainly rich with talent, just none of it close to the bigs at the start of the season. Now there are 5 pitchers who excite me (Cingrani, Redmond, Corcino, Villarreal, and Lotzkar) who are close and several who I find intriguing (Joseph, Muhammad, Diaz, and Travieso).

    Future Reds starts could be Gregorius, Hamilton, Rodriguez, and Lutz.

    • Greg Dafler

      I’m starting to think the brass knew what they were doing when they shipped out so much of the names we knew in the farm system. The system is certainly rich with talent, just none of it close to the bigs at the start of the season.

      It has played out that way. They sacrificed depth to make the 25-man roster stronger. They’ve had very little injuries so far this year, and especially the strong pitching of the 5-man rotation has gone a long way to make this work for the Reds.

      I’m not suggesting what they did was the wrong way to go about it. For years, the Colts didn’t put any of their (financial) resources into a backup QB. They could have spent less elsewhere to have depth at the QB position, but decided to retain their starting staff as best they could. It was Payton or bust. He was busted last year and so was the Colts. For the previous 11 years, that plan worked out pretty well.

      This year’s Reds team is riding on the health of their starting pitching. If a couple of guys would have gotten hurt and another been ineffective, then we would have been watching a lot of starts go to guys like Tomko, Francis, and I don’t want to know who else. This season would have looked much different and a lot of “I told you so folks” would be coming out of the woodwork right now regarding the offseason trades.

      But you are right, it was just a short-term gap. Corcino and Cingrani now are not far away at AA. Redmond is possible short-term solution if they need an emergency starter. I like Joseph and Hoover in the bullpen next year.

  5. Matt WI

    @BloodyHo: Do you like him enough to flip Cozart if the opportunity presents itself over the winter? I think I do.

  6. John

    Just out of curiosity, are you guys going to come out with another podcast anytime?

  7. TC

    Rumors mention Cingrani for Denard Span. Talk about overspending.

      • CI3J

        I would trade Cingrani for Span in a heartbeat, FWIW.

        Rumor has it the Twins are asking for a lot, so I doubt Cingrani gets it done. Cingrani and Stubbs?

        I have noticed rumors linking Span to the Reds are slowly growing louder….Where there’s smoke….

  8. CI3J

    @TC:

    I honestly think the Reds should trade some of their young pitching to upgrade the main club.

    Think about it. Latos and Leake are 24. Cueto and Bailey are 26. Arroyo is 35, but probably his spot is going to be taken over by Chapman next year.

    So you have a starting rotation with an average age of 25 and, if they have Arroyo’s longevity, it means the Reds won’t need another starting pitcher for the next 10 years (barring injury)

    However, the Reds DO need a young leadoff hitter, a young cleanup hitter, and a closer. I would love for them to get Span and Pence if they are willing to bump payroll (and they should, given how attendance has been this year.)

    A lineup of

    CF Span
    2B Phillips
    1B Votto
    LF Pence
    RF Bruce
    3B Frazier
    SS Cozart
    C Mesoraco

    with our rotation and maybe Johnathan Broxton at closer (rumor is the Royals are asking for a MLB ready pitcher for him) excites me for the future. If you can get those guys by trading a few pitchers and spare parts, do it.

  9. Bill Lack

    From the Dragons:

    Robert Stephenson, the Cincinnati Reds first round draft pick in 2011, has been promoted to the Dayton Dragons. Stephenson, 19, is a right-handed starting pitcher. He will make his Midwest League debut on Friday, July 27 at Great Lakes. His first home start at Fifth Third Field is scheduled for Wednesday, August 1 against Lansing.

    Stephenson has made seven starts this season for the Billings Mustangs (Pioneer League). He is 1-0 with a 2.05 earned run average that ranks third in the league. He has struck out 37 batters and walked only eight in 30.2 innings. He has allowed just 22 hits with an opponents’ batting average of .195.

    Stephenson becomes the ninth former first round draft pick to play for the Dragons. Others with the year drafted and the year with the Dragons:

    Austin Kearns (OF): 1998; 2000
    Ty Howington (P): 1999; 2000
    David Espinosa (INF): 2000; 2001
    Chris Gruler (P): 2002; 2002-‘03
    Homer Bailey (P): 2004; 2005
    Jay Bruce (OF): 2005; 2006
    Drew Stubbs (OF): 2006; 2007
    Devin Mesoraco (C): 2007; 2008

    Four supplemental first round draft picks (compensation picks selected between the first and second rounds) have also played for the Dragons. They include Dustin Moseley (P, 2000; 2001), Mark Schramek (3B, 2002; 2003); Kyle Lotzkar (P, 2007; 2008, ‘11), and Todd Frazier (INF, 2007; 2007-’08).

  10. Greg Dafler

    @TC: Cingrani for Span straightup? I doubt that the Twins would ask for so little or that the Reds would say no to that trade. Cingrani is having a great season, but he is still just in AA. Span is under team control for relatively low $salary for the next couple of years.

    @CI3J: The Royals want young starting pitching close to major league ready for Broxton…no thanks. I don’t see a match there, and I’d rather see Hoover and Joseph given a chance before they way overspend for Broxton.

  11. L.A.Red

    I guess I’m in the Minority when it comes to Cingrani being like Hamilton…That is to say “Un-tradeable” He was gut feeling pick from one of our scouts and since proven to be our best pitching prospect with no signs of slowing down as he’s moved up the minors. I think he has #1 Ace written all over him. And in a couple of years when Span’s contract is over and needs to be resigned we’ll also have to pay Cueto and Chapman again. Also, by that time Arroyo will be gone. So, I like us having another Ace ready for the Bigs at that time.

    And the most over arching argument against a straight up trade for Span and Cingrani to me is that I don’t really believe that Span is the missing piece to a World Series Title. Will he help…Of course, but if we don’t win the World Series this move won’t be the reason.

    And IMHO that’s how trades at this juncture in the season need to be viewed. Does this guy (whoever we’re trading for) make us World Series Favorites!

  12. BloodyHo

    @CI3J: You are assuming that the Reds can and will lock up all of their starting pitchers for their entire productive career. As much as I wish that was possible, that is not going to happen. Geez, even Texas couldn’t do that. The best the Reds can do I target one, maybe two, mature pitchers and fill the staf with young (cost effective) pitchers like they did with Cueto. Even the Arroyo contract was a severe stretch, but (and I realize there are a lot of Arroyo detrators out there) Arroyo is and was an experienced, effective innings eater needed on a VERY young pitching staff and his contract so heavily back-loaded it made him untradable after it was signed. Cueto alone may command the biggest contract of any starting pitcher ever once his current contract expires in 2015.If Bailey continues with his performance and development the rest of this year, I expect the reds to try and lock him up with a contract similar to Cueto’s current contract. Leake & Latos will be in that boat after next year too. There will be turnover and the Reds will need the next ‘crop’ of young phenoms to fill in behind.

    • L.A.Red

      @CI3J: You are assuming that the Reds can and will lock up all of their starting pitchers for their entire productive career.As much as I wish that was possible, that is not going to happen.Geez, even Texas couldn’t do that.The best the Reds can do I target one, maybe two, mature pitchers and fill the staf with young (cost effective) pitchers like they did with Cueto.Even the Arroyo contract was a severe stretch, but (and I realize there are a lot of Arroyo detrators out there) Arroyo is and was an experienced, effective innings eater needed on a VERY young pitching staff and his contract so heavily back-loaded it made him untradable after it was signed.Cueto alone may command the biggest contract of any starting pitcher ever once his current contract expires in 2015.If Bailey continues with his performance and development the rest of this year, I expect the reds to try and lock him up with a contract similar to Cueto’s current contract. Leake & Latos will be in that boat after next year too.There will be turnover and the Reds will need the next ‘crop’ of young phenoms to fill in behind.

      Amen Brother…and Stephenson and Cingrani are those Phenoms. Don’t trade either one, unless your getting a legit MLB World Series difference maker.

    • CI3J

      @CI3J: You are assuming that the Reds can and will lock up all of their starting pitchers for their entire productive career.As much as I wish that was possible, that is not going to happen.Geez, even Texas couldn’t do that.The best the Reds can do I target one, maybe two, mature pitchers and fill the staf with young (cost effective) pitchers like they did with Cueto.Even the Arroyo contract was a severe stretch, but (and I realize there are a lot of Arroyo detrators out there) Arroyo is and was an experienced, effective innings eater needed on a VERY young pitching staff and his contract so heavily back-loaded it made him untradable after it was signed.Cueto alone may command the biggest contract of any starting pitcher ever once his current contract expires in 2015.If Bailey continues with his performance and development the rest of this year, I expect the reds to try and lock him up with a contract similar to Cueto’s current contract. Leake & Latos will be in that boat after next year too.There will be turnover and the Reds will need the next ‘crop’ of young phenoms to fill in behind.

      And the mistake YOU’RE making is assuming these guys are actually going to become MLB quality pitchers. Does the name Ty Howington ring a bell? Chris Gruler?

      Just something to think about. I know they weren’t drafted by this current regime, but there is no guarantee minors guys will pan out. I think the Reds are very close to winning it all and need a few pieces to make it happen. Trade now, get those pieces, build a winner, then when Cueto gets too expensive, trade him for young pitchers. You’re basically right back where you started, but with a winning team and a restocked farm system from trading some of those pieces that made you a winner.

      • steveschoen

        And the mistake YOU’RE making is assuming these guys are actually going to become MLB quality pitchers. Does the name Ty Howington ring a bell? Chris Gruler?

        Just something to think about. I know they weren’t drafted by this current regime, but there is no guarantee minors guys will pan out. I think the Reds are very close to winning it all and need a few pieces to make it happen. Trade now, get those pieces, build a winner, then when Cueto gets too expensive, trade him for young pitchers. You’re basically right back where you started, but with a winning team and a restocked farm system from trading some of those pieces that made you a winner.

        That doesn’t they won’t work out. Three ways to build a team: 1) Through the draft only, develop your own players, 2) through trade and free agents, 3) mixture between the two. The minor league players exist for two reasons, to fill in when your players leave for trade or free agency, or for trade bait. You trade everything, no future is left. Then, you are doing the Marlin thing (win a WS, sell everything off the next year, first to worst type of mentality). To become a continuous program, you have to have a strong minor league program, for something.

      • CharlotteNCRedsFan

        And the mistake YOU’RE making is assuming these guys are actually going to become MLB quality pitchers. Does the name Ty Howington ring a bell? Chris Gruler?

        Just something to think about. I know they weren’t drafted by this current regime, but there is no guarantee minors guys will pan out. I think the Reds are very close to winning it all and need a few pieces to make it happen. Trade now, get those pieces, build a winner, then when Cueto gets too expensive, trade him for young pitchers. You’re basically right back where you started, but with a winning team and a restocked farm system from trading some of those pieces that made you a winner.

        @CI3J: I can’t address our prospects, at all, as I don’t follow the Minors. I’m you guys do because at least I have a clue what is going on in the Reds’ system.

        My point is: the smaller-market teams, that built successful Minor League systems, how have they the done in regards to Championships? The following teams to me were reluctant to move their prospects at trade deadline to give them a beeter shot at the title:

        Twins
        Indians
        Rays
        Brewers – exception is CC
        A’s – post 1990’s

        The ones that went for it and succeeded:
        Marlins
        Cards – always seem to make moves at the end of the season to bolster their team’s chances

        I ruled out the large market teams as I don’t think that is really apples-for-apples: NY teams, LA teams, SF, Philly

        IMO, Walt would be wise to see 2012 as the year. At least, to some extent. We are promised nothing at all in 2013 and beyond. I know right now things “appear” promising for the future but a couple of major injuries and busts would change things drastically. This year we do have a real opportunity to go all the way. We are not there yet and need to fill a couple of holes. Obviously, no guarantee if you bring a Span or Victorino that will do the trick. But they would be replacing either Cairo or Xavier on the 25-man roster, not Stubbs, as people like to claim.

        I am very excited for Stubbs “getting it” and that hasn’t been the case since very early in the 2011 season. But……can we count on him? No. But it is his job for now. I would think Span is more appealing because he is a known quantity. No one cheers harder for Drew Stubbs than I do.

        I really hope Walt has a big move up his sleeve because I’m not as high on 2013 as others. Need to really make a run for it now and better to be armed as much as possible.

  13. BloodyHo

    @Matt WI: @CI3J: Sorry, I didn’t mean to insult you and I wasn’t trying to start an arguement with you, if anything just continue discussion.

    I was referencing one point you made in your post, ‘So you have a starting rotation with an average age of 25 and, if they have Arroyo’s longevity, it means the Reds won’t need another starting pitcher for the next 10 years (barring injury).’

    In order to keep this pitching staff for the next 10 years would be exorbitantly expensive for any team, especially a small market team like the Reds. You are correct in your evaluation that not every, or even most, very good A+ and AA pitcher become a ML star. That’s why I feel the Reds should be very selective and miserly about trading away any of their potential pitching stars if they want a long-term, successful run in the playoffs. I do take exception to the examples of Ty Howington and Chris Gruler, who were very high draft choices but not particulaly successful minor league pitcher. We were discussing prospects who have been successful minor league pitchers approaching ML readiness.

  14. BloodyHo

    @Matt WI: Matt, I’m not sure how you got included in the previous reply. In response to your question would I flip Cozart in the offseason…I would flip anyone for the right opportunity. I am a huge Cozart fan and I think he is going to have a long, successful ML career. He has been misused and abused this year by Mr. Baker’s insistance that he must hit at the top of the lineup because he plays SS. The more I see of Didi, the more impressed I am with his potential. Before I would want to trade Cozart for anything approaching an even trade, I would want to see more experience from Didi in hitting AAA pitching and his performance during a September call up during a penant race.

    • steveschoen

      you got included in the previous reply. In response to your question would I flip Cozart in the offseason…I would flip anyone for the right opportunity. I am a huge Cozart fan and I think he is going to have a long, successful ML career. He has been misused and abused this year by Mr. Baker’s insistance that he must hit at the top of the lineup because he plays SS. The more I see of Didi, the more impressed I am with his potential. Before

      I agree. I would love to see Cozart back in the 2 hole to see what he could do. He was batting great last year in AAA, last year in the 2 hole, and has batted awesome this year in the 2 hole. We’re just lucky we have some SS’s coming up. To get max product off any kind of trade, though, we are probably going to need to get Cozart out of leadoff. The thing is, Baker is probably stubborn enough not to do it. Walt would have to force Baker’s hand.

  15. TC

    @Chad Dotson, @Greg Dafler: I realize at AA there’s nothing to go on but potential and Cingrani may never see the inside of a big league park. But would you trade a 2-3 pitcher for a Denard Span? Right or wrong, in essence that’s how I look at it.

  16. TC

    @L.A.Red: I wouldn’t call him “un-tradeable”, just not Denard Span tradeable. I mean really? Denard Span? WHAT is everyone’s love affair with this guy. He seems like a major league average player to me. Tell me ONE stinking thing impressive about him.

    • David

      @L.A.Red: I wouldn’t call him “un-tradeable”, just not Denard Span tradeable. I mean really? Denard Span? WHAT is everyone’s love affair with this guy. He seems like a major league average player to me. Tell me ONE stinking thing impressive about him.

      His career OBP is (.359) in 2500 plate appearances.

    • steveschoen

      that I think is outside of the box but could make some sense for both teams – Gregorius and Sulbaran for Greinke. Why a starting pitcher with the 2nd lowest team ERA in the majors? Because in a three game series I like Cueto, Greinke, Latos better than Cueto, Latos, Bailey/Leake/Arroyo. We keep talking about whether Span is a significant upgrade, well Greinke is a signficant upgrade over Bailey, Leake and Arroyo. Leake could move to the bullpen and the Reds could make a corresponding

      Not to say I would trade Cingrani (spelling?) for him. But, Span is a better alternative offensively to our current CF for the 1-2 holes and, thus, also can make Votto more of a weapon as well. Stubbs is probably better defensively (haven’t seen that much of Span in the OF), Span would be a definite improvement to our offense, not only for the position in the lineup but also giving Votto more opportunities to drive in runs.

      • steveschoen

        Not to say I would trade Cingrani (spelling?) for him.But, Span is a better alternative offensively to our current CF for the 1-2 holes and, thus, also can make Votto more of a weapon as well.Stubbs is probably better defensively (haven’t seen that much of Span in the OF), Span would be a definite improvement to our offense, not only for the position in the lineup but also giving Votto more opportunities to drive in runs.

        I will say I believe we have enough right now to do the job. But, not with the current players in the 1-2 holes for the playoffs. And, Baker can’t afford to change it up come that time, since it will require time for a new lineup to click. Either Baker needs to change the lineup for the 1-2 holes, or Walt will need to step in and change it for him by taking those players off the roster.

  17. David

    A trade that I think is outside of the box but could make some sense for both teams – Gregorius and Sulbaran for Greinke. Why a starting pitcher with the 2nd lowest team ERA in the majors? Because in a three game series I like Cueto, Greinke, Latos better than Cueto, Latos, Bailey/Leake/Arroyo. We keep talking about whether Span is a significant upgrade, well Greinke is a signficant upgrade over Bailey, Leake and Arroyo. Leake could move to the bullpen and the Reds could make a corresponding move to jettison a bullpen piece.

    Milwaukee is desparate for a SS, and while Gregorius doesn’t have Profar type upside or hype, he profiles well there and could be in the majors by next year. Cozart is playing well as a rookie and is blocking Gregorius, making him a spare part. Sulbaran gives Milwaukee a potential mid-rotation arm to develop in Nashville.

  18. Greg Dafler

    @TC: I wouldn’t trade a #2 pitcher for Span, but I would trade a AA prospect. The Twins aren’t going to move him for 1 AA player, though.

    Major league average…perhaps offensively compared to players at all positions. He has an OPS+ of 105 this year and 104 for his career. He has an OBP of .348 this year and .359 for his career. By all accounts, he’s a good defensive CFer, too. So, put “major league average” in CF and leadoff instead of the production the Reds have gotten so far this year, and Joey Votto actually has runners on base when he comes to the plate in the playoffs.

  19. Greg Dafler

    @David: I wondered what the cost would have been for Hamels before he signed long-term with the Phillies. He’s pitched pretty well in a small ballpark.

  20. preach

    1. Hope Didi keeps up on the hitting. It is the difference between Barry Larkin and Pokey Reese.

    2. I would trade Cigrini for Spann everyday of the week and twice on Sunday (after my sermon, of course). Spann is capable, improves our bench immensely, fills a great need, and is young and cost controlled. To me, a prospect is someone with potential, and that’s it. I know you don’t want to give away the farm, but we can win for years to come with this pitching staff and a top of the lineup guy and improved bench. Spann addresses needs right now.

    3. Don’t think we need to look at Broxton as a closer. I’m still convinced that Marshall should be given a real shot (not saying it will happen, but anyway….), or Masset. We could see if Madsen is ready to pitch and get him as a set up man. I would also like to see Arrondondo cut down on his walks and vie for the 9th inning job. Yes, I’m letting my mancrush show, but I’ve always thought his stuff was dynamic. He’s just a little wild right now.

    4. Also with Spann, Dusty would actually change his top of the order lineup. It would take something of this magnitude to make him do it. That’s gotta be worth a few games all by itself. It’s worth it.

  21. David

    @steveschoen: The bottom line with Stubbs is this – He is swinging less, walking less, striking out less and making more contact than at any point in his career. He has steadily increased his GB% and lowered his FB%.

    These things suggest to me that the Reds and Stubbs have emphasized being more patient, putting the ball into play more, and doing so at the expense of his power. All good things, right? His BABIP is 20 points below his career average, and you’d think it would be higher since he is popping up less.

    He is moving in the right direction. His only problem is hitting at the top of the order. That’s not really his fault.

    • steveschoen

      @steveschoen: The bottom line with Stubbs is this – He is swinging less, walking less, striking out less and making more contact than at any point in his career.He has steadily increased his GB% and lowered his FB%.

      These things suggest to me that the Reds and Stubbs have emphasized being more patient, putting the ball into play more, and doing so at the expense of his power.All good things, right?His BABIP is 20 points below his career average, and you’d think it would be higher since he is popping up less.

      He is moving in the right direction.His only problem is hitting at the top of the order. That’s not really his fault.

      The thing is, the right direction isn’t the BA getting lower each year, OBP getting lower each year. I could take more strikeouts, if that would also translate into more hits, higher OBP.