Archive for the ‘Cincinnati Reds’ Category

Cincinnati Reds v New York Yankees

The Reds deserve credit for attempting to get the most out of Aroldis Chapman. Their slender closer just put together an outstanding season in relief, moving into the closer’s role and dominating over 71.2 innings, posting a 1.55 FIP and 1.52 ERA. He struck out 44% of the hitters he faced, which is a lot. The third highest rate of all time.

Given his overwhelming dominance, the Reds thought re-converting Aroldis Chapman back to a starting pitcher would be a good idea. Why contain that domination to 71 innings when it could stretch out, probably not as dominantly but still good, over 200 or so innings?

A good idea in theory but one that just hasn’t worked out as planned. After some hemming and hawing, it appears the Reds will move Chapman back to his preferred role in the bullpen for the coming season.

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2012 Record: 97-65, 1st NL Central
2012 Pythagorean Record: 91-71
Impact Player: 1B Joey Votto
Impact Pitcher: RHP Johnny Cueto
Top Prospect: CF/SS Billy Hamilton

Significant Acquisitions: OF Shin-Soo Choo, 3B/1B Jack Hannahan, IF Jason Donald, LHP Manny Parra, RHP Clay Hensley

Significant Departures: 3B Scott Rolen, CF Drew Stubbs, IF Wilson Valdez, IF Miguel Cairo, SS Didi Gregorius, RHP Alfredo Simon

It feels like the Cincinnati Reds have been a good team for quite a while. Boasting an impressive core – Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto — fuels that impression.  Odd, then, that their 97-win season in 2012 represents not only their highest win total since 1976 but but just the second winning season since 2000. Walt Jocketty and his front office have done an excellent job of turning a perennial loser into a team bursting with high-end talent. The team’s core is locked up for several seasons and every year they seem to add more pieces to improve.

This winter is was the addition of Shin-Soo Choo along with some savvy depth pickups. Choo playing centerfield could end up being a calamity, but either way the Reds will once again trot out an awfully impressive lineup chock-full of stars. They have some serious depth in the pitching staff as well and they have to be considered one of the best teams in the NL—at least on paper.

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Cincinnati Reds v Cleveland Indians

Considering the overwhelming number of transactions made this off-season, that Shin-Soo Choo now plays for the Cincinnati Reds might have slipped your mind. But he does! Choo, good for close to a .300/.400/.500 season like clockwork before injury slowed him in 2011.

Choo is both a fine hitter and decent outfielder, though advanced defensive metrics absolutely hated him in 2012. His well-regarded throwing arm is both accurate and strong, his range as a 30-year old may leave something to be desired.

What a great time for a bounce back season, the Reds must believe. Headed into free agency, the Reds have the bold idea that they will move Choo to center field. What could possibly go wrong? According to Shin-Soo Choo, plenty. Via the Cincinnati Enquirer: Read the rest of this entry »

It seems the late-afternoon Knobblings evolved into a full scale swap, as the Reds and Indians did indeed exchange players, including the aforementioned Drew Stubbs and Shin-Soo Choo. But the eager Diamondbacks horned in on the action, getting their desperately needed shortstop and some bullpen support. The full deal is as follows:

To Cincinnati To Cleveland To Arizona

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When the Hot Stove season first heated up (!), many expected Shin-Soo Choo‘s name to feature prominently. He is, after all, a very good hitter and decentish corner outfielder with only one year remaining on his current contract.

The Clevelands need lots of everything and many teams could use a player like Choo. Enter the Reds, who are reportedly offering center fielder/strikeout machine Drew Stubbs and shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius for Choo and another player, according to The Knobler of Knobler Sports Baseball.

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This photo never happened.

Somewhere down near the bottom of the middle of the theoretical depth chart sits Ryan Madson. Madson was a potential game-changer for any bullpen in need last winter, eventually settling on a surprising one-year deal with the Reds.

It seems there were well-founded concerns about Madson’s health. The Brewers reportedly came close to a signing Madson but backed off due to worries about his elbow. The Reds rolled the dice and lost as Madson required Tommy John surgery in Spring Training, missing the entire season. The Reds were no worse for wear thanks to their otherwise overpowering and uncommonly healthy pitching staff but now Ryan Madson is back on the free agent market with his value slightly…dinged.

Though he will miss the start of the upcoming season has he rehabs his elbow but, provided all goes well, he represents a nice bullpen arm for an enterprising team willing to take on some risk.

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The 2012 edition of the Arizona Fall League seemed to slip under the radar of most baseball fans. Blame the relative lack of big fish on the rosters (DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) or what have you, the AFL just didn’t seem to capture the same segment of fans on my twitter timeline it did a year ago.

The AFL Rising Stars game on Saturday night did, however, stream on MLB.com and grabbed a few eyeballs, allowing fans and bloggers to shamelessly regurgitate scouting jargon without a scintilla of credibility. The game, an all star exhibition at its core, featured some highlights and looks to the future, none more impressive than the show put on by Billy Hamilton.

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