The Cincinnati Reds ended weeks of speculation by signing Bryan Price to a three-year contract as manager. In spite of all the rumors flying around about various people considered for the job, only Price and Louisville Bats manager, Jim Riggleman had been on a short list. Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: Dusty Baker
Bryan Price has never managed a professional baseball team. That is true. He has been a MLB pitching coach since 2001. Along the way he has accumulated a few awards. In 2011 he was Baseball Weekly’s Pitching Coach of the Year. In 2007 Baseball America named him Major League Coach of the Year. He joined the Cincinnati Reds’ staff in 2009 and has turned the pitching staff around. Under Dick Pole’s watch, the Reds’ pitching staff was nothing to write home about. Read the rest of this entry »
Like cockroaches in a fleabag motel, managerial wannabes come to surface wanting to manage a sure winner. Paul O’Neill is the latest to gravitate to the light in the wake of Dusty Baker being fired by the Cincinnati Reds. Really? I have already written about three other men supposedly being considered for the position, LaRussa, Bell and Riggleman. Click on their names to read the articles. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the third managerial ‘candidate’ to succeed Dusty Baker that I have written about. I first expressed my own opinion that Tony Larussa would be the best bet. You can read it here if you missed it. That was followed by David Bell, whom I do not view as a candidate. Here is what I said about him. Read the rest of this entry »
Who is David Bell and why does his name continually pop-up during managerial discussions? In case it didn’t land, that was a rhetorical question. Outside of Cincinnati, his name is not quite the household word. Ever since the firing of Dusty Baker his name has been whispered in hush tones all over the internet. Read the rest of this entry »
We, as Reds fanatics (where did you think ‘fans’ came from?) have watched two weeks of the season roll by in totally different halves. During the first part they won series’ against highly-touted Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Nationals whom many have picked to win the entire enchilada. By and large they looked very good while doing it.
Then came the second part. The dreaded Cardinals opened their home season with a loss to the Reds. It wasn’t just a loss it was a mugging. The Reds thumped the Redbirds 13-4 and looked to be on their way to a fantastic run. Then came game two of the series. Lance Lynn looked as though he were already in mid-season form as he struck out the Reds seemingly at will.
After a 5-1 loss the Reds sent Homer (No-No) Bailey to the hill in the rubber match. The Reds died quietly that night as Jake Westbrook pitched a shutout, 5-hit style deflating the spirit of Cincy fans everywhere. A 10-0 rout in a rubber game made the trip to Pittsburgh very gloom indeed.
The Pirates beat up on the Reds and brought out the broom, sweeping them by scores of 6-5, 3-1 and 10-7. In Saturday’s game Cincinnati lost ace Johnny Cueto for a few games due to an injury to his throwing arm. They chose to bring up pitcher Justin Freeman from Triple-A Louisville. Way to keep ’em guessing Dusty.
If you brought him up just because Cueto’s spot doesn’t hit until Thursday what are you thinking? Are you going to send him straight down and recall Tony Cingrani? Or, are you going to keep Freeman and send down a position guy?
Manager Dusty Baker has made some very questionable moves early on in the 2013 campaign. I don’t know where to start. How ’bout the beginning.
He should probably have started the season with Sean Marshall on the DL instead of waiting four or five games in. Instead he works J.J. Hoover as though he were a rented mule. He was bombarded and looked like a deer caught in the headlights.
The length of the leash on his pitchers is something else to discuss. To wit: Bronson Arroyo was pitching a masterpiece against the Cards, being perfect through five innings. He ran into trouble in the sixth giving up a double followed by a groundout. He faced Matt Craig and was deposited in the right field seats. Gone perfect game, gone no-hitter, gone shutout. Here is the problem.
If you have watched Arroyo for a few seasons you know of his proclivity of going from great to miserable in one or two batters. That is exactly what happened. Hits kept coming and without a strike from Shin-Soo Choo to the plate nailing Matt Holiday, they could still be hitting.
The same thing happened Monday against the Phillies. Through seven innings Arroyo was throwing a three-hit shutout. He surrendered a hard hit single to Donomic Brown and getting two outs. Chase Utley was sent to pinch hit for Cliff Lee.
Instead of removing Arroyo and bringing in Chapman to flame Utley, Baker chose the opposite. I don’t know if everyone knew what was coming, but I did. Utley, who is a bona fide Reds killer, took Arroyo deep and tied the score at two. Utley has hit 17 HR in only 58 games against the Reds. I had the same sick feeling in that AB that I had when Albert Pujols hit a grand slam against Dave Weathers a few years ago.
Baker should get T-Shirts printed saying “It isn’t easy being me”, because it couldn’t be. He gets second-guessed more than most managers. I don’t have evidence to support that indictment but the gut tells me that. Some of it is unsubstantiated but the majority is squarely on him.
I am a Reds fan through and through, I bleed red, seriously. If I feel the need to call out Baker I am going to do it.
What say ye?
The signing of southpaw Jeff Francis to a minor league contract may have been just a footnote in the off-season journals of most Cincinnati Reds fans. They may have dismissed it as a futile attempt to revive a career that looked disheveled.
The big 31-year old pitcher didn’t look at it that way. He came to Goodyear to win a seat on the Reds bench, and I believe he is going to get one.
He has averaged starting 29 games per season since beginning his MLB career with the Colorado Rockies. His 39 walks was the fourth best in MLB pitchers last season with at least 180 innings. So, obviously control is not an issue.
In four appearances thus far he has an ERA of 2.77, which is at least a run and a half better than any other starting pitcher. His WHIP is a microscopic 0.92 and he has 8 SO in 13 IP and has yet to walk a batter.
I realize spring training is a time for players to work out their kinks and get themselves in shape for the upcoming season. At the same time, it is impossible not to catch the eye of someone who is performing better than most.
Sam LeCure who has been with the Reds the past two campaigns, is not fairing well at all this spring. As is the case much too frequently, LeCure is pitching like a man convinced he has nothing to prove.
Lecure who will be 28 in May is having an atrocious spring. His ERA is almost in double digits and his WHIP is 2.19. Batters are hitting him like Ted Williams and he has given up 17 of them in only eight plus innings.
Even though he has been the designated spot starter and long relief man the past two seasons, he would be a fool if he couldn’t hear Francis’ foot thuds behind him.
The Reds bullpen is too thick to have two people start the season as possible starters. In my opinion, Francis will be that man who will join the team in Cincinnati.
LeCure has never performed well enough to be considered the “go to” guy. He is a good Triple-A pitcher and a mediocre MLB pitcher at best.
Francis on the other hand, averaged 15 wins a season from 2005-2007. He pitches into the heart of the game and with the bullpen the Reds possess, he could be very valuable. The fact that he is left-handed doesn’t hurt anything either. I realize Aroldis Chapman is a southpaw as well, and is enjoying a very fine spring, but he will probably be honing his skills at Louisville, come opening day.
The value of a long relief man need not be minimized nor trivialized. When a starter blows up early, as they at times do (see Bronson Arroyo and Edinson Volquez) it is good to know you have an innings eater who can come in and settle things down.
Keep in mind this is Dusty Baker running the show, need I say more?