Marshall records his 3rd save of the season against the Giants. The Reds won 4-2. (Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE)

The Utility Player: Marshall/Chapman, Rolen, Votto and More

True that yesterday’s 6-5 loss was a devastating one. An Angel Pagan three-run homer off closer Sean Marshall provided the Giants with the win…and soon after the gates were open.

Those gates were comments, even from Ol’ Leatherpants himself, about removing Marshall from the cloer’s role and presenting it to Aroldis Chapman to the closer’s role. How crazy is that?

After Ryan Madson was lost for the season, there were questions raised about Marshall working on consecutive days. Those questions were put to rest due to his history of working two and sometimes, three days in a row. The results are solid. In fact, in looking at his splits from 2011, when Marshall had more than two days rest, it was not his best baseball.

Split G AB R H HR BB SO BA OBP SLG
0 Days,GR 23 73 6 19 0 5 24 .260 .316 .274
1 Day,GR 22 76 9 18 1 6 18 .237 .301 .342
2 Days,GR 22 86 3 17 0 3 25 .198 .225 .221
3 Days,GR 6 29 3 8 0 2 8 .276 .323 .345
4 Days,GR 3 12 0 4 0 1 2 .333 .385 .417
5 Days,GR 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
6+ Days,GR 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/26/2012.

And please note…Marshall surrendered only one home run last season.

But this topic of Marshall and his workload was already covered, right? It was.

The same questions have been presented in regards to Chapman. Generally speaking, when Chapman worked two days in a row, he was unavailable for at least one, if not, two days. I’m sure the same would hold true for Marshall if he were to be utilized on three consecutive days. He would not be available the following day.

And think about this for a minute. The closer’s position has already taken a massive hit this season. Not only did the Reds lose Madson, the Royals lost Joakim Soria. The Giants lost Brian Wilson. All due to needing Tommy John surgery. The Boston Red Sox will be without Andrew Bailey until the All-Star break due to surgery on his right thumb. The Toronto Blue Jays will not have the services of Sergio Santos for at least a month.

Who knows if there will be more…

Why would the Reds risk any injury to Chapman? Putting him the closer’s role would enhance those chances due to workload…at least.

And before people sound off on Marshall, you cannot let home plate umpire Tim Welke off the hook.

The missed strike (#3) would have been strike three. Pagan would have been out. No homer. Game continues. The Giants still had chances to come back, but those chances would have been decreased. Welke gave them a present.

Rolen is Rollin’. Will Bruce Get Goin’?

Maybe we should get onto Scott Rolen‘s case more often.

We’ve questioned him in the clean-up spot (as well as many others not associated with BRM). Rolen was dropped to 6th in the batting order. The results weren’t there upon first moving Rolen. Now, maybe they’re taking the desired effect.

Sure, you can say the first came off of Barry Zito whose fastball may hit 85. And poke fun (if you will) that Guillermo Mota hung a slider. That’s what you’re supposed to do with pitches that are mistakes…put ‘em over the wall.

I like the results as Rolen has homered in back-to-back games. I hope this is a trend that continues.

And the same for Jay Bruce. He hit his first home run since June April 8th. Just yesterday, I had written about Bruce’s recent lean times.

One thing we know about Bruce is that he is a streaky hitter. When he is on, he is almost impossible to get out. It’s when he’s not in that zone that has Reds fans worried. Worried how long it will last and when he will snap back into the hitting zone. It’s usually an extended period. If yesterday is an indication that he is coming out of a funk, it’s a good thing for two reasons.

One is simply that of production and adding to a pretty potent lineup. The other would be that Bruce was not in this slump for as extended period as has occurred in the past.

One thing Bruce has been searching for is consistency at the plate.

Maybe, just maybe…

A Couple of Items about Votto

Surely you didn’t think you’d get through TUP and not have something about #19, did you? Here’s a couple of things…

I will again point to my post from yesterday. I said this…

But we’re not hearing too much about Joey Votto. He leads the National League in walks with 17…one a game, but as alluded to last night, his strikeouts are up a bit. Would you believe 19? Now there’s some irony…

After today’s game, Joel Luckhaupt had this tidbit of info on Twitter…

Touche’, Joel.

FWIW: Scented Wrist Bands?

I swear I’m not fibbing. A hat tip to Off The Bench for this one…

Apparently there was a study conducted by the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. The foundation studies how smell and taste affects our behavior. For one study, the foundation equipped Chicago White Sox players with wrist bands that were scented with jasmine. Here’s the lowdown on how the study was performed…

In a study conducted last summer, six White Sox players alternated between wearing jasmine-scented and unscented wristbands. They sniffed them once before swinging at 10 pitches in the batting cage at U.S. Cellular Field. Each player faced the same pitcher, who tried to throw the ball consistently to the batter.

The pitcher and batting coaches rated how each player swung at the ball, connected for a hit, how far the ball went, how fast the swing was and whether the performance changed for better or worse. The pitcher and batting coaches didn’t know when the players were wearing the scented and unscented wristbands. Each batter rated how he felt about the swing and batting ability.

According to the results, those wearing the scented bands showed improvement and, as Dr. Alan Hirsch of the foundations states, “Their follow-through was better.”

You can read more about the results on RedeyeChicago.com.

I can sense a whole new industry…

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Tags: Aroldis Chapman Baseball Cincinnati Reds Jay Bruce Joey Votto MLB Scott Rolen Sean Marshall

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