May 2, 2012; Dodgers manager Don Mattingly (8) argues a call with first base umpire Tim Welke (3) during the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. (Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE)

The Utility Player: Prospect Push, Standing Shock, Bad Calls

I sincerely doubt you could find a right-minded individual that would say Billy Hamilton isn’t having a sensational beginning to the season. The interwebs is chock full of articles and posts about him. And as you would correctly determine, there is the push for the promotion of Hamilton from Hi-A Bakersfield to AA Pensacola.

The only ones that might not want such are the fans in Bakersfield. Then again, Blaze fans know what it’s like to root for a minor league team. They’re used to seeing players come and go at a quick pace. Part of being a fan of a minor league team.

So, as you know, Paul Janish is out an extended period of time due to a broken wrist. The calls for a Hamilton promotion became increasingly greater upon this news. For now, it will have to wait. The Reds have stated that had the injury occurred a month down the road, Didi Gregorius and Hamilton would have been promoted. The All-Star break is currently the goal for such moves.

How quickly should the Reds “permit” Hamilton to go through the farm system? He is on the fast track, no pun intended. I bring this up for good reason.

In 2008 a young Texan played at three different levels in one year. He played at Hi-A, AA and AAA. For that year, it was a success in that he hit .277 with 7 HR and 57 RBI in 131 games. He also swiped 33 bags in 42 attempts. You’ve probably figured out that I speaking of Drew Stubbs. The following year, Stubbs played 107 games in Louisville before getting the call from Cincinnati.

That’s four levels in two years. That’s a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time.

The mention of Stubbs could elicit speak of “they’re two different types of players”. That cannot be denied. But is there a chance the the meteoric rise of Stubbs left some stones unturned? We wouldn’t want the same fate to befall Hamilton.

Let’s not be so fast on this. We don’t want any bases untouched.

Standings in disarray?

When was the last time you looked at the standings? I’m not just referring to the NL Central, but all of them. Kind of crazy looking, aren’t they.

I know it’s only a month a three days into the season, but here is what the playoff picture would look like…

American League
East: Tampa Bay
Central: Cleveland
West: Texas
WC #1: Balitmore
WC #2: Toronto

No Yankees. No Red Sox. No Tigers. No Angels. Who honestly had the Indians atop the AL Central? Who had the O’s holding down a wild card? Only two of the five teams would be repeaters from last year’s playoff teams.

National League
East: Washington
Central: St. Louis
West: Los Angeles
WC #1: Atlanta
WC #2: New York Mets

No Phillies. No Diamondbacks. Sadly, no Reds. Only one team from last year’s NL playoffs makes a return and that’s the defending champs. Most surprising…the Mets? Sure they’re only 13-12, but did anyone have them anywhere near .500 a month into the season?

Thank goodness there’s a long way to go…

Bad Ump Week

All you have to do is view this image from Fangraphs. Go on. Click the link and look at it.

As you may know, the runner was called out by umpire Tim Welke. Yes, called out. Does this fall under the category of “neighborhood play”? If it does, that’s the largest neighborhood I’ve ever witnessed.

Tim Welke? Surely you remember him. If not, here’s a refresher.

Now you remember.

But it doesn’t end there. Well, it does for Welke. It doesn’t for Angel Campos…

Tonight’s opponent, the Pittsburgh Pirates, are preparing to file a formal complaint with MLB due to Campos and his version of the strike zone. According to Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune-Review, the Pirates and Campos could not see eye to eye during a recent game.

“We’ve had disagreements (with Campos) from the beginning of the series,” manager Clint Hurdle said Thursday. “It escalated a lot. We felt we weren’t getting a fair shake. There were five or six pitches in the first two innings that we disagreed on. That’s a lot.”

Check out what’s StrikeZone Tool Map says about Campos and his zone.

Looks a little shaky to me.

Postponed game dampened night

I know we dislike having a game postponed. Tuesday night’s game against the Cubs was no exception. But it left me having to find something else to do. I didn’t really feel like watching another team or the NBA or NHL playoffs. I figured it was a decent night to get away from sports. I channel surfed…and my intelligence took a bit of a hit.

I knew there were some “new rules” about what’s on the tube these days, but has it ever changed. A reality show here. A reality show there. So many to choose from, right? I mean it seems like have the channels available have some form of reality TV on their schedule. The other half offer some type of “competition” whether it be via dancing, singing, baking cupcakes.

Sometimes, I long for The Fonz to reappear…

FWIW: Is Dan Patrick now jinxed?

Recall that Ohio native Dan Patrick threw out the first pitch at a game between the Reds and Cubs at Wrigley Field. Patrick was adorned in Cubs gear: jersey and cap. I get it. He’s at Wrigley. But there’s something developing here…

Patrick received an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host. While he has won this in the past (1998), he hasn’t had a streak of good luck as of late. Seems like Bob Costas is raking up the hardware.

This past Monday, Costas yet again took home the award. Is Dan becoming Susan Lucci here? Or has his donning of the Cubs regalia now shifted some of the curse onto him?

Speaking of Dan Patrick…

I have to mention this. If you did listen to Patrick’s show today, you had to catch the first 20 minutes. If you didn’t, you missed something.

Some know that I have a bit of disdain for Patrick’s former employer. I have the same amount toward Colin Cowherd. I stated such here in the past. Well, in the eyes of DP, Cowherd is “being lazy”. I can hardly dispute the “charges” levied by Patrick.

You can hear them here. Go to 7:00 mark…and enjoy.

This is by far the first time Cowherd has been accused of such. All you have to do is go to That Balls Outta Here and catch a bit from Justin Klugh on his opinion of Cowherd. Actually, it might my favorite post Justin has ever authored…still.


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Tags: Angel Campos Bad Umpiring Baseball Baseball Standings Billy Hamilton Cincinnati Reds Colin Cowherd Dan Patrick Drew Stubbs MLB Tim Welke

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