A rather uneventful weekend aside from that football game. Had no particular rooting interest as I am not a fan of either team that played in it. I suppose you could guess that by the fact I haven’t even named the teams. Not a fan of either. Enough of that.
Today’s 5 at 5 brings about a brief history lesson, some stat digging, and, most important of all, actual baseball games were televised!
1. I watched baseball last night
And it wasn’t on DVD or any other type of recorded media. I’ll say it again: I WATCHED A REAL, LIVE BASEBALL GAME LAST NIGHT! ESPN2 was showing a game between Mexico-Dominican Republic as part of the Caribbean Series. And it was a great game as the Dominican Republic won in 11 innings by a 6-5 final.
It was a rush to watch live baseball again. I had a mention of the game on our Facebook page. If you look over at the section on the right-hand column “Recent Posts by Others on Blog Red Machine”, I had doubters…until they witnessed it for themselves.
It’s baseball. Need more be said?
2. Law: Cards with #1 farm system
I’m surprised if you’re not surprised with that statement. ESPN’s Keith Law notes (via an Insider piece) that the rival Cardinals are owners of baseball’s top minor league system. I would honestly expect that to lower over the next couple of years, and I’m honestly not knocking the Cards front office here.
Some of those prospects are going to be taking over for their older players within a short time. That alone will do that, but like anything else that relates to the Cardinals, do not underestimate the franchise.
And for the record, Law rates the Reds as the 12th best.
3. Reds have 8th best lineup
Over on MLB.com, Anthony Castrovince has his top 10 lineups listed. He sees the good guys as owning baseball’s 8th best starting lineup, but the Cards (those pesky Cards) come in at #3.
Here’s what Castrovince says about the Reds:
Cincinnati finally has a reliable leadoff presence in Shin-Soo Choo, who is entering a contract year, and that allows Brandon Phillips, who batted leadoff in the playoffs, to move down. Joey Votto was a shell of his former self when he returned from knee surgery last year. If he can get back to 100 percent, the Reds will undoubtedly look more like the team that led the NL in runs scored from 2010-11 than the team that finished 21st in the Majors in the runs department last year. But they’ll need more of the same from Ryan Ludwick, one of the most pleasant surprises in baseball last season, and Todd Frazier, who now has a position — third base — to call his own.
I don’t think there’s a whole lot of debate here. You have the upgrade at the top of the lineup (Choo). Hopefully #19 gets back to being #19. Ludwick and Frazier must duplicate their 2012 seasons.
Got to wonder though. What if Zack Cozart produces at his minor league numbers. While in Triple-A Louisville, Cozart produced a triple slash of .275/.327/.435. Would any Reds fan object to that?
4. Remember the Senior Professional Baseball Association?
I didn’t either until our friends on Baseball de World reminded me that such a league existed. On this date in 1990, the St. Petersburg Pelicans won its first, and only, championship. One rule the league had in effect was that you had to be no younger than 35 (32 if you were a catcher) in order to play in the league.
5. Ground ball rates from RedsMinorLeagues.com
If there is one angle that plays well at GABP, it is that of the groundball. The more you serve, the less chances of one of those so-called “cheap, GABP induced” home runs. Yes, we hear it frequently from opposing fanbases. We also know the Reds home turf can be a lunching pad, so it is important for Reds pitchers, maybe more so as they come up through the Reds organization, to deliver more groundballs that flyballs.
Doug Gray of RML fills us in on Reds pitching prospects that produce the highest groundball rate. A highly suggested read.
Also, if you haven’t visited RML in a while, Gray has re-designed the site.