Tuesday Tidbits


A trio of things to cover today. With no game last night, I found myself switching between, well, everything just trying to find something on the set. I “settled’ on turning off the TV all together and proceeded to read The Way of Baseball by Shawn Green with Gordon McAlpine. Nice, interesting read. A recommendation, that’s for sure.

So what’s cooking today? Here we go…

Erardi on Corky

If you haven’t already had the chance to read John Erardi’s piece on Corky Miller, it’s a must. While Reds fans love Miller and his ‘stache, we are treated to a side of Corky we don’t always get to see, let alone hear about from his teammates. Dontrelle Willis has extremely high praise for Miller.

"“Corky Miller has got as much to do with me being back here as anybody,’’ Willis said after striking out 10 hitters and walking one during a recent Reds game at Great American Ball Park.“He’s like Halley’s Comet – he’s a once-in-a-lifetime guy.”"

And Willis is spot on here, and Erardi follows that up with the peek into the wonder that is Corky Miller.

Pitching Matchups v. Marlins

The good guys kick off a three game series at Sun Life Stadium against the Florida Marlins. Here’s a quick look at the starting pitching probables for the series. The Reds will go with the “top of the rotation”.

Tonight at 7:10 PM
Reds – Johnny Cueto (season: 9-6, 1.89 ERA; v. Marlins: 1-0, 5.73)
Marlins – Ricky Nolasco (9-9, 4.25 ERA; v. Reds: 2-1, 5.26)

Is it me or has Cueto seemed to have found an extra mph or two as of late? He is now more consistent in hitting the his 90’s with his four-seam fastball. According to Fangraphs, Cueto is averaging 91.9 mph with that pitch and 93.3 when he throwes the two-seamer. In his last outing (according to Brooks Baseball), Cueto averaged 94.1 with the four-seam and 95.2 when using the two-seam. And that increase is making it even harder for opposing hitters to gauge his slider and changeup.

For Nolasco, he’s primed to set the Marlins franchise record for strikeouts with his next one. In an odd bit of irony, he will pass current Red Dontrelle Willis for that mark. That’s the birght side for Nolasco. His last outing, Nolasco set another franchise record in allowing 11 runs.

Wednesday at 7:10 PM
Reds – Bronson Arroyo (7-10, 5.28 ERA; v. Marlins: 0-3, 4.59)
Marlins – Javier Vazquez (7-11, 4.67 ERA; v. Reds: 5-1, 4.43)

One hope for this game is that Mike Stanton doesn’t lay into an Arroyo pitch that’s left over the plate. And speaking of pitch velocity, Arroyo also seems to be picking up a little along with Cueto. He was consistently throwing 88-90 mph fastballs during his last outing, averaging 89.1). It’s true. Maybe he is finally starting to recover from his bout with mono.

Vazquez has always been a mystery to me. It might not be so for 2011, but I always felt Vazquez had the stuff to reside around the top of a rotation, but something hasn’t felt right for him. Reminds me of someine ni the Reds organization…

Thursday at 7:10PM
Reds – Homer Bailey (7-5, 4.48 ERA; v. Marlins: 1-1, 2.45)
Marlins – Chris Volstad (5-10, 5.66 ERA, 1-1, 4.26)

Question: Which Homer will be on the mound? Hard to answer that one as Bailey has shown flashes of what made him so effective early in the season, but has also mixed in what we’ve seen in the past years as well. That kind of sums up Bailey’s career thus far. The consistency factor, one that isn’t the easiest to achieve, seems to avoid Bailey at all costs. One thing I do take away from his last outing (although he said it wasn’t a good one) was that Homer battled through the bad and didn’t let that “bad” effect him as much as he usually does.

Volstad has contracted Arroyo-itis as of late. He has surrendered 4 home runs in his last two outings. In Volstad’s last three starts, he’s 0-2 with a 6.19 ERA with 18 SO in 16 IP. Volstad has also not gone beyond six innings since June 30.

Gregorius Getting Lost?

With all the chatter about Billy Hamilton, one player that is seemingly getting a bit lost in the prospect shuffle might be Mariekson Gregorius, better known as Didi. Gregorius played in the ABL (Australian Baseball League) last winter and began his 2011 campaign in Bakersfield. He is a current resident on the roster of the Carolina Mudcats.

The one aspect of Gregorius’s game has been his bat. Unlike Hamilton, the native of the Netherlands does possess a bit of pop. Not a lot more than Hamilton, mind you, but it’s there. But that pop is beginning to surface a bit more. Gregorius has 7 HR in 72 total games this year. In 127 games last year, he had only 5.

Doug Gray of Reds Minor Leagues picked up something different about Gregorius and his swing/approach at the plate. Check it out here. Gray also has a video of how Gregorius has changed.

And if you think it’s easy playing shortstop in the Midwest League, think again. In 2010, Gregorius committed 31 errors in 119 games for Dayton. This year, Hamilton has made 36 errors in the same number of games. Gregorius has 18 errors between his two stops this season, but, as I have already stated, has only played in 72 games (70 in the field). He is on the same pace as far as fielding percentage goes.

Tuesday…Well, ‘Til Tuesday

Always thought Aimee Mann has one of the more distinct, powerful voices.

Get ’em tonight, guys!