I visited a local renaissance festival with my boys this afternoon and arrived home after the Reds won the extra innings tilt against against the St. Louis Cardinals and the Dayton Dragons lost to the visiting Lansing Lugnuts. Looking over the results of both games I had a number of random thoughts worthy of sharing but not substantial enough to warrant an individual post. Let’s start with our playoff bound Dayton Dragons.
- Delino DeShields gave Billy Hamilton the day off after his 3 SB performance yesterday the raised him to 100 SBs for the season. This works on several levels. Hamilton will have today and Tuesday off before the playoffs start on Wednesday. I suspect DeShields will play him in the final regular season game tomorrow to keep him both rested and avoid getting rusty.
- The 100 SB accomplishment Billy reached on Saturday marks the first time a minor league player reached this level since 2001 and it is a new Reds minor league record. Hamilton has stolen 148 bases in 203 career minor league starts.
- Drew Stubbs, the fastest player on the Reds roster, stole 121 bases in 423 minor league games, to put Hamilton’s accomplishments into perspective.
- Kyle Lotzkar started todays game and managed a no decision in the Dragons loss. He gave up 4 ER in 5 IP with 7 strikeouts, 3 hits and 4 walks.
- I have often heard Lotzkar, who entered the season ranked <a title=”as the best pitching prospect on the Dragons roster, referred to as a control pitcher with 94+ mph fastball, a plus curveball and a developing changeup. In 2011, he has 25 walks in 66.2 innings of work. In addition he leads the Dragons with 15 hit batsmen.
- Daniel Corcino has 34 walks in 139.1 IP and Josh Smith has 33 walks in 142.1 IP. I will let you draw your own conclusions about who is the control pitcher.
- My other concern with regard to Lotzkar, is the inning count due to injuries since he was drafted in the 1st round of the 2007 supplemental draft. 29 IP in 2007, 37.2 IP in 2008 culminating in Tommy John surgery that kept him on the sidelines in 2009, 44.1 IP in 2010 and 61.2 IP in 2011. Remember Kyle is a starter and only 2 of his 44 appearances were in relief for a total in 5 years of 172.2 innings. He has had elbow troubles in almost every year and though he is still only 21 years of age injuries remain a major concern for the young righthander.
- Daniel Renken, who pitched the majority of the season with the Dragons till his August 2 promotion to Advanced Class A Bakersfield, has been moved onto the 7 day DL for reasons I have been unable to discover. He last pitched on August 29th allowing 4 ER in over 5 innings. He had the leave when he was pulled to start the 6th but the Blaze lost the game late. He has pitched 143.1 innings for the Blaze and the Dragons so they may have decided that was enough.
- Renken finished the season with 165 strikeouts between his two teams. Trailing only Josh Smith by a single punch out for the year with teammate Corcino finishing with 156. The three led all pitchers in the Reds minor league organization in strikeouts.
- Dontrelle Willis steps to the mound tomorrow at Wrigley Field. This is his 11th appearance in a Reds uniform and he still is searching for his elusive first win. He has given up more than 3 runs just once and has 8 quality starts. His ERA is 4.10 which is a bit high but he deserves better than this.
- General expectation that Devin Mesoraco will earn his first ML start tomorrow afternoon catching for Dontrelle Willis.
- While still in Louisville Devin Mesoraco was his catcher of choice and I am certain Willis’ experience has helped Mesoraco develop this year. According to the Reds MLB.com website, Willis was 5-2 in 13 starts with the Bats while tossing to Devin so maybe this comfort zone will help both players adjust to their new workplace and get a win under their belts.
- Learning more about the Jeremy Hermida story was kind of nice. The Reds valued him in AAA but were willing to allow him to seek a team that would give him a place on the active roster and San Diego is that place. It is good to hear that while baseball is a business, teams actually do care about the best interest of their players.
- Noticed the combined Bats army of Yonder Alonso, Zack Cozart, Juan Francisco, Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco, Dave Sappelt, and Chris Valaika have amassed 282 at bats while Paul Janish has 302 and Edgar Renteria has 248.
- As a doubles fanatic it disturbs me that the army combined for 14 doubles, while Paul has 13 and Edgar has 12. They also have 13 HRs compared to Renteria’s 4. Janish of course has 1 less than either Dontrelle Willis or Travis Wood: 0.
- Lest the fielding argument be used against rookies, they have 214 fielding chances while committing 2 errors. Janish has committed 12 errors in 370 chances. Finally Edgar has had 279 fielding chances while also committing 12 errors.
- This again begs the rhetorical question…Why is Edgar Renteria ever in the lineup? If the Fred Lewis Experiment was a failure how can anyone make an argument for Edgar?
- Drew Stubbs struck out twice in 13 plate appearances against the Cardinals. Not bad at all. During the series Joey Votto struck out 6 times in 14 PAs and Jay Bruce struck out 4 times in 14 PAs.
Follow me on Twitter as the Dayton Dragons begin their playoff run and the Cincinnati Reds begin the process of preparing themselves for the future @JohnHeitz