UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while listening to the rain pelt outside and wondering why the Cincinnati Reds didn’t have Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias in the rotation on Opening Day.
It didn’t happen mostly because the Reds are concerned about the number of pitches Lorenzen and Iglesias might throw this season and plan to ration those innings carefully.
A veteran American League scout is as perplexed about this as I am and said, “I don’t understand why teams do that. Let the guys pitch and build up their arms. And the Reds should be concerned about winning now.”
REMEMBER WHAT THE Washington Nationals did to Stephen Strasburg? He missed most of 2011 after Tommy John surgery, but came back for 2012. He was 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA in August, but when he reached 159 innings the Nationals, despite being in the thick of the race, decided to shut him down for the rest of the season to protect his arm. He made 30 starts in 2013 and was 8-and-9. Now he is battling an assortment of injures and left the mound early last week in his Friday start against the Reds.
So how has that ‘protective custody’ worked out for him and the Nationals?
JOHNNY CUETO, pronouncing himself ready, willing and able to pitch, returns to the mound Tuesday night in Philadelphia after missing nearly two starts with soreness in his elbow.
And how about his future with the Reds? His agent, Bryce Dixon, had some interesting comments on the Sirius radio MLB networ with former Re ds general manager Jim Bowden.
“I’ve told Johnny just to be ready in case he does get traded,” said Dixon. “This (year) is his arbitration extension that we signed and we didn’t get a no-trade clause in the deal. So as far as where he goes is up to the Reds.
“They’ve made no indications to Johnny that they want to trade him,” he added. “But, reading the tea leaves, if they fall out of contention it makes no sense from their end (not to trade him) because if they ride out the season with him and don’t make the playoffs (and he signs after the season as a free agent) the Reds are stuck with only a compensation pick. And from where I sit they probably can get more for him on the trade market.”
UNtiL LAST WEEKEND, when they swept the first-place Washington Nationals and played superbly, the season looked bleak. But now? They are 10 ½ games behind the St. Louis Cardinals and that’s dreamland to think they might catch them. But second place and a wild card remains within grasp. They are only 3 ½ games behind second place Chicago and 3 ½ behind third place Pittsburgh.
What to do, what to do?
TODD FRAZIER put together an awesome week and was rewarded by being selected National League Player of the Week, the first member of the Reds to win it this season.
Frazier hit .500 with a slugging percentage of 1.227, both tops in the league for last week. He hit four home runs, four doubles, had an on-base average of .560 and drove in seven runs.
Frazier’s walk-up song is Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon.’ If Frazier keeps rolling this way he might change his song to Sinatra’s ‘It Was a Very Good Year.’
IT HAS BEEN a long, hard process for San Diego Padres pitcher Cory Luebke, the Maria Stein native and graduate of Marion Local.
The former Ohio State left hander last pitched in 2011. Early in the season he was 3-and-1 with a 2.61 ERA in five starts. He hasn’t pitched since. He tore the ligament in his left elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery. After doing the difficult rehab work, it was determined he needed a second Tommy John surgery. Now, finally, it appears he is close to returning. The 6-4, 205-pound left hander will pitch a simulated game Tuesday in Peoria, AZ. and if that goes OK he will begin a rehab assignment in the minors.
THERE ARE TWO book signings this week for ‘The Real McCoy.’ On Tuesday we will be at the Kettering-Moraine Library on Far Hills in Kettering at 6:30 and on Wednesday we will be at the Fort Recovery Middle/Elementary School Auditeria on Sharpsburg Road at 6:30.