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Reds FInish Deal With Closer Ryan Madson

The Reds have their closer in a great deal. They signed former Phillies closer Ryan Madson to a one year, $6 million deal. Madson was the Phillies closer for the first time in his nine year career and he put together some solid numbers but when he went looking for a long term deal, nobody came knocking. Madson’s loss is the Reds win because now they have a better closer at a better price.

Madson gave up just two home runs in 60 2/3 innings and he struck out 62 with just 16 walks. Ultimately, the Reds will be on the hook for $8.5 million because there’s an $11 million mutual option for 2013 with a $2.5 million buy out. Madson ran into problems when other closers were signed early and now he has an out if he’s lights out in 2012.

Reds Worst of the Best As Second Half Closes

The All Star Break is here and the Reds are in fourth place. Even worse, they have a losing record at 45-47. Of course the good news is, they’re only four games back of first place. The Cardinals and Brewers are tied for first and then the surprising Pirates sit just one game back of them. I’d say the Pirates won’t have the staying power but I’m pretty sure that’s what a lot of people were saying about the Reds last year.

Best pitcher goes to the sophomore Mike Leake. He leads the teams in wins (8) and ERA (4.28) but he has to get more consistent. He’ll shut a team out for six innings one day then give up four or five the next time out. Of course the Reds have one of the worst pitching staffs this year in the National League so being the best of a mediocre staff shouldn’t make anyone happy. They’ve given up a bunch of home runs and they’ve walked a lot of guys and if the Reds are going to make a move, they need to turn around their pitching staff woes quickly.

Best hitter is Joey Votto but a close second is Jay Bruce who seems to be coming into his own. Votto has a .945 OPS and while Bruce is well behind him at .852, he has the 21 home runs.

Enjoy the break everyone. Hopefully the Reds can kick things off strong against the Cardinals when they return from the break.

Reds Minor Leagues

The Reds Minor League affiliates got off to a good start last night. Be sure to check out the coverage over at Reds Minors.

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Four Straight Losses

The NL Central is quite a log jam these days.  The Reds have dropped four straight, including a three game sweep at the hands of the Royals, yet they still sit just 2 1/2 games back of first place.  Unfortunately, just four games seperate first from last and we’re talking about a six team division here.  The All Star break is a month away but things are definitely interesting here in Reds land.

It was another one run, five hit game as the Reds lost this afternoon.  The Reds scored in the first, then never pushed a runner across the plate again.  Jonny Gomes had the lone extra base hit with a double and Alex Gonzalez scored the lone run.

Johnny Cueto was roughed up but oddly, all five runs he gave up were unearned.  He gave up seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts in six innings.

The loss pushed the Reds to an even 31-31.  The Reds at least get a break from interleague as they host the Braves for three games.  It’s Aaron Harang against Jair Jurrjens in the opener on Tuesday.

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Still Waiting

Well, my new favorite player didn’t even become a Red as my hopeful signing, Pat Burrell, signed a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. It was a nice little deal for the Rays too and you wonder why the Reds didn’t jump. You’d think with a veteran manager (Dusty Baker) and a top notch general manager (Walt Jocketty) that this team would be on their way back but we’re a year plus into the regime and we’re still waiting.

There’s a decent story on Adam Dunn at the Enquirer. He’s still out there and while he’d be a good fit for the Reds, odds are they won’t roll that way because of Dunn’s past with the Reds (not that it’s bad, they just gave up on him once, so why go out and get him back). It looks like the Dodgers have shown some interest if the Giants can steal Manny but our old friend Jim Bowden in Washington might also have his eyes on Dunnster.

Here’s another reason why the Willie Taveras signing looks foolish. Now Andruw Jones might be available at a bargain basement price. Not that a Jones signing wouldn’t have its risks, but at least there’s a lot more upside then Willie T. In the meantime, the Reds are waiting to hear from Jerry Hairston, Jr. but that’s another snoozer deal.

I know the economy has all of the mid-market teams spooked, but c’mon. Burrell is a premier slugger and he got scooped up for $8 million per. If the Reds wait too long, they’ll be left holding the bag.

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Ankiel Just Another Nail in the Coffin of “Too Good To Be True”

Other than the fact that he was playing for the hated Cardinals and their a-hole of a coach, I thought the Rick Ankiel story was amazing.  He transformed himself from crazy-wild pitcher to prolific power (major league) hitter in two short years.  I bought into it hook, line and sinker.  Then the HGH story comes out and I ask myself, “Why did I fall for this again?”  Fresh off the years of Bret Boone hitting 37 home runs and Ron Gant’s biceps bursting out of his uniform, you would think I would learn.  Well, no more feel good features for me.  I’m assuming that everyone is juiced.  Screech, Gary Coleman, Don Zimmer.  Everyone.

Reds are 9.5 games out.  ‘Nuff said, true believer.

Mike Stanton And Déjà Vu – Bullpen Blows Another Late Lead

Wait – haven’t I seen this before?  Mike Stanton gave up three runs yet again in only his fourth appearance, blowing a late comeback by the Reds.  Narron has consistently gone the ‘pen and brought in pitchers in different situations – playing the averages.  It has consistently blown up in his face too – it’s hard to figure out who is going to not execute in this bullpen.  Sometimes they play well, other times – well, look at last night’s game to get an idea.  It’s difficult to feel very confident with any late lead with this current Reds ‘pen.

One nice development in this game was Ken Griffey Jr.’s emergence as the Griffey of his youth.  Grif hit a 3-run homer and actually stole a base (which later led to him scoring a run). 

Josh Hamilton did indeed win the NL rookie of the month award.  It would be pretty hard to argue against him winning it.  He’s a Cinderella story for sure.  Let’s hope the happy endings continue for Josh (and I mean that in the strictest, most Southern Baptist sense.)

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