TUESDAY’S #REDS LINEUP

LHP John Lamb tonight will be returned from a rehabilitation assignment and will be reinstated from the 15-day disabled list.

He will start tonight’s game for the Reds in place of RHP Jon Moscot.

The necessary roster move will be announced prior to the game.

05-03-16

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Tonight is the first of four Bark in the Park events of the 2016 season, presented by Iams & Kroger. Over 400 dogs and their owners are expected in the ballpark tonight to take part in various festivities, including a pregame parade around the warning track.

EXPECT GOOD NEWS: @BILLYHAMILTON IS HEATING UP

Billy Hamilton is fast.  If you watched last night’s Reds/Giants game, you can probably agree that Billy is the reigning world champion of turning routine singles into extraordinary doubles.  But what Billy’s been doing at the plate over the past week or so isn’t nearly as flashy or celebrated.

Over the past 7 games in which Billy batted .320 (8-for-25) with just 4 strikeouts in 27 plate appearances, he missed just 2 of the 39 pitches he swung at (5.1%; league average during that span is 22.9%).  Since Billy is arguably the fastest guy in baseball, Reds fans would prefer he put the ball in play; well, he’s done just that.  Over his previous 14 games, he’s put 21 of 38 swings in play vs right handed pitchers, which ranks 3rd among 215 full-time MLB players.

Billy is a switch hitter who has only come to the plate on the right side (vs lefties) 18 times so far in 2016.  He’s 5-for-17 vs southpaws (.294, .922ops) and only once went down on strikes.

Of the 104 pitches he’s seen out of the strike zone against right handers this year, Billy (batting from the left side) has swung at just 19 of them.  That’s 18.3% – good for the 13th-lowest such percentage of 220 full time Major League batters.

Billy has been laying off bad pitches, not missing the good ones and putting the ball in play (63.9 ground ball pct). Sure, he could probably stand to improve on 2-strike counts (2-for-32, .062) but even in that situation, he’s putting the ball in play and his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) with 2 strikes will probably go up from its current “tough luck” mark of .056.

Hamilton hasn’t drawn a walk since April 14 and averages 3.84 pitches per plate appearance (3.69 in 2015). But because he isn’t striking out and isn’t swinging at bad pitches, one could draw the conclusion that he’s seeing mostly pitches in the zone; pitches he can do something with.

Perhaps this is the year he turns the corner as a big league hitter.

 

MESORACO TO DL; CABRERA RECALLED

The Reds have placed on the 15-day disabled list C Devin Mesoraco, retroactive to Thursday, with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

C Ramon Cabrera (#37) has been recalled from Class AAA Louisville and is expected to be in uniform for tonight’s game vs the Giants.

WANT SOME COOL #REDS STUFF?

BORPrizes

Mr. Redlegs X-Wing Fighter bobblehead, Reds Kids Opening Day cap, Mr. Redlegs fleece blanket

 

How would you like to win the stuff above? Well, here’s how

All you have to do is tweet me (@jamieblog) the answer to the following question:

In the most recent episode of the Better Off Red Podcast, what was Jeff Passan’s response when I asked him why it was important to include Sandy Koufax in his new book?

I’ll give you until Friday’s first pitch to get your answer in and then I will randomly choose one lucky winner.  Cool?

Official Rules for BETTER OFF RED Giveaways: Employees, officers, directors, representatives and agents of any MLB entity and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries & affiliated companies and their immediate families and those living in their same household, whether or not related, are not eligible for any Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) giveaway. Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) will determine giveaway recipients in its sole and absolute discretion. If you have received a Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) giveaway in the last 30 days, you’re not eligible. If you live more than 100 miles from the ballpark where a game for which tickets are being given away will be played, you are not eligible for that ticket giveaway. If a giveaway recipient is determined to be ineligible, Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) may, in its sole and absolute discretion, not give away the goods or ticket(s) or may give the goods or ticket(s) to the next eligible follower. You will be required to privately (through Twitter direct message or email) provide your name and address if you are selected as a giveaway recipient. Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) will not keep or store your information or use it for any purpose other than sending your giveaway item(s) or providing you information on receiving the item(s). Giveaways are subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules or regulations.

MONDAY’S #REDS LINEUP; HAPPY STATS

05-02-16

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From my pal @Bongreatness

Leading us in the singing of our National Anthem this evening will be Priscilia Le Foll, who plays “The Shaman” in Cirque du Soleil’s TORUK — The First Flight, inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR, with performances at U.S. Bank Arena, May 4th through May 8th.

In the middle of the 4th inning tonight the Reds will recognize the loss to our local community of Cincinnati firefighter Jordan Pieniazek with an “In Memoriam” videoboard tribute. (Additionally, Firefighter Pieniazek’s life will be recognized at next Monday night’s “Police & Fire Appreciation Night” during our Moment of Remembrance prior to the singing of our National Anthem that evening.)

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Happy Stats:

Jay Bruce has walked 5 times in 24 PA’s (20.8%) versus RHP over the past 14 days (10 games). (MLB Rank: 12th of 215 full-time players in BB% ; League Avg: 8.8%)

Eugenio Suarez has an OPS of 1.086 (51 PA’s) at home this season. (MLB Rank: 11th of 216 full-time players; League Avg: .730)

Opponents are hitting just 2-for-27 (.074) against Brandon Finnegan on inside fastballs this season. (MLB Rank: 1st of 41 qualified SP; League Avg: .262)

Opponents have slugged just .096 (5 Total Bases / 52 AB) against Brandon Finnegan with two strikes . (MLB Rank: 3rd of 135 qualified SP; League Avg: .262)

Opponents have missed 12 pitches on 30 swings (40.0% Miss Pct) against Ross Ohlendorf on two-strike counts this year. (MLB Rank: 7th of 132 qualified RP; League Avg: 25.5%)

Brandon Phillips has a Strikeout Pct of just 10.8% (9/83) this year. (MLB Rank: 16th of 217 full-time players; League Avg: 20.7%)

Tucker Barnhart’s Miss Pct is just 14.1% (12/85) this season. (MLB Rank: 6th of 88 part-time players; League Avg: 23.7%)

Reds hitters have 7 Extra-Base hits out of 11 total hits (63.6% Extra-Base Hit Pct) against relievers in the past 7 days. (MLB Rank: 1st of 30 teams; League Avg: 38.0%)

Hitters are batting just .184 against Reds starting pitchers (19-for-103) when going through the lineup the third time in a game this year. (MLB Rank: 1st of 30 teams’ SP’s; League Avg: .263)

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS • MAY 2-11 • #REDS VS. GIANTS, BREWERS, PIRATES

Monday, May 2, 2016 – Reds vs. San Francisco Giants, 7:10 p.m.
National Anthem: Priscilia Le Foll, vocalist from Cirque du Soleil, will sing the National Anthem. Le Foll plays The Shaman in Cirque du Soleil’s TORUK — The First Flight, inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR, and performing at U.S. Bank Arena, May 4-8.
All-Star Voting Kickoff: The 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot is now open. Vote for your favorite Reds at reds.com, on your computer, tablet and smart phone. (Online only, no paper ballots.) Fans may vote a maximum of 35 times per e-mail address through June 30, 2016 with a limit of five times per 24-hour period.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – Reds vs. San Francisco Giants, 7:10 p.m.
Bark in the Park: Tonight is the first of four Bark in the Park games this season, presented by Iams and Kroger. Over 600 dogs and their owners will be in a special seating area while the Kroger Fan Zone will turn into the “Dog Zone” with product samples and activities for both dogs and owners. A pregame parade with all the dogs and owners begins at 6:25 p.m. A limited number of dog tickets are still available at reds.com/dogday. Dog packages must be purchased in advance of game day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 – Reds vs. San Francisco Giants, 12:35 p.m. (Business Day Special, Senior Citizen Special)
Award Presentation: During pregame ceremonies, the Reds will be recognized for being the recipient of a “Most Productive” blood drive award from the America’s Blood Centers and Hoxworth Blood Center.

Thursday, May 5, 2016 – Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 7:10 p.m. (Thirsty Thursday)
Cinco De Mayo: In honor of Cinco de Mayo, Reds players and coaches will wear the alternate “Los Rojos” jerseys.
Flying Pig Night: Pregame ceremonies will honor winners and participants of the 18th annual Flying Pig Marathon.

Friday, May 6, 2016 – Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 7:10 p.m. (Fireworks Friday)
STAR WARS™ Poster: The first 20,000 fans will receive an exclusive STAR WARS™ and Reds-themed poster.
STAR WARS™ Characters: All weekend long, characters from the iconic film series will be greeting fans around the ballpark.
Fireworks Friday: Post-game fireworks show starting approximately 10 minutes after the end of the game with a STAR WARS™ soundtrack, presented by United Dairy Farmers.

Saturday, May 7, 2016 – Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 7:10 p.m. (Super Saturday)
XWingRedlegs-CLIP (002)STAR WARS™ X-Wing Fighter Mr. Redlegs Bobblehead: As part of Super Saturdays, free X-Wing Fighter Mr. Redlegs Bobblehead to the first 25,000 fans, presented by Dynegy Energy Services.
STAR WARS™ Characters: All weekend long, characters from the iconic film series will be greeting fans around the ballpark.
First Pitch: Former Reds catcher Eddie Taubensee will throw out a ceremonial first pitch.
Reds Wives Fundraiser: The Reds Wives will be selling raffle tickets for the “Wives Favorite Things” basket raffle inside the first base side re-entry gate at GABP. Gift baskets have been filled by the players’ wives with their favorite items including gifts from their home state, gift cards to their favorite stores along with books and DVDs, an autographed baseball and four tickets to an upcoming Reds game. Player baskets include Jay Bruce, Zack Cozart, Devin Mesoraco, Tucker Barnhart and more. Raffle tickets will be for sale (1 for $5, 3 for $10) starting when gates open to the end of the 7th inning. The winners will be drawn at random during the 8th inning.

Sunday, May 8, 2016 – Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 1:10 p.m. (Family Sunday)
Kids Fathead® Wall Decal: As part of family day at the ballpark, free Fathead® Wall Decal to kids 14 and younger.
STAR WARS™ Characters: All weekend long, characters from the iconic film series will be greeting fans around the ballpark.
Mother’s Day Frame: Free Reds picture frame to the first 10,000 moms, presented by Kahn’s.
Mother’s Day: The Reds and Major League Baseball will celebrate Mother’s Day with special pregame ceremonies bringing awareness to breast cancer research. Reds players and coaches will wear specially designed caps and jerseys with pink incorporated into the primary uniform.

Monday, May 9, 2016 – Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10 p.m.
Police & Fire Appreciation Night: Many of tonight’s pre-game ceremonies will feature members of local police, fire, sheriff and EMT departments. Bre Wolterman, widow of Middletown firefighter Patrick Wolterman, will serve as the Honorary Captain of the game.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10 p.m.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 – Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:10 p.m.

Ticket Offers For This Homestand:
• Business Day Special: For all 12:35 p.m. weekday Paycor Business Day Special games, get a View Level seat loaded with $10 in concession credits for just $20: reds.com/SkipWork
• Senior Citizen Special: For select games (including May 4) fans 60 and older may purchase select non-premium tickets at half-price in advance of game day only: reds.com/Seniors. Excludes Dugout Box, Upper View Level, Value View and Kroger Bleachers. Subject to availability.
• Thirsty Thursdays: For all Thursday Reds home games, fans can purchase a $30 package that includes a Field Box ticket and a $10 concession credit valid for food and beverages. Available only at reds.com/Thursday
• Family Sunday: For every Sunday home game, families can get up to three half-price tickets with purchase of a full-price ticket, presented by Klosterman Bakery: reds.com/Family
• Mother’s Day Theme Package, May 8: The new Mother’s Day theme package includes a game ticket and a chance to take the field before the game and pose for a family photo. Package includes a print of the photo and a commemorative frame. Packages start at $20: reds.com/MothersDay.

Reds Hall of Fame & Museum
• Lee May Bobblehead: The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum’s collectible gift program continues in 2016 with a series of five Reds Hall of Famer bobbleheads, presented by Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. The second bobblehead in the series features Reds Hall of Famer Lee May. The bobbleheads are free with regular-price museum admission (or a Scotts Great American Ball Park tour) Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the month of May, while supplies last.
• Eddie Taubensee Autograph Session, May 7: Former Reds catcher Eddie Taubensee will sign autographs at the Reds HOF & Museum on Saturday, May 7 from 5 to 6 p.m. Autographs are $5 for HOF members and $10 for nonmembers. Limit one autograph per person. Museum admission required.
• Choose Your Favorite Bobblehead Vote: Fans can vote for their favorite Reds or Reds Hall of Fame bobblehead in the Choose Your Favorite Bobblehead Vote sponsored by Clark Schaefer Hackett. The 81 bobbleheads have been broken into eight different themed groups. Each week through May 26, fans will be able to vote on a new grouping of bobbleheads. For each voting week, one lucky fan will win a set of 2016 Reds Hall of Fame Bobbleheads. Vote today at redsmuseum.org.

Upcoming Events
• 7th Annual PNC/Reds/Players For The Planet E-Waste Recycling Drives, May 5-7: Fans are encouraged to visit three convenient locations with electronic waste items for recycling:
– Thursday, May 5, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.: PNC Bank/Kroger – Northgate Square, 9650 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, 45251
– Friday, May 6, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.: PNC Bank/Kroger – Anderson Towne Center, 7500 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati, 45230
– Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: PNC Bank/Kroger – Hyde Park Plaza, 3740 Paxton Road, Cincinnati, 45209

Players for the Planet will accept personal computers, cell phones, cords, monitors, televisions, small home appliances and most other electronics. The full list of acceptable electronics is listed at: cohenusa.com/reds.

The first 300 cars at each event will receive two free tickets to a select 2016 regular season Reds game.

A minimum donation of $10 per car is suggested to offset recycling costs and to benefit the Reds Community Fund.

FRIDAY’S #REDS LINEUP; MINOR LEAGUE SPOTLIGHT

Who’s you Red-To-Rock tonight in Pittsburgh?

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Reds media relations intern Juan Dorado brings us a new feature here on Better Off Red highlighting the Reds minor leagues. Here’s the Reds Minor League Spotlight….

Minor League Spotlight:
The Minor League season is well underway and while High-A Daytona (7-14) and Low-A Dayton (5-16) are off to slow starts, Double-A Pensacola (12-9) and Triple-A Louisville (11-8) are within first in their respective divisions.

The Louisville Bats have won five straight, a feat they haven’t accomplished since June of 2014, and are within two games of the front-running Columbus Clippers in the International League West Division. Part of the Bats success is due to Jesse Winker and Jose Peraza. Winker the No.2 prospect in the Reds system according to MLB.com is batting .323 (21-for-65) with a homer and 12 RBI. He is second in the system in BA, hits and RBI.

Winker is not the only one swinging a hot bat for Louisville. The Bats second baseman is hitting .307 (23-for-75) with 17 runs, one homer and six RBI. He leads the system in runs scored and hits.

Louisville offense is clicking on all cylinders while the Pensacola pitching staff has been mowing hitters down. The Blue Wahoos pitching staff is 12-9 with 2.33 ERA. They have fanned 173 batters and walked 49 in 189 innings.

Right-hander Rookie Davis has been exceptional for the Double-A affiliate. One of the key pieces to come over from the New York Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman trade, is 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA in three starts. He has tallied 13 strikeouts in 18 innings and has yet to allow more than one run in each of his starts.

The Cincinnati Reds affiliates are all in action this weekend as they look to improve their 35-47 overall record.

BETTER OFF RED PODCAST EPISODE 114: JEFF PASSAN

Cover

Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports baseball columnist and author of the fantastic new book The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports, is the guest on this episode of the Better Off Red Podcast.

If you haven’t yet picked up your copy of The Arm, please do – you won’t be disappointed.  In this episode of the podcast, Jeff talks about the book and he also talks about a few things pertaining to the Cincinnati Reds.  I had a great time talking to Jeff as he’s one of the really great baseball writers in the game today.

Music on this episode of the BOR Podcast is from the two-piece husband & wife band called David Wax Museum. Their new album is called Guesthouse and it’s available now at your local record store or wherever you download your music.

To listen to this episode of the Better Off Red Podcast, CLICK HERE.

#REDS BASELINE ITEMS: THURSDAY, APRIL 28

The Reds are idle today, preparing for a weekend series against the Pirates in Pittsburgh.  The team returns home on Monday to begin a 10-game homestand at Great American Ball Park.  Up first will be the Giants and old friend Johnny Cueto.  Cueto is expected to pitch against the Reds on Monday night in the first game of a 3-game series vs San Francisco.

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More positive stuff…

Zack Cozart is hitting .481 (13-for-27) on the road . (MLB Rank: 2nd of 205 full-time players; League Avg: .258)

Eugenio Suarez has an OPS of 1.384 (25 PA’s) versus LHP . (MLB Rank: 1st of 73 full-time players; League Avg: .732)

Zack Cozart has 20 total bases in 27 AB’s (.741 Slugging Pct) on the road . (MLB Rank: 10th of 205 full-time players; League Avg: .423)

Tucker Barnhart has 8 well-hit balls in play in 23 AB’s (.348 Well-Hit Avg) in the past 14 days (8 games). (MLB Rank: 1st of 57 part-time players; League Avg: .153)

Reds hitters Miss Pct is only 17.0% (55/323) versus LHP . (MLB Rank: 1st of 30 teams; League Avg: 24.1%)

Opponents are hitting just .165 against Reds starting pitchers (15-for-91) when going through the lineup the third time in a game . (MLB Rank: 1st of 30 teams’ SP’s; League Avg: .265)

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Perhaps you remember the movie Benchwarmers starring Rob Schneider and David Spade?  Well it starred one of our own – Jon Moscot!  Who knew?!  In the movie, Jon gives up a few home runs to Elle King’s dad.  MLB’s Cut 4 revisits Moscot’s scene in the film HERE.

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Today is National Baseball Hall of Famer and Reds legend Barry Larkin’s 52nd birthday.  Happy birthday Barry!

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LHP John Lamb, who is currently on a rehab assignment with AAA-Louisville as he recovers from disc surgery (12/7/15) was fantastic last night in his third start for the Bats.  Lamb scattered 8 hits over 8.0 innings, allowing just 2 runs (both earned) with 1 walk and 5 strikeouts.  Of his 104 total pitches, 79 were strikes (that’s really good). Lamb threw 10 pitches or fewer in 4 of his 8 innings.

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The latest episode of the Better Off Red podcast starring Yahoo Sports baseball columnist Jeff Passan will drop this week!  Keep your ears on!

That’s all for now.  More in a bit.

Expect good news,

Jamie

 

TODAY’S DOSE OF #REDS POSITIVENESS

There are times when you need some positivity in your life.  How about today?

Below are things that the Reds are doing right.  Check ’em out…

Eugenio Suarez has an OPS of 1.384 (25 PA’s) against lefties this year. (MLB Rank: 1st of 56 full-time players; League Avg: .734)

Zack Cozart is hitting .476 (10-for-21) on the road in the past 14 days. (MLB Rank: 1st of 143 full-time players; League Avg: .255)

Right-handed batters struck out 10 times in 23 PA (43.5%) against Raisel Iglesias in his last 2 outings. (MLB Rank: 4th of 97 qualified SP; League Avg: 20.9%)

Zack Cozart has missed just 9.8% (11/112) of swung-on pitches this year. (MLB Rank: 7th of 223 full-time players; League Avg: 23.7%)

Reds hitters have missed only 17.0% (55/323) of swung-on pitches against lefties this season. (MLB Rank: 1st of 30 teams; League Avg: 24.3%)

Billy Hamilton has missed only 3 of 48 of swung-on pitches (6.2% Miss Pct) over the past 14 days (10 games). (MLB Rank: 1st of 89 part-time players; League Avg: 23.2%)

Raisel Iglesias has allowed just 5 Total Bases in 30 AB (.167 SLG) with RISP this year. (MLB Rank: 2nd of 27 qualified SP; League Avg: .395)

Reds hitters have 16 Extra-Base hits out of 23 total hits (69.6% Extra-Base Hit Pct) against right-handed relievers in the past 14 days (14 games). (MLB Rank: 1st of 30 teams; League Avg: 37.9%)

Tucker Barnhart has an OBP of .412 this season . (League Avg: .324)

Raisel Iglesias has allowed an OPS of only .424 (35 PA’s) with RISP . (MLB Rank: 3rd of 55 qualified SP; League Avg: .724)

Opponents are hitting just 3-for-22 (.136) against Ross Ohlendorf over the past 14 days (6 games). (MLB Rank: 10th of 101 qualified RP; League Avg: .233)

Opponents are hitting only 3-for-21 (.143) against Tony Cingrani over the past 14 days (7 games). (League Avg: .233)

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