POST-INDEPENDENCE DAY ITEMS; TODAY’S LINEUP

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Catching up with some Reds news from the holiday weekend…

REDS TO SIGN CUBAN SHORTSTOP
Alfredo Rodriguez Agrees To Minor League Contract

CHICAGO – President of Baseball Operations Walt Jocketty announced the Cincinnati Reds and Cuban free agent SS Alfredo Rodriguez have agreed to terms on a minor league contract.

Rodriguez, 22, will begin playing immediately in the Dominican Summer League.

In 2014-2015, the 5-10, 195-pound Rodriguez was the Rookie of the Year in Cuba’s Serie Nacional after hitting .265 with 12 stolen bases in 16 attempts in 84 games for La Isla De La Juventud. He also won Cuba’s equivalent of the Gold Glove.

“Our whole group that scouted Aroldis and Raisel also saw Alfredo,” said Senior Director of Amateur Scouting Chris Buckley. “We all think he’s an everyday shortstop with a chance to play plus defense. He’s a very smooth defensive infielder, a good line drive bat and a plus runner. We were impressed with his all-around defensive actions. It’s very hard to find an everyday shortstop who we liked everything about.”

Rodriguez is the third free agent from Cuba to sign with the Reds since 2010, joining LHP Aroldis Chapman and RHP Raisel Iglesias.

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REDS REPLACE MARK RIGGINS

CHICAGO – The Cincinnati Reds have replaced pitching coach Mark Riggins with assistant pitching coach/bullpen coach Mack Jenkins.

Class AAA Louisville pitching coach Ted Power (#56) will take over Jenkins’ assistant and bullpen duties on the Major League staff. Powers’ duties at Louisville will be covered by the organization’s player development staff.

Reds President of Baseball Operations Walt Jocketty said, “Mark was a valuable member of this organization for several years. Before he accepted the job with our Major League team, he contributed to the development of many of our successful young pitchers in the minor leagues. Unfortunately, the pitching on our big league staff has not improved over the course of the season as we had hoped, and it is time for a new voice.”

Jocketty added, “We are not satisfied with the performance so far this season and will continue to look for ways to improve. We felt it was necessary to make a change in order to accomplish our goals of providing our young pitchers with the best possible resources.”

Riggins, 59, was in his first season on the club’s Major League staff. He spent the previous 4 seasons as the organization’s minor league pitching coordinator.

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FRIDAY’S REDS MINOR LEAGUE SPOTLIGHT

Juan Dorado brings us the latest from the Reds farm system…

The second half is off to a slow start for the Cincinnati Reds affiliates as they went a combined 17-22 on the week. However, there were a lot of things to cheer about this week.

On Tuesday afternoon, Amir Garrett was selected for his second straight Futures Game appearance. Garrett has been spectacular in Double-A and Triple-A, going 5-4 with 1.81 ERA through Pensacola and Louisville. The night before being selected, Garrett tossed seven scoreless innings with five strikeouts against Buffalo.

In addition to Garrett making the Futures Game, Jermaine Curtis was announced as the Bats representative in the 2016 Triple-A All Star game. The third baseman has been outstanding, batting .280 with 7 homers and 37 RBI.

Despite the consistency of Garrett and Curtis, the Bats went 3-4 last week and fell to third place in the International League West standings.

Pensacola turned in a 2-4 week, but Tyler Mahle continues to shine. Since being called up to Double-A Pensacola, the right-hander is 2-0 with 2.70 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 10 innings. He has struck out eight batters in both his Double-A starts.

The Tortugas had a good week, going 3-3 and finished the month of June with 16 wins. During the month, Daytona batted a league-best .289 and carried a 3.19 ERA.

In Dayton, the Dragons got off to a slow start this week losing three straight to the South Bend Cubs, but they took 3 of 4 from the Fort Wayne TinCaps and finished the week 3-4. In their last five games, the pitching staff has been impressive going 3-1 with a 0.90 ERA. Jacob Constante and Austin Orewiler both tossed six innings of scoreless baseball this week.

Billings had the best week of the affiliates, going 4-3. Right-hander Antonio Santillan has not gone past the fifth inning in any of his starts, but the right-hander has been stellar when he is in. In 3 starts, he is 0-0 with 2.70 ERA. He has 27 strikeouts in 13.1 innings. His last time out, Santillan struck out 12 batters in 4.2 innings on 6/27 at Great Falls.

The AZL Reds fell on hard times this week. After starting the season 2-1, the Reds have dropped 4 of their last 6. The offense has been clicking, hitting .264 in the month of June, but the pitching staff owns a league-worse 6.30 ERA in the month. Michael Beltre has been a real bright spot for the Reds, batting .353 (12-for-34) with 2 doubles and 4 RBI. He has hit safely in 6 of the 8 games this season. On the bump, Ian Kahaloa has fanned 10 batters in eight scoreless innings of work.

Reds Bites: Nick Senzel broke a 0-for-19 mini slump with a 2-for-4 performance on Wednesday night…Taylor Trammell has hit safely in six straight games. He is batting .320 (8-for-25) with 2 RBI and a run scored…

Reds affiliates continue action this week, looking to improve their 157-176 record as the Triple-A and the MLB are about 10 days from their all-star break.

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AL TO BAT LAST

Although the All-Star Game will once again be played this year in a National League park (San Diego), the American League team will bat last.

“Given that the current stretch of four consecutive National League ballparks hosting the All-Star Game from 2015-2018, MLB determined that it was appropriate for the sides to continue to alternate who bats last in 2016.” – Major League Baseball

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MLB ALL-STAR SELECTION SHOW TONIGHT!

Selection Show

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FROM MLB:

Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce currently has 19 doubles, 17 home runs and six triples on the season. Only 10 players in history, including eight Hall of Famers, have reached 20 doubles, 20 home runs and six triples by the All-Star break (HOF Babe Ruth – 1921; HOF Rogers Hornsby – 1922; HOF Lou Gehrig – 1927; HOF Chick Hafey – 1929; HOF Al Simmons – 1930; HOF Chuck Klein – 1932; HOF Hank Greenberg – 1935; Hal Trosky – 1936; HOF Duke Snider – 1954; and Carlos Gonzalez – 2013). In addition, Toronto’s Josh Donaldson currently has 18 doubles, five triples and 19 home runs; Boston’s Mookie Betts has 19 doubles, four triples and 16 home runs; and Colorado’s Trevor Story has 18 doubles, four triples and 19 home runs.

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It’s been a little while since we gave away some cool prizes from the BOR Prize Closet.  Follow me on Twitter this week (@Jamieblog) and we’ll remedy that…

That’s all for now!

Expect good news,

Jamie

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