From my pal @Bongreatness…
Tonight is the 5th Fireworks Friday of the 2016 season, presented by Coca-Cola. The postgame display, featuring Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks set to a “Bunbury Weekend” soundtrack, will begin approximately 10 minutes after the conclusion of tonight’s game.
Tonight is the kick-off to the 44th annual GE Weekend with the Cincinnati Reds. Over 13,000 GE employees and their families will be joining us at games this weekend and participating in traditional GE Weekend pregame activities.
During pregame ceremonies we will honor Lisette Martinez, until recently the Director of Diversity and Language Services at TriHealth, as the Reds 2016 SEAT 21 honoree. SEAT 21 – is an honor given to a well-known person in the community who embodies the humanitarian spirit of MLB Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente.
“Sam” the Bald Eagle from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden will be making a ceremonial flight from the Cincinnati Bell Riverboat Deck to the pitcher’s mound at the conclusion of tonight’s National Anthem. This is the first of five ceremonial flights that Sam will make this season.
Reds media relations intern Juan Dorado checks in with this week’s Reds Minor League Spotlight...
We have finally reached the month of June and the first half of the season is weeks away from being over. Dayton has been eliminated from winning the first half of the Midwest League while Daytona is 10.5 games behind the Tampa Yankees in the Florida State League. Pensacola carries a two game lead in the Southern League South standings with two weeks to play. Triple-A does not have split seasons so they have cumulative record throughout the season and Louisville is 2 games out of first place.
The Blue Wahoos went 5-1 last week as the offense flexed their muscles. In six games, the offense scored 41 runs, amassed 68 hits and connected for 7 round trippers. In the last seven games, Brandon Dixon has led the league in batting average (.647), extra base hits (7), homers (5) and RBI (14). Since last Friday, Dixon has slugged 1.647 and had back-to-back two homer days on May 30 and June 1. The second baseman was acquired in the offseason in the Todd Frazier trade. He was a 3rd round pick in 2013 out of the University of Arizona. On the season, Dixon is hitting .312 (44-for-141) with eight homers and 33 RBI.
Daytona had a solid week, going 3-3 and moving into a fourth place tie in the FSL standings with the Dunedin Blue Jays. Taylor Sparks and Angelo Gumbs were big contributors to the Tortugas pace. Sparks hit .435 (10-for-23) with three homers and eight RBI. He was the first Reds farm hand to have a multi-homer game last week as he hit two dingers on May 28. Gumbs hit .409 (9-for-22) with two homers and six RBI.
Louisville was on top of its game at the beginning of the week, reeling off four straight wins, but they have lost three straight and sit two games behind the front-running Columbus Clippers. Part of their success is credited to right-hander Keyvius Sampson. In two starts, Sampson went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. He has struck out 12 batters and allowed five hits in 12 innings on the mounds. Hitters are batted a paltry .128 against him last week. Louisville is 1.5 games behind Rochester in the wild card standings and start a 3-game set against the Minnesota Twins affiliate on Friday night.
RED Bites: Dayton has lost 12 straight games. It is their longest losing streak since 2010. From July 21 through August 1, the Dragons lost 11 straight games… Tony Renda had a big week for the Wahoos. The infielder hit .500 (11-for-22) with three doubles and one RBI… Rookie Davis returned from the DL on June 3. He tossed 4 innings, allowed 1 run and struck out 2 in a no decision…
The affiliates continue play this week as they look to improve from the cumulative record of 97-117.
The Cincinnati Reds and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul-Cincinnati are partnering to “Strike Out Hunger” locally by hosting a food donation drive when the Reds play the Washington Nationals on Friday, June 3 (7:10 p.m.) and Saturday, June 4 (4:10 p.m.) at Great American Ball Park.
Fans who donate a minimum of three non-perishable food items from the time gates open (90 minutes before first pitch) through the 4th inning will receive a free ticket to an upcoming Reds game, limit one ticket per person.
Donation barrels will be located at Gate B (Gapper’s Alley) on the third base side of the ballpark.
“This drive is so important for our pantry,” said Mike Dunn, Executive Director, St. Vincent de Paul. “During the summer months, we see more families who are struggling to feed children who are out of school. For a family who counts every dollar, buying those extra groceries may mean they may have to choose between feeding their families and paying their rent. By keeping our pantry stocked, they don’t have to choose.”
Thanks to the generosity of Reds fans at the 2015 Strike Out Hunger Food Drive, over 12,000 meals were provided to struggling families in Cincinnati.
St. Vincent de Paul operates many food pantries throughout Cincinnati, including the Edyth and Carl J. Lindner Choice Food Pantry in the West End, and eight neighborhood-based pantries. More than 900 parish-based volunteers visit the homes of struggling families in their own neighborhoods to provide basic necessities like food.
Please contact Reds Community Relations with any questions regarding the Food Drive for St. Vincent de Paul at (513) 765-7018.
Let’s talk about Adam Duvall. In yesterday’s game against the Rockies at Coors Field, Duvall belted 2 home runs to give him 13 on the season (tied for 4th in the NL). He’s having a fantastic month of May, batting .301 with 11 homers, 24 RBI, a .327 on-base pct. and .720 slugging pct.
Perhaps we could see another Red in the Home Run Derby this year? (hint: Vote Duvall)
Duvall came to the Reds last season from San Francisco along with Giants’ top prospect RHP Keury Mella in exchange for Mike Leake. Leake made 9 starts for the Giants before leaving as a free agent. Mella, 22, is 4-4 this season with a 2.64 ERA in 10 starts with Class-A Daytona.
As for Duvall, my friends at Inside Edge provided a list of remarkable stats for Duvall:
He has a 1.043 SLG (24 total bases in 23 AB’s) over the past 7 days. (MLB Rank: 2nd of 224 full-time players; League Avg: .435)
He has 11 HR on 32 Flyballs (34.4% HR/FLY) over the past 30 days. (MLB Rank: this leads MLB of 103 full-time players; League Avg: 13.1%)
He has an OPS of 1.418 (24 PA’s) in the past 7 days. (MLB Rank: 4th of 228 full-time players; League Avg: .761)
He has 26 Extra-Base hits out of 42 total hits (61.9% Extra-Base Hit Pct) this season. (MLB Rank: 4th of 215 full-time players; League Avg: 34.9%)
He has homered once every 4.6 at bats over the past 7 days. (NL Rank: 1st of 67 full-time players; League Avg: 26.9)
He is hitting .355 (11-for-31) on breaking pitches over the past 30 days. (MLB Rank: 12th of 125 full-time players; League Avg: .223)
His Line Drive Pct is 29.4% (15/51) against fastballs this year. (MLB Rank: 13th highest of 218 full-time players; League Avg: 21.8%)
Congratulations to Aaron Johnson, who was randomly chosen as the winner of Thursday’s haiku contest! He wins a BOR t-shirt (XL) and a Joey Votto Super Bobblehead!
We’ll give you more chances this week to win some cool stuff from BOR Headquarters, so stay tuned!
Apologies for being late on this. Juan Dorado submitted another fantastic Reds Minor League Spotlight, dated Friday, May 27:
The Cincinnati Reds affiliates had another solid week on the diamond, recording a 12-15 mark on the week. Louisville finished the week 3-3, Pensacola recorded a 3-4 mark, and Daytona won 4 of 7 while Dayton went 2-5.
Despite going under .500 on the week, the Double-A affiliate of the Reds is tied for first place in the Southern League South standings with the Biloxi Shuckers. Jackson Stephens has been brilliant for the Blue Wahoos. In his last two starts, he has gone 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 12 innings. He fanned 11 batters and he was the starting pitcher on May 20th, when three Wahoos’ hurlers combined to toss a 7-inning no-hitter at Jacksonville. Stephens tossed five scoreless while Matt Magill and Carlos Gonzalez each tossed one hitless inning in the 6-0 victory.
Although, Stephens was on top of his game last week, he was outshined by the International Pitcher of the Week Daniel Wright. The right-hander was awarded the IL weekly award on Monday after tossing a complete game, 3-hitter against Scranton Wilkes-Barre. He had his contract purchased by the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday and Wright made his ML debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. He tossed 5.1 innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits in a losing effort.
While the pitching staff keeps dealin’ at the higher levels, Blake Trahan continues to get on base for the Daytona Tortugas. The infielder extended his on-base streak to 31 games on Wednesday afternoon. He has surpassed the 30-game mark set by Bryan Haar (Fort Myers) and Jiwan James (Lakeland) in 2015. Since 2010, there have only been 10 players in the Florida State League with longer on-base streaks than Trahan.
|Logan Watkins||36||2011||Daytona (Cubs)|
|Cam Moran||35||2014||St. Lucie|
|Brain Van Kirk||36||2011||Dunedin|
Dayton had a tough week as they have dropped their last 5 games. However, Luis Gonzalez and Tyler Stephenson had big weeks at the plate. In the last week, Gonzalez hit .500 (10-for-20) with two doubles and four RBI. He has an active hitting streak of seven games. Stephenson had his 6-game hitting streak snapped last night with a 0-for-5 performance, but prior to that he was hitting .346 (9-for-26) with a homer 7 RBI during his streak. Since returning from the DL, Stephenson is hitting .250 (12-for-48) with eight runs scored and seven RBI in 12 games.
RED Bites: Sal Romano struck out a season-high nine batters on Thursday night… Jon Moscot tossed six scoreless frames for the Louisville Bats. He recorded his first win of the year… Former Dayton Dragon Franderlin Romero was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for two international slot picks…
With the first half ending in a few weeks, the Cincinnati Reds affiliates look to improve on their overall 85-103 mark.
We’ll have more in a bit!
Expect good news,
Reds minor league news…
RHP Anthony DeSclafani made a rehab start for AAA-Louisville yesterday morning (10:35 first pitch) vs. Scranton. He gave up 3 runs on 3 hits in 3 innings (0bb, 2k, 1hr). DeSclafani allowed all 3 runs in the first inning but reportedly looked very sharp in his final 2 innings of work.
Yesterday in Pensacola, the double-A Blue Wahoos got another strong pitching performance from 22 year-old RHP Jackson Stephens. The Alabama native struck out 9 over 7.0 shutout innings (5h, 0bb) to extend his scoreless innings streak to 12. In 2015, Stephens ranked among all Reds farmhands with 12 wins (2nd) and a 2.97 ERA (9th). He also ranked among Florida State League leaders in wins (T1st), games started (26, T2nd), innings pitched (145.1, 3rd) and ERA (6th).
High-A Daytona beat Tampa yesterday, 8-4. The Reds 2015 Minor League Player of the Year Tyler Mahle (RHP) picked up the victory with 6.0 solid innings (9h, 3r, 1bb, 4k). Mahle has recorded quality starts in 6 of his 10 appearances and is currently holding opponents to a .223 batting average.
The Reds have been nominated by USA Today for Best Ballpark Food. To vote, CLICK HERE.
The one-day Billy Hamilton Baseball ProCamp presented by The Christ Hospital Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine will be held on June 27th from 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM at Sycamore High School. Participants will learn fundamental baseball skills and have the opportunity to meet and interact with the center fielder. Each camper will receive an autograph from Billy and a team photo with Billy.
Limited spots remain at BillyHamiltonCamp.com
Word around the campfire is that the @Reds twitter account and the Reds Facebook account (facebook.com/reds) are giving prizes out for “random acts of kindness.” You might want to check it out.
And speaking of prizes…
I’ve got this…
…to give away this weekend to one lucky reader of Better Off Red.
Here’s how you can win:
In the comments section of this blog post, write a haiku explaining why your a Reds fan. Cool?
You have until Monday’s 4:10 first pitch against the Rockies to participate. I’ll choose the random winner and announce his/her name here on BOR at that time.
Please note that when you submit a comment, it will not appear on the blog post. Only the randomly selected winner’s comment will be visible (on Monday).
That’s all for now.
Expect good news!
Last night the Reds acquired from the Orioles two international signing bonus slots for RHP Franderlin Romero. The move allows the Reds more financial leeway to sign foreign players during the international signing period.
Romero, 23, had been in the Reds organization since 2010. This year for Class-A Dayton, he went 1-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 8 starts for the Dragons.
More minor league news…
In yesterday’s 5-4 win in extra innings, AA-Pensacola’s Amir Garrett (LHP) allowed 3 runs (1er) on 4 hits in 6.2 innings (2bb, 7k). Garrett is 3-3 with a 1.49 ERA in 9 starts for the Blue Wahoos (8 of 9 appearances have been quality starts). He’s holding opponents to a .205 batting average while averaging nearly a strikeout per inning pitched.
Another rising star in the Reds system is RHP Tejay Antone. Antone, 22, is a 6-4 Texan currently pitching for High-A Daytona. He struggled a bit yesterday with his command against St. Lucie, throwing 95 pitches in 5.0 innings but he did not allow a run. Over his last 3 starts, Antone has allowed 4 runs (3er) on 6 hits in 20.0 innings (5bb, 13k).
Here’s a look at current Reds Minor League leaders…
Folks, this is an amazing deal…
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 23, 2016
Tonight’s Reds starting pitcher Daniel Wright yesterday was named International League Pitcher of the Week.
More from our friends with the Louisville Bats…
The International League announced today that Louisville pitcher Daniel Wright has been named the IL Pitcher of the Week for the period from May 16 – May 22. Wright is the first Bats player to be honored as a Player of the Week this season. Third baseman Jermaine Curtis was the IL Player of the Month for April.
Entering the week with one career Triple-A start, Bats right-hander Wright threw a nine-inning complete game allowing one unearned run and striking out eight in a 4-1 Bats win on Monday against the IL North leading Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. It was the first nine-inning complete game for the Bats since Michael Lorenzen tossed a complete game shutout on August 15, 2015 versus the Norfolk Tides. In two starts since his promotion to Louisville on May 10 he is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA, striking out 10 and walking just one batter.
I’ve got some cool Reds prizes to give away this week, so please stay tuned to Better Off Red for details!
More in a bit.
Expect good news,
Following last night’s game the Reds optioned to Class AAA Louisville RHP Jumbo Diaz and RHP Keyvius Sampson and designated for assignment RHP Steve Delabar.
Today the Reds transferred to the 60-day disabled list RHP Anthony DeSclafani and OF Yorman Rodriguez and selected from Louisville the contracts of RHP Dayan Diaz (#50), RHP A.J. Morris (#62) and RHP Josh Smith (#73).
Diaz and Morris will be making their Major League debuts.
From my pal @Bongreatness...
Kids 14 and younger at the ballpark today will receive a Kids PLAY BALL Bat and Ball Set as part of Major League Baseball’s PLAY BALL initiatives.
Today we will welcome over 100 participants from the 2016 Reds Fantasy Camp. As part of the Fantasy Camp Reunion these weekend warriors played a tournament at the P&G Reds Urban Youth Academy yesterday, are being introduced to the crowd at GABP today, and will play a reunion game on the field at Great American Ball Park tomorrow morning.
Today is Art at the Park, in conjunction with ArtsWave. ArtsWave supports more than 100 arts organizations that make the Greater Cincinnati region an amazing place to live. ArtsWave will provide today’s National Anthem singers (Voices of Destiny) and God Bless America singers (The Cincinnati Men’s Chorus). God Bless America will be performed during the middle of the 7th inning break today, and the chorus will be positioned on the right field porch area above Section 138.
As part of the Reds celebration of Major League Baseball’s PLAY BALL initiative, nine local Reds Heads members will be introduced and run onto the field just prior to the introduction of the Reds starters today. Each Reds Heads member will then receive an autograph on a Reds baseball cap from the player they meet.
UPDATE: Bruce scratched with a sore left knee…
Lineup Change: #Reds
Holt in RF
De Jesus Jr
— Jamie Ramsey (@Jamieblog) May 21, 2016
From my pal @Bongreatness….
The first 25,000 fans in attendance today will receive a Ken Griffey Jr. dual bobblehead, courtesy of St. Elizabeth Healthcare. Gates to the ballpark are scheduled to open at 2:10PM for Season Ticket Members and 2:40PM for the general public. However, those gate opening times could be adjusted in accordance with Cincinnati Fire Code should the crowd size outside the gates dictate it so.
Tonight is the 2nd annual Northern Kentucky Night, presented by St. Elizabeth Healthcare. Members of the Northern Kentucky community will be participating in various pregame and in-game activations today.
Today is also the first Military Appreciation Day of the 2016 season, presented by DAV – Disabled American Veterans – and Hankook Tires. Today’s celebration is in honor of Armed Forces Day in America. The Reds will be wearing their alternate digi-camo uniforms for today’s game. Numerous activities are planned for pregame and around the ballpark including:
• Honoring of 22 veterans from the Wounded Warriors organization in a pregame ceremony. Each Warrior will receive a Hometown Hero certificate and Reds Challenge Coin from Reds COO Phil Castellini along with City of Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley.
• Ceremonial first pitch by Marine Corps veteran Scott Bunker, who was wounded in action while deployed to Iraq in 2005.
• Joint Forces Honor Guard & singing of our National Anthem by Fort Knox soldier SGT 1st Class Lilnell Storm.
• Ceremonial ringing of the very first Honor Bell. The Honor Bell consists of military artifacts from 12 deceased veterans that were transported in a special van and escorted the 1,192 miles from Colorado to Ohio by Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) and Rolling Thunder Riders, and then Cincinnati police-escorted from the Ohio border to the Verdin Bell Company on Riverside Drive. The artifacts, including Medals of Honor, Purple Heart Medal, dog tags, and wings, were incorporated into 1,300 pounds of molten bronze and poured into the Honor Bell Foundation mold crafted by Verdin. Another ceremony was held this morning to break the bell out of the mold. The goal of the Honor Bell Foundation is to create a bell for all 132 National Cemeteries in 50 states. More information on the Honor Bell can be found in the attached release.
• Serving as Honorary Captains tonight will be WWII vet Army TSGT Edgar Joseph Moorman and active duty Brigadier General Barbara Lynne Owens, Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Human Resources Command.
As part of the Reds celebration of Major League Baseball’s Play Ball initiative, twelve local R.B.I. players will be introduced and run onto the field just prior to the introduction of the Reds starters today. Each R.B.I. player will then receive an autograph on a Reds baseball cap from the player they meet.
From my pal @Bongreatness...
Tonight is the 4th Fireworks Friday of the 2016 season, presented by PNC Bank. The postgame fireworks show, featuring Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks set to a “Tribute to Ken Griffey Jr.” soundtrack, will begin approximately 10 minutes after the conclusion of tonight’s game.
Tonight is the annual Bearcats at the Ballpark game. Thousands of students, faculty, alumni and friends of the University of Cincinnati will be joining us for tonight’s game. President Santa Ono will pull double-duty during pregame events, performing on cello alongside the “One Man Electrical Band” on the Kroger Main Stage, and also offering up a ceremonial first pitch later on during pregame ceremonies. The UC Army ROTC will perform honor guard duties & current students and alumni from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music will sing our National Anthem. The six-time National Champion UC Dance Team will be honored at the end of the 1st inning tonight as part of the News of the Game.
Reds media relations intern Juan Dorado serves up this week’s Reds Minor League Spotlight…
The minor league affiliates ran into some tough breaks this week, fending off rain and tough opponents on a nightly basis. The Reds affiliates finished the week a combined 12-15.
Despite posting a record below .500 there were many bright spots on the farm.
Double-A Pensacola moved into a tie for first place with the Biloxi Shuckers. After chasing the Shuckers all season, Pensacola has finally caught up to the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Highly-touted prospect Amir Garrett continues to shine for the Blue Wahoos staff. In eight starts, the left-hander is 3-3 with a 1.51 ERA. He ranks amongst the Southern League leaders in ERA (5th), strikeouts (3rd) and wins (T-9th), while recording a team-leading seven quality starts. Last week, he made two starts, recording 12 innings, allowing three runs and striking out nine. He has been very sharp all season as he has yet to allow more than two earned runs in any of his starts.
On Wednesday, May 18th, the Daytona Tortugas won their third straight game, which tied their longest streak of the season. Despite winning their third straight and moving into fourth place the Florida State League North division, the win was overshadowed by the performance of Blake Trahan. The 2016 3rd round pick in the First Year Player Draft out of Louisiana-Lafayette went 1-for-5 on the evening and extended his on-base streak to 25 games. He surpassed Jupiter Hammerheads’ Taylor Ard for first place in the entire Florida State League. During the streak, Trahan is batting .292 (28-for-96) with five doubles, one homer, 11 RBI and 16 runs scored. He has an on-base percentage of .364 during that span.
With individual play shining at the upper levels, the Dayton Dragons capped of their first winning week of the season as they went 4-2. Dayton got off to a slow start in 2016, but they are turning the corner. They were the only Cincinnati Reds’ affiliate with 4 wins this past week and have won 3 of their last 4 contests. James Vasquez has been a big contributor to the success of the Dragons. In his last six games, the first baseman is batting .360 (9-for-25) with three homers and 10 RBI. His go-ahead homer on Thursday night helped the Dragons take 2 of 3 from the first place Lake County Captains.
Reds affiliates continue play this week as the squads look to improve from their combined 73-88 mark.
Red Takes: Since returning from the DL, Tyler Stephenson has hit safely in 5 of 7 contests. On Wednesday night, he went 3-for-6 with a grand slam. He finished the night with a career-high 5 RBI… Nick Travieso hurled 7 innings of 1-hit baseball on Tuesday night. It was his first start since Opening Day without allowing a run.
Good luck tonight, Ace Straily!