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The Cincinnati Reds were digging deep into the depth chart on Wednesday afternoon to field a nine player lineup against the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. In addition to missing former All-Stars and Gold Glove winners Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips at first base and second base respectively, they were also without starting shortstop Zack Cosart, who is day-to-day with a sore right hand.
That left them with All-Star Todd Frazier in his usual position at third base and three backups around the horn on the infield. Veteran Ramon Santiago handled shortstop. Skip Schumaker, an outfielder by trade who converted to second base with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009, returned to the infield. Meanwhile, backup catcher Brayan Pena made only his 20th career start at first base in 475 career games.
Needless to say, the Reds infield defense wasn’t nearly as strong as it usually is, but the replacements still managed to make a terrific defensive play. 
In the second inning, Milwaukee’s Khris Davis hit a grounder deep in the hole at shortstop that Santiago backhanded on a dive. A terrific play under normal circumstances. An even better play considering that Sanitago has spent more time over the past four seasons playing second base than shortstop, which was his original primary position. Also factor in that the ball entered the sunlight just as it approached him, making his concentration all the more impressive. 
After making the stop, Santiago popped to his feet and fired across the diamond low and in the dirt, and to Pena’s non-glove hand. Pretty much the worst possible spot aside from 10-feet over the first baseman’s head, but the backup catcher Pena showed incredible athleticism in diving to make the stop and still keeping his foot on the base.
That wouldn’t have been an easy play for Votto or Todd Helton or any other terrific defensive first baseman, but Pena nailed it to complete the out. 
It’s probably not going to hold up in play of the year discussions. It’s just impressive to watch guys either out of position or moving back to an old position show off some skills.
Here’s a hat tip to the replacements, even though the Reds ended up falling 5-1 to the Brewers . More importantly, this is a reminder to all that the more positions you know and can play, the more valuable you’ll be and the more opportunities you’ll get at every level of baseball. 
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Post info: By Larkin01 on July 25th, 2014
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This interview with Ken Griffey Sr. starts out horrendously; the inquisitors from TMZ ask him about how “baseball has changed — right? — as far as eatin’ at the bawlpark,” since he was in his prime in the 1970s. What? It has changed, lots, going from hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jack in Griffey’s day to a $26 taco that’s 2 feet long today. But what’s that got to do with the price of beans? And why would that be the first question you ask Ken Griffey if you happen upon him? Was he a noted hot dog-swiper?
About 35 seconds in, whomever has the video camera backs into a topic germane to the Griffey family. Paraphrasing: “What’s it like having a son who was a better player than you were?”
Griffey gave an honest and funny answer:

“You always want the best for your child. So, if he’s better than me, that’s fine. Just remember: He got all of the home runs, and I got all of the rings.”

Zing! Awesome. And it’s true; Griffey Sr. won a pair of World Series rings with the Cincinnati Reds, in 1975 and 1976. He was an important cog in the Big Red Machine. Individually, he was a very good ballplayer for a very long time — 19 seasons — batting .296 with 200 stolen bases, 152 homers, a .359 on-base percentage and a .790 OPS. Adjusted for the ballparks and his OPS was 118 — above average. But he received only 4.7 percent of the Hall of Fame vote his first season and never reappeared on the ballot.
Ken Griffey Jr., conversely, is a likely Hall of Famer on the first ballot in 2016 after hitting 630 home runs and all of the rest. But, as dad said, no rings. He made two playoff appearances with the Seattle Mariners and one more with the Chicago White Sox. He posted great numbers in many of those postseason games, too. But nothing in the World Series, because the M’s and Sox weren’t meant to go.
Darn you, pops! The younger Griffey wins the gene pool lottery, the older wins the teammate and circumstance lottery.
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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter!
Follow @AnswerDave

View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Cincinnati Reds News

Post info: By Larkin01 on July 24th, 2014
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The Cincinnati Reds were digging deep into the depth chart on Wednesday afternoon to field a nine player lineup against the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. In addition to missing former All-Stars and Gold Glove winners Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips at first base and second base respectively, they were also without starting shortstop Zack Cosart, who’s day-to-day with a sore right hand.
That left them with All-Star Todd Frazier in his usual position at third base and three backups around the horn on the infield. Veteran Ramon Santiago handled shortstop. Skip Schumaker, an outfielder by trade who converted to second base with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009, returned to the infield. Meanwhile, backup catcher Brayan Pena made only his 20th career start at first base in 475 career games.
Needless to say, the Reds infield defense wasn’t nearly as strong as it usually is, but the replacements still managed to make a terrific defensive play. 
In the second inning, Milwaukee’s Khris Davis hit a grounder deep in the hole at shortstop that Santiago backhanded on a dive. A terrific play under normal circumstances. An even better play considering that Sanitago has spent more time over the past four seasons playing second base than shortstop, which was his original primary position. Also factor in that the ball entered the sunlight just as it approached him, making his concentration all the more impressive. 
After making the stop, Santiago popped to his feet and fired across the diamond low and in the dirt, and to Pena’s non-glove hand. Pretty much the worst possible spot aside from 10-feet over the first baseman’s head, but the backup catcher Pena showed incredible athleticism in diving to make the stop and still keeping his foot on the base.
That wouldn’t have been an easy play for Votto or Todd Helton or any other terrific defensive first baseman, but Pena nailed it to complete the out. 
It’s not a play of the season candidate by any means. It’s just impressive to watch guys either out of position or moving back to an old position show off some skills.
Here’s a hat tip to the replacements, even though the Reds ended up falling 5-1 to Brewers . More importantly, this is a reminder to all that the more positions you know and can play, the more valuable you’ll be and the more opportunities you’ll get at every level of baseball. 
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

– - – - – - –
Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Cincinnati Reds News

Post info: By Larkin01 on July 24th, 2014
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With the All-Star Game and the first closer trade in the rearview, it’s time to some good old fashioned closer talk.

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Post info: By Larkin01 on July 23rd, 2014
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Jonathan Lucroy’s bat got hot at just the right time for the Milwaukee Brewers. Just 3-for-30 over his previous eight games, the Brewers’ All-Star catcher belted two home runs Tuesday, including a solo shot in the ninth inning that gave the Brewers a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park. “I think he’s been swinging the bat better than not getting any hits lately,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. Lucroy grounded out and struck out his first two times against Reds right-hander Homer Bailey, who went six innings and allowed three runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

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Post info: By Larkin01 on July 23rd, 2014
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Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Chris Welsh said it perfectly: Rookie Kristopher Negron “wasted no time at all” in getting around the bases after clearing the fence for his second career home run Monday night. Negron’s solo shot at Miller Park was a line drive to right against Milwaukee’s Will Smith, and Negron was a line drive in making the circuit in 16.12 seconds in the eighth inning for the quickest home-run trot of 2014 , as recorded by Tater Trot Tracker. It’s also the fifth-quickest trot overall since TTT started keeping track in 2010.
Negron beat Carlos Gomez’s pace of 16.18, which also happened at Miller Park, on April 1.
The Milwaukee Brewers still beat the Reds 5-2, but Cincinnati is the quicker franchise when it comes to home-run trots. Speedy homers are becoming a recurring franchise tradition there. As Reds fans remember, Adam Rosales came into the league hustling around the bases on home runs starting in 2009:
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Rosales helped to inspire Larry Granillo to create Tater Trot Tracker, and Rosales’s name is all over the top 10 quickest trots since ’10.
A B H — Always Be Hustling .
As for Negron, he’s 28 years old and a career .246 hitter with a .683 on-base plus slugging in 3,710 minor league at-bats. So it’s hard to say that we’ll see him sprinting around the bases on home runs for years to come. But it is nice to see another Rosales-like figure out there, putting his own stamp on the home-run trot. Hopefully he savors his home runs longer than it takes him to finish them.
More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports:

 
– - – - – - –
David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter!
Follow @AnswerDave

View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Cincinnati Reds News

Post info: By Larkin01 on July 22nd, 2014
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Jean Segura smiled in his first game at Miller Park since returning to the Milwaukee Brewers following the death of his 9-month-old son. The shortstop still grieves, but it will be nights like the one Segura had in a 5-2 victory Monday over the Cincinnati Reds that will provide some distraction. Segura went 2 for 3 with a triple and scored two runs, and Milwaukee took advantage of two misjudged balls in the outfield by Chris Heisey to hand Cincinnati its fourth straight loss. Manager Ron Roenicke said he thought Segura was back mentally into the game.

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Post info: By Larkin01 on July 22nd, 2014
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Matthew Pouliot has some trade thoughts and wonders what’s in store for Joc Pederson and Oscar Taveras in the Strike Zone.

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Post info: By Larkin01 on July 21st, 2014
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Oakland general manager Billy Beane acted boldly, trading top prospect Addison Russell in a deal that brought starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics. Then it was Jerry Dipoto’s turn. The GM of the Los Angeles Angels acquired closer Huston Street on Friday night, giving his team another option in the late innings and adding more intrigue to an already-spirited AL West race. The A’s have baseball’s best record, but the Angels are only 1 1/2 games behind, and both teams have aggressively improved themselves with major trades since the beginning of July.

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Post info: By Larkin01 on July 21st, 2014
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Skip Schumaker has been reinstated from the seven-day concussion disabled list and is in the Cincinnati Reds’ lineup against the New York Yankees. Schumaker was set to bat second and play second base Sunday in place of injured Brandon Phillips. To make room on the roster, the Reds optioned infielder Neftali Soto to Triple-A Louisville. Schumaker was injured when he ran into the outfield wall while trying to make a catch July 10 against the Chicago Cubs.

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Post info: By Larkin01 on July 20th, 2014
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