Here is an essay I wrote recently on who I think will contend for the Cy Young award this year. I may be biased but I couldn’t help myself. Sorry. Enjoy.
I think an underdog type player that could emerge as a Cy Young candidate is Johnny Cueto. He now has 4 seasons in the Majors. His win-loss record has increased each year until 2011 when it decreased slightly. His E.R.A has gone down each year from 4.81 in 2008 (90 earned runs) – 2.31 in 2011 (40 earned runs). All of his other stats that are most important to pitchers have improved greatly over his career. His walks have gone from 68 in 2008 to 47 in 2011. His opponent’s avg. has dropped from .262-.220. He has gone from more of a strikeout pitcher when he began his career to pitching to contact thus getting more ground balls which is helpful in Great American Ball Park. By doing that he has become more efficient with his pitch count allowing him to pitch deeper into games. This not only helps him but also the bullpen. It allows the bullpen to get a day off so they are more rested for when another starter may not do as well. He also has been working on making a major change in his delivery over the years which became noticeable in 2011. He has imitated the delivery of Luis Tiant from the 1970’s. The delivery allows him to hide the ball a little longer as his body rotates toward 2B therefore giving the batter less time to see the ball. It has also helped him stay away from the big inning that he had so often the first 2-3 years of his career. When he used to pitch he had a tendency to do one of two things. He would either step off the bag towards first which would allow the ball to fly out of his hand and start walking hitters. There were also many times he would lose control physically to one or two batters, then he would lose control mentally and before you knew what happened he had given up 3-5 runs in an inning. He has since progressed to where he’s learned to put one bad play past him, regroup, and still have a great game. The expectations have been raised very high for him. Every time I watch him pitch I expect him to go 7-8 innings with only 1-2 runs. He has learned the difference between “throwing hard” and “pitching”. When he first made the team out of Spring Training he was more of a hard-thrower, strikeout pitcher. In his debut Arizona he pitched 7 innings, 1 hit, 1 run, and 10 strikeouts. While still a hard thrower he doesn’t pitch quite as hard as he had. Although he normally pitches in the low 90’s he has the ability to rear back and put a little more speed on a pitch (high 90’s) when he needs a big strikeout in a crucial situation late in the game. He has gotten better each year and with another year of experience I expect him to be a legitimate contender for the Cy Young award.
The Reds held a press conference this evening to announce Votto’s new monster deal. It’s a 10 year/$225 Million extension that starts in 2014 ( It was added on to the end of his current contract). It runs through 2023 with an option for 2024. This is an exciting time for Reds fans. It certainly has risk to it as does any contract of this size. Votto talked about how he likes the direction the organization is headed. He talked about how the fans are some of the best in Baseball supporting the team when on the road. On a different matter, Castellini told media during the conference that they are still negotiating with Phillips. Walt Jocketty said things are progressing well and he hopes to have something done within the next few weeks or months. I’ll have more soon.
Only hours away till 1st pitch on Opening day.
The Reds are reportedly close to an extension with Joey Votto. It will be interesting to see what this means for Brandon Phillips. As demonstrated in Spring Training there is plenty of depth in Gregorious,Lutz, and Hamilton. I’ll update when I hear more.
Sorry, I haven’t posted in a while. The biggest news from ST happened today. As 2/3 of the injured bullpen have been recovering in Masset and Bray, Madson took a turn for the worst. After traveling back to Cincinnati to be examined it was determined that he needs Tommy John surgery.He will miss all of the 2012 season. This is very disappointing news for Reds fans.
Tonight at 7:00 FSOhio will air the Reds-Cubs game from May 7, 1999. Hall of Fame Inductee Barry Larkin was the star of the game, going 3-4 with the game winning hit. This will be televised in the tri-state area.
The Reds announced this afternoon that they have signed Sean Marshall to a 3 year extension worth 16.5MM through 2015 ( He still has a year remaining on his contract). Jocketty said they view him as a possible closer in the future.Marshall is “Super excited to be a Red for the next four years”.
MLBTraderumors is reporting that the Reds are close to an extension with Sean Marshall. He will currently earn 3.2MM in 2012 then become a FA. I’ll post more once there is an update.
Do you ever wonder what helped the newest Reds Hall of Fame Inductee do so well on the field? He had plenty of talent and practice. What did he eat to help him do well? Here’s a recipe from my baseball cookbook. One of his favorite foods was a chicken-broccoli casserole. I made it for dinner tonight. It was good though not necessarily my favorite. Here is the recipe.
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
pepper and garlic for taste ( I skipped this)
1 package chopped broccoli
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 soup can milk
2 slices bread, cubed ( I used 2 cups stuffing)
2 cups shredded cheese
- Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Cook broccoli using package directions
- Heat soup and milk in saucepan until smooth ( I added 1/2 white wine for taste)
- Combine chicken, broccoli, bread and cheese in casserole pan. Stir in soup mixture.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly
Dusty Baker has said that barring any injuries he has the rotation set. He hasn’t said though what it is, other than Johnny Cueto on Opening Day. When asked about his plan for Cozart he hinted that he would bat 2nd. Phillips is expected to bat leadoff and Votto should remain in the 3 hole.
Speaking of Phillips-He arrived in camp the other day and said he doesn’t see himself setting a deadline for an extension. He also said he hasn’t heard anything since before Redsfest in December.
I’ll have more soon.
Baseball America published their list of the top 100 prospects in Baseball the other day. The Reds had three players on the list. Their highest prospect was C Devin Mesoraco, who projects to be in a platoon with Ryan Hanigan this year and eventually become the starter. He has drawn comparisons to The great Johnny Bench. Next on the list was SS Billy Hamilton at #48. He is the Reds overall number 1 prospect in the organization. He was at single A Dayton last year. He doesn’t figure to be with the Reds untill 2013 or 2014 but he has been known as an untouchable. Reds fans have to love his speed. He stole 103 ( no typo) bases last year in 135 games. He had a .278 avg. The last Red on the list was SS Zack Cozart. He’s ranked at #75. He spent the first part of last year at AAA before being called up to the Reds. He had a small taste of the Majors before being injured in a collusion at second base against the Braves. In 11 games he hit over .300 and had taken the starting job away from Paul Janish.
There were two players who used to be in the organization on the list.
1B Yonder Alonso at # 33 and C Yasmani Grandal at #53. They were both traded in the Mat Latos trade to the Padres. Alonso figures to make a big impact this season with them. He was Major league ready yet blocked by Joey Votto. Grandal was blocked by Mesoraco.