The Jay Bruce Blog

Well, it has happened. After holding a nightly candlelight vigil since spring training, Jay Bruce was finally called up on Monday to be on the roster. A corresponding move will be made later today along with a very intriguing 4:00 press conference followed by GM Walt Jocketty being available in the dugout prior to tonight’s game with the Pirates.

I’m very excited. The number one prospect in all of America, in a Reds uniform tonight for the first time will be simply awesome. The buzz from the Reds’ minor league system is steadily starting to get some national attention with Bailey, Cueto, and now of course Bruce. I hope Jocketty continues to re-invest in the minor league system and drafts well even though that has not been his track record.

The dark cloud that has been over this team all year, including Sunday’s 18-inning debacle in which Corey “I’m Dusty’s boy so nothing I do hurts the team” Patterson went 0-8, will soon be lifted…somewhat. That is of course until Bruce strikes out twice in a game and every person in the Cincinnati Media calls for him to be traded because he doesn’t hustle like Pete.

I am very interested in seeing what is said in the 4:00 press conference and who attends.  If Mr. Castellini is there, does it mean that he is trying to save face for allegedly forcing the hand of Wayne Krivsky into signing Corey Patterson?  He seems to be 100% immune from the Cincinnati Media and the problems this team is facing.  The last thing this team needs is a meddlesome owner who puts “winning at all costs” above the long term solutions this team needs to be successful.

The Least Exciting Comeback Victory Ever

I really don’t know any other way to describe last nights 3-2 victory over the Padres.

Despite Adam Dunn’s monster shot off all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman in a 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth, there wasn’t much emotion and that is sad. You would think that in a night where both starting pitchers were really good (or the hitting was really bad) that such a dramatic turn of events would get me off of my couch well past midnight and in a celebratory mood. Even a win that ended a 4 game road losing streak on the dreaded west coast would prove to be a cause for happiness. That was not the case at all.

Was it the expectation that the insufferable bullpen would find a way to lose in a 2-2 tie? Was it due to the most illogical 29 minute rain delay ever? Was it due to that little voice in the back of my head saying, “You’re tired. Go to bed. You’ll find out how they blew it in the morning.”? Perhaps it is routine outs at the top of the batting order and constant base running blunders that will cause any fan to question their dedication.

Even Marty Brennaman, with his signature line after a Reds victory and a Francisco Cordero strikeout to end the Padres threat in the ninth, did not send me to a state of euphoria.

Its not as if there weren’t a lot of things to be excited about. Edison Volquez continues to be filthy on the mound by striking out 12 in a no-decision, a career high for the first year Red. His breaking ball and change-up made the Padres’ bats look silly. Volquez blew his fastball right past the San Diego hitters, topping out at 96. Dunn’s ninth inning home run was the first earned run given up by closer Trevor Hoffman since April 23.

Yeah, this was a strange game indeed.

“The Other Guy” in Volquez Trade

An interesting article by C.L. Brown, the Louisville Bats beat writer, about Danny Herrera, the “throw-in” guy that was sent by the Texas Rangers along with Edison Volquez for Josh Hamilton.

New Radio Affiliate in Louisville Brings New Problem

When we wrote earlier about the problems we were having with our local Reds on Radio affiliate being a very weak station and we were happy to hear that a new partner had stepped up.  93.9 WQKC FM “The Ticket” will be the new radio affiliate for the Reds in Louisville.  That’s good news.  A strong station that we can get in the house and in our car.  The only bad thing about this station is that it is run by like 3 guys out of a corner of a building in downtown Louisville.  As you can see, the website hasn’t been updated since March.

All mention of the Reds has been wiped clean from the WKRD site.  Perhaps they have ended all affiliation with the Reds and they won’t be on two stations at once. It is a shame that they couldn’t do something to help out fans and keep both the Reds and Louisville Bats on the same sister station.  The signal improved enough so that we could get the games at home since our original post.

However, a new problem has cropped up.

WQKC also broadcasts the Louisville Fire, an Arena2 Football League team.  They have games at the same time as the Reds (most start around 7 or 8 PM). The Fire signed a deal in February of this year with WQKC.  We weren’t able to contact WQKC for comment or get any explination of what will happen when the two games are played at the same time.  As soon as we do, we will post something here.

Hopefully they will do what is right and broadcast the Reds games instead of the Fire or else we will have to send another letter to Joe Zerhusen (who was very nice on the phone by the way) and let him know about the new problem.

Thanks to John Fay for the tip.

Reds Prospects: Maloney Named Pitcher of Week

Tripe-A Louisville’s Matt Maloney was named Pitcher of the Week for the week of May 12-18.  Maloney was acquired by the Reds for pitcher Kyle Loshe from Philidelphia.

This past week Maloney was 2-0 with an ERA of 1.35.  He gave up 7 hits,  2 runs, and 3 walks while recording 11 strikeouts in 13.1 innings pitched.  His ERA took a nosedive from 6.29 to 4.91 for the season.

Maloney was two outs shy of recording a no-hitter on Monday when he faced Richmond.  The game was the first of a doubleheader (in which only 7 innings are played) and he ultimately gave up two hits and issued two walks while striking out seven in the complete game shutout.

Maloney is expected to be another young arm in the bullpen of the future for the Reds and maybe even a spot starter.

Each week the Bats and the rest of the Reds prospects continue to put up some amazing numbers.

A Response for John Fay

Reds beat reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer recently asked the question on his Reds Insider blog why fans weren’t coming to the games citing a drop in attendance so far this season at GABP.

So what we did was to calculate the cost of going to a Reds game, for one person, from Louisville, cost of a ticket, food, and parking, and gas.

Continue reading

Bruce Tops BA’s Hot Sheet

For the week of May 9-15th, Jay Bruce has absolutely been crushing it here in Louisville, and so he was named to the top spot in this week’s Baseball America’s Hot Sheet List.

Bruce was so good this week that superlatives alone cannot do him justice. (A 2.103 OPS—are you kidding?) In last week’s Hot Sheet, we speculated that Bruce was just getting started, because he had reached base in 12 of his last 19 plate appearances. But even we could not have been prepared for this type of offensive onslaught.

We’re so glad Corey Patterson was signed for $3 million.

Bruce is hitting as well now as he has at any point in his pro career. He finished a single shy of the cycle on Wednesday, though in an encouraging sign, he did draw two unintentional walks in the game. He’s batting .366/.398/.662 overall and has hits in nine of his last 10. And for such a young lefty batter, he hangs in against his own side, batting .383/.380/.660 in 47 at-bats.

Dusty, we don’t want to rush players up here.  No need to destroy their confidence or competitive fire. He definitely needs more work.

For a man who owns a .566 career slugging percentage at the Triple-A level (at ages 20 and 21, no less), Bruce needs only to refine his batting eye (seven unintentional walks in 39 games) to get that first call-up to Cincinnati.

Just another week at the office for Mr. Bruce.  It is encouraging that he is taking more balls out of the strike zone and, other than finding a spot for him on the roster, this is probably the one area that could really bolster his chances of being in Cincinnati sooner rather than later.

Although we think it should have been yesterday.