Durham vs. Bats Game 1 (David Price!)

Yeah. That David Price.  The #1 overall draft pick in the 2007 draft for the Tampa Rays will take the mound at Louisville Slugger Field tonight for the  Durham Bulls against Matt Maloney (11-5, 4.68) for the Bats.

This is game one of a five game series in the International League Playoffs.  The other series features the Pawtucket Red Sox versus the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.  That series will start tonight in Pawtucket.

David Price is the most highly regarded prospect in the minors right now. Overall this year, Price has posted a 12-1 record with a 2.30 ERA at multiple levels of the minor league.

The Bats have not fared well this season versus the Bulls, winners of the IL South Division, going 3-5 during the regular season, but 2-2 at home.  What is odd about the Bats season, while winning a franchise high 88 wins against 56 losses, is that they have the exact same home and road record this season.  Manager Rick Sweet, named International League Manager of the Year, was on local radio earlier this morning saying that he has been telling his players not to press and try to stay relaxed even if they were to drop one of the first two games while at home.

I am super excited to not only be in attendance for this play-off game, but also to see what David Price has to offer.  Most scouting reports say that he doesn’t go deep into ballgames, but the Bats could have trouble with his blazing heat.  Hopefully I can get a seat behind the scout section behind home plate tonight.  This should be a very interesting and thrilling night for Louisville baseball.

Couier-Journal Game Preview

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Sunday Deep Thoughts

Just to wrap-up the week that was in Reds baseball.

Chris Dickerson is looking really good, but I don’t expect it to last and neither does Red Leg Nation.  Sometimes athleticism can be viewed as baseball skills and that seems to be the case with Dickerson.  He may have a hot start, but is he or any of the guys on the DL (Freel, Hopper) really the long-term answer?

Adam Done It is definitely sad to see Dunn go to Arizona.  The same people who ran him out of town are being a bit revisionist and now questioning how the Reds will score runs.  Small ball only works in a few instances (bunting over a man late in the game; ie high leverage situations).  So if other teams in the Reds’ division have a power threat (Lance Berkman, Derrick Lee, Prince Fielder et al.) how are the Reds going to match their power when no power threat exists?

Aaron Harang Should be shut down for the rest of the season.  He obviously did not recover from the 18 inning debacle in San Diego when he was forced to pitch in relief and then return on three-days rest.  There is a high potential that he could get severely injured and this wouldn’t bode well in Jocketty’s master plan of being “one or two players away” for 2009.  This is perfect cover for the Reds to bring Homer Bailey back to pitch through the end of the season. Something they should have done instead of pitching Fogg.

I also recommend that they limit Volquez as much as possible down the streach.  He pitched very well Sunday versus the Cardinals, but let him rest.  Remember, he is in his first full major league season and he also pitched winter ball.

Meaningful September Baseball For the Louisville Bats.  Going into Sunday’s game with the Columbus Clippers, the Bats are 13 games ahead of the second place team in the International League West division, which (in all likely hood) secures them a spot in the playoffs.  The Bats will have at least two games at home with a maximum of five if they go on to win.  If local news coverage was any indication, you would never know this to be the case.  Ticket packages are now available on their website.

I’m a little selfish  in not wanting mass September call-ups to happen so that the Bats can have a run to the championship.

Speaking of the Bats Beat writer CL Brown has been promoted to head beat writer for the University of Louisville at the Courier Journal.  Brown covered the Bats until former beat writer Brian Bennett was hired by ESPN.com to write for their Big East Blog.  If you remember, Bennett was the blogger/writer who did a live blog of the University of Louisville baseball team during the 2007 Super Regional game and was asked to leave the pressbox by an NCAA official.

“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.

Reds Prospects: Lehr Named IL Pitcher of the Week

Right handed pitcher Justin Lehr was named International League Pitcher of the Week ending Sunday April 13th.

In 15 IP at class Triple-A Louisville, Lehr posted a 6H, 1ER, 1BB, 10 K line.

During his first start against Scranton/Wilkes-Berre, Lehr took a perfect game into the 8th inning before surrendering a home run to Jason Lane. He threw 7 shut-out innings in his second start versus Pawtucket.

-Via Reds Press Pass