dusty baker toothpick

Dusty Baker isn’t looking to add youngsters to the mix


The Reds are getting a .216/.311/.371 line from their left fielders and a .231/.282/.265 line from their shortstops, but manager Dusty Baker doesn’t think it makes sense to bring up Yonder Alonso, Todd Frazier or Zack Cozart at the moment.

“We chose this team for a reason,” Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay.  “That’s a very good Triple-A team down there. Whatever you do, it’s something with the guys who are here. You don’t pull the plug on those guys right now. It’s too early for that.”

Two months in doesn’t necessarily seem too early, especially with the Reds struggling lately and playing .500 ball overall.  Alonso is hitting .324/.381/.519 while playing mostly left field for Louisville.  Frazier, who was up for one day last month, is hitting .280/.362/.514.  He’s played mostly third base, but he’s started 12 games in left field when Alonso has played first base.  Cozart is batting .294/.336/.446 as the everyday shortstop.

Meanwhile, the Reds’ left fielders rank 13th among the NL’s 16 teams in OPS, while the team’s shortstops are dead last.

I’m not going to slam Baker here.  None of those Triple-A players are sure things, and if the Reds do decide to make a change in left field, they might well be better off just giving the job to Chris Heisey.  Cozart is a better hitter than Paul Janish, and there’s a good argument for giving him Edgar Renteria’s roster spot.  However, I wouldn’t count on him posting a .700 OPS in the majors and Janish is a terrific defender.

Since they play in the NL Central, the Reds can hold out for now.  Maybe they will consider changes in a couple of weeks if no one steps up in the left field mix and if Janish continues to slump.

Photo of the Day: Colby Rasmus just wants to love on everybody

Colby Rasmus

Colby Rasmus hit a big home run last night to set off the scoring and to set the tone for the Astros.

After the game he spoke to Jeff Passan of Yahoo and voiced some nice perspective and maturity as well, acknowledging that his time and St. Louis and Toronto left him with a reputation that he’d rather not have follow him around forever, saying “I don’t want them to say Colby Rasmus was a piece of crap because he had all of this time and just wanted to be a douche. I just try to love on everybody.”

Fair. By the way, this is what Rasmus looked like either just before or just after telling reporters that he “just tries to love on everybody.”


Ready for some lovin’?

There’s no one to blame in Yankees’ loss

Joe Girardi

You’re going to boo All-Star Brett Gardner for striking out against a Cy Young contender?

You’re going to bash Alex Rodriguez for going hitless in another postseason game, three years after his last one?

Maybe you’d prefer to put it all on Masahiro Tanaka for giving up two solo homers to a lineup full of 20-homer guys?

The truth is that the Yankees were supposed to lose tonight. They were facing an outstanding left-hander with their forever-lefty-heavy lineup, and they simply didn’t have anyone pitching like an ace to set themselves up nicely for a one-game, winner-take-all showdown. The 3-0 result… well, that’s how this was supposed to go down.

It didn’t necessarily mean it would; what fun would it be if the better team always won? And the Astros might not even be a better team than the Yankees. However, the Astros with Dallas Keuchel on the mound were certainly a better team than the Yankees with whoever they picked to throw.

I just don’t see where it’s worth putting any blame tonight. Joe Girardi? He could have started John Ryan Murphy over Brian McCann against the tough lefty, but he wasn’t willing to risk Tanaka losing his comfort zone by using a backup catcher.

The front office could have added more talent, perhaps outbidding the Blue Jays for David Price or the Royals for Johnny Cueto, and set themselves up better for the postseason. However, that would have cost them Luis Severino and/or Greg Bird, both of whom went on to play key roles as the Yankees secured the wild card. Would it really have been worth it? I don’t think so.

Tanaka gave the Yankees what they should have expected. Had Keuchel’s stuff been a little off on short rest, Tanaka’s performance would have kept the Yankees in the game.

Keuchel, though, was on his game from the first pitch. The Astros bullpen might have been a bit more vulnerable, and late at-bats from Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Rodriguez and McCann definitely left something to be desired. Still, on the whole, the lack of offense was quite a team effort.

The Yankees got beat by a better team tonight.  I’m not sure the Astros would have been better in Games 2-7 in a longer series, but they had everything in their favor in this one.