Cincinnati is still feeling some positive vibes from a highly successful week of All-Star festivities, but big business is underway in the executive offices at Great American Ball Park. This comes from John Fay’s latest in the Cincinnati Enquirer …
The fire sale is in full swing. The Reds have put all the players they [are] willing to part with on the shelf. Owner Bob Castellini has given go-ahead to trade as needed.
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has stated that Home Run Derby hero Todd Frazier will not be traded, and we can probably rule out Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Homer Bailey because of their contracts (and other factors). But it seems plausible that Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Aroldis Chapman, Jay Bruce, Marlon Byrd, Skip Schumaker, and Brayan Pena could all be on the move ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Cueto and Leake definitely because of their status as big-ticket impending free agents.
Fay notes that Jocketty’s approval rating has “eroded” in Cincy, so this is going to be an important couple of weeks for him personally. It’s also an important couple of weeks for the organization, which has been in bad need of a rebuild. The club’s record as of Sunday morning was 40-48. And the farm system isn’t great.
Update: Strasburg’s issue is with his left trap muscle, per MASN’s Dan Kolko. He’ll be evaluated on Saturday.
Some bad news that could lead to some worse news for the Nationals: starter Stephen Strasburg left in the second inning of Friday night’s start against the Reds. He walked leadoff batter Brayan Pena, then was attended to by the team trainer before walking off the mound. Taylor Jordan relieved him. Strasburg had allowed one run on a first-inning Joey Votto home run.
This isn’t the first injury scare the the Nationals have had with Strasburg this season. He left a start earlier this month due to discomfort under his shoulder blade but only had his next start moved back as opposed to landing on the disabled list. Strasburg has struggled, carrying a 6.55 ERA, a 1.72 WHIP, and a 45/14 K/BB ratio in 45 1/3 innings.
As soon as more information is known about Strasburg’s status, we’ll update you here.
Devin Mesoraco has been on the Reds’ active roster, attempting to play through a hip injury, for nearly the entire season. It hasn’t gone well, as he’s followed up an All-Star season by hitting just .178 and has been limited mostly to pinch-hitting duties because squatting behind the plate is a problem.
Today–nearly six weeks since his last start at catcher–the Reds finally placed him on the disabled list with a left hip impingement and season-ending surgery looms as a possibility for Mesoraco.
Brayan Pena has been filling in as the Reds’ starting catcher and he’ll never match the production Mesoraco provided last season while hitting 25 homers with an .893 OPS, but he’s done a solid job while batting .307 with zero homers and a .749 OPS in 31 games.
Mesoraco and the Reds agreed to a $28 million contract extension in January and manager Bryan Price spent all spring talking about how he wanted the 27-year-old catcher to start 140-plus games this season. Instead it’s looking like a totally lost year and his future is now in question as well.