No official move has been announced yet, but John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Reds will call up prospect Todd Frazier in time for tonight’s game.
Frazier, who ranked as one of Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects in 2009 and 2010, has hit .294 with 11 homers and a .949 OPS in 43 games at Triple-A.
He’s played all over the diamond defensively in the minors, but with the Reds struggling to get production from Jonny Gomes and Fred Lewis in left field that seems like his most probable path to playing time for now.
His numbers this season are impressive, but based on his previous track record Frazier projects more as a solid regular than a star. He’s hit .270 with a .343 on-base percentage and .481 slugging percentage in 190 total games at Triple-A, which is good but great production, and Frazier is already 25 years old.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.
First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.
More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:
The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.