Today is Major League Monday which is where I will put on my sports analyst cap and give a weekly preview of my favorite sports team that is in season. That means right now we will be focusing on the Cincinnati Reds. Enjoy and Go Reds!!!
Current Record: 7-9 (4-6 Road, 3-3 Home)
Next Week: 3 vs. Giants, 3 vs. Astros
Overview of the week:
After enduring a 4-6 road stand the Reds are finally coming back to GABP to clash with the Giants and Astros this week. These two teams have a combined 14-17 record and will be a welcomed sight for the Reds who have already had to play two division leaders in the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals (twice) in this early season. The key to this week will be the pitching of the new guy in the rotation Mat Latos. To this point Latos has had three starts and in a word has been AWEFUL (0-2 8.22 ERA). He has great stuff but has been lacking command and looks to be pressing to get that first ‘W’ as a Red. With Latos getting the ball twice this week it will be crucial for him to get things rolling to complement the strong starts of Johnny Cueto and Bronson Arroyo.
On the other side the Reds offense has finally started to come around and show life after starting off very slowly. The hamstring of Brandon Phillips is still a concern and with chilly weather expected in Cincinnati this week it will be interesting how Dusty Baker handles it. One thing is certain and that is the Reds need a healthy Brandon Phillips to make a playoff run this season because he is the spark plug at the top of the line up not to mention a gold glover at 2B. Another thing to watch is to see if there is a shakeup in playing time at 3B as Scott Rolen is batting .170 and has looked very slow up there at the plate. With Todd Frazier hitting .333 granted only 6 AB I would give him a look. The continued strong play of Drew Stubbs will also be welcomed as he continues to look more comfortable after looking like he would break his own Reds strikeout record this season. With the Reds being 4.0 games out this will be a very good opportunity to gain ground early in this season and keep pressure on the 1st place Cardinals.
Bold prediction: 4-2 (2 of 3 in each series)
Player of the week: Mat Latos – Latos has had a rough start to this season like I said earlier but I think this is the perfect time for him to break out of this slump and help the Reds get a couple of victories. I’m predicting he goes 7 innings strong both starts and keeps each team under 3 runs.
Last Week’s Memorable Moment: Bronson Arroyo’s dominate outing against the Cardinal that was the start of a 4 game stretch where the Reds won 3.
Minor League Report: Billy Hamilton! If you don’t know this guy you should stole 103 bases last year in the minors and many say he is the fastest guy in baseball. There is a story out there that last week he scored on a sac fly to second base but I haven’t seen it. Don’t take my word for it though check out this video.