Week In Review
Record to Date: 100% (6-6)
Player of the Week: Jay Bruce
Bruce had a monster week breaking out of his early slump by hitting .455 (10-22) with 3 HR and 10 RBI’s. This was before he went 1-3 on Sunday afternoon with his 4th homerun in as many games and another 4 RBI’s. He now leads the team with 7 HR and 17 RBI. At this pace Bruce could very well end up with a 40 HR and 100 RBI season.
Performance of the Week: Johnny Cueto
The beat goes on for Cueto as he tosses another 7 shutout innings in a 6-0 win against the Astros. He is now 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA and has thrown 32.1 Innings this season. He was named the ace of the staff at the beginning of the season and has lived up to that billing. The only thing that has concerned me at times with Cueto is he can be a bit wild and that results in his pitch count being high. It took him 120 pitches to get through 7 innings this week and fatigue on his arm could become a factor later in the season with these high pitch counts.
This Week’s Preview
The Games: 3 vs. Cubs (8-14), 3 vs. Pirates (9-12)
Predicted Record: 5-1 (Sweep of the Cubs)
The Starters this week
Tue. – Arroyo
Wed. – Bailey
Thur. – Leake*
Fri. – Cueto
Sat. – Latos
Something to Watch: The Mike Leake Situation
Of all the starters Leake is the only one to not show a glimpse of coming out of his slump. He has been fooling no one this season and has given up 13 runs in his last 13 2/3 IP. I’ve watched all Leake’s starts this season and the opposition has been crushing the ball off of him. Leake is not a power pitcher but relies on changing speeds and pin point accuracy. He has been catching the heart of the plate to often and it appears that he is trying to be to fine with his pitches. On top of that he has started slow and he is undoubtedly hearing the clamor for lefty fire baller Chapman to take his place. This could be one of the most important starts in his career against the Cubs on Thursday because another subpar performance will almost assuredly mean a change is coming. He does have a chance to save his spot in the rotation still as he has gotten support from Dusty Baker and he’s going against the lowly Cubs but anything similar to his previous starts and it might be the beginning of the Aroldis Champan era.
Position Player of the Week: Jay Bruce
Bruce is one of the streakiest players in baseball and when he’s going right he is one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball. He looks to be on one of his early season tears and there is no reason to think it will slow down against the Cubs and Pirates. He currently ranks second in the NL in Homeruns and is in the top 10 in RBI. Look for those numbers to increase this week. I’ll go with another 2 HR and 5 RBI this week.
Pitcher of the Week: Homer Bailey
I could hit a homerun every week here by picking Johnny Cueto but I’ll go of the beaten path a bit and go with Homer Bailey. He has quietly put a solid start of the season together. Nothing spectacular but has a solid 3.60 ERA and has been a reliable option. Again the competition this week should help as he will go up against the Cubs who have struggled this year but this early confidence will go a long way for Bailey who has always had the talent (A former #1 pick). Getting Bailey rolling along with the strong efforts of the other starters not named Leake will be important for the Reds to keep rolling over the .500 line and toward the playoffs.
Down on the Farm: Billy Hamilton
I mentioned Hamilton last week but you people need to check him out!! He now has 29 stolen bases while hitting .395 for high double-A. If he continues on this tear he would steal over 160 bases! While I don’t see that happening I do see a call-up to triple-A Louisville soon with the possibility of a late September call-up to the big leagues to cause havoc on the base paths in the playoffs. Look out for this guy he’s our future leadoff man and shortstop (Cozart to 3B).