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Tag:Ryan Hanigan
Posted on: March 4, 2012 10:21 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 10:22 pm
 

Spring primer: Cincinnati Reds



By C. Trent Rosecrans


With Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder leaving the National League Central, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty saw an opportunity to take the division. Jocketty traded two of the team's top prospects to San Diego for Mat Latos and fortified the bullpen with the additions of Ryan Madson and Sean Marshall. With Joey Votto under contract for just the next two years, the Reds see these two years as their best chance to win, and the team is going for it.

Major additions: RHP Mat Latos, RHP Ryan Madson, LHP Sean Marshall, OF Ryan Ludwick
Major departures: RHP Francisco Cordero, RHP Edinson Volquez, C Ramon Hernandez, 1B Yonder Alonso

Probable lineup
1. Brandon Phillips 2B
2. Zack Cozart SS
3. Joey Votto 1B
4. Scott Rolen 3B
5. Jay Bruce RF
6. Ryan Ludwick LF
7. Drew Stubbs CF
8. Ryan Hanigan C

Probable rotation
1. Johnny Cueto
2. Mat Latos
3. Bronson Arroyo
4. Mike Leake
5. Homer Bailey

Back-end bullpen
Closer: Ryan Madson
Set-up: LHP Sean Marshall, RHP Nick Masset, LHP Bill Bray

Important bench players
C Devin Mesoraco, OF Chris Heisey, 3B Juan Francisco

Prospect to watch
The Reds sent Alonso to San Diego in the deal that brought Latos to Cincinnati, making many nervous about the post-Votto era. If Votto doesn't re-sign with the Reds, many saw Alonso as the heir apparent. Now that Alonso's out of the picture, the first baseman of the future is Neftali Soto. The 23-year-old was the team's third-round pick in 2007 and played shortstop, third base and catcher in addition to first base. But the team finally left him at first in 2011. The reason the team kept moving him was that his bat has never been an issue. Last season he hit 30 home runs in just 102 games at Double-A Carolina, missing a month with a broken bone in his left wrist. He doesn't walk much (just 103 walks and 375 strikeouts in five minor-league seasons), but he has plenty of power to all fields, with 10 of his 31 homers (including one in four games at Triple-A) were opposite field shots.

Fantasy sleeper: Homer Bailey
"The Reds have been conservative with Bailey and the team hopes that their caution will pay off this season. If he can stay healthy, Bailey has an excellent chance for a breakout season, as he has made steady improvements in his pitch selection, control and efficiency." -- Al Melchior [Full Reds fantasy preview]

Fantasy bust: Ryan Ludwick
"Some observers have pointed to Ludwick's career line at Great American Ball Park (.276/.321/.600) as a sign of an impending comeback season, and it's true that he has had the misfortune of playing in pitchers' parks for most of his career. However, Ludwick has just 19 plate appearances at GABP over the last two years, a time period during which he has seen an erosion of his power numbers, both at home and on the road." -- Al Melchior [Full Reds fantasy preview]

Optimistic outlook
Not only does Cueto improve upon his breakout 2011, but Latos is even better than he was in the second half of 2011, giving the Reds a dominant and young top of the rotation. Add to that a healthy Arroyo and see Bailey live up to his immense potential -- and the Reds have one of the best rotations in the National League. The offense continues to put up runs and Cincinnati eases into the postseason past the fading Cardinals and Brewers.

Pessimistic outlook
Injuries and unfulfilled potential lead to the second straight season of disappointment on the Ohio River. Not only does the starting pitching falter, but Stubbs breaks Mark Reynolds' single-season strikeout record, Bruce isn't able to make adjustments and rookies Mesoraco and Cozart play like rookies at the two most important defensive positions on the diamond. Milwaukee and St. Louis once again are the class of the division, while Pittsburgh improves and not only breaks its 19-year streak of losing seasons, but also leapfrogs the Reds for third in the NL Central. Adding insult to injury, Phillips leaves as a free agent and with the team in flux, Votto is sent away for prospects and another rebuilding job is underway.

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Posted on: November 30, 2011 2:13 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Cincinnati Reds

Joey Votto

By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule of this feature, click here.

During the series, we've seen some lineups that would be completely foreign to the hometown fans, and some a little less so. The homegrown Cincinnati Reds, for better or worse, look quite similar to the team that took the field at Great American Ball Park this past season. While there are similar strengths, the same problems also crop up.

Lineup

1. Jay Bruce, RF
2. Justin Turner, 2B
3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Adam Dunn, LF
5. Juan Francisco, 3B
6. Drew Stubbs, CF
7. Devin Mesoraco, C
8. Zack Cozart, SS

Starting Rotation

1. Johnny Cueto
2. Mike Leake
3. Homer Bailey
4. Travis Wood
5. Zach Stewart

Bullpen

Closer - Aroldis Chapman
Set up - Todd Coffey, Logan Ondrusek, Jordan Smith, Josh Roenicke, Enerio Del Rosario
Long - Sam LeCure

Notable Bench Players

Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, Adam Rosales, Ryan Hanigan, Chris Heisey, Chris Denorfia, Chris Dickerson. The Reds hypothetical situation behind the plate is the same as their current situation, one underrated catcher and two promising prospects, a problem most teams would envy. The hypothetical Reds also have no real spot for Alonso, although a short leash on Dunn could have this homegrown team toy with the notion of trying Alonso in left -- just like the real Reds.

What's Good?

The lineup's going to put up runs, that's for sure. There are some lineup construction problems, but this team can flat out hit, especially in their home ballpark. The defense isn't as good as it is in real life, it's still not too bad (with the exception of Dunn). The team has a lot of talent behind the plate and the bench is deep with some versatility.

What's Not?

The Reds were unable to repeat their 2010 division title in large part because of the failings of their starting rotation -- that's not fixed with these five. There's also no real answer to the team's search for a leadoff man, just like the real Reds. This bullpen isn't as experienced or strong as the real thing, either.

Comparison to real 2011

While there are some key personel missing, like Brandon Phillips and Francisco Cordero, there's also an added boost to the lineup of Dunn (we'll just assume he would have performed closer to his career numbers than his historically bad 2011 in the familiar confines of Great American Ball Park than in Chicago), the offense would have been about the same. The pitching, though, is still a problem, so this squad may fair a bit worse than the team's 79-83 record. However, the team is interesting, talented and young.

Next: Kansas City Royals

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 4, 2011 1:28 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Cincinnati Reds

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...

Team name: Cincinnati Reds
Record: 79-83, 3rd place, 17 games back
Manager: Dusty Baker
Best hitter: Joey Votto -- .309/.416/.531 with 29 HR, 103 RBI
Best pitcher:Johnny Cueto -- 9-5, 24 GS, 156 IP, 2.31 ERA, 104 K, 47 BB

Coming off the 2010 National League Central title with pretty much the same team intact, the Reds were expected to challenge for the title again. However, the team could never quite get consistent starting pitching and were on the outside looking in by the All-Star break, close enough not to become sellers at the deadline and ultimately irrelevant for the last two months of the season.

2011 SEASON RECAP

Cueto took a step forward in his development and Votto showed he was anything but a one-hit wonder, while Brandon Phillips played at an All-Star level. Other than that, most every other Cincinnati Red took a step back from their 2010 performance. Bronson Arroyo and Drew Stubbs set dubious marks -- Arroyo allowing 46 homers and Stubbs striking out 205 times. Opening-day starter Edinson Volquez was twice demoted to the minors and third baseman Scott Rolen was limited to just 65 games. Lefty Travis Wood struggled in his second year and right-hander Homer Bailey has yet to find consistency. The team's gaping holes at shortstop and left field were magnified and its rotation wasn't as deep as promised in the spring. In all, disappointment was all around in 2011 as Cincinnati was unable to defend its crown.

2012 AUDIT

The Reds need to follow the lead of the Brewers, who decided to go for it in 2011 instead of worrying what would happen when Prince Fielder left. The Reds still have two more years of Votto, they need to take advantage of that and try to win before Votto goes to greener pastures, not fret about what's going to happen in two years. The Reds still need some help at the top of their rotation, a right-handed power bat for the middle of the lineup and to make a decision about left field and shortstop.

FREE AGENTS

CL Francisco Cordero (team holds a $12 million option for 2012)
2B Brandon Phillips (team holds a $12 million option for 2012)
C Ramon Hernandez
SS Edgar Renteria
LHP Dontrelle Willis

OFFSEASON FOCUS

  • Sell high on first baseman Yonder Alonso. In his first extensive big-league action, the 2008 first-rounder was impressive, hitting .330/.398/.545, displaying a keen understanding of the strike zone. That said, the Reds struggled to find places to play him, considering he's a first baseman and the guy they have there is one of the game's best players. Alonso played 16 games in left field, and aside from a rough weekend in Wrigley Field, didn't embarrass himself. He also played a game at third base without a single ball coming his way. In the end, he's a first baseman. That's where he'll thrive and that's where some team could certainly use him -- just not the Reds. See what you can get for Alonso in a package or straight up. At 24, he's young for a major leaguer, but old for a prospect. His highest value is this offseason.
  • Make a play for a true ace. Yes, Cueto has the potential to be an ace and he looked at times to be an ace this season. However, the Brewers could have said the same thing about Yovani Gallardo after last season. Be bold and bolster the top of the rotation. The Reds were second in the National League in runs scored and fifth in OPS -- there's enough offense to win if the pitching is sound. Sure up the rotation and by default you sure up the bullpen. The Brewers thought bold and they didn't have half the farm system the Reds have. You can send some combination Alonso, Billy Hamilton and one of the two catchers -- Devin Mesoraco or Yasmani Grandal -- away in a deal or two for true front-of-the-rotation help.
  • Pick up Phillips' option, but don't sign him to the long-term deal he's seeking. Phillips will win his third Gold Glove this year and is as good as anyone defensively. He also hit .300/.353/.457. However, he'll be looking for a Dan Uggla-like deal (five years, $62 million), and that's just not something the Reds can afford, especially at non-premium position like second base. He adjusted well to the leadoff role late in the season, hitting .350/.417/.573 in 39 games (38 starts) at the top of the order, but he's still a career .322 OBP guy and his .353 on-base percentage this season was a career-best by .021, aided by a career-best .322 BABIP. Bottom line is he's the best second baseman in the National League, but that comes at a price -- and a price the Reds won't be able to afford past this season.
  • Speaking of not overpaying a specific position, the team vastly overpaid for closer Cordero after the 2007 season, giving him a four-year, $46 million deal plus a $12 million club option for 2012. There's no reason to pick that option up, even though the team has reportedly been talking about an extension with Cordero. Any extension would likely be two years for more than the $12 million he'd make by just picking up the option for next year, but would include a yearly pay cut. Again, that's a move big market teams can afford, but the Reds cannot. Even with likely deferred payments (much like last season's Arroyo extension), Cordero is too costly. He's done his job well in his time in Cincinnati, solidifying a bullpen that had been in tatters before his arrival, but it's too much to pay for a closer. Follow the lead of the Rays and Diamondbacks who were able to rebuild bullpens for less than $12 million based on scrap parts. It's risky, but no more risky (and less expensive) than paying inflated prices for relievers.
  • The team held on to Hernandez even when other teams were desperate for catching. That means either nobody was that desperate for catching, or Hernandez and his agents already told the team he would not accept arbitration -- or both. If the Reds can offer Hernandez arbitration without danger of him accepting it, they'd likely receive two draft picks if Hernandez qualifies as a Type A free agent. With Ryan Hanigan signed through 2013 at a team-friendly rate and Mesoraco left with nothing left to prove in the minors, it's time to move on from Hernandez, who has been productive in his time in Cincinnati. They also have Grandal waiting in the wings, plus Tucker Barnhart, who won the Minor League Gold Glove at catcher.
  • If the Reds are going to go young at shortstop with Zack Cozart and in left field with Chris Heisey, they need to commit to it -- no messing around with another veteran shortstop that will just take up playing time, like Edgar Renteria or Orlando Cabrera. In left, Heisey needs to play and play more, even against left-hander, even though he struggled against them. Juan Francisco has improved at third base and should be the first choice if Rolen isn't healthy.
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Posted on: August 14, 2011 1:38 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Posada produces in start

Jorge Posada

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jorge Posada, Yankees: For the first time since he'd been benched, Posada was in the Yankees' starting lineup on Saturday. He may have made manager Joe Girardi reconsider things, if only briefly. Posada was 3 for 5 with six RBI including a grand slam in the the fifth inning off of Rays reliever Brandon Gomes as part of the Yankees' 9-2 victory. It was Posada's fifth career six-RBI day and will be in the lineup as the DH again on Sunday.

Miguel Cairo, Reds: For the first time in his 16-year career, Cairo hit more than one homer in a game, blasting two homers against the Padres in the Reds' 13-1 victory. The 37-year-old now has a career-best seven homers on the season, besting his 2004 total of six with the Yankees. The Reds clubbed seven homers in all, with Cairo and Ryan Hanigan hitting two each. Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier also homered. The first five homers of the game came off starter Tim Stauffer, who last just three innings, and Cairo's second homer was off reliever Anthony Bass and Hanigan hit his second off of Joe Thatcher

Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians: Cabrera's third inning three-run homer was the Indians' only offense of the day, but it was enough for Cleveland's 3-1 victory over the Twins. It was Cabrera's 20th homer of the season, making him just the third Indians shortstop to hit that many home runs in a  season. Jhonny Peralta and Woodie Held each accomplished the feat three times, with Peralta's 24-homer season in 2005 setting the team mark for homers by a shortstop. While that doesn't sound like much, Cabrera entered the season with just 18 homers in his career. He also reached a career-high with 71 RBI.


Jered Weaver, Angels: In his first game back from a six-game suspension, the Blue Jays hit Weaver harder than Carlos Guillen.  The Angels' ace lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits. His eight runs were as many as he'd allowed in his previous seven starts and the three homers were as many as he'd allowed in his last 80 1/3 innings. Adam Lind's grand slam coped a five-run fifth, marking the first time Weaver had allowed mor ethan four runs in a start since Aug. 17, 2010. Edwin Encarnacion and Mark Teahen also homered off of Weaver, whose ERA jumped from 1.78 to 2.13.

Oakland Athletics: The A's committed four errors and had two wild pitches in a 7-1 loss to the Rangers, but A's manager Bob Melvin said, "Really, we played worse than that" (via the San Francisco Chronicle). Oakland starter Trevor Cahill took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Yorvit Torrealba broke it up with a one-out single. That same inning, Jemile Weeks committed two errors on one play, setting up Ian Kinsler's RBI double for the game's first run. Shortstop Eric Sogard had an error in the fifth and third baseman Scott Sizemore's eight-inning error led to an unearned run in the three-run Rangers' eighth. The A's lead the big leagues with 98 errors in 119 games.

Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles: With a 5-1 lead, Guthrie allowed six consecutive two-out hits and five runs in the sixth inning, leading to a 6-5 loss to the Tigers. In his first 5 2/3 innings, the right-hander had allowed just two hits and a run but then fell apart. Guthrie fell to 5-16 on the season and the Orioles have lost nine of 11.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:01 am
 

Hernandez could go even if Reds don't sell

Ramon HernandezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Reds were just swept by the Mets in Cincinnati and welcome the defending champions to Great American Ball Park this weekend, but general manager Walt Jocketty told reporters the team still considers itself a buyer.

"We are not selling," Jocketty told reporters, including MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.

The Reds enter Friday in fourth place in the National League Central, 6 1/2 games behind Milwaikee and five games behind both Pittsburgh and St. Louis. The Reds have six games left with the Pirates and three each with the Brewers and Cardinals, but just 19 of their remaining 54 games are against teams with winning records, and only six games in August are against teams currently with a winning record.

Even if the Reds do consider themselves still in the race despite the mountain ahead of them, that doesn't preclude a trade at the deadline that sends off a member of their roster.

The Giants are reportedly interested in Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez, a free agent after the season. Jocketty said he hasn't listened to offers for Hernandez -- yet.

"I haven't no, and I don't know if I would," Jocketty said. "I still think he's a guy that can help us with this year. I think his value is greater to us now than if we were to move him. You're not going to get the value in return for him that he gives our club. That's why we would hold on to him."

Of course, the Cardinals had no plans on moving Colby Rasmus, either. At this time of the year, anything a general manager says should be taken with a grain of salt -- it can always be a smokescreen or something he wants other to hear. Even if the Reds are buying and not selling, that doesn't necessarily rule out a Hernandez deal.

Hernandez, 35, is having a fantastic season offensively for the Reds, hitting .308/.368/.500 with 10 home runs. That's a vast improvement over Giants catcher Eli Whiteside (.225/.312/.370) and Chris Stewart (.211/.294/.276).

And as good as he's been, he's expendable because the Reds not only have one of the game's top catching prospects, but that prospect is knocking down the door of the majors. Devin Mesoraco is hitting .305/.376/.496 with 10 home runs and 59 RBI at Triple-A Louisville. The team also has veteran Ryan Hanigan at the big-league level, who is a good defensive catcher and under contract through 2013 for just $3.25 million over the next two seasons. Hernandez is a free agent after the season for the Reds.

But if the Reds do deal Hernandez to the Giants, they may wait until right at Sunday's 4 p.m ET deadline, as Cincinnati hosts San Francisco all weekend and wouldn't want to a lineup that had Hernandez in it instead of either Whiteside or Stewart. Hernandez has also caught every inning Sunday's starter, Johnny Cueto, has thrown this season. The teams play at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted the Reds want pitching in return for Hernandez -- and a San Francisco official said "That, we got a lot of." Keep in mind the Reds could likely get compensation for Hernandez if he left as a free agent. One name to keep an eye on, left-hander Eric Surkamp of Double-A Richmond. Surkamp is 8-3 with a 2.05 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 114 innings for the Flying Squirrels. He's also a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Moeller High School, the alma mater of former Reds Barry Larkin and Ken Griffey Jr.

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Posted on: April 3, 2011 11:16 pm
Edited on: April 3, 2011 11:17 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 4/3: Teixeira's hot start

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mark Teixeira3UP

Mark Teixeira, Yankees -- Mark Teixeira is a notorious slow starter, but as CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller found out this spring, the Yankees first baseman overhauled his offseason routine and started hitting sooner. It appears it worked -- he homered for the third straight game on Sunday, joing Dave Winfield as just the second Yankee to homer in the first three games of the season. Speaking of homers in each of the first three games of the season, Texas' Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler became the first set of teammates to do that.

Jaime Garcia, Cardinals -- There were plenty of people worried about Garcia following a shaky spring. Well, once the games started to count, Garcia was back to his 2010 form. Garcia allowed just four hits in his shutout on Sunday, walking two and striking out a career-high nine against the Padres.

Reds catchers -- You saw what Ramon Hernandez did on opening day, well, he hasn't played since and it hasn't hurt the Reds. Between Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan, Reds catchers are 9 for 12 with three home runs and seven RBI after Hanigan went 4 for 4 with a pair of homers on Sunday's 12-3 victory over Milwaukee.

3DOWN

MLB schedule makers -- Weather was a constant concern this opening weekend, but only one game was called because of the weather, Sunday's Rockies-Diamondbacks game. How difficult is it to look at the schedules and figure out that you've got a better chance of bad weather in Denver in early April than in Arizona? Ozzie Guillen was right, it's "very stupid."

Brian Broderick, Nationals -- In his major-league debut, the Rule 5 pick not only allowed four runs on two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning, he also balked in a run when his cleat got caught in the rubber and didn't throw the ball. "I was either going to throw it way over the catcher's head or not throw it at all," Broderick told MASNSports.com.

Angels bullpen -- For the third day in a  row, the Angels' bullpen gave up the lead and took the loss against the Royals. In 16 innings in four games, Angels relievers have allowed 19 hits, 12 runs (nine earned) five homers, 13 walks and 14 strikeouts. Closer Fernando Rodney walked three Royals before allowing a two-out double to Wilson Betimit to tie the game in the ninth on Sunday. Rodney has now walked four of the nine batters he's faced in 2011.

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Posted on: March 13, 2011 6:27 pm
 

Reds enjoying catching surplus

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ryan HaniganThe Reds have two of the top catching prospects in the game, but also want to keep current catcher Ryan Hanigan around, as the team agreed to a three-year, $4 million extension, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney.

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty wouldn't confirm the deal when reached by the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay, but Jocketty doesn't usually confirm deals until they are official. Jocketty told Fay the two sides were "close." Olney writes Hanigan can make up to $800,000 more based on playing time.

Hanigan, 30, hit .300/.405/.429 last season and has a career .379 on-base percentage. He is also an excellent defensive catcher. He is scheduled to be arbitration-eligible after the season. Jocketty has shown a propensity to buy out arbitration years. This offseason, the Reds bought out the arbitration years of Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto. They tried to do the same with Edinson Volquez.

Cincinnati has Devin Mesoraco and Yasmani Grandal in the minors waiting their turn. Mesoraco was the team's minor league player of the year in 2010 and Grandal was the team's first-round pick in last year's draft. Both are 22.

Hanigan and Ramon Hernandez are the Reds' current catchers and Jocketty said several teams have asked about Cincinnati's catchers. The team also has a solid veteran at Triple-A in Corky Miller.

"We've said no," Jocketty told the Enquirer. "We don't want to give up our surplus."

Hernandez is signed to a one-year deal worth $3 million.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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Posted on: March 7, 2011 2:29 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:35 am
 

Miller gives perspective

Corky MillerBy C. Trent Rosecrans
One of my favorite players I've covered is Reds catcher Corky Miller. Miller turns 35 later this month and is still kicking around because he knows he'll have a job, even if it's in Triple-A. He's a solid backup catcher and even more solid person. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer passes along this tidbit:
So when he heard some players complaining about signing autographs, he dropped the best line of the spring: “If you don’t like it, play worse.”

Fay notes Reds media relations director Rob Butcher is planning on framing a picture of Miller (and his magnificent mustache) with the quote. It certainly should put it in perspective for many players.

Miller signed a minor-league deal with the Reds this offseason, despite knowing the team has Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan at the major-league level. Plus, Cincy has two top prospects, Devin Mesoraco and Yasmani Grandal, who are catchers and coming up the system fast. Of course, that's one of the big reasons the Reds wanted Miller back.

Miller's played in 199 games in the big leagues over the last 10 years for the Reds, Braves, Twins, Red Sox and White Sox. He's logged 852 minor-league games since being signed as an amateur free agent out of Nevada-Reno by the Reds in 1998.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com