Hatteberg signs 1-year extension, with club option for 2008
Half of our platoon at first base signed a bargain-price extension for $1.5 million next year, with a club option for 2008. Hatteberg has been a tremendous asset this year from the left side of the plate, and $1.5 million is a small price to pay for having a professional hitter like him in our lineup. His recent stats:
The Reds have used him almost entirely in a platoon role, and he's been fabulous, with the second highest offensive VORP of on the team (trailing only Adam Dunn). Even if he regresses back inti the mid/low-0.800's, he will still be a valuable guy, and $1.5 million is a very affordable rate for what he brings to the table. Kudos to Krivsky for both the signing and the extension.
Reds exchange Mays and Wise for Ross and (briefly) Germano
We already know Dave Ross as 'Da Man from the first half, and Justin Germano was here only for a brief appearance on Saturday before being sent right back to Louisville. So let's take one last look at the recently departed.
You have to feel for Joe Mays, who has been "asked" to accept an assignment to AAA by both the Royals and the Reds this season. This time, he accepted. But you have to wonder what his future might be. His numbers this year, last year, er...every year since his hit-lucky 2001 campaign have been dreadful:
|2006/KCA ||23.7 ||3.4 ||5.3 ||2.66 ||0.344 ||10.27 ||8.05 ||--- ||-16.8 ||--- |
|2006/CIN ||27 ||5.3 ||4.0 ||1.33 ||0.367 ||7.33 ||5.27 ||--- ||-4.5 ||--- |
DeWayne Wise just joined the team earlier in the month after completing a lengthy rehab assignment, and his arrival coincided with the release of Quinton McCracken. Wise had an excellent spring training, but hasn't shown anything more than the occasional flash of competancy, at any level, over the past several years (especially note his '05 and '03 seasons in AAA):
Dave Ross is no doubt here to stay, but Justin Germano just popped up for a start before heading back down to AAA. Therefore, a roster move will most definitely be made tomorrow. Who will it be? Well, looking at the Reds' schedule, they don't need a 5th starter until Tuesday, August 8th vs. the Cardinals. Given the rather limited outfield situation right now, I wouldn't be surprised to see Andy Abad (the only remaining outfielder in AAA that I've heard of) come up to replace Wise over that period of time.
But more interesting things could be afoot. Marc Lancaster thinks a trade might be brewing, though offers no ideas as to what might be up. Unless another huge trade occurs (Griffey?), the Reds' only marketable and yet replaceable property would seem to be a catcher. LaRue's recent improvements at the plate (well, at least the first week after the all-star break) might once again make him a valuable commodity, so that'd be my guess. But I've been saying that since spring training. :)
Yuliesky Gourriel Defects from Cuba
The young star of the Cuban National team, Yuliesky Gourriel, defected from the Cuba immediately following the '06 Central American games in Cartagena, Columbia. Accompanying him was veteran shortstop (and captain, as I recall, of the WBC Cuban National team) Eduardo Paret. Gourriel is considered by many to be a superb candidate for a career in the majors as a second baseman, and it looks like MLB teams are taking him very seriously. From Baseball Prospectus today:
With the news that Yuliesky Gourriel has defected (though there's no official confirmation), teams will begin the bidding war. Gourriel was a star in the World Baseball Classic. He'd need to get a lot of paperwork done in a hurry, but two baseball men I spoke to this evening think he's ready now. "I'd take him over Soriano on everything but power," one said. "I'm stunned. All we heard at the Classic is that he wouldn't go with all the family connections," said the other. "He's the biggest Cuban ever."I have to say, I'd be delighted if Cincinnati took a serious stab at him. I doubt he'd be able to join a major league team this year, but you never know what might happen with those visas. A double-play combination of Phillips (at shortstop) and Gourriel could be a fantastic duo for a lot of years. That said, I'm sure the competition for him will be high.
As for Eduardo Paret...well, I don't know. I believe he's already in his mid-30's, though he hit well in the Classic and might be worth a shot in a backup role. Of course, given Cincinnati's rather shotty situation at shortstop right now, he might actually be an upgrade. But I've got nothing but that tiny sampling of games in the WBC to judge him on, as I haven't found a good source for stats on Cuban baseball players (if there even is one)...much less determined a way to figure major league equivalencies.
Something that I learned from Dave Studeman this week, that he didn't know last week
You gotta go check out BaseballRace.Com. You get to watch pennent races from past teams as if they were horse races. Studes recommends the '64 Phillies' fade and the '51 Giants/Dodgers races, but as a Reds fan I strongly recommend the '90 NL West, the '95 NL Central, the '99 NL Central, and, of course, the '75-76 NL West (goodness that '75 team was amazing). But whatever you do, don't watch the '03 or '04 NL Central races. They hurt.
"He has a nice fastball, but stuggles a bit with his control."
Finally, some amusing (at least to me) baseball history to close tonight's long post. This caught my eye over in the Minor League Ball Diaries. It describes a minor league player from the '50's and '60's named Steve Dalkowski. He may have had the fastest fastball ever. And the guy was just totally awesome. Stats from Wikipedia:
| ||26||San Jose||California||A||6||38||35||34||33||2||3||4.74||7.8||8.1||8.3||1.82|
|Total|| || || ||236||995||682||1354||1396||46||80||5.59||12.6||12.2||6.2||2.05|
I would have loved to see that guy pitch. This site indicates that he was the model of Nuke LaLoosh of Bull Durham. I wonder how many team mascots he hit...