Apr 9, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto against the Arizona Diamondbacks during opening day at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Joey Votto’s 2022 season was a struggle, and it came to a premature end when the Cincinnati Reds first baseman underwent surgery to repair a torn left rotator cuff. However, Votto sounds like he has his future somewhat sorted out already.
Votto spoke to the media Monday and revealed that he fully intends to return next season. The first baseman added that it is a “priority” for him to finish his career with the Reds.
Joey Votto says that it’s a “priority” to finish his career as a Red. “I’d like to have a strong finish to my career and be proud.”
Votto is owed $25 million in 2023. The Reds hold a $20 million team option on his 2024 season, and it’s tough to envision them picking that up. In other words, if Votto wants to retire with the Reds while playing beyond 2023, he’ll almost certainly have to take a major pay cut. By that point, he will be 40, so it is entirely plausible that he might just choose to retire, especially considering his current physical issues.
Sep 11, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets majority owner Steve Cohen and his wife Alexandra Cohen at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Yankees traded for Andrew Benintendi on Wednesday, and the Mets followed with a trade of their own 24 hours later.
The Mets on Thursday acquired reliever Phillip Diehl and outfielder Tyler Naquin from the Cincinnati Reds. In return, the Mets are sending minor leaguers Jose Acuna and Hector Rodriguez to Cincinnati. Because Naquin will be a free agent after the season, the Mets did not have to pay a steep price and were able to keep their top 30 prospects according to MLB.com.
The Reds will receive minor leaguers Jose Acuna and Hector Rodriguez from the Mets, per source.
The Mets have been one of the more active teams in baseball as the August 2 trade deadline approaches. Last week, the team traded for first baseman Daniel Vogelbach.
Although both players from the Reds are not necessarily big-time acquisitions, they could provide some extra depth for the Mets’ outfield and bullpen. Entering Thursday, Naquin was hitting .245 with six home runs and 31 RBI. Diehl has pitched in just five major league games this season. He has an 11.12 ERA and has allowed seven earned runs in 5.2 innings.
With less than one week until the deadline, the Mets may be far from done making moves to improve their roster.
The Cincinnati Reds had one of the more unique walk-off wins of the season Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays.
With runners on the corners and one out in the bottom of the 10th inning, Rays reliever Matt Wisler had a 1-2 count on Reds outfielder and number nine hitter, Tyler Naquin. While Wisler was receiving the sign from catcher Francisco Mejia, home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso stepped out from behind the catcher, pointed to Wisler and then called a balk. The balk allowed Reds catcher Mark Kolozsvary to score the game-winning run to give the Reds a 2-1 victory.
Wisler looked expectedly shocked on the mound, as cameras showed him with his arms outstretched while the Reds mobbed Kolozsvary at home plate. Rays manager Kevin Cash ran out to argue the call, although balks are not reviewable.
After the game, Cash revealed to reporters the explanation that he was given for the call.
“I didn’t see anything,” Cash said. “I wasn’t looking at [Wisler], but I did hear that there might have been a flinch. I gotta go back and look. But Edwin [Moscoso] at home plate and also the second base umpire Lance Barrett, they said that he flinched and that it was a balk.”
— Bally Sports Florida & Bally Sports Sun (@BallySportsFL) July 9, 2022
A walk-off balk hadn’t occurred in the majors since the Seattle Mariners walked off the Los Angeles Dodgers on a balk in 2018. Friday was the first time in franchise history that the Rays lost on a walk-off balk.
May 12, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Cincinnati Reds left fielder Tommy Pham (28) looks on at the batting cage before the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Tommy Pham’s Cincinnati Reds teammates apparently aren’t letting the fantasy football feud between Pham and San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson go.
Earlier in June, some Giants players wore T-shirts with the message “Stashing players on the IR isn’t cheating” in support of Pederson. Pham had slapped Pederson in May over accusations that Pederson cheated in their fantasy football league (video here).
The Reds visited the Giants for a three-game series beginning on Friday, which is the first time the two teams have faced each other since the incident. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale shared a photo prior to Friday’s game via social media that showed Reds players wearing shirts with “Pham!” on them. According to Nightengale, a good number of Reds pitchers were wearing them.
The writing style of the “Pham!” was similar to how “pow!” typically looks in cartoon writing, making it very fitting to describe the slap incident.
One of the crazier stories of the 2022 MLB season so far is not going to die out easily.
Pham accused Pederson of picking up a player after stashing a different player on the injured list when that different player was listed as out. ESPN’s fantasy football rules allowed Pederson to do this, but Pham said that their specific league had a rule against that practice.
Both teams have seemingly not forgotten the May dust up, especially based on recent comments from Pham about Pederson. It will be interesting to see if things escalate between both sides this weekend.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft was left a bit frustrated Saturday after umpires forced him to remove his wedding ring in the first inning of his outing.
Ashcraft was subjected to a routine foreign substance check at the end of his first inning of work. He was clearly told that he couldn’t keep wearing his wedding ring during his outing, which seemed to confuse him quite a bit.
After the game, Ashcraft blamed a new rule that was suddenly being enforced. The rule isn’t new, but manager David Bell confirmed he received a memo during the week that the league will begin stricter enforcement of a rule on the books prohibiting pitchers from wearing any sort of attachment on their hand, finger, or wrist. That apparently includes wedding rings.
“He goes, ‘you have to take your ring off,'” Ashcraft said, via Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I was like, ‘no, why do I have to take my ring off? I shouldn’t have to.’ Apparently, it’s some new rule they came up with yesterday.”
Ashcraft had been wearing the ring on his glove hand. He wore it as a necklace for the remainder of the start, in which he gave up six runs over five innings of work.
The intent of the rule is understandable, though a wedding ring on one’s glove hand is hardly going to give a pitcher any sort of advantage. Still, maybe it’s for the best, as some players are well aware of the potential consequences of wearing jewelry during games.
May 24, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Joc Pederson (23) watches his two-run home run against the New York Mets during the third inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
It was an eventful Friday evening in Cincinnati as the San Francisco Giants battled the Reds. But long before players took the field, fireworks erupted when Giants outfielder Joc Pederson and Reds outfielder Tommy Pham engaged in a physical pregame altercation.
Pham approached Pederson during player warmups and after a brief exchange, slapped Pederson across the face.
After the game, Pederson explained the situation. And as it turns out, the entire event was spurred on by a fantasy football disagreement from more than a year ago.
Joc Pederson gave his side of the story on why Tommy Pham smacked him in the face over their Fantasy Football League. pic.twitter.com/zJaCQKy7vp
“Unfortunate situation,” Pederson told reporters. “Kind of stemmed from a fantasy football league we both were in last year. I put a player on the injured reserve when they were listed as out and then added another player. And then there was a text message in the group [chat] saying that I was cheating because I was stashing players on my bench.
“Then I looked up the rules and sent a screenshot of the rules, how it says that when a player is ruled out, you’re allowed to put them on the IR. That’s all I was doing. It just so happened that he had a player, Jeff Wilson, who was out. He had him on the IR. I said, ‘You literally have the same thing on your team, on your bench.’ … So it feels very similar to what I did. And that was basically all of it. There’s not much more to it.”
That’s really wild when you think about it. Pham held a grudge over a fantasy football transaction for more than a year and Will Smithed another man over it.
Following the slap, the Giants requested Pham sit out the game. And after a two-hour rain delay, the Reds eventually conceded.
Now Major League Baseball is investigating.
“MLB is investigating the incident that occurred before the game involving Mr. Pham,” an MLB spokesman said. “Mr. Pham agreed to not play this evening, pending the results of MLB’s investigation.”
Pham’s aggression isn’t exactly new, either. Earlier this season, he challenged San Diego Padres first baseman Luke Voit to a fight after Voit collided with Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson, resulting in a concussion.
Ironically, Pham’s slap of Pederson wasn’t even the most bizarre moment of the night for the Giants and Reds.
Apr 5, 2022; Goodyear, Arizona, USA; Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene against the Seattle Mariners during a spring training game at Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Reds have been notoriously awful for much of the MLB season, but they managed to reach a new low Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Reds pulled off a remarkable feat by throwing a combined eight-inning no-hitter in Pittsburgh on Sunday. In spite of that, they managed to lose the game 1-0, with the Pirates’ lone run crossing the plate in the bottom of the eighth.
How did that happen? Reds rookie Hunter Greene was dynamite and carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning, but struggled with his control at times. After issuing back-to-back walks with one out in the eighth and with his pitch count at 118, Greene was relieved by Cincinnati reliever Art Warren. Warren issued another walk, loading the bases, then couldn’t quite turn a double play on a Ke’Bryan Hayes ground ball.
The Reds scraped together four hits, but were shut out, so it goes into the book as a loss despite the no-hitter. For what it’s worth, the game would not qualify as an official no-hitter, solely because the Reds’ staff did not get the chance to throw nine full innings of no-hit baseball.
From Elias: From the Pirates' perspective, they were no-hit in a regulation-length game.. From the Reds' perspective, it would go in the record books as a "no hitter of fewer than 9 innings," similar to what Madison Bumgarner did in the 7-inning game last year."
This has actually happened before, as this is the sixth game in MLB history in which a team lost despite allowing no hits. The Los Angeles Angels were the last victims, losing a 1-0 game to the Dodgers in 2008 despite a combined no-hitter between Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo.
The Reds were on a historically bad pace to start the season. They’ve picked things up a tiny bit since then, but not much, and a game like this is probably bound to linger a bit.
Christian Yelich hit for the cycle on Wednesday, and he made history while doing so.
The Brewers DH went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored in Milwaukee’s 14-11 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Yelich doubled in the first, homered in the third, singled in the fifth, and tripled in the ninth for the cycle.
The cycle was the third of Yelich’s career, which ties him with four others who have the most cycles ever in history. No player has ever hit for four cycles.
The crazy part is all three of Yelich’s cycles have come against the Reds! He is now the first player ever with three cycles against the same team. He also is the first player to hit for the cycle multiple times in the same park as a visiting player.
In today's game against the #Reds, Christian Yelich became the first player to hit 3 cycles against the same team in MLB history.
He also became the first player to hit for the cycle multiple times in the same ballpark as a visiting player! pic.twitter.com/Vea0OXVyDD
May 9, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Reds are so bad this season that they may already be ready to have a fire sale.
The team spent the offseason dismantling the roster, but they still have two pitchers who might interest other teams: Tyler Mahle and Luis Castillo.
Veteran MLB reporter Peter Gammons reported on Monday that the Reds are already willing to listen to trade offers for both pitchers.
Mahle is off to an awful start this season and 1-4 with a 6.46 ERA. Last season he went 13-6 with a 3.75 ERA in 180 innings. Some teams might have interest in the 30-year-old if they think they can get him back to last year’s form.
Castillo was activated off the injured list to make his season debut on Monday. The 29-year-old has a career 3.72 ERA and 9.8 strikeouts per 9 innings.
The Reds shouldn’t get rid of either player too quickly. They need to get to a place of semi-respectability before stripping the team down even more.
Phil Castellini, Cincinnati Reds president and chief operating officer, guides a tour of the changes at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Monday, March 29, 2021. The Reds introduced a number of new amenities, concessions and COVID-19 related regulations for the 2021 season. Sam Greene/The Enquirer via Imagn Content Services, LLC
Cincinnati Reds president Phil Castellini may have tempted fate with his controversial comments prior to the season.
Well, the Reds seem to be doing their hardest to turn fans away.
The Reds have lost 9 in a row and are 3-22. They have a .120 winning percentage, which puts them in line for the worst record ever.
The 1899 Cleveland Spiders went 20-134 (.130 winning percentage).
If the Reds keep losing at this rate, they would finish with a 19-143 record.
As bad as the Reds are, nobody expects them to win fewer than 20 games. Even the worst teams in the league typically win 50-something games. Cincinnati has scored 79 runs this season, which is tied for third-worst in the league. The team’s huge weakness is with pitching and defense. They have allowed 166 runs, which is 22 more than the second-worst team in the league.
How bad is it for the current Reds rotation? If their starters pitched 35 straight scoreless innings the Reds would still have the worst rotation ERA ever. BTW, this is in a yr in which run scoring is the 2nd lowest in 40 years and BAA is the lowest ever (by 4 points)
The Reds need to start limiting other teams more than they are in order to win some games.
The Reds’ bad start is wearing on players and likely fans too. They might need to be trade deadline buyers just to avoid being this bad. It’s a horrible look for everyone involved to have a team this terrible.