No one in the Queen City knew if they liked Edwin Encarnacion. One day you would love the guy who went 3-5 and hit an upper deck home run, but the next day you would be frustrated to death when he threw a ball into the dugout trying to throw to first. The fact is that Encarnacion was never a consistent ball player and in turn was not a good player for playing winning baseball. He did not consistently perform at a high level which is required to sustain success.
Certain players are just winners and EE wasn’t really one of them. Kevin Youkilis, Chipper Jones, Dustin Pedroia: they are winners. They play winning baseball and don’t make little mistakes that can end up costing their team a game. They demand perfection from themselves and in turn from their teams.
Scott Rolen will serve as a leader for a young lineup. The Reds have really only had veteran leadership in the bullpen this year and that has been the best part of the club. Reds pitchers can also sleep a little easier as Rolen will provide great defense behind them. Rolen was hitting .320 with 8 homers and is making 11 million this year and is due to make 11 million next year.
He has had some back problems in recent years. Walt Jocketty’s first question to Blue Jays GM Ricciardi was is he healthy and he was assured he was. Rolen will most likely hit 4th or maybe 5th in the Reds lineup. Go Reds
No one really knows whether the Reds are buyers or sellers yet, but we are under the 72 hour mark until the trade deadline. The Reds main trade bait would be Harang, Arroyo, and Weathers or Rhodes in the bullpen.
The Reds need to keep the bullpen intact as that has been the major strength of the Reds club. Rhodes is sitting on a comfortable 2.08 era and Weathers on a 3.15 era (by the way, Paul Janish has a 49.50 era in his two relief appearances this year).
Arroyo is still a nice pitcher for anyones rotation and because of the nature of how he throws, he will be able to pitch effectively for many years to come. His fastball is complemented by a variety of off speed breaking balls. Harang on the other hand is a shadow of the 16 win pitcher he was 3 and 4 years ago. His fastball velocity is down from 93-94 mph to 89-90 miles per hour. His leg drive is also noticably weaker than it was when he was younger in his career. Since he is no longer able to throw the ball by people, he has to be able to locate his pitches better which he has often struggled with.
However Aaron Harang would still be good for a contending club and could serve as a solid third or forth starter. The Reds could trade Harang and still make an improvement to the club this year.
A good fit for Harang would be the New York Yankees who need starting pitching badly (esp. with Chien-Ming Wang out for the year).
As opposed to trading Harang for a variety of single A prospects, I think it would be smarter for Walt Jocketty to try and get one or two players in AAA who are almost ready for the major leagues. Ian Kennedy who is pitching for the Yankees AAA team and has made a few major league starts would be that tyle of player, a guy who could play this year if need be.
The Reds have explored adding Toronto Blue Jay Scott Rolen. Rolen has had a resurgence this year after battling injuries since leaving the St. Louis Cardinals. He has batted around .300 for most this year and has shown increased pop in his bat.
A Rolen package would also probably include Edwin Encarnacion but beyond that it is not known what else would be involved.
Also another package has been rumored to have been talked about with the Yankees.
Neither the Reds nor the Yankees have said if there is any truth to the rumor but the Yankees have discussed aquiring David Weathers and Aaron Harang for youngster Phillip Hughes. It seems odd that the Yankees would consider giving up their great young prospect Hughes which is why I’m unsure if this rumor has any truth to it.
The Reds are on their longest homestand of the year. The Reds really need to hang an 8-2 or better record if they are going to continue to climb back in the NL Central race that is staying tight. Go Reds!!!