Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Reds September Callups

Today, the Reds finally made their September call-ups, ending the suspense. The Reds tapped Todd Coffey, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Salmon, Joey Votto, newly acquired Buck Coats, and Ryan Hanigan.

Unfortunately, it didn't take Todd Coffey long to go back to his early season ways, as he gave up 3 hits, 3 runs, a walk, and a home run without retiring a single hitter. If anyone knows how someone with his stuff gets hit so hard, please let me know, because I can't figure it out. He seems to be just what the Reds need, as he limits his walks, racks up the strikeouts, and gets a ton of groundballs. That said, he has given up a ton of runs this year and has been very susceptible to the long ball. Hopefully, he can get things straightened out for next year, because he could be a pivotal pitcher in the Reds bullpen in 2008.

I still think Kirk Saarloos was a nice addition early this year, as he was a nice risk/reward acquisition. For his career, he has a 2.16 GB/FB ratio, which is what the Reds need in Great American Ballpark. Unfortunately, he walks too many and strikeouts too few to be consistently successful. To say that he hasn't worked out would be an understatement, but it was certainly worth a roll of the dice, as it cost nothing to find out what he would bring to the table.

Brad Salmon was ranked as the 25th best prospect in the Reds system in 2007. He has 8 years of minor league experience under his belt and is 27 years old. Salmon features a 93-95 mph sinking fastball and a hard, inconsistent slider. Reports on Salmon were that he does a nice job keeping the ball down in the zone and gets a lot of ground balls. During his time in the majors, he has a 1.09 GB/FB ratio, so he isn't getting a lot of ground balls as of yet. He's intriguing, as his time in the minors likely gave him mental toughness that will serve him well in the majors. If he continues to build on his fairly impressive 2007 campaign, then he may well have a future in the Reds bullpen.

Joey Votto is the Reds 3rd ranked prospect and is coming off a very fine season at Louisville. Votto posted a line of .294/.381/.478/.859. Votto hit 22 homeruns, but only posted a .478 slugging average. That said, his on base skills are very strong and he should be a solid MLB player. The Reds need to get him some regular playing time in September, which is made more difficult by the Reds inability to trade Hatteberg, Dunn, or Griffey at the trade deadline. Still, he needs some MLB At Bats.

The Reds acquired Buck Coats from the Cubs for a player to be named later. Coats hit .308/.366/.439/.806 in AAA this year. He doesn't seem to be anything more than a 4th or 5th outfielder, but given Krivsky's track record with undervalued talent, it'll be interesting to see how well he fills that role.

Ryan Hanigan is a 27 year old organizational player who will act as the Reds 3rd catcher for the remainder of the season. He isn't considered a legitimate prospect, but it's nice to see him get a cup of coffee at the big league level. At least he'll have a story for the grandkids.

Sadly, anxious Reds fans will have to wait until next year to get a glimpse of uber-prospect Jay Bruce. Bruce won Baseball America's Minor League Player of the year for his performance in 2007, which saw him post a line of .319/.375/.587/.962 across three different levels. Unfortunately, a crowded Cincinnati outfield leaves him with no place to play, so he doesn't get the September call up.

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