In the season’s penultimate episode of the Bats Weekly Podcast, Ryan and Robert talk September call-ups, Robert Stephenson’s road struggles and what to look for over the final week of the season.
When he was acquired from the Giants on July 31 in a trade for right-hander Mike Leake, outfielder Adam Duvall led all of Minor League Baseball with 26 home runs.
Duvall, a Louisville native and Butler High School graduate, who also played collegiately at both Western Kentucky University (2007) and the University of Louisville (2009-2010), went deep in his first at-bat as a Bat and three more times in his first 12 games with Louisville this season.
Despite going homerless in his last 49 at-bats with Louisville, and batting .189 in 25 games as a Bat, the Reds recalled Duvall before Monday’s game in Chicago. Although Duvall was not in the starting lineup, he was tabbed for a pinch-hit opportunity in the top of the sixth and made the most of his first at-bat as a Red.
The Louisville native’s two-run home run gave Cincinnati a 7-5 lead, and helped push the Reds to an eventual 13-6 win over the Cubs.
The home run also capped an impressive stretch of debuts for Duvall. Last night’s blast was the fourth consecutive team debut in which Duvall has gone yard. He hit a home run off Mike Leake in his first at-bat as a Giant, on July 26, 2014, then hit a walk-off homer in this season’s opening game with the Sacramento River Cats (Triple-A San Fransisco) on April 9, before homering in his first at-bats with both Louisville and Cincinnati.
Duvall, however, wasn’t the only former Bat to go yard for Cincinnati last night, as Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run blast two batters before Duvall’s blast.
Right-hander Michael Lorenzen was also recalled by Cincinnati, and started Monday’s game against the Cubs. Lorenzen allowed five earned runs on six hits and one walk with six strikeouts in four and two-thirds innings.
Lorenzen was on the hook for the loss when he was pulled with the Reds down 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth, but he did not factor in the decision as Suarez and Duvall combined to put the Reds ahead in the sixth.
In his most recent stint with Louisville, Lorenzen made three starts going 2-1 as he allowed just three earned runs on 14 hits and four walks with seven strikeouts over 24 innings.
With September 1 now upon us, and the MLB rosters expanding, hopefully Duvall won’t be the last Bat to make an impression in his debut with Cincinnati this season.
Bats radio voice Nick Curran joins Ryan and Robert to talk Bats baseball and broadcasting on this week’s edition of the Bats Weekly Podcast.
Ryan and Robert discuss the Bats recent transactions and what to watch for over the final three weeks of the 2015 season.
Ryan and Robert discuss the Bats last week of games and bring on RHP Collin Balester and OF Ryan LaMarre to talk about their strong play of late.
Ryan and Robert talk about Louisville’s long road back to .500, and the importance of the Bats’ coaching staff in the team’s recent surge.
Ryan and Robert discuss what the newest Bats, left-handers Brandon Finnegan and John Lamb, can bring to the table and recap Robert Stephenson’s lights-out performance against Charlotte on Tuesday.
Ryan and Robert discuss Louisville’s hot offense and struggling pitchers before Bats infielder Jermaine Curtis joins the show to talk about his recent success at the plate.
Wanting to know about the current ballparks of affiliates of the Cincinnati Reds? Here is a breakdown of where each of them are and some features about the facilities.
Louisville Bats – AAA
Louisville Slugger Field
Built on the banks of the Ohio River it is a great ballpark for any fan. A key designs feature is the integration of an historic rail freight depot in the over all project. Retaining and restoring the depot in the late 1800’s, is a vital component of the new stadium. The stadium cost $39 million and includes 32 private suites, second-level club seating, a continuous concourse around the field, an outfield seating berm, extensive press facilities, concessions and restrooms, a children’s play area, team and administrative offices and numerous retail amenities.
Pensacola Blue Wahoos – AA
Penascola Bayfront Stadium
Built in 2012 and considered to be one of the best Minor League parks in America, Penascola Bayfront Stadium is one to see and check off the bucket list. With a seating capacity of 5,038, Pensacola Bayfront Stadium consistently hosted large crowds throughout the Blue Wahoos’ inaugural season including 40 sellout crowds in the team’s 68 home dates in 2012. The club also led the league in attendance, with a total of 328,147 fans coming through the gates, equating to a league-leading average of 4,826. In 2012, Baseballparks.com named it the Best Ballpark of the Year!
Daytona Tortugas- High A
Jackie Robinson Ballpark
This historic ballpark opened on June 4, 1914 and has gotten a lot of renovations over the past 100 years. The ballpark has received numerous upgrades since 2007. Before the 2007 season started, the LKQ area was introduced. Located along the Riverwalk, the LKQ area provides a convenient central location for fans to get both grilled items and other refreshments both before the game and throughout the action. The Budweiser Bullpen was unveiled at the 2007 All-Star game, which was hosted at the ballpark. After the 2010 season, cooling fans were installed throughout the grandstands to help keep those in the crowd cooler throughout the entirety of the game. In 2011, a late March storm took off a portion of the batting cage that sits beyond the left field fence. A new, hard-top green roof was put in place, but that was not the end of the new renovations. In order to create a more interactive experience for the fans, speakers were hung along the Riverwalk. This allows fans who are enjoying the Riverwalk, or getting something from one of our many concession stands, to stay in tune with the game by hearing the live radio broadcast on AM1230 WSBB.
Dayton Dragons-Low A
Fifth Third Field
Fifth Third Field opened in April of 2000. The stadium capacity is 7,230 with 29 luxury suites. The field received a new playing field in 2012. Some of the other features include a 72,200 sq. ft. plaza in front of Fifth Third Field. A 6’x240′ LED outfield wall, 2 90′ LED fascias, an indoor batting/pitching tunnel, and a LED Scoreboard that is 7 stories tall
Billings Mustang – Rookie
The Mustangs 2008 Pioneer League campaign marked a new era in Billings as the Mustangs moved into Dehler Park — a $12.5 million ballpark built to replace Cobb Field. The park features 2,571 individual stadium seats, 500 bleacher seats, a grass berm and an outdoor suite known as the 329 Club.
The playing field is recessed eight feet below street level, allowing for a concourse above the seating bowl that completely circles the playing field.
Additionally, the Dehler Park concourse includes a “Picnic Pavilion” for barbecues and large group outings, and a “Kid Zone” play area for children.
On Sunday, July 12, the Bats made history in their last game before the All-Star break. Left-hander Tony Cingrani, southpaw David Holmberg and righty Sam LeCure combined to throw the Louisville Bats first nine-inning no-hitter in franchise history.
Game of the Week: Louisville at Toledo on Sunday, July 12
Making his third consecutive Major League rehab appearance with the Bats on Sunday, Cingrani worked four hitless innings to open the game. Although he walked three batters, and plunked another, he also fanned six Mud Hens during his four innings of work.
Holmberg came on in relief of Cingrani to start the fifth, and walked the first batter, but retired the next nine in a row. Holmberg also struck out three, to keep Toledo hitless through seven innings.
LeCure entered in the eighth and retired all six batters he faced, with four strikeouts, to secure the first nine-inning no-hitter in Louisville’s franchise history. LeCure struck out former Bat, Mike Hessman, to end the game.
Prior to last Sunday’s no-hitter, Louisville had thrown just one no-hitter in its history, a seven-inning, complete game no-hitter by right-hander Larry Luebbers on May 14, 2000.
Pitcher of the Week: RHP Jumbo Diaz
This nod was a long time coming for Diaz. The 31 year-old reliever made one appearance last week, earning a save on Saturday, July 11 as he issued one walk in a hitless and scoreless frame. The outing secured a 2-1 Louisville win in game two of the Bats’ doubleheader with the Mud Hens and gave Diaz his eighth win of the season. Diaz was recalled by the Reds on Friday, July 18, after appearing in 13 games with Louisville.
He was optioned to Louisville on June 7 and, in his first appearance with Louisville this season, allowed two earned runs on four hits and one walk with one strikeout in a blown save on June 8. However, since that blown save, Diaz converted eight consecutive save opportunities and did not allow another run before being recalled. Since June 8, Diaz allowed just eight hits and three walks with 11 strikeouts in 15 scoreless innings. Before being optioned to Louisville, Diaz was 2-1 with a 6.65 ERA in 25 games with Cincinnati to begin the season.
Hitter of the Week: IF Jermaine Curtis
Curtis collected a hit in all four games this week, and has hit safely in each of his last six games, eight of his last nine and 10 of his last 12. Over his last 12 appearances – dating back to June, 30 – Curtis is batting 20-for-39 (.513) with two doubles, seven RBI, and four runs scored.
Bats manager Delino DeShields recently moved Curtis to the top-third of the lineup, and the move has paid off. Curtis has batted second or third in the order in each of his last four starts, and is batting .370 (17-for-46) when batting in the second or third spot in the lineup. When he starts in the bottom two-thirds of the lineup, however, he has hit just .237 (17-for-46).
Curtis has also been one of Louisville’s best bench bats this season, as he has gone 3-for-6 as a pinch-hitter and leads the club with seven hits registered when entering the game as a substitute.
A trio of Bats did not get much rest over the All-Star break as outfielders Yorman Rodriguez and Kyle Waldrop were two of three Reds prospects represented at the MLB All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati last Sunday, and infielder Irving Falu was the Bats’ lone representative at the Triple-A All-Star Game in Omaha, Neb. on Wednesday.
Rodriguez went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts for the World Futures team while Waldrop went 1-for-4 with a run scored for the US Futures team. Daytona Tortugas left-hander Amir Garrett, the other Reds’ prospect in the exhibition, earned the win as he allowed three hits and one run, no earned runs, with one strikeout in one inning of work. The US Futures beat the World Futures 10-1.
Fall, the Bats’ only mid-season All-Star, went 0-for-2 with one strikeout as a reserve, but the International League All-Stars scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat the Pacific Coast League All-Stars, 4-3.
The Bats will be home for just a pair of games over the next week, as the Columbus Clippers come to Louisville on Wednesday and Thursday to play the final two games of a four-game split series.
Thornton Grand Slam Ticket Packs are available for Wednesday’s game. Each grand slam ticket includes a field reserved seat, a program, a hot dog, a Pepsi and Bats logo hat for as low as $21.
On Thursday, the Bats will be giving away team logo koozies to the first 1,500 fans, in honor of another Thirsty Thursday with $1 beer happy hour and live entertainment on the Overlook Deck before the game.