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.
Ryan and Robert talk about the All-Star break, the festivities in Cincinnati and what the post-All-Star break slate has in store for the Bats.
On the final day before the All-Star Break, Louisville made history in Toledo with a 5-0 win at Fifth Third Field. Tony Cingrani, David Holmberg and Sam LeCure combined to throw the first nine-inning no-hitter in Louisville history, dating back to 1982. The other no-hitter for the franchise was thrown by Larry Luebbers, when he tossed a seven-inning no-hitter in the first game of a doubleheader at Charlotte on May 14, 2000.
Former Louisville Bat, Mike Hessman, came to the plate with two outs in the ninth versus Sam LeCure and LeCure sat him down on a two-two pitch, getting Hessman swinging to end the game.
Listen to the audio of the final out, called by the voice of the Bats, Matt Andrews: Last out of no-hitter
The no-hitter was started by Reds Major League rehab pitcher, Tony Cingrani. He pitched four innings, walked three batters and hit one, and had five punch-outs. In his time with the Bats, Cingrani has combined to toss nine, two-hit, innings without allowing a run while walking five and striking out 12.
David Holmberg followed Cingrani, pitching three hitless innings with LeCure closing the door with two no-hit innings and getting mobbed on the mound by his teammates sending the club into the All-Star break. According to Nick Curran on the Bats broadcast it was the first time that Toledo has been no-hit since the 1977 season.
Louisville manager Delino DeShields was excited about the final game before the All-Star break, including the way his pitching staff battled in game number 92. Listen to the full interview from Delino with Matt Andrews here: Delino on no-hitter
The closest the Bats had come to a nine-inning no-hitter before Sunday was a one-hit combined performance on September 3, 2006. Tom Shearn (six innings), Brad Salmon (two-innings) and Scott Chiasson (one inning) combined to allow one hit at home versus Indianapolis.
The Louisville Bats split a six-game split-series with the International League leading Indianapolis Indians, before falling to Toledo, 5-2, in the first game of a four-game, three-day road trip on Friday.
Game of the Week: Louisville at Indianapolis on Saturday, July 4
For the Bats Game of the Week we have to go back to last Saturday’s game at Indianapolis on Independence Day. The opening game of a split six-game series with the league-leading Indians, Louisville made a statement with a 9-2 trouncing of the division-rival Indians.
The Bats broke out for nine runs on 15 hits in the game as five Bats registered multiple hits in the game. Utility man Hernan Iribarren went 2-for-3 with a homer, two runs and three RBI, and outfielder Yorman Rodriguez broke out of a 1-for-14 skid with a three-run homer as part of a 2-for-5 performance.
Louisville’s offense combined for five extra base hits on the day while three Bats hurlers combined to allowed just two runs on eight hits and two walks in the contest.
Pitcher of the Week: RHP Robert Stephenson
The Reds’ top prospect dazzled once again and earned Bats Pitcher of the Week honors for the second straight week.
After striking out six and allowing just two earned runs on four hits and three walks in five innings to earn the win in his Triple-A debut, Stephenson turned out an even better performance in his second Triple-A start.
On Wednesday, July 8, Stephenson took the mound at Louisville Slugger Field with an opportunity to guarantee the Bats a split of their six-game split-series against league-leading Indianapolis.
The 6-foot-2 righty walked the first third batter he faced, and threw just eight of his first 17 pitches for strikes, but did not walk another batter and allowed just four hits, over six scoreless frames to earn his second win in as many opportunities with Louisville.
Through two starts with the Bats, the 2015 Southern All-Star has allowed two runs, both earned, on eight hits and four walks with 12 strikeouts. Of Louisville pitchers with at least 10 innings of work, Stephenson’s 1.64 ERA is the third-lowest and his 1.09 WHIP is the lowest of any Bats pitcher not named Jumbo Díaz (0.93 WHIP).
Hitter of the Week: IF/OF Hernan Iribarren
Utility man Hernan Iribarren earned his first Bats Hitter of the Week nod this week, as he strung together a six-game hitting streak and batted .381 (8-for-21) with two walks, one home run, four runs and three RBI over the last week.
Iribarren became the Bats everyday shortstop when Eugenio Suarez was recalled by Cincinnati on June 10, to step in for an injured Zack Cozart. The 31 year-old Venezuelan started 16 consecutive games at short, and batted .270 (17-for-63). While he was productive as the Bats’ everyday shortstop, he has become one of Louisville’s best offensive players since the arrival of Kristopher Negron, on June 28, pushed him back to his role as Delino DeShields’ go-to do-it-all position player.
Since June 28, Iribarren has appeared in 11 games, 10 starts, and only made two consecutive starts at the same position once, when he started at shortstop on July 4 and July 5. Over the 11-game stretch, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, left field, center field and appeared as a pinch hitter.
Returning to his regularly irregular role seems to have jumpstarted Iribarren’s offensive game, as he is batting .324 (11-for-34) since the arrival of Negron.
Iribarren’s homer in Indianapolis on July 4 was his first long ball of the season and his first home run since August 1, 2014.
- On Tuesday, July 6, the Reds recalled Yorman Rodriguez. The 22-year old outfield prospect hit .322 since the beginning of June and was named the IL Player of the Week for June 22-28 after hitting .444 with a double, two home runs and 12 RBI.
Overall, Rodriguez was hitting .272 (78-for-287) with 13 doubles, three triples and nine home runs with 40 runs batted in. He improved dramatically throughout the season as well, after batting just .203 in April, he hit .257 in May and batted .321 in June.
Rodriguez appeared in 11 games for the Reds last season as a September call-up and hit .222 (6-for-27) with two RBI. After being signed after being signed as a 16 year-old, he has climbed through the minor leagues quickly and, at 22 years old, was the youngest player on the Bats Opening Day roster.
Taking Rodríguez’ roster spot is outfielder Bryson Smith, who was activated from the 7-day DL on Tuesday as well. He hit .225 in 14 games at the beginning of the season, but had last appeared on May 3, at Buffalo and was sidelined with a right forearm strain. He has appeared in three games since being activated and is 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.
- Bats outfielder Kyle Waldrop and Daytona Tortugas left-hander Amir Garrett will also be heading north to join Rodriguez in Cincinnati shortly. The three Reds prospects have been tabbed to represent Cincinnati at the MLB All-Star Futures Game, on Sunday, July 12 at Great American Ballpark. First pitch is at 3 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on MLB Network and MLB.com.
- While Rodriguez and Waldrop head to Cincinnati for the Futures Game, infielder Irving Falú will be headed to Omaha, Neb. as Louisville’s only representative in the Triple-A All-Star Game. Falu is fourth among all qualifying IL batters with a .314 batting average. Along with leading Louisville in batting, Falu also leads the club with 41 runs, 14 stolen bases, 14 doubles, four triples, a .382 on-base percentage and a .798 OPS (on-base plus slugging). He is also tied with Rodriguez for the most multi-hit games, 23, and is second with 34 RBI and 114 total bases.
Falu and the International League All-Stars will take on the Pacific Coast League All-Stars in the 28th Annual Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 15 at Werner Park in Omaha, Neb.
- Cincinnati southpaw Tony Cingrani and righty Raisel Iglesias both made their second consecutive rehab appearances for Louisville this week.
Iglesias started Sunday’s game, July 5, at Indianapolis and took the loss despite punching out seven Indians, the most strikeouts by a Reds pitcher on rehab with Louisville this season. In all, he allowed two runs, both earned, on four hits and no walks in four and two-thirds innings.
Cingrani took the mound first for the Bats in their return to Louisville on Tuesday, July 7. The 6-foot-4 lefty allowed just a pair of hits and one walk with four strikeouts in three scoreless frames.
Louisville is 3-4 in games started by a Cincinnati pitcher on Major League rehab this season. Reds right-hander Homer Bailey was the first Reds pitcher to appear with Louisville on rehab this season, July 12 against Toledo, and he allowed the most runs and worked the most innings of any rehabber with the Bats this season. Bailey allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts in five and two-thirds innings in a losing effort against the Mud Hens.
Bailey, Cingrani, Iglesias and lefty reliever Manny Parra are the four Reds pitchers who have made Major League rehab appearances with Louisville this season. As a whole, they have posted a 2.14era (5 runs in 21 innings) in seven combined rehab appearances this season, while the Bats pitchers who have relieved them have a combined 4.17era (19 runs in 41 innings).
Following the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 15, the Bats will return to Louisville for a four-game set with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders that is packed with promotions.
- Thursday, July 16, is another $1 Budweiser Beer Happy Hour night, and the first of four consecutive games with Barefoot Refresh Wine Tastings.
- Friday, July 17 will feature fireworks, Jake the Diamond Dog and a team photo giveaway.
- Saturday, July 18 is Star Wars Night at Louisville Slugger Field. Fans are encouraged to wear their favorite Star Wars costumes and attire as Star Wars characters will be roaming the park for appearances and photo opportunities throughout the night. The Bats will also be wearing special Star Wars jerseys that will be auctioned off to benefit Kosair Children’s Hospital.
- Sunday, July 19 is another Kids Club Sunday, in which kids can eat free, play in the inflatable fun zone and run the bases after the game. Admission is also free for all Kids Club members.
Bats broadcaster Matt Andrews joins Ryan and Robert to give a look behind the scenes and break down the surprises of the first half.
Many Bats’ players have been called up to the Reds this season. Joining them now is David Holmberg.
Holmberg is 4-6 with the Louisville Bats this season with a 4.78 ERA. He appeared for the Reds a season ago when he went 2-2 with a 4.80 ERA. Holmberg will get the start later today against
Miami in his 2015 Reds debut.
Some of the other players that started in April with the Bats but have seen some time this year with the Reds include:
Short stop — Eugenio Suarez
Pitcher — Michael Lorenzen
Catcher — Tucker Barnhart
Infielder — Chris Dominguez
Infielder — Ivan De Jesus
Pitcher — Jon Moscot
Pitcher — Josh Smith
Pitcher — Nate Adcock
Pitcher— Donovan Hand
Outfielder Yorman Rodriguez also was able to get the call up to play for the Reds earlier this week.
While some of these players have seen little time with the Reds or have moved back down to Triple A or Double A ball, some of them have made significant contributions to the team.
Eugenio Suarez is currently the team leader in batting average with a .325 mark. He has hit three home runs, appearing in 22 games.
Michael Lorenzen, a pitcher, is 3-3 for the Reds with a 3.58 ERA. He has started in 11 games. He is also hitting .286 (6-for-21).
Tucker Barnhart has appeared in 28 games for the Reds. He is currently hitting .267.
And Ivan De Jesus has played in 20 games at second base for the Reds. He is hitting .254 in his time with Cincinnati.
It will be exciting to see the second half of the season and to see which other Bats’ players will get the call to show what they have in Major League Baseball.
Yorman Rodriguez has been promoted to Cincinnati, as announced by the team, Monday. Rodriguez, the 22-year old outfield prospect, has hit .322 since the beginning of June and has been a big reason for the Bats success as of late. Just a couple of weeks ago he was named International League Player of the Week for June 22-28 after hitting .444 with a double, two home runs and 12 runs batted in.
Overall, Rodriguez is hitting .272 (78-for-287) with 13 doubles, three triples and nine home runs with 40 runs batted in. He is the current team leader in runs (40), home runs (9), RBI (40), and total bases (124). The place where he has struggled is his strikeout to walk ratio. He has struck out 75 times with 16 base on balls.
Rodriguez continuously works on his game to get the next advantage over opposing pitcher. The next addition to Rodriguez’ game has been his plate discipline. The free-swinging outfielder struggled early on expanding the zone and coming up empty more often than not, putting him in a hole, he couldn’t quite dig out of. He combined for seven walks the first two months of the season, before walking nine times in June alone.
This skill has put Rodriguez in a better position to be a better overall offensive player. Seeing the ball deep into the hitting zone has allowed him to hit the ball to the opposite field (right field) for extra bases. Before this transformation in his game, he was a pull-heavy hitter that had trouble reaching pitches on the outside part of the plate. It may not seem like a big difference, but that has seemed to be the difference for Rodriguez.
He has jumped from a .203 hitter in April, to .257 in May, and all the way up to .321 in June. The strikeouts are still a bit high, but for his age, he is right where he needs to be. He is learning the game, day by day, and becoming better with every plate appearance. By watching him, you can see him becoming more comfortable at the plate, it’s just a matter of him trusting himself and seeing the ball deep into the zone.
This will be the second consecutive season that he will be getting the call to the big leagues. He played in 11 games for the Reds last season as a September call-up and hit .222 (6-for-27) with two runs batted in. After being signed at just 16 years old, he has climbed through the ranks quickly and this could be a chance for him to show off his talents at the big league level for a good chunk of the season.