New reds faces to look out for in 2017

If you asked any of the fans, the experts, maybe a few broadcasters…and hell, probably even a few coaches how the Reds are going to do this year and the next few years and their response will be, “we’re in a rebuilding stage.” Well for all those people who don’t have any faith at all, I’m here to show the positive side.

There have been some ups and downs this off-season, but for now lets focus on the ups.

  1. RHP – Drew Storen
Drew Storen on the mound for the Nationals via wikimedia.

Storen signed with the Reds as a free agent on January 3, 2017.  He’s 29 and has been in the big leagues for seven-years, so he adds some experience to the locker room.  He has a career 3.31 ERA.  He will definitely strengthen the pitching staff.

2. RHP – Deunte Heath

Deunte Heath pitching for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp via wikimedia.

Heath was signed onto a minor league contract on January 8th.  He’s 31-years-old, but has only been in the league 5-years.  He had multiple chances to play since ’03 but didn’t commit to playing until ’06.  For the last five years he has been released and picked up by different teams and all through the minors trying to find his groove.  Honestly, he doesn’t add too much to the team except for an extra pitcher in the bullpen in the middle of the season.

3. C – Adrian Nieto

Adrian Nieto taking a breather while behind home plate via wikimedia.

Nieto is a catcher in his prime years.  He’s 27 and has been playing for 3-years.  He signed to minor league contract on January 8th, but I have a feeling he will get brought up to the bigs sometime during the season.  He’s going to add depth behind home plate alongside Devin Mesoraco and Tucker Barnhart, especially since Mesoraco is still battling injuries.

4. RHP – Louis Coleman

Louis Coleman with the Kansas City Royals via wikimedia.

Now at 30-years-old, he signed to a minor league contract on January 10th.  With a career ERA of 3.51, I feel like he’s in the same boat as Heath.  He will just be a boost of energy late in games.

5. RHP – Luis Castillo

Luis Castillo with the Greensboro Grasshoppers via Marlin maniac

Great trade! Castillo was traded to the Reds from the Miami Marlins on January 18th for RHP Dan Straily, which was a four-player deal.  Castillo is a great young arm that has a lot of potential.  With a 2.68 ERA, I can see him being a great asset for the Reds in the future.

6. RHP – Austin Brice

Austin Brice, pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds via MLB

Brice was the other pitcher that was involved in the four-player trade, along with Castillo.  Both are young arms that are going to provide strength.  Brice is a big acquisition because he’s a bigger pitcher which will help him with velocity.

7. RHP – Scott Feldman

Scott Feldman winding up via wikimedia

Feldman signed a one-year contract as a free agent on January 25th.  This 35-year-old is another one that will bring experience to the pitching staff as he’s been in the league for 12-years.  His ERA isn’t the best, 4.40, but he will be able to help the younger guys out and teach them a few things throughout the season.

8. LF – Desmond Jennings

Desmond Jennings sprinting to first base via wikimedia

This was a big acquisition by the Reds because this solidifies the outfield.  The young guys have the starting spot hands down, but Jennings is a good seven-year  veteran to have on the bench in case of injury or late scratch.

9. SS – Zach Walters

Zach Walters rounding third for the Indians

Walters signed a minor league contract on February 11th.  The 27-year-old will not only add depth to the infield, but outfield as well.  He has played left field and shortstop in the past.  He has a pretty awful batting average and on-base percentage which explains the minor league deal.  This will give him plenty of time to develop a little bit more for when the Reds do need him in case of injury.

Most of these guys signed either one-year contracts or minor league contracts.  Don’t worry too much about the details.  I think at least half of these guys will experience the big league club at least once this season.  So don’t start screaming yet Reds fans, I don’t think the club is completely screwed quite yet.

Just a place where Reds fans can go to get another perspective on the Reds.  Reds fan can come here to be kept up-to-date on any recent transactions and team news throughout the season.  This newsletter is not affiliated with the official club.

Top 5 baseball stadiums in the US

Baseball stadiums hold a special place in my heart as it is my favorite sport and has brought me great happiness in my life. Judging a baseball stadium depends what each person values and there is of course going to be some bias. Debates about sports topics are awesome because each person can have different opinions and it makes for interesting discussions.

Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 30, 2010 (Photo Credit: James Clear)

Honorable Mention: Great American Ballpark

The other Ohio MLB team brings its own charm with a river just over the right field that can be reached on a home run. My favorite part of the stadium is the firework stands in center field because fireworks are awesome and even better when they occur at a baseball field. It is a beautiful view from the stadium and is worthy of an honorable mention.

A clear day at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio April 29, 2012 (Photo Credit: Jeremy Burgin)

Honorable Mention: Progressive Field
Since I am in Ohio I probably should include a baseball stadium in this state. When a stadium is different than the most others there is something awesome about it and that is what the Indians’ stadium is. Having a tall wall in left field is awesome because it makes it a little difficult to hit the ball over the fence and can make the ball hit off the wall in weird ways. The right field fence is short enough that there is the chance that an outfielder can rob a home run. It is a beautiful stadium with a huge video board in left field.

Evening in Houston, Texan at Minute Maid Park April 6, 2015. (Photo Credit: Brian Reading)

5. Minute Maid Park
The home of the Houston Astros is the only one on the list that has a retractable roof. On the field, they have a little hill in center field so it is always interesting if the ball is hit up there anything can happen, it could be an inside-the-park home run or a highlight-reel catch. The best part of the stadium is above the left field stand with train tracks that have a train go through when an Astro hits a home run which is made easy by the short left field stands.

A sunny day at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania July 10, 2011. (Photo Credit: Wally Gobetz)

4. PNC Park
A bridge just over the center field wall makes the Pirates’ home awesome along with the view of downtown Pittsburgh. There is just a charm in this stadium that sets it apart from most of the other stadiums. I love stadiums with water just outside the park and PNC park is on the river’s edge with an occasional player that can hit a home run into the water.

Clouds over Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. May 22, 2009. (Photo Credit: Werner Kunz)

3. Fenway Park
The reason why it is one of the best stadiums can be described in a couple of word, the Green Monster. Seeing players hit the ball over the 37-foot wall in left field is awesome and if it hits off the wall it bounces back to the infield and the batter possibly can be thrown out if they are too slow. In right field, there I a very short wall so it is awesome to see player robbing home runs while falling over the wall. The tradition of the Red Sox makes the stadium even better but if the team was not that good the stadium would still be one of the best.

A day game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois July 29, 2009. (Photo Credit: Jauerback)

2. Wrigley Field
If people only know one baseball stadium it is most likely the home of the Chicago Cubs. The charm of the stadium that has been around since the early 1900s with is what makes it appealing. The wall around the outfield is covered in ivy so sometimes baseballs will get hit into the ivy and disappear. There are places around the stands where there are metal poles that block the view of the field, oh the charm. Being surrounded by a neighborhood is so cool with stands on top of some of the houses that can see the field and is the only stadium in the baseball that is in a neighborhood.

Night game at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California Aug. 1, 2006. (Photo Credit: Daniel Schwen)

1. AT&T Park
Even though I am slightly biased there is no doubt this is the best stadium in baseball. The field is beautiful but the best parts are outside of the playing field. In the left field stands there is a giant Coke bottle with a slide inside of it and a glove that sometimes players come close to hitting during batting practice. There is also the McCovey Cove right outside of the right field which is a place where you see diehard fans sitting in kayaks and boats waiting for home runs to be hit out there. Having the best team in baseball since 2010 with three World Series championships is just an added benefit.

Top 5 famous Ohio University alumni

Since Ohio University was established more than two hundred years ago, millions of students have roamed the streets of Athens. The bricks that make up these streets echo the footsteps of all those students – but some of these footsteps are more recognizable than others. These are just a few of the more famous Ohio University alumni who have come before us.

Thom BrennamanThom Brennaman

Son of Marty Brennaman, the famous Cincinnati Reds radio sportscaster, Thom attended Ohio University after graduating from Anderson High School in Cincinnati. As a Bobcat, he was president of Beta Kappa and worked for a local radio station. After graduating, he took a cue from his father by becoming the voice of the Reds on television.

 

Matt LauerMatt Lauer

A native New Yorker, Matt actually dropped out of the School of Telecommunications in 1979. He returned to OU to attain his degree when he was 39 years old. He is now famously known as the host of The Today Show. He has also previously worked for ESPN, HBO Entertainment News, and NBC News. One of his most beloved segments on The Today Show is Where in the World is Matt Lauer? This, of course, is modeled after the game show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? You may also recognize Matt from his cameos in the movies Sharknado and Sharknado 2 or his prank wars with Ellen DeGeneres earlier this year.

 

Nancy CartwrightNancy Cartwright

The voice of Bart Simpson from The Simpsons grew up in Kettering, Ohio, where she attended Fairmont West High School. She was active in public speaking competitions throughout her high school years and later during her college years at OU as well. She only attended OU for one year, after which she transferred to the University of California in Los Angeles and obtained a degree in theater. Along with Bart Simpson, she has also created the voices of Chuckie Finster (Rugrats), Mindy (Animaniacs), and Rufus the Naked Mole-Rat (Kim Possible). In 2012, Nancy returned to the hills of Athens to give the undergraduate commencement address.

 

Ed O'NeillEd O’Neill

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Ed attended OU for history on a football scholarship. He was also a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Because of his less-than-stellar studying habits and his arguments with his football coach, he returned to his hometown after his sophomore year to attend Youngstown State University. He later had a brief stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers before being cut. He is most well known for portraying Al Bundy on the show Married… with Children and more recently for playing Jay Pritchett on Modern Family.

 

Piper PeraboPiper Perabo

Unlike O’Neill and Cartwright, Piper not only completed her degree at OU, she graduated summa cum laude from the Honors Tutorial College with a degree in theater. She is best known for her roles in the movies Coyote Ugly, Cheaper by the Dozen and its sequel (as the oldest Baker child), The Prestige (alongside Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman), and the television show Go On (with Friends alum Matthew Perry). She was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her work on the television show Covert Affairs in 2010. She is also close friends with Lena Headey, better known as Cersei Lannister on the hit HBO series Game of Thrones.