The Reds don’t lead baseball in TOOTBLAN. They’re not even among the TOOTBLAN leaders.
What is TOOTBLAN? It’s an acronym that’s all over Twitter and the Fox Sports Ohio broadcasts these days.
It stands for Thrown Out On The Basepaths Like a Nincompoop. There’s even a website, the TOOTBLAN Tracker on Tumblr, that tracks baserunning mistakes. The Reds had six TOOTBLANs on their 11-game road trip to California that wrapped up Wednesday, according to the site.
Zack Cozart and Shin-Soo Choo were each guilty twice. The mistakes were one reason the Reds scored a total of five runs during their five-game losing streak on the trip.
Manager Dusty Baker said he can reinforce the need to keep your head in the game, pay attention and anticipate plays that might happen, but it’s mostly up to the players.
“Everybody wants to blame the staff,” said Baker on Friday before the start of a three-game series against the Cardinals at Great American Ball Park. “Sometimes you’ve got to fault the pupil. Most of the time, if you’re a good baserunner, you don’t even need a base coach because by the time the base coach tells you to go or stop, it’s too late.”
In the lineup: Choo returned to the leadoff spot and started in center field Friday after missing the final game of the road trip with a sore ankle. He had a 16-game hitting streak snapped on July 23 in San Francisco. He’s hitting .344 in his last 24 games, but went 5-for-29 on the road trip.
“It’s not 100 percent right now,” Choo said, “but nobody plays 100 percent in baseball. I’ll tape it a little bit. Every day it feels better.”
Injury updates: Through Thursday, injured left fielder Ryan Ludwick had made six rehab appearances with Single-A Dayton and Triple-A Louisville. He was 2-for-15 (.133) with a double.
Ludwick hasn’t played since Opening Day because of a torn labrum in his shoulder.
“He’s playing so-so, but he’s feeling good,” Baker said. “You want him to have his timing when he comes back. You don’t want him scuffling. We’ve got enough guys scuffling.”
Reliever Jonathan Broxton, on the DL since June 15 with an elbow strain, is in Louisville with Ludwick and has appeared in one game. He started Wednesday and threw one inning. He allowed three hits, but he didn’t allow a run and struck out two.
No Molina: The Cardinals’ top player, the guy considered the heart and soul of the franchise, will not play in this series. Catcher Yadier Molina went on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a right knee sprain.
Molina ranks third in baseball with a .330 average and is hitting .400 against the Reds in nine games this season.
“Yadier is an awesome player, an MVP-caliber player” Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco said. “It’s definitely going to be tough for those guys to pitch to a new catcher and miss the bat in the middle of the order. At the same time, they have a lot of other players who can pick up the slack.”