Q: So the Reds may be lured into trading Tyler Mahle so how about trading Mahle, Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel to San Diego for Manny Machado because the Reds need a third baseman? — JERRY, Lebanaon.
A: I’ll call two strikes on you for this one. ONE: Why in the name of Mission Bay would the Padres want to trade Machado, one of their most productive players? And the Padres already have one of baseball’s best rotations and don’t need Mahle. TWO: Machado makes $32 million a year through 2029. That’s high cotton for the Reds. If GM Nick Krall calls the Padres to make that offer his ears will ring for two weeks from the phone slamming.
Q: Why aren’t the Great American Ball Park gates opened early enough for Reds fans to watch the home team take batting practice? — GREG, Miamisburg.
A: The way the Reds hit this year in some games it looks as if they don’t take batting practice. But they do. Back in the day, the gates opened early enough for fans to watch batting practice. I’m told by insiders that the Reds keep the gates closed so they don’t have to have ushers and security personnel report earlier and pay them more. It seems permitting fans to watch batting practice and have a chance to get batting practice baseballs would be a good-will gesture. I’ll check Phil Castellini on it.
Q: Tommy Pham gives loose cannons a bad name so can the Reds dump him because they have enough problems? — BOB, Aurora.
A: Pham, indeed is volatile. This year he challenged San Diego first baseman Luke Voit to a fight at a friend’s gym and he slapped San Francisco’s Joc Pederson in the face in the outfield before a game. Clearly, Pham is high-strung. He is only with the Reds this season to stack up numbers toward free agency, but so far those numbers don’t stack very high. He is probably on the available list for the trade deadline, but with his unchecked volatility he might be difficult to move.
Q: It’s a long wait until next season and as I asked my mom the other day,’ Why are we still watching this Reds train wreck because there is tennis to be played and golf balls to lose? —ELVIS, Englewood.
A: As bad as they are, there are stars on other teams to watch. And there are the young pitchers, Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft. Catcher Tyler Stephenson is worth watching, as is Jonathan India, when he can play. There are a lot of suspicious minds when it comes to the Reds, but there are a few ripening apples among this rotten to the core team.
Q: Can the designated hitter be replaced, and the original DH moved to a position? — JEFF, Union.
A: A designated hitter may be pinch-hit for and the pinch-hitter remains in the game as the DH. But if the DH is moved to a defensive position, the team loses the DH and the pitcher must hit. Why didn’t the National League leave it alone and require the pitcher to hit? Baseball was designed for every player to play both offense and defense. Why should there be only one player who plays one way? Now you kids get off my lawn.
Q: The Dayton Dragons are collectively good, so what should we look for in individuals that might gave success at the major league level? LARRY, Washington Twp.
A: Just do what Graham Ashcraft has done, keep on keepin on.’ At this time last season, Ashcraft was at Dayton with a 4-1 record and a 2.33 ERA. Now he is with the Reds and is 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA, This year, Dayton’s Joe Boyle is doing a perfect Ashcraft imitation with a 3-0 record and a 0.84 ERA. The other can’t miss is Elly De La Cruz with 11 homers and 37 RBI and a slash line of .302/,.349/603. What do they have to do? Advance through the system with the same type of numbers, like Ashcraft.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Q: How many baseballs are rubbed up and ready for use each game? — BOB, Owensville.
A: Used to be six dozen (72 balls for the math challenged) were rubbed with a special Delaware River mud to take the gloss off. They’ve since changed to Mississippi River mud and they rub up 180 balls because now balls are thrown out of play if somebody breathes on them. I’ve often wondered why they just can’t manufacture balls without the gloss. And I’m pretty sure, there are more baseballs stocked and ready in reserve because they go through baseballs like a kid goes through M&Ms. If a ball touches Mother Earth, it is discarded. They could certainly cut down expenses by keeping more balls in play.