All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back from Africa



An African serval cat - wild cousin of Mat Latos' savannah cat, Cat Latos

Been offline the past couple of weeks. I joined my parents on an "adventure" trip to Africa. Which meant no running water, no electricity, and definitely no Internet. (Not to say all Africa is like that - we spent a lot of time off the beaten path.)

I ended up sitting next to a professional athlete in the plane on the way back. Not a baseball player. A basketball player - Tanzania-born Hasheem Thabeet. Man, is he tall.

Anyways, I returned to find a lot had happened in the world of baseball. A new commissioner has been named. The Reds have fallen below .500 and are solidly in fourth place in the division; their season is likely done, though apparently owner Bob Castellini is still hoping.

The Reds have been decimated by injury. Including Tony Cingrani. He has not thrown a pitch since June, and at this point it seems unlikely he'll return this year. Supposedly he'll start a throwing program soon, but with the Reds having nothing to play for except draft picks, there's no reason to push him.

Things seem to be looking up for Paul Janish, though. He is en fuego for the Omaha Storm Chasers. He went 2 for 4 with a double and a home run last night (off lefty John Lannan). He's OPSing .877 for the Storm Chasers. .345 / .408 / .469

And the Royals took over the top spot in their division while I was gone. They are looking like a legit playoff team. That's good news for Janish. With the post-season roster rules, many teams like to carry a player like Janish: versatile guy who can be a solid backup at SS. Be interesting to see if they add him to the roster before the Aug. 31 deadline. (Even if they don't, he can still be added later.)

Janish also got a shout-out from former teammate and still good friend Jay Bruce. Bruce participated in the ice bucket challenge, and challenged Janish to do the same. Which probably means Janish will be getting an ice water bath and writing a check soon. All for a good cause, of course.

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posted by BubbaFan, 1:06 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, July 17, 2014

CBS Sports Network


Today is still sadly baseball-less when it comes to big league games, but AAA has started up again. The CBS Sports Network's "Minor League Game of the Week" airs tonight at 9pm ET. It's the Omaha Storm Chasers at the New Orleans Zephyrs. Paul Janish is starting at SS for the Storm Chasers.

Former Reds prospect Donnie Joseph is a Zephyr. The Reds had really high hopes for him at one point, but traded him for established reliever Jonathan Broxton.

Apparently, the Royals traded him to the Marlins. Joseph was a Storm Chaser not long ago.

Update: I just noticed Josh Rodriguez is New Orleans' third baseman. I'm kind of surprised he hasn't gotten more of a shot. He's put up some decent numbers in AAA.

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posted by BubbaFan, 9:39 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Apparently, Janish likes it in Omaha


Paul Janish has been playing (almost) every day with the Omaha Storm Chasers, and hitting pretty well. He's had several multi-hit games, including going 4 for 4 today. His ground rule double drove Brett Tomko from the game. He's hitting .333 / .405 / .364 with Omaha, good for a .769 OPS. His OPS in Colorado Springs was just .586.

Not sure why he's hitting so well now. Small sample size, of course. But also, he was hitting a lot better even before he left the Sky Sox. His June OPS was something like 200 points higher than in April and May. So maybe he just got off to a slow start. (Even though he was blistering hot in spring training - leading the Cactus League at one point.)

The Royals are currently 6.5 games back of Detroit in the AL Central, and if the season ended today, they'd be 2.5 games out of the wild card - the first runner up. They aren't out of it yet, for sure.

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posted by BubbaFan, 9:03 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, July 05, 2014

The Omaha Storm Chasers


As expected, Paul Janish is a Storm Chaser. It appears he is their starting SS. He's wearing #21.

The Storm Chasers are a real old-timey team. The players all wear their socks high, with real stirrups. And they are all required to be clean-shaven. Janish no longer looks like a Geico caveman. (For some reason, the Sky Sox were all growing their beards out. To ZZ Top-like lengths.)

Janish got off to a decent start yesterday...against his previous team. The Storm Chasers are playing a series against the Sky Sox. Janish went 1 for 3 with a walk.

The announcers joked that Janish might have wanted to come to Omaha because that's where he won the College World Series with Rice. (Apparently, they asked him about it. He said he hadn't been back there since.) But the real reason, according to them, is that he's hoping he'll have a better chance of cracking the big league roster with the Royals.

Seems like he's pretty far down the Royals depth chart, but I guess anything's better than Colorado. They are out of contention and appear resigned to it. Which means they have no reason not to stick with Rutledge and Culberson, even if something happens to Tulowitzki.

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posted by BubbaFan, 10:32 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, July 04, 2014

Janish signs with Royals


Paul Janish, who opted out of his minor league contract with the Rockies on Tuesday, has signed with the Kansas City Royals. It's a minor league deal.

I don't see him listed on any rosters yet. I assume he'll be assigned to the AAA Omaha Storm Chasers, though.

Not sure what advantage there is to switching from the Sky Sox to the Storm Chasers. Maybe he was just annoyed that practically the entire Sky Sox roster was called up...except him. Or maybe he wants to play for a contender. It seems weird to be saying this, at nearly the All-Star Break, but the Royals are contending this year. The Rockies, alas, are not.

A reporter once asked Janish what his best moment in baseball was. He said it was winning the College World Series with Rice. Because they won it all.

He's had at least the expectation of playing in the post-season the past few years. With the Reds, and then with Atlanta. Colorado must have been a bit of a letdown. They're having a pretty terrible year.

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posted by BubbaFan, 12:15 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Janish opts out


Today was Paul Janish's opt-out date, and he is no longer listed on the Sky Sox roster. So I assume he must have chosen free agency.

No word on where he's going, but I assume he must have an offer. Players usually don't opt out unless they have somewhere to go.

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posted by BubbaFan, 7:11 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cingrani sent down


Tony Cingrani was demoted to Triple-A Louisville today. It's not really a surprise. He's struggled with injury and ineffectiveness this year. He was moved to the pen, and when he walked in the winning run in extra innings against Pittsburgh the other day, the handwriting was on the wall.

I assume he'll go back into the starting rotation with the Louisville Bats. The Reds still have faith him; with his injury history and all, I'm guessing they want him to work things out in the minors, where there's less pressure.

He'll be back soon enough.

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posted by BubbaFan, 9:17 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Buried in the minor league depths


After a slow start this season, Paul Janish is having himself a pretty good June. He's hitting .320 / .333 / .520 for the month. Good for a .853 OPS - not bad for a middle infielder.

It's been pretty fun to watch. He hit a double and a triple last Saturday. The triple was down the right field line, even. Nice to see some oppo power.

Thursday, he hit two singles...one of which probably would have been a double, except the third base umpire couldn't get out of the way. Ouch.

He had two hits again yesterday.

And the defense is thing of beauty. Turned four double plays on Thursday. I guess they're not used to him in the PCL, because people always seem so surprised at his range.

Unfortunately, I don't think the Rockies are going to call him up. They've got Charlie Culberson, Ryan Wheeler, and Josh Rutledge as backup infielders now, and while none of them have Janish's glove, they all have options.

Supposedly, the Rockies plan for the season was to have a good defensive backup infielder so they could rest Troy Tulowitzki regularly without worrying about the infield defense, but that seems to have gone by the wayside. They seem more concerned about offense now, having lost so many of their big boppers.

Troy Tulowitzki sprained his toe yesterday; the Rockies are waiting on the results of an MRI to decide whether he needs a DL stint or not. Even if Tulo is DL'd, I expect it will be Kyle Parker, not Janish, who is called up. Parker is on the roster and has options. And he's probably the best hitter in Colorado Springs not named Ben Paulson. (Paulson is not on the roster, either.)

Janish has a July 1 opt-out. I'm guessing he'll use it.

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posted by BubbaFan, 5:27 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, May 25, 2014

What's wrong with Tony Cingrani?


Tony C. in the Reds St. Patrick's Day uni

Tony Cingrani has struggled since coming off the DL. Many people thought it was a "phantom DL" trip - the Reds needed room on the roster, and Cingrani is still on innings count. He'd have to skip some games anyway.

He hasn't pitched very well his last two games. He and his manager blamed it on his having missed so much time.

But it looks to me like his velocity is down a bit. Perhaps intentional, to gain more control?

It's also possible that the book has gotten around on Cingrani, and his deceptive delivery is no longer so deceptive. He lives off his fastball, and might have to start using his secondary pitches more often.

The Reds are going to have one too many starting pitchers when Mat Latos gets off the DL next month. It's looking like it might be Cingrani sent down to AAA to make room for him.

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posted by BubbaFan, 3:00 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Janish goes jard


(photo by Paat Kelly)

Paul Janish had a good day at the office last night. He went 2 for 5 with a home run, his first of the season (not counting spring training). Off a righty, no less.

Gameday says it was to left, but the Sky Sox Twitter feed and the game wrapup says it was to right.

I will be very surprised if he really homered to right. I don't think I've ever seen him hit a home run to right. It's usually to left. Maybe to center once or twice. But oppo? (I am on the road this week, and didn't get to watch this game. I'll watch it when I get a chance.)

Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado broke a finger last night. He'll be out for at 4-6 weeks...at best. Josh Rutledge was removed from the Sky Sox inning on the bottom of the third, so I knew he was being called up to replace Arenado.

Janish hasn't been playing much for the Sky Sox. I wondered if he might have some kind of minor injury, but it's probably just that they had too many infielders once Rutledge was sent down. Janish has a July 1 opt-out, and they may be preparing to carry on without him.

It's clear (and has been since the end of spring training) that the Rockies view Janish as a "break glass in case of emergency" insurance player. Hopefully he'll be able to find a better opportunity elsewhere.

UPDATE: Janish's home run was to left. Pulled a high fastball.

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posted by BubbaFan, 4:29 PM | link | 1 comments |