MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Rookie stopper? DeSclafani coming up big for Reds

Right-hander extends scoreless-innings streak to snap Cincy's slide

Rookie stopper? DeSclafani coming up big for Reds

MILWAUKEE -- Anointing a pitcher as a stopper when he has made eight Major League starts would generally be a shaky proposition. But the evidence is pointing toward Anthony DeSclafani as a pitcher who can be relied upon by the Cincinnati Reds.

In his last two starts, DeSclafani has halted three-game and four-game Cincinnati losing streaks. The four-game skid came to a halt Monday night at Miller Park. DeSclafani pitched eight shutout innings, eight terrific innings, leading the Reds to a 6-1 victory over the Brewers.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DeSclafani shuts down Crew as Reds bust out

DeSclafani shuts down Crew as Reds bust out

MILWAUKEE -- Zack Cozart's three-run home run capped a four-run rally in the sixth inning, Joey Votto added a two-run shot in the seventh, and Anthony DeSclafani pitched an eight-inning gem to give the Reds a 6-1 win Monday night over the Brewers.

The Reds entered the night 12th of 15 NL teams in runs and on-base percentage, while the Brewers were last in both categories. For five scoreless innings, those trends held true, but the game turned after Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta popped a bunt for a rally-killing double play in the bottom of the fifth inning, and the Reds capitalized in the top of the sixth.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pena's diving grab among Reds' defensive gems

Backup catcher turns double play on bunt popup; Votto, Frazier also shine with glove

Pena's diving grab among Reds' defensive gems

MILWAUKEE -- Manager Bryan Price applied a philosophy more commonly associated with basketball to the Reds' 6-1 victory over the Brewers on Monday night.

"If defense shows up every day, you're in a lot of games," Price said. "I think that we have guys that, as far as I can tell since I've been around these guys, always put defense as a priority. It seems that the offense is kind of the icing on the cake part. I mean, they work extremely hard on their offense, but the defense is something they know can show up every day, even when you're struggling offensively, and we do a great job of separating the two."

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Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Negron wore Chris Mullin socks under his uniform

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Negron wore Chris Mullin socks under his uniform

If you're anything like me, you may be surprised to learn that the NBA playoffs are going on right now. I know, I know -- shocking, right? But, if you're anything like Kristopher Negron, you've probably been obsessively looking forward to matchups like Penny Hardaway versus Charles Barkley. (Wait, you're saying they've both retired?! What about Detlef Schrempf? Him too?!)

Negron, the Reds utility player and resident northern California resident, is a massive Warriors fan. And not just one who got into the team during their 67-15 dominant run through the Western Conference -- he's one who owns a pair of gorgeous Warriors socks featuring throwback NBA-Jam-and-flat-haircut-legend Chris Mullin socks: 

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Mesoraco needs day away for family reasons

Mesoraco needs day away for family reasons

MILWAUKEE -- Catcher Devin Mesoraco, who has missed the last six games with a left hip impingement, was not with the Reds on Monday for the start of a four-game set against the Brewers.

Manager Bryan Price confirmed prior to the game that Mesoraco was home for family reasons and would return Tuesday. Brayan Pena took his spot in the lineup, batting sixth behind left fielder Marlon Byrd.

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Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Leake cruises in between two costly mistakes

Reds righty retires 20 of 22 after leadoff homer, before late double, go-ahead sac fly

Leake cruises in between two costly mistakes

ST. LOUIS -- It was a brisk two-hour, two-minute game for the Reds and Cardinals on Sunday night, when Mike Leake needed only 86 pitches -- including 66 for strikes -- to work a complete game. Yet Leake was on the wrong side of a 2-1 Cincinnati loss -- the team's fourth in a row.

Besides the two earned runs, Leake gave up only four hits over his eight innings, with three walks.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds' road trip featuring scuffling offense

Reds' road trip featuring scuffling offense

ST. LOUIS -- Even for those who aren't good at math, compiling the numbers for the Reds' offense of late shouldn't be too difficult.

In their four-game losing streak, including Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Cardinals, which got them swept in a series, the Reds have scored just four runs while batting .198 as a team, including 1-for-21 with runners in scoring position. They left the bases loaded in the eighth inning of the series finale.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds unable to make most of Leake gem

Reds unable to make most of Leake gem

ST. LOUIS -- A half-inning after the Reds squandered a bases-loaded opportunity against Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals capitalized on a leadoff double by Jon Jay in the eighth to break a tie and position themselves for a series-sweeping 2-1 win at Busch Stadium on Sunday night.

Kolten Wong's one-out sacrifice fly was plenty deep to score Jay, who had moved to third on a productive groundout by Yadier Molina. Those eighth-inning at-bats represented the Cardinals' only ones with a runner in scoring position against Reds starter Mike Leake, who had retired 20 of 22 after allowing a leadoff homer to Matt Carpenter.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Elbow looks good, results not as much for Bailey

Elbow looks good, results not as much for Bailey

ST. LOUIS -- Homer Bailey smoothly overcame the arduous rehabilitation process required after a significant arm surgery. The Reds starting pitcher, activated from the disabled list Saturday to make his 2015 debut, could not overcome his track record vs. the Cardinals.

In a 5-2 loss to St. Louis, Bailey was tagged for five earned runs and nine hits over 5 2/3 innings, with two of his three walks intentional. It was Bailey's first regular-season start since Aug. 7. He had surgery on Sept. 5 to repair the torn flexor mass tendon near his right elbow.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds option Villarreal to make room for Bailey

Reds option Villarreal to make room for Bailey

ST. LOUIS -- To make room on the roster for activating Saturday's starting pitcher Homer Bailey from the 15-day disabled list, the Reds optioned reliever Pedro Villarreal to Triple-A Louisville.

Villarreal was recalled on Wednesday and pitched two scoreless innings with one hit and one strikeout during a 5-0 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bailey can't stop Cardinals' charge in St. Louis

Bailey can't stop Cardinals' charge in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals continued their recent dominance of the Reds on Saturday, this time spoiling Homer Bailey's season debut with a steady offensive attack that lifted them to a 5-2 win in front of a sellout Busch Stadium crowd. The victory assures the Cardinals of also claiming a series win, making this the 14th straight three-game series between these two clubs that has gone St. Louis' way.

Bailey, whose start to the season was delayed as he finished his recovery from torn flexor mass tendon surgery, likely would have preferred to draw another opponent in his first appearance since Aug. 7, 2014. Saturday's loss was his 11th against the Cardinals, who have scored at least four runs off him 11 times. This time, he was charged with five. More >

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rose joins FOX as guest analyst

Rose joins FOX as guest analyst

Pete Rose is getting back into the business of baseball, but not on the field.

The game's all-time hits leader will join FOX as a guest analyst for the MLB on FOX pregame show and FOX Sports 1. Rose is also expected to make appearances on a series of other FOX Sports 1 shows, including "MLB Whiparound," "America's Pregame" and "FOX Sports Live."

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cueto falls to 0-2 after risky move goes Cards' way

Cueto falls to 0-2 after risky move goes Cards' way

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina knows a few things about hitting in clutch situations and Reds ace Johnny Cueto has never feared pitching in jams. On Friday during a 6-1 Cincinnati loss to St. Louis, Cueto and manager Bryan Price did something that might seem counter-intuitive.

The score was 1-1 with runners on second and third and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, and Price had Cueto intentionally walk Jon Jay to load the bases and face Molina. The Cardinals' perennial All-Star entered the game a .298 hitter with three home runs when the bases are loaded, and a .308 hitter with runners in scoring position. But there were other numbers that jumped off the page to the Reds' manager.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Early duel with Cardinals turns ugly

Early duel with Cardinals turns ugly

ST. LOUIS -- Yadier Molina's three-run double off Reds ace Johnny Cueto in the seventh inning broke open a tie game and sent the Cardinals on their way to a 6-1 victory in Friday night's series opener at Busch Stadium.

Both Cueto and Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha allowed first-inning runs, and the score remained 1-1 until the seventh. Wacha stranded a runner at third to close the top half of that frame, but Cueto couldn't match the damage control. Following his leadoff single, Matt Holliday moved to third when Jhonny Peralta bounced a hit over the glove of Reds left fielder Marlon Byrd.

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Jenifer Langosch and Mark Sheldon are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mesoraco hopes to avoid trip to disabled list

With veteran limited to pinch-hit duty, Reds recall catcher Barnhart from Triple-A Louisville

Mesoraco hopes to avoid trip to disabled list

ST. LOUIS -- It appears the Reds are willing take some of what Devin Mesoraco can do rather than nothing at all. Following a three-game absence while the Reds were in Chicago, and he was in Cincinnati getting treatment for a sore left hip, the All-Star catcher rejoined the club at Busch Stadium on Friday.

However, Brayan Pena started a fourth straight game when the club opened the three-game series vs. the Cardinals. Mesoraco, battling a sore hip since playing all nine innings on Saturday, was available to come off the bench to hit on Friday, but he's not ready to catch in a game. The club is trying to avoid putting Mesoraco on the disabled list.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scuffling with bat, Byrd making highlight reels with glove

Scuffling with bat, Byrd making highlight reels with glove

CHICAGO -- The Reds traded for Marlon Byrd in the offseason for an offensive boost. While he has yet to take off at the plate, batting .147 with no home runs and three RBIs in nine games, he's been able to make some big contributions is a less expected way -- defensively.

Byrd has taken hits away and found his way on highlight videos with some nice plays. The 37-year-old takes pride in backing up the pitcher with quality defense.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds to reunite '90 World Series team at GABP

Former greats like Larkin and Davis will meet fans April 24-25

Reds to reunite '90 World Series team at GABP

ST. LOUIS -- The last World Series championship claimed by the Reds 25 years ago will be celebrated next weekend with more than 30 members of the 1990 team scheduled to appear at Great American Ball Park on April 24-25.

It was a wire-to-wire season for the Reds that year with the club in first place every day of the regular season. After beating the Pirates in six games for the National League Championship, Cincinnati defeated the A's in a four-game sweep for the World Series.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

No. 42 jersey tribute began in 2007 with Griffey

Then with Reds, Junior first player granted permission to wear Jackie Robinson's number

No. 42 jersey tribute began in 2007 with Griffey

CHICAGO -- It's become an expectation that all Major League uniformed personnel wear No. 42 to pay homage to the most-respected player to ever wear that number -- Jackie Robinson -- on the day baseball pauses to pay homage to the legendary pioneer of social change.

But the genesis of the 42 movement began in the days and weeks before the Reds and Cubs played on Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, 2007, at Wrigley Field. Then Cincinnati's right fielder, Ken Griffey Jr. asked then-Commissioner Bud Selig and Robinson's widow, Rachel, for permission to wear No. 42 on what was the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bats go cold, Marquis struggles in rubber match

Bats go cold, Marquis struggles in rubber match

CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo belted a two-run homer, his first of the season, in the first inning to back Travis Wood and lead the Cubs to a 5-0 victory Wednesday over the Reds and take the series.

Wood gave up three hits over seven-plus innings, retiring the first 10 batters faced before he walked Joey Votto with one out in the fourth. The Cubs now have won two of their first three series; they did not win their first series last year until May 2-4.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marquis unable to recover as in season debut

Reds' starter surrenders 2 runs in each of first 2 innings against Cubs

Marquis unable to recover as in season debut

CHICAGO -- Unlike his season debut on Friday against the Cardinals, Reds starter Jason Marquis could not make an adjustment or course correction vs. the Cubs after a shaky first couple of innings.

After Marquis and the Reds went down early, they stayed down for a 5-0 loss to Chicago to drop two of three in the series. Lasting only four innings, a season low for the Cincinnati rotation, Marquis gave up all five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks with six strikeouts.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DeSclafani spinning hits with new dance partner

Right-hander making offseason trade look good

DeSclafani spinning hits with new dance partner

CHICAGO -- When the Reds traded starting pitchers Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon in December, there were some big question marks hanging over their rotation entering the season. Quickly, Anthony DeSclafani is erasing some doubts.

DeSclafani, who came over from the Marlins in the Latos trade, has posted two quality starts in his two starts, both Reds victories. On Tuesday, the rookie also provided Cincinnati's rotation with its first victory of 2015 with seven scoreless innings in a 3-2 win over the Cubs.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Votto showing early signs of former self

First baseman appears rejuvenated at plate after injury-plagued season in 2014

Votto showing early signs of former self

CHICAGO -- Healthy again, Joey Votto is making pitchers pay.

Votto is doing it, as usual, his own cerebral way, with his brain guiding his bat. He's driving the ball without sacrificing the discipline that has given him the best on-base percentage among active players, by a wide margin.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

LOS ANGELES -- Tony Reagins has spent decades in the game of baseball, and he's worked in everything from marketing to baseball operations. Reagins, formerly the general manager of the Angels, has taken on a new assignment with Major League Baseball as the senior vice president of youth programs, and he took some time Tuesday to discuss his plans for the future.

Reagins, under new Commissioner Rob Manfred, will be in charge of consolidating the league's relationships with youth, high school and college baseball organizations around the country. Reagins attended the Civil Rights Game instructional clinic Tuesday at Rancho Cienega Recreation Center, and he spoke a bit about Jackie Robinson, the Urban Youth Academies and the future of the game.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DeSclafani has glove and bat fly out of his hands

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DeSclafani has glove and bat fly out of his hands

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the Earth's gravitational field turned off for just a moment? If the laws of physics ceased operations for the smallest of seconds?

Well, you're in luck. All you needed to do was watch Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani's start against the Cubs on Tuesday night when his baseballing accessories simply wouldn't remain attached to his hands.

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Phillips lightheaded after collision, passes concussion test

Initially hurt when Cubs' Castro falls on him

Phillips lightheaded after collision, passes concussion test

CHICAGO -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips exited Tuesday's 3-2 victory over the Cubs when he complained of feeling lightheaded following a collision with shortstop Starlin Castro.

In a three-run fourth inning for Cincinnati, Phillips advanced from first base to third base on Jay Bruce's RBI single through the left side. As Phillips approached third base, where no one was covering, Castro backed into him and fell on top of him while trying to make a tag.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DeSclafani goes 7 shutout innings in Reds win

DeSclafani goes 7 shutout innings in Reds win

CHICAGO -- Anthony DeSclafani threw seven shutout innings to outduel Jake Arrieta and lead the Reds to a 3-2 victory Tuesday night over the Cubs to even the series.

Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Marlon Byrd each hit RBI singles in the fourth, which was all DeSclafani needed. Making his seventh career start, the right-hander gave up two hits -- a single by Jorge Soler with two outs in the fourth and an infield hit by Dexter Fowler with one out in the sixth -- over a career-high seven innings. More >

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.