With today being an off day and the weekend was very forgettable I thought I would start a topic I have been thinking extensively about lately. What does everybody think about the Reds bringing someone up from the minors in hopes to add a spark to this team?
Look at the Dodgers, they were floundering and underperforming a month ago and brought up Puig. Now look at them. They are in first place and one of the hottest teams in baseball. That's what the Reds need: someone to spark the team to get hot. Obviously, we do not possess anybody with the talents of Puig, but we could use anything at this point.
I do not know if anyone else has noticed, but I have seen a trend where we score well in games where we either score or threaten in the first 2 innings. If we go 1-2-3 in the first and the second then it is usually a long game for us. Our team builds off each other pretty heavily, if we are failing early it seems takes a lot for our team to get going, but if we are scoring early then we pile it on. Our other threads have suggested lack of leadership, an incompetetent manager, a lazy GM, field conditions, injuries, the alignment of the sun and stars, stadium vendors, blue moons, etc. for the way this season has gone.
But the fact of the matter is that our team needs something to spark them. Puig obviously hits well, but he does more things to get his team fired up and want to win. He makes diving catches, steals bases, and does whatever he can to help the team win. I am not saying our guys wouldn't do that, but it seems to me that they are just going through the motions and, at times, don't want to be there. Why not bring a guy up who wants to be there and who wants to prove himself. He could be what this team needs to get guys going and get guys hot.
Look at last year, Votto goes down and the team steps up big time including a 10 game winning streak. Why? Mostly due to Frazier and Ludwick getting hot. Frazier got more playing time and he wanted to be there. I am not saying let's bring up a guy and start him right away, but let's bring up a guy who can play here and there, and add something that this team is lacking: heart.
IMO, a guy trying to prove himself for the coaches, fans, and scouts has a lot more on the line than the guy making 'x' million dollars regardless of what he does at the plate.
My guys who could add a spark to this team:
Billy Hamilton: His assets and personality are perfect for our team's situation. Even most average fans know who he is and what he can do. His average is obviously a concern, but he is catching fire lately. Choo's bum ankle will likely bother him the rest of the season, so let Billy play some CF and move Choo to LF. Wouldn't it be nice to see Billy run down balls hit to the gaps and take away a double from the opposing hitter? And then come in and hit a single and then steal second and then score from Votto or Phillips hit? Or he could just hit a ball to the wall and get a triple. Any one of these would fire up the fans and the team and more likely get something going.
Neftali Soto: he has been up a few times already and I do not think his personality will spark the team (seems quiet to me), but he can add something. He is hitting pretty well and has decent pop to his bat. He can push Frazier at 3B and maybe even outperform him to take over the hot corner. He is a RH bat too which is what we need.
Tucker Barnhart: I do not know much about how he may be on the bench in terms of personality (I would assume he would be pretty quiet on the Reds bench), but he would add something to this team. It seems everytime the past 2 or 3 weeks I read Doug's minor league review, Barnhart is getting RBI seemingly every game. He could definitely bring something to the catcher position (especially since it looks like Hanigan isn't coming back anytime soon). I am sure Bailey would like to be throwing to a younger, more athletic guy than Corky as well.
Mike Hessman: I know he is older, but he has played in the MLB before and he could provide veteran experience this team needs. Older guys generally are not afraid to speak up and fire guys up either. His average is well below what we would want it to be, but you can't deny his power. 22 HR this season and he is challenging the minor league career HR record so he is definitely a power hitter. Could feast at GABP and could easily spark a struggling offense.