Rick Sweet on Bruce:

Sweet had some of his warmest praise for one player not with the team. Outfielder and former top pick Jay Bruce played at three levels and finished at Louisville before winning Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year Award. He batted .319 with 26 homers and 89 RBIs overall.

"Jay Bruce is special," Sweet said. "I had Griffey the first year he played, and Jay Bruce is in that category in my opinion. I had Griffey when he was 18, and Jay just turned 20, but he's got the potential at the time. They're close to the same animal.

Bruce spent just 16 games at Double-A Chattanooga before his promotion to Louisville. It was supposed to be a temporary stay when injuries left the Bats shorthanded.

"I practically begged Wayne to have him come up in Triple-A," Sweet said. "I had two infielders in the outfield. I said, 'Let him come up for a week, because Dewayne Wise will be back in a week.' So they told him, 'You're going for one week.' [Paul] Janish was the other one. I had e-mails [from the Reds] that said in big letters 'ONE WEEK ONLY,' and they told the kids that. Jay started playing good, and Wise never got healthy."