|06-30-2007, 05:55 PM||#46|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Re: Bruce & Cueto to Chattanooga, Watson to Sarasota
Here's what Reynold's had to say in the Dayton Daily News about more possible promotions and the poor start by the Dragons in the 2nd half.
At this time of the season, the parent Cincinnati Reds could have wrecked the Class A Dayton Dragons.
They could have promoted all their best pitchers (they did take a few) and gutted the team of its best hitters and fielders (they hardly took any).
The team could have been refitted with way-too-young rookies and nondrafted free agents from Independent League teams, which has happened before.
None of that occurred.
So how did a team that won the first-half Eastern Division championship in the Midwest League stumble through eight straight losses before recovering with a doubleheader victory Thursday night in South Bend?
"If I had to explain it," said Reds farm director Terry Reynolds, "it would be some kind of post-championship down time. But that should be well past now, and they should realize it's time to get going.
"I am surprised. With that kind of team, you wouldn't expect to have prolonged problems."
Even with the losing streak and indifferent play, the Dragons remain a team with a nearly flawless double-play combination in shortstop Chris Valaika and second baseman Justin Turner.
They have a powerful third baseman in Juan Francisco.
They have an outfield that, wall to wall, gets to more balls than the Reds.
They have a catcher in Eddy Rodriguez who can actually catch.
So what's wrong?
Manager Donnie Scott exploded after a home game last week, telling the team it was too complacent.
"I am concerned," Reynolds said. "I want to see them get out of it and play their way out of it. If we can go in there and shake things up (that means move some players out), we might do it, but right now, we're pretty young behind them. So they're going to have to right their own ship."
Reynolds also said he wouldn't hesitate to actually promote some players, even though as a team the Dragons aren't doing as well.
"It's all based on earning it and having an opportunity," Reynolds said. "Right now, there are guys who have earned it, but there just isn't opportunity. I wouldn't have any reservations about moving guys we think deserve it when the time is right."
The time is soon going to be right for Valaika and Turner, and maybe even Rodriguez. Pitcher Rafael Gonzalez is close to a call-up.
Already the Dragons are in the playoffs for the first time in five years. When they play hard, they're fun to watch. At the moment, they're not much fun to watch, and other call-ups are looming.
"It's a long season where good things happen and bad things happen," Reynolds said.
We've certainly seen both ends of that.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2157