The Legend of Elly De La Cruz
Plus: Alexis Diaz Is Having a Dream Start to His Reds Career
Well, the Reds are in last place again, so I guess we know the answer to last week’s newsletter question.* That’s not quite true, actually. The Reds are in fact tied for last with the St. Louis Cardinals as I write these words, 4.5 games behind the Brewers and the Pirates in this garbage division. So the Reds are technically still in the mix. Let’s go!
*Honestly, we already knew the answer to that one. But we will remain eternally hopeful here, right? Right?
It’s actually the top of the seventh inning on Tuesday night as I’m writing, and the Reds are down 7-5 after yet another disappointing start by Graham Ashcraft. I don’t like it, but we’re going to have to explore Ashcraft’s struggles here at some point soon. (Short version: no reason to worry yet, but hitters have begun to adjust.) So maybe they’ll come back in this game and send the Cards back down to the cellar. Don’t bother commenting to let me know what happened. I’m watching it, I promise!
Anyway, there was some typical twitter nonsense today, but it was kinda fun. First, the Louisville Bats — for those of you in Middletown, that’s Cincinnati’s Triple-A minor league affiliate — posted an uncaptioned photo of uber prospect and comic book superhero Elly De La Cruz.
Precisely 23 minutes later, the same account tweeted out Louisville’s lineup for the Bats’ matchup against the Syracuse Mets.* One name was missing from that lineup: Elly De La Cruz. Whereupon #RedsTwitter proceeded to lose its ever-lovin’ mind with speculation that EDLC was going to be called up to the Reds imminently. And it was glorious.
*They’re an affiliate of the New York Mets, in case you were wondering.
Twitter is generally a cesspool, but I stick around because I’ve met a lot of cool people there. There’s a good group of solid Reds fans who like to mock the team while also unabashedly rooting for them every night. That’s pretty much where I am these days, as you know. The Reds are owned by maroons who don’t care about you at all but still, I tune in every night. I root for that red and white laundry every single day. And I still enjoy commiserating with Reds fans on twitter (though I’d be happy if you’d download the app and join me on Substack Notes!).
Alas, the twitter mania was unrequited. Elly was not called to the majors. Later, Trent reported thusly:
I'm told he's getting an extra day of rest. Most of his rest days have come on travel days. The Bats are in Syracuse and traveled yesterday. It gives him an extra day. So settle down
“Settle down” is not what twitter does. Never. And until Elly is actually promoted, I expect we’ll see similar speculation on a regular basis. Especially if the Louisville Bats twitter account continues to troll us. (Kudos to them, by the way. Top-notch trolling.)
This I can tell you: EDLC, as the kids call him on the socials, will be here sooner rather than later. The dude is hitting .281/.374/.588 with 7 homers, 8 doubles, 3 triples, and 25 RBI in 27 games — and that’s after going 1-for-21 to start the season in his first taste of Triple-A. He hit a 465-foot home run literally out of the stadium this week. I’m drinking the Kool-Aid, but at this point, I really believe he’s the best Reds prospect of my lifetime, even ahead of Eric Davis and Jay Bruce and Brandon Larson. If I’m right about that, he’ll turbo-charge this Reds rebuild.
I told you earlier this week that Chris and I have reached an agreement for a second edition of “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds.” We’ve been discussing the new chapters we should add, and what we should replace from the original edition. We haven’t figured it out quite yet.
But we’re trying to figure out exactly how we can include Elly De La Cruz. I mean, can we really include him? If we’re being completely honest, he’s not one of the top 50 “men and moments” in the history of the Reds yet.
This week at Cincinnati Magazine: Alexis Diaz Is Having a Dream Start to His Reds Career
We’ve been having a lot of fun talking about prospects lately. Rookie Matt McLain has had some good moments, while Elly De La Cruz continues to dazzle and amaze in Triple-A as he awaits the inevitable call to the big leagues. Christian Encarnacion-Strand keeps mashing baseballs to the moon, while at Double-A Noelvi Marte is showing why he is considered the second best prospect in the organization by some.
Meanwhile, The Big ThreeTM starters (Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft, and Nick Lodolo) have had some ups and downs, though all look like good bets to be reliable rotation pieces in the coming years. More recent top prospects such as Jonathan India (having an excellent season) and Tyler Stephenson (not so much) are everyday players in Cincinnati, and we’ve already discussed Nick Senzel’s interesting season.
The Reds have gone all-in on a youth movement, and we’re already starting to see the fruits of that strategy. But what if I told you that, secretly, the most exciting young player on the Reds—and perhaps the most valuable—is none of these guys? Here’s another, related question: Over the last two seasons, which Reds player has posted the highest bWAR (Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement)?
At this point, if you haven’t guessed that I’m talking about Cincinnati closer Alexis Diaz, I’m going to need you to turn in your Devoted Reader membership card. Read the rest of this week’s Reds column over at Cincinnati Magazine.
What’s Chad Watching?
Saw three movies in theaters this week. Two were not good. Super Mario…well, I’m not the target demographic. Your kids will like it.
Fast X…well, I guess I’m not the target demographic here either, since the only other Fast & The Furious movie I’ve ever seen was the first one, and I didn’t like that one much (2.5 stars out of 5). On the other hand, I generally like dumb action movies (have you seen “Ambulance”? It’s really fun!). And I love every single movie starring Jason Statham. Seriously, go see “Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre.” It’s so good.
But Fast X is just a complete and utter mess. I’m still not sure what the plot was. The only redeeming quality was Jason Momoa as the villain. He was cartoony and way over the top, but I just can’t help but like that guy as an actor.
I guess it’ll be streaming soon, but if you get a chance to watch “BlackBerry” in a theater, I would highly recommend it. Not because it requires the big screen to enjoy — I’m sure you’ll like it when you see it on your screen at home — but because I want movies like this to always have a home in the theater. It’s a dramedy about — you guessed it! — the rise and fall of the BlackBerry device and if that doesn’t sound interesting, you’re just going to have to trust me. It’s also really funny.
How many of you watch “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia?” Great show, one of my favorites. If you’re familiar with Glenn Howerton’s character “Dennis Reynolds” in that show, you may not believe my next sentence, but I’m being completely sincere. Howerton will completely deserve a Best Actor nomination at the next Academy Awards. Seriously.
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