From: John Kasupski on

If you wanted Weathers back, you may have just gotten your wish...sort of.

The Reds have signed Russ Springer to a minor league contract. He's a 41-year
old right-handed reliever who had two excellent years with the Cardinals in 2007
and 2008, went to the AL last year and didn't do nearly as good with the Rays
and A's, and apparently hasn't pitched at all this year, but the quote from WJ
reads, "I had him before and he can still pitch."

Jocketty has told the writers he's looking to add experience and depth to the
bullpen, maybe he thinks switching back to the NL will be beneficial for
Springer. After a cursory glance at some of his numbers, maybe Walt's right, it
does seem he's done better in the NL than in the AL in his career.

I suppose that stockpiling some veterans in the minors certainly won't hurt when
rosters expand in September, either. You've got to figure some minor league
pitchers are going to get called up then, and the fact that they were desperate
enough to move Chapman to a relief role shows that the cupboard's pretty bare
down there right now in that regard. Springer has postseason experience too.

It looks like Volquez will be getting called up over the weekend and starting a
game on Saturday. If it were my call, I'd say Maloney goes back down, I would
not send Wood down right after he took a perfecto into the ninth inning of his
last start - against the Phillies, one of the top offensive clubs in the league
in recent years even if they were missing two of their main guys. In the final
analysis, Cliff Lee would have been a great addition to make, but I'm glad they
didn't trade Wood. In fact - again, if it were my call, which obviously it
isn't - I think I'd let Harang make a rehab start or two just to extend Wood's
stay in the bigs. I don't expect near-perfection every night, but the kid
dominated the defending NL champs for eight innings. If that's an indication
that he's ready for the majors...well, you're in a pennant race and you should
be going with your best options. And they do want to limit Leake's innings.

Volquez, Leake, Wood, Cueto...four good, young pitchers, and two of them are
southpaws besides. You gotta feel good right now as a fan about the future of
this club with those guys in the rotation.

Anyway, they get back down to business tonight with B-Yo on the hill against the
Rockies. He's 4-1 with a 2.12 ERA in his last five outings and 1-2 with a 3.89
ERA in six career starts against Colorado.

His opponent is right-hander Jason Hammel, who had a no-decision in his only
previous game against the Reds, allowing two runs on just three hits and a walk
in 7-1/3 innings, striking out eight. His last three outings were quality starts
and he got the win in all three, with two of them coming against the Padres. The
good news for the Reds, I guess, is that he's sporting a 6.11 ERA on the road so
far this year, but that's skewed by a major-league butt whuppin' the Braves laid
on him at Turner Field - giving up seven runs in 1-2/3 innings doesn't exactly
do wonders for a pitcher's ERA!