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Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ 10:20 AM
— The Cincinnati Bengals started the legal tampering period of NFL free agency by potentially filling a big hole on their roster with a trade.
Cordy Glenn was a second-round pick out of Georgia six years ago and had a strong career for the Buffalo Bills until last year, when injuries reduced the left tackle’s effectiveness and eventually landed him on Injured Reserve.
RELATED: Details of the trade
Does that make him the perfect Bengals acquisition or what?
Yet again Mike Brown’s team buys low on a talented player, though in this case it is one who has proven he knows how to play in the league rather than an injured rookie (Cedric Ogbuehi).
This looks like a really strong move as it gives them a proven commodity on the offensive line without forfeiting the right to draft another offensive lineman as early as the 21st pick.
They still have a question at center and right tackle, but this should give them some flexibility if there is someone at another position they have rated higher than whoever is the top offensive lineman on the board.
Iowa center James Daniels is viewed by at least some draft analysts as a better value in the second half of the first round than at 12, where the Bengals were formerly picking.
At this point I also wonder if it might make sense to re-sign Russell Bodine then do another TOTALLY BENGALS THING and draft Ohio State’s Billy Price if he falls a round or two because of his pec injury.
This provides the team a chance to see how Bodine reacts to new offensive line coach Frank Pollack and time for Price to heal from surgery.
Price could be hard-pressed to jump right in at center if he misses most of the offseason program, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be ready at some point in 2018.
Price can also play guard once he gets healthy if the center is holding early in the campaign.
Bodine and Price are sort of insurance policies for each other in this scenario.
If you want to really set yourself up for disappointment, you could envision the Bengals drafting Lamar Jackson at No. 21. It’s at least more likely they do it there than at 12, especially since again the line looks to be less of a dumpster fire with the acquisition of Glenn…
OK, so moving on from one positional problem area for a Cincinnati team to another: The Reds got a bad start from Homer Bailey and good news on Brandon Finnegan on Monday.
Bailey got knocked around a little by the Angels, including a leadoff home run, to run his spring training ERA to 9.0. He’s allowed 12 runs in 12 innings over four appearances.
On the bright side: Amir Garrett followed him with another strong performance. The big lefty allowed two hits but not runs in two innings.
He has allowed two runs in nine innings this spring and struck out 11 while walking two.
Hal McCoy has written the fifth spot in the rotation that was open when spring began is Sal Romano’s to lose.
Perhaps Anthony DeSclafani’s injury opens the door for Garrett to be in there, too?
As for Finnegan, MLB.com reports he received treatment for a strained bicep that caused him to leave his start early Sunday and feels good.
“They just want to be cautious, but I feel fine. It's easy to work on a knot. It's not hard to do, and they already did it. In my eyes, I'm good to go. I don't think there are any red flags anywhere, they just want to be cautious and get me ready for my next start.”
Bailey said he would rather miss on the plate than off it at this point in the spring and hopes to be more effective as he gets sharper with more work.
We shall see…
Lastly, it’s a pretty big week for Scott Nagy.
Not only has he done precisely what he was hired to do by leading Wright State back to the NCAA tournament, he can also brag about his old team being in the Big Dance, too.
“I’m happy for them,” Nagy said. “A lot of those kids we recruited, and we want them to have good experiences. If they can walk away from South Dakota State and say they had a great experience, that’s good.”
Meanwhile, neither Archie Miller’s new team or his old one made the NCAA tournament.
That’s probably more coincidence than anything since he left a Dayton program that was graduating a great senior class and joined an Indiana program in disarray, but it is surprising nonetheless given how mediocre the Big Ten was and the skill at “coaching ‘em up” he displayed with the Flyers.
In my view, both the Flyers and the Hoosiers had the talent to do more this year, but sometimes it takes coaches time to get their systems in place and everyone buying in.
Early recruiting returns are positive for both Miller and Anthony Grant.Follow @marcushartman
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 2:50 PM
It looks like the answers to the Reds’ starting pitching was going to be discovered by attrition. Injuries to Anthony DeSclafani and Brandon Finnegan complicated the matter. News in camp Tuesday had the same effect, as another candidate will be sidelined at least a few days.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say it’d be nice to have a starting rotation in tact of guys we anticipated being there,” Bryan Price said. “But we’ve been in this position before. We’ll deal with it and hit the ground running with what we have. What we do have is good though. I like the young guys we have in the rotation.”
• Tyler Mahle was closer to winning a coveted starting job in the rotation, when he took the mound against the San Diego Padres in a 3-3 10-inning tie.
News that Michael Lorenzen would be out of action several days with a grade one strain to his arm hadn’t stopped echoing around training camp when he threw his first pitch against the Padres. Mahle has in all probability earned the job outright, anyway.
The rookie pitched five scoreless innings of two-hit baseball in his last time out. Coming into the start against San Diego, Mahle has appeared in five games prior to the Padres, pitching 14.2 innings. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits and two walks, in those games.
Mahle had a rough first inning. He walked Manuel Margot on a close 3-2 pitch. He appeared to pick off Margot but was called for a balk. It ignited a two-run inning.
“He just missed a borderline 3-2 pitch, then hit a batter with a 1-2 slider,” Bryan Price said. “He got better with his fastball command. He was missing with the slider in the first inning off the corner. He was bringing it back over the plate. He got better with it and that was great. You’ve got to be pushed a little bit and he responded with four beautiful innings.”
It wasn’t so much the results but the progress Mahle made with his changeup and slider, two pitches the Reds’ asked him to improve.
Mahle pitched four scoreless innings after the first. He allowed one hit over the last four frames. He struck out six.
• The bench is another area of the team that Reds’ leadership would like to improve. Cliff Pennington, who is a viable option at shortstop, is one of the multi-positional players that are competing for jobs as spare parts.
Brandon Dixon, Alex Blandino, Rosell Herrera and Phil Gosselin are the others. Ben Revere and Phillip Ervin remain as possible fifth outfielders. Sebastian Elizalde makes a case as a good left-handed bat off the bench. All have played good defense and all but Pennington and Revere have found their hitting stroke.
“What really speaks better compared to where we’ve been in the past, is we’re having some real challenges to find our best bench,” Price said. “There are some really good players here. All of them can help us. That’s going to mean that we should feel comfortable with the bench during the regular season and feel like we have some depth at Triple A.”
Gosselin is an intriguing choice.
Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 5:58 PM
— Ahmad Wagner, a three-sport star at Wayne High School, is making a change.
Iowa announced Tuesday afternoon Wagner is leaving the Hawkeyes basketball program after three seasons to pursue a college football career.
“A person of strong faith, I am following God’s plan and I am eager for this next chapter,” Wagner said in a news release. “I leave the Iowa men’s basketball team with new friendships and incredible memories that I will forever treasure. I want to thank (coach Fran) McCaffery, staff, and teammates for helping me grow both as a basketball player and person.”
The Yellow Spring native was listed at 6-foot-7, 235 pounds on the Iowa roster this past season, when he played in 30 games and started seven.
Thankful for all of the wonderful experiences I had here! The relationships I built will last a lifetime pic.twitter.com/JPRp8sSjFP— Ahmad Wagner (@Ahmad_Wagner) March 20, 2018
He averaged 1.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per game, all career lows.
“My plan now is to train and get my body into football shape so I can be ready for when I decide where I will finish my athletic and academic goals,” Wagner said. “Thank you Hawkeye nation for your support and welcoming me when I first stepped onto campus.”
He caught 58 passes for 1,048 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior at Wayne, including five catches for 55 yards and a score in the Warriors’ state title game loss to Lakewood St. Edward.
That same school year he was the leading scorer on the basketball team, averaging 11.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game as the Warriors went 26-4 and won the Division I state championship.
FLASHBACK: Wagner commits to Iowa
He was one of the top 300 football prospects in the country as a senior when 247Sports rated him as a four-star receiver prospect.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 1:59 PM
Springfield High School teammates RaHeim Moss and Leonard Taylor have been named to the All-Ohio Division I boys high school basketball teams.
The Division I and II teams were announced on Tuesday by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association. The Division III and IV teams were released on Monday.
Moss, a 6-foot-3 junior guard, was named to the second team. He led the Wildcats (21-5) in scoring at 16.2 points. Also a football standout at linebacker, he remains verbally uncommitted but continues to receive offers in both sports. The University of Cincinnati and Kentucky are among the programs to offer him in football.
Taylor, a 6-5 senior and three-year starter, averaged 12.9 points and led the Wildcats in rebounding (8.9). He signed to play football at UC.
Springfield handed Wayne its only regular-season loss. Both teams were knocked out of the playoffs in a D-I regional by Cincinnati Moeller.
Wayne senior Darius Quisenberry and Myles Belyeu, a senior at Trotwood-Madison, were first-team picks.
A 6-1 guard, Quisenberry averaged a team-high 18.5 points for Wayne (25-2). He played his final two seasons at Wayne after transferring from Tecumseh and has signed with Youngstown State.
Belyeu, a 6-4 guard, leads the Rams in scoring (25.2). A three-year starter, he has scored more than 1,500 career points. He will announce which team he’s signing with after this weekend’s D-II state final four in which the Rams will participate in for the second straight season.
Another junior, Samari Curtis of Xenia, was a D-I third-team pick. He was among the state’s leading scorers (30.4) and is verbally committed to Xavier.
Landing on the D-II third team were Trotwood junior Amari Davis (21.2 points) and Meadowdale senior Jabali Leonard (23.0).
The players of the year were Dave Goodwin of Upper Arlington (D-I) and Pete Nance of Richfield Revere (D-II). Coaches of the year were Hilliard Bradley’s Brett Norris (D-I) and Chad Burt of Wauseon (D-II).
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 10:13 AM
— With college basketball season in Ohio over, it’s time to gear up for baseball!
So naturally the story of yesterday was an injury to a Cincinnati Reds pitcher.
Before we get too far down the, “Here we go again” road, though, it sounds like Michael Lorenzen’s strained shoulder muscle isn’t too serious from a long-term perspective.
This being the Reds’ training staff, that doesn’t mean it won’t linger all year and eventually ruin his season, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
If he isn’t quite ready to start the season, they will probably be not much worse off since the bullpen is one place they spent some money in the offseason and I never really thought he was going to make the rotation.
There was also good news on the Reds pitching injury front (RPIF, for short): Nine days after leaving a game with a forearm spasm, Brandon Finnegan returned to the mound and apparently had no issues.
He said he was going to be fine almost as soon as it happened, but you never know.
If he is ready to go for Opening Day, the Reds actually have the enviable problem of more qualified starters than they have rotation spots.
That’s even with Anthony DeSclafani injured again and Robert Stephenson struggling most of the spring.
At the beginning of the week, the estimable Hal McCoy had four players in place for the rotation: Homer Bailey, Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle and Sal Romano with Stephenson, Cody Reed, Lorenzen and Amir Garrett the four left in contention.
Then Lorenzen got hurt and Finnegan was able to pitch again, so perhaps now Finnegan ends up getting the fifth spot, which they will probably skip a couple of times to start the season anyway.
RELATED: Mahle strong again
I know there have been some calls for the Reds to sign a veteran starting pitcher, but I really don’t understand those at all given that all of the young guys in the running for rotation spots are real prospects with some major-league experience.
Their floors are lower, of course, but their ceilings are higher than anyone out there on the market (who would also cost a lot more).
At some point we have to see if these guys can do it, and any money that’s available now would look good if spent on more bullpen help or an extra bat if they are actually in a pennant push this summer.
After this season, it would seem they should have a good grasp on who can make it and who can’t. Then it would make more sense to invest in another veteran pitcher, even an innings-eater, especially if the lineup continues to develop into the strength it looked like at times last year…
We’ll have plenty of time to talk Reds between now and October.
I suspect we’ll also have a lot of college basketball talk.
I referenced that yesterday, and David Jablonski took a closer look at the Dayton Flyers’ offseason, too.
The recruiting never stops for Dayton coaches, and this offseason could be an especially busy one. Expect them to be active in recruiting transfers. The Dayton basketball Instagram account shared a photo on Monday of Kevin Dillard, Jordan Sibert, Charles Cooke and Josh Cunningham — four transfers who have led Dayton in scoring the last seven years — and it looked like a message to potential transfers who might consider the Flyers..
The first season of the Anthony Grant era included a lot of frustrating nights, but the Flyers have the makings of a pretty strong starting five next year even before we see what they get from true freshman Dwayne Cohill and redshirt freshman Obadiah Toppin.
That is, of course, assuming everyone in the projected starting lineup returns…
SPORTS TODAY: How changes in CBK could benefit @DaytonMBB and @OhioStateHoops; season ends for OSU women, @Bengals add by subtracting and @Reds slip in some evening news https://t.co/X3lbtYU7nS pic.twitter.com/iCzuYBE2PK— daytonsports (@daytonsports) March 20, 2018
Coach Shauna Green is excited for the future of her Dayton women’s basketball program, too.
She’s still looking for her first NCAA tournament win, but the first two regular seasons of her tenure could hardly have gone better.
It’s never easy to replace a senior point guard like Jenna Burdette, but the Flyers add six new players to the mix next year, including three freshmen, two transfers and another player who missed this season with an ACL injury.
Early in her tenure, Green has proven two things: She knows how to get the best out of the players she has, and she knows how to sell the Dayton program — a program that is now well beyond being simply the product of one great coach or one big-time recruit or class.
As Burdette walks out the door, it’s worth remembering she was among the top prospects in Ohio as a senior, and four years ago she joined a team that already had a McDonald’s All-American and another four-star prospect.
That means this is not a team that has punched above its weight nor a scrappy bunch of over-achievers.
Those are fun stories, but you know what’s better? Having more talent than the other team most nights in the Atlantic 10…
And lastly as I continue to recap stuff from the annual blur that is the first weekend of the NCAA tournament: Wright State has a lot to feel good about moving forward, too.
They return three good freshmen in 6-foot-9 Loudon Love, the Horizon League Freshman of the Year, Jaylon Hall, the team’s fourth leading scorer, and Everett Winchester, who was one Raider who played with some confidence against the Vols and finished with 11 points.
Also returning are a trio of upper classmen in solid point guard in Cole Gentry, a defensive specialist in Mark Hughes and 6-foot-11 Parker Ernsthausen.
“The expectations for our whole team should change in terms of how we prepare for next year and what they think,” Nagy said. “We primarily lose one guy that has played for us and we’re adding six good players. So our depth is going to change a lot. It’s going to be very competitive.”
Add to that a four-man recruiting class that includes Moeller’s Jeremiah Davenport and it’s easy to think the Raiders won’t have to wait another decade to dance again in the NCAA tournament.Follow @marcushartman