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Josh Cunningham could return soon for Dayton Flyers

Published: Saturday, February 04, 2017 @ 3:13 PM

Archie Miller yells to his players during a game against Duquesne. David Jablonski/Staff
Archie Miller yells to his players during a game against Duquesne. David Jablonski/Staff

The Dayton Flyers recorded their most lopsided victory of the season, routing Duquesne 90-53 on Saturday at UD Arena. Then Archie Miller gave UD fans even more good news with some optimistic comments about forward Josh Cunningham.

Cunningham, who has been sidelined since the second game of the season with a torn ankle ligament, returned to practice this week and was limited to non-contact drills. It sounds more and more as if he will play again this season. It’s only a question of when.

“He’s got to get reps in practice (Sunday),” Miller said. “He’s got to get reps Monday. I don’t think he’ll play Tuesday (8 p.m. vs. St. Joseph’s at UD Arena). He’s got to get reps on Wednesday. As we head to Rhode Island (7 p.m. Friday), we’ll see where he’s at. Post Rhode Island, we have six left. After Rhode Island, maybe we’ll test him out.”

If and when Cunningham plays, Dayton will have its full roster together for the first time. Kendall Pollard was hurt when Cunningham was on the floor in the first two games.

Dayton coach speaks to media after 90-53 victory on Feb. 4, 2017, at UD Arena.

“I think everybody in this organization wants Josh to be out there,” Miller said. “Unfortunate circumstances early this season took him out. We all felt that pain. We watched him rehab. We watched him go through it. Having him back on the floor right now is a good thing. As the days progress, he’s got to get aggressive with his participation as he can. He’s got to try to mix it up as much as he can. We have to get him to have confidence with bodies running around. That’s the thing with him. Josh wants to play. I think our entire team wants Josh to be back in the mix. We’ve never had him out there with the other guys. We’ve always had a guy down. It’d be nice. As we finish, if he can round into form, it give us another physical body.”

Cunningham was cleared to practice late last week, and Miller said, “He looked pretty good. He needs to mentally and physically get back into rhythm. It’s really hard to take 10 to 12 weeks off and say, ‘Go be Josh.’ Josh is trying to figure it out.”

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How successful was the Dayton Dragons’ first half?

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 3:07 PM

Fans take over during a 7th inning stretch in Peoria????€??™s 5-2 defeat of the Dragons

The Dayton Dragons wrapped up the first half of the Midwest League season with an 8-0 loss to West Michigan on Sunday

Let’s take a closer look at what’s been an up-and-down season so far for the Cincinnati Reds’ Single-A affiliate. 

1. After losing their last four games, the Dragons finished with a record 31-37. 

Dayton finished the first half in sixth place in the Eastern division, 15.5 games behind leader Bowling Green. 

This marks a major departure from last season when the Dragons streaked through the first half and had clinched a wildcard berth when it was over. 

2. Speaking of streaks, those have marked 2018 for Dayton. 

The Dragons opened the season on a three-game losing streak. 

Then they won their next nine only to lose eight in a row. 

After that came a six-game winning streak. 

Things leveled off to a certain extent after that, but there were still losing streaks of seven and eight games along with a five-game winning streak. 

3. Home sweet home? 

The Dragons were a league-worst 9-23 on the road in the first half. 

They posted a 22-14 mark in front of the fans at Fifth Third Field, however, and that might not come as much of a surprise for a roster that is pretty young. 

Speaking of youth... 

4. Jeter has notable name and game. 

Many of the preseason headlines were devoted to Hunter Greene, the 18-year-old pitching phenom with the triple-digit fastball who was the No. 2 pick in last year’s MLB draft

However, the best teenager on the team so far has been Jeter Downs. 

The infielder leads the team in hits (68) and stolen bases (18) while sharing the team lead in doubles (15) with Montrell Marshall.  

RedsMinorLeagues.com notes Downs, who turns 20 on July 27, has already put up some impressive power numbers compared to previous teenage Dragons

5. What about Greene, anyway? 

Hunter Greene made 12 starts in the first half and finished with a 5.53 ERA. That is the best it has been since he gave up seven runs in less than an inning during his third start. 

Green has allowed six runs and seven walks over 23.3 innings in his last five starts. He has struck out 27 while walking seven and allowing 20 hits. 

RELATED: Greene loses pitchers’ duel

He has gradually worked up his pitch count, throwing 86 his last time out, and shown that while he is raw, Reds fans have a lot to be excited about. 

Reds top pick strikes out eight hitters in three innings in first appearance in Dayton

6. Catcher impresses.  

One of Greene’s batterymates, Hendrick Clementina has been the team’s best hitter so far. 

A catcher acquired in the Tony Cingrani trade, Clementina is has a team-best .971 OPS and also leads the club in batting (.316), homers (nine) and RBIs (35). 

He is one of five teams to make the all-star team, joining outfielder Marshall, outfield Stuart Fairchild and pitchers Cory Thompson and John Ghyzel. 

7. Final verdict. 

Was this a successful first half for the Dragons? 

In record, obviously not. 

The Dragons had the worst on-base percentage in the Midwest League and finished 12th in runs scored. They also had the worst team ERA in the league. 

Development is the name of the game at this level, though, and a handful of the guys in Green look like keepers. 

That includes Greene, who appears to be on the right track after a rocky run in late April and early May

Was last season’s postseason appearance a freak occurrence? That remains to be seen, but at least fans at Fifth Third Field were more likely to see a win than a loss. 

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Urban Meyer offers perspective on Ohio State QBs, new NCAA rules

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 4:12 PM

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer spoke about quarterback and a couple of changes to NCAA rules Friday night in Columbus. 

The Buckeyes mentor confirmed in the clearest language yet Dwayne Haskins will be his starting quarterback when preseason camp commences in late summer. 

“Dwayne is the starter and Tate (Martell) is in full competition mode,” Meyer told reporters at the annual Ohio State football job fair. “Matt Baldwin is our three and he’s doing very well now.” 

Haskins, a sophomore from Maryland, became the assumed starter when Joe Burrow transferred to LSU last month

Meyer told the Pro Football Hall of Fame luncheon crowd in Canton in mid-May Haskins would get “the first opportunity to be the starter,” and his latest comments further confirmed that intention. 

RELATED: Urban Meyer talks about Ohio State QBs past, present and (potentially) future

In Columbus, Meyer also said he has maintained contact with Burrow, who graduated in May and is eligible for the Tigers right away. 

“Joe did a lot for us, and we did a lot for Joe, so it was a very amicable relationship,” Meyer said. 

The appearance was also the first for Meyer since the NCAA announced a pair of changes to player eligibility last week. 

Beginning this fall, players will be able to play up to four games without losing the ability to take a redshirt season

“It’s a good rule, and I’m glad they did that,” Meyer said. “It’s good for most importantly the student-athlete.” 

Previously participating in one play meant a year of eligibility was used — unless that player later became injured and certain other specifications were met. 

That is no longer the case. 

“I think it’s just going to be easier (for coaches). Usually you play a guy early and then if they get hurt, you redshirt them,” Meyer said. “Now there is going to be, do you hold onto them until the stretch run when it gets really hard and you need them? Because usually when you get into the end of the season you’re dealing with injuries.” 

Meyer also said the new rule preventing coaches from blocking transfers is good — as long as players still have to sit out a year before being eligible. 

“I’m not a big fan of all the transfers,” Meyer said. “I think that’s an easy way out, but I get it. I’m a big fan graduate transfers. When they fulfill their obligation, go, but I also understand the other part.” 

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Is Joey Votto a Hall of Famer? What the stats say through 1,500 games

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:19 AM

Who is Joey Votto: Ten facts about Reds first baseman

Joey Votto played in his 1,500th career game for the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. He went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in an 8-6 victory at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Before the game, the Reds shared the numbers on how Votto compares to Hall of Fame first basemen from the last 50 years, including Jim Thome, who will be inducted this summer.

» DRAGONS: Dayton ends first half with loss

Here’s how Votto, at age 34, in his 12th season, stacks up against 12 of the greats through the first 1,500 games of their careers. In short, he compares well — especially in on-base percentage and walks, as you might expect.

Batting average: Rod Carew (.335); Frank Thomas (.321); Johnny Mize (.320); Joey Votto (.313); Jeff Bagwell (.305); Orlando Cepeda (.305); Eddie Murray (.299); George Kelly (.297); Jim Thome (.285); Tony Perez (.284); Ernie Banks (.283); Willie McCovey (.282); Harmon Killebrew (.262);

On-base percentage: Thomas (.441); Votto (.428); Bagwell (.418); Thome (.411); Mize (.406); Carew (.392); McCovey (.385); Killebrew (.375); Murray (.375); Cepeda (.355); Perez (.347); Banks (.344); Kelly (.343); 

Slugging percentage: Mize (.580); Thomas (.580); Thome (.566); McCovey (.555); Bagwell (.553); Banks (.536); Votto (.536); Killebrew (.532); Cepeda (.517); Murray (.505); Perez (.484); Kelly (.455); Carew (.450);

Home runs: Killebrew (392); Thome (368); Ernie Banks (353); McCovey (347); Thomas (339); Bagwell (316); Mize (315); Cepeda (279); Murray (275); Votto (263); Perez (246); Kelly (137); Rod Carew (71).

Hits: Rod Carew (1,924); Mize (1,776); Thomas (1,721); Cepeda (1,714); Murray (1,680); Votto (1,662); Bagwell (1,657); Kelly (1,650); Banks (1,618); Perez (1,550); Thome (1,451); McCovey (1,375); Killebrew (1,354); 

Walks: Thomas (1,172); Bagwell (1,012); Votto (1,046); Killebrew (919); McCovey (788); Mize (757); Murray (709); Carew (542); Perez (532); Banks (521); Cepeda (388); Kelly (358); Thome (108).

2018 Cincinnati Reds: 10 things to know(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

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All-Star voting update: Gennett still third among NL second basemen

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 1:47 PM

The Reds Scooter Gennett drives in a run with a double against the Pirates on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
Contributing Writer
The Reds Scooter Gennett drives in a run with a double against the Pirates on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff(Contributing Writer)

Scooter Gennett, of the Cincinnati Reds, remains ranked third among second basemen in voting for the National League All-Star team.

Gennett has received 743,979 votes, the league announced Monday in its second release of the voting results. He trails the Braves’ Ozzie Albies (915,736) and the Cubs’ Javier Baez (767,417). All three have a wide lead over the fourth-ranked second baseman: the Giants’ Joe Panik (194,634).

»RELATED: Gennett, Suarez, Votto among all-star candidates

Joey Votto also remains fifth in voting among first basemen (189,364), well behind the league’s overall leader in votes, the Braves’ Freddie Freeman (1,433,140).

Eugenio Suarez, who ranked fourth last week, remains fourth this week among third basemen with 228,806 votes. He leads NL third basemen in RBIs (52) and ranks second in the league among all players. The Rockies’ Nolan Arenado (1,124,563) has a wide lead among third basemen.

Voting began June 1 and continues until 11:59 p.m. July 5. The All-Star Game will be played July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

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