Last week a friend of mine from Texas left this message on my voicemail:

Josh Hamilton…AL leader in batting average, homeruns, and RBI; the Americal League triple crown contender.

That was the entire message. Of course, my Texas friend was eager to leave such a message on my phone because the Rangers acquired the triple crown contender from my beloved Cincinnati Reds. Little has changed in a week’s time. Hamilton still leads the AL with 17 homeruns. He leads MLB with an unreal 68 RBI, but he has slipped to fourth in hitting with a paltry .327 batting average; fourth best in the Junior circuit (although he does lead the league with 81 hits).

I’d really be upset about Hamilton’s trade to Texas if it were not for Edinson Volquez.

Edinson Volquez was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, along with lefthanded reliever Danny Herrera, for OF Josh Hamilton. While it hurts watching Hamilton rack up more RBI than Adam Dunn and Griffey combined; my pain is lessened by the stellar numbers that Volquez has posted.

He leads MLB in stikeouts (91) and ERA (1.32). He has an 8-2 record, and his second loss came in an emergency relief appearance during the 18 inning marathon versus the San Diego Padres on May 25th. Danny Herrera has also made it to the big leagues, and has pitched well in his sole appearance. He struck out Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell to work the Reds out of a seventh inning bases loaded jam on Tuesday evening.

Volquez earned his eighth win last night against a hot-hitting Phillies team, pitching in their house and against Brett Myer’s best performance of the season. Volquez did not allow a run and surrendered only two hits in seven innings. Chase Utley didn’t get a hit and was struck out twice.

Joey Votto lined two opposite field doubles to drive in both Cincinnati runs. Votto is a rookie first baseman who is developing into a fine player.

The Reds will not compete for the Central Division crown this year, but with their young talent I think they will be challenging for the divisional title and even the pennant next year. In the meantime, this is a fun team to watch. Volquez isn’t the only young statring pitcher that has shown promise. 22 year old Johnny Queto has pitched well and is improving with every start. Homer Bailey, also 22, will make his 2008 MLB debut this afternoon against the Phillies, and he has a bright career ahead of him.

Yes, a part of me hates losing a talent like Josh Hamilton, but at least he is in the AL, and the Reds did receive value. If I had the choice between a pitching ace and a triple crown contender I’d take the ace everytime.

It’s time for me to call someone in Texas…


About Travis

Christ follower. Husband of one woman. Father of three young men. Former 11B. Blessed to pastor the Bible Baptist Church of Mount Vernon, KY.
This entry was posted in Cincinnati Reds, Griffey Junior, Josh Hamilotn, MLB. Bookmark the permalink.

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