5/21/2013 11:13 P.M. ET
Chapman goes to the stretch to end slump
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- When closer Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect ninth inning for his ninth save in Monday's 4-3 Reds win over the Mets, he did something a little unusual. Chapman ditched his usual windup and threw all 11 pitches from the stretch position even with no one on base.
Chapman had eight strikes that included six swings and misses. On a few occasions, he reached 99 mph on the radar gun.
"He was down in the bullpen getting loose and threw from the stretch and felt comfortable that way. So he just stayed with it," Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said on Tuesday.
Chapman was bouncing back from consecutive blown saves and has struggled with command in multiple outings this month. But there was no mandate from Price or the club that Chapman not use his unique windup.
"It matters that he's comfortable. And if he's comfortable solely from the stretch, that's fine," Price said. "But we haven't terminated the windup delivery if he decides to stay in the stretch. That's fine. They both work."
Bruce stays even-keeled through streaks, slumps
NEW YORK -- Reds right fielder Jay Bruce refuses to let his emotions ebb and flow like his streaks and slumps. Bruce is in the midst of one of his serious hot stretches at the plate but avoids even the hint of giddiness.
"It's a long season," Bruce said. "People lose sight of that when you're going good and going bad. It's the same. You have a good week, you're the best player in the league. When you have a bad week, you're the worst. That's not how the game goes, it's a long season. It's something I've always been scrutinized about, which is fine. I've been a streaky player. As you guys well know, that's what I'm working towards not being. We'll see what happens."
Bruce had an 11-game hitting streak snapped on Tuesday against the Mets. During the stretch, he is hitting .375 (18-for-48) with five home runs and 14 RBIs. He was 2-for-4 with the go-ahead homer in the sixth inning of Monday's 4-3 win over the Mets.
Since April 30, Bruce has hit safely in 16 of 18 games and raised his average from .252 to .280. He insists he hasn't changed his approach to hitting. In the seven games before April 30, he hit .154.
"Same exact thing. I haven't changed anything at all," Bruce said. "You just have to wait. You have to be patient. What I've learned is you can't force anything or try and do this or try and do that. It sounds cliché but you have to let it come to you. Just be prepared when the opportunity does present itself. Just play. I'm fortunate to be a guy that plays every day and I get a lot of chances."
Jocketty not strongly looking for right-handed bat
NEW YORK -- The Reds have become a left-handed-heavy roster this season due to injuries. Left fielder Ryan Ludwick is out until at least the All-Star break with a right shoulder injury sustained on Opening Day. And his replacement, Chris Heisey, has been on the disabled list since April 29 with a right hamstring strain. Heisey suffered a setback in the first game of his rehab assignment last week and is still at least a couple of weeks from returning.
Both Ludwick and Heisey are right-handed hitters. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty is not beating the bushes for a right-handed batter on the trade market to fill the void, however.
"We've looked at it," Jocketty said on Tuesday. "There is really nobody out there that would make much of a difference. We're just biding our time to see what happens."
Manager Dusty Baker has been patching together a combination in left field that's usually left-handed -- whether it's Xavier Paul or rookie Donald Lutz. Rookie Derrick Robinson is a speedy switch-hitter but is not known for having power. Most games, the only true right-handed hitter on the bench is one of the catchers -- Ryan Hanigan or Devin Mesoraco -- depending on who starts.
"It's been fine," Jocketty said. "It's not ideal, but Dusty has done a good job of managing it and getting the most out of guys in the right situations."
Davis named Reds' representative for Draft
NEW YORK -- Reds great and front-office member Eric Davis will be representing the club when it makes its first-round selection in next month's First-Year Player Draft.
Commissioner Bud Selig is slated to announce all of the first-round selections. Each of the 30 club representatives, including Davis, will relay the selection to the Commissioner after receiving word via phone from the front office.
Davis, a member of the Reds Hall of Fame, was named the Reds' special assistant to the general manager in November 2008.
The 2013 First-Year Player Draft will take place on June 6-8, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 6, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 73 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. Rounds 3-10 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 7, beginning with a preview show at 12:30 p.m., and Rounds 11-40 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 8, starting at 1 p.m.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.