▪ Part of the Cincinnati Reds’ dreadful start has been the product of the inability to avoid a pitched baseball. Scott Schebler remains out after suffering an elbow injury when hit by a pitch. Eugenio Suarez is on the DL after breaking his thumb when hit by a pitch. That happened the day after Suarez had driven in five runs in a 7-4 win over Pittsburgh.
Even with Suarez’s injury, I’m not for the Reds rushing top prospect Nick Senzel to the majors just yet. Before Suarez’s injury, Senzel was learning to play second base at Louisville. With Suarez’s injury, Senzel was moved back to third for the Bats..
The Reds could call Senzel up this weekend without losing a year of contract control over the former Tennessee star. Stay tuned.
▪ Mel Kiper’s latest mock NFL Draft for ESPN has three Louisville players in his top 35 — cornerback Jaire Alexander at 18; quarterback Lamar Jackson at 22 and offensive tackle Geron Christian at 35. There are no UK player in Kiper’s group.
▪ On the flip side, Jonathan Givony’s mock NBA Draft for ESPN has UK’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at No. 12, Kevin Knox at No. 15 and Hamidou Diallo at No. 36. Givony has Louisville’s Ray Spalding at No. 53.
▪ Anthony Rizzo has some advice if you’re traveling to Cincinnati: Don’t sleep on the hotel beds. The Cubs’ first baseman blamed that for the back injury which has put him on the disabled list.
▪ Nationals slugger Bryce Harper was caught on video by a teammate using two hair dryers. If I had Harper’s hair, and swing, I’d use as many hair dryers as I want.
▪ You had to feel sorry for the powers-that-be at Keeneland last weekend. The Blue Grass Stakes is arguably its biggest day of the year. It was also the day it snowed. In April. The 2017 attendance: 32,610. The 2018 attendance: 14,629.
▪ Only one 3-year-old has run a Beyer speed figure of 100 or better this year. That’s Santa Anita Derby winner Justify. And he’s done it three times, running a 101, a 104 and a 107 in the Santa Anita win last Saturday.
▪ This Saturday’s Arkansas Derby boasts another strong field with 8-5 favorite Magnum Moon, second choice Solomini (2-1) and Quip (9-2). A Magnum Moon win would mean that two of the Kentucky Derby favorites would be horses that did not race as 2-year-olds — Justify and Magnum Moon.
▪ Apparently new Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt is setting records for the amount of words used to answer a reporter’s question without ever mentioning a specific player’s name.
▪ Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl got a vote of confidence from his school president and his new athletic director, but in the past couple of weeks the Tigers have lost Mustapha Heron to the draft, learned that Austin Wiley and Bryce Brown will test the waters and that Desean Murray will depart as either a grad transfer or go pro.
▪ FYI: Tennessee Tech of the OVC holds the longest current winning streak in college baseball at 16.
▪ From 2013-14 through 2015-16, the Philadelphia 76ers won 19, 18 and 10 games. This year, the Sixers were 51-30 heading into Wednesday night’s NBA regular-season finale.
In baseball, from 2011 through 2013 the Houston Astros won 56, 55 and 51 games. Last year, the Astros went 101-61 and won the World Series.
It pays to tank.
▪ My favorite recent quote belongs to the mother of Kansas guard Lagerald Vick, who announced last week that he will hire an agent and enter the NBA Draft. Asked about her son’s decision by the Kansas City Star, Lauressa Vick said, “We don’t bust a move without consulting God. He’s all we have.”