CHICAGO -- The Reds wasted little time in signing first-round Draft pick Phillip Ervin.
Ervin, an outfielder out of Samford University, was picked 27th overall Thursday in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft. According to a source, he received the exact pick value of $1,812,500. The Reds have a bonus pool sum of just more than $6 million to play with to sign all players chosen in the first 10 rounds.
Ervin is the first outfielder Cincinnati has drafted in the first round since Drew Stubbs in 2006. The 20-year-old recently completed his junior year at Samford, where he was an All-Southern Conference selection for the second straight season. He hit .337 with 11 homers, 40 RBIs, 58 runs scored and 21 stolen bases in 23 attempts.
Ervin was a preseason All-American and the Southern Conference Preseason Player of the Year.
"He's a very complete player," Reds senior director of scouting Chris Buckley said. "We've been following Phillip since last summer up to Cape Cod League. He's what we call a five-tool player, has a chance to be a complete player and another guy who plays in the middle of the field."
Ervin is Samford's first player to be drafted in the first round of the Draft, and the highest Draft pick in the school's history in any sport. After just three seasons for the Bulldogs, Ervin ranks in the school's top 10 in hits (230), hitting (.344), runs scored (157) and doubles (47).
Reds and Cubs put Cueto-Garza incident in past
CHICAGO -- Both the Cubs and Reds would like to put any bad blood to rest as they start a four-game series this week at Wrigley Field.
The last time the teams met -- May 26 in Cincinnati -- Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto threw a pitch over David DeJesus' head with a four-run lead in the sixth inning. Cueto received a warning from home-plate umpire Bob Davidson. Cubs pitcher Matt Garza took exception to the play, and the Cubs went on to win.
"Cueto should learn, you don't go after guys' heads," Garza said after the incident. "Don't wake a sleeping dog. I think that's kind of immature on his part and totally uncalled for. He's lucky that retaliation isn't in our vocabulary."
Both teams' managers downplayed the incident on Monday. Asked if he expected any repercussions, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said no.
"There's nothing to that whole situation," Sveum said.
Garza will pitch in the second game of the series on Tuesday. Cueto, on the disabled list, will not face the Cubs this time around.
Reds manager Dusty Baker, who said the following day that Garza should address the situation personally with Cueto and that the two could settle it with a fight, said the incident is "over."
"I think Johnny got fined for it," Baker said. "So, all we can do is play ball. And whoever wants to do something, it's their prerogative if they want to. … I don't even know Garza. Never spoke to him in my life."
• Reds manager Dusty Baker, who managed the Cubs from 2003-06, said the last time he was in town, he was able to catch a Chicago Blackhawks game. He's hoping to go again this week, as the Blackhawks open the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday night against the Boston Bruins.
"I've never been to a Stanley Cup [game]," Baker said. "And my son's wearing his Blackhawks jersey around."
• As expected, left-handed rookie Tony Cingrani will start on Tuesday against the Cubs in place of Johnny Cueto. It'll be Cingrani's seventh start of the season, and his first since May 17.
"He's working on throwing everything, making a conscious effort," Baker said. "He's thrown the ball well. The kid's going to throw the ball well. It's just if he can get the other pitches over. The last time in here facing the Cubs, [Alfonso Soriano] roughed him up a little bit. I'm sure he knows that. We'll worry about that tomorrow."
• Baker said he still thinks about the incident late last season when he was hospitalized in Chicago with an irregular heartbeat and, later, a mini-stroke. He was away form the club 12 days, and missed 11 games.
"You've got to get to bed early and live a boring life, but it's still a life," Baker said. "I'm good as I can be. I'm actually real good."