American League Wild Card

At least I get to cover a postseason game this year even if the Reds aren’t involved. I’m in Kansas City helping with A’s coverage as they play the Royals in the American League Wild Card Game.

A fantastic atmosphere here at Kauffman Stadium for a city that hasn’t had a playoff game in 29 years.

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Assistant GM leaving Reds

Reds assistant general manager Bob Miller will be leaving the club in October when his contract expires.

Miller, who confirmed the move to MLB.com, has purchased a business in Clearwater, Fla. He said he made the decision to leave a couple of months ago.

Former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky brought Miller aboard as director of baseball administration and he was promoted to assistant GM in June of that season. He added vice president to his title in December 2006.

Under current GM Walt Jocketty, Miller assisted in several areas — including arbitration cases, contract negotiations and the intricate details of Major League rules and procedures.

The Reds have not named a successor to Miller.

Thanks, and keep on reading

Obviously this wasn’t a 2014 Reds season that thrilled many of you, or probably any of you, who come to this blog for information, commentary, etc. Regardless, you still frequented this blog often, occasionally or once. And for that, I offer my sincere gratitude.

Each season, whenever it ends, I’m fortunate to have a forum to publicly thank the people who get their Reds news from me — whether it’s on this blog, my Twitter feed or where my main outlet of content resides on MLB.com/Reds.com. I take the responsibility of covering this team seriously and hope that it comes across in my work.

I do expect this to be an interesting off-season for the Reds but can offer you no predictions of exactly what they might do. Clearly, getting more middle-of-the-order offense should be the No. 1 priority and they could use some bench and front-end of the bullpen help.

Whatever the club decides to do — or not do — I will have it covered for you. Please keep stopping by as I continue my efforts to earn your trust and readership.

Once again, thank you all.

Game 162: Pirates at Reds

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More banged up Reds

The Reds are in some ways, literally, limping to the finish with several player injured and either limited or completely unavailable.

“Never have I seen a team with so few options in September as we have right now. It’s something to see,” manager Bryan Price said on Saturday morning.

*Billy Hamilton remains out with a mild concussion. While feeling better, he still has symptoms.

“Right now, it seems somewhat unlikely that he’ll be able to play this weekend,” Price said.

*Devin Mesoraco is back in the lineup. He missed the last two games with a left intercostal (rib) strain.

“He could have hit,” Price said. “He was on deck [Friday] if Barnhart or Cozart would have gotten on. He could have given us an at-bat yesterday. It was really receiving that was more of the challenge. I wanted to give him the one more day to make sure, because I want him today and I want him tomorrow to catch. I want him to catch Johnny [Cueto].”

*Brayan Pena is limited because of an undisclosed injury. When asked, Price would not reveal what Pena was dealing with.

“He’s more of an emergency option right now behind the plate,” Price said. “I’ll tell you after tomorrow’s game. He’s a little banged up. He might have to still end up getting back there. Like a lot of guys, he has some physical maladies here at the end of the year that are making what they do a little more challenging. I have to pick my ways on how to use them.”

*Via the teams’ media relations departments, Price reached out through channels to Cardinals manager Mike Matheny to explain why many of his regulars weren’t playing vs. the Pirates — including closer Aroldis Chapman, who also couldn’t pitch Friday with a stiff shoulder. St. Louis is trying to hold off Pittsburgh for the NL Central title.

“I felt it was fair that they understood that. We’re not going ‘hey we’re taking a look at our younger guys’. There are guys that cannot play or will not play or are limited in their ability,” Price said. “That was just three players. There are others on there that can’t play but I wasn’t going to announce to Major League Baseball who is an active player on our roster and who isn’t. I felt like it was the right thing to do simply because I think we’ve really honored this September. We utilized the Baltimore and Chicago series to play more of the younger guys. In the other series, I feel like we’ve played it as straight-up as we possibly can and tried to put the best team on the field based on the matchups and based on who was healthy enough to play. I did want them to know that we’re not trying to just play out the season and take a look at our younger players. We’re trying to put the best team on the field with what we have to choose from.”

“I value the relationships I have with the other managers. As a first-year manager, I don’t want these guys to think I don’t have any understanding of the teams that are in a playoff chase are going through.”

Matheny appreciated Price’s gesture.

“That was a professional move and I’d hope I’d do the same thing,” Matheny told St. Louis reporters on Friday night. “They have to take care of their guys and do what they have to do.”

As for missing so many players all season, Price was asked if he ever thought about what his team could have done if it had only an average number of injuries.

“I don’t,” Price replied. “I played for Rich Morales, who was my Double-A manager with the Mariners. One time in a meeting, he said to our farm director – Jim Beattie … he said ‘Jim, you deal the cards and I’ll play ‘em.’ What I got out of that was whoever I have, give me whoever you want and I will play that hand. I’m not going to complain about it. It is what it is and we’ll manager whoever I have on my roster. I always admired Rich a great deal and appreciated it. We can all complain about it but it doesn’t make you any better.”

Game 161: Pirates at Reds

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Multi-year contract for Jocketty

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty agreed to an extension to remain to the club.

“Yeah, it’s done. It’s multi-year,” Jocketty said on Friday. “I’ve got a great relationship with Bob [Castellini, the Reds CEO]. In my position, there are two things that are important. You have to have a great relationship with your owner and you have to have a great relationship with your manager. I have that here with both those guys.

“I’m fully committed to trying to get this team back into the postseason because I think we’re good enough to do that with a little bit of help here. I think our ownership certainly deserves it and our fans deserve it.”

First-year Reds manager Bryan Price, who has two years remaining on his contract, received a full endorsement as well after what’s been a disappointing season for Cincinnati. Jocketty voiced his satisfaction with Price’s work.

“Absolutely,” Jocketty said. “I feel bad for him – the things he had to overcome this year, the injuries and bringing in a new staff and new ideas. I thought he did an excellent job. I know the players feel that way.”

When asked about the future of the coaching staff, Jocketty declined comment.

Game 160: Pirates at Reds

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Chapman “a little stiff”

Reds closer Aroldis Chapman notched his 35th save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning during a 5-3 win over the Brewers, but it wasn’t without a bump. As Chapman struck out first batter Rickie Weeks, he appeared uncomfortable. It brought out the trainer and pitching coach Jeff Pico. After a few moments, Chapman was allowed to continue.

“He was a little stiff; he had a hard time getting loose, which isn’t unusual,” manager Bryan Price said. “I think if you wanted to go through the clubhouse right now and ask anybody if they feel real good when they go out there, if they were honest, they’d probably say, ‘No, not real good.’ But I think we’re right there; we’re right there towards the finish line. And I think we’re just trying to survive and make it all the way. And you’ve noticed, there’s guys that haven’t pitched in a week; there’s a reason for that, it’s not just personal choice.”

Chapman threw 12 pitches, nine for strikes. Only one of them was 100 mph.

Among those who haven’t been used lately — Manny Parra last pitched on Sept. 17 and Logan Ondrusek’s last appearance was Sept. 14.

Game 159: Brewers at Reds

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