Gomes, Volquez and deadline

As he often does, OF Jonny Gomes likes to ask reporters if he’s in the lineup. Today, I was the one that told him he wasn’t. The Dodgers were starting right-hander Chad Billingsley and Gomes is the right-handed hitting part of Dusty Baker’s platoon.

Reds lineup:

Dickerson 9
Taveras 8
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Nix 7
Encarnacion 5
Hairston 6
Hanigan 2
Arroyo 1

One look at the stats shows this, and makes me wonder why Gomes isn’t in there more:

Gomes: .333 vs. LHP/.271 vs. RHP
Nix: .217 vs. LHP/.249 vs. RHP
Dickerson:  .257 vs. LHP/.271 vs. RHP

Gomes came into Wednesday batting .305 overall with seven homers and 20 RBIs.

“To tell you the truth about the numbers I have right now, if you would have told me a month ago with the role I have, I don’t think I would have been able to promise the numbers,” Gomes said.

To his credit, Gomes has never pouted or made a ruckus about not playing. He’s been the good soldier and remains a positive dude in the clubhouse.

“I want to be in there every day but I can’t control that right now,” Gomes said. “What I can control are my at-bats. You have to earn an everyday spot. In reality, I didn’t even make the team out of spring. To be where I am right now, I’m pretty pleased.”

But of course, no Major Leaguer aspires to a part-time role — accepted or not.

“I had no idea about this right-handed-left-handed thing until last year when [the Rays] brought in [lefty hitters] Cliff Floyd and Eric Hinske for a platoon,” Gomes said. “My numbers kind of slid. But I made it to the big leagues in two-and-a-half years coming up the minor leagues. I was third in rookie of the year in 2005. In 2006, I hit 11 home runs the first month. You don’t do those things just facing lefties. I have to roll with it right now. It’d be easier if we were winning more ballgames. In Tampa, it was easier to get in there to do your role because we were winning ballgames.”

In other news: Edinson Volquez threw 45 pitches in the bullpen Wednesday and had no problems. It was all fastballs and Volquez said it was with “72 percent intensity.” Pitching coach Dick Pole said Volquez threw at “68 percent” on Monday…so there you go.

Volquez has a 65-pitch bullpen session scheduled on Friday in Chicago where he plans to throw fastballs and changeups. If all goes well, he could head out on a Minor League rehab assignment.

SS Alex Gonzalez is 1-for-9 in three games entering the night’s action with Triple-A Louisville. But his rehab assignment is slated to end and he will meet the Reds in Chicago on Thursday and be activated on Friday.

Baker heard about trades today involving Julio Lugo from Boston to St. Louis and Adam LaRoche going from Pittsburgh to Boston. He was asked if GM Walt Jocketty had brought anything up to him about possible Reds deals in the works.

“No, we’re not close on anything. We’re looking,” Baker said.

Are the Reds still hoping to make additions, rather than subtractions?

“I hope so. That’s where my mind is at,” Baker said.

Jocketty said the Reds’ rough run lately hasn’t altered his mood from buying to selling.

“Nothing’s changed,’ Jocketty said. We’re still trying to improve the club. We’re not looking for any short term fixes. I think if we do anything, it would probably be closer to the deadline because that’s where these things seem to develop. I’m going to try and do something that’s going to improve the club for the long haul.”

The Reds are still seeking a bat to improve the 14th ranked offense out of the 16-team NL ,but clearly aren’t willing to go the rent-a-player route.

“We need someone to help pick up the pace and pick up the production,” Jocketty said. 

It’s Manny Ramirez Bobblehead night and Baker said he’d likely take one with him when he leaves tonight. But he’d rather get out of Chavez Ravine with a win. It’s only been since 2005 when the Reds could say they were on the left-hand column in Los Angeles.

“The slogan today is one-for-L.A. We don’t want to be 0-for-L.A.” Baker said.

As for Ramirez, Baker is a fan — and not just because of his hitting ability.

“I like Manny. My kid likes Manny,” Baker said. “He has been very kind to my son [10-year-old Darren]. Manny sent over his over his training aid, which has helped my son a lot. I asked him about it and he sent over one in spring training. I thought it was pretty cool. It was a ring of balls with different colors on it. he practices concentration. It’s one of the best things I’ve seen.”

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3 Comments

It’s great to see that the brass hasn’t given up on the team. That confidence from up top really helps a player. I always felt better about myself when my coaches had confidence in me.
That said… I wonder what will happen. If we seriously want to contend we need a bat. If we don’t get a bat I don’t think we’ll be able to do anything. *shrug*

What the…. how can your comment be there already when it says 9:51???
Ohhhhhh! You must be an a different timezone or something. Is that it?

I got my Manny Bobblehead and I’ll be selling it first thing. This whole article stinks of injustice. If Baker spent as much time playing with his own team as he does with Manny maybe our hitters could hit the ball. Gomes not playing is plain crazy. That fact alone should cost Baker his job. Worst Reds manager in my lifetime. If the Reds were to pull off 20 wins in a row I’d still be screaming for Baker to be fired.

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