March 2011

Night game

It’s a different sort of deal having a night game at Spring Training. Your routine is altered and after being up early and at the complex by 7:45 am most mornings, you don’t know what to with yourself. I could only “sleep in” until 8:15 am…but I was grateful for those few extra minutes.

Pitcher Sam LeCure is already at the complex and was one of the few around early this afternoon. He ran out of stuff to do and just brought his lunch over.

Reds vs. Dodgers, 9:05 p.m. ET. WLW has radio and it can be heard on MLB.com

Lineup

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9  Gomes 7
Gomes 7 Dorn 9
Rentria DH
Hanigan 2
Janish 6

Wood 1

**UPDATE: Bruce isn’t feeling well today and was scratched.

Also scheduled to pitch are Cordero, Chapman, Maloney and LeCure.

Asking Dusty Baker if this was close to the way his Opening Day lineup might look (before Bruce was scratched), he only gave some indications but no confirmations.

“It’s my night after no playing day lineup. Tomorrow’s lineup is the day after night to rest my night lineup,” Baker said. This lineup has most of my big boys in there. I want them to be under the lights because we only have one more under the lights until we start the season. Then you’re under the lights 80 percent of the time. Night baseball is definitely a larger adjustment than day baseball.”

Baker was also asked if felt like he needed a left-hander in his rotation to mix it up. It’s something he hasn’t been concerned about in the past. Now he has Wood possibly in the mix.

“I haven’t been concerned because I haven’t had any,” Baker said. “We weren’t going to go out and buy one so we had to raise one. That’s the key word, possibly. If I say yes, you eliminate somebody and that’s not right – yet.”

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Volquez visa approved

Edinson Volquez got some good news. His work visa application has been approved. Volquez will have to leave camp on Sunday and return to the Dominican Republic. He has an appointment at the U.S. consulate there on Monday morning. He will be back in camp on Tuesday. His first spring start could come as soon as Wednesday but the schedule isn’t out yet.

Volquez will miss his second spring start Friday vs. the Mariners. Chad Reineke is making the start in his place. Volquez is still slated to be the Opening Day starter on March 31.

“I’m going to be ready,” Volquez said. “I’ve been facing hitters down there. I think it will be OK. When I get back, I will be ready to pitch in a real game.”

Volquez threw 50 pitches of live BP yesterday and is going to throw in the bullpen on Saturday.

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Long balls and walks

There was a lot to like and not like out of Wednesday’s 7-6 Reds win.

The positive:

Homer Bailey — looked very sharp in two scoreless innings. A leadoff bunt single by Juan Pierre in the first inning was the only blemish. Bailey was very pleased with his outing.

“I got to work my slidestep in the first inning and the second inning I worked out of the stretch,” Bailey said.

Daniel Ray Herrera — one scoreless inning, one walk. He also broke Alexi Ramirez’s bat on a groundout to first base.

Jared Burton — he looked good over his two-inning, one-hit relief outing with four strikeouts.

Offense — A five-run fifth inning started after a two-out error that made all the runs unearned. Jeremy Hermida smoked a long homer that sailed over the right field party patio.

Leading off the eighth inning, Devin Mesoraco topped Hermida with a homer to left field — it sailed well over the fence, over the grassy knoll and landed on the sidewalk concourse. It was absolutely tattooed and it was the game winner that snapped a 6-6 tie.

“Mesoraco hit one a mile and a half and Hermida hit one a mile,” manager Dusty Baker said.

The negative:

Carlos Fisher —  1 ip, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 BB in the sixth. Walks have been an issue in the past for Fisher. He started off the sixth with back-to-back free passes and both of them scored.

Jose Arredondo — 2/3 ip, 1 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K. His first three batters of the seventh were as followed: BB, BB, HBP. After two strikeouts came a bases-loaded two-run single and another walk.

Daryl Thompson — walked in one of Arredondo’s runs to tie the game at 6-6 when he entered in the seventh. Thompson pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed three hits after that.

“Some of the guys are trying too hard,” Baker said. “A little bit of overthrowing. We just have to calm them down, relax them and get them to be themselves. Fish was probably overthrowing more. Thompson a little bit. Arredondo was kind of expected. He hasn’t pitched in more than a year. He’s going to have some ups and downs. We’ll keep running him out there. He’s a little high right now. But when a guy has been out that long, you have to expect some ups and downs.”

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Everywhere around the world…

Wednesday’s lineup vs. White Sox

Stubbs DH
Heisey 8
Lewis 7
Francisco 5
Hermida 9
Hernandez 2
Cozart 6
Frazier 3
Valaika 4

Bailey 1

*Ramon Hernandez is back in camp after being away for two days. Hernandez went to Ft. Lauderdale to take his U.S. citizenship exam. He said he passed without issue. All that stands between him and being an American is the swearing-in ceremony. Hernandez is a native of Venezuela.

“I already live here,” Hernandez said Wednesday. “My wife is a citizen. My kids are citizens. I’m the only one left.”

*Dusty Baker remains firmly in the corner of pitcher Homer Bailey, who will start later today. Here is a small sample of Baker’s feelings on Bailey:

“There were some great pitchers I’ve seen that started out a whole lot worse than Homer,” Baker said. “He’s got a chance to be an ace, I think.”

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Split-squad lineups

 

Reds lineup vs. Angels in Tempe (TV game on MLB Network)

Sappelt 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Lewis 7
Francisco 5
Heisey DH
Hanigan 2
Janish 6

Cueto 1

I will be at the Angels game today. Dusty Baker will be on the trip and managing. OF Juan Duran is among those coming over from the Minor League camp. I will be interested in seeing him play.

Reds lineup vs. A’s in Phoenix

Stubbs 8
Renteria 6
Gomes 7
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Alonso 3
Cairo DH
Valaika 4
Miller 2

Leake 1

Chris Speier will manage against Oakland and pitching coach Bryan Price will also be there.

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