July 2011

No Reds trades at Deadline

The deadline came and went Sunday afternoon just after the Reds completed a three-game sweep of the Giants with a 9-0 win.

There will be a more detailed story on MLB.com/Reds.com soon….but Reds GM Walt Jocketty didn’t have any deals close to fruition on Sunday.

“We thought we were maybe yesterday. In the end, it probably was not as close as we thought it was,” Jocketty said. “We tried working on a number of big deals and some of the guys that were traded, we were in on most of them. Some of the requests for us, we felt were ridiculous and a lot more than we were willing to pay.”

The big issue was that team were asking for some coveted Reds prospects.

“Not just one or two,” Jocketty said. “It just didn’t make good sense for us in the short term or the long term. So we pulled back. We still believe we have enough talent here to win the division. I think we have to play better and I think this weekend was a great indication of what this team is capable of doing.”

Jocketty believed that talks with Houston fizzled over the Astros’ reluctance to deal within their division.

“I think that was a big part of it,” he said. “I think that’s why they asked for a lot more from us than what they got.”

Deadline day

As if you didn’t know…reminder that the non-waivers Trade Deadline is at 4 p.m. ET today. Stay tuned. When I know something, I will let you know ASAP.

Reds lineup vs. Giants

Stubbs 8
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Heisey 7
Hernandez 2
Frazier 5
Cueto 1

**UPDATE**  The Braves acquired center fielder Michael Bourn from the Astros Sunday morning in exchange for Jordan Schafer and three Minor League pitchers –  left-hander Brett Oberholtzer and right-handers Paul Clemens and Juan Abreu. As I reported last night, the Reds cooled on Bourn because of a high asking price in return.

As of 11 am, the Reds have not made a deal but it doesn’t mean the club has been idle. Most of the baseball ops department has been on site throughout the weekend with GM Walt Jocketty.

“So far, we have to do with what we’ve got,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “I’ll be glad when this is over. It’s the same every year. It’s an uncomfortable feeling for some guys who might have a job, the fact they might lose a job and guys that have to relocate their families in the middle of a season. That’s always unpleasant.”

Bourn unlikely for Reds

It appears less than likely that the Reds will make a trade with the Astros to get outfielder and leadoff hitter Michael Bourn.

According to a baseball source, Houston’s asking price was too high. However it is not known which players or prospects from the Reds the club was seeking.

The Reds and general manager Walt Jocketty remain buyers on the market ahead of Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waivers Trade Deadline. They are also looking for players under club control beyond this season and Bourn was signed with the Astros through 2012.

Saturday

Reds lineup vs. Giants

Stubbs 8
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Cairo 5
Bruce 9
Heisey 7
Hanigan 2
Leake 1

In light of his bullpen being spent and coming off of Friday’s 13-inning win over the Giants, Reds manager Dusty Baker did not hide what he’s hoping for tonight out of Mike Leake.

“A complete game would be wonderful,” Baker said.

It’s unlikely that Aroldis Chapman or Jose Arredondo are available tonight.

“That was a gutsy performance from those guys,” Baker said. “I really don’t know if we have any of those guys tonight. Chapman, he wasn’t even supposed to pitch. Arredondo wasn’t supposed to pitch. But they were fresher than Ondrusek and Sam LeCure.”

Closer Francisco Cordero is available to pitch tonight if needed.

“I had Coco slated to go two innings yesterday, which I try not to do too often,” Baker said. “He said he feels pretty good today. He came out of it pretty good, considering (he threw) two innings. What 30 pitches? That’s one inning sometimes.”

Hernandez staying put?

There will be a more detailed story coming … but Reds GM Walt Jocketty is not changing his Trade Deadline strategy in light of the rough week his club has had (swept four straight by the Mets to go 50-55).

“We are not selling,” Jocketty said.

One of the players prominent in rumors of a sell has been catcher Ramon Hernandez, especially with top catching prospect Devin Mesoraco on the cusp at Triple-A Louisville. However, Jocketty said he has not listened to offers for Hernandez.

“I haven’t no, and I don’t know if I would,” Jocketty said. “I still think he’s a guy that can help us with this year. I think his value is greater to us now than if we were to move him. You’re not going to get the value in return for him that he gives our club. That’s why we would hold on to him.”

Friday, two days until Deadline

Reds lineup vs. Giants

Stubbs 8
Lewis 7
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Cairo 5
Hernandez 2
Janish 6
Willis 1

*RHP Sam LeCure leads the NL with a 0.61 ERA as a reliever (min 29 1/3 innings)

*LHP Matt Maloney and RHP Jared Burton are both scheduled to make rehab assignment appearances tonight for Triple-A Louisville.

*Vs. Reds LHP Dontrelle Willis — Freddy Sanchez is 12-for-20 (.600) but is on the DL. Pat Burrell is 13-for-49 with three homers, and is also on the DL. And in another break — Mark DeRosa is 5-for-12…and guess what? On the DL.

*Vs. Giants RHP Ryan Vogelsong — Brandon Phillips is 5-for-7.

‘Disheartening’ sweep at home

There wasn’t a lot of talking in quiet the Reds clubhouse after a 10-9 defeat to the Mets Thursday afternoon. But veteran Miguel Cairo wanted to make sure he was heard by all as he spoke with reporters. Cairo didn’t yell but he spoke clearly and made his points.

“We’ve got to start playing the way we know how to play. That’s the bottom line. We stink right now as a team,” Cairo said. “We don’t do the little things to win games. It’s not like everything is going wrong. You’ve got to make it happen. And you’ve got to go out there and make it happen. You’re not going on the field and ‘oh, everything is going to go wrong.’ That’s the not the mentality we got to have. The attitude has to be tomorrow is another day and we’re going to expect to win. Right now, I don’t think we have that attitude.”

Welcome to the lowest point of the Reds season. They are 50-55, five games under .500 (a new season high)

It was the Mets first-ever four-game sweep in the city of Cincinnati — whether it be Crosley Field, Riverfront Stadium or Great American Ball Park. New York scored 30 runs in the series.

And this was a team that had traded one of its best player before Wednesday’s game.

The Reds hadn’t been swept four games at home by anybody since the Astros Aug. 7-10, 2008 by the Astros.

“It’s disheartening to have a four-game sweep in your house,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

More Notes:

*Logan Ondrusek’s ninth inning hurt badly as a single and two walks loaded the bases. His wild pitch to Willie Harris made it a 10-8 game and proved to be the difference in the game after Joey Votto homered in the bottom on the ninth.

*Speaking of Votto, he is 6-for-13 in three games since Monday’s break with a homer in each one.

*Miguel Cairo hit the second PH homer of his career, a three-run shot in the seventh. His last PH homer was 2001. It played a big role in a nice comeback attempt as the Reds scored four in the fourth and one in the seventh.

*Homer Bailey: 4+ ip, 12 H, 9 ER (career high), 2 BB, 2 K.

*The Reds eight doubles in the game were a season high and their most since…8/26/01 at Montreal.

*Aroldis Chapman’s eighth inning walk of Jose Reyes snapped his streak of 17 batters in a row retired.

*The last time the Reds were five games under .500 was the end of the 2009 season when they were six back.

Quotes:

“We’ve got to change the attitude. I don’t like to lose. No one likes to lose. We’ve got to go out there and expect to win. Right now, we’re not playing like it. We’ve got to change the attitude. Tomorrow, we’ve got San Francisco and they’re going to come over here and try to kick our butt. And we’ve got to react. We’ve got to do something about it. We’ve got to take our tail out of our butt. That’s the way we’ve got to do it. Everyone has to put more effort than what we’ve been doing.” — Miguel Cairo

“They were hot this series. They weren’t missing anything. You notice the averages on the board; they came in one thing and left 10, 12 points higher. That’s hard to do this time of year.” — Dusty Baker

“There was the bases loaded double, there were a couple walks in there and there were some more hits, so I don’t think we can sit back and look at a bunt single and say that was the difference. It was more of a matter of a pitcher not making pitches; that was me. Bottom line: we just didn’t get the job done. Offense came up with plenty of runs; we definitely should have won that game with as many runs as we put up. A starter doesn’t go out there and do his job, that’s what’s going to happen.” — Homer Bailey

Reds try to avoid sweep

Reds lineup vs. Mets

Stubbs 8
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Heisey 7
Bruce 9
Hernandez 2
Frazier 5
Bailey 1

*The Reds are trying to avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of the Mets for the first time since July 18-21, 1997 at Shea Stadium. The Mets have never swept a four-game series in Cincinnati.

*The last time the Reds were handed a four-game sweep by anybody was Sept. 6-10 of last season Colorado. (Remember the steal of home for a loss?)

 

Arroyo: ‘Yeah, it’s totally frustrating’

 The Reds have scored two runs or less in five of their seven losses since the All-Star break. Wednesday fit the desciption of lackluster in every manner during an 8-2 loss to the Mets.

A team that was first in runs during the first half, came into tonight 11th in runs in the second half. The Reds are 5-7 since the break and at 50-54, a season-high four games under .500.

 “Obviously the team hasn’t had a long winning streak in such a long time,” starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo said. “Yeah, it’s totally frustrating – not just for myself but for the whole ballclub. There’s nothing else to do but come in tomorrow and have a good attitude about playing the game. The further and further it goes in games like this and series like this, it definitely becomes a little harder to be optimistic about the mood of the team.”

Mets starter Mike Pelfrey, who came in with a 5-9 record and 4.73 ERA stuffed the Reds for a complete game. Cincinnati only had three runners in scoring position all night.

“Not a whole bunch to say. They beat us up pretty good,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Notes:

*Baker wonders if there is a health concern with Arroyo after another poor outing. Arroyo finished with five runs (four earned) and seven hits allowed over six innings with three walks and three strikeouts. He’s allowed at least four runs in each of his last six starts, including his most recent victory on June 25 at Baltimore. He is 7-9 with a 5.58 ERA.

“We have to discuss it and find out if indeed there is something wrong,” Baker said. “We don’t know at this point. Everybody is a little banged up. It just depends how banged up somebody is. Hopefully we’ll get a truthful answer from Bronson.”

Arroyo claimed that his health was currently fine. His 30 homers allowed eclipsed last season’s total of 29 and left him one shy of his career high.

“I felt pretty good. I’m just not getting it done,” Arroyo said. “I feel better now than I did two months ago. Pitching performances — not to say I’ve been throwing the ball well — you win a ballgame 5-4 and it looks OK. You lose the ballgame 5-0 and it looks terrible. The mediocre outings look even worse, especially tonight.”

*I didn’t address this from the pregame blog, but Baker certainly noticed the Cardinals big trade that sent Colby Rasmus to Toronto and brought in starter Edwin Jackson, right-handed reliever Octavio Dotel, left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and outfielder Corey Patterson.

“There’s some level of frustration in here because the the rich teams get richer at this time of year,” Baker said. “They usually do something this time of year. They usually did something when Walt [Jocketty] was there.”

*After getting the night out of the lineup Monday, Joey Votto is 4-for-8 with two home runs. He hit homer No. 15 to left field in the fourth inning against Pelfrey.

Quotes:

“I don’t know if it becomes more urgent because you can’t win two games in one day. All you can do is play each one out. You’re not capable of doing more than you can. You go out there, prepare and play the game hard…I don’t know if it’s urgent or any kind of panicking. It definitely becomes hard to be optimistic about the thing as a whole.” — Bronson Arroyo

“He threw the ball well tonight. He threw strikes, got ahead. We just couldn’t muster much other than Joey and a couple of other hits.” — Dusty Baker on Mike Pelfrey

Heisey to get most time in LF

Fans have been clamoring for Yonder Alonso to get promoted but the clamoring has been louder and for longer that Chris Heisey should play regularly.

My man Tyler Jett will have a notebook item on this on the main Reds site…it was Heisey who started in left field on Wednesday vs. the Mets. Heisey will likely get a majority of the starts going forward as manager Dusty Baker still has some question marks about Alonso defensively in left field.

“I’ve heard he’s OK. I’ve heard he needs some work, and we’ll see. Everybody can’t play left field. There was a point where everyone was hollering for Heisey in left. Now Yonder’s here and everybody wants Yonder to play, and what are we going to do with Heisey? Yonder is more of a first baseman than he is a left fielder; speed is the question, and range. We’ll see how it works out.

“We did need some left-handed help off the bench, and we know he can hit. But right now, probably most of the time it’s going to go to Heisey.”

Heisey came in batting .250 with 12 homers and 35 RBIs in 89 games. He’s fourth on the club in homers with only 196 at-bats. Here’s something interesting: he  batted .221 with a .299 OBP as a starter and .321 with a .344 OBP as a sub. Heisey has definitely earned the chance to show what he can do however and now is his time.

“Any time you get to start the majority of games, you have to feel bless, especially kind of taking the road I have. But I’m not expecting to be out there every day. We’ve got some other guys. Freddy [Lewis] is going to play. I’m sure Yonder is going to play some. It’s good to know they have the confidence in me to run me out there.”

“Up until the last couple of years, I had been an everyday player coming up. It is still something I’m used to. I’m not going to change my approach. I will go out there and give it my best every day whenever I’m in there and keep doing what I’ve been doing.”

**UPDATE — Something I should have articulated but didn’t is this: The Reds, namely GM Walt Jocketty, said Alonso’s bat was wanted here to boost the offense. If that’s the case, it would seem odd to make Alonso a role player…especially since he’s a prospect that needs to play. Even if his defense isn’t good…isn’t his bat the main reason he’s up here?

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