June 2013

Game 78: at OAK

Reds lineup vs. A’s

Robinson 7
Choo 8
Votto 3
Frazier 5
Bruce 9
Heisey DH
Cozart 6
Hanigan 2
Izturis 4

Arroyo 1

*As of now, a corresponding move has not been announced… but Chris Heisey has been activated from the disabled list. UPDATE: Donald Lutz was optioned to Double-A Pensacola.

*Reds DHs this season (Jack Hannahan and Devin Mesoraco) are a combined 1-for-8 this season.

*The Reds are 4-8 during the regular season games vs. the Athletics, including 3-0 in 2010 at OAK.

Phillips on paternity leave

The transaction and roster pages of Reds.com (which I have no control over) showed that 2B Brandon Phillips was been placed on the paternity list on Monday. It’s still early in the day Tuesday out here in the Bay Area and the club has yet to make any official announcement of a roster move. Nor, has a corresponding move been revealed.

Click here for the transaction page.

I also suspect a not surprising second roster move is coming to activate Chris Heisey, who the team wanted back from the disabled list for the series vs. Oakland. Nothing out on that yet either. I will keep you posted, of course.

**UPDATE: Reds sent an email saying “Brandon Phillips is away from the team on a private personal matter.” — no announcement of a roster move as of yet.

**UPDATE No. 2: Phillips is expected to rejoin the Reds in Texas on Friday. INF Henry Rodriguez called up from Triple-A Louisville to replace Phillips.

MLB created the paternity leave list in 2011. A player placed on this list can miss at least one game and up to three games.

Votto frustrated on defense

During Saturday’s 4-3 Reds loss, the final two-run rally in the Arizona ninth began when first batter Paul Goldschmidt hit a one-hopped ball off of 1B Joey Votto’s glove and went into short right field. The play was ruled a single but could have easily been an error. Votto could not say whether he should have been given an error there.

“It didn’t make me happy that I didn’t catch the ball,” Votto said Sunday morning.

I will have a little more on this later in the notebook, but Votto was pretty aware that he hasn’t been as good on defense this season as he has in the past. Votto, a 2011 NL Gold Glove winner, spends a lot of time working at his defense.

“Similar to slumps, sometimes they happen in bunches,” Votto said. “Probably about five of them — I clanked a pop-up, a couple in Pittsburgh where there was a bare-hand play; a couple of bad hops to my side. All of them are errors and add up. I don’t really know what the hell is going on. It’s not for a lack of work.”

Votto has eight errors this season with his last coming on June 20. His career high is 11 errors, set in his rookie season of 2008.

“It’s definitely been frustrating for me, and unexpected,” Votto said. “It’s important for me not to be too concerned about it because I am making plays on either side of me that I hadn’t made in the past.”

Game 77: at ARI

Reds lineup vs. Diamondbacks

Choo 8
Cozart 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Frazier 5
Paul 7
Mesoraco 2
Latos 1

Masset throwing in bullpen

I will cover a little more in my Reds notebook later, but a familiar face was in the clubhouse and also throwing in the visitor’s bullpen Saturday afternoon. It was long-injured reliever Nick Masset, who said his throwing session at Chase Field went well. Masset hasn’t pitched in the regular season since 2011 because of shoulder issues. He had shoulder surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his shoulder in September.

Since Spring Training, Masset has remained in Arizona to work out in the complex in Goodyear. He’s had a few setbacks along the way, including one recently.

“I had a setback about a week and a half ago. I started feeling some pain again,” Masset said. “But we straightened some things out. I took five days off or so and strengthened my arm back up. I’ve been playing catch.

“Right now I’m cutting it loose pretty good. I’m fairly close to where I’m probably 100 percent full speed. But it goes from feeling completely feeling completely normal to being my old self to what’s going on here and why all of a sudden is it acting up?”

Masset and the Reds are still aiming at his returning sometime this season.

“My hopes are to get back as soon as possible,” Masset said. “We have to take the right steps in the right direction to myself in the best situation to recover. As long as I’m feeling good, I will keep throwing. I can’t really put a date on it. I just need to make sure I am healthy. Once I am healthy, I can pitch and throw as much as possible.”

Game 76: at ARI

Reds lineup vs D-backs

Robinson 7
Choo 8
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Frazier 5
Mesoraco 2
Cozart 6
Leake 1

Game 75: at ARI

Reds lineup vs. D-backs:

Robinson 7
Choo 8
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Frazier 5
Cozart 6
Hanigan 2
Cueto 1

Tough road trip ahead

After the Reds wrap up the series with the Pirates, they begin a road trip to Arizona, Oakland and Texas.

“It’s a big road trip. We have to really push these next few days – today and the next three – before the off day [Monday],” Reds manager Dusty Baker said Thursday morning. “Everybody we’re playing is either in first place or second place – Arizona, Oakland and Texas.”

The D-Backs lead the NL West while the A’s have a two-game lead entering today over the Rangers.

It was pointed out that the Reds have been criticized for their lack of success this season vs. teams with winning records. Cincinnati entered today 33-12 against sub. 500 clubs and 11-17 against over .500 clubs.

“So? We’re killing everybody else. Isn’t it the same?” Baker said. “Plus, how many games have we played these guys [the Pirates], 11 times? We’ve played St. Louis nine times.

“People are always looking for something negative. I deal on the positive. You can find the negative in anything. What if we were losing to the bad teams and beating the good teams? I’d really be negative. I think we’re doing pretty good to not be at full force. We’re not doing great but our guys are doing better than a lot of teams.”

Game 74: vs. PIT

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Scoring change

Well, now Bronson Arroyo has an earned run on his ledger from Wednesday night. There has been a scoring change. See this item from the Reds:

**With Russell Martin batting in the third inning last night, he reached base on what originally was ruled an error on Bronson Arroyo…that has been changed to a single…credit Martin with a hit (2) and RBI (1) and Arroyo with a hit (7) and earned run (1).**

Arroyo would certainly rather take the error than the earned run, so I’m sure he won’t be very pleased.

My take: It was an error. Arroyo is a Gold Glove winning pitcher and almost always makes plays like that… even if it was a tough one like the Martin comebacker.

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