July 2013

Soto called up

One roster move to report from today’s Reds workout.

LHP Tony Cingrani was optioned to the AZL Reds and 1B/3B Neftali Soto was recalled from Triple-A Louisville. Cingrani was sent out because of the lengthy break between outings. But he was at the workout at Great American Ball Park.

Cingrani will return to the Reds and pitch one of the games of the July 23 doubleheader at San Francisco.

Under the rules, the Reds don’t have to wait the usual 10 days to get Cingrani back because he can be added as the roster’s 26th man for a doubleheader.

The Reds have not decided/named a starter for the other game of that doubleheader.

UPDATE with other news:

*Dusty Baker was asked how he felt about the Reds having their July 4 rainout with the Giants rescheduled as part of a doubleheader in San Francisco.

“I don’t care. They didn’t ask me,” Baker said. “Everybody asks how I feel about it. We went round and round and they had negoitations between us and the Giants if we were going to be the home team or split the gate. All kinds of stuff was involved in it. I’m involved in the on-the-field stuff. Some of that has to do with baseball business. Some of that has to do with the players association, consecutive days … a bunch of stuff in there.

“I just hope we don’t get any more rainouts.”

*OF Ryan Ludwick was slated to hit on the field in batting practice today. Ludwick hasn’t played since Opening Day and had right shoulder surgery. The exact target date for his return is unknown but the expectation has been some time in August.

*All-Stars Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Aroldis Chapman were excused from Thursday’s workout at GABP.

Rainout exchange details

Here is a press release from the Reds issued on Tuesday:

The July 4th game between the Giants and Reds at Great American Ball Park, which was postponed due to rain, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, July 23 starting at 7:05 p.m. ET/4:05 p.m. PT at AT&T Park.

This game will be part of a traditional doubleheader, as the second game is scheduled to begin at 10:15 p.m. ET/7:15 p.m. PT at the earliest or approximately 30 minutes following the first contest. The Reds will be the home team and wear their home uniforms in the first game, with the Giants being the away team and wearing their road gray uniforms.

Fans with tickets to the originally scheduled July 4 game may exchange those tickets at face value for any Monday through Thursday 2013 regular-season home game, excluding August 6 and subject to availability. Rain checks may be exchanged at Great American Ball Park ticket windows in advance of game day only.

If fans ordered tickets online at reds.com or over the phone through Ticketmaster, they can contact Ticketmaster customer service at 1-800-745-3000 to exchange tickets.

Tickets for the originally scheduled July 4 game may not be exchanged for the makeup game on July 23 in San Francisco.

***According to the Elias Sports Bureau, statistically, the first game of the doubleheader is a ROAD game for the Reds, even though they will bat last, as the home team does. That means that the Reds will finish the 2013 regular season with 80 home games and 82 road games.

All-Star lineups

Here are the lineups for Tuesday’s All-Star game at Citi Field

National League lineup

Phillips 4
Beltran 9
Votto 3
Wright 5
Gonzalez 7
Molina 2
Tulowitzki 6
Cuddyer DH
Harper 8

Harvey 1

American League lineup

Trout 7
Cano 4
Cabrera 5
Davis 3
Bautista 9
Ortiz DH
Jones 8
Mauer 2
Hardy 6

Scherzer 1

Galarraga traded

Minor League trade today…

The Rockies announced Monday that that they acquired RHP Armando Galarraga for RHP Parker Frazier.

Galarraga, who signed a Minor League deal with the Reds in the winter and was in camp as a non-roster invite, will join Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Here is the rest of the Rockies’ press release:

Galarraga, 31, has spent the entire season with Triple-A Louisville where he has gone 6-6 with a 2.98 ERA (84.2 ip, 28 er) over 16 starts. He has appeared in 100 career Major League games, 91 were starts, with Texas, Detroit, Arizona and Houston going 26-34 with a 4.78 ERA (542.0 ip, 288 er). In 2008 with Detroit, he went 13-7 with a 3.73 ERA (178.2 ip, 74 er) over 30 games/28 starts and finished fourth in the American League’s Rookie of the Year voting.

Frazier, 24, has spent the year with Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Colorado Springs. In 16 games/one start with Tulsa, he went 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA (35.0 ip, 10 er). On the year, he’s 1-2 with a 4.93 ERA (49.1 ip, 27 er) in 25 games/four starts between the two stops.

Rotation; doubleheader at SF

The Reds released their rotation order coming out of the All-Star break. It is as follows:

Fri vs Pit: RHP Mike Leake (8-4, 2.69) vs LHP Francisco Liriano (9-3, 2.00) 7:10 p.m. ET
Sat vs Pit: RHP Mat Latos (8-3, 3.53) vs RHP A.J. Burnett (4-6, 3.06) 4:05 p.m. ET
Sun vs Pit: RHP Homer Bailey (5-8, 3.82) vs LHP Jeff Locke (8-2, 2.15) 1:10 p.m. ET
Mon at SF: RHP Bronson Arroyo (8-7, 3.42) vs TBA 10:15 p.m. ET
Tue at SF: LHP Tony Cingrani (3-1, 3.23) vs TBA 7:05 p.m. ET
Wed at SF: RHP Mike Leake vs TBA 10:15 p.m. ET

Why is there TBA vs. TBA on Tuesday? It appears that there will be a 7:05 p.m. ET doubleheader played at San Francisco to make up the July 4 rainout the Reds and Giants had at GABP. For one of those games, the Reds will get to be the “home” team.

There are currently no details available yet to provide on ticketing or refund information from the rainout. When I know something, I will pass it on.

Game 92: at ATL

One more lineup for the road before I really split for a few days…

Reds lineup vs. Braves

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

*ROSTER MOVE: Catcher Ryan Hanigan was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left wrist. The contract of catcher Corky Miller was selected from Triple-A Louisville to replace Hanigan on the 25-man roster.

My All-Star break starts early

I was not scheduled to go on the trip to Atlanta so my All-Star break begins a little early. The Reds will be facing a first-place Braves club that is the toughest in the NL at home (29-13 entering today). Splitting the next four games seem rather paramount with the way things are going.

The Reds definitely haven’t played their best baseball yet this season. Last year, they broke off a on 22-3 run from July 6-Aug. 4 to take off even without Joey Votto. With the myriad injuries the club has now, and the Pirates and Cardinals playing tough, it will be much harder to do something like that this year. But even though negativity reigns among many in social media, being 51-40 and within striking distance (4 1/2 games up for the 2nd wild card) isn’t a bad spot to be in. It could certainly be much worse.

And yes, it could certainly be much better. Clutch hitting has been missing as there are many places in the lineup that have come up short lately. Many players are banged up and will need the break to catch their breath.

Even without Marshall and Broxton, the bullpen has really stabilized. I don’t think adding a reliever is the answer. But even with Ryan Ludwick potentially coming back some time next month, getting a right-handed bat should be on the radar in the next two weeks before July 31. The who is the tougher part. The second wild card has kept more teams in the hunt and less willing to become sellers.

Be on the lookout for lots of Reds All-Star coverage from our reporters in New York (I won’t be there). I will update the blog and MLB.com accordingly if any news is made next week. Also watch for a second-half preview which roll out on the web site the day or two after the Midsummer Classic.

Game 91: at MIL


Catchers banged up

The fact that Ryan Hanigan is starting behind the plate tonight has less to do with his readiness and more to do with his sore left wrist isn’t as bad as Devin Mesoraco’s back spasms.

“It’s kind of the worst of the two,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Tuesday.

There is a chance one of the two catchers could go on the disabled list.

“I don’t know,” Baker said. We’re just kind of waiting to see if one of them is better than the other in the next couple of days. It kind of puts us in a bad situation. There are no answers.”

Mesoraco didn’t think he would have to go on the DL.

“If they need me, I think I can play,” Mesoraco said. “It’s not an injury. It’s something I need a couple of days to get over it and it will be OK. I can’t go out there, really mess it up and be out for a while. It’s something you have to deal with if it comes to it.”

The Reds currently have no other catchers on their 40-man roster. Corky Miller and Nevin Ashley are at Triple-A Louisville. But file one more familiar name in your memory bank — Ramon Hernandez. He was released today from the Blue Jays — where had been at their Triple-A Buffalo affiliate. Hernandez, who was with the Reds from 2009-11, batted .208 in 17 big league games this season for the Dodgers. He was released June 22 and signed by Toronto on June 29. He batted .105 in five games for Buffalo.

Jack Hannahan, who is starting at third base tonight, is the third or emergency catcher for the Reds.

“That’s why I had him warming up the pitcher yesterday,” Baker said. “He might be a second catcher.”

Game 90: at MIL

Reds lineup vs. Brewers

Choo 8
Cozart 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Heisey 7
Hannahan 5
Hanigan 2
Cingrani 1

*The Reds enter the day 50-39 through 89 games and four games out of first place. Through 89 games in 2012, they were 50-39….and in first place by one game.

*In case you missed the Monday night notebook update to my story on Ryan Hanigan and Devin Mesoraco both hurting, Dusty Baker said that 3B Jack Hannahan is the emergency third catcher for the Reds.

*Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Jeff Francoeur has signed a Minor League deal with the Giants. Personally, I didn’t think Francoeur made sense for the Reds — at least on the field. The team could definitely use an infusion of veteran leadership — the kind that is missed from Ryan Ludwick as he continues to rehab from shoulder surgery. Ludwick’s bat and personality would be quite welcome, but the bat won’t be available until some time in August.

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