Games 22-25: Reds at ATL

I am off from the first leg of the 11-day, 10-game road trip. Will pick it up Tuesday from Pittsburgh.

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130 Comments

Maybe Price will give himself a game or two of rest . That should increase the Reds’ chances of winning quite a bit .

Cincinnati Reds 10-11 – Leake (0-1 , 3.90 ERA)
Atlanta Braves 10-11 – Miller (3-0 , 2.05 ERA)

Despite not going deep into games, Shelby Miller has been effective enough to remain undefeated.

The right-hander looks to win his fourth straight start while trying to help the Atlanta Braves get back on track Thursday night against the visiting Cincinnati Reds.

Miller (3-0, 2.05 ERA) hasn’t lasted past the sixth inning in any of his four starts but also has not yielded more than two runs or five hits in a game. Over his last 11 regular-season starts, the former St. Louis Cardinal is 5-0 with a 2.07 ERA.

He gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Howard and two other hits in six innings of a 5-2 win at Philadelphia on Saturday.

“He gives us a chance to win every time he goes out there,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told MLB’s official website.

Miller felt he had enough to stay in the contest but understood with the game close that Gonzalez needed to pinch-hit for him late.

“Do I want to go longer? Of course, every pitcher would say that. But at the same time, we’re trying to win a game,” Miller said.

Miller did not complete more than six innings in five starts against the Reds before yielding three hits in seven innings of a 5-0 win Sept. 8 to improve to 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA versus Cincinnati.

The Braves (10-11) can use another strong outing like that from Miller after two straight frustrating defeats to Washington. One night after blowing an eight-run lead to lose 13-12, Atlanta failed to hold a 3-1 advantage during Wednesday’s 13-4 defeat.

It’s the first time the Braves, losers in four of five at home, have allowed at least 10 runs in consecutive contests since a three-game stretch in July 2008.

Cincinnati (10-11), however, totaled five runs in three games while being swept at Turner Field last season.

The Reds got all their runs on solo homers and failed to complete a sweep of Milwaukee with Wednesday’s 8-3 loss.

Joey Votto, who served as a pinch-hitter in that contest, hit .386 with six homers and 14 RBIs in the first 15 games but is 2 for 20 with one home run and nine strikeouts over the last six. His only hit in eight at-bats against Miller left the park.

Teammate Brandon Phillips had two hits in the series finale, and is batting .353 with a home run against Phillips.

Cincinnati’s Mike Leake (0-1, 3.90) has allowed six home runs while going 3-2 with a 2.43 ERA in six starts against the Braves, but the five he’s yielded this season have come over his the last three outings. The right-hander gave up three runs on two homers but two other hits and struck out nine in seven innings of Friday’s 7-3, 11-inning loss to the Chicago Cubs.

While Atlanta’s Andrelton Simmons is 5 for 10 versus Miller, Freddie Freeman is 1 for 13 with a home run against him. Freeman, however, is 10 for 17 with four doubles in the last four contests.

Teammate A.J. Pierzynski is 1 for 8 against Leake, but is batting .422 while hitting safely in all 12 games he’s played this season.

Cozart…batting order:
2nd….(16ABs) 188/.235/.375/.610
8th….(50 ABs) 340/.370/.580/.950

That is a very telling stat !

Last 7 games: .167/.192/.292. Price is continuing to do what he did last year with batting order with the same results. Very sad.

Yeah, he better not be in that 2 hole today.

Bet he will .

Good call Jim, I would never have thought Price would do this (again) today.

Man! – And a certain hall-of-famer just threw Price a softball – basically asking “Isn’t dealing with the media a grind?” Oh it’s soooo horrible what Price has to put up with!! (still justifying his hissy fit) Should’ve just gonna ahead and hit him with “Why did you mess with the line-up again!” No comparison Votto behind Hamilton vs. Cozart.

Does Mark Sheldon ever work more than a day or two each week? It seems he’s always taking off, and saying “see ya next week.” LOL 🙂

I think Price told him to take a few games off so he would remain fresh. LOL.

LOL…good one!

I would bat the following sticks in this order:
Hamilton (S)
Votto (L)
Frazier (R)
Bruce (L)
Byrd (R)
Pena (S)
Phillips (R)
Cozart (R)
Speedy disruption and contact at the top, meat n’ potatoes in the middle,
re-set the table at the bottom. 2-4 lefties for balance and speed
at the bottom. Can’t help but notice that the B-boys are coming
around and recently, the B-balls are leaving the ball park.

Wouldn’t hurt to see Frazier get it kicked in gear again…
2 for last 12; too many RBI opps left on base. Seems he has
a case of the ‘pop-ups’ recently.

Amazing what 3 games will do to the standings…Instead of being 4 1/2 G back, we would be in 2nd, 1 1/2 G back. But, instead we have a record of 10-11, playing .476 ball. And, we have RS of 84, while giving up 94…a RD of -10. It’s not too late if we can stop giving away games; the guys on top won’t allow for such silliness.

4/30/15 lineup: WTF are you doing Price. Cozart has already proven he’s not a #2 hitter you moron!

Hamilton
Cozart
Votto
Frazier
Bruce
Phillips
Byrd
Barnhart
Leake

Blahhhhh…… Price wake up and pay attention. Why is the line up such an issue? Are we as fans stupid or management? I expect nothing from Cozart each year offensively. If he provides any offense he is still the 7 or 8 hitter, but just nice to get it from that spot. Thats it….. Votto protected Hamilton and Hamilton helped Votto out. They have been a mess ever sense Price changed this. Price wake up…

Last 7 games Pena is slashing .333/.500/.583 and he is out of lineup for 2nd staight game. What are the Reds not telling us?

Pena tries. He plays as hard as anyone between the lines. He’s a gamer and he’s
hitting the ball extremely well this season; .310/.413/.381/.793. He’s also big, bulky and slow…so what, he tries and succeeds for a big guy…and if we didn’t have him last year when Votto went down, we’d be in worse shape last year. His attitude is always infectious and he calls a great game. He was and is a brilliant sign for the Reds.

Pena needed a break. Barnhart is a nice fill in. If Meso is done, you’re going to see a 50/50 split between those two in my opinion.

Pena had a day off…we have only played 21 G; he has played in only 13 of them and yesterday he had the day off. Play him, he’s hitting hot and he is the best available catcher we have.

Price has got to start thinking about W’s….forget about thinking about L’s…
Pena….310/.412/.381/.793
Barnhart….222/300/.556/.856
Barnhart is a great, junior, backup, and at 24 his life in the bigs is ahead of him,
but to throw him into the lion’s den (Miller, 3-0, 2.05 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) is ludicrous.
Lastly, against a senior SP like Miller, we need every advantage and Barnhart being a R-bat isn’t an advantage; give the veteran L-bat, Pena, the catch today.
This is merely another poor choice by Price.

Agree. “Another” is the definitive word.

My mistake…the site I check is incorrect; he’s LH. And, the guy likes the pitch UP…
One yesterday around the chest, today around the waist…even Leake likes it today.

If you think it’s too much for a manager to comprehend…Price is ultra
intelligent, very intelligent…and he has a great deal of help…
59 Don Long Hitting Coach
61 Lee Tinsley Assistant Hitting Coach
56 Jeff Pico Pitching Coach
22 Billy Hatcher First Base Coach
35 Jim Riggleman Third Base Coach
49 Jay Bell Bench Coach
88 Freddie Benavides Infield Coach
57 Mack Jenkins Bullpen Coach
87 Dustin Hughes Bullpen Catcher
72 Mike Stefanski Catching Coach
Jeff Schugel Special Assistant
Kevin Towers Special Assistant
Terry Reynolds Director of Professional Scouting
John Morris Special Assistant to the General Manager
Chris Speier Special Assistant to the General Manager
……………
I erased all the scouts that are listed; the reality is…there are a number
of coaches at Prices’ discretion…how he uses them is another story.

Two strike hit by Votto…choking up on the bat by 3-4″…the guy should be on the cover of the “how to” for kids…amazing guy, amazing hitter and amazing player overall.

OK…what team has the most powerful IF…which IF hit the most HRs with 18 so far this season; the Dodgers are 2nd with 17? Answer in 10 minutes…

Our Reds with 18!

Our best reliever in the 8th…our SP, Mike Leake…

You know he will fetch a lot in return along with Cueto. It’s going to be sad to see all these pitchers the Reds finally develop only to trade them away

Nice game tonight.

Bite your tongue…we can’t let em all go…

Another trivia…which three teams lead the NL in HR’s…
#1. w/32
#2. w/31
#3. w/23…San Diego

#1…LA Dodgers
#2…Reds

One last one…
What pitcher pitched 1/3rd of inning in the last 11 days? BTW…he was
and is completely healthy…

Mr. Cingrani…

Reds devising plans for Mesoraco, Bailey
Catcher unable to get behind plate; right-hander on DL with ligament strain
By Michael Hunt / Special to MLB.com
ATLANTA — Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco missed his 17th straight start Thursday night because of a left-hip impingement.

“It’s status quo,” Reds manager Bryan Price said before the Reds opened a four-game series against the Braves at Turner Field. “He’s feeling a little better, but not enough to try it out just yet. He’s still getting treatment. It’s coming along slowly.”
The Reds say it might be more than a week before Mesoraco is able to catch. He is 0-for-2, with two walks and a strikeout, as a pinch-hitter since his injury on April 11.
Tucker Barnhart started at catcher Thursday night against the Braves.
Price said the team is moving closer to deciding what to do with right-handed starter Homer Bailey, who had surgery in September to repair a torn flexor mass tendon near his right elbow.
Bailey’s rehab was moving along until he went on the 15-day disabled list Monday with an elbow ligament strain.
“We’re probably going to know in the next one-to-two days what our plans are with Homer,” Price said. “You spend a lot of time when you make a diagnosis, fact-finding and making sure everything you see is as it appears. That’s been the time consumer, making sure it is what we think it is and finding the best way to treat it.”
Michael Hunt is a contr

Great job by Leake. Again Votto gets key hit. Overall a great win. I was one who wasn’t a Barnhart fan from last year because he couldn’t hit. Something has appeared to change with him and maybe he will be a solid addition to this team. I still remain concerned with the inability to produce runs without the the aid of the HR. I believe the Reds are 3 for the last 30 with RISP, but a win is a win.

Agreed. That was our achilles last season as well. Lot’s of over-swinging with men on base, rather than solid contact. Here is what is even more distressing:
2014 – ranked #21 – .245/.316/.384/.700
2015 – ranked #29 – .195/.290/.348/.638…only the Phillies are worse.

…those lines are with men in ‘Scoring Position’.

People need to start realizing that this organization is not hell bent on winning this year. In fact, it’s pretty obvious that they are trying to lose so that we can maybe get something for Cueto or Leake.

“…they are trying to lose…” I don’t believe that. I believe we have a very stuck in the mud manager that has strong beliefs; beliefs that are not translating to Ws. His use of the BP, substitution and lineup changes have not resulted in as many Ws as I believe they should have achieved, but to infer they are trying to lose is an obvious stretch, imo.

I would normally tend to agree with you. But when you start the year with Jason Marquis in your starting rotation, and Kevin Gregg in your bullpen, what else could you be trying to do? Definitely not trying to win. Not one person in that front office can look at Kevin Gregg and say….that guy is going to WIN us some ball games this year. If they can, we definitely have the worst organization in baseball. Jason Marquis’ combined ERA over the past 5 years is over 5. Sure he looks GREAT against the Brewers….if only we could play them every game! We’ve had a manager make horiible decisions all last year, then start off this year doing it again. Then he goes on a 77 F bomb rant, and our front office still won’t fire him. Maybe they arent trying to lose, but they sure as hell aren’t trying to win. The players on this team are definitely not trying to lose, but our organization couldn’t care less either way.

Well, the Reds had to go window shopping at some ‘bargain basement’ prices with their last $17.28…Castellini has stretched the budget to now, $117M which isn’t too shabby for a team that only rakes in more than the Brewers. After next year we will expand the budget due to a renegotiation of our TV/Cable deal and with that the budget can be expanded as well. The real question is what deals will be made to improve the team. When we look at Votto, Phillips, Bruce, Bailey and Mesoraco deals, they tend to look bad when they don’t pan out. Also, and more importantly imo, is that these deals dictate the current deals or future deals for the rest of the team. And, to be honest, I have followed baseball for many years and never, repeat…never have I seen a long term deal work for any team. Votto’s has a chance because on the surface, it dictates that he will be moved into another position within the organization after he gets gray. One thing for sure…all fans better thank our lucky stars for Castellini, because he has increased the salaries of players far beyond anyone else that owned the Reds. Imagine us having a budget of less than $100M and not having any long term contracts. Then, we would lose the above mentioned players before their injuries or their successes in their careers; much of which has yet to unfold. Remember last years cries…Votto and Bruce were washed up, yet this year they are projected to hit 52 HR/125 RBI and 37 HR/96 RBI, respectively.

Cingrani in April – Reds plalyed in 22 G; 11W – 11L…
4/8 – 1 IP
4/12 – 2 IP
4/14 – 0.1 IP
4/26 – 2 IP
4/29 – 1 IP
4/30 – 1 IP
Total of 7 1/3 IP, 2.45 ERA, 142 NP, 80 S
I have to wonder why Price didn’t use him from 4/12 – 4/26 except for 1/3 IP;
also, why Price believes that he can’t go 2 IP on a more frequent basis, or
is this Price’s attempt at utilizing the BP based on stringent roles while protecting
them from injury. Seems Price is overly protective and his ‘BP by the numbers’ management role playing doesn’t always get the desired results. My problem is that Cingrani is young and capable, injuries of last season have healed, and to pitch the guy for only 142 pitches over 22 G is an absurdity. I have never seen such delicate care of an underutilized BP, while Rome is starting to smolder.

Month of April…
CENTRAL W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA DIFF STRK L10
St. Louis Cardinals 15 6 .714 – 8-2 7-4 92 55 +37 W3 7-3
Chicago Cubs 12 8 .600 2.5 6-5 6-3 89 77 +12 L1 6-4
Pittsburgh Pirates 12 10 .545 3.5 6-4 6-6 89 71 +18 W1 6-4
Cincinnati Reds 11 11 .500 4.5 6-5 5-6 89 95 -6 W1 6-4
Milwaukee Brewers 5 17 .227 10.5 3-10 2-7 71 118 -47 W1 3-7
Those prognosticators at the beginning of the season must have a crystal
ball, or they knew Price and his moves extremely well…those 3 W we should
have had (minimum) loom large for April; hopefully not in September.

As I and others predicted over a week ago on here Homer is going to have Tommy John surgery.

Glad he has decided; now go get it done and return in the specified period it takes to recoup. Sooner we get him back healthy, the better for the team. I know…”duh”.

Not surprised at all. Good for Homer to just suck it in and get it done. Wish him the best and a full recovery.

“The Reds might be without Atlanta-native Brandon Phillips again on Friday night. The veteran second baseman was scratched from Thursday’s lineup with an unidentified illness.”
Come on…this is getting silly; now they won’t even announce the illness? Conspiracy fans might suggest that Phillips is unhappy about being moved down the lineup; returning to the 6th or 7th spot versus clean up. However, he has no business batting clean up. Not with the likes of ‘returning to form’ Bruce, or even Frazier…however I really like Frazier batting the the 3 spot.

Phillips in 6 hole in tonites lineup. Cozart 2 (boooooo). Votto 3 (boooo). Frazier 4.

5/1/15 lineup. Ugggg he just won’t stop.

Hamilton
Cozart
Votto
Frazier
Bruce
Phillips
Byrd- When in the hell is this guy gonna get another day off?
Pena
Descla

4 for last 14; .286 BA…
Da Byrd showing signs of life.
His glove has been nothing short of ‘spectacular’.

His glove has been quite the surprise….and you’re right, he has been coming on lately. Maybe let him keep trying to get it going I guess. feel bad for Boesch cause he has good at bats when he gets the chances usually.

Last time Boesch started he was only 1/4 but could have easily been 2/4. Struck the ball well. Would like to see more of him. Have been disappointed in Negron so far. I have been a big supporter of him.

Under the title…”you never know”…here is an article that caught my eye; we thought about this guy for LF…
……………………………..
Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
Fri, 01 May 2015 2:08 PM ET

Veteran outfielder Carlos Quentin is set to retire, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Quentin was released by the Braves after he was acquired in a trade with the Padres in early April. He will receive the rest of his $8 million salary since Atlanta released him from a guaranteed major-league deal, per FOX Sports.

Quentin signed a minor-league deal with the Mariners on April 22. In five games with Triple-A Tacoma, he is batting .176 (3 for 17) with one double and one RBI.

The 32-year-old outfielder has had an injury-plagued major-league career. He was a two-time All-Star, but he never played more than 131 games in a season. In nine years in the majors, he totaled a .252/.347/.484/.831 slash line.

Hate to see a 32 year old retire due to injuries, but $8,000,000.00 should ease the pain. By the way, this made me think of Ludwick and his $4,500,000.00. What’s he up to?

Rangers release Ryan Ludwick
Bill Baer Mar 29, 2015, 11:55 PM EDT

John Blake, Rangers Vice President of Communications, announced on Twitter that the team has released outfielder Ryan Ludwick from his minor league contract. Ludwick was informed on Thursday that he would not make the Rangers’ Opening Day roster.

The Rangers signed Ludwick to a minor league deal in early February. Ludwick would have earned $1.75 million if he had made the roster. He hit just .200 in 30 Cactus League at-bats for the Rangers, registering only one home run and three RBI with a 9/0 K/BB ratio. Ludwick, 36, posted below-average numbers in each of the last two seasons with the Reds.

They say that a ball players prime is during their 27-32 year age bracket…so this guy, with tremendous power, has already seen his better days as the injuries were just too much. Unfortunately, who comes to mind is Mesoraco…however I think he has an opportunity to change positions and continue his bat attributes; maybe with the Reds, maybe with another team. In any event, it’s tough to see a ball player succumb early in their career due to any injury.

Hope Mes is shagging lots of fly balls during batting practice.

The Refs won’t know what to do with Mesoraco and if they do , he’ll be 39 years old .

Cincinnati Reds 11-12
Atlanta Braves 11-12
CIN: Marquis (2-1 , 5.48 ERA) ATL: Stults (1-1 , 4.03 ERA)

The Atlanta Braves may be in bit of an offensive rut, but they’ll likely come out swinging with a matchup against Cincinnati Reds veteran Jason Marquis.

The Braves look to take advantage of Marquis’ early-inning struggles Saturday night to win back-to-back games for the first time since the season’s first week.

Atlanta (11-12) has plated nine runs while batting .193 in its last three games after combining for 20 runs and 30 hits in its previous two. The top three hitters in Friday’s lineup — Nick Markakis, Alberto Callaspo and Freddie Freeman — were a combined 0 for 10 with four strikeouts and two walks and the team finished with five hits. The Braves managed to snap a three-game losing streak, however, as Kelly Johnson hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth inning — just his second hit in 11 at-bats — in a 4-3 victory.

“We wanted to come out here and give ourselves an opportunity to win this series so now we evened it up,” said Eric Young Jr., who is 1 for 11 in his last five games. “We got the matchup tomorrow and got a chance to win this thing.”

The Braves, who opened 5-0, could have an easier time offensively against Marquis (2-1, 5.48 ERA), whose 311 opponents’ batting average is one of the highest in the NL. Most of the damage against the former Brave is coming early as opponents are hitting .387 off him with a .457 OBP their first time through the order.

The right-hander was able to work his way out of trouble after allowing seven hits and two walks Monday against Milwaukee. He allowed two runs over eight innings — his longest outing in nearly two years — in a 9-6 victory after recording a 7.20 ERA in his first three starts.

Markakis is 5 for 10 with a double against Marquis while Freeman is 2 for 6 with four walks.

In 10 career starts against Atlanta, Marquis has a 6.95 ERA — his highest against any NL opponent. That inflated ERA, however, mostly came from his first four starts. Since 2008, he has a 3.92 ERA against the Braves, last facing them in 2013.

The Braves counter with Eric Stults (1-1, 4.03), who limited Washington to two runs and four hits over 6 1/3 innings in Monday’s 8-4 victory. The left-hander has 2.19 ERA in his last two starts without yielding a homer after recording a 6.30 ERA while serving up three home runs in his first two.

The Reds (11-12) failed to homer Friday after totaling 10 in their previous three contests, but Joey Votto managed to stay hot.

Votto had two more hits and is 6 for 13 with a homer and two doubles in his last four contests. He is hitless in his last 11 at-bats against lefties, however, and 2 for 7 with a double against Stults

Brandon Phillips, who missed Thursday’s series opener due to an illness, is 4 for 8 in his last two games and 4 for 6 with a homer off Stults.

In two starts versus the Reds, Stults is 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA.

Our walking dead…
Reds Date Status Due Back Injury Notes
Bailey, Homer (P) 05/01 Out for Season TBD Right elbow strain Transferred to 60-day DL on April 29; expected to undergo Tommy John surgery May 8.
Bourgeois, Jason (CF) 04/22 60-day DL Possibly May Left shoulder fracture Placed on 60-day DL on March 27.
Marshall, Sean (P) 04/22 60-day DL Possibly 2015 Recovering from June 2014 shoulder surgery Throwing on flat ground as of March 2 update; placed on 60-day DL on March 27.
Mesoraco, Devin (C) 05/01 Any day Day-to-day Left hip impingement Not in starting lineup since April 11; pinch-hit April 12, 21, 24, 26.
Parra, Manny (P) 04/29 15-day DL Possibly mid-May Neck strain Placed on 15-day DL on April 29 retroactive to April 24.

Lutz out…
The Reds also announced that minor league utility player Donald Lutz had reconstructive elbow surgery Friday. He hurt his elbow last week while playing for Triple-A Louisville. Lutz played in 28 games for the Reds last season, batting .176.

The beat goes on and on and on………………………Liked Lutz and was pulling for him to make it. 28 games sounds like a fair shot but when you consider how many games he was with MLB club and how often it was only a pinch hit role, then the impression he really wore calluses on his butt for most of last season.

Reds vs RH and LH…
………………….
vs. RH:
ranking – #28
608 AB
.225/.299/.387/.686
72 R
26 HR
67 RBI
…………………….
vs. LH
ranking – #25
166 AB
.223/.284/.380/.664
20 R
5 HR
19 RBI
…………………….
The good news is that we have achieved balance…
the bad news is that it doesn’t matter which side a
pitcher throws, we hit both poorly.

Hamilton is having a hard time adjusting…
His ground balls to fly balls ratio is way too low for
a guy with his stellar speed – 1.12
But, equally important is this revealing fact:
Leading off an inning – 36 AB – .278/.297/.389/.686
None on – 60 AB – .283/.348/.483/.831
These numbers are reasonable, but these below are telling:
Runners on – 28 AB – .071/.103/.071/.174
Scoring position – 19 AB – .053/.053/.053/.106
Hamilton appears to have problems batting when there
is anyone on base.

Couple of other things that are bothering me about Billy:
Seems to take too many strikes and get into an 0-2 count and then hitting defensively. Tired of seeing him start to bunt and then pull off only for it be a strike.
Also, his lack of effective bunting to utilize his speed. Were told he spent the off season working with Hatcher on his bunting skills. Were also told he worked on keeping the ball on the ground. Pretty much a bust on both.

Neb, where do you find these stats????

All over the World Wide Web…of course, after being online for about 25 years,
I have compiled a number of favorites. I now find myself faster than what the web can produce; often posting stale info (sorry about that). Hope everyone enjoys.

Today’s (5/2) lineup; game time – 7:10PM-ET
CFBilly Hamilton (S)
SSZack Cozart (R)
1BJoey Votto (L)
3BTodd Frazier (R)
RFJay Bruce (L)
2BB. Phillips (R)
LFMarlon Byrd (R)
CBrayan Pena (S)
PJason Marquis (L

Looks like Votto is back to stay in the 3 hole . Only problem is Cozart is 2nd and he’s proven time and time again he doesn’t hit well there . But ole Uncle Bryan continues to put him there .

If Byrd continues to struggle at the plate, I would have suggested that Winker might be called up at some point, later this season. Unfortunately, he isn’t exactly tearing the hide off the ball in AA:
27G, 72 AB, 2 HR, 9 RBI, .236/.349/.389/.738

Byrd is hitting the ball with more authority lately. Maybe it’s comming together. Hope so, we need him. Reds won’t bench him in lieu of Boesch except for a game or two here and there. Don’t think Boesch will get a fair look as he is this years Lutz.

Brian Cashman: Yankees won’t pay A-Rod’s $6M bonus for 660th homer

BOSTON — For the first time since the next potential court battle involving Alex Rodriguez became public, a New York Yankees official has gone on record confirming that the club has no intention of paying the controversial slugger a $6 million bonus for hitting his 660th home run.

“We have the right but not the obligation to do something, and that’s it,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman before Saturday’s Yankees-Red Sox game at Fenway Park. “We’re going to follow the contract as we follow all contracts, so there is no dispute, from our perspective.”

Like it or not, the Yankees ought to recognize Alex Rodriguez for reaching Willie Mays’ home run mark, and that means paying him $6 million.
In other words, in the Yankees’ interpretation of the contract, they are under no obligation to pay off on a deal they feel is no longer valid due to Rodriguez’s 162-game suspension for drug violations last year.

According to multiple reports, the deal was drawn up as an addendum to the 10-year, $275 million contract Rodriguez signed with the Yankees after opting out of his previous contract in 2007. It is said to call for five payments of $6 million for reaching the following home run milestones: 660 (Willie Mays’ total), 714 (Babe Ruth), 755 (Hank Aaron), 762 (Barry Bonds) and 763, which would break Bonds’ all-time record.

Rodriguez reached the first milestone with his pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning of Friday night’s 3-2 Yankees win over the Red Sox.

A source who was involved in the drafting of the agreement told ESPNNewYork.com that the numbers are explicitly spelled out in the contract; the Yankees contend that the bonuses are contingent upon the club’s ability to market the accomplishment, which they contend is impossible now due to Rodriguez’s admissions of, and punishment for, illegal PED usage.

Cashman’s statements are a representation of the Yankees’ view that the contract has been violated by Rodriguez and is no longer valid.

“We’re going to honor our responsibilities of the contract,” Cashman said. “(But) how it’s been reported . . . and what the contract actually says are two different things. It’s not ‘you do this, you get that.’ It’s completely different. It’s not all of a sudden, we’re choosing not to do something. If we choose to pursue something we’ll choose to pursue it. If we choose not to, it’s our right not to. In both cases, we’re honoring the contract.”

Rodriguez has refused to address the issue publicly, saying his focus is on playing baseball.

“The Union is prepared to intervene on Alex’s behalf,” Major League Baseball Players Association spokesman Greg Bouris told ESPN.com via text.

According to baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, Rodriguez has 14 days from the Yankees’ refusal to pay out on the contract to file an appeal, which would likely be heard by Fredric Horowitz, the arbiter who ruled against him in the appeal of his suspension last year.

“The great thing about contracts is if there’s any disputes there’s mechanisms for anybody who has a misunderstanding or a misinterpretation,” Cashman said. “There’s procedures in place to have people determine if there is some misunderstanding. But we don’t believe there’s any misunderstanding. We always honor our contracts. We’re not going to do anything different in this case either.”

Cashman said he congratulated Rodriguez in the clubhouse after the historic home run and said there were “no issues going forward” between the player and the team; Rodriguez had sued the Yankees team physician, Christopher Ahmad, and through his lawyers accused the club of forcing him to play while injured and setting him up to fail in the 2012 playoffs. He later withdrew all the lawsuits.

“He came in and apologized this winter, we accepted it, we’ve turned the page and moved forward,” Cashman said. “I thought that stuff was dead and buried. He’s been great in the clubhouse, he’s been saying all the right things with the press. And we’ve got a nice thing going on with the club. Obviously we want him to perform at the highest level.”

Cashman said he had not discussed the contract issue with Rodriguez.

“We don’t have to,” he said. “Again, we’ll honor the contract and follow the contract. There’s nothing to address. He’s got a copy, too.”

A contract ‘gone wild’…never should have been signed. Huge difference between A.Rod contract and Votto contract; Votto is going to spend his later years in another position with the Reds. That makes a great deal of sense to me. He will assist in putting butts in seats far beyond his years on the field.

OT…OK…I have a few shekels bet on Bafferts’ Pheroah…

Cingrani looks great out of the pen. Makes me really scratch my head why he wasn’t being used this way all along. If ONE of the RH pitchers was reliable, it would make the pen look a lot better with Cingrani and Chapman. It was also nice to see Chapman warming in the 8th just in case. It turned out we didn’t need him but I like that he was getting ready jic. Bruce hot streak is beginning imo …. which is huge. Byrd also showing signs of turning the corner. Is Mesoraco ever going to be ok to catch this year? Pena and Barnhart are doing a nice job but we really could use Mesoraco’s bat in the middle of the order. Frazier is really struggling to drive in runners. It’s a HR or nothing for him. That’s not ok when you’re batting 3rd or 4th. Need to be able to get those runners in from 3rd with less than 2 outs. Has to learn to just put the ball in play and get them in especially once you get 2 strikes. There’s definitely things that give us hope but it always seems the Reds struggle to cash in on our hopes. We’ll see but I’m not holding my breath.

Also, Cozart on fire right now. Glad to see it. Still don’t like him in the 2 hole, but the way he’s swinging, he could hit anywhere. Things, except for BP, are looking up.

Wow….the B-boys are cooking (Bruce, Byrd, Brandon…even Bozart)…
but I remain concerned about Hamilton…0-5, 4 easy outs…
1ST – FO to C
3rd – FO to C
5th – GO to 3rd
6th – FO to C
9th – SO – Swinging
He made the opposition worry about him/play him for 1 AB;
this is becoming a problem, imo. Batting 0 for 5 (.204/.260/.333)
is a complete neutralization of his outstanding talent that effectively
has the ability to disrupt the opposition; speed. Not getting on base,
hitting the ball in the air completely neutralizes his amazing
and disruptive effectiveness.

The Reds are 29 for 30 in stolen bases this season. According to Elias Sports Bureau, no team has stolen 29 of 30 bases to start a season since the ”caught stealing” statistic started being kept in 1951. The Reds have six steals in the series and are second in MLB behind the Astros.

In case you were wondering…
Houston – 30 SB/5 CS – 85.71%
Reds – 28 SB/1 CS – 96.55%
(Mets – 10 SB/0 CS – 100%)

Bird man of GABP coming alive…
6 H/20 AB over last 6 G
Equally important…over first 20 G he never walked…
Over last 3 G he has walked 1x per game.
Also, over last 6 G, increased line from:
.143/.154/.222/.376 to
.181/.216/.313/.529
He’s hitting/seeing the ball very well now; not only at
the plate but in the field…another amazing-diving catch today.
Awfully good with the glove for a big guy @ 37 years old!

Today’s (5/3) lineup – 1:35PM-ET
LFSkip Schumaker (L)
SSZack Cozart (R)
1BJoey Votto (L)
3BTodd Frazier (R)
RFJay Bruce (L)
2BB. Phillips (R)
CFBrennan Boesch (L)
CBrayan Pena (S)
PJohnny Cueto (R)

Once again Price takes a player (Byrd this time) who is coming out of the doldrums and beginning to hit and rests him in a game before a day off. Never will understand it. I guess it has to do with the ‘Dog Days of May’. Hope Skip has a good day.

Price is the worse manager in MLB . I don’t think he wants to win a series . YOU CAN’T FIX STUPID !!!!!

And the saddest statistic is that we have to sit and watch Price manage our Reds for the next 300 G. Lot’s of BP fun, lineup fun and replacement fun! Sadly, I can’t
imagine the Reds playing for more than those 300 G through the end of next season.

I am far more concerned with Todd’s hitting, Hamilton’s ability to get on base and Devin’s health than I am of Price’s managerial decisions which are a subject of mainly opinion anyway.

Agree…

I mean I agree with Neb’s “saddest stat” comment…

Frazier is 4 for 26 over the last 7 games. What is somewhat odd is that all of the four hits were solo HRs.

I don’t know when I have seen Frazier look worse at the plate, this entire season.
He looks completely fooled by several SP.

Homer Bailey turns 29 today.

Atlanta is keying off high-pitch mistakes by Cueto; very un-Cueto like.

Wow…even the announcers brought up the idea that when a teams’ ace is pitching, it is sometimes the urge of the manager to rest players. Well, that is exactly what Price has done with Cueto, on more than one occasion. In my mind, the game should be played equally hard and field your best 8 in order to have the best chance at getting the W. This is a weakness of Price, and has been exploited on more than one occasion. Again, start your starting 8 and then take them out when and if the score
dictates; not the good buddy approach by giving days off ahead of a scheduled day off. This milk toast approach to his players coupled with mediocre overall play will tell.
I haven’t seen it before, to the extent Price uses it, and I suspect I won’t see it in the future. It’s a management trait he holds dearly, yet look at today…we are on our way to losing terribly. Yes, it could have still occurred, however how do we know that? We would know for certain if we played our starting 8 in each and every game possible; remove them after we know how the game unfolds. Whether we are up 4 R or down 4 R, we could then sit them, but not when we don’t and won’t ever know what could have unfolded against Tehran.

One last note…Price has stated on more than one occasion that it is necessary to play your bench players. I don’t necessarily disagree with that concept but to either play them for an entire game or two or play them for several parts of games is where I differ. Play your 8 in nearly each game they are capable of playing; after an at bat or two, depending on the game situation, then make you switches. Only occasionally would I ever start a bench player over a regular unless you needed to make a point
(ie; poor performance). This behavior creates an attitude that the player is important and is accountable, something that Price seems to skirt; instead he creates wholesale changes under the guise of ‘day off’. I personally don’t buy it whatsoever, but I guess we will never know what may or could occur. My learning on this matter was by watching the top managers since 1959 and the the ones that were winners never, ever played such milk toast baseball; just look at the top managers for the Reds over the last several years. Remember, a common thread among all of us is that we want to make it to the WS; how we get there is what is debatable.

Totally! Byrd finally gets it going and had to come to complete stop – followed up by day off?!

Has anyone noticed . The class of this division , Cardinals , just keep on winning and winning and winning and winning …….

Here is another point…the Atlanta’s manager is taking out the pitcher in the top of the 9th with 2 out and 1 on, with a 5-0 lead…when was the last time Price made such a move. Seems to me he is making a point; pointedly.

Cards…18-6, of last 10, 8-2, versus Central – 13-4
Reds..12-13, of last 10, 4-6, versus Cenrtal – 10-11
Reds are now 6.5 G back of Cards…

The Cards may well have an insurmountable lead by half time. And they’re playing without their #1 Ace. Very strong team, very strong management and very strong fan base. They could write a book on ‘how to’…

We have to stop the mentality of…’well we’ll do our best based on what we put on the field’…that doesn’t cut it. There has to be more of a commitment to W and less of a, oh well, we tried mentality. I am getting a bit anxious, and angry.

Brewers fired Roenicke their manager, let us see how much that helps them.

Neb. You’re right on the money . It’s frustrating when a fan base is more passionate about winning than a manager .

You guys starting to believe me that this management and coaching stuff is doing their best not to win? Maybe not trying to lose, but definitely not trying to win. Think a little bit more about it and get back to me. What’s the beneftit of winning this year when you know your bullpen and pitching staff (besides Cueto, Leaker, Chapman and maybe Desclafani) sucks? Then if you’re in it at the All Star break, you can’t unload Cueto or Leake because your fan base would go ballistic. I’m done watching. I’ve been a huge Reds fan since I was a kid, born in Cincy, live In NW Indiana, and still cheer my butt off for the Reds. But this season, the product this oganization is putting out there, and the fact that Price is still manager, is a complete joke.

As I said before, no I don’t believe that. What I believe is that Price and his staff want to win and are trying to win. However, I also believe that Price is junior and making poor decisions when it comes to the use of the BP and when it comes to the setting and selection of the lineup. Price did the same thing last season and suggested in a news conference before the start of this season that he thought he had learned some very valuable lessons last season. And, to his credit, he started setting the lineup strong this season and with some success; then he started tinkering again and falling back into his old way of doing business. His BP mentality is well documented; he believes that a reliever should be able to come in and pitch one complete inning while not giving up any R. Well, that’s find and dandy until the BP fails and then you need to adjust your thinking and selection. Look at Cingrani; was it logical to ignore the guy for nearly 2 weeks when the pen was failing? Then, Price comes out and says he’ll start using Cingrani more. Could Cingrani have saved one of at least three G that we should have won? Maybe, but we’ll never know because Price never used him; instead he used Gregg, Jumbo, Badenhop, etc. Unfortunately, these three guys failed time and time again until they more recently appear to be getting on track. Sad news is that we can’t go back and get those 3+ W because we lost the games. Price talks a good game but his talk reminds me of a saying…”Say what you mean, mean what you say”. With Cueto leaving mid season or so and Price at the helm, I just cannot possibly see the Reds playing contentious baseball.

This is a good summary and reminder of how the Reds lost some crucial games and now find themselves in poor situation. Just heard discussion on radio putting blame on Jocketty/roster, and throwing Bruce, Byrd, BP etc on the junk heap. To me Price has shown his attitude to be negative. Gotta be an Oester or someone with more “Reds” blood to fire this thing up.

Especially when we are looking up at a team that doesn’t look like they will wilt away any time soon. I would assume that Jocketty has to share in the situation at hand, however when I look at the lineup I see a great deal of talent; far better than a sub .500 team. Our BP needs help but if used properly, and not obstinately, I believe we would have put up more W’s. Also, I have said this before, if everything else being equal, we need to answer the following question honestly…if any of the following managers was the manager this season, would we have more W’s: Sparky, McKeon, Johnson, McNamara, Piniella…all with .500> win percentages, and all with different rosters. And that is exactly my next major concern; we let Dusty go and traded him in for Price which has shown to be junior, imo, so now what do we do? If and when we realize that Price just isn’t the right guy for this team, whom do we get? Who is available? We may well be stuck for awhile.

Hey, on the good side Badenhoff lowerd his ERA to 13.50. Maybe Price will use him more. Something to look forward too. Seriously though, looks like Hoover is getting into a groove. Lots of movement on his pitches now. Hope he keeps it going.

Tough act to follow…even when salaries are close…
#11 – Cards – $120,869,458 – 18W-6L – .750
#14 – Reds – $117,197,072 – 12W-13L – .480

Reds attendance up 4,849 fans per G…
Through first 11 home G:
2014 – 288,814, 26,256 per G, ranked #21
2015 – 342,149, 31,104 per G, ranked #16

Jays’ Gibbons, Reds’ Price among managers on early 2015 hot seats
By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer
May 4, 2015 11:41 am ET

On Sunday night, the Brewers fired manager Ron Roenicke even though the club had won three of its past four games. The firing was predictable given Milwaukee’s brutal start to the season and last year’s second-half collapse. The team officially named Craig Counsell the new skipper Monday morning.

Roenicke was the first manager fired in 2015 but unfortunately he will not be the last. There are always a few managers shown the door each season. That’s just baseball. It might not happen as early in the year as it did with Roenicke, but it’ll happen eventually. It’s a harsh business. Here are five other managers who may be on the hot seat in 2015.

John Gibbons, Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays have made a habit of falling short of expectations these past few years. Their blockbuster 2012-13 offseason was followed by a last-place finish. Their busy 2014-15 offseason has yielded a 12-14 record so far, which has Toronto in the AL East cellar, far from where it wants to be.

With the Royals winning the pennant last season, the Blue Jays now own baseball’s longest postseason drought at 21 years. They haven’t been to the playoffs since winning the 1993 World Series. Expectations were high in Toronto coming into the season, and if they continue to struggle and lag behind in the division, Gibbons could be the scapegoat. Again.

Bryan Price, Cincinnati Reds

Price’s one-year-plus-one-month tenure as manager has been pretty rocky. Last month he directed a profanity-laden tirade at the media, and while reporters are big boys and girls who can handle the F-bombs, Price showed a fundamental lack of understanding of the job by saying the media should have the team’s best interests at heart. That’s managing 101.

The Reds went 76-86 last season, their worst record since 2008, and they’re off to a slow 12-13 start in 2015. (They started the year 4-0, remember.) Only the Roenicke-run Brewers have a worse record in the competitive NL Central. It’s hard to see Cincinnati contending in that division, and with Price already seemingly on shaky ground, the club could pull the trigger at some point. Price has given off the impression that he’s a little over his head since taking over last year.

Mike Redmond, Miami Marlins

There was a lot of talk about Redmond being on the hot seat when the Marlins got off to a slow start last month, but owner Jeff Loria endorsed his skipper while talking to our Jon Heyman last week. “He’s the manager. Period. All teams go through bad moments. Ours came early,” Loria said to Heyman.

The Marlins have won nine of their past 11 games, so Redmond’s hot seat — real or not — has cooled down considerably. The club does have a history of firing the manager relatively early in the season if they’re playing below expectations, however. Fredi Gonzalez was fired in June 2010 and Jeff Torborg was fired in May 2003, both under Loria. If they fall into another slump, Redmond could be the next Marlins skipper to be replaced in-season.

Robin Ventura, Chicago White Sox

I’m not sure any team is playing as far below expectations as the White Sox. They reworked their roster considerably in the offseason, and while they may not have been AL Central favorites coming into 2015, they were certainly expected to be better than 8-14 through their first 22 games. The ChiSox are seven games back in the division already.

The White Sox have dropped five straight games (they’ve been outscored 39-10 in the five games) and slugger Jose Abreu came to Ventura’s defense before their latest loss Sunday. “We cannot blame Robin for the situation of the team. It’s our fault because we are the ones who are playing. We are the people who are in the field. We are not doing the things right,” said Abreu to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun Times.

Ventura is a very vanilla manager and that may work against him. He isn’t a great quote and isn’t outside the box — he’s not a bad strategic manager, but no one will confuse him for Joe Maddon, let’s put it that way — so there’s nothing that makes him stand out the way, say, his predecessor Ozzie Guillen did. If the team continues to struggle, the bland manager is an easy scapegoat.

Walt Weiss, Colorado Rockies

The Rockies are bad again. They started the year 7-2 but have lost 11 of 15 games. This comes after the club went 44-82 (44-82!) in their final 126 games of 2014. Colorado finished in last place in the NL West in 2013, Weiss’ first year, and they finished fourth in 2014. Another fourth- or fifth-place finish appears to be in the cards in 2015.

Three straight seasons of 88-plus losses — the Rockies are currently on pace to go 74-88 — usually leads to a managerial change. And, to make matters worse for Weiss, the GM who hired him (Dan O’Dowd) stepped down after last season. The new GM (Jeff Bridich) didn’t hire him and historically new GMs have been quick to replace incumbent managers with their own hire. Weiss might not be long for the job in Colorado.

Neb. How about Barry Larkin?

Mike…it’s funny you said that. I started to write another post exactly as you did. I dunno. I guess I have to ask the question, why didn’t they think about him before they went after Price? In my mind, and it is limited when it comes to inside knowledge or understanding, that he has the attributes that I would like to see; sincerity, knowledge of the game, etc. The question in my mind is; how do we know if he has the mettle to manage or just turn out to be another 3-year drain? Seems to me that this, above any position on the team, is the most important to get right, yet is the least costly if you do make a blunder. Therefore, you don’t hire a lst time manager. In any event, I would hope that Jocketty (with approval of the boss) will make the right move looking forward. What strikes me as a problem for the Reds overall when we talk about this subject? Look at our owner, then look at our general manager, then look at our manager…they are all really nice guys with very calm and reserved personalities. One looks like a grandpa, one like a father and the other looks like a brother; they even dress the part. I think we need set a fire in the dugout at minimum, while making all players accountable for what they do (or have not done) every single day during the entire season. Oh, and ahhh, going off 77X in a media session about something you don’t seem to understand will not get you a W.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they did talk to him before Price, but I believe he was locked into the analyst role. Idk, but I think he would do wonders for this team.

I would love to see them give Barry a shot. He would instantlhy have the players respect. Not sure the same can be said about Price. I mean, do you think Johnny Cueto has a ton of respect for him…I sure as heck don’t. He makes horrible moves that causes him to lose his players…..

You know, speaking about the Reds management, which I know we have been critical of (me more recently than most) for a few days now; yet they are still at the crux of our major issue/discussion. What is the resolve? What cures our plight of losing, versus winning? If I was a ballplayer for the Reds that made several million dollars per year, yet only had to show up in a very calm environment, run through the paces, swing the bat, field the ball, even have a few days off….without anybody getting in my face or correcting my days’ efforts; why the heck not? Also, if I don’t like the way they bat or play me I can complain and receive absolutely no fallout, why wouldn’t I love playing in this environment? And this is where I have my major issues about the Reds’ management. There is nothing ‘tough’ about this team, yet that is an element that is in nearly every winner in nearly every sport.

Another tried and true saying that might be applicable…
“Complacency breeds mediocrity”
Ok, I’m done; somebody else climb on this soapbox.

You burnt up the soapbox. So much appreciate your passion and straight forwardness. I know we will be criticized by some, but when the national media starts beating the same drum, then we know we are on the right track. Question is will anyone, that can do something about it, listen.

Minor Moves: Dan Johnson, Chris Carpenter…
By Steve Adams [May 4, 2015 at 9:18am CDT]
The Reds have released veteran first baseman Dan Johnson from Triple-A Louisville, per Eddy. Cincinnati acquired Johnson from Houston in Spring Training, and while the 35-year-old showed his typically discerning eye at the plate (10 walks vs. nine strikeouts in 40 plate appearances), he also picked up just three hits in 29 official at-bats for a .069 batting average. Johnson picked up 48 PAs for the Blue Jays last season and is a lifetime .236/.337/.409 hitter in 1604 PAs at the Major League level. Former Cubs/Red Sox right-hander Chris Carpenter (not to be confused with the former Cy Young winner of that same name, of course) was also released by the Reds after allowing 12 runs in 6 2/3 innings with Louisville.

Here’s how potent…
Cubs against Cards tonight.
lst Inning…
Cubs off to a fine start;
5-0 after 1/2 inning…
…say what…grand slam…
5-4, still in the bottom of lst.

All off our X-SP…Travis Wood.

Do you guys think the Reds would let him go before the season is over ?

One more thought…Riggleman is there at 3rd. He had the guts to tell Nationals ownership to make a commitment. He’s got the managerial experience.

I don’t think Castellini and Jocketty are too high on him as a manager, as his record isn’t very inspiring; 12 years as a manager, 4 different teams, 662W – 824L, .445 W%. Made it to the post season once against Atlanta (’98); was eradicated 3 straight G by Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux. With that kind of resume, I think he’s good where he is. If and when we make a change we have got to get it right. Problem is, as you elude to, who is/will be available. Contracts for both Jocketty and Price expire end of next season. Castellini & Co. is very hard to gauge; no way to get a line on the guy. If we don’t get any better and are nothing more than a .500 team, coupled with losing Cueto, I know I would make some changes. But, what does Castellini think? Have a feeling we will find out over the next few months.

You gotta be kidding me…
Down 5-0, 6-4, 7-4 and even 8-4 in the 5th… these guys come back and win the game, 10-9! Yep, those pesky Cards over the Cubs. Unbelievable…

The Cardinals just know how to win . From top to bottom .

Cardinals RISP was 4/11 .364. Got em on, got em over, got em in. Something the Reds can’t seem to do. As a result we are 2 games closer to last place than we are to first place.

Yeah, that’s ecause their front office and managers know how to win. Gotta give credit to their players. They always have that quiet confidence and play with that chip on their shoulder that every good team needs.

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