I will have much more on Jay Bruce playing first base for the Reds on Monday on MLB.com/Reds.com. Here are a couple of quotes that addressed the move.
“This is the Major Leagues. It’s the best in the world. It’s going to be a little quick I’m sure. I’m banking on the fact that I’m a baseball player and a good athlete and that I have confidence in myself and my abilities to play anywhere on the field if they need me to.” — Jay Bruce
“It also allows us to do some things in the outfield. What we do have is a surplus of outfielders. It gives us a chance to get Schumaker and Ludwick in the lineup. I knew with a doubleheader coming up [Tuesday], I had to get some guys who will be playing both games a day off either on the front or the back end. Today, it’s Cozart. That means Santiago is at short, which means we Frazier at third, which means we need a first baseman and today it will be Jay.
“If we don’t have Joey long term or a period of time he could miss, we have to look in-house at what our options are. I don’t think you’ll see Jay at first base often. It does allow us to utilize our bench players a little bit more. We have guys here that are playing part time but we’d like to play more.” — manager Bryan Price.
I found GM Walt Jocketty on the field and he had no news on Joey Votto’s status. Votto underwent tests on Monday for his troublesome left quadriceps.
For the first time in his big league or Minor League career, Jay Bruce is at first base today. As I type, he is taking groundballs there now. Bruce has been there periodically working out the past few weeks, including on Sunday. This is an interesting choice, to say the least, to take a superb defensive right fielder and put him at first base. Bruce hasn’t played anywhere other than right field for the Reds since he played center field on 8/10/08.
Brayan Pena, who has often played 1B this season, is still on paternity leave.
No moves regarding Joey Votto have been revealed yet.
The All-Star Game rosters were named on Sunday and there are four Reds players going to Minneapolis.
RHP Johnny Cueto
LHP Aroldis Chapman
3B Todd Frazier
C Devin Mesoraco
Cueto, Chapman and Frazier were voted in by the players. Mesoraco was a manager’s selection from Mike Matheny. Of this group, only Chapman has previously been a member of the All-Star team.
Full coverage on MLB.com and Reds.com.
Here is the NL All-Star roster:
C: Yadier Molina, Cardinals
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs
2B: Chase Utley, Phillies
SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
3B: Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
OF: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
OF: Carlos Gomez, Brewers
OF: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
LHP: Madison Bumgarner, Giants
LHP: Aroldis Chapman, Reds
RHP: Johnny Cueto, Reds
RHP: Zack Greinke, Dodgers
LHP: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
RHP: Craig Kimbrel, Braves
RHP: Pat Neshek, Cardinals
RHP: Francisco Rodrigue^, Brewers
RHP: Tyson Ross, Padres
RHP: Jeff Samardzija, Cubs/A’s * declared ineligible because of trade
RHP: Julio Teheran, Braves
RHP: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
LHP: Tony Watson, Pirates
RHP: Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
C: Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers
C: Devin Mesoraco, Reds
1B: Freddie Freeman, Braves
2B: Dee Gordon, Dodgers
2B: Daniel Murphy, Mets
SS: Starlin Castro, Cubs
3B: Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
3B: Todd Frazier, Reds
OF: Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
OF: Josh Harrison, Pirates
OF: Hunter Pence, Giants
OF: Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
For the third time since June 27, Joey Votto was out of the Reds lineup vs. the Brewers on Sunday. It was a decision made by manager Bryan Price as Votto as continued to favor his left quadriceps strain near his knee.
“For Joey, it’s just a day off,” Price said. “We’re trying to be contentious of the fact that he is playing at well below 100 percent right now and trying to keep him as healthy as we can under the circumstances, which is challenging. He’s got some challenges, physically. I just thought it was a good idea to give him a day off today.”
Votto is hitting .250 with zero homers and 11 RBIs in 23 games since coming off the DL on June 10. He was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Saturday’s 1-0 loss. Todd Frazier started at first base on Sunday while Ramon Santiago played third base.
“We knew the process when we initially put Joey on the disabled list that when we got him back, we weren’t going to be able to get him to 100 percent over the course of the regular season,” Price said. “We decided to do some strengthening exercises and really work on getting the inflammation and a lot of the soreness out of there. We accomplished that to a certain degree. We knew we couldn’t get to 100 percent. Some days are better than others. This was my decision today not to play though I stay in contact with Joey on how he’s feeling. He didn’t ask to come out. I just thought it was a good day to give him a breather and reassess and get ready for tomorrow.”
There was some hullabaloo about Votto’s locker being cleaned out on Twitter this morning, too. It was really nothing. Since there was no morning batting practice, players were allowed to arrive later than normal. Votto came in after the media arrived today. He keeps two lockers — one for baseball stuff and one for his street clothes.
Plenty of information to come on Reds.com/MLB.com following the latest Reds shutout defeat on Saturday — a 1-0 final vs. the Brewers. Cincinnati has lost four of five after it had won eight of nine heading into San Diego.
Here are some quotes that did not make it into the game story:
“Homer pitched a great game. He wasn’t particularly sharp. He had a couple of leadoff walks that he worked around. To think that he went out there and pitched eight innings and was able to not only compete but hold Milwaukee to one run, that being a first run, was phenomenal. It gave us an opportunity to win the game.” — Reds manager Bryan Price on Homer Bailey
“It just took me an inning or two to find my groove. They scored in the first and I held them at bay after that. Hats off to Matt Garza. I guess I know what Tim Hudson feels like now. It’s a really good hitting team. They came in with good pitching today. It was a tough game.” Bailey on the Brewers.
“I just try and do my job. I’m just happy to assist there, and our infielders are some of, if not the best, in the league defensively overall. We take a lot of pride in our defense, and we were able to keep runs off the board.” — Reds RF Jay Bruce, who had third-out outfield assists in both the sixth and seventh innings.
“Obviously, after losing four in a row we needed a start like that. … He was able to come in and stop it. I wish we could put some more runs up, but their guy was pretty good, too. You have to give credit to him.” — Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
“That was really nice. We were talking earlier today that we needed one of our pitchers to have a big game. That was a big game.” — Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.
The Reds had every chance to return home like conquering heroes. They came to San Diego 6-1 on the road trip fresh from a four-game sweep of a first-place but reeling Giants team. Thoughts of an 8-2 or 9-1 road trip danced in their heads.
Instead, they go home 6-4 after being swept three games by the Padres. Two shutout losses and two runs over 27 innings total. Lousy ending to what could have been a great trip. Plenty about the 3-0 loss on Wednesday and the missed opportunity will be on Reds.com/MLB.com soon.
“It’s hard to swallow after what we did with San Francisco and come back here and lost these three games in a row,” said Johnny Cueto through translator Tomas Vera. “It’s part of the game and we have a lot of games ahead of us. We just have to keep going.”
The off day on Thursday could be huge. It’s the first one after 16-straight games and a stretch of 16 of 19 on the road. The first place Brewers come to GABP to begin a season-high 11 game homestand heading into the All-Star break. Milwaukee, just swept in a two-game series at Toronto, has dropped three in a row. The Reds have played them well in both series this season, going 5-2 for the season.
Opportunity awaits again. What will the Reds do with it?
“It’s a chance to really do something in the division,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “Obviously you come back and I’m sure guys are disappointed, not just disappointed, but upset about this series here. It’s time to really get after it and try to make up some ground against Milwaukee. It’s a great opportunity to do something in the division.”