Archive for the ‘ Dailies ’ Category

Game 80: Reds at Giants

Hamilton 8
Frazier 5
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Mesoraco 2
Ludwick 7
Cozart 6
Simon 1

Game 79: Reds at Giants

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Iglesias signed

The Reds have signed Cuban right-handed pitcher Rasiel Iglesias to a seven-year contract through the 2020 season.

UPDATED: According to industry sources, the contract is worth $27 million and came with a $5 million signing bonus. It is a Major League contract and Iglesias will join the organization after working out issues with his visa.

“This was really a team effort in getting this deal done because it was a lengthy process,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “There were a lot of people involved and a lot of clubs involved.”

Iglesias, a 24-year-old reliever that is listed at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, threw for the big league scouts, including the Reds, last month in Haiti. Reds scouts that included Tony Arias, Mark Snipp and Miguel Machado returned to Haiti a second time to see him pitch again.

Although he is a reliever, the Reds believe he can be a starter.

“They felt he had four quality pitches,” Jocketty said. “They felt he could be a starter and be a starter very soon. They’ve seen him pitch several times three innings of relief and when we get him to the United States and a little bit stronger, we feel he’ll be a starter in the next year or so, hopefully.”

Iglesias defected from Cuba in November after a failed attempt in September.

More to come on MLB.com.

Leake racked up the K’s

Plenty about Mike Leake to come in my game story on MLB.com after a 3-1 Reds over the Giants. It was an impressive eight innings highlighted by 12 strikeouts, a career high that buried his previous high of eight (done five times).

Leake is 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA lifetime in four starts at AT&T Park.

Manager Bryan Price was impressed by Leake’s velocity, tonight and this season.

“His stuff has gotten better,” Price said. “He’s pitching with the best velocity of his career, as a long as we’ve had him. He’s pretty consistent when he wants to go out there and get 93-94 on a fastball. That’s not a fastball you have to apologize for from a velocity standpoint. And his command has been so good and he’s working so well with Devin and he’s utilizing his defense. Even though it was 12 strikeouts today, he really does depend on that defense to pick him up. He challenges guys in the strike zone. He’s fun to play defense behind.”

Giants CF Gregor Blanco saw a good mix of stuff from Leake.

“He had a little bit of ‘whip’ to his cutter,” Blanco said. “He mixed with his four-seam fastball. He was getting everybody out of their timing.”

Here’s some extra stuff from Leake:

“I don’t know, I guess I just like to attack hitters here, I guess the ball not flying too well here, or not as well as most places, is kind of helpful,” Leake said.

“Each year I’ve gotten stronger. My first year, I didn’t know what the heck to do, but each year I’ve progressed with trying to do heavier weight and get stronger for each season. I just probably attribute it to to gaining a little bit of weight and strength each year.”

The Reds have won five of their last six games and eight of 11 and improved to 40-38 to go two games above a .500 record for the first time this season. Why are things clicking so well lately? Leake had some thoughts.

“I think we were kind of down when Joey [Votto] went down and when he came back it helped lift us a little bit because our offense has been struggling, so we felt him coming back was definitely going to help us,” Leake said. “I think it definitely has, obviously. Their confidence is coming back and that’s what we needed.”

Game 78: Reds at Giants

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

Headed to SF

As I wait at my gate for a flight pondering why I can’t get direct service from CVG to San Francisco (it’s not like SF is a tiny burg or anything), I’m pondering what this in-progress road trip could mean for the Reds.

Right now, the Reds are one of the hottest teams in baseball. They are 5-0-1 over their last six series and over .500 again at 39-38 heading into the four-game stop at the Giants. A 7-3 or 6-4 road trip could definitively get the thoughts of the team “selling” before the Trade Deadline out of people’s minds.

The last time the Reds faced a team that had a pitcher throw a no-hitter the day before (the Dodgers and Josh Beckett), the next guy (Hyun-Jun Ryu) took a perfect game into the eighth inning. That was last month. This seems to be an offensively motoring team compared to what we saw in Chavez Ravine and Arizona.

The Giants have also lost 11 of their last 15 games, even with Tim Lincecum’s second no-hitter yesterday. I’m eager to see how this series turns out. A split is a reasonable expectation at AT&T Park, but getting more would obviously be another confidence boost that further puts the .500 mark in the rear view.

The All-Star balloting is ongoing at MLB.com. When the team is announced next weekend, I’m expecting the Reds to have only two All-Stars. Usually fans and those who follow the team are prone to naming all the deserving guys only to see the selections be two less than expected. I’m just going to save some time.

The Reds’ All-Star locks in my mind are Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman. Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco certainly have the numbers that make them worthy. Mesoraco, in particular, is foiled by a deep pool of quality NL catchers — Yadier Molina is certain to start. But there is also Buster Posey, Jonathan Lucroy and Evan Gattis that could named by the league or earn player votes.

When I asked Frazier on Sunday if he wanted to go, I liked that he said yes and why. Often players try to be conservative with their comments on stuff like that. The man wants to go, why not say so?

I guess we’ll see soon who is in and who is out. This was going to be a longer entry, but it’s already time to board. Catch you later this evening.

Games 75-77: Reds at Cubs

I’ve got this series off, too. But I will pick up the road trip in San Francisco.

Enjoy the series…

Hamilton sits vs. knuckleballer

Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton was out of Sunday’s lineup and Skip Schumaker was in. Rest wasn’t the primary motivation for manager Bryan Price’s decision. Trying to have experienced hitters vs. Blue Jays knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey played a part.

“It’s not so much [a day off], more so the fact that I think Ludwick has [11] at-bats against Dickey and he’s [3-for-11]. And Schu is 3-for-8, and having some experience with a knuckleballer, I think there’s an advantage to that.” Price said. “And a day off for Billy isn’t the worst thing. My concern isn’t that he can’t do it, it’s just that we knew that when we went into the season there’s going to be a lot of wear and tear. A young center fielder who plays with that type of energy, who steals bases, who covers a lot of ground in center field, who’s 160 pounds, and he’s going to be playing into the late months that he hasn’t done as a regular player before — playing into September and maybe into October — so it just makes sense.”

Because he had no background as a hitter, Price had no real advice for his players about how to handle Dickey, who is 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA in three career starts vs. the Reds but hasn’t faced them since 2012 for the Mets. Price did not that when he was pitching coach for the D-backs, the club had radio analyst and ex-knuckleballer Tom Candiotti to throw batting practice before the D-backs faced the Red Sox and Tim Wakefield.

“We didn’t hit Tom and we didn’t hit Wakefield,” Price said.

Game 74: Blue Jays at Reds

Schumaker 8
Frazier 5
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Ludwick 7
Pena 2
Cozart 6
Cueto 1

Game 73: Blue Jays at Reds

Hamilton 8
Frazier 5
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Ludwick 7
Mesoraco 2
Santiago 6
Leake 1

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