Game 50: Reds at Phillies

Phillips 4

Votto 3

Frazier 5

Bruce 9

Pena 2

Byrd 7

Cozart 6

Cueto 1

Hamilton 8

Cueto’s agent on ace’s trade readiness 

Reds starter Johnny Cueto’s agent, Bryce Dixon, was on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM Sunday and discussed the possibility of the ace being traded this summer. Cueto can be a free agent at season’s end. 

Here is a portion of Dixon’s comments:

“I’ve told him to just be ready in case he does get traded. This is his arbitration extension that we signed so he didn’t get a no-trade clause in this deal so to the extent of what type of power do we have as far as where he goes? That’s up to the Reds. They’ve made no indications to Johnny that they want to trade him but, reading the tea leaves, if they fall out of contention it seems to make sense from their end because if they ride the season out with him and don’t make the playoffs then they are stuck with a compensation pick. And from where I sit I think they can probably get more than that on the trade market.”

Here is some of the audio:

Cueto showing leadership

On, there will be a story posting soon that Johnny Cueto had a successful bullpen session Sunday morning. That clears the way for him to likely start on Tuesday at Philadelphia. Go to the web site for all the details.

Of course, the Reds are thrilled that Cueto missed only one start for right elbow stiffness, and that it wasn’t worse. Not only is his presence needed on the mound, but the three rookies in the rotation have had a good leader to follow in the ace.

“It has been, more and more so since Bronson Arroyo] left,” manager Bryan Price said of Cueto’s effort at leadership. “I think he’s kind of accepted that role. We have some really good, really good established starting pitchers that can share really good information with this young group. That includes Johnny and Homer [Bailey] and [Mike] Leake are guys that really have been here with us, they know our system, they know our expectations from a pitching standpoint and can be really good council to our younger pitchers.

Cueto, Bailey and Leake are following a leadership path blazed in recent years by both Arroyo and Aaron Harang. Both were the staff veterans that helped show younger pitchers the way to be prepared and pitch.

“I think that it’s a combination of things,” Price said. “No. 1, it’s having really good leadership from Bronson, No. 2 I think we’ve cultivated an expectation of really pitching well. We haven’t been great the last couple of years, (but) we still have the expectations of what hard work looks like. Especially out of the rotation, making sure that you’re pitching your innings and doing all of the stuff that you need to between starts to be ready to pitch those innings.”

Not said, of course, is that this could very well be the last year for both Cueto and Leake in Reds uniforms as they can be free agents at season’s end. Especially with Cueto, the young guys should soak up all they can. Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias have both made it a point to sit near him on the bench during games and Lorenzen has told me in the past that he talks to Cueto often about pitching.

Game 49: Nationals at Reds


Why Hoover, not Chapman?

While the Reds win on Friday worked out in how the bullpen was used with J.J. Hoover getting the eighth-inning strikeout with the bases loaded to escape the jam, the seemingly everyday question of “why not Chapman?”  still came. Bryan Price revealed Saturday that Chapman wasn’t available for more than an inning.

“We knew going into it that it wasn’t going to be a multiple-inning situation for Chappy,” Price said. “I’ll leave it at that just from what we knew going into yesterday’s game on where he was. Under different circumstances, it would have been Chapman in that situation. We knew he was going to be up once, and in once yesterday. I knew that going into the game or that would have had a different flavor to it in the eighth for sure.”

Chapman got the save with one hit allowed in the two-strikeout ninth. Bryce Harper hit his 102 mph fastball up the middle for a one-out single.

Game 48: Nationals at Reds

Phillips 4

Votto 3

Frazier 5

Bruce 9

Pena 2

Byrd 7

Cozart 6

Iglesias 1

Hamilton 8

Votto’s found wallet, and swing

In Friday’s 5-2 Reds win, Joey Votto’s eighth homer of the season in the bottom of the first inning gave his team a 1-0 lead. It was also Votto’s first homer since April 28. After the game, I asked him about connecting for a long ball for the first time and his response was unique for sure.

I wasn’t getting where it was going at first, and then it came together.

“It’s been a while,” Votto said. “A couple of weeks ago, I lost my wallet. I have a green card in there and my driver’s license, credit card and cash and everything.  I didn’t know where it was for like two weeks. You ever lose your wallet? It’s so annoying, right? Then finally, I found it. It was in my car, one of the door compartments. That’s how I feel with my swing – I finally found my wallet.”

As for the incident with Bryce Harper, where he had words with the right fielder after his hit-by-pitch in the seventh inning, Votto sidestepped discussing it.

“I don’t remember. I don’t what you’re talking about,” Votto said smiling. “I really like him as a hitter. What a great player. I bet on Bryce. Man, he’s doing great.”

Pena on three rookies in rotation

Manager Bryan Price revealed that Jason Marquis was out of the Reds rotation and headed to the bullpen. With Johnny Cueto not ready until possibly next week in Philadelphia, the rotation now features three rookies for the time being in Anthony DeSclafani, Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen, who will start on Sunday. You can read more on that on

Reds catcher Brayan Pena was asked about having three young pitchers in the starting five.

“We knew that was coming sooner or later because those guys they have so much talent,” Pena said. “They really deserve that shot but it’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be exciting for all of us but especially for them. It’s one of those series they really have to go out there and do what they do and that’s competing. I know they’re ready for the challenge and we trust them and we believe in what they can do so it’s going to be exciting to see and hopefully we can get away with a nice performance for them and a good series.”

Pena likes how the three pitchers handle themselves.

“I really like the way they go about their business, how emotionally they encourage themselves,” he said. “They are very similar, all of them they like to compete, all of them they prepare very well and one thing all of them have in common is that they believe in what they can do. They believe that they belong in the big leagues.

Every time they have the baseball in their hands it’s all about giving 100 percent and me personally that’s the only thing that I can ask for from them.”

Game 47: Nationals at Reds


Game 46: Rockies at Reds



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