Results tagged ‘ Aaron Harang ’

Phillips playing again

Brandon Phillips is back in the lineup today after being sick the past couple of days.

Reds at Padres, 3:05 p.m. ET.

Sappelt 8
Phillips 4
Francisco 5
Alonso 3
Heisey DH
Frazier 7
Hanigan 2
Dorn 9
Cozart 6

Reineke 1

Burton, Ondrusek, Smith and Thompson are among those in the bullpen today.

On the SD side, Aaron Harang is starting. You may remember him??…big tall guy that pitched the last five Opening Days. Obviously, he had hard times the last three seasons in Cincinnati but he was as class of a guy as they come. I will try to go to the Padres clubhouse after his start to interview him if I can.

More from Peoria later…


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No surprises on Reds options

The Reds picked up the $11 million club option for 2011 on RHP Bronson Arroyo and the $1.75 million option on OF Jonny Gomes Wednesday. Not picked up were the $4 million option on SS Orlando Cabrera ($1M buyout) and the $12.75 million option on RHP Aaron Harang ($2M buyout). Both Cabrera and Harang become free agents.

None of these moves come as a shocker. Arroyo has been one of the Reds’ most consistent pitchers since he joined the club in 2006. He won a career high 17 games this season and has 200 innings pitched in six-straight seasons.

Gomes drove in a career-best 86 RBIs while batting .266 with 18 homers.

I have a call into the voice mail of GM Walt Jocketty. I expect he will still pursue Cabrera at a lower price, which he indicated he’d do when asked last month. There’s no word yet on progress towards a contract extension on Arroyo.

As for Harang,who was 18-38 in the last three seasons after he was 32-17 over 2006-07, this is the expected end of the line of his long tenure in Cincinnati. He certainly seemed to see this coming as he was emotional following a final start on the last day of the season.

UPDATE — I just got off the phone with Jocketty about the different decisions. Here are some of the quotes:

On Arroyo:

“We’ll certainly continue to work on doing a multi-year extension with him. I don’t want to go into the season negotiating. We’ll try to [get it done] before the start of the season.”

***I got a text back from Arroyo, who said he was “definitely” optimistic an extension could still get done with the Reds.

On Cabrera:

“It was a tough decision. We’re trying to protect ourselves with payroll and all the arbitration guys we have and the things we need to do. We’re not ruling out the possibility of bringing him back but it will be a while before we know.”

Jocketty said that Paul Janish stands to be the regular shortstop at this point, but obviously that would depend partially on what becomes of Cabrera.

***I talked to Jonny Gomes, who is at his home in Arizona. He was very pleased to know he would be returning to the Reds

“This saves my forehead,” Gomes said. “Last off-season, I banged it into every wall of my house being confused.”

Gomes was referring to being non-tendered and unemployed all of last winter until he signed the day the full squad reported to Spring Training.

“I have six years in [the Majors] but last year was my first time with 500 at-bats,” Gomes said. “Hopefully, I get another opportunity to do back-to-back years. It’s looking like it. Every year has been a battle with nothing guaranteed. I’ve always had a camp invite or a split contract. I’ve had pretty good numbers and success without a job guaranteed. I will battle for a spot at Spring Training and keep putting the pedal to the metal.”

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Live, but delayed, from the NLDS

Apologies for the lack of blog action here today. It wasn’t the best of travel days. My original flight to Philadelphia was canceled and the rebooked flights was delayed. I got to the ballpark after the press conferences were over and simply hit the ground running on my stories.

*It was a rather chilly and rainy day Tuesday — the usual fare for postseason baseball. Fortunately there was no game today because the elements were not ideal.

*Lots of media decended on Citizens Bank Park today. It will be more than most Reds players have ever had to deal with.

*One cool thing I noticed during BP — pitcher Aaron Harang was the “bucket guy” retrieving balls hit to the outfield. It’s usually a task for the least senior starting pitcher when those guys are shagging fly balls.

*Here are some story links on that you might want to see:

Final roster isn’t decided, but there will be four lefty relievers. That could be a strength.

Edinson Volquez story

Could days off between NLDS games help Chapman?

Notebook: Votto on MVP talk

*Here are some quotes from the clubhouse today:

“The atmosphere at this ballpark is kind of second to none. I think that comes with the Phillies fans, which are very passionate about their Phillies. They will let you know they like the Phillies more than the Reds. That creates a little buzz here.” — Jonny Gomes

“It’s coming along decent. We numbed it up today and tried to do some stuff. I mostly hit inside today. We’re still waiting to make a decision. We’ll have a meeting in a little bit.” — Jim Edmonds on his right Achilles tendon

“The regular season is done and it speaks for itself. I don’t have to validate anything. I do owe it to myself, my teammates and Reds fans to play as well as I can, to compete and give it everything I can out on the ball field.” — Joey Votto on his MVP-caliber season

“The last couple of days were nice. I was sick over the last two or three weeks. We all know that when we’re sick, you really don’t consider that rest. You just try to recover and get back to normal. The last couple of days, Dusty gave me one full day off and I played half a game. I really appreciated that.” — Votto on getting breaks after the NL Central clinch

“We are so routine oriented that you don’t want to take guys out of their routine. If they listen to certain music, do it. If they go to the bath room at a certain time or eat at a certain time. At this point in the season, everybody has their own routine. Some guys play cards. Some guys just chill. Some guys watch Judge Judy, whatever they do.” — Dusty Baker on his players not getting too amped up about the playoff stage.

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Volquez to start NLDS Game 1

 Some surprising news came down after Saturday’s 7-4 win over the Brewers

Dusty Baker revealed Aaron Harang would start the regular season finale instead of Edinson Volquez. Why is that? It’s because Volquez was named the Game 1 starter for the NLDS.

“He’s coming on pretty strong,” Baker said. “He’s been especially good against lefties. The Phillies have a lot of lefties.”

Volquez was surprised when he was told on Friday.

“It’s an honor for me,” Volquez said. “For me it’s big because I was out for one year and came back from Tommy John [surgery]. This is the first game of the playoffs, it’s big time.”

With Roy Halladay starting for the Phillies, the Reds’ expected opponent, this decision gives the Reds a power arm to match.

In four starts since his recall from Dayton, Volquez is 1-1 with a 1.95 ERA. He has eight walks and 31 strikeouts. His power-armed velocity has regularly reached the 95-96 mph range.

More later on

One surprise, one non-surprise

A few days ago in Denver, I talked to outfielder Jim Edmonds and came away with the impression his chances of returning from a torn right oblique muscle this season were remote. Imagine my surprise when we learned Edmonds was activated from the disabled list Friday.

Turns out, Edmonds and Dusty Baker didn’t see the move coming too.

“I really wasn’t expecting to come off today,” Edmonds said. “[Walt Jocketty] told me and that’s a good thing. Nobody wants to be on the DL anyways. I’m here if it’s needed.”

“I was surprised myself,” Baker said. “Walt informed me. I saw him moving around pretty good in the outfield. I haven’t seen him hit. So far he’s been hitting off the tee.”

The Reds have played with only three healthy outfielders for 10 days since Jay Bruce went down with a sore right side. There is no Minor League outfielders on the 40-man roster and no room on the roster at the moment to open space up.

“He figured he could take me off [the DL] right now and be in case of an emergency, I’m sure,” Edmonds said. “We’re kind of short right now. Whatever it takes.”

*In a non-surprise, Edinson Volquez was told Thursday that he would be the Reds starter on Saturday. This seemed like it was coming once Harang was lifted early from Monday’s start after only 2 1/3 innings at Colorado.

*Aaron Harang will move to the bullpen and be available as a long reliever. Baker said Harang handled the news professionally.

“Usually his nemesis inning is the third or fourth inning,” Baker said. “He can give us a couple of innings, which we’ll need hopefully in long relief or middle relief. It’s a very unusual situation for him and us.”

*Mike Leake was also activated from the DL, but not to pitch.

“Leake will fit in to pinch-hit, pinch-run, pinch-bunt. Pinch everything,” Baker said. “He told me two months ago if I needed an emergency outfielder, he could do that too. That’s a real emergency. He’s not ready to pitch. He wasn’t supposed to pick up a ball for two weeks.”

*SS Orlando Cabrera (left oblique) likely will be rested through the weekend, Baker said.

*Bruce is not available today off the bench. He is still not rushing a return.

*LHP Arthur Rhodes was not available Thursday because of a sore foot. It’s not clear yet if he’s available tonight.

“We’re kind of the walking wounded right now,” Baker said.

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Road trip finale

Thurs lineup vs. COL

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Hernandez 2
Heisey 9
Janish 6
Wood 1

Orlando Cabrera is sitting for a second-straight day because of a sore oblique again. He reaggravated the injury going from first to third base on Tuesday.

“I can play today,” Cabrera said. “I feel that I don’t want to play one game and sit for two. I’d rather take my rest right now with the day game and hopefully start Friday and play through the weekend.”

“Versus taking him in and out of there every other day, we’re trying to get that thing 100 percent, even though he thought he was before,” Dusty Baker said. “It doesn’t take much for those things to come back.”

*No word on Saturday’s starter, yet, between Volquez and Harang.

“We’ll let you know shortly,” Baker said.

Postgame: Dog day afternoon

Monday was certainly a labor-type day for the Reds during a 10-5 loss. It was a brutal day on several fronts.

*Aaron Harang was roughed up again and lasted only 2 1/3 innings. After being staked to a 4-0 lead in the four-run top of the third, he gave it all back in the bottom of the third. His walks to pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to start the inning and to Dexter Fowler to load the bases for Carlos Gonzalez were killer.

*The Reds lineup was 3-for-15 RISP and had 14 LOB. The bases were left loaded three times.

*In just 6 1/3 innings in his two starts since returning from the DL, Harang has given up 12 hits and six walks. Meanwhile, Edinson Volquez has been getting his stuff back together at Class A Dayton. Volquez also pitched on Monday for the Dragons and could be ready in five days to take Harang’s next turn.

Reds manager Dusty Baker said a decision on Harang’s future in the rotation was coming.

“Pretty soon,” Baker said. “We have to discuss things and see. We can’t have the short outings. It puts pressure on my bullpen for the ensuing days after.”

“I can’t think about that right now,” Harang said when asked about his situation. “That’s the last thing on my mind. I need to get back in a groove. I haven’t been able to feel like I’m getting in a groove.”

More quotes —

“He’s got excellent stuff. Not a lot of guys in the league have his kind of stuff and his kind of potential. I have to give him a lot of credit. He threw really well today, considering he gave up a few runs early. They tried to stretch him out a little longer than some teams would allow a pitcher to go. I thought he threw really well. He battled. He competed well.” — Joey Votto on Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez, who gave up four runs, seven hits and six walks but struck out eight.

“That’s something I knew was going to happen. It was a matter of time before somebody would connect on me and somebody was going to score a run off me. It’s normal.” — Aroldis Chapman on giving up his first run and hits today.

“The real tough part was walking Ubaldo to start the inning. That’s what started the rally. In this ballpark here, you have to make them earn it. You can’t walk people here. Every time you walk somebody, it seems like they score.” — Dusty Baker on the Rockies’ four-run third vs. Harang

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Harang likely bullpen bound

To anyone following Aaron Harang’s progress during his two-start rehab assignment, this likely won’t be a surprise. But it looks like that Harang will pitch from the bullpen when he returns to the Reds. It hasn’t been determined exactly what the next step is for Harang — like whether or not he will get another outing at Triple-A Louisville.

“We’re going to get that figured out by [Tuesday],” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Monday. “We’ll probably use him as a long man.”

In his two starts for Louisville, Harang was 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA, with 14 hits and 11 runs surrendered over 11 innings.

*I also asked Jocketty if there were plans to add a player via trade or waiver claim before Aug. 31 when playoff rosters must be set.

“I don’t think so,” he said.

Below is my view from the press box at AT&T Park during the first inning. It’s one of the lower views we get in the league. Fans walk right past us and you get to soak up the atmosphere pretty well. It’s easily one of the top ballparks in baseball and like Dodger Stadium, I highly recommend you add it to your travels if you’re out this way.

att park 082310.JPG

Baker a GM? No thanks

Reds manager Dusty Baker spent last night’s game and will spend tonight’s game in general manager Walt Jocketty’s suite while serving his two-game suspension.

What was that perspective like?

“It’s a lot easier up there,” Baker said. “Every war movie or cowboy movie I remember, they always went to high ground to have a better view of things.”

Someone asked Baker if he’d ever like to move into the GM’s chair sometime. It took little time, if any, for him to respond with a no.

“Al Rosen, who recruited me to the Giants, had asked me what position I’d like,” Baker said. “At the time I told him I’d like to be his assistant general manager or possibly general manager some day. He told me I’d be better suited to manage on the field. He’d seen me across the field from Houston and the Giants when I was with the Dodgers. Since I’ve been in this position, I’d rather be in the action. As a manager, you’re kind of like the shop foreman. Most times, the shop is in the basement. You’re down there with the guys, the players. You’re not an officer from being in the military. You’re more of a warrant officer, which is a former enlisted man that they thought merited commission as an officer. You’re an enlisted man in charge of other enlisted men.

“Plus general manager – that’s a lot of hard work. That’s a lot of work when everybody else is off work – namely me. Those three or four months off, you need it to recharge from the long season. That general manager, they work hardest in the off-season. Most of them live where they work. Most of them go to the office every day or almost every day. They’re in meetings all the time. I like what I’m doing.”

Other quick notes —

*Johnny Cueto, suspended for seven games, threw 41 pitches against hitters Juan Francisco and Ryan Hanigan. He is slated to start on Aug. 21 at Los Angeles, his first day after the suspension ends.

*Orlando Cabrera (oblique) said he’s feeling better. Cabrera took some swings Friday, but not at full speed. The trainers wanted him to try hitting today if he felt up to it. Cabrera hopes to be ready by the time he’s eligible to return on Wednesday at Arizona.

*Jonny Gomes will be presented withe MLB Players Alumni Association’s Heart and Hustle Award. One player for each club receives the nod locally and an overall winner is announced in November.

“From my coming up through the minors and before that with some of the adversity in my life, you never know when it’s going to be your last game,” Gomes said. “I kind of play the game in regards to that’s how I want to be remembered when my time is up. I worked too hard to put this uniform on.  It will take a lot to take it off. That’s one of the aspects I want to bring every day. Every manager I’ve played for I’ve told them ‘I’d love to promise some numbers for you at the end of the year, but I can’t. what I can promise is hustle and respecting the game every day.'”

 *Aaron Harang will leave Sunday morning and meet Triple-A Louisville for his rehab assignment start at Columbus. First pitch is at 5 p.m.

*Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman broke his leg at the beach on Friday in San Diego while vacationing with his family. Marty Brennaman reported that Thom was trying out wakeboarding for the first time. 

Tick tock tick tock…

The Trade Deadline is at 4 p.m. ET, first pitch between the Reds and Braves at 4:10.

Saturday lineup vs ATL

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Stubbs 8
Hanigan 2
Arroyo 1

UPDATE at 2 pm: Baker has heard nothing relating to trades from GM Walt Jocketty.

“I haven’t seen Walt,” Baker said. “I’m sure he’s on the phone some place with it glued to his ear.”

*Baker was stunned by the three-way trade that sent RHP Jake Westbrook from the Indians to the Cardinals and OF Ryan Ludwick to the Padres. But it wasn’t the Westbrook part that shocked him.

“Ludwick, I like him. He can hit,” Baker said. “He hit 37 [homers] two years ago. Wow.”

*Many are complaining that Baker doesn’t start Chris Heisey very often, even as he does well as a pinch-hitter or late substitute (ie last night). You know who isn’t complaining? Heisey.

“No matter how well I play coming off the bench, I don’t think it determines whether I should start or not,” Heisey said on Saturday. “If a guy needs a day off, I’m ready. To be honest, I’ve had so much success off the bench and not so much when I start. Obviously, everybody wants to be a starter. I don’t resent anybody for me not starting by any means.”

Heisey is a .224 hitter (13-for-58) with two homers in 16 starts. He’s batting .423 (11-for-26) as a sub, including .389 (7-for-18) with four homers as a pinch-hitter.

“I want to start but when I get to the park and don’t see my name in the lineup, I’m never mad or anything like that,” Heisey said. “I know my role. At this point, we’re winning so I’m fine with it.”

*Aaron Harang (back) threw in another bullpen session today and said he felt OK. Harang also took batting practice and didn’t seem to be favoring anything.

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