Results tagged ‘ Alex Gonzalez ’

Gonzalez traded to Boston

Gonzo is the latest Reds veteran to have gone elsewhere.

SS Alex Gonzalez cleared waivers on Friday and was traded to the Red Sox for Class A Minor League shortstop Kris Negron. Cincinnati also sent cash to Boston in the deal.

“The Red Sox had interest in Gonzo and have had problems at shortstop,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “We viewed this as an opportunity for him to play for a contender in a possible playoff situation.”

This move isn’t too stunning, to say the least. Gonzalez was in the final guaranteed year of his contract and the Reds held a $6 million option for 2010 with a $500,000 buyout. It always seemed unlikely the club would have picked that up.

In 68 games this season during a woeful season production-wise, Gonzalez batted .210 with three home runs and 26 RBIs. His on-base percentage was .258.

When you look at the return against the three-year, $14 million contract he signed with the Reds in the 2006-07 off-season, and Gonzalez was a bust. He batted .248 over his tenure and missed all of 2008 with a knee fracture. He missed a month this season because of elbow surgery. His defense is superlative but I still don’t think it added up to a successful run in Cincinnati.

What now?

Paul Janish will get the bulk of playing time at shortstop. Adam Rosales could also play there once Scott Rolen returns from the DL to play third base.  

“I didn’t find out until I got to the yard,” Janish said about the trade. “Actually I stopped to sign autographs right before I got into the parking lot and one of the guys out there told me. I didn’t know. When I got in here, I found out. It’s bittersweet. Alex is a great dude but obviously this is a huge opportunity for me so I’m excited.”

Not Chris Valaika or Todd Frazier — both will remain in the minors for now.

“We think they should stay down and keep developing,” Jocketty said.

First baseman Kevin Barker was called up from Triple-A Louisville to take Gonzalez’s roster spot. Barker will be a left-handed bat off of the bench.

In 111 games for Class A Salem, Negron batted .264 with three home runs and 34 RBIs. The Reds will assign him to Class A Sarasota.

“We got a young player back that we like,” Jocketty said. “He has average-to-better tools in every category. We’ll see what happens.”

Since July 31, the Reds have dealt Jerry Hairston Jr., Edwin Encarnacion, David Weathers and now — Gonzalez.

Keep an eye on the Bill Hall situation with the Brewers. I’ve learned that the Reds have some interest. Hall was designated for assignment earlier this week but has yet to clear waivers. Jocketty did not want to comment on Hall, who is owed $11 million still by the Brewers. It’s likely his next team could pick him up for the league minimum.

Bill Hall?

Among a flurry of moves in Milwaukee today, the Brewers designated super utility player Bill Hall for assignment. Assuming he clears waivers, the Reds should take a run and add Hall. He hit 35 homers in 2006 and was often a Reds killer (18 homers, 56 RBIs vs. CIN). His sharp decline over the past three years has been mysterious and he was down to just .201 this season.

Still, it’s a no-risk move since Milwaukee owes him about $11 million for the balance of this season, next season and a buyout of the 2011 option. The Reds could just pay him the minimum. They can plug him wherever they need him this season and then figure out what to do with him next year in the off-season. If it doesn’t work out, he wouldn’t cost them much.

Reds lineup:

Dickerson 7
Taveras 8
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Balentien 9
Gonzalez 6
Sutton 5
Tatum 2
Bailey 1

SS Alex Gonzalez is hitting all of .217 entering tonight but he’s been one of the Reds’ hottest hitters. He is 9-for-20 (.450) on the road trip and had four hits in Tuesday’s win.

“I feel very good. I am hitting the ball hard. I’m finding some holes,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez missed a month to have elbow surgery and has batted .273 over the previous 16 games.

“He had it going on pretty good before he got hurt,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He was starting to get it. He went backwards and is going forward again. He’s staying off of bad pitches, getting good pitches to hit and is swinging the bat well.”

Gonzalez is in a contract year as the Reds hold a $6 million option for 2010 that carries a $500,000 buyout. Considering the financial constraints they’re facing, it’s dicey on whether it gets picked up. Gonzalez said he’s not thinking about what could happen in the off-season.

“Right now, it’s about helping the team win and trying to finish strong,” Gonzalez said. “I can’t think too much about that. We have two months left. It’s more important for me to finish strong and finish the season healthy. We will see after the season.”

Mired in a career-long 0-for-20 skid, C Ryan Hanigan is getting a break tonight and Craig Tatum is catching. Hanigan has batted .143 (8-for-56) in 15 starts since Ramon Hernandez went on the DL.

Chris Dickerson did make a base running mistake in the sixth inning when he ran with his head down and got into a rundown that led to Justin Lehr being thrown out at the plate. Dickerson has great speed but been prone to mistakes on the bases.

“It’s something you can teach but you don’t want to teach through trial and error,” Baker said about base running. “Last night, he was so excited to get back he was like a runaway child in the wild.”On a foul ball, he almost passed Lehr.”

Dickerson did not goof, like I wrote, when he was thrown out at third base in the first inning on Joey Votto’s fielder’s choice play. Third base coach Mark Berry instructed Dickerson to move off the bag to prevent Mark DeRosa to throw to second for what would have been a 5-4-3 double play. So, I learned something there.

Historical note from Elias: Lehr was the only the third pitcher since 1900 to earn a win while allowing zero or one run and at least 11 hits in six innings pitched or less. The other two were Cleveland’s Jack Kralick in 1965 and Baltimore’s Pat Rapp in 2000.

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Rolen, Gonzalez out

3B Scott Rolen was not in Monday’s lineup vs. the Cubs, one day after he was beaned in the head by a Jason Marquis fastball in the seventh inning. Adam Rosales started in his place. Rolen was to be examined again today.

“He’s got a headache,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “The doctor said there was no concussion. He’s very lucky. I’ve never seen a ball ricochet that far. That ball went all the way to third base.”

SS Alex Gonzalez was given the night off after Sunday’s game where he committed an error dropping a cutoff throw that let a run score. He also made a soft running throw to first base in the 11th inning vs. Colorado that allowed an RBI infield single. On top of that, Gonzalez is hitless over his last 20 at-bats entering Monday.

“He’s frustrated. That game yesterday was unlike him,” Baker said.

Paul Janish started at SS vs. the Cubs.

In other news, injured OF Chris Dickerson is doing well with his slightly separated shoulder and expected to be ready to come off of the DL when eligible on Aug. 11.

Baker thinking 'of some new stuff'

When things have slid this far, this fast, like it has for the Reds, what can manager Dusty Baker do to spark a turnaround? Even Baker admitted before Sunday’s game he was running low on ideas to get through to his players.

“I’m trying to think of some new stuff,” he said. “It’s not easy coming up with some new stuff. You try laughter. You try anger. Actually, you don’t have to try anger. You put your arm around them. You chastise them. Sometimes you have to ride it out.

“We’ve got two more months. I don’t see two more months of last month’s misery.”

The Reds entered Sunday losers of five-straight games, the last 11 of 12 and 13 of 16.

Someone asked if Reds owner/CEO Bob Castellini has been by the clubhouse and how his mood was.

“Well not bad. How great do you expect it to be?” Baker said. “I don’t blame him. My demeanor is not good either. I put on a good front.”

  • Former Reds 3B Edwin Encarnacion went 1-for-4 for the Blue Jays at Oakland in his first game since the Scott Rolen trade.

“I was not surprised,” Encarnacion said of being traded. “They’ve been talking about a trade and I’m ready. I know how this game is and I was ready. I was waiting for it and I figured they were going to make a trade. Now I’m happy I’m here with my new team, Toronto, and I’m going to enjoy it.”

  • Many Ryan Hanigan backers would be pleased to know he batted second for the Reds in Sunday’s lineup. Alex Gonzalez batted eighth.
  • If he had enough plate appearances, Joey Votto would be second in the NL in batting with a .338 average entering Sunday. (Florida’s Hanley Ramirez came in batting .343). Votto was 25 PAs short of qualifying for the NL leaderboard.
  • At 11 a.m. ET Monday, Reds assistant GM Bob Miller is having another installment of his online chat series. To participate, click here.

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Jocketty manning the phone

Dusty Baker knew who his starting pitcher was for Friday but still wasn’t ready to say. Not until he confirmed with GM Walt Jocketty (my money is still on Justin Lehr).

Problem is, Jocketty is quite busy right now.

“Walt’s manning that phone today, big time. I haven’t seen Walt yet,” Baker said.

It will be interesting to see if any trades go down today, tonight or Friday. The deadline is at 4 p.m. ET. Reliever David Weathers walked through the clubhouse with a smile wondering if reporters had any latest gossip — but there was none.

“I’m counting on you guys to keep me informed,” Weathers joked.

The Reds had a lineup scratch this morning. CF Willy Taveras was removed from the leadoff spot with a sore left wrist. SS Alex Gonzalez was to get a day off but was put back in the lineup and Jerry Hairston Jr. was moved from shortstop to center field.

Reds lineup:

Hairston 8
Gonzalez 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Gomes 9
Encarnacion 5
Nix 7
Tatum 2
Cueto 1

The new acqusition, OF Wladimir Balentien, arrived first thing this morning after a redeye flight from Seattle.

“I got here and talked to Dusty and I know a couple of other guys,” Balentien said. “I’m happy to get another chance. I’m happy an organization like Cincinnati gave me an opportunity.”

Unless it’s an emergency, I don’t see Balentien playing today or Friday. He will get at-bats against Edinson Volquez on Friday in a simulated game.

“He hasn’t hit in a week,” Dusty Baker said. “He’s been working out but had nowhere to hit.”

Catcher Ryan Hanigan was out for the sixth-straight start with a sore neck.

“Hanigan is a little better,” Baker said. “He was better a couple of days ago and he might have tried to come back too soon. Hopefully we’ll see tomorrow. Boy, we are injured.”

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Gomes, Volquez and deadline

As he often does, OF Jonny Gomes likes to ask reporters if he’s in the lineup. Today, I was the one that told him he wasn’t. The Dodgers were starting right-hander Chad Billingsley and Gomes is the right-handed hitting part of Dusty Baker’s platoon.

Reds lineup:

Dickerson 9
Taveras 8
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Nix 7
Encarnacion 5
Hairston 6
Hanigan 2
Arroyo 1

One look at the stats shows this, and makes me wonder why Gomes isn’t in there more:

Gomes: .333 vs. LHP/.271 vs. RHP
Nix: .217 vs. LHP/.249 vs. RHP
Dickerson:  .257 vs. LHP/.271 vs. RHP

Gomes came into Wednesday batting .305 overall with seven homers and 20 RBIs.

“To tell you the truth about the numbers I have right now, if you would have told me a month ago with the role I have, I don’t think I would have been able to promise the numbers,” Gomes said.

To his credit, Gomes has never pouted or made a ruckus about not playing. He’s been the good soldier and remains a positive dude in the clubhouse.

“I want to be in there every day but I can’t control that right now,” Gomes said. “What I can control are my at-bats. You have to earn an everyday spot. In reality, I didn’t even make the team out of spring. To be where I am right now, I’m pretty pleased.”

But of course, no Major Leaguer aspires to a part-time role — accepted or not.

“I had no idea about this right-handed-left-handed thing until last year when [the Rays] brought in [lefty hitters] Cliff Floyd and Eric Hinske for a platoon,” Gomes said. “My numbers kind of slid. But I made it to the big leagues in two-and-a-half years coming up the minor leagues. I was third in rookie of the year in 2005. In 2006, I hit 11 home runs the first month. You don’t do those things just facing lefties. I have to roll with it right now. It’d be easier if we were winning more ballgames. In Tampa, it was easier to get in there to do your role because we were winning ballgames.”

In other news: Edinson Volquez threw 45 pitches in the bullpen Wednesday and had no problems. It was all fastballs and Volquez said it was with “72 percent intensity.” Pitching coach Dick Pole said Volquez threw at “68 percent” on Monday…so there you go.

Volquez has a 65-pitch bullpen session scheduled on Friday in Chicago where he plans to throw fastballs and changeups. If all goes well, he could head out on a Minor League rehab assignment.

SS Alex Gonzalez is 1-for-9 in three games entering the night’s action with Triple-A Louisville. But his rehab assignment is slated to end and he will meet the Reds in Chicago on Thursday and be activated on Friday.

Baker heard about trades today involving Julio Lugo from Boston to St. Louis and Adam LaRoche going from Pittsburgh to Boston. He was asked if GM Walt Jocketty had brought anything up to him about possible Reds deals in the works.

“No, we’re not close on anything. We’re looking,” Baker said.

Are the Reds still hoping to make additions, rather than subtractions?

“I hope so. That’s where my mind is at,” Baker said.

Jocketty said the Reds’ rough run lately hasn’t altered his mood from buying to selling.

“Nothing’s changed,’ Jocketty said. We’re still trying to improve the club. We’re not looking for any short term fixes. I think if we do anything, it would probably be closer to the deadline because that’s where these things seem to develop. I’m going to try and do something that’s going to improve the club for the long haul.”

The Reds are still seeking a bat to improve the 14th ranked offense out of the 16-team NL ,but clearly aren’t willing to go the rent-a-player route.

“We need someone to help pick up the pace and pick up the production,” Jocketty said. 

It’s Manny Ramirez Bobblehead night and Baker said he’d likely take one with him when he leaves tonight. But he’d rather get out of Chavez Ravine with a win. It’s only been since 2005 when the Reds could say they were on the left-hand column in Los Angeles.

“The slogan today is one-for-L.A. We don’t want to be 0-for-L.A.” Baker said.

As for Ramirez, Baker is a fan — and not just because of his hitting ability.

“I like Manny. My kid likes Manny,” Baker said. “He has been very kind to my son [10-year-old Darren]. Manny sent over his over his training aid, which has helped my son a lot. I asked him about it and he sent over one in spring training. I thought it was pretty cool. It was a ring of balls with different colors on it. he practices concentration. It’s one of the best things I’ve seen.”

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Hernandez hurting

The disabled list has become a crowded space on the Reds roster and the club is hoping that it’s not about to add another wounded party.

Catcher Ramon Hernandez has been bothered by a sore left knee and went for a MRI exam on Saturday. He’s missed the last two games and wasn’t starting on Sunday.

“I’ve had this for two months,” Hernandez said on Sunday morning. “I’ve been trying to play and gut it out and do what’s best. I’m trying to help and do what I can to play. Now it’s gotten worse.”

During a plate at the plate as he tried to score on Thursday, Hernandez was unable to slide and was easily thrown out.

“I slid in New York during the day game and it hurt so bad,” Hernandez said. “If I slid here, I didn’t know what was going to happen.”

If Hernandez went on the DL, Ryan Hanigan would obviously take over the starting job. The Reds recently traded for catcher Corky Miller in the deal that sent Norris Hopper to the White Sox. Miller is at Triple-A Louisville and would be the likely call-up.

“It’s not exactly how we planned it,” manager Dusty Baker said of Hernandez. “We hope it’s day to day. It’s not good.”

On top of the knee issue, Hernandez has also been nagged by a sore left hand for several weeks.

“It’s been better,” he said. “I’ve had some cortisone shots on it.”

Someone asked Hernandez if his mother ever told him not be a catcher.

“I told myself too. In the next life, I’ll be an outfielder or play soccer.”

It’s not like there was a need for more injury news but Baker also had another concern. OF Laynce Nix reported having a tight back and was receiving treatment. His status wasn’t known.

On the positive side, SS Alex Gonzalez left today for a rehab assignment at Louisville. If all goes as planned, Gonzalez, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow June 22, will meet the Reds in Chicago during Thursday’s off day and be activated on Friday.

Opening Day roster players currently on the DL: Jay Bruce (broken wrist), Gonzalez, Edinson Volquez (tendinitis) and Mike Lincoln (bulging disc in neck).

Others on DL: Wilkin Castillo, Danny Richar 

Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Hairston 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Encarnacion 5
Dickerson 7
Gomes  9
Hanigan 2
Cueto 1

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No moves, Jocketty on hitter need

After three days off, the Reds reconvened at Great American Ball Park with their 25-man roster the same as it was before the break. No moves were made…yet.

The Reds still have 13 pitchers.

“For now,” GM Walt Jocketty said without elaborating.

“We’ll see,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Probably until [Friday]. There’s some technical stuff in there.”

As for finding a hitter outside the club, that quest will continue as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline rolls closer. With Jay Bruce out 6-8 weeks, there seems to be more of a need now than before.

“It could make it more pressing but it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen,” Jocketty said. “We’re still looking for a hitter. The fact that Jay is hurt makes it more difficult for us to score runs. We’ve still got some guys that will get more playing time. Jonny Gomes will play more. [Jerry] Hairston could play more in the outfield. We’re certainly trying to do what we can.”

Jocketty seemed to be in agreement with Baker’s view from Sunday that the time is not now for outfield prospects Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey. Jocketty saw Stubbs play three times last week for Louisville and in Wednesday’s Triple-A All-Star game.

“He’s getting close,” Jocketty said of Stubbs. “You don’t want to rush a guy and have him come up here and not be successful. We’ll wait until our people think the time is right. The worst thing you can do for a guy’s confidence is to bring him up here and he doesn’t perform well.”

The Reds were on the field extra early today doing early work, which is a typical thing for a team to do after a few days off. Players took infield practice, practice cutoffs and relays in the outfield, went over signs and of course, took batting practice.Among those on the field was SS Alex Gonzalez, who was throwing pretty well considering he had elbow surgery about a month ago.

“They say he’s coming back really quick. He’s at a point where he could probably go on a rehab assignment next week. It’s just a matter of the time he needs to play.”

In other injury news, Edinson Volquez could begin throwing off of a mound by next week.

And, OF Chris Dickerson was scratched from the lineup during BP. He was originally slated to bat leadoff and play right field.

Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Hairston 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Hernandez 2
Nix 7
Gomes 9
Encarnacion 5
Bailey 1

One other late note: I learned today that 16-year-old Venezuelan shortstop Humberto Valor received a $690,000 bonus when he signed earlier this month. That was far below what some published reports were.


Rosales up, what's next for OF?

Sorry for a late blog posting — but it’s been a little hectic and I fell behind. The first person I saw when I walked into the clubhouse was infielder Adam Rosales, who was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to replace the injured Jay Bruce.

It was Rosales’ first-ever time in New York. The closest he’ll get to Manhattan is flying over it.

“They called me last night at 11 p.m.,” Rosales said. “I got all packing done and took a 7:15 a.m. flight from Louisville. It’s been a long day already for me. I’m catching a flight after the game to go to Salt Lake City to see the family. I didn’t get the full experience. I saw the Statue of Liberty from the window of the plane, Manhattan and the Empire State Building.”

The Reds have some moves to contemplate over the All-Star break and expect them to recalibrate the roster some for the second half. They are currently carrying 13 pitchers and want 12. Another position player will be added, manager Dusty Baker confirmed.

The club is down to four outfielders — Willy Taveras, Chris Dickerson, Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix. Throw Jerry Hairston Jr. into the mix and that makes five. Hairston has been playing shortstop mostly with Alex Gonzalez out. Rosales played a lot of shortstop at Louisville and could go there with Paul Janish and free Hairston up the outfield.

Or the Reds could make a trade before the July 31 deadline. Baker was asked if Bruce’s injury made more likely a bat would be added from the outside.

“It depends,” Baker said on Sunday. “Everybody knows you’re in need and they want to get the better of the deal. It’s harder to trade now than ever before because most teams want your young players. [General manager] Walt [Jocketty] has already been on the phone already. We’ll see.”  

It didn’t look likely that Drew Stubbs or Chris Heisey would get promotions. Stubbs, Cincinnati’s 2006 first-round Draft pick, came into Sunday batting .279 with two home runs and 25 RBIs for the Bats.

“What does that equate to here?” Baker said. “He’s still trying to figure out his stroke. Let’s not rush these guys like we did with a whole bunch of guys. If they’re going to be here, you want them to play every day. … Let’s let these kids play and develop. All we see is their batting averages. All we see is hitting. We don’t see the total game if you want to win in the big leagues. There is base running, throwing, getting signs and fundamental stuff. If they’re going to make mistakes, let them make them there.”

And finally, Baker was asked about the lack of national notice on Francisco Cordero but turned the answer into a different direction. He used it as a chance to fire a shot across the bow of ESPN, his former employer for one year in 2007.

“It seems like publicity we get is when we got killed, 22-1 [on Monday at Philadelphia],” Baker said. “They showed every hit. They showed everything. I took exception to that. Those are my people at ESPN, why do we get all the publicity in the world when it’s a joke?”

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Gonzalez to DL, have surgery

There were a lot of festivities and preparations for the Civil Rights Game on Saturday. But there was also baseball business that had manager Dusty Baker preoccupied.

Baker was unhappy because he had to put SS Alex Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list. Gonzalez has four loose bone chips in his right elbow and will need surgery — something expected to happen on Tuesday. He will likely be out for four weeks.

“He took a swing yesterday and his arm locked up on him,” Baker said.

Infielder Danny Richar and catcher/infielder Wilkin Castillo were called up from Triple-A Louisville. As part of the transactions, left-handed starter Matt Maloney was optioned to Louisville and third baseman Edwin Encarnacion was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. For those wondering, Encarnacion would be eligible for activation from the DL on June 27.

Maloney was 0-2 with a 6.11 ERA in three starts for the Reds, including on Thursday when he gave up six runs over 5 2/3 innings during a 7-0 loss to the Braves on Thursday. Because of a scheduled off day on Monday, the Reds won’t need a fifth starter until next Saturday at Cleveland.

Jerry Hairston Jr. started at shortstop on Saturday vs. the White Sox.

While the Reds took BP today (all wearing the Frank Robinson fan giveaway throwback jersey), Gonzalez was on the top step out of the clubhouse tunnel at the end of the dugout.

“What can I say? It’s tough luck,” Gonzalez said. “I want to be out there. I missed all of last season. To be out for a while this year is tough. I have to get it done.”

“I’ll come back in the middle of July and I hope the team continues to be in the race. When I come back, I will try to do what I’ve been doing this season.”

For those counting, Gonzalez is the third starting infielder to go on the DL for an extended period this season. Encarnacion hasn’t played since April 28 because of a chip fracture in his left wrist. Joey Votto has been out with the stress issue since May 30. And the one main infielder that avoided the DL, Brandon Phillips, missed five games with a hairline fracture of his right thumb.

“Remember in Spring Training when I said in order for us to win this thing we’d need everybody?” Baker said. “I hoped I wouldn’t be right but that’s how it is.”


Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Hairston 6
Phillips 4
Gomes 7
Hernandez 3
Bruce 9
Hanigan 2
Rosales 5
Cueto 1

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