Results tagged ‘ Alex Gonzalez ’

Lineups, no Votto

The Reds will go for the sweep without Joey Votto in the lineup. Chris Dickerson is also getting his first start in quite a while.

Reds lineup:

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

D-Backs lineup:

Lopez, 4
Parra, 8
Upton, 9
Drew, 6
Byrnes, 7
Montero, 2
Tracy, 3
Ojeda, 5
Augenstein, 1

 

Votto was still feeling the effects of the flu today and went through a battery of tests after his dizzy episode during the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game. He expects to be back on Friday at San Diego. The issues started in the third inning when Votto charged on a bunt play with Dan Haren up.

“I felt a little off then,” Votto said. “Then during my at-bat, I felt my heart really racing and I felt really odd. After I flew out to finish the inning, I was on the field and I couldn’t center myself.”

Votto said there was “no question” that what happened had to do with the flu that he had last week and caused him to miss four starts.

“I wasn’t dehydrated,” Votto said. “I’ve been doing my best to eat really well and put a lot of fluids in because I realize how hot and dry it is here. It took way too long to recover after it happened.

That’s where my concern was. I didn’t feel regular the way I do now until maybe an hour or hour and a half after it happened. The game was over and I still felt odd. More than anything, it was frustrating. I’ve gotten dizzy before from heat when I was kid if I exercised and recovered quickly – 15-20 minutes at most.

“The last thing I want to do is go out there and be taken out of the game. I found it really embarrassing. Not that I did anything to justify being embarrassed. I just don’t like being taken out in the middle of the game, ever, out of respect to my teammates.”

In other news — SS Alex Gonzalez (oblique) will be back on Friday vs. the Padres after a few days of BP without issue.

“I’m looking for signs of wincing or holding back. I didn’t see any of that,” manager Dusty Baker said.

What will Gonzalez’s return (batting .176) after over a week out mean for hot-hitting Jerry Hairston Jr. (.260), whose played a lot of shortstop but can play third base or left field? Or Laynce Nix (.304)? or Adam Rosales (.298)?

“Gonzo is my shortstop,” Baker said. “We have to mix and match. Sometimes we’ll go with better defense-speed team one day and an offensive one the next day, depending on who’s pitching against us and who’s pitching for us and what kind of success someone has had against a guy.”

And for those wondering, Baker denies that Micah Owings intentionally plunked Ryan Roberts leading off the 8th inning last night. FS Arizona believed it was during their coverage.

“No way,” Baker said. “A 3-0 game in the eighth inning with their top of the lineup coming up and the way Felipe [Lopez] is hitting the ball and Miguel Montero and Justin Upton. That 3-0 could have been 4-3 quick. I didn’t think it was intentional.” 

Baker also said he didn’t think D-Backs reliever Jon Rauch was throwing at Brandon Phillips to cause Owings to go hard inside. 

Defense

No one can deny that third baseman Adam Rosales has impressed with his bat and hustle — going back to Spring Training, in fact. If there’s been a downside to this point, it was on clear display Monday night. His defense needs a lot of work, and Rosales knows it.

Although charged with his one and only error when Chris Snyder’s grounder skipped off his glove and into left field, Rosales was eaten up by several grounders Monday. On some plays, he was able to recover his bobble and use his strong arm to get the out. Last week, it cost the Reds a couple of double plays. As a whole, the team is stressing more and more about not giving away outs.

Bench coach Chris Speier, who also coaches the infielders, took Rosales aside after the game last night. Alex Gonzalez and Joey Votto also talked with him, Rosales said.

“I have to find a way to slow it down,” Rosales said. “One of my strengths has always been defense, coming up through the organization. I think I’m just hyped up a little bit. I’m not seeing the ball too well off the bat. I have to relax and gain my confidence back to its fullest.”

“Right now it seems he’s in a fielding slump where he’s allowing the ball to play him,” Speier said. “His setup is getting a little better. I told him we’re just interested in progress. We don’t expect complete change right away but this is what we want to work for.

“I relayed a story to him. I went to Dodger Stadium my first or second year and had 30 tickets for my family in the area. I went out there and made four errors in the game at shortstop. I was ashamed, embarrassed, you name it. You get the mentality where you don’t want to ball hit to you. And you’re afraid of failure. You have to overcome it.”

  • As for Gonzalez, he’s taking more batting practice today but there has been no oblique pain after Monday’s hitting. However because of the nagging nature of the injury, there doesn’t appear to be any rush to get him back.

“He came through really good,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “The trainer said so too. I have to talk to him first and watch him some more in BP today. I’d prefer to give him a couple of more days of BP so he’s sharper. We don’t lose anything as well.”

Gonzalez would prefer to get back, ASAP.

“I feel good. I’m ready to play,” Gonzalez said.

  • On Wednesday morning, I plan to take a trip to Goodyear and check out the Spring Training complex. I was out there in September when the Indians facility was nearly done. The main stadium was a few months from completion and the Reds’ portion was just tumbleweeds. I’m sure there’s a lot more to see than that now.

Anything you want to know or I should ask about?

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Happy Mother's Day

Good Sunday morning and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms that might be reading (or not).

The Reds are still without Joey Votto (flu) and are running the same starting eight in order from last night.

Reds lineup:

Taveras CF
Hairston SS
Bruce RF
Phillips 2B
Nix LF
Hernandez 1B
Rosales 3B
Hanigan C
Volquez P

News you can use:

Votto probably could have played, manager Dusty Baker said on Sunday morning.

“He’s close. He’s real close,” Baker said. “If we weren’t play so well, he’d be in there for sure. I figured this way he can get all of his strength back.”

Votto will definitely be back on Monday at Arizona.

Alex Gonzalez (oblique) took more groundballs this morning and looked pretty good fielding and throwing. He said he has yet to hit.

Edwin Encarnacion (chip fracture, left wrist) is continuing to progress but isn’t doing much baseball activity.

“He’s working hard. We’ve been rolling him groundballs and he’s throwing them across the field,” Baker said. “He’ll probably in better shape when he gets back. He can’t do much baseball stuff. He can’t hit or really field but he can throw, run and workout.”

Encarnacion, who made the previous road trip, will also be making the trip to the west coast to continue working out with the team.

Lots of players will be swinging pink bats today in honor of breast cancer awareness/Mother’s Day — including Hernandez, Phillips, Bruce, Taveras just to name a few.

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If it's not broke…

Looks like Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips are still under the weather with the flu since Dusty Baker is running out the same lineup as the one that beat the Brewers last night. Hey, its got a 1-0 record.

Speaking of weather, the tarp is on the field. Storms are in the forecast.

Reds lineup:

Taveras CF
Hairston 2B
Bruce RF
Hernandez 1B
Nix LF
Rosales 3B
Hanigan C
Janish SS
Cueto P

News you can use:

Phillips is available to pinch-hit, most likely. Votto was due to arrive at the ballpark at 6 p.m.

“Brandon is getting better. He’s better than Joey,” Baker said. “They’re getting him an IV and all that. He and Brandon were both in the infirmary in different rooms during the game [last night]. We’re working on them.”

Without those two players, and Alex Gonzalez still out with an oblique strain, the Reds go into a game again with 22 players. Gonzalez threw again today but did not swing a bat, which he could do Saturday.

Because the Reds are so shorthanded, putting Gonzalez on the DL was considered just to add another healthy player. The pickings for Minor League infielders are currently slim. On the 40-man roster, Drew Sutton just returned from a bout with mono and catcher/infielder Wilkin Castillo is batting .196. Prospect Chris Valaika is also struggling and isn’t on the 40-man roster.

“Well, we’re weighing all the options, what our choices are with infielders,” Baker said. “That’s what it boils down to. You don’t like being short but you don’t want to put him on the DL and then he’s well enough. That’s where the dilemma comes in.”

From Jamie Ramsey’s Minor League report:

Triple-A Louisville OF Jonny Gomes last night vs Rochester homered for the third consecutive game. Gomes has a five-game hitting streak (6-for-19, .316)…with six HR is tied with IF/OF Wes Bankston for the team lead. 

Double-A Carolina CF Chris Heisey collected a season-high four hits last night vs. Mobile to lift his batting average to .378…he ranks among Southern League leaders in batting average (1st), slugging (1st, .653), extra-base hits (T1st, 16), hits (2nd, 37), on-base pct. (2nd, .479) and doubles (T3rd, 10)…he’s reached base safely in every one of his 27 games this season and is currently in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak (13-27, .481, 4rbi). 

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Nix in the lineup

For those looking for a Laynce Nix start in left field, today’s lineup vs. the Brewers should placate you — at least for now.

Did anyone see the Manny Ramirez news coming? Despite today’s times, that’s still a stunner.

Reds lineup:

Taveras CF
Hairston SS
Votto 1B Bruce RF
Phillips 2B
Bruce RF Nix LF
Hernandez C 1B
Nix LF Hanigan C
Rosales 3B
Owings P

4:45 pm update: Joey Votto was scratched from the lineup because he is sick.

News you can use:

Dusty Baker had a meeting with Chris Dickerson about the move to put Nix in the lineup tonight.

“I called Dickerson in and talked to him,” Baker said. “I said ‘hey man, you’ve got to go back to work and get it back together.’ Nix is going good right now. We have to win ballgames. I’m not saying it’s all his fault but Nix is doing his thing.”

Dickerson is batting .217 and is tied for the team lead with 21 strikeouts. Nix came in batting .353 and has one homer and six doubles during his limited chances.

SS Alex Gonzalez (left oblique strain) was scheduled to play catch today and said he would take some light swings with his bat on Friday. Gonzalez hoped he could return to the lineup as soon as Saturday.

“I will feel ready soon, maybe Saturday or Sunday,” Gonzalez said. “I do not want to go to the DL. Every day, I feel a lot better. Today, I feel a lot better than yesterday. I can move it a lot easier.”

Ramon Hernandez played the ninth inning at first base last night and is starting there in Votto’s place. Hernandez will be using Adam Rosales’ first base glove.

“I’ve got one but it’s not broken in,” Hernandez said.

One night after throwing 35 pitches of emergency relief in the ninth inning, SS Paul Janish felt the effects.

“Janish came out of it OK. He’s a little sore today,” Baker said. “I was worried about that after the number of pitches he threw. I remember that’s how Jose Canseco got hurt. He was throwing sliders. Paulie was throwing fastballs and changeups.”

Said Janish: “I’m a lot of sore today.”

Some info from the Reds game notes:

Reds Vice President and Assistant General Manager Bob Miller will participate in an online chat at reds.com/chat tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. ET…fans can log on to that site and post their questions beginning at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Players of the Month
The organization’s Minor League Players of the Month for April were Louisville’s IF Adam Rosales (17g, .431, 7 2b, 4hr, 15rbi, 2sb) and LHP Matt Maloney (3gs, 2-0, 1.86, 19.1ip, 18h, 0bb, 15k).

Lunch with Micah
As part of the Share the Celebration program, 8 young fans will have lunch with Reds pitcher Micah Owings tomorrow from 11:00 a.m. to noon at the Kenwood Cheesecake Factory…4 of the kids attending the lunch will be Reds Head Kids Club members, while another child will be hosted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

500
Tonight’s game is the 500th at Great American Ball Park…the Reds are 245-253-1 here since the ballpark opened in 2003, including 26-26 vs the Brewers.

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Historically good pitching

Sorry for not hanging a “gone fishing” sign up while I was out for a couple of days. I skipped the Florida series but had to catch a flight home from Pittsburgh Sunday right after the game.

Here is a note from the Elias Sports Bureau about some splendid Reds pitching:

For only the third time in the live-ball era, the Reds have posted four team shutouts over a six-game span…the starting pitchers in those shutouts were Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto and Volquez again…starters in the previous 2 instances were Elmer Riddle, Johnny Vander Meer, Joe Beggs and Vander Meer in 1943, followed in 1970 by Gary Nolan, Jim McGlothlin, Jim Merritt and Nolan.

Reds lineup:

Taveras CF
Hairston 3B
Votto 1B
Phillips 2B
Bruce RF
McDonald LF
Hanigan C
Janish SS
Arroyo P

News you can use:

SS Alex Gonzalez (strained left oblique) was re-examined on Wednesday. The Reds are holding off putting Gonzalez on the DL for now.

“He’s better today than he was yesterday,” manager Dusty Baker said. “At this point, if he keeps improving over the next couple of days, we might not have to DL him. I know [going on the DL] is not what he would like after being on the DL a year and a half. But we’ll get to a point when we’ll have to make a decision on his progress.”

If Gonzalez does go on the DL in a few days, it can be made retroactive to Tuesday if he doesn’t appear in a game. Paul Janish and Jerry Hairston Jr. will fill in. Part of the issue if Gonzalez does go on the DL is there aren’t many infielders lighting it up at Triple-A Louisville. Chris Valaika is batting .176, Danny Richar is hitting .213. Neither are on the 40-man roster. Drew Sutton made his Louisville debut yesterday after being out with mono and went 1-for-4.

3B Edwin Encarnacion (small chip fracture, left wrist) had his cast removed today. He was placed in a removeable splint that he’ll likely wear for at least one week.

More on the pitching: The Reds’ 3.61 team ERA is best in the National League. The last time this team finished a season leading in ERA was 1940.

The Reds reached six shutouts last night in their 26th game, their fastest to six shutouts since the 1914 Reds threw their sixth shutout in their 25th game. They had six shutouts during all of the 2008 season.

“I am just trying to stay the heck away,” pitching coach Dick Pole said. “They’re having fun right now and it’s not up to me to cramp their style. Let them keep enjoying what’s going on.”

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Harang vents again…a little.

The Reds find themselves staring at a potential 1-5 home stand and a three-game sweep to the Astros. Tuesday’s 8-3 loss wasn’t pretty in any sense and another source of anger and frustration for Aaron Harang.

“I don’t know what to say, really,” said Harang, who lasted only five innings and allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts. “They came out swinging and I just couldn’t get it done.”

You may remember that Wandy Rodriguez and the Astros left Harang burning with a 7-0 loss on April 18 in Houston. In that game, he tossed a cooler along with a bat and glove. After a four-run Astros fifth tonight, Harang slammed his glove on the bench.

“I’m expecting to go out there and go seven or eight innings,” Harang said. “I made some good pitches. We brought the infield in [for Matsui] and I got exactly what I wanted to. Of course it goes right through the infield. It’s not their fault. It went right through the hole. There was nothing you could do about it. It’s kind of tough when you go out and are trying to get as deep in the games and you can’t get it done.”

The big glaring number that was the defense’s fault were three errors. Joey Votto made two errors on one play in the first inning and it let a run come home.

“We didn’t help him out very much. That hurt,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

For those who wanted to see Adam Rosales, no dice. Rosales made the on-deck circle twice but never entered. He was standing there when Alex Gonzalez flew out to end the game.

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No sweep.

The Reds had to settle for a 2-1 start to the 10-game road trip after they dropped a 9-3 game to Milwaukee on Wednesday.

Although he wouldn’t use it as a cop out, Micah Owings seemed rusty — especially early on. He threw 89 pitches in five-plus innings with 47 strikes/42 balls. Owings gave up four earned runs and five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. He was up to 60 pitches through three innings.

Owings quotes:

“I felt like as the game went on I got a little sharper. Definitely wasn’t results you’d like to get. There are a couple of things I can work on going into the next one and get ready to go.”

Rust?

“The last thing I’m going to do is make some excuses. I felt pretty good. I felt like we were right there in the game. That’s all we can ask for.”

It was a 3-3 game after Chris Dickerson’s first homer, a two-run shot. But the Brewers pulled away. It was an off night for reliever Jared Burton, who gave up four runs and three hits, including Rickie Weeks’ two-run homer in the four-run Brewers sixth

“I’m just having trouble with the feel of some of my pitches right now,” Burton said. “I’m in one of those funks everyone goes through unfortunately and I look at my stuff on film and it’s just not there right now. I’m not finishing my pitches which is what happens when you’re feeling for everything instead of trusting your stuff and letting it go. The results aren’t there right now.”

Offensively: Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce combined to go 0-for-11.

On the positive side, Alex Gonzalez finally snapped an 0-for-17 skid with a RBI double to right-center field in the fifth, which got the Reds on the scoreboard vs. Braden Looper.

“Nobody is real happy about that right now because we had a chance to sweep,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Now we have to go to Houston and start a new winning streak.”

OK, Baker is expectedly unhappy. How do you feel about the Reds taking two of three in Milwaukee?

Up next after the Thursday off day, Houston.

Frigid in Milwaukee

The thermostat is still turned way down in Milwaukee and we’re all thankful again for the Miller Park roof.

The aforementioned frigid output of Ramon Hernandez (2-for-19) and Alex Gonzalez (0-for-16) has prompted a lineup change. Ryan Hanigan is catching and Paul Janish is the shortstop. Here is the full Reds lineup:

Taveras, cf

Hairson, lf

Votto, 1b

Phillips, 2b

Bruce, rf

Encarnacion, 3b

Hanigan, c

Janish, ss

Arroyo, rhp

 

News you can use:

 

Gonzalez and Hernandez took extra BP this afternoon to work on their swings. Gonzalez found his session to be productive.

 

“Everybody wants to get a hit,” Gonzalez said. “When you’re in that situation, you try to get the first hit. I will keep working. I worked today and tried to fix what I saw in the video. I’m opening up too quick and that’s why I miss a lot of pitches. I will be ready for tomorrow. I will go out there and try to do what I did in BP.”

 

Dusty Baker said that starting pitcher Micah Owings would bat ninth on Wednesday, but unlike some comments Baker made last week, he seems open to batting Owings higher in the order down the road.

“Maybe,” Baker said. “He’s a pretty good ace in the hole in that ninth spot, too.”

Edinson Volquez will be working with pitching coach Dick Pole between starts to tighten his delivery and improve his command

 

“He couldn’t get to his secondary pitches because he couldn’t control his primary pitch – his fastball,” Baker said. “He didn’t throw hardly any changeups. He threw a few breaking balls. It’s hard to throw your changeup if you’re not locating your fastball.”

  

In Minor League news from Jamie Ramsey, Adam Rosales hit another homer (a 435-foot two-run shot) for Triple-A Louisville Monday to extend his hitting streak to five games. Rosales has opened the season batting .412 (7-for-17) with two homers and seven RBIs.

 

Double-A Carolina’s Todd Frazier had three hits last night at Mississippi and raised average to a team-best .455 (10-for-22, 5rbi).

 

Carolina OF Chris Heisey is hitting .412 (7-for-17, 2hr, 4rbi, 2 2B, 6r, 6bb, .583obp)

Late update — Homer Bailey was ejected from tonight’s game vs. Toledo in the top of the third inning when he hit a batter immediately after allowing a home run. Bailey’s line was: 2.2ip, 3h, 3r-2er, 3bb-3k, 2hr. He threw 53 pitches, 30 strikes.

Thankful for roof, RIP Harry Kalas

As I walked through wet and blustery downtown Milwaukee for lunch with temperatures in the 30s and 40s, two thoughts were on my mind:

1. I’m thankful Miller Park has a roof. Otherwise, it would be a miserable night for fans and everyone involved and I’m not sure the game would be played.

2. I finally got around to watching the series finale to “Life on Mars” online and it left me in a considerable funk. Not a good ending to reward my faithful viewing.

But that all paled in comparsion to the news I heard when I returned to my hotel — Phillies iconic radio voice Harry Kalas died today. He was found passed out in the broadcast booth not long before the game at Nationals Park.

Kalas, 73, was to Philadelphia as what Marty Brennaman means to Cincinnati. To a generation, Kalas was the voice of NFL Films, especially when watching the weekly installments of HBO’s “Inside the NFL.” I feel for the Phillies and their fans for losing their voice. I can’t help but wonder how hard it is for Kalas’ broadcast partners to get through the game today without their friend.

Reds lineup:

Taveras, cf
Dickerson, lf
Votto, 1b
Phillips, 2b
Bruce, rf
Encarnacion, 3b
Hernandez, c
Gonzalez, ss
Volquez, rhp

Brewers lineup:

Weeks, 2b
Hart, rf
Braun, lf
Fielder, 1b
Hardy, ss
Cameron, cf
Hall, 3b
Kendall, c
Gallardo, rhp

News you can use:

  • Seventh hitter Ramon Hernandez is 1-for-15 this season entering the night and eighth hitter Alex Gonzalez came in 0-for-12. Obviously, Dusty Baker would like to see them get going at the plate.

“Hernandez is swinging a little better than Gonzalez,” Baker said. “He doesn’t have too many hits to show for it. We need them at the bottom of the order to roll the lineup around. They’re better than they’re hitting. I know that.”

  • Struggling Jay Bruce has been fouling off a lot of pitches lately and came in 4-for-20 (.200) in his five games.

“I don’t think he’s pressing as much as his timing is off,” Baker said.

  • As expected, Marty Brennaman was sad to hear about Kalas’ passing.

“It’s ironic we talked five days ago,” Brennaman said. “We had the kind of friendship where we didn’t talk every week. Sometimes, we’d go two months without talking. But we’d always stayed in touch. I don’t do that with too many guys, not that I don’t like them all, but we had a certain relationship that we really liked one another.”

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