Results tagged ‘ Alexander Smit ’

Miles ready, utility INF battle

Aaron Miles still has an ugly, nasty looking black fingernail on his middle finger — the proof that remains from his small fracture at the tip. Fortunately it just looks worse than it is. Miles is expected to get his first game action on Friday.

“It’s slight pain but the doctor said I’m not going to hurt it at all,” said Miles, who fractured his finger on March 2. “The fracture was in a real good spot and to go be as aggressive as I want. As long as I go out there and make the plays, I’m good to go. I can’t hurt it more.”

The other member of the utility infield, broken finger club is Chris Burke, who suffered a more serious injury with a fractured knuckle on his right ring finger. Burke started swinging at bat on Wednesday and was headed to the cage again Thursday morning.

Manager Dusty Baker already has some tough decisions to make with his backup infielders. It’s a crowded group with Miles, Burke, Paul Janish, Miguel Cairo, Todd Frazier and Drew Sutton.Baker didn’t know how many extra infielders the club would carry.

“I haven’t even played that shell game yet,” he said. “We could play it all day and night. Right now, we have other things. We’ll play them and we’ll see come cut time. Now cut time comes weekly.”

*The first wave of cuts went down after Wednesday’s game.

Reassigned to Minor League camp were LHP Alexander Smit, RHP Jose Arredondo, 1B/OF Danny Dorn and catchers Ryan Yarbrough and Chris Denove. The next cuts will likely come after the day-night split-squad games on March 17.

Dorn caught the manager’s eye during his time in big league camp.

“Dorn, he impressed me,” Baker said. “It’s a matter of numbers and how much playing time he was going to get. I think he recognized pitches quicker than anybody among the young players we have here. Plus, he big-time got better at first base too.”

*Some tornadoes touched down near Benton, Ark., which is very close to where LHP Travis Wood’s family resides. Wood said his parents were OK and the twisters were a couple of miles away.

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Bray close, Bench and Casey visit

Lefty reliever Bill Bray threw two innings worth of live batting practice on a back field Wednesday afternoon, totalling 40 pitches. It’s possible he could get into his first game as soon as Saturday vs. the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Bray has been behind all spring because of a sore left shoulder.

“I’m going to wait until [Thursday] to decide to see how he is and how his arm reacts,” pitching coach Dick Pole said. “If it’s good, it’ll likely be Saturday. If he’s a little sore, maybe Sunday.”

Just from my rudimentary scouting eye — but Bray seemed to be doing well while facing Drew Stubbs, Norris Hopper and Danny Richar.

“He’s throwing good,” manager Dusty Baker confirmed after Bray finished.

Bray was satisfied with the session, his third live BP stint in camp.

“I felt good,” Bray said. “I just worked on hitting my locations and throwing strikes was the biggest thing. Being the third time I’ve thrown to batters, I was throwing strikes and keeping the ball down. I’m starting to get the slider working and moving properly, which was big.”

Other notes:

  • Reds legend Johnny Bench made his first appearance of the spring. Bench put on his No. 5 jersey and watched batting practice inside Ed Smith Stadium. He is in town while the team hosts corporate partners this week.
  • Recently retired 1B Sean Casey visited the Reds clubhouse today. Casey is in town with MLB Network while it shoots video and does interviews for the 30 Clubs/30 Days series. One regret is that Casey was traded to the Pirates the day after I started on the Reds beat in December, 2005. I never got to regularly work around one of the all-time nicest guys in the game. 
  • I talked to friend and Twins pitching great and broadcaster Bert Blyleven, who is the pitching coach for the Netherlands World Baseball Classic team. The Dutch squad features Reds Minor League pitchers Alexander Smit and Juan Carlos Sulbaran — both will benefit from working with Blyleven, who had one of the best curveballs ever and 3,701 career strikeouts.

“He’s got a good arm, a live arm,” Blyleven said about Sulbaran, a 30th round pick in last year’s Draft. “He’s young though. He’s just 19.”

Sulbaran also pitched for the Dutch National team in the 2008 Olympics.

Gonzalez starting, lineups & notes

Sorry for the late update today but there is some connectivity issues at the MMW-Sarasota bureau at the moment. The Reds play the Netherlands WBC squad at 6pm.

Reds lineup:

Dickerson LF, Gonzalez DH, Bruce RF, Rosales 2B, Encarnacion 3B, Nix CF, Keppinger SS, Barker 1B, Hanigan C

P – Arroyo


Kingsale RF, Schoop 2B, Simon 1B, Halman CF, Adrianna DH, DeCastier 3B, Engelhardt LF, Jansen C, Statia SS

P – Vanden Hurk

  • This will be a good test for Alex Gonzalez, who is seeing his first game action since 2007. He missed all of last season with the compression fracture in his left knee. Dusty Baker said that Gonzalez could start playing SS next week. He will get two ABs tonight.

“I will start him off DHing the first couple of times out,” Baker said. “I think he’s ready now to play shortstop but we’ll probably wait some time until early next week. I think playing shortstop will be, other than the physical exertion, be easier than getting his bat stroke back. He hasn’t hit in a while. He hasn’t seen live pitching in a while.”

What do the Reds need to see before saying Gonzalez is fully ready?

“Just natural movements,” Baker said. “The toughest part of getting over an injury is the psychological part when you’re not injured anymore and when you don’t have to calculate your every move and every step. It becomes natural. I speak from experience on that one.”

  • Reliever Bill Bray (shoulder) is scheduled to throw in a live BP session this afternoon after the annual MLB security meeting in the clubhouse.
  • The most experienced big league player on the Dutch team is Randall Simon. The Reds will be facing their own Minor League pitchers, Alexander Smit and Juan Carlos Sulbaran, who are scheduled to work from the bullpen.
  • Joey Votto played LF for Team Canada vs. the Blue Jays on Tuesdat, which Baker said he didn’t know was going to happen.

“I hadn’t talked to anybody,” Baker said. “Somebody told me he was probably going to probably DH some and play first base. I didn’t know he would play left. He’s played there before and he’s willing to do anything to help his team. That’s Joey Votto.”

Team Canada has Justin Morneau at first base. On Wednesday vs. the Phillies, Votto was the DH.

Reds-Red Sox: Part Deux – lineups, notes

Greetings from Fort Myers and City of Palms Park. Here are the lineups:


Hopper CF, Jones LF, Bruce RF, Phillips 2B, Encarnacion 3B, Francisco DH, Ward 1B, Hanigan C, Janish SS

Owings – P

Red Sox:

Ellsbury CF, Lowrie SS, Wilkerson RF, Baldelli DH, Varitek C, McNaulty LF, Anderson 1B, Ochoa 2B, Velazquez 3B

Lester – P

  • Thompson, Cordero, Rhodes and Maloney are in the bullpen today behind Owings.
  • Arroyo is starting on Wednesday vs. the Netherlands. Masset starts on Thursday vs. the Pirates and Harang is slated for Friday against the Twins.
  • The Reds will be facing both of their own pitchers in the game vs. the Netherlands squad — Alexander Smit and Juan Carlos Sulbaran are slated to work from the bullpen tomorrow.

From the clubhouse:

  • Daryle Ward is feeling better after missing a few days with food poisoning. He got his first start at first base and could be in left field sometime soon. A key for him is also is left-handed pinch-hitting ability. He has 11 career PH homers, and isn’t intimidated at facing other team’s hard-throwing closers and set-up men.

“I believe in myself. I believe in my bat speed,” Ward said. “For me, the harder the guy throws, the better.”

  • Dusty Baker said that Alex Gonzalez is still on track to be the DH in Wednesday’s game vs. the Netherlands.

“He’ll probably DH a couple of days and get his stroke,” Baker said. “The next step will be a few innings in the field, probably starting a game so he can loose before the game instead of trying to get loose in the middle of a game. I’m excited to have him.”

  • Baker was pleased when he found out Team USA, Venezuela and Canada were all in the same bracket for the first round of the WBC. Joey Votto plays for Canada while Ramon Hernandez and Ramon Ramirez are with Venezuela.

“So we’re going to get somebody back either way? Real soon,” Baker said laughing.

Below is another cool picture from Brita Meng Outzen — Reds players watching the Red Sox take batting practice and waiting to stretch.


Reds representing

World Baseball Classic rosters were revealed on Tuesday night on MLB Network. There are nine players, six in particular, that you’ll probably care about more because they play for the Reds.

First baseman Joey Votto will play for Team Canada while starting pitchers Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto and center fielder Willy Taveras are set to play for the Dominican Republic. Utility player Jerry Hairston Jr. will play for Mexico and catcher Ramon Hernandez will play for Venezuela.

Among the Minor Leaguers in the organization, pitchers Alexander Smit and Juan Carlos Sulbaran are playing for the Netherlands while infielder Yen-Wen Kuo is headed to the Chinese Taipei club.

Mario Soto, who works in the Reds front office, will be the pitching coach for the Dominican squad and will supervise Volquez and Cueto closely.

Participating players will leave camp to join their squads on March 1. The 16-team World Baseball Classic tournament will run from March 5-23.

What do you think of the Reds participating? Would you like seeing some of the players facing off against one another? 

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