Results tagged ‘ Aroldis Chapman ’

Cordero or Chapman?

Reds manager Dusty Baker had a spririted defense of closer Francisco Cordero when asked if Aroldis Chapman should take over in the role.

“It hasn’t changed,” Baker said. “Chapman just learned how to relieve. That eighth inning and seventh inning is a whole lot easier than that ninth inning. Is this the place to experiment with that? With the guy that hasn’t been there? In case he doesn’t do it, do I go back to Coco and say ‘hey man, I was just kidding.’ Then you lose both of them.”

Baker did leave the door open a some about what he might do in the postseason.

“There’s a situation like Price in Tampa Bay in the playoffs [in 2008]. If that comes up, we’ll see,” Baker said. “In the meantime, let’s not stir it up. There’s already enough stirring up whenever he comes into the game. That can’t help when he comes in the game and gives up one ball or one hit, the boos start. That makes it worse.

“Let’s enjoy what we have instead of thinking about what we don’t have. How about that?”

Baker is aware that people and fans have questioned his methods all season. Although asked about Cordero and Chapman he defended his way of handling issues and handling his players.

“They didn’t like my lineup,” Baker said. “They didn’t like this. They didn’t like that. I can’t worry about those people. Those people don’t manage this ballclub. Those people don’t understand the psychological dynamics of your ballclub.

“There were people that wanted Dickerson to play and they started booing Dickerson. They wanted Nix. There’s people that wanted Bruce sent to the minor leagues. There were people that wanted Heisey to play every day. There are people that wanted Stubbs sent to the minors. There were people that wanted Masset out of here at the beginning…I’m not worried about what people say because people go on who’s hot at the time. I have to look at the overall big picture, the dynamics and the psychology of my ball club.”

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Targeting Tuesday for Bruce

Sunday lineup vs. PIT

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Gomes 7
Hernandez 2
Cairo 5
Stubbs 8
Heisey 9
Cueto 1

*OF Jay Bruce (sore right side) is considered available to pinch-run and play defense today. His return is pretty close. Bruce hasn’t played since Aug. 30.

“We’re targeting Tuesday,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “They said he won’t completely heal 100 percent until the winter. Waiting a couple of more weeks is going to help but it’s not going to … so we may have to space him. He’s very close. He let it out pretty good yesterday. He swung pretty good.”

*Nick Masset and Aroldis Chapman are not considered available from the bullpen today. Chapman and Masset had both pitched the last three games.

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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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Met you in St. Louis

So, uh…what did I miss this past week?

When I left San Francisco, the Reds were up 3 1/2 games and as I check into my hotel in St. Louis, it’s eight games.

Thumbnail image for DSC01661.JPGI never thought the race would widen that much and that’s not a knock on the Reds. It’s an utter surprise that the Cardinals have seemingly headed over Niagara Falls in a barrel (a place I happened to visit one day during my vacation incidentally).

Since that fateful sweep of the Reds, St. Louis has gone 5-13. The Reds responded by going 14-4.

Some of the luster has left this upcoming series since first place isn’t on the line, but the series is still a huge one.

If the Reds are swept again, they still have a five-game lead. Still, they obviously don’t want that. No. 1, it gives the Cardinals another gasp of air and they are a team that knows what to do with second chances.

If the Reds can sweep the Cardinals — difficult considering Garcia, Wainwright and Carpenter are going this weekend — the lead becomes 11 games. That would almost certainly be a knockout punch with 26 games remaining after the series.

Claiming one win for the Reds still means a seven-game lead. It just makes life that much harder for St. Louis.

*To prime you for the series and its two biggest stars — Joey Votto and Albert Pujols — check out this story from my colleague, Matthew Leach.

*Aroldis Chapman has certainly exceeded expectations, if that were possible. I caught the final two outs of his debut while away and saw the highlights of appearance No. 2. It’s not just the velocity that is amazing, but he’s throwing strikes too. This is quite a weapon to add for the final month of a season and postseason push.  

*Don’t be shocked if any of the bad blood that came out of the last series still exists. The Cardinals won’t be able to get direct revenge on Johnny Cueto for his kicking of their players during the melee of last month. But they’re still probably fuming that Jason LaRue was lost for the season with a concussion. It’s unclear if Brandon Phillips will play any of these games. But if he does, I wouldn’t tap Yadier Molina’s shinguard with his bat again.

Lineups and more from the ballpark later…

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Sat lineup vs Cubs

Phillips 4
Janish 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Nix 7
Bruce 9
Stubbs 8
Hernandez 2
Volquez 1

*Manager Dusty Baker was asked about the decision to bring up Carlos Fisher.

“There were a couple of guys that were throwing the ball well and deserving – especially [Jared] Burton and Chapman,” Baker said. “But we needed some length. That’s the one thing we were still missing in the bullpen when we sent Fish down. We didn’t have a guy that could go three innings comfortably and a guy that could save the bullpen for the next day and the next day. That’s what he gave us when he was here before.”

*One thing that makes sense to me when the Reds bring up Chapman, they’ll want to have as much control over the conditions and envrionment as possible. Having him come to big city Chicago, dealing with a cramped visitor’s clubhouse with no buffer from the media throng and the Wrigley Field crowd isn’t as optimal as having him come up in Cincinnati. There, he can be protected more.

More later on 

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Could Chapman be summoned?

RHP Russ Springer is headed to the doctor for a MRI test later today because of a sore hip flexor. If he needs to go on the DL, it’s possible Aroldis Chapman could be the guy called up from Triple-A Louisville.

“Maybe,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. “There are two or three guys down there pitching well. We just have to decide, looking at the matchups and who we’re playing, which guy is available and the best matchup.”

RHP Jared Burton is also pitching well at Louisville and could be one of the other candidates. Springer said he was still sore on Friday morning.

“It’s discouraging because my arm feels great,” Springer said. “Hopefully, it’s just a little hiccup. It was a long road to get back to the big leagues and two outings in, it grabbed me like that.”

*OF Chris Dickerson was recalled from his rehab assignment at Louisville but has not been activated from the DL yet. Dickerson was in California to be a funeral.

“We can either bring him back here or option him [to Louisville],” Jocketty said.

*The Reds set their rotation for the upcoming Cardinals series. It will be Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto and Bronson Arroyo. Leake will be pitching in his normal turn, and facing St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter. There was no discussion of moving things around.

“Whoever is throwing the best, you can’t just match it up for St. Louis and maybe lose games before you even get to St. Louis,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Quite frankly, our rotation has been set since the 26th of July until the 22nd of August.”

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Greetings from Chicago

I’m back in business and in Chicago tonight after a few days off while the Reds were in Pittsburgh. I decided to drive the trip since it was only three days and it’s been a long time since I’ve done that. Coolest sight — what seemed like hundreds of windmills in Indiana along I-65.

For today’s off day story, I wrote about Aroldis Chapman. It will be interesting to when he gets the call. Both GM Walt Jocketty and Minor League director Terry Reynolds feel he is ready. Now it’s a matter of a spot opening up.

Although I missed the last series, I read the report on Russ Springer’s hip injury. That could be one opening if it’s serious. If not, we’ll have to wait and see.

*Tonight at Triple-A Louisville in his second rehab start, Homer Bailey had a very strong line of seven scoreless innings with six hits, no walks and nine strikeouts while pitching against Norfolk. Bailey threw 102 pitches, 66 strikes.

*I did a radio interview today where I was asked about how the Reds will clear a 40-man roster spot for Chris Dickerson when he is ready to come up. I was hesitant to answer, in part, because I was driving and didn’t have a roster in front of me (Now wouldn’t that be distracted driving?). For now, Dickerson is in California after a death in his family. 

*After thinking it over a while, two possible short term solutions to get Dickerson back the 40-man would be to move either Bailey or Aaron Harang to the 60-day disabled list. Even if Bailey moved there, he’d already be eligible to come off when he’s ready. Harang last pitched on June 30 and could come back by Sept. 1. Since he hasn’t started a rehab assignment yet, I’d imagine that wouldn’t cost him any more time than he’s already missing. Of course, that would mean another move was ahead but one at a time.

*A few weeks ago, I wondered if Dickerson might get optioned to Louisville when his rehab is done. Now I have plenty of doubts about that, especially when he’s hitting .442 (19-for-43) with three homers, seven RBIs, nine walks and six steals in 13 games during his rehab assignment. And that is happening while Drew Stubbs is in a 1-for-37 skid with the Reds.

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No Rolen, Stubbs

Tues lineup vs. PHI

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Cairo 5
Heisey 8
Hernandez 2
Leake 1

*Scott Rolen got this game off instead of the usual day game after a night game on Wednesday. Why? Roy Halladay is pitching for the Phillies on Wednesday.

“Cairo would have drawn two tough assignments on day games – Greinke and Halladay. So we changed it,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We kind of discussed it. He said it wouldn’t be right on Miggy to draw those tough assignments.”

*Aroldis Chapman has three innings in two appearances since moving to the Triple-A Louisville bullpen. So far, he’s allowed one run with two hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Chapman is scheduled to work two innings tonight after Edinson Volquez makes another rehab assignment start.

“Excellent,” GM Walt Jocketty said when asked how Chapman was doing as a reliever. “His last time out [on Saturday], he pitched one inning and faced two left-handed hitters and struck them out. He got the right-hander out. In that one performance, he was dominating.

“We’ve got him on a program for a couple of weeks to pitch an inning, get a day or two off, then a couple of innings. It’s a regular program so he doesn’t end up hurting himself.”

If and when Chapman comes to the Majors, it won’t be in the next couple of weeks.

“It’ll be some time after the All-Star break before we make a decision,” Jocketty said. 

*Baker was asked if deserving All-Stars like Rolen, Votto, Phillips or Rhodes could get overlooked because the Reds haven’t won for so many years.

“It makes it probably more difficult when their manager is not choosing some of the players,” Baker replied. “We’re not drawing three million people like the Phillies, Dodgers, Yankees and Mets. And also, we don’t get a lot of national recognition – to this point.”

*Brandon Phillips pled guilty this morning to reckless driving in Kenton County Court. He avoided a conviction by agreeing to take a remedial driving course and paying court costs. Phillips was going 72 in a 35 mph zone on Friday in Park Hills, Ky.

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Volquez, Chapman, Leake — news

*Edinson Volquez pitched five innings and allowed one earned run on three hits with no walk and one strikeout in his latest rehab start for Triple-A Louisville. Volquez threw first-pitch strikes to nine of his 19 batters and reached as high as 98 mph. Of his 80 pitches, 49 were strikes.

*In 13 innings over three starts, Volquez has yet to allow a walk.

*Aroldis Chapman is pitching in relief today for Louisville for the first time this season. And for the first time this year, Reds GM Walt Jocketty indicated that he could be looked to eventually come up as a reliever.

“We may look at that,”  Jocketty said. “If Volquez comes back and Bailey isn’t far away, the best opportunity will be out of the bullpen. But we could still possibly use him as a starter.”

Update: Chapman pitched two innings of relief and allowed one run, two hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

*Mike Leake is being pushed back from his next turn in the rotation and will not pitch in the Cleveland series. Leake, who pitched this past Monday vs. the A’s will start on Tuesday vs. the Phillies. Aaron Harang, Sam LeCure and Bronson Arroyo will start the next three games vs. the Indians.

*Ryan Hanigan will leave Thursday for Louisville and his rehab assignment. Hanigan will be gone 7-10 days, and DH the first couple of games. He will be behind the plate for Volquez’s next start.


Postgame extra: Rhodes hurting

Arthur Rhodes is only one man.

That one man has been super effective from the Reds bullpen, but is also hurting with a sore right foot. And the rest of the relievers haven’t been consistent at picking up the slack.

“I just have to deal with it,” Rhodes said of his foot after the Reds’ 6-5 loss to the Giants. “I don’t know what it is. I’m getting tired of it.”

Rhodes wasn’t the reason the Reds lost. He worked two-thirds of an inning in the eighth with one walk and one strikeout. That gave him 25-straight scoreless appearances (22 2/3 innings) and a 0.36 ERA in 27 games overall.

The “blown save” came in the seventh against Daniel Ray Herrera and Enerio Del Rosario. Johnny Cueto was in line for the victory, despite an off night, when the Reds took a 5-4 lead in the sixth. The Giants scored two in the top of the seventh.

“The last thing we want to do is kill Arthur Rhodes,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We were hoping some other guys would come through and pick Arthur up. We didn’t want to use Arthur if we could help it. He’s a warrior and a man. He’s been pitching in pain the last couple of weeks. … You can’t pitch Arthur every inning.”

Rhodes shrugged at questions about the foot, as he removed the wrap. He comes in early each day for treatment.

“I’ll be ready tomorrow,” he said. “It just hurts on certain pitches. I can fight through that.”

*According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Johnny Cueto has been the victim of five blown saves, most for any pitcher in the Major Leagues.

*It was not a good night Monday for Aroldis Chapman for Triple-A Louisville at Syracuse. Actually, it was a terrible line in a 7-2 loss: 2 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 6 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 2 WP. 72 pitches/33 strikes.

*To learn more about catcher Yasmani Grandal, the 12th overall Draft pick by the Reds, click here.

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