Results tagged ‘ Arthur Rhodes ’

No TV tonight

The Reds-Indians aren’t on TV tonight since the game is happening while FOX is doing primetime game of the week with Yankees-Mets. You can follow online at Gameday but if you’re a subscriber — you can watch the scoreboard feed online at MLB.tv or listen to Marty and Jeff on radio or online.

Here is the link to the MLB.tv media center for more info:

Saturday’s lineup vs. CLE

Cabrera 6
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Gomes DH
Nix 7
Hernandez 2
Stubbs 8

Cueto 1

Dusty Baker has no plans to use Arthur Rhodes from the bullpen tonight. Rhodes pitched one inning in Friday’s win.

“Last night he was running on fumes,” Baker said.

Rhodes has been the best and most consistent from the bullpen this season. He has a 0.52 ERA in 19 games and has not allowed a run in any of his last 17-straight appearances.

“Arthur as much as anybody, we have to really pay attention and spot him. If he goes one or two innings today, he’s not any good for the next day and maybe even the next day. You have a temptation to run him out there every day because he’s been so good. But the reason he’s been so good, No. 1 he is good and No. 2, we try to keep him as strong and as fresh as we can. Let’s not forget, we have 120 games to go and he’s 40 years old.”

The plan is to also try and stay away from Nick Masset, too. Masset has pitched the last three games.

“Hopefully Johnny can go deep, deep, deep in the game and the other guys can pick us up,” Baker said.

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Finally, the Brewers

The Reds have already played the Cardinals nine times…but tonight is the first time they get the Brewers. Interesting.

Belated question of the day: Sure, it’s premature but since you’re allowed to vote, I’m allowed to ask. If you could send one Reds player to the All-Star game right now, who would you send?

Right now, I’d have to think my vote is for Arthur Rhodes. Mike Leake and Joey Votto could certainly be worthy of consideration when the time comes to start naming rosters.

Monday’s lineup vs. MIL

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

*Laynce Nix, who missed the last few days, with back spasms is available and ready to go.

“It was spasming for a couple days and took a couple of days to heal up and get better. I’m swinging 100 percent and everything,” Nix said. “It happens now and then when I’m coming off the bench. I’m working around it. I’m fine now.”

*There was some chatting about the Reds going from first base to third base five times on singles Sunday vs. the Cardinals (bringing season total to 32). Bronson Arroyo did it on a Cabrera single to left field in the fifth inning

“It’s the only time you feel like a baseball player, running the bases from first to third,” Arroyo joked. “Pitching doesn’t count.”

*Walt Jocketty told me that RHP Jared Burton, who has been on the DL since April 8, is almost ready to rejoin Triple-A Louisville soon.

*It’s raining right now (5:11 pm) and the tarp is on the field. The Reds sent out an email earlier that it would be dry in time for the game.

*Every once in a while you see something new in a big league clubhouse. Today, I saw Mike Leake, Chris Dickerson, Jay Bruce and Ramon Hernandez kicking and juggling a soccer ball. Hernandez especially seemed to have some skills.

*Reds players were shooting PSA’s for next week’s “Bark in Park” night and the SPCA. “Bark in Park” is May 26 vs. the Pirates. In the picture below are Aaron Harang and Homer Bailey. Few players could resist petting the puppies.

 

puppies 051710.jpgFollow me on Twitter at

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Battle for first place

Even if it’s only May — no reason to turn a nose at going for first place.

Sunday lineup vs. STL

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

 

Normally Dusty Baker would rest some regulars, namely Scott Rolen, for a day game after a night game. With the Cardinals in town, there was no chance that was happening.

“This is different times,” Baker said.

There are three lefties in the Cardinals lineup. Lefties are batting .301 vs. Arroyo this season, compared to .198 for right-handers.

*With his perfect seventh last night, Arthur Rhodes has 14-straight scoreless appearances and a 0.60 ERA through 16 games. Nick Masset’s perfect eighth with two K’s gave him six-straight scoreless outings — not bad considering the rough patch he had last month. Masset was chucking at 96 mph against both Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday.

“When we keep them rested and strong, you see how sharp they are and how good their velocity is,” Baker said. “That’s the secret. Just keep them fresh. It’s not that easy to do sometimes because games dictate everything. They’re throwing the ball pretty good.”

Keeping them fresh will be a tougher order with the Reds in only their third game Sunday of a 20-game stretch without an off day.

“These extended streaks like this – I think this is the longest this year – really tax your bullpen if you have a couple of short starts,” Baker said. You tend to go long with your starters during these periods here because you’ll wear your bullpen, especially at the start of the streak. You can put yourself in a position to lose games.”

Also — when asked if Laynce Nix was available today, Baker’s response was “can’t tell you.” Nix appears to have something related to back spasms.

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Superb start for Bailey

If Homer Bailey can pitch like he did on Wednesday during the regular season, it’d be a very positive thing for the rotation. Bailey gave up one earned run and three hits with one walk in his five innings. He also did not strike anyone out, but that’s OK since he let his defense do the work.

After three singles in the top of the first, Bailey did not allow another hit. He retired 13 of his last 14, including the final 10 in a row.

“I was just going out there and pounding the zone,” Bailey said. “That’s what me and Bryan Price have been talking about – just here it is, hit it. I didn’t want to go out there and walk guys. I got into a couple of full counts and stuff like that – when I missed, I didn’t miss by much.”

Bailey threw 75 pitches in the game. Through three starts he has a 3.09 ERA with 3 walks and six strikeouts. There was also a ‘B’ game of two perfect innings with strikeouts.

“He wasn’t quite as sharp but he was near the plate and made some quality pitches when he needed to,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He had good velocity. He was full of determination.”

As a batter, he worked a walk against Jonathan Sanchez and scored in the third inning.

“I had a strategy on that,” Bailey said with tongue in cheek. “Dig in, take a good stance and take the bat you used in BP that has a lot of white all over it and just act like you can do something. I’m not exactly known for hitting so I have to kind of fool them – ‘yeah, I gotcha,’ even though I don’t have a prayer. Let’s be realistic.”

*Drew Stubbs replaced Chris Dickerson in center field and went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer in the eighth. Stubbs has a seven game hitting streak and is 10-for-21 in that stretch with three homers.

*A replacement at third base, Aaron Miles committed a three-base fielding error that scored a run in the seventh inning. During the bottom of the eighth, Miles hit a RBI double. He is 2-for-18 (.111) this spring.

*Arthur Rhodes’ ERA through five appearances and five innings: 0.00. Rhodes pitched a perfect sixth inning today with one strikeout.

*Here is the rotation through March 31:

Thurs at COL — Harang starts, six inn.
Fri at SEA — Wood starts and Leake follows. Both get 4 inn.
Sat at SD — Cueto, 6 inn.
Sun vs LAD — Arroyo, 6 inn.
Mon at CHC — Bailey, 6 inn.
Tues vs SD — Harang, 7 inn.

I’m taking off to go home for a few days and catch up with my family. Be back on Monday.

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No walks make manager happy

At least in the Reds-Cubs portion of split-squad games Sunday, the 1-1 tie provided one of Cincinnati’s best pitched games all season.

Justin Lehr finally got a start and a chance to stretch out and didn’t disappoint. Lehr’s line was one earned run on five hits with no walks and one strikeouts over four innings.

“Lehr was only so supposed to go three but his pitch count was so low, that’s why we had him go another inning,” manager Dusty Baker said.

*Arthur Rhodes continued his stellar spring with one scoreless inning, one hit and three strikeouts. Rhodes has four scoreless innings in four games and just two hits and one walk.

*Francisco Cordero followed with two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and struck out three. He’s worked seven scoreless innings this spring.

*Kip Wells also turned in his best outing of spring with three scoreless innings, one hit and three strikeouts.

The common thread here — no walks were allowed by any Reds pitchers vs. the Cubs today.

“That’s what Bryan [Price] has been trying to stress to these guys about trying to get strike one and make them earn it,” Baker said. “No free passes.”

*Not much offense to speak of but Laynce Nix tattooed an opposite field home run to left field on a 1-1 count with two outs in the second inning. There was no doubt it was going out off of the bat.

“That’s one of the best balls I’ve seen him hit to the opposite field,” Baker said. “He’s been working on driving the ball. We knew he could drive it this way [to right field] but it was the first time I’ve seen really drive it. He hits a lot of doubles over there. That opposite field home run, he busted that ball.”

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What's up in Indy? Not much

Most of the talk on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings revolved around two things — and neither of them involved the Reds. One stunner was that Peter Gammons announced he was leaving ESPN at the end of the week. The other was the blockbuster three-way trade pending between Yankees, Tigers and Diamondbacks.

As for the Reds, there was no significant news to report.

Said GM Walt Jocketty “We met with a couple of different agent groups about free agents and we met and had discussions with several clubs but I wouldn’t say we’re close to anything. But there were some interesting discussions.”

Among the developments on Tuesday:

*Talks began this week with the agents for outfielder Jonny Gomes.

“We’re still a ways apart,” Jocketty said. An offer must be tendered to the arbitration-eligible Gomes by a Saturday deadline.

*The Rangers inquired about LHP Arthur Rhodes but the Reds were not interested in dealing Rhodes.

*A rumor floated by ex-GM Jim Bowden had the Reds interested in Orlando Cabrera and Miguel Tejada, both are free agent shortstops. It was essentially shot down. Bowden now works for Sirius-XM.

“I’d be interested but I don’t think they’d fit into our pay structure,” Jocketty said.

*Still no talks have started with the agent for IF Jamey Carroll.

*With the roster at its 40-man limit, Jocketty didn’t expect the Reds to be adding players through the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday.

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Phillips 'very, very happy' with '09

I wish I had more for you today, but it’s been a rather quiet day at the yard — especially compared to Friday.

Talked to Brandon Phillips, who has been stuck at 95 RBIs for the past seven games. Once he crossed 90, he shifted his focus to 100 RBIs. He’s in a 0-for-12 skid at the moment.

“Everybody has said ‘you still have time.’ It’s nice to see that the team really wants me to do it,” Phillips said. “There’s always other years to do something like that.”

Especially considering the broken right index finger he played with in the first half, this has been a very good season for Phillips. He entered today batting .275 with with 20 homers, 95 RBIs and 25 steals. He’s improved his walk total each of the last three seasons and cut down on his strikeouts (44 walks and 74 strikeouts in 2009). His on-base percentage is .329, an improvement from 2008.

“I showed people that I could hit fourth,” Phillips said. “I showed I’m very versatile hitting in the lineup. I’m just very, very happy with myself with the year that I had. I’m having fun. If it wasn’t for the teammates hitting before me, I wouldn’t have as many RBIs as I have this year.

“This year really showed me the type of hitter that I am. It’s all about learning from the mistakes and making adjustments during the game and throughout a series.”

Phillips also reached 150 games for the second time in three years. He was the only regular position player to not spend time on the DL.

Reds lineup:

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

Count me as oddly wistful that the Twins are leaving the Metrodome as they play their final weekend there. Having covered games there for five seasons from 2001-05, it was a terrible place for baseball but a lot of fun, great and wacky stuff happened there. Balls bounced off the “baggie” with no rhyme or reason, the white roof made fly balls a total adventure and the noise during a pennant race game could be deafening. Before going to FieldTurf, they had the most dreaded Astroturf around. 

There were a lot of characters that worked there behind the scenes, too, and the press box was low enough and had no windows. You were right in the mix with the fans and had a great view. Fans often just came over and said hello and chatted before games. It just stunk having to go inside when it was 75 degrees and perfect weather outside. But you loved knowing that there was never, ever a rain delay and no freezing your you know what off in April for the opener.

Believe me when I say there was never a better home field advantage for any club. And in the years I was up there, the Twins won a lot of games. They claimed three-straight division titles from 2002-04. 

Jim Caple at ESPN.com wrote a great story to send the place off. Check it out. That being said, I can’t wait to see Target Field in Minneapolis. I just won’t go there in April or September.

Dusty Baker had a nice line of the day about reliever Arthur Rhodes and his previously mentioned broken big left toe came up again.

“He already limps naturally sometimes,” Baker said. “He walks like Fred Sanford. They always say ‘Dusty, show us how Arthur walks.'”

The Brewers won their afternoon game from the Cardinals. That means there’s no chance for the Reds to finish in third place.

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No winter ball for Bruce

Busy news day all around the clubhouse, beyond Dick Pole being out as pitching coach.

Jay Bruce has changed his mind about playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic. Bruce has batted .316 (12-for-38) with four homers and 16 RBIs since returning from a fractured right wrist, but said that had little to do with the decision.

“I didn’t think I would get back and get this much playing time,” Bruce said. I don’t feel like winter ball would benefit me.”

Bruce, who was saying as recently as last week he would head to the Dominican for a month in late November, entered the night with 378 plate appearances and batting .220 with 22 homers and 57 RBIs. He’s played 15 games with nine starts after his activation from the eight-week stint on the DL.

“It has to do with feeling comfortable,” Bruce said. “It definitely helps that I’m having quality at-bats, playing a lot and getting that done. I’ve gotten some considerable at-bats since I got back.”

If you were wondering why reliever Arthur Rhodes hasn’t pitched since Sept. 22, there is a reason. Rhodes has a broken big left toe, Dusty Baker said. Apparently it happened way back on Sept. 4 in Atlanta when Rhodes jumped for a ball during batting practice.

“We didn’t want to take chance of him doing something mechanically different and hurting his arm,” Baker said.

Amazingly, Rhodes has pitched eight times since the injury — including on Sept. 4.

Edinson Volquez watched batting practice and is still unable to pick up a baseball. But he was pretty pleased with his progress from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

“It’s unbelievable the way I feel,” Volquez said. “Eight weeks later, I feel like nothing happened. I feel normal. I feel like can pitch right now but I have to wait.”

Volquez isn’t expected to pitch for the Reds again until around the All-Star break next season.

After the season, Volquez planned to remain in Cincinnati for four weeks and workout at Dr. Tim Kremchek’s clinic. After that, he will continue to rehab as the Reds academy in the Dominican Republic.

Baker and Walt Jocketty were asked about the chances for Paul Janish to be the starting shortstop next season. Neither committed to naming him the main man now but he seems to be in the running, especially if a better hitting shortstop can be found.

“I haven’t really come up with a definitive decision yet,” Baker said. “He’s shown signs of improvement, big time. We know he can play shortstop. The fact he has 20 doubles, that’s very impressive in a short period of time. Now if we can contiunue that but also try to get osme of the others in between. He’s working on it – staying out of the air, going the other way. He experimented with a heavier bat and chjoking up. He’s a bright young man and he and we will help him figure out how to be better.”

“I think he’s shown a lot of improvement,” Jocketty said. “A lot depends on our total offense. If we can pick up the offense in the other positions, maybe we can sacrifice a little bit more at short for the better defense. But we’d like to see him keep impreoving with offense.

“Our defense has always been strong on the right side. Now with Scott [Rolen] and Janish, it’s very strong on the left side. I think the pitchers like that a lot.”

Jocketty’s comment is pretty much what I thought would be a factor. To me — if the offense improves, especially at  the leadoff spot, Janish has a superb chance of being the Opening Day shortstop in 2010. But that means Willy Taveras can’t be the main center fielder and leadoff man next year. Jay Bruce has to take a step forward. You can’t have two or three guys hitting in the .220 or less range. If Ryan Hanigan can show a tad more offense or Ramon Hernandez is brought back, that would help Janish’s cause too.

Reds lineup:

Stubbs 8
Janish 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Balentien 7
Tatum 2
Lehr 1

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Nix's neck not good

Outfielder Laynce Nix has been conspicuous in his absence the last few days. An MRI taken on Friday revealed he has a bulging disc pushing against his spine.

“I’ll be fine in a couple of days. I hope to play by Monday or Tuesday,” Nix said. “I had collision three years ago, which is what it stemmed from. I never had an MRI on it until yesterday. It revealed some minor damage but nothing we can’t take care of.”

Reds lineup:

Stubbs 8
Janish 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Balentien 7
Gomes 9
Tatum 2
Maloney 1

To make room for LHP Matt Maloney’s recall to start today’s game, 1B Kevin Barker was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Barker batted .364 (4-for-11) in nine games since his Aug. 14 promotion.

“He did a good job for us pinch-hitting,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “There are a couple of other guys here with more versatility. I talked to [general manager] Walt [Jocketty] and we’ll get him back after the [Triple-A] playoffs unless someone gets hurt or doesn’t respond.”

2B Brandon Phillips is hitting .207 (12-for-58) in his last 15 games entering Saturday. He has been bothered by a sore wrist that was hit by a pitch on Aug. 20, but Baker wasn’t offering any excuses.

“It’s almost September,” he said. “Everybody is bothered by something in September. If you’re not bothered by something this time of year, you haven’t been playing very much.”

Closer Francisco Cordero was considered unavailable on Saturday. Cordero had pitched the last four days in a row and in the last five games over six days. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Cordero pitched four-straight days for the first time since July 3-6, 2008. He has pitched in five consecutive games for the first time since he pitched in a career-high six straight games from May 4-9, 2007.

To handle the ninth, Arthur Rhodes, Nick Masset and Jared Burton were considered available on a situational basis.

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Confident Redlegs, 5-2 on road trip

There has been a lot of rightful concern about the Reds hitting but no one can complain about the final outcome. Monday’s 4-3 win gave the Reds three of four in the Astros series. Cincinnati, which came in batting a MLB-low .210 cranked out 10 hits during the win.

This was a huge win for April. It means a 5-2 road trip as the Reds head to Chicago for three more games vs. the Cubs. Believe it or not, first place will up for grabs.

“I know it’s early but they all count,” manager Dusty Baker said.

Joey Votto continues to be a clutch hitter, and the lone regular that hasn’t struggled at all. Votto has hit safely in 10 of 12 games and his two-run double to left field that won it just missed being a homer.

“Hopefully, it’s going to be a lot of fun when everybody gets going,” Votto said. “I’m looking forward to it. Until then, we’ll do our best to win these tight games and just hopefully keep beating these teams in the division.”

Bronson Arroyo is the first Reds starter off to a 3-0 start since Mike Remlinger in 1997. Arroyo threw 81 pitches over seven innings and allowed three earned runs on nine hits with no walks and six Ks. He induced 10 groundball outs and two double plays.

“I can not complain, man,” Arroyo said. “I haven’t even felt lights-out but I’ve been getting enough outs, a lot of double play balls and getting runners on a lot and just squeezing out of innings. Fortunate enough, everything has fallen into place for us.”

Arthur Rhodes worked into and out of a tense eighth inning with the bases loaded. Using nine fastballs, including three two-strike fouls, Rhodes got Hunter Pence looking at strike three to end the threat. David Weathers, Mike Lincoln and Jared Burton (all right-handers) stayed in the bullpen while the lefty Rhodes faced the right-handed core of Houston’s lineup.

“We tried to stay away from him because he had a 28-pitch inning last night,” Baker said of Weathers. “Plus, Tejada didn’t hit him very well. Lee is always dangerous but didn’t have many at-bats against him and Pence is usually better against right-handers than left-handers. It was like ‘hey, c’mon Arthur.'”

Let’s be real — you didn’t think the Reds would be 7-5 overall and a half-game out of first place did you?

“We’ll just keep riding the wave. I’ll take it.”

Arroyo will take it, how about you?

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