Results tagged ‘ Bill Bray ’

The bats back Arroyo

It’s too early to say if everything is back in business offensively, but at least on Monday the Reds lineup had found their mojo, some giddyup…some — well, something. A 9-5 win over the Brewers featured 12 hits, including a season-high eight in the top of the third inning.

Big night for Brandon Phillips in the cleanup spot — 3-for-4, 3 RBIs, 2 runs scored. He also drew a walk. He had a RBI single during the six-run third inning and his two-run single provided insurance in the top of the ninth as Milwaukee inched back into the game.

What did you think of the altered lineup?

Notes:

*Nice game for Bronson Arroyo, who pitched 6.1 ip, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. He also had a two-out RBI single in the big third inning. The early lead allowed Arroyo to cruise. He was working nice and easy and had some pitches down in the low 80s mph getting the job done.

*With two singles in the third, Drew Stubbs became the first Reds batter with two hits in an inning since Adam Dunn on 8/22/06 vs HOU

*The Reds were 5-for-11 RISP.

*Of the 16 batters to face Brewers starter Chris Narveson, eight notched hits.

*Bill Bray saw his scoreless streak come to an end. Bray, who came in with 8 1/3 scoreless inningsover 10 appearances (including 0-for-3 inherited runners scored). Bray allowed a one-out single to Casey McGehee and a walk in the eighth. Against Nick Masset, Jonathan Lucroy drove in McGehee with a single up the middle.

*The Reds have 19 of the last 22 games vs. Milwaukee, including all four this season and six in a row going back to 2010.

Quotes:

“When stuff like that happens, it lets you know we’re almost there. We’re coming together. It’s about that time. Good things are going to go through things like that. The change to the lineup really woke us up a little bit…it was an eye-opener.” — Brandon Phillips.

“Every time we go into St. Louis it’s mentally draining and physically draining because they’re always hard-fought games and those guys seem to place us really tough. Hopefully we can get tomorrow and wrap this series up and go into the last one looking for a sweep.” — Bronson Arroyo

“Arroyo is a tough pitcher. He throws exactly what you’re not looking for.” — Brewers manager Ron Roenicke

“That’s what we’re going to have to do, kind of, especially until we get Scotty back. I’m glad we got Brandon hot behind Joey. Jay Bruce swung the bat well tonight. He got only one hit but hit the ball well three times.” — Dusty Baker

Volquez, Heisey, Hernandez all big

Uncle Jonathan’s corn cob pipe, does Edinson Volquez like to flirt with disaster.

Like his last two outings, Volquez put the Reds in hole — this time by a 2-0 score. But the Reds had his back as he righted himself and took a 3-2 win.

In the first inning through three starts, Volquez has a 27.00 ERA (nine earned runs). It’s a 1.29 ERA (two earned runs, 14 innings) after the first. He allowed two runs and three hits over six innings tonight with three walks and five strikeouts.

Volquez cruised through innings two-through five. He retired a stretch of 11-in a row.

Although at 88 pitches thru six, he was lifted. It wasn’t by design but Volquez twisted his big right toe in a hole on the mound. (Knights of Columbus, that hurt.)

“I’ll be fine,” Volquez said.

Notes:

*An unsung hero for the night was Ramon Hernandez. The Reds catcher caught two guys stealing and threw a runner out on a sacrifice attempt in the eighth. It was some curious managing by Padres skipper Bud Black to have pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia bunt with a runner on second and no outs. Hernandez fielded Denorfia’s bunt and fired a strike to third base to get the out. Replays showed he might have been safe.

Hernandez also nailed Denorfia trying to steal second on a strike-em-out, throw-em out double play to end the eighth.

“The main thing is not only did he throw the ball but our pitchers gave him a chance to throw the guys out,” manager Dusty Baker said of Hernandez. “Everybody thinks they steal off the catcher. Most of the time, they steal off the pitcher. If a pitcher gives him a chance to throw him out, our guys will throw them out.”

*Before that double play in the eighth, Bill Bray engaged Jorge Cantu in a tense 11-pitch at-bat. Cantu fouled off five-straight 2-2 pitches and got ball three. Bray then got the big strikeout.

*Chris Heisey made a spectacular diving catch to help Volquez in the first inning, resulting in Hawpe’s sac fly. Heisey of course also had the game-winning homer.

*Dusty Baker notched win No. 250 for the Reds tonight. He’s only the 11th MLB manager to reach 250 wins for three different teams. Look for a feature on that later. Some of his current and former players had some things to say in support of him.

*Brandon Phillips was 2-for-3 and has hit safely in 8 of 10 games. He’s batting .410 (16-for-39) on the season.

*Joey Votto was 1-for-3 and has hit safely in 10 of 11 games. He’s batting .444 (16-for-35). He’s a .387 hitter at Petco Park.

Quotes:

“He did start off rough. At least he didn’t say, here we go again. But he settled down and started throwing the ball great. He especially started getting strike one and was throwing 96-97 mph. He started dealing.” — Baker on Volquez

“His velocity was dropping in the fifth and sixth inning. The first couple of innings, he was 96 and it had some really good life on it. I don’t know if he got tired or what exactly. His velocity was down and I got a fastball up and in and was able to get the barrel of the bat on it.” — Chris Heisey on his homer off Padres pitcher Mat Latos, who made his 2011 debut.

“I was talking with Bryan [Price] about making good pitches and getting a lot of groundballs. In situation like that, I need to make a good pitch and get a double play. That happened tonight.” — Edinson Volquez

Hold on to your wigs and keys

This wasn’t a good day out here if you wear a toupee or had to catch a fly ball.

Winds at the yard today were at 29 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph. A few infielders and outfielders took some unique routes in trying to catch some of the flies. It certainly wasn’t an easy task.

“I was chewing a lot of gum to keep my mouth wet, that’s for sure,” Reds pitcher Homer Bailey said.

Fortunately, this did not affect your fearless Reds beat writer in the cozy confines of the press box. But wow ,it was sure windy all around the desert today. There lots of double-digit run totals in Cactus League games on Monday. For example, it was a 16-16 final between the White Sox and Indians in Glendale.

Over in Goodyear, there was only side with double-digits and that was the Brewers. They handed the Reds a 15-2 thumping. The 25 hits allowed by Cincinnati was the club’s most in a spring game since at least 1997.

*Before Monday’s loss, Reds pitchers had a 1.03 ERA over the previous four games, totaling 35 innings. The staff hadn’t allowed a homer in the previous seven-straight games. The Brewers had three today.

“Man, this game is hard to figure,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “One day everything goes right and the next day everything goes wrong. I guess that’s why it’s called spring.”

Some pitching lines:

*Bailey wound up being charged with four earned runs and six hits over 2 2/3 innings with no walks and three strikeouts. Bailey was trailing 1-0 with two outs in the third and just couldn’t finish the inning. He allowed four-straight hits.

*Mike Leake was roughed up for six hits in the fourth inning and nine total over three innings. He also allowed four runs. Many of the balls were well connected.

*Bill Bray gave up seven runs and six hits over 2/3 of an inning.

*Nick Masset fared the best with one scoreless inning and one strikeout.

*Aroldis Chapman threw two wild pitches in the seventh and gave up one hit during a scoreless seventh.

“Chappy had a little problem with command but ended up getting a key double play and got out of the inning. He didn’t appear very happy,” Baker said.

Some hitting, but not much:

*The Reds had seven hits, most of them late. Dave Sappelt’s second homer of spring provided their first run in the seventh.

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Reds lose Rhodes to Rangers

All fall and winter, it seemed like the Reds retaining LHP Arthur Rhodes was a formality. He wanted to return and the club wanted him back.

But on Thursday night, Rhodes had agreed to a one-year contract with the Rangers — according to a pair of baseball sources. Terms were not immediately known. The deal has yet to be announced by Texas.

The 41-year-old Rhodes was a key late-inning set-up man for the Reds the past two seasons. In 2010, he posted a 2.29 ERA in 69 games – his most appearances since 2001. That included a stretch where he tied a Major League record with 33-straight scoreless appearances – over 30 innings. He was also an All-Star for the first time in his 19-season career.

Complicating matters for the Reds was that other lefty relievers were getting larger deals than Cincinnati was willing to offer Rhodes. For instance, Scott Downs got three years and $15 million from the Angels while Pedro Feliciano received a two-year, $8 million deal from the Yankees. Rhodes had better seasons than both of those guys.

During the Winter Meetings, GM Walt Jocketty mentioned Rhodes was seeking a multi-year deal — which with him at 41, the Reds weren’t willing to do. AOL Fanhouse reported that Rhodes’ deal includes a vesting option for 2012. 

Without Rhodes, the Reds still have lefties Aroldis Chapman and Bill Bray in the fold. As for Dontrelle Willis, who signed a minor league contract last month to reboot his career as a reliever, his chances to make the team just got a whole lot better.

Rhodes was a Type A free agent but the Reds did not offer him arbitration earlier this month. That means they get no compensation picks as a result.

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No non-tenders

Ahead of tonight’s 11:59 pm ET deadline, the Reds tendered contracts all of their players. This includes the six arbitration eligible guys — Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Bill Bray and Jared Burton.

I had written yesterday that Burton could be a candidate for being non-tendered. I was apparently wrong.

“It’s tough to find quality arms,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. “Burton was healthy at the end of the year. It’s not that much of a financial burden. It made sense to tender him.”

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Monday vs. Philadelphia

Monday lineup vs. PHI

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

*Dusty Baker said the club has not decided on a starter for Thursday against the Cubs. “Soon,” Baker said.

I think it will be Travis Wood, who has a 2.82 ERA over his last 10 starts and a 0.63 ERA over his last four starts. He last pitched on Friday and worked eight scoreless innings.

*Homer Bailey (right should inflammation) threw for the first time today since he was shut down over two weeks ago. Bailey threw on flat ground and made 30 throws from 60 feet. He will increase the intensity and distance each day.

“When you don’t throw for two weeks and all of a sudden throw, it’s kind of like sitting on the couch for a long time and then walking,” Bailey said Monday. “The first few steps you’re like ‘oh man.’ After that, it’s all right, I’m good. It was pain free. Everything was nice and loose. Granted, it’s only day one but definitely they’re good signs.”

*Outfielder Chris Dickerson (right hand/wrist surgeries) is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday but that’s not even close to happening. Dickerson, whose rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville got scrubbed last week when he was sore following batting practice, got a cortisone shot in his wrist Sunday.

“It’s sore today and hopefully some of that point from the shot will go away and I can start swinging again tomorrow,” Dickerson said. “It’s not exactly following the plan of being out four-to-six weeks. I’ve talked with specialists from all disciplines and when you get into the wrist, it’s very delicate. And it can be very touchy sometimes.”

*Baker will have a deeper bullpen with Bill Bray joining fellow lefties Arthur Rhodes and Daniel Ray Herrera. The Phillies starting lineup tonight features four lefty hitters and two switch hitters. A fifth lefty is on the bench.

“It’s not a luxury. It’s something I think is a necessity at this point,” Baker said. “If your lefties are getting lefties out, that’s when the luxury comes in. Boy, do they have some lefties.”

*Through three games of his rehab assignment at Louisville, Ryan Hanigan is 1-for-11 (.091). Hanigan is scheduled to DH for the third time tonight in the game at Norfolk.

*After this series, the Reds don’t play again at Great American Ball Park until they open the second half of the season on July 16 vs Colorado…the 15 days without a home game is the Reds’ longest since a 15-day stretch from May 31-June 14, 2001.

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Volquez getting close

Edinson Volquez is moving up to Triple-A Louisville to make his next rehab assignment start. Volquez pitched five scoreless innings for Class A Lynchburg against Kinston on Thursday. He allowed one hit with no walks and four strikeouts. He retired his first 11 batters in a row and reportedly reached 97 mph on the radar gun.

Volquez has three hits over eight scoreless innings in two starts for Lynchburg. He hasn’t walked a batter and struck out seven.

“The no walks are what’s big. I’d say he’s coming along quickly,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

GM Walt Jocketty figured Volquez had four more starts in the Minors. That could put him back with the Reds as soon as July 7.

“We may give him an extra day [of rest] once or twice,” Jocketty said. “We’ll just keep progressing him. We’ll keep increasing his pitch count more each time.”

It’s highly likely that Volquez will go into the Reds rotation and not work from the bullpen when he’s ready.

“That’s the best I think for him and us in the long run,” Baker said. “We’ve got some decisions to make when that happens. Those are good decisions to make. When he does come back, that’s like making a major trade getting a top-flight, quality All-Star, which he was.”

*Lefty reliever Bill Bray had another scoreless inning of relief with one allowed for Louisville on Thursday. Bray has 7 2/3 innings of scoreless work for Lynchburg and Louisville. A call-up to the big leagues was not immiment. He has only three games in Louisville so far.

“He probably needs a few more times out,” Jocketty said.

*The Reds are facing LHP Cliff Lee Friday. A free agent at season’s end with a struggling Seattle club, Lee is going to be a prime cog in the wheel of trade rumors this summer. Some outlets have already speculated that Cincinnati could be a fit because the club is contending and has a depth of prospects.

“We haven’t discussed it,” Jocketty said of Lee. “We’ll do what we can to improve our club. We’re looking at pitching. I don’t know how many bullets we’re going to have, so we’ll have to be careful how we use them. With Volquez coming back and Chapman — Wood is still down there and pitching well, and Maloney.”

*SS Orlando Cabrera has been bothered by a sore right ankle since he had contact with Josh Willingham during the Nationals series earlier this month. Cabrera is 3-for-his-last 25 (.120)

“I don’t think it will be a DL thing,” Cabrera said. “If it comes to the point where I need to take a rest for a couple of days, I will. It’s not to that point.”

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Monday morning notes

If you’re wondering what’s next for Aroldis Chapman, he is scheduled to throw in the bullpen today. His next camp milestone, however, should come Thursday when he appears in the Reds intrasquad game.

The list of pitchers that are to appear is as follows:

Harang, Bailey, Chapman, Del Rosario, Smith, Ondrusek, Smit, Valiquette, Viola.

*Bill Bray, working his way back from Tommy John surgery, is up to 40 pitches off of a mound in the bullpen. He probably won’t be ready to pitch when games start. The club isn’t rushing him.

*Todd Frazier has a bat that will force his way to the Majors someday soon. But exactly where remains the big mystery. Originally a shortstop, Frazier has worked out all over the diamond this spring and has played multiple positions since he was Drafted in 2007.

“He’s an interesting guy,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He can play all over and he has a really good bat. Hopefully at some point in time, we can settle on a steady position for him.”

Besides having established veterans at the big league level at every infield spot, the Reds have prospects on their way. Chris Valaika is a potential future second baseman. Zach Cozart is a future shortstop. Juan Francisco is a third baseman in waiting and as mentioned in the previous blog post,

Yonder Alonso is waiting at first base. Chris Heisey is nearing the Majors as a corner outfielder.

“There’s somebody coming at almost every position,” Baker said. “We’re trying [Frazier] at every position in case we use his value in that way.”

With Spring Training, the daily workouts usually begats the itch for exhibition games to start. But that’s mostly the writers who want to see something different. Baker wasn’t in a rush for camp to move any quicker.

“We still need to get some work in,” he said. “we didn’t get some fundamentals in because of the weather. We have cutoffs and relays today. We want to get some fundamental stuff in there.”

*And a public congratulations to Hal McCoy, who will be joining Fox Sports Ohio to cover the Reds. He will be writing stories on line for their web site and also appearing on pre-game and postgame shows. When Hal told me last week of his plans, I was naturally excited for him.

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That's one unique Reds lineup

I can imagine Monday afternoon’s lineup vs. HOU will have the masses a little perplexed. Here it is first:

Taveras CF
Hairston 2B
Dickerson LF
Gomes RF
Hernandez C
Gonzalez SS
Rosales 1B
Janish 3B
Harang P

“We have the shock troop lineup a little bit,” manager Dusty Baker said.

RF Jay Bruce is in a 0-for-13 skid and his average is down to .228. Although Bruce has come close to hitting a couple of long balls, he’s been chasing a lot of bad pitches lately.

I think he really needs it even though we can’t afford him to be off,” Baker said. “We can’t afford him not to be off either. I’m giving him a mental day off.”

Joey Votto pinch hit Sunday (drew a four-pitch walk) but is still not fully over his inner ear infection. Believe it or not, Brandon Phillips (fractured right thumb) , swung a bat already.

“He swung today off the tee,” Baker said. “A little sore, a little swollen but that’s pretty good though. Maybe he can be ready in a couple of days or ready by Milwaukee. Wow, is right.”

Catcher Ryan Hanigan is a little beat up from a bunch of foul tips lately and general catcher soreness. So he’s not in there. There is your Reds lineup for Monday. Savor the flavor.

More news:

3B Edwin Encarnacion (left wrist fracture, DL) was about to go hit off a tee Monday morning.

“It’s been a long time for me. I’ve never had to wait that long to swing,” Encarnacion said. “It’s feeling a lot better. It’s getting strong and I’m working hard to get it stronger.”

LHP Bill Bray visited the clubhouse for the first time since his Tommy John surgery on Tuesday. Bray was sporting the large metal brace and wrap over his left arm. Bray will be out 10-12 months and is aiming to pitching again in games by April 1, 2010.

Before the surgery, Bray had started long tossing and was working in his first bullpen session while coming back from what was originally deemed an elbow strain.

“I had gotten out to 120 feet with no problem,” Bray said. “Something wasn’t really wrong until I got into the bullpen two weeks ago. As soon as I got on the mound, I threw five pitches and each pitch after that started to hurt worse.”

Bray, who has been beset by numerous arm injuries the past couple of seasons, had a good attitude about his situation.

“The more I think about it, the more I’m thankful for our trainers and physical therapists and Doc Kremchek,” Bray said. “Thirty years ago, I would have been done. It’s a blessing we have the technology to keep me on the field even though I’ve been injury plagued. I would have been done so long ago.”

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Bray out 10-12 months

From the Reds media relations dept:

LHP Bill Bray this morning had “Tommy John” surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow (Dr. Timothy Kremchek)…he is expected to miss 10-12 months…Bray has been on Class AAA Louisville’s disabled list since 4/16.

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