Results tagged ‘ Bill Bray ’

Some medical updates

This email from the Reds came a short time ago:

LHP Bill Bray was examined today by Reds medical director Timothy Kremchek, who tomorrow will perform surgery on Bray’s left elbow. Bray has been on Louisville’s disabled list since April 16 with a strained left elbow.

Tomorrow the Reds are expected to disable RHP Nick Masset (strained left oblique muscle), retroactive to May 11, and recall from Triple-A Louisville RHP Ramon Ramirez.

Masset went 1-0, 1.23 in 11 relief apps for the Reds. Ramirez (#58) went 0-3, 5.08 in 7 starts for the Bats (39ip, 37h, 27r, 22er, 17bb, 28k, 4hr).

Reds 1B Joey Votto became light-headed following yesterday’s game at San Diego. Instead of flying home with the team, as a precautionary measure he was admitted for tests at Scripps Clinic at San Diego. He will be examined again in Cincinnati tomorrow. Votto missed 5 games last week with the flu and twice more left games with dizziness.

RHP Edinson Volquez today received treatment on his back without complaint. Volquez left Saturday’s start with mild spasms in his mid-back. He is not expected to miss a start.

I did some double checking on Bray and was told he isn’t neccesarily having Tommy John surgery on his elbow. Dr. Kremchek won’t know the extent of the injury until he has a closer look.

The homestand continues…

I’m back on the job again after taking the Braves series off, so sorry for no new blog posts since Chicago on Thursday. I actually ended up missing the flight to O’Hare but was fortunate to be put on a later one with an alternate airline.

Reds lineup:

Taveras CF

Dickerson LF

Votto 1B

Phillips 2B

Bruce RF

Encarnacion 3B

Hernandez C

Gonzalez SS

Cueto P

News you can use:

Dusty Baker said he spoke to Brandon Phillips, who didn’t hustle out a drive to right field. Phillips thought his fifth inning drive to right field was a homer but it one-hopped at the wall. A would-be double became a single.

“We already addressed it,” Baker said.

Bill Bray (left elbow strain) was in the clubhouse today. He’s been rehabbing at Kremchek’s clinic and will throw a bullpen session tomrrow. Bray hopes to rejoin Triple-A Louisville soon.

Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion and Phillips are still the only players to play every inning of every game. Baker has plans to eventually give two of them breaks. Guess who isn’t the one?

“I’ve got something in mind,” Baker said. “But Votto, he doesn’t need an off day. I’ve always been told if a guy is hot, you play him until he stops being hot. You get all you can while you can get it.”

RHP Homer Bailey was named the International League’s Pitcher of the Week. As you likely know, Bailey tied a Triple-A Louisville franchise record by notching 15 strikeouts vs. Toledo on Sunday, including stretch of nine in a row. He was 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA and 18 Ks in two starts last week.

In the they could be jinxing themselves department: The Reds game notes mentioned that the club hasn’t had to make a roster move since the final cuts the day before Opening Day. This is Day 22 of the season and the team hasn’t gone more than 21 days to start a season without a move since May 14 1985 (Day 37), when Alan Knicely and Ron Robinson were recalled and Dann Bilardello and Carl Willis were optioned to Triple-A Denver.

Try using that nugget at the next cocktail party or sports bar.

Speaking of bars, Sister Daedalus and other “displaced Reds fans” in Washington DC are gathering at one to watch the game vs. the Astros on TV. Click here for the details.

Keppinger deal completed, Bray's elbow

The March trade that sent infielder Jeff Keppinger to the Astros was completed on Thursday when the Reds received infielder Drew Sutton as the player to be named.

Sutton, 25, will report to Triple-A Louisville. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, Danny Richar was sent outright to Louisville.

Last season with Double-A Corpus Christi, Sutton batted .317 with 20 home runs and 69 RBIs and was his team’s Most Valuable Player. He led all Astros Minor Leaguers in batting average, hits (165), runs (102), walks (76), doubles (39) and extra-base hits (63).

With Triple-A Round Rock, Sutton was batting .267 (4-for-15) with a .389 on-base percentage in five games.

  • Reliever Bill Bray has been saddled with another injury. Bray was diagnosed with a strained left elbow after an exam by Dr. Tim Kremchek, according to the Reds. The lefty will be evaluated in 10 days.

Shoulder soreness set Bray back during Spring Training and he didn’t catch up in time to make the team. He had five scoreless innings over three games for Triple-A Louisville.

Not smooth days for Owings, Volquez

Courtesy of Larry “The Repairman” Herms from the Reds, the line for Micah Owings in a game vs. Rays Minor Leaguers in Sarasota:

4.1 IP, 9H, 7R, 6ER, 5K, 1HB (71TP, 51K). Owings also went 1-for-2 with a solo homer.

  • Obviously, that’s the first blight on what’s been an otherwise spectacular spring for Owings. However, sometimes these Minor League game results have to be taken with a grain of salt. Young hitters are usually thrilled to be facing a Major League pitcher and they come ready to hack at just about anything. I will hopefully talk to Owings tomorrow and try to learn more.
  • As for Edinson Volquez here in Port Charlotte, he pitched three scoreless innings but he had an uneven outing himself. Volquez gave up six hits and two walks with two strikeouts. He worked out of bases loaded jams in both the first and second innings. In the first, an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play by Pat Burrell saved Volquez. After getting a double play in the second, an error and two singles juiced the bases before Volquez struck out Carl Crawford. Volquez allowed two more hits in the third.

“I think I had too much power today. I was overthrowing a little bit,” said Volquez, who threw 71 pitches. “I don’t like feeling like that -with too much power. You don’t throw the ball where you want to throw it. I talked to Dick Pole about it and said I couldn’t control my pitches today. He said ‘just do the best you can.'”

  • It was a rough one for Bill Bray, who gave up six runs but only one earned. A two-error by Jeff Keppinger with the bases loaded extended the inning. Bray gave up a two-run single and right-hander Carlos Fisher took over and allowed Reid Brignac’s three-run homer. 




Cueto and Bray return

For the most part, Johnny Cueto looked pretty decent as he returned to action for the Reds following his stint for the Dominican in the World Baseball Classic.

Cueto gave up one earned run and four hits with one walk and two strikeouts against the Blue Jays.  The 23-year-old threw 73 pitches, with 42 strikes. Batters received first-pitch strikes 11 of 18 times.

A long first inning, including a nine-pitch at-bat with Scott Rolen, had Cueto use a total of 24 pitches. Cueto got Rolen to strikeout on a fastball outside the strike zone and returned to throw nine pitches total in the second inning.

“Johnny looked good,” catcher Ryan Hanigan said. “I was impressed with his ability to throw his fastball under the hands of righties on a consistent basis when we needed that pitch. He changed speeds well. I would have liked to see him get ahead a little bit more but what was positive for sure was when he did get into trouble, it wasn’t often, he didn’t panic and made pitches. He didn’t make mistakes when guys were on base.”

  • Reds manager Dusty Baker said the other day that Cueto would be the Reds’ No. 4 starter.
  • Question for you — does anyone think Cueto will move forward in his sophomore season? Any concerns after he went 9-14 as a rookie?
  • Reliever Bill Bray followed Cueto and worked one scoreless inning with two hits, one walk and one strikeout. Bray hadn’t pitched in eight days before he was bothered by a sore left hamstring. The last outing was his first one because he started late with a sore shoulder.

“The hamstring is great. Everything is good,” Bray said. “My shoulder was good 2 ½ weeks ago. I decided to go running in the outfield one day and it popped. I was kind of like ‘what next?’ But I couldn’t control that. It’s just great to be back out there.”

  • Nick Masset, the fifth starter candidate behind Owings and Bailey, gave up two earned runs and four hits over 2 2/3 innings. Masset walked three and struck out four. Not a great line but I can’t offer much insight since I was in the clubhouse during much of his outing. But that’s three lackluster games in four tries and I have to imagine he’s pitched himself out of the picture for the No. 5. He has a 6.75 ERA going so far.
  • Toronto won the game, 5-4, in the 10th inning. Carlos Fisher gave up a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th. It was the first run Fisher gave up after working 3 2/3 scoreless innings over his previous three appearances. 


Little things, news and lineups

In another sign that the Reds are more focused on executing the fundamentals, or little things, than in past years — Friday’s 1-0 win over the Twins is a prime example. Dusty Baker was still thinking about one particular play and planned to point it out in the team meeting before taking the field for the workout.

With a runner on first and no outs, pitcher Micah Owings fielded Matt Tolbert’s hot grounder to the mound and threw quickly to second base for a perfectly turned a 1-6-3 double play. Those fielding drills seem mundane in the early days of camp, but they do have a purpose.

“The key to the ballgame and I point it out on PFPs about those comebackers,” Baker said. “In a game like that, 1-0, that was a key thing to the whole ballgame. When he snagged that ball, being a good athlete, threw perfectly to second base. That would have been first and third and nobody out. I’m a firm believer that a whole bunch of games lost on balls hit back to the box. That’s what Pete Rose taught us. He told us all the time. Stay back through the box and stay out of the air. That is what’s he told my kid last year when I was throwing to him in the cage. The biggest hole is the closest person, no reaction time.”

More news you can use:

  • Another tweak to the spring rotation — Homer Bailey will pitch in a Minor League intrasquad game during Monday’s day off to stay on his regular turn. Daryl Thompson will also pitch in that game behind Bailey.
  • Bill Bray is scheduled to pitch again out of the bullpen on Sunday vs. the Blue Jays. Bray, who had a sore shoulder earlier in camp, hasn’t pitched since last Saturday vs. Toronto. This layoff has had nothing to do with his shoulder however. Bray has been bothered by a tight left hamstring and pitched on the back fields in a simulated game earlier this week.

“We didn’t want to take a chance on him if he couldn’t cover first effectively or bunts,” Baker said. “There was a play at first base [last Saturday] to Daryle Ward and Billy didn’t cover. I kind of hit the roof a little bit and then I found out it was his hamstring.”

  • You will notice in the lineup that the Reds have dispensed with the DH in their home games. Pitchers will hit from now on when possible.

“It’s about time for my pitchers to hit,” Baker said. “They would have been hitting sooner but we’ve had so many guys in camp that needed at-bats. But now it’s time for pitchers to be part of the game. Hopefully, they last long enough to get up there.”

  • Because it was a day game after a night game, a lot of the regulars didn’t start. But many of them were available off the bench. Expect their innings and at-bat totals to increase more as they build towards Opening Day.

Reds lineup:

Taveras CF, Keppinger SS, Nix RF, Ward 1B, Francisco 3B, Tatum C, Hopper LF, Janish 2B, Arroyo P

Rays lineup:

Bartlett SS, Crawford LF, Longoria 3B, Pena 1B, Burrell RF, Aybar 2B, Navarro C, Zobrist CF, Kazmir P 


Back in Fort Myers, again

For the third time this week, the Reds are back in Fort Myers and so am I. The 80 minute drive down I-75 has become so familiar, the trusty Mitsubishi rental car can almost drive itself here. It’s Stockholm Syndrome at this point, I’ve resigned myself that I can’t live without I-75. At least the opposing team (the Twins) and venue are different.

It’s a beautiful morning at the Lee County Sports Complex, a place that’s improved mightily over the years. I tried taking a picture but it came out lousy on the smart phone, so I won’t be sharing.

Anyway, here are your lineups as I wait for the arrival of the Reds bus:


Dickerson CF, Rosales 2B, Bruce RF, Francisco 3B, Ward 1B, Janish SS, Hanigan C, Mesoraco DH

P – Harang

James Avery, Jordan Smith, Daniel Herrera, and Ron Flores are in the bullpen today.


Span RF, Casilla 2B, Crede 3B, Kubel DH, Young LF, Buscher 1B, Gomez CF, Morales C, Harris SS

P – Perkins


  • In their various World Baseball Classic tune-ups on Thursday, Joey Votto (as the DH) was 0-for-2, Willy Taveras was 0-for-1, Ramon Hernandez was 0-for-3 and Jerry Hairston Jr. was 1-for-5. Hairston played right field and center field. 


Updated news you can use:

  • Jay Bruce is focusing on trying to hit the ball to the middle of the field, rather than trying to pull the ball too much. Both of Bruce’s homers this spring were hit to the opposite field, which is a nice sign things are working.

“In Spring Training, I definitely try to hit the ball that way,” Bruce said. “Pulling is more of a reaction for me. Last Spring Training, I was a little too pull conscious. That might have been the reason I wasn’t as successful early on as I would have liked to been. This year, I’m just trying to stay in the middle of the field and let everything happen.”

Not expanding his strike zone and cutting down on strikeouts is also a priority for Bruce.

“That’s my No. 1 goal at Spring Training – swing at strikes and take balls,” Bruce said. “Not just strikes, but pitches I think I can drive. Something I ran into in the past, if I felt I could make contact with the ball, I’d just swing. This spring training, I’m really trying to swing at pitches I can drive and not be afraid to get deep into the counts.” 

  • Alex Gonzalez will DH on Saturday and Sunday vs. the Blue Jays. Dusty Baker plans on giving him Gonzalez his first start at shortstop, possibly on Tuesday vs. the Yankees.
  • Reliever Bill Bray is expected to make his spring debut pitch an inning during Saturday’s game at Dunedin vs. Toronto.
  • For those wondering about roster cuts, they do not appear imminent. Because of the World Baseball Classic, there is a need for arms to take up all the innings. Help from the Minor League camp isn’t possible yet, since it just opened today.

“You figure you have to give them at least 10 days before those guys come over,” Baker said. “It’s going to affect cuts, or the lack of.”

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.

Bray update, Fehr, Goodyear

  • Talked to reliever Bill Bray, who has not been on the game schedule to pitch because he’s catching up from a sore shoulder at the start of camp. Bray had a smooth live BP session on Thursday and is scheduled for two more of those on Saturday and Tuesday.

Bray is going to change his off-season program and do more to prevent recurring soreness, including throwing throughout the winter.

“I’m probably going to work a lot more closely with a physical therapist next year,” Bray said. “I did all my own stretching and arm program and I still had problems when I started throwing. I think it’s going to take more than just me. It’s going to take someone to stretch me out better than I can do on my own.”

Bray came down with sore shoulders in both 2007 and 2008.

“I’m tired of it,” he said. “Anything I can do to avoid this again, I will definitely do. It’s pretty annoying coming down here and getting behind.”

Last year, Bray still worked a career-high 63 games and posted a 2.87 ERA.

  • MLBPA executive director Don Fehr held a 90 minute meeting with the players inside the clubhouse. Fehr, as usual, used many words without describing the details of the meeting.

“We’re not in a bargaining year so the subjects you cover aren’t as expansive,” Fehr said. “There wasn’t as much detail. This meeting had one characteristic a lot of other meetings don’t. Usually if a meeting is supposed to start at 8:30, we close the door at 8:30 but we don’t start until 10 until nine. This one started right at 8:30. Dusty runs a tight ship. He wants to go work.”

As for Alex Rodriguez and the identity of the still-sealed 103 names of players that tested positive for PEDs in 2003, Fehr said it came up.

“In the meetings we have, it is a topic of current interest and obviously we go over it,” Fehr said. “We sent a long memo to players 10 days ago explaining what happened. But we go over it and explain it, especially to the younger players that weren’t here in 2003-04 and don’t remember that the testing program is different than what we have now.”

“I think there is generally a level of concern anyone has when you have matters — which by contract and at this point court order — are supposed to remain confidential that they should remain confidential. It’s hard to characterize it beyond that.”

  • Reds assistant GM Bob Miller was back in town after a trip to Goodyear, Ariz., to see the new Spring Training ballpark. The Indians opened it the other day and the reviews from Miller were very positive. The little of the stadium I could see on ESPN during some Indians-Giants highlights looked pretty cool.

I was out in Arizona in September and went to Goodyear to take a tour of the Indians site one morning. I was impressed and I know that the Reds’ half of the complex will look very similar. My colleague and former Reds scribe, Anthony Castrovince, told me that the complex and stadium are awesome.

It’s a shame the Reds have to leave Sarasota but the baseball amenities in Goodyear can’t come close to being matched by what’s currently at Ed Smith Stadium. The travel time for games will also be much easier on everyone.

Question of the day: Would you go to Arizona to see the Reds at Spring Training?

Also from Fox Sports Ohio:
You won’t want to miss the special Reds Classic Rewind coming up this Monday, March 2 at 10:30 p.m. Tune in for the telecast of the October 12, 1976 NLCS Reds vs. Phillies game, which includes original video synced with Reds broadcast audio, featuring Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall. The first and only version of the game to ever be broadcast will be hosted by Reds Live co-host, Jeff Piecoro. 




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