Results tagged ‘ Bill Bray ’

Game on.

Today is the first day of the rest of the season…really. Grapefruit League action starts today and if we’re thinking alike — it’s a very welcomed date on the calendar.

For now, here is the Rays’ lineup. (See earlier post for the Reds)

Bartlett SS, Crawford LF, Longoria 3B, Burrell DH, Aybar 1B, Navarro C, Zobrist 2B, Gross RF, Perez CF   P Hernandez.

In transactions — LHP Bill Bray, SS Paul Janish and C/IF Wilkin Castillo agreed to one-year contracts. The Reds have eight players unsigned.

In other notes from the clubhouse:

Castillo and LHP Pedro Viola were not selected by the Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic but no reason was given. Manager Dusty Baker did not rule out carrying three catchers so Castillo could benefit from the D.R.’s decision.

“For Castillo, it’s a chance to show more what he can do,” Baker said. “His chances were increased by not going without being selected.

“If you’re going to have a third catcher, you’d like him to be more versatile. He could play a lot of places.”

“I’m trying to make the team and I’m working hard,” Castillo said. “I am ready to play everywhere — wherever the manager needs me.”

The Reds’ lineup appeared to be similar to what you will see on April 6 for Opening Day.

“Pretty close,” Baker said. “It depends on who we’re facing. On Opening Day, we’ll see [Mets lefty ace Johan] Santana so it might be a little different.”

The lineup will be together for the next four days since Joey Votto, Willy Taveras, Jerry Hairston and Ramon Hernandez are leaving March 1 for the WBC. Baker used a DH in Jacque Jones and doesn’t plan on having pitchers hit until at least March 10. 

This is the first time big league baseball has been played in Port Charlotte since 2002 when the Rangers were in the facility. They moved to Surprise, Ariz., the following year. Since then, a $27 million renovation was done here and the ballpark looks like a very nice place for fans to watch baseball.

 

Afternoon delight.

The afternoon workout under game-like conditions is complete at Ed Smith Stadium. The home white team beat the visiting gray team, 7-3.

Aaron Harang had smooth sailing and a quick outing. In one scoreless inning, Harang threw 10 pitches over one scoreless inning with one strikeout. He threw 20 more pitches in the bullpen and said he faced the equivalent of four batters out there under simulated conditions,

“I felt good,” Harang said. “I was letting it go free and easy. Of course, the breaking stuff won’t be as sharp but as long as my heater is where it’s at right now, I’m not too worried about it. I’m keeping it down in the zone.”

Harang’s first exhibition start is on Sunday vs. the Yankees. He’s, of course, the Reds’ Opening Day starter on April 6 vs. the Mets.

The home team starting lineup was very close to what might be seen on Opening Day. In just two swings over two at-bats, Joey Votto hit an RBI double and a three-run home run to center field off of oitcher Jordan Smith. Jay Bruce added an RBI double for the white team while Jacque Jones hit a solo homer to right field.

In other news, lefty Bill Bray threw in the bullpen on Tuesday and is scheduled to throw a live BP session on Thursday. Bray was a little behind because of a sore shoulder at the start of camp but is doing OK.

Here is the starting lineup for Wednesday’s opener vs. the Rays. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET. It’s pretty close to what the regular one will look like on April 6.

1. Willy Taveras CF

2. Jerry Hairston Jr. SS

3. Joey Votto 1B

4. Brandon Phillips 2B

5. Jay Bruce RF

6. Edwin Encarnacion 3B

7. Chris Dickerson LF

8. Ramon Hernandez C

9. Jacque Jones DH

SP – Edinson Volquez

Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey are among the pitchers to follow Volquez. Also making the trip will be former Rays outfielder Jonny Gomes and 2008 top draft pick Yonder Alonso.

 

Phillips to bat cleanup, more news

Heard there was ice back at the ranch in Cincinnati. Sorry folks — mid 70s down here again. But don’t worry — we’re going to get ours Friday when it will get no higher in the 50s. So it’s not all sun and surf in Sarasota.

Here’s some stuff to keep you updated:

Dusty Baker said that Brandon Phillips will be his cleanup hitter this season.

images.jpg“Oh yeah. He’ll be better,” Baker said. “Brandon will have a good year. Everybody struggles sometimes that third or fourth year. Now Brandon will re-adjust to what they’re throwing him. Sometimes, they wouldn’t throw Brandon a lot of strikes. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of it, you can’t see it. But when you’re smart like Brandon and take some time away from it, you can step back and see things.”

Also — reliever Bill Bray has started throwing in the bullpen after missing a couple of days with a sore shoulder.

Outfielder Norris Hopper has reported no trouble with throwing. Hopper is coming off Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He began his throwing program in January.

There was another session of live BP for hitters. Francisco Cordero, Bronson Arroyo, Nick Masset, Micah Owings and Jared Burton were among those who took the mound. Hitters particularly had their hands full with hard-throwing lefty prospect Pedro Viola. Masset has dropped about 15 pounds since last season.

Owner/CEO Bob Castellini arrived at the complex Thursday.

 

 

On the ground in Sarasota

I just landed less than an hour ago — the Florida air feels good at first contact when walking out of the airport.

I made a bee-line for the Reds complex and picked up my credential, said hello, etc. The report date for pitchers and catchers is Saturday and for position players, it’s Tuesday — but there were a bunch of players already ready to go.

Jay Bruce got to camp on Thursday and I talked t him for a little bit — it’s going to be a different camp for him. Last year he was trying to make the team and knew his chances weren’t great once Corey Patterson was signed. This year, he is the right fielder.

Chris Dickerson, Francisco Cordero and Bill Bray are also here and I saw prospects Todd Frazier, Matt Maloney and Devin Mesoraco. The first workout on Saturday is at 1:30 p.m. ET after the physicals.

One thing that struck me as weird was walking into the clubhouse and not seeing the big black trunk that belonged to Ken Griffey Jr., even though it’s been gone since July 31. He was the only one that had it and he sat on it everyday to talk and poke fun of people. Griffey was the only player at camp to get two lockers — now everyone has one.

The report day is usually without drama, but not always. During my first spring of covering the Reds in 2006, the late Josh Hancock was cut on the first day because the club said the reliever came in overweight. 

Everything gets rolling Saturday — hopefully you will check in here from time to time to get updated.

 

 

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