Results tagged ‘ Bronson Arroyo ’

Some pre-game fodder

Several Reds players came through for pregame press conferences before Thursday’s game. Here is a quick sample:

“I can’t recall being anywhere where we’ve had a parade prior to the season. We’re just hoping we have two parades. One at the beginning of the season and one at the end of the season.” — manager Dusty Baker.

“There’s always a buzz for opening day in Cincinnati. Everybody is a little more excited to be here and ready for today. It’s not such a bitter taste in your mouth from last year or year’s past.” — RF Jay Bruce

“Last year, there was a lot of unknown whereas this year I feel like we’ve seen some of our potential and it’s going to push us to do a little more this year. Our goal isn’t to have a winning season or break a streak of sub .500 seasons. Our goal is to win the World Series this year.” — 1B Joey Votto

“The feeling you get on Opening Day is similar to the feeling you get with that first postseason game. It’s just a different level. Spring Training is – unless you’re a guy fighting for a job – it is just practice. You try to get your work in and feel good physically. Once they turn on the lights and it’s game one, every out, every strikeout, every walk, every hit – it stays on the back of your baseball card forever. It’s definitely a different vibe.” — RHP Bronson Arroyo

Blog adjustments soon

Welcome to what could likely be the  final blog entry — under the current format. Changes are coming to both the look of the blog, and the application for which I do the blogging. I am sure there will be some things to get used to, especially for me learning the new system, so please be patient and keep stopping by.

Friday’s Reds vs.Padres lineup, 4:05 p.m. ET WLW/MLB.com audio

Phillips 4
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5 Bruce 9
Gomes 7
Bruce 9 Stubbs 8
Stubbs 8 Mesoraco 2
Hernandez 2 Valaika 5
Volquez 1

*As you can see, the lineup has been tweaked since the original post. Scott Rolen is still smarting from being hit on the left elbow Thursday. Rolen is day-to-day but isn’t expected to play on Saturday.

“He can’t extend,” manager Dusty Baker said.

*Since Juan Francisco is getting a look in RF during a Minor League game, Chris Valaika will play 3B today. Valaika is trying to earn one of the last spots on the roster.

*Ramon Hernandez is still dealing with the sore right elbow but we didn’t hear about any setbacks or anything.

*Bronson Arroyo feels better and is back online after throwing 87 pitches yesterday in a Minor League game. Arroyo also went for a chest X-ray and bloodwork yesterday to see it’s more than the flu that’s bothered him. The doctors wanted to rule out valley fever. Test results aren’t back yet.

“As long as that stuff comes back negative – even if it doesn’t – I will be good to go for the season,” Arroyo said. “If it is positive, we’ll get the right medicines so it’s not out of control.”

*And if one other note involving a former Red, OF Chris Dickerson was traded from the Brewers to the Yankees for RHP Sergio Mitre.

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Another crazy day at the yard

It’s been an amazing clip of high-scoring affairs involving the Reds. Thursday’s 15-13 loss featured a combined 34 hits.

In the last seven games, the Reds have been outscored by a 72-71 margin.It’s hard to make heads or tails of what we see out here. Looking at the spring stats coming into the day, 10 of the top 11 in team runs scored were from the Cactus League. (Reds scored 152 runs entering day). In team ERA, nine of the bottom 10 teams were also from the Cactus League (Reds were at 5.49 and ranked 27th).

The air is thin at the higher altitudes and many pitchers often have trouble with dry baseballs and gripping the ball. Mistakes that still can be outs in Florida or in regular season parks become blights on the line score.

I’m certainly not making excuses for the pitchers or taking anything away from the hitters, but I think a little context is needed.

“Another long one but if you hang something here, it’s going to fly,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said postgame. “There are some guys that played well today. We made some mistakes. It’s getting a little stagnant. You know you have some more work to do but guys are ready to go. We’re scoring a lot of runs. When you’re playing someone like the Texas Rangers, you know you’re going to give up some runs and you better score some runs. That’s what happened today.”

Now for some of the day’s highlights….

The good:

*Travis Wood’s line isn’t pretty, but he did pitch pretty good. Wood allowed seven runs (five earned) over 5 1/3 innings with no walks and five strikeouts. A two-error third inning led to Nelson Cruz’s grand slam.

“I felt good,” Wood said. “I just got in trouble that third inning there.  I ended up giving up a grand slam.  That hurts but we were able to  battle back as a team.  … I feel like I’m ready for the season.  I got stretched out pretty good.  My pitches seem to be working pretty good.  So, I’ll pitch every fifth day and get ready the other four.  I’ll go out and give it everything I’ve got.”

“We threw the ball around that one inning. You need some help from your friends,” Baker said. “That one inning he didn’t get much. He got his work in. His pitch count is where we wanted to get it.”

*Wood also hit a RBI double in the fifth inning.

*Dave Sappelt continues to push to take an outfield spot. While going 2-for-3 Sappelt smoked a two-run homer off of the center field batters’ eye. He’s batting .553 (21-for-38) this spring.

*Jonny Gomes has a four-game hitting streak (5-for-13, .385) after he hit a three-run homer to left field. It was his second homer in three games. His average is still only .171.

*Paul Janish was 2-for-3 with three RBIs

*With two outs in the sixth, Chris Heisey’s two-run triple to left field re-tied the score at 10-10.

*Francisco Cordero enjoyed another 1-2-3 inning today for his seventh-straight scoreless outing. Five of his last six have been perfect.

Not-so-good

*Scott Rolen was plunked on his left elbow by a Tommy Hunter fastball in the first inning. He was lifted for PH Juan Francisco when he couldn’t grip his bat. There was no word on his condition.

“He had stitch marks on his elbow,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “I didn’t hear anything so no news is good news.”

*Bullpen candidate Jose Arredondo had another rough day. In the five-run eighth inning, Arredondo allowed five earned runs, four hits with one walk, one wild pitch and one strikeout. His spring ERA is 16.20. Because he’s still trying to find his way back from Tommy John surgery, it’s possible he could begin the year on the DL, which would help the Reds since he’s out of options.

“Arredondo is still inconsistent,” Baker said. “He’ll throw a heck of a breaking ball and hang one. He’ll throw a fastball low and away and then get one out over the plate. It shows me he’s not quite there yet.”

Other news:

*Bronson Arroyo, who has been battling the flu for over two weeks, pitched in a Minor League game on Thursday vs. a Dodgers Class A team.  Arroyo threw 87 pitches over 5 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs and six hits with one walk and six strikeouts.

*Pitching against the Indians’ Class A team, Dontrelle Willis pitched one scoreless inning with one walk and two strikeouts.

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Back to work…

I’m back on the job after taking about four days of R&R back in Cincinnati. I think I returned to the warmest day of the spring thus far with a high of 91 (not complaining, it’s nice). I will try to get caught up and add some more stuff in a little while.

Obviously the Reds are also back to work after their lone day off of camp.

Lineup vs. KC

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Renteria 6
Hanigan 2
Lewis DH

Arroyo 1

Among those also scheduled to pitch are Arredondo, Cordero and Ondrusek.

*Edinson Volquez threw 74 pitches in yesterday’s Class A minor league game. His line wasn’t stellar vs. the Diamondbacks (5 ip, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3 HBP, 2 WP). He was also pitching while feeling under the weather.

“Twice, I hit the same guy. One was a fastball and the other was a changeup,” Volquez said.

Overall, Volquez got the work in he needed and wasn’t worried.

“Everything was good,” said Volquez, who will start a big league vs. the Brewers on Sunday. “I’m on schedule right now.”

*Johnny Cueto, who had stiffness in his right biceps and forearm, long tossed in the outfield during the off-day. Cueto is scheduled to start on Saturday vs. the Rockies.

*Bronson Arroyo and Matt Klinker are also sick. Dusty Baker still expected Arroyo to make his start tonight.

 

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Arroyo on his start

It was one the hottest days we’ve had in Goodyear so far during camp came as temperatures reached the upper 80s on Thursday. No complaints at all, especially given all of the rain I’m hearing about in Cincinnati. Hopefully the Ohio River subsides soon before any really serious problems happen.

A bunch of Giants homers in the third inning — three to be exact — helped send the Reds to a 7-0 loss.

The highlights:

*San Francisco crushed three homers against Bronson Arroyo in the third, including back-to-back one-out shots by Andres Torres (2-run HR) and Freddy Sanchez. Cody Ross added a solo homer with two outs. Overall, Arroyo allowed four earned runs and five hits over four innings with one walk and two strikeouts.

“I felt the same as the first two times out,” Arroyo said. “I got a little tired after three innings but it’s probably expected this time of year. I haven’t felt great all spring but I haven’t felt bad at all. Command is good. They hit three off-speed pitches out of the park.”

*Arroyo said he threw all fastballs in the fourth inning to build his endurance.

*The much anticipated spring debut of Edinson Volquez finally came. Volquez, a bit jet-lagged from his long Wednesday flight from the Dominican lasted 2 1/3 innings with two runs (one unearned), two hits two walks, a hit batter and two strikeouts. There will be much more from him on MLB.com soon.

*Aroldis Chapman gave up one run and two hits in his two innings and struck out three. But he had better command than in his previous three outings.

“He looked pretty good,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He threw a real good changeup. He’s been working on that. That would give him a third pitch to keep them off his fastball. He threw strikes with it. He threw a couple of good breaking balls. He looked a lot better this time than last time and that’s the objective.”

*And it’s the not always “just spring” category, Giants starter Madison Baumgarner had a little extra motivation for the Reds. Baumgarner last faced the Cincinnati Aug. 25 when he allowed eight runs (seven earned) in 2 2/3 innings. The Giants ended up making a big comeback before the Reds won 12-11 in 12 innings.

“I definitely didn’t forget about it. It’s hard to forget about something like that,” Baumgarner said.

Today, Baumgarner worked a crisp four scoreless innings with six strikeouts. His only hit was a one-out soft single to right field by Brandon Phillips, who was caught stealing. The Reds had only five hits overall on the day.

*In part two of “it’s not just spring”, Jonny Gomes threw out Pat Burrell at second base trying for a double on a drive off the left field wall in the fourth inning. Gomes pumped his fist when Burrell was called out. Granted, Burrell isn’t fleet of foot, but it was a good throw.

*It was a busier than usual day with media and guests. Besides a slew of national writers that were over, a crew from “Rome Is Burning?” was shooting with Brandon Phillips, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo — formerly of WFAN in New York, was here with Sirius/XM radio. And James Denton of “Desperate Housewives” fame was watching the pre-game workout. Denton is friends with Sean Casey, who is here as a guest instructor.

*Finally, former Reds intern and current Triple-A Louisville employee Danny “Blue” Steele has started a new team blog called, “The Bats Signal.” It’s still getting started but it should provide ample updates once the regular season begins.

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Thursday afternoon notes

Today was day two of the live BP between Reds pitchers and Reds hitters.

Among those that threw included Dontrelle Willis, Francisco Cordero, Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo, Edinson Volquez, Nick Masset and Jose Arredondo. Willis threw well and at one point struck out Yonder Alonso with a pretty nifty curveball.

Drew Stubbs cleared the fence hitting against Arroyo. Todd Frazier took Cueto deep over the left-center field wall with a hearty blast. Juan Francisco hit a booming homer to right field against Volquez.

Being so early in camp, don’t read too much into the results — positive or negative. Some of the hitters in were told what pitches were coming by the pitchers. It’s purely a get work in session under simulated game conditions.

I tried to get video of live BP today and yesterday but the quality was poor. I flunked out of videographer school.

*Other drills included pitchers fielding their position and throwing to different bases based on varying situations devised by coach Chris Speier.

*It was reported, and I confirmed, that 1B prospect Yonder Alonso switched agents recently. Alonso is now represented by Dan Lozano, who also happens to be the agent for Joey Votto.

*Speaking of Votto, he was feeling under the weather yesterday and not so great today with an upper respiratory issue. However, Votto was cleared to participate in the workout after being seen by the medical staff.

*For MLB.com/Reds.com stories — there will be a feature on outfield prospect Dave Sappelt. He moved quickly last season and earned two promotions and ended in Triple-A — partially on need but mostly because of performance.

“He’s a very exciting player,” Triple-A Louisville manager Rick Sweet said. “He’s aggressive. He swings the bat, puts the ball in play and runs. I would say the biggest thing is he creates havoc. He makes things happen. One thing about him is he’s not a low-key sit back and watch the at-bat player. He knows what he’s going to do and what’s going to happen.”

*In yesterday’s live BP, Jerry Gil’s velocity was hard not to notice. Gil, the former infielder that converted to pitching in 2008, can reach 97 mph.

“I feel way better than when I started pitching my first couple of years,” Gil said on Thursday. “I felt like my arm was going to fall apart. It hurt a lot in the beginning. But I got used to it and now I feel better. I thought pitching would be easy but it’s not that easy. You have to work hard.”

*Infielder Chris Valaika is trying to make the club as an extra player. Sitting on a bench could hamper his overal development if he’s not hitting every day, but Valaika felt it was something he could handle.

“That’s definitely a tradeoff,” Valaika said. “Getting your at-bats and playing every day is important for development. But just being in the big leagues and learning from Edgar [Renteria] and Miguel [Cairo] – guys that have been there and done that – I think that’s important as well.”

I’m getting an off day on Friday and will not be around the complex. Be sure to check for stories from colleague Barry Bloom, who will be on the case.

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Volquez for Opening Day

Dusty Baker announced his Opening Day starter — it’s Edinson Volquez.

The top three of the rotation will be Volquez, Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto.

“You want to go hard, soft, hard,” Baker said about the style of his pitchers. “You want to break up Cueto and Volquez because you don’t want them to out and out radar gun each other.”

The other two rotation spots remain up for grabs between Homer Bailey, Travis Wood and Mike Leake.

As for the hoopla that surrounds the opener, Baker felt Volquez was equipped to handle it since nothing really bothers him. More importantly, he felt Volquez could handle facing the other club’s No. 1 starters regularly.

Opening Day is March 31 vs. the Brewers at GABP.

More quotes from Baker:

Why it’s not Arroyo as the No. 1 starter?

“I think Bronson has always leaned towards not being it. He’s more of a long-run type of guy. What’s Bronson’s ERA, [3.88]? If you’re facing No. 1’s, that equals a lot of losses. He’s fine with it. I talked to him about it. He was thinking about it this winter, he feels it’s best spot in the rotation for him too.”

Shows confidence in Volquez?

“We’re very confident in Volquez. Plus you name who you think can handle it the best. Is Homer ready for the No. 1? Is Wood ready for No. 1? Is Leake ready for No. 1? Cueto just signed a four-year contract and what’s he, 23 years old? He’s already got enough pressure on him. I’m trying to relieve any pressure from him thinking he has to prove he’s worth the money. Sometimes through the process of elimination you come up with who you think can handle the situation the best. There’s nobody looser and I think can handle the situation better than Volquez. Not much bothers him. At least he doesn’t show it bothers him.”

More on this later…

 

Renteria contract breakdown

Greetings after a week away on “Staycation.”

Although off, I got to enjoy all the trappings of last week’s snow (or white death) in Cincinnati. The school closings, the roads, the frigid temperatures, etc.

A flight to Arizona is just around the corner though.

Still waiting on the Johnny Cueto contract situation to be resolved after he appeared to agree to terms on a four-year, $27 million deal as reported by espndeportes.com. I’m also going to check in and see what’s up with Edinson Volquez.

It’s amazing that for all the heat the Reds had taken from fans for standing pat much of the off-season, they still allocated $151 million on four players in Bronson Arroyo, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto and Cueto. And they still could add even more with Volquez.

Add in the salaries spent on Ramon Hernandez, Miguel Cairo, Edgar Renteria and Fred Lewis and the Reds weren’t all that idle.

I have a salary breakdown that might interest you on Renteria, realizing it’s kind of late but I got it while I was out…

Base salary: $2.1 million with $600,000 deferred without interest.

Bonus opportunity:

$100,000 for 300 plate appearances
$100,000 for 350 plate appearances
$125,000 for 400 plate appearances
$150,000 for 500 plate appearances
$250,000 for 550 plate appearances
$25,000 for All-Star game
$50,000 for Gold Glove
$50,000 for Silver Slugger
$50,000 for LCS MVP
$100,000 for World Series MVP

$20,000 to be donated to the Reds Community Fund.

Basically, Renteria is being paid handsomely, but relatively modestly, to back up for Paul Janish. However, if he’s needed to step up and play regularly, he knows he will be compensated accordingly. 

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Arroyo extended through 2013

MLB.com has confirmed that Bronson Arroyo has reached an agreement with the Reds for extension that takes him and the club through 2013. The total deal is three years worth $35 million. That includes the $11.5 million option the club exercised last month.

The original option was actually re-worked and this is a new three-year contract. The dollar amount I had is the same. However, there will be an amount of deferred money. The contract does not include no-trade protection but Arroyo was assured enough that there were no plans to move him that he still signed the deal. He can become a 10-5 player with automatic no-trade rights in 2012.

Arroyo took his physical earlier today.

 

“I just wanted the opportunity to stay on this ball club for the next few years,” Arroyo said. “We’ve been running uphill for the last four years and finally got to the top of the mountain. We saw the finish line at least and made the playoffs. We’ll hopefully more good seasons and make a run at it.

“I enjoy everything about the place. I enjoy the places I go, the restaurants I eat at and my teammates, the ballpark and the fans. I’d sign a five-year extension if they let me but I’m getting old so they’re only giving me three.”

The club has not made the deal official yet.

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Three Reds Gold Glovers

The 2010 National League Gold Glove Awards were revealed Wednesday afternoon.

The winners from the Reds are:

P Bronson Arroyo —  0 errors, 31 assists, 5 DPs (1st Gold Glove)
3B Scott Rolen —   8 errors, 28 DPs, 10.6 UZR (8th Gold Glove)
2B Brandon Phillips — 3 errors, 90 DPs, 9.7 UZR (2nd Gold Glove)

Left out were

OF Jay Bruce —  3 errors, 7 assists, 20.2 UZR
1B Joey Votto — 5 errors, 97 DPs, 1.6 UZR

Total list

C – Yadier Molina
1B – Albert Pujols
2B – Brandon Phillips
SS – Troy Tulowitzki
3B – Scott Rolen
OF – Carlos Gonzalez, Shane Victorino, Michael Bourn
P – Bronson Arroyo

This is the story I wrote for MLB.com ….  Below are some extra quotes that didn’t make the story.

Of all the people left off, I thought Jay Bruce was a big oversight. He’s one of those guys who had good attributes beyond the numbers — the biggest one being how many runners didn’t advance because of or in fear of his arm?

“I think you’ll have a conference call with a lot of other guys here in the future as far as Stubby in center field and possibly Joey and Jay Bruce,” Rolen said. “They play unbelievable defense across the board as well. They’re young in the league. There are a couple of other guys that have established themselves. I think you’ll be talking to those guys for a lot of years.”

One of the controversies surrounding the Gold Glove Award is the extrememly subjective process of the vote — which is done by the league’s managers and coaches. Reds skipper Dusty Baker said he doesn’t go by stats too much, especially the sabermetric advanced stats.

“Stats don’t show a lot of times if guys get to balls or not,” Baker said. “Sometimes guys get errors on balls they can get to that other guys don’t get to. When I put my ballot together, I think about fielding percentage. I think about range. I think about how many runs that person might save their ball club, about how guys in the middle of the infield turn the double play, how they throw the ball across the diamond and try to come up with the best person at that position.”

Rolen has the third-most among all players at his position behind only Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson (16) and Mike Schmidt (10).

“Walt was talking about six-to-eight year extension for me for unlimited dollars,” Rolen joked.

“I’m trying to give you a chance to catch up to him,” GM Walt Jocketty replied.

Said Rolen more seriously: “Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt – to be in those sentences, especially coming up in Philadelphia, I heard that name quite a bit. I think Mike Schmidt was the best third baseman to ever play the game. To be lumped with those guys obviously is a compliment.”

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