Results tagged ‘ Chris Valaika ’

Historically good pitching

Sorry for not hanging a “gone fishing” sign up while I was out for a couple of days. I skipped the Florida series but had to catch a flight home from Pittsburgh Sunday right after the game.

Here is a note from the Elias Sports Bureau about some splendid Reds pitching:

For only the third time in the live-ball era, the Reds have posted four team shutouts over a six-game span…the starting pitchers in those shutouts were Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto and Volquez again…starters in the previous 2 instances were Elmer Riddle, Johnny Vander Meer, Joe Beggs and Vander Meer in 1943, followed in 1970 by Gary Nolan, Jim McGlothlin, Jim Merritt and Nolan.

Reds lineup:

Taveras CF
Hairston 3B
Votto 1B
Phillips 2B
Bruce RF
McDonald LF
Hanigan C
Janish SS
Arroyo P

News you can use:

SS Alex Gonzalez (strained left oblique) was re-examined on Wednesday. The Reds are holding off putting Gonzalez on the DL for now.

“He’s better today than he was yesterday,” manager Dusty Baker said. “At this point, if he keeps improving over the next couple of days, we might not have to DL him. I know [going on the DL] is not what he would like after being on the DL a year and a half. But we’ll get to a point when we’ll have to make a decision on his progress.”

If Gonzalez does go on the DL in a few days, it can be made retroactive to Tuesday if he doesn’t appear in a game. Paul Janish and Jerry Hairston Jr. will fill in. Part of the issue if Gonzalez does go on the DL is there aren’t many infielders lighting it up at Triple-A Louisville. Chris Valaika is batting .176, Danny Richar is hitting .213. Neither are on the 40-man roster. Drew Sutton made his Louisville debut yesterday after being out with mono and went 1-for-4.

3B Edwin Encarnacion (small chip fracture, left wrist) had his cast removed today. He was placed in a removeable splint that he’ll likely wear for at least one week.

More on the pitching: The Reds’ 3.61 team ERA is best in the National League. The last time this team finished a season leading in ERA was 1940.

The Reds reached six shutouts last night in their 26th game, their fastest to six shutouts since the 1914 Reds threw their sixth shutout in their 25th game. They had six shutouts during all of the 2008 season.

“I am just trying to stay the heck away,” pitching coach Dick Pole said. “They’re having fun right now and it’s not up to me to cramp their style. Let them keep enjoying what’s going on.”

Follow updates on Twitter at:

http://twitter.com/m_sheldon

First roster cuts, lineups vs. NYY

The first roster trim came down and there were no surprises. Most of the top prospects were sent to the Minor League camp. Here’s the list:

Optioned to Class AA Carolina  was 1B Yonder Alonso; reassigned to minor league camp were C Humberto Cota, C Chris Denove, INF Todd Frazier, C Devin Mesoraco, OF Drew Stubbs and INF Chris Valaika…the Reds have 56 players remaining in camp.

Reds lineup:

Dickerson CF, Gonzalez SS, Bruce RF, Phillips 2B, Barker 1B, Encarnacion 3B, Nix LF, Hanigan C, Bankston DH

Masset – P

Yankees lineup:

Gardner CF, Damon LF, Nady RF, Matsui DH, Ransom 3B, Molina C, Miranda 1B, Berroa SS,  Pena 2B

Chamberlain – P

Obviously, this will be a good test for Gonzalez’s knee to finally play the field. Look for a story postgame on that. More later once the Reds’ bus arrives at Steinbrenner Field.

6pm Update:

  • Dusty Baker said that Gonzalez would play four or five innings at shortstop tonight.
  • 3B Edwin Encarnacion said his left wrist felt better after he took BP on Monday. Encarnacion has been sore since a check swing the other day.

“But I tried to stay with a pitch inside, that’s what hurt me more,” Encarnacion said.

  • 1B Joey Votto is on a flight that should land in Sarasota tonight but Baker said he’s giving him Wednesday off. The team has a scheduled off day on Thursday, which gives Votto two days to regroup after the World Baseball Classic.

“With traveling and his family and Toronto, I’m sure he’s probably exhausted,” Baker said.

  • RHP Johnny Cueto is OK after twisting an ankle on Sunday. He did his running on Monday.

Here’s what Baker said about the roster moves. Three of the players (Alonso, Mesoraco and Stubbs) were the organization’s last three first round picks.

“They’re all good players. They’re good young men at the same time,” Baker said. “They worked hard, did what was asked of them. It was a matter of ABs getting tight. We’re going to get some guys back [from the World Baseball Classic]. They all got pretty good look-sees, especially for the first big league camp for most of them. Most guys don’t get that many ABs and innings.”

  • The decisions were all made before Monday’s game. Chris Valaika hit a grand slam vs. the Phillies and Yonder Alonso hit a homer to center field, his first of spring. A fan retrieved the ball and returned it to Alonso.

“You hate to send them out when they did something so spectacular. I was hoping Stubbs would hit one out,” Baker said. “I’d rather have them go out on a high note.”

 

 

 

 

Arroyo's day vs. Phils

Bronson Arroyo’s numbers from his second start of spring, also his second start vs. the Phillies:

3 1/3 IN, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2K, 2 HR

The homers came from Geoff Jenkins’ solo shot to right field with a 1-0 count and two outs in the second inning. Ryan Howard went deep to right field on a full-count pitch leading off the fourth.

Here’s an unfiltered account what Arroyo had to say after he came out:

“I really didn’t feel nearly as good as I felt the last time. The mound here was bothering me a little bit. It was almost like a flat mound. It didn’t have much tilt to it. On top of that, I didn’t feel that strong. You feel little weak and try to throw on a flat mound, and you feel like you’re throwing uphill a little bit. My command and stuff was OK but everything felt very soft. I didn’t have much zip on anything. I just wanted to get through the day and not get killed.”

On the homers:

“The wind was blowing out. Both of those balls weren’t hit very good. Jenkins, I’m not sure but it sounded like he hit it off the end of the bat. I threw him a sinker. Howard’s just got enough of it and he hit it really high. Other than that, I was happy with how it turned out.”

Arroyo, who exited with a 3-2 lead,  has a 5.06 ERA through 5 1/3 innings of work and that doesn’t count his four scoreless innings vs. the Netherlands. Obviously, it’s too small of a sample size to gauge anything yet.

Just for fun, does anyone have a win total and innings prediction for Arroyo in 2009?

  • The Reds won the game, 8-4. The big hit of the day was Chris Valaika’s grand slam to left field in the top of the seventh. It snapped a 4-4 tie. For those of you scoring at home, that’s five grand slams by the Reds this spring. As Kenny Mayne would say “that must be some kind of record.” Not sure about that, but the total easily leads the Majors this spring for what that’s worth (not much).  The Cubs and Mets each had two grand slams entering the day.
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