Results tagged ‘ Danny Richar ’

Viola called up

The Reds promoted LHP Pedro Viola from Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday. IF Danny Richar was moved to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster.

In 54 relief appearances, Viola was 2-2 with a 5.47 ERA and converted eight of 11 save chances (49.1ip, 48h, 33bb, 57 K, 7 HR, .251 opponents’ BA).

“They said he was some days very good and some days a little sporadic,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “But that’s a part of youth. He looks great. He looks like he got stronger even since we saw him in Spring Training.”

The Reds have a a string of 17-straight games ahead and Atlanta and Colorado have left-handed hitters throughout their lineups. Baker wanted some lefty bullpen depth to back up Daniel Herrera and Arthur Rhodes.

Reds lineup:

Stubbs 8
Janish 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Gomes 9
McDonald 7
Rosales 5
Miller 2
Bailey 1

It’s just a day off for 3B Scott Rolen – there is nothing wrong.

“He’s been playing and played the doubleheader,” Baker said. “We have a day off tomorrow. It’s almost like two days off. I talked to Cito [Gaston, Toronto's manager] and I talked to him when we got him. They often gave him days off for day games.”

Coming off of his three-inning save last night, the Reds could use Micah Owings more often in that type of role, especially if it can save others in the bullpen. The Reds also want to make more use of Owings’ bat to pinch-hit with him before he pitches.

Baker spoke with former Brewers hybrid pitcher/pinch-hitter Brooks Kieschnick this morning and got some advice.

“It was valuable,” Baker said. “I talked to Brooks about how to do it. I asked if he would talk to Micah. Micah, big-time wants to talk to him. Brooks was a dangerous man. I remember managing around him not to have him pinch-hit when he might be in the game to pitch. He’ll talk to Micah about how to warm up quicker as a reliever. I actually have to get him up an inning in an advance now.”

It looks like Jay Bruce and Ryan Hanigan are headed to Louisville to start a rehab assignment on Friday. Bruce was to run the bases for Baker to make sure he was ready to start playing games.

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Hanigan's neck, Harang on rumors

Catcher Ryan Hanigan was opening mail inside the Reds clubhouse and was able to turn his head about as far as needed to reach for the next letter. As far as putting the gear on and getting behind the plate, Hanigan’s sore neck wasn’t ready. He missed his fourth-straight start and Craig Tatum was in his place.

Hanigan, who is day-to-day, recently went for an adjustment at a chiropractor.

“My spine is a little out of whack and the inflammation left over from putting it into place is taking a while to go away,” Hanigan said. “It’s just impeding my range of motion. There’s nothing I can do until I can move my head. It’s definitely getting better but it’s slower than I hoped.”

Obviously, Hanigan was moved up the depth chart when Ramon Hernandez went on the DL. For those wondering who would be the emergency catcher should Tatum go down — it’s shortstop Paul Janish.

“It’s the same guy that’s my emergency pitcher,” manager Dusty Baker said.

Starting pitcher Aaron Harang has figured prominently in trade rumors as July 31 nears. Harang said he has a partial no-trade clause but was hazy on the details about which teams.

“I don’t know which teams I put,” Harang said. “I put them down a couple of years back.”

Harang, who is starting on Wednesday, has one guaranteed year left on his contract beyond this season. He’s making $11 million this year and $12.5 million in 2010 with a $12.75 million option for 2011.

“You can’t let it bother you, especially being a veteran guy, your name is going to come up more times than not,” Harang said of the rumors. “You just can’t let it affect how you go out and play every day. I’m going to show up at my locker each day. You really don’t know. I will know if they ever call me into the office and tell me. I’m not worried about it.”

Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Gonzalez 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Encarnacion 5
Nix 7
Gomes 9
Tatum 2
Arroyo 1

RF Jay Bruce, on the DL with a fractured right wrist, had his full-length cast cut below the elbow on Monday. He will wear that cast on his non-throwing arm for another 10 days before he is evaluated again.

“I’m pretty much back to normal activity as far as physical stuff – throwing, running, lifting,” Bruce said on Tuesday. “I’m just getting ready so when I do get the cast off, the only thing I’d have to do is get my arm ready and not anything else.”

1B Joey Votto enters today batting .350 but remains 29 plate appearances shy of qualifying for the National League lead. The current NL leader in the Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez at .348.

IF Danny Richar had season-ending left shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. Dr. Tim Kremchek performed the procedure today. Richar is expected to be ready by Spring Training 2010.

So much for that Pete Rose reinstatement stuff. The same columnist who “broke” the story yesterday that Rose’s exile might end followed up with a story that’s a total 180.

Reliever Daniel Herrera was parked in a chair on Tuesday that kind of small, even for him. It was a toddler-sized chair from the movie “Cars” and it had replaced his regular folding chair. It wasn’t even a prank — Herrera spotted the chair in a storage area at GABP on Monday.

“We’re 1-0 with the chair,” Herrera said. “I’m the only one that can fit in it.”

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Return delayed for Volquez

The Reds recently learned that they will be without Edinson Volquez for longer than expected. Volquez was shut down from throwing after a second MRI revealed there was still inflammation on the flexor mass muscle that connects the forearm to the bone by the elbow. The first MRI taken in early June when Volquez went on the DL with tendinitis didn’t reveal as much because he still had some swelling.

“I guess they found things that were more serious than anticipated,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He’s in good spirits so I guess that’s where it starts. It’s not serious enough to operate.”

Team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek will examine Volquez again on Tuesday but Volquez was told not to throw until the inflammation completely subsides. That will push back his return date, significantly.

“With a starting pitcher, you need time to build back up and rehab starts,” head trainer Mark Mann said. “You’re probably talking beyond the All-Star Break.”

“It just means it will take a little longer but we still expect a full recovery,” GM Walt Jocketty said. “You have to make sure it heals completely. Those things generally do.”

The Reds have still not named a starter to pitch on Saturday at Cleveland, which was the spot Volquez and first replacement Matt Maloney occupied.

“Nah, you guys name him,” Baker said.

OK, paging Homer Bailey. He is scheduled to pitch on Saturday for Triple-A Louisville so it lines up perfectly.

In five June starts, Bailey is 4-0 with a 0.47 ERA. In 38 1/3 innings, he’s allowed just seven walks with 38 strikeouts. With the news that Volquez will be out, this could be the best extended chance Bailey will get to prove he belongs in the Majors.

“Whoever starts on Saturday needs to give us some quality,” Baker said.

Reds lineup

Dickerson 8
Hairston Jr. 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Nix 7
Gomes dh
Bruce 9
Hernandez 2
Richar 5
Arroyo 1

Other news of the day:

Jocketty is keeping an eye out for some offensive help on the trade market but it’s been quiet.

“There’s not a lot of action going,” Jocketty said. “There are too many clubs that feel they’re still in it.”

Baker spent today working again in the cage with Willy Taveras, who did not start on Wednesday.

“If we have to go down there every day, he’s going to get it,” Baker said. “We weren’t wrong in our assessment of what we needed.”

Danny Richar got a start at third base, partially because he’s an extra left-handed hitter for the lineup against a right-handed pitcher. Baker said that Paul Janish would likely get a start at shortstop on Thursday and Jerry Hairston Jr. would move to third base.

Finally, Baker mentioned a chance encounter he had at lunch with former NHL player Shayne Corson at his Toronto restaurant. Why is that interesting? Because Corson had a long battle with anxiety attacks brought on by the premature death of his father at the age of 45. Corson played from 1985-2004, mostly with the Canadiens, Oilers and Maple Leafs.

“We had a really good conversation,” Baker said. “He had to skip a playoff game. I guess he went through it for a while.”

Obviously, the Reds have a player going through a similar issue in Joey Votto – who revealed his depression and anxiety issues on Tuesday.

“It’s very coincidental. It was almost planned,” Baker said of the Corson encounter.

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Gonzalez to DL, have surgery

There were a lot of festivities and preparations for the Civil Rights Game on Saturday. But there was also baseball business that had manager Dusty Baker preoccupied.

Baker was unhappy because he had to put SS Alex Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list. Gonzalez has four loose bone chips in his right elbow and will need surgery — something expected to happen on Tuesday. He will likely be out for four weeks.

“He took a swing yesterday and his arm locked up on him,” Baker said.

Infielder Danny Richar and catcher/infielder Wilkin Castillo were called up from Triple-A Louisville. As part of the transactions, left-handed starter Matt Maloney was optioned to Louisville and third baseman Edwin Encarnacion was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. For those wondering, Encarnacion would be eligible for activation from the DL on June 27.

Maloney was 0-2 with a 6.11 ERA in three starts for the Reds, including on Thursday when he gave up six runs over 5 2/3 innings during a 7-0 loss to the Braves on Thursday. Because of a scheduled off day on Monday, the Reds won’t need a fifth starter until next Saturday at Cleveland.

Jerry Hairston Jr. started at shortstop on Saturday vs. the White Sox.

While the Reds took BP today (all wearing the Frank Robinson fan giveaway throwback jersey), Gonzalez was on the top step out of the clubhouse tunnel at the end of the dugout.

“What can I say? It’s tough luck,” Gonzalez said. “I want to be out there. I missed all of last season. To be out for a while this year is tough. I have to get it done.”

“I’ll come back in the middle of July and I hope the team continues to be in the race. When I come back, I will try to do what I’ve been doing this season.”

For those counting, Gonzalez is the third starting infielder to go on the DL for an extended period this season. Encarnacion hasn’t played since April 28 because of a chip fracture in his left wrist. Joey Votto has been out with the stress issue since May 30. And the one main infielder that avoided the DL, Brandon Phillips, missed five games with a hairline fracture of his right thumb.

“Remember in Spring Training when I said in order for us to win this thing we’d need everybody?” Baker said. “I hoped I wouldn’t be right but that’s how it is.”

 

Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Hairston 6
Phillips 4
Gomes 7
Hernandez 3
Bruce 9
Hanigan 2
Rosales 5
Cueto 1

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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.”

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Masset discussion, bullpen for Bailey?

It’s getting late in spring and in the previous blog post about the probable starters, Nick Masset’s name was nowhere to be found. Nothing has been determined officially, but all signs are pointing to him no longer being in contention for the rotation’s fifth spot.

Masset has a 6.75 ERA through four games, including three starts, totalling 10 2/3 innings.

“We have to sit down and talk about it,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We might be making some decisions soon because there are not enough innings without ‘B’ games or split-squad games.”

It’s likely down to Micah Owings and Homer Bailey, who have both pitched well this spring. Owings has been nearly unstoppable. Baker caught the last couple of innings of Bailey’s minor league outing Monday (see previous post for line) and liked what he saw.

The big mystery could be the last bullpen spot. Masset, who has been a long reliever for a couple of years, is out of options. Bailey has no history as a reliever but isn’t out of the question to do it if Owings beats him for the fifth spot.

“Possibly. It’s something we’ve discussed,” Baker said. “It’s something that depends on what’s better for him in the long run – do we pitch him or make him the fifth guy? With the Dodgers and Giants, a lot of our top young guys started out as long guys – Dave Stewart, Bobby Welch, Pedro Martinez.

“A lot of it depends on who has options left and who doesn’t. There is a lot that goes into consideration as well as how you’re pitching.”

More news you can use:

  • Jay Bruce hasn’t hit well most of spring (batting .200 entering the day) but Baker wasn’t too worried.

“He kind of started this way last year too,” Baker said. “He was getting some hits early, but they were groundballs between first and second. His stroke isn’t really there because he’s fouling off pitches he would ordinarily put into play. He’s close. When you see him going to left field or up the middle that means he’s right there because he is not a pull hitter. When he starts trying to pull, that’s when most hitters get into trouble.”

  • Jacque Jones and Daryle Ward, who are both struggling offensively, were kept back in Sarasota to DH in Minor League games.

“They stayed back and hit extra and try to hope we can find their strokes.”

  • Alex Gonzalez and Norris Hopper will likely do the same thing on Wednesday while the Reds are in Port Charlotte.
  • Infielder Danny Richar probably had an outside chance at best to make it as a backup infielder. But despite some nice defensive plays, Richar entered batting .111 and was honest about his state of mind.

“I don’t feel like I’m playing the way I’m used to playing. I don’t feel confident,” Richar said. “I need to get that back. I’m trying to do too much. I need to play my game. Right now, I don’t feel like I’m playing my game.”

The Reds are wearing green hats for St. Patrick’s Day and several players had green shirts among their street clothes, including Brandon Phillips and Baker.

“Erin Go Braugh my brother,” Baker said to Phillips — both men laughed.

 

I like long walks on the beach…

One of the true perks of getting to cover Spring Training in Florida is Siesta Key. Last year was the first time I stayed on the island and I returned to the same spot this year. I’m not exactly a beach person, but it’s certainly nice to have it close by — especially when you can watch some of the best sunsets around.
 My cellphone camera that took this shot Monday night probably doesn’t do it justice.

 
Thumbnail image for PhotoQ022309Q001.jpg

Later today, the Reds will be playing in what’s being termed an afternoon workout. Aaron Harang will be pitching to hitters. There will be three outs per inning and no batting cage being used. But it’s not technically a game.

The first game is on Wednesday at the Rays’ new facility in Port Charlotte.

“Now you’ll have something to write about, and talk about,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Definitely. In my nine seasons of covering baseball, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a more serene camp. There have been no major injuries — with only precautions being taken with Alex Gonzalez and a little soreness for Bill Bray. There has been no drama. No superstars mean little national coverage. USA Today has been around twice and someone from SI.com made an appearance today. With games starting, performances can be evaluated and news can hopefully start flowing.

As mentioned last week, second baseman Brandon Phillips will be batting fourth. He acknowledged that he isn’t your prototypical cleanup hitter but embraces the role.

“I will go out there and do my best to hit fourth,” Phillips said. “I’m not really a No. 4 hitter so I’ll try my best. If I was on any other team, I know I wouldn’t be out there hitting fourth. Me hitting fourth and having the year I had last year, I was very happy. I’m not complaining. I understand I hit .260 with 20 jacks but those are beautiful stats for a second baseman. I’m not a home run hitter but I have to be that guy that’s going to drive in runs. I wish I could have drove in more but I missed three weeks of the season.”

Phillps broke his right index finger while bunting in September at Milwaukee. He said he’s had no issues since coming to camp.

With Joey Votto one of several players leaving camp for the World Baseball Classic soon, Baker plans to have a plethora of players manning first base. Expect to see Daryle Ward, Jeff Keppinger, Kevin Barker, Todd Frazier, Yonder Alonso, Adam Rosales, Wes Bankston, Jacque Jones and Jonny Gomes all get chances.

The Reds have agreed to terms on one-year contracts with four more 0-3 year players: OF Chris Dickerson, C Ryan Hanigan, IF/OF Jeff Keppinger and IF Danny Richar. That means 11 players remain unsigned.

More later from the afternoon workout — please check back.

 

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