Results tagged ‘ Dick Pole ’

Cordero to get more work

The Reds have devised a plan they hope will get closer Francisco Cordero back on track. Cordero will get more work and pitch in some extra Minor League games, including one on Saturday.

“Instead of being three days in between, or a couple, we’ll get him on more of a routine and see if he can get into a rhythm,” pitching coach Dick Pole said on Friday. “Right now, he just doesn’t have good flow to him.”

Last night vs. Boston was Cordero’s roughest outing yet with four runs, four hits and two walks allowed in one inning. Most of the hitters were Minor Leaguers. Pole said that Cordero’s velocity was in the 92-93 mph range in the game.

“You have to take into account getting adrenaline flowing during the course of a season,” Pole said of Cordero’s lower pitch speed. “Last year, his results were better so we didn’t pay attention as much to it. Looking back at last year, his velocity was about the same and then all of a sudden the last couple of times he pitched, he was popping up to 94-95.”

The difference between last year and this year is Cordero is trying to return from right ankle surgery. That is the pitcher’s push off foot and the source of his power.

“He’s going to get more action,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He didn’t throw a lot this winter to get his arm strength up. He couldn’t because of his ankle operation and he’s a little behind. We still have two weeks and he’ll get some consecutive days. The more he throws the stronger he’ll get.

“It doesn’t do any good to get concerned. All you can do is figure out how to get him back. Concern helps no one and worry helps even less. You just have to go to work.”

Maybe, but is anyone wondering whether Cordero will be ready for start of the regular season? He has has an 18.00 ERA (12 ER over 6 IN) with 17 hits and four walks allowed in his six games. If he isn’t improving, would a stint on the DL and some extended spring training help? That would mean David Weathers would step up and be the closer.

FYI — both Pole and Baker both said that Cordero’s ankle is healthy.

Postgame news you can use:

  • Johnny Cueto gave up two earned runs and six hits over five innings. No walks, one strikeout. A majority of the hits were bloopers and not hard hit. The exception was pitcher Russ Ortiz’s RBI single to center field off of Cueto in the second. After, he faced the minimum and retired eight of his last 10 batters, getting a double play and a caught stealing along the way.

“He threw the ball good. He had good location, good movement,” Baker said.

  • Nick Masset gave up two earned runs and three hits over three innings with three walks and one strikeout. The outing didn’t start well. Masset began by giving up Darin Erstad’s double and Lance Berkman hit a 2-2 pitch to the right field corner for a two-run homer ruled just inside the pole. Then Carlos Lee walked.Masset’s final two innings were mostly smooth.
  • Norris Hopper was scratched from the lineup because of bronchitis.

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.

Cueto definitely pitching for D.R.

Johnny Cueto has delievered his RSVP for the World Baseball Classic. He’s definitely pitching for the Dominican Republic, instructor Mario Soto confirmed on Saturday.

With Edinson Volquez already locked in, the Reds will have two-fifths of their 2009 rotation away for a while. The World Baseball Classic tournament runs from March 5-23. Cueto, Volquez and Soto will leave camp on March 1 to begin workouts with the Dominican squad.

“They could be gone a week, or three weeks,” Reds pitching coach Dick Pole said.

Other Reds also planning on playing in the Classic are first baseman Joey Votto (Canada), catcher Ramon Hernandez (Venezuela) and utility player Jerry Hairston Jr. (Mexico).

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