Results tagged ‘ Drew Sutton ’

Janish away, Sutton up, Votto sore

Weds lineup vs. PIT

Cabrera 6
Cairo 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Nix 7
Stubbs 8
Hanigan 2
Arroyo 1

*Dusty Baker indicated yesterday that an off day was coming for Joey Votto but that’s not why he’s missing from tonight’s lineup. It turns out that Votto is out with a stiff neck.

Votto has the best numbers vs. Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf at 4-for-7 (.571) with one homer so it was unfortunate for the Reds.

“If you can’t go, you can’t go,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “You know Joey Votto. If he could go, he was going to go. He called and left a message this morning. He went and saw the doctor and he thought it would better if he doesn’t play today.” 

*Also out is lefty reliever Arthur Rhodes with a sore foot. Baker hoped to have Votto and Rhodes back Thursday.


*Infielder Paul Janish was placed on the bereavement list to attend his grandmother’s funeral near Houston. IF/OF Drew Sutton was recalled from Triple-A Louisville. Janish can be gone from three to seven days but was expected to be back Saturday.

*Sutton was batting .268 with two homers and 16 RBIs in 37 games for Louisville. He had hit safely in each of his last seven games (11-for 24, .458, 8 RBIs).  Sutton played 42 games with the Reds last season and batted .212.

*Edinson Volquez pitched a simulated game for the first time on Saturday in Goodyear. He threw 40 pitches total — or two 20-pitch “innings.” The club is still determining Volquez’s schedule going forward, but he could pitch in extended spring games as soon as next week.

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Chapman to pitch Weds

Reds lineup vs SD

Dickerson 8
Sutton 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Gomes 7
Miles 4
Hanigan 2
Harang 1

*Aroldis Chapman will pitch two innings of relief on Wednesday vs. Oakland. Chapman, who worked one inning of relief in a Minor League game on Sunday, will follow Mike Leake, who is starting and expected to go five innings.

*Baker did not say when the fifth starter decision would come after everyone pitches Wednesday. He said it was possible that whoever the guy is could remain after camp breaks to get another start in extended spring. The fifth starter might not be needed until April 10 or 11.

“And then maybe we can carry another position player or something,” Baker said.

*Until he packed it the other day, there was a sign in Baker’s office that read: “The two most important things in life are good friends and a good bullpen. Not necessarily in that order.”

The Reds had the good fortune of returning all of their key relievers from last season’s bullpen, which was ranked third in the NL in ERA.

“In this day and age, of all the guys that move around in baseball, they are relievers and utility guys,” Baker said. “To keep ours intact says a lot for our bullpen and our organization at the same time.”

The continuity should be helpful entering this season but there is still room for one or possibly two more pitchers depending on how many go north.

“They have an idea already,” Baker said. “It’s not like we’ve added a bunch of new guys or deleted guys. There’s still, depending on what we see and how guys respond and how they pitch, room for other guys. If there isn’t, we have reliable backups and if there is, we still have reliable backups. A lot of it depends on how the last few days go, what we see and what we think is best for this team.”

*Drew Sutton is starting today and remains one of six infielders vying for likely two utility jobs. He’s trying to do all he can to make a final impression to decision-makers.

“Three days left. It’s getting close,” Sutton said. “You try not to start thinking about if I make it or not. We’ve already had to ship our cars out, so either way, I have to get back to Cincinnati to get my stuff.”

The competition is between Aaron Miles, Sutton, Chris Burke, Miguel Cairo, Paul Janish and Juan Francisco. Miles’ $2.7 million salary would seem to make him a lock but his .115 (3-for-26) isn’t so pretty. Sutton is entering the day batting .259 (7-for-27). He has played six positions in camp — four infield and two outfield.

*The Reds contingent headed to Las Vegas leave on Tuesday night and will stay overnight for Wednesday’s game vs. the Dodgers. Baker will be on the trip and bench coach Chris Speier will manage the other game vs. Oakland. Pitching coach Bryan Price will be at the Oakland game and then fly to Las Vegas for the other game.

*Check out my season preview story here.

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Yet another player down

I am literally whistling the theme song from M*A*S*H as I write this entry because another player has prematurely left a game with an injury.

This time it was 2B Brandon Phillips, who departed Thursday’s Reds-Giants tilt in the bottom of the third inning. The issue was a sore left wrist. Phillips was hit by a pitch there on Saturday and missed Sunday’s game. He’s been playing with it the past couple of days.

Drew Sutton pinch-hit for Phillips in the third inning and remained in the game at second base.

This week alone — Phillips, Joey Votto and Willy Taveras (quadriceps) have exited mid-game with an injury. Johnny Cueto officially went on the DL today, too, because of shoulder inflammation.

Postgame update:

“Before the game, he said ‘I don’t know if I can go. I will do what I can,'” Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Phillips. “Then he took those swings off of [Giants starter Matt] Cain. I could see him wincing and could tell he was in pain. He’s day-to-day and hopefully he will be back [Friday].”

“I couldn’t hold the bat on my bottom hand today,” Phillips said. “Maybe it was because we had a early game today, it couldn’t take its time to heal. It swelled up. It’s been bothering me for a while. I was feeling it a little bit yesterday and today I was feeling it a lot. If it was a night game, I would have been able to play the whole game.”

Phillips, who was 0-for-1 with a fly out vs. San Francisco, is batting .260 with 17 home runs and a team-leading 75 RBIs. He hoped to be in the lineup vs. the Pirates.

“If I keep on icing it, I should be,” Phillips said. “I tried to play today so why not try tomorrow?”

On the bright side, the Reds salvaged one game out of the Giants series with a 2-1 win in 10 innings. The winner came on Drew Stubbs’ leadoff homer in the bottom of the 10th — his first in the big leagues.

The only question after Stubbs connected against Bobby Howry’s 2-0 fastball was: fair or foul? The hit kissed off of the left field foul pole.

“I knew I got it good enough. Luckily it tucked right inside the foul pole,” Stubbs said.

“When it went out, I thought it was [fair],” Baker said. “Then I saw it hook at the last minute. I was like ‘please stay fair,’ because we needed that one real bad. You don’t know how bad we needed that one. We got it.”

As he did a postgame TV interview on the field, Stubbs was drenched by Jonny Gomes with a Gatorade cooler. Bronson Arroyo followed up with the ol’ shaving cream pie.

Stubbs was 0-for-4 with three Ks heading into the final at-bat.

 “You have to be able to put the failures behind you. That’s something you’ll do a lot of in this game. The best hitters fail 70 percent of the time. I think I was able to clear my head up there and put together a good at-bat.”

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Crowded DL, Lehr next up?

A lousy road trip was compounded by the loss of two more players to the disabled list on Monday. The Reds placed starting pitcher Micah Owings on the 15-day DL with a tight right shoulder. Outfielder Chris Dickerson joined him there with a bruised right rotator cuff.

“I don’t have to have surgery. I’ve been down that road already,” said Dickerson, who said he was told he had a small tear in his rotator cuff also.

“Dickerson could probably be ready in 5-6 days but we’ve been playing short most of the year,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We can’t afford to go short.”

The Reds called up reliever Robert Manuel and utility player Drew Sutton to fill the 25-man roster.That means Friday’s starter is TBA vs. the Rockies. It just so happens that RHP Justin Lehr is Triple-A Louisville’s scheduled starter that same day. Lehr, who is 13-3 with a 3.31 ERA this season was just named the International League’s pitcher of the week (2-0, 1.88 ERA in two starts). Lehr isn’t on the 40-man roster that would require a second move if he is the one. Lefty Matt Maloney, who has already been up once earlier this season, is scheduled to pitch tonight for Louisville.

As for the outfield situation, the Reds are down to Willy Taveras, Laynce Nix and Jonny Gomes. Jerry Hairston Jr. can play all three spots and Sutton played right field for the first time last week in Los Angeles. Gomes was 2-for-16 on the last road trip and Nix, who just snapped a 0-for-11 skid, has struggled the last few weeks.

Baker was asked about Chris Heisey and Drew Stubbs.

“They need to play,” he said, meaning they should remain in the Minors.

Currently on the DL for the Reds are: Jay Bruce, Ramon Hernandez, Edinson Volquez, Mike Lincoln, Wilkin Castillo, Danny Richar and Jared Burton.

Lincoln made his first appearance in the clubhouse since having cervical disc replacement surgery earlier this month. Other than a band-aid in the front of his neck, he didn’t look like a guy that just had a major surgery in that area.

As he often does each day, reliever David Weathers was hitting grounders to his young son, Ryan. But he called out to me and asked if I had heard anything new about him in the rumor mill. I hadn’t.

“I’d like to stay,” said Weathers, who has a one-year deal for this season and zero no-trade clauses. “I don’t want to go anywhere. But I have no control over it.”

Weathers didn’t believe the Reds were in full sell mode yet.

“If we get a sweep [of the Padres] or win three of four, that might make them think again,” Weathers said. “And what if the same people in front of us lose three or four in a row?”

Reds lineup:

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

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Roster move, Lincoln news

The Reds made their expected roster move to get down to 12 pitchers. The odd man out was Josh Roenicke, who was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Infielder Drew Sutton was recalled from Louisville and expands the options on the bench. Sutton appeared in three games during his previous call-up and went 0-for-4. He was sent down on July 7 and returns after he spent the minimum 10 days in the minors.

In 10 games with the Reds, Roenicke was 0-0 with a 2.92 ERA. He retired eight of his 10 first batters and let one of eight inherited runners scored. He struck out a career-high four over two innings on Thursday vs. Milwaukee.

Reliever Mike Lincoln will be having cervical disc replacement surgery on Monday in St. Louis. Lincoln has been on the 15-day DL since June 17 because of a bulging disc in his neck. A prognosis won’t be known for Lincoln until after the operation, but I can’t imagine him returning any time this season.

During the off-season, Lincoln was re-signed to a two-year, $4 million contract.

Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Hairston 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Nix 7
Encarnacion 5
Dickerson 9
Hanigan 2
Arroyo 1

Edwin Encarnacion has been getting it quite together at the plate lately and is finally poised to get his batting average north of .200. Encarnacion came into Friday batting .323 (11-for-34) with two home runs and seven RBIs in 11 games since returning from over two months on the DL. Overall, he was batting .196.

“I feel great right now,” said Encarnacion, who was 3-for-3 Thursday with a three-run homer and RBI single. “I’ve been working hard to get my timing back. Right now, I’ve got my timing. When I came back, I tried to do too much and didn’t come through the first two games. I thought back to taking it slow, being more patient and not trying to do too much. That’s what I’ve been doing.”

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Bullpen help for Reds

After the Reds bullpen has put together 11 1/3 innings over the last two games, a little reinforcement was summoned on Tuesday. The Reds called up RHP Robert Manuel from Triple-A Louisville.

Manuel was 3-3 with a 2.51 ERA and eight saves in 32 appearances for Louisville.  In 43 innings, he allowed 33 hits, 12 earned runs, nine walks, two homers and struck out 33. Opponents batted .209 against him and curiously, it was lefties that fared worse by hitting .169 (10-for-59).

To make room for Manuel, IF Drew Sutton was optioned to Louisville.

Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Hairston Jr. 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Gomes 7
Hernandez 2
Bruce 9
Encarnacion 5
Harang 1

As usual, there was a unique story to Manuel getting the word from Louisville manager Rick Sweet that he was moving up. It happened to come just as players were watching highlights from the 22-1 loss.

“It was real weird,” Manuel said. “There were too many people in the room and they were all around me for some reason. I was just paying attention to the highlights. He said they might need somebody to pitch in Cincy. I looked around and every one of the guys standing up were position players and starters. [Sweet] was looking at me. I thought he was talking to somebody behind me and was joking around.”

Manuel throws a fastball, slider and changeup. In the minors, he could work multiple innings, set-up or close.

“He throws strikes. The big thing is he’s gotten left-handers out better than right-handers,” Dusty Baker said. “They said give him a shot. He’s not going to pop your eyes out but he gets people out, which is what it’s all about.”

When the writers came into Baker’s office for the daily meeting, he had the right attitude needed to overcome a loss that, quite frankly, had him looking shellshocked on Monday night.

“The sun came up today,” Baker said. “It’s a new day. It’s baseball.”

Sutton up, Burton down

It was an unusual move. At 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, all 25 Reds players filed into manager Dusty Baker’s office for a very cozy team meeting. The contents of the 20-minute meeting were not revealed to those on the outside.

“Sometimes a crowded room brings togetherness,” Baker said. “We were just talking, that’s all.”

Baker isn’t usually a fan of meetings and said he’s only held a couple of them this year.

“You just feel it,” he said when asked why this was the time for one. “You can’t do too many because they lose effectiveness.”

How did the players respond?

“As long as they look and listened with their eyes and ears,” Baker said. “At least fool me that you’ve been paying attention. And sometimes you have to use your office more than just to chastise.”

The Reds called up infielder Drew Sutton from Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday. To make room for Sutton on the 25-man roster, reliever Jared Burton was optioned to Louisville.

Sutton, who was acquired in the March 31 trade that sent infielder Jeff Keppinger to the Astros, was batting .254 with five home runs and 19 RBIs in 38 games with Louisville.

“It was quite a quick turnaround,” said Sutton, in the Majors for the first time. “We played a day game at Gwinnett County at 2 p.m. and had a six-hour bus ride home. They told me when we got off the bus at 1 a.m. so I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night trying to let everybody know and get some people up here.”

The call-up comes one day after Sutton turned 26. 

Burton was 0-0 with a 4.81 ERA in 29 games this season for the Reds. Of his 18 inherited runners, 10 scored. However, he was much better since a one-day demotion to the Minors and quick return when Edinson Volquez went on the DL. After that, Burton had a 2.19 ERA in nine appearances.

After getting the news, a clearly unhappy Burton was in no mood to talk.

“I don’t want him to be happy,” Baker said. “I don’t expect him to be happy. If he’s mad at me or Dick or Walt, pitch like it. If he wasn’t mad, he doesn’t belong here. And he belongs here, big time.”

Reds lineup:

Dickerson 8
Hairston 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Nix 7
Hernandez 2
Bruce 9
Richar 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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Taking on Oswalt

Roy Oswalt enters Friday 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA this season. He is 23-1 all time vs. the Reds. Here is the lineup Oswalt will be facing:

Taveras, cf
Dickerson, lf
Votto, 1b
Phillips, 2b
Bruce, rf
Encarnacion, 3b
Hernandez, c
Gonzalez, ss
Cueto, rhp

News you can use:

  • Dusty Baker got a scouting report on IF Drew Sutton, who came over Thursday in the Jeff Keppinger trade.

“I talked to some guys over with the Astros,” Baker said. “They told me they liked him. They said he was a good player. He can run. They said he can play second base, first base and they believe he can play the outfield too because of his speed and instincts.”

  • Keppinger wasn’t in Friday’s Astros lineup and is one of several Houston players bothered by a sore back. He came into the day hitting .467 with a six-game hitting streak. Knowing a little more about Sutton as the “player to be named later”, how do you feel about the return from this deal?
  • Baker was asked about the Reds facing Oswalt.

“We’ll get him,” Baker said. “The law of averages is definitely on our side…been on our side for a long time.”

The last time the Reds beat Oswalt was April 28, 2006.

  • After his last outing at Milwaukee on Wednesday where he gave up four sixth-inning runs, plus one charged to Micah Owings, reliever Jared Burton was pretty down and sounded like someone who had been struggling for a while despite some good numbers. On Friday, Burton clarified a little but said he hasn’t felt like himself on the mound, yet.

“For some reason, my command has been suffering a little bit,” Burton said. “I find myself feeling for my pitches. Me personally, I’m not a feel pitcher. I like to rely on my intensity and things like that. It’s what gives me that good finish on my pitches, that late movement.

“My velocity isn’t where it will be in another month.”

  • In the clubhouse, some players were watching the Cardinals-Cubs afternoon game. Reliever Chris Perez was pitching for St. Louis. Edinson Volquez remembered seeing Perez routinely throw 100-101 mph when they were in Double-A.

When asked, Volquez said his top speed in the Minors was 100 mph. I asked how he felt when he threw it.

“I got dizzy,” Volquez said with a laugh. “Then I tried to throw 100 again, and it was 94 mph.”

  • Some Minor League news from Jamie Ramsey of the Reds:

In last night’s Triple-A Louisville loss to Indianapolis, Adam Rosales was 2-for-4 and hit his third homer of the season. Jonny Gomes reached base three times with a single and two walks.

Rosales is batting .375 (9-for-24) through seven games. Gomes is batting .217 (5-for-23). 

Keppinger deal completed, Bray's elbow

The March trade that sent infielder Jeff Keppinger to the Astros was completed on Thursday when the Reds received infielder Drew Sutton as the player to be named.

Sutton, 25, will report to Triple-A Louisville. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, Danny Richar was sent outright to Louisville.

Last season with Double-A Corpus Christi, Sutton batted .317 with 20 home runs and 69 RBIs and was his team’s Most Valuable Player. He led all Astros Minor Leaguers in batting average, hits (165), runs (102), walks (76), doubles (39) and extra-base hits (63).

With Triple-A Round Rock, Sutton was batting .267 (4-for-15) with a .389 on-base percentage in five games.

  • Reliever Bill Bray has been saddled with another injury. Bray was diagnosed with a strained left elbow after an exam by Dr. Tim Kremchek, according to the Reds. The lefty will be evaluated in 10 days.

Shoulder soreness set Bray back during Spring Training and he didn’t catch up in time to make the team. He had five scoreless innings over three games for Triple-A Louisville.

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