Results tagged ‘ Edinson Volquez ’

Postgame: Volquez sharpening

Edinson Volquez had one shaky fifth inning and it cost him during a 3-1 Reds loss to Arizona. He walked the first two batters and paid for it.

But the overall vibe about Volquez’s performance was positive.

Dusty Baker was asked if Volquez had his 2008 All-Star stuff back yet after his return from Tommy John surgery.

“He’s pretty close. His endurance is up. His velocity is up,” Baker said. “Since he went down to Dayton, his location is a lot better, his tempo, rhythm and just his overall delivery is better. He’s not forcing it. He’s just letting it flow, pitching nice and relaxed.”

In two starts since returning from a tune-up stint at Class A Dayton, Volquez has given up seven hits and three walks while striking out 17 over 13 2/3 innings. He is trying to land one of the rotation spots in the postseason and likely competing with Travis Wood and Homer Bailey.

“I think I’m close now,” Volquez said of his stuff. “The last two games, I’m pitching really good. My delivery is better. I throw more fastballs for strikes than before.”

More notes —

*Orlando Cabrera snapped his four-game hit streak. He was was 8-for-21 during it. He also had five doubles during this series.

*Paul Janish has an eight -game hit streak (11-for-31, .355)

*Drew Stubbs hit safely in eight of last 10 games. Check out this notebook item I did on Stubbs before the game.

*This was game 14 of a 20-game stretch without a day off. The next off day doesn’t come until Thursday of next week between Milwaukee and San Diego.

More quotes —

“You don’t play this game for 162 games, you really don’t. You can throw them all in the trash once the playoff start. But we have to get there first. You get there by playing the way we’ve been playing. I think we’ve done a good job of keeping our eye on the prize.” — Jonny Gomes

“We knew it was going to be a tough stretch physically and emotionally, and everything especially down the stretch.” — Dusty Baker on the 20-straight game stretch the Reds are in.

One other thing —

I am off for this weekend’s series at Houston. But I will return starting Monday in Milwaukee and will ride with you until the end — whenever that may be.

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One surprise, one non-surprise

A few days ago in Denver, I talked to outfielder Jim Edmonds and came away with the impression his chances of returning from a torn right oblique muscle this season were remote. Imagine my surprise when we learned Edmonds was activated from the disabled list Friday.

Turns out, Edmonds and Dusty Baker didn’t see the move coming too.

“I really wasn’t expecting to come off today,” Edmonds said. “[Walt Jocketty] told me and that’s a good thing. Nobody wants to be on the DL anyways. I’m here if it’s needed.”

“I was surprised myself,” Baker said. “Walt informed me. I saw him moving around pretty good in the outfield. I haven’t seen him hit. So far he’s been hitting off the tee.”

The Reds have played with only three healthy outfielders for 10 days since Jay Bruce went down with a sore right side. There is no Minor League outfielders on the 40-man roster and no room on the roster at the moment to open space up.

“He figured he could take me off [the DL] right now and be in case of an emergency, I’m sure,” Edmonds said. “We’re kind of short right now. Whatever it takes.”

*In a non-surprise, Edinson Volquez was told Thursday that he would be the Reds starter on Saturday. This seemed like it was coming once Harang was lifted early from Monday’s start after only 2 1/3 innings at Colorado.

*Aaron Harang will move to the bullpen and be available as a long reliever. Baker said Harang handled the news professionally.

“Usually his nemesis inning is the third or fourth inning,” Baker said. “He can give us a couple of innings, which we’ll need hopefully in long relief or middle relief. It’s a very unusual situation for him and us.”

*Mike Leake was also activated from the DL, but not to pitch.

“Leake will fit in to pinch-hit, pinch-run, pinch-bunt. Pinch everything,” Baker said. “He told me two months ago if I needed an emergency outfielder, he could do that too. That’s a real emergency. He’s not ready to pitch. He wasn’t supposed to pick up a ball for two weeks.”

*SS Orlando Cabrera (left oblique) likely will be rested through the weekend, Baker said.

*Bruce is not available today off the bench. He is still not rushing a return.

*LHP Arthur Rhodes was not available Thursday because of a sore foot. It’s not clear yet if he’s available tonight.

“We’re kind of the walking wounded right now,” Baker said.

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Road trip finale

Thurs lineup vs. COL

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Hernandez 2
Heisey 9
Janish 6
Wood 1

Orlando Cabrera is sitting for a second-straight day because of a sore oblique again. He reaggravated the injury going from first to third base on Tuesday.

“I can play today,” Cabrera said. “I feel that I don’t want to play one game and sit for two. I’d rather take my rest right now with the day game and hopefully start Friday and play through the weekend.”

“Versus taking him in and out of there every other day, we’re trying to get that thing 100 percent, even though he thought he was before,” Dusty Baker said. “It doesn’t take much for those things to come back.”

*No word on Saturday’s starter, yet, between Volquez and Harang.

“We’ll let you know shortly,” Baker said.

Bruce, Volquez updates

*Jay Bruce took about 50 swings off of a tee today and reported no problems with his sore right side.

“Good. Pain free,” Bruce said of the session.

The plans for now, is Bruce will take batting practice on Wednesday.

“The biggest thing is how I bounce back tomorrow. We’ll go from there,” Bruce said.

*Edinson Volquez was recalled from Class A Dayton since the Dragons season ended. No word yet on how he’ll be utilized. He made two starts for Dayton, including one on Monday. Volquez could be ready to pitch Saturday at the earliest if need be.

“I feel very strong and more comfortable. I think I can throw more strikes,” Volquez said of the Dayton stint. He posted a 1.38 ERA with 4 R (2 ER), 11 H, 4 BB, 19 K in 13 ip.

“I feel very strong and more comfortable. I think I can throw more strikes,” Volquez said.

No doubt, the Dragons will miss Volquez since he was pretty generous. He treated the young players to some nice dinners — steaks, ribs, wings, etc.

“Nobody wants to go down. I knew I had to pitch somewhere to find my rhythm,” Volquez said. I was happy with those guys down there and had a good time.”

Both Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty said no decision has been made about Saturday’s start vs. the Pirates — Volquez or Aaron Harang.

“To be honest, we didn’t get the chance to talk about it today,” Jocketty said. “We’ll talk more about it when we get back. We’ll see what happens.”

Baker wasn’t worried about Johnny Cueto starting tonight after being in the Dominican following the death of his uncle. Cueto got his running and throwing in while away.

“He did that. I wasn’t worried about Johnny,” Baker said. “He has seen what success running has given him. I knew he was going to throw when he got home. He said he did. I talked to him last night at the hotel. He’s got plenty of homies to throw to. And he seemed rested for a guy that’s come that far.”

Jocketty also said there were no immediate plans to call up an outfielder while Bruce is out.

Volquez may not start next time

On the heels of Reds starter Edinson Volquez’s rough two-thirds of an inning Monday night, the Reds are considering having him not take his next turn in the rotation.

“We have to decide if it’s better served for him to continue to start and hope he gets it or have somebody else start and possibly put him in the bullpen or something,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We’ll decide that after we revamp who’s pitching. Bryan is going to come up with two or three different scenarios that we’ll go over and we’ll try to come up with the best one for us and for them.”

On Reds game notes, Volquez is listed as Sunday’s probable starter but Baker said he “did not know” if he would make that start.

Before that answer, I had asked Baker if he was worried about having Volquez in the rotation when he does really well sometimes and not so well the others.

“You’re not as worried if you have a lot of pitching like we will in September,” Baker said. “You’re worried prior to that when you don’t have a lot pitching and don’t have added roster expansion.

“It’s just a matter of finding the strike zone. It was either a ball or over the heart of the plate. We knew there would be some adjustment because he talked to Tim Hudson about it. Look how Hudson is this year.”

*On a lighter note, San Francisco was positively warm today with temperatures nearing 90 degrees and feeling warmer. Usually in the summer, it’s in the 50s and 60s.

Baker told this story:

“I remember one time was renting this house here in 1994, and it was Joe Montana’s and Dwight Clark’s house. It was hot as hell in Hillsboro up here. I called a heating and air conditioning guy because it was just blowing in hot air. He went in there and after 30 seconds, came back out. He said ‘sir, I hate to tell you this, its $60. … Also, you don’t have air conditioning.”

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Postgame: Transactions coming?

The transaction wire should be active with Reds moves on Tuesday following a lousy night at the yard — an 11-2 Reds loss to the Giants.

*Laynce Nix went down with a sprained left ankle running out an infield single in the third inning.

*Jim Edmonds strained a right oblique muscle swinging at a pitch in the sixth.
*The club also learned that already injured RHP Russ Springer will need surgery to repair a herniated disc and will miss 6-8 weeks.

Nix didn’t believe he was going to miss any games.

“Slowing down, I sort of jammed my ankle into the ground,” Nix said. “I didn’t roll it or anything too significant. I don’t think it’s serious. It shouldn’t keep me out of action. I should be fine to at least pinch-hit.”

Edmonds, who was acquired in an Aug. 9 trade, is likely headed to the DL.

“This has been an ongoing deal with my Achilles and reacting to all the things I’ve been favoring,” Edmonds said. “It’s been sore the last week or two weeks. It was getting worse. The last couple of days not playing much, I thought it was going to get better. It gave me a false sense of security.”

*The Reds have no other outfielders on their 40-man roster but can free up a spot by moving Springer from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. Wladimir Balentien could be a leading candidate since he’s tearing it up at Triple-A Louisville lately. Dave Sappelt is also playing well but has only 11 games in AAA and started the year in A ball.

*An infielder is always possible with Juan Francisco or Yonder Alonso already being on the 40-man.

*Edinson Volquez’s two-thirds of an inning was a bullpen buster as well, especially two days after Johnny Cueto lasted only three innings at Los Angeles on Saturday. Jordan Smith had to pitch a career-high 4 1/3 innings. Mike Leake was unavailable tonight because he worked on Saturday.

*That means another reliever could be summoned for reinforcements.

“We’re discussing that now. That really put a strain and stress on my bullpen,” Dusty Baker said.

More quotes from post-game —

“The main thing is for nobody to panic. It’s one game. You want to win every game. At this point we’re 5-2 on this road trip with two more games left. We still have a chance for a very good road trip.” – Dusty Baker

“A lot of people told me that – one day you got it and the next day, you can’t find it. Everything is fine. My arm is strong and everything.” — Edinson Volquez

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Springer signed, Reds working out

The Reds signed veteran reliever Russ Springer to a Minor League contract on Thursday and will assign him to Triple-A Louisville.

Springer, 41, last pitched in the big leagues last season, splitting time with the Rays and A’s. He had a 4.11 EEA in 74 appearances.

“He probably won’t be activated for a couple of days,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “We want to work him out and see where’s at.”

Springer pitched before a Reds scout on Monday before the signing was done.

Jocketty isn’t likely done searching the market for another reliever before the July 31 Trade Deadline.

“I think probably what I’d be looking for more than anything is probably a little more experience in the bullpen, bullpen depth,” Jocketty said on Thursday. “I still like our club the way it is. We have some guys coming back, [Edinson] Volquez coming back, we still have [Aroldis] Chapman trying to get ready to go out of the bullpen. So it may not be that critical of a need but if there was one area, Chapman could be a help, but he still doesn’t have the experience. That’s part of the reason we signed Russ Springer today to a Triple-A contract. He was going to retire and then decided to come back.”

*Jocketty also didn’t express much optimism about the state of the trade market.

“I talked to a few GMs during the break and there’s a lot of talk right now,” he said. “There’s not a lot of guys that are available. Part of the problem is I see talking to different clubs is no one wants to take on money and no one wants to take the money even if you trade prospects. Financially it might be tougher this year than it has in the past.”

**Other items of note as the Reds hold their post-All Star break workout on the field at GABP 

*Bronson Arroyo will start on Friday vs. the Rockies. Edinson Volquez will return to the big leagues and make his 2010 debut on Saturday. Manager Dusty Baker hasn’t revealed the rotation beyond that.

“Its my turn in the rotation anyway so it just kind of makes sense,” Arroyo said. “I dont know where everybody else was but Tuesday, Wednesday I was the only guy here probably.” 

*Aaron Harang is still stiff and hasn’t thrown yet. His return date is still up in the air.

*The Reds four All-Stars — Scott Rolen, Joey Votto, Arthur Rhodes and Brandon Phillips were excused from today’s workout.

*The Reds also caught a break. They will miss All-Star 15-game winner Ubaldo Jimenez, who will not be pitching for the Rockies in the upcoming series this weekend.


Another rehab start likely needed

Edinson Volquez had a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville on Sunday that GM Walt Jocketty called “fair.”

The line against Indianapolis was: 5 ip ,4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K….87 pitches/46 for strikes.

“His command was not real good,” Jocketty said on Monday. “He didn’t throw a lot of strikes. He threw a lot of pitches early. They made the decision to take him out after five.”

A final decision hasn’t been made but it was likely another start in the Minors would be needed. That means Volquez won’t be up until after the All-Star break. The Reds wanted him to throw 100 pitches a couple of times before coming up. That hasn’t happened yet in his five rehab starts.

“I’d think probably not,” Jocketty said. “He only pitched five innings. We can’t have that up here.”

*Ramon Hernandez did not start today because of a sore knee. He was hurting after legging out a triple in Sunday’s game.

“He’s better. He’s got a little swelling in there today that he didn’t have yesterday,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s a little sore. Hopefully he’ll be better tomorrow. Hopefully, he’ll get treatment all day in case I have to pinch-run or pinch-hit for Corky late in the game.

“My trainer is probably tired of me asking him every 15 minutes, ‘how’s he doing?’ It was the same as he was 15 minutes ago.”

Baker wasn’t sure Hernandez could play today if he needed him. As for an emergency catcher?

“I’m not sure of that either,” Baker said. “Janish has been my emergency guy.”

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Notes on Volquez, Hanigan, Gomes

*Edinson Volquez is scheduled to make his next rehab start for Triple-A Louisville on Monday at Indianapolis. But that’s not set in cement, just yet.

“We haven’t decided yet. We’re going to talk about that today,” manager Dusty Baker said.

UPDATE: GM Walt Jocketty said Volquez will start Sunday on regular rest. How many minor league starts he gets after that is up in the air.

“We’ll determine it after his next start,” Jocketty said.

*Through six games of his rehab assignment at Louisville, catcher Ryan Hanigan (broken left thumb) is hitting only .143 (3-for-21). He’s made two starts behind the plate and four as the DH. Hanigan is expected to get tonight’s game off. There remains no timetable to activate him from the DL.

“He’s catching well,” Baker said. “He doesn’t have any pain in his thumb, I’m told. We’re just waiting for him to get his stroke together. We want him here, ready, not just here to catch. His offense was a big part of our offense as well. He hadn’t gotten a lot of hits. We want him to get a few more quality at-bats and hits and he’ll be here shortly.”

*Jonny Gomes had a very big leadoff single in the eighth inning off Roy Halladay and the Phillies Wednesday. It came just before Jay Bruce’s game-winning two-run homer.

“I was just trying to get on in any way. I would’ve taken getting hit by a pitch in the neck,” Gomes said this morning.

Gomes is 8-for-45 (.178) in 12 games since the start of the West Coast trip on June 18. But over his last 50 games, he’s hitting .314 (54-for-172, 7 HRs)

“It’s those numbers that go up and down that I don’t worry about but everyone else pays attention to,” Gomes said. “I’m still grinding out a hit a day. Everyone looks at it as it was such a hot month I had and they were thinking I was going to keep on hitting .400. I don’t worry about stuff like that when you’re in first place.”

*And from the Elias Sports Bureau: The Reds’ 25th comeback win of the season on Wednesday matches the most come-from-behind wins the Reds have ever had through the end of June.  They also had 25 such wins before July 1 in 1957, 1975 and 1978.

*Several Chicago reporters were in the office this morning. With things going bad for Lou Piniella lately, Baker was asked if Chicago was a tough place to manage.

“Yeah, it’s tough,” he responded. “One reason it’s tough is because nobody lets go of the past. Everybody is still counting. I was here for four out of the 100 years. You talk to most and they act like I was here the whole hundred years. I’m only 61 years old.”

Volquez, Chapman, Leake — news

*Edinson Volquez pitched five innings and allowed one earned run on three hits with no walk and one strikeout in his latest rehab start for Triple-A Louisville. Volquez threw first-pitch strikes to nine of his 19 batters and reached as high as 98 mph. Of his 80 pitches, 49 were strikes.

*In 13 innings over three starts, Volquez has yet to allow a walk.

*Aroldis Chapman is pitching in relief today for Louisville for the first time this season. And for the first time this year, Reds GM Walt Jocketty indicated that he could be looked to eventually come up as a reliever.

“We may look at that,”  Jocketty said. “If Volquez comes back and Bailey isn’t far away, the best opportunity will be out of the bullpen. But we could still possibly use him as a starter.”

Update: Chapman pitched two innings of relief and allowed one run, two hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

*Mike Leake is being pushed back from his next turn in the rotation and will not pitch in the Cleveland series. Leake, who pitched this past Monday vs. the A’s will start on Tuesday vs. the Phillies. Aaron Harang, Sam LeCure and Bronson Arroyo will start the next three games vs. the Indians.

*Ryan Hanigan will leave Thursday for Louisville and his rehab assignment. Hanigan will be gone 7-10 days, and DH the first couple of games. He will be behind the plate for Volquez’s next start.


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