Results tagged ‘ Edwin Encarnacion ’

On to Oakland

Monday lineup vs. OAK

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

Leake RHP


*Edinson Volquez’s next start for Triple-A Louisville was moved back to Wednesday, instead of Tuesday.

“We gave him an extra day because of the added pitch count,” Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said. Volquez is likely to throw 90 pitches in the game against Toledo.

*Homer Bailey (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to begin a throwing program by the time the Reds get home from this trip. Lessard said that Bailey’s shoulder exercise program has been intensified.

*Catcher Ryan Hanigan (fractured left thumb) did catching and blocking drills early this afternoon and later caught Johnny Cueto’s side bullpen session.

“It went very good,” Hanigan said.

*Chris Dickerson went to Louisville to take batting practice. He has not yet begun a rehab assignment. Dickerson just wanted to swing against real pitching, rather than a machine while the team was out of town.

*Orlando Cabrera gets a break today. Cabrera is 8-for-50 (.160) in 13 games since July 6 when he hurt his right ankle. He’s also 2-for-his-last 22. Dusty Baker had Cabrera for a short meeting in his office today. Baker thinks that Cabrera has been making great contact but had little luck.

“A lot of times, people just see how many hits you’ve got. They don’t see how you’ve hit the ball,” Baker said. “Jay [Bruce] was our hard-luck guy earlier and he’s been our hard-luck guy the last 10 days or two weeks. He’s been hitting the ball on the nose and has nothing to show for it all over the field. I said ‘keep swinging. Sometimes the numbers are deceiving. If you keep hitting the ball hard, you’ve got action.”

*Speaking of Bruce, he is 4-for-25 (also .160) in his last seven games and getting a break.

*I said hello to former Reds INF Adam Rosales during batting practice.  Rosales asked me if I had any Skyline Chili before making the trip. During his time in Cincinnati, I unsuccessfully encouraged him to give Skyline a try but he never made it there before the trade to Oakland.

*It’s funny how the Reds can’t seem to get three facets of the game — hitting, starting pitching and bullpen — clicking at the same time. The bullpen is finally getting it together just as the hitting takes leave. Reds relievers didn’t allow a run in any of the last four games (8 1/3 innings) and have a 0.79 ERSA over the last five games (11 1/3 innings).

*Despite the offensive void of the past weekend, the Reds remain the National League’s best team in hitting with a .274 average. They also lead the Majors with a .291 average with runners in scoring position.

*Although they came up empty against Ryan Rowland-Smith of the Mariners Sunday, the Reds are encountering another struggling pitcher in the A’s Gio Gonzalez. The lefty is 6-5 with a 4.21 ERA but is 1-2 with a 6.04 ERA in four starts in June while opponents have batted .314. He has also issued 39 walks, which is tied for third most in the American League.

*Interesting to see that the Blue Jays designated former Reds 3B Edwin Encarnacion for assignment on Monday. He was optioned to Triple-A on Sunday after batted .200 with nine homers and 22 RBIs. How does that Scott Rolen trade look to you now?

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Adam Dunn, Arroyo, Volquez

The uniform was obviously different and a different color but Adam Dunn hadn’t changed a bit. Dunn,the former Reds star and current Nationals first baseman/outfielder, met with the media in the visitor’s dugout for a few minutes on Thursday. He teased a couple of people including Ken Broo and Seg Dennison and checked out Great American Ball Park from his new perspective.

“This is the first time I’ve stepped out here and looked and it looks red,” Dunn said. “It’s really red out here. It’s what I remember.”

Although fans often had a love-hate relationship with Dunn (loved the homers, hated the strikeouts, fielding and the team’s losing) — but he harbored zero ill will towards anything or anyone in Cincinnati. 

Dunn.jpg“I’m not bitter at all,” Dunn said. “I got an opportunity to play here since 2001. I enjoyed my time here. I met some great people. It’s a business. I understand that. I don’t hold grudges against anything. It worked out for a reason.”

There was a time when Dunn and owner/CEO Bob Castellini were looking to extend Dunn’s stay with the Reds but that obviously changed when Dunn was traded to the Diamondbacks just over one year ago. In the off-season, he signed as a free agent with Washington.

“I understand this is a business and that’s how it goes,” Dunn said of his end with the Reds. “They obviously did what was best for the organization and I still think Mr. Castellini is one of the best people I’ve met in my life. They’ll definitely turn this thing around here. I met a lot of great people here that are hard to replace because you’re with them day in and day out for x-amount of years. That’s the main thing I miss about it.”

Reds lineup:

Dickerson 8
Gonzalez 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Nix 7
Gomes 9
Rosales 5
Hanigan 2
Arroyo 1

A lot of people seem to be making a big deal out of the the USA Today cover story on Bronson Arroyo out today. I like that Arroyo isn’t afraid to address any topic but I also feel like this topic was addressed on July 31 to both the Boston Herald and Cincinnati media. Even if he is taking things not on the approved list, he’s not taking anything on the banned list. He’s never tested positive for anything illegal since testing began.

UPDATE — 10 minutes after I posted this blog, USA Today has another story that MLB wants to meet with Arroyo. So, now it is a big deal whether I agree or not. 

Edinson Volquez was back in the Reds clubhouse among his teammates and wearing a rather cumbersome metal brace all the way up his right arm. On Aug. 3, Volquez had Tommy John surgery performed on his right elbow by Dr. Tim Kremchek.

“They gave me a DVD of the surgery and I saw what they did. It wasn’t good. That’s crazy,” Volquez said. “It was the first time I’ve seen that. I went back to my place and watched it on my computer. I wanted to see what they did to me.”

Always a smiling and optimistic guy, Volquez believed he could still return to pitch at some point in 2010. He should be allowed to begin throwing in December and possibly work off of a mound by March.

“Right now if everything goes good and I keep doing everything I’m doing now, I could be back in a year, maybe nine or 10 months,” Volquez said. “Kremchek I might be ready by May or June. Everything is going great right now. You can see there is no more swelling. They took the stitches out yesterday. I surprised them because they’ve seen me do a lot of stuff with my arm in exercises for the first week and a half. They’re happy now.”

I saw Homer Bailey in the clubhouse and other than a rather dark bruise in his left in-step from last night’s line drive by Albert Pujols, was moving OK. Bailey expected to be OK for his next start on Tuesday. Besides the usual ice treatments, he’s also a big believer in accupuncture.

Uniform change: Outfielder Wladimir Balentien swapped numbers. He went from No. 64 to No. 28, the former number of Edwin Encarnacion.

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Baker thinking 'of some new stuff'

When things have slid this far, this fast, like it has for the Reds, what can manager Dusty Baker do to spark a turnaround? Even Baker admitted before Sunday’s game he was running low on ideas to get through to his players.

“I’m trying to think of some new stuff,” he said. “It’s not easy coming up with some new stuff. You try laughter. You try anger. Actually, you don’t have to try anger. You put your arm around them. You chastise them. Sometimes you have to ride it out.

“We’ve got two more months. I don’t see two more months of last month’s misery.”

The Reds entered Sunday losers of five-straight games, the last 11 of 12 and 13 of 16.

Someone asked if Reds owner/CEO Bob Castellini has been by the clubhouse and how his mood was.

“Well not bad. How great do you expect it to be?” Baker said. “I don’t blame him. My demeanor is not good either. I put on a good front.”

  • Former Reds 3B Edwin Encarnacion went 1-for-4 for the Blue Jays at Oakland in his first game since the Scott Rolen trade.

“I was not surprised,” Encarnacion said of being traded. “They’ve been talking about a trade and I’m ready. I know how this game is and I was ready. I was waiting for it and I figured they were going to make a trade. Now I’m happy I’m here with my new team, Toronto, and I’m going to enjoy it.”

  • Many Ryan Hanigan backers would be pleased to know he batted second for the Reds in Sunday’s lineup. Alex Gonzalez batted eighth.
  • If he had enough plate appearances, Joey Votto would be second in the NL in batting with a .338 average entering Sunday. (Florida’s Hanley Ramirez came in batting .343). Votto was 25 PAs short of qualifying for the NL leaderboard.
  • At 11 a.m. ET Monday, Reds assistant GM Bob Miller is having another installment of his online chat series. To participate, click here.

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Big day for Reds news

I guess not much went on during Trade Deadline day, huh?

To recap — here is a summary of all the trade and non-trade news of the day on Friday.

1. 3B Scott Rolen was acquired from Toronto with cash for 3B Edwin Encarnacion, RHPs Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart.

2. IF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr. traded to the Yankees for Minor League catcher Chase Weems.

3. Edinson Volquez had to shut down his simulated start after his arm tightened up. This could be a disastrous development pending on what the results are.

4. Bronson Arroyo confirmed his admission of using androstendione and amphetamines.

5. The Reds called up RHP Kip Wells to fill in the roster blanks in the bullpen.

6. Catcher Ryan Hanigan returned after he missed six games with a sore neck.

The Rolen post before should have everything you need know. Here is my story on

As for the Hairston deal, here is what GM Walt Jocketty had this to say about Weems.

“We got very good reports him. He’s actually a guy we were interested in for the draft a couple of years ago and didn’t get.”

Volquez was supposed to be taking the final step before a possible rehab assignment when he began what was to be an 80-pitch simulated game. He didn’t make many throws from the mound before he walked off the field with head trainer Mark Mann. It turned out to be tightness in the arm inside the forearm/elbow area.

“My trainer told me it was a 50-50 chance it could happen,” Dusty Baker said. “So now it’s back to the drawing board again. That’s something I wasn’t expecting or hoping for.”

If his throwing program is shut down again, that could likely finish any chance Volquez has for returning this season. There is no word on whether his issue will be surgical.

Arroyo inserted himself into controversy when he tried to defend former Red Sox teammates David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, who were identified by the New York Times as two of 104 players on a list of players the tested positive for PEDs in 2003. In Friday’s Boston Herald, Arroyo admitted to taking androstenedione and amphetamines himself before both performance-enhancing drugs were banned by baseball.

On Friday, Cincinnati reporters were gathered around Arroyo’s locker to get the rest of the story.

“From 1998-2003, I took androstendione,” Arroyo said. “1998 was a big year for Mark McGuire. That was when he had the stuff sitting in his locker,” Arroyo said. “Everyone was aware of the fact that he took that stuff and said he was taking it. So everybody went out and tried it. I tried it in the Arizona Fall League. I thought I could hit my head on the rim [playing basketball]. [pitcher] Mike Lincoln and I would go to 24-hour Fitness every night, shoot hoops and work out until midnight-1 am. I felt unbelievable on this stuff. I took it through 2003 until they told me that stuff would give me a positive test. So I didn’t take it anymore.”

As for amphetamines, which were commonly known as greenies, Arroyo had no problem admitting usage until they were banned before the 2006 season.

“Oh yeah, of course I took a greenie for a 12:35 p.m. game,” Arroyo said. “Pitching against Johan Santana, you don’t think I’m going to take a greenie if I could? C’mon.”

Since random drug testing became mandatory in 2004, Arroyo has never flunked. He still uses a variety of legal substances to get a physical edge, including creatine, proteins, vitamins, ginseng and caffeinated drinks.

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Rolen acquired from Toronto

The trade is official — Scott Rolen and cash going from Toronto to the Reds in exchange for 3B Edwin Encarnacion, RHP Josh Roenicke and minor lg RHP Zach Stewart.

The Reds will also receive an undisclosed amount of cash from Toronto to off-set some of Rolen’s salary. He is making $11 million this season and is due to make $11 million in 2010.

The 34-year-old Rolen was batting .320 in 88 games with the Blue Jays with eight home runs and 43 RBIs. He is a five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner.

With the Reds 11 games under .500 and 9 1/2 games out of first place entering Friday, it was still a stunning move even though it had been rumored for weeks.

“We made ourselves better,” GM Walt Jocketty said. “That’s how I look at it. We made ourselves better for this year and next year. That’s what I said all along we’re trying to do.”

Rolen, a native of Jasper, Indiana, had to waive his no-trade clause before the deal could be finalized.

“I wanted Rolen,”  Jocketty said. “I just think the type of player he is, the character he brings, will be great for our organization. He’ll be a big part of this franchise. For him, it’s an opportunity to basically come home. He’s thrilled.”

The Reds had to give up a lot to get Rolen. Roenicke was deemed a top prospect and the hardest thrower in the organization.

“It was kind of the stumbling block,” Jocketty said. “We finally gave in and decided to give up the pitching. It was difficult to give up the young pitching. With Scott coming over, there wasn’t a place for Edwin.”

“How can you not want a guy like that?” said Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo when told about the deal before it was official. “It would be hard for us to find a better third baseman in the game defensively. Obviously, pitching against him – he’s not a guy I want to see at the plate with men on second and third and two outs. That tells me this organization isn’t remotely close to quitting.”

“We’re really excited about getting Rolen,” manager Dusty Baker said. “I think it was a great move for Edwin too. Sometime a change of scenery might be good for you. I think it’s a great opportunity for Edwin. And we’re just as happy to get Scott Rolen. A gold glove third baseman, an RBI producer, we’re excited to see him play. It’s going to help our team, out outlook, our attitude. I hate giving up Roenicke. But you have to give up something to get something.”

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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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(Much needed) break time

One thing was clear during the Reds’ 9-7 loss to the Mets at Citi Field: it’s a very good time for them to disperse for the All-Star break.

The road trip ended with a 2-5 record, including two of three to a Mets team even more banged up than the Reds. Cincinnati is a season-high three games under .500 at 42-45.

Frustration bubbled over, especially for Joey Votto. The Reds first baseman was ejected in the top of the fourth inning for arguing a called strike three by home plate umpire Bill Welke that he felt was inside. Votto was allowed to vent at Welke for several moments before he was run.

It was the first ejection of Votto’s short career. Not a stretch to think it has something to do with his being called out on strikes six times during the road trip, including his last three at-bats in a row (twice on Sunday). Votto will return after the break, of course, but his 14-game hitting streak is on a permanent vacation.

“I’d like to thank Bill Welke for christening me with my first ejection,” said Votto, who had been ejected before in the minors. “I didn’t do anything or offend him in any way. I didn’t go below the belt. I had a basic disagreement with him as far as what was a ball and a strike. He’s a good guy. I don’t have a problem with Bill, at all. I just stood there a little too long and he ran me. He’s a good guy.”

Later in the game, Welke punched out Edwin Encarnacion on a called strike three in the eighth that stopped a rally. Good thing Encarnacion didn’t argue (the pitch looked high and inside to me)– the Reds were about to use up their whole bench.

The Reds could have used Votto’s bat at the end of the game. It was still winnable but a pair of seventh-inning homers against David Weathers proved to be the difference. After Fernando Tatis hit the second homer of the inning to left field, Mets fans became irate when the giant red apple didn’t pop out behind the center field wall.

Maybe Citi Field wasn’t ready for another homer so fast. Before Brian Schneider’s long ball that started the inning, the Mets had gone 80 innings without one. The last one was hit on July 2.

As bad luck would have it, the banged up Reds outfield caught another bad break. Right fielder Chris Dickerson left after four innings with back spasms. He’s day-to-day. Dickerson fully extended himself on an unsuccessful diving catch attempt on David Wright’s bloop single in the bottom of the third and seemed to need an extra moment.

It was a rough game for starter Aaron Harang: 3 IP, 8 H, 5 ER. He’s 0-5 with a 5.26 ERA in nine games since his last victory on May 25.

“I just didn’t have my location,” Harang said. “I was missing spots, falling behind and having to come back and throw strikes. They were out there swinging.”

Yep, it’s time for a break.

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Stop, rumor time

It’s the time of year you know is coming but can never really brace yourself for properly. I’m not even sure what to call it.

Trade deadline rumor-a-rama? Silly season (that’s more about winter rumors)? The chasing of rumors, legit or not that rarely pan out time of year? I’ll keep working on it.

Anyway, there have been two rumors linked to the Reds the past couple of days and I thought they should be addressed.

The Toronto Sun is reporting today that the Reds have had “internal discussions” about Blue Jays third baseman Scott Rolen. It’s a natural thought — Rolen played for the Cardinals when GM Walt Jocketty was there. He’s a bat needed for an offense bereft of run producers. Maybe they did discuss him. Lots of players get discussed, year-round. Many GMs and front offices have a big giant board in their office with every club’s players on it.

Here’s the problem: Rolen is making $11 million this year and is owed $11 million next year. He’s 34 years old. The story says the Reds are “dangling” Edwin Encarnacion, who makes $2 million this year and $4.75 million next year.

Unless Toronto is willing to eat much of that money, the Reds aren’t looking to take on that kind of salary hit to their payroll. It’s just a plain fact. 

On Thursday, the Denver Post dropped that the Reds were interested in third baseman Garret Atkins, possibly for relievers David Weathers and Nick Masset. That’s just not happening. I was told from someone in the know that Colorado has called every team in the league trying to unload Atkins. So far, no takers.

Atkins is making $7.05 million this season and batting just .227 with six homers and 27 RBIs. He wouldn’t an offensive upgrade from Encarnacion…who the Reds would still have on the roster in this scenario. Neither guy can play a bunch of positions.

And a Reds official made it clear to me that Masset isn’t going anywhere. Not when he’s doing what he does for such a reasonable salary ($418,000).

If the Reds are buyers, they wouldn’t get rid of two key parts to the bullpen.

I would look for smaller moves. The Reds have a deep farm system and will be able to use it, within reason. Don’t look for giant transactions for rent-a-players like Matt Holliday. This team is finally headed in the right direction and it wouldn’t take a blockbuster move to win the NL Central this season. If they stick to the plan they’ve had lately, they can be contenders both this year and the long term.

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Greetings, Pete Mackanin

Hello from Citizen’s Bank Park, where it’s a warm and quite sunny day in Philadelphia. After first getting to the clubhouse, we were out in the dugout when Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin was behind the cage overseeing pitcher’s batting practice. It was good to visit with him for a few minutes.

Mackanin, you may remember, was the Reds interim manager for the final 79 games of the 2007 season after Jerry Narron was let go. A pleasure to work with for media folk, Mackanin had a dry sense of humor and liked to drop some quirky lines our way. Had I been blogging back then, more of them would have been printed. Here was one from today:

“There are three kinds of people in the world — those who can count and those who can’t,” Mackanin said.

Mackanin did a fine job for Cincinnati under the circumstances when he took over a 31-51 team that had the worst record in the Majors and guided the Reds to a 40-39 record. It would have been a better record had so many regular players not got hurt over the final stretch of games. However, Mackanin was never under serious consideration for the full-time job before the Reds hired Dusty Baker.


Thumbnail image for citizens bank park 070609.JPGReds lineup

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

Not a ton of news today. 3B Edwin Encarnacion enters tonight a not-too-robust 1-for-9 in three games since his return from the DL with a left wrist fracture. The one hit, a double, came in his first at-bat back on Friday. Obviously, he is still playing catch-up after missing 58 games.

“My first few games I didn’t do that well but I know it will turn around,” Encarnacion said. “I feel ready to go. I’ve been working hard. Everything will come to me. I’ve had two bad games but that’s in the past. I will keep going. I will stay focused.”

As you can see from above, Encarnacion is batting eighth for the first time this season.

“Edwin doesn’t usually hit eighth but he doesn’t have his stroke yet,” Baker said.

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Volquez, Encarnacion updates

Hopefully no one has abandoned this blog for good after I took four days away. I liked seeing the dialouge continue while I was on hiatus. I hope that keeps up, whether I’m on or off.

RHP Edinson Volquez (right elbow tendinitis) got some good news on Monday after his latest exam with medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek — he can throw again and will on Friday.

The bad news is Volquez has to start from square one again — long tossing from the relatively short distance of 60 feet.

“He checked my arm and he stretched my arm,” Volquez said of the Kremchek exam. “He turned it that way and the other way. He said I could throw. He said he’s going to check my arm every time I throw. He’ll be here to make sure everything is OK.”

Volquez said he was surprised to have been shut down over a week ago.

“I didn’t feel any pain when I threw. The MRI showed the inflammation,” he said. “It’s been hard to be at home watching the games. You get mad. I’m screaming at the umpire on TV.”

In an odd bit of news, 3B Edwin Encarnacion (left wrist) was given a day off this afternoon when Triple-A Louisville played Gwinnett County. Louisville is off on Wednesday, which makes it weirder since that wipes two days of a 20-day rehab assignment. The apparent reason was that Encarnacion had played the last nine days in a row during and it was just a break and no more. The rehab can last as late as July 10 while the Reds are playing the Mets in New York. He’s already eligible to be activated from the 60-day DL.

It wasn’t expected that Encarnacion would return before the end of the current homestand, which concludes on Sunday.

“I’m not counting on it,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Optimistically, hopefully by the road trip.”

Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Hairston 5
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Nix 7
Hernandez 2
Bruce 9
Janish 6
Arroyo 1

The lineup is missing three of the Reds’ hottest hitters. Jonny Gomes is hitting .381 over his last five games and .367 over his last 17. Chris Dickerson is batted .467 over his last 11 games and Ryan Hanigan is batting .321 for the season.

“You can’t play everybody,” Baker said. “I have a plan on how to keep them sharp and productive for themselves and us at the same time. We knew that could potentially happen when we started. You don’t have a good team unless you have too many good bodies.”

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