Results tagged ‘ Edwin Encarnacion ’

March 31: Yankees-Reds

Getting down to it here, folks. Three games left before the Reds leave Sarasota for good. Here’s today’s lineup:

Taveras  CF
Dickerson  LF
Votto  1B
Phillips  2B
Bruce  RF
Hernandez  C
Encarnacion  3B
Janish  SS
Owings  P

That’s right, Encarnacion is back in the lineup today at third base for the first time in a long time. He DHed a couple days back, then played in a Minor League game yesterday (the weather cleared up enough for that to happen) and went 3-for-6. The key, after missing time with a sore wrist and then a sore shoulder, is for him to get into a rhythm so he’s ready to go full bore on April 6. “We want him to get at-bats so he doesn’t get off to a slow start,” Dusty Baker said.

Alex Gonzalez isn’t playing on the Major League side yet, but he is going to play the field in a Minor League game for the second straight day. There’s still hope he’ll be ready to go on Opening Day, but just in case, they’re waiting to see how he does before allowing him to playi in a big-league game. If he’s not ready and hasn’t played on the big-league side, they can back-date any DL move to his last big-league appearance, which was March 23.

That’s it for now.. enjoy the day.  — Jonathan Mayo

Under the Lights: Twins-Reds early notes

Night tilt today, folks. Here’s the nitty-gritty. First the lineup:

Taveras  CF
Hairston SS (first game back)
Votto  1B
Phillips  2B (back from illness)
Bruce  RF
Keppinger 3B
Dickerson LF
Hernandez C
Owings P

A couple quick notes:

  • Reds starting pitchers haven’t allowed a run in 17 innings
  • While Owings got the night start, fifth starter competitor Homer Bailey threw in a Minor League game this afternoon. I’ll pass along info on that when I get it. Update:  Still don’t have the line on his outing, but Dusty Baker said, “He looked pretty good. He had trouble getting his secondary pitches over. He was out of sync a little bit.”
  • Arthur Rhodes and Jared Burton threw in a minor league game yesterday. Each threw an inning, with Rhodes giving up two hits, but no runs, while striking out a pair. Burton struck out two and gave up just one hit, but it was a solo homer.
  • Edwin Encarnacion‘s shoulder still wasn’t ready to today. He was going to try to swing a little today. The test will be how he throws after swinging. To that end, Baker said he had to see him do both before he’d be ready to put him back in the lineup. Friday is a possibility, but giving him an extra day to see how his shoulder responds to heightened activity might not be a bad thing. He had had his shoulder examined and there wasn’t any damage, just some inflammation
  • Alex Gonzalez was going to test his hamstring a little today. It was still unclear when he’d be ready to return to game action.
  • With Hairston and Phillips back in the lineup, the Reds are starting to look like, well, the Reds. Once they get the two aforementioned infielders back, they’ll be good to go. “We want to start the season healthy,” Baker said. “That’s one of the real keys.”

. — Jonathan Mayo

Notes of note pre-game Red Sox-Reds

I need to work on my headline writing. That will not entice people to read, will it? But here we go…

  • Edwin Encarnacion remained out of the lineup with his sore shoulder, but Dusty Baker said he was feeling better and they were hoping he’d be able to play on Friday.
  • Jerry Hairston Jr.  is going to DH in a Minor League game today. It’ll be one of those deals where he’ll lead off every inning so he can get a bunch of at-bats. He could see big-league action tomorrow, at least for a few innings. Look for a story about Hairston over on later today.
  • Baker was waiting to hear an update on Alex Gonzalez and his hamstring. He went home to Miami to see his therapist. Trainer Mark Mann said it was just a little spot and not too bad. He is the proverbial “day-to-day.” Baker: “More than anything, it scares him. He’s thinking, ‘Oh no, not again.’ (in terms of getting injured). I’m glad he stopped when he did.”
  • Brandon Phillips was back in camp today following his illness. He might play a few innings tomorrow.
  • Don’t pay attention to Bronson Arroyo’s line from his Minor League start yesterday (5 IP, 6 runs, 5 earned, 11 hits, 1 BB, 3 K). He threw only fastballs and changeups the entire 84-pitch outing. Here’s what Arroyo had to say about it:

“I told the catcher no signs. I just told him to set up inside and outside and I’d throw fastballs and changeups to either side. The hit the ball nice, but the wind was blowing out at hurricane speed. I threw a lot of fastballs, which I wanted to do, because I can lose command of that when I’m tired. I must have thrown 70 fastballs. My arm was sore an hour after, which was good. It’s better to be killed back there than on the big field on Sunday.” (Arroyo will start on Sunday against the Rays here in Sarasota.

  • The rotation goes as follows: Tomorrow vs. Twins: Micah Owings (Homer Bailey will pitch in a minor-league game; Aaron Harang starts Friday in Tampa against the Yankees; Edinson Volquez gets the start in Port Charlotte against the Rays, then Arroyo on Sunday.
  • Arthur Rhodes and Jared Burton will start in minor league games today. Daryl Thompson will pitch with Homer Bailey in that minor league game tomorrow.

That’s all I got for now. Have a great day, everyone…

First roster cuts, lineups vs. NYY

The first roster trim came down and there were no surprises. Most of the top prospects were sent to the Minor League camp. Here’s the list:

Optioned to Class AA Carolina  was 1B Yonder Alonso; reassigned to minor league camp were C Humberto Cota, C Chris Denove, INF Todd Frazier, C Devin Mesoraco, OF Drew Stubbs and INF Chris Valaika…the Reds have 56 players remaining in camp.

Reds lineup:

Dickerson CF, Gonzalez SS, Bruce RF, Phillips 2B, Barker 1B, Encarnacion 3B, Nix LF, Hanigan C, Bankston DH

Masset – P

Yankees lineup:

Gardner CF, Damon LF, Nady RF, Matsui DH, Ransom 3B, Molina C, Miranda 1B, Berroa SS,  Pena 2B

Chamberlain – P

Obviously, this will be a good test for Gonzalez’s knee to finally play the field. Look for a story postgame on that. More later once the Reds’ bus arrives at Steinbrenner Field.

6pm Update:

  • Dusty Baker said that Gonzalez would play four or five innings at shortstop tonight.
  • 3B Edwin Encarnacion said his left wrist felt better after he took BP on Monday. Encarnacion has been sore since a check swing the other day.

“But I tried to stay with a pitch inside, that’s what hurt me more,” Encarnacion said.

  • 1B Joey Votto is on a flight that should land in Sarasota tonight but Baker said he’s giving him Wednesday off. The team has a scheduled off day on Thursday, which gives Votto two days to regroup after the World Baseball Classic.

“With traveling and his family and Toronto, I’m sure he’s probably exhausted,” Baker said.

  • RHP Johnny Cueto is OK after twisting an ankle on Sunday. He did his running on Monday.

Here’s what Baker said about the roster moves. Three of the players (Alonso, Mesoraco and Stubbs) were the organization’s last three first round picks.

“They’re all good players. They’re good young men at the same time,” Baker said. “They worked hard, did what was asked of them. It was a matter of ABs getting tight. We’re going to get some guys back [from the World Baseball Classic]. They all got pretty good look-sees, especially for the first big league camp for most of them. Most guys don’t get that many ABs and innings.”

  • The decisions were all made before Monday’s game. Chris Valaika hit a grand slam vs. the Phillies and Yonder Alonso hit a homer to center field, his first of spring. A fan retrieved the ball and returned it to Alonso.

“You hate to send them out when they did something so spectacular. I was hoping Stubbs would hit one out,” Baker said. “I’d rather have them go out on a high note.”





Visiting with Mackanin, notes/lineups

Greetings from Clearwater and the Phillies’ spring home at Bright House Field, which is probably the finest stadium you’ll find in the Grapefruit League. (I’m also partial to the Red Sox place in Fort Myers). Sorry for the late morning post but sometimes that’s just how it goes.

Former Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin is now the bench coach for the Phillies and it was nice to see him for a few minutes. Mackanin was great to work with from a media standpoint and more importantly, it was impressive that he led the 2007 team to an above .500 record (41-39) after he took over following a horrible start.

“I’m wearing red again,” Mackanin said before breaking out some dry wit. “I look so good in blue and green but I can’t get away from red. Maybe next time.”

Reds lineup:

Jones CF, Keppinger SS, Bruce RF, Gomes LF, Ward 1B, Alonso DH, Francisco 3B, Hanigan C, Janish 2B

Arroyo – P

Phillies lineup:

Bruntlett SS, Dobbs LF, Werth CF, Howard 1B, Ibanez DH, Jenkins RF, Donald 3B, Cairo 2B, Marson C

Hamels – P

  • Edwin Encarnacion was given another day off to rest a sore left wrist.

“It’s a matter of not having to rush,” manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s the same thing he had last year which you get from check swinging improperly.”

  • Alex Gonzalez is definitely going to make his debut at shortstop Tuesday vs. the Yankees. 
  • Baker isn’t worried about the slow starts by Jeff Keppinger (.105 in 7 games) or Jacque Jones (.133 in 8 games coming in).





Owings' solid afternoon

Fifth starter candidate Micah Owings had another decent start for the most part against the Red Sox. His line: 3.2 IN, 3H 2ER, 1BB 4K…51 pitches/32 strikes

Owings started his outing by giving up back-to-back singles in the first inning but struck out Brad Wilkerson and induced a 4-6-3 double play by Rocco Baldelli. In the 1-2-3 second inning, his strikeout of Jason Varitek appeared to be a high fastball. Two batters later, he fooled Lars Anderson with a nice changeup.

With a lot of lefties in the Boston lineup, Owings used his changeup quite a bit. He’s also been working on his two-seam fastball.

20090303_bmo_cinvsbos_0157_mark.jpg“It was nice to see that,” Owings said of the Anderson strikeout. “It’s something I’ve worked more and more on in the course of the big leagues. It’s something I know is going to help me and another thing I can mix to keep hitters off-balance. I threw it a good bit today.” 

After a 1-2-3 third inning that required only 10 pitches, Owings was at 35 pitches and allowed to return for the fourth. Jed Lowrie led off with a ground-rule double and Varitek reached on a two-out walk. Jared Burton gave up the inherited runs on Paul McAnulty two-run double.

“He looked really good,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He didn’t have that many pitches. We were trying to take him to 50 pitches and he lost it there for a minute. He threw the ball very well today. He got the double play when he needed it.”

Through two starts totaling 6 2/3 innings, Owings has a 2.70 ERA with five hits, one walk and six strikeouts. The right-hander was asked if he was where he wanted to be at this point of camp:

“I don’t ever like to say that,” he responded. “I always feel like I can be better. I feel good about where I’m at but I’m going to keep working hard and not let up.”

With Homer Bailey doing very well and Owings looking good, the fifth starter battle could continue to be interesting for a while. It will still be one of the main subplots to watch.

Other items of note from a 9-8 Reds win:

Norris Hopper pushed a nice bunt past the mound in the fourth. Hopper was almost picked off of first base but out dashed the rundown and slid safely into second for the steal.

Jay Bruce was batting when Hopper was on base. First a dropped foul pop up in left field kept him alive. He was able to smoke a 3-2 Ramon Ramirez (a different one) pitch to right field.

Two batters after Bruce, Edwin Encarnacion had his first homer of spring. It easily cleared the left field wall.

Left field candidate Jonny Gomes hit an opposite field grand slam to right field in the five-run seventh. Gomes is batting .400 (4-for-10) with seven RBIs through five games.

Gomes’ slam wound up providing the deciding run. The Reds had a 9-2 lead after the top of the 7th. Boston scored three in the seventh off Jeff Kennard and three more in the eighth off Adam Pettyjohn to make it a one-run game. 

Friday's lineup, morning blend

Good morning. It’s a different one around here as the clubhouse is under lockdown for the annual union meeting with executive director Don Fehr and his crew. Hopefully after the meeting, I can get some more stuff flowing.

Here are your lineups for today, which are also a little different:


Taveras CF, Hairston SS, Votto 1B, Francisco 3B, Gomes RF, Dickerson LF, Keppinger 2B, Hernandez C, Bankston DH

P Arroyo


Victorino CF, Donald 3B, Ibanez LF, Stairs DH, Dobbs 1B, Jenkins RF, Ozuna 2B, Chavez SS, Marson C

P Carpenter

Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and Edwin Encarnacion got breaks today.

“We’ve only got 37 more to go,” manager Dusty Baker semi-joked. He was also doing some forward planning since there is a night road game on Saturday followed by a day game Sunday.

This will be the first chance many at the big league level get to see Juan Francisco, one of the promising sluggers in the system. The 21-year-old lefty hitter belted 23 homers at Class A Sarasota last season and another 18 homers in Dominican winter ball. Of course, there are a ton of strikeouts on the resume too — 123 last season but that’s not a chief concern right now.

“He can hit,” Baker said. “He’s what you want in young hitters – -he’s aggressive. You want a young hitter that you can tone down vs. tone up. You want guys to be selective and go deep in the count but that comes with more experience I think. Young hitters you want to see aggressive.”

In transactions: Johnny Cueto and Ramon Ramirez agreed to terms on one-year contracts. Only six platers remain unsigned for 2009. 


Encarnacion to change hitting approach

Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion, owner of a new two-year, $7.6 million contract that avoided arbitration, made his camp debut on Wednesday. In a good mood for obvious reasons, Encarnacion said he committed in the off-season to returning to his old approach of hitting.

“I want to try to stay more to the middle. Last year, I tried to pull too many balls and hit more homers,” Encarnacion said. “That’s why my average went down. I will be more consistent with my hitter. I know I can do it. I’ve done it before. I know I can hit better than that and I just have to keep working.

“You can’t go to the plate hitting like crazy. You have to go up with some plan. That’s what makes you a better hitter.”

One of the better clutch run producers before 2008, the 26-year-old Encarnacion  batted .251 with a career-high 26 home runs but only 68 RBIs in 146 games.

During his playing career, Reds manager Dusty Baker said he made similar mistakes.

“Sometimes it happens at that point of your career. It happened to me. It’s a disease – I call it home run-itis,” Baker said. “You start liking the trot. What happens is you end up hitting lower, less RBIs and have just as many homers. I got a letter from Joe Black, I’ll never forget it. I still have the letter. He told me to ‘remember you’re a hitter, not a slugger.”

Other notes from Wednesday:

Jerry Hairston Jr. worked out with the outfielders when workouts began on Tuesday. Baker said not to read too much into that. Hairston is also considered a backup shortstop option to Alex Gonzalez.

“It was day one. You have to start somewhere,” Baker said.

Hairston told me he will play shortstop for Team Mexico at the World Baseball Classic. His mother is Mexican.

Live BP:

It’s one of those days of the year when pitchers have total dominance over hitters — the Reds went through live batting practice. Pitchers faced hitters and threw at game speed. On one field, a group of hitters faced Aaron Harang, Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto in succession.

Volquez and Cueto throw in the mid 90s with some nasty breaking stuff.

“I don’t even want to get in there,” joked Norris Hopper as Volquez pitched.

The only hitter to really connect on a pitch was Daryle Ward, who cleared the right field fence against Cueto. On another field, Homer Bailey, Arthur Rhodes and Mike Lincoln also faced hitters.

Encarnacion signs two-year deal

The Reds avoided arbitration with third baseman Edwin Encarnacion on Tuesday by agreeing to a new two-year contract. Terms were not immediately available.

Encarnacion’s arbitration hearing was scheduled for Tuesday in Arizona.

When numbers were exchanged last month, Encarnacion was seeking $3.7 million while the club offered $2.55 million.

“The aftermath is never nice,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said of arbitration hearings. “I’m glad they came to an agreement. It’s good for Edwin and good for us.”


The deal came together at 2:30 am ET, general manager Walt Jocketty said. Encarnacion’s hearing was scheduled for 9:30 am Phoenix time. The Reds had assistant GM Bob Miller in Arizona to head their case.

“It was inevitable it’d go right to the end,” Jocketty said. “It seemed like there were a lot of guys in that class that were kind of negotiating until the end for whatever reason. Anyhow, we’re glad to get it done.”

The Reds have not gone to arbitration with a player since they won a case over pitcher Chris Reitsma in 2004.



Full camp almost here


Another sunny but windy day at the MMW Sarasota bureau. Activity is ramping up as the full squad reports Tuesday with a first full workout set for 11 am. But a majority of position players are already here and many took batting practice inside the stadium. Brandon Phillips reported on Monday.

Among those not seen yet are Edwin Encarnacion and Alex Gonzalez. Catcher Humberto Cota is still having visa issues. Encarnacion will have a good excuse to not be here since Tuesday is his arbitration hearing date. Assistant GM Bob Miller will lead the Reds case if the hearing happens and is already in Arizona, where it will take place. Encarnacion is seeking $3.7 million while the club offered $2.55 million.

The Reds have not had an arbitration case since beating pitcher Chris Reitsma in 2004.


One hundred steals?: I met new free agent acquisition Willy Taveras for the first time. Taveras had a down offensive year last season with Colorado and still stole 68 bases. He thinks that if he can get his on-base percentage up while playing everyday — he could swipe 100.

“To go over 100, if you’re on base percentage is .350, that can be possible. It can happen,” Taveras said.

Last season, Taveras had a .251 average and .308 on base percentage. He plans on bunting more and keeping infielders on their toes.


New bat rules: Fans might notice there will be fewer more all-black bats used in the Majors this season. The players are just finding that out. Phillips, who has always used black maple bats, opened a new shipment of bats and was stunned when he saw a two-tone white and black model. In response to some dangerous incidents with broken maple bats — new Major League safety standards says all maple and birch bats “must have a natural or clear finish.” Bats made from ash can be all black.

“I just want all white,” Phillips told equipment manager Rick Stowe. “I can’t deal with two-tone.”


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