Results tagged ‘ Gary Matthews Jr. ’

No need for LeCure, Matthews

*Pitcher Sam LeCure came all the way to Houston but did not set one toe on the mound at Minute Maid Park on Saturday. He was Plan B in case Johnny Cueto couldn’t start tonight becuase of the flu. Cueto is OK, so LeCure wasn’t needed.

“I’m just here, and not here,” LeCure said.

LeCure was told to sit tight this afternoon just in case. He sat at a locker without a number on it and chatted with several players.

“I just came out to watch a game,” said LeCure.

The Reds scratched LeCure from his start Friday for Triple-A Louisville at Gwinnett about three hours before their game. He flew into Houston late Friday night.

“He just got a free trip to Houston. He understands,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

*Baker said he tried to lobby Gary Matthews Jr. to stay in the organization before he opted out of his contract. Baker is close friends with both Matthews Jr. and Gary Matthews Sr.

“I talked to him this morning. I tried to convince him to wait,” Baker said. “He said after being in the big leagues this long, he just didn’t want to be in Triple-A anymore. He doesn’t have anywhere to go right now. He said thanks for the opportunity and he’ll see what happens.”

The decision not to bring up Matthews ultimately came down something basic. The Reds did not feel he was an improvement to what was already on the 25-man roster.

“Right now, Nix is doing a great job off the bench as a left-handed pinch-hitter. Nobody is doing better on the right side than Heisey. And Stubbs is doing better and getting better in center field. Sometimes, there’s not a fit.”

*Nix started and batted fourth vs. the Astros for one good reason. He is 7-for-15 (.467) with two homers lifetime vs. Roy Oswalt.

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Matthews to opt out

Gary Matthews Jr. will opt out of his Minor League contract with the Reds, according to agent Scott Leventhal. The Reds and Walt Jocketty told Matthews today that they had no openings at the big league level.

“Everything was amicable,” Leventhal said Friday night. “It just didn’t work out. It’s wasn’t for lack of performance. They didn’t have the roster spot.”

The Reds had a Saturday deadline to call him up or the 35-year-old could opt out and become a free agent. Matthews will seek a big league job elsewhere.

“We’re not going to play Triple-A anywhere else,” Leventhal said. “He has nothing left to prove. He’s a 10-year veteran that spent the last 30 days in Louisville and putting up good numbers.”

Matthews started tonight for Louisville vs. Gwinnett and as I write this is 2-for-3.

On the clock with Matthews

General manager Walt Jocketty is not with the Reds this weekend in Houston and is back in Louisville watching the Triple-A club. Dayton watching the Class A club.

Jocketty has a decision to make about Gary Matthews Jr., who has a deadline looming on Saturday.

If the Reds don’t call him up by then, Matthews can opt out of his contract and become a free agent. Manager Dusty Baker did not have any answers when asked about Matthews’ status. Baker has a long time friendship with the Matthews family — both Gary Sr. and Gary Jr.

“It depends how he fits into things right now, if he’s better than who we have already or do we ask him to extend that or if he has somewhere else to go,” Baker said. “There are a lot of questions here. If it doesn’t fit right now, I’d prefer he’d play some more.

“I hope he stays even if it doesn’t fit right now. You never know if there’s an injury, or what’s going to happen down the stretch. This isn’t only a move for this year for him. It’s a continuing career move for him too – if not here than somewhere else. He hasn’t asked anything of me either.”

Matthews signed with the Reds on June 24. Baker said he stayed away from involvement in the process and has only talked to Matthews Jr. once since he joined Louisville.

Latest on Rolen–

*Scott Rolen is out for the seventh-straight day because of a sore right hamstring. Rolen was evaluated by the trainers this afternoon.But he has appeared to turn the corner somewhat.

“He hit really well in the cage,” head trainer Paul Lessard said on Friday. “The past couple of days, it bothered him just to pivot on his back foot. He’s making strides.”

While the Reds took their regular BP on the field, Rolen took groundballs.

The Reds have held out as long as possible to not DL Rolen and haven’t targeted a return date yet. If he can come within a day or two, it would beat missing him for almost another week on DL time. He can always be backdated if he had a setback before returning.

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Decision looming on Matthews Jr.’s Jerry Crasnick reported earlier today that the Reds have a July 24 deadline looming when it comes to OF Gary Matthews Jr. If Matthews isn’t promoted from Triple-A Louisville by then, he can opt out of his contract and become a free agent.

Reds GM Walt Jocketty confirmed that for me Tuesday afternoon. Matthews is batting .310 with three homers 5 RBIs and a .355 OBP

“We have to make a decision,” Jocketty said. “We’re not at that point yet. We’ll see and evaluate the situation and whether he can help us now or not.”

Matthews Jr. was signed to a Minor League deal on June 24, not long after he was released by the Mets. The Reds have a crowded outfield already with Drew Stubbs in center field and Jay Bruce, Jonny Gomes, Laynce Nix and Chris Heisey.



The Ohio Cup, part deux

Friday lineup vs. CLE

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Stubbs 8
Hernandez 2
Aaron Harang 1

*Orlando Cabrera is 8-for-60 in his last 15 games, including a current 0-for-18 slide. He is out of the leadoff spot for now. 

“At-bats are piling up for Cabrera,” Dusty Baker said. “Maybe getting some non at-bats, some sac bunts, some hit-and-runs and different things will take some pressure off him.”

Cabrera has a better chance to break out tonight since he  is 7-for-18 (.389) in his career vs. Cleveland starter Aaron Laffey.

“I know but when you’re not going good, track record don’t mean nothing,” Baker said. “He had a good track record against some of the guys on the road too.”

Baker was asked if the just-signed Gary Matthews Jr. could eventually fill the leadoff role.

“Matthews has got to get his act together first,” Baker said. “How do you do that without your act being together? Matthews is going to Triple-A to get his act together. If his act was together, he’d be playing somewhere and probably leading off.”

*Ryan Hanigan was 0-for-2 Thursday as the DH in his first rehab assignment game for Triple-A Louisville.

*Homer Bailey (right shoulder inflammation) said he is going to resume a throwing program on Monday — nothing too intensive at first however.

“I feel like I can probably start throwing now,” Bailey said. “I feel pretty good. But we have this plan working. It seems to be going pretty well. We’ll take our time and stick with it.”

*Reliever Mike Lincoln (strained right side muscle) hoped to begin throwing by next week.

*Tonight is Irish Heritage Night, so the Reds are donning green caps for the game vs. the Indians.

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Reds sign Matthews

The Reds signed veteran outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. to a minor league deal and he was scheduled to report to Triple-A Louisville Thursday night and begin playing on Friday.

After an off-season trade from the Angels to the Mets, the 35-year-old Matthews batted .190 with a .266 on-base percentage in 65 plate appearances and was released on June 15.

Matthews will be the everyday center fielder at Louisville.

“In the past, he showed that if he plays a lot, he’s a better player,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He hasn’t had that opportunity with the Angels or Mets the last couple of years.”

The Reds currently lack outfield depth at Louisville, which also added value towards adding Matthews. But if he does well, Jocketty said it was possible for him to come up to the big league level.
Matthews’ father, Gary Matthews Sr., was a longtime Major League outfielder and is a very close friend on manager Dusty Baker’s.

A lifetime .257 hitter with a .332 OBP, Matthews’ best season was his All-Star year of 2006 with the Rangers when he batted .313 with 19 home runs and 79 RBIs. As a free agent after that season, he signed a five-year, $50 million contract with the Angels — only to disappoint in Anaheim.

“Hopefully, if he can get back, at some point he can help us at the Major League level,” Jocketty said.

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Reds close to signing Matthews

According to a baseball source, the Reds are close to signing outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. to a Minor League deal. reported via Twitter that terms were agreed to, but that doesn’t appear to be the case quite yet — but the deal expected to happen soon.

Matthews was released by the Mets after he batted .190 with a .266 OBP in 65 plate appearances and 36 games this season. He has not posted good numbers since 2007.


Matthews or Sheff, anyone?

Here’s my question of the day, based on some news/rumors:

First, the rumor. It’s been reported that, at least at some point, the Reds and Angels talked about a trade that would bring Gary Matthews Jr. to Cincinnati for either Aaron Harang or Bronson Arroyo. Not sure if that’s been discussed lately, but I’m efforting to find that out. It’d be a fairly even salary swap, for those wondering.

The news is that the Tigers released Gary Sheffield today. Another team can sign him for the  minimum as the Tigers still owe him his $14 million salary for the year.

So with this information, if you were the GM of the Reds, would you go after either of these players to bolster the outfield situation?  Leave your comments at the beep.

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