Results tagged ‘ Jay Bruce ’

Bruce leading off

Reds vs. Rangers, 4:05 p.m. ET, FS Ohio/WLW/

Bruce 9
Valaika 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Stubbs 8
Hanigan 2
Janish 6
Wood 1

This is the second time this spring that Bruce has led off, I believe.

*Baker could be taking a look at contingencies for a Plan B leadoff hitter since Stubbs has struggled all camp.

“There’s a chance,” Baker said. “”I keep hoping Stubby will come around.If it’s not working, you have to go with something else. In a perfect scenario, you’d hope that it would be better than it is. Especially if you’re making contact, you have a chance with his speed. If you don’t make contact, nobody has a chance. We’re just trying to find it.”

Stubbs got seven at-bats in a minor league game Wednesday and got 4 or 5 hits, he said.

**Update from medical staff***

*Ramon Hernandez (sore right elbow) is swinging and throwing comfortably. He will be back in a couple of days.  Baker indicated Hernandez could play a minor league game tomorrow.

*Johnny Cueto (shoulder inflammation) has seen his symptoms subside. They are working on a strengthen program now.


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Night game

It’s a different sort of deal having a night game at Spring Training. Your routine is altered and after being up early and at the complex by 7:45 am most mornings, you don’t know what to with yourself. I could only “sleep in” until 8:15 am…but I was grateful for those few extra minutes.

Pitcher Sam LeCure is already at the complex and was one of the few around early this afternoon. He ran out of stuff to do and just brought his lunch over.

Reds vs. Dodgers, 9:05 p.m. ET. WLW has radio and it can be heard on


Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9  Gomes 7
Gomes 7 Dorn 9
Rentria DH
Hanigan 2
Janish 6

Wood 1

**UPDATE: Bruce isn’t feeling well today and was scratched.

Also scheduled to pitch are Cordero, Chapman, Maloney and LeCure.

Asking Dusty Baker if this was close to the way his Opening Day lineup might look (before Bruce was scratched), he only gave some indications but no confirmations.

“It’s my night after no playing day lineup. Tomorrow’s lineup is the day after night to rest my night lineup,” Baker said. This lineup has most of my big boys in there. I want them to be under the lights because we only have one more under the lights until we start the season. Then you’re under the lights 80 percent of the time. Night baseball is definitely a larger adjustment than day baseball.”

Baker was also asked if felt like he needed a left-hander in his rotation to mix it up. It’s something he hasn’t been concerned about in the past. Now he has Wood possibly in the mix.

“I haven’t been concerned because I haven’t had any,” Baker said. “We weren’t going to go out and buy one so we had to raise one. That’s the key word, possibly. If I say yes, you eliminate somebody and that’s not right – yet.”

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Renteria contract breakdown

Greetings after a week away on “Staycation.”

Although off, I got to enjoy all the trappings of last week’s snow (or white death) in Cincinnati. The school closings, the roads, the frigid temperatures, etc.

A flight to Arizona is just around the corner though.

Still waiting on the Johnny Cueto contract situation to be resolved after he appeared to agree to terms on a four-year, $27 million deal as reported by I’m also going to check in and see what’s up with Edinson Volquez.

It’s amazing that for all the heat the Reds had taken from fans for standing pat much of the off-season, they still allocated $151 million on four players in Bronson Arroyo, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto and Cueto. And they still could add even more with Volquez.

Add in the salaries spent on Ramon Hernandez, Miguel Cairo, Edgar Renteria and Fred Lewis and the Reds weren’t all that idle.

I have a salary breakdown that might interest you on Renteria, realizing it’s kind of late but I got it while I was out…

Base salary: $2.1 million with $600,000 deferred without interest.

Bonus opportunity:

$100,000 for 300 plate appearances
$100,000 for 350 plate appearances
$125,000 for 400 plate appearances
$150,000 for 500 plate appearances
$250,000 for 550 plate appearances
$25,000 for All-Star game
$50,000 for Gold Glove
$50,000 for Silver Slugger
$50,000 for LCS MVP
$100,000 for World Series MVP

$20,000 to be donated to the Reds Community Fund.

Basically, Renteria is being paid handsomely, but relatively modestly, to back up for Paul Janish. However, if he’s needed to step up and play regularly, he knows he will be compensated accordingly. 

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Plugged back in

You may have noticed (or perhaps, not at all) that I was on vacation over the last week. I provided a couple of Reds stories in advance of time off. Hopefully you got to read them. They were: Paul Janish ready to be everyday shortstop and Todd Frazier seeking a fresh start in 2011

*Plus there was of course, Jay Bruce’s press conference and Joey Votto was named Canada’s athlete of the year.


*And over on “Better Off Red,” Jamie Ramsey had a nice Q&A with Bronson Arroyo — who never has trouble unplugging and traveling during the off-season.

Actually, I took a “staycation,” since I really didn’t go anywhere. The one thing I did do was unplug since  I barely checked email and didn’t look at Twitter once in seven days. I highly recommend it to those who are tethered to their smartphones and computers all the time. Trust me when I say you’ll get points from your family (and fun) when you don’t always have a drifting eye on your email and other things like Twitter. 

But of course, there was still the Internet and television and I certainly didn’t miss the big baseball news of the weekend — that Zack Greinke was traded to the Brewers. Since I got more emails from this winter than any other that the Reds had to get Greinke — I imagine this isn’t a good news story for you. Cincinnati was never really “in” on Greinke. They weren’t willing to part the haul of top young talent to get him and Milwaukee was. They’re making an all-in “go for it” move for 2011. They’re also taking a huge risk. 

That’s the not to say at all the Reds aren’t going for it next season. They simply feel that the young players they already have in place will mature and get better and can still contend without the giant risk taking. The Brewers will have an improved rotation to go with their potent lineup. I’m sure they will be a trendy pick to take the NL Central.

Unlike Cliff Lee, who has proven himself on the big game stage, Greinke had no such track record in Kansas City. I will be curious to see how he does in the National League, where it should be easier to pitch. I will write more about this on later today.

The Reds will get to find out quickly — after all, they will have Opening Day vs. the Brewers on March 31, 2011. I’d be willing to bet Greinke will get that assignment.

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Bruce agrees to long-term deal

In a deal that secures one of the pieces of their long-term future, the Reds have agreed to terms late Thursday night with right fielder Jay Bruce on a six-year, $51 million contract, a baseball source confirmed to

The agreement, which avoids arbitration, comes with an option for a seventh year that could push the total earnings to $63 million. The option has a $1 million buyout. first reported the story.

It will be a while until the deal is made official and the Reds have yet to make an announcement. Bruce is scheduled to fly to Cincinnati for his physical on Monday and the signing could be completed by Tuesday.

Bruce earned $440,000 in 2010 and was awarded “Super 2” status after last season, which allowed him first-time arbitration eligible earlier than normal. The contract would wipe out any arbitration issues for all four years, plus two years of potential free agency.

This contract mirrors the six-year, $51.25 million agreement reached in March between the D-backs and Justin Upton, another 23-year-old outfielder entering his arbitration years.


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No non-tenders

Ahead of tonight’s 11:59 pm ET deadline, the Reds tendered contracts all of their players. This includes the six arbitration eligible guys — Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Bill Bray and Jared Burton.

I had written yesterday that Burton could be a candidate for being non-tendered. I was apparently wrong.

“It’s tough to find quality arms,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. “Burton was healthy at the end of the year. It’s not that much of a financial burden. It made sense to tender him.”

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Bruce open to long term deal

As a Super 2 player eligible for a fourth year of arbitration, Reds right fielder Jay Bruce will be getting a big raise from his $440,000 salary from this past season. Bruce is looking to stick with the Reds long term beyond the one-year contracts at a time that can come via the arbitration process.

Bruce’s agent, Matt Sosnick, said on Tuesday that his client is open to signing a multi-year contract with Cincinnati.

“If Jay can get compensated fairly over his arbitration years and into his free agency years, we’re open to it,” Sosnick said. “If it makes financial sense, we’ll look at it. There is no hesitation on Jay’s part to stay in Cincinnati for as long as possible. He loves it there.”

In 148 games, Bruce batted .281 with 25 home runs, 70 RBIs and a .353 on-base percentage. Defensively, his arm netted seven assists. In his nearly three years in the big leagues, he already has 68 home runs at 23 years old.

More later on and

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Awards schedule

Below is the schedule for the main postseason awards that will begin to be handed out next week.

I expect Brandon Phillips, Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce to be Gold Glove contenders. Dusty Baker should have a decent shot at NL Manager of the Year, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all if the Padres’ Bud Black gets it. Joey Votto might want to clear his schedule for Nov. 22 when the NL MVP is revealed but Carlos Gonzalez and Albert Pujols will certainly be in the hunt.

Tues., Nov. 9th: Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for the American League, 3:30 p.m. (ET), ESPNEWS

Wed., Nov. 10th: Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for the National League, 3:30 p.m. (ET), ESPNEWS

Thurs., Nov. 11th: Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards, 6:00 p.m. (ET), one-hour special on MLB Network


Mon., Nov. 15th: AL & NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards.
Tues., Nov. 16th: NL Cy Young Award.
Wed., Nov. 17th: AL & NL Manager of the Year Awards.
Thurs., Nov. 18th: AL Cy Young Award.
Mon., Nov. 22nd: NL Most Valuable Player Award.
Tues., Nov. 23rd: AL Most Valuable Player Award.
All BBWAA awards are announced at 2:00 p.m. ET.

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Errors sting big time, down 0-2

The Reds gave away their 7-4 loss to the Phillies in Game 2 of the NLDS, no bones about it. They had a 4-0 lead. They had knocked out their nemesis in Roy Oswalt. They had control of the game. It slipped out of their hands.

Seven unanswered runs — five were unearned because of four errors. It’s the salt that stings the defeat all the more.

The Jay Bruce missed catch on Jimmy Rollins’ fly ball in the seventh was the big one. Bruce catches that ball and the Reds can still hang on.

This is my game story

Here are some quotes:

“It was in the lights the whole time. I tried to stick with it to see if it would come out. It never did. It’s pretty helpless. It’s embarrassing. I take a lot of pride in my defense. There’s really nothing I can do about it. I wish for my team more than anything that it didn’t go into the lights or that it came out and I could have caught it. It didn’t happen.” — Jay Bruce

“Well, you could tell it was in the lights, because Jay’s played Golden Glove outfielder, and he didn’t come close to catching that ball.  From being an outfielder, you can tell when the ball gets in the lights.  Yeah, definitely that ball got in the lights at the wrong time.” — Dusty Baker

“It’s hard to give a lineup like that four extra outs and not expect to get beat.” — Bronson Arroyo

“Things happen. This team has battled the entire year. We play such great defense. It’s unfortunate. We are trying our best. It seemed like we’re swinging the bats better. Hopefully on Sunday we can bounce back.” — Orlando Cabrera

“You leave the door open that many times to those guys and they’re going to keep putting pressure on you. Then things start happening. The balls were hit to us. We had plays and we didn’t make them.” — Scott Rolen

Postgame notes —

*Orlando Cabrera left after the fourth inning with a sore left oblique. He hoped to be able to play on Sunday.

“I saw the doctor and he said it didn’t look that bad. We’ll see tomorrow how I feel,” Cabrera said.

*The debacle of the seventh inning started when Chase Utley acted his way through a hit-by-pitch from Aroldis Chapman. The pitch was 101 mph, Utley didn’t sell it that well but it was enough to be awarded first base.

“I don’t think at any time that the ball hit him. I don’t think he ever got hit,” Chapman said.

“It was pretty close,” Utley said. “At first I thought it was going to hit me in my head.  Fortunately, it didn’t.  And he throws so hard.  I felt like I thought it hit me, so I put my head down and I ran to first.”

 Q.  Did it hit you?  CHASE UTLEY:  “I’m not sure.” 

*Scott Rolen is 0-for-7 with five K’s in the two games so far.

*Brandon Phillips’ leadoff home run in the first inning ended a 30-scoreless innings streak at

Citizens Bank Park going back to July 9. Phillips had only the second leadoff postseason homer in Reds history. Pete Rose also did it in World Series Game 5 at Oakland on 10/20/72.

*The six errors were a League Division Series record. The Reds four errors tied the record for most errors in a single LDS game.

See you Saturday from Cincinnati. Workout at GABP in the afternoon.

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Jay Bruce at the podium

Before sending the transcript of Jay Bruce’s press conference, two notes:

*Dusty Baker said that Laynce Nix will start Game 2 in left field for Jonny Gomes. Against Roy Oswalt, Nix is 9-for-17 (.529) in his career against Oswalt with three doubles, one triple and two home runs with four RBIs. 

*Ryan Hanigan will be behind the plate catching Bronson Arroyo, which he has done most of the regular season.

And now….Jay Bruce.

Q.  For most of the time that you’ve been with the Reds all you got to hear is how many games in a row Roy Oswalt beat your team.  Now you’ve had success with him lately.  Was there something you had to do as a group to knock off that aura of invisibility?

 JAY BRUCE:  You know what, I don’t think so.  I think the bottom line is we’re a different team this year.  And the fact that we have an approach that we have figured out that works for us, and that we’re able to execute.
 You know, I think numbers have something to do with it too.  We faced him, he beat us 20 times.  I mean, it was almost, you know, time was on our side, I think, and the numbers were on our side a little bit.
 But I think the biggest thing is the execution factor and the fact that we have an approach that works and that works consistently.  It’s shown all year that we led the National League in hitting.  So I think that that speaks volumes as well.

 Q.  Your success actually dates back to the year before.  Does the same approach, the same reasoning, the same logic apply for ’09?

 JAY BRUCE:  Asking about Roy?  Yeah.  It’s sticking with the consistent approach.  Consistency in baseball is what makes you successful over a certain period of time, and I think that’s something that we’ve really, really tried to work on, and really tried to practice as a team and as individuals.  I think that’s definitely spoken about our success.

 Q.  Given how Game 1 went, do you like the off day between 1 and 2?  Would you have rather gotten right back out there to get back on the field for Game 2?  Do you have a preference?

 JAY BRUCE:  No preference for me.  That is the way that MLB wants to do it and it works out the best.  The Phillies obviously got to pick the extra day in between.  So that’s what they went with, it doesn’t matter to me at all, no.

 Q.  What was it like last night?  Did you guys relive it, rehash it?  What’s it been like today that you’ve been together sort of being on the other end of history?

 JAY BRUCE:  I can only speak for myself, but I just have to chalk it up.  I mean, he pitched one of the best games of his life and he did something really, really special.  But like I said last night, I’m not taking anything away from Roy, because he is probably the best pitcher in the game, has the best stuff.  But we have to look at it as a loss.
 We can come back out and tie the series tomorrow.  And in the scheme of things, that no hitter means nothing other than we got beat the first game.

 Q.  How are you going about, again, from the mindset in terms of maybe what you guys are saying to each other, what Dusty is saying to you in terms of being able to come back and rebound from that no hitter against a guy like Oswalt?

 JAY BRUCE:  In my opinion, there is really nothing to be said as far as the no hitter is concerned.  It happened, it’s history now, and we’ve been bouncing back all year.  You know, that is the bottom line is we have to bounce back or we’re not going to be here very long.  It’s not going to be a very long series.
 The Phillies are a tremendous team.  They do everything well.  They create runs.  The pitching is top of the line.  But we’re good too.  We led the league in hitting and that’s something that we’re proud of, and we’re a good team or else we wouldn’t be here and we have to bounce back.
 That is another characteristic of a good team, I believe, too.  We have to do that, and continue to focus on tomorrow’s game and forget about yesterday’s game.

 Q.  It’s Bronson on Friday.  He’s got more experience than some of the other pitchers.  How much do you lean on him and what is the team’s confidence in him after how Game 1 went?
 JAY BRUCE:  I think pitching is definitely going to determine the success of our teams, both teams.  If they don’t pitch well, they’re not going to be successful.  If we don’t pitch well, we’re not going to be successful.  But it’s a collective effort, and it’s a 25 man team, and we have the guys here to do it.
 You know, the pitcher’s job, in my opinion, is to keep the team in the game.  It’s not to throw a no hitter or shut a team out.  It’s to keep the team in the game, and that’s what we’re hoping he does.  He does a great job of that every year.  He’s been doing that since he got in the big leagues and we’re confident in him.

 Q.  Can you talk about Brook Jacoby and what effect he’s had on you since he’s been with the Reds?

 JAY BRUCE:  Tell you what, Brook has been great for me.  He’s done his job.  He works well with each individual.  He doesn’t try to do or put a blanket system on everyone.  And I think that’s huge.  At the end of the day in the Major Leagues you’re coaching and you’re interacting with people.  It’s not necessarily all the time teaching mechanics and doing this and doing that.  It’s having a relationship with people.  He does a great job of that.
 Also, he’s consistent in his approach.  He has something that he thinks works for everyone, and that’s something that’s shown true this year because we’ve had a successful year hitting.
 Like I said, he’s the same guy every day.  He’s very positive.  He keeps it loose, and he’s there for you.  He’s really there for the player, and that is something that is important, too.

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