Results tagged ‘ Jerry Hairston Jr. ’

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 MLB.com.

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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Hairston dealt

Utility infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. has been traded to the Yankees shortly before Friday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. Coming over is Minor League catcher Chase Weems, who will be assigned to Class A Dayton.

Hairston is batting .254 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs this season. He was batting .353 (6-for-17) over his last seven games. He can play second base, shortstop, third base and all three outfield positions.

 

Jocketty manning the phone

Dusty Baker knew who his starting pitcher was for Friday but still wasn’t ready to say. Not until he confirmed with GM Walt Jocketty (my money is still on Justin Lehr).

Problem is, Jocketty is quite busy right now.

“Walt’s manning that phone today, big time. I haven’t seen Walt yet,” Baker said.

It will be interesting to see if any trades go down today, tonight or Friday. The deadline is at 4 p.m. ET. Reliever David Weathers walked through the clubhouse with a smile wondering if reporters had any latest gossip — but there was none.

“I’m counting on you guys to keep me informed,” Weathers joked.

The Reds had a lineup scratch this morning. CF Willy Taveras was removed from the leadoff spot with a sore left wrist. SS Alex Gonzalez was to get a day off but was put back in the lineup and Jerry Hairston Jr. was moved from shortstop to center field.

Reds lineup:

Hairston 8
Gonzalez 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Gomes 9
Encarnacion 5
Nix 7
Tatum 2
Cueto 1

The new acqusition, OF Wladimir Balentien, arrived first thing this morning after a redeye flight from Seattle.

“I got here and talked to Dusty and I know a couple of other guys,” Balentien said. “I’m happy to get another chance. I’m happy an organization like Cincinnati gave me an opportunity.”

Unless it’s an emergency, I don’t see Balentien playing today or Friday. He will get at-bats against Edinson Volquez on Friday in a simulated game.

“He hasn’t hit in a week,” Dusty Baker said. “He’s been working out but had nowhere to hit.”

Catcher Ryan Hanigan was out for the sixth-straight start with a sore neck.

“Hanigan is a little better,” Baker said. “He was better a couple of days ago and he might have tried to come back too soon. Hopefully we’ll see tomorrow. Boy, we are injured.”

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Baker: 'This is embarrassing'

Usually an optimist, Reds manager Dusty Baker fired on his own team in a manner that hadn’t previously been heard from him around here. You couldn’t really blame him after a 7-1  loss to the Padres on Wednesday where they were held to all of one hit by starting pitcher Mat Latos, who was making just his third big league start. That’s eight losses over the last nine games.

“This is totally unacceptable,” Baker said. “This is embarrassing. It’s like pitiful to watch. This is terrible.”

The lone hit was a Jerry Hairston Jr. home run in the fourth, which came after Latos retired his first 10 in a row. There were only two other Reds on base the rest of the night — on walks. San Diego hadn’t won back-to-back games since June 27-28 vs. Texas. That was also the last time the Padres didn’t lose a series.

“They’re taking it to us. We’re not getting after it,” Baker said. “We certainly have to do a whole lot better than that. This is pitiful. They’re not a good club. And if they’re not a good club and they’re beating us like that, what does this make us?”

This is reality biting the Reds, hard.

They will wake up on Thursday, the day before the trade deadline, 10 games below .500. I would be stunned if at least one deal isn’t made before 4 p.m. ET on Friday…but who will be dealt away?

Aaron Harang has been periodically mentioned in rumors but here is another reality: he hasn’t won a game in over two months. In his last 12 starts, he is 0-8 with a 5.56 ERA. Overall he is 5-12 with a 4.50 ERA. That might be a tough sell to other GMs.

Harang was down 5-0 through just his first six batters on Wednesday. Adrian Gonzalez hit a changeup out over the plate for a two-run homer. Later in the first inning, Kyle Blanks absolutely blasted a three-run homer 451 feet to left field. After that, Harang had much better command. Overall, he allowed seven earned runs over seven-innings with nine hits, four walks and five strikeouts.

“We were operating from a 5-0 deficit right away,” Baker said. “Our offense isn’t such right now where we can come right back and score a lot of runs. After that, he settled down but the damage was done and it was too late.”

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Not the way to start 2nd half

Thursday was the start of an important, actually critical, 10-game stretch for the Reds vs. the Brewers, Dodgers and Cubs. Thursday’s 9-6 loss was not the way they wanted to start the second half.

Homer Bailey started out OK even after hitting his first batter of the game, allowing two walks in the second and even Prince Fielder’s three-run homer in the third. What wasn’t OK were the two walks he issued to Ryan Braun and Fielder in the five-run, 10-batter Brewers sixth inning. Those were killer.

“He was trying to challenge them but wasn’t finding the strike zone in that inning,” manager Dusty Baker said. “They’re pretty good hitters. That was a tough inning right there, a real tough inning.”

Bailey pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up a career-high seven earned runs and six hits. He walked four and struck out three. Many of the hits, other than Fielder’s, weren’t crushed. Nick Masset took over in the sixth and let all of his inherited runners home on a groundball up the middle and a broken bat single — not overwhelming but damaging all the same. 

Reds starters are 1-5 with an 8.46 ERA over their last eight games.

Some high moments: Joey Votto hit a mammoth two-run homer to the smokestacks in the bottom of the third inning. It traveled 471 feet and was the 12th longest HR in GABP history.

“Joey’s ball landed in Newport,” Bailey said.

In the fifth was about as neat a “web gem” as you’ll see. Craig Counsell hit a sharp roller to the middle. Shortstop Jerry Hairston Jr. scooped and flipped the ball with his glove. Second baseman Brandon Phillips caught it barehanded and turned the 6-4-3 GIDP.

The Reds, which have lost eight of their last 11 and five of the last six, are 42-46 — that’s four games under .500. The Cardinals were off so the deficit in the division is 5 1/2 games.

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Rosales up, what's next for OF?

Sorry for a late blog posting — but it’s been a little hectic and I fell behind. The first person I saw when I walked into the clubhouse was infielder Adam Rosales, who was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to replace the injured Jay Bruce.

It was Rosales’ first-ever time in New York. The closest he’ll get to Manhattan is flying over it.

“They called me last night at 11 p.m.,” Rosales said. “I got all packing done and took a 7:15 a.m. flight from Louisville. It’s been a long day already for me. I’m catching a flight after the game to go to Salt Lake City to see the family. I didn’t get the full experience. I saw the Statue of Liberty from the window of the plane, Manhattan and the Empire State Building.”

The Reds have some moves to contemplate over the All-Star break and expect them to recalibrate the roster some for the second half. They are currently carrying 13 pitchers and want 12. Another position player will be added, manager Dusty Baker confirmed.

The club is down to four outfielders — Willy Taveras, Chris Dickerson, Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix. Throw Jerry Hairston Jr. into the mix and that makes five. Hairston has been playing shortstop mostly with Alex Gonzalez out. Rosales played a lot of shortstop at Louisville and could go there with Paul Janish and free Hairston up the outfield.

Or the Reds could make a trade before the July 31 deadline. Baker was asked if Bruce’s injury made more likely a bat would be added from the outside.

“It depends,” Baker said on Sunday. “Everybody knows you’re in need and they want to get the better of the deal. It’s harder to trade now than ever before because most teams want your young players. [General manager] Walt [Jocketty] has already been on the phone already. We’ll see.”  

It didn’t look likely that Drew Stubbs or Chris Heisey would get promotions. Stubbs, Cincinnati’s 2006 first-round Draft pick, came into Sunday batting .279 with two home runs and 25 RBIs for the Bats.

“What does that equate to here?” Baker said. “He’s still trying to figure out his stroke. Let’s not rush these guys like we did with a whole bunch of guys. If they’re going to be here, you want them to play every day. … Let’s let these kids play and develop. All we see is their batting averages. All we see is hitting. We don’t see the total game if you want to win in the big leagues. There is base running, throwing, getting signs and fundamental stuff. If they’re going to make mistakes, let them make them there.”

And finally, Baker was asked about the lack of national notice on Francisco Cordero but turned the answer into a different direction. He used it as a chance to fire a shot across the bow of ESPN, his former employer for one year in 2007.

“It seems like publicity we get is when we got killed, 22-1 [on Monday at Philadelphia],” Baker said. “They showed every hit. They showed everything. I took exception to that. Those are my people at ESPN, why do we get all the publicity in the world when it’s a joke?”

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Return delayed for Volquez

The Reds recently learned that they will be without Edinson Volquez for longer than expected. Volquez was shut down from throwing after a second MRI revealed there was still inflammation on the flexor mass muscle that connects the forearm to the bone by the elbow. The first MRI taken in early June when Volquez went on the DL with tendinitis didn’t reveal as much because he still had some swelling.

“I guess they found things that were more serious than anticipated,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He’s in good spirits so I guess that’s where it starts. It’s not serious enough to operate.”

Team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek will examine Volquez again on Tuesday but Volquez was told not to throw until the inflammation completely subsides. That will push back his return date, significantly.

“With a starting pitcher, you need time to build back up and rehab starts,” head trainer Mark Mann said. “You’re probably talking beyond the All-Star Break.”

“It just means it will take a little longer but we still expect a full recovery,” GM Walt Jocketty said. “You have to make sure it heals completely. Those things generally do.”

The Reds have still not named a starter to pitch on Saturday at Cleveland, which was the spot Volquez and first replacement Matt Maloney occupied.

“Nah, you guys name him,” Baker said.

OK, paging Homer Bailey. He is scheduled to pitch on Saturday for Triple-A Louisville so it lines up perfectly.

In five June starts, Bailey is 4-0 with a 0.47 ERA. In 38 1/3 innings, he’s allowed just seven walks with 38 strikeouts. With the news that Volquez will be out, this could be the best extended chance Bailey will get to prove he belongs in the Majors.

“Whoever starts on Saturday needs to give us some quality,” Baker said.

Reds lineup

Dickerson 8
Hairston Jr. 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Nix 7
Gomes dh
Bruce 9
Hernandez 2
Richar 5
Arroyo 1

Other news of the day:

Jocketty is keeping an eye out for some offensive help on the trade market but it’s been quiet.

“There’s not a lot of action going,” Jocketty said. “There are too many clubs that feel they’re still in it.”

Baker spent today working again in the cage with Willy Taveras, who did not start on Wednesday.

“If we have to go down there every day, he’s going to get it,” Baker said. “We weren’t wrong in our assessment of what we needed.”

Danny Richar got a start at third base, partially because he’s an extra left-handed hitter for the lineup against a right-handed pitcher. Baker said that Paul Janish would likely get a start at shortstop on Thursday and Jerry Hairston Jr. would move to third base.

Finally, Baker mentioned a chance encounter he had at lunch with former NHL player Shayne Corson at his Toronto restaurant. Why is that interesting? Because Corson had a long battle with anxiety attacks brought on by the premature death of his father at the age of 45. Corson played from 1985-2004, mostly with the Canadiens, Oilers and Maple Leafs.

“We had a really good conversation,” Baker said. “He had to skip a playoff game. I guess he went through it for a while.”

Obviously, the Reds have a player going through a similar issue in Joey Votto – who revealed his depression and anxiety issues on Tuesday.

“It’s very coincidental. It was almost planned,” Baker said of the Corson encounter.

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What to do with Taveras?

In the previous blog post, I mentioned Willy Taveras and his struggles and Dusty Baker’s hopes that fans will ease up on the uber-struggling center fielder.

Taveras is now 0-for-13 since getting a first-inning single on Tuesday that snapped a 0-for-32 streak. He’s in a 1-for-45 clip overall. He is now batting .219 with a .270 on-base percentage, dreadful and plainly inexcusable numbers for a leadoff hitter.

During his 0-for-5 day in Thursday’s 7-0 loss to the Braves, Taveras struck out with the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning. In the fifth with runners on first and second and no outs, he couldn’t get a bunt down and with two strikes, popped out to first base. That brought out the boos from the fans at GABP.

Baker was asked if it was time to move Taveras out of the leadoff spot.

“I don’t know,” he responded. “You’re asking me questions I really haven’t had time to think of. The problem is, I had Jerry [Hairston Jr.] leading off and he wasn’t getting on either.”

To me it’s a no-brainer…move Taveras down. Let Hairston try again, or go with Chris Dickerson.

If not Taveras, who should leadoff for the Reds?

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Back to an even .500

Considering that the Reds started 2-0 on this road trip through Washington and Kansas City, losing four straight for the 2-4 outcome is a disaster.

During Sunday’s 7-1 loss, the Reds had just five hits. They had just 13 hits for the series and 34 for the entire road trip. Washington has the worst record in the Majors and Kansas City was a last-place team in the AL Central until the Reds came to town.

Welcome back to even .500, everyone. The Reds are 31-31 and it’s the first time since April 28 they haven’t been had an above-.500 record.

“We didn’t hit but we did hit the ball,” manager Dusty Baker said. “The last four or five days, we hit line drives at everybody. It’s going to turn and things are going to fall. There are some guys that are starting to swing the bat well. We have a lot of pride in that room out there. The guys don’t like losing and they know how I hate losing. We’ll turn it around, hopefully have a great off day [Monday] and then come out smoking against the Braves.”

The Reds need some offensive help. There really isn’t a ton they can do with what they have in Louisville. They don’t know how much longer Joey Votto will be away.

And when they’re not hitting, defense can’t let them down like it did on Sunday. All five runs scored on Johnny Cueto were unearned because of two Jerry Hairston Jr. errors. Jay Bruce made a nice effort to have a chance to catch Alberto Callaspo’s drive to right field. But the ball popped out of Bruce’s glove as he hit the fence.

When things are going well, those are kind of plays that fall your way.

Monday is a good time for an off day. I’m sure you have suggestions for what the Reds should do to correct course — go ahead and make them.

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Kent Mercker in the house

Towards the end of last season when he was injured and retirement was near, someone asked reliever Kent Mercker what his next vocation would be. Without hesistation, he said he’d be “turning vodka into urine.” Everyone around him in the clubhouse laughed.

That was quintessential Mercker, who was one of the smartest and funniest players I’ve encountered in this game.

But he’s found a part-time gig that brings him around the Reds again. Mercker is here at Busch Stadium to make his regular season radio debut working with Marty Brennaman tonight and Thursday. He’s slated to do a handful of games later in the season. I can only imagine he’ll make for entertaining radio during the games. Let me know how he does.

The reason for the change: Chris Welsh returned home for his son’s graduation and Jeff Brantley shifted from the radio booth to TV with George Grande.When Mercker first got here, he didn’t know where to go – so he went to visit a familiar face, Dick Pole, who was by the Reds bullpen — which is usually a no-no for credentialed media.

“I will light him up for that,” Brennaman said. 

A few years ago when the Reds stayed near a decepit mall in St. Louis adjacent to Union Station, the stores were all T-shirt shops and fudge stores. One day Adam Dunn was given a white T-shirt with a photo of Mercker’s smiling mug on it. Above the picture read “World’s Greatest Teammate.”

On to some news…

Willy Taveras is out of the lineup again because of a sore right hamstring. Taveras’ inability to catch up to Nick Stavinoha’s sixth-inning drive to center field let two-runs score on the double, including the go-ahead run in a 5-2 loss. Taveras spent a while in manager Dusty Baker’s office on Wednesday.

“He’s about the same,” Baker said. “I had a long talk with him today. We’ll hopefully try it again this weekend some time against the Cubs.”

Chris Dickerson started in center field but Jerry Hairston Jr. was back in the lineup and moved up to the leadoff spot. Hairston missed the last two games with a stomach flu. Why was Hairston moved up?

“No. 1, I wanted to split up right-left-right-left,” Baker said. “No. 2, last year Hairston was an outstanding leadoff man.”

The Reds were 25-19 last season when Hairston led off.

“Hopefully we can get some of the same,” Hairston said. “Whether I leadoff or hit second, I know my job is to get on base. Obviously hitting second, I may take a few more pitches to give the guy in front of you an opportunity to steal a base.”

Alex Gonzalez was also given a rest after he made the last 11 starts. Paul Janish got a start at shortstop.

“He’s been playing a lot,” Baker said. “I don’t want Janish to be out too long. I thought about doing it tomorrow but that’s not fair to Janish getting one start and he has to face [Cardinals Thursday starter Chris] Carpenter.”

Almost forgot to mention — no starter was named on Saturday yet. Baker said it was definitely not someone already up here. That seems to all but point to Matt Maloney to get the start vs. the Cubs.

Reds lineup:

Hairston 5
Dickerson 8
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Hernandez 3
Nix 7
Hanigan 2
Janish 6
Cueto 1

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