Results tagged ‘ Johnny Cueto ’

Volquez for Opening Day

Dusty Baker announced his Opening Day starter — it’s Edinson Volquez.

The top three of the rotation will be Volquez, Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto.

“You want to go hard, soft, hard,” Baker said about the style of his pitchers. “You want to break up Cueto and Volquez because you don’t want them to out and out radar gun each other.”

The other two rotation spots remain up for grabs between Homer Bailey, Travis Wood and Mike Leake.

As for the hoopla that surrounds the opener, Baker felt Volquez was equipped to handle it since nothing really bothers him. More importantly, he felt Volquez could handle facing the other club’s No. 1 starters regularly.

Opening Day is March 31 vs. the Brewers at GABP.

More quotes from Baker:

Why it’s not Arroyo as the No. 1 starter?

“I think Bronson has always leaned towards not being it. He’s more of a long-run type of guy. What’s Bronson’s ERA, [3.88]? If you’re facing No. 1’s, that equals a lot of losses. He’s fine with it. I talked to him about it. He was thinking about it this winter, he feels it’s best spot in the rotation for him too.”

Shows confidence in Volquez?

“We’re very confident in Volquez. Plus you name who you think can handle it the best. Is Homer ready for the No. 1? Is Wood ready for No. 1? Is Leake ready for No. 1? Cueto just signed a four-year contract and what’s he, 23 years old? He’s already got enough pressure on him. I’m trying to relieve any pressure from him thinking he has to prove he’s worth the money. Sometimes through the process of elimination you come up with who you think can handle the situation the best. There’s nobody looser and I think can handle the situation better than Volquez. Not much bothers him. At least he doesn’t show it bothers him.”

More on this later…


Cueto signs four-year deal

The Reds finalized their four-year contract with starting pitcher Johnny Cueto on Wednesday after the right-hander passed his physical. The deal comes with a club option for the 2015 season

Terms were not immediately revealed but it was reported last week that the two sides agreed to terms on a $27 million deal to avoid arbitration.

There is a press conference at 5 p.m. .

Cueto, 24, was to be arbitration eligible for the first time, which means the contract all three of his arbitration years and one year of free agent eligibility.

In arbitration numbers exchanged last week, Cueto was seeking $3.9 million for the 2011 season while the club countered with a $3 million offer. The right-hander made $445,000 in 2010.


Follow me on Twitter at

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. 

Follow me on Twitter at

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.”

Follow me on Twitter at

NLDS rotation set

The Reds NLDS rotation, against whoever they may face is:

Game 1 — Edinson Volquez
Game 2 — Bronson Arroyo
Game 3 — Johnny Cueto

Travis Wood and Homer Bailey are available from the bullpen.

“Wood gives us potentially four lefties in the bullpen,” manager Dusty Baker said. “And both of them could be potential Game 4 or Game 5 starters if we needed them to. This was predicated upon Philadelphia initially.”

The full 25-man playoff roster has not been revealed yet but the Reds will go with 11 pitchers.

If the Reds draw the left-handed hitting heavy Phillies as originally expected, Wood would have been a potential problem for them. He took a perfect game into the ninth inning at Citizens Bank Park in July.

“That was the first time they saw him, too. Not to take anything away from him,” Baker said. “They didn’t have Utley. They didn’t have Polanco. They didn’t have Ruiz. And they were scoring runs at the time. He’s a gutsy kid but he and Homer are probably the least experienced too. If we can get him a game, he’d be more prepared to start the next time if there is a next time.”

Arroyo was put between Volquez and Cueto to have a softer thrower between two power arms. Arroyo, a 17-game winner and the most veteran pitcher of the rotation, said he wasn’t disappointed about not getting Game 1.

“Either way, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me,” Arroyo said. “I’ll toe the rubber some time.”

Also — here is Sunday’s final regular season lineup

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

Follow me on Twitter at

Postgame: Cueto gets praise

This road trip is getting to be a little yucky for the Reds (that’s a clinical term professional writers use). A 4-3 loss to the Rockies made it a 1-4 on the trip with two games remaining.

The good —

*Johnny Cueto got tapped for three runs in the  first inning but deserves a lot of credit. Pitching with a heavy heart after losing an uncle he was close to, Cueto limited the damage and preserved his team’s bullpen and had a quality start.

“He threw the ball great. You hate for him to lose it and for us to lose it,” manager Dusty Baker said.

*Cueto spent almost all of his time between starts in the Dominican Republic with his family. He found out about his uncle’s death prior to last Wednesday’s game vs. Milwaukee.

“He pitched the last game at home – six innings – when he knew something tragic had happened back in the Dominican,” Baker said. “He’s a strong young man. He came here to pitch. That day we were going to skip him at home and he said ‘no I want to pitch.'”

*Jonny Gomes kept the Reds close in the eighth with a big blast of a homer to left field. It was a two-out shot on a 3-2 count. Estimated distance was 412 feet but it seemed to go further. It definitely went high.

*Trevor Hoffman got his 600th save for the Brewers. Why is that good for the Reds? Milwaukee beat the Cardinals, 4-2, which kept the Reds’ division advantage to six games. It also lowered the magic number a notch to 20.

“Fortunately for us, we didn’t lose any ground,” Baker said. “It’s one less day on the schedule. It’s very important we need to win these next two games.”

The not-so-good —

*It wasn’t an exemplary night for Brandon Phillips, who struck out twice and grounded into a double play. He also got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Carlos Gonzalez made a great throw and it was a close play.

*The crusher was Phillips E4 in the sixth when he booted Seth Smith’s routine two-out grounder. Next batter Miguel Olivo followed with a RBI double. It proved to be the difference in the game.

*The error by Phillips was only his third of the season and ended a 63-game errorless streak since June 16.

More quotes —

“It was tough but I don’t take those things into the game. What happened, happened. I have it in my heart. When I go out there, I put my best on my job. This is my job.” — Johnny Cueto.

“Johnny Cueto, after the first three hitters of the game, bounced back and gave you a pretty good indication as to why he’s a 12-game winner.” — Rockies manager Jim Tracy.

“The first one was a broken bat hit. The second one was a 2-1 count and he was running. He got the ball was down where Fowler likes the ball. He threw a pretty good pitch to Gonzalez. Sometimes if the guys can hit, they can hit. It’s not always a mistake when you give up homers, especially to a quality hitter like that.” — Dusty Baker on Cueto’s first inning

Follow me on Twitter at

Bruce, Volquez updates

*Jay Bruce took about 50 swings off of a tee today and reported no problems with his sore right side.

“Good. Pain free,” Bruce said of the session.

The plans for now, is Bruce will take batting practice on Wednesday.

“The biggest thing is how I bounce back tomorrow. We’ll go from there,” Bruce said.

*Edinson Volquez was recalled from Class A Dayton since the Dragons season ended. No word yet on how he’ll be utilized. He made two starts for Dayton, including one on Monday. Volquez could be ready to pitch Saturday at the earliest if need be.

“I feel very strong and more comfortable. I think I can throw more strikes,” Volquez said of the Dayton stint. He posted a 1.38 ERA with 4 R (2 ER), 11 H, 4 BB, 19 K in 13 ip.

“I feel very strong and more comfortable. I think I can throw more strikes,” Volquez said.

No doubt, the Dragons will miss Volquez since he was pretty generous. He treated the young players to some nice dinners — steaks, ribs, wings, etc.

“Nobody wants to go down. I knew I had to pitch somewhere to find my rhythm,” Volquez said. I was happy with those guys down there and had a good time.”

Both Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty said no decision has been made about Saturday’s start vs. the Pirates — Volquez or Aaron Harang.

“To be honest, we didn’t get the chance to talk about it today,” Jocketty said. “We’ll talk more about it when we get back. We’ll see what happens.”

Baker wasn’t worried about Johnny Cueto starting tonight after being in the Dominican following the death of his uncle. Cueto got his running and throwing in while away.

“He did that. I wasn’t worried about Johnny,” Baker said. “He has seen what success running has given him. I knew he was going to throw when he got home. He said he did. I talked to him last night at the hotel. He’s got plenty of homies to throw to. And he seemed rested for a guy that’s come that far.”

Jocketty also said there were no immediate plans to call up an outfielder while Bruce is out.

Labor Day in the Mountains

Hope everyone is enjoying the Labor Day holiday. It’s an absolutely beautiful day in downtown Denver. Not a cloud in the sky and the humidity seems pretty low. Now, if I can just get rid of this dry mouth. The one thing about Denver is you need to drink lots and lots of water. Just a little tip if you ever make it this way.


Thumbnail image for coors field 090610.JPGMonday’s lineup vs. COL

Phillips 4
Heisey 9
Votto 3
Gomes 7
Francisco 5
Hernandez 2
Stubbs 8
Janish 6
Harang 1


*Johnny Cueto did not meet the Reds in St. Louis, as expected. He is now scheduled to arrive in Denver some time today. Dusty Baker still planned on having Cueto start Tuesday.

*Scott Rolen got the day off today after he started 12-straight games. He was last out of the lineup on Aug. 22 vs. the Dodgers.

“He played every day last week,” Baker said. “I figured today after a tough series was the day. He didn’t want to throw Francisco to the wolves to face Ubaldo [Jimenez]. I told him to let me take care of that. It’s probably the most consecutive games he’s played in a while. He played two day games after nights.”

*Orlando Cabrera also got a break on Monday.

“He’s sore, which I figured he would be after not playing for a month,” Baker said. “It’s a good soreness. It’s not from injury but from not having played.”

*Jim Edmonds is still hoping to play again this season. But he revealed that the right oblique injury is actually a torn muscle. He’s not hitting yet and can’t throw.
“I tried throwing the other day but couldn’t,” Edmonds said. “I’ll try again in the next couple of days and see how it goes.”


Follow me on Twitter at

Baker a GM? No thanks

Reds manager Dusty Baker spent last night’s game and will spend tonight’s game in general manager Walt Jocketty’s suite while serving his two-game suspension.

What was that perspective like?

“It’s a lot easier up there,” Baker said. “Every war movie or cowboy movie I remember, they always went to high ground to have a better view of things.”

Someone asked Baker if he’d ever like to move into the GM’s chair sometime. It took little time, if any, for him to respond with a no.

“Al Rosen, who recruited me to the Giants, had asked me what position I’d like,” Baker said. “At the time I told him I’d like to be his assistant general manager or possibly general manager some day. He told me I’d be better suited to manage on the field. He’d seen me across the field from Houston and the Giants when I was with the Dodgers. Since I’ve been in this position, I’d rather be in the action. As a manager, you’re kind of like the shop foreman. Most times, the shop is in the basement. You’re down there with the guys, the players. You’re not an officer from being in the military. You’re more of a warrant officer, which is a former enlisted man that they thought merited commission as an officer. You’re an enlisted man in charge of other enlisted men.

“Plus general manager – that’s a lot of hard work. That’s a lot of work when everybody else is off work – namely me. Those three or four months off, you need it to recharge from the long season. That general manager, they work hardest in the off-season. Most of them live where they work. Most of them go to the office every day or almost every day. They’re in meetings all the time. I like what I’m doing.”

Other quick notes —

*Johnny Cueto, suspended for seven games, threw 41 pitches against hitters Juan Francisco and Ryan Hanigan. He is slated to start on Aug. 21 at Los Angeles, his first day after the suspension ends.

*Orlando Cabrera (oblique) said he’s feeling better. Cabrera took some swings Friday, but not at full speed. The trainers wanted him to try hitting today if he felt up to it. Cabrera hopes to be ready by the time he’s eligible to return on Wednesday at Arizona.

*Jonny Gomes will be presented withe MLB Players Alumni Association’s Heart and Hustle Award. One player for each club receives the nod locally and an overall winner is announced in November.

“From my coming up through the minors and before that with some of the adversity in my life, you never know when it’s going to be your last game,” Gomes said. “I kind of play the game in regards to that’s how I want to be remembered when my time is up. I worked too hard to put this uniform on.  It will take a lot to take it off. That’s one of the aspects I want to bring every day. Every manager I’ve played for I’ve told them ‘I’d love to promise some numbers for you at the end of the year, but I can’t. what I can promise is hustle and respecting the game every day.'”

 *Aaron Harang will leave Sunday morning and meet Triple-A Louisville for his rehab assignment start at Columbus. First pitch is at 5 p.m.

*Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman broke his leg at the beach on Friday in San Diego while vacationing with his family. Marty Brennaman reported that Thom was trying out wakeboarding for the first time. 

Cueto not appealing

The Reds and Johnny Cueto have decided that he will not appeal the seven-game suspension he recieved for his actions during Tuesday’s scuffle against the Cardinals. Cueto will begin serving his suspension immediately and miss Sunday’s start vs. Florida. Homer Bailey will be activated from the DL and start Sunday.

A roster move will be needed to get Bailey back on the roster. Cueto can not be replaced on the 25-man roster and the Reds will be shorthanded, in effect.

“With our pitching situation, the way things line up, it will be better if he misses one start and he’ll have one extra day from ordinarily he would start,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “So maybe this will make him even better and stronger. He can train, train and more train.”

Cueto will be eligible to return for the Aug. 20 vs. the Dodgers at Los Angeles.

Bailey was 2-1 with a 1.44 ERA in four rehab appearances, includng three starts. He last pitched a scoreless inning in relief on Tuesday.

“Healthy, that’s all I know,” Bailey said whens asked how’s he’s been feeling. “Whatever they want me to do, I’m doing it. As long as I’m feeling good, that’s the most important thing.”

*Dusty Baker will be watching tonight’s game from GM Walt Jocketty’s booth near the press box.

“The choices were to either go watch it in the stands, which is impossible, go to Walt’s box, go home, which is impossible or help Marty,” Baker said, with the last part being a joke.

Follow me on Twitter at

%d bloggers like this: