Results tagged ‘ Justin Lehr ’

Maloney vs. L.A. Saturday

Even though they didn’t end up using Micah Owings from the bullpen in the three-game sweep of the Brewers, the Reds decided that they will call up lefty Matt Maloney from Triple-A Louisville to fill Saturday’s rotation vacancy vs. the Dodgers.

Maloney last pitched on Sunday at Toledo and allowed four runs and six hits over six innings with two walks and seven strikeouts. Overall at Louisville, he is 9-9 with a 3.08 ERA. Maloney made three starts for the Reds and  was 0-2 with a 6.11 ERA. He was optioned back to Louisville on June 20.

Even with Owings’ unused arm available, Justin Lehr saved a very spent bullpen with his 7 2/3 inning outing today in an 8-5 win. The Reds were down, 4-0, in the first inning. Lehr knew he would have to eat it even if Milwaukee kept running the score.

“After the first, I figured I was going to throw my pitch count no matter how many runs I gave up. So, I just kept plugging away,” Lehr said. “There was nothing you could do, I understood.  If we were down by six runs, I’m not coming out of the game at 50 pitches. It was nice to start getting some quick outs.”

Don’t look now, but the Reds have won four in a row. It tied a season high set May 24-27.

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Rotation adjustments

With three members of the rotation on the DL and an open spot on Wednesday, the Reds tapped long reliever Kip Wells to start vs. Milwaukee on Wednesday.

“It won’t be my first rodeo,” Wells joked.

No — but it’s been a while since he stepped into the bullring as a starter. The last time was July 21, 2008, as a member of the Rockies vs. the Dodgers. Wells lasted only a third of an inning and allowed eight runs and seven hits while facing 10 batters. He started two games total for Colorado last season and one for Triple-A Louisville this season.

Wells hoped he could get to 75-85 pitches. Micah Owings was taken out of the rotation, for now, and moved into the bullpen to back up as the long man. Owings could start on Saturday vs. the Dodgers if he’s not needed before. Otherwise, someone would have to be called up (Matt Maloney?).

Justin Lehr will start on Thursday and Homer Bailey will go on Friday.

“The Harang thing, the appendectomy, kind of messed up things,” manager Dusty Baker said.

OF Darnell McDonald and C Corky Miller were back in the Reds clubhouse again. One had been gone much longer than the other. McDonald was designated for assignment in May and Miller last caught for Cincinnati in 2004. He was wearing the No. 37 he used to wear here.

In a sign of how fast turnover happened around the Reds, there were no old teammates left in the room for Miller to catch up with.

“Harang was about it, except for [bullpen catcher] Mike Stefanski and [third base coach] Mark Berry,” Miller said. “I knew Brook [Jacoby]. He was actually my hitting coach in Triple-A in 2003.”

McDonald scanned the room and noted he played with many guys, very recently, in Louisville.

“It seems like it’s the Cincinnati Bats up here,” McDonald said. “You hate to see guys go but if they’re going somewhere, it probably means they’re coming up to Cincinnati.”

Reds lineup (the 103rd different one used by Baker this season):

Stubbs 8
Janish 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Nix 9
Gomes 7
Miller 2
Arroyo 1

C Ryan Hanigan was back with the team after he flew to Milwaukee on Monday. Hanigan was left behind in Pittsburgh on Sunday because doctors didn’t want him in the air with a concussion. Hanigan, who went on the DL Monday, was hit by a foul tip that was so hard, it cracked his helmet and bent a bar on his mask. The headaches are still present.

“I have a little one,” Hanigan said. “It’s definitely dissipated. I don’t think it’s totally gone yet.”

Hanigan will take a concussion imPACT test here before heading home with the team on Thursday.

RHP Johnny Cueto was scheduled to throw in a bullpen session today for the first time since he went on the DL with right shoulder inflammation. The Reds hope to have Cueto back to pitch in one of the games of the Aug. 31 doubleheader vs. the Pirates.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Miller and McDonald, RHP Mike Lincoln (cervical disc surgery) and RHP Edinson Volquez (right elbow surgery) were transfered from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.

The Mets put Johan Santana on the disabled list today. They now lead the Major Leagues with 12 players on the DL, passing the Reds that are second in the league with 11.

The Arizona Fall League rosters were revealed and six Reds prospects are on the Peoria Saguaros club. They are: Double-A Carolina first baseman Yonder Alonso and Triple-A outfielder Chris Heisey, Louisville pitchers Sean Watson and Logan Ondrusek, Carolina pitcher Phillipe Valiquette and Carolina shortstop Zack Cozart. Carolina manager David Bell will be the skipper.

Not on the roster is 2009 first round pick and RHP Mike Leake. There was talk that Leake and RHP Brad Boxberger, who both signed on Aug. 17, could play in the AFL. This means they are likely to play in the instructional league instead.

To fill the outfield depth at Louisville, former Twins OF Lew Ford was signed to a minor league contract today. The speedy Ford last played in the Majors in 2007 and spent 2008 in Japan. In five seasons with Minnesota, he batted .272 with a .349 OBP. 

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Bill Hall?

Among a flurry of moves in Milwaukee today, the Brewers designated super utility player Bill Hall for assignment. Assuming he clears waivers, the Reds should take a run and add Hall. He hit 35 homers in 2006 and was often a Reds killer (18 homers, 56 RBIs vs. CIN). His sharp decline over the past three years has been mysterious and he was down to just .201 this season.

Still, it’s a no-risk move since Milwaukee owes him about $11 million for the balance of this season, next season and a buyout of the 2011 option. The Reds could just pay him the minimum. They can plug him wherever they need him this season and then figure out what to do with him next year in the off-season. If it doesn’t work out, he wouldn’t cost them much.

Reds lineup:

Dickerson 7
Taveras 8
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Balentien 9
Gonzalez 6
Sutton 5
Tatum 2
Bailey 1

SS Alex Gonzalez is hitting all of .217 entering tonight but he’s been one of the Reds’ hottest hitters. He is 9-for-20 (.450) on the road trip and had four hits in Tuesday’s win.

“I feel very good. I am hitting the ball hard. I’m finding some holes,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez missed a month to have elbow surgery and has batted .273 over the previous 16 games.

“He had it going on pretty good before he got hurt,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He was starting to get it. He went backwards and is going forward again. He’s staying off of bad pitches, getting good pitches to hit and is swinging the bat well.”

Gonzalez is in a contract year as the Reds hold a $6 million option for 2010 that carries a $500,000 buyout. Considering the financial constraints they’re facing, it’s dicey on whether it gets picked up. Gonzalez said he’s not thinking about what could happen in the off-season.

“Right now, it’s about helping the team win and trying to finish strong,” Gonzalez said. “I can’t think too much about that. We have two months left. It’s more important for me to finish strong and finish the season healthy. We will see after the season.”

Mired in a career-long 0-for-20 skid, C Ryan Hanigan is getting a break tonight and Craig Tatum is catching. Hanigan has batted .143 (8-for-56) in 15 starts since Ramon Hernandez went on the DL.

Chris Dickerson did make a base running mistake in the sixth inning when he ran with his head down and got into a rundown that led to Justin Lehr being thrown out at the plate. Dickerson has great speed but been prone to mistakes on the bases.

“It’s something you can teach but you don’t want to teach through trial and error,” Baker said about base running. “Last night, he was so excited to get back he was like a runaway child in the wild.”On a foul ball, he almost passed Lehr.”

Dickerson did not goof, like I wrote, when he was thrown out at third base in the first inning on Joey Votto’s fielder’s choice play. Third base coach Mark Berry instructed Dickerson to move off the bag to prevent Mark DeRosa to throw to second for what would have been a 5-4-3 double play. So, I learned something there.

Historical note from Elias: Lehr was the only the third pitcher since 1900 to earn a win while allowing zero or one run and at least 11 hits in six innings pitched or less. The other two were Cleveland’s Jack Kralick in 1965 and Baltimore’s Pat Rapp in 2000.

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Justin Lehr to start Friday

This wasn’t a stunner because he was scheduled to start for Triple-A Louisville on Friday, but now Justin Lehr will be taking that turn for the Reds vs. the Rockies instead. The club made his call-up official after Thursday’s 7-4 loss.

Lehr, who turns 32 on Aug. 3, is 13-3 with a 3.31 ERA this season in Triple-A and was named earlier this week as the International League’s pitcher of the week. He began 2009 in the Phillies organization but was traded in May and began his third stint with the Reds organization in less than two years.

Since returning to Louisville, Lehr was 8-1 with a 2.51 ERA in 11 starts and one relief appearance.

The right-hander’s previous big league stops were with the A’s and Brewers. He has 66 career appearances, but not starts logged in the Major Leagues.

Lehr is not on the Reds’ 40-man or 25-man rosters yet and corresponding moves will likely be announced before Friday’s game.

As for Thursday’s game — not sure there is really much to talk about. Gripe about it if you want or make some Lehr predictions — up to you.

Crowded DL, Lehr next up?

A lousy road trip was compounded by the loss of two more players to the disabled list on Monday. The Reds placed starting pitcher Micah Owings on the 15-day DL with a tight right shoulder. Outfielder Chris Dickerson joined him there with a bruised right rotator cuff.

“I don’t have to have surgery. I’ve been down that road already,” said Dickerson, who said he was told he had a small tear in his rotator cuff also.

“Dickerson could probably be ready in 5-6 days but we’ve been playing short most of the year,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We can’t afford to go short.”

The Reds called up reliever Robert Manuel and utility player Drew Sutton to fill the 25-man roster.That means Friday’s starter is TBA vs. the Rockies. It just so happens that RHP Justin Lehr is Triple-A Louisville’s scheduled starter that same day. Lehr, who is 13-3 with a 3.31 ERA this season was just named the International League’s pitcher of the week (2-0, 1.88 ERA in two starts). Lehr isn’t on the 40-man roster that would require a second move if he is the one. Lefty Matt Maloney, who has already been up once earlier this season, is scheduled to pitch tonight for Louisville.

As for the outfield situation, the Reds are down to Willy Taveras, Laynce Nix and Jonny Gomes. Jerry Hairston Jr. can play all three spots and Sutton played right field for the first time last week in Los Angeles. Gomes was 2-for-16 on the last road trip and Nix, who just snapped a 0-for-11 skid, has struggled the last few weeks.

Baker was asked about Chris Heisey and Drew Stubbs.

“They need to play,” he said, meaning they should remain in the Minors.

Currently on the DL for the Reds are: Jay Bruce, Ramon Hernandez, Edinson Volquez, Mike Lincoln, Wilkin Castillo, Danny Richar and Jared Burton.

Lincoln made his first appearance in the clubhouse since having cervical disc replacement surgery earlier this month. Other than a band-aid in the front of his neck, he didn’t look like a guy that just had a major surgery in that area.

As he often does each day, reliever David Weathers was hitting grounders to his young son, Ryan. But he called out to me and asked if I had heard anything new about him in the rumor mill. I hadn’t.

“I’d like to stay,” said Weathers, who has a one-year deal for this season and zero no-trade clauses. “I don’t want to go anywhere. But I have no control over it.”

Weathers didn’t believe the Reds were in full sell mode yet.

“If we get a sweep [of the Padres] or win three of four, that might make them think again,” Weathers said. “And what if the same people in front of us lose three or four in a row?”

Reds lineup:

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

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Phillips thumb broken, roster move

X-rays on 2B Brandon Phillips revealed a fractured right thumb. He will rest for a couple of days and then see if he can play through it. He was wearing a splint on his thumb.

Phillips is trying to avoid the DL, especially after he missed the last three weeks of last season with a fractured right index finger.

“When I come back I will try my best to see if I can play with it,” Phillips said. “If I can’t, I will shut it down. I just told them to give me a chance to play with it first before they make a decision.”

As expected, Homer Bailey was optioned out this morning to Triple-A Louisville. The Reds didn’t need a fifth starter for a while. C/IF Wilkin Castillo was recalled from Louisville.

Bailey, who walked six and gave up six runs over 4 1/3 innings, took the news well.

“It’s not surprising. I had a feeling it was just for one start anyway,” he said.

Bailey was asked about his frequent shaking off of catcher Ramon Hernandez. They were out of sync last night throughout.

“Ramon has never caught me before, ever,” Bailey said. “That’s hard for him to be to put in that situation as well. For me if you have a catcher you’ve worked with in the past, there’s not really a whole lot of shaking.”

As for Castillo, his .207 average at Louisville doesn’t exactly scream for a promotion. However, he can be a third catcher and play shortstop, second base and third base. The Reds are strapped for depth.

“I can use him a lot of different ways,” Dusty Baker said. “With our need for bodies, he gives you a lot of players in one.”

And on top of everything else, 1B Joey Votto was scratched this morning from the lineup because he’s still feeling the effects from his inner ear infection. Votto could be available to pinch hit.

Reds lineup:

Taveras CF
Hairston 2B
Bruce RF
Gomes LF
Hernandez 1B
Rosales 3B
Gonzalez SS
Hanigan C
Cueto P

Some Minor League info:

RHP Justin Lehr is back for his third-stint in the organization since 2008. Lehr was acquired from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and will be assigned to Louisville.

The attempted conversion of former IF/OF Jerry Gil to a pitcher hasn’t been very smooth with his 1-6 record. But Gil has his best outing to date on Saturday for Class A Sarasota. He gave up two unearned runs over six innings with three walks, a hit batter and three strikeouts.


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