Results tagged ‘ Logan Ondrusek ’

Miles released, Balentien outrighted

A couple of Reds transactions —

Infielder Aaron Miles cleared waivers and has been released. Outfielder Wladimir Balentien cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Class AAA Louisville.

Both players were designated for assignment on Opening Day but were told they wouldn’t make the team on April 2.
 
Having Balentien clear and remain in the organization is a plus and I know it was hoping he wouldn’t get claimed. He had a good spring and seemed to make improvements with his hitting.

Reds lineup:

Dickerson 8
Janish 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Gomes 7
Hernandez 2
Bailey 1

Some notes:

*Will Homer Bailey be the first Reds starting pitcher to get a ‘W’ next to his name this season? With the bullpen a little spent, Dusty Baker was hoping for a lengthy outing. Baker wasn’t sure if Francisco Cordero would be available after he’s worked six out of seven days. Logan Ondrusek has had three days in a row. Micah Owings had two innings last night.

“I might have to go with Homer a little longer,” Baker said. “Or maybe he’ll be super sharp tonight. A complete game would be great.”

*Cordero also had to warm up three different times during Tuesday’s game.

*Nick Masset said he is ready again after a break on Tuesday.

*Chris Dickerson is starting in CF because Drew Stubbs has a sore back.

“It’s nothing major but I think he’s giving me a day or two to get cleared up,” Stubbs said. “It’s something I could definitely try to play through. [Baker] said, this early in the season, there was no point in pushing anything.”

*The Reds haven’t won their first three road games of a season since 1996.

*At 5-3, the club is two games over .500 for the first time since June 19, 2009, when it was 34-32

*For Jackie Robinson Day on Thursday, all Reds players/coaches will wear No. 42. In an added twist, they will do likewise on Friday at Pittsburgh because the Pirates have an off day Thursday.

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Postgame extra – bullpen help?

The Reds got another last at-bat win with a 10-8, 11-inning victory over the Marlins on Tuesday. But it put their bullpen into a bigger bind after it was used for five innings for the second-straight night with the high pitch-count prone Homer Bailey starting Wednesday.

There were no plans to add an extra arm before the game.

“We won’t,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. “We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”

“Hopefully, Homer can deal tomorrow. We need innings,” manager Dusty Baker said.

Nick Masset should be back after getting a break from three-straight days of work.

Logan Ondrusek pitched in Masset’s spot in the eighth tonight and got beat up for three runs and four hits in the two-thirds of an inning. That pushed his ERA to 16.20 in five outings, including two rough ones.

If you’re wondering about candidates at Triple-A Louisville, cross off Jared Burton. He’s on the disabled list because of “thyroid testng,” according to the Bats game notes. Enerio Del Rosario and Carlos Fisher are the only two 40-man roster relievers in Louisville. Jon Adkins would have to be added.

“We’re not sure what it is,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said of Burton. “He didn’t have a lot of strength or something. He’s had a lot of tests. We don’t know the results yet.”

Other notes:

*Bronson Arroyo’s bruised left calf from his last start didn’t play a part in his lackluster outcome. Arroyo had five earned runs and six hits with one walk allowed and three strikeouts in six innings. A four-run Marlins fifth inning came after Cincinnati had a 6-1 lead.

“It’s not feeling that good but it wasn’t really a factor in the game,” Arroyo said. “I just didn’t have a lot of zip on my fastball. The wind was straight in my face. I had a lot of movement on a lot of my pitches. Early on, I got a lot of outs on changeups and breaking balls. As I wore down a little bit, I didn’t have anywhere else to go but some places that would be obvious to the hitters. It hurt me a little bit.”

*With a 4-for-6, two-RBI game, Brandon Phillips raised his average from .185 entering the night to .273.

*Joey Votto was 3-for-5, and delivered the game winning hit in the 11th on a 2-2 pitch after being down 0-2 in the count. When asked about it being a matter of time before the offense came to life (16 runs, 24 hits last two games), Votto had a rather wry response.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s a matter of time,” Votto said. “It’s unfortunate they put the battng average up there so early in the season.”

*Jay Bruce became the second Red to have a home run overturned by replay. His drive to right field in the second inning was ruled foul after a five-minute look at the video by umpires. Baker wasn’t surprised.

“There was no argument. From where we were, we all thought it was foul,” Baker said. “It would have been a gift if it were a home run. The ball was so high, it was a tough call for the umpire. It was over the foul pole. If they had given us a home run, I would have been the happiest man in the world. So would Jay Bruce.”

*The Marlins’ Jorge Cantu became the fourth player since 1920, according to Elias, to have at least one RBI in each of his team’s first eight games. The others are Tony Oliva (1970), Willie McCovey (1969) and George Kelly (1921).

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Rainy Thursday

There are showers around GABP but all signs point to a game being played here today.

Reds lineup vs. STL

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

Just from reading the story comments, tweets and blogs out there the last couple of days, it’s amazing to me how super-negative fans have gotten after only two games. I probably am not surprised but it’s still stunning how quick it happened.

Some people don’t like the move using Ondrusek in the seventh last night. This was a guy that had 10 scoreless innings in spring and perfect debut on Monday. Me? I was fine with the decision. Him throwing a four-pitch walk to Brendan Ryan certainly wasn’t in the plans. He got Pujols to break his bat on a cutter. Pujols is that good that he could still muscle it for a big hit.

The Reds are 0-2, so what? The season isn’t over. There are 159 games left after Thursday. In football last season, the Titans started something like 0-6 and still almost made the playoffs. The Broncos started 6-0 and didn’t make the playoffs. And that’s in a 16-game  NFL season.

Baseball is 162 games, folks. I will reserve judgement on how the season will turn out for quite a while. Am I wrong to wait it out in this age of instant gratifacation, judgment and feedback?

Some quick notes:

Hanigan is catching, partially because it’s a day game after a night game and partially because Arroyo is pitching.

“Ramon hadn’t caught two nine-inning games in a row at Spring Training,” Dusty Baker said. “He’s looking pretty good. We’ve got to keep him healthy. Arroyo and Hanigan work well together, [it's] a day game after night. It’s perfect.”

*Baker said he had a meeting with Ondrusek this morning about the importance of the seventh inning role.

*If you haven’t noticed, MLB.com has brought back the notebook format with what we’re calling The Reds Beat. You’ll find it daily on game days. Hope you like it. It might impact the notes in this blog. Let me know what you think.

*Here are the Cubs probable pitchers for the next series:

Carlos Silva vs Bailey (Fri), Carlos Zambrano vs. Harang (Sat) and Tom Gorzellany vs. Leake (Sun). The Reds are still listing Sunday as TBA on the game notes. Leake arrived in the clubhouse on Wednesday night but is technically not allowed to be with the team until he’s added to the roster. That will happen before Sunday’s game.

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Playing lineup games

Here is the Reds lineup vs. Cubs

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

*The so-called “Opening Day” lineup has been pretty close to this one throughout spring.  Dickerson has often batted leadoff instead of Stubbs. Or, swap out Dickerson for Gomes and that could be the look vs. left-handed pitchers.

One potential cause for concern though is that the Reds haven’t hit well most of the spring. The .242 team batting average for spring is ranked 29th out of 30 teams. Last season, production was a huge problem and the Reds’ team average was second to last in the National League.

“I’m happy with the way it sets up. But I’m not real thrilled with the amount of production we’ve had yet,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said of his lineup. “It’s the best lineup I can come up with a few guys changing in and out or whatever. We still have some more potential lineups.”

Baker is keenly aware that fans have plenty of issues with the lineups he uses and share their views online or to the reporters. Many want Dickerson instead of Stubbs as the leadoff guy.

“That’s a possiblity,” Baker said. 

Most fans write to me and complain about Phillips batting fourth. Some want him to bat second.

“Where are you going to put [Orlando] Cabrera?” Baker said.

A reporter said it’s been suggested to him that Cabrera should bat eighth.

“Where are you going to put Hernandez?” Baker responded.

Me: “We can play this game forever.”

“Exactly and no one would have a set spot,” Baker said. “We have a good lineup. It’s not like we have some set Big Red Machine lineup. We don’t have a mega lineup. We still have some guys trying to prove themselves. Stubbs is still trying to prove himself. Dickerson is still trying to prove himself. Jay Bruce is still trying to prove himself. Gomes is just coming off his first decent year in four or five years.”

One thing to consider though — is the team average is from everybody that’s batted this spring. It counts guys coming over from Minor League camp and the prospects that got in later in games. Phillips (.128) and Cabrera (.189) are still struggling but Votto (.256) has heated up in recent days. Reading too much into spring numbers or exhibition game records can often be a futile exercise. 

Other notes from Monday morning:

*Aroldis Chapman could next pitch on Wednesday vs. Oakland in the split-squad game. His name is listed with ‘TBA’ as his innings total. Baker’s reports were good from Chapman’s one inning of work during a Minor League game on Sunday.

“They said he was throwing 91-97 mph,” Baker said. “They said he threw the ball well. He only went one inning. We’re going to see how he feels today and then make a determination.”

*It looks like the next wave of cuts will come after Wednesday’s split-squad game. There are still 40 players in camp.

“You would have liked whatever you’re going to do, do it early,” Baker said. “But we needed people and still haven’t made up our minds on a few. This is not how we planned it exactly but it’s how it is.”

*Reliever Logan Ondrusek has a 7 1/3 scoreless innings in his five outings this spring with two hits, no walks and seven strikeouts. He was impressing people even before games started and now has a chance to make the team. Not bad at all for a first big league camp.

“It’s a little different than I expected coming in, being a first-year guy and stuff,” Ondrusek said. “I figured I’d get my feet wet, meet the guys, meet the coaches and everything and show them a little bit and go from there. Being here this long, it’s an honor. I’m trying to prove I belong here and at some point during the season, help the team out.”

*It’s pretty much a bullpen day today with Fisher only pitching two innings.. Wells, Lehr, Maloney, Burton and Rhodes will follow. Homer Bailey is pitching six innings in a minor league game.

*Upcoming rotation:

Tues vs SD: Harang (6-7 inn)
Weds at OAK: Leake (5 inn). Chapman is listed with TBA innings
Weds at LAD: (Las Vegas): Wood (5 inn)
Thu vs TEX: Cueto (6-7 inn)
Fri at CLE: Arroyo (6-7 inn)
Sat vs CLE: Bailey (6-7 inn)

*For those interested, the following players will be among those on the trip to Las Vegas: Cabrera, Votto, Phillips, Bruce, Francisco, Dickerson and Gomes.

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Adversity for Wood, Leake

For the first time in their big league camp, Travis Wood and Mike Leake saw how the other half lived. Both had lackluster outings during a 6-0 Reds loss.

Wood gave up three runs (two earned) and three hits with two walks, four strikeouts and a hit-batter. Leake followed and allowed three earned runs and seven hits in his three innings.

The fact that he’s still in camp and pitching indicates that Wood is very much in the fifth starter’s race. Coming into camp, Dusty Baker had never seen him pitch and only knew the stats.

[Double-A Carolina pitching coach] Tom Brown talked a little about him,” Baker said. “I trust what he has to say, big time. He told me he was small in stature but pitched like a big man.”

Wood gave up all of his runs in the first inning on two home runs. Both were in hitters’ counts — 2-0 to Edgar Renteria and 1-0 to Aubrey Huff — After that, he was pretty good and only allowed one more hit.

“It could have went better,” Wood said. “I fell behind. I had to battle. I did a decent job but a couple of guys got me early. I just didn’t have the best stuff today but I made it work after the first inning. I came back and battled through it.”

Baker was hoping to see how both pitchers would handle adversity since both have had smooth performances to this point. He even left Leake out longer than he normally might have.

“They both handled it pretty good,” Baker said. “Their body language was good. You couldn’t tell if they were winning or losing, which translates a lot to the opposition that they’re battlers.”

*Wood and Leake pitch again on Friday. This time, Leake will be starting

*A Bay Area writer was in the clubhouse today and asked about Petaluma, Calif., native Jonny Gomes. Last spring, Gomes started with a bang but faded the final two weeks and was sent down. After he came up to the Reds in May he slugged 20 homers in 281 at-bats. This spring, Gomes has a guaranteed contract

“Last year, I was sort of spotting him against guys I thought he had the best chance to succeed with,’ Baker said. “We thought he did a pretty good job with that. He lost some weight this year. It seems like he’s running better. He’s worked hard on his defense to get better. Jonny knows this is an opportunity for him to put himself back on the map. He hasn’t had a good year in three or four years.

“He had one pretty good year. That didn’t really sell to the baseball people. You have two good years in a row, now they’ll say ok, he’s back. This is an important year for Jonny to restablish himself as a quality player.”

*Aaron Miles led off and played second base and hit a leadoff single to left field in a 1-for-2 day. He was also caught stealing. It was Miles’ only hit in 13 at-bats this spring (.077 average) after he got a late start because of a fractured right finger. Miles also committed a fielding error in the first inning, which gave Wood one unearned run when Huff followed with his two-run homer.

*Logan Ondrusek had another nice outing in relief with two scoreless innings. He has 5 1/3 scoreless innings his four appearances.

*Before the game, players in the clubhouse were glued to the TV watching St. Mary’s upset Villanova in the NCAA Tournament. Cheering could be heard from inside Baker’s office.

“California schools don’t play basketball, according to the rest of the world,” said a smiling Baker, who is of course a Golden State native.

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No LF chances for Francisco

The Reds hoped they could get Juan Francisco into left field to see what he can do. They’re still hoping.

During Tuesday’s 13-7 win over Arizona, Francisco didn’t get any chances. In the first inning, he nearly fell over a railing trying for a foul ball out of play. But that was it.

“Of course. Isn’t that how it goes?” manager Dusty Baker said. “We saw that wind blowing out there and said ‘oh Lord, this is not the day to break him in left field.”

Baker said Francisco would get another chance to play left field but didn’t know when. Offensively, Francisco was 1-for-3 with a RBI single in the first inning. He also grounded out twice.

All three at-bats ended after the first pitch.

“That’s who he is right now,” Baker said. “That’s the only thing we’re afraid of when the word gets around about pitch selection. You’d rather have a guy you have to calm down than a young man you have to prod to swing. He’s aggressive.”

Other post-game notes:

*The Reds have scored 31 runs over their last three games, including 13-spots two days in a row.  They are 5-1-1 over their last seven games. Not that it means anything.

*Jay Bruce was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Taking advantage of a 19 mph wind blowing to left field, Bruce went opposite field twice — with a RBI double in the first inning and a home run in the second. Bruce is 9-for-23 (.391) this spring.

“We had some guys swinging the bat great. Jay Bruce has his stroke going pretty good,” Baker said. “It’s fun to see this early. We got some timely hits.”

*Drew Stubbs was 2-for-3 with a double and two-run triple. Check out the full story on him on MLB.com later. 

*In the young pitcher department, Logan Ondrusek’s nice spring continued with 1 1/3 scoreless innings and two strikeouts. Ondrusek has been perfect over his 3 1/3 innings in three outings. He took over today for lefty Philippe Valiquette, who allowed three earned runs and two hits over his one inning. Valiquette also hit two batters in a row.

“Once he gets control of the strike zone and tightens up his breaking ball a little bit…he’s got big league stuff but right now, minor league command. He’s going to be a very good pitcher,” Baker said.

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Yes — other pitchers threw too

With all of the hoopla about Aroldis Chapman, you might have wondered if anyone else pitched on Wednesday. They certainly did.

On the field I was watching, I saw Carlos Fisher, Jordan Smith, Logan Ondrusek, Phillipe Valiquette and Pedro Viola. On the other field included Mike Leake, Sam LeCure, Matt Maloney. I heard that Jonny Gomes took Leake deep with a homer. But I don’t believe anyone else left the field with one.

Ondrusek is listed as 6-foot-8 but looks much taller in person and was definitely more imposing from the mound. I had never seen Valiquette before — he was a very hard-throwing lefty pitcher.

“I like the fact that everybody was around the plate,” pitching coach Bryan Price said. “These guys showed up to compete for jobs on the team. That’s been very apparent from the first workout. Guys seem to have an idea that they need to come in commanding their stuff with their arms in good shape. They’ve done that instead of trying to impress by overthrowing or doing things that get you into trouble. This is a pretty polished group.”

Like mentioned in the previous post, Price had pitchers not use a screen. He didn’t want them to get into a bad habit by changing delivery to drop behind it. It only became an issue once when Chris Heisey hit a screamer off of Smith’s leg. Smith was able to continue pitching.

Among the other hitters I watched — Todd Frazier, Juan Francisco and Yonder Alonso. It’s hard to gauge how they did. They really were at a disadvantage so early in camp. Some had some good hits, including Alonso that last few swings in the cage. 

One other quirky moment happened during fielding drills. On a bunt play with Chapman on the mound, the catched yelled “three” meaning Chapman was supposed to throw to third base. But with the language barrier, he didn’t understand. He was told three meant “tres” and got the play right on the next try.

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