Results tagged ‘ Matt Maloney ’

Pitcher is TBA for now.

Tuesday lineup vs. Mets

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Gomes 7
Stubbs 8
Miller 2
Pitcher TBA 1

*LHP Matt Maloney is here from AAA Louisville and ready to go just in case. I guess they’ll have to see how Aaron Harang is feeling before making a decision.

*I’ve made a decision about one thing — it’s really, really hot. The temperature as I write is 101 degrees. In a congested city full of giant concrete buildings, it’s an oven. Thankfully, the press box is air conditioned.

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Series opener vs. Pirates

Monday lineup vs. PIT

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


*Homer Bailey found out he was going on the DL when he saw Enerio Del Rosario in the clubhouse, and asked trainer Paul Lessard what was going on. He was not happy.

“I just found out from Paul that they’re DLing me,” Bailey said. “They didn’t ask my opinion. I guess that’s where everything stands.

“I could understand missing one start but I’m not a doctor.”

“The recommendation is for him right now is to not doing anything for a week,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He could pitch with it but it’s going to get worse, not better. The best thing to do is shut it down, let the inflammation subside and then he can start throwing again. It’s tough because I know he’s competitive and he wants to be out there. Sometimes, it’s better to take a step backwards so we can go forward.”

*The contenders take Bailey’s turn in the rotation on Friday are Sam LeCure, Matt Maloney or Travis Wood.

“We haven’t decided who yet,” Jocketty said. “We’ll probably make that decision the next couple of days.”

*Aroldis Chapman, whose start was scratched today for Triple-A Louisville, will throw on the side Tuesday. If all goes well, he could start Thursday for Louisville.

*Johnny Cueto is still on track to start for the Reds on Thursday, despite his blister issue from Saturday.

*After he threw 60 pitches yesterday, Micah Owings is only available to pinch-hit the next couple of days.

*If you’d like to learn more about how Del Rosario reached the big leagues beyond what was written today, check out my March 9 Spring Training story. I talked to minor league pitching coach Tom Brown, who was credited with turning Del Rosario into a sidearm pitcher.

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Francisco tried at 1B

The Reds have tried to move prospect Juan Francisco to positions other than his natural third base spot. First it was left field on March 16 and today in the fifth inning, Francisco appeared at first base for the first time this spring.

Total number of balls hit Francisco’s way in the opportunities: zero. He did receive the ball a few times on throws to first.

Francisco, who never played first base in the Minors, is trying to land one of the extra spots on the Reds bench. He was 0-for-2 and struck out in the eighth while swinging way in front of a breaking pitch.

“We’re trying to move him around and get him acclimated just in case,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We still have plenty of outfielders here. Until we make a move, we’ll see. We’re just weighing as many options as we can.”

In 18 games, Francisco is batting .300 (12-for-40) with two homers and five RBIs.

*It was a rough day of pitching during an 8-1 loss to the Cubs, which slugged three home runs. Three pitchers trying to nab one of the final bullpen spots particularly stumbled.

*Carlos Fisher started and gave up five hits and three runs in 1 2/3 innings, including Marlon Byrd’s two-run shot in the Cubs’ first inning. In the seventh, Kip Wells gave up two runs and two hits, hit a batter and walked in a run with the bases loaded. In the eighth, Matt Maloney gave up three hits and three runs, including two homers.

“We got beat up pretty good today,” Baker said.

*Justin Lehr had two very strong scoreless innings with no hits, one walk and three strikeouts.

“He looked pretty good. He had them off-speed, showed good control,” Baker said.

Lehr’s  chances of making the rotation are likely kaput and he’s still trying to make the bullpen. He hasn’t disappointed, however, with a 3.14 ERA in seven games, including one start. He’s walked five and struck out five.

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The last stretch of spring

Now that the off day is behind them, there are 11 days left before the Reds break camp.

Reds lineup vs. SF:

Dickerson 8
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Balentien 7
Hanigan 2
Bailey 1

*There was no idea yet when Aroldis Chapman would resume throwing or if the injury torpedoed his chances to make the Reds rotation as the fifth starter.

“We’re not there yet,” manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s looking too far into the future. I hate to speculate about it. He’ll get treatment and I hope that it’s OK. I don’t think it’s anything serious.

“You know how backs are. They can let you go tomorrow or keep you around for another week or 10 days. I hope not but you just don’t know.”

Click here for the complete story on Chapman

*Baker didn’t rule out some sort of mix-and-match plan with his outfield…which would mean Chris Dickerson and Drew Stubbs could both make the club and both play center field. Dickerson could also see time in right field on days Jay Bruce doesn’t get a good match-up.

“We’ll see,” Baker said. “Certain guys are more conducive to hit than other guys. Certain days I might need a better defensive team out there [depending] on who’s pitching for us. There are a lot of different factors when you make the lineup out every day. You put guys in a position where they’re most likely to succeed. They might not like it sometimes.”

Dickerson has had a fantastic spring, batting .364 (12-for-33) with a homer and six RBIs. Early in camp, he voiced his displeasure about being left out of the center field conversation — which rankled Baker and some in the clubhouse. But Dickerson has backed it up on the field. He’s also taken a different tact with his comments.

“After the first week, I knew I had something to prove,” Dickerson said. “That’s the case with every spring training. That’s how you have to approach it.

“At this point, we’re all just here to get prepared to contribute. Wherever and whenever that is, I just want to be ready. I want to contribute to the overall success of the team. That’s all I’m concerned about. When or where doesn’t really matter.”

*Matt Maloney is scheduled to throw 65 pitches today in a Minor League game.

Fifth starter race still crowded

The fifth starter competition still has seven contenders left — Aroldis Chapman, Matt Maloney, Micah Owings, Justin Lehr, Kip Wells, Travis Wood and Mike Leake. Surprisingly, no one besides Mike Lincoln has been told they are out — yet.

“It’s going to go down to the wire,” said Maloney, who is scheduled for work out of the bullpen vs. Seattle. “We have a bunch of good guys competing for it. Whoever gets it is going to be very deserving of it. They’re going to help the team win and that’s the main thing they’re looking for. It’s a good competition and it’s going to bring out the best in all of the guys. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.”

*It’s possible that Maloney could wind up with a different role than he planned on.

“We haven’t decided on Maloney yet. Would he be better in the bullpen or is he still in the running yet?” manager Dusty Baker said on Friday. “We’re trying to decide that. Lehr, we’re trying to get him more extended time here.”

“I told them I’m willing to do whatever it takes to pitch at the big league level,” Maloney said. “I think they know I’m willing to do it.”

*Innings are getting more precious, especially starting next week.

On Saturday — Travis Wood gets his first start and is slated for four innings. Mike Leake follows with three innings.

On Sunday — Justin Lehr will get his first start and go three innings vs. the Cubs. Johnny Cueto will get five innings in the other split-squad game at the A’s.

Monday — Arroyo gets 5 innings, Chapman 4. Owings will throw 4 inn in a minor league game.

Tuesday —  OFF

Weds — Bailey goes 5 inn

Thur — Harang gets 6 inn

Friday — Leake gets his first start and goes four. Wood follows with four.

After he pitches tonight, Maloney is next slated to get just two innings on Thursday. If he was going to start, you’d think he’d be getting more stretched out by now.

*The starting lineup, with the exception of Hanigan, could be very close to what we see on Opening Day. However, there is locks in center field and left field yet.

“I’m trying to get them together at the same time – Stubbs, Jay [Bruce] and Gomes – so they can get a cohesive outfield going just like our infield, defensively,” Baker said. “At this point, Stubbs has come along better but so far, [Chris] Dickerson has outplayed Stubbs. We have a couple of weeks to go.”

*Gomes has had a fabulous spring to this point, entering the night batting .333 (9-for-27) with three homers and nine RBIs. Baker was asked if Gomes could be someone that could be the left fielder against both left-handed and right-handed pitching.

“We’ll see,” Baker said. “I have to find a way to keep guys sharp and play them. You have to produce too. Not taking anything away from Jonny, but breaking balls aren’t breaking quite the same here. I told you that before we got out here. Sometimes it’s a little harder to judge overall. Everybody knows Jonny can hit that fastball.”

*Carlos Fisher hasn’t pitched in a week because of a sore right elbow but things appear to be improving.

“He said he’s feeling good. I talked to him today,” Baker said.

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Lincoln out of 5th spot race

No shock here — Mike Lincoln is out of the fifth spot battle. Manager Dusty Baker told Lincoln this morning that he is going back to the bullpen. Lincoln posted a 11.37 ERA in his three starts.

“We’re starting to narrow it down,” Baker said. “We’re going back to have some meetings and try and determine who is who. It’ll probably go down to the wire, even if we have to use minor league games or ‘B’ games and things like that. As long as we get these guys their innings for endurance sake.”

That leaves Matt Maloney, Micah Owings Travis Wood, Justin Lehr, Kip Wells and of course Aroldis Chapman in the fifth starter race. 2009 first-round pick Mike Leake has been second-best behind Chapman but has no Minor League experience at all. Wells gave up four runs and four hits in two innings and didn’t help his remote chances. Justin Lehr has gotten no starts yet and no more than two innings of work. He worked two scoreless today.

In his latest outing (and first start), Chapman gave one hit and one run on a leadoff homer by Rickie Weeks with one walk and five strikeouts. Read about the start here.

Here is the breakdown of the battle:

Leake: 0.00 ERA, five scoreless innings and six strikeouts.
Wood: 1.29 ERA, five walks and six strikeouts.

Owings: 9.00 ERA in two games but is pitching vs. Indians tonight.

Lehr: 4.26 ERA through 4 games
Maloney: 6.75 ERA through 3 games, including one start, with 4 BB and five Ks.
Wells: 6.00 ERA in four games.
Chapman: 1.29 ERA, two walks and 10 strikeouts.

Based on what we’ve seen so far, Chapman and Wood should have the best chances. 

Who do you like? I don’t do the “if the season started today” stuff because it doesn’t start today. Anything can happen between now and April 5, but it’s getting harder for me to imagine that Chapman doesn’t get the spot if he keeps this up.


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Phillips, Maloney have good days

Manager Dusty Baker was well aware of what Brandon Phillips was hitting this spring — .000 because of a 0-for-14 start.

“He had been hitting the ball well. It’s not like he was topping balls and all that,” Baker said.

As the DH, Phillips was responsible for three of the Reds’ five runs during Sunday’s 5-5 tie vs. the White Sox. In a 2-for-3 day with a walk, he hit a RBI single in the first inning that scored Drew Stubbs. Phillips crushed a two-run home run to off of the batter’s eye in center field in the seventh.

It was a good bounce-back outing for Matt Maloney, who pitched three scoreless innings with three hits, two walks, two strikeouts and two successful pickoffs. The last time Maloney pitched, he was clobbered for four runs and four hits in two-third of an inning on March 9 vs. Arizona. This was his first start of spring and he knew the stakes were high if he wanted to stay in the race for the fifth spot.

“Definitely, especially coming out and starting,” Maloney said. “I wanted to get my innings in and that was the big thing last time. I couldn’t get through my inning. I was not doing my job, leaving the ball up and wasn’t pitching down in the zone. I really tried to focus on keeping the ball down in the zone and not overthrowing.”

“He threw the ball very well,” Baker said. “He kept them off balance. He’s been working on his moves, picked off a couple of guys.”

Other notes:

*Joey Votto got out of a 1-for-15 start by going 2-for-3 with a RBI single single in the fourth inning. That single came with a little luck. Earlier in the at-bat, Votto hit a foul pop to first base that was dropped for an error. Defensively, he also made a nice diving stop of an Omar Vizuqel grounder in the sixth inning.

*After he came 1-for-16 this spring, Drew Stubbs started the bottom of the first with a single to center field and scored. Stubbs was 1-for-4 in the game with a strikeout that brought his total to seven Ks in 20 at-bats.

*The Reds had a 5-1 lead heading into the ninth when reliever Jordan Smith gave up four runs and four hits with two outs. Both teams were out of pitchers after the ninth so the game was called and ended as a tie.

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Sunday morning notes

Good Sunday morning, although I realize it’s already afternoon in Cincinnati at least. While everyone else did the “spring forward” thing, Arizona doesn’t observe daylight savings. So now we are three hours behind on Pacific time instead of two hours back on Mountain time.

This will be the start of a hectic week in Reds camp. There is a B game this morning vs. the Indians here at the complex before the regular 1:05 p.m. “A” game against the White Sox. Another round of cuts are looming after Wednesday’s doubleheader, which loom large for many players trying to make the team.

“It’s a tough week,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Tucson [Tuesday], double header [Wednesday], day game right after the double header [Thursday], a night game [Friday] and then a day game after that. And then a split-squad right after that. Between the 16th and 21st is about as close to season-reality as there is.”

Other notes from the morning:

*Non-roster infielder Chris Burke is in the ‘B’ game lineup today. Burke has been out since near the start of camp with a fractured knuckle on his right ring finger. To make the club, Burke essentially has to condense his entire camp into three weeks.

“It is tougher, no doubt about it,” Burke said. “It’s my reality. I have to try and do the best with it, try to get caught up and try to play well.”

*There was talk earlier in camp of trying 1B Yonder Alonso in positions other than his natural one. But there has been little mention of it lately and Alonso has played only first base in games.

“I’ve only got so many spots,” Baker said. “We have 60 guys. The other spots that he’s going to go to is probably when he goes to minor league camp. He’s been working out in left field. I’m having a tough enough time with all of these players until I make some cuts to get guys time.”

*Baker hopes to schedule more ‘B’ games to give fifth starter contenders more innings. Two of them are working in the ‘A’ game. Matt Maloney is starting and Justin Lehr is scheduled to get one inning.

*For the time being, the Reds are still going to use the DH to hit for their pitchers. Aroldis Chapman will need all the work he can get. He hasn’t had to hit since he was 16 since Cuba used a DH in international play. Chapman is learning how to bunt.

“We’re working with him every day,” Baker said “This dude is working his butt off.”

*SS Paul Janish has two big league homers in 336 at-bats so he definitely enjoyed hitting a home run in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Saturday. Power hitter Juan Francisco crushed two homers in the game. I playfully asked Janish if there was a new “Bash Brothers” combo on the left side of the infield.

“I got back into the dugout and said ‘me and Francisco, we’re competing for the most power in camp,” Janish said.

*It might be of subtle notice but Reds minor leaguers are no longer required to wear their socks high over their pants. Being clean shaven is not mandatory anymore either. That rule extended to coaches too. Triple-A Louisville manager Rick Sweet is wasting no time growing a mustache.

Finally, here are Reds lineups:

‘B’ game

Anderson 8
Janish 6
Nix 7
Francisco 5
Alonso 3
Burke 4
Heisey 9
Mesoraco DH
Castillo 2

Harang 1

‘A’ game

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

Maloney 1

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Nice start for Bruce

The Reds aren’t off to a crisp spring start with a 1-3 record following Tuesday’s 10-4 loss to the Diamondbacks.

That can’t be said about Jay Bruce. Serving as the DH in the game, he was 2-for-3 with a solo home run to right field. Bruce, who struggled mightily last season, is 5-for-9 (.556) overall.

“That’s why we’re trying to get him as many at-bats as we can so he can have a good start,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We’re going to try and play him quite a bit.”

Other notes:

*Opening Day starter Aaron Harang gave up three earned runs and four hits over 1 1/3 innings with one walk and two strikeouts. He was scheduled to work three innings but reached his pitch limit of 50 too quickly.

“There’s still some fine tuning of stuff from the way I’ve pitched for so long and to mechanically make some adjustments,” Harang said. “It’s not going to work overnight. I still have stuff to work on but that’s what spring is for. The ball felt like it was coming out free and easy and I was just missing. It’s still a long spring. The biggest thing is just building up the pitch count right now.”

* Fifth starter contender Matt Maloney did not help his own cause. Maloney gave up four earned runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning, including Upton’s two-run home run in the fifth. This was the opposite of his stellar 1 2/3 scorless innings Maloney had on Friday.

“He was a little up today,” Baker said. “He wasn’t quite as sharp as he was the other day. He was at the top of the zone. He can’t pitch there. He has to keep the ball down, especially on a day like today when the wind is blowing out.”

*The Reds and Indians have scheduled a ‘B’ game for Sunday at 10am local time at the Reds complex practice field. Harang will start that game.

*Game time temperature was 60 degrees but felt colder with a stiff wind. At the same time, it was 65 degrees back in Cincinnati.

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Spring game No. 1 in the books

The Reds first Cactus League game wasn’t one for the time capsule. Cincinnati fell behind 9-0 and wound up losing by a 9-2 score to the Indians.

Tough day for starter/5th spot candidate Mike Lincoln, who gave up four earned runs and seven hits in 1 1/3 innings. Most of the hits were solid shots, including the leadoff homer by Asdrubal Cabrera in the top of the first. Lincoln started Cabrera 3-0 and surrendered the long ball on a 3-2 fastball.

“The very first inning, I still had some nerves I was settling down. I felt good,” Lincoln said. “I felt really under control. I was just missing a little bit and then sure enough, next thing you know I was down 3-0 to the first hitter and then came back into him and he took me out of the park.”

It was a better day for another fifth spot contender, Matt Maloney. Taking over from Lincoln with one out in the second inning and runners on second and third, Maloney worked out of Lincoln’s mess and tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings with one walk and two strikeouts.

“Maloney did very well,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He came and got us out of trouble and then had a clean inning the next inning. He threw the ball well today.”

Other notes —

*Baker has been impressed with the camp performance of Ramon Hernandez, who smoked a leadoff double to right field in the third inning.

*After replacing Joey Votto, Yonder Alonso had a tough afternoon defensively with two errors. There was one moment when Alonso made a nice diving stop but committed a two-out E3 with a bad toss to pitcher Sam LeCure covering the bag.

*LeCure followed Alonso’s first error by allowing a three-run home run to Nick Weglarz. All three runs were unearned.

*Miguel Cairo prevented the shutout. Cairo hit a RBI double to center field in the eighth inning that scored Ryan Hanigan. Cairo scored on a Paul Janish sacrifice fly.

*Only 4,631 fans turned out for the first game. My early review of Goodyear Ballpark is positive. It seems like a nice place to watch a game. Bring your sunscreen because shade is a premium but the sun does go behind the home plate area earlier and cools things off. It was a perfect weather day though…sunny and 73 degrees at first pitch.


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