Results tagged ‘ Mike Lincoln ’
And so it begins…the Hot Stove season.
At the very moment of Brian Wilson recording the final strikeout to give the Giants the World Series win over the Rangers, 142 players automatically became free agents late Monday night. Under new rules, they no longer have to file for it…it just happens.
The new rules also shorten the exclusive negotiating period for free agents from 15 days to five days. After the fifth day, free agents can negotiate and sign with any club.
As expected, these are the Reds free agents from the list provided by the MLBPA:
From this list, expect the Reds to make attempts to bring back Hernandez, Cairo and Rhodes. Edmonds was contemplating retirement but I could envision his potential return if he wanted to keep playing and was healthy enough to give it a go.
Also — be sure to bookmark this blog link — http://mlb.mlblogs.com/ — it will be our MLB-wide blog of transactions, rumors and breaking hot stove news during the winter.
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Friday lineup vs. CLE
Aaron Harang 1
*Orlando Cabrera is 8-for-60 in his last 15 games, including a current 0-for-18 slide. He is out of the leadoff spot for now.
“At-bats are piling up for Cabrera,” Dusty Baker said. “Maybe getting some non at-bats, some sac bunts, some hit-and-runs and different things will take some pressure off him.”
Cabrera has a better chance to break out tonight since he is 7-for-18 (.389) in his career vs. Cleveland starter Aaron Laffey.
“I know but when you’re not going good, track record don’t mean nothing,” Baker said. “He had a good track record against some of the guys on the road too.”
Baker was asked if the just-signed Gary Matthews Jr. could eventually fill the leadoff role.
“Matthews has got to get his act together first,” Baker said. “How do you do that without your act being together? Matthews is going to Triple-A to get his act together. If his act was together, he’d be playing somewhere and probably leading off.”
*Ryan Hanigan was 0-for-2 Thursday as the DH in his first rehab assignment game for Triple-A Louisville.
*Homer Bailey (right shoulder inflammation) said he is going to resume a throwing program on Monday — nothing too intensive at first however.
“I feel like I can probably start throwing now,” Bailey said. “I feel pretty good. But we have this plan working. It seems to be going pretty well. We’ll take our time and stick with it.”
*Reliever Mike Lincoln (strained right side muscle) hoped to begin throwing by next week.
*Tonight is Irish Heritage Night, so the Reds are donning green caps for the game vs. the Indians.
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The Reds have bullpen reinforcements for Tuesday’s game vs. STL.
RHP Mike Lincoln went to the disabled list with a straight right latissimus dorsi muscle (on his side). RHP Carlos Fisher was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Both guys got pummeled yesterday and Lincoln allowed 12 runs over his last 7 2/3 innings.
Recalled from Louisville were relievers Enerio Del Rosario and Logan Ondrusek
1B Joey Votto is back in the Reds lineup as well…
*Dusty Baker said that Lincoln had been dealing with this injury for a while.
“He doesn’t complain, alibi or cry about anything,” Baker said. “Last year, he had that neck problem. He had been on the DL so much in his career, that’s the last thing he wanted to do. When he gets healthy, he still has good stuff.”
*Ondrusek had eight of his last 10 outings at Louisville be scoreless but was roughed up for four runs in the two other games. He believed he made some adjustments to be back better this time.
“It’s just making sure I’m locating the fastball early, and getting ahead,” Ondrusek said. That’s the big thing where I got hurt here. I was falling behind and having to throw more over the plate. Guys just started crushing me.”
*It was asked why Jared Burton wasn’t considered for the call-up. Burton had four-straight scoreless outings for Louisville…but had only had five outings since coming off the DL.
“Burt is throwing the ball but they thought he needed some more time,” Baker said. He hasn’t been back that long. It might have been Burt if he was pitching more. He has to get his endurance up. They say he’s looking pretty close to where he was last year. We want him all the way back.”
*Homer Bailey threw from 120 feet today. He is scheduled to have a bullpen session on Thursday. He hoped to return to start when he is eligible to come off the DL June 8.
*Sam LeCure was amped for his start on Wednesday, his second in the big leagues. He grew up a couple hours away in a small town near Jefferson City, MO. He already has 20 tickets set aside for family, and expected more people to attend.
“I even thought to myself after the first one, I might even be a little more nervous for the second one,” LeCure said. Growing up in this area – not that I was necessarily a Cardinals fan – it was always a dream to play in this stadium.”
*Here’s some interesting info — Baker’s teams are 88-90 all time vs. Tony LaRussa, entering today.
SF vs STL, 34-32
Cubs vs STL, 37-34
CIN vs STL, 17-24
*In the 2002 NLCS, the Giants defeated the Cardinals, 4-1, which pushes Baker ahead 92-91.
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The Reds’ 20-game stretch is really starting to take its toll on their bullpen, which was pummeled after Bronson Arroyo’s short 4 1/3 inning day during a 12-4 loss.
Carlos Fisher allowed four runs and Mike Lincoln allowed one, plus one of the inherited runners from Fisher to score.
The bullpen has a 6.32 ERA (15 ER, 21 1/3 innings) over the last eight games.
Baker let Fisher bat for himself in the top of the sixth in an attempt to preserve the bullpen some. In the bottom of the sixth, Fisher faced five batters and let four reach – including two on walks. That turned into five runs and the game was out of reach for the Reds.
Over his last 7 2/3 innings in six appearances, Lincoln has allowed 12 runs.
In case you’re wondering about bullpen help —
*RHP Enerio Del Rosario must stay at Triple-A Louisville before a recall for at least 10 days, by rule, unless there is an injury.
*Jared Burton entered today with four-straight scoreless appearances for Louisville.
*Logan Ondrusek had scoreless outings in eight of his last 10 appearances but was tapped for four runs in each of the other two games.
*GM Walt Jocketty went into Baker’s office right after reporters left. Good bet they were talking relievers.
“It’s a possibility. I’m going to talk to Walt today,” Baker said to reporters. “Those guys have been throwing a lot.”
The good —
*In the top of the first on Scott Rolen’s single to center field, Brandon Phillips noticed Colby Rasmus take his time retrieving the ball. Phillips sped into another gear and took third base while Rolen went to second on the throw. Jonny Gomes’ single brought both runners home for a 2-0 lead.
*Daniel Ray Herrera had a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth inning.
The not so good —
*Never a fan of rain delays but this one was handled quite well. The grounds crew and umpires anticipated the storm and had the tarp on before the rain fell. The game was delayed an hour, but it might have been worse if they tried to play through some of the rain.
*Arroyo’s four-pitch walk to pitcher Jamie Garcia with two outs in the fourth after play resume proved to be a killer, and led to three St. Louis runs.
“The only two fresh guys we had are Lincoln and Herrera. We have two tough days left here and we didn’t want to go through your whole bullpen today and be really stretched out tomorrow and have the young kid [Sam LeCure] going Wednesday.” — Dusty Baker
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Once again the Reds toed the thinnest of lines between winning and losing and came out smelling good with a 5-4 win. It took scoring three in the bottom of the ninth.
*That was their 10th win of the season in the final at-bat. Also the 13th comeback win of the season, which is tied for the MLB lead. Astounding.
The good from the day —
*The first-place Reds are seven games over .500 (23-16). The Cardinals play later but you sense these two teams can really start to separate from the division if this keeps up.
*Joey Votto hit the game-winner in the ninth with a single off of the wall. But it was his eighth inning homer on to the riverboat in center field that drew oohs and ahhs. It traveled 460 feet, which was surprisingly only the 23rd longest HR ever hit at GABP.
*Scott Rolen came off the bench and slugged the game-tying two-run home run off of Trevor Hoffman. That improved Rolen to 6-for-13 with four homers lifetime vs. Hoffman.
*Nice day for Homer Bailey, who pitched seven innings and allowed two first inning runs and four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Bailey got his first two outs in the first but wound up enduring a 30-pitch inning. Ryan Braun hit a 3-1 pitch for a solo home run to left-center field and Prince Fielder followed with a double to left field and scored on Casey McGehee’s RBI single to center field to make a 2-0 deficit.
*Bailey did not allow another hit until McGehee’s leadoff double in the seventh.
“It was a little rough there. In the first, the only bad pitch I thought I made was to Ryan,” Bailey said. “You leave a pitch out over the plate for him and he’s going to do some damage. From there, I did not really cruise but went through the next couple of innings and tried to keep the team in the game. To get seven in and only give up two is still a pretty good start.”
*Jonny Gomes stayed hot with his RBI double giving him a six-game hitting streak.
The not-so-good —
*It wasn’t a good day for the bullpen with a two-run eighth but it was a little understandable. Dusty Baker wanted to give some guys chances that hadn’t pitched much.
“We just wanted to keep it where it was,” Baker said. “At that time, we were kind of trying to stay away from Masset and Arthur.”
Trailing 2-1 in the eighth, Mike Lincoln was charged with two runs after not pitching since Friday. Daniel Ray Herrera wasn’t sharp again and pitching for the first time since May 7, Carlos Fisher got a vulture type win after allowing a run-scoring wild pitch. Fisher put two runners on the in the ninth but escaped.
*The Reds stranded 10 men on base, which included leaving the bases loaded in the fourth.
Some quotes —
Rolen was asked if he liked pinch-hitting.
“It’s a very difficult thing to do, especially as a position player,” he said. “I haven’t gotten used to it and I won’t. It’s a knack that I give the guys that do it well a lot of credit for.”
Bailey on the Reds confidence, even when trailing late:
“I don’t think anyone in this clubhouse had a single doubt that we were going to lose that game,” Bailey said. “That’s not sounding arrogant. It’s just how much confidence we all have in each other.”
Joey Votto was offered the day off by Dusty Baker but didn’t want it.
“I want to play every single day,” Votto said. “I don’t want to be out of the lineup, ever. I think I can speak for every single person in this locker room and they feel the exact same way. Everybody wants to play every single day. That’s what we get paid to do and most of us love this.”
I am skipping Atlanta but will join the trip for the three days in Cleveland.
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Even though Homer Bailey lasted only five innings and threw 115 pitches in a 5-3 loss to the Marlins, bullpen reinforcement isn’t needed.
Daniel Ray Herrera got the Reds out of a bases-loaded situation in the sixth and Mike Lincoln worked two scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth.
“The shining light I guess was the fact that we didn’t go through our whole bullpen. A couple of guys saved us,” Dusty Baker said.
Baker and GM Walt Jocketty considered calling up a reliever from Triple-A Louisville but decided not to.
“I don’t think so,” Baker said. I just got through to Walt about that. Arthur was off today. Daniel didn’t throw a lot of pitches. Masset was off two days and Cordero was off with a much needed day and Micah was off. We’re relatively strong. Hopefully we don’t need anybody tomorrow and Harang throws up a gem for us.”
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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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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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During Jamie Ramsey’s “Meet the Reds Press” just before we all came out here, I made a comment that if Drew Stubbs played himself out of center field, left field contender Chris Dickerson could easily move over if Stubbs took a step backwards in camp.
Through the early going of games, that seems to be happening. (Although in fairness, I also said in that same statement to Jamie that I didn’t think Stubbs would falter.)
Dickerson went 4-for-4 with a two-run homer in Monday’s 13-5 Reds win over the A’s. He’s batting .429 (9-for-21) this spring. Stubbs, who did not play Monday, is batting .100 (2-for-20) and has seven strikeouts.
A couple of weeks ago, Dickerson created a little dustup about his disappointment in not getting a more serious look in center field, his natural position. But now he’s backed it up on the field.
“Hey man, that’s how you do it. You play your way into it,” manager Dusty Baker said. “You don’t talk your way into it. And he’s playing. That was an outstanding job today. He’s been having a good spring.”
Baker has given Dickerson several starts in center field, so he’s definitely getting a serious look.If Juan Francisco could become the left-handed portion of left field, moving Dickerson to center field would be an even easier move to make. Besides, six good weeks in the Majors last season does not assure Stubbs of any lockdowns on the position.
*Mike Leake isn’t likely to get a serious look at the fifth spot but he certainly deserves more than a cursory glance. Leake allowed one hit and struck out four over two scoreless innings of relief.
“Leake was outstanding. That little dude can pitch,” Baker said.
In three games, Leake has logged five scoreless innings with two hits, one walk and six strikeouts.
*Travis Wood pitched three innings before Leake and allowed one hit, one run with three walks and four strikeouts.
*Starter Mike Lincoln came out blazing by retiring his first six batters in a row. He allowed all four of his runs and five hits in the third inning but walked none and struck out two.
“Linc looked good the first two innings,” Baker said. “In the third inning, he got some balls out over the plate.”
*During the morning workout, lefty reliever Bill Bray threw live BP and said everything was good.
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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.